Imperience - Centre for Research and Training in P.A.M
Lion-hearted men alone can dare approach Reality and men are made so, by Natural Path

-- Pujya K.C.Narayana

1. The topic of the seminar is a sentence which forms a part of the message given by the beloved Master in January 1970 on the occasion of starting an ashram building at Raichur, Karnataka, India.

2. Master states in this message that majority of the people think of God to be just as they are (in the human form having human emotions and feelings-{K.C.N}) and resort to gross methods to attain the subtlest. He adds that a bit advanced persons ask the same typical questions just to exhibit their capacity for putting such questions. Master gives a very interesting answer to prove the purpose of God’s creation stating that otherwise He will be frozen. After such amusing sentences he comes to the crux of the problem saying that “A number of people merely ask questions pertaining to Divinity. But how to attain it is not generally found in the minds of such people. If we go on talking about the taste of mango it will not help us unless we eat it and know for ourselves its taste. I may say here that Reality is not the field for cowards. Lion hearted men alone can dare approach Reality and men are made so by Natural Path.” The claim of the Master is not just to show the mango but to enable us taste it and all that is required to achieve this is the courage, confidence and unflinching faith in the Master and our self.

3. Lack of courage means essentially that we are half hearted in our attempts. It is obvious that all half-hearted actions are the children of fear; this explains not only why such attempts fail us as they do but also how they sow the seeds of indecision that, in turn, completes the dark cycle of self-compromise. We need to have the courage and if necessary roar at persons who try to ridicule and repress our efforts at realisation of our true nature. This is some what easy but the real problem is our own mental tendencies. Brushing aside all irrelevant ideas with courage and confidence we should during meditation look closely for all of the inner wisdom and efforts pay us handsomely. If we can not see some thought or feeling as it goes through us, then we do not have the choice whether to be that thought or feeling or not.

4. So, before we can choose not to compromise ourselves, we must first become acutely and intensely aware of those thoughts of ours that may be holding some secret seed of self-defeat. If we do not know that we are doing this kind of compromised thinking or acting out the emotional counterparts what else can follow but defeat in our endeavour. For example, the lower mind through its harmful inner voices and emotional forces may tell us to resent someone or to hate our life; or to give up, and accept fear as a way of life. Our own thoughts may instruct us, without our ever knowing it, to cling to doubts; or to jump headlong into pools of self-pity. And because we do not know that there are alternatives, we do as we are instructed by our lower mind.

5. With firm faith in the Master which is the first seed to bring out the Courage that is within us we learn during meditation and individual sitting sessions that we can and in fact do wake up to the right path in the middle of these negative states of mind. Working with self-observation, we can actually see, for ourselves, that these self-compromising thoughts are all due to impurities and dross we have collected and stored in our mind. In fact these thoughts have no reality content and are absolutely unauthentic. This means it is not our destiny to move in the direction of these lower order states of mind.

6. The more we interfere with these thoughts the more they play and the duel never ends. It is the experience of the sadhakas that they have few moments of being aware of their own thoughts, and they feel that there is nothing happening when they watch so. And there have been other times when they felt very uncomfortable with what they saw within themselves. And they find themselves confused as to what is happening.

7. Master’s instruction is that we just keep going with our meditation not minding these thoughts. There is no point in denying that there is a persistent wish to silently watch our own thoughts and feelings: the internal drama we all cherish and enjoy most. We should not have much concern with our initial efforts to be self observant as it may not reveal much about our real nature but only entertain with our own creative and fictious dramas. An important point to note here is that we should never mistake any discovery about ourself as our true nature. In other words, we need not look at our present level of insight, whatever it may be, as it is likely to be the product of our being in a negative state of mind.

8. Instead we may observe all our thoughts to be facts of our existence and infact are the results of the previous samskaras good and bad. While they inform us our lapses and successes they are not against us. Only patient investigation of any temporary truth about us can bring more light into our inner world. Greater and greater inner vision arises, but for that we must grow accustomed to this self-illumination. And this includes what happens within us as the light of self-observation sharpens.

9. There are many mistaken notions dwelling in the darkness of the unawakened mind. To think they would not squeal as we bring this light to bear on them would be naive on our part. But, with the persistent practice of self-observation, we can even learn to use the mind's howling to live thought-free. To begin with, we should always take a conscious step back from anything which howls at us from within. This requires moral stamina and courage. Once removed, in this special fashion and we learn to observe in a detached manner we can see that any shriek of discomfort, worry, anxiety, or shame, can never be a part of who we really are. This is the first step in realizing our true nature as freedom. We begin to feel the breeze of freedom from our desires and passion.

10. Once this courage is developed in us and we start feeling our freedom however preliminary it is, the higher mind or the upper mind quietly receives us. The five pillars of spiritual life namely, Truth, Non-Injury, Contentment, Non-jealousy and celibacy become possible to be implemented in our daily life only because of this courage. Without courage none of these can be practiced. This is the stage we gain early in our sadhana and is experienced as a thoughtless condition. We should then step up into this thought-free realm by allowing the following higher facets of spirituality to help us develop our practice of meditation.

i) We should naturally but definitely, consciously defy any feeling that tells us that we are stuck with the thought process. The practice of ignoring the thoughts that arise during meditation suggested by the Master is a very important step in our progress. It may be noted that stepping back from our own thoughts and learning to watch them is the same as stepping up into a free mind. Being receptive to higher facets about ourself grants us the insight that the facets once feared are no longer facets that frighten us.

ii) We should stop digging up things that are over and gone. We should learn to stop chasing after our "bones of contention". Holding grudges is not going to help us move forward to happiness. Being a paleontologist in psychic realm will result in a handful of useless bones for which no museum authority would pay a pie. We should give up the grudges. This is the essence of the 7th Commandment. Our concern is to look ahead, to move forward, and to build our own happiness and that of those around us.

iii) We know we are spiritual beings. It is the common averment of all spiritual traditions that our spiritual nature was perfect in the beginning. It is only when we left the Homeland the problem of impurities and attachments developed and we become enmeshed in the cocoon of our own making. Our original condition has been described by the masters and mystics in many ways, such as a state of luminous, enlightenment, unconditional love, unborn, Godlike etc., Master called our original condition as that of Nothingness. In this natural state, we were free from fear, doubt, insecurity, needs or wants. We lacked nothing. In fact, this nature was complete and all-embracing.

11. We are told that we are now unable to experience this pure state because of the imprints, defilements, unwholesome habits and patterns of thoughts that we have accumulated over and over again. These imprints or defilements lead to tendencies that obstruct our awareness of our true nature. Diseases and illnesses, whether physical, emotional or mental, are a reflection of the disruption to our natural state. It is obvious that to heal ourselves, we must realise our true nature. To re-experience our natural state, we must purify ourselves through removing all our defilements in thoughts, words and actions. The more we purify, the more we can re-experience our true nature. Admittedly, all these beliefs are not new beliefs. There are many masters who have written truck loads of books about these. But the singular contribution of our beloved Master Sri Ramchandraji Maharaj Shahjahanpur is to suggest ways and means by which we can cross over the strands of our own making easily and feel our true nature every day during meditation. We are on the throes of new civilization based on spirituality and awareness of this makes us work hard to make it possible earlier. We are in the midst of a spiritual explosion and I believe we are in the exciting transition to become more spiritually aware. We will continue to gain more spiritual awareness as more and more people evolve spiritually.

12. Our Master has given humanity very many practical methods and infact laid a new spiritual path that leads to a state of joy and lasting happiness, yet most of us do not follow his advice or follow his methods half heartedly. I think there are two main reasons for this state of affairs.

i) We do not have enough faith or courage that we can achieve the ultimate liberation from our desires and wants and cravings and drives, the Master speaks of. It seems so far-fetched and impossible to achieve. Therefore, we do not even try.

ii) We are lazy and indolent and governed by the Tamasic nature. We fully realise that to achieve what the Masters have achieved require that we spend considerable time and effort training our mind, and this is much harder than just doing what we have been doing everyday. This is inspite of the fact the methods given by the Master does not take more than a few hours a day.

13. Yet if we do not try, how can we realise? If we want to achieve lasting happiness, we must give it a try and try with full honesty, persistency and courage. And all those who have seriously treaded the spiritual path have achieved a higher level of self awareness and contentment though it may not be the ultimate state and stage. In fact, I believed so strongly that the Masters’ path is the only path worth following and I consider myself duly rewarded. The courage with which we put the first step shall be the same courage with which we move ignoring difficulties in the various situations that arise in the path. We should remember the old adage that "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

14. It is clear to all the serious aspirants that we are not able to realize our true nature of unconditional and unbroken love and oneness because our inner Essence is covered by layers upon layers of negative as well as positive mental and emotional imprints which in our tradition are called Kosas. The traditional notion of peeling of layers of consciousness comparing the same with either the corn or the onion is a painful process. In our system we have the courage to retain them and moderate all of them and to use them for the purposes of the divine as the divine wills.

15. Many of the aspirants feel that the advice given to ‘ignore the thoughts during meditation’ would mean that we should be unaware of the thoughts. If we are unaware of our thoughts and ideas precious little can be achieved to balance them. Self-awareness or mindfulness is the ability to be consciously aware of one's thoughts, feelings and actions. This skill is the key to our spiritual development. From the moment we wake up until the moment we sleep, our thoughts move from one subject to another without pause. If we are hardly consciously aware of them, we will be functioning like a robot allowing our habits and tendencies to drive our thoughts, feelings and behaviour. If we are to clear our existing negative mental and emotional imprints, we must first be aware of them before we can even do anything about it. That is why self-awareness is fundamental to spiritual progress. The tools of evaluation so kindly given to us by Imperience actually aim to assist us in this process.

16. The ability to let go of all our clinging and attachments, or as Master puts ‘ignoring them as uninvited guests’ is another skill that is equally important in our spiritual transformation. We collect and carry too much garbage with us in our lives. It is only by letting go of this unnecessary burden that cloud our Essence that we can eventually experience the Essence in its natural and pure state. It is important to note that these two skills that a true aspirant develops, namely self-awareness and letting go may appear simple, yet they are the hardest skills to cultivate. That is because in our daily lives, we hardly ever sharpen these skills.

17. There is an old story of a man who had four wives. The man had become ill and was about to die. At the end of his life, he felt very lonely and so asked the first wife to accompany him to the other world thinking that she will do so because he treated her very well. She however declined stating that though she knows he treated her very well since it is the time of separation she will leave him and go on her own.

18. Then he called his second wife to his sickbed and begged her to follow him in death. She expressed herself rather coldly stating that since your first wife refused you are asking me and so far you loved me only for your own selfish sake and said she will not go with him.

19. Then he called his third wife, and asked her to follow him. The third wife replied that she pitied his condition and feel sad for herself too and that she would accompany him to the graveyard as that is her last duty to him.

20. Now he recalled that there was his fourth wife, for whom he did not care very much. He had treated her like a slave and had always showed much displeasure with her. He now thought that if he asked her to follow him to death, she certainly would say no. But his loneliness and fear were so severe that he made the effort to ask her to accompany him to the other world. The fourth wife gladly accepted her husband's request stating that whatever happens she is determined to stay with him and that she cannot be separated from him.

21. The story is philosophical and is explained generally as follows. The first 'wife' is our body. We love our body day and night. In the morning, we wash our face, put on clothing and shoes. We give food to our body. We take care of our body like the man treated his first wife in this story. But unfortunately, at the end of our life, the body, the first 'wife' cannot follow us to the next world. The second 'wife' stands for our fortune, our material things, money, property, fame, position, and job that we worked hard to attain. We are attached to these material possessions. We are afraid to lose these material things and wish to possess much more. There is no limit. At the end of our life these things cannot follow us after death. Whatever fortune we have piled up, we must leave it. We came into this world with empty hands. During our life in this world, we have the illusion that we obtained a fortune. At death, our hands are empty. We can not hold our fortune after our death. The third wife stands for the relationships of our parents, sister and brother, all relatives, friends, and society. They will go as far as the graveyard, with tears in their eyes. They are sympathetic and saddened. Thus we cannot depend on our physical body, our fortune, and our society. We are born alone and we die alone. No one will accompany us after our death. The fourth 'wife' is our mind. When we deeply observe and recognize that our minds are filled with anger, greed, and dissatisfaction, we are having a true look at our lives. The anger, greed, and dissatisfaction are our karma. We cannot be separated from our own karma.

22. The lesson in this story is that we often focus erroneously on our body, material possessions and relationships when we should be focusing our energy on cultivating our mind. When we focus on our body, possessions and relationships, we distract ourselves from cultivating our mind. A neglected mind is like a garden that is unattended to. It grows weeds. When we focus on the material world, life can seem like a big struggle. The moment we decide to live a spiritual life, something magical happens. By changing a single belief, we can entirely transform our lives.

23. However that demands courage and confidence in our part. Fear prevents us from doing what we know we should be doing. We lack courage and faith. If we truly have faith in our spirituality and the courage to live it, then we will experience the transformation. For this we need to consciously aspire to live a spiritual life, and to make sure that our actions, feelings and thoughts reflect that aspiration. This is what it means when we practice the Ten Commandments of the Master. It takes ofcourse Courage and the effort to have a great leap of faith. A faith greater than that of Lord Hanuman who did the great leap to Sri Lanka with his great faith.

24. We are told and many of us experience that the world is at a crossroads in evolution once again. There is a new consciousness emerging in the world that's beyond the scope of the mind and much closer to the nature of our true selves similar to the time when Man originally evolved his consciousness from the instinctive animal one. Because of the minds' linear nature it's fixated with imaginary past and future events and focuses large amounts of mental, emotional and physical energy in this direction. It is necessary therefore to go beyond the everyday focus in order to help facilitate the emergence of this new, higher consciousness. The Great Master developed ways of transcending the mind's limitations. By the quietening of our internal mental dialogue we are enabled to gradually awaken more and more to this new consciousness.

25. Master asks “ What is the call of the present day? Nothing but the energy issuing forth from the centre. Either it should burn us or it should embrace us. That should be our thought if we really want our transformation, for which we should come forward like a warrior in the field to test our own bravery for the task.” ( SDG-112) He also states that “If you want to taste the real nectar of life, come forward into the field with undaunted courage, not minding the ups and downs of fortune. That is the thing needed for our life, not charity and alms.” (SS-329-30) He affirms that “The courage starts when confidence is there; and confidence is there when you have willed to reach the destination.”(SDG-31) He bemoans that “Firm resolve and dauntless courage are the essential features of manly character. That is what is required for the final success. My advice in this respect usually goes unheeded.” (SS -264)

26. I do hope the sincere followers of the system of Rev. Babuji Maharaj do not fall into this unfortunate category of unheeding disciples. We are conscious that our fears are not walls, but only hurdles. We also know that courage is not the absence of fear, but the conquering of it and we are determined to conquer the same with love and devotion to the Master. We expect trouble as an inevitable part of life, and when it comes, hold our head high and squarely looking in its eye say “The Master is greater than you and you cannot defeat me”. One small truth before I end this paper, courage is not absence of fear even as stated earlier but it is fear that has said its prayer. The strength of courage is proportional to the intensity of the prayer of the competent. Those who are surrendered are not incompetent but are those who are brave and humble simultaneously and they are courage personified like Hanuman or Arjuna. They are the Prapanna Prabhus. The claim of the Master that his system makes us such is evident to those who have the ability and humility to observe.