The intent behind the action is important
Perth, May 12th 2005
The second to last evening program in Perth began when Baba entered the hall, lighting up the whole area. He performed aarathi to Swamiji, and began His address singing Om Brahmanandam Paramasukhadam... the Guru Pranmam sloka from the Guru Gita.
Prostrations again and again at the Lotus Feet of my beloved Guru. Greetings to you all. One more day and then my visit here will be coming to an end. I appreciate your yearning for spiritual truth. During the question sessions there have been several questions on human life and how precious it is. Once someone asked Swamiji, "What is salvation?" Swamiji replied, "Retirement and peaceful settlement." Well, at the end of our life everyone wants to retire, but they also want to be at peace. As long as we are in the world, we get dualities such as good / bad, right / wrong. But if one becomes tired of all this, then the recommended goal is to get rid of it all. This has been explained since ancient times as not meaning we have to run away to the forest or die.
My Guru used to say, "This human life is so rare and precious. If you are having difficulties and imagine so about your own life, then you will experience even more difficulties. You may be delayed in getting a perfect body, let alone a human body." Usually we don't discuss these sorts of things because it can create more unnecessary imaginations in the mind, but here we will just touch on it. The karmas we talk about are actually the mind's imprints, and these make the jivatma mind get involved in this world. If, in this life, a person behaves like a beast, being greedy, troubling others, snatching from others...then next time he would have to live as a beast. So human birth is very rare and is a chance to cleanse the mind. Meditation is one of the strongest ways of tuning into God, thereby cleansing the mind. The mind tends to get sucked into illusions. So practice meditation and keep in the company of noble people and saints. A Yogi, even with his eyes open, is tuned to God. So how can we get rid of these karmas, other than meditate?
In this world it can be very difficult to decide right from wrong. Firstly your actions should not harm your physical body. More importantly, your actions should not harm the mind. In performing actions, your intention is important. Even in going to the temple, your intention is important. If you go to a supermarket but you don't have any money, then you can't buy anything. In the same way, if you go near a saint but your mind is not receptive, you won't absorb anything.
I always saw Sri Krishna as a great teacher in this regard. He showed in His life, that even if one were lying, if the intent was good, then it may be OK. If a soldier's intent is not to harm the enemy, but to defend the motherland, then his killing the enemy is not murder. So in the court of judgment, intent is important. There is a great difference between a planned murder and defending oneself, which ends in a loss of life. Even in the legends, in the same way one comes across demonic characters who do Tapas to acquire powers. When they do the Tapas, gods do come and give them boons, but if the intent in acquiring the boon is bad, then when the boon is granted there is always a trap hidden within in it. Even when you invoke a god, your intent must be clear and clean.
Just like Hiranyakashipu, he performed ferocious Tapas, but he did it to acquire powers. Reading these stories always made me feel sad, that these people could have put that same effort into attaining Self Realization. In his case when the god came to grant the boon, he asked that he not be able to be killed, and he put in all sorts of conditions, to try to protect himself and to try to cheat God. He asked that he not be able to be killed by a god or a beast or a man, during neither day or night, neither inside nor outside, by no weapon, neither on the ground nor in the sky. Finally at the end of the story, Narasimha formed from one of the pillars of the palace, and he had the head of a lion and the body of a human. Hiranyakashipu's son Prahlada, who was a great devotee of God, begged him, "Even now, pray for forgiveness, and you can attain salvation." But Hiranyakashipu was too proud. Narasimha picked him up and carried him to the doorstep, at dusk, and holding him on his knee, pierced his chest with his claws and so killed him, even though all the safeguards he had put into the boon were still satisfied. He tried to cheat God, but in the end, he was still killed.
The moral of this is that the purpose, the intent, behind an action is important. When we meditate, our purpose must be clear. In today's society, so many do meditation to achieve powers and so on. I tell you the greatest miracle is Peace. You need to regain the consciousness of the real Self. In the Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna tells Arjuna, "No weapon can kill you because you are the Immortal Soul." So it is important to clearly understand the aim and target of meditation. When we practice, we should understand what we are aiming for.
In another legend there was an asura ( a demonic personality ) who performed Tapas and obtained the power that whoever he touched on the head, was instantly burnt to ashes. He troubled everyone and in his arrogance he finally came to attack Lord Shiva. The story goes that Lord Vishnu came to him, and started teaching him to dance. In the process of dancing, the asura touched his own hand to his head, and so was instantly turned to ashes. So the moral is, the intention in an action is important.
I saw during my Tapas, that God tests one - perhaps offering many followers, or that I don't need my Guru anymore. But through the Divine Grace and the training of the Guru, I answered, "I simply want to be at His Lotus Feet." Again, the intention was important. Because of intention only, we go into good or bad karmas.
Finally when we come to our final birth, the Yogi will find that everything is seen as a blessing. So when Swamiji was scolding me and pulled me up, I still always felt His blessings. Intention is very, very important. When you sit for meditation, it is for clearing the mind. Everything else - visions, travelling in space, and so on - they are ultimately illusions. Just like in a dream, they appear real - you feel you are really in it. In a dream you may feel that it goes on for several years, or that you travel a long distance, but when you wake up, it all simply goes away. Visions tell us something of the status of the mind. Just like when you are awake, if you are experiencing greed or jealously, then it tells us that there is something wrong.
My Guru suggested, "Don't concentrate on finding the faults of others. First find your own faults - those who can find their own faults are Mahapurushas ( great souls )." If we can rectify our own faults, then we can progress towards the Divinity. By paying too much attention to other's faults, we don't pay attention to finding our own faults - we cover up our own faults. Human beings' other great fault is to justify their actions. Our minds get involved and so we find we have to justify what we have done.
Be careful. This world is a trap for the mind. We have to live in this world, just like the tongue has to live in the midst of 32 teeth. It has to be alert, cunning, so it doesn't get hurt. Also you will see that the tongue doesn't keep anything for itself - it passes everything on. It passes good things on to the stomach, and it passes bad things out of the mouth completely. So you can live in this world, just don't get attached; then one is released, and attains Liberation.
When we do an action, consider the wider cause - it should be noble, let everybody benefit. And so you will see that in the prayers from ancient times, for instance Loka Samastaa Sukinho Bhavantuâ, we pray for the well being of everyone - then your own well being is included. Every creature can live happily, if they will learn to live for each other. But so many Avatars and Yogis have come, and we are still no better. So test the intent of your actions, and only if they pass that test, then we should go ahead. This is what meditation is for - to help us be aware.
When I am away, look for me in your heart. Regularly practice until you get that Peace. Nothing else should be your aim.
That Peace is your birthright. Do not settle for anything else.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Question: Baba, when trying to practice meditation, it is sometimes difficult to focus the eyes at the brikhuti. How important is that?
Babaji: It is very important to hold the eyeballs still. If that can be achieved, then instantly the mind withdraws, and is held, and eventually it becomes introverted. Visual education is a very good way of attracting the mind. You can compare your attention when things are simply talked about with when they are acted out in a drama. If the story of Baba's life is simply told to you, or if the same thing is shown as a movie, your attention will be much greater to the movie. Vision is one of the strongest media to grab the mind's attention, and then concentrate the mind.
Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras, himself says that the movement of the eyeballs is one of the 4 obstacles to Samadhi. Those obstacles are bodily movement, movement and rhythm of the breath, movement of the eyeballs and the mind itself.
If you find it difficult in the beginning, then you might like to try to look at the front portion, then the vision will slowly come closer, and eventually come together at the vanishing point - the third eye.
Question: Can music help with concentration, to go into meditation?
Babaji: Yes, it can be helpful if one has the temperament to listen. Ultimately you need to go beyond, but initially, for a short time, it can be useful. But it should not be violent music, it should be soothing.
Question: In the legends, there are mentions of people being granted boons. Are these manifestations actually real?
Babaji: Yes - they are as real as this Illusion is real. When one does Tapas, this automatically comes. In Tapas, the concentration of the mind develops such that if the mind resolves anything, it will happen. The mind itself gains this ability. But these powers should not be used to increase one's power or hurt people. If they are used like that, then you will lose Self Realization. In Tapas I saw this happening and had to withdraw the mind and keep it settled.
Question: Are these boons, the same as siddhis?
Babaji: Siddhi means achieving something. They are sometimes called occult powers, but they are not advisable to use.
Question: How do we stand back and not get involved in the world?
Babaji: Through meditation, the mind gets quieter. You may find that before you have done much meditation, the mind may get disturbed. It is best to think of it as prarabdha karma - destiny. Later you will find that you simply let things come and go.
Question: When I experience wrong feelings such as anger, jealousy and similar things, I find that if I call them wrong, they get stronger. So in meditation, should I just watch them, or is that involvement?
Babaji: Yes, during meditation you should just watch. It means they are evaporating. If you start thinking at that time, and start making judgments, then the mind gets involved and absorbs further new imprints.
Question: I haven't done much meditation. How should I do it, and will it make me more intuitive?
Babaji: Use this method which we have initiated you into. Sit comfortably, focus your sight and mind between the eyebrows, do not repeat any name or mantra. If any thought occurs, just watch it. You should do this for 45 to 60 minutes every day.
If you practice meditation, the right type of intuition will develop. Otherwise the mind can go into wrong things, and takes simple imaginations as intuition.
Question: Why did the ancient sages seek isolation to do Tapas?
Babaji: Some did and some didn't; it depends a lot on the individual temperament. In the present day, one needs to encourage and inspire the student - the teacher cannot simply force them. No need to say or teach that you need to go to the forest and so on. The Guru will have to see the temperament of the student. It is simply a choice of a way of life. One can do Tapas even in the house. Some sages in ancient times remained in the town or even married. Sage Vyasa was married though his son Shuka Maharishi stayed a bachelor. There are no hard and fast rules, it depends on what God wants.
Question: Can you explain the difference between Yogis, Rishis and Sadhus?
Babaji:A Yogi can be said to be the state that is the highest. A Yogi is in total re-union with God. A Sadhu or saint is simply a mild, peaceful person who thinks of God. The terms Rishi or Maharishi are used depending on the tapas performed. Paramahamsa is the same as Yogi.
In Yoga Vasishta, it is said that once a person has become a Yogi, then they are equal to God. They can even be worshipped by others. Such a person sees one single Self everywhere.
Question: Baba, could you please speak about Swamiji's Mahasamadhi?
Babaji: In the last two or three years of His life here on this earth, His physical body fell ill. In 1990 His plane landed in Kuwait on a return from a tour, just at the time that Iraq had invaded Kuwait. So He was held up there for about 25 days, and the plane couldn't fly out. The Indian government offered to fly Him out specially, but He refused unless the other people on the flight were also flown out. In 1991 His kidneys caused trouble, though He continued to give Darshan. Sometimes He would have to finish the dialysis session and then come out to give Darshan to the crowds that came.
In 1994 He went to Adivarapupeta, and used to continue the dialysis sessions at the nearby town of Kakinada. He stayed there some time, and then He dropped His physical body. He was in hospital at the time that His physical body was dropped.
Sometimes we might have the imagination that a Yogi needs to specially sit down and then drop the body in a sort of procedure, but really there is no need. A Yogi is always in the state of stitha pragnya - stable.
Question: Is His physical body enshrined?
Babaji: Yes, it was kept in the ground under a Mahasamadhi Mandir at Adivarapupeta. Hence He was born in Adivarapupeta, performed His Tapas there and also attained Mahasamadhi there. Next to the mandir, there is a Shiva and Parvati temple in which He had previously installed the idols. The Shivalingam was brought from the nearby Narbada River, and there is an idol of goddess Parvati.
Every year Baba goes there for Mahashivaratri.
In 1993 when Swamiji was in the Bangalore ashram I saw Him there. Again even after dialysis, He would go to give Darshan. He didn't want to disappoint the people who came to have His Darshan. He was always smiling. He said, "I am not going away anywhere. I am always in your heart."
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