Many of us have the opportunity to sit in classes with Babaji at the SRV Ashrams. We are grateful for access to his classes online via Livestream technology when he is at the other centers, but it is not a replacement for receiving the undiluted transmission in his presence and cultivating that special bonding between student and teacher and sangha.
As children of the Holy Mother, Sri Sarada Devi, most, if not all of us, feel that call to be of service to humanity. A great spiritual strength is cultivated in the presence of guru, dharma, and sangha for the benefit of ourselves and collective humanity. It is much easier for newcomers to enter into this path, and our sangha in particular, when we are regularly attending programs.
Therefore, download this schedule of Babaji’s classes and retreats. Mark them on your calendars and make sure to attend them. One never knows when the opportunity will pass.
A Student's Notebook
September - December 2013
Regarding one-pointed meditation, called Tailadharadhyan, you can contemplate a waterfall, with you yourself sitting by. You become saturated by the sound; it never ends, and your mind is calmed by it. Think to yourself, "I must become like that waterfall; I am infinite; I never stop flowing." Then, about formless meditation, called Svarupadhyan, contemplate an ocean. There is no flow here, just infinite peace. Think to yourself, "I meditate on my infinite Nature. Rainfall and rivers do not affect an ocean."
When we jump from brain to mind and remain there, opening up nadis (inner passageways), we dream higher, meditate deeper, and die more consciously.
When souls occasionally succeed in withdrawing from form, to meet Siva as formless Essence, most beings will pull back. Few beings really want to dissolve everything, and for that reason people do not get bliss, ecstasy, or Samadhi.
Formless meditation, a soul's maintaining one-pointedness for a long time (tailadharadhyan), does not negate or destroy God with form, or the meaningfulness of the Avatar's Lila. It simply brings them inward and gives them their consummate meaning. Knowledge is now vast, infinite, and when you return to form you have this infinite wealth of Wisdom to express. How else could Sri Ramakrishna speak for a whole week on a single topic?
To get to Witness-hood one must not "touch" any-thing. One must let it all go — let objects go — and do not touch them – with body or with mind.
While asleep, we go formless for a couple hours each night. But no one questions it, or inspects it in meditation. "Where did I go at that time? Where did my 'I' go in that state?"
Regarding the teaching of the Four Stages of the Word:
When you look into this, you are going to abandon the Creation Theory and the Evolution theory. Why? Not because Creation, if taken symbolically, is wrong, or that Evolution does not make sense – it is only that they are incomplete. Neither of them take into account the Intelligence that is facilitating the perception of all that transpires in them. They do not take into account that mass of indeterminate, pure, blissful Awareness either. Are thousands of luminaries imagining That?
Awareness/Consciousness does not need a station. It is the source of all stations. Mind, intellect, ego – these are stations of consciousness, but are not Consciousness Itself.
The “Myth”take of Creation
A Soul cannot be created. It is unborn and undying, i.e., eternal. If anyone speaks of creation of a soul, what that really means is the ego/mind mechanism. Even here, the word "creation" is better replaced by the word "projection." The body/mind mechanism is projected out of Consciousness. Nature only contributes the five elements into the mix. Study and memorize your Sankhya.
It is impossible to really produce an unproduced thing. And if you behold an object, you should know that it was unproduced prior to manifesting in form. Its true nature, then, is unproduced. You have only made it appear as something other than it really is. And that is true of everything; it is true of objects in nature and of all human beings as well. Thus, since we presently have form, we had better realize our formless nature if we want free.
"In the beginning was Brahman" – one cannot say this. There is no beginning for Brahman. That is why we say, "In the beginning was the Word." We should not make the Almighty a source of creation, or a source of anything. We must leave It pure, perfect, and Formless, as It is. Then we are to raise ourselves to It; and never attempt to drag It down into relativity.
Upon shifting away from samsara one finally sees: It is not that I was going from the unreal to the Real, or from relativity to Reality. No. It is all Real; there is only Reality, and I have to realize It to make it so.
We have to give up this idea that there is "my reality" and "your reality." If there were two realities they would cancel each other out. There is just One Reality, and we both are That. Fish inhabit the same water, birds, the same air.
Understanding the nature of objects
Is God with form or formless? Is It dynamic or static? The conclusion of the Vedanta is that Brahman is everything – the nondual formless Reality, as well as name, form, etc. But Brahman is not a thing or a location. Nothing is beyond Its infinite scope. So when the Seers approach a name or form, they say: "Oh, that is not what I am seeking; it is not that, and not that." This is the practice of neti, neti — not this, not this.
People with half-digested wisdom say "All is Brahman," and assume it to be so. Then they go on making all sorts of errors with objects — attaching, coveting, hoarding, etc. — in this deceptively assumed Brahman state. But the truth is that Brahman is in everything, but It is not a thing.
Objects: They are not created by God, and Nature cannot do it alone. Nature just provides the materials. They all come from the solidifying power of mind.
What are objects empty of? Abiding substance. And they are thus empty of the ability to fulfill you.
The five elements are connected to the senses, but come out of the tanmatras – the subtle elements. One way to begin to understand the tanmatras is to think of earths, waters, fire, air, and ethers that you project in dream states at night – when the gross senses and the gross elements are shut down.
The solid object is the appearance; it is made of swirling particles. What holds them together? The mind connected to the senses, for when mind is absent, matter disappears. Thus, my teacher used to say: "No mind, no matter. No matter, never mind!"
World-weariness: It is not good, bad, good and bad, or neither. It is a healthy state, though. It can be beyond the Gunas. It may not look that way to others, or even oneself. Contentment is sattva; if it stays a long time it becomes sama and dama (inner peace and self control). When it abides eternally it is Enlightenment.
The best way to recognize the Gunas is to meditate. One then becomes the witness of one's mind.
There are three ways to deal with the Gunas:
1 - helplessness: let it pass. "This too will pass." One simply waits it out.
2 - Through practice: One can affect the Gunas through meditation, study, worship. Even doing something different, like going for a walk, watching a movie, etc., will change up the Gunas. This is using action/rajas to overcome tamas.
3 - Transcend them: a rare Soul can do this, like Krishna, Buddha, and Ramakrishna.
Brooding is a combination of rajas and tamas. When the mind gets restless, it may be falling to the lowest point. An adept, like Buddha and Christ, may feel tamas or rajas coming their way, but they simply step aside. They do not brood and all passes quickly. You can also actually call on sattva, and as soon as you do, it comes forward. You may not actually see it arrive, yet an hour or so later, suddenly, you realize you are in balance again. Now all is left is to look back and see how that happened.....
A tree does not care where its leaves fall, so why brood on pleasantries and problems? The tree has its trunk and its limbs to consider. Focus and find the bliss of your Truth-trunk and Love-limbs and let the leaves of happenstance fall where they will.
Sadhana is not pointing to perfection; it is pointing to imperfection. That is why it must be accomplished, that is, used to destroy imperfections.
Sadhana does not ultimately lead to God, it only leads away from the world. Sadhana deals with the mind. When the mind has been rendered nondual then the Nondual Reality will come to the fore and saturate everything.
Willpower is a noble position one takes. With it, one does not face off every little problem. That would take forever; for the mind is full of problems and positives. So assume the position of Divinity. This is called Manasana (Manas-asana), the posture of the mind. Master just one posture of the body so that the much more beneficial asanas of the mind can be attained.
Nobility of mind, also known as willpower, is something one affirms first. How do I detect a problem in my willpower? With willpower. This affirmation develops energy. It is like turning one's consciousness on. Blockages are superimposed by lack of willpower. This is a mental position — manas-asana — that one assumes.
Holy Mother said, "The truth is this: he who is really anxious to cross the ocean of this world will somehow break his bonds. No one can stop him."
Those beings who are based in the lower three chakras are like a hot air balloon with too many sandbags. If they throw a bag out — called coffee or alcohol or drugs — they still cannot lift off and soar. They might move a little in a strong wind, like the pleasant and harsh winds of karmas, for instance, but they are not going anywhere profound yet.
Buddha may have declared, "Gatam Gatam, Paragatam – go beyond all goals to the Supreme Goal. That is fine for him. But it is helpful for the sadhaka to think in terms of a preliminary goal. These are called avasthas, stages. Human beings attain Enlightenment by stages.
If one sees families where husbands and wives are always arguing, and their children are all disobedient, it can be concluded that there is no spiritual practice going on in these homes. Where dharma thrives in the householder realm, this karma, called "mortar and pestle" karma, does not crop up anymore.
Student: When we seek to control the mind, what is doing the controlling?
Babaji: You are. You exist at many different levels – gross (individual), subtle (collective), and causal (cosmic). The Atman is actionless, however. When one dissolves the mindstream, one becomes identified with one's True Nature.
Student: How is renunciation, deification?
Babaji: It is a very wonderful alchemy, that the thing you love transforms everything into itself. One loves God so much that the world goes away. One does not renounce things because they are evil, but because one sees them as only manifestations of Brahman. Soon thereafter one wants to behold Brahman Itself, beyond manifestation.
Study of scripture causes karmas to rise up in the mind, and this does not always feel good early on. So one goes to the teacher and complains, "I thought this path was going to be all bliss." But the teacher says, "Oh good, the practice is working; keep doing it." People wind all their karmas on themselves via pain and pleasure. Are we to then think that it can be unwound without some discomfort?
Vedantists go hand in hand to liberation. All is Brahman; all is One. And we all get in agreement about this, i.e., that you are God, and I am God – that God is at the very essence of our being. This is a statement from the standpoint of multiplicity looking at Truth. The "flight of the alone to the alone" is a precious expression from the nondual standpoint. Consciousness does not need to move to know itself; rather, It needs to stay still. Going “hand in hand” means we will agree on this when we get there. As Vivekananda said, we must secure our liberation now. We can compare notes later.
Truth is Eternal; the teachings are infinite. So we make the conclusion that we must dip our minds in these teachings – not just once a week, but every day. At a particular time, one's mind will be in just the right place to hear the Truth in just the right way, and ignorance will fall back and get destroyed.
Teachings are infinite. The point is not that you must learn it all, but that you must take it in so that it can do its salutary work on the mind. When the mind gets purified by teachings, the Atman will come forward of its own accord, in its own auspicious timing.
People who flit from experience to experience like a bird in a tree will tell you they are "living in the moment." But I ask, what have you extracted from those experiences? On the other hand, if beings gain knowledge from their experiences, then they will begin to live in the Eternal Moment. That is beyond the three phases of time – past, present, and future.
“Friends in High Places”
If you resign yourself to Divine Mother, She will remove your misery, your obstacles. Otherwise, you are only resigned to your own ego, which is the real god and devil of your life.
Ishvara takes a form, thankfully, and that is what we call "Avatar." It is a formless energy, but the word "energy" is insufficient to explain It. It is not prana, or kinetic, electric, etc. It is the power of dynamism, of higher Intelligence. It is Kundalini Shakti.
Exceptional beings like Lord Buddha saw a way out of rebirth in the karma-laden ancestor realm connected to rebirth on earth. He went beyond the Pitriloka then. One could quip, then, and say: I want out of the “pitri” dish.
You are born out of the Mother's Womb, and that womb is Intelligence. Never consider yourself to be born out of matter. Matter is not born; it is projected by mind. In mind is Intelligence, awaiting your discovery.
Shankara has said that the Divine Mother has projected all the worlds out of the Vedas, and the Vedas She made out of Intelligence.
Divine Mother is not a nature Goddess – Nature has come out of Her. She is not composed of Nature. She is the Mother of Wisdom and Philosophy, and She is even beyond them. The scriptures declare that even She does not know the extent of her own Wisdom.
Ishvari ushers us through the lower climes to Brahman.
Maya is name and form in time and space, based in causality, attended by the twin powers of covering and obscuration. But it is self-defeating because it also contains in it the revelatory power called Prakasha. The soul must seek that.....
What is the covering power of maya if not the taking of a charlatan as one's teacher. And what is the distorting power? — taking a teacher who gives one a mix of truth and falsehood.
Some complain that the dharma is too involved. They think there is a simple way somewhere, and following that whim, they fall into maya. So the devotees prefer the complexities of dharma to the complications of maya.
Why does the mantra penetrate through Maya? Because it is made of maya – Mahamaya. Use the best and highest aspect of Maya to pierce through name, form, time, space, and causation. Get it from a high source, called Guru, and use it to pierce through maya's covering and distorting power. Take a divine name, meditate on a blessed form – and the end to the regimen of cause and effect is right there.
Projection and Withdrawal
When one goes to sleep, one plays with subtle objects in dream. And when one wakes up, one plays with solid objects. In deep sleep all objects are dissolved, but one has not become completely free of them yet; they are there in potential.
Before anything can become an object, it has to have a name, a form, and a meaning. It will acquire its own sound as well. These four elements all congeal in the mind prior to the solid formulation of them as an object in the waking state, or on earth.
Lord Kapila has told us that (in nature) there is a chain of transition from the unmanifested to the manifested, and then a return transition back into the unmanifested. In the West we might be tempted to call this evolution and involution, but the seers tell us that there is no change in Reality in this twin movement. Know this and you are free.
Pithy Points to Ponder
There is no such thing as a foreign religion. All religion is indigenous to your Soul.
Other religions want to convert, but Vedanta never does. It only reveals the Truth wherever you are.
Knowledge is good, wisdom is better, Truth is Best.
The scriptures are the intimate meditations and realizations of the seers.
The ego pretends to be the soul.
Purusha is the real individual Soul.
Atman is the true indivisible Soul.
A household devoid of dharma becomes a household full of karma.
Atman is a word for our pure nature before we, like a hailstone, fall into the ocean of Brahman.
Brahman pervades everything, but fear invades everything. What we want is the gentle incursion of Knowledge that destroys our ignorance.
[Regarding Raga, the cosmic principle of attraction]
Scientist: "Something must be holding the universe of atoms, objects, etc., together."
New Agers: "It is Love."
Babaji: I disagree. Real Love tends to dissolve everything, not keep them together.
Mind is impure by nature because it fashions things out if its negative and positive thoughts. Therefore, Heaven is not all it is cracked up to be, and Hell is not a place of eternal suffering either.
Birth and death happen only in Nature; not in the Soul.