18 Jul 1997
You will not be able to understand the Self unless you take to meditation and are able to withdraw from the world, from the senses, bringing the functions of the mind and intelligence (manovrtti and buddhivrtti) to a full stop. There is something called Consciousness - you must know how it shines within the body activating and animating it.
If you have a lamp with wick and oil, the lamp will burn once it is lit. The oil burns, the wick burns, but neither of them has the brilliance or heat. It is the fire that blazes through the wick. Fire alone has the brilliance and heat. In the case of the lamp, the flame, the oil and the wick – all are visible. We can identify each of the three distinctly and also understand their mutual relationship. Without the wick the flame cannot be. Without the oil too, the flame will not exist. But the flame is neither the wick nor the oil.
As the flame is different from the wick and oil, my dear souls, the Consciousness, the blazing Chetana in your body, is different from the body, is different from the muscles, bones, and the blood and air that circulate in the body. Maybe the body is the wick, blood and air the oil. The Consciousness, the Self, is the blazing flame.
Now, to understand that there is something like Consciousness, you have to meditate, you have to withdraw from the world, from the objects and the senses. And after you have withdrawn, you have to understand the Consciousness, realize it properly in all its magnitude and potential. The wick has no power to radiate, the oil too does not have; neither can light up the surroundings. Only the flame has the power to illumine and also to radiate heat. In the same manner, by virtue of the brilliance of the Consciousness, all the sensory objects are illumined.
The Brilliance within you, my dear souls, has got a magnitude which enfolds and even exceeds the external universe:
मया ततमिदं सर्वं जगदव्यक्तमुर्तिना ।
मत्स्थानि सर्वभुतानि न चाहं तेष्ववस्थित: ।।
This is a verse from Bhagavadgeeta. Here the supreme Reality is described as all-pervading. In the wakeful hours, you are a single individual – too small, interacting with an external world that is endless and variegated. By spiritual saadhana, you have to wipe out the dense impressions of this externality created by interactions with the world. You have to understand everything as a display and projection of the same internal Self. This has to be done by the strength of a spiritual process or saadhana.
During sleep, we withdraw from the outside world and get dissolved into ourselves. But, while sleeping we are not conscious of what is within us. In samadhi (meditative absorption), in addition to being withdrawn from the external world, we are conscious of this internal source into which all things recede in sleep.
But how will you resolve the crisis of externalization, plurality and separation, after you wake up from meditation and see the entire world as separate from you, separated by the senses? It is for this, my dear souls, that we need wisdom. To meditate and experience the consciousness within the body, is rather easy. But to rise in our understanding and develop a dimension of universality is the most difficult task. And it is for that the spiritual saadhana has to become interactional and sublimational.
Maya tatam-idam sarvam : All these are pervaded by Me, the supreme Presence. Do you accept this fact ? The earth is in God. Then, are you not also in God? But, we never realise this fact. We may say that the whole world rests on God, but when it comes to myself or my family and property, we refuse to accept that they are also in God. This is a contradiction, a delusion, a conventional limitation and perversion. This is ‘ego’. The ‘ego’ and mine-ness will have to be dropped. And that is why people come to the Ashram – to learn to drop the ego.
If you are here, what will your Swamiji want you to do? To drop your ego. To transcend and dissolve your mamata, which makes you constricted to the family relationships and the things around. Everything in this world is ultimately to be left. If you refuse to leave the things belonging to the body, do you think you will succeed? One day the soul will leave your body making it bereft of life, demanding that it is disposed of within a matter of hours!
The ability to leave and live, the ability to disconnect and be alive, is the greatest spiritual quality. With every dose of spiritual wisdom, every chapter of Bhagavadgeeta, every name of God, every contact with the Sajjanas, every minute of Satsang, it is this inner ability that we want to achieve. Live in the presence of the Guru, try to serve him, and in the process, drop and dissolve your ego. This is the message of the Sastras.
Having been born, we develop the ego of being an individual. As a child grows, his ego also grows. A new ego develops when he gets married. When children are born, the ego further increases. It is this developing ego that we have to drop. Who will give this message? Will the husband or wife give? See, instead of thinking that the family belongs to you, you must be able to realize that the whole world belongs to you. Not only it belongs to you, it is contained in you, the Self.
Maya tatam-idam sarvam jagad-avyakta-moortina : In my imperceptible form, I pervade the universe. This is the very nature of the Soul that I am.
We go to a temple and look at the Idol in the sanctum sanctorum; that alone is God for us. But is that the God we want to realize? Certainly not. God is pervading everywhere. After looking at the Idol, close your eyes and contemplate on truths like this – maya tatam-idam sarvam. The spiritual sadhana becomes interactional for this reason.
Every time the ego comes up, desires crop up, hatred lurks in, find all of them right then and there and remove them. Every moment of activity and interaction must be made use of for sublimation. When manovrttis become free, light and unhindered, peace and wisdom will prevail. Whenever a raga arises, discover it. Whenever bhaya creeps in, discover it. In order to discover, you do not need meditation; you need only alertness, attention. As and when they are discovered, then and there you eliminate them. By what process? By the power of wisdom, by the power of discrimination.
So the interactional saadhana is very important. Grasp the universal dimension of the supreme Reality and know that as the earth is subsisting upon God, you too, your family, nay everything of yours, is also subsisting upon God. This extensive, continuous and universal awareness must be gained and made stronger every time.
19 July 1997
During the past three or four days I have been speaking about how a devotee or a seeker of Truth must irresistibly develop before long, a uniform vision about the object of devotion. It is not that he achieves the meditational fruition called samadhi by a half hour or one-hour meditation, wherein he remains absorbed getting away from the sensory interactions, from the mental activity in the form of thoughts, from the intellectual involvement in the form of reasoning, enquiry and the like.
Samadhi is a state of stillness and quietness. But remember that even to reach the state of meditative absorption, it is from activity that you become non-active. And from that non-active absorption you will again come back to the wakeful active-interactive state.
So, what prevails in us basically, is the state of waking, state of activity and interaction. Unless the spiritual fruition takes place in this active and interactive state it can never be useful for us.
What is then ultimately the spiritual goal of a seeker? Is it to remain absorbed in meditation throughout? Not at all! It is to acquire that illumination or wisdom by virtue of which he will be able to remain constantly in communion with the goal. This is what Sri Krishna says in this verse:
सर्वभूतस्थमात्मानं सर्वभूतानि चात्मनि ।
ईक्षते योगयुक्तात्मा सर्वत्र समदर्शन: ।।
The purpose of any yoga – karmayoga, bhaktiyoga, jnanayoga or the dhyanayoga – must be to give you a vision, a skill, a sublimated nature by virtue of which you will be able to perceive the Self as present in all and all as present in the Self. This verse is clearly a statement about an expansive outlook – an unbroken continuous vision where there is no slipping, no fall, no break or gap.
Never say, “ I meditated for one hour and it was very pleasant. But when I came back to activity all the meditative benefits disappeared gradually”. What is this Self that you are meditating upon? Is it an absorptional Self ? No. The Atma is not merely internal to the body, it extends beyond the body. It is universal. As everything is filled with the Self, so also everything exists in the Self. This kind of an all-fold perception is what we aim at by the yoga.
The point I wanted to drive home to you is this: All of you have come to the Ashram and are having an ashram life. The life here is different from the household life. Make use of this divine and spiritual atmosphere of the Ashram and strive to attain an inner expansion, an all-fold perception of the Self. Whatever you see here, wherever you look at, whatever interactions, exchange of thoughts, words, etc. you make – all should give you a notion of divinity and sublimity. This is an all-fold saadhana.
It is not that I talk to you for half an hour or one hour, and you listen to the talk and feel sublime for a while. In the morning, the Sahasranama and Geeta are chanted, and then the Pushpa-samarpana at your Swamiji’s feet is performed. You feel sublime by all this. You listen to lectures during the day and participate in the bhajan session in the evening, and you feel sublime. But in between you get lost – the link is broken. That kind of feeling should not be there. The opportunity for you to feel sublime is as much there when you are not participating in anything, when you are simply moving about in the Ashram. At that time too, the process of sublimation, purification and refinement should be at work without any break.
Fill your system every moment with divinity. Let divine thoughts radiate from your being. Become a ball of divinity, a flame of divinity. Be a spiritual being, a spiritual person. Let spirituality be felt by you. To feel it is your task, endeavor and challenge. When the mind becomes pure, when the thoughts become noble and when the intelligence becomes self-reminding about divinity, God, Self and Truth, then you will become spiritual. It is not that you acquire it all on a sudden in half an hour’s meditation. No. The transformation should be all-fold, in the wakeful, active hours.
So, try this all-fold saadhana. Learn it, practice it, strive for it. Move about and live in the Ashram enjoying every moment the spiritual grace. Generate spirituality through each and every action and interaction. What prevents you from being so at least when you are here? You do not have much work to do, you do not have to cook your food. All that you have to do is to look after your personal needs like bathing, washing, etc. That is all. Then why not try always to generate divinity in you?
Drop all desires, understand that the world is fleeting. Become sublime and radiate sublimity. Get away from the constrictions of your mind. Dissolve the ego and undue preferences and prejudices. The Ashram is here, we are here to facilitate the inner process of expansion. Spend time with me. Ask me if you have any doubts or difficulties. The secrets, if any, the divine clues – all I shall explain and emphasize for the purpose.
May the process be smooth, easy and comfortable. Make sure that every moment of your life here becomes divine. You have to become divine. There is no alternative. Be spiritual, and this spirituality is accomplished by bringing more and more of purity or sublimity to your own mind and intelligence. Always try to feel the sublimity. It is your privilege, birthright, possibility and also compulsion.