Our three duties
Perth Tour Oct 2006 Day 3
With surrender and prostrations to the Lotus Feet of the Divine Guru Shivabalayogi.
May you all be blessed to go on the right path and achieve the highest things. Whenever we are doing anything we should aim for the highest; so if we are looking for happiness, we should look for full, complete happiness. If we are looking for peace, we should look for the Supreme Peace - where it is always present with no gap.
We sometimes speak of dharma. So many have tried to describe what it means - in the simplest way we would explain it as 'Duty'. In explaining religion I always speak of three duties. Having been born as a human being - such a rare and precious thing - we should not just aim for food to fill the belly. Every human being looks for happiness, peace. In this world when we struggle, when we try to get happiness, while we are still trying to solve one problem, ten more problems come up!
People fail to understand their duties and thus create difficulties. When we face difficult situations, the challenge is not to get too involved, the challenge is to still keep
the mind settled in a peacefulness. Then the situation might be the same - it could be at work, it could be a war - the challenge is to keep the mind at peace. Someone might be trying to hurt us even - but why should we lose our peace?
The first two of the three duties are not difficult to understand. The first duty is the keep the physical body as healthy as possible with right diet and exercise - this is neglected often. My brother commented beautifully, "Only we humans eat for taste over need."
The second duty - you have to look after the mind; for this, meditation is taught. No matter how often you hear about the need for meditation, it is still always useful to hear. There can be so many things that can be exciting in this world. In meditation also, many people talk about exciting things - like traveling here and there. Even as a child I was not amused by these things. I used to think, "Will the travel give us Peace?" …. so I was not very much interested.
The meditation is practiced so you can keep your mind totally under your control. Swamiji used to speak of meditation being for 'mind control'. Some people misunderstood - it is not done so I can control your mind; it is done so you can control your own mind. When your mind is going into wild imaginations, these situations are sometimes giving you happiness or sometimes giving unhappiness itself. This is not the natural state for the mind - your right is for it to be in peace. You simply have to de-hypnotize yourself from these imaginations which cause unhappiness. Even if you are not aiming to attain the Self, even if just living in this world, still you need Peace to be happy. Everyone in this world is looking only for this happiness and peace …….. at the age of 20 you are seeking it, at the age of 30 you are seeking it, at the age of 60 you are seeking it, at the age of 80 you are seeking it. So if you can achieve that, is that not the greatest thing you can attain? If you meditate you can achieve this Peace.
People have asked me, "Is it not selfish to sit in meditation like this?" so in reply, I ask them, "When you went to school - was that selfish? And when you go to work - is that selfish?" So meditation is not itself selfishness. When you succeed in attaining the Goal, then there is always ample opportunity to help others, perhaps. It would be selfish only if you wished others NOT to be happy. There is the story of the old lady in the village who had a hen which crowed and woke up everyone in the village every day. Once she became upset with the other villagers and left the village. She thought to herself, "Every day when the hen crows, the sun rises. So if I take the hen with me when I go, the sun will not rise here." So she went away and took the hen with her, to punish the other villagers. Well after six months she returned to the village and she was surprised to see the other villagers all working happily. They told her, "You foolish lady! It is not the hen which is causing the sun to rise. It is the Divine Play for the sun to rise each day."
You will always see with a genuine person, if they suddenly get $1000, they will think, "Who can I help with this?" In the same way, when you practice meditation it is not selfish; and if you attain the Goal, then you can help others. Also when you achieve that Goal, then the third duty becomes easy. The third duty is to behave in a righteous way in this world. To act in a righteous way in this world is the most difficult thing. We saw in the legends and also in the modern world, people who are seen as great but they still do not behave properly - because they do not control their mind. Swamiji would tell us, "This is an ashram - it's not now the royal home. So now so many people can come here. So you need to look after it. You have left your mother to come here - now you have to look after so many Mothers."
To behave properly you need mind control. So there is the old story about the pundit who told all the crowd who came to listen to him, "You should give away your possessions to others." So hearing this, his wife gave away all their possessions. The pundit was shocked and furious. "I didn't mean this for us - these teachings are for the others." So - often we have one set of rules for ourselves, and one for others.
It can be difficult to understand duty and the right path. In another great story about Lakshmana, the brother of Lord Rama, in the story, Yama the death-god made an appointment with Rama to remind him that the incarnation was coming to an end. Now Lakshmana was always obedient to his elder brother Rama.
Shri Rama ordered Lakshmana, "Stand at the gate and don't allow any disturbance while Lord Yama is here. Don't allow anyone to disturb us. If you allow anyone in, I will put you to death."
Now unfortunately Duvara Rishi came to see Rama. Duvara had a fierce temper and would simply curse people very easily. (when I was young, I always used to wonder in these stories how someone would still curse others after doing Tapas) Well when Duvara Rishi came and demanded to be taken to Lord Rama, Lakshmana - obeying his brother's orders - said he could not do that. Becoming furious, the rishi threatened that if he was not taken immediately to Rama, then he would curse the whole of Rama's clan. Lakshama thought to himself, "Now this sage is threatening to curse the whole clan if I don't take him to my Lord Rama, and on the other hand, Lord Rama will have me killed if I interrupt him. So if I allow the sage to interrupt Lord Rama, then at least only I will be killed." Being a great Realized soul, Lakshmana's mind was clear - he could see his duty for the larger cause. Because his mind was clear, he didn't think of himself but of the larger cause. Sri Krishna's life-story also shows a beautiful example of visualizing the larger cause. This greatest skill will come from practicing meditation. The mind will not be excited and will settle - a state of pragnya. Shri Krishna talks of the mind being absorbed into the Self, settled there permanently and being supremely contented. This contentment can only come this way. Swamiji used to say that loss of desires leads to contentment. So this should be the aim in meditation.
So many times saints have come; Yogis still have come. But still people are egoistic. Even people living with saints for years still don't learn. So this is the great, true aim of meditation. So we will offer initiation to you all now; we offer it freely - as a friend. There is no bondage in this. You can try for yourself and see if you find it beneficial.
Questions and Answers
Could You please explain why in this technique one does not repeat a mantra?
It is not necessary. The mind needs to learn to become quiet on its own. The use of a mantra is a preliminary exercise. The Ultimate Truth of the mind is God or the Self, so when the mind settles the consciousness goes back to there. If you wish to recite mantras, then recite them first and after that, go to meditation.
It is the aim of all sadhanas for the mind to become quiet. If the mind becomes quiet that is the real worship. When the mind is quiet then it automatically goes introverted towards God.
Question: Can You please speak a little on 'Joy'?
You want to enjoy, no matter what you do. When you attain peace, then you are happy and you enjoy whatever you do. This is a state of mind. Say you are eating something nice; then the mind feels joy because the mind stops there. The mind feels the enjoyment because of it stopping. But anything in this world is impermanent so the mind cannot stay in joy from the objects of this world.
If you repeat God's name, if the mind can then stop there, then there comes a joyousness. Any time the mind settles - stops on a thing - then joy comes. Peace and happiness - everyone is looking for this. It happens when the mind settles. If the mind is excited looking for things, then it cannot be happy.
A lot of saints seem to have gone through physical suffering. Do Enlightened Ones experience the pain?
For one that has attained, any time pain is in the body, the pain is there, but the attention is not much there on the pain. For the Yogi only the smallest amount of consciousness is on the mind so that the brain stays alive and thus the body stays alive. But the majority of consciousness is on God.
So thus in the story of the Ramayana when Lakshmana was wounded, Shri Rama cried. This is a very peculiar thing - it is an outer expression only; actually the Yogi Himself doesn't suffer.
How do we control the senses?
Through meditation, watching the mind. Also through austerities such as breathing exercises, singing bhajans and reading scriptures. Of these, meditation is the highest way.
Is the mind ultimately the only way to attain Mukti Marga?
Yes. But while that is true I don't think only by this method which we teach can it be done - not only by closing the eyes. Even when you are at work, if the mind is at peace and withdrawn and peaceful, then this is a form of meditation.
Likewise in bhakti marga - the devotional path - one's attention would be only on the deity. So this is also a form of meditation.
In karma yoga, if one acts with attention and accepts the results whatever they are, then the mind becomes quiet and this also is a form of meditation.
Isn't it difficult to attain meditation if one is not with the Guru all the time as You were? Being with the Guru one can ask questions of the Guru.
Though I was serving for 20 years, physically I was not with Him all the time. But I kept Him in my heart always. It is not by questions and answers that Self Realization will come. Faith and Devotion are more important.
If God or Guru come in a dream - is it real?
It is a good inspiration, but one still needs to practice sadhana and meditation. If such a thing happens, it may be that one has reached a higher state. But ultimately whatever mind's imaginations come - it is an illusion. God is not sitting somewhere like a person. God is everywhere, all-pervading. All other experiences other than this - they are not the Ultimate Truth.
At night I sometimes listen to music to settle the mind.
That is very good. Music can help settle the mind.
Can we also follow other methods as well as the dhyana you have shown us?
Yes, as long as you understand the basic idea is controlling the mind. The path may be slightly different, but the goal is always the same.
I read today that Thomas Jefferson said, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance". Could You please speak about his?
'Vigilance' means to be aware, be alert. In meditation you maintain the vigilance on the mind. For instance if you are watching a movie and you become involved in the movie, then you have lost our vigilance on your real Self.
Eternal vigilance is awareness? This leads to freedom?
If at all times one is aware of the Self, then this is the real freedom. If the mind is caught up in fears and so on, then you lose your freedom. When the mind settles there are no more fears or worries and one always has that freedom.
Question: You said Self Realization is beyond love and hatred. Is Divine Love the same as Peace?
Babaji: The Divine loves everyone. It is the same as Supreme Peace because Divine Love is without conditions. Human love on the other hand is conditional and with expectations. But it is not that way with Divine Love; in that there is no expectation.
Copyright © 2006 SRBY, All rights reserved.