“The difficulty arises when we remain held up by our own resourcefulness applied for our advancement (P.106 of ERY)”
- Rev. K.C. Narayana
1. The topic for this seminar is a very thought provoking statement by Rev. Babuji Maharaj in the article "EFFICACY OF RAJA YOGA" where he states "But the difficulty arises when we remain held up by our own resourcefulness applied for our advancement." What is this advancement that Master is talking about and why, are the points we need to consider carefully. It is clear that we reached the feet of the Master to realise our true nature and seek to work towards a goal that is good to us as human beings and the entire universe. This means we are enquiring about the goal of life towards which we are advancing now while we are alive and hopefully thereafter. These obviously bring into attention the important issue of the purpose of being liberated from all the shackles that curtail our freedom, while alive or in other words reach the state of jivanmukti. Traditionally it is held that there are five purposes that will be served in this endeavour 1.jnana raksha or preservation of knowledge, 2. Tapas or penance or austerity performed in order to do Rajayoga sadhana 3.visamvada bhava, absence of controversy, 4.duhkha nasha or cessation of pain and finally 5. Sukhavir bhava or manifestation of bliss/ serenity. It may be clearly seen the purpose of following the Ten Commandments of the Master is only to arrive at the state of consciousness where these purposes will be served. The lack of clarity in this regard makes many seek their odd notions and feel frustrated.
2. Master in this essay which is one of his master pieces states we need to follow his system without any deviation. In another context he said that it is the primary duty of man to realise. In this article he apparently contradicts the same saying that "But when we talk of duty we find ourselves enclosed within a sort of limitation." Duty is specific and it narrows down the sphere of freedom. It is true that our level when we start sadhana is finiteness which we cannot get away from without the practice as prescribed. The promised goal definitely arrives when we move on to broader visions losing our total self identity.
3. Master cautions that "… that depends mainly on the means and methods we apply for the purpose and adds 'If perchance we fall upon means which go on adding to our limitations and bondages, we shall definitely remain away from the vision of Reality - the Absolute.' There are many methods and Master dismisses them all as toys for the child to play with. He argues that while they may offer him a temporary lull, they lead the aspirant to further temptations for more and more enjoyment of pleasures and happiness. That may perhaps be the charm to induce us further on the path of happiness. In this process the goal is lost and one becomes stagnant. In our system the Pranahuti offered inspires within us a consciousness of a higher type of happiness of infinite character and through imperience we get roused to the idea of going further into the sphere of limitlessness. I may be permitted to say that everything that we learn on the spiritual path is to make the aspirant feel the impulse of the divine through Pranahuti that enables us free even though it may be for a few moments in the initial stages from own oppressive ideas and if we are able to do that we start seeing and feeling something different. These few moments will never be forgotten as we all know and we start looking at things in a different perspective such that, the shackles of several fetters are either loosened or destroyed. This freedom or limitlessness should and generally does generate in us the required wisdom to achieve the goal.
4. Master warns us here about the difficulty that arises due to which we remain held up by our own resourcefulness applied for our advancement. He states in his message "Solution and the problem of Life" that "We always like to seek our way or solve our problem of life through the difficult methods so commonly prevalent in our country. That is why disappointment and frustration result." Tradition has taught many good things and good things do not come alone. Mostly all religious literature is dualistic and that leads to our being in the fetters. It is well stated that when the goal is not clear and we dwell in the realm of duality we are victims of hatred, avarice, ignorance etc. Master in the above quoted message further stated that "We want to extract essence from fatty substances in other words from things which are puffed up with material knowledge and not from bones where Phosphorus is abundant to illumine the particles however soiled they may be. Our difficulty thus becomes greater in the struggle."
5. Master says that "When it is so, the idea of freedom does not even crop up in the mind. That is really a sad tale of our own. Such persons ever remain a prey to their own thoughts which go on adding veil after veil to their thinking and practicing. They have, so to say, fastened themselves so rigidly into their own ways that they would never listen to the ways suggested to them for extricating themselves from the meshes. The thing with which we started in the beginning thus becomes an impediment to our advancement on the path. Master asserts that there is no limit or hallmark to the advancement in spirituality as our goal is to move towards the Infinity. Ofcourse this becomes possible only when we can burn our dirt and dross in the single moment of flash experienced during meditation. Flash or Lightning it may be noted is far too superior even to Phosphorus as the lightening though compared to Phosphorus passes off in a flash as it is graphically described in the Vedic lore- Vidhyullekeva Bhaswara.
6. When we fix up such a goal that very intention will lead us to the Master or the Master presents himself before us. If the goal clarity is not there naturally the means and methods one adopts would themselves serve as bondages in the path of progress. Once the restlessness for the attainment of the goal is there the Master appears on the scene and it shall be our duty to abide by what he says under all circumstances.
7. But Master says the problem is with our resourcefulness. Admittedly being resourceful is one of the requirements for success. Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita (Chap. Xviii-43) indeed mentions this as one of the duties enjoined on the Kshatriyas. Now that the castes have become meaningless in the lives of aspirants in this path these injunctions cannot be considered as binding in sadhana. Various methods are prevalent in acquiring Brahma Vidya and many self appointed and genuine counselors are there advocating different methods to be adopted by the aspirant. Dr. K.C.Varadachari states that "All these methods are counseled, but the primary one is the condition of surrender, or self-giving or offering to the Ultimate. This condition prepares for all the rest. So much so, acaryas of the path of realisation had insisted on seeing the individual and his condition of preparedness to surrender himself, his ego, his possessions, and all including life itself to the Will and guidance of the Master. This is not as ridiculous as it might seem."
8. He adds that "Most individuals do sign away their lives or execute a bond or give an undertaking not to bring any action against the doctor if the patient dies on the operation table, or as a consequence of it, under any circumstances. The doctor gets immunity from prosecution if the case goes wrong, or death ensues. Similarly, the individual must be willing to run the risk of complete dependence and reliance on the Master or Guru in his spiritual efforts. This total or integral surrender .. alone makes for the evolution of the individual, and gives meaning and power to the practices of Bhakti, karma and jnana. This is what Sri Krsna has emphasized in the famous concluding advice: "Giving up all dharma surrender to Me. I shall save you from all sins - Do not grieve."
9. The exclusive devotion and belief in the power and wisdom of the Master, or God, is the essential feature of faith. It transmutes itself into love as it matures, which means a total self-giving to the Beloved even up to death. Life becomes unbearable without the presence of and union with, the beloved, the Master or God." Master says that "For those who want to have at least a peep into the Reality the proper method shall, in my opinion, be that which touches the inner core of the heart. The external means usually adopted for the purpose are really of no avail and do not lead one towards the goal." Many of the aspirants do japa of name or some mantra and this they resort to as their mind is not coming to control as they desire and they donot have the faith in the method of the Master. They do in fact also go on thinking, ruminating and philosophizing on the sacred mantras or slokas. A few more are even capable of instantly composing their poems of praise and flattery of the Master also. There are many more ingenious methods adopted by them.
10. Let us first understand the human struggle as such. The very state of our being human is a problem because we find we are in an in-between state. Spiritual aspirants know that we have awakened from a lower state, a plant or animal form where we were in a state of being and in harmony, but without awareness. We have not yet reached a state of being in harmony with awareness. This in-between state is the human struggle, a struggle not only for those who are on any kind of path of attempting to find the self, but for every single human being, regardless of their state of development, their character or their endeavour. The only difference between those who work actively toward finding themselves and those who do not is that the former bring this very struggle into awareness, while the latter are unaware of it. Our fight is to find the state of our being while in awareness. With awareness, we can reach a proper combination of activity and passivity, action and inaction. We are often confused about this.
11. During meditations it is common for many to loose awareness and many do confuse this state with that of nothingness or balance. I have on earlier occasions tried to share my knowledge about the differences between torpor and balance or equanimity. A child learning cycling is terribly concerned about the balance but as it matures in the art of cycling it is not even aware of the state of balance though awareness per se cannot be ruled out. Till we mature in a similar fashion in the science and art of meditation the problem persists. In our meditations we do struggle to overcome the obstructions which it may be better to express as 'knock outs' that come from unawareness. It is one of our prejudices to consider unawareness as unreality or untruth. In such a case our deep sleep will be an unreality and that is ridiculous. But deep sleep does not give the knowledge that the fourth state gives during meditation. This fourth state intimates us the knowledge that all is simple and pure spirituality. The need to go beyond the state of deep sleep or unawareness may be expressed as the struggle between spirit and matter. Matter in this context is to be taken as the net result of unawareness. Humanity has attempted mastery over sloth or matter in many ways, but in the final analysis it always meant mastery over sloth, inertia and untruth in us, personally.
12. Admittedly many aspirants resort to means and methods that they learnt from books or other elders and some times there earlier Guru. As they say 'habits die hard'. We should realise our notions of our true nature borrowed from various sources have to be given up and discover our own reality through our anubhava. But this is possible only when we discover our own unreality, the wrong notions and wrong conclusions based on them and avoid pseudo-solutions and evasive solutions. As Dr. K.C.V. puts it, it is only when we become naked like that bereft of all our resourcefulness do we gain access to the realm of the divine. As our consciousness gets settled in such a nakedness and a recurrent awareness of our non being is gained due to Pranahuti we slowly but definitely begin to think and act from the core of our being or is it non-being? It is only when we think and act from the core our identity in the stream of universal consciousness do we gain the capacity to reach and affect the core of others, regardless of whether or not they themselves are in our path..
13. When we touch the core of the main stream of consciousness we experience our self identity as subservient to that consciousness that is universal and all loving. This is the true self we arrive at during meditations and work on co aspirants. When our experience of self, of others and of life is not distorted but in accord with reality, we start expressing all the benign forces or divine qualities like reason, love, understanding, insight, strength, resiliency, flexibility, adaptability, creativity that your real life is endowed with. We start expressing adequately and are understood because our real nature is free. In such a true state of consciousness we are always in a position to discriminate and decide in all matters because fear and anxiety are gone. In making a proper and mature choice we start to distinguish between that which is real, valid, and constructive and that which is not. All this happens because we accepted the few moments of silence during meditation and also persevered in the path as per the method of the Master and thereby avoided getting into difficulties in the path
14. When we understand the love and compassion of the divine in granting us the few intimate moments during meditation we will be able to understand through imperience that the quietude, calmness, peace, silence and stillness are not to be taken to be identical states of mind. We understand that all these are states of a deepening order of consciousness, silence being the deepest. In a state of deep silence, there are no thoughts, feelings or mental movements that can disturb or alter the peace of the inner-being. We also understand that the human mind gets absorbed in the core of silence where it touches the original source of energy, love, purity and bliss of The Being. We find over a period of time that the mind is transmuted into the divine mind or Brahmand mind where the silence is in fact a conversation of the aspirant with the Master. Silence learnt during meditation are the alphabets of the language of God and one needs to improve on this intimacy.
15. Master asserts that it is only when a worthy Master of calibre comes up to our help that we are able to tear off the various sheaths that limit our freedom and make our passage to the Absolute Reality smooth and easy. We know that there are plexuses, centres and sub-centres which also bar our progress and we need to pass through these in our pursuit of Reality. Difficulties and complications arise mainly by the effect of our wrong thinking and practice, which we have to clear off through the process of cleaning. To sum up in the words of the Master 'In short the help of the Master, who has himself traveled the entire distance and has developed in himself the Divine force, is therefore of immense value. It is then alone that the Divine force begins to flow into the abhyasi from the Divine centres. This subtle force is very strong, so much so that in higher regions even if an abhyasi attempts to go up he is pushed down by the effect of this strong flow of the force. In that case it is only the Master's dynamic force that pulls him up through the flow and enables him to have a view of Reality.'
16. Depending on our own resourcefulness may be suicidal in spiritual path. To quote the Master 'In the first place he must have full trust in the Master and must fully cooperate with him in every respect. If it is so he will positively go on developing day by day, and begin to feel himself changed and transformed.'
17. To conclude in the words of the Master "It is really the state of self-surrender in which one, as a true devotee, surrenders himself completely to the will of God, the Master, basking in the sunshine of His Grace. That is the relationship between the Master and the devotee, which is to be maintained all through because that was the only relationship that had finally brought us up to that highest level of super-consciousness. It is only here that the true character of our being is revealed. But if the idea of freedom lingers still, or he has a feeling of it in any way, he is not free from the shackles. When the consciousness of freedom is also gone, one finds himself lost in the maze of wonder. The idea of Reality even is not there. He feels that he is not keeping pace with Infiniteness. The condition can better be described either as having been dissolved in toto, or that Infinity has been poured into us in toto. When everything is dissolved, one finds himself nowhere. Absorbency in Brahman commences, but we push on still to attain the last stage destined for a human being.''
18. May this promised destiny for all of us come true soon.