Stilling the mind
Perth, 2nd May 2003
Babaji greeted all present and noted His appreciation for the discipline, attention and interest the devotees had shown by attending the programs so enthusiastically. Babaji began the discourse by mentioning the benefits of meditation and the fact His words were being relayed around the world to devotees on the internet. None of what Babaji says in these talks is meant as a criticism of any individual or group, it is a general teaching for seekers of truth who want to know about God and the Self and who understand the need to control the mind before the body is dropped. Babaji said He has explained repeatedly how the mind deceives by creating illusions, unreal worlds and concepts. The mind is constantly visualising objects and can't keep quiet. The mind thinks it is omnipotent but compared to the Self it is only a spark and its capacities are limited. The mind is useful for living in the world but its imaginings produce long-term illusions, a never-ending stream of thoughts which are very often frightening, confusing and unhappy.
In the early morning the mind feels fresh and at peace but soon enough it starts its work. It tries to imagine the best and happiest things possible - Babaji's Guru used to joke that the mind is never stingy when it comes to building castles in the air! Once the imagination starts up, it is happy to begin with, then it magnifies its imaginative power, producing more desires that can't be fulfilled, which then leads to dissatisfaction and stress! It looks for peace in this way and thinks it can win! Peace - what is it actually? Not what the mind thinks it is - enjoying the excitement of worldly objects. Peace is the mind totally settling down to a standstill, this is real happiness and what your goal should be.
Babaji urged everyone to try to meditate and eventually we will reach a stage where thoughts decrease and one can experience bliss. We shouldn't stop there though, as many people do, thinking they have attained the goal. No, we must not stop until the mind settles effortlessly and totally into the Ultimate Peaceful State where all its imaginings and dramas have ceased. Very often people expect experiences and visions or other imaginings involving sight and sound. Babaji reminded everyone not to try to imagine what God or the goal is. The scriptures describe it as 'Anantam ' - limitless, boundless - a word used in the Vedas. You can't really define it, you can only merge in it, like the bubble merges back with the ocean. None can really explain what God or Self Realisation is, you have to experience it for yourself. Babaji doesn't claim to have explained what God is in words, Babaji has only given you 'clues' if you like, on how to reach Him.
The greatest wonder and the greatest miracle is when you attain Peace and realise your existence as the immortal soul. Compared to this everything else seems trivial. Proceed with total faith and determination and don't stop until your last breath - it is worth the effort!
For the benefit of newcomers Babaji then explained the process of meditation as the directing of attention. At the moment our attention is fully on the world and the mind has therefore gone out of control. The mind has stopped listening to you and become your master - remember the mind is a wonderful servant but a very poor master, it will make you dance to its tune! No sooner is one thought slain, than thousands more crop up. People go to caves and forests to overcome the mind but they take that same mind with them. As a result of this mental agitation there is political conflict the world over and ego and selfishness dominate.
Unless we do sadhana we can't overcome our ego and the negative emotions associated with it like greed, anger, false pride and lack of generosity. This task is difficult but not impossible because we can overcome the ego if we have the will. If you get severely tested, pray to God. Some time ago Babaji answered a question from a devotee who wanted to know if a Yogi is ever tested by God. The answer is 'Yes'. The devotee wondered what could be left for God to test in someone who had achieved Realisation and was totally surrendered? In this case, God has no doubts about such a soul for He knows all, He is all-pervading. Yogis are tested as an example for the sake of humanity, to teach worldly people, for it is they who doubt. God always tests His children. Lord Krishna told Arjuna to become a Yogi because Yogis are dearer to Him. Saints and sages have always had to suffer but their minds never suffered, their suffering was only apparent, not real, because their minds were absorbed in the Ultimate Truth. God tests continuously.
Meditation will control the disturbed mind that is roaming in the world. The mind is actually looking for peace and its wandering is the cause of all unhappiness. My teaching is meditation and when you pay your attention to the real Self the mind's energy becomes sublimated not suppressed. Thoughts need not be suppressed like they are under the influence of drugs and alcohol, which are suppressants of the nervous system. They stop the mind from receiving the reflections of the brain and so temporarily induce a state of bliss - but it isn't long-lasting; very soon the mind springs back into action and moves outwards again. So many people are taking drugs these days to gain mystical experiences at the expense of their mental and physical health.
In India there is a drug used by certain monks who cleverly justify their use of it by citing the fact that according to scripture Lord Shiva took the very same drug himself. One must never use the name of God or Guru for selfish ends. Someone once asked Shivabalayogi if he could take this drug like Shiva did but my Guru scolded him saying that it was a common practice among selfish charlatans and had absolutely nothing to do with God, adding that by the same argument he should also take the Hala Hala poison Shiva drank!
The correct path is to control the mind through spiritual means, through a natural healthy process in meditation, not with drugs, so that the brain is not adversely affected. In this skillful way, the mind quietly recedes. If you truly understand the need for this process it will become easy for you in time.
It is the desires we nurture and the expectations we have of the world that cause unhappiness. Acceptance is not easy but definitely necessary. Babaji said He had no expectations at all when His Guru put Him in charge of the Dehradun Ashram, He merely accepted whatever situations and tests arose and dealt with them as needed. We also need to accept that death will inevitably occur one day, so before that happens, Babaji said, we must eliminate the mind's false perceptions and hallucinations by doing sadhana. Then we will accept death gracefully - it is not something to be feared. Knowledge of the Self makes one fearless, peaceful and free of doubts.
Babaji told us that if we can maintain our concentration single-pointedly without intruding thoughts for one hour, we have actually meditated. Until then we are only trying to meditate. If one can meditate without distracting thoughts for at least 8 hours, it is called Tapas. Shivabalayogi meditated for some 20 hours per day for 12 years and achieved Self Realisation in 1961, and then taught meditation all over the world. Swamiji attained his Mahasamadhi in 1994 but continues to inspire devotees all over the world. Babaji is continuing His Guru's legacy to carry on to teach the practise of dhyana meditation. Babaji reassured everyone, once again, that if we practised meditation regularly, we could reach genius-level abilities of concentration, memory and observation and be able to face the challenges of life with confidence and skill. This He said particularly to the younger generation who are keen to achieve something in this world. Baba reminded that, it is necessary at the same time to maintain character and integrity, love and honor, practise peace and feel oneness with God with surrender and devotion.
Babaji was asked what the Self actually was. He replied that it was Supreme Consciousness. The mind is also this consciousness, but the thoughts produced when this conscious energy is directed outwards to the world gives one the everyday experience of the mind instead of the Self. However, the Ultimate Truth or source of the mind is the Self. The mind's extent is Infinite, it can't be shown to anyone or held up for inspection. If one meditates regularly and redirects one's attention away from the world to the Self, thoughts decrease and the mind becomes purified and remains as pure consciousness. The Self means You - your Existence.
Another devotee said he wasn't sure if the mind was a divine faculty to be befriended or an infection! Maybe the relationship we have with the mind is like an arranged marriage that hasn't worked and a divorce is the only answer! Everyone laughed, including Babaji, who gave a wonderful reply in keeping with the humour of the moment. He said that a marriage to the Self would be beautiful and eternal. The mind is currently married to the world. If you can, take a divorce (mind) from the unreal world. The mind is our own conscious energy derived from the Self, it must be redirected back from the world. Babaji asked if the questioner was satisfied with this answer, to which he replied "totally". And so were we all.
Someone asked Babaji if He was one with the Divine, to which He simply smiled and said "Yes". Another person asked Babaji about addictions. He replied that habits occur due to negligence and we shouldn't allow ourselves to succumb to bad habits.
Babaji added that he had previously been asked if it was boring to sit in Ifor 5 or 12 years? "No, there is no boredom when the attention is firmly anchored to the Self. Boredom and depression are symptoms of the conventional mind because of the thoughts it generates. The Self is supremely peaceful, there is no boredom there at all!"
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