OUR DIVINE PATH
You are on the divine path. You do not need to find the divine path; for any path you take is only to the Divine. Where else can you go? There is nowhere else to go but to Divinity, so whatever path you choose is a path to Divinity.
If a path is chosen with twists and turns, it will take longer. It will take so many, many, many lifetimes, and in these lifetimes the lessons we have to learn could be not so pleasant.
What is the direct path where lessons to be learned could become pleasant, and they could be compacted instead of being stretched out?
Where does Divinity reside? That is the question. We usually say Divinity is everywhere, omnipresent, so in whichever direction you look, you will find Divinity, but the easiest direction to look is to look within, for you would know you better than anyone else and that makes the path much easier, quicker, by looking within is the process.
OMNISCIENT, OMNIPRESENT & OMNIPOTENT
We say that Divinity is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. Being omnipresent, it is everywhere. Divinity is in the chair, in the table, in the flowers, in you – everywhere, but if one starts searching for that Divinity in all various objects in our perception, it will take millions and billions of years to uncover that.
The outward search is not always successful unless you are a bhakti yogi where there is total devotion to a particular object in total devotion and complete surrender! By projecting your mind outward to the object of devotion, one only mirrors oneself. Again you are brought to yourself, so, the path of Divinity lies within.
THE PATH LEADS ON WITHIN
All the time, we have been teaching how do we tread this path within. Meditation and spiritual practices are the path that leads one within. In these meditational processes, what obstacles do we come upon? What are the hurdles? The peaks and the valleys, they all have to be gone through. What do we do apart from just meditation – and, what is meditation? When you stop meditating, then you are in meditation. This sounds paradoxical, so it requires an explanation.
I am feeling lazy today, so I am not going to meditate. That does not mean you have reached anywhere, but when one reaches the totality of meditation where it would not even be necessary for you to sit down to meditate. Life itself becomes like the river ever flowing on, then that very flow of life becomes a meditation.
That comes at a later stage where every action, every breath one takes, is a meditation, but at the beginning, where we start on the path, techniques are necessary to reach the goal, and then you even discard the techniques.
THE PATH OF YOGA
Yoga is a path, and by yoga, I don’t mean hatha yoga. Yoga as a whole is only the start on the path of meditation. Patanjali talks of yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dhyana, dharana and samadhi. You reach Samadhi or total meditation after going through all these various limbs, but these limbs are not steps, they can be acted upon simultaneously.
Yama and niyama means restraints and observances. That is very easy which anybody could work out for himself in the process. Right living, right thinking, putting in some effort to better ourselves, restraining ourselves from things which we should not do to preserve purity or things that we should do to preserve purity, those are observances and restraints.
Then we have the process of asanas – that is where hatha yoga comes in – to keep the body healthy, supple, pliable so that you could sit and meditate without feeling tired, where the inner organs are massaged.
Pranayama regulates oneself. It regulates the rhythm in the body, for prana is not the breath that you take in – most of you that have read “Raja Yoga” (Vivekananda) will know this – but it is a vital force contained within the breath. It is contained in the food that we eat. That vital force is contained in everything, and pranayama is a method of capturing that vital force within ourselves to gain that needed energy. When one sits down in meditation, that vital energy captured within us helps the meditation. It helps dharana, which is remembrance. It helps dhyana, which is a form of meditation as well.
All these are preparations for total meditation. Reaching total meditation, one has reached the goal. The process is nothing else but preparation, and this is what yoga teaches. You develop concentration – and we do that without concentrating through our Tratak practices (a visual form of meditation) – then remembrance, contemplation.
Contemplation should be an unbroken contemplation. You try out one experiment and look at your watch and see if you can be focused for three seconds. You try that out, and you will see how difficult it is. It sounds so easy that all your attention can be focused for three seconds. No! Within those three seconds, your mind will wander so much, so it has to be brought to that state where the mind does not wander, and it becomes one-pointed. Try it out for three seconds and see. If you can fully concentrate on a particular object just for three seconds, then you know you have reached somewhere in concentration.
By having the proper concentration, your thoughts become powerful. They become like laser beams. Then when you sit down to meditate on the mantra with a concentrated mind which does not require effort. Tratak teaches you that concentration without even concentrating and it brings all the mental forces together.
In our meditations, all the practices that are prescribed are interlinked, and this is the process – they are all interlinked. You develop concentration and one-pointedness, which in turn helps your mantra meditation. You become so at one with your mantra that you automatically practice pratyahara, which means withdrawal of the senses, which in turn means no distraction.
The ideal experience is that you forget the mind and the body, and nothing else remains but that vibration of your mantra. You become the mantra, for the mantra is you. For example, if we had a mechanical device that could take a person’s mind, body, and Spirit and bring it down to sound value, your mantra would be that sound. So, here you are just the mantra – you are no more John, Jack, or Jill – you are none else but your mantra; you are the vibration.
As you progress further, the mantra becomes finer and finer, subtler and subtler until it reaches the stage where the mantra is neither audible nor speakable anymore – just a subtle vibration exists. Because of the previous training of concentration and contemplation, you are then qualified to just exist solely in that subtle vibration. And taken at its subtlest level, your vibration becomes one with the universal vibrations that exist. Your subtle vibrations interpenetrate, it permeates, it pervades every other vibration in the universe. Then you feel at-one-ment with the entire universe.
That is not enough in the process. After feeling a total at-one-ment with the universe, you still go further where the very cognition of the universe disappears. The universe disappears, you disappear. You become non-existent; and then you are totally in the Superconscious state where you have that cognition, that alertness of neither the universe nor of yourself but of the Superconscious state itself. Here the Superconscious state experiences itself – and when the Superconscious state experiences itself, which is the totality of the emanation of this entire universe – you become the universe. That is the process.
Now, this is according to yoga, but that is not the end. Patanjali’s yoga sutras do not reach totality. It has its value to prepare you, and then we proceed further where even the Superconscious state disappears, and there’s no cognition left. You reach a stage of no-mind.
The mind is composed of three levels: conscious, subconscious, and superconscious and even the superconscious disappears – it dissolves away into its original elements. So, no mind is left, and when no mind is left, no universe is there, and you are not there, it is just the infinite, eternal Spirit. Do you see this long journey?
People would say, “Why must I reach into nothingness? Why the nothingness? I’m enjoying things so much here. Why must I reach into nothingness where there is no experience?” No experience and no one to experience and if there is no one to experience anything, then there cannot be any experience because the experiencer is not there anymore. That is the no-mind state in this process.
That is still not enough. There is a stage further than that, where just Spirit remains without any form, any shape, just a vast expanse that does not experience anything whatsoever but just burns unto itself for the sake of burning. The Light exists for the sake of Light. You become that luminous entity.
That is halfway through the circle. That is still not the end in the process, but in this process, you have known Divinity – you have understood what is Divine. You have gone through all the processes of how Divinity, the Unmanifest, has become manifest. From manifestation, you have now reached that which is unmanifest. But it is useless. God is useless. What do I mean by that, that He is useless? If God is not put into use, then It is futile.
THE REAL JOURNEY
Then the real journey begins. Ahh! There is the fun! And having reached that stage, you start climbing down again through the same road that you have taken to reach that stage.
Here it is the light that is climbing down and recaptures all the experiences that we have described until you become man again. Becoming man again, but in a totally different form because that stage is beyond bliss. It is beyond knowledge – it is beyond existence, but we want knowledge, we want bliss, we want existence, so we come back. All this happens within ourselves without losing the body.
Then when we come back, everything assumes a different dimension altogether. Then this table, this chair becomes so totally different. The entire chair is so luminous – the table is so luminous, it is shining with that all-pervading Light, and that is how the cognition occurs that Divinity is omnipresent. Otherwise it is just a thought – it is not an experience.
Having had that experience, we come back via the Superconscious to the subconscious and then the conscious, and we start enjoying the joy that we have brought with us. Then you have completed the full circle where that bliss is experienced – a bliss that knows of no opposites. It is not pleasure, because pleasure will have pain. It is a bliss that knows neither pleasure nor pain.
That is the stage man aspires to and will reach! If one can do it, everyone can do it , and this is quite observable with people that have eyes. It is experienceable, it is experiential, and yet it remains indescribable. The quality changes, the quantity remains the same, but the quality changes and then life assumes a totally different quality.
YOU CAN DO IT HERE AND NOW
This does not require going away to the mountains and the forests and the Himalayas. It can be done here and now.
It has sounded such a long process of going on this journey and returning home, but it is not so long because the mind and the thoughts are capable of traversing time, millions of years, in a flicker of a moment because it is all there already. It is nothing that one has to discover as it is only a re-discovery of that which is there. Discovered from the very moment, it was born- forever existent!
… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang US 1980 – 40