Ananda Ashram Retreat, US June 2009 - Part Two

Question:

 

We use the word Enlightenment in two different ways and I'm trying to understand that. The word Enlightenment is important in European history because it was the moment when the educational system was set up, and some kind of enlightenment was supposed to happen. Then we have teachers from India coming and the same word is used — Enlightenment. It's interesting that it's the same word. In the educational system we teach students to gain analytical skills, to discriminate carefully, to make good choices with their lives. That's one kind of training. So I'm trying to understand that kind of training, which we also call a kind of enlightenment and the mind-training that spirituality is talking about.

Babaji:

babaji_meditation_under_treeYes. Enlightenment is a common word. It gives such a meaning that you become enlightened of a particular thing — like you become enlightened that you need to be noble, how to be able to discriminate or think or make a judgment in a proper way, in the right sense. That is all under the educational things.

When we speak about Enlightenment, we mean you become Enlightened about your Real Self. The misidentifying of the Self as the physical body and everything that one thinks of as 'me' and 'mine' has created a complication for yourself. That's how the problem starts and makes a person to become more narrow-minded. In spite of the best educations in the academic fields we do see some people behaving in a very narrow-minded, selfish way; that's what pains. Wherever such questions come like “What is education in Your opinion?” I say, “In my opinion education means one should be thinking of a larger cause, have that ability to think of a larger cause.” Like our Sages taught of a large cause always: “Loka Samastaa Sukhino Bhavantu” was the first prayer they taught, meaning, “We don't know how many worlds that exist but may there be peace and happiness to all the beings in all the worlds.” So there is no need that I have to pray only for myself thinking me, this body, as myself. If this whole, entire home is going to be peaceful, I'm also automatically there. If the entire world is going to be peaceful, automatically I am also there. So that is how education of Enlightenment happened.

So this is possible if we try to know ourselves in a much better way. So that is why I always tell, “It is always wonderful that we have advanced through science, technology, communications and so on, but unfortunately we have forgotten to take spirituality with that.” Because at the end of the day, it is the mind which has to utilize everything that we have discovered or invented through any field, whatever it is. If this mind itself is not going to be well-educated, Enlightened, then it can become destructive instead of being constructive, it can become selfish instead of living for a larger cause. So that is why spirituality and science, all these things, should go together then the humanity will be benefited. That is why I always tell, “The right education means you have triple responsibilities.” First try to keep your physical body as healthy as possible. You should be aware, because often only when we lose a finger we know the value of that finger. Until then we neglect our bodies by our lifestyles, by eating, by this and that, we don't realize. Somewhere we reach middle-age or a little older then suddenly we realize, 'Oh, we did not take care of our body, we did not exercise properly.'

Second one: often we totally ignore the mind. We never take care of the proper education of the mind, to be able to think properly, that is what happens. And in that process we forget the moral values also, that we need to be more responsible as human beings, because we have an edge over all other creatures. We have a well developed brain, we can discriminate, we can think, but we need to be more responsible. Before asking about our rights we need to be more aware of our moral responsibilities. That is why physical health, mental health and moral health, if we can maintain all these three then only we are perfect, religious people, perfectly spiritual, perfect scientists. That's what it is.

 

Question:

Babaji, can You say a little bit maybe about learning to move through physical pain when seated in meditation?

Babaji:

If you're not used to sitting in a particular posture there could arise a pain in the leg or hand, any such thing. So trying to keep the focus as much as possible, you can stretch out the legs if it pains or any such thing for half a minute or so and then move it back, then you'll be able to continue for a longer time.

If there is any ailment in the physical body, that needs to be attended to, you need to take advice of medical experts; that is very much necessary. Meditation can be helpful in certain ways, like the pressure on the brain can decrease if you're meditating well, the mind's energy can be withdrawn, then the blood pressure, heart, all these things can be looked after better because every organ is connected to each other which starts from the brain. If there is less load on the brain, if the brain is relaxed, there is so much better health. However, wherever there is an aliment we need to take care and the advice of a medical expert is also necessary. So if you go forward like this it will be beneficial.

 

Question:

When we have a goal to Realize the Self, do we need to discriminate for the path to that goal, like what we need and don't need? And when we have the goal of Self Realization, Babaji, it seems that so much simplification is needed to keep the direction and focus. I'm just wondering what advice You have for dissolving attachments and cutting through what seems so complex — these attachments — in order to simplify. Thank you.

Babaji:

One thing is, whatever I talk it is simply My opinion and for educational purpose only, not to impose anything on anyone. The recommendation is, if you want that Self Realization, it is your choice, then you have to set priorities. If you get involved here and there you will be stuck and you are delaying the process. Suppose you sit in a train, you want to reach the destination, but if you are going to get down at every stop and get involved into some quarrel or some type of attraction somewhere, you are going to miss the train, that train will go and you will have to wait for the next train. If you understand this point, if you can set priority — that means commit yourself for the cause — then you can achieve. Once you commit, achievement becomes very easy.

So always the ancient philosophical teachers have spoken more bluntly than us. Like Adi Shankara tells, “This world is like a crocodile ready to bite every moment. We need to be careful and pray to the Divine at all times.” That is what is important. They always have said, “If you pursue your desires, indulgence can never give you satisfaction.” So these are the things they have spoken, so follow if it is possible for you.

Ultimately what formula you have to understand is you can have a desire, you can put in an effort, but when the result comes just be ready to accept. If you don't accept your mind goes into brooding and unhappiness and you will lose that vital mental energy to progress further. So go on doing effort, as the results come just simply take it as it comes, accept the reality, and be satisfied and keep going, then you can reach the Self Realization easily.

 

Question:

I had the opportunity to be in the presence of a lot of Guru's in the seventies, they were all here in this area. Now in 2009 there aren't many Guru's around. What happened to all the Guru's?

Babaji:

Yes, it's really a wonderful question. The first half of the twentieth century saw such beautiful Yogis and Saints. After Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj and so on, so many. The idea or concept was to get Realized, to become a Yogi or Saint. Nobody themselves claimed to be gods or goddesses in those days. They were beautiful Saints who came; a chain of such people came. They are definitely missing now; not very many are around. Somewhere that concept has gone, because that could be a reason, personal opinion, people get only such a thing whatever they want. After these years, those who were the great Sages who insisted on sadhana — sadhana means that you have to put in efforts to achieve — they never tried to give any spoon-feeding or lollipops. But people now, the majority of people, have become used to lollipops. They don't want to do sadhana. If I claim, “I am God, I will do it for you,” ten hundred thousand people are ready to come and sit here. If I tell that, “You have to do sadhana, you have to meditate,” people will run away. That is what is happening. That is why such sadhaks, and such Sages are missing really, they are becoming rare. Shivabalayogi was one such who came in the end of the first part of twentieth century and lived until the end of twentieth century, physically. So let us pray to God that They, such Sages, shall come more and more. That is all one can say.

 

Question:

babaji_grounds_behindI think nowadays people are not so much inclined to think even that they could achieve or that they could be an example for humanity. Because we are only taught to achieve when it comes to the pocket, and to achieve when it comes to science and to prove that we're better than. So I guess that's why we don't think that it's important to sit down and meditate when we can be working and making the dollar.

Babaji:

Yes, the Gurus need to motivate and emphasize. As My Guru always emphasized, “Sadhana is important.” Suppose somebody asked Him a question, “If somebody has been born in Your family do you think they can get Enlightened because You are Enlightened?” He refused, “No, no such thing can happen, everybody will have to do it for themselves.” We can give the path, we can motivate, we can tell, so that is what has happened.

Unfortunately — with due honors to all teachers, all Gurus who are around now, not against any particular individual — now it has become a fashion directly to say, “I am God, I don't have to do any sadhana, I have come directly from the heavens.” My Guru said, “I had to do twelve years of Tapas to become Shivabalayogi. I did it so that I can inspire others also that, 'If I have done you can also do it.'” That is what is needed.

Such teachers are rare now. That was one idea that I thought I must emphasize wherever I go. Like My Guru said, “Even if one person can understand My philosophy I feel that My mission is fulfilled.” If all Gurus try to tell the truth then people will also pick up the truth only of doing sadhana.

Question (same questioner):

We had gotten stuck on the lollipop, you know, and stickers. I'm a teacher so we give a lot of lollipops and stickers to get anything from the children.

Babaji:

Like once My Guru was asked this question about miracles. “Master, You don't perform any miracles, You don't give us any such things to keep.” Because He always answered very bluntly, He used to be furious sometimes when such things were asked, “Enough of lollipops to you all! So many times I have come to this world and I have given you lollipops but you have always cheated Me! You have never tried to go to the school! You have never tried to meditate yourself! So no more lollipops in this life! You have to meditate!” He said.

 

Question:

When one is contracted, how does one get that expanded eye, to expand, to open, to connect to the light, when one gets stuck in contraction or darkness? I get around people that use drugs sometimes and they get dark and I get pulled out, I get stuck. I want to be able to get into the light faster.

Babaji:

This sadhana only can be helpful. Like meditation, chants, doing japa, mantra chants, all such things would be very helpful to opening the mind. Because the mind contracts with its own imagination, becomes narrow, narrow, narrow, all such things, negativity happens. If it has to blossom, meaning if it has to give up that narrow-minded contractions, then it blossoms and opens up for that thing. So when you're doing the sadhana you need to have enormous patience, always be sincere to yourself. Your intention is very important, you must always try to go to the Ultimate Truth. If you're doing this sadhana then it will automatically open up.

 

Question:

Baba, I am sorry for this question that seems so mundane, but I am moving out of a house and have tons papers, and to look at every one is so hard and I thought, “Oh I will do Shiva mantras.” I want to get rid of the papers and I don't know how to do it. How do you just get rid of what is in the way, simplifying like that, on a very practical level? How do you focus to be able to move stuff out of your way?

Babaji:

When you set a higher goal then you set the priority also. For that you are ready, you automatically become ready to give up other things. Simple example — you set a goal that you want to be here in the retreat with Babaji. As this is precious, this is a precious time for you, you could have been doing something else but you came here for the retreat. You set that one, gave up anything that was on the way and you are here. So that is how, when you set a higher goal for yourself, you'll always be able to give up the smaller things and set a priority and go there, that would be possible. You have to visualize such higher things.

 

Question:

Babaji, You often speak about the mind, that everything is an imagination of the mind, and by reading Your book I also got the impression that even the deities You consider to be an imagination of the mind. Can You explain the difference between the human mind and the Cosmic Mind? Because the deity seems to be an imagination of a higher mind rather than our mind, right?

Babaji:

Deity, meaning God, is not one single personality, like a deity who exists as a physical personality. You see, your mind is infinite, you cannot show it to anybody like this, “My mind is of red or blue color,” simply based on the thoughts you claim, “My mind wants to go there, my mind wants to do this.” That is what it is. So the mind, from one side the worldly point of view, is a bundle of thoughts. If all these thoughts get cleared, what remains is the Pure Consciousness of Existence. So the Ultimate Truth of this mind called Consciousness is recognized as the Divinity, God, Supreme Consciousness which is Omnipresent, All-Pervaded. All these terminologies could be quite familiar for you all if you have read scriptures, listened to all the Saints. So that is why God cannot be simply one human personality. Jokingly sometimes I say, ”If there were several gods they would have been fighting with each other for supremacy like humans.” There is only one God; many names, many forms. That is the Truth.

Based on this there has to be some technology, how the deities appear or why these deities have been given as a concept, whatever it is. From this world's viewpoint, why this was given means, it is impossible to explain God as It is, no words are there, no imagination can be, no definition can give what It is. You have to become THAT to become aware or experience. However for a beginner, who would definitely want some answer, some clue has to be given, some imagination has to be used. So that is why it is said, “This is God, this deity is God. You try to worship.” So slowly if you fall in love, gradually as you progress in spiritual practice, then you become aware that the same God is everywhere. That's what that concept is. Like, from one viewpoint, if you say (pointing to a photo of Swamiji), “This is only a frame, a glass and a paper which has a picture.”  From another viewpoint, if you have that emotion, it is the Master who is sitting there. So that's how you visualize. So when you are able to visualize through your mind, your mind becomes single-pointed, gets focused and eventually be able to go introvert.

In the ancient times of the Rig Vedic era they simply meditated, went into Samadhi and realized the Truth. When they Realized the Truth they called that Truth as only 'Tat', 'Tatva', meaning That. So that is all they called It because they realized one can recognize Truth in any way. These are all the concepts.

So then visualized by people in so many ways, artists have put in such pictures, their hands have been added, some weapons have been given. But very often people of this world understand only energy — nobody is really interested about knowledge and wisdom, “If God is powerful, who can protect me, then only I am going to admire or worship God.” That would be the idea of the majority of people. So that is what it is, that is why such things have been given, concepts have been given. Based on the concentration and imagination power of the mind, through deeper sadhana eventually a manifestation also can occur. This is a very wide subject.

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