Efforts can bring Miracles
Perth, 11 October 2007
Om, Bramhananadam Parama Sukadham, Kevalam Jnaanamoorthim
Dvandhvaatheetam Gagana Sadhrisham, Tatvamasyaadhi Lakshyam
Ekam Nithyam Vimalamachalam, Sarvaadhee Saakshibhootam
Bhavaatheetham Trigunarahitham, Sadgurum Tvam Namaamee.
Millions of times, again and again, we prostrate at the Lotus Feet of our beloved Master Shivabalayogi with deep love and reverence. We greet all of you today, at this evening's gathering with my love and blessings. We pray to the Divine - may you all be inspired to put the things that we try to convey, we try to teach, into practice and may you all be able to achieve the fruits of such efforts which we have been able to enjoy. May that supreme peace and happiness be yours. May the Divine grace upon you all, bless you all, inspire you all to achieve.
Since ancient times, purushaarth is the word they have used for 'efforts'. Purushaarth is somewhat the nearest word I would use for 'a super human effort'. That would be the nearest meaning, what they actually meant of a person. Though a person would be a human being, when he would have such determination, such will, such dedication and discipline and with all of these, when one is able to put in efforts, that can happen like a super human effort. A miracle can happen. That is why I have always emphasized that your efforts can bring in miracles, that is the most important thing.
Even in one of the most ancient mantras is the Gayatri mantra, which is now very commonly known worldwide to all such people who are quite familiar with Indian philosophy and Indian Gurus' teachings. The great sage Vishwamitra is said to have composed this mantra. In that mantra, "Bhur bhuvah Svah" - first the existence of that amazing Divinity is recognized, that It is in all directions, throughout this universe and in all the worlds up above, and in all the worlds behind or below this Earth. And what is 'That?' In ancient times they recognized this Divinity as tatva, 'That'. 'That' is all the meaning. It means, the existence is such an amazing one that you can recognize in any name or in any form, in any way, positively, negatively - that's the beauty of it.
Just like I have always told, depending on your attitude, this room is void with space or this room is filled with space; and as your attitude builds up the things start appearing to you. If you start thinking the space as nothing, nothing appears to you, but in a positive way, if you try to see, that space is everything. It is the Absolute, like the zero is the absolute and absolute is the zero. So like this, they thought you can view and you can think and you can imagine in any way, that is why they simply called it as 'That', 'tat''. That is not an inert object that exists. It is supremely conscious and powerful. Something equivalent and closest object is the sun, Saavita.That is what it means - that tatva is equivalent to the sun, powerful like the sun. That was the nearest object that they could give an example.
" Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi " means - now, it is always recommended that we adopt that Divinity, that Divine's consciousness as a remembrance into our mind. Let us meditate on that Divinity through our mind. And what happens if we do that one? Why this is recommended? All of our sins and unhappiness can be washed away once and for all. Unhappiness is one basic problem that all human beings face. Sin is a slightly confusing word. Based on the questions that we have faced only, I am telling. Sometimes in the society certain things are said, 'This is a sinful act. This is a sinful act,' that can be controversial. If four people say, 'This is a sinful act,' four others may tell, 'This is not a sinful act,' so then it becomes controversial. But originally in ancient times what they tried to call a sinful act as, basically we can try to understand like this - any of your actions and thoughts should not be harming your own physical body and health of your own mind, thereby disturbing or violating your moral values.
It is easy to understand the loss of the health of the physical body and after constantly listening to the talks from teachers like us, about mind - it would not be very difficult for you to understand what it is. The loss of mental health means, when it loses its peace, when it is constantly into wrong thinking which always can be troubling you within your own mind, with things like hatred, anger, jealousy and greed - all such things. So such things can be considered as a sinful act because it is violating the peace of your own mind when you think like this. And moral values. I have thought personally, one basic definition of what moral values means - we have to consider about each other when we live in this world. That should be the basic criteria for a moral value. Just like, if we are hungry, others also will be hungry. If we want to live happily, others also would like to live happily in this world. Like that, we all have equal rights. When I want it, you would also like to do it. So if I think, "Only I shall have this and let this not be belonging to anybody else," that can become like a sinful act when we think like that one. Like, "Let me only eat. God only give food only to me, you need not give to anybody else in this world and then I will be happy about You and then I will recognize Your existence." If you start thinking like this, that is a sinful act - is it not?
This one simple mantra that we pray when we were taught since our childhood, 'Loka Samastaa Sukhino Bhavantu' - not simply for my happiness, not simply for my family's happiness, not only of my society or my place or any such thing. It is so widely prayed in this small phrase, "We do not know my Lord how many worlds that You might have created. May there be happiness to all beings in all the worlds." That was the greatness of those sages when they thought of the welfare of all. All beings in all the worlds. That is how they have always prayed with such mantras, what we have come to read and understand.
So these are the moral values. So like this, if we adopt the Divine consciousness into our minds, means, if we can remember the Divine. That is what you would be doing when you are trying to meditate. I have always emphasized. When you try to close the eyes and try and control your thoughts, you are trying to quieten your mind. This is the basic principle of what you are trying to do in meditation. When your mind becomes quiet, it gets purified of all impure thoughts of selfishness and narrow mindedness. Then when you are able to think again, automatically the purified mind gains the ability to think of a larger cause, so thus, it picks up the moral values in a better way. So like that, " hargo Devasya Dhimahi " means if you can remember God constantly, sincerely, then all of your sins and unhappiness can be washed away once and for all.
Now we come to the purushaarth that I was mentioning in the beginning - self efforts. Those great Sages, they never asked God for a spoon feeding, "Let me get up and sit in a corner quietly and keep eating my things. God give me everything. Give me that Realization, then only I will understand." That is what, in present day, many students try to challenge, "If the Guru can give me that Realization then I will understand His powers. If God can give me that Realization, that happiness to me, then I will understand." They do not want to put in any efforts. But in this, the Sages recognize that we need to put in efforts. But what is needed for us to put in efforts is inspiration. We have to draw this inspiration from the elders, from the Gurus and from the Divine. For that only they have prayed, "My Lord, please inspire my wisdom so that I may put in efforts" - Dhiyo Yonah Prachodayat. So like this in these mantras, purushaarth is emphasised. Efforts can bring such miracles. We have to pray for such things which can motivate us to put in proper efforts.
So that is our mission. Our mission's efforts should be in this direction, to try to motivate people, to inspire them that, "You have to take up, and you can do it." You all might have heard the old saying,"The horse can be taken to the river bed but it is for the horse to drink or not to drink the water." That is how a Guru can always teach, guide, and is ready to take you along, but you will have to be ready to get up and start going towards that. So that is what is the importance of self effort.
As we were talking of moral values, a small story that I read as a child comes to my mind - moral values, how we understood and how these small stories created an impact. The story is a fictional one but very nice moral values are there. In a certain village there lived an old man. He knew some secret mantras and on the outskirts of the village a big mountain was there and hidden in a corner there was a hole, inside which after a long distance of going there was beautiful treasure. Gold coins were there. He only knew that secret.
He had a nephew with him. What he used to do, he used to take his nephew to the mountain and through the mantra he used to transform that nephew into a small snake and becoming a snake that nephew would go inside that hole and bring out enough gold coins for a week, like that. But the old man was not greedy. He would not keep everything for himself. He used to do alms and give alms to the poor and needy. He used to help other people in the village. Like that he would spend the treasure throughout the week. Because he knew if he told everyone, everybody would become greedy. They would have fought with each other, killed each other - all nonsense things would happen. So he kept the secret to himself and he used to bring once a week, these gold coins and used to distribute to everybody and gradually his charity spread into other villages also. Wherever possible he used to do.
What happened after some time, his nephew grew up as a young man and he got married. The old man brought his daughter-in-law home so the three of them lived for some time. But gradually this daughter-in-law noticed and she tried to understand what was happening. Once quietly she went and she saw this was happening. So slowly she tries to brain wash her husband, "What is this nonsense? You are behaving like a slave to your uncle. Every time he takes you, he transforms you into a snake and after you would have brought out the gold coins then he would transform that snake back into a human form. So why don't you, yourself learn this mantra so that we can take away as many gold coins for ourselves. This old man does not keep anything for us in his home also. He spends everything in charity, he gives away to the poor and needy generously but he brings only a limited amount. So better you learn this mantra, so that we ourselves can recite this mantra, become snakes and then go inside and then bring it back."
So what happened, whenever the uncle was chanting the mantra to transform into a snake, he concentrated on that and learnt that mantra and he taught this mantra to his wife also. So the next day they thought, "Now we will both go and we shall become those snakes and take out all the coins, as much gold as possible." This old man had noticed that something was wrong by the behavior of his nephew so he was quietly watching with amusement; and after that, the next day the husband and wife went quietly to the mountain place where the hole was there and they both chanted this mantra and they got transformed into snakes. The old man was following them. They went inside the hole and they brought a large amount of gold coins out.
But what happened, in their greed and excitement the nephew had forgotten to learn the other mantra to become the human being again. He was so excited and both of them had forgotten that they cannot become human beings if they had not learnt the mantra, and by being a snake, they themselves could not chant also. That is why the old man himself could not become a snake and come back as a human being. He was making his nephew do it and there was no such thing that the snake could chant the mantra and become a human being. So the old man was watching - so much of gold coins had come. Then he tells both of them in their language, "See what the greed brought for you. Now you have taken out the gold coins, this is enough for me for my life time. I will spend it in charity and keep a little bit for me. So the punishment for you both, that you both shall remain as snakes in this mountain and keep moving around - that is your punishment." Telling this the old man comes back with all the gold coins. This was the story. The morality we learnt was that greed can land a person into such troubles eventually. This story gave such an impact to our minds and made us understand the importance of moral values.
We were talking of efforts, putting in efforts for meditation. That is what I have always tried to emphasize. Very often people ask the question, "What can the Guru give? What is the relationship? What can we get through the Guru? What is the role of a Guru?" like this also.
The Guru shall teach you the methods. The Guru shall give you the clue, how you go, and He shall inspire, keep you going. "Come you can do it, do not give up. It is possible for you to do it. I have done it and you can also do it," like that, that is the role of the Guru always. The rest you have to draw inspiration from the Master, from the Divine, from God that is within you, by praying, by having faith. My Guru always told, "You need not simply have a belief as everything is right whatever I am telling. You practice it. Have faith. Simply believing and having faith are two different things."
What I am trying to tell is, you need to have faith because this faith is your self-confidence. You need to put into practice and achieve. If you cannot have faith in anybody you won't have confidence in yourself also. You will never be able to do anything. That is why this faith is very important - faith and devotion. But you need not simply believe me, that whatever I am talking is the only truth. No need to imagine anything about it. This is another weakness of the human being. Before we try to experience, we try to visualize through our mind. You must know that this mind can never give the Truth because this mind of yours presents you all such things which it imagines. Whatever it gives you, it is simply based on its own imagination, so it can never give you the Truth as it is. That is why it is important that you practice and then you will know who you are. You will know what you are, what that Supreme Peace and Happiness that I am talking. You will understand. This is what is important.
So when you sit for meditation, you must know that you are putting in efforts to make your mind quiet. If any such visions come, they might have their own significance. In what way? Suppose if a certain vision is coming repeatedly to you, you are in love with the Guru, or a God, or any such form of the Divine or any such star or light. If one thing is repeatedly coming, that is a good sign in the sense that your mind is becoming more single-pointed and visualizes the same thing repeatedly. That is the basic aim of bhakti marga also - devotional path. That is how it is taught. As I have always told, the mind has gone out of control due to its imaginations. When widely it imagines, billions and billions of thoughts occur one after another in the mind. The mind does not stop into one single thought ever. You try to keep thinking of any one thing, it is so difficult and almost impossible. The mind keeps jumping into different, different thoughts. It cannot remain single-pointed.
That is what has been tried to teach in meditation and devotion also. When you are asked to have devotion to the form of a God or to the Guru, having reverence, any such thing, means gradually your mind shall become single-pointed thinking about that Guru or God. When it is able to do that it becomes serious about the teachings of such a Guru also and would be able to follow the methods and practice and achieve eventually. This is what can happen through faith and devotion - such is the importance of the Guru-Disciple relationship that has been told in Indian philosophy since ancient times. It is always a recommended thing. That is how you can achieve and you should understand this. That's what I was telling - when you are having a particular vision means, suppose you start thinking about the Guru and gradually your mind starts visualizing the same thing, so in due course of time instead of getting involved in thousands and millions of thoughts, it is involved in one type of thought.
This is also another recommended technique during meditation. If you cannot totally get rid of all thoughts immediately, you try to stick to one single thought, like this also, "I have to meditate. That is why I am sitting here, that is all my job, nothing else. I can do all other jobs later, after I get up. Just now I need not worry, think or bother about other jobs that I have to do in the daytime. I am sitting here. Let me bother about this thing." Just like, I am sitting here, I have to talk about meditation, let me talk about meditation, and I need not think how to bake bread or how to make a chocolate and keep wondering and worrying then I will be talking all nonsense to you all. So that is how you make the mind single-pointed. When you have to do that thing, bother about that thing only. My Guru always told, "This is like being in the battlefield. If you can meditate properly for one hour, you are like a valiant soldier." He said, "Your mind must be always there, just bother about that," as I told yesterday also.
So either you can stick to one thought like this or otherwise as I keep telling everyday, when the thoughts and visions occur just try to observe them and do not think what it is. The mind has a tricky tendency it has picked up - it cannot keep quiet. The moment you come across any thought or vision, it thinks, it wonders, it analyzes and it makes a judgment like, "This is good. Why is this happening, why not something else happen?" When you would be sitting for meditation and you would be thinking of some other business matter, "Is it going to happen or not? What if it does not happen? What if I cannot achieve my future? What will happen tomorrow?" Like this the mind always jumps into thoughts. You have to put in a little will power and efforts. Just watch what is happening there. Even if any such thoughts come let it happen in between eyebrows. Your mind need not run off after it. Just keep watching there and observe such thought and don't bother also what is happening. Like sometimes half an hour might go to waste by the mind jumping into thoughts, thoughts, thoughts like that. Give it up. Keep quiet. Because if you get irritated, if you lose your temper and become annoyed that it is not happening, frustration occurs. You will be wasting another half an hour and you are likely to give up the practice itself.
So patience is also very, very important along with dedication and discipline. These three things that I repeatedly talk are valuable mantras. Dedication - you set priority, you take out time every day, even after you go back home when I go away from here. Like this, you sit for half an hour just like you would be sitting today everyday without fail - then it will definitely happen one day. Don't ever think negatively that it is not happening, it may not happen, whether you will be able to do it or not. Think that it will happen. Think that you can do it. Think that it is happening, it is starting, it has started cooking, it has started washing.
Every time that you sit down for meditation, definitely a little bit of progress does happen, definitely a little cleansing of the mind does happen. Like this, always positively think, assure yourself, have faith in this matter and then you will be able to progress very well. So like this you have to learn gradually, just to observe. So then the meditation becomes very easy. These two things are great secrets of the meditation. Once you are able to understand in the inner layers of your mind then meditation becomes very easy and progressive for you. Once this happens then the rest of the things start happening automatically. When the mind recedes you start getting that taste, that beauty. That peace and happiness start happening, then you become a little more addicted to this Supreme Peace. This addiction is a recommended one because this is the Supreme Peace which you will never lose ever. That is why it is recommended.
Spiritually, it is always recommended not to get addicted to such things which are destructive, which are transitory, which are impermanent. So which ever is permanent, if you become addicted, you will win. That is what it is. Means, everything in this world including your own physical body, you cannot afford to get addicted. You can have a desire, you can have it, you can enjoy this world. Spirituality does not prohibit you. You need not run away anywhere to the caves and forests. There is no need because you will be carrying your mind and its desires also. Wherever you sit down, that world will appear to you in the mind. So you can have it, but you should be careful not to get addicted. This is what is " moha " - attachment to the materialistic world. That is what is recommended, not to succumb to moha. That is one of the six enemies of the mind - Aarishtadwarga - greed, anger, stinginess and extreme attachment, addiction to materialistic things, false pride and the feelings of jealousy. So like this, if you understand then the meditation becomes very easy.
So the time is coming now that we go for a short meditation practice. As usual everyday I will invite you to come one by one for the vibhuti blessings which is also the initiation that we give. Once again I reassure to all the newcomers that this initiation will not be of any conflict if you are already initiated. If you are already practicing any methods also, it is no problem. You try this method also then you practice this also and if you find it worthwhile then you can continue for yourself. We ourselves do not claim or boast that we are the only Gurus and we do not try to bind anybody with any rules or regulations. All that is needed is your own interest, your yearning, your wanting. If you want it to happen, as I told yesterday also, if you want my help I am always ready. After taking this vibhuti initiation you can go back and sit at your place then I will teach a couple of breathing exercises which will be helpful to enhance the concentration of your meditation and will better your practice also. After the meditation is over there will be a chance for you if you want to ask any questions regarding this meditation, mind, spirituality and God.
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