Ananda Ashram Retreat, US June 2009 - Part One

God is not a personality

Question:

Babaji, yesterday You mentioned 'evil'. I was just wondering, how does that fit in to the scheme of things, how does that fit into God's scheme? I don't understand 

three_guna_babajithat.

Babaji:

First thing, God is not a personality who is sitting somewhere in some world or some space, who tries to think about good and bad all those things. He doesn't conceive evil or good. The Divine is in total Mahasamadhi, total standstillness, as an All-Pervaded Spirit. This universe is happening due to God but not according to God's wishes. There are two important points, two different aspects actually. Like for example, the sun's light is there; that light is not according to the sun's wishes, but it is naturally there. This means the sun does not have a resolution, “Let my light only go to this person and not to this person”. He does not discriminate, he is not biased. Whoever goes in front of the sun they get that light. In the same way a Yogi is there, and His blessings. He has no such resolution that, “My blessings should go only to such and not to the others”. There is no such bias and the Yogi would not be thinking of any evil, good or bad.

What happens, somewhere the mind itself slips into good and bad dualities unknown to you. Sometimes if you have noticed, when you would have got up in the morning, if you are fresh, the mind is pleasant and quiet for a while. But unknown to you it starts imagining. When it starts imagining, in the beginning, it always tries to imagine the pleasant things and the good.  As the day passes, unknown to you, the mind can be slipping into the dualities of good, bad, right, wrong, happiness and unhappiness, all these things. So that is how these things have happened. However, in philosophy this is recognized as simply a Divine play. Just for the sake of the play an imagination has happened, whereas really no such good or evil exists. What exists is the One Divinity, as All-Pervaded and Omnipresent. This is what it is.

Just to make the story a bit tastier always a villain is brought into the movie, you know. Until the villain exists the movie keeps on going. For the whole of the movie, the villain has an upper hand all the time and the hero is into confusion, trying to investigate this, that, getting beaten up. Finally he comes up and he beats the villain and the movie ends. So that is how it is for the Divine play perhaps. This is how it happens.

However, when we live in this world we must try to dream of the good, not of evil. We must try to consider about each other as humans, try to become more responsible, love and honor to each other. That is what I would advocate personally. That is what I have dreamt at least since childhood, like, “Why is humanity against each other, why can't they live for each other?” So that's what the idea is. 

 

Question:

Sometimes I find that rather than meditate, it's easier to pray and to be in touch with God, or be in touch with a neighbor or with people around us and share. Am I wrong?

Babaji:

Not necessarily wrong, it might be alright for a while. The idea of meditation is that you would be able to experience the Divinity as it is. That is the final recommended goal. Whereas prayers and other things are always welcome — that would definitely be helpful — you will be trying to communicate to the Divine with an imagination. And often, if you observe, it may also not be very easy as many people simply think. You mechanically try to chant or pray something but your mind could be running away somewhere else. You need to observe.

When you are doing prayer or chant your mind needs to be focused there, then there is a better communication, because the technology is mind. If it is into imaginations it is extrovert; if it becomes quiet then it goes introvert. Whenever it goes introvert it touches the Divine, just like the sun's ray touching the sun. That is the idea of obtaining Grace, the mind consciousness has to touch the Divinity. That is important. That is possible, best, when the mind becomes silent. If it has a resolution, like an imagination of prayer as you are saying, it might become single-pointed but it can be getting stuck there instead of going introvert. Because mind has no third way, that is important to understand. Either it is in this universe with its imaginations and distractions or, when it becomes quiet, it goes to its origin which is recognized as the Divine. So that is why this meditation is a recommended one. However until then, to keep it focused and motivated if you are praying, it is not a wrong thing.

 

Question (same questioner):

I pray and work with other people and try to be kind to others and give as much as I can of myself to others.

Babaji:

You see in My experience, if you practice meditation you will be much more kind to people, you'll be much better at forgiving people. Think how much that you can forgive. To the extent – like suppose if we take Jesus Christ, He was a great Son of God. At least personally, I would admire Him as a Yogi. He could forgive such people who tormented His physical body who were executing and crucified His body. Then He said, “Forgive them for they know not what they are doing.” So such is the ability that increases to forgive and be noble, compassionate to others, if you practice meditation.

I would definitely recommend at least some time you meditate, and then see. If you are sincerely meditating, adopting all the technicalities, then you will see that your mind becomes purified. When such a mind thinks it always thinks of a larger cause, trying to share with others and trying to help others, trying to dream that all others also may get benefited. When we achieved we could have simply stayed in the Ashram — that is a paradise which My Guru has given me. But I thought that we must share this experience with everyone, try to help all those people who'd be having miserable conditions, unhappiness, tension, fear, all those things. So taking all the trouble to stand in the queue to obtain a visa in the embassies, and constant traveling and hectic schedules — I don't mind trying to do all those things so that we can be helpful to somebody, so that our life is useful to somebody. Your consciousness definitely expands. By praying, by meditation, it will definitely help you.

 

Question:

Some aspects that are confusing to me are the concept of Tapas and long periods of meditation and I also heard when you said last night that every person is capable of Self Realization. So here I am at this more advanced age in my cycle on this earth and often thinking 'I ain't gonna make it!' Another aspect that confuses is that I also hear that some people claim they became Self Realized right away. So I'm confused about that because it seems that most people who are Self Realized or they say they're Realized, have spent years doing Tapas, so it's kind of confusing to me. Like how does this work, you know, is this just something you wake up one morning and say, “Here I am”? So I just wanted to know what that means.

Babaji:

So my comments: A real Self Realized Master really will never claim or boast anything. Because whatever you achieve is for yourself. This means if I have achieved that Self Realization, it is for Myself. Not to project Myself as an emperor or having two different horns or four hands, nothing like that. It is the Supreme Peace that one achieves and become aware of the Self's existence through consciousness. That is what is Self Realization or Enlightenment. Enlightenment means you become Enlightened about your Self. So this is possible when you achieve the purity of the mind consciousness. So this happens in stages when you do sadhana. Otherwise if anybody claims that they are God they cannot be. If the droplet goes on claiming, “I am the Ocean, I have become the Ocean”, that is not the Truth. When the droplet becomes one with the Ocean it is not that the droplet became the Ocean — the Ocean already existed. Simply the droplet became one with the Ocean; that is the humility a Realized soul shall have.

Like our Guru, though He was like Lord Shiva and Parvati, Ardhanarishwara, we looked at Him as God, but He Himself never projected Himself as God. He never claimed, He never claimed anything, He simply wanted us to meditate to purify ourselves, to become aware of ourselves, that's what it is. Even when we tried to address Him as Ishwara, like Shivabalayogishwara, He said, “Don't do that one. Lord Shiva is the only Ishwara. It is not proper manners for Me to become Shivabalayogishwara. You all can address Me as Shivabalayogi or Yogendra, that is enough”. That was the humility He showed. So this is what happens. If it's a Realized Soul, He won't be claiming such things; it just happens. This is one thing.

And another thing you were mentioning about the age process. Remember whatever the age, the idea is to teach that everybody can become Self Realized, anybody can, to always have positive thinking. Like a person becomes Self Realized means, not that He has suddenly come down from anywhere in the air; he is also born as a human being, does the sadhana and then become the Yogi. So that is to inspire others, “If I have done, you also can do it”. You should be able to do it if you are positive and as far as the age process is concerned, every effort that you put in is like putting the amount into a fixed deposit — that is not going to go to waste. When, in due of course of time, this body will come to an end whatever the mind acquires, such habits it is going to carry on to the next incarnation. So if that mind is carrying habits of all the sadhanas, from next life it would be possible that you have such a beautiful birth and conducive atmosphere. From childhood itself you shall have the inclination to go on the spiritual life, ponder about the truth of life. Like it happened to us in childhood. At the age of seven when I heard 'Bhaja Govindam' the song of Adi Shankara, the death thought became obsessive in my mind. I wanted to know the secret, “What is this death? Are we born with this physical body? Are we going to become extinct when this body will die? As the scriptures say that we are that Soul, if we are that Soul, Immortal, why is it we are not conscious of that?” All these things we started pondering over and that was how I was attracted to spirituality—the inclination came.

The other important point I used to visualize was, “If we have happiness we must have it at all times, twelve months of the year and twenty four hours of every day, once for all. It should not be fluctuating between unhappiness and happiness”. So like that if it was coming I'm sure I must have been putting in efforts in so many lives and in one life it gives the fruit. When the soul's journey continues it does not begin or end with the appearance of the body and its death. So that is how we can always assure ourselves. So without bothering about the age process, whatever is possible within the body's capabilities you must put in efforts with determination and discipline. It will definitely be possible for you.

babaji_blessing

 

Question (same questioner):

So, Self Realization — what I kind of understood was that the soul would then be able to choose whether to merge with God, with the Divine or would be able to choose whether they returned in another life. Is that correct?

Babaji: 

They can choose if they want to come back to this creation.

 

 

Question (same questioner):

But they don't have to? 

Babaji:

Not necessarily that they have to. It is up to them. Because one important thing: why should they consider coming back to this world? One idea that people would advocate: that if we come back we can help others. We need not have that ego. It is the Divine who really helps the entire universe, not me. I am only an instrument and if the Divine ordains, if He sends, if He wants me, We will come and definitely work. If the Divine says, “Your job is over I will find somebody else”, “It's OK my Lord”, that is all we'll tell, because if the Divine wants He can produce a hundred thousand Yogis like that and He can send forward for His work in this world.

 

Question:

Baba, the first part of her question she asked, some people claim to just gain Enlightenment like that. They're just standing on a street corner and the next thing they know they're Enlightened. Now You've said I believe that there's no Enlightenment without Tapas. So is it possible to become Self Realized without Tapas, or spontaneously?

Babaji:

You see one has to do Tapas to remain in that awareness. Simply one day you cannot become aware like that. The mind doesn't stop like that. If the mind has become habitual one needs to do Tapas in some form, either through the seva, karma yoga, bhakti, meditation - the mind has to practice that one, so that's when the Enlightenment will stick. All the great Sages like Buddha, all these Sages, did sadhana, only then became Enlightened. Simply as people claim, that is not Enlightenment. They themselves do not know what is Enlightenment when they're saying, “I simply became Enlightened”. One has to do sadhana then only the mind through stages it becomes aware. Being there effortlessly and permanently, can only happen through the sadhana. Mind — if it has become habitual to imaginations and distractions since time immemorial — does not give up in one go like that. One has to do sadhana. That is important.

  

Question:

Baba, so it's almost like we have to be full, like a glass full of water and then that last drop makes us go into the Completeness. We have to be full of Tapas, full of sadhana, in order to go into that state?

Babaji:

Suppose you have traveled a distance of a hundred miles to one city. You have to travel back to go back to your home. When you reach the home finally and take the last steps, you can always tell, “Just like that, with only a few steps, I reached the home”. Many will forget you reached the home like that only after traveling that hundred miles. That is how, I might tell, “One fine day in 1999 I simply became Enlightened like that”. But really that did not happen like that. I was traveling a long distance; I was practicing, practicing, practicing, then one day it happened. When it happens, it happens like that. But before that you have to travel that hundred miles.

 

Question:

Babaji, can You please explain how mantras impact the mind, how mantras help purify the mind?

Babaji: 

If your mind is focused on the mantras, then it gives that impact; it is the mind which gives the impact. When the mind accepts a certain thing with total faith it becomes focused, then that impact of power happens. Mind has to become focused, that is important. So that is why any mantra can be powerful for you. Those ancient Sages  composed these mantras. They were very great. They were like all-rounders — they became Enlightened, they were great scholars, and they could compose, they could write, all such things, that was their greatness. They composed certain mantras in such a rhythmic way, with such beautiful words, so when you chant that one it could be enchanting for you. So if it appeals to you then it can be working powerfully for you. But more important is your faith, your devotion, your focus.

 

Question (same questioner):

How can we keep from acquiring more impressions into the mind?

Babaji:

By keeping into the good company you can avoid the bad things.

 

Question:

I have two questions: the first question is — is the mind an addict?

And number two is, can You talk about when the mind turns inside and touches the Divinity within us?

Babaji:

The mind's addiction is you see — just now it is addicted to imagining, always thinking. In that process it jumps into worrying, brooding about the past and anxiousness about the future. That is how it goes on shaping, and the mood swings, all these things happen. This is an addiction of the mind. That's why even for a fraction of a moment it is unable to keep quiet. So if it is not quiet it always swings into such experiences of whatever it imagines. If it imagines the bad things it itself becomes bad; if it imagines the unhappiness it becomes unhappy; if it goes into brooding it loses its peace. So all these are the unnecessary addictions which have made you to lose your own peace and happiness, though you are that Abode of Peace and Happiness.

So now to go introvert means, when it cleanses itself of all thought processes and it becomes totally quiet, automatically it goes introvert. It is the consciousness called mind which goes and touches the introvert Divinity, that which it has come out from — its Origin. So that is when it obtains the Grace of the Divinity. Eventually, the recommended goal is to become one with that Divinity because you are looking for peace and happiness. You can obtain a permanent Peace and Happiness only when you go to a permanent entity; as long as you are sticking to a temporary entity you get only a temporary peace and happiness and fluctuations. So that is what is recommended.

It is alerted that with everything in this world, including your own physical body, you can never have a permanent Peace and settlement. This world has never allowed anybody to settle down peacefully, whether an emperor or a common man, it is the same for all. So it is recommended, if you go back to your Self, which is an Eternal entity, then you can obtain that permanent Peace and Happiness.

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