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Guruji's post-abhishekham talk at Sri Rajarajeswari Peetam, Rochester NY on July 18th 1996....
Everyone of us exists in two modes, one which I call a localized mode and one which I call a diffused mode. In the localized mode of our existence we are identifying ourselves with our body, mind or intellect. This is the limited state of our existence. The non-localized, diffused, spread-out form of our existence, consists of our consciousness pervading all life forms - plant, animal, bird, the sun, the skies, the stars... everywhere. There you are a witness to all these things and you are yet none of these things. The relationship between these two modes is like that between a circle and its center. You cannot have a circle without its starting point, the center. The center is within the circle, it is not attached to the circle. Just like when you a sphere through the center, the center is unchanging and the circle is always changing. The center has to remain fixed. If the center is moving, the circle cannot be formed. There has to be a center. You have to be centered on yourself. We need both these states of our existence to discover our roots, our inner most desires, the purpose of our lives and to be able to express the purpose of our lives through our daily lives.
You need the non-local diffused mode where you are not your body, you are not your mind, you are not your intellect, but you are the whole, you have spread yourself, your conscious is part of the entire universe. You have to get in that state a few times a day. Maybe three times a day. If time does not permit, at least two times a day. It is in the silence of the mind that God is known. This has been called sandhyavandhanam : three times a day you have to take the shakthi up into a transcendental state and be there for sometime. In the de localized mode of your functioning, the importance is not on the content of information, but on the container of the information. It's not how much you know that matters, but how much you can forget. It is not subject to logical reasoning, not even to emotions. It's beyond reasoning and emotions. And you have to reach that state.
I'd like to say a few words about how to access this state, what is called samadhi. You have to make a commitment in your lives to spend 15 to 20 minutes in the morning and 15 to 20 minutes in the evening doing this. Now, you may ask, why do you want us to do this ? We have already so many pressures at work. Why should we do this? What do we gain by doing this? What is in it for me?
First of all, we need proof that we need to do something. Let me give you that proof. Let's suppose there is a school, an elementary school, and there is a teacher at the blackboard. The history teacher comes and writes a few lines there. He's telling the story of the Ramayana. He says, "Once there was a king called Dasaratha", and writes "Dasaratha" there. "... and he had four sons named Rama, Lakshmana, Bharatha and Shatrugna", he continues, and writes their names on the board as well. After a little more story-telling, the class is over. Then the mathematics teacher comes, and he writes the equation (a+b)^2 = a^2 + b^2 + 2ab on the board and he explains the meaning of this and he goes away. The student, when he goes back home, has the following information in his mind: Dasaratha = (a+b)^2, Rama=a^2, Lakshmana =b^2, Bharatha = 2ab, and Shatrugna is nothing.
It is not only the chalk piece that puts the information in your mind that is important, but also the duster. If you do not clean your mind of the information you have received, the selected information that's going to get into the mind gets mixed up and there is lot of confusion in your mind. If we do not let our minds be cleared at least twice a day, then we cannot have clear perception. Which is more important, the chalk piece or the duster? Without the chalk piece you are stupid, without the duster you are confused. You need both. You need the chalk piece, the world, which writes the information on your mind and you have to be able to clear it also. The clearing process of the conscious part of the mind and being able to remain thoughtless for some time is the duster. We need both these things. This is one aspect. The other aspect is that once you are really able to achieve silence of the mind, stop all the dialogues, all the monologues in your mind, then you enter a state called yoga : Yogah cittabuddih nirogah.
When all the manifestations of the mind, the fluctuations of the mind are subdued then your body identification is gone; when you are in the witness state and only the subject remains, the object has merged into the subject. The object is not there, because the subject has become the object. We are seeing the world and we have become the world and you stop seeing yourself. That is the state which is called manolaya - where you have eliminated your mind. You have got to try to reach that state, three times a day preferably. If you can manage a wink at the office, nothing like that. If you can't, at least do it twice, once in the morning and once in the evening. It is necessary in this day of high tension living, high pressure work; you need this relaxation process.
What are the steps that lead to the relaxation of the mind? I think there are basically four steps involved. If we eat heavily and then sit down for meditation, what happens? We sleep like Kumbakarna. Kumbakarna is a guy who sleeps for six months continuously. If you are totally hungry, with the burning sensation in the stomach, you can't sit and meditate. So a slight hunger should be there, but not too much.
If your mind is totally fresh, you have just woken up from sleep, and you want to sit for meditation, the mind wants to think. It has finished it's sleep. It wants to become active. That doesn't create the slope that is necessary for the mind to settle down into a thoughtless state. So, if you are totally fresh, again, it is a conducive state for meditation. The second important step is that as you should have a little hunger, you should have a little tiredness also. When your body is tired and your mind is tired, the mind wants to stop thinking and start relaxing. This will set up a small slope in the mind and it starts gently rolling down. If you take a bottle, fill it with water and put some mud in it and shake it well and let it stand, it will start settling down. The settling down is because the mind has naturally a tendency to be lazy. So you try to go into a state of non thinking in a natural gradient.
But what happens is that when you sit for meditation, some kind of disturbance or the other, some trigger comes. A little sound, and you start analyzing what that sound is. It starts a train of thought. So when you have these trains of thought, it's like a ball that is rolling down the slope of a hill comes across an obstacle. It stops there. It doesn't roll down further. Or sometimes the obstacle is such that it pushes it up. So, what do you have to do?
Have you observed that no thought has never remained all the time with you? Is there any thought that has remained forever with you? No, not a single thought. All thoughts come, they are born, they grow, and they die in your mind. The nature of the obstacles in your thoughtless state are the thoughts. If you observe that the thoughts are temporary in nature, they will never stay for long, they cannot. The mind has a natural tendency to kill them. What do you have to do? Remain a passive witness to the thought, don't get involved with the thought. Don't invite the thought, put it on a pedestal and do puja like you do to Devi. Nor do you ask the thought to go away. If you push it away, you are working with the emotion of the thought. "This is a bad thought, I should not be having it". Why do these thoughts come to me when I am trying to clear my mind? I should have only good thoughts, not bad thoughts". So, suspend your judgment of these thoughts. Your judgment that this is good or bad, this is what I should have, this is what I should not have, is a thought. If I think it is a good idea, then I want to hang on to it, if I think it is a bad idea, I want to push it away from me. Thoughts are not the problem, your judgment of your thoughts is. If you judge not, then you are in a passive state of mind, a witness state of mind. A witness is not affected. If my name is Sastry, I can witness this guy Sastry having this thought, that's not me, I am witnessing this fellow having this thought. Take yourself a little away from yourself. Detach yourself a little. And without judgment, let the thought come, let it stay as long as it wants, let it go if it wants to. Let a new thought come, let it go.
We talked about three aspects. The first is a little hunger, then a little tiredness to set the slope of the mind. And the obstacles in the way of reaching the settling of the mind are the judgment of the thoughts and therefore you remain a witness to the thoughts, not judging them.
There is one more important thing. This is the most important. We accept or we say we accept God. But we do not accept His creation. We start asking, "If there is a God then why in the name of Heaven does He create all this misery, all these pressures ? Why should He reward the impious and why should He punish the virtuous? Why should He allow those hapless 220 people to die in the plane crash? He doesn't know how to make the world !"
We are not accepting His creation for what it is. They say there are three pivots for a stable mind : bhakthi, gnana and vairagya. Bhakthi is devotion, Gnana means knowledge and vairagya means detachment. In my opinion, bhakthi and vairagya are not different from each other. They are one and the same. Being able to accept God's creation, good or bad, whatever it is, as being perfect, that is surrender to God. We thank God that we receive gifts from Him. We ridicule God when we receive brickbats from Him. We should be able to thank Him both when we are in misery and when we are in pleasure. This equanimity is surrender to God's will. Not surrendering to God's will is criticizing it, and saying, "If only I had the power I would create a better world." What kind of a world will I create? I will create a blank white paper. Well, no color, no contrast, everything is fine...there's no picture there. God is the picture of this world. God is His creation. God is the earth, He is the sorrow, He is the misery, He is the pleasure, He is the pain. He is everything. So accepting God is accepting God's creation also. What does this imply that applies to meditation?
Sometimes the meditation goes wonderfully, absolutely no problems, I'm in seventh heaven, walking on the rainbows, with the Mother leading me with Her little finger and showing me different worlds. They are singing for me, they are dancing for me - an aesthetic state of union with God. And sometimes nothing happens. It is just routine. Where does boredom come from? Because you have an expectation that something is going to happen, and when that something does not happen, then you are bored. It's not helping you, and you lose interest in the meditation. So you have to understand that expectation is the cause for the disappointment. Expectation is the cause of the boredom. So what is it that you have to do ? You should have no expectations whatsoever about how the meditation is going to proceed. If you have no expectations, no disappointments. If you have expectations, you will have disappointments.
So, to reach that thoughtless state of the mind, spend about 20 minutes in the morning and in the evening. I am not asking you to do mantra japa. Mantra japa is a thought. That is also an addiction; you are going to get rid of it one day. You may use it for sometime, but then when the mind starts getting cleared, you have to let go of that too. A little tiredness, a little hunger, non-expectation of the results and being a witness to your thoughts. These are the four essential conditions that are necessary for settling the mind down to a quiet state. All that is needed is that your mind settles down to a quiet state and once you have learnt the trick of how to go about doing this, it comes naturally to you. This is the duster which you have got to apply once in the morning and once in the evening. You choose your time. But try to see if you can stick to the same time everyday because it builds up a habit. Try to see if you can create an environment around yourself where not much of external disturbance is present. Try to see that you are not over full or over eaten, try to be comfortable. Take a simple posture where you can forget your body, don't contort yourself into a position which you cannot hold for any length of time without discomfort. If you are used to yogasanas, that's a different story. But otherwise what you do is sukhasana : whatever asana, whatever posture is convenient for you, where your body doesn't keep hurting you and bringing you back to your body consciousness. What you are trying to do is forget the body, forget the mind. But not going to sleep.
So, this is called Sandhyavandhanam. There are several mantras we know...there is pancadashi the 15 letter mantra, shodashi the 28 letter mantra, then there is balatripurasundari shadakshari - aim kleem souh souh kleem aim, and then you have hamsa - soham mantra and the shuddha pranavam AUM. Then there are the mahavakyas. And beyond all these things, there is the silence of the mind. There you don't have Her to hold on to, the sastras say niralamba margah . There is no support, support less you have got to be. Any kind of support that you try to hang on to does not give you independence. If you are seeking any kind of support, whether it is the guru, whether it is the mantra or whether it is an expectation, nothing, you have got to let go of everything. You have to be yourself, without expectations, and try to remain in that state. All these rituals that we do are to help us to reach a state of mind where it is balanced.
Having practiced this, I have known that it is in that state that clarity of perception comes. It is in that state that universal love springs forth in your heart. It is in that state that you are able to feel the oneness with entire universe. It is in that state that you are at the bottom of the ocean of awareness. There you see the oneness, not the diversity. It is in that state that you start feeling that when you give to somebody, you not giving to somebody else, you are giving to myself. In that state you will know for certain, that when I improve myself, I am improving the world around me. It is in that state you will understand that if I am helping myself, I am helping the world. We have an equation - I am You - that is established in that state of non localized mode of existence.
We are very much used to the localized mode of existence and we've forgotten that we can exist in the other mode. In physics, we have got what is called the quantum phenomenon. There is the particle mode of existence and there is the wave mode of existence. This applies to you. Your mind is a quantum phenomenon. It knows of no distance nor time, it knows of no path, it jumps from this to that without being in the intermediate state of time or space. In the classical model, if I want to go from Rochester to New York, we can put the sentries on the way, at Syracuse, at Troy, Albany and then New York. And you can say, he has just crossed Syracuse, now he has crossed Troy, now he has crossed Albany before getting to New York. In quantum mode of travel, this does not happen. What happens is that you disappear here and you appear there. That's how the mind functions. The mind being a quantum phenomenon, the classical model of continuous path does not have to apply. The mind being a quantum phenomenon, it can disappear being an individual, become a wave, dematerialize here and materialize there. You've got to learn how to be a particle, you've got to learn how to be a wave. We have learned how to be a particle throughout our lives, what we have to learn is how to become a wave. So I hope that you will practice this, and perhaps I can talk about this again. I've got tomorrow and I've got, maybe the Guru pournami day.
We'll meet again. Thank you for listening to me patiently. God Bless You.