Questions from a visiting Abbot and Swami, Jan 2010 - Part Two

"Atma is not an individual soul, for which one has to travel and reach anywhere. That is a simply All-Pervaded, Supreme Consciousness from which this spark called the mind has come out. Because of its imaginations mind goes on watching all such visions and visual effects of the drisha (scene). When it overcomes everything, this mind would have become One with that All-Pervadedness, just like the droplet becoming one with the Ocean."

 


Question:

I would like to know, what is the ultimate aim of the human life?

Babaji:

I would say to connect to your Real Self. Because insecurity is one of the basic reasons which has caused conflict in the world; conflict of unhappiness, disappointment or dissatisfaction, fear, psychosis, confusion, all these things happen. Like My Guru used to tell, “Everything you try to do in this world is for yourself.” Sometimes He even used to tell, “There is no such thing called charity also. You would like to help somebody only if you are going to become happy. If you are not going to become happy you would not like to do anything.” That is one criteria, if everybody ponders over in the mind. So when you want to do everything for yourself, first know that Self, what it is. Then you will know whether you need something or not. So that should be the purpose of life. Whereas having been born, you do have a challenge to earn your livelihood also; you can adopt any way of life. But if you practice meditation then you will know your Self. That should be the purpose.

Question:

How can one get free from the cycle of birth and death?

Babaji:

When you can erase all imaginations of the mind. See, based on the attitude of your mind this world appears to you, like, “One man's food is another man's poison.” babaji_visiting_swami_jan_2010For some people discussions spiritually like this would be so enjoyable. For some others it may not be, it might be irritating; even if they come because of some other relationship they would like to get out of this as soon as possible. So both these depends on the attitude of the person that they themselves have developed. So based on this only - when death happens, your brain dies, it stops functioning and the mind gets kicked off from the brain's reflection, but the mind itself is not cleansed, it has its imprints. That is known as the intensity of thoughts. Based on that, you get the reincarnation, rebirth, again. You are reborn and you will develop such a basic nature of understanding, observation, all these things happen. So if you practice this sadhana of meditation to cleanse the mind totally once for all, when you are able to achieve that Samadhi—total standstillness of the mind, then when this body goes you shall not be reborn because there is no desire in the mind at all, you would have overcome. So that is how you can get rid of this.

Question:

But how to reach the Atma?

Babaji:

Atma is not an individual soul, for which one has to travel and reach anywhere. That is a simply All-Pervaded, Supreme Consciousness from which this spark called the mind has come out. Because of its imaginations mind goes on watching all such visions and visual effects of the drisha (scene). When it overcomes everything, this mind would have become One with that All-Pervadedness, just like the droplet becoming one with the Ocean. So you are everywhere, means, you don't have to go anywhere. You simply exist and become aware of your existence in Supreme Peace and Contentment.

Question:

What is the method to reach there?

Babaji:

First you have to cleanse the mind because the mind has picked up all such habits of its own imagination, analyzation and judgments. Whereas these things are vital to live in this world, we understand, but to know your Self this always prevents. Just like when you are watching a movie, your mind's consciousness is totally sucked there and you forget yourself that you are watching. Your consciousness experiences everything that is happening in the movie as if it is the fundamental truth—a panic, an excitement, a fear, a choking of the voice, everything can be happening. Like somebody comes and wakes you up, “Come on you are just watching a movie, you are perfectly alright.” So when you practice this meditation such a thing would happen one day. The mind gets cleansed of all its imagination and the imprints, habits it has picked up. So then when it gets totally cleansed you become aware of that Self that you are.

Question:

So You're speaking of the practice of meditation, cleansing the mind. What would You say the most important outer practice is when you're not meditating that will allow for that cleansing? What would You say from Your own experience has been the most beneficial?

Babaji:

Stick to the minimum of the needs. The mind is always likely to jump into a greed all the time. So if you can keep your activities as minimum as possible, only to that which is very much required, then the mind's involvement and its desires all can decrease. Otherwise the more that it gets involved, its desires grow and one tries to pursue those desires and gets disappointed, frustrated all the time. This world has never allowed anybody to settle down peacefully when we pursue into the worldly things. You have to withdraw the mind. So just practice and try to live such a life as much as possible.

When I was a youngster in the university, Jesus' three lines created such an impact: “Judge not and you shall not be judged; condemn not and you shall not be condemned; forgive and you shall be forgiven.” This is what would become possible when you practice meditation sincerely.

 

Question:

 

Babaji- forgiving and not judging- does it apply in every interaction?

 

Babaji:

It depends on the temperament of a person. Whereas we talk not to make judgments, just try to see the Divinity everywhere, however at some stage you may have to use a certain judgment so that you can rise above the judgments. It's like you take the help of a ladder to go on the terrace. That would be what is the requirement. So when you live in this world and do judgments of the dualities in this world, bad to good, and then slowly rise above that level. So that's how you shall select the company of the like-minded people. If there are 10 or 100 or all are like-minded, it would be pleasurable to the all. Otherwise if there is not that one, then the problem happens. So this is also recommended in all philosophies, like the satsang is what that means. Like even the great Adi Shankara talks, “If you are in the company of the noble, automatically you would have avoided the company of the bad. And when you are in the company of the noble your mind's thoughts always can be directed towards the nobility and the highest.” So when you are able to direct yourself mentally towards the highest, then you are able to do sadhana. Sadhana means 'your efforts to achieve better.' So when you are able to do that sadhana you'll have that Liberation one day.

Question:

Baba, today I took a walk and walked in the Buddhist temple down the street, and the moment I walked in, I walked into the actual temple, my heart started beating really fast and I started crying. And then as You've been sharing tonight, I see my imagination kicked in and my thoughts were, “Oh I've felt this before with the Tibetans or Buddhists, that may be past lives or something, that I feel this connection even though I don't feel a connection to the current religion or the rituals.” So my question is, is this—I didn't think about that, this response happened, but then the mind kicked in and put a story or an imagination on it—do these things come from past lives or is it just imagination? And my other part of the question is, so by me listening to my imagination then, am I further imprinting myself instead of just letting it go or witnessing it? Does that make sense?

 

Babaji:

Yes. In one sense it is true. The mind carries its imprints life after life. That is what makes a person's basic nature, the acquired habits of the mind. That's what I keep telling. babaji_jan_06_2010When a certain mind picks up a basic nature—see a hundred people might be there but all the different people may have different temperaments of observation capability or understanding a particular thing. Just understanding means, for example, death happens in this world everyday, hundreds and millions, but how many can realize, “What is the secret of this death?” Very few might think. It depends on the observation capability. Buddha saw it and he became totally obsessed with it and wanted to know why should one be born and why should one die? What is the secret? So like that. And others may simply watch and it may not occur to them anything at all. So that is how the mind is carrying its imprints. This is one thing. Some place you might feel like connected like that. However when we come back to spirituality, you need to avoid any such imagination which shall simply be triggering further absorption of imprints. So instead of that, giving up, you should try to see that Divinity everywhere. Try to recognize that one Self, one thing, so that your mind gets purified, becomes more focused and single-pointed. It shall not jump into such imaginations, absorbing further imprints.

Question:

So by identifying with a particular story or imagination it's further keeping me an individual and it won't allow me to see the Divinity?

Babaji:

Exactly. That's what I meant.

 

Question:

Babaji, would You say that total purification of the mind is a must for Atma Darshan to occur? Because some teachers tend to say that it's only after Atma Darshan happens that the real purification starts. Is it so?

Babaji:

No, because as long as there is a separation it is impossible for the Atma Darshan. The same criteria: as long as you are a separate entity from the space, you cannot see the space as it is—impossible. You can see only a certain distance, a glimpse. Total space cannot be seen. So thus to become One with the Atma, Atma Darshan has to happen means, the mind has to be totally purified. It must give up all imaginations, including the thought if 'I' or wanting of Samadhi; all desires must come to an end, then it becomes One with it. Other than that, as long as that individuality exists, whatever would have happened is to be considered only as a glimpse. Sitting here you can tell that, “I can see the space.” But it's only a glimpse of the space, not the entire space. That's how.

Question:

So then it's quite difficult. Very few would be able to have this Atma Darshan?

Babaji:

That's the criteria. It has to happen. That's like Shri Krishna talks, “One in a million goes on this path and amongst them one in a million might achieve it.” However to the sadhaks we never try to discourage. If you think it is not difficult, it is not difficult. Think positively. If you keep thinking it is difficult, difficult, always it appears as difficult. Once you understand this criteria, if your mind realizes, “It's me who has to give up” then that happens. Until then it's difficult, the mind is trying to know the truth through its imaginations. This criteria needs to be understood. Mind can never give you the truth because whatever it gives as a definition or criteria, it is based on its own imagination. Like even after a certain person becomes totally Self Realized, if He has to teach the world He has to use the nearest imagination possible. So that the actual intention or the teaching is not diluted, the person is given a clue, how to proceed to that Truth. So this is what happens. That's why if a person is Realized, He shall always insist to the students to give up all imaginations and gives that clue, how to go the Truth. Like otherwise for a while, remembrance of a previous life, connection to some other things could appear as a bit exciting for a while, but when compared to the Divinity itself this loses its excitement, that importance. So the Divinity is much higher, much more important than anything else. Like we tell, “Your own existence is the greatest wonder. Nothing else can be that wondrous.” So when this realization to the mind happens then things become easier and it improves.

Question:

Babaji, just following from Swami Atamananda's question, I believe Babaji that before You used the word Grace. My own limited understanding of Grace in the Christian tradition is that the Grace is 'an unmerited gift given by the Divinity.' So would it be possible then that this gift of complete purification of the mind, which seems from our point of view so difficult and maybe only one in a million, that this be given simply as an unmerited gift?

Babaji:

Actually the Divine gives you an unmerited gift of Grace and an opportunity every moment. It's your mind which has to utilize that opportunity and catch hold. Everything shall be considered as the Grace. You have to consider that. For example, when an inspiration comes from you to ask a question, such a question does not come easily to most human beings. So you have to consider, without the Grace this wouldn't have happened, this inspiration within you wouldn't have happened. And when an answer comes to that, also to be considered as the Grace of the Divine without which this answer wouldn't have come. So like that if you observe, everywhere, every moment preciously the Grace is working, we have to simply accept and keep going. So it is the Grace which is making everything happen. And this Grace will definitely make every soul go back to that Divinity. Sometimes I do tell jokingly that the soul's consciousness has jumped into this well called the world but the Divine has fitted certain springs called agony which will throw you back to the Divinity automatically. This will happen to everyone, it's a matter of time. Today if it has happened to Me, tomorrow it might happen to you and to others also. So that Grace is always working.

Question:

Babaji, will You speak of the qualities that a Guru must have to truly be able to take a disciple through this process? And will You also speak of the important relationship that you have with the Guru that keeps you growing. What was it inside of You that kept You in that process? What was this relationship to You? That's my question.

Babaji:

First important thing is, when a student, a person wants to go on the spiritual path, such a student's intention and sincerity is very important. Because when you want a certain thing you will definitely go for that until you find it, you shall not stop the search for it. You will not accept anything else from any person. So that is how your prayer starts to the Divine. Ultimately when you have such a sincere vision of the real spirituality, it is God through His Grace who will guide you towards such a Master. Like I always dreamt while praying to God, “Please bless me to have such a Guru in a human form who would have Liberated Himself and who has the ability to lead me to Liberation.” So that is one criteria through which we always went ahead. So that's when we met the Master.

If the Master is Realized He will always talk and insist of that highest truth only, whether two people come, whether 10,000 people come, it doesn't matter to such a Guru. He will not be anxious or concerned that He has to become a famous person or win thousands of followers. This shall not be the criteria. And also such a person would not try to bind the disciple as a client to Himself; He simply would like to give the truth out of compassion, as a friend. Then it is the choice of the student. If the student wants to accept such a person as a Guru for guidance, inspiration, that's what the criteria would be. Otherwise a Realized Soul shall not have any such imaginations that, “I need to have 10,000 followers, I need to have this many disciples.” Whoever is destined to receive our blessings, answers or any such thing, they are brought by the Divine's Grace, it simply happens. So these are some of the criteria we say.

When I met My Guru it was natural, I just fell in love with Him. That is an inexplicable thing. Like for example when I went back home on that day in 1971, when I was a young boy of 16 years old, I told mother, “I have found Him, I think I have found Him. I want to go to Him.” My mother asked, “What do you know about Him? Is He a genuine Saint, Yogi? You think you can give up the home and live in the monastery that He has established, an Ashram?” I said, “I don't know whether He's a Yogi or He's an ordinary man, whether he's is a bad man. What I know is I love Him. This much I know. I don't have to be told by somebody else. That is mine. So that's why I would like to go to Him.” Once I came I surrendered. I never tried to analyze any of His outward behaviors or whatever it is. I knew that He had that knowledge which I wanted. So I went for that one and I always observed what He had to give, the clues for such a Truth, and went on practicing such a thing. Just like for example, He wouldn't give long lectures, simply as one sentence He would tell. Like when I came one day He said, “If you clean the toilets of the Ashram you will understand the essence of Bhagavad Gita.” Means you can give up your ego and you'll be able to surrender. When such a thing happens, mind automatically loses all its desires and expectations. So that gives the sadhana. So this type of criteria would be beneficial. That is why if you all remember, when I talk jokingly I tell people, “When you buy My photo, even if you get annoyed with Me, don't throw this photo. This photo is your faith. You should not allow that faith to waver.” This physical body is not important. Today it is here, tomorrow it may not be there. Your own faith will give you that Self confidence to go further and to follow the path sincerely and achieve. That is the most important thing to win the Grace of the Divine.

Question:

It means if I have a faith, faith in the name of Divinity or in the Divinity, the Grace is there for me all the time. If I have no faith, if I have faith on my intellect, then there is no Grace. Is it right?

Babaji:

Yes. Because when you want the Grace of the Divine you should not try to define the criteria, in which form it comes. Just like, when you want happiness from God, you should not define what is that happiness. Otherwise when the Divine wants to give you the supermarket, you will end up asking for a small chocolate. If you imagine, “If I have one million dollar I'll be happy and I will accept God as God only when God gives me one million dollars,” that criteria is wrong.

Question:

Yes, because every time we define God also, we define according to our intellect. Wherever my ego gets satisfied and whatever I want in my life, then only do I recognize the God also. But He doesn't need my recognition.

Babaji:

Yes. The Truth doesn't require any certificate for Its existence—It exists. So that's why we have to have that faith and surrender.

Question:

 

Should we not imagine at all about the Divine then?

 

Babaji:

 

Because the mind has gone out of control due to imagination, so you're using a highest form of imagination to make it more single-pointed. So then you are going to watch that imagination. They both cannot go together. You cannot eat the cake and have it too. If you keep thinking, you will never be able to become aware of That. You start thinking to motivate yourself, to go for that, become aware of That. So that's how we tell that the mind becoming quiet is the true worship actually, because the mind has no third way. Either it goes towards the Divinity, its Origin, or it is in this world when it is extrovert. That is the technology.

Question:

Guruji, when I was a dancer, it was classical ballet, it always seemed like I could never perfect it enough and so you were always striving. And it seems like in meditation this can happen too, where you're always striving. But is there a place where one's mind cannot be satisfied? Like someone can get stuck in that, not just being satisfied with everything that's happening…..?

Babaji:

One criteria is, the mind is looking for that Peace which it had enjoyed by remaining in its original Self that is the Divine. It is now searching for that. Until it finds that, there is going to be a desire of trying to become more and more perfect, more perfect; there is never satisfaction. So once this droplet becomes One with It, then that desire stops; there is no more need of anything, automatically it happens. So the mind when it itself does not exist, its desire is not going to exist. As long as there is a separation that agony is always going to be there.

Question:

So the desire can be healthy in the process?

Babaji:

Desire to achieve the happiness is healthier, but a desire of framing what is that happiness is the wrong thing we always try to do. So that is what this meditation is, you are trying to look for that happiness without imagining what it is. That is the technological criteria. So every time you want to know through your mind, you lose the distance, you stop there. You simply keep moving, keep moving. So that is the idea of this meditation—not to imagine anything; not to imagine what that happiness is.

Question:

Today You were discussing about the past life and everything. Then one question came into my mind. Like when we are inside the mother's womb, still our mind is there, but we don't know. Now, right now, I don't know what were the first five years of my life because I don't remember anything of that period. Why is it like that?

Babaji:

This is due to the development of the brain. You see, you are conscious of this world because you have that brain. That is how when the brain goes to sleep you become unconscious temporarily, but you are there, you will tell, “I was sleeping. I was unconscious”—that 'I' was still there.babaji_group_abbot_jan_2010 That is how the dreams also happen. When the brain is into the minimum activation that it is, it creates, produces the dream. Or else the unconsciousness happens because the mind is not yet purified, it has its imprints. So that's why when sleep happens to the brain, the mind is neither here nor there.  That is how in the mother's womb and even for the first few years you wouldn't have had the proper consciousness of the surroundings. It is to do with the brain. So these things do happen. And once through practice of meditation, sadhana, mind becomes totally purified, then you become aware of your Self and there is no need to be aware of the surroundings. So even when the brain dies, you don't become unconscious, you are aware of your Existence. This is what is experienced in deeper meditations as we go, go, go. It is a reverse journey, means, the mind which is now preoccupied with the consciousness of this world, surroundings and the body as 'me' starts losing this consciousness. But it does not become unconscious, you don't vanish or disappear. That existence consciousness is always there, you always exist. And as you go introvert, introvert, you are losing the consciousness of the body and surroundings, but you are aware of your Self existing. So this is what helps one to determine - perhaps, this is how the sages determined that the Soul is Immortal; it exists, it's an Eternal entity. So that's how it happens, means if it has to be aware of its Self, all its imprints needs to be cleansed. If it has to be aware of this world, brain has to be there. So when a Yogi's body is dropped, if the mind has no desires at all, then it becomes One with the Divinity.

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