Ananda Ashram Retreat, US June 2009 - Part Three
Earlier during the question-answer session I was trying to answer about the different deities and forms of God, about Cosmic Consciousness, about ordinary human consciousness. This human consciousness and Cosmic Consciousness—I will try to use simple terminologies so that you can understand in a much better way. Though there is no real difference between the human consciousness called mind and the Cosmic Consciousness, what the difference is in the potency. Just for example, if Cosmic Consciousness is hundred thousand potency, human consciousness could be point zero zero zero something, so on, such small potency of consciousness. And now imagine this human consciousness called mind. Applying this mind, humans have achieved so many wondrous things in the world. So many discoveries, inventions, science, technology, amazing things have come. If this small consciousness called human mind can achieve, imagine the power and potency of the Divine Consciousness, which some people call as Cosmic Consciousness.
So now after the first time when the Cosmic Consciousness would have erupted to create and then reincarnations, reincarnations, reincarnations went on, different droplets, droplets, coming, coming, because of thought processes and distractions. So every time, this Consciousness went on getting diluted. After a long distance of travel with imaginations, now this consciousness has come to be known as the mind. So the power of this mind is very less compared to that Cosmic Consciousness. However, the deities, sometimes it happens according to manifestations by the Divine Grace, it can also happen when the mind becomes hundred percent concentrated with a resolution. Now this is the technology, you see, this mind called Consciousness has an amazing ability to imagine things. This imagination is not an ordinary quality. Using this imagination only entire universe runs, creation has happened, everything is there. When you imagine a certain picture constantly it solidly appears within the mind, and when you concentrate on that, means, if you fall in love with that image, the mind slowly gets more and more focused onto that image, more and more that the mind gets focused, that picture starts appearing more solid, more perfect, and there is no blurredness, and it starts like that one. So this is the first stage.
As one progresses in sadnana—either through bhakti, like falling in love with God's or any deities' form or Guru's form, and totally getting attached to that form; when the mind is totally focused, and has total faith, surrender happens; or when one does the meditation with such a resolution, unknown to them also, even if there was a previous resolution — then comes the second stage, when mind becomes much more concentrated is the mental projection. Like some people do experience Krishna or Rama coming and eating with them, talking to them, moving with them. So many visions happen.
And the third stage is the highest one: when this mind with such a resolution has become hundred percent concentrated, just before the Nirvikalpa Samadhi, a manifestation of the Divine happens in such a form conducive to the resolution of such a mind. Manifestation means, 'as physical as we are'. It's like a physical form appears. However all these things are to be considered unreal spiritually because that is not the end, because the Divine is All-Pervaded, the Supreme Consciousness of Existence. Because one physical form cannot be existing everywhere as All-Pervaded, it would always be limited to exist at one place. However that is also the Divine who would have manifested.
So that is how these deities manifestation happens. That is how we saw in Tapas also, like Shiva and Parvati coming in the form of Ardhanarishwara, half male and half female. The male is the Existence. Shiva means 'your existence in total thoughtlessness state'. Shakti is the energy that is in That, hidden in That; so that is the Goddess, Shakti. The first word used is the Adiparashakti: Adi means 'the first'; Para is 'beyond imaginations', which is beyond anybody's conceiving abilities. Energy, Shakti is energy—Adiparashakti, that's how the female aspect has come. So these are all concepts explained. Like even electricity also: positive-negative, male-female. This type of explanations are given for learning and all such things.
Like Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara; they are all concepts, not personalities sitting somewhere. Brahma means 'the Divine Consciousness coming into existence with imagination to create'. … It is not the ordinary mind, let us call it Cosmic Consciousness as you all know the terminology, that itself creates a illusion, based on which the creation happens. Vishnu means 'this imagination widely sustained', that is the meaning in Sanskrit. That is why Vishnu is known as the protector, if Brahma is the creator. Those who would have read Indian philosophical scriptures would understand. And Shiva, Shiva is normally referred to as the 'destroyer', whereas it is not the destruction, it is not the destroyer. Means, Brahma—creator, Vishnu—protector, Shiva is actually 'withdrawal of this imagination back into the Self, that is totally thoughtlessness'. In the Nirvanaastakam also Adi Shankara sings, “I am beyond all dualities. I am that Supremely Blissful, Peaceful Existence”. Shiva means that Existence in thoughtlessness—'Shivo hum'; Ahum means 'me'. The Real 'I' is the Supreme Consciousness of Existence. So that is how deities all have come into existence, the different concepts, but they are not the personalities.
Always as a child also I used to wonder, “If God is one personality who is sitting somewhere, what made Him not to come in front of masses and declare, 'I am the God, you all have to worship Me and I will protect?'”. Such a thing has not happened. Individuals would have had Darshan. When such a Darshan happens, based on the potency of the vision, total transformation happens. Like for my Guru at the age of fourteen the manifestation was perfect and physical. Shiva came in the form of a Jangama Sage in front of Him in the physical form. So from an ordinary village boy, such a transformation happened. He became an unique Yogi, one of the greatest Yogis, Self Realized Masters, spiritual giants India has produced. He did so such a vigorous Tapas, and such a deep transformation happened. So whenever people talk, they had visions, it depends on the picture potency. Like sometimes its with dreams also. Some dreams are very strong pictures, you're unable to forget for long, long time. Sometimes the picture would be blurred, by the time morning you get up you would have forgotten: “Something I dreamt but I'm unable to remember what it is”, some sequence happened.
So this is all the technology and how that Divine Cosmic Consciousness exists. So depending on the potency, the manifestations happens. So that is why God is one; names and forms can be so many. That is why my Master said, “You can believe God in any form or formlessness, it is your choice. Through that you can reach the Truth. But do not condemn others' beliefs”. This is what my Master taught.
So you talked about the mind and its imaginations and manifestations of the Divine. I have a question about another type of manifestation and that is, the complete connection with the Divine or manifestation of the Divine and that manifestation enters you or you enter it, physically. In other words, you become that beingness, you seem to merge with the Divine, you know like, it's kind of strange like something dropping into you or you dropping into it. Can you just, is that an hallucination or is that something that is an experience?
Finally only becoming one with the Divinity, that is the Truth and Reality. Until then, until the seen and the seer is there, a separate entity is there, it is the unreal thing. But though it is unreal it is not to be simply considered as an ordinary hallucination. Spiritually it is considered unreal, it is not the permanent, it appears and disappears. But that manifestation can happen only when you're having a very high mental concentration potency. Ordinary human mind cannot see that manifestation. When you do Tapas only such a manifestation of the Divinity also happens. After that, after that in our experience, like Shiva and Parvati appeared as half male and half female. Then the test of the final 'I'-ness happens, like, 'Is there any separate entity, is there an iota of that imagination still left, or is it ready to merge finally?' That test happens.
Like for Me when they manifested, what they said was, they tried to create an ego, means, “Because of your Tapas we have been able to manifest ourselves like this”. Means an ego can come, “Oh, I did that Tapas, that is why God is here”. So such a thing should not happen. “You can ask for any powers and boons, you can have thousands of followers in this world, you can be most famous, a powerful personality, what do you want?” You cannot cheat your own Consciousness. That means in other words, you cannot cheat God. Whatever is inside, spontaneously that only comes. So because of my attachment to the Guru, that thing only came: “I don't want any powers; I can be an ordinary person; I don't need hundreds and thousands of followers; I don't need to be the powerful person and all. I just want to be at the Lotus Feet of My Master. Whatever He ordains I just want to do that for the benefit of the society, for the people. If my life can be useful to someone, I'll be happy”. That's what I told.
After that, that same Consciousness teaches, “So now you are ready, there is no 'I'-ness, you just proceed a little more and then the merger will happen”. So then that 'I' will vanish; only That Supreme Conciousness remains. When that 'I' vanishes, when it merges there is no imagination, no definition, no I, or no you; neither devotee nor God is there; no seer and the seen is there; only one Single Self exists; you simply become aware of THAT, that you are THAT, but without any definition of what It is. So then with total contentment and effortlessly, you remain in that state all the time, forever. That is what is the final Enlightenment, that's what it means.
Question (same questioner):
So then this can be like there's a stage one and stage two and then I guess various levels of that complete unification before one becomes comfortable being in that all the time.
Unification is one. Either you become Unified or you remain not Unified, that is all. There are no stages in that.
Question (same questioner):
So once it happens, “Boom! That's it?”
Yes. That is final.
Baba, what You said that after that experience in Tapas with the manifestation of Ardhanarishwara, that then You also experienced Ardhanarishwara entered You? What was the significance of that?
Yes. You see the same thing happened to my Master also. I'll tell how that happens also; you will understand. Like to my Master also, Shiva and Parvati appeared in the end of the twelve years — just for sake of interest I'll briefly tell a little more about what really happened. So when slowly He opened the eyes, came out of Samadhi, He saw a male and female figure standing in front of Him. Because until then, all the twelve years, whenever He came out of Samadhi, once a month or so the Jangama Sage used to appear before Him and then disappear in the thin air. But these were different figures. So then He looked at them and enquired, “Who are you, why have you come”? Then the male figure smiled and said, “In this world people worship me as Lord Shankara, this is my consort, Parvati”. Then it struck Swamiji, “Oh this is God who has come, Bhagavan has come”, and He got up and prostrated. And again there it was said, “Your twelve years is over, You can go and do anything You want”. Swamiji had no desires, that 'I', everything had disappeared. He said, “I don't have any such desire, I don't know what to do. If You have anything to ask me to do, I'm ready to do it”. Then pleased They ordained: “Teach this meditation because people have forgotten themselves, that is why they are miserable. Teach this meditation through which you have achieved mastery”. After saying this Swamiji used to tell that They merged in His body, He used to tell. Then one day when He was alone, I asked this question: “What does it mean - for the Enlightenment it is said that the merger has to happen?” For that Swamiji smiled: “Look, if the droplet enters the Ocean it is the same thing, the Unification happens; or if the Ocean flows over the droplet and engulfs that, is also the same”. That is how the Divine engulfed me and it was over; only one Self was there. So that is how Enlightenment happens.
Babaji, can one repeat, “Shivo Hum”, without being initiated into that mantra? Is it…?
Yes, yes. You can chant and sing that is no problem, because the power simply does not come only with the initiation; the power comes when you have faith and devotion. That is the most important thing. The Guru is recommended so that the Guru can be inspiring you, would be helpful to remove any confusions, would not allow you to become lazy and casual; keep filling with inspiration: “Come on, keep going, you can do that one”. That is how a Guru-disciple relationship builds up. Otherwise also you can always chant.
Question (same questioner):
I have one more question about the mind. You Swami Shivananda in His book, Mind—Its Mysteries and Control, He says that the mind itself - the mind principle was created before any human beings came into existence. And this, its very nature was to jump, to go out. And then this morning You mentioned that the mind's very nature is to have peace and happiness. But those two things seems to contradict?
Originally the mind was one with that Pure Consciousness. There its natural habit was to remain quiet. So I tried to explain that, and when it has become this droplet mind its nature is to run—it is unnatural, a wrong habit. That's what I was trying to tell.