Ananda Ashram Retreat, US June 2009 - Part Four
Question: I have understood that our relatives and parents are people that are here to teach us lessons. But what if our parents, or certain people in our family, are people that bring negative energy towards you? You said this morning that we have to keep with good company, if we are looking for Enlightenment, for peace, we're looking to better ourselves - should we keep those people at an arm distance or should we try to work with them even though they are bringing so much negativity?
There are two different things you see. Pay attention. One is, the recommendation of course is always, try to maintain good company so that you are always motivated into the good things. But if sometimes because of the necessity of a livelihood or any such circumstances which may not be in your hands just now, if you are forced to be in such company, then one positive thing is that you accept it as a challenge. If one person is bad, you have to be in that company, you be determined, “I am going to be good. Just because you are bad I am not going to become bad. If possible I will make you good or at least I will remain as good”. So if you are determined like that also it would be possible. If it is possible to avoid such bad company you should avoid. So that is the thing. If for some reason it is difficult to avoid, you are forced, just like the tongue is forced to be in the midst of thirty-two teeth which are ready to bite it any moment, whenever it becomes careless, yet the tongue cannot run away from the teeth, it has to be in the midst moving up and down - it has to be so skillful. So you have to live skillfully, carefully in this world.
Question: Babaji, there is a lot of information right now about our mother earth's ascent to the next dimension, the fifth dimension and the date 21st December of 2012. The start of a new era, the era of Aquarius, the era of love, a thousand years without the war and hatred.
What happens on 21st December?
Question (Same questioner): The earth, the consciousness of earth decided to ascent to the next dimension. Do You have any comment on this?
Does it mean something wrong is going to happen to this earth? It's consciousness…
Question (Same questioner): No, not wrong. It's the new evolution that is happening. So basically what is going on, vibration is raising and earth is going up to the next dimension, to the fifth dimension. Right now it's the fourth dimension. Any comment on this one or not?
So if it's going to a higher dimension, whatever it is, nothing harmful will happen for the people of this earth. Whatever it is, it will go on, nobody really knows. I have heard about these things, you see, the world can come to an end tomorrow or it can go for a billion years, you never know. This is the fundamental truth. Since childhood we have heard about all these things, sometimes people telling, “This dimension will happen, this consciousness will happen, earth will start spinning backwards and a lot of destructions will happen. Those of you who come and take the knowledge from our group then you will be protected”. These type of things all have been told, but really nobody can predict what exactly is going to happen. You see, look back, the history or any such thing, so many things have happened: tsunamis have come, earthquakes have happened, and all such calamities; good, bad, everything has happened. But nobody has been able to pinpoint and predict, “This is going to happen”. Once it happens everybody tries to claim. Earth need not go into a separate dimensional thing because the Divinity is already there; it is already in that High Cosmic Consciousness. Simply we have to become aware of It. That is why the ancient sages tried to worship the earth as Mother. Before any ritual, normally it is a practice in Indian philosophy to worship the mother earth also which has given us such asylum, such refuge to be a living being in this world so that we can remember the Divinity. Higher dimension means, we all have to go into that dimension mentally to become aware of ourselves. That is what needs to be happening; every moment, every day is precious.
Question: Babaji, You've said that this meditation, dhyana, is Unification without imagination and You've talked about the path of bhakti as Unification with imagination, using imagination. Could You comment on that?
Due to imagination only, the mind, consciousness, has gone out of control. Using the same imagination, like sticking to one thought, you try to make the mind single-pointed so that eventually it can go introverted and merge with the Divinity. That is the basic aim of the bhakti marga. Like an imagination is given, “Oh this is God, this is Master, you have to worship. If you pray to God, God will protect you”. That's how you start. So as your consciousness raises and you become so much attached, fall in love, then your mind totally gets focused onto it; then when you raise to that level that 'I' no more exists. Like in the bhakti marga path, Saint Mirabai became Realized. For Her, only Krishna Consciousness existed; She Herself never existed. Mira Herself was never in Her consciousness. So that is how one can reach the highest in the bhakti marga also, but it has to happen with total surrender and no selfish motives. Like Swamiji always used to teach us, jokingly also, “If at all ever God appears before you, don't ask for anything that God can give; ask only for God Himself”. Never compromise, then you get the highest thing. So that is how the bhakti marga goes.
Question: During meditation, sometimes there's the choice to either bring the mind back or to observe, like the karma being processed. I'm wondering, when is the proper time to stop whatever's happening and to try and bring it back to a focus, and when to just let that sort of happen, like taking out the garbage so to speak?
See these two things happen automatically if you adopt the technology. Because, you need to know, mind is infinite. Bringing it back means there is no such physical means through which you can bring back. You cannot drag with a rope or you cannot do any such thing. When you adopt the technical method of just observing the thoughts and visions without trying to analyze, then the garbage of the mind gets cleansed, then the mind automatically is coming back. Because mind always expands when there is imagination. There is imagination when it goes into cravings and distractions; it expands. When these come to an end it becomes single-pointed and one. If you adopt the technology, simply that will happen automatically. You just go on watching, watching and observing. That shall be, your sticking to that thought, or that should be your habit; just to observe, not to analyze. When you don't analyze, the mind comes back on its own.
Question: Babaji, I've been getting more and more interested in karma yoga lately as means to get rid of the 'I' thought and to live a life that isn't just all about me and what I can get, even from spiritual practices. Something like that, can still have the motive of selfishness. But when you start to live a life of just giving it seems to change. It's just like an infinitesimal difference I feel. And I know that You did a lot of karma yoga at Your Guru's Ashram, and I was just wondering if that was difficult for You to learn, or if it came naturally?
If you have that surrender and totally naturally fall in love with any deities' form or with the Master, then it can happen very naturally also. Unknown to me, I became, my all hundred percent of mental consciousness went and sat in Him when I first saw Him. Like that I just fell in love—that was it. And afterwards my mind never felt agitated whatever I had to do or whatever results happened. So that's how the karma yoga went on happening, the mind receded. It is the mind which broods, which expects a certain thing when you do the karma and also gets involved into the doership, “I am the doer and I need to have this”. If that does not happen, mind feels disappointed and dejected. When this happens the mind expands and goes into its own thoughts. It feels agitated, disappointed all these things happen. Then karma yoga does not happen, only karma happens. So if you do not allow your mind to get agitated and accept without any expectations all the results as they come, then the karma yoga happens. You need to ponder and observe your mind, that it shall never get involved into the doership, simply it shall remain as an instrument in the hands of the Divinity, and accept anything that happens. So it may not be as easy, but if it happens then you can win. You can have that yoga, that is possible.
Question: Can You comment on how to handle fear?
Fear is an insecure feeling because of ignorance, which happens. So if you acquire the knowledge, right knowledge of your own existence, it is possible to overcome. A fear comes when your existence is threatened, when you feel that something wrong is going to happen to you, then a fear occurs. So that is why, if you practice the spiritual sadhanas and go back to the Real Self and acquire that awareness that you are perfectly alright and your existence is eternal and immortal, nothing can touch and nothing can trouble you, then that fear automatically goes. This is one thing.
Another thing, from the worldly viewpoint also, to adopt the courageous motive, like what we were taught since childhood - I remember I was in first standard in a primary school, the teacher used to tell, “If at all anything happens in your life, think that after all my head is going to be cut.” After that who can trouble me? Until the head is there only somebody can trouble this body; once the head itself is gone, it's all finished. So then that fear also goes. You don't have to die actually but you gain that inner strength and courage to face the situation and remain composed. So that's how it happens.
When you have faith also, the Guru's Grace descends, when you have faith in the words of the Guru. For example, thirty-five years ago when I went to Dehradun Ashram, when I was sent there, another devotee of Swamiji wanted to donate her property to Swamiji. Then Swamiji said, “I already have an Ashram, how many properties I'm going to have? I'm not interested; it will be difficult to take care. You sell your property, with that money you develop this Ashram so that more people can be benefited, devotees can come and practice sadhana, all these things can happen”. Unfortunately she got killed by some unknown people, many say probably her relatives, who did not want that property to go to the Mission.
I was very young and I did not know the world, only about one and a half months since I had reached Dehradun Ashram, this incident happened. Several threatening phone calls used to come, people threatened that we also must leave the Ashram and go away otherwise we might be killed. Naturally I did not feel anything threatening because I was under the impression, like a battlefield, if I get killed, it's just nothing that's all. But an old lady was there whom Swamiji had sent, thinking that I'm a young boy, do not know what the Ashram is, to teach and help me for few months. She became very much threatened and fearful; she just wanted to leave the place: “So they are going to kill you also, us also, we must leave the place, otherwise the Ashram will be blamed, your parents will blame us, who will answer you all? You must go away, you must go away”.
I was not ready, I said, “With a rare chance I have come to this Ashram, if I go away I may not get this chance again. My mother has blessed me to come”. But one day she was forcing me, “No, you must go back”. Then I said, “If that is the case let me enquire with my Master”. Those were the days we didn't have emails, mobile phones and all such things; I had to write a letter. I wrote a letter to Him; it took a couple of weeks; the reply came. Simply Swamiji asked one of His assistants to write two things: “Nobody can even touch even your hairs! Just stay back there, you will be protected, everything will be alright”. So then my mind got totally cleared and I felt that fear went away totally when I heard the Master's voice.
Until this day I am perfectly alright. Swamiji used to talk in a very beautiful way, simple way. He used to remove any fear or such thing. It was very simple for Him, like when He came also, when He was talking to me: “Hey no problem, if somebody kills you, you are going to come back to Me only, what else will happen?” Just like that He used to remove any such thoughts from our mind. So like that you can remove your fear.
Question: Babaji, during the meditation sometimes — it happened here today this afternoon — my body jerks, or it spins, does something like that. Why does this happen?
This could happen because of the currents. Like I said, whenever the mind is trying to come back, even little also, it tries to lift the body consciousness called kundalini also; some enormous energy can get created; that is known as the currents passing. At that time the body can jerk. But you should not loose consciousness or fall asleep. So when that thing happens it will be alright in due course of time when you practice to remain composed, you try not to allow it to happen, or too much of excitement. You should try to control as much as possible to make the body stand still, this is important.
Question (same questioner): What are the Yogis' take on UFO's and, do You have anything to say on that?
You see the most important thing when you become a Yogi is you become one with the Divinity, you become one with the factory owner; you don't have to become an employer and expect any bonus. So this UFO is all imaginations. There is no such life species known to have come to the earth, so there are no such things that has happened, scientifically proven also, spiritually also. So just do not bother about any such information, until and unless you yourself come across any such experience.
Question (same questioner): I think I saw one once.
(laughs) That's good. Fine. You saw one UFO — now I would advise you try to see your Self. You see the important thing is life is very precious, a short time is available for the body to be alive in this world and then it goes away. We must utilize to achieve the highest, to go for the Supreme. That is the Divinity. Never compromise for anything else. Nothing else should be so wondrous or interesting for you.
Question: There are some people who claim that they 'channel' other entities, and they're very famous, and what they say seems to be of higher consciousness and they seem to help other people. I want to know what you think about channeling.
There are several things. One thing, you used the word 'famous'. Any person who is famous need not be 'perfect' always, this is one thing. Means they would have experienced a small glimpse of the Divinity but they need go on to the perfection of Enlightenment, this is important. Otherwise after some time they themselves might get confused, they might be confusing others. What happens, when we try to help the people of this world we must always guide them onto the right path, towards the highest, and we must have enormous patience to help people. Otherwise we might end up misguiding people in the name of guiding; in the name of helping, we might mis-help them. So this is my personal opinion, with due honors to everyone.
Question (same questioner): But is it true that they do channel, or..?
There is no such thing actually. It is a little bit of misunderstanding, an ignorant thing. The Divinity is everywhere. The Divinity is not such a thing that, “I have to get connected from here to such a distance”. It is simply here, it is simply there. A real Enlightened Soul does not claim that, “I have become God”. If I am incarnation, all of you are also incarnation; the same Divinity is everywhere. Try to go introvert and become aware of that one Truth yourself. That is the best channeling. That is the best thing to overcome all problems and calamities and unhappiness. So that is what our advice is always.