Article Index

Student Notebook
From Babaji's Mainland Classes

San Francisco Satsangs
[The following are salient points from Babaji's evening discourses and answers to peoples' questions.]:

Some luminaries teach only the upper crust of humanity, but Avatar befriends all, not just the wise.  Sri Ramakrishna has the greatest compassion for the suffering masses.

Here, in Bhurloka, the physical realm, we are working against the odds.  That is why people come here -- to become masters of freedom.  "If you can do it here, you can do it anywhere"...."it" meaning gain your freedom, moksha/mukti.

If one only reminds the soul about its true nature from time to time, one may be surprised how fast it catches on.  But you also have to work at it from various angles.

The more resistance you can place against Maya, the more forward power and impetus you will have to utilize when it falls finally away.

All this - all that we perceive - is nothing but Brahman.  So what is all this change and flux, when Brahman is unchanging?  Like the ocean at peace in its depths, what we are seeing here is only the surface waves of consciousness, what the ancient rishis saw as the "manifest Brahman."  One only knows all is Brahman if one loves Brahman; otherwise this manifest Brahman is Maya.

As soon as the mind is cleared, everything residing subtly in the unmanifested is available too.

Self-inquiry must lead from "Who am I" to "I am Brahman."  Otherwise it is not self-inquiry at all, but only further self-deception.

If you are being affected by pleasure and pain, then your ego is at the reins of your chariot.  You need to fire the ego and hire the Witness, telling it, "Be my driver."

That which is called the Brahman Effulgence, the Light radiating off of Brahman, is Om.  Om is not Brahman Itself, but is the virtual simulacrum of It, being the closest principle in proximity.

In the same way that all of time is one moment, all of mind is one Soul.  It should take no time at all for one to partake of the Cosmic Mind.  In such inner communion, one can leave subtle markers for returning to the individual state so as to help others.  This is why they say that the Divine Mother is faster than the fastest.  That is, faster than the speed of sound is the speed of light, and faster than the speed of light, by far, is the speed of mind and its thought.  But the speed of thought, even at its most refined and profound, is nothing next to the swiftness of Shakti.

There is one indivisible Consciousness; It has the power to project form and can dissolve it back into Itself as well, all without anything ever really happening.  This is the realmless realm where vyapaka, all-pervasiveness, and aparinama, nontransformation, intersect and coincide.

Sadhana, spiritual discipline, is the man-making program.  This is how one cuts the self in the image of God.

[Speaking on Chitta Nirodha as a path to Peace:]
Renunciation is not condemnation, it is deification.  What are you going to renounce, anyway? Everything is in your mind.  So stop thinking about things, even acting on them, and merely see them as projections.   In other words, perceive everything as it is, then think and act.

The Four Yogas are described as a bird.  The bird's body is Karma Yoga; its tail is meditation (because Holy Mother said that meditation is the rudder); and naturally, Jnana and Bhakti Yogas are the two wings.  Swami Vivekananda has said that the spiritual adepts of the future will be masterful in all of the yogas.  But first you have to know what each one is and how it is to be practiced.

Every time you meditate you are courting death.  What is death?  Death is really turning off the world so that the Spirit can be perceived.  Superimposition of name and form over one's Essence is unreal.  Why put up with it any longer?

The ability to stay conscious at the time of death is predicated upon how well you can maintain consciousness in meditation and sleep.  

As you come closer to the Deity/Ishtam, you become empowered for deeper meditation.  If any fear or thought of limitation arises, you are able to destroy it!  This is expanding an inner muscle to help you remain conscious at the time of the dawning of deep insight, and also at the time of death.  The search for deeper meditation signals an advanced stage of spiritual life.

[Speaking of the efficacy of devotional singing]  With a beautifully crafted melody, complex rhythm, and a powerful message, what chance do you have of being lost in maya?

Death is really a meditation.  Blaze a trail to immortality through your meditation practice.

To qualify ourselves is the first order of business for westerners.  If we are to keep Vedanta alive here, and make it truly live here, then we must realize It and live it here.

People have separated Nature from humanity in a very immature way, and have thereby run afoul of even relative truth. One has to connect Nature to the self, and realize that it all has come out of one's self.  There will be time for separating from Nature in a mature way later on, after this connection has been made...or remembered.

This is why you are at odds with the world, because you consider it real, consider it an actual location where you reside as a body.  This fallacy takes away your spiritual experience. Let's say that you have money, and one day you lose it.  That is a problem.  But one day you wake up, and your peace of mind is gone.  That is much more lamentable.  World, bodies, and money come and go; Peace of Mind must remain, unbroken.

If you are focused on the "what" of objects, names, and forms, you fast become a student of the cosmos instead of a devotee of Brahman.  The joke goes that Sankhya yogis speak with a "list."  Well, we are not compiling lists in order to merely categorize relativity, or to show how much we know.  Those are western tendencies and phenomena.  One must not only make a distinction between the unreal and the real, but must use the unreal to indicate or point to the Real.  In other words, and in my way of thinking and teaching, connections are far more powerful than rejections.

First separate to clarify the mind [as in philosophical discrimination], then pull it all together from a definitive realization.

What is superstition?  It is believing that something outside is controlling everything.  It is all your own participation in the creation that makes this universe. You cannot blame it on Nature and Maya -- they are insentient!  You are the Sentient principle.  Thus you have done all this with the help of your brethren who run the gamut from fools to geniuses.

Everything is run by desire.  At the level of the gods, the animals, humans -- everything -- all have the desire to eat, to ingest.

If you do not make the connection between the Enjoyer and the enjoyed, and She who brings them together, then you live a deluded and distorted life.

If one wants to make a little sense out of the contemporary West's ridiculous obsession with animation and fantasy (vikalpa), and this waste of lavish sums of money for purposes of silly and innane entertainment, then one can simply declare "Back off!"  That is Yosemite Sam's mantra -- one of the first American Vedantists -- meaning back off of Maya.  Then, like Popeye, another original Advaitist, one can recite (maybe over a bowl of organic spinach), "I am what I am and that's all that I am."  Turning poison to nectar is one of the great feats of the Vedantist and the Yogi.

It takes a stationary Witness to recognize movement, but it takes an illumined soul to fathom that all movement is nonactual...that a runner running a race in a dream goes nowhere.....

If you believe in reincarnation, then eventually you will realize that the Self is birthless and deathless.

Mind & Consciousness
Philosophically, the rishis wiped the board clean.  Everything is eternal, but some things are the Sentient Eternal and some are the insentient eternal.  This was their conclusion.  Then, over time, philosophies sprouted forth making distinctions between what is the eternal and what is not; what is the Self and what is not.  But when you practice this discrimination, should you leave your Consciousness out of the picture?  Why should you?  There is nothing you can discern or discriminate away without the presence of Consciousness.  So the ancient rishis experienced a great Oneness as Consciousness.  On this solid philosophical footing they made their way to the Source, taking all things with them.  Sarvam Khalvidam Brahman.  All is Brahman.

The West studies inside the outer (physical body).  But India studies inside the inner (the realms of the mind).  Material science bases everything on matter, so going "inside" to them means studying the components of matter and assuming them to be the final cause.  The erroneous conclusion, as many of us know and rue, is that matter is the cause of consciousness.  But India takes mind to be the cause.  Thus to fully understand both the gross and subtle worlds one must inspect the mind.  One might object and say that western psychology studies the mind, therefore the "inside."  But the brain is their field, and the brain is different than the mind.  Mind is the receptacle of the "kingdom(s) of heaven within”.

If it (anything) is not in the mind, then you will not find it on the outside.

What you miss when you fall asleep without your consciousness is the secret of how name and form come about.  And this is what the Seers do; they slow down the projection  process.  They freeze frame it, so to speak.

If we could freeze frame our mind prior to waking up we could see how we project the world.  Or when we go to sleep, how we dissolve it.  But it all happens so fast and we are not keeping our awareness attentive in the process.

If you were able to remain aware in deep sleep, you would see the Brahman effulgence.
Why do we come back to the waking/jagrat state? Is it desire and attachment?  It is not so much a "why," but the state itself.  There is cause in it, but no effect.  If we could proceed one more step inwards, we would get into Turiya, which is beyond cause and effect.

When you dream, you enter into your subtle body.  And when you die, you enter your subtle body and dream.  Of course, you do not really die.  Consciousness is ongoing and eternal, and you are that Consciousness.  Birth and death are illusory; then; it is just a matter of your limited consciousness moving its location around the gross/waking state, the subtle/dreaming state, and the causal/deep sleep state.  This is why Shankara says there is no death for you.

In our Tradition we teach our children we have three bodies, not just a fleshy body.  The subtle and causal bodies form a key to higher awareness.  In the West most do not possess higher awareness since they know nothing but the physical body.

If you believe in death, then you have reached the lowest hell according to the Indian seers.  Allegorically they describe this predicament as a snake living in fear of a frog, when it should be having it for dinner.

Intelligence is the first emanation of Brahman, the first principle out of the gate in the manifestation process.  Some think they want just the Bliss of Satchitananda, but what is it that you are getting so blissful about?  It has to be your Intelligence.

These things [objects] out here are your Intelligence.  They have just gotten dumbed down.  What delusion is not possible for the originally all-powerful intellect that has reduced itself to thoughts of physics alone?

Sri Ramakrishna and Buddha both agree that when the individual mind is purified, God infills it.  Pure mind is Buddha mind; Pure mind is God.

There are atoms in everything.  The next step up is to recognize there is prana in everything. And then you can begin to see that there is Consciousness in everything.

There is a connecting force for everything, and prana is that force, enabling thought, action, mind and brain in their respective and relative functions.

Of all the gods, who is the greatest?  This was the topic in the celestial realms once, according to the Upanisads.  Each of the gods declared their especial importance.  But Prana said, "No, I am superior to all, and I'll prove it."  He then left and they all went with him.  And when he returned, so did they.  All then proclaimed prana as the king among divinities.

The seers think of the Word as constantly vibrating, but no one strikes it.  It is the Unstruck Sound.

The ancient Indians began  with the premise that God not only exists, but God is Existence.

There are good reasons why "nothing does not exist" and why you do not even have to ask if God exists.  God is existence.  All you have to do is find out what existence is.  No one says they do not exist.  Everyone declares "I exist."  Who can deny this?

"Existence Is" -- this conclusion is what the ancient rishis of India started with.  Ultimate Reality can't be a void; it would have to be held in a fullness.  For when you go to the "void," you find that it is not really empty after all.  Your Self is there, the one perceiving the void.

Philosophy has the advantage of teaching us the nondual Reality.  Religion has the advantage of getting people ready for philosophy.  And these are the two wings of the bird. One cannot get off the ground without them.  In India, they never separated religion and philosophy.  Heart and mind both have to be healthy.

Getting Connected
I think I am separate from water.  But water connects to my sense of taste.  I think I am separate from the element fire, but it is connected to my sense of sight.  So all the elements are connected to my senses. And where are the senses connected?  Back in the mind, and ultimately to the Word.  So this is the visible part, or the tip of the iceberg of Prakriti, Nature.  Its bulk lies deep within us, and needs a thorough inspection.

Inside your mind is everything contained in the realms of name and form. Flavor is in the mind.  The tongue is in the body, and also the organ of tasting, but flavor is in the mind. Everyone tastes things differently, but flavor is one and it is connected to the subtle idea of liquidity.  If you taste without being connected, then you taste with attachment.  But if you are connected, then you simply enjoy the flavor - you get the rasa, the purest enjoyment.  In Indian cosmology "flavor" is one of five tanmatras, termed subtle senses or subtle sense objects.  From the tanmatras evolve the ability to use our senses and the actual fleshy body parts that make contact with external stimuli.  So, flavor is connected to the organ of tasting (in the brain) and the tongue; Odor is connected to the organ of smelling (in the brain) and the nose, and so forth.

Spiritual Self-Effort
The nature of the gunas is to change.  But the art is not to wait for such change, but to appeal to sattva. This is not accomplished necessarily by rejecting rajas and tamas, but by calling on sattva.  One thinks, "I was feeling peace and balance before, so where did it go all of a sudden?"  So water the flowers, not the weeds.  Inspect the mind each morning.  Do not go out without sattva.  From the habit of sattva comes higher sattva (desire for spiritual practice), and from that comes a springboard into different samadhis.

You have to have the ability to go out into the woods and sit under a tree for 49 days, or spend forty days and forty nights in the wilderness  There, one can really take the mind and ego to task.

It takes a great yearning, a great austerity, to realize the Truth.

Sri Krishna says that what is good starts as sour, and what is bad starts out as sweet.  But the world has it backwards.  We have beer trucks running up and down the roads delivering liquor to smokey bars for people to get drunk with, and then go home and beat their spouses or neglect their families, and society generally accepts this as good or normal.  But these same people think that going home to meditate and study scripture, or to spend time with their spiritual teacher, is bad.  Welcome to the topsy-turvey world of maya.

Whatever it is, there is something underlying name and form.  You have to penetrate deep to find the essence.  Like finding oil in sesame, patina in copper, butter in milk -- you have to work to get these subtle essences.  This is what is considered sour in the beginning.  It is called sadhana, spiritual practice.

Pithy Points to Ponder
[Clarifying Buddhist & Vedantic terms:]
Anatman in Buddhism equates to Ahamkara (ego, or false self) in Vedanta.
Atman in Vedanta equates to Buddha Nature in Buddhism.

Vedanta does not seek to convert. It wants to bring out the nondual perspective of the founders of Religion.  Clarification is the name of the game.  Beings can then make wise choices and enjoy a truly universal Faith.

What is the famous "veil of nescience?"  It consists of fear and doubt.  These create uncertainty, or lack of self-assurance, and nobody feels like penetrating inwards to their Essence.

The Trinity is the ultimate Triputi.  The Trinity is the last stop before merging into the Nondual Brahman.  One gets to the Father through the Son.

Your blood family is your karma family.  Amidst your sangha you will find no undue karmas....unless one foolishly creates them there.

Dharma Megha Samadhi (Raincloud of Virtues).  Yes, this is a mega Samadhi all right.

It is the "I" in "I am," not the "I" in "I, me and mine," that is crucial.

I was once asked if I give shakti pat, "No," I said, "I give Vedantic pot shots."

Reflected Consciousness is the microcosm; Associated consciousness is the macrocosm. [Divisions of Atman chart]

We never learned to love the true Self of others.  Instead, we are trying to love their egos, and so we are suffering.

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