Mind Bathing Series
Gems of The Heart –
Messages To Your Heart
Words of a true master to touch the centre of your being
From the works of Gururaj Ananda (1932-1988)
Edited by John Lamb (AKA Jaish)
ISBN 978-0-9569025-2-8 Subeam Publications
Gururaj Ananda Yogi (1932-1988)
Gururaj Ananda Yogi, the amazing master as some call him, taught groups in many countries between 1976 up until his demise in 1988, giving his life in service to humankind during this period. Often in poor health towards the end of his life, he kept up a vigorous work schedule, giving talks, personal advice, techniques and blessings on both sides of the North Atlantic, at residential retreats and public talks, travelling from his home in South Africa to U.K., Spain, Denmark, Ireland, Canada and U.S.A. and finally, in a ‘united farewell’, Cyprus.
Gururaj deeply touched the heart of thousands who came into his presence. His words are truly gems of the heart. You can read more about him in Guruaj Ananda : A Profile.
In this book, we have over 150 extracts and sayings from his U.K. talks, 3 satsangs on the subjects of God, Change and Liberation and a small selection his poems.
The extracts and sayings are presented first, in alphabetical (headings) order, followed by the poems and finally the satsangs.
Gururaj’s complete UK talks are available in the Data CD Answers to Your Life, a quick reference facility to more than 800 subject headings within the talks; a veritable lifetime of reading for learning and upliftment.
Chapter 1: Extracts and Sayings
There is no Scripture in the world that does not teach of acceptance. There is no scripture that does not teach of hope. There is no Scripture that would say, ‘You are hopeless, plod on, my son’. All scriptures say, ‘Be hopeful’. And it is all there for you. It is the determination we develop that helps us to accept. Every virtue or every vice has a group of associates. When we have determination, we develop acceptance. When we develop acceptance, we develop perseverance. UK77-4
We need to accept the circumstances we are in because it is only by acceptance that we can progress further. Otherwise we remain stagnant and even, perhaps, retrogress. UK77-17
It is by the acceptance of oneself that one can look deeper within oneself. It is by acceptance of oneself that one can truly analyse oneself. It is by the acceptance of oneself that one can truly feel oneself. Most of us feel other people instead of feeling ourselves. UK77-17
Once we accept ourselves really and truly then whatever anyone says would not touch us, would not create an impression on the lower mind. UK77-17
The purpose of affirmations is to use the conscious mind as a reverse process. To use the conscious mind and confirm to oneself positive affirmations has a lasting effect, creating a deep impression upon the subconscious. And by creating a deep impression upon the subconscious, of something positive, you will automatically eradicate that which is negative. UK78-11
If one affirms to oneself a positive thought, it could have great power in affecting the conscious mind and through the conscious mind subdue the turbulence of the sub-conscious. UK77-4
All your energies must be focussed in that affirmation. The affirmation must have the force and the power of a concerted mind. Physical energies can be brought through the channel of the concerted mind. UK78-48
The acceptance of the idea of angels and guardian angels is necessarily a supposition. UK76-6B
Are there nature-spirits and are there guardian angels? If there are nature spirits, what are they? And if there are guardian angels, what are they? How are nature spirits made? How are nature spirits created? And guardian angels; where do they come from? (Ask yourself), “Are they separate entities or are they just our souls projecting ourselves into an external form?” UK78-11
A guardian angel is not someone sitting up there and following you around. The story of Princess Cinderella is a nice story but it is still a story, a fable. The guardian angel that helps us is the higher self within us. The subtle body with all its impressions throughout all these lifetimes has not only bad impressions, it also contains good impressions. And the good impressions are forever in conflict with the bad impressions. UK78-11
The abode of that guardian angel is within the framework of your mind. UK78-66
When one is dependent upon another, all dependencies stem from the ego. And behind those dependencies is attachment. And because there is that attachment, it produces a kind of karma which rebounds on you again. So the process is to proceed from attachment to non-attachment, yet living within the realms of attachment. UK79-5
Non-attachment comes when you find unity in diversity. And yet you are conscious of all the diversity around you. And in spite of all the diversity which the conscious mind sees, there is that inner self within you that shines in all its glory and encompasses the entire universe in oneness. And then you would say ‘Tat tvam asi’ – it’s a Sanskrit term which means, ‘Thou art That’. And then you still progress from that to say ‘Brahmas Me’ – ‘I am Brahma’, I am the entire universe. Nothing separates me from anything else and that is the state of Christhood. That is the state the man Jesus reached when he could say, ‘I and my Father are one’. Because the Father is omnipresent and the man Jesus reached the stage where he could become one with omnipresence. UK78-38
There is a way the conscious mind can extend itself. It will extend itself in developing greater faculties, of which it was not aware previously. And yet all this will be done on the relative plane of existence.
The whole purpose of developing awareness or a vaster awareness, is appreciating and knowing – and we are all capable of this – the entirety of all creation, of all manifestation.
So when these subtler layers are awakened they function in awareness and consciousness. The deeper we go in the layers of the mind, the purer the consciousness becomes. Pure (here) does not mean good or bad thoughts. It is something beyond that. It is a sense that one develops of knowingness and that knowingness forms the greater part of awareness. UK80-22
Our practices are to find a greater awareness of the mind and a greater expansion of the heart. UK76-2a
Creating this beautiful harmony within oneself through meditation: When the mental awareness expands, simultaneously the heart to expands and with the combination of the mind and heart with a beautiful expansion, a beautiful wholeness (comes about). And gradually, as we achieve that wholeness, our attitude towards life changes where we can start loving. Then we will know the meaning of the commandment ‘love thy neighbour as thyself’. UK76-1
Life has to be lived in order to gain that insight, that vast expanded awareness. Thereby we go beyond relative awareness and become absolute. UK76-6A
We expand our awareness and in the expansion of awareness, we have a greater perspective. Our perspective, our vision, our conception, our perception widens and in the widening of the perception, we develop the ability to be able to decide and evaluate with our intellect so that freewill could lead us to that which is evolutionary and not which is retrogressive. UK76-3
Be yourself / Know yourself
Knowing yourself does not mean, “I’ve got ten fingers on my hands and ten toes and two ears and two eyes.” That’s not knowing oneself. Knowing oneself means knowing the essence of oneself. UK80-20
You can only know thyself, thy real self, when you let go of your small self. UK78-30
One must also go beyond the limits of acquired knowledge and find the inner wisdom, find the inner energy, and with that inner wisdom thereby find a wholeness. UK77-24
Knowingness is not necessarily a region of the mind. The mind is capable of analysis and the mind is capable of acquired knowledge and that is all the mind can do. It acquires knowledge by listening, hearing, reading; going through theories and sometimes filling the brain with useless knowledge. The mind analyses all the acquired knowledge. But in that analysis the mind will reach the point where it realises, “What I have acquired is meaningless and value-less because that acquisition of knowledge has not made me any wiser or any happier. UK77-29
It is so simple to be happy but so difficult to be simple. UK78-64
Self realisation is a complete integration of mind, body and spirit and that integration cannot be artificially induced by using drugs. UK76-3
20 minutes each day (meditation) and your whole lifestyle changes? It could never be changed if in our waking lives we don’t exert certain conscious effort. That is why some people get deluded in to a false euphoria UK76-1
With our meditational practices we preserve the tranquillity but it takes effort to let the sattvic, the good sides, of ourselves dominate. UK76-6A
Regular meditation gives us the strength to face ourselves so that in daily waking life we do make some conscious effort to better our lives. UK76-11
Nothing in this universe is ever, ever destroyed. It only changes form. But by conscious effort, conscious living and consciously wanting to live a better life we change the form of what is already there UK77-11
Consciously or unconsciously, we want to refine our grosser selves and become finer and finer and finer. When we apply conscious effort to it, then the progress is faster. And with proper understanding, the progress one makes becomes smoother. UK78-49
There is no great big cosmic light coming down there welcoming you ‘Come home, my son’. No. You can condition yourself to have that experience. Any person can condition himself to have any experience in the physical as well as the subtle. Keep on repeating to yourself now that I’ve got a headache, I’ve got a headache. Do that for ten minutes and I’m sure you are going to have a headache. You can easily condition yourself. UK79-20
Death requires definition. There is nothing that dies. There is nothing existent in this universe which is destructible. There is no death but just a passing over. We discard this gross body but it is not destructible. It would disintegrate into its finest elements and therefore we say ‘from dust to dust’. What goes beyond, when the gross body is left behind, is the subtle body. UK76-7
The subtle body, not yet being liberated, has not developed the purity within itself to reach the Source and will naturally have to follow a path and that path is described as evolution UK76-7
You fear “I will be destroyed”, “my environment will be destroyed” and “when I am destroyed I am not there any more.” And this fear comes with the sense of total clinging. What are you clinging to? All energy that exists is never destroyed but only transformed and it is the very transformation that we mistake to be destruction. Are you destroyed? You are not, for there is no death. Life is eternal. UK81-8
Our conception is entirely upon our dimension only. But the dimension we work upon can affect other dimensions. UK77-13
I’m here now in July 1977, but in another dimension I might be here in the year AD 01. If you will understand that, you will understand everything. UK77-13
What we call different dimensions is just a degree of refinement. UK77-23
The entire universe that we know, that we live in, starts from a subtle stage to become grosser, becomes so much grosser that matter eventually becomes tangible. At first it was so subtle that it was practically intangible, and now it is tangible. UK78-15
As it progresses through all these various known kingdoms, there are other kingdoms besides mineral, plant, animal, man. There are in-between kingdoms of different dimensions. As progresses takes place through all this, you finally reach the stage of man. UK78-15
Every person is a unique entity, a totality unto himself. And the day when he accepts responsibility for himself and accepts that this is my weakness and I am responsible for it, from that day, his progress starts. UK79-37
When we try to not change that which is forever changing, we produce conflicts. And those conflicts are binding you down, shackling you down more and more and more. UK78-61
True discrimination comes only when one can really be quiet and silent within oneself. UK79-2
There must be a conscious effort in the waking state. But how to make the conscious effort; how? Could the conscious effort lead to inhibitions and represssions or could the conscious effort lead to realisations? There lies the art of discrimination and the skill in living, and the skill in effort. UK76-2A
The intellect is a necessary tool which helps us to discriminate between right and wrong. The discrimination between right and wrong in turn influences our emotional life and the emotional side of ourselves influences our every thought and deed. UK76-7
The nature of thought is but a fine current that came from primal creation of this universe and, because of its various permutations, it has become more and more grossified and the reason for its grossification is because of the experiences that man has put his mind through. In the lower kingdoms, the plant kingdom or the animal kingdom or the mineral kingdom, they flow within the confines of nature. They act instinctively and that is why they do not need pushing in evolution. They flow naturally. But as soon as that very particle became man, there the trouble began, because man for self-preservation started thinking of me and mine. And that is where thought started interfering with consciousness, pure consciousness. UK80-19
What we need is the expansion of the ego and expanded in a proper way so that the ego becomes entirely transparent and the full force of reality, the full force of the light shines through. UK78-54
The ego is nothing else but a totality of thought, a totality of impressions that have come together, not only in this lifetime but through many, many lifetimes perhaps. UK78-54
To be able to recognise the ego, one has to go beyond the ego, to be able to observe the ego. UK79-5
When a spark flies out from the fire, the spark thinks, ‘Oh, look at this long existence of mine.’ But in the flicker of an eyelid, it turns to ashes and falls back into the fire. UK78-8
The universe is forever proceeding in cycles. One cycle begins and ends and the germ that’s left of the unrealised souls would create another explosion and that is how the universe is eternal. There are cycles and cycles and cycles, forever on and on and on, without beginning and without end.
Only a cycle begins and a cycle ends, but in the fullest concept of things, there is no beginning and no end. If you don’t reach the absolute stillness or the ‘transcendent being’, if you cannot complete that in this cycle, you will still complete it in the next cycle because the propulsion is there; it is unavoidable. You cannot stop evolutionary progress. And even when the cycle ends you as that fine current still exist creating another cycle. UK77-2
If we study the structure of the universe we will find that it is nothing but a set of vibrations. UK76-3
Facing yourself means admitting to yourself that ‘this is my insecurity’; admitting that to yourself you will accept yourself as yourself, as the small ego self, and then you ask yourself another question, “What am I going to do about it?” UK78-46
You are dwelling in miseries because you don’t want to face yourself. True teaching means only one thing. Face Yourself; Know yourself. UK82-17
Discovering the major weakness of yourself by yourself has the inbuilt factor of wanting to be rid of that major weakness. UK77-13
Acceptance means not only the circumstances we are confronted with but facing the truths about our traits we are confronted with, accepting that (for instance) ‘I have the tendency of being a thief’. These examples are true acceptance. UK77-19
The basic fear behind all fears is the fear death; of loss of individuality. But the thing that has to be realised and learnt is this: that by losing individuality and assuming universality you become the master of the universe and you and your ‘maker’ become one. UK79-23
The process of ridding oneself of all fear would be the refinement of the ego. The more the ego is refined, the greater the light of the real self penetrates or shines in the receptacle, or the mirror, of the ego. UK77-17
Death causes no pain whatsoever. What causes pain is the fear of death. Death is painless. Fear is painful. UK79-20
When we are fearless, we invariably exhibit and put into practice the quality of love, because fearlessness is love. UK 7-17
When we have realisation, then fear becomes fearlessness, anger becomes love and hatred becomes love. The same energy is converted within us, in its positive aspect. UK77-20
There is a very thin dividing line between fear and fearlessness. A very thin veil separates the two. The whole crux of the matter lies in the energy that brings the positivity or negativity about. The basis of the question is based upon energy, and how that energy is used, how it is utilised, how it is expressed. Thereby comes freewill. UK77-20
Real happiness and fearlessness can only be found by subduing the ego, and not nurturing it. UK77-20
God exists because you exist and you exist because God exists. One is part and parcel of the other. The manifest and the manifested is but one, and we only find the differentiation when we view it from different angles. UK76-01
Do not think that your acceptance of the personal God is the end of it all because, from the personal God one proceeds to the abstract God, the impersonal God. UK76-2A
God, the impersonal God, is non-tangible. But the solidified vibration in the form of word is tangible. This tangibility, this sound, this primal vibration with the admixture of all the vibrations around it, through duplication and replication, assumed different forms. And those forms were given names. Firstly the gaseous, then liquids and then solids. And that is how this entire universe came about. UK80-41B
In meditation we try to reach the primal vibration, that which we call the Word, ‘The Word that was with God and is God’. That is what we try to do in meditation. By specialised, individualised techniques we reach to the deeper and deeper levels of human kind, where the primal vibration exists as it exists everywhere else. UK80-41B
Like the stage of progression from monism to dualism – from one stage to the other – being able to understand the abstract, the impersonal God, one too has to become impersonal. So the comprehension by the mind is not necessary. To know the impersonal God, one has to go beyond the limitations of the mind. UK76-2A
I am nothing else but an ordinary person, more humble than the humblest. I’ve said this many times, “If you are ill, I’ll come and wash your backside for you.” I regard myself none higher than the worm that crawls on the floor, for the Divinity in there is the same Divinity in me.
But I do know one thing, that through many lifetimes, through severe practices for many, many years, I have become a channel for that grace to flow through. Otherwise these benefits, these understandings, these realisations, could never come to another, could never be imparted to another.
Then you have people wanting to start up things when they only have partial understanding. If you haven’t got it, how can you give it? UK80-33
I have no attachment to anything whatsoever. I live in this world with you, I like to be with you. The days of the gurus that sit on the pedestal are over now. You go to the guru according to the feeling you have in your heart. A guru is to be regarded as a brother, if you have those kinds of feelings. He is to be regarded as a father, if you feel like a child to him. But the most important quality is the quality of love, and that love must come from you, from your heart to a certain extent, inspired by the guru. UK76-2A
It is very wrong to worship the Guru. A true guru is a person that must be with you, mix with you. If you fall ill I will nurse you. If your head is sore, I will rub your head for you. If you need any wisdom in your head, I will give you that. If you need love, the love is always there. A guru should be like a well. You come to the well with your bucket. If you bring a small bucket, you will draw less water and you bring a big bucket, you’ll draw more water.
As long as you people are benefiting – that is my joy. Why do I discard everything to serve humanity? Because I have experienced the joy of becoming one with Divinity and what I am doing is sharing my joy so that you too can enjoy the joy. It’s just so, so simple. UK76-2A
Drug taking leads to fragmentation – meditation leads to integration. UK78-58
Mankind, because of imbalances within – the imbalance or the disintegration or the fragmentation that exists between mind, body and spirit – tries to find some form of relief in escaping in escapism. And that is why they resort to artificial, chemical means to take themselves into a form of oblivion where all responsibility ceases for them for that moment. UK78-58
One has to explore the entirety of the universe in order to know the completeness of the mind. UK79-1
There is no adversity in life -there is only opportunity. That which we regard to be adverse might be the very lesson we need to learn. UK78-2
When a person thinks life is a game and at the same time panders to his ego, then it ceases to be a game. UK78-55
If we take a lump of clay, from clay we can mould a little mouse and from the same clay, we can mould an elephant. Now we cannot say that the mouse is unreal or the elephant is unreal. The elephant and the mouse is real but what is actual? The actuality is the clay. UK76-6A
When we reach the absolute then all becomes an illusion. But when we are not there, *Maya is real. It has to be real, or Maya cannot exist – for Maya too is an existence. An illusion exists as an illusion, for an illusion, too, is reality. But to know what illusion is, you’ve got to find its opposite. UK79-5
(*Maya means attachment to our perceptions)
This present form of existence is but a dream-like existence, which is real within its own dimension. But beyond the dimension of this present so-called existence, beyond that dimension and into the truer consciousness of another dimension, this is all but a dream. UK80-24
Here and Now
Every moment is an eternity in itself. UK80-41A
There is no past and there is no future, but just the present. And in that flash of a moment – the stillness of this very moment – the entire eternity is experienced. UK77-1
Blake said to experience eternity in an hour, but he was slightly mistaken. Experience eternity in a moment, here and now. That is the experience; the goal of life everyone has to strive for. And eventually everyone must reach there. UK79-15
Individuality is a conception made by our intellect. What tells me that I am an individual is my mind. UK76-2B
Individuality and the eternal are inseparable. We think that we are sitting here, ten feet apart. But science will prove to you, that there is a substance called ether, a very fine matter, which connects everything to everything. UK76-2B
The individuality of the vapour, the water and of the ice, are tied together by that one principle of H20. In human beings we use this analogy to illustrate that the infinite power, that which you call eternal, is infinite and so permeates all individuals. The individuality is seen only on a surface level. UK76-2B
Although man is so interconnected with every atom in this universe, he still tries to maintain his individuality. And it is when you lose that individuality into that universality, then you shall see no destruction, you shall just see life everlasting. For have the Scriptures not said that ‘It is by dying that you are reborn’? What part of you has to die? That ego self, that self preservation (in your mind). UK81-8
Nothing belongs to you, nothing belongs to me. We are little waves on this eternal ocean. The wave cannot claim individuality for itself, there is just but a rising in this vast ocean of the universe. UK82-1
Individuality only begins with the subconscious mind which contains all your Karmas and Samskaras, which we allow to filter through the conscious mind, and then we feel all the hurts and all the pains. UK 82-3
Individuality is confined to the body and individuality is confined to the individual mind, which is in turn connected to the universal mind. But, because of the impeded flow of the energies in the chakric system, a person cannot appreciate the connection he has with the universal self. UK78-31
There’s a difference between pleasure and joy. Pleasure is momentary. Joy is lasting. UK79-23
Joy has nothing to do with your Karma which has nothing to do with the concept of heaven and hell. For heaven and hell is here now. Heaven and hell can be created in another realm according to your mind, according to your conception, according to your idea. It is all to do with conditioning. But in the subtle state, not having the encumbrance of the body with you, you are closer to the spirit. And the nature of the spiritual life is nothing else but bliss and joy. Joy experienced while you are here will be felt more intensely (in your ‘rest’ between lives). UK79-20
Law of Grace
“Nothing happens without grace. Nothing, nothing, nothing. Let us use the mind to invoke that grace and not reject grace by playing about in the mind’s whirlpool.” UK79-7
The Law of Grace demands of us that we should be worthy of that grace. How we can be worthy of that grace is by changing the tendency, changing the pattern of our life, by changing the pattern in that moment of decision. We are (then) invoking the Law of Grace. Immediately the decision is made, sincerely, immediately, some law, some grace is felt and it is always an uplifting feeling. It is always an uplifting feeling. And as we change, as we change our tendencies more and more, more and more does grace descend upon us. UK76-6B
The law of cause and effect is part and parcel of the Law of Karma. The Law of Karma cannot exist without cause and effect. Cause and effect are the characteristics of karma. So, what we do, we get benefit from. Good deed will have good benefit, good returns. Bad deeds will have bad returns and we are responsible for all our actions. Our actions in turn are motivated by our past.
Now by past we do not only mean this life but it can go back in the past of many lives before. So we are the sum totality of our past and that past is in us in the form of what we term samskaras. UK76-6B
Good karma leads you to the greater and greater refinement of the intellect, greater and greater refinement of the mind. UK78-38
There is a karma called the latent karma, which has no bondage and that which has no bondage is free. It’s like a seed that has all the qualities in it, all the essentials in it to grow into a tree, because if that seed did not have all the essentials in it, it would not grow into a tree. In that way, when we reach the stage of entering the human kingdom for the first time, we have free karma, latent karma. And, because of the needs that we create, more and more needs are created by the first need. One need creates the second need, the second need creates the third one, and like that it goes on and that is how one lands up in bondage. And as each person progresses to the next life, they carry with them the impressions of the first life. UK78-15
No one can take over anyone else’s karma. This principle is difficult to accept because we have been brought up in a tradition where we have expected something for nothing. UK79-3
It is our own maturity, our own reaction, that governs our karma. When we say that these great personages teach us these lessons we attune ourselves with the spirit of the lesson, not the lesson itself, not the teaching itself but the spirit of the teaching. We open ourselves to that grace which makes the reaction much more smooth, much more joyous. As I always say we pay off not by cash on demand but by easy instalment plan. In that sense we can say that our karma has been taken away. But in reality we are responsible for our own actions. UK79-2
For the ordinary person, the opposites create karmas, actions with reactions, good or bad. Yet the person who has reached supreme consciousness, who’s in the world and yet not of the world, is unaffected. He’s a law unto himself. Ah, what a joy. It is indescribable. I wish I could tell you more about it. I just can’t. But I can help you feel it for yourself. UK79-3
When you reach the stage of man as your first incarnation, you are not karma free but at the same time that karma contained within you is non-binding. It is non-binding because you have not yet developed the power of thinking. It is only when the mind starts developing, that the activity of karmic (build-up) begins. UK78-15
Knowledge versus Belief
Being formless, IT can be identified in its totalness – in totality with the entire existence. And then one dwells in the realms of absolute knowledge, absolute existence and absolute bliss. UK76-2A
The purpose of acquisition of knowledge is to find oneself. Everything else is secondary. UK78-9
With meditational practices, we gain the mental equilibrium; we gain that inner knowledge, whereby perspective changes and suffering is lessened. UK76-2B
Many people maintain that it is by going to a certain place that spiritual knowledge can be found. But if we analyse this problem of going somewhere, we would find the answer that going anywhere is not necessary at all. The place that we have to go is within, because all knowledge and all wisdom is within ourselves. UK76-3
If acquired knowledge, knowledge of the mind was a prerequisite to leading a better quality of life then every University Professor of Philosophy would be an enlightened being. But they’re not. Perhaps they are more confused than many of us. UK77-3
Knowledge is not a prerequisite to experience that which is really us. As a matter of fact, knowledge sometimes becomes a stumbling block because the mind is confused with various kinds of thoughts. UK77-3
Acquired knowledge can be read in books. Wisdom is a sense of knowingness. Wisdom is a sense of cognition; direct cognition where immediately a communication takes place and you just know. You just know what is and all the amount of books, and all the amount of studies cannot take you there. UK77-22
One force says that ‘I have to let go of the ego to find self fulfilment, to find self realisation’, and the other self wants to preserve the ego, which acts as a barrier towards that self-realisation. And when we read in the Scriptures of the two forces of God and of the devil, those are very symbolically represented. They are symbols of the very factor that constitutes this question. So within man’s self, the two forces are forever at war. And it is this warring that is within us that causes all the suffering, all the miseries that accompany greed. UK78-59
Let go of yourself, let go of this pettiness, because you are far greater than the pettiness that you have assumed, you are far greater than this little world you live in. UK80-9
Eternality is timeless and endless; the mind is also timeless and endless. But the mind is a superimposition. And with the various combinations of the factors involved in man’s evolution, the veils have become thicker, thicker, thicker, so that the superimposition thinks it is real, forgetting the underlying (limitless) it has come from. UK77-30
Actually, you are already enlightened. You do not need to be led there because leading someone somewhere means from point A to point B. But you are already there. The only thing (is that) the realisation must dawn. The beans are in the can already; the can just has to be opened! UK80-38
The extent of the mind is the extent of the universe. UK76-4
Love can be walled up. Get rid of the walls, get rid of the blocks. Meditation and spiritual practices are the surest means of breaking down the walls and opening the heart so that this heart can flow in its own Divine glory. Each one of us can do it. UK78-1
In true love there is no lover, there is no beloved, but there is just love. The subject ceases, the object ceases, the idea of the relationship between subject and object also disappears and just that love exists. And that is why the Scriptures tell us ‘God is love and love is God.’ That is the true meaning of what that means. UK76-6A
The knotted heart knows not anything. Many people crave for the experience to soften the heart. They yearn for it. If they use the proper methods then hard-heartedness can become soft-heartedness. With hard-heartedness all the negative qualities are involved. But with the softness of the heart there are so many virtues and blessings that go with it, like kindness, compassion and understanding. And of course, with the soft-heartedness, we apply the golden rule of placing ourselves in the other man’s shoes. Then we start learning what love is all about. UK77-5
Here’s what you think of life: “I am here, I am whole but there seems to be this other part of me. Wrong. The truth is: “I am a trillion times more than what I see with my senses. This visual part of me is so miniscule that my realness doesn’t even recognize it. UK80-10
When you say ‘I have come from God and I’m going back to God’, you are measuring it in terms of your own mind which can only think in terms of time and space. Beyond time and space, there is no coming or going. You are just there. UK78-9
The mind has to be illumined; the mind lives on borrowed power. But that area beyond the mind lives on its own power, it is self-livingness. So the light there enjoys itself in its own light and that is the area that everyone has to reach. UK78-11
Meditation gives us the strength to change our perspectives. UK76-9
By specialised, individualised techniques we reach to the deeper and deeper levels of the human being, where the primal vibration exists as it exists everywhere else. UK80-41B
Through meditational practices we draw from the inner core, from the reservoir, and bring it through to the ninety per cent dormant mind and then further on through the ten per cent mind that we know of and then from there to the body. Everything benefits. UK76-10
By cultivating the mind through meditational practices we learn to overcome the mind and go beyond it. That is where Truth is found. UK78-1
God plus mind makes man. Man minus mind makes God. UK77-30
Being able to think deeply is a double-edged sword. It can tie us up into more knots or it could cut the knots free. UK78-15
A conscience is nothing else but a subtle energy which is always wanting to be directed for our own good, and the good of others. UK79-40
Expectation is the father of disappointment, and disappointment is the mother of suffering. UK79-2
It is the mind that invents the Satans and the Gods. They are all inventions of the mind. The entire universe is nothing but mind. All problems in life are nothing but mind. UK78-1
The limited mind is a limited instrument. By using a limited instrument, our conceptions and perceptions are limited. It can only feel or interpret, or conceive, or perceive, limitations. UK76-5
Nature / divine will
Whatever the physical body feels the mind feels more intensely. There is no way out for the mind but to flow with the laws of nature. Everyone has a choiceless choice, being forced, compelled, coerced, by their own doings to come back to live out those experiences. And, is life not a school? We come here to learn. We come here to evolve. We come here to better ourselves. And every experience is valid. Even a wrong experience, even a bad experience, in its finality, will bring one to certain realisations. UK76-8
We have to allow the superconscious mind to shine through to the conscious mind. What blocks it is the subconscious mind, which is the container of all the impressions gathered through many, many lifetimes. UK78-11
All suffering in the world is because the ego self of a person or the small “i” thinks that “I am the doer” – really speaking it is the power behind us, in us, without us that is actually the real force behind every action. For instance, your stove at home is burning or your refrigerator is working the stove or the refrigerator cannot say that “I am working on my own”. It is the electrical current flowing through the stove or the refrigerator that makes it work. UK76-11
We do not need to analyse the mechanics of darkness. We switch on the light. And that we do through meditation, where we reach to the deepest layers, the source of light, and bring forth the light to banish all the darkness that is in our lives. UK79-31
The human mind can never, never, remain a vacuum. It has to be filled with positivity or negativity. Suffering is negativity. Joy is positivity. So the less negativity there is, the more positivity would emerge. And the more positivity there is, the less negativity would there. So by gaining an understanding of meditational processes – not only gaining the understanding of it, but also by practising it – we do gain these benefits of the positive energies which are inherently ours. UK76-10
When this body drops away the subtle body carries on to take rebirth if necessary. The subtle body or the mental body is the repository of all the impressions gained. It is the sum-totality of man’s ego. And yet this ego cannot exist alone without being fuelled or empowered by the spiritual energy. And the spiritual energy, being forever pure, is filtered through the subtle body dependant upon how refined the subtle body is. Therefore, man’s ego is not only of this lifetime. The identification with the ego is not only for one life, but it has come from millions of years back. UK79-41
When a person dies, if there are so many attachments – a person could be attached to a mother, father, daughter, son, whatever – what happens to that soul that has so much attachment is that it will delay its rebirth. UK80-37
This memory box contains within itself every experience that we have gone through, all along through all these rebirths. UK78-33
The overriding factor of a deep love that existed in a previous life could rule the entire formulation of its rebirth. So the man and the woman, the boy and the girl can definitely meet again in this lifetime. When it comes to people generally, as the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together. This applies to human beings. Two people might not meet eye to eye on secular matters, mundane things, but yet within there is a compatibility of spirit. UK82-9A
Once the need is removed, the underling factor of pure love shines through. UK79-5
When the wife becomes demanding in getting the attention to feed her ego or the husband becomes demanding to feed his ego and self importance, then friction begins. Now to avoid this friction, one has to learn surrender. One has to learn surrender. When one surrenders oneself completely to one’s beloved, then a love is felt and that love is akin to Divinity. UK78-12
The little ego stands in the way. It blocks the way for the natural flow of love or communication from heart to heart. UK78-12
Devotion is an expression of love, selfless love. Devotion is the desire to become one with another. UK78-41
Meditation does change the personality. It takes away the hardness that is there and brings that mellowness which love inspires and it teaches a person how to love. It teaches a person the meaning of love and not only that, it teaches a person to become love. That is the basic change required in mankind today. UK79-31
Samskaras (Impressions related to each individual)
Thought, which is also composed of fine matter, cannot be destroyed. UK78-49
The more you try to get rid of samskaras, the more samskaras you form. So there again we are in this vicious circle. Every thought man thinks, good or bad, forms an impression and the impression is a samskara. UK78-30
Thoughts are very persistent things. They go on and on and on. The more you fight them, the more you push them away, the more they come. This can take you deeper and deeper into the whirlpool of samskaras. UK78-30
Samskaras are impressions of all our existences, all our thoughts, words and deeds which (also) form and formulate a pattern of our future behaviour, of our future thought, word and deed. UK76-6B
Where do samskaras (impressions) reside? They reside in the chakras. The composition of the chakra is a combination of the impressions gained through many lifetimes; motivated, activated and empowered by energy. UK78-31
Seeker and the path
People (generally) just exist, they don’t live. When a person just drifts along and just exists then there is no aim but once they start realising that there is something deeper, something more, then they start living. UK76-6B
Life is never purposeless and any person that stifles his purpose of life or denies that there is any purpose to life, will only flounder like a rudderless boat. UK78-10
There are signposts on the spiritual path that would tell you how far you have reached. But is your conscious mind receptive enough to notice the spiritual signposts? UK80-3
The signposts are there but it’s not necessary to see them or know them, you’re still on the path, a pathless path. It’s just unveiling – unveiling of all the dirt that has gathered around you. It’s taking a bath. And once the dirt is washed off, you are clean, pure, naked as the innocent child. No wiles, no fancies, no whims, just love. UK80-3
Sometimes the uneducated are more sincere in their search. They are more honest to themselves. They are more inclined to the heart because the mind does not stand in the way. UK78-9
It is good to doubt because the doubt springs from your mind. It has nothing to do with the teacher, remember that. And if you overcome your doubt, you are overcoming the discrepancies of your mind. So it’s good, because a doubt is the springboard of further enquiry. And as you go on enquiring and enquiring, you find you have to knock for the door to be opened. Yes, you have to seek to find. UK78-41
The rose is beautiful, but it comes with thorns. Everything is like that in life in that it always has its opposite. What this pulling power of the spirit is doing is combining the opposites into a oneness. UK79-9
The path of Yoga is not as simple as it seems. The path of Yoga, as it has been said by Vivekananda, is the path of the heroes, the path of warriors. There has to be determination. UK78-3
Self reliance and responsibility
Happiness and love can only come from within us and for these things we shouldn’t be reliant on external circumstances or other people. UK78-54
Nature supports; but what have you done to allow nature to support you? The difference is between responsibility and irresponsibility. UK77-21
We assume that we are responsible for our children. In reality we are responsible for ourselves. We must understand that we should be grateful to our children for affording us the privilege to understand what responsibility is. In other words, as well as maturing our children, our children are maturing us. UK77-23
When a person learns to accept the fact that “I am what I am because I made myself what I am”, then he / she becomes a responsible person and can thereby view all happenings of life objectively. Such a person stops blaming everyone else. And when this responsibility is accepted then, automatically, actions change. Attitude towards life changes. Life is viewed in a different perspective. There is then no (trying to) escape from samskaras. And this very act of acceptance makes the effect of the samskaras bearable and not unbearable. UK78-30
Self-acceptance requires discrimination and self-acceptance requires responsibility, that I am responsible for everything I am today. No one has made me good and no one has made me bad. Whatever I am, I have created for myself. I have gone through so many lifetimes and I am today the sum total, the sum totality, the result of all my actions of the past. And if that is the case why should I not accept myself because I am a creature not of circumstances but of my own creation. UK79-2
Beyond the mind lies the reservoir of that infinite energy that can be brought through the medium of the subtle mind to the grosser level of the body. Then the three factors (mind, body and spirit) could operate – as I would repeat over and over again – as a totality. UK76-9
The whole subtle mind has its physiological counterpart in the brain. The brain is not only in the head, but it goes down your entire spinal column. The mind, being of such a subtle matter, must have its grosser physical counterpart in order to express itself. This goes back to the spiritual self of man, the real ‘I’. Now the real ‘I’ could never make contact or work through the physical body directly. It has to have an intermediary which is the subtle body and the subtle body is none else than the mind of man. UK78-31
We move on from a mundane life to a far greater life by refining the qualities of our lives. We must always go on and on until the subtlest point is reached within ourselves. It is there, it is there. And when you reach the subtlety within you become so much more beautiful – to yourself and to others as well. UK87-20
All suffering of a person can be eradicated – brought to an equilibrium in this lifetime. UK78-56
When a person is liberated, he /she could be a part of life and yet totally apart from it. Then you are regarded to be liberated from the sufferings of life. Then nothing could hurt you, nothing could harm you, because you have that inborn stability. UK79-3
When it comes to one’s spiritual self and you enter the field of timelessness you enter the field of Satchitananda (existence; knowledge; bliss), which is timeless, eternal, infinite. When you enter that field of timelessness then you just live in the now, for every moment is now. UK80-22
The mind can reach other universes, other galaxies, whatever you want to call them and draw that knowledge here onto this plane called earth. And the only way to do that is to go beyond the ten per cent of mind that we know. UK76-12
On the absolute level, as the awareness expands, we reach the area of light and timelessness, where everything stands still and in that stillness you know everything. UK80-22
We need to listen to the beautiful music of this universe and not be asleep, dead. To be awake and alive – that’s what we need. How time goes. Nevertheless, there is no such thing as time. We actually live in timelessness. UK80-34
There is time and there is timelessness but from which angle are we looking at it? U 77-1
Unconditioning the conditioned mind is a painless process. It becomes painless because (when we uncondition) we are drawing a sustaining energy from deep within ourselves. UK76-10
In the process of meditation, of unconditioning the conditioned mind, it could be any valid system that could be beneficial to us. If we don’t perform (unconditioning practices) then what happens is that the conditioned mind tries to uncondition itself by escaping the conditioning. Another form could be becoming aggressive to the conditioning. And these two factors cause more and more complications. Now, when we escape the conditionings of our mind, and build a wall around us, we are not curing the disease. We are just burying the disease, like not weeding the garden but burying them deeper when, sooner or later, in some form or the other, the weeds will emerge again. Our method is to eradicate those weeds, to pull them out root and all. UK76-10
When we refer to an individual mind, what we mean by that is that we are compartmentalising the one universal mind into small little fractions. UK77-3
When a person asks a question, reaching a certain subtlety of mind, the answer is drawn from the universal mind. UK77-3
The mind of man is a universal mind. The extent of the mind is as vast as the entire universe. (As an analogy) if there are bubbles in a pond, each bubble is connected to the other bubble. The connection is by the same water. The water that forms one bubble, at this end, is the same water that forms a bubble at the other end, and therefore there is a connection. UK77-20
When you are conscious with the entirety of your mind, the range is as vast as the entire universe. So, with this entire universal mind, that is within you, you appreciate the Manifestor of which the universe is the manifestation. UK78-38
At the moment of death, the little so called individual mind gets attuned to the universal mind and all answers are there. UK77-3
Directing the attention to the guru, what happens is that the individual mind becomes aware of that which symbolises the universal mind. And the individual mind, at that moment draws, by its own power, on the symbol which is the Guru. UK77-3
Visualisation is an actual projection from within oneself to outside oneself. UK78-16
When proper visualisation takes place then know for sure that all your mental energies are now focused. When it comes to proper visualisation, thoughts will still come, but you would be apart from the thought. UK78-18
Visualisation – that’s why Tratak is so important. You can do anything you like with it. Only use it rightly. I give you the key, you can open the doors. UK80-17
If the desire for worldly wealth is more powerful than the desire for spiritual wealth, then worldly wealth will manifest itself. Worldly wealth will manifest itself because firstly we said ‘I am possible’ and if I am possible everything around me, everything connected to me, is possible too…. Therefore, you would find some people that would ignore the spiritual side of life completely and would just involve themselves into totally mundane things. Yet deep within us there is a desire for spiritual wealth. However much we fight against it, that desire is there because even the workings of the subconscious mind and the conscious mind are affected by the superconscious mind. UK77-23
Our inner nature is bliss. And the goal of all evolution, the purpose of this life, of this birth, is to reach back to that goal of bliss, to become ourselves again. And when we reach that, we don’t need anything else to make us happy. We don’t need any external environment or any material possessions to make us happy. UK77-5
Chapter 2: Poems
Gururaj was a prolific poet. Here we present about one tenth of the poems he compiled, from a beautiful little book entitled Glimmer of Love.
Glimmer of Love 8
A soul unfolds in many ways
To give your beloved in timeless days
Just but a moment . . ?
Why does this heart pound and having found
The motion of freedom and yet so bound
Is it but a moment . . . ?
I seek and search, I preach and perch
In solititude. While trees sway an urging urge
Is it just but a moment …?
This coming and going, this meeting and parting
Words unsaid but deeply heard in love and loving
Is it just but a moment . . . ?
Know now my beloved, as I have known so well
That this moment is all there is in fragrant smell
Surging in fullness of its eternal swell.
One glimpse of thine eyes makes me know
When soul with soul converse as arrow and bow
Melting in the target . . . could there be separation now?
Glimmer of Love 10
Winged birds of time fly on,
Flying to the rising sun and turning back at dusk:
A long journey it seems to reach back at starting point
Winged birds, times creatures, fly on.
I, that am forever still, know
Of no journey’s start nor end nor flight.
You, outspanning wings, measuring the sky,
Swift and slow, slow and swift,
Smiling at the wingless snail treasuring earth;
Both, in smog or dirt, in motion bounds.
I, that am, forever still, know
Of no measure, nor motion, neither doing’s undoing.
Bewildered you in your wingèdness, the wingless too
chained by grooves of motion’s air and earth
Tossed and twirled and set afire, seemingly so new
To fly on, to plod on, through many a life and birth.
I, that am, forever still, know –
Of no air, nor earth, nor life or death, still ever new.
Glimmer of Love 11
My Lord, help me free myself
From the web that strangles me.
I’ve spun and spun but to find
A strange bondage that baffles me.
My Lord in your mercy you throw yourself
Between spear and shield
You get wounded by my possession
To show how life to love must yield.
You came from the vast blue skies
To peer into my own little blue eyes
And said: Stop loving the fleshy dead
On which termites are fearfully fed.
You said love more and more, forever more
Not in possession which ends in woe
But in the spirit’s light of timeless yore
Nestle in the nest, but fly as the crow.
Possess not and be you not possessed
For naught is yours. Be ever blessed
In knowing this. For man in love dressed
Forsakes, yet loves. That soul feels freedom’s rest.
Glimmer of Love 40
Love knows not of any boundaries
Boundaries are created by the mind
I want to go beyond all that I know,
Into the unknown field of love.
Words are meaningless but to confine
The confluence of hearts: to set them asunder,
And leave them limping through life –
An eagle’s eye it keeps on lovers.
Go away, O mind, go away to where you came from,
Let me be, let me sway in the love I found,
You analyse me, you tantalise me
As if I was a beast of prey.
Your shadow shadows me wherever I go,
When I move towards lighted love you follow me,
When I move away you are in front of me
I will behead you with my sword of love.
You deride me, you gloat at me, you agonise me
The further away I flee – the closer you come
Now, I set up the barrier and you cannot enter
And love’s army guards me with guns.
So mind be on the run –
Long have you had your fun.
Glimmer of Love 52
The love that pours from within me
As the clouds disperse;
For who am I without thee
Filled to the brim of intensity?
Then the sun bursts in its own splendour
To feel your love that consumes me.
I start weeping . . . the tears are of but joy,
What is this love that enraptures me?
I pinpoint the glory that enfolds me,
And brightened stars, beckoning to unfold itself
To say: come back, once again . . . our lights are dim.
And I reply: this planet needs me more . . . now.
I will surely come back to your universe,
I promise. How can this be explained in verse?
Glimmer of Love 53
I quiver as I step these stones
But these wracking bones must carry me
To yonder hill where he is …
I know he is there, I know he is everywhere
Yet I starve and struggle to reach him
To find that only he is nowhere.
Plodding on, he still beckons; plod on.
For love is naught if only these stony steps
Are you, though thorny toes bleed.
The blood is you, he says, but just to mix
Into the dawning sun, red rays, created by you
Merging your blood in sunlit hue.
KNOW THEN KNOW. . . IT IS ALL YOU.
Glimmer of Love 60
I am your father, mother, friend, son and daughter:
I am the creation buried deep down within you.
Respond in whichever way you can . . . for love I am;
Give in whichever way you want. I will never command.
You can demand anything from me for your needs;
It shall be yours. I will give it with a flower in my hand.
Seek you father, mother, daughter or son, lover or beloved
You’ll find only that in your mind’s composed metre.
Pleasure or pain, avalanches, blizzard or rain.
The fragrance of my flower that I give will sustain you.
I have kept my promise. I have come again.
Glimmer of Love 77
Wondering at the beauty
Slurping at the sweetness
Smiling at the warmth
I know that love.
Seeing the brilliance
Tasting the nectar
Sensing the presence
I know that love.
Listening to the wisdom
Marvelling at the poetry
Sighing at the music
I know that love.
Seeing the greatness
Looking at the power
Saluting the majesty
I know that love.
Praying to my god
Bowing to the master
Serving the beloved
I know that love.
Living in the light
Enjoying the peace
Treading the path
I know that love.
Take me to Him, dear angel, I know His love.
Glimmer of Love 84
At times, merging into my soul – a moment of perfection,
Vain seems my learning, and incomplete
The world’s knowledge gathered through its lifetime.
At this moment into timelessness, spacelessness, perfection;
Vain is all art, cults, creeds, humanity – all incomplete.
Illusions! Mirages! And then that moment lapses:
The limitless becomes limited, the infinite becomes finite.
The machinery of mind starts rolling in its own disturbance –
Surveying the din and tumult of the world.
All existence becomes real and time is divided:
The mind gropes in its own darkness.
Real becomes the multitude stricken with pain –
All striving for wealth or fame or a lady’s hand.
A strife for perfection – the aim of all – consciously or unconsciously.
Knowledge and art and cults and creeds are not in vain
In the world of mind: toiling, striving, fathoming –
Seeking completeness from without.
I that had tasted of infinity
Burst upon them of it, but who hears,
And fighting with my own mind at times, to loosen its bonds,
I try to seek within for another moment of eternity.
Glimmer of Love 100
Bind not thyself in bondage with the little self
But feel free to flow and glow with the higher self.
Bondage is servitude; filled with craving, longing and care
But feel the freedom which is really you, if you dare.
Glimmer of Love 106
Today you’re here
And tomorrow you’re there –
Life is a conundrum of dreams
For do you know what today is or tomorrow is?
Life’s pathway leads you on from here to there
Just ending up nowhere.
And if you land up nowhere
Where do you go?
You think you’re here
And going there
And also knowing that you’re nowhere:
Then where is the going and the coming of life?
For life can only exist within itself.
Glimmer of Love 125
I hold myself at death’s door –
To me there is no roof or floor.
The door starts opening, I slam it closed
I walk away. I cannot take leave
For my beloveds want me to stay
Lord, how can I just ignore them?
I know the total rest is at its best
Beyond that door! He says “come my son”
And I reply, “No Father a bit longer here
For the sake of my beloveds, many lambs to shear
So they too would know of your love,
Should I then leave and lose your joy that I share?”
I would not open the door . . . eyes filled with tears.
The moment passes. The tears are but fears
Of leaving my loves: needed me am I in these years.
Though I yearn to be in your arms
I want to be here, to make our beloveds say
We believe in your Father and his infinite way:
The heart attack is no more. The son will stay.
Glimmer of Love 134
Transcend again through mists of evening’s bower
To rise, to feel and fall in dawn’s perfect dream.
To know of oneness beyond mind, and also worldly love –
Then cognition comes of changing cloaks, and unending streams,
Ask yourself then, is fulfilment but a dream?
Then this meeting of the beyond of which you talk,
Why bother now of the when and why you were there?
Understand and be aware of the things I speak .
Spotlight beams – curtains part but to close – play’s over;
To flesh you returned, now think of me as the beyond.
I know the need, I know the need, real are worldly beings –
Never enquire into the schemes of things – of you and I,
Yet these eyes, in a moment’s glimpse tell me of what is,
And what was – the meaning of eternity – of infinity.
Consider not the beyond, but rather the here and now.
Glimmer of Love 138
Oh my Lord why do your people ask me
To fathom the mysteries of death –
What must I say to them.
1, who know of no life nor death,
What must I tell them?
Your scriptures talk of bubbles forming and bursting,
But what can I say to them whose breasts heave
To suckle a babe, a husband’s going not to come back,
A woman’s agonizing pain, a father losing his son.
Lord, what must I say to give hope?
Death comes, death goes, death is but life.
How do I explain to them, life is but death.
I am your son, see you not your son weeping,
I can only surrender to your keeping
I take them to the sea-shore and point
To the waves rising and subsiding.
They do not understand.
Chapter 3: Satsangs
Three Verbatim Talks by Gururaj
(transcribed from sound recordings; edited)
Subject Titles –
God: Change: Liberation
Reference: God (UK81-13)
Satsangs with Gururaj Ananda
From talk number UK81-13. Edited by Jaish. Words in parenthesis added by editor.
All references to the masculine also include the feminine
Unprepared talk by Gururaj Ananda in response to ad-libbed questions
Session hosted and recorded by the British Meditation Society
What is The Impersonal God, What is The Personal God and What is The Avatar? Do Gods really come to Earth?
Questioner: Guruji, this question arises from the difficulty I have with the concept of the Personal God – God with form – and I ask myself what is that form? And then I understand from the things that you have said in the past that the Personal God, Ishvara, continues to exist during the present cycle of creation and then will cease to exist. But there is also the Avatar, who is God in human form who comes from time to time for a limited period. And I wondered if you could explain how the Avatar and the Ishvara are connected.
Gururaj: Beautiful, beautiful. It is said in the Gita that, ‘When there is an imbalance of righteousness and evil persists, I take birth from age to age’. Now, how true is this concept and what is meant by the ‘I that takes birth from time to time?’ And is it necessary for that Divine force to assume a human form?
The Personal God is a concept to please Man’s analytical mind. Beyond the Personal God there is the Impersonal God which is an energy, an energy that is quality-less. It has no quality, it is a neutral energy. But now, for this neutral energy to be of some value to the manifested universe, it has to concretise itself.
So first, from this impersonal energy – the Brahman as we would know it – it has the ability to manifest itself. Now, what do we mean by manifestation? Manifestation is not creation. With the Impersonal God, the totality of all, there is no creation but a manifestation. By manifestation, we mean that it is the nature of the Impersonal, it is the inherent ability of the Impersonal, to concretise itself. So, as a flower gives off fragrance the flower does not create fragrance, it is its very nature. As heat is given off from fire, the fire does not create heat (on purpose) but it is the manifestation of the fire and the nature of the fire to exude this heat.
From the primal impersonal force and, by its very nature of manifestation, the entire universe has come about. But now, being such a subtle force, it cannot concretise itself from one step to the other. From that subtlety, there has to be gradual concretisation. The impersonal force has no power of thinking. When we say God’s Will or ’Thy Will be done’ it is not the Will of the Impersonal God. Will only comes about with the Personal God and not the Impersonal God. So as it would be said in the Bible, ‘First was the Word, and the Word was God and the Word is God’. What is meant there is that the very manifestation of the unmanifest impersonal in its concretisation assumed a certain vibration. And it is this vibratory factor, due to its conjunction with other vibrations also exuding from itself, various forms come about. So the Word which is the vibration, through a long process of evolution, right from the Big Bang, from which this whole universe has been composed, through this process the minuscule atom in its concretisation goes on and on and on.
Now, the first step of the atom. It has the ability to duplicate itself and replicate itself, for the very replication is inherent in the nature of the atom. So, as it goes further by the force of evolution, it concretises in a very subtle gaseous form. This gaseous form in turn concretises into matter. And this matter, we know, with further concretisation and condensation, this very matter we know as the mineral kingdom. Proceeding from this mineral kingdom, we find it evolving into the plant kingdom, and from the plant to the animal kingdom.
Now, throughout this entire process, there is a consciousness. There is consciousness in a stone. If the stone had no consciousness and if it did not have life, it would not have the quality to change. We think that a stone is inert but a stone too has life. For if you leave a stone outside, you would find many changes taking place. And through scientific analysis, you would find the stone would have all the atoms – it has a molecular structure and there is intense motion in that stone. And the very motion that we find in all these forms, from stone to plant to animal, is that consciousness or life force.
Now this entire process up to the animal level is an automatic process. The trouble only begins when evolution takes a further step and reaches the stage of man. And that is where all the trouble begins, because man’s inherent quality is thinking. And with these very thoughts, the Law of Karma starts operating. One thought in a particular experience conflicts itself with another thought in another kind of experience. So, with all these experiences building up and up and up, we become the complex beings that we are, filled with all these impressions which we call samskaras, in Sanskrit.
Now it is the samskaras that are troubling us. All conflicts and all sufferings are not from Divinity. All conflicts and all sufferings are made by man himself and because of his thought processes.
Now, how valid is this thought and how real is thought? Thought, although composed of a very fine matter, thought too is a thing, can only find its validity in the relative form of existence and not beyond it. So through spiritual practices, what we do is go beyond the thought forms. We go beyond the finest levels of matter and into the impersonal, where nothing remains and all the motion that we see become illusory. So all the conflicts, all the waves of the ocean that are so turbulent, are all within the confines of relativity.
There was this chap who was giving a long talk on Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and he tortured this subject for an hour or two hours. So one person got up in the audience and says, ‘You seem to know more about Relativity than Einstein.’ And so the speaker says, ‘Why do you say that?’ ‘Well”, came the reply, “statistics say there are only twelve people in the world that could understand Einstein. So you must be greater than Einstein because none of us understand you.” (Gururaj laughs).
All these problems and troubles that we have in this world is because of that (build up in the mind).
Now, where does the Personal God fit into the scheme and what is the Personal God? Most Personal Gods that people believe in are creations of man’s mind. Most people find different kinds of Gods. To one, there might be a God with four arms. To another person, it might be an old man with a long beard and a few dozen book-keepers writing everything down, sitting somewhere in the clouds on a golden throne. That is also a concept of man as a Personal God. The concept of God has also been regarded as ‘Father’ – ‘Our Father which art in heaven’, why not Mother? Why not Mother? For if everything emanates from himself then it should contain both aspects of what humanity is all about. It contains the positive as well as the negative aspect. Now, by negative, we do not mean anything bad. It is like electricity where you have the positive current and the negative current to make the bulb burn.
So, we could say the Personal God is a mixture of both qualities and yet, for its fullest expression, a division takes place and that is why we have man and woman. Science has proved that in every man there is a bit of woman and in every woman there is a bit of man. So, there has never been any total separation.
The totality of the universe, from its subtlest level to its grossest level, composes what we know as the Personal God, from the analytical conscious mind, to the subconscious and right through to the super-conscious level, which is one vast continuum. And that very continuum is what we call the Personal God. So, in the primal manifestation of the Manifestor, the very vibration that came about, the very vibrations, the Word that condensed itself into various forms, is the Personal God. So, being the finest vibration, it would naturally be at the level of the superconscious mind. Therefore, being at the level of the super-conscious mind, it is naturally universal for the superconscious mind is the universal mind – and every human being is in touch with the universal mind.
So, the sum totality of all relative existence is the Personal God and to find him in his universal aspect we, through spiritual practices and meditation, reach the superconscious level. And when we reach the superconscious level, we find the Personal God, the sum totality of the unmanifest that has manifested itself as mind.
When we talk of cosmic consciousness, the mind recognises that ‘I am an individual and there is a vastness which I recognise but it is apart from me’. And then you have God-consciousness, where you develop this Bhakti Bava, which means this intense sense of devotion and yet you remain apart from God and not a part of God. So that is the kind of God that most religions refer to. Then we go further than the Personal God. We go to the Impersonal God, transcending even the Personal God for we, in meditation, transcend the entirety of the mind and we land in unity-consciousness or Brahman-consciousness, where everything is nothing. But that nothingness contains everything.
There was this one guru to whom a chela approached. He says, “Show me the highest value of existence, show me the Impersonal God.” So the guru says, “Right. You see that tree over there, bring me a fruit from the tree.” The chela brought the fruit. He said, “Open the fruit.” Fine, that was done. He says, “Now get out the pip.” So that was duly done. So the guru says, “Open the pip and see what you see therein.” And when he opened the pip, there was nothing in it. Ah, and yet that very nothingness, that very fine, indefinable energy created the pip which created the fruit. So, that is the area through meditation we can reach.
The Personal God who is the sum totality of relative existence is necessary because the mind could never comprehend the abstract. Man’s mind needs something concrete. Now, your Personal God could be anyone. Any object of devotion can become your Personal God, even a stone. Even your wife or your husband.
There is a very favourite story of mine. It is based on a Persian poem. The lover knocked on the door of his beloved and the beloved asked, “Who is it?” And he says, “I am So and So.” The door was not opened. Next day he went again and he knocked on the door and she asks, “Who is it?” He says, “I am So and So, the son of So and So.” The door was not opened. And then on the third day when he knocked on the door and he was asked, “who is it?”, he said, “I am thee, my beloved.” The door was immediately opened.
Do you see the significance that any object of love and devotion can be used as one’s Personal God. When we find that communication and that oneness between subject and object, there the Personal God is found. But that is not the end of the journey. To find the Personal God, one develops that devotion, one develops acceptance, one develops surrender. And through these means, one finds a deep integration within oneself of body, mind and spirit. So, when we cease to live a fragmented life we find the fullness of life, for now we are operating in totality. And that very totality makes us feel and know and recognise the Personal God and you can say, “I and my Personal God are one.”
So here you find oneness with a concrete object. That is why we worship Christ and Buddha and Krishna – a concrete object which could please the mind, a form, a God with form, a God with form and a God with qualities. Therefore all theologies give qualities to God. They regard him to be kind, just, compassionate, merciful. And, by becoming one through devotion (bhakti) and analysis (Jnana), and action (karma), one becomes one with the Personal God. And, becoming one with the personal God, we take on the qualities of the personal God, the qualities of kindness, love and compassion.
To recap on this: The Personal God is the sum totality of relative existence, but the Personal God is not the absolute. (The personal god) is not the absolute because it has qualities. And beyond that we have the Impersonal God, that neutral energy which is behind it all, the nucleus of the nucleus, of the nucleus, of any atomic structure. And you are all none else but atomic structures. So, being the sum totality of the universe, it is present everywhere. When it is present everywhere we call it omnipresent. Being the sum totality, it has to be omnipresent. And, being everywhere, it has to be omnipotent. Therefore, we call that Personal God ‘almighty’. Not someone sitting on a throne somewhere because then you are adding limitations to God. It is everywhere. Being Sirvikalpa, as they would say in Sanskrit.
Now, why does the Personal God want to incarnate as an Avatar? – that is the second part of your question. Why? He does not want to, he does not want to incarnate as an Avatar. He is having a ball up there! (Gururaj laughs) He is having fun. Why does he want to incarnate as an Avatar? You make the Avatar incarnate – you do. This world, all the other planets, they make the Avatar incarnate. So, when evil rises, you force to bring that ‘old chap’ down in human form.
Every human being has an emanation around them, so collectively there is an emanation, too. We call this aura. Now, a country has its emanations, a town has, a country has, this world has an emanation. And then the universe has its own emanation. And when imbalances occur, like waves in the ocean, at some places the waves are high, at some places the waves are low, yet underlying that is all such beautiful calmness.
The Personal God or the Avatar is more concerned with the waves than the calmness, for it is for the purpose of stilling the waves that the Avatar comes; not for the calmness, although he is a calmness too.
In many parts of the universe, as energies are shifted around, there comes a time in the life or the duration of any planet or solar system, when there is a greater amount of turbulence. And this turbulence is caused currently by the emanation of this world, when negativity arises. This is been happening now, where you find excessive permissiveness, intense amount of killing, thoughts and actions that are not conducive to nature, to preserve a balance between the Gunas that compose this world.
Now, the Gunas – Rajas, Tamas and Sattva – which you have heard of and I have spoken about it many times, are not necessarily confined to man.
[Ed: Tamas means inertia, Rajas means action and Sattva means light. These terms are explained more fully at the close of Satsang number 78-8, on Change]
But the entire Earth also is composed of Rajas, Tamas and Sattva because these are natural forces.
Because of our thoughts and actions, we allow Tamas to predominate. And when greater emphasis is placed upon Tamas then a greater imbalance occurs and the darkness and inertia of Tamas overcomes the light of Sattva or the finer quality. So here we have Rajas and Tamas. Tamas is inertia and darkness and Sattva is light and the activating force between those two opposite poles is Rajas, it activates. It makes Tamas and Sattva interact with each other. So, because of our thought forces on this Earth planet, we either have a greater amount of Sattva or a greater amount of Tamas. And sometimes we have an equilibrium where all these three Gunas’ qualities are at a steady level. Like the ocean, sometimes it is calm. The currents within it are so well balanced that calmness comes.
When a greater amount of thought of a dark nature arises and composes the atmosphere of this planet then it has to be righted. So, the finer energies of the superconscious level or the finest level of relativity is automatically activated and attracted to where it is needed. Do you see? And that we call the incarnation of the Personal God. So, do a lot of evil and you will attract him. Like a magnet, you attract him. He has to come. That positive force has to come to overcome the negative force.
Now, why does he take the form of a human being? It is because all the other three – mineral, plant and animal – are proceeding according to nature and natural laws. They are proceeding according to the push of evolution without impeding the progress. But man with his thinking ability, his cunning mind – the mind which I always call a cunning animal – starts impeding progress and the entire Earth is surrounded by a halo of negativity. As clouds, when they get heavy, they have to come down as rain, so negativity has to be balanced out – although this world cannot exist without Tamas, for it is one of the very components of creation or of existence.
So the Avatar is born. And why is he born as a human being, is because he goes to the trouble spot and human beings are the troublemakers. Do you see? Not the mineral or the plant or the animal they are not troublemakers. They exist according to their natures. So that is why a human form is required.
But now, that Personal God has a lot of problems. The greatest suffering of an Avatar is to be born on Earth, and that is what we know as the suffering of Buddha or the suffering of Christ (etc.). Because from that vast universal field, from that super-fine, finest relative, he has to concretise himself into this little body. Can you imagine the pain?
The Avatar has to go through various gradations. From the finest level of relativity, he has to grossify, grossify, grossify himself until he becomes to this level. It is like going through a funnel, so vast at the top and so narrow at the end. And, having to be born through human beings, it has to acquire the characteristics of human beings. Therefore, you will find the greatest Masters, they never start teaching until they reach a mature age. They never do. Because even the Avatar, going through all this dirt, coming to this small little limited level and passing through this vastness of the universe. I know it. I showed it to you last night how I have to go back to that vastness and you experienced the communion with me.
So, going through all this debris, he has to come here and take a bath and that bath, removing that dirt, is an unfoldment of the Avatar himself. And that is why he has to live like an ordinary person, gain the experiences of an ordinary person, to find himself. And then only after having fulfilled his experiences that he realises that ‘I am an Avatar’. Christ realised who he was only on the cross. Although he had experienced the oneness with the Father, ‘I am my Father are one’, but the final realisation came on the cross. And then he knew, he realised what resurrection means. And the same applies to Mahavir. The same applies to Buddha and the same with Krishna. Do you see?
So, in reality man would take lifetimes upon lifetimes upon lifetimes to realise the Divinity that is within them. The Avatar, knowing it all, finds it very quickly. The greatest suffering of an Avatar is coming down to this small little level and dealing with little people. So, he gives forth his teachings and the teachings according to what people can understand. During the time of Jesus, they were peasant folk. His closest disciples were fishermen and ordinary working men not intellectual geniuses – except Judas, who in turn betrayed him, because he was an intellectual. So, to those people he could say, “Believe” and they believed. But, in today’s world you cannot say, “Believe.” In today’s world the message that I perhaps would have to give, is not ‘Believe’, but ‘Experience’ and here are the tools I am giving you to experience that. [Ed: refers to meditation and unconditioning]
Mankind’s minds have developed very much intellectually at the expense of the heart. Therefore what we need in this time and age, to balance up the development of the mind, is expansion of the heart – and therefore you are given the Gurushakti practice. Do you see the reason behind it? Expansion of the heart. Now, as these teachings go forth, there is one difference you will find. You would find the university lecturer talking of the highest philosophies and immediately you will understand him by the mind. But when a mystic, a man of God, speaks you understand him not with the mind only but you feel it in the heart. There is the test. Where do words enter? Into the mind only, or into the heart? For transformation of man begins with the heart, not the mind. For the mind, to repeat again, is a cunning animal.
The purpose of an Avatar is to activate the heart. And the Avatar never speaks on the intellectual level only. No. That is why the greatest truths we find in the world are in parable form. Why in parable form? Because it leaves you the scope of interpreting it according to the level of your understanding. So, even an Avatar cannot lead you to salvation. He only shows you the path that leads you to salvation. But, as I said the other day, you have to walk with your own feet. The light of knowledge and wisdom and spiritual force is not shone upon you but is shone upon the path. It lightens up the path. For that should be the way of your life. That is why we say, “That is the way, that is the Life and that is Truth.”
So, that is what the Avatar does. And we say that all these great Avatars suffered. No. That is our interpretation that they suffered. To them, it was a joy. And, therefore, it is said in the Scriptures, ‘Be of good cheer’. Because if they were not cheerful themselves, they would not teach you to be of good cheer. It is such a pity that the incarnations we worship are always portrayed with a long, sad face. And yet they had the same principles and the same motto that we have – Life, Love and Laughter. Amidst all this chaos in the world, they show the way.
[Ends talk with joke]. There was a Surgeon and an Architect and a Politician discussing creation. The Surgeon says that creation is a surgical matter, because Eve was created from Adam’s rib and that is surgery. The Architect says, ‘No, it is an architectural job because someone had to plan, bring a system in the chaos’. And the Politician said, ‘That is very true, but who created the chaos?’ (Gururji and the audience rock with laughter).
Reference: Change (UK78-8)
Satsangs with Gururaj Ananda
From talk number UK78-8. Edited by Jaish. Words in parenthesis added by editor.
All references to the masculine also include the feminine
Unprepared talk by Gururaj Ananda in response to ad-libbed questions
Session hosted and recorded by the British Meditation Society
Why Do We Find Difficulty in Accepting and Inviting Change?
Questioner. Gururaj, the essence of life in the relative world is change, and this appears to be the only permanent thing about it, so why do we often find it so difficult to change, in our attitudes, relationships, or way of living? Is it because of our conditioning we cling to what is familiar, because it seems to offer some sort of security?
Gururaj. Yes. The only thing that is sure in the relative life is change. And we cling to the changes, the transitory value of life, because we find security.
I think I’ve given you an example before, that in the Himalayas, a person has an accident, and is lying in the snow. Such a warmth envelops them that they don’t want to get up. With the will to get up, and walk around a bit to circulate the blood, they would be saved. But in that warmth established, lying in the snows, the person loses their life.
This is similar to the daily experience of all of us, because we are afraid of the unknown, we stick to that which is familiar, in spite of it being so unpleasant to us, in spite of it bringing so much suffering to us.
Now common sense would tell us, that we should evaluate relative existence, with all its changes and try and see how beneficial change is to us. We can still live in the changes, and change the changes; that is the secret of life. What do we change? We change that which is forever changing into changelessness, wherein stability could be found.
The fear of facing the future, or turning away from that with which we are so familiar, is a sure sign of instability. It is a sure sign of a lack of faith, it is a sure sign in the disbelief of Divinity.
What prevents us from wanting to change? What prevents us from remaining in the suffering and yet inwardly we would like to get away from the suffering? We are so tied down, bogged down, because of what we have been conditioned by.
Our minds are nothing but a product of conditioning. I have known people, going for example into a restaurant and not wanting to try a different kind of food. They are afraid. In business days, this is something I could always remember. Our man in Rome Eli Aptekman, had an American visitor, who was a buyer of films. And Eli he took us to this restaurant, a beautiful place with all the fine Italian foods, meat foods, vegetarian foods, and all kinds of foods, and you just had to choose. So when Eli asked him what would you like, he looked around and he said, ‘You know what I would like Bud, a nice hamburger’. Yes. Here there are tables and tables spread with the finest food, but he had always been accustomed to his hamburger and ice-cream and he wanted that. Do you see?
How much joy is missed in life because we do not want to change. We are afraid, as we’ve said just now, because of insecurities, instabilities, a lack of trust. The greatest things in life, that could ever be achieved, is not always to mind your step, but to take a leap. All the greatest things created in this world, from the most fantastic bridges to the tallest sky-scrapers came about because a person was prepared to leap.
Even in leaping, it should not be blind leaping. Take, as a businessman would say, a calculated risk. But are we prepared to risk our little ego, that little ego that wants us to cling, and cling and cling, to life?
Now, there’s nothing wrong in clinging to life, because everything is life, but what is our understanding of life, that is the question? Does life only mean the conditionings that our minds, of which our minds is a product? Does life only mean the mundane things to which we attach so much importance? Is that really life, and is that really living? Most of us don’t live, we just exist. And in this just existing, we drift, like a rudderless boat. So there must come a time when a person must accept a higher value than the ordinary mundane changing values of life.
There a few kinds of people that would be prepared for change. The one kind of person that would change is when he reaches rock bottom, when whole life has become too much for him. He has reached the ground, and when one falls down to rock bottom, there’s only one way he can go, and that’s up. So when people go through the direst misery, remember there is an upward surge coming. It’s an infallible law. When you go through the worst suffering, do know that there is something better in store, the storm before the calm, that inevitably happens.
The other kind of person that wants to change his whole life-style, would be the person that has gained some understanding. It would be the person that has seen the futility of his present lifestyle and very consciously wants to alter that lifestyle. The first person, the former person is forced into altering his lifestyle. The latter person, which includes many of us, wants to consciously alter that lifestyle. And in wanting to consciously alter that lifestyle, we gain some understanding. At first it is a mental understanding. That mental understanding, later with conscious effort and the help of effortless meditation, becomes a realisation, where every hatred can be turned into love, where every adversity can be turned into opportunity.
One must not expect dramatic changes, because that which starts very dramatically can also end very dramatically, and you’re back to square one. So proper changes in life and changing one’s life style must come gradually. And as it comes gradually, the greater force it would have, and the greater impact it would have upon us. Have you ever seen a flower growing immediately after you plant a seed? When a housewife cooks, have you ever seen she putting the pot on the stove, and removing it in two seconds. No, it takes time, it takes time. Therefore one has to cultivate patience. And the very patience that is cultivated is a joy if we understand why we are cultivating the patience.
As days go by, and we develop newer understandings, deeper and deeper understandings, then our attitude towards life changes radically, sometimes imperceptibly to us, but so noticeable by others. And as one progresses, it becomes encouraging. And the more encouragement one receives and sees and observes and feels, the quicker the progress on the path.
What we have to do essentially is to wake up, is to wake up from this deep sleep that we are in, that is causing the suffering to us. And in that awaken-ness, that wakefulness, in that awareness we would find that we have stopped existing but now we have started living.
When a person really lives, he inevitably will see life around him. By that we do not mean people walking about, and birds flying and animals moving around. We see that movement according to the amount of understanding we have. But when we really live, then we see pulsating life around us, the pulsation which is the very joy of life. We would see activity in everything around us, for there is nothing in the relative field of life that ever stands still.
Even this human body changes every seventeen days, where old cells are destroyed, and new cells are built up. You’re not the same person physiologically today that you were seventeen days ago. So everything is forever ever changing. But by living, by learning to live, we find the beauty in the relative change. And to find the beauty in the relative change, as we progress on this path, we very spontaneously infuse the changelessness in the change, and thereby enhance the value of change. But that does not come about sleeping, it comes about by being awake.
Theological people would say, ‘Be awake to the glory of God’. Yes, so there are many ways to achieve this. The scientist that really wants to find himself can see that life through his microscope, and see things teeming with life. An artist can see the living life in the colours he blends in his painting. The shoemaker can see the very life in the leather he stitches, and a carpenter in the table he makes, the musician in his music.
Everything has to be appreciated at its fullest value. Our comprehension of things is at a very superficial level. And because it is at a superficial level, we cannot enjoy things very much. And when we cannot enjoy, then we experience the opposite of joy, and that brings misery and suffering to us.
So there is only one way out of the mess. The way is to awaken ourselves, awaken the mind and the heart through our practices, so that it could be attuned with that which is higher than us, which has a permanency.
This permanency does not deny the transiency of life. The whole secret, is to what do we attach the importance? If we keep on attaching the greatest importance to the transiences, we will block off the permanency. All impermanences, if looked at its finest value, are permanent. What we are doing when we look at the ocean, we see only the waves, and we see the waves are changing all the time – changing, changing all the time. But if our awareness is broadened, we will not only see the waves, but we see the whole ocean, and we know the ocean is permanent.
What this means is that changing and changelessness are part and parcel of each other. There can never be the unchanging value of life if there was no change and there could be no changing things in life if there was not that permanency. Both are two sides of the same coin.
Now, we are not to neglect one for the other. We must appreciate the change and at the same time appreciate that which is changeless. That is the secret of life. I am repeating the secret of life from its various angles, so that is why I say ‘That’ is the secret of life. What is ‘That’? ‘That’ is the eternal factor, the infinite factor that governs the entire universe, not only governs the entire universe from standing outside the universe, but by being infused, it is the very essence of the universe.
And ‘That’ we have to discover in our path towards self-realisation. Self-realisation is self-integration. No person on earth could be totally happy until he is self-integrated. Happiness too has levels. The more the integration, the greater the happiness. And that is the path we are following through all the changing facets of life, to the changeless value of life, bringing the changeless value of life into everything that changes. It sounds paradoxical but it’s definitely possible.
So we start from change, get to the changeless, and from changeless we come back to the change but we do not come back empty handed. We bring back with us changelessness, so that we infuse it in all that is changing around us. And that makes us live and to appreciate the real meaning and value of life. This life is so, so valuable.
If you believe in evolution, you will realise that from the first primal atom, how that atom has progressed. It has gone through various changes, various forms until it reached the mineral stage, and even in the mineral stage so many changes had taken place. From there to the plant stage, all the various species, all these various experiences, for everything experiences and everything is an experience. And through the species of the animal stage, and then finally to the stage of man, where man can really say that, ‘I am created in the image of God’.
Man has the consciousness to appreciate that he is created in the image of God, because man has the thinking power. The previous stages of existences in evolution could not discriminate. Man can discriminate. And it is our folly not to be able to discriminate, between that, which is forever changing and that which is changeless. The power of discrimination, Viveka, as they call in Sanskrit, is there only for this one purpose – to be able to discriminate between the changing and the unchanging. In other words to discriminate between the relative and the absolute. For the absolute is our real essence. Our real essence is changeless, while all the change is the manifestation of the changeless.
When we combine, in our lives, the value of changelessness and change, then we live a full life. We do not live a full life now, but those who have started on the path of self integration would appreciate, as one goes on with conscious effort in our daily living, (we discussed Yamin, Yaman, the other day) – to would appreciate, to reach that point, where life is all joy.
Even if there is pain, we have to be involved in the change. We are involved in the Gunas, the three forces that constitute life. We have spoken about the Gunas many times. Seeing that we are involved in this universe composed of the Gunas, there would be the pairs of opposites – pleasure & pain, heat & cold, sun & snow, etc. We have all that (while embodied) but once we have realised the value of pain and pleasure then neither of them would affect us, for the greater pleasure you experience, remember, you have cultivated in yourself the capacity to experience just as great pain. So, with the increase of that sensitiveness, your pleasures could be very high, and your pains could also be just as be as high.
So, what do we do? We take the two ends of the stick, the polarity that’s involved in the law of opposites, and we gradually, through our practices, come to the centre of the stick where there is a balance. And when one reaches the balance, then no great pleasure or no great praise lifts us up, and no great pain or displeasure throws us down, because we have risen above just mere existence. We have risen above the pairs of opposites. We have risen above the polarity that is the (main) constituent of this earth.
These very polarities are of course so helpful. In electricity we have the positive current and the negative current. Now do remember, that the positive current and the negative current, they are not opposed to each other, although their values differ. (We need them both). In the two extremities that they represent, they co-operate in such a way, as to produce light.
So all these things constitute life, but it is our understanding of what life is all about that would take us above all the change that we see around us. And that means to become centred within our selves. The purpose of all our meditations, the purpose of all our practices, is to centre ourselves. Most of the time we get pulled away, in this direction or that direction, within the framework of the law of opposites.
But you can only go beyond the law of opposites if you want to go beyond them, which means centring oneself. That is the secret of life. That is the secret of happiness. That is the secret of developing an understanding, where even the severest quarrel between husband and wife could be brought into such a togetherness of humour, where we can actually look at each other and laugh, and laugh. That is how we have to live, if we want to find happiness. And if you don’t want to find happiness in this life, nobody stops you. There are still hundreds of lives, and you can try again.
(Continue reading to have a fuller explanation of the 3 Gunas – Tamas, Rajas and Sattva)
Questioner. When harmony and balance are basic aims of spiritual progress, why do these not seem to apply to the three Gunas, in that we are taught to subdue Tamas and Rajas in favour of Sattva?
Gururaj. Beautiful. It’s essential to understand that the function of the universe is never for it to remain stagnant. The nature of the universe is a continuing state of flux, and the universe, it must be remembered, is on the relative plane. Rajas, Tamas, and Sattva, they too are of the relative. By living a life in a certain way we subdue Tamas, which is darkness, and inertia. And by subduing darkness, we bring light into our lives, which is Sattva. Now the activating force between these two opposite poles, opposite ends of the stick, is Rajas.
The only reason why we want to reach the sattvic state of life is so that we could enjoy the light.
Rajas, Tamas and Sattva cannot be destroyed. They are there, eternally there to make this universe function, because the nature of the universe and all relativity is to be in flux, to be in activity. And this very activity is regarded to be the life-force of the universe.
Life-force can be enjoyed in darkness and life-force can also be enjoyed in light. But there’s a difference in quality. You can enjoy laziness, inertia, you can enjoy that, and you can also enjoy light, tranquillity.
The purpose of life is to go beyond the qualities of inertia, because that is a lower form of enjoyment, and we want to reach a higher form of enjoyment which is light. That is why we do our spiritual practices, (and open ourselves up to greater truth and our greater potential).
But remember, even reaching the finest level of Sattva, we have not escaped the universe. By reaching Sattva, we would enjoy the finest relative, which is more enjoyable than the grossness of Tamas, or darkness.
In our progress towards the level where we transcend the three Gunas, that level is the transcendent level. How many people on this earth can live in the transcendent level? Very few. Very few. If out of ten million, one reaches the transcendent level and lives in that state, it would be too much. Perhaps a hundred million, a thousand million, reach that state. Buddhas and Christs and Krishnas do not come to this earth everyday. They live in that transcendental state, and yet are also mixed up in all worldly doings.
But for the average man that is aspiring to reach that, the only thing he can do, is to remove himself from darkness and approach light, which is Sattva. And when he reaches the finest level of Sattva, which is light, he enjoys the light. But in enjoying the light, he will still feel a duality, he will still feel that a separation exists between the relative and the absolute. So, when he reaches the finest sattvic state, he is pushed by the Divine force, call it grace, to merge away in the transcendent.
So the Gunas are necessary. Everything in nature – ‘Pakritti’ is the Sanskrit word – is subject to and controlled by the very constituents of itself which are the three Gunas.
Reference: Liberation (UK 79-39)
From talk number UK79-39. Edited by Jaish. Words in parenthesis added by editor.
All references to the masculine also include the feminine
Unprepared talk by Gururaj Ananda in response to ad-libbed questions
Session hosted and recorded by the British Meditation Society
What is The Void and How Does it Relate to Unfoldment and Liberation?
Questioner. Could you explain what is meant in Buddhist teachings by Nirvana, liberation and the void? How do these terms relate to enlightenment and unity? Are Buddhists correct in regarding Samadhi as a very minor step on the path to liberation?
Gururaj. What is the void? What is Nirvana? Nirvana is in Sanskrit to be nirvrit, which means you have taken leave of all the attachments that you have in life. You have become non-attached – like the old saying goes, in the world but not of the world. That is Nirvana or Nirvriti.
‘Vrittis’ are composed of the samskaras in the mind, which are like waves and ripples that bubble up and down causing all the confusions in life. And wherever there are confusions there are conflicts. And wherever there are conflicts there are problems. And wherever there are problems there are troubles. And wherever there are troubles there is unhappiness, and like that you can go on to miseries.
So to find Nirvana is to be rid of all the miseries of life.
The miseries of life is really a mystery. Why should a person be miserable? That is the question which people find mysterious because everyone thinks, “I am never wrong!” If something does go wrong, of course, there are always others to blame.
So the first step would be to acknowledge that, whatever misery there is in life, I have played a part in being miserable, because I feel miserable. If I have not played any part in this misery then I would not be miserable and that is the real meaning of non-attachment.
Non-attachment would also mean that, although you are playing a part in the scheme in the pattern of life, you have extricated yourself from it. This sounds paradoxical, yet playing a part in life and being apart from life could be simultaneous.
When a person is liberated, he /she could be a part of life, and yet totally apart from it. Then nothing could hurt you, nothing could harm you, because you have that inborn stability. You have created, acknowledged and realised self-realisation. The realisation is that all this is but just a play like actors on a stage. And you take the part of Hamlet. You are not really Hamlet. You are playing a part. When that realisation dawns on man, then he has the realisation and that in turn means that although I play the part of Hamlet, I am not Hamlet. It’s just the mind and the body that is performing the part. But I, the eternal spirit, is forever free, and that freedom is liberation.
So what man strives to do in this world while he is embodied is that he tries to be liberated from all the sufferings in life. That means he has to rise above the laws of opposites. And the reward is that you are forever happy, forever joyous. For once you indulge in pleasures, you can be sure to know that there will be pain, because the higher you go on the one side of the seesaw, the lower on the other side and life becomes but a pendulum. And yet that pendulum is required for the worldly clock to run.
To find the stillness in the motion, there lies the art of life. The pendulum swings and yet you are still. The gist of this analogy is that you are standing still and yet moving about. So you’d enjoy the temporary pleasures and pains but behind that, there is an ever-lasting peace a foundation, a togetherness, an integration. Although you are mixed up in this play of the opposites, you know your centre and even in the play of the opposites, you function from the centre.
This means you are established in self, the big self, and you allow the little self to play and sway like the pendulum. That is realising that you are essentially Divine. When that realisation occurs, when those thoughts go from the mind level to the heart level, an assimilation occurs. The mind and the body, and somewhat the opening of the heart, is the food that you have received. But the value of the food lies only when the food is digested, assimilated in your body, that it becomes the marrow of your bones, and the blood that flows through your body. It permeates every cell of your body. So with this kind of assimilation, one truly can stand still and allow the world to move about. Like that beautiful poem by Rudyard Kipling – ‘If I can keep my head, while the world loses theirs’.
So that is a state man reaches, and in this state a great tranquillity comes about in the mind. A beautiful freedom is felt in the body. You might even be plagued with cancer or another terminal disease and yet you do not care because your attention is not directed to not looking after yourself enough before. In the state of liberation it is not important anymore.
Like the greatest Sages that lived at the turn of the century, Ramakrishna, Sri Ramana, they all had cancer. Some of the modern gurus I know personally to some measure rise above their ills because the attention is shifted from the body and the mind. Shifting the attention shows where we are placing the greatest amount of emphasis. Today our emphasis is generally on what the mind and body feels.
So if the emphasis is shifted to a higher level, and that is our aim, we develop a greater awareness and in developing this greater awareness the emphasis automatically and very spontaneously goes to the spirit – the unchanging spirit which is unruffled by the play of the mind and body or the little ego-self. And then we come to realise that we are not the centre of the universe. I might have a splitting headache, so what, why must I make all those around me miserable, because I am miserable. I say that because the emphasis is on me as the centre of everything.
And that is where all kinds of problems begin. A little thing happens at the office and you blame everybody around in the office. ‘Oh they are not treating me right, they over work me and they do this and that to me’. Don’t I perhaps deserve that? How congenial have I been? Have I been so loving, that I could become loveable?
So we change emphasis there by putting the emphasis on the object instead of the subject. But that is putting the emphasis in the wrong place. Now it requires the same amount of energy to change that emphasis, in saying, ‘Look, these people might be right, they’re not all fools, perhaps I’m the fool’. And by that realisation, one takes oneself away from the thought of being the centre of everything, away from the thought that I am important and nothing else is as important as that.
So what we have to do is get away from ourselves. We have troubles but with the wrong emphasis we create mountains out of molehills. We have this tendency because we regard ourselves to be so, so important. And it is that sense of self importance that magnifies, amplifies our problems.
Look at what is happening around in the universe, all these vast explosions that are occurring every moment of the day in this great infinite vastness, creation and destruction, creation preservation and destruction going on all the time. But you have a little problem and you create a fuss about it.
Once we take the emphasis off ourselves then automatically the emphasis would be placed on the real self, the real doer. And if you fail to place the emphasis on the real self, or the real doer, then be sure to know you are just done. You’ve had it!
So, now when we learn and really realise and assimilate this principle of putting the emphasis on the real doer – ‘thy will be done’ and that kind of thing – then all our problems are viewed in a proper perspective. Our attitudes change and we bring mountains down into molehills, because they are not so important. And that is self-realisation. That is liberation. You are liberated from bondage, the bondage of the karma that you have brought with you.
You can carry on lugging that heavy bag on your shoulder but it’s not necessary. We can reduce the weight in the bag. We throw away attachment after attachment and even that throwing away of the attachments, becomes such a joy, becomes a great joy, for the burden becomes lighter, and lighter and lighter. And when we are free from attachments then we are truly liberated. That does not mean we can live in some Alpine or Himalayan cave. No. We are householders and we live as householders in the world, amidst all of the problems of the world, and not be shaken.
Do you know you are doing this all the time without realising it. If you take a walk in Piccadilly Circus – all the noise that is there. Now if you had to pay attention to all the noise of that heavy traffic and if your ears could take in all that noise there, you’d be driven stark mad, crazy. But you don’t. You know it exists around you and you walk on through Shaftesbury Avenue and, although you are midst all this noise, it does not bother you. So all that is around you and yet you pleasantly walk down the road. Your focus is not on all the noises.
So if we can do this in daily life, in everything, how beautiful. Perhaps you are on a farm and the tractors are going up and down, and yet your mind is so involved in a deep philosophical question. The tractors are there and yet they are not there. Or you might be moving through dense traffic, bumper to bumper, through these busy streets of England, and they have a lovely recording going, and be so involved in that recording, some talk perhaps, or some lovely music. By doing that, the attention is on something better. You don’t feel that bumper to bumper ride is a problem. It doesn’t affect you.
So like that in everything in life, we are doing this. But when it comes to the most important thing, we do not do it. Every little headache assumes a greatest proportion in life.
But when we free our-selves through understanding, through an integrated personality, which our practices bring about, then we find freedom in bondage and bondage in freedom. You are still bound but free. That is liberation.
When the Buddhists talk of Nirvana, they mean the same thing – to still the mind. Now stilling the mind is something very much misunderstood. Many people believe that when they do meditations, the mind must become a total blank, there must be no thoughts at all in the mind. Now that is not meditation. You can achieve that state by being conked on the head with a five-pound hammer. (General laughter)
In meditation, thoughts are necessary. If you make your mind a vacuum, you will become mindless and won’t be able to exist. I’m not talking of the mindlessness of Zen Buddhism but I am talking of that senselessness. You won’t be able to exist in mindlessness. So in meditation, thoughts are necessary. Don’t push them out. The harder you try to push them out the more they will come.
The idea is when you sit in that silence, with your mantra, you allow the thoughts to come and go. You are not involved in the thoughts; you become a spectator of the thoughts, like watching a cinema screen. And when you sit watching the cinema screen, your body and mind becomes relaxed. To watch it, watch the thoughts of the mind – for that too is a cinema screen. The thoughts are but a screen upon which is superimposed the projection of old memories, old samskaras, while the screen underlying that, is forever white, clean. And the old samskaras through the mechanism of the inner projector, the ego, reflects and projects itself on that screen and you go into a tizzy, because you become attached to those thoughts.
The purpose of meditation is to have the thoughts and view the thoughts objectively, and when the thoughts start running too much and too wildly, gently you take your mind to your vibration, which is your mantra, which has a unifying effect. And as you identify yourself more and more with your mantra, the more would your thought become objective, rather than subjective.
It is only when you reach the stage of Nirvikalpa Samadhi that there are no thoughts at all. The mind is awakened, dissolved into the entire universe, where the communion takes place, where nothing else exists, neither the body, neither the mind, but the ever effulgent, pure spirit shines on its own. It is not dependent upon the body and the mind, and that is far, far away.
But we don’t want that yet. No, or else everyone will become ascetics and we want the world to function. Some will reach there; some will reach that stage, one in about a hundred million. Not bad, not bad at all! Good. What we want is to make this life pleasurable, and joyful and trouble free, and closer and closer to Divinity, ‘Lead thou me on.’ One step at a time is enough.
So when the Buddhists talk of Nirvana, this is exactly the same thing that they mean. And through Nirvana, the state is reached of the void – that Nirvikalpa Samadhi, nothingness. I think I said it here, that nothingness is here. That nowhere is now-here. Do you see the similarity in the spelling? Nowhere and now-here is spelt the same way? And that’s what we want to experience here. It’s all here, now here.
When we merge away in the subtlest, most stable energy, the basis of all existence, the Impersonal God, indefinable, that is the void that is spoken about. In actuality this is just a figure of speech. There is no such thing as void. Nirvikalpa Samadhi, when we experience nothing else but Divinity itself, mind and body is gone, a total Prathyara – total withdrawal of the senses through Dhyana and Dharyana and then Samadhi. Then that could be called a void, but it is a void-less void.
I might have told you this story or perhaps there are many here that might not have heard of it. (It comes from a poem). A student goes to the guru and says ‘Explain to me what this void is all about’. So the guru said, ‘You see that tree over there, go fetch one of those fruits growing on the tree’. He did that. He says, ‘Now open the fruit’.He opened the fruit. ‘Take out the seed’. He took out the seed. ‘Open up the seed’. And when that seed was opened, there was nothing there within the seed. So he says, ‘That which you see has nothing, is everything. That subtle energy, in that seed, which is so empty, that subtle energy has concretised itself into the shell of the seed and the seed has made this tree grow.
So that which you perceive as nothing is everything’. They talk of the no mind state. It’s a very beautiful expression. The mindless or no mind state, where the mind exists and yet it is beyond existence. In other words, it speaks of different dimensions, that in a certain dimension, the body and mind must exist. That very same energy in the mind is of a subtler nature than the energy that composes the body. It is made of the same substance. It’s a matter of degree of subtlety or grossness.
There is an area – that impersonal area – which is beyond, which transcends the entire mind and the body, and that state can be described as the void, the all-encompassing void that is the basis of all existence. That is why Buddhas are created. That is why Krishnas are created. That is why the personal Gods are created, because a personal God, an incarnation, is a certain radiance, a certain electrical charge, if you wish to call it that, an auric emanation as the occultists would say. And so does a town, a city, so does a country and so does the world. And all these worlds put together in this solar system also emanates, radiates, something and like that. The galaxy does too. And all the galaxies put together forms the universe and the universe itself also radiates a certain force.
The ultimate force, the combination of it all is the personal God, which is at the finest relative. And it is this very energy at the finest relative that incarnates from time to time. So a Buddha, or a Krishna or a Christ is the sum-totality of the radiation of this universe. And the sum-totality of this radiation is the manifestation of the Manifestor. It works in two ways. The Manifestor manifests this subtle energy and the universe forms a radiation, which is but the same. And that is the Buddha.
So when we talk of the void, we talk of something totally abstract, for the Impersonal God is abstract, while the personal God is concrete because the personal God is of a grosser energy than the Impersonal God. When we talk of a grosser energy, it is far, far more subtler than our comprehension of it. So it has to grossify itself, through various processes into a greater and greater and greater grossness until man’s mind, man’s senses could hear, see, touch, feel, smell and understand.
You see the level from where it all comes? See the level from where Buddha and Krishna and Christ from time to time, from where they come. They bring on earth the sum-totality of the entire universe and yet in their ordinariness they have within themselves the entire universe, the entire subtleties of the universe, as well as the embodied grossness.
So the void we talk about is an area that can be reached after one reaches that consciousness, that pure consciousness that represents the entire emanation of the universe. That is the pure consciousness, and once one reaches the pure consciousness, there is still that individualisation involved at a very fine level. So the Buddha, or the Christ or Krishna still has that very fine, thin film of a sense of individuality and yet knowing simultaneously the universality of it all. And those great Masters have the choice of merging away into the void or being born again, again and again in different forms and shapes and sizes, in different times and climes. They come to teach, to bring this message home. For the void, the impersonal is too neutral and that is why the personal Gods are there, to whom that love and devotion is given.
When you give that love and devotion to the personal God, you are not doing him a favour. He doesn’t need it. You are doing that, so that you develop the love and devotion within yourself. In other words, that God, that personal God is just an object, whereby you could bring out from yourself that love that is within you, that devotion that is within you. And in its train, you also bring out all the virtues that man should have to make his life beautiful – kindness, compassion and all those virtues. And when these virtues are in abundance then negativities disappear on their own. We don’t need to probe into these negativities that we have. We don’t need to examine that bundle we have brought with us and are carrying on our backs. We only need to feel that it is heavy, and how can one live and act and think in life, to decrease the weight of the bundle.
For a vast range of Gururaj sayings and extracts, also read The Master Reflects – published by the American Meditation Society.