Devotion means meditation, meditation means devotion.
Perth, April 25th 2003
The practice of meditation improves our ability to focus our attention . Babaji then related a story from the Mahabharata about Arjuna's amazing powers of perception and attention. These were revealed when he was learning archery from Dronacharya. The target was a parrot and the challenge was to decapitate the bird. Other archers were only able to focus on the sky, the tree or the parrot itself when taking aim. However, Arjuna was able to focus his attention so keenly he could target the very throat of the parrot and be successful. In the same way, Babaji said, perfect attention must be practiced and learnt to fix the mind on its target - the Self.
Babaji blessed the gathering with a second talk that evening on the significance of the Shivalingam. Babaji explained that the Shivalingam is a symbol of the form and formless aspects of God. The mind was originally merged in its source - the formless God - but lost its devotion, became distracted and went out towards the world of form, away from its Divine source producing illusions and imaginary objects. Out of kindness God manifested in various forms to give blessings to devotees and provide an object for their devotion. The same mental determination is required to turn back towards God. Devotion is not easy but it develops with meditation. You can surrender when your mind turns towards God. The Shivalingam is a symbol of formlessness and also form because it has shape and substance like stone or marble. Prana is the divine energy, which manifests in form but God is not limited to any form. No one can limit God. He is all-pervading. Babaji compared God to space explaining how space can't be limited to the room and hall where Babaji's talk was taking place. God exists everywhere. It is ignorance to think that God only exists in the Shivalingam. If the mind quietens its attention can turn back to its Divine or real Self, therefore devotion means meditation and meditation means devotion.
Babaji stressed that meditation must be in every path. Krishna taught Karma Yoga - trying to keep one's attention on God while offering everything to Him. This is done so that the sense of "I" as the doer may vanish - that "I" does not exist. The Karma Yogi knows it is only the Lord who does everything. God is only a witness in the same way a Yogi is and a Yogi is not mentally involved in His actions. Babaji stressed again the need for constant practice so we can reach the Ultimate Truth, the real Self or God Self.
Babaji compared how our parents often appeared rigid to us in childhood with the way we sometimes feel a Guru teaches. In hindsight we realize our parent's rules were often necessary and beneficial. The Guru teaches character, wisdom and gives inspiration. Following the Guru's teaching will give us the supreme bliss of Self Realization, Babaji said. Saints, Yogis and Masters have appeared and they always will to teach the world "I am not this body". Babaji said that the Shivalingam was at the beginning of His Guru's lineage.
Babaji then related how He was initiated into sannyas by Swamiji. Swamiji was in Rishikesh to bathe in the Ganges and in a simple act, sprinkled Ganges water on Babaji and scratched something on Baba's tongue and patted Him on the back. Swamiji had baptized Baba into sannyas but cautioned Babaji that He should never claim to be, but rather just live the life and wear white cloth as opposed to the ochre robe.
In concluding His talk Babaji emphasized that the practice of meditation would make an impact on society and the world. Babaji said that meditation would help people reduce their selfishness, hatred, violence and narrow-mindedness and make them more considerate towards others. Babaji reassured all present that we could achieve mind control if we sincerely practiced.
Babaji conveyed His love and blessings to everyone present and expressed His wish for all of us to be inspired. Everyone had listened with rapt attention in a mood of absolute reverence. At the end of the talk we felt we had been given a rare gift from Babaji that evening.
Questions and Answers
Later Babaji responded to some questions. One devotee asked how one can tell if a person is fully God Realized and how advanced they really are. Babaji replied that God will help the person know this and stressed again the need to quieten our mind by meditation. This will allow us to feel the answer from the heart.
Another asked what a seriously-ill person could do to help themselves if they can't meditate. Babaji replied that they should remember God and try to surrender to Him, and then He will help.
Babaji was also asked if Tapas was something we will all have to do. He said yes, in some form or other. Tapas means putting the ego (the imagined self) in the fire of the true Self. Babaji was further asked if Tapas would necessarily mean leaving worldly life. The answer was that it is not necessarily the case, Tapas can be in the form of devotion and that it is possible to achieve Realization in this world, gradually circumstances favorable to Realization become manifest.
Another devotee wanted to know what a seriously mentally-ill person could do since they cannot meditate. Babaji explained that the company of Gurus, listening to their teachings and exposure to satsang would all be beneficial.
A young woman asked if there is always a purpose for the tests we experience in life. Babaji replied there was, so that we come to know the value of Supreme Peace, and that the mind will only appreciate the value of Self Realization after hard work! He added that God doesn't give quickly by spoon-feeding.
Finally Babaji was asked if the Divine still tested Him. The answer was a quiet 'Yes'. Babaji paused, then added very quietly 'He tests me how much I love Him.'
Copyright © 2003 SRBY, All rights reserved.