Man is a spiritual being because that spiritualness, which we might call God, permeates him entirely, and it does not only permeate the physical or mental body but also everything that governs him. That spirituality within himself also empowers all his thoughts. In our organisation, we talk about unfoldment because, through millions of years of existence, man has gathered a lot of dross around him, and it is like a dirty window. So, the path of spiritual unfoldment lies in cleaning the window so that pure light can shine through.


Consciously or unconsciously, everyone is seeking happiness. It all depends on what we mean by happiness because if you find happiness, you will find misery, for they are the opposite and reverse sides of the same coin. The search for spiritual unfoldment, realisation of the Spirit, or self-realisation is not for happiness. Happiness could be a side product.

Where does happiness come from? Does it come from the senses? You look at a beautiful flower, and you feel happy. You see an accident on the road, making you feel unhappy. Here is the sight. If we come to the other sense of hearing, you listen to a beautiful Symphony, and you feel elated, and you hear discordant sounds, like a bomb dropping, for example, and you will feel unhappy. So, happiness or unhappiness is not dependent upon the body and the motor organs. It is not reliant on the senses. Happiness is dependent entirely upon the mind.


The secret lies in how the mind interprets the perceptions it receives. Remember, the mind is like a lake full of waves bubbling up and down, and as long as these waves remain in turbulence and turmoil, your receptivity will be likewise. So, by changing one’s attitude, we simply mean changing the mind, re-patterning the mind, as I always say, if the mind is well trained through meditation and spiritual practices to bring a greater calmness within the ripples.

If this is not achieved, then self-analysis, which is Jnana Yoga, which you might have heard of, also has excellent results. Through self-analysis, we know the value of the turbulence. We know that all the happiness or unhappiness we undergo is because of the turbulence in the mind. When one can look at this turbulence objectively, the turbulence or the ripples in the mind lose their value and sting, and you do not become unnecessarily elated or deflated. So, this area is beyond happiness and unhappiness. You reach an area where happiness and unhappiness become the same.


When you change your attitude, you are objectifying what you are going through, and by objectification, you witness what is happening. Most of you know that there are two hemispheres in the brain. The one section governs all thinking and analysis, and that is the section that has to be brought under control.

In this section, the brain’s left hemisphere undergoes all analysis and interprets it through symbols and words, interpreting any happening or thing, but it has limited means. If that limitation is removed, then you can objectify anything happening. So, we draw from the intuitive or spiritual faculty in man, which can be expressed through the brain cells. Through spiritual practices, we activate that section of the brain, the right hemisphere, whereby you draw forth specific energies that quieten the turbulence in the left hemisphere. This cannot be done by the left hemisphere alone; it is not that the two hemispheres are apart, but it is not alive as it should be. When the spiritual energies are poured into the analytical side of the brain, the judgmental part, the rationalising part, then your rationalisations will have or will assume a different meaning altogether because, to a specific measure, it is filled with that spiritual energy within you. This will change the entire character of your thinking, and when character as the whole of your thinking is changed, your attitude will change.

The attitude one has to have for spiritual unfoldment is tackled from so many different angles. Firstly, by enforcing it with spiritual energy. Secondly, by looking at things in the right way. I quoted this couplet a million times before, and you must have heard it: “Two men behind prison bars, one saw mud, the other saw stars.” Both were in the same circumstances, but the attitude – one saw glory, and the other saw gloom. And this gloom is produced by man himself because he has not found the secret. It is a secretless secret instead because it is inherent in man, but he has failed to activate that inner force within him. That the Kingdom of Heaven, which is within, he has failed to open the gates so that this flood of energy could rush through into his mind’s stuff and help him change his attitudes in life. For the nature of man is joy, which is beyond happiness and unhappiness, beyond the laws of opposites, but one has to release the pleasure. There has to occur an explosion within oneself, and that explosion comes about by yearning for that joy. It is achieved for nothing. You do not get nothing for nothing and very little for sixpence.


When we open the doors of that infinite source within us, then with the power and added energy given to the analytical mind, our attitudes change. One person can go through the severest misery in life and yet look at it objectively so that he does not feel it. For in every adversity, there is an opportunity. Anything adverse can be changed.

I know a friend during business days who had quite an excellent job and was sacked from the job – redundancy is what the bosses always tell you. So he was at loose ends; he had a wife and children and had to make a living. He thought, let me start something on my own, which he did, collecting empty bags and bottles and reselling them. From there, he graduated into a little shop. From the shop, he started making it bigger, bigger, bigger, and today, he owns so many significant buildings on Whale Street, one of our main streets in Cape Town. So that little fish, struggling in his job, became a whale in Whale Street. If this man became despondent, he said, “I have lost a job. Now, what do I do?” Then he would sit at home and say, “Oh God, oh God, Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama.” It would not help him, but he put his thought forces into action and did something. Here in England, I know someone who started as a labourer and heads a large catering chain. So, action, action, action.

This is the other angle, reinforcing the mind with spiritual force, which gives you that energy. Objectifying the thought, be it either of happiness or unhappiness and being untouched by it and then putting it into action.


Action solidifies your thought; it makes that thought force get imprinted deeper and deeper into the mind, and then, if it is deep enough, it becomes a reality to you. It is all a matter of mind, and of course, being all a matter of mind, most times, the mind does not matter. On the path of unfoldment, after going through all this, one could strengthen the mind and use it as a potent instrument because a thought is a thing. If you think deeply enough, strongly enough, powerfully enough, you can bring anything into reality because thought, as I said, is a thing. It exists in your mind for the moment, but you can materialise that thought. But it has to have the spiritual force behind it. That is why people pray to find strength. But when people pray, they usually try to bargain. They try to bargain that, “Lord, if you do this for me, then I will give that to charity. You do it first, and afterwards, I will.” What a business!

By that, one does not change one’s attitude. To change one’s attitude, to repeat, one has to act. One has to act, and if the mind is strengthened in the proper action to perform the right action, it will add greater strength. Attitude is nothing but thought, so as far as attitudes and thoughts are concerned, there is a beautiful mechanism at work that if you feel a proper thought, you will attract unto yourself thoughts of a similar nature that are floating around in this universe because an idea can never be destroyed. It is indestructible. There is nothing in this universe that could ever be destroyed. It could only be transformed from one thing unto another but never destroyed. The essence of these thoughts is causing an imprint in your mind; the rest is sent out, and it floats out from you into the atmosphere.


If you are thinking a hateful or miserable thought, then all those thoughts of like nature, that are hateful and miserable, will be attracted to you like iron filings to a magnet. It will strengthen that particular hateful thought in you. So, you become more vicious. If there is a loving thought, you will attract to yourself similarly. The principle is the same.

So, suppose one thinks correctly, rightly, with a little conscious effort. In that case, attitudes will change very quickly, and the most incredible attitude in life would be to find the way home, to find spiritual unfoldment, to unfold the Spirit so that it could shine in its full glory. And, after all, what is the Spirit in man? What is that energy in man? It is nothing else but love. God is Love; Love is God. So here you have all the energies of the universe and that beyond the universe at your disposal. Initially, we must cleanse the carburettor in the motor car with conscious effort. The tank is full of petrol, an inexhaustible supply, but if the carburettor is clean, the jets are clean, the petrol flows through smoothly, and the car runs smoothly.

This depends on attitude, and although the mind is the most cunning animal on earth, it can also be the most helpful mate. It does not mean that you just carry on and autosuggest to yourself certain repatterning because when you autosuggest an opposite thought, there is some help on the superficial level. When your mind is filled with some ugly scene, you consciously try to bring to mind some pleasant scene you have experienced. But this is on the superficial level, and the change that would occur would only be on the superficial, that little percentage of the conscious level. But if energies are drawn from within, then those energies penetrate the conscious mind and cleanse the various layers of the subconscious mind.


That is where all the trouble begins because the subconscious mind, with its various layers of so-called density, contains all the conditions and circumstances you are going through. It is all there in seed form, and now and then, they rise to the conscious level and rising to the conscious level, it has its physiological and physical expression. Here are two ways again that you try to turn a wrong thought into a good idea. “Auntie Mary said a bad word to me last week, and I feel so hurt, but let me think back to how kind she was last Christmas. She helped me so much, and look at that lovely gift she sent me. She spent weeks and weeks knitting that jersey for me, and with every stitch she had me in mind. How kind of her. Let me think of her kindness instead of that little word she said in a bad mood or a temper.” Because everyone has goodness in them, so you must look hard enough to see it.

That is how we turn a negative thought into a positive thought, but this only has a superficial value. It is beneficial, but we are unfolding the Spirit when we treat the subconscious layers of the mind through our spiritual practices and fill them with that Light of the Spirit. As the Spirit unfolds, our whole attitude towards life inevitably changes. I have seen meditators, and many of them are sitting here. Today, I find them to be different people than when I met them about three years ago. Because of their spiritual practices, they have recharged their systems with a spiritual force, and with that and having attended Satsangs and listening to tapes, a different understanding has been gained. So, life has to be tackled from various angles, from the thought level, objectifying thought, correct thinking, and right action in the waking state of life. We consciously and gradually try to change the things we can change, and we also develop the ability to accept the things we cannot change. This is a proper change of attitude.


If a person limps or has to use crutches, he will not sit and moan the whole day through that “Oh, crutches, crutches, crutches.” He will make good use of it. He should, in any case. If a person becomes blind, you are always compensated; that is the law of nature. Your hearing becomes more acute. You can hear sounds you usually would have been unable to hear. I know a very plain-looking person whose face is all pockmarked, and if you meet her in the street, you will not look at the person, yet she is so wonderful. She has an attitude towards life. She has and experiences a particular joy that over bubbles, her cup runneth over, and to be in her company and to talk to her is like having a bath; you feel cleansed. You see how she has turned from extreme repulsiveness into total attractiveness, and her house is always filled with visitors because of her joviality. Her attitude to life radiates a kind of warm love, a spirituality you cannot resist.

That is where attitude counts, and these are a few straightforward ways of changing attitudes. I cough, and I say, “Oh, I am coughing. It is not going to make me feel miserable.” I say, “I am enjoying the cough. Ah, it makes me feel happy.” Because when you cough, there is a sensation in the throat, and I enjoy it. Nothing wrong with it. The body is subjected to various things; it has limitations, and if you stand apart and observe the body while it functions, nothing harms or hurts you. Like the Gita would say, “Not to be elated by good happenings and not to be deflated by that which is not so good.” That brings about equilibrium, and that equilibrium is that which changes attitude and gives you the fulfilment of life, and the fulfilment of life does not depend on pleasures and pains. The fulfilment of life is far beyond pleasures and pains. It is far beyond. It is an indescribable joy. That bliss permeates you all the time, even while you are waking or sleeping or dreaming. It does not matter because that very bliss is life itself.

Do we live? We think that if we move around and walk around, do this and that, that we are living. No, we are just existing, living dead. We have to wake up. Wake up to that bliss, to that joy, to our inherent nature, which is blissful, to the real “I”, not this superficial “I” to which we attach so much importance. When one has that attitude, the path to unfoldment also becomes joyous. Ultimately, you will find that the goal and the path have been the same. Joy lies not in attainment itself but in attaining – for life is forever striving, and if there were no striving, there would not be life, for it is this mightily striving that keeps this universe alive and in motion.


No one can stop it. No divine force can stop it, for even divine troops are subject to specific laws. We have to fall in line with those laws. That is all we have to do, and by awakening that Divinity within us, we automatically and very spontaneously go on the path by the rules that govern this universe. How vast is the universe? It is as extensive as you are. You are the universe. You are the master of the universe. You are the master of your destiny. This comes from analysis. This comes from correctly looking at things using the mind, but reason is not the only way.

Some people find difficulties in the slightest little thing. Some people find difficulty in getting up from the chair to go and fetch a cup from a table in the corner; it is difficult, and it is too much trouble. When you feel the mind is just tired and you cannot conquer it, although it is not too difficult to do, you get into the area of devotion where you say, “Not my will, but Thy will be done.” This implies a surrender of the little self to the big Self. So, you are surrendering yourself to yourself. You are surrendering your little self, the ego-orientated self, to the authentic Self within you and with sincerity, you will find that this works. When the small self is wholly surrendered to the big Self, you become oblivious of your conditionings. You become oblivious to all your weaknesses. You become oblivious of the ego self, and then you tell the ego, “You go,” and when that merges away into the big Self, you allow the big Self to act through you, through the body and the mind, which is now in a state of suspension and yet capable of acting. It sounds paradoxical, but that works. You can be in a state of suspension and yet act. Ask your bank manager about suspense accounts, and he will tell you.


That is the other way. Therefore, I say there is no hope lost for anyone. On the path of unfoldment, we have love and hope as the basis of life. Without love and hope, there is no life, and yet, paradoxically, everything is life. There is no death. As the great master said, “I teach you of life and death. Choose life,” meaning I might tell you about so-called death. Still, I ask you to choose life because life is eternal. In the eternity of life, there cannot be any death because that which is permanent cannot have anything impermanent, and what impermanence we find is a superimposition. It is an illusion created by man’s mind. So, we have all the tools in our hands, which costs nothing. To become the master of the universe will cost you nothing; meditation and spiritual practices, correct thinking, right action, little effort to change our ways of life, and that is about all, and if that cannot be done, just surrender to a mightier will. Just surrender. With my little ego, I sacrifice. At first, with little effort and then with a bit of understanding and then spontaneity comes, where I, James, John or Jack, Jean, Joan or Jeanette do not exist; only He exists.

… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang UK 1980 – 13