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Timeless Meditation Technique - Questions and Answers

The following questions and answers are from the audio CD included with the 'Timeless Meditation' DVD.

Question:  

Babaji, what is the best time to meditate?

Babaji:  

There is really no such thing called the best time. Anytime that is convenient for you, whenever you feel inspired, you can sit for meditation. However in ancient scriptures, the early morning hours have been prescribed in the idea that you would have taken sufficient rest in the night, going to bed early, and remain fresh when getting up in the early morning, and the surroundings shall be peaceful. So what is required is you shall be fresh when you sit for meditation and for the beginner particularly, the surroundings shall remain peaceful. So if you take care of these two things it can be any convenient time.

 

Question:  

Babaji, what is the best place and atmosphere to meditate?

Babaji:  

Again there is not really such a thing called 'this is best place and this is not good place' because the Divine is all-Pervading; God is everywhere. Any place that you feel is conducive for you to sit down you can sit and practice meditation. A particular place sometimes may be helpful for the beginner to get inspired, just like if you have an altar in your home you can sit in front of the altar, and if you have an inclination for any particular place, like an outdoor atmosphere to some or indoor to some people. So based on your temperament, whichever place appeals to you, you can sit and practice meditation.

 

Question:  

Do we have to be vegetarian to meditate Babaji?

Babaji:  

My Guru never prescribed any particular food habit. Keeping in view of the thing that all over the world, based on habits, culture, availability, weather conditions and so on, different people may have different practices of food habits. So it is important that you have the interest to practice meditation and on your own you would be able to understand what suits your system and what you need to adopt, what you need to give up. Because My Guru used to tell, “If I ask you to give up a particular food while trying to meditate, your mind would be thinking about that particular food only.” So instead of that, first you practice meditation and then you would be able to adopt the right type of food that is suitable for your system.

 

Question:  

Babaji, if we have certain bad habits such as drinking and smoking, can we meditate?

Babaji:  

When I tell, anybody can take up the practice, means, anybody. Only one qualification that is needed is your yearning, your devotion, your interest. I assure you, as you practice with total devotion and dedication, as your mind becomes purified, it would be very easy for you to give up all such bad habits that are harmful to your physical health, mental health and moral health.

 

Question:  

In today's world many are taking drugs and alcohol to obtain a certain level of peace. Can drugs or alcohol have a similar effect as meditation Babaji?

Babaji:  

Not at all. It cannot have. Whereas meditation is a natural process to control the mind, taking alcohol and drugs are unnatural methods which suppress the brain's activated waves. What happens, brain is the biological organ in the physical body, mind is your conscious energy, 'you' means you as the Immortal Soul. Now the brain is in touch with the universe through the nervous system and sensory organs. It receives all the messages, it de-codifies and reflects and passes on the message that you want it to do it. Your mind gets applied on the brain and it also catches all the reflections of the brain.

You would have noticed that you would get the best of happiness when your mind is unconscious of this world, just like in deep sleep. When alcohol or any drug is taken it suppresses this brain's activated waves so the mind has nothing to catch. Temporarily it gets kicked off the brain. As long as that drug's or alcohol's effect is on the brain the mind thinks that it is enjoying happiness and a higher peace. That is simply because the brain's waves are suppressed.

So unfortunately here, these drugs and alcohol deteriorates the basic health of the brain, the nervous system, and gradually one by one different organs of the body. Thus it is very harmful and it is never a permanent solution, because as long as the effect of the drug or alcohol is on the brain, it suppresses. Once the effect is over the mind again jumps back. Thus you can never achieve a permanent happiness and peace; you are losing your physical health also.

 

Question:  

Babaji, is not meditation a form of hypnosis?

Babaji:  

No. Actually, the mind by its tendency to analyze and make judgments has absorbed all imprints. Thus it has hypnotized itself into different judgments: “This world is like this, this is good, this is bad.” By practicing meditation, actually you are going to de-hypnotize the mind; you are going to purify the mind. By this practice of meditation the mind will lose all the imaginations through which it has acquired imprints, so thus the mind will de-hypnotize itself from the clutches of its own wild imaginations.

 

Question:  

Babaji, please explain the benefits of the breathing techniques shown to us before the meditation.

Babaji:  

Breathing techniques are used as one of the techniques for meditation also. Because if you inhale long and breathe out long slowly, it can attract the attention of the mind also. So thus, if you are stressed, if your mind has become restless, take out a couple of minutes anywhere that you are, sit down peacefully, try to take a long inhale and exhale. You feel a bit relaxed. Using this technique some people have advised to practice concentration also, but I would advise to go into meditation, and before that meditation, if you do just a couple of breathing exercises your mind will warm up to become concentrated and go into the actual meditation.

 

Question:  

Babaji, is it necessary to have a Guru to meditate?

Babaji:  

Well ultimately it will be your choice. The Guru's role is to bless and inspire you. Very often on the path you are likely to lose interest and become casual. You are likely to get confused, sometimes panicking also. So the Guru will always be there to guide you to proceed on the right path. The Guru is always there to inspire you to keep going, never to lose faith in yourself, never to give up until the last breath of life. It is the Guru who can tell you what it is about, what is the benefit of meditation, and how to do, how to start, how to practice; everything it is the Guru who gives.

In our scriptures since time immemorial the Guru's place has been kept very high, even above the God. I would like to quote just one small saying of the great Saint Kabir. In His song He sings: “If both Guru and God suddenly come in front of me, to whom should I prostrate first?” - For a while the mind gets confused, but soon it recovers and the confusion is cleared because it now thinks correctly – “Let me prostrate to you, my Guru, because it is you who told me about God”. So that is the importance of Guru.

I remember somebody asking this question to my Guru, Shivabalayogi, then He simply said, “Did you come out to this world without your mother? As it was important for you to have a mother to be born into this world, it is important for you to have Guru to guide and tell you how to reach God”. So that is the importance of Guru, but ultimately the choice will be yours.

 

Question:  

Babaji, how do we find the Guru and know He is the right one?

Babaji:  

Well it is really not very easy to find using your own intelligence. But first it is important that you have to be genuine, you have to be a genuine seeker of the truth. You pray to God then the Divine will create such circumstances: either you'll be taken to the Guru or the Guru will come to you. When the true Guru comes it will be very much appealing to you. Unknown to you, you'd develop an attachment. Once you adopt, go ahead with it, never look back.

 

Question:  

Babaji, are visions a sign of progress in the path of meditation? Please tell us, what are the true signs of progress in meditation?

Babaji:  

Not simply visions. Thoughts and visions may definitely occur in different ways and if the visions are becoming more and more solidly appearing, the sign is that the mind is becoming more concentrated. But at that time it is important that you use any vision that occurs just to concentrate. Keep watching at the vision staringly without trying to analyze or make judgments what it is. It might be pleasant, it might be unpleasant. The actual progress is understood when the mind is becoming more peaceful, even after you get up from the meditation; the mind is losing all agitations.

Suppose something happens in your life. If your mind is very emotional and bothersome you won't be able to forget that unpleasant thing that has happened in your life for a long time to come. When you practice meditation you would be able to forget very soon. The mind overcomes such a crisis of going into a brooding of what has happened. So if the mind is losing all its agitations and becoming more and more quiet, more and more peaceful, that is the real symptom of progress.

 

Question:  

Babaji, what is kundalini and is it necessary to raise it before meditating?

Babaji:  

Kundalini is nothing but the other portion of the mind. The soul's consciousness has gone into two portions by being in touch with the brain. One portion that has gone into the universe with thoughts, you call it as 'mind'. Another portion that has gone inside the body, which has given you the consciousness of body as yourself, is known as this kundalini - coiled energy.

But for a sadhak, first it is important that you try to control the mind, withdraw the mind, because compared to the mind kundalini is less powerful. Without proper vairagya – detachment – mind does not come back, does not get withdrawn from its cravings and clinging on habits to this world.

So before controlling the mind, one should not try to raise the kundalini. Because even if kundalini comes up a little bit, it cannot withdraw the mind totally and when it gets fallen a lot of lust and greed can get created. So the sadhak must try to control the mind first. When the mind comes back one hundred percent it can lift the kundalini easily, they both become one consciousness, get de-linked from the brain's reflections and start going towards the Self, into Samadhi in other words.

 

Question:  

What is the role of memories and emotions in meditation Babaji?

Babaji:  

Memories and emotions are really not good for meditation because in meditation you are trying to quieten the mind. Unless the mind is able to forget the past there would not be any peace. You see the mind is either brooding about the past or is anxious about the future; it is seldom into the present. So you're practicing meditation to purify the mind. So all memories must come to an end. That's only when the mind can go towards the Divine, the Real Self, and experience the Ultimate Truth.

 

Question:  

Babaji, how do we deal with body movement during meditation?

Babaji:  

During meditation body should not move because, as my Guru used to tell, “Movement of the body is one of the basic obstacles for the mind to become still”, meaning to go into Samadhi. Other three things are the rhythm of the breath that is not proper, and the jerk, the movement of the eyeballs and lids and the mind itself. So body needs to be kept steady when you practice meditation. When you are able to concentrate well in-between eyebrows the body automatically stops its movement, it does not move. It normally moves only when you go into an emotion of an excitement and so on. So if you are able to concentrate in-between eyebrows the body movement will definitely stop on its own.

 

 

Question:  

Babaji, in this meditation there is no form or mantra. So what exactly are we concentrating on and how are we connecting with the Divine?

Babaji:  

The Divine as All-Pervading is in infinite form. The basic clue is your own mind itself. It is so infinite, meaning you cannot show it to anybody in its form or color, that, “this is the shape of the mind, this is the color.” Simply based on the thoughts only you recognize, “My mind wants to do this, wants to do that. I want to go here, I want to go there.” If all the thoughts are removed, the existence of the mind is Pure Consciousness. So the Ultimate Truth, the origin of this mind, is recognized as the Divine: Parabrahma, Paramatma.

So you can go to Divine, you can pray to Divine, only through the mind. When the mind gets totally concentrated and when it starts going introvert, only then that is the real worship, the real aradhana, the real prayer to the Divine. Form and formlessness are preliminarily round techniques for the sadhaks that have been taught. So here in this meditation you're trying to raise the mind above these two things, two imaginations of form and formlessness and you're giving the mind itself a practice to become concentrated, to become quiet and composed, without giving it any anchor, any help of any external object. That's why I have always told, “This is like getting recruited directly as an officer, you need not become a clerk and go through promotions and then become an officer.” So that is what you would be doing in this meditation.

Have faith. If your mind becomes concentrated that is the real worship. Automatically it is going towards God, towards its origin, towards that Self that is Ultimate Truth, because the mind has no third way. Either it has to be in this universe with its own imaginations, wandering like a monkey; if it gives up all these imaginations it automatically goes back towards its origin. Just like the Sun's ray going back to the Sun, the droplet of the Ocean going back to the Ocean.

 

Question:  

If practicing meditation is enough to reach God, why do religions prescribe rituals and image worship Babaji?

Babaji:  

It is basically because the mind has become habitual to the sound and sight since time immemorial, maybe from the beginning of creation perhaps. Because of imagination only the mind has gone out of control. This is the basic technique of the bhakti marga. Using the same imagination the mind is to be brought back to its concentrated position, the composed position.

So rituals and form worship or formlessness, they are all prescribed so that you can begin somewhere if you need an anchor, so that your mind can lose all other imaginations and become single-pointed into one imagination. Even it is advised during meditation also, if there are thousands of thoughts coming, you are unable to lose all the thoughts, try to stick to one particular thought before giving up all such thoughts. So that is how the worship of an idol in the temple and rituals are all prescribed.

You see, God has never demanded whether He wants milk, gold or silver. What is needed is that your mind needs to be there. If you look into all scriptures, all sayings of all Saints, they have always advised, “Apply your mind and worship.” Just like you go to a place of worship, you try to do some ritualistic worship. While doing so imagine if your mind is running and going around a shopping complex somewhere in the town; such a worship becomes useless, a waste of time and energy. So if you are offering some worship your mind also has to be there.  It doesn't really matter whether you are going to pour a glass of water or a glass of milk on the idol. What is important is that your mind also has to be there.

But yet again why this has been given? Just one example: you cannot explain the space as it is. If a child asks, “What is space? Does it really exist?” You cannot show it as it is. Still you would have to give some explanation to make it to begin. Just like when we went to the first standard of primary school, our teachers said in that school, “The place in between these two walls is known as space.” Well as we grew up we went to the next classes, came to the university level, and as our knowledge and wisdom grew we understood that the same space exists everywhere. But now if I tried to claim that the space exists only in the classroom of my primary school in the town where I studied, everybody would laugh.

In the same way, to begin with you show an idol, a photograph, a form, give it an anchor to the mind, tell, “This is God.” You prostrate, you offer your worship. So it is expected that your concentration shall go there and gradually as you grow, if your worship is going to be real by applying all your mental concentration there, definitely you would gain that knowledge and wisdom that the same God exists everywhere and there is really no conflict. That is why My Guru always said, “You can believe God in any form or formlessness, but what is needed is that do not condemn others' beliefs, that is important.” So that is the importance of all rituals, idol worships that has been taught as form and formlessness.

 

Question:  

Babaji, in meditation we are told not to analyze. How do we apply this to our daily lives, how do we live in this world if we do not analyze?

Babaji:  

Well you do require the effects of mind's imagination, analyzation and judgment qualities. Based on the imagination of the mind only, the entire universe runs. Even the scriptures agree, our experience also in Tapas, that the Divine has created this universe simply based on the technology of imagination. That is why it is an illusion. So now while dealing with the worldly things, when you have adopted a particular way of life, you do require to analyze and make judgments. But while practicing meditation you should not do this, so that your mind recedes and becomes concentrated, comes under your control.

Another important thing is while dealing with these worldly things in your daily life, you are spending your conscious energy called 'mind' to analyze, make judgments. In the process it goes into cravings and worries. The thinking all very often goes into cravings and worries. Just like which you can do by spending one dollar, unknown to you, you are spending thousands of dollars. In this world you can deal with the worldly things and live the way of life that you have adopted just by using a minimum consciousness of energy of the mind that is required. Just like with one dollar you can deal with it. Unknown to you, you are allowing your mind to get sucked into this analyzing and judgment effects, which is giving you the stress, unhappiness, confusion and fear, all these things.

So if you practice this meditation, while doing meditation, do not analyze or do not try to judge. If the thought processes come, if visions happen, as I have explained earlier also, that they are all simply getting evaporated from the mind. While getting evaporated the brain is de-codifying them, which shows up as the thought processes and creates visual effects called visions. So just keep watching them as a witness then those thoughts and visions also will evaporate and vanish, your mind also will recede and the meditation progresses very easily.

 

Question:  

Babaji mentioned the need for vairagya or detachment in meditation. Why is this important and how do we cultivate it?

Babaji:  

Vairagya is very important for the mind to get withdrawn from this illusory world. As long as the mind thinks this world as totally real and it imagines that this world can give me all the happiness and peace that I am looking for, it would not like to give up its imaginations and come back towards the Self. That is why Vairagya is very much required. That is why since ancient times it is always taught that as Adi Shankaracharya puts it, “Jagan mithya, Brahma satyam”, meaning, this world is unreal like a long dream experience. Just like during the dreaming you are dreaming that is real, but all the things that you are dreaming are unreal. But as long as you dream you cannot make out that you are dreaming at all. It appears so solid; sometimes the picture in the dream may be very solid that you are unable to forget for a long time. Sometimes the picture may be vague and blurred; you would have forgotten by the time you get up.

So that is the effect of this illusory world when it affects the mind. So it is essential that the mind needs to understand that all this world is unreal: “This is transitory. This is not going to give me a permanent happiness or peace”. Like I used to think as a child, “If at all we have the happiness, we must have it for all the 24 hours and 12 months.”

 

Question:  

Babaji, how does meditation become Tapas?

Babaji:  

When the meditation is practiced continuously and when one is able to remain in meditation for a long time, just like when you are able to hold the mind in-between eyebrows in a total thoughtlessness state without any imagination of thoughts or visions, at least for one hour, then you can tell that you are meditating. Until then you are trying to meditate. When gradually you practice, practice and practice, this is the mantra. Everyday without fail you practice. As your mind starts receding you would acquire a taste for the meditation. So one day when you are able to sit for eight to ten hours of meditation in one stretch, in one single sitting, like when you are able to hold the mind in-between the eyebrows to total thoughtlessness state at least for eight to ten hours at a stretch, in a single sitting, then you will be capable of doing Tapas. That's how the meditation gets converted into Tapas, eventually.

 

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