2019 Tripura Upanisad Retreat Notes

Tripura Upanisad Retreat at Mindful Heart Forest Retreat
The selected teachings of this Upanisad and retreat focused upon the nature of Divine Mother’s
three “Puris,” or Cities, which can be termed Her gross, subtle, and causal Cities.  At first glance,
it would seem that these might be related to the three worlds of bhur, bhuvah, and svaha, which
pertain to this physical world we see, an intermediary subtle realm, and a lower heaven where
the ancestors and demigods reside.  These latter three are the realms of transmigration in
ignorance.  Dedication to a spiritual path, such as initiation with mantra and a Chosen Ideal,
shifts the practitioner out of these three worlds, and gives access to Mother’s first City.  It is
extremely helpful to recognize this, for then we move through this world with equanimity,
peace, and the potential for bliss and begin to gain access to Her subtle and causal Cities. 
The gods of the senses are fickle. They are the lower deities or powers who can only grant finite
things. Offer the senses and the experience they provide into Divine Mother, who is their
Source.  All of Name and Form wait upon Her – for She is Consciousness.  What are the senses
without Consciousness?
In the Three Cities of the Mother you are Consciousness, but in the three worlds of Bhur,
Bhuvah, and Svaha (the realms of transmigration in ignorance), you are an ego.
If there’s a beginning, middle, and end – aha! You’re in Maya.  By contrast, in Mother’s Three
Cities, there’s no beginning, middle, or endings because they are all in Her – Her Infinite Being –
Everything is.
Question: Are SRV and Babaji too serious?
Babaji: I have to be; I’m a teacher. As such, it is my responsibility to tell students and others
what needs to be taken seriously.  Waking up, getting Enlightenment, the Dharma, etc. – these
are to be taken seriously.  Some say life is a play.  Yes, everything in the world is an act –
relatives, people, work, enjoyments, sufferings – they are all unreal.
Turn the external into the changing Eternal; don’t think of it as the unreal.  This means
renounce it outright, all at once.  This is living in Mother’s first city.  Once you see the Real, you
can turn all objects Real.
If you are in Her Sukshmarupa city – Her Subtle Realm – then you are a party to all the Great
thoughts of the Trinity.
Recommit yourself to your Ishtam, your Chosen Ideal, every day. Reinitiate yourself every day. 
Be the kayaker going upstream instead of everyone on the pleasure crafts floating downstream
(samasara pragbhara).
If you are in Her Cities, you look at the Universe from the inside out.  You see how it is all Her,
all Siva, coming into grosser and grosser manifestation.  But from Bhur, Bhuvah, Svaha, one sees
from the outside only.
In the systems of Dharma we find that Yoga starts with the prana; Tantra starts at the heart,
Vedanta begins with the Mind – but nothing starts with the body.  People need to shift from
reliance on physical practices, to the practices that open the heart to the Divine and
concentrate the mind on Truth.
Wake up from the waking state.  “Knowledge not used for Truth is dangerous”.
How do you define samsara?  Rotating between rajas and tamas, and when sattva comes you
feel good and want pleasure.  (rajas = restlessness, distraction; tamas = inertia, lethargy,
dullness; sattva = peace, balance)
How do you cover something?  You separate it from its source. [For Reality is seamless and
indivisible.  A division has to be projected upon It – like matter and Spirit, or ego and God – 
which causes the covering over of Reality.  This is called avarana shakti.]