The world is as you have imagined it
Perth, May 2005
The public program held on the fourth day of Baba's tour in Perth, Australia was held at a yoga centre in Fremantle, south of Perth. The centre was opened many years ago by Swami Venkatesananda, who had been a direct disciple of Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh. Baba entered the yoga hall as devotees sang Swamiji's aarathi, offered pranams to Swamiji and took His place on the dais. Reciting the Guru Pranam Sloka, He then followed:
Offering my unconditional surrender at the Lotus feet of my beloved Guru, Shivabalayogi, and pranams to all the Great Realized Souls of the universe. I am very happy to be here this evening in this ashram of such a great saint - Swami Sivananda. I remember in 1977, while a student of my Guru, Shivabalayogi, that Swami Ventakesananda came to the ashram to visit Swamiji. I recall I was surprised when he met me, that Swami Ventakesananada greeted me by saying that he had heard of me, and said, "I am happy to meet you. I see that like my Guru, you are a descendant of the great sage Ayyappa Dikshitar." I was surprised as to how he knew that without me mentioning it, as I had not introduced myself in such a way.
Greetings to you all here this evening.
My Guru, Shivabalayogi, in 1961, after twelve gruelling years of Tapas emerged to bring His message into the world. He was perhaps one of the greatest Yogis of India. During His Tapas, which He started in 1949, at the tender age of only 14 years old, He was in Samadhi up to 20 to 22 hours a day. Other boys at this age are playing and unaware of spiritual things. Swamiji, Himself had no inkling before He started His Tapas, that He would become a great Yogi. Simply He was playing in the paddy fields with His friends and was trying to squeeze the juice from one fruit, when suddenly the great Omkara sound - the Om sound - began to come from the fruit. The fruit was transformed into a Shivalingam, and then from this Shivalingam, there emerged a Jangama sage who made Him sit into Tapas, a deep meditative Samadhi.
From childhood He had always been honest and a hard worker. He was totally determined and always finished His tasks. Anything He started, He finished. For ordinary people it will take many years or maybe many lives, but from the beginning He started sitting more than 10 hours at a stretch, focusing between the eyebrows. He simply obeyed what His Guru had commanded; "Focus, don't worry about anything else." During His twelve years there were so many obstacles and tests. His life itself is a great message for the sadhak - someone who does sadhana. I always feel so blessed to be the student of such a great Master.
Sadhana is your efforts to achieve something. Dedication, Discipline and Patience - these were the great mantras He taught us. My Guru used to say, "Time is so precious. If one moment is lost, it will not come back." So do not waste this time. Utilize every moment. Apply your will and do meditation. You have to take time and do it as a sadhana. These moments can't be brought to a stop. Once they are gone, they're gone. You have to offer yourself - just like you have taken time to come here tonight to listen to Baba. Today you are here listening to Baba - that is dedication. Without dedication, one takes it easy and makes so many excuses for not doing the sadhana. You must take the sadhana seriously.
One needs to be disciplined - body, mental, manners and every way - if you want to achieve something. At His lotus feet, Swamiji used to say that you must be disciplined if you want to learn something. You have to learn to surrender and accept whatever you get. Like a horse - its eyes will be covered on the sides to have a narrow view straight in front - in the same way, you need to keep your eyes on the target. Even when I was in Bangalore in the beginning, my only aim was, "I want Swamiji." Similarly, when I went to the temple, I didn't allow any distractions - I just wanted to see the deities - I was not interested in the surroundings. When you come to the ashram or temple, be yourself as a devotee - as a devotee, a disciple, a student; not as a businessman, an officer and so on - only then you can learn things properly. When you expect other things you won't get mental peace. You will have to surrender - be ready to undertake sadhana. Don't waste your time with futile expectations and other futile gossips.
Adjust to the circumstances. Learn to manage with whatever you get. Swamiji never spoke of scriptures much. He talked from His own experiences. One particular scripture He advised me to read was Yoga Vasishta. This is the Yoga taught to Shri Rama by sage Vasishta. When Shri Rama and his brother Lakshmana went on a tour of the kingdom, Rama came back and was very withdrawn. Just at that time, sage Vishwamitra came and wanted Rama and Lakshmana to come to his ashram to protect a fire sacrifice that he was performing. Their father, Emperor Dasaratha said, "They are very young to do this. I will send my whole army, and come myself." But sage Vishwamitra said, "No, I only want Shri Rama and Lakshmana. Sage Vasishta added, "Don't doubt their strength, send them."
Then Emperor Dasaratha answered, "I'm also worried about Rama. Ever since he has come back, he has become dejected, he is not eating properly, not smiling; he is quiet and sits in the corner." Vasishta said, "I will speak to Shri Rama." In his discussion, Shri Rama expresses his doubts about life and death, and why there is unhappiness in the world. He says that we need to eat to sustain the body, but even then, it will still die; if we don't eat, also it will die - so what is the purpose of all this?
Vasishta talks to him and explains about the mind's imagination. The world is as you have imagined it. If you imagine it as unhappy, then the world is unhappy. If you imagine it as happy, then it is happy. It appears as you have trained your mind to see it. If you train the mind you will know about the existence of the world.
From childhood I myself wanted to know about the existence of the world, I was fascinated by the idea of death. The song Bhaja Govindam mesmerized me, "When death shall claim this body, then neither wealth, status, or anything of this world will save you. So before death takes you, sing the glories of God." So much time is wasted seeking money and fame. And so we have to come again and again, and again and again be born in the womb of a mother.
I used to think we can't be truly independent. We have to work to get food to sustain our bodies in this world. We have to do all the mundane things such as sleep - if the brain is sleepy, we have to sleep then and there - there is no choice. So we cannot be truly independent.
Just like when you are watching a movie, the mind gets sucked into it and experiences it as though it is real. You experience the fear, sorrow, and even can get excited like you are the hero of the movie. Actually you are not involved in the movie - physically or biologically. It is simply because of your attention. In the same way, the mind absorbs wherever you are and in the process loses its happiness and peace. The mind starts brooding...as if it is happening to you. We get absorbed into the movie scene because of the power of attention. When you sit for meditation, the mind becomes quiet, and when it is quiet, it is peaceful, and in the process so many benefits also happen.
As human beings we need to know the benefits first - just like a businessman doing his business deals. Nobody can assure whether you can become a emperor or a billionaire or not, but I guarantee for sure that this will give you happiness and peace - which is what we all want.
Patience was the other great mantra of our Guru. These days we want everything to happen instantaneously - even if it takes five minutes, that is no good. But have patience. So it is said, "Patience pays rich dividends." Every time I talk about this, because the mind has gone out of control and we need to bring it back. For how long it has been out of control we can't know. If a cloth has become very dirty it takes a very long time and a lot of patience to wash it clean. In the same way, the mind is tricky, slippery and infinite, and always out in the universe somewhere. So you need patience to bring it back. And so when Lord Krishna tells Arjuna to have control of the mind, Arjuna himself says, "You have shown Jnana and Bhakti and Karma as paths to God consciousness. But I can see that the mind is very slippery."
Even an elderly gentleman we have known for some time came and was talking, and said that though he is retired and has no commitments, still when he sits for meditation his mind does not keep quiet - it will not retire. Even to recognize this as a problem is an achievement. Swamiji used to say we have three main responsibilities - body, mind and morals. And of these the mind is the slipperiest. The mind has become too much attached to the world. It has put too much consciousness into the world - there is no need for so much attention to the world. This is the power of attention, and it is this attention that we utilize in meditation. You can sit in your own home and do the meditation - no need to go to the forest. If you are driving a car, then it must be controlled or it will be a problem to yourself and to others. If you lose your temper, you become a danger to yourself and to others, simply because the mind has gone out of control. That is when we become dangerous. If a person becomes selfish, he or she becomes dangerous.
My Guru was very unique. He respected all religions and all types of sadhana. He would say, "If you are doing any other sort of sadhana such as japa, singing bhajans and so on, then continue to do it. No problem. You can still do this method of meditation - there is no harm. In initiating you there is no binding." Swamiji said, "If you like, you can take this as offered by a friend. That is enough." You can be of any religion or faith - there is no conflict. Any help or guidance that you require, then I am here genuinely to help.
I am here on my eighth visit to Perth, on the invitation of our children and the management of the centre here. Particularly I come for people who are interested in sadhana - genuinely interested. My Guru used to say to just give short talks. You can only give clues to the Truth.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Question: With this technique of meditation, will it take you through the 8 levels of jhana meditation?
Babaji: With this technique, there is no need to worry about different stages. It is all taken care of automatically.
Question: Can You give any clue or hint as to how we can recognize our thoughts as imaginations?
Babaji: Whatever is in the mind is only imaginations. Because the mind exists only when it imagines! The pure existence of the Self is peaceful. Anything else is imaginations - because the mind cannot exist without thoughts. The only real experience is peace. But the mind cannot remain even on one thought. It constantly recognizes and makes judgments.
When all this stops, then you experience your Existence.
Question: Please explain the path of service.
Babaji: This is called karma yoga. Normally whatever we do, we do for ourselves. When we try to serve God and Guru, still there can be the thought of "I am doing this". So on the path of service we must be careful about false pride. When doing service then surrender is very important - do it simply as a duty, with no expectations. The mind will not allow you to do anything except that it is always expecting. But we need to lose these expectations. Along the path, we eventually even need to lose the desire for liberation - then liberation itself can occur. Service can be in any form, but you need to lose pride and ego. When I first came to the ashram in Dehra Dun, I thought I would be simply meditating most of the time, but my Guru taught me to be ready to do anything in the ashram...clean toilets, office work, or whatever. Do it as a duty, with no expectation. Keep on doing things as you are told to, without questioning. The best service we can do is, do it without expecting. No need to ask God for anything - He will automatically give. There is no need to have expectations. God gives everything. Serve everyone as God; then you will see God everywhere. Always offer service to God. Baba is able to love everyone because Baba sees God in everyone. Surrender and service go together - when you are ready to serve you must surrender.
Question: Can you give any clues on integrating peace into our busy lives?
Babaji: When you meditate, through meditation, the mind recedes. When you get up from the meditation, the mind will remain calm. You'll be able to use the mind more effectively and you can control the mind. If you meditate then the mind automatically gains that ability. So you can use meditation as the blanket remedy to be used in the everyday life.
Question: Could You please speak about shame?
Babaji: To do a wrong thing is a shameful act. But it can be difficult sometimes to tell what is a shameful act. Generally an act which harms one either physically, mentally or morally is considered a shameful act. It can be easy to see a physical harm, and even mental. The ancient sages said that the mind can take different shapes - kama (greed), krodha (anger), moha (attachment), lobha ( excessive stingeiness), matsarya ( jealousy), madha ( false pride). Whenever the mind gets too much into any of these shapes, your own mind is the first casualty. When this happens there is moral damage. We humans are selfish - we have one set of rules for us and another for others. When moral values are lost we commit shameful acts. Be considerate about others - if you want to be happy, then others also want to be happy too. Greed and hatred makes us selfish, and we commit shameful acts and destroy others - we should be careful about our own minds so as not to become greedy.
Question: Baba, You mentioned Ayyappa Dikshitar in Your talk. Can You tell us anything of His life story please?
Babaji: Ayyappa Dikshitar was one of the 64 ancient great saints of Tamil Nadu. I have not read much about Him, but I can recall one or two incidents that I heard from my mother. There was one incident in which He was going to perform a fire sacrifice and in this particular fire sacrifice, it involved animal sacrifice. This made Him very sad that the animals should be killed like this. But Lord Shiva appeared to Him and told Him, "Don't be sad at this. These souls are to liberated in this way, so don't be sad". A second story is that He built a temple, but in the sanctum sanctorum, the centre of the temple where the deity is usually placed, He placed a mirror, so when people came in front of the sanctum sanctorum, they saw themselves, meaning "God is within you."
Copyright © 2005 SRBY, All rights reserved.