If you can control this mind, that is the greatest miracle
October 2005 Tour - Sunshine Coast Day 6
The program on the second last day of the Sunshine Coast Tour was held in a local Yoga Temple. The great Yogi entered the hall, performed aarati to his Guru and took Namaskaram. Reciting the Guru Pranam sloka from the Guru Gita, Baba continued:
"Taking this opportunity to offer my unconditional surrender with deep love and reverence to my beloved Guru, Shivabalayogi. I also take this opportunity to prostrate to all the Great Souls who have come from time to time to this earth. I welcome you all with my Love and Blessings.
My Guru was a manifested symbol of Divine Grace. At the age of only 14 years He was initiated through a strange experience. He was walking with some friends along the nearby river canal when a fruit fell. On opening the fruit it started to emit the sound 'OM' and changed into a Shivalingam, and then from that Shivalingam a Jangama sage came forth. He had never asked for this in His life; He had grown up wanting to bring His family out of poverty. But He was born to bring not just one family, but perhaps hundreds of families out of their suffering.
Every time when you try to catch hold of your mind you will see it is wandering in this world like a monkey. It is wandering about, brooding about the past, worrying about the future. If you try to control this mind, you'll wonder if it is really possible. But He performed meditation like this, with the mind still, fo 18 to 20 hours every day. My Guru said Tapas only starts when the mind is still, with no thoughts for eight hours at a stretch. Thus Tapas is the highest pitch of meditation.
'Yoga' is 'reunion'. Like the droplet joining again with the ocean. So you will find with this mind that as long as it exists, it is just a bundle of thoughts. Even if you can physically sit down and relax, still the mind is active and restless. The mind doesn't behave, doesn't settle when we want it to. When the mind is like this - constantly into thoughts - this is 'Viyoga'. When the mind settles, when thoughts are gone, this is 'Yoga' - Moksha, Liberation, Realization, and Nirvana. It is your Self. If you are trying to know something it is through your attention. But the mind is in the habit of wandering with the attention here and there. Even here it is difficult to keep the mind here within this hall, let alone on Baba's talk.
What is this 'Self '? - a light, a happiness? ..... So many have tried to define it. In spirituality in India ignorance is equated with dark, and knowledge is equated with light. Thus we pray,
' Asato Ma Sat Gamaya'
From Darkness lead us to Light.
What is it that we are - beyond this physical body? If your attention is out in the world around you - remembering, planning and so on - you won't even be in this hall.
So this 14 year old boy was trying to know the Self. He was always determined, courageous, fearless. So when He started meditation, He simply took up the challenge and went ahead. Within a few months - He was not in a building - the rainy season came and He was there sitting in the mud. Now, whenever someone goes onto the noble path, others will always trouble them and disturb them. In this way, the village urchins and others also troubled Him. They thought He might be possessed by a ghost - so much on this path of Yoga is misunderstood. They beat Him, threw stones and one person even draped a rag over His leg which they had soaked in kerosene and lit, so His leg was burnt. This all made it a little difficult to keep the mind in absolute Samadhi, so He thought that He would move to the local graveyard and then these people would be too scared to come there. Even here He was still in mud. His skin began to decay, rats and scorpions bit Him, so it became difficult to continue there also.
So one day, sitting in Tapas, He simply got up, "Why should I be sitting here like this, like a dead man? I should be looking after my mother." He had dropped out of school at 5 years of age and started a business. So thinking like this, He got up out of Tapas and started walking home. The Jangama sage who had initiated Him appeared in front of Him. "Go back. You are born for this. You are going to do this for 12 years - after that you can do whatever you like, but for 12 years you must do this." So this time He took new determination and developed the inner strength to continue.
"I will go ahead. Even if I die, I will continue." So He became determined, "OK. I will sit for 12 years. I will either die or go ahead."
This also happened to me when I went into my Tapas. He trained me to be determined and deal with everything as though it was simple. Even death was so easy for Him. He always took the troubles of the world as nothing.
Once when one lady wanted to donate her home to the ashram, she had been killed, and we in the ashram had been threatened. I loved my Guru. I thought, "If I am killed, it would be like a soldier dying on the battlefield."
Swamiji came and asked, "Are there any troubles?"
So I answered, "Well we have had threats made against us."
Swamiji directed me, "OK, no problem. Even if you die, you'll simply come back to Me."
So this gave me great determination.
He used to emphasize mind control. Like a car, you should be able to drive it whenever you wish, then park it and rest it also whenever you wish. In the same way, the mind should be able to settle and be under your control. You should be able to stop thoughts and botherations. Normally your mind is so active in all sorts of troubles and worries and thoughts. In the morning when you get up the mind is refreshed, but as time goes on through the day you get caught up in the things of the world and the mind gets troubled and becomes tired.
Remember that in this world - if you think it is difficult, it is difficult. If you think a thing is easy, then it is. The world is as we see it.
In this way He continued His Tapas for 12 years and the mind became purified. Then Lord Shiva appeared to Him and asked Him, "Now the 12 years is completed - now what do you want?" Swamiji had no desires, imaginations or wishes; His mind was completely settled in the Self. So He answered, "I have no wishes."
So Lord Shiva asked, "What do you want to do?"
"You put me into this Tapas, so You should tell me what I should do."
So you can see, He was asking God if there were any Divine wishes He could work for (instead of the usual situation where the disciple will ask the Guru, "Give me this") - here the disciple is asking the Guru, "Do you have any wishes?"
God asked Him to teach this technique of dhyana relentlessly, lovingly, with few words. Swamiji didn't impose Himself as a Guru, "I will help and inspire you, but you yourself have to do it." We saw Him as God, Shiva, but He claimed nothing about Himself. Even when miracles occurred He never claimed anything about Himself. He would say, "If you can meditate; if you can control this mind, that is the greatest miracle." Just as Jesus said, "If you gain the world but lose yourself - what is the good of that?"
Swamiji told, "The greatest miracle is your Efforts. The greatest wonder is your true Self. It is so amazing."
Everything you do is for yourself, but He said, "You need to know who you really are. Who is your real Self?" He used to say, "Desires make you poor. If you have no desires, you can live like an emperor. If you can accept whatever happens, then you will have contentment." He Himself lived like this - whatever devotees gave, He accepted. For instance He was given a palatial mansion in Dehra Dun, but He traveled endlessly and did not stay there always. When people asked Him, "Why this form of meditation?", Swamiji answered, "The Lord wanted Me to do it, so I did it. The Lord wanted Me to teach this, so I teach. It has given Me everything I have. I wanted to share this like a drunk sharing his alcohol." He further advised that it doesn't matter if one is a monk or a householder, but that for anyone to achieve Self Realization, one needs to meditate. So in the same way, He gave this to me and I also wish to share it.
However, because we follow this method - that doesn't mean we criticize other methods. All methods are honorable, but with this one I have experienced the fruits.
Don't get caught up with seeking experiences in meditation. Simply the mind needs to be controlled. If you practice this - if you do not just listen to my talks, but practice these things - then you will know the Truth. If you just get caught up in experiences and imaginations, if you get involved in that, it will create more and more mental imaginations. When the mind becomes more peaceful it is also becoming more composed, more purified - they all occur together. This will lead to the mind settling into the Self and you will get that supreme bliss and then finally that Peace. When the mind progresses in this path it gets more and more purified and it will happen that one gets the ecstasy of supreme bliss. This is a higher quality ego, a higher quality imagination - but it is still just a lollipop. Don't stop there; you must go beyond that. The Guru will encourage you on.
Once you become Realized then one can keep a small sattvic ego to work in this world, to help others. Swamiji used to tell, "If you live for yourself, that is 'Life'. If you live for others, that is 'Mission'."
The initiation into this technique of meditation is given with no bondage. I don't impose myself as Guru. It is your choice whether you want to take me as Guru, but I will not impose. So I invite all those who wish, to take this opportunity to be initiated if you are interested."
Questions and Answers
You talked about the Guru-Disciple relationship. What if one starts on that path but does not follow it properly?
Then you will simply lose. You simply lose more than a golden opportunity. One of the great Saints has said, "Having been born as a human being with a healthy body - if one is in this state and still does not take the Divine's name .... how to describe the misfortune of such a person?"
So let us pray that such a misfortune may not fall on anyone.
You told earlier that Swamiji said we should become perfect human beings. Can You please speak a little about that?
Yes; there should be some difference between the human being and the animal. For instance if you offer food to an animal they will simply pounce on it; they cannot hold on. A human would wait for others present to join in; they would pray to God before eating, with thanks.
When you practice austerities such as meditation then the mind will settle and become more refined. Then the ego is reduced, especially the ego to dominate - this is the source of all the problems for humanity.
So Swamiji said this - that we should aim to become perfect human beings rather than aim to become angels or gods. Also if you ultimately become a perfect human being, that means you, will know the Self.
Is it possible to attain Moksha (liberation) if we're very busy and can't do much meditation?
You see, if you want to reach the top of Mount Everest - if you just keep walking on the road it will not be possible to reach the top of Mount Everest; that's not enough - you must learn to climb.
So we start by recommending 45 minutes to 1 hour of meditation so that people will not panic. Start with what you can do, and then see what comes.
So Shri Krishna told Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, "Though it may be difficult, it is not impossible."
This technique appears to be unique in that there is no mantra or breathing exercises or object to focus on.
In this technique, we are trying to keep the mind focused without an anchor. This is like going straight to an officer's position in the army without starting out as an ordinary soldier first.
If the mind can be focused then it becomes introverted and it experiences the real Self. Then one can use the brain to the best of its ability.
Whereas we honor all other methods, they are a preliminary to this teaching. Because in the end all these exercises will eventually need to be abandoned. In this technique we are giving the mind practice to become focused. It is like in prayer; the real prayer starts when the mind goes introverted. The mind has no third way - it is either out in the world, in 'viyoga', or it is focused and becomes introverted and goes inwards to the real Self in 'Yoga'. This technique was practiced in Vedic times but the sages found it becoming harder for people to do this, so they gave simpler methods such as reciting mantras. These are not wrong things - Sage Vasishta himself has directed people in the Yoga Vasishta, "If you have to think, then think of God." But eventually we have to still the thoughts; we have to go introverted to find the real Self.
The mind is a bundle of thoughts. If you could have no thoughts, then it would be just Consciousness. The mind can't be seen - it can only be recognized by its thoughts. But on its own, it is Pure Consciousness. So in this technique we watch the mind and with our attention held like that, we are trying to watch the Self.
It is like Ramana Maharshi; He taught the technique of Self-enquiry - "Who am I?". He also advised that in meditation one should observe from where the Self arises - not by imagination as that will limit it, but that real Self - not the imagined self. In this way, Ramana Himself as a boy suddenly questioned, "What is Death?" He lay down in a room, controlled His senses and breath. He thought to himself, "OK, if I am now dead, what will happen?" He saw that the consciousness of existence still continued and He eventually realized the Self.
You instruct to have the mind concentrated without any resolutions. Can one make the mind concentrated without using resolutions?
Yes definitely. At the initiation we tell, "Do not imagine." The mind normally has hundreds, thousands of thoughts. When we meditate the thoughts and visions come up because when the mind becomes concentrated and is applied on the brain, the mind's impressions get decodified.
So Krishna says, "You are your own best friend or your own worst enemy." The meaning is that if the mind is controlled, then it is your best friend; but if the mind is out of control you will be dancing to the brain's reflections.
So the instruction for meditation is given, "Do not think." Then the mind gets concentrated and it becomes introverted and goes towards the Self.
© 2005 SRBY All rights reserved.