PRAVACHAN PART ONE, TRANSLATED BY SMT KALYANI BOSE, COPYRIGHT
Dear Brother Satya,
Accept my Vijaya blessings. ‘Satyam eva jayate nAnritam’ ( Only Truth prevails, not falsehood). Let your life be a symbol of this saying.
I have come back in the midst of you after a long time, haven’t I? Hope you were not hurt by my silence. I was quiet only outwardly and that is why inwardly my mind was all the more in turmoil - always thinking about your well-being. Expressively or silently, I always want to be a friend- wishing you all well and that is my earnest prayer too.
Once you mentioned that you want to write a book on the ‘Reality of Death’. How far has that gone? I have pondered a lot about death and still continue doing so. Hence I can communicate my thoughts to you.
You know it very well that my habit to judge anything is based on experience and reason is at the root of my faith. The seeds of past and future are hidden in the present- that is my opinion. I believe in Karma and believe that the created world is nothing but a disciplined sequence of causalty. Therefore, I never pay any heed to absurdities or accidentals. I want to verify even death in life.
That death definitely is a perceptible condition is quite apparent to all. Whatever is beyond my perception, there is nothing wrong about being indifferent about that . But that is not the case with death. Death is the eventual culmination of all the perceptions and experiences of our lifetime. There comes the reminder of the speaker of the Gita:
Dehino asmin yathA dehe
KaumAram youvanam jarA I
TathA dehAntaro prApti
Dhirah tatra na muhyate II
“As the Dehi(soul) passes through youth, adulthood and old age of this body, so does it get into another. A wise man is not perturbed by that.”
This body (and its consciousness) had a beginning, an expansion, a stimulation and ennui and someday it will come to an end. What is there to be upset about? Don’t you think that this simple approach of the Speaker of the Gita towards death is beautiful? All that is needed is to make the mind free of the false ideas about death.
We think that life and death are two opposite and contradictory realities like light and darkness. Gita says NO that is not so. Death is nothing but a process of life. We can have the taste of death right here, in the very heart of life - and that is attaining Knowledge- that is being one with the Supreme Lord.
What happens to the soul after death? This might be an interesting but absolutely an irrelevant question. Those who have discussed about death simply and truthfully have, one and all, put more emphasis on life.
Let us consider the story of Kathopanishad. Don’t you find a kind of inconsistency at the very beginning? Nachiketa ( the protagonist) has gone to the abode of Yama( the lord of Death) and asking, “What happens after a man dies? Please tell me if there is the other world?” That means, being present at the very heart of another world, someone is asking if there is another world!! Don’t you think this is an odd question to ask?
I think this apparent inconsistency at the beginning of the story of Nachiketa is only a pointer to the Highest Truth. “Death is nothing but an imagination. Only the eternal life is True. Those who want to understand death have to delve into its mystery while being in the midst of life.”
Again, what Yama said in reply to Nachiketa’s question does not refer to any sadhana for Death but for the Highest Knowledge of Life. There is no shadow of death near the Eternal Flame of the deeply hidden Timeless Truth that Yama unveiled to Nachiketa. Where is the horror of death or the hair raising depiction of other world? In those sayings we find only a promise of uninterrupted bliss. We went to search for death but find eternal life. We went to know the mysteries of the other world but get the hints for divine experiences in life here on earth.
Think of another God Man of the recent times. What has Sri Ramakrishna said about the other world? When Nanda Basu asked him, “Is there another world? What happens when a man dies?“ Very simply he answered, “ I have heard that there is another world- the Rishis mentioned that too. But Why do you worry about that? Try to develop pure devotion. That’s all.”
Rather Swami Vibekananda expressed some ideas about Eschatology, but sri Ramakrishna was as unconcerned as a child. We do not find any mention about the suffering of death anywhere in his sayings. Don’t you remember the little girl of Wordsworth, about whom the poet said, ‘A child that lightly draws its breath.. What should it know of death?’
Will it be an exaggeration if I say that the fundamental truth behind all sadhana is to conquer this fear, to uproot the intense absorption (Abhinibesh of Patanjali) about death?
This again , may sound harsh but blind attachment is not only a hindrance to spiritual development but is the mother of endless prejudice and root of all unsubstantiated fear. Whether for one’s own self or for others, whoever indulges in attachment, has fallen a prey to the fear of death. The attainment of true Knowledge lies in the victory over this prejudice.
Really, I do not see any reason to be afraid of death. Why is man so fearful? Has any one experienced suffering by dying and come back to tell us about that? I do not pay any heed to the unnatural stories of the believers in spirits, because there is nothing to prove how much of those stories are based on facts and how much an outcome of heat-oppressed brain. Besides, how many have really seen a ghost? Yet death is a profound experience. Logic does not allow proving of rules by exceptions.
I have seen a dead body. But how can I imagine a dead soul from that? I have experienced acute sufferings on this side, hence if I have to face anything, I would rather be afraid of that. If all my life- long sufferings eventually end in the peaceful death of the body in that still, silent state, then why should I be afraid of death?
Whenever I am by myself, I feel absolutely fearless and remember the wonderful simile given by Nachiketa, “Behold in front, look behind- as far as the vision goes- ’sashyamiva martya pachyate, sashyamiva jAyate punah’- like crops in a field human race ripen and fall and again sprout and grow.’ I watch the eternal play of creation and destruction in Nature. I realize that body withers and falls but the innate state of being remains for ever. Human Civilization is but a lotus of Divine play in the shimmering lake of myriads of feelings and thoughts, emotions and ideas and the sum total of all that constitute my vital Prana. Thus I exist forever beyond my body.
The annihilation of countless material bodies give birth to the Universal Form of Formless Existence. And that Form is beyond death and decay. If life has any justification, it is to merge this form into that. If that causes death of the body, let it be so.
Do you know where the problem lies? No matter how much importance we give to our innate state of being, we still hold firmly on to the belief that consciousness remains as long as does the body. Is there any proof that consciousness remains even if the body does not? A materialistic man can not imagine in the existence of thought without brain. Of course no materialistic can properly explain the connection between brain function and thought process or between body and soul. Accepted that there is the dissolution of mind along with the dissolution of body, but what is there to grieve? To suffer one needs feelings, to feel one needs thoughts and to think one needs mind. Hence those who say mind dies along with body have nothing to fear the suffering of death.
But the fear of death, generally, does not come from that idea. The real cause of fear is the idea, ’mind survives death and it has to suffer the results of Karma’. Even if that is true, what is there to fear? If there is a flow of life in another body and mind even after death, then that life should be nothing but a continuation of the present one. In that case death is not an annihilation, but in the Words of the Gita that is “DehAntaraprapti” a passing over to another existence.
The body is bound to go through innumerable shocks. We have to announe with the vehemence of Purusha of Sankhya, “Avaunt! Thou Primordeal Prakriti!”
As a result the higher nature will awaken within and vanquish the lower one.
Do not pay any attention to trivials.
Remember the song,” Oh my mind! Be poised at your own station. Do not go to all and sundry.”
Once you find out the center of your being, there is no confusion whatsoever. Then the circle of the Divine Dance is performed around that center. This is my blessings for you, “Destroying all doubts and dangers, may the Eternal truth shine within you with the effulgence of Lightning!“
September 26, 1934
Dear Brother Satya,
Suffocation is not inevitable every time one wants to get over body consciousness. I have noticed it works in a different way in each of the two methods.
When I go by the path of restraint or let the current of Life go upwards ( same as the awakening of Kundalini), then after ascending upto a certain point, I feel the sense of suffocation. Do you remember the sloka in the Gita:
“It is more difficult for one whose consciousness is attached to the Unmanifest. For the journey towards the Unmanifest is arduous and painstaking for the one with physical body.”
Take note of each and every word of the sloka. That suffocation, that fearful sensation, that uneasiness-everything is the reaction of body consciousness and all these sufferings HAVE to be experienced during the journey from Physical to the Immutable.
But due to the frequent journey to and fro the physical consciousness slackens. Then the life breath ’NAsAabhyantarachArinou’ ‘travels along the inner nasal passage. Remember the incident with Vivekananda? On the first day, when Sri Ramakrishna made him unconscious of the outer world just by touching his chest by hand, Vivekananda struggled and cried out, ‘What are you doing to me?‘
Similar thing happened to me the very first day when al body consciousness evaporated by ’Bhruvormadhye prAnamAveshya samyak’ the perfect assimilation of the Life breath in between the eyebrows’. At that time I could hear a distinct wailing which translated to a language should sound something like,’ I am lost! Save me, save me!’ Exactly at the same time a Voice came, ‘Can’t you endure? Nothing to worry, there is nothing to fear.‘ Another one in complete dependency and extreme exaltation cried out,‘ Yes, yes, I can . I shall.’ and then everything faded away. Only an endless and absolute Existence remained.
(The second method)
If you want to control Life breath by clinging to a feeling (as the mystics do), you will find a gradual cessation of breathing. Then a sudden and complete stop- but there remains a feeling of radiance as light as feather all over the body-and no pain for the lack of air.
Surely there will be an eventual suffering. Nature can not stand this embrace of Pure Atman for too long. That cool radiance becomes more and more piercing. Ultimately the myriad arrows of ecstasy as if cracks apart each and evry pore of the body. Again the wail of pleasant suffering bursts forth, ‘Oh thou Heartless ! I can’t take your crushing embrace any more. Leave me!‘
Death and Truth are synonymous. There is a gradual development of Truth and so it is with Death. Death is the never ending process of repeated dying. Sleep is an artificial death and Samadhi is the real one. Truth can not be realised without real death. To realise One means to die.
Most probably you know that periodically, I am absolutely obsessed with death disease. Oh brother, again I hear the sound of His drums! That is why for the past few days, I had been completely quiet. As if there is a fever. I don’t want to be attacked unaware. So this time I am struggling, saying again and again, ‘There is a lot of work to do.’ And He is saying, “Let the dead bury the dead- follow thou me.” I do not know if I can resist by struggling. Tearfully I beg, ’Oh my Beloved, make it easy- let there still be the swing between life and death- do not snatch me away completely’. I do not know if my tears will have any results.
I enjoyed reading your ‘Gitapath’ this time. The broad view of a Rishi has come out in that. May the Charioteer of Arjuna bless you!
Dear Brother Satya,
Because I am a Sannyasi, that does not mean I would be cruel enough to have an attitude of indifference at her loss of the dear one. On the other hand I can feel her unbearable grief at the core of my heart. Yet at the same time I feel that this grief can be transformed and elevated. This is also an aspect of Truth, though an extremely hard one.
Please tell her that the justification of Separation lies beyond the senses. Her heart rending grief bursts out as, ‘I do not believe in gods, not even the Supreme One . To me man is the god , man is All.‘
This is the eternal truth of all sadhanas of the Bengalis. Someone in flesh and blood whom we can see, feel and communicate with, is much more real to us than the invisible Supreme Personality. Even if we have Him, Let us have Him as a near and dear one- this is the eternal longing of a wise devotee. Similarly, just in the opposite way, if we draw a line around a human being with the limitation of sensuousness, that will be an insult to the humanity. My beloved can not be dwarfed by the limitations of senses. As we try to reach our loved ones beyond limits, we find God-finite merges into infinity. Based on this theory, a Hindu girl says, ‘My Husband is the Lord of the Universe,’ an initiate, realizing this truth says, ’my Guru is the World Guru‘. The truth is, the restricted vision has to be shunned, feeling have to be expanded beyond limits of senses. This is the gift of Separation. We merge the boundaries of finite into infinity through this pain of parting.
Sri Chaitanya has shown how to reach infinity while being in this finite world by Himself suffering this pang of Separation for twenty four long years. “ Na bina bipralambhen sambhogam pushtim ashnute”, ’Enjoyment is not properly nourished without Separation’- this is not a mere imagination of a dreamer, but a blazing truth in the life of a sadhaka.
“Husband is verily God” this is as true as “God is verily the Husband.” But a grief laden mind can not be consoled by this statement. The desire to get the lost one back in flesh and blood becomes intense. There can be a satisfaction of that desire too. Give her the hints that though death is an unavoidable truth, the one who is gone will never come back in this life, yet, according to some, he may come back as a near and dear one through rebirth.
Man dies but the memory lingers. Mind has to be sent inwards, holding onto the memory. Death obliterates all the shortcomings of the dear one. Only the loving form grows in the heart. That is the ultimate resort for the grieving heart and the first step to reach the Divine. Holding firmly onto the loving form, mind has to be merged in meditation. The one who is beyond vision is within heartas innate feeling. And that innermost state of being is verily God. Initially, there will be no form, but when the senses get purified by meditation, the Divine Form will appear. Bathed in the light of that Form wisdom will dawn gradually. That the spiritual relationship is stronger than the earthly one, will be easily realized. Slowly the thirst for form will automatically disappear- an eternal unification with the loved one through the Reality of Undivided One will bring the ultimate fruition of life.
October 27, 1931
If the charioteer is tied to the wheels of the chariot, then along with the chariot he moves too, but definitely, in that case his condition is not an enjoyable one.
We realize that everyday in our life. Admitted that it is not possible to remain static because ’whatever is moving’ constitutes a part of the Universe.
Hence willingly or unwillingly one has to move. Yet the distress of movement is in every step.
Let the wheel go round perpetually, but the charioteer enjoys if he remain still on his own seat, controlling the reins of that irresistible speed. This is what the Upanishad describes as ‘speed without moving’- Brahman is not moving, yet running. The synthesis of life is hidden in this mystery. The universe is on movement. So there need be no arduous sadhana for speed. The sadhana is to maintain one’s balance in the running chariot. The universe is made up of a combination of mobility and immobility. The same two principles are working within each individual too. The mind is neither completely mobile nor completely immobile and both have separate rules; life can be very pleasant if these rules are applied with discretion. Fortunately, we find directions to achieve this in our spiritual texts.
Drawing our attention towards a mountain, the Upanishad said, ‘as if meditating’, observing a line of unmoving trees the Rishi felt that in his inner sky ‘the One resides as still as the tree’. This silence, this meditative mood is also an aspect of life. From days of yore, India is proclaiming that this is the highest state- that the manifested earthly life was born out of the eternal Unmanifest. Even in the play of the Gunas in Prakriti, there is place for rest- a necessity for stillness. Ennui comes after effort, sleep after waking, death after life- dark Tamas after the turbulence of Rajas. But these are the functions of the lower state. The Speaker of the Gita has mentioned about a state of eternal Sattwa and that can be attained through the path of meditation- not the stupor of Prakriti but the restful state of Purusha. There is a particular sadhana to achieve this restful state and the consequent result as well.
Let me say, though with lot of trepidation in heart, that the root cause of the fact that India is still alive and probably will be alive even long after Civilization’s dance of destruction is over, lies in her power of meditation.
When the Karma Shakti (energy to work) comes out of meditation, it kindles fire in thousands simply and without ostentation. How about adding the item of meditation in the list of ‘must -do’s for civilization? Lot of time is wasted in decoration and deviation, why not some in discipline? As the body needs exercise as well as enjoyment , so does mind. Life will be much more pleasant by that.
It is apparent that if there is meditation, there has to be an object of meditation. An agnostic would say,’I do not believe in anything, who or what should I meditate upon?’ All kinds of experiments have already taken place. Why do you have to have any belief? Meditating on the Void is a great art. Even Gita has said, ’ Concentrating the mind on Self, nothing should be thought about.’ There is no fear of ‘annihilation- as I have mentioned earlier. This is just a ’recreation’- not the 'Yoga' of meditation, just a play with meditation.
Let us take an example from Patanjali. There is no rigidity in meditation only amusement. Experience proves that it is not easy to still the mind. We might get little bit of concentration by itself here and there, but any effort to do so makes the mind all the more restless. We have to make the mind quiet by coaxing and cajoling like a baby. No coercion will make it quiet, rather all the more edgy.
First of all, a suitable seat is needed according the need of each individual. The basic need is to keep the spinal cord straight. Then set the mind free to go anywhere it likes- just watch it; observe where it goes, what it thinks and what is does. No need to control. Just watch its movements keenly. After a while the thought will become vivid and you gradually will be able to differentiate between the thinking mind and the witness mind. You will feel as if the witness mind is a colorless backdrop and the thinking mind is bringing colors on it.
As the discrimination between the two grow stronger, automatically the thought mind will become weaker and if nothing else, an indescribable peace will pervade the whole being. Along with that you will realize that this peace is the nature o the witness mind- not of the thinking mind. Of course you can not expect to catch the glimpse of the quiet mind behind the fickle one in a day or two, but that should not take much time either. With regular practice this discriminating faculty should awaken within a fortnight.
Now, it is needed to fix the mind on an emotional idea. A concrete idea has to be formed with the feeling of peace and an indescribable tinge of happiness should cling to that feeling of peace. All of us have concrete ideas of fear, anger or of love which can be brought to mind by means of imagination. A similar concept is needed to bring about a quiet, happy impression, which actually is a wide expansion of be-ing; a background for the restless mind. Clouds move to and fro but the sky remains the same. Even when it is overcast we say ‘there are clouds IN the sky’. Sky- the all pervading cosmic space is the supporter of all. Similarly we have to practice in developing the thought that that the quiet, unattached mind is the basis on which is going on the dance of the frivolous one. No doubt, at times the dance becomes violent but again the happiness of the basic quietude of the witness mind engulfs everything. Let the play continue for a while. Once this gets settled, another idea has to be infused- the idea of infinity of space. Here the imposition of self consciousness on the witness mind can be effective.
The perception should be something like, ‘I am everywhere- I am the space‘. So long everything was done outwardly. Once this sense of all-pervasiveness is mastered, the intensity is added. Then at any center of the body- at heart or between the eyebrows- hold your mind and radiate yourself into infinity. Hold your mind like this for as long as you can- no coercion is needed, rather the more effortless it is, the better will be the result. One has to nurture the feeling :I am doing this easily, blissfully, naturally.
Let us draw the line here. It is not needed to discuss what is beyond. For the agnostics, this much should be the guideline and afterwards they should depend on their individual inclinations. From this condition, mind can be led to Nothingness or to deeper realisation. But at this point Psychology and Philosophy might throw dust to one another and it is better not to be involved in that. It suffices to say that even for the non-believers, a regular daily practice will be rather beneficial.
But for those, who have faith, specially in forms and want to meditate on their Ishta (Cherished Form),a couple of hints may be helpful. Typically, most of the people make an error at the onset and that is forceful imposition- a futile effort to control the playful mind with a hard slap or to acquire immediate absorption.
The mind that is our only means for meditation is still the desire mind of the lower consciousness. It follows certain rules and has independent nature. If we understand its nature and follow its rules, it will be easier to control it. When the attention solidifies, meditation starts. Whatever is the law for attention, the same is for meditation. Meditation is, in other words, sustained attention. Now, what is the nature of this sustained attention? James has said, ’Sustained attention is nothing but the repetition of the process.’ That means no idea lingers in attention, only gets repeated. It is not only James who said that. The same has been noted by the Buddhist Philosophy. Patanjali went one step farther by adding that meditation is the concentrated harmony of thoughts, which again Vyasa, the Commentator explained like, 'this concentrated harmony has to follow the continuous succession of moments.’
There is a lot of weight in that expression. Thousands of ideas are swarming in the brain, millions of associations are pulling the mind in all directions and in the midst of that, by using discretion, a single idea has to be picked up, its finest and easiest segment has to be chosen and reflected again and again with undivided attention. Patanjali has even mentioned about attaining Samadhi by following this momentary thought. But this is not easy for those who do not have a very clear brain and a well developed power of discrimination. Hence this intellectual way is not for everyone. There has to be a different method.
And that is the way led by emotion. As mentioned before, sustained attention is nothing but repetition. The natural characteristic of mind is to stick to an object for the fraction of a second and fly away the next moment. If that idea can be ideally represented a moment before mind flies away and with extreme care the process repeated, then attention can be sustained.
But there is the danger of the mind being completely vacant and inert as a result of that. As I have mentioned earlier, even this is not easy to master without keen intellectual perception.
But attention follows another law; if the same subject can be represented from various aspects, attention can be sustained again.
There is a saying , ‘monopoly induces sleep’ which points at the possibility of a flaw in the sustained attention from the reverse aspect. We do not want that.
The teachers of Kindergarten classes know that to draw attention of their pupils to a particular theme needs a lot of repetition. But not in the same way. A method of representing the same subject from different angles has to be applied. Once the subject is represented from various perspectives, a continuous idea is formed from that diversity.
Exactly, the same rule has to be applied while meditation on Ishta. An idea of Ishta should be the background and after that, with creative talent newer and newer attributes have to be contemplated and added to that idea. That means the initial stage of meditation on Ishta is Bhavna or deep reflection -a luxury of having Him within. The effort to form a stone image of Ishta and look at Him with unflinching mental eyes, is not going to work. By initial service to Ishta through imagination, seeing him, feeling Him, having Him in all possible ways and means would create a surge of emotion which will eventually solidify as love. This way when the heart melts with indescribable plasticity, we have to impose there sometimes our Ishta (Lord) and sometimes our Selves (servants) and feel the Oneness of the two. A time comes when we feel ‘I am He or He is I.’ Now He is within and behold! now he is without! At this stage, with the help of discrimination power, if we can free the innermost feelings of the heart (Bhavna) from the accumulated trash of various impressions carried on from previous acts (Samskara), meaning if we can purify and give the upsurge of emotion a concrete form, then the meditation will deepen.
This much should open the eyes of a meditator. Further directions would come from his Chosen One.
November 2, 1931
Dear Brother Satya,
I can very well understand the reason for your depression, since I suffer with the same. Yet you have to struggle against all adversities and the Vision of Truth will awaken out of that. Free your mind from the narrow thought process, and you will perceive that even your adversaries are but segments of your wide, expansive being. This is my experience, Brother, that work is impossible without fixing the mind to some feelings and by ‘feelings’ I understand emotion- Prana as per the Rishis of the Upanishad.
In our country , worship of so-called Prana is in abundance, and there is no dearth of sentimentalism. But nothing sustains for long due to lack of powerful thought process and wisdom. We are nothing but the shell of a snail. A drop is ocean to us. A large vessel is a rare phenomena. A few that have been created suffer life long scorching pain of continuous struggle.
The higher Prana wants to devour the lower ones and the lower ones resist their utmost. Thus a struggle ensues. Just think about it. This is the universal system of nourishment of the prana- in material as well as in finer (Sukshma) world. The diverse play of the smaller pranas, various clash of interests - these are the origins of all wrongdoings. Just to synthesize all these , periodically the Highest Prana Shakti of the Lord descends as incarnations. Then comes the world wide clash of the Titans- a clash that destroys in one hand and creates on the other. Don’t you see both these aspects in the Gita? As an advisor, Sri Krishna is a great harmoniser and His gospels are gospel of Peace, gospel of Love, gospel of Harmony. Again the same Lord is expressing Himself in the eleventh chapter as ’Kaloasmi lokaksayakrit’ - ’I am Time the Destroyer’. Can’t you see how His Universal Form is cruelly crushing and absorbing the smaller pranas? But that is the nourishment of the Greater Prana. That is why for thousands of years after the battle of Kurukshetra, in great peace and prosperity, India could discover so many finest Truths in the spiritual realm.
There is an element of compasion as well as of pain in the act of absorption of the scattered and separated smaller pranas by the larger one. Do you understand the tremendous pain that Sri Krishna had to undergo when He synthesized the scattered and separated sources of energy of India? You will find a modern replica of this pain in the life of Vivekananda. That is another Great Prana and he crushed many little things to assimilate them into a greater one. The higher one rises, the fiercer will be the battle against the odds and deeper will be the pain. On one hand he has to be severe and on the other ’SarvabhutAtma BhutAtmA’- ‘ The very being of all beings’ - exactly like Goutama Buddha.
Do not feel distressed because of oppositions, because you get hurt. This proves that you have a larger heart. Bring two things in life- Extensity and Intensity. Let your heart be expansive as well as deep. Think broadly and feel deeply. The vital energy will vibrate, your horizon of vision will widen and you will see that those who are opposing are actually helping you. They have their own place in your vast scheme and they are resisting just to submit. When you will silently saturate the ones that are opposing with the sap of your expansive vitality, then you will realize that hindrance had a justification- that is nothing but another form of the contagious prana.
Remember this, my Brother, three fourth of your being is immortal. Hence do not let the outer humdrum occupy more than one fourth of your mind. Try to merge within yourself again and again. There is a term used by Patanjali- ‘Samadhi based on Samadhi.’ Do you know what that means? Holding the mind ever upwards - in the very state of Samadhi and be completely lost periodically. The condition would something like when you are very sleepy yet you are forced to stay awake and have ninety nine percent inclination towards sleep. Similarly, if you can be ninety nine percent inclined towards inner state and work even with one, you will find gratification with work.
If I am wholly satisfied, I can satisfy others. As long as you have dissatisfaction in your mind, you might try to draw other towards you but you will not be successful. Only prana can control prana. Be of Great Prana- be filled with Ultimate Satisfaction and you will be able to control other pranas too. Even if they rebel, that would be only temporary.
They must submit to your magnetic attraction. Never mind, you are bound to be victorious! Struggle on! Never seek enjoyment- even the enjoyment of bliss! You are born to fight and you must fight on against all odds.
My Brother, as much as you can- as long as you can- meditate. At last be with higher thoughts. Let all your brain and heart be on…& then you will know divine intoxication.
So many ideas were in mind but there is no more time. Just know this much - there is an unbreakable tie between pranas. Day by day I am getting spell bound by what I see in front of me. This is a universal wealth of the age which everybody will inherit. The Great Future is dawning. All of us are individual offering to that. Forget jealousy, hatred, narrowness. With a wide view look at the Advent of the Great. Crossing all the barriers of time and space, the Great Prana is speeding with thunderous roar towards the Existence-Cosciousness-Bliss. I feel it.It is drawing me irresistibly to the mighty abyss! Oh, the sweetness of Void! Oh, the Glory of Sacrifice!
Oh, my Brother, is this the time to close your mind with darkness? Behold the Festivals of light! Kindle the lamps in the hearts pf hundreds and thousands with the light from the lamp of your own heart and you will see how the Divine Mother is being worshipped with all the lamps! My Mysterious Mother of Dissolution! Come running. Pay heed to the call of the traveller on the path of self dissolution. Burn all the dross of your life completely, without leaving any residue. Let the darkness grow into light. Victory be with you, my friend!
“The Wayfarer Friend”
Dear Brother Satya,
If you can perceive the Undifferentiated Ego that Patanjali has meant by the term Subjective Consciousness as the only personality, then you will grasp a view of the Vedantins.All of us have an individual ego which is a kind of in-between stage of Consciousness. The only differentium between matter and spirit is the growth of the ego sense or self consciousness. On one side is the vast Nature, void of individual ego, but she means torpor; on the other side is the all encompassing Purusha, void of any attribution ( Samskara), therefore void of ego too. This attribution less ego is the subjective consciousness of Patanjali. But his procedure to reach that is by negation- the path of ‘not this, not this‘. He has captured the Subjective Consciousness by removing the hindrances that stand against the purification of Ego. He becomes impersonal. His sadhana is to uproot personality. Following Vedanta too, we do reach the impersonal state, not by negation, but by self-evolution, self development. As an individual being my ego may have a conflict with yours. Vedanta says that this conflict is due to undeveloped ego. If we develop ego, meaning if we can expand the whole mental horizon, then we reach the only real personality or Brahman by sacrificing this limited personality of ours.
What are its psychological aspects? For sure you know, there are three functions of mind: thinking, feeling and willing. Our ego or personality consists of the undeveloped faculties of these three functions. Now you develop these three. Develop willing through the idea of power (Shakti) into Eternal Stability or Sat. That means let your sadhana be Will of power and as result you become firm, composed, immovable. This immobility, though, is the criterion of Shakti from the view point of be-ing and brings the ultimate dissolution of the individuality. But just on the reverse side is the immense outburst of Brahmic Creation. That is why in common life even, you will see those can create who have the will power to remain stable. This is how you get Sat.
Develop thinking into Chit, which means Eternal Wakefulness. There is a gap in the process of Knowing because of the difference in subject and object. Remove the difference. Let the object immerse in the subject and you will be only Consciousness. This is the highest development of thought power. This way by concentration, and by controlling the vrittis ( disturbances of mind) you attain pure Chit.
Then develop feeling into pure Ananda or love. Just expand yourself till you feel the whole universe to be your body. You are the throbbing life in all. This is the highest development- the experience of Bliss or Love. Thus you attain Ananda.
Then you see. Sacchidananda (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss) is your ideal and in Vedanta you reach this through the development of your innate psychic powers. This is the Vedantic way of Subjective Consciousness.
Another hint. Cultivate the ideas of pure stillness, radiance and expansiveness. Say to yourself:
I am Immovable (Sat)
I am Effulgence (Chit)
I am Present everywhere (Ananda)
By realizing these ideas, you will attain Subjective Consciousness through Vedanta.
September 11, 1931
Started with the idea of writing about the Divine Mother. But feeling a dilemma at the very onset and wonder what is there not about the Mother? If I want to express the inexplicable, is not that expression the play of Mother? Does She express Herself only through one name or a single feeling? Of course, we start with one but eventually, there is no end. I remember the song of Ramprasad,* ‘Tara (a name for the Divine Mother) is fifty-lettered alphabet and every letter proclaims Her name.‘ I hear about worship of Shakti and about the Shakta doctrine too. Again, I hear that it covers certain historical period on the scale of Time, meaning from such and such date in such and such century worship of shakti started in India, so on and so forth. There I have some misgivings, Brother. If we consider shakti as eternal and accept worship as the oldest human religion, don’t you think it sounds odd if someone says that on a particular day of a particular year the worship of Shakti evolved? The fact of the matter is, we are staunch devotees of name and form. We have coined the term ‘Shakti,’
Given the name ‘Mother,’ created an idol in the form of a girl- hence consider Her worship through the name and form as worship of Shakti and according to that search for references in history. But there is something beyond name and form. Let me expound that a little bit.
Let me start with the Vedic Age. Even in those days there was worship of Shakti-but neither in the name nor in the form of today. Take for example the entire body of religious ceremonies ( Karma kanda). What were the sacrifices and Yagnas? What were the Mantras of the Vedas? Only importune demands of a child- the eternal prayer of the human child to the Universal Force, which blossomed in full in the Argala Stotra, ’Shower beauty, shower victory, shower fame, kill my foes.’ In the body of religious ceremonies, there are gods as well as goddesses. There might be difference in gender so far as names and forms are concerned, but the basic reality is the same- the reality of Shakti. You know what else? There is the worship of both Majesty and Beauty of Shakti in there. The western scholars think that worship of beauty was prevalent only among Greeks and not among Indians. Maxmuller has openly said that though there is worship of Nature in the Vedas but that is only awe and adoration of greatness not of beauty. The Hindus did not have a developed sense of beauty.
I can’t believe that. The fact is, these critics have developed the theory of Aesthetics based on Greek adoration of forms. But they can not see the adoration of Bhava (innate feelings) of this country. The beauty of forms is not the only beauty- the beauty of Bhava is way beyond that. We see this form of Shakti as Bhava. That is why for worship in that age no idol was created- the mantras of meditation were developed instead. The moment Bhava (feeling) became higher than Rupa (form), every god became infinite. And during the later age, in order to give form to that infinity Inward Art of the Hindus came forth, which not only had no respect for perspective and Anatomy, but had no end of symbolism either.
I am ready to accept the theory that the Vedic Rishis used to worship Shakti as Nature.The Western scholars have deduced that fear was the root cause. We say no, love was the root cause and name it as the deep inner sense of beauty. In describing the Mother‘s beauty, Chandi has said, ‘Thou are Lovelier among the loveliest and Prettier among the prettiest.’ The beauty of the Mother stole the hearts of even the Vedic Rishis. How is that Beauty? It is hard to give evidence without subjective experience. Moreover, search the history of Racial Psychology. No race could advance performing worship out of fear. Fear never allows the Life Force to grow. There is the difference of heaven and hell between the Nature worship of a Rishi and that of an aboriginal.
The endless exuberance of Life Force is not an outcome of fear- but a creation of love. That is called contemplation on inner sense of beauty. We can give an example from the life of Sri Ramakrishna. Just by seeing a row of cranes flying against dark clouds, while walking along the ridge dividing the fields, a six- year old boy lost consciousness of outer world . They say that this was the first Bhava Samadhi in his life. The whole race repeats itself in the individual. I think this was the replica of the first Bhava Samadhi in the life of the Aryan race. There is a saying that the Mantras of the Vedas were created through the power received in Samadhi meaning that at the root of the Vedic Suktas was the inspiration of the same Bhava Samadhi. The vibration of this Bhava, though not completely lost, but has worn out among us. This way to glorify the inner sense of beauty into a religious culture might not happen ever again. In this age a Ramakrishna here and a Wordsworth there revive the memory of the days of yore that appear phenomenal to us.
But I know for sure that the Divine Mother- the uncontested Beauty of the three Worlds- has accepted the offerings, sitting in the hearts of the Rishis and infused power in the national life.
When we come to the section of Wisdom in the Vedas, we feel as if we have lost the Mother. Where is the place of Shakti in the Upanishads? Only in Kenopanishad, there is the reference of Uma Haimavati. But what is its importance in the vast study of Wisdom through out the Upanishads? Yet the Kenopanishad is not the only one that proves that the Rishis of the Upanishads were by nature worshippers of Shakti. Because we are still tangled with the illusion of name and form that is why we have not understood Mother yet. The Rishis of Wisdom did not worship Mother in Matter- they worshipped Mother as Consciousness. A Rishi of the Upanishad was a worshipper of Prana and this Prana of the Upanishad and Shakti are same and inseparable. Everybody knows to what extent this worship of Prana dominates the Upanishads.
There is another aspect in the Upanishad- the adoration of Ananda. See, again we get Mother back. Her Majesty radiates in the invocation of Prana and Beauty blossoms along the rhythmic expressions of Bliss. This is verily Her Form of Pure Consciousness- the Ananda of Prana. Entire creation flows from this and that is the motherhood of Shakti.In the exuberance of ecstasy, the Deeply Hidden Purusha exclaimed, ‘I shall be manifested as Many’- the Formless appeared as Multi-Form. Prana and Anada- these two form the fountainhead of Shakti of a nation. Whoever worships Prana, adores Ananda, is a devotee of Shakti.
As parts of and based on the Truth therein, there are two Mimansas on the Vedas, which give us the essence of all sadhanas carried on by a nation for thousands of years.
You will find the dictum of Shakti worship in both of them. The Earlier Mimansa (Purva Mimansa by Jaimini) starts with, 'Now, then the question of Dharma. Inspiration is the object of Dharma.’ Sadhana of Dharma is neither lifeless nor motivated. At the root lies the inspiration from the Unmanifest which takes form as the song of life-an effort of Energy to manifest itself. Thus we see the expression of Majesty of the Divine Mother. Again the Later Mimansa (Uttar Mimansa by Vyasa) starts with, ’ Now is the question regarding Brahman, The Origin of all this.’ Who is That from Whom the whole universe is born, in Whom it stays and to Whom it merges? Do I have to say that She is the Anandamoyi (Blisssful) Mother? The Ananda Brahman is nothing but the expression of Sweetness of Shakti. Again we got our Mother back at the root of the Vedic Philosophy as the source of National Power.
In one Form, Mother is the inspiration behind Prana or Dharma. This is Her aspect of Power. In the other Form She is Moksha or Ananda- the birthright of Freedom. This is Her Sweetness. Today we do sadhana for Moksha, not any more for Dharma. That is why there is no prosperity in the nation. The worship of Mother is done in half.
The history of Indian sadhana did not end only with the two Mimansas. The other four branches of the Hindu philosophy are equally well known. In the life of a nation as a whole, there flows two currents. One is Faith and the other Reason. We get Religion from Faith and Philosophy from Reason. The basis of the two Mimansas is Faith. They are the foundation of the age old Dharma of the Hindus. The other four philosophies came out as a result of snipping off Faith with intellect. Their basis is Reason. But even the rationality of a nation could not ignore Shakti.
The doctrine of Shakti is the ultimate end of all rationality. All the philosophies have emptied themselves in determining that one Reality.
Let us talk about the Sankhya Phlosophy which is considered as the most rational philosophy. From beginning to end it is an analysis of Nature, meaning a kind of understanding the manifested reality of Shakti. But the last verdict is- Nature is Unmanifest and accessible by Samadhi alone. That means not reachable by intellect nor understandable by analytic method. What we need is synthesis- the equilibrium of the Gunas.
Patanjali’s philosophy (Yoga) focuses on the practical side of the same theory. There we find the extent to which the Universal Shakti can be manifested in human life. We find there the discipline to acquire that Shakti, achievement of divine qualities, and attainment of the ultimate mastery. The novelty of Patanjali is in introducing Divine Lordship. Besides, Sankhya did not put much importance of existence of Prana in Shakti. Though in Sankhya scheme, Prana was involved in Prakriti but it never got its due importance as a Reality. Hence, in Sankhya there is the continuous dispute between Purush and Prakriti. In his theory of Iswara ( Lord), Patanjali made up for the deficiency. Look up in the commentary of Vyasa, Iswara has been given such an ecstatic place between the Purusha and Prakriti that is does not take long to understand that this ’Iswara’ is none other that the Conscious Force of the Divine Mother.
Then came the Philosophy of Nyaya to explore the mysteries of the universe. It is said that they follow the doctrine of Nature and do not believe in Shakti. There is some purport behind this. Nyaya is a staunch supporter of Common sense. Maximum they can accept is ‘subtle‘ at the root of ‘matter‘. But what the Sankhya identifies as ‘cause‘ is an enigma to them. That cause is the expression of Shakti- the Divine Mother as the Source of all. Nyaya does not accept ‘cause’ but accepts ‘karma’. But on what does this ‘karma‘ stand? Where is the Controller of the universal ‘karma’? Behaving like a blind with the vision, Nyaya said that is Unperceived Destiny. Is not that the same as Unmanifest of Sankhya? To the argument of common sense, the Mother is, of course Unperceived. At least negatively, Nyaya has proved the existence of Mother. Just for information, the doctrine of Moksha is also a negative theory.
Next came the Materialist- the Vaisheshika. He found atom as the basis of material universe. Atom is a mysterious object- neither idea nor matter. The philosophers face a terrible dilemma in creating a universe from it. It became something like fallacy- ‘mountain out of a mustard seed’. The Mayavadin will teasingly smile and say, ’What is there to worry about, Brother, The One who makes impossible possible can do anything.’ But that is faith. We want reason. Perforce appears Vishesha (Particulars). That is; one has to accept the principles of differntium or else the universe can not be created. Remember Upanishad? That doctrine of multi- faceted manifestation? That ‘I shall be Many’? In the unique characteristic of Vishesh (atom), my Mother appeared as the Will to Create. The ultimate word of the Vaisheshika was only that ‘Vishesha’.
So you see, whether in the ceremonies of Karma, or in exposition of Wisdom, or in the six branches of Philosophy - Shakti is everywhere. In spirituality, religion, philosophy- the whole nation has been practicing only the worship of Shakti. So far was the idealism of Shakti. Then comes the realism in Tantra and in the Vaishnava Philosophy. There will be no confusion in finding the Mother here. What else is needed, my Brother? Let me bid adieu.
Child of the Mother! Always remain in Her lap!!
‘The Wayfarer Friend’
Whenever I want to talk about Shakti, my brother, I think of sadhana and along with that freedom, which is the eternal nature of the soul. You know the verbal root of the word Shakti (shak + ktin) denotes possibility- creative energy. Possibility of what? Different philosophies have answered that in different ways. Sankhya has named Shakti as Prakriti, expounding the meaning as ‘prakaroti sarvam’- ‘does everything’ in propriety. Sankhya did not mean passivity but fullness in activity. Yoga has gone one step farther and said ‘sarvam sarvam bhavati’-’everything becomes everything’. This emphasizes on diversity of choice. Everything is within you. Whatever you want to be, using power of control and \restraint of lower emotion, just slough off the screen that covers and inevitably you will be that. Because ‘Everything becomes everything’. This is the rule of Prakriti- majesty of Soul. The Upanishad says too, ‘Sarvamidam AtmaibAbhut’ ‘Only the Atman has manifested Itself as all this’.
Realising this sovereignty of Shakti, the Vedantin exclaimed, ‘Bravo! This verily is Maya!’ Now, what is meant by Maya? Maya defeats the concept of distinction. The intelligence that justifies reason and tries to find out the chain of cause and effect is lost in this Maya. Really , what is this universe other than a variegated expression of Maya? And what ecstasy is enjoyed by the Contented Self in that Maya! This Ananda is the innate nature of Prakriti - manifestation of creation, inspiration of action -everything is embedded in this Ananda.
Oh, my Brother! Not with the sectional mind, but with unhindered, unprejudiced, vast and wide understanding look at the creation; loot at the world with a heart of ‘Kavirmanishi’ of the Vedas- the heart that is intuitive or synthetic (Kavih) and intellective or analytic (Manishi) at the same time. The creation is nothing but a playground of Individuality, a stage for Freedom. The Divine will is evolving itself in endless ways. It is childish to demand ‘why this happened this way and not the other way.’ The proof of His power is at the defeat of our wish. Subjugation is a necessity with small and divided will and freedom with vast and unified one. ‘ Our wills are ours to make them Thine.’ Annihilation of the disturbance of desire or fulfillment of the prayer, don’t they both look the same to a witness? Tell me what should be wanted in life? Should I fret and fuss because I did not get what I wanted? His Will becomes victorious in my unfulfilled desires and in that I recognize His Omnipotence. Or, whatever I wanted, I got. That is also a victory of His Will - a perfect manifestation of His will. Ananda in both- only Ananda- only endless Freedom!! My brother, what is the value of the freedom that you and I enjoy? Is not that the freedom of a cow tied to a pole whose freedom spans only as far as the rope extends? Forget that. Forget the puny egoism. Sacrifice yourself in the Vast. Plunge into the ocean of Nirvana. Even if you have any tinge of ‘I’ after that, feel the ultimate defeat. His is Lordship and yours is servitude; His is Puissance and yours is penury; his is Life and your is dissolution. Know for sure that the ultimate taste of Shakti is in dissolution of ego; the consecration to Shiva by the immersion of Jiva (becoming).
By and large, victory of the limited will is considered as the expression of power. Even in the Sadhana of an ascetic, it is the same. Whoever can mesmerize us with miracle, we consider him a great saint. Even during Sadhana, we want this limited progress of power- meaning a change or growth in the power of senses. Accepted, that all these ARE expressions of power, but where is Wisdom at the base of all these? Where is the Ecstasy of Selfhere is the Wonder of being a part of and enjoying the Divine Play?
My Brother, do not think that I am asking you to place passivity as the highest goal of your life because I said that expression of Shakti is at the immersion of ego. Along with the immersion comes the firm establishment of identity. Not a consecration AFTER Immersion but the eagerness to consecrate yourself will urge you to merge.
Remember, your life, like all terrestrial lives, should be directed according to the indications received from the Divine Shakti. Hence, basically, there is an urge for Truth- an eagerness to express and expand. It is true that ,it may not always be possible to understand how that Truth wants to be manifested through us. To understand that are needed Discrimination and Renunciation. Life is the play of an instrument in accompaniment with a Song of the Supreme. Harmony can not be created by playing on any scale at random. If a particular scale is not in tune with the Singer’s Voice, immediately that scale has to be discarded and a new one to be picked up.
The ability to differentiate between ‘in tune ‘ and ‘ out of tune’ is called Discrimination; and the ability for instantaneous rejection of ‘out of tune’ is called Renunciation. As you go on testing the ideal of your life through discrimination and renunciation, a time will come when you will find that you have touched the right keys and as soon as that happens, if you set your mind on that key with one-pointed attention, you will find the firm footing of your identity.
The Sadhana of Renunciation is actually aiming at the firm footing of ‘I’-ness. The fixity in the Self is a sign of Devotion. And Renunciation is at the root of it. This way, if you can discard the discordant ‘I’ and somehow come face to face with the genuine 'I’, then there will be no confusion in life- and nothing left to achieve. Then starts the internal receiving. How much of that is shown outward is irrelevant.
Any effort to judge the inner power by outer expression will always end up in erroneous results. ‘Yatodharmastatojaya’- ‘Victory is where dharma abides’- is verily true. But how does one know if the victory is an inner or an outer one? How much outward victory was reflected in the life of Yudhisthira, of Sita or of Christ? We can not think they were powerless because they had to undergo defeat in their outward lives. Were they defeated inwardly? And who is worshipped as an idol in the hearts of millions, Duryodhana of Yudhisthira? Ravana or sita? Judas Iscariot or Jesus Christ? The proof of powers of Seers of Truth might not come out in one life because such life is not limited in one, but spans across eons. They represent either the results of age long Sadhana of many lives or the dawn of collective fulfillment of a future race. If you understand this much, you will not make a mistake of thinking inner power as passivity.
Self Sacrifice is the proof of emergence of the Universal Shakti within. And Self Realisation is at the root of Self- Sacrifice. In Self Sacrifice- in this finding out of life’s mission , all inertia will turn into ashes. Adoration, Power, Memory, Meditation and Wisdom will kindle up in flame within. You have to ’Know Thyself’. Why should Shakti emerge otherwise? You must have heard this fable: A lion cub, being raised among a herd of sheep was behaving like a sheep. Another lion forcefully brought it on the bank of a river and showed its own reflection in the water saying, 'Behold! Whatever I am , you are! And this is mutton- just taste it!’ Then the cub roared out, “I am the Lion!’ Quite possibly the long nurtured ovine characteristics might have led the cub on the wrong track many a times, but the general realisation of the self did not allow him to stay there for long and the individual realisation helped him to mercilessly uproot the ovine tendencies till they were ousted for good.
Self- Sacrifice that is based on General Self Realisation (like the sameness between the lion and the cub of the fable) evokes the emergence of Universal Shakti in the heart. This is quite known to you that without this emergence, self sacrifice brings either frustration or inertia.
Is it easy to give up my ‘I’ ness? Through out life no stones are left unturned to fulfill my desire. Now, how can I give them all up just like that? For a worldly person death and giving up desire are the same and synonymous. Why should he accept the theory of Development of Inner Power at the renunciation of desire? So, I firmly believe that renunciation of desire can never be possible without awakening of Wisdom or Individual Self Realisation.
When I realise that by giving up small desires, something much higher and stronger can be achieved, I will do that willingly. So it is necessary to make everyone understand the positive side of religion before showing the negative one. There is no one in the world who does not want power or radiance or bliss. Repeat these words again and again- be saturated with the idea yourself. Kindle a fire in heart and offer all desires in that as fuels. The fire will grow stronger and stronger. Permeate either Wisdom or Love. Self Offering will be easy for everyone. There will be no weakness stopping anyone from Self Sacrifice . The natural expansion of Shakti will overflow and all barriers will be swept away.
The General Self- Realisation that I mentioned earlier is nothing but a flash of Wisdom or of Love like the Intuitive Knowledge of Patanjali. That is the same as the magnetism or touch of Prana between the Guru and the disciple. Do you know that this affinity, this nearness between Pranas has no philosophy? It is the spontaneity which can never be explained with reason nor can you form any rule to regulate it.
That Prana, that Life Force is Maya- the Creative Power. Wherever there is Self Offering, there is the play of this life force. Do not convert surrender to philosophy nor try to form a rigid law for self giving. Then the Prana will fly away and the remnant will create only smoke- never a fire.
The greatness of offering comes out naturally between a guru and a disciple. Shakti emerges there too. But keep in mind that the offering has to be from both- meaning the Guru as well as the disciple has to offer himself to the other. Egoism on any side will not allow love to emerge and when there is no love between them you will hear all about the philosophy of technique of self offering- and the inner wealth comes out in the open to be traded in the public market. Actually, the love between the Guru and the disciple is deeper than between a man and a woman. In the present age, we are fortunate to witness the expression of a great Creative Energy in the life of Sri Ramakrishna and Vivekananda. Just imagine the depth of Love! Do not ponder only on Vivekananda’s surrender, try to understand the self offering of Sri Ramakrishna too.
Those arguing in favour of the grandeur of Knowledge only, have themselves never loved. They are arrogant, not lovers.
This is the relationship between me and ‘the one closest to my heart’ ‘One can recognize one’s heart’s desire at the first glance’. The very appearance of whom, ‘Vidyate hridayagranthi, schhidyate sarvasamsayah’*- ‘all knots of the heart are cut asunder, all doubts pierced through.’ This doubtless relaxation gives rise to General Self Realization.
It does not matter, my Brother, how you differentiate the mission of life in each individual capacity, basically it ends up with the same- Merging into the Sacchidananda. If you come back again, embrace the world. The General Self Realisation gives us a glimpse of this very Sacchdananda. We master that by Individual Self Realisation. For that is needed all discipline and extreme Sadhana.
The Fulfillment lies with Self offering, but remember the symptoms. A General Realisation will always proceed Absolute Surrender. The way Srimati Radhika lost her self by merely hearing the name ’Krishna’, that same sense of losing all individuality has to come first. A moment’s glimpse will make you aware, ’Since eternity Thou art mine and I am Thine.‘
After this it is not any more difficult to give up desire. When there is nothing to ask for, yet I feel that every moment there is a fulfillment to my heart’s eternal desire, then and then only I get the proof of His Power and my own blissful nature. Automatically the vision turns inwards. The Witness self comes to the forefront by itself and a unique conception of Maya is revealed. These very physical eyes transform to Universal eyes and with those eyes I myself witness the manifestations of my own infinite possibilities and the rotation of all good and bad around the center my being. Worldly judgment becomes futile, life and death becomes one my ego merges with His and the taste of infinite Freedom opens up all the floodgates of immortality; a single look at the surroundings plays the tune over and again, ‘I love everyone because I find my own ‘I‘ in every ‘I.‘
You know, the introduction and the conclusion are always beautiful. All problems are in the middle. When you set your first step in the path of sadhana, you hear such encouraging, dulcet words! And the heart leaps with joy. Whoever is chosen to meet success will surely find the Ever Beautiful. But think of the innumerable problems and pitfalls caused by attacks of opposite forces
in- between. Work with all its adversities throws dust on the beauty of idealism and not only all lower instincts of mind becomes apparent, day by day they become more and more prominent and demanding. ‘Cessation of Work by Work’ can not take place unless there is Knowledge supporting the Work. True, ‘JnanAgnih sarvakarmAni bhasmasAth kurute tathA’ ‘Thus the fire of Wisdom turns all Work to ashes’, but who can perceive the dawn of Wisdom? ‘NAshAnto nAsamAhitah’ ’Not one who is not at peace, nor the one who is not composed.’ As long as one is not at peace or not composed , wisdom will not dawn in mind. But how to make the mind tranquil and steady? There is no Royal Road for that. The only answer is: ‘Abhyasena hi, Vairagyen cha’ 'By practice and by renunciation.' There has to be detachment even in the midst of work. An apathetic feeling is needed to avoid the attachment to work and you need the art of meditation to capture the Beautiful-the Yoga of Practice to apply the heart again and again to That.
The Sadhna of Surrender is similar too. ’Yat karoshi, yadashnAshi…tat kurushva Madarpanam’*-Whatever you do, whatever you eat…offer everything to Me.’ OR ‘Yat karomi JamanmAtA tadeva taba pujanam’- Whatever I do, Oh the Mother of the Universe! Everything is your worship.
At the same time we have to remember always, to whom am I surrendering? This is not writing a piece of legal paper that one day you call witness, sign the deed and register and it is done. What needed is EVERY moment of remembrance- every breath vibrant with the repetition of the Name and always muttering, ‘Not I, not I, only You‘. an untiring effort to feel and experience that ‘You’ And with the practice of renunciation, separate mind from the sense objects, so that even if everything crumbles down there will be no reflection on the mind.
If this much can be achieved our very terrestrial life will beautiful. But that does not happen to us, Brother. Our primitive tendencies become natural. So called surrender brings inertial, greed, jealousy, anger and other similar tendencies become more and more prominent. Expression of Divine Shakti is impossible when animal instincts are so prominent.
Lastly, my Brother, Power lies in stability. If you have anything within yourself, you will realize that only when you are calm. Because we are not calm, we do not understand the extent of our possibilities and life is entangled with various this and that. If you are not sure of what to think or what to meditate upon, give up all thinking and practice turning your mind to Nothingness. Not a vacant nothingness- but Nothingness like Space( Akash) a Nothingness that is the supporter of All. Create a background like this and on that background will appear the Image of Mother. You will get all directions from your own heart and that direction is not a mere whim of a dream but supported by the cautious urge from the Universal Shakti. Sadhana of Shakti is verily the Sadhana of Stability and the whole Creation points at that too.
There is also an emotional side of the Sadhana of Shakti. But today I am not going to talk about that. What needed is the purification of Self, Vision of Self. Get established in Calm Stability. I have already mentioned that is not passivity. Feel Shakti as the controlled power in every cell of your being. Let all energy be centralized. Transform all narrowness of mind with a feeling of Friendship. Thus the meaning of your life as a part of the Universal Life will be clear to you. If emotion evolves on the stable basis of this feeling, there will be no possibility of erroneous involvement. Therefore, putting far away all emotional confusion today, embrace the powerful Sadhana of Self- Realization.
May the Universal Shakti be your Guide.
'PRAVACHAN' PART ONE - LETTERS BY SRI ANIRVAN,' TRANSLATED BY SMT KALYANI BOSE, continued
Dibrugarh June 23, 1931
Dear Brother Satya,
My Brother, forget all about sorrow- just hold onto the bliss. Sorrows are but the birth-throes of bliss. ‘Future is dark’- this is falsehood- at least it is a relative truth. Future is blissful, full of divine experiences. This is the eternal Faith of human soul. Forget the showers in the expectation,-nay, in the realisation of sunshine. Be established in Truth and blossom in harmony- this is my earnest prayer.
I am happy to know that you are studying the Upanishads and trying to assimilate the thoughts of the English Free Thinkers. Make your life a life of an ascetic, eagerly searching for Truth. Do not give up studies- that takes place of contemplation. Let your heart be forcefully shaken by the blows from the other intellectual giants, accept truth like a hero with all your power. If all your inherited and accumulated ideas and prejudice crack down by that, let it be so. Remember the first chapter of the Gita? The lecture that Arjuna delivered is pleasing to ear and not false either. But Sri Krishna diagnosed the malady then and there and said, ’Those are all pedantic talks- nothing but verbosity- merely non-Aryan feelings and weakness of your heart.‘
Everybody’s journey on the path of sadhana starts from this Yoga of Melancholy. The possibility to face Truth makes mouth dry, body tremble and causes to loose control over oneself. With borrowed wisdom, we repeat whatever we have heard from others and nothing from our direct realization till the Charioteer of Arjuna gives us a jerk and say, ’Arise! Awake! Not the doctrine of wisdom but Work, work is needed, work of a hero, work as a sacrifice, vigor of an invincible warrior!’
Yes, whatever you mentioned about the Primary Prana, is correct. Strangely enough, just the other day, the same reality appeared in my heart too. I have realized Prana as the only truth and exerted myself to the utmost in search of Prana.
Probably you are not aware, but sometimes ago, I was on the verge of death with fever and delirium. I am still very weak, but realized lot of things during my ailment. I can look at the world with new eyes after coming back from the sinister grip of death. Immediately after the fever, I felt as if everything was passing by like various segments of different scenes. But something was lacking which made everything dull and lifeless. Sankhya, Vedanta, Patanjali- nothing had any luster. For two days, I was searching for the missing link. Then one day something flashed within. I understood that everything was there but no Prana. Hence everything was lifeless. That much is the zest of life- that Prana.
Yes, controlling the energy, yet being vibrant with the richness of Prana whoever realizes Truth, only he can attain vital realization.
Let me tell you something more about the Prana. There is a common misconception that the worship of Shakti is a recent development. Other than Uma Haimavati (Kenoponishad) there is no other reference of Shakti in the Upanishadic literature. But you will find reference of Prana in abundance there. And this Prana is nothing but the Universal Shakti.
No nation can come up in any field without the worship of Shakti. The thought process of Upanishad is the original Bolshevism of human race. It is impossible that there is no reference of Shakti in there. Two aspects of Shakti have been expounded in the Upanishad- one in the passive form-about its Sweetness or Beauty, where the Rishi has told us about Ananda; the other in the active form- about its Power and Majesty; there the Rishi has talked about Prana. It is right, there is no reference of Shakti. But this references of Prana and Ananda are scattered all over the Vedas and the Upanishads. Only Prana can be transmitted silently from one to the other; so can Ananda. Unless and until there is heat to cause motion or transmission realisation can not be alive. Prana is that heat- this radiating power. So a Vibrant Realisation is the expression of the Undefinable Universal Shakti. That is the Vital Realisation. Vibrate with Vast Life. Span the ocean of Death with the bridge of Life. Throb with Life, with energy, with vitality.
……You all are still young- feeling the intoxication of vibrant youth in every nerve of your body. Master that with the sadhana of Prana. My blessings to you all- let that inspiration of rich life remain with you even when you hair turns gray. Do not let the youth go futile. This is your sadhana- this is the sadhana of the Great Prana. Swing along the rhythm of the Great Prana. Be invincible- be strong as a rock.
Be profound, be solemn. The endless current of Prana is just a step higher than the lower consciousness. That I have observed again and again. Feel that yourself by the power of meditation. Be one with Prana. Surge like a mighty wave on the bosom of the earth with infinite power, unlimited activity and endless love.
Dear Brother Satya,
Really Brother! ‘What man has made of Man?’ How does he spend his time? In aimless useless thought. May be ninety nine percent are like that, but should we lament over it? Should we feel frustrated? Let us be the dynamos of Love, Peace and Good Will! There is divinity in human being. Come, Brother, let us prove that even at the cost of our lives. Let us carry the flag of Him, Who is ’GuhAhitam gahvarestham Puranam’- ’The Eternal who is hidden in the deepest cave (of heart).’
I very much liked the quotation you sent from Sri Aurobindo. Right, this very mind has to be Supramentalised. A beautiful saying of Sri Ramakrishna, ‘Pure mind is Atman, Pure mind is God’. That mind is calm and undisturbed and again the same mind is transcendental. The beginning is unmanifest, the end is unmanifest- only the in-between is manifested. Make that luminous, let even unmanifest be radiant.
Last night I had a dream, the memory of which has kept me engrossed today. The dream was more pertaining to idealism than reality. I saw our life as only a challenge with all the evils of the world. Some one asked in a deep voice from the depth of the heart, ‘To where will you turn?‘ Again some one replied from the same depth, ‘To the Absolute!‘ The order came ,‘Then throw away everything. Plunge into the endless Deep.‘ The solemn urge of that Order is still flowing through all the veins. As if there is a fire inside. That heat will appear as light. Yes, to the Absolute! ‘NAnyapanthA vidyateayanAya.‘ ‘There is no other path for salvation.’
Enough for today, my Brother! Go deep inside. Then burst out. This is what is needed. This is verily what is needed.
Jan 19, ‘33
Dear Brother Satya,
A mind controlled by samskara is the real hindrance for realizing Truth. Whatever you have thought about it is correct. The question is what should we term as samskara? Patanjali has applied the term over a very wide range- Samskara can be of desire as well as of samadhi.
By samskara, I understand immobility or inertia - a mental tendency to continue remaining at the same stage that I am at now. You can call this the Tamasic quality of mind; again, the exceptional quality of Knowledge is also from the same samskara. Then you can call it Sattwik though. I hope you remember once my saying , Sattwa and Tamas these two are merely passive states. Rajas or the principal of activity is the middle point. That rajas is the action of Prana. A natural tendency to move from Undifferentiated to Differentiated is imbedded in every atom of creation.
This is one side of expression of our Prana. It is just describing a semicircle. To complete the circle, it is needed to move again from the side of Differentiated to the side of Undifferentiated- just in the reverse order. The highest fulfillment of our existence lies with the ability to turn and go back to Undifferentiated. But the two Undifferentiated entities are completely opposite to one another. One manifest and the other unmanifest- Prakriti and Purusha. One is the Mother of the relative Existence, the Other is Absolute. For an indiscriminative mind, both are the same. But to one with discrimination, the difference is like heaven and hell. Everybody has to complete this circle. But you know where the problem lies? When we move from Differentiated and reach at its extreme end, meaning, we complete one semicircle, then which way to take to complete the rest of the circle? That is the problem. Some of us want to turn completely and want to go back to the Undifferentiated Prakriti. For them life is sin, Virtue is to be lifeless. The is the ruling theory in our country at present. The real path is ‘Avidyaya mrityum tirtyA vidyaya amritamashnute’ ’ Surpassing death by avidya, one achieves immortality by vidya’.
After reaching the extreme end of Differentiated, even that boundary has to be pushed and further advancement has to be made.- never to turn back. What is needed then? Needed is Fuller activity- activity in a higher plane. If your body has worked so long in the line of the Differentiated, let your mind now work all the more. Apply this process in meditation.
The ultimate advancement that you have achieved in your physical-vital-mental existences by moving in the Differentiated world, which is the ultimate emancipation of your inner being so far, carefully make a note of that. And then instead of an attempt to kill all good impulses in you try to sublimate them- make purer, freer form of grossness of matter. And the end will be Absolute- the One in all its fullness. In trying to kill the bad, do not kill the good also
All samskaras are not bad; all vibrations of life are not ignorance. Remember the guidance of Gita, ‘Na karmanAmanArambhAt naishkarmam purushoashnute’ ‘One can not attain the state of actionless -ness without starting with action.’ That is the secret of Gita. You must move in the path of Karma which is only another name for Prana- the one that you called the Primary Prana of the Upanishad. You must be full of life, the path of Religion is all light, all beauty- all bliss! Let me quote Buddha, ‘Too much exertion of life and killing of life both are sins.‘
‘Non-violence is the greatest virtue’- try to realise this doctrine from this aspect. Never kill life- neither in you nor in others. Life finds expression in beauty, in activity, in radiance. Let the body be pure, powerful and full of life; let all the senses be untiring, energetic and receivers of divinity; let the mind run with full force in search of truth that is hidden in the core of the universe. Cultivate life by all means. Never lag behind, never sit idle in darkness, never allow your energy to rust.
This worship of Prana- this is the connection between mind and the Vast, that you have mentioned. My Brother, just the thought of it is exhilarating. May the blessings of the Great Prana shower on you incessantly. Just as the eagle soars towards the sun the moment it bursts forth from the shell- so crush the cell of Maya and soar to the Absolute! Be severe to anything that pulls down mind, body or life. Wherever you see this smallness- in yourself or in others- be the rising sun and pour light on that. Then only you are a Brahman, a Knower of Brahma- an ardent worshipper and follower of the Rising Sun. Oh, the possessor of Rich Life! Attain the One by worshipping Prana, Om!
July 14, 1932
Dear Brother Satya,
Your question was if we can attain Truth by the natural progress of matter, mind and intellect. With our inborn common sense we will go for a positive answer. Yet there is an enigma.
Do we really know what are the innate qualities of matter, mind and intellect? Similarly, what is our nature? Because we do not understand the mysteries of nature, we attribute such terms as inert nature or conscious nature. In Srimad Bhagavat Gita also there is the reference of Two Natures of the Divine-the lower and the higher.
The lower Nature consists of the material universe of the Sankhya philosophy.
The matter-mind-intellect can follow the lower nature for its ultimate growth too- and that is neither improper nor unscientific. Yet there is a demand for the higher nature in man. Herein lies the essence of Manhood. This higher nature has been termed by Sri Krishna as ’Becoming’.
The seed of the constituent force of the Universe is embedded in the higher nature. Apparently, there are contradictory elements in higher and lower natures, and unless we bring harmony between these two, life will not bloom naturally as a flower does.
The path of lower nature extends over eons. Evolution spanning millions of years might take you to your ultimate destination by the so-called ’natural’ way. This is logical too. But the latent vital power of the higher nature will not allow you to wait that long. You would want to minimize the imprisonment of millions of years as much as you can. And here comes the path of Discipline or Restraint or the Higher Nature.
The mind and intellect led by the lower nature are impure and the higher nature purifies them. That is truth. Restraint is an essentiality in life. But while controlling the lower nature, more often than not we suffocate Prana or Life-Energy itself. Going overboard is not only unnecessary but harmful.
The sadhana can start from two directions. You can wholeheartedly deny the lower nature in every aspect of your life- that is the Negative approach. The other one is by constant cultivation of the higher nature. By continuous contemplation on Purity ,Truth and Beauty you can conquer Falsehood and Ugliness- and that is the Positive way. The Upanishads carry this Positive message. This message does not admit the original sin. It does not have the mania of ousting the devil but has the intense longing for bringing the Divine in. Lighting a lamp automatically drives the darkness away. Hence instead of fighting darkness bring in the light. This pursuit of Higher Nature is what I call Essence of Living. I do not believe that either matter, or mind or intellect is non-existent or illusory, I staunchly believe that in His light everything is Beautiful. There can be and IS a divinised body, a divinised mind and a divinised intellect. Always be a firm believer of Existence that is Ever-Conscious and permeates Eternal Bliss. Utter from the depth of your being “OM”. Be an ardent worshipper of Brahman- the Vast - the All-Pervading. All narrowness will automatically disappear.
April 25, 1933
Dear Brother Satya,
We will never get the departed soul back in flesh and blood again but let his memory be immortal in our hearts for ever. No more through senses but going forward we have to meet him in meditation. A wave rose in the great ocean and subsided but the ocean remained the same. Now the ocean is the essential source of the wave. Absorb yourself in contemplation of this great ocean. Let the hardest outer blow bring forth the brightest truth inside. May Truth manifest in your heart.
Love or affection is never tied with any selfishness. If ever I look at anyone with the feeling of love or affection, I know that does not go to my credit; that is the light of my Inmost Being and for no reason do I want to extinguish that light from my heart and nor can I do so. This much Grace I have received so far. Even when deadly poison came out in return of love, my Brother, I have never nurtured any anti feeling for anyone. True I had become silent, but never allowed even a spot to darken my mind. I want to see Him in all. I have no desire higher than that. May He fulfill my longings. I want to feel and see everyone of you as His manifestation.
The force of circumstances made me do a lot of work in life, none of which brought good results till today. Yet all these were against my inner nature. That is why I never felt any satisfaction or peace inside- all along just a burden to be carried. I am more of a philosopher than a preacher. So I long to go deep inside till I reach the bottom. The Ashram or monastery was a hindrance to my nature of going deep. So I left the Ashram. That is the only reason why today I am away from Umachal. I have to arrange my life so that I can be solitary or silent. This is a must for me, though I myself do not know where this necessity will lead me to.
Let me tell you about the other dilemma I face. Most probably you have felt that history of a nation manifests itself in an individual life. The thousand of years’ past history of a nation create a pressure- either partially or wholly- in every life. Some people can accept it easily, others can not. Those who can accept it can very well act and work according to routine. I found that they become great workers. Whether you call it a Grace of God or Curse of Fate, I could never accept easily this impress(ion) of the race history. I tried to analyze. I tried to understand. The more I tried to understand, the more I realized, I must not ramble about the Periphery. I must go to the centre. I found a lot of hindrances in the ashram and after coming to Umachal, I found the same. There also was the demand of duty. I had no freedom in spite of being free. At every step I hear, ’work for the nation, work for the country‘. But what is nation? What is country?
What is the point in having faith in the realizations of Ramakrishna, Vivekananda and Thakur (Nigamananda), if I myself do not get an iota of that realization? I could never accept anything without reason. That is my misfortune. I want to test everything. For the last six months I was kind of silent in Umachal. Yet work rushed upon me. It was nobody’s fault. I myself accumulated the burden of work. So I left.
I shall always be connected with you from my heart. The whole life is like a dream- a dream composed of the combination of light and darkness. Yet, I do not remember much about darkness. I see only the light. To all of you, whoever has kindled the light in my life - a light of Love, a light of Ananda- to all and each I am bowing down and sending my love from the hermitage of Gautama Buddha- a Personification of Perfect Awakening.
The fundamental lesson of Vedanta is: This world is an illusion. In fact if matter is not illusory to consciousness, you can not perform your duty to matter. After surmounting Himalayan obstacles and receiving innumerable blows from all directions, I am convinced about that today. I am saved. This is an age of advertisement. I do not blame it and understand it very well that all this is happening because of He Wills. So any criticism from my part is nothing but audacity. Only this much I can say for myself that the One sitting at the cave of my heart does not like that. Yet there was a time when I was caught in the net of allurement of advertisement. Even to day I fear, may be a desire for self advertisement is lurking in some remote nook and corner of my mind. The very thought of it makes my whole body numb with fear. May Lord Narayana strangle that impulse. I can not stand it. The thought that my shadow will follow me like a ghost is unbearable. Whenever a shadow is created, I understand that somewhere matter has appeared.That is why a barrier has been created for the unhindered effulgence. Akash does not have a shadow. Akash- only Akash. Clarity, extensity and serenity of Akash.
I remember something that happened long, long ago. Do you know why I fell for Thakur at the first sight? Later, in Hrishikesh, I had heard an expression from the sadhus - ‘An embodiment of peace’. I saw Thakur as that. After that I was away for my studies, but all along I had worshipped that ‘Embodiment of Peace.’ After completion of studies, I came back in the midst of high and turbulent waves and let go of myself in the ups and downs too. But the other mind only wept and wept and wept. My fight is from then on and afterwards a continuous struggle.
Brahman is Natural. Brahman is Effortless. There is no art to have Him. There can be art to uproot sin though. I understand very well that there is nothing more evasive than rationality, to one’s own self, of course. That is again the only resort while giving a speech to others. But Love is higher than oratory. He is spreading Himself silently to every heart. I feel that quietly and think that to Be is blissful. You all are great warriors. All of you are doing His work. I respect you too. Keep on working. Rest is bound to come someday.
Today will be the night of Full Moon- the particular lunar date on which Buddha appeared on this earth almost five thousand years ago. With my heart and soul I pray for the advent of effulgence- the Wisdom of Amitava in your heart. May you attain Nirvana in Brahman.
When we reach Him, with Whom we all are united by Yoga, silence becomes the most powerful language. He is evoking the radiance of Wisdom in every heart in Silence.If I merge myself in Him, that will be the greatest homage to the memory of my near and dear ones. Individual memory transforms to eternal memory nad no one is left out in this world. This body and mind born out of the Samskaras of previous birth turns into a vessel of lightning inspiration. Then it becomes ‘natural’ to enter Him as well as any another individual being. Is not that so?
Again and again the first flame of the Eightfold Path is flashing in my memory-‘Truth Vision’. The one that Sri Krishna termed as ‘ All Knowing‘. Really the salvation lies in knowing All. Not only my individual salvation but salvation of the world as a whole. Have I chained the world any less with my prejudice, my ego, my mania of doing well for all? Whenever I look at life with a limited vision, I find a lot of crookedness in mine as well as in others’ lives. Then starts the tug-of-war with others on the pretext of doing well. The flower that would have blossomed ‘in time‘ with the touch of light, I kill by plucking with nail before time and humiliate the ‘ Protector of all.‘ My Brother, why this uproar? Why this enmity? Let us be peaceful, let us all be Buddha, let us kindle the flame in our hearts. If there is a light in your heart, that will ‘naturally’ extinguish the darkness in my path. Have not all the Pranas of the world been held by one single thread? Is not everything effulgent by the same consciousness? The most harmonious expression is to express myself silently along with the vast radiance of the Rising Sun.
The only duty of mankind is to plunge into the depth of Immortality; to forget oneself- a complete eradication of ego. Then and then only there is no division or differentiation in the world- no body appears to be other than beautiful. Everyone is following the path towards Fullness; everyone is near and dear. It is He, Who is pulling all towards Truth - in what way, He knows best.I have been given the right only to love, not to judge. Om, Peace! Peace!Peace!
My Brother, rise higher and higher and even higher! Soar higher, still higher!
Let the world be erased. It is obliterated only to the senses, not in His Consciousness nor in mine. There it is transformed into flashes of Illumination.
Stop there and wait. Perhaps there comes a flash of intense light, which illumines the ‘higher’ world or the lower one- who knows?The struggle continues. The Will conquers by purity alone. What was Will becomes ‘Absolute Existence.‘ Maintain that height. Who knows what will come next?
My Brother, be radiant. Kindle the lamp in heart, be Vigilant! Om!
Some Hints on Sadhana given by Sri Anirvan according to Patanjali
The Preliminaries of Realisation
(1) Keep your body as well as mind clean
(2) Be of temperate and frugal habits
(3) Remain spotlessly pure as regards sex impulses
(4) Train up your system to co operate with mind
(5) Cultivate the spirit of Non-violence
(6) Do not thirst after possession
(7) Always remain cheerful and contented
(8) Store and assimilate good thoughts
(9) Be truthful
(10) Love God
These are your enemies
(1) You make your body coarse and sensual. How can you meet God?
(2) You easily let your mind slacken & you fly from Him
(3) You have little faith in your possibilities
(4) You dwell in grovelling thoughts and forget Him
(5) You are lazy and indolent. You give up exerting yourself for Him.
(6) You can not give up your accustomed low thoughts
(7) Your ideas about God are topsy-turvy
(8) You can not attain any sure ground of realization
(9) If ever attained, you can not remain there long
(10) You are melancholy
(11) You are fretting
(12) You can not keep your body still
(13) You are always panting
Patanjali’ advice in a nut shell
Love God (Iswara PranidhAna),with steady light of faith (SraddhA), with vigour (Virya), With unremitting exertion (Smriti), with calmness and concentration (SamAdhi), with an illumined heart (PrajnA).
Then you can understand yourself and conquer these enemies.