The Threefold Path of Yoga
Perth, May 10th, 2005
Baba entered the hall, his long matted hair cascading over his broad shoulders, and making the hall seem like the sun had just risen inside. He performed aarathi to Swamiji, took His pranams, and began His address -
Ekam Nityam Vimalam Achalam
Sarvadhi Sakshi Bhutam
Bhava Teetam Triguna Rahitam
Sadgurum Tvam Namami
Offering my unconditional surrender and prayers at the Lotus feet of my beloved Guru Swamiji, Shivabalayogi, to grant refuge at His Lotus feet, and I pray to Him to inspire you all to undertake the right path towards spiritual truth. May He grant you real yearning for spiritual truth and make you able to adopt right methods to attain Self Realization. In this spiritual field, as in every field in the world these days, everyone is in a hurry to become Gurus, instead of trying to learn things to achieve the Truth. We need a yearning to get to the T8ruth and adopt the right attitude. Very often in meditation also, people when they get a little advanced in meditation, they can go into a blissful state. That can happen, but don't stop there. Peace is the recommended goal. Sometime ago I have explained bliss and peace. When bliss occurs, the mind is likely to get excited. This can happen when you achieve something in the world also - you feel excited and blissful. This same blissfulness is misunderstood as the goal of meditation. But since ancient times, the vedic sages have recommended Peace (Shanti) as the goal. This is a natural peace - the mind should be able to remain in the Peace effortlessly.
Actually it is not the mind's true nature to be wandering in the world like a monkey - the mind has lost it's own real nature. Really we should use the mind and apply it on the brain to work in the world, and then when your work is finished, the mind should go back to its origin, and remain in Peace. But it does not go back to its origin. It is in"Viyoga" - away from the original. "Yoga" means re-union of the mind back to its origin. "Viyoga" is when the mind is distracted away from original true state. That is why the path of spirituality is also known as the path of Yoga - reunion.
Yoga sadhana is a 3-fold path. Firstly we should look after the body by performing certain exercise and observing certain prescribed things to keep body as healthy as possible. The body has to be naturally healthy. But the body does have limitations. It is not in our hands to keep the body completely free of disease always, but as far as possible we shall try to keep the body healthy by doing exercise and looking after the food intake. The aim should be to generally not harm the body. The next part of the path is with the mind - the mind is supposed to be at peace in the Self, just like the Sun's rays in the Sun or the droplet of the ocean, resting in the ocean. But the mind is out of control - it is in constant imaginations. It has gone into wrong habits. It has gone an unnatural way - viyoga. This mind sadhana is the main section of Yoga on the spiritual path. We honour all the methods taught by the great Self Realized masters of the world which help you to control the mind, and help the mind recede to its original state. So many paths Shri Krishna taught in the Bhagavad Gita. He taught Karma Sadhana - the path of service. Live a worthy life ... that is what He taught - keep the mind in control under the original Yoga. Do your work simply as a duty, then the mind won't get agitated with the work. Then you will find the mind doesn't brood or get anxious. If you are doing a duty your mind is not supposed to go into agitation. It's your job, you simply do it. Just like when I am doing the mission work, I do it as a duty - not because I want fame or want a large following. Whoever comes in front of me and is ready to listen to me, then I will help them to practice, and guide them. Even if it's my own brother or sister I would be teaching them the same way. There are no conditions, no demands, no charge for my teaching. It can be anyone - a businessman, a student, anyone - all that is important is that you should have a yearning to know the spiritual truth. When you do work as a duty, it becomes Yoga Sadhana.
Like that 20 years in the ashram, every evening I did the bhajans and aarathi - it was my duty. I didn't bother how many people came. Whatever number came along I did what I had to do; whether twenty people came or two people came, or no people came. For very many days, I had one mentally retarded boy with me and I taught him to play and hold a particular note on the harmonium, and then I would play the dholak while I sang bhajans. For 20 years it was a sadhana - my duty - my God was there, my Guru was there. If my Guru was there physically I sang; if He wasn't there, I did it. I did my duty and did the sadhana. When I did this, the mind became peaceful. So all the work in life should be done like this; simply go ahead with the life you have chosen. So my Guru didn't prescribe sadhana other than 'meditate' - just one hour a day and the rest of the time you just live your life. He said if you practice meditation, you will become better in all aspects of your life.
Bhakti Marga, the path of devotion, also has it's own rules - Surrender, Devotion, Faith. Every human mind has emotions, so if all the thousands of thoughts are trapped into one single thought, one emotion, one faith, then the mind becomes focused. We must live for what we believe and die for what we believe. We have one God, one Guru, and do not give up the faith even if it means death - never give up. Just like a tiger who would die of starvation, rather than eat grass. We simply say, "We will do this," and then go ahead. I did this and because of this, meditation was very easy for me, because the mind had already learnt to be quiet.
The third path is the Moral Yoga Sadhana. My Guru used to say, "First become a better human being, then afterwards you can become an angel or god." We should be considerate to each other, forget and forgive.... so many noble qualities exist. If we can behave like a perfect human being, that is Yoga Sadhana. Sometimes you might have heard people calling others as behaving like an animal - instead of that, behave like a perfect human being. With meditation it will be easier to do. If we are behaving in a natural way, that is Yoga. If we are behaving in an unnatural way, that is viyoga. So adopt faith and inner strength and look ahead for the inner target. If we get distracted in meditation, with the mind thinking, "What is happening?" again and again, then the mind gets distracted from the target. Then we get stuck in the path and we cannot progress in that path. So when we do things as a duty, then the mind settles.
Even after my Tapas, I still follow this - Just simply go ahead and do my duty, and do not worry about what others say. I just go ahead and do what I have to do for the Mission - as a duty.
We need to be careful of the ego - as an example, I will tell you a story.
Once an old lady who lived in a village had a hen, and every morning it used to crow and wake up everyone in the village and the villagers all knew it was morning and the whole day's activities would start up. One day the old lady got angry with the people in the village, and so decided to punish them. She thought, "If I take the hen away, then they will not know when the day has started, and so they will all just stay asleep and their lives will be ruined." So she took the hen away thinking that if it didn't crow, then there will be darkness in the village all the time. For six months she stayed away, and was thinking there was darkness in the village always. After six months she went back to the village, to see if they had learnt their lesson. She was so surprised to see that their life was simply going on as usual. She went to one of the men of the village and asked if someone else had bought a hen to enable the village to start up each morning. The man replied, "How foolish you are. Morning happens anyway, with or without your hen being here." That is ego. We think that because of me, this and that things happen; but actually it is God that does everything.
I am grateful my Divine Guru has given me this role to play in the cosmic drama; and I am happy that every one of you has come here this evening.
All that is needed is, look after your mind; then it will recede, and you will see God within you. You will see your true Self within you and you will see peace within you. Peace is what you really want. Knowledge you also want, but this knowledge cannot be acquired from books. The real Jnani is IN the knowledge; so the sloka describes Him as "Kevalam Jnanamurtim" - He is the personification of Knowledge.
The Guru teaches and gives you the hint to the path; but ultimately you have to take up the path and DO it. Never believe in this world that anybody else can do it for you. Even Guru or God cannot do it for you; but they can guide and inspire you. It is difficult to analyze who is the real Guru - only the Divine can lead you to the real Guru. Once someone asked Swamiji, "Who is the real Guru?" and He replied, "The real Guru is He who will help the student to stand on his or her own two feet."
If you practice and adopt the methods you will know the supreme Truth, the supreme God, you will find Supreme Peace - within you.
People sometimes ask why the mind is dragging us towards the world. The illusion of the world is very powerful. It sucks the mind into the world. But YOU are much stronger - it is possible for you, just as it was for me. If you make up your mind, you can do it. Pray to your God and Guru to give you strength and to inspire you. Our mind magnifies the problem and terrifies us. If we think too much of the problem, we can be overwhelmed by it. We imagine it to be bigger than it really is. Face the challenge and see what happens. Meditation may appear like a difficult task in the beginning, but with practice it will be easy to do. Though it is difficult, it is not impossible. So many of you now can sit still for 45 minutes or longer. How did this happen? - by PRACTICE. So practice, practice, practice. The first day you sat for 45 minutes of meditation it might have been awful, but over time it becomes easier. If you practice you will win this. I will always pray for you that my Divine Guru Shivabalayogi's Grace will favour you. Time is precious, everything is important. One must always be yearning for the Truth. Do it now - this moment is yours.
My Divine Guru sent me so many obstacles and troubles in my life. I thank the Guru for all these, because they were part of making me stronger, more refined. He was so kind. If he was not so kind, He would have left me in this world. He is so kind even now; He keeps teaching me lessons. He sends His agents to teach me still. My life is full of lessons and every moment He is protecting me.
God is always with you. Ultimately it is definitely guaranteed all of you will get it one day. Have faith in your Self, in the Guru, and in God. Practice and have faith, and you will achieve it.
Questions and Answers
Question: Baba, in Your previous talks You have described the mind as a tape and the brain as a tape-recorder. Can You please talk more about that?
Babaji: The mind is your own conscious energy. The brain is a physical organ in your body. Which came first? - The mind exists and is active because of the brain; and the brain exists and is active because of the mind.
The mind catches all the scenes, like in a movie, and the brain reflects those. Because of the brain only, you are conscious of the universe. It processes and reflects the imprints and these reflections are caught by the mind. When did it all start? - There is no firm answer for that.
The mind gets habits, which in India we call samskaras. These imprints are carried to the next life, and the strength and type of these, causes the next life. Meditation clears these imprints of the mind and reflections in the brain, so the mind goes towards God.
When you sit to meditate, the mind gets absorbed into the brain and the brain's tape recorder decodifies these imprints, plays and erases them - this clears the mind's imprints, and they evaporate. So while this process is going on, you need to have patience.
We tell you to not analyze these thoughts as they occur, so that the mind doesn't pick up new habits and imprints. Otherwise it becomes like the hen and the egg - one comes from the other, and so on. So do the sadhana, and then you will withdraw the mind, without harming the brain.
Unnatural methods like alcohol and drugs, suppress the brain's functioning, so the mind simply gets kicked off from the brain. This can feel like bliss, but in the process, the blood and brain's health is affected, so these methods are not recommended.
This is the secret technology of meditation.
Question: If I focus and concentrate, the area starts to throb. Do you focus at the blackness inside the closed eyelids, or focus up at the third eye?
Babaji: In the beginning, if it is difficult for both eyeballs to come to this point between the eyebrows, you might try to look at the front portion, straight ahead, without saying it is the blackness of the inside of the eyelids - remember I said not to analyze. Then slowly the eyeballs will come together in time. If you see light or visions or anything, then simply focus on that and the eyeball's vision will come together.
Question: What helps to sustain one during the hardships one encounters in meditation?
Babaji: You get sustained by the first resolution - that you NEED this. Just as you require food for the body, and you'll endure anything to get it. Then it is the same way in meditation - when you realize that you NEED this.
Question: Can You please speak about the chakra energy systems?
Babaji: This chakra system is a terminology used in ancient times to discuss the rise of the kundalini energy. I'll try to explain.
The kundalini is nothing but a part of the soul's conscious energy which has gone out into the body, in the same way as the mind has gone out into the world. This gives us the body consciousness.
Sadhana is taught to control the mind, because the kundalini is less powerful than the mind. So if the mind is controlled first, then it draws up the kundalini, and as the kundalini rises, it passes through various chakras, each with its own name - Muladhara, and so on. At the Sahasrara Chakra situated at the top of the head, the mind and kundalini become one, and the mind is then delinked from the brain. This happens just before Samadhi.
But the sadhak should not worry too much about these things, as all these things distract the mind and can simply build up more new imaginations in the mind. If you bring back the mind to its source, this will all happen by itself.
Question: Could You please discuss the concept You mentioned of "Knowledge Personified"?
Babaji: When you reach that stage, you do not remain a separate entity from the knowledge. Usually the knowledge one has about something, is like holding a chocolate in your hand. You may describe it in great detail, but you still don't know its taste. In the same way, people may think that if they read scriptures about God, they will know; but if you experience IT, you become ONE with IT.
Yoga does this. When I wanted to know myself, this " I " vanished and only one single Self exists. If the intelligence is used to try to know something - the intelligence is a very small thing.
Sri Ramakrishna used to tell a story about two brothers who were sent by their father to a Self Realized Master to learn about God. When they came back, he asked the first son, "What have you learnt?" The son spoke at great length about all the things he had read and heard, and all the slokas he could recite. His father said, "Oh, you don't know anything."
Then when he asked the second son, that son simply remained quiet. So the father said, "Oh good, you know a little of it."
If you want the knowledge, you must experience the truth.
Swamiji used to say, "You have to experience the Truth." As a student, I didn't know much. Now as a Yogi, I can know something of why He did what He did with us. To know, to understand a Yogi, you have to become a Yogi.
Question: Can you practice this technique of meditation with the eyes open?
Babaji: I would not recommend it. Perhaps just for a little time in the beginning, but not for too long. For instance, you might find that some dust particles come into the eyes, and could damage the eyes. I myself did very, very briefly. For instance before going to sleep at night, I would look at Swamiji's photo for a little while, then close my eyes and sleep.
Copyright © 2005 SRBY, All rights reserved.