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01 Mar 2000

Dear Swamiji, my beloved father,

Namaskarams at your holy feet. Namaskarams to Naya Swamiji and Ma also. I feel like writing, so I am writing. Swamiji, I don’t know why I yearn so much to be with you from the moment I met you in the Ashram two years ago. This feeling is there in my mind from then on, and it has grown into a big tree. I was very sad after returning from the Ashram this time. Only consolation was that I will come to you during this Gurupoornima and be with you for at least 10 days.

After coming back from the Ashram, I started meditating. I could sit for more than 2 hours, sometimes 3 hours, in spite of the talks going on around me. During meditation, suddenly I felt that I am getting absorbed and one day I experienced the mindless state. Next day I rang up to tell you about this. You told me to stay in this state and experiences would follow. My experience of the mindless (thoughtless) state encouraged me and I am continuing meditation.

When I was around 12 years old, I used to sit before God and start gazing at Lord Hari. Mentally I would talk to Him. One day I felt my attention went to the thought process and I wondered when it would stop. I found no way to stop the thoughts. I used to sit controlling my breath sometimes. A painful process. Then I left it that way, thinking that it would continue for ever till my death. Now I find an easy way.

After sending my husband to office, I get a lot of time to meditate. Around 9 o’clock I sit and it goes up to 2 or 2-1/2 hours. Then in the evening after finishing my work, from 5 to 6 p.m. I sit for meditation.  After my husband comes and I give him food, if I sit quietly I get absorbed up to 7.30 or 8 p.m. Though absorbed, I am slightly aware of the surroundings. Would it be like that? I have slight (thin) breathing also. In the afternoon I read books.

When the mindless state prevails for some time, I feel a flow of current from my foot - one foot first and then the next sometimes. The feeling travels as pulses up to the hip. Some days it goes up to the chest. One day I felt choking in the throat and I felt my face and tongue becoming numb. Then my body began vibrating. I feel slight vibration during the whole day. I see illumination when pulses go up. No other experience. Since I know I should not give importance to experiences, I am concentrating on the stillness. How long should this mindless state prevail? What should I do after waking up from meditation? What is the book I should read at this juncture?

Is realisation of the Self a gradual process? When will realization come? In the beginning I used to doubt whether this is happening really, or it is mere imagination. Slowly the doubt vanished due to repeated absorption. Swamiji, at nights also I am not sleeping; instead, I am getting absorbed. Some time I sleep only in the early hours of morning. Even though I don’t sleep, I feel fresh in the morning. Does absorption substitute sleep?

Nowadays I feel very fresh and energetic. I feel very  light. I feel indifference towards everything, even towards food. Is mindless state, the Self state? What is called mano-nasa? When would it happen? After that what? What is Kundalini?

Swamiji, I feel I must have a reply from you. If you find time, please write. Nowadays I feel, Swamiji, to be with you in the Ashram. Sometimes I feel very much emotional and I cry a lot. Day before yesterday I begged my husband to prepare his mind to send me to Swamiji one day. He said, “I know that you will leave me one day. If that is my fate, I will learn to live that way.” The reply was painful but consoling.

Swamiji, I know that this kind of feeling is a hindrance to my spiritual pursuit. Is it not so? Is it not a desire? I don’t know. How to overcome it?

Sometimes I tell myself that my Guru knows when to call me if my prayer is sincere and He will pave the way to reach Him and give me the courage at the right time. Till then let me be patient with faith in Him. Am I right, my dear father? I don’t know whether I have expresed my feelings in the right way in English. I always find it difficult to express myself in English.

My regards to Satishji, Prabhakaranji, Gudiya and others. Namaskarams.

 Yours, J.

H H H

05 Mar 2000

Dear and blessed J:   

Harih Om Tat Sat. After you spoke to me, I read your letter of lst March. I have noted all that you have written. May the thoughts enrich and empower your mind. J, at no time should your mind become weak. Composure and depth should only be increasing. Spirituality and sadhana must make the seeker more beautiful in everything. Behaviour should be particularly endearing and sweet. When this is so, automatically the others around will understand and appreciate. You have to win everyone with fondness and firmness of purpose. As Gita puts it, a true devotee is one who will have no resentment or revulsion towards the world and towards whom the world too will not feel any resentment. Blending oneself with the world is thus very important. At home, for you, it is with the husband, and the in-laws. Outside it is with relatives, friends and the society at large. Think and reflect properly, and grow and expand mentally, creating no conflict on any front. There lies your real progress.

Simply because of the onset of vairagya, you should not suddenly feel disharmony or indifference about the home environments. The urge for satsangis good, and that is sufficient to intensify your seeking. If you come to the Ashram and stay longer, this urge may even dwindle, the pressure of external surroundings not being there. In the case of ardent seekers, of course, this should not be so. That is how the earnest seekers, especially young in age, take up the wholesome path of ascetic life.

If the household and its relationships have for the time being the salutary effect of intensifying your spiritual pursuit, then you have no cause to grumble or complain. Think properly and set right all discordant notes. Every time, in every conflict or discomfort, think heartily: “May I have the right attitude and aim. Let whatever is helpful take place. Let me be rid of any strong preference or prejudice. Rather than worrying about getting a favourable situation, let me try to be harmonious with whatever is around me, and still pursue my spiritual aspiration.”

The mind has to overwhelm the seeming adverse notes around. The surroundings must not be allowed to subdue the mind and its commitment. This is to be done without feeling and causing irritation of any kind. Herein lies the purity and merit of a committed seeker. You will find that this in itself becomes the best saadhana, for which the external situations are always helpful, whatever they be.

Reading Sastras and spending enough time trying to understand and assimilate their message is always necessary. Try to read and learn Bhagavadgita. Take the 2nd chapter; read and recite verses 11 to 30, where Krishna describes the Imperishable Soul and how Self-Knowledge changes one’s vision redressing all grief and delusion. Recite the verses, as if you are tutoring your mind. Reflectupon the Sthitaprajna and Sthitadhee concepts, in detail. What is sthita-prajnata? When does it transpire, and for whom? The book Essential Concepts in Bhagavadgita, published by us recently, will help immensely. You will find samaadhi, the so-called mind-suspended state, mind-dissolved state, also discussed there. Go on reflecting upon the nature of Consciousness.

The more important is the transition or development from meditative absorption state to the enlightened active and interactional state. Most sadhakas either fail to grasp the importance of this transition and growth, or after having understood its place, are unable to grow to this dimension. But the truth is that without this development and expansion, spiritual pursuit will remain far below its desired level of effectiveness. The world is always active and vibrating. Nothing or none in it can remain inactive. To be active is both irresistible and fulfilling. In the latest issue of Vicharasetu, I have discussed this briefly, but significantly, referring to the five verses from the fourth chapter of Bhagavadgita.

While your mindless absorption is good, think equally about the further expansion. The book “Quietitude of the Mind” speaks greatly and repeatedly about this aspect throughout. Read also the 12th chapter of Bhagavadgita. Towards the end of this chapter Krishna emphasizes who are the devotees he is particularly fond of. Try to match your mind, thoughts, responses and behaviour with Krishna’s words. Then let me know how you feel.

H, a disciple of mine, was extremely devotional right from her childhood. After being exposed to my talks, she began her sadhana, and before long began to say: “Swamiji, I am an extremist in all that I think and do. Will devotion, in the way you describe it, be ever true of me? ..... If this is true devotion, then I am far away from it....”

I asked: “What devotion are you referring to?”

Her answer was: “Na hrsyati, na kupyati, na socati, na kanksati (neither delights nor hates, neither grieves nor desires) .....”.

I said, “Have you understood the point well? You did not know that devotion implies this kind of inner sublimation and poise! Can it ever be the mere act of singing bhajans, doing pooja or telling the beads? All these are but preliminary and pre-preliminary steps. The actual devotion starts when the mind’s behaviour is devotionalised by this sort of sublimation and refinement. I am happy you have got the point.”

Her extremist nature continues to some extent even now, although she has a very powerful mind, and her devotional strength and depth are quite appreciable. This instance must give you the necessary insight.

If you are experiencing a mindless state, it is quite all right. But you have to grow from that. Meditation for some time, and interactional attentiveness and sublimation for the rest of the wakeful hours, both together alone will lead you to proper jnana and sthiti.

Ma and Naya Swamiji send you loving good wishes. To your husband also. My loving blessings to him as well as to you.

                                                            Yours, Swamiji

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