Faith and Devotion are necessary.
October 2005 Tour - Sunshine Coast Day 4
Ekam Nityam Vimalam Achalam
Sarvadhi Sakshi Bhutam
Bhava Teetam Triguna Rahitam
Sadgurum Tvam Namami
Once again taking the opportunity to offer my unconditional surrender and prostrations at the Lotus Feet of my beloved Guru Shivabalayogi, I welcome you all. May you all be blessed. May the Divine Luck be showered on you all.
We should think about those great people who lived in ancient times, the rishis -the seers - who were not interested in status, and simply considered each other. They lived as great emperors because they were totally contented. They established ashrams which were like a kingdom in themselves - where there was no fighting, where everyone's aim was the Ultimate Spiritual Truth. 'Ashram' means a place where one can take out time from all mental stress.
My Guru stressed that one should not rush to become a Guru; one should be a sincere disciple first. Because on this path, the Divine will test you for sincerity at every step. This sincerity itself is the criterion for eligibility for this path. In answering a question on one previous evening, I told the story of the Pandavas, and as many here tonight are new, I shall tell that story again.
In those days there was a vow that people sometimes took when their worldly responsibilities had been fulfilled. They simply walked, totally concentrating on the Divine, and went on walking until their physical body dropped. Perhaps this sounds very extreme in today's time, but in those days people could nobly perform this. So after Shri Krishna dropped His physical body, the Pandava brothers enthroned their grandson Parikshit and set off walking towards the Himalayas. They went on walking and walking and then first their wife Draupadi dropped and then one by one the brothers dropped also. Finally only the eldest brother Yudhishthira was left and he walked on until he reached the gates of heaven. Now all along a dog had faithfully followed him. As he was about to enter heaven, the gatekeeper said, "You can enter, but not this dog." To this Yudhishthira replied, "This dog has followed me faithfully all this time. Without this dog I won't go in." When he made this declaration, suddenly the dog changed into the form of Lord Yama Dharmaraja, saying, "This was a test of your piety, trustworthiness and nobility."
The story's significance is that the dog is the most faithful creature (not humanity, unfortunately). The meaning of this is that it is only your karma, your dharma which follows you in the end. Beautifully it follows - without jealousy or anger it follows - whether it is 'good' karma or 'bad' karma, still it simply follows. In my talks I speak sometimes of 'the acquired habits of the mind' - these are the karmas. You see, when you do something, the input of that activity settles into the mind. So like this, Shri Krishna says, "When you do sadhana it is to purify the mind."
In the beginning of this talk I spoke of the great sages of ancient times. They didn't fight. This is simply because they had no desire for worldly things - it is always these worldly things and desire for them which causes the fighting.
This reminds me of a vision I experienced after Swamiji had attained Mahasamadhi. In this vision, He showed Himself on one side, and all the ashrams on the other side. He said, "Chose whichever you want and you can have it."
I replied, "I want only You - not the properties, the ashrams and so on. It has always been only You."
Later he gave a vision that I would go into Tapas "as the time is ripe", and the third time He manifested and initiated me into Tapas.
All thoughts are ego, but they vary in category. We say there are three categories; in India they are called sattvic, rajasic and tamasic - the good, the bad and the ugly. In the last category, tamasic, the thoughts are about the things of the world. As the thoughts become a little elevated, they go up to the next category - rajasic. These thoughts are of faith in the Guru, devotion to the Guru. They are elevated thoughts but they are still an ego, though they are more pure than previously. Finally when the mind gets purified at the time of Tapas, then you get the sattvic - 'good' ego. This happens when the time is ripe. When the mind gets purified, it goes introverted and touches the Divine. Then you get a manifestation of God. I have explained my experiences on the tapes, because people think that the traveling to other worlds, etcetera are the important experiences. These are not really important; what is important is finally the Realization comes that it is all just an illusion - the whole of creation is an illusion. To achieve that state one needs the resolution that there will be no compromise - one should want only the Divine.
Just like if you catch a super-fast train from Perth to Brisbane, if you stop at all the stations along the way you will get involved in what is going on there, and the train will simply go off. In the same way, if you are sincere on the spiritual path, you will stay on the path and quickly reach the end. So total surrender is taught.
The Divine wants to give you the whole supermarket, but if you ask for what you think you want, you will ask only for a small chocolate from that whole supermarket.
There is a very small, silky thread between the mind and the thought. So during meditation, just keep watching; do not get involved, don't get excited.
I spoke earlier about the need to have a firm resolution to achieve the goal. This happened when I met my Guru. My mind simply wanted my Guru; when I returned home and spoke to my mother, all I could say was, "I want Swamiji." I didn't even know the meaning of what I was saying. My mind simply wanted Him. I didn't even know if he was a great Yogi or not - I just simply fell in love with Him.
Someone asked recently, "How can one know if someone is Self Realized?" Actually to do this, you yourself have to become a Yogi. Until then the mind cannot know accurately.
Another question which was asked recently - "Why has God cheated me? I believed in Him, then He made my father suffer very badly with a serious disease, and I had to simply watch his suffering." My answer to such a question is, "Do you know who God is?" So like before we reach Brisbane, we cannot really know what it is; but when we do reach Brisbane then we will really know what it is. So Swamiji used to say, "If you want to know what It really is, then meditate. If you sit like this and meditate, then you will find It."
So on this path you need understanding, sincerity to proceed, genuineness and detachment. All that matters is what you want. Do you want God for worldly success, to become a millionaire? OR - Do you want God just for God's sake?
There should be no rush to be a Guru. Swamiji said, "Fool, being Guru is no fun; it is not easy. It is not ladu (Indian sweet) - first you have to take masala (spicy Indian dish)." You will first need to become 'vimalam achalam' - unmoved.
Remember always when you sit down to meditate: The eyes should be focused on one point. Then the mind becomes quiet. Then when thoughts come, you should not pay them attention. The attention should be at that point. The mind's habit is to intrude into everything - it wants to judge and define things. It is like the droplet trying to measure the vast ocean. In the same way, if you want to measure space, if you try to define space, you will limit it. If you really want to know space, you have to become space.
So meditation and discipline, determination and patience are required. That is how my Guru used to tell - those ancient sages who passed on this wisdom didn't fight with each other. Our fights should be within ourselves. We should fight anger, greed, jealousy and so on. We should fight attachment to material things.
People sometimes asked me the difference between love and attachment. People are worried about this. If you love simply for love's sake, there is nothing wrong with this type of love. Like I wish to share Swamiji with everyone, not keep Him to myself. You simply need to understand what you are after - worldly things or God. That is the difference.
Like in the story of Nichiketa - I was inspired by this story when I was very young. Nichiketa's father was a great scholar and his son Nichiketa was only 8 years old. The father was holding a great fire sacrifice; he invited the rich, the scholars and the poor and needy and it was a tradition to give gifts to these people at the end of the sacrifice. While he was organizing the sacrifice and the gifts, his only son Nichiketa, who was only 8 years, old came and playfully asked his father, "To whom will you donate me?" His father was annoyed as he was busy, and he scolded the boy, "I will donate you to the death god. Now go away." So the boy went away, but after the sacrifice was over he came again to his father, "You promised to donate me to the death god." The boy was so honest. His father was shocked and replied, "I only said it casually. I did not mean it seriously." But the son replied, "No. Once a thing is said, it is binding." Hearing this Nichiketa's father became panicked. "How can I donate you to the death god? You are my own son, my only son. How can I donate you like that?"
Because Nichiketa was sincere and had a pure heart and a genuine desire to do the right thing, he felt, "Now I belong to the death god," so he jumped into the fire used for the sacrifice and went thus to the abode of the god of death. The god of death, Yama, was away on a tour of inspection for 3 days, so the boy waited patiently for 3 days for Lord Yama to return. When the god of death returned, he was pleased at the boy's sincerity. "You are very good and sincere. You can go back to the Earth and I shall give you 3 boons."
At this Nichiketa asked, "May the first boon be - 'May my father not be blamed that he sacrificed me'." Then the boy continued, "Every day I saw my father discussing about birth, death, immortality of the Soul. But when I came to death, my father suddenly panicked at the mention of this death. What happens actually at this 'death'? Some say we continue to exist after death. Some say we don't continue. Some say we do not know if we continue. So as my second boon - 'Tell me, what is the meaning of this 'death'."
Lord Yama answered, "This is too big a question for a young boy of 8 years old to understand. I offer that you can go back to the Earth, and I will make you a big emperor and you can live for 5000 years." Nichiketa replied, "After these 5000 years - will I have to come back here? Is there anything which can stop it?" To this Yama the god of death answered, "No, after 5000 years you will have to come back here only." So Nichiketa refused the offered boon. Then Yama offered him 10,000 years and then 50,000 years, but still Nichiketa refused as at the end he would still simply have to come back to Yama. The boy replied, "After 50,000 years still I will have to come back to you, so what is the use of this boon of 50,000 years? Then just simply give me this Truth which I ask for." Finally Lord Yama agreed to this. You see in a disciple - sincerity is important.
So Yama says, "Look I will tell this Truth once only. You cannot ask any questions or ask me to repeat anything - I shall only say it once. So you must listen carefully." At this Nichiketa surrenders and prostrates. "Then as my third boon - 'Bless me that I might understand what you say.'" You see because the surrender was sincere, he was ripe for the Guru's Grace. This is why Faith and Devotion are so necessary. I always tell people, "You can be angry with me, but never be angry with my photo. Because that is your Faith."
So it is said that when you do Tapas, God will have to come, because the mind will touch the Divine. This is why we need total Faith, Reverence and Sincerity. Then the mind will sincerely follow the path.
So in this way, if you are Sincere and have Faith then you will do this. You will follow the Path properly. Meditate for six months - you will see the difference. Peace will descend on you.
May the Divine Guru bless you all. Do ask questions; I will always try to help you all. "
Questions & Answers
When we're trying to concentrate at the one spot, can we practice, for instance, by gazing at a candle?
If you wish to, you can do this for a short time, but not too long. It is not really necessary, as the mind may get glued to that image of the candle. If you are going to do it, then do it for not longer than 1 or 2 minutes.
What is the meaning of the vibhuti which You use at the initiation, and hand out after the initiation?
This is very common in India, especially in the south of India. The vibhuti is a very sacred thing; it is helpful to you and is sanctified by invoking the Divine Guru. It can help in one's concentration when going into meditation.
Do You have many disciples in Australia?
Anyone who has been initiated can be a disciple, so yes I do have many in Australia.
You teach we are part of the Divine, and this creation is an illusion; that ultimately we will go back to the Divine. Why do we go back there?
Normally even in this world, when you lose something then you appreciate its importance more - for instance if you lose family, friends or your home. In the same way when you lose the peace and happiness, then you appreciate that peace and happiness of the Divine experience when it occurs. Unknown to it, the mind is seeking Peace; but it doesn't know the path. Always - knowingly or unknowingly - it is looking just for this. But it is looking in the world, in the creation, and it will not find it there. The true Peace exists only in the Divine Self.
If we wish to meditate for longer periods of time, is it better to do 2 periods of one hour's duration, or 1 period of two hours' duration?
It depends really on the individual's capacity and temperament. For the beginner it is easier to do 2 periods of one hour each, and then gradually they may become able to sit for two hours at a time.
During the meditation I found I couldn't stop myself from pouring love out to everything in creation.
This is good. Just visualize yourself everywhere. If it is unconditional love that you offer, then it is better.
In the olden days, people understood the necessity to reconnect, but not now. Is this from the different yugas (time ages)?
Over time, selfishness and greed increased - people's minds have become more and more violent. So this concept of 'yugas' was used to explain these changes. For instance in the old movies when I was a child, the villain would be seen as very dangerous and threatening because he used a knife. As things have become more violent, if that was shown in a movie today it would appear comical.
But a new age will definitely come when the saturated point of this stage is reached. People are tired of all this violence and suffering, and want to go back. For instance when the tsunami occurred last year it caused so much suffering and destruction; but so much help and assistance was offered. This showed people living for each other.
© 2005 SRBY, All rights reserved.