The idea that spiritual and material life are two separate entities, that material and spiritual values are incompatible principles is definitely a misconception. As a human being, you are composed of three selves: the physical self, the mental self, and the Spiritual Self, and you could never divorce them from each other. Each one forms an integral part of the other.

The three bodies, the three aspects of man, are just different vibrations with different degrees of solidification. The Spiritual Self is, of course, at its subtlest, while the physical self is at its grossest. It is one composite whole that comprises the whole, the entire universe. We know that the body can never exist without the mind, and the body and mind can never exist without the subtle energy, which is the spirit. It is impossible to separate them from each other.

We use these terms, the physical, mental and the spiritual, for the sake of convenience to discuss the matter. But even in the most physical thing, you would find the spiritual permeating. To make the physical and material life better, we try to let the subtle self of ourselves, the Spiritual Self, become deeper and deeper in the material side, in the physical side. Thereby, it enhances the physical self and the mental self, which is the purpose of meditation where we activate the subtlest level of ourselves.

In meditation, we find that beautiful relaxation of the body, the dropping of the metabolic rate, which signifies that the muscles and the mind are at a certain rest and when that is at a certain rest, it gives a chance for the spiritual aspect of man to come forth, to unfold more. It will naturally touch the various other aspects of the mind and the body in its unfoldment.

To repeat, in meditation, we are activating the Spiritual Self so that it will help to support the mind aspect of man and the body aspect of man. It enhances the mind, develops a greater awareness of the mind, it creates a sense of greater perception. As far as the physical body is concerned, we are actively drawing on the Spiritual Self if there is any imbalance in the physical body. This is a great force – a great power, and that slowly encompasses our whole body and therefore makes our body better and creates a greater refinement in the body.


In our experience, we have found that by drawing on this power, people suffering from certain diseases will alleviate a lot of the physical sufferings. Then we find people with a nervous temperament that is very nervous. If the Spiritual Self can support and act as a balm to the nervous brain, to the nervous mind, it softens that nervous mind; it brings a greater calmness. When the mind and body and spirit are brought together to act in unison, to act in harmony, a person becomes more and more stable because now he does not only have to depend upon his physical energies, he can harness the mental energies in his physical and material activities, and still more he brings forth the latent Spiritual Self in him, that subtle energy, that subtle force which is all-powerful.

We know, according to physics, that an atom, a very small atom that the eyes cannot see, has so much power it could blow up Table Mountain. In that way, the subtle energy in ourselves is so potent that if we only give it a chance to unfold itself through meditation, it will benefit a person in every respect of life. It will even benefit one in one’s environment. If we make ourselves better, we exude a certain vibration in the environment, and the environment becomes better. If the flower becomes beautiful, naturally, it makes the garden beautiful too. That is what we do in meditation.

It is a misconception to think that the material and spiritual sides are separated; they can never be separated because one cannot exist without the other. Some of the Vedic scriptures say that I exist because God exists, and God exists because I exist. You cannot separate them either. One is an integral part of the other. Sometimes the material side takes greater dominance; it predominates this spiritual side where the spiritual side is subdued while the ideal would be to let the spiritual side dominate. Let the spiritual side be predominant so that the physical side, the material side, could become richer and richer, which it does.


We differ from many, many other movements. Before I taught anyone meditation, I explained that every person is a unique entity. If a person wants to become a doctor and if he studies all the books on medicine or the various drugs, he might just be using the wrong drugs and kill himself, but if he has an expert professor to teach him how to use those drugs, then, of course, it will benefit him. Likewise, as explained before, every person is a unique entity in our system. Because of that, there is a particular method, a particular mantra that has to be given, as mantras in many cases are required, to suit their vibrations.


As I have repeated this repeatedly, perhaps some people do not know about it, that everything in existence is nothing but vibration. These vibrations solidify themselves into gross matter. They exist on the one level as very subtle, and through solidification, like vapour into ice, they become gross and everything we perceive with the five senses. We perceive the same vibration but in a gross solidified state like human beings, tables, chairs. Everything is nothing but vibrations in a solid-state. Those vibrations naturally would have to have motions, and wherever there is motion, there will be sound.

Apart from the five senses ordinarily used by man, other latent senses in us could perceive those vibrations at a far subtler level. They could perceive the vibrations, the impulse from the time of creation. Gurus that are trained to do this, who have acquired this ability, can go deeply through their meditation into the primal vibration of a human being. If a mantra technique is given, it would be based on the particular vibration of that particular person.

A mantra is usually a holy word. A mantra is a gross audible expression based upon the subtle impulse, upon that subtle sound which the guru can hear. The subtle sound a person emanates has a lot to do with his spiritual status. When a person meditates on that mantra, he will find it very harmonious because it is him; it is his entirety.

In the Bible, it is said about the word, you all know that: “In the beginning was the word, and the word was God”, and this has the same meaning. All our teachings are based upon universal truths. This you would find in the Bible, this you would find in the Vedas, this you would find in Buddhist literature, that everything has been created by sound. In other words, the manifestor had to manifest himself first through the medium of sound. At first, if you can picture yourself a very calm lake, very calm. Then a ripple starts. When that ripple starts, their creation begins, and the ripple itself is vibration, and the motion the ripple has created creates a sound.


People who are trained can go back in a person’s life and past lives right to his primal sound, and that sound lingers. Through evolution, that sound, in most cases, has been modified, but it is still there, and that sound can be heard at the particular level of the person.

A mantra taken from a book might not be suitable; it would be like just picking out a drug from a book and taking it for your headache. It might be made for toe ache. You could make a lot of mistakes that way. Therefore, to meditate on an individual technique, on an individual mantra, we need a teacher. A guru is only a spiritual teacher, and his job is to start a student, a chela, from the level of where that chela is. He starts him from there, and the chela will find that he will begin to unfold through the practices given. So many things will start unfolding. You will ask why do many things start unfolding? It starts unfolding because by meditating on his own particular vibration, he brings many forces into play. These, psychic, physical, and spiritual forces come into play doing one thing. They start harmonising the three aspects of man, the physical and mental bodies and the spiritual body, and when that harmony is brought about, he becomes more perceptive. He becomes more stable; he becomes more self-integrated.

It is not something that can be done overnight; we do not perform miracles. But with the gradual process, the meditator himself feels the benefits received and therefore, when he feels benefits received; he pursues his technique. There are many systems of meditation where a person starts meditating, they do it for two to three months, and then they stop it because they do not find it any benefit. In our experience with our foundation, people never do stop; they do carry on because they grow more and more day by day. In the beginning, they might not notice so much the benefits themselves, but the environment notices it.

Some of the meditators will tell you that they exude a certain magnetism, a magnetic power, specific charismatic power where they draw people unto themselves. We know of meditators that could not even speak in front of two people, but today with the stability gained in themselves through meditation, they can address a crowd of 50 or 100; they would not be shy because they are stable. They were shy because they felt insecure. With their stability, they now feel more and more secure. The aim is to harmonise the abilities within us. By harmonising the abilities, they become more stable, and anything is done from a firm foundation, from stability naturally produces good results. They become better, and as I said, the beautiful flower grows, and it enhances the garden’s environment as well.


That is one of the differences. The other difference is Gurushakti. Gurushakti is something indefinable. Gurushakti is a spiritual force that can be portrayed; the abstract spiritual force can be brought forth through the concrete and passed onto another to help him progress and produce greater harmony. It is not like a doctor who gives you the medicine only and says, “drink it, and you will get better.” Here is an active part played, an active channel continuously flowing to the chela, to the student, to the initiate whereby all the meditations are helped and the help of the guru rights certain things which they cannot right by themselves.

He teaches, guides, loves, embraces, and has them all in his heart, and there is no distance. There is no distance. We have had the experience of people thousands of miles away and immediately when they call upon the divine power, they feel it here with themselves, they actively feel it and where five minutes before they felt so insecure, five minutes later they feel so secure, and they could tackle the world, tackle the problems of the world. That is how gradually lives become better and better. Your life is enriched, it becomes richer and more and more joyful, and life is meant to be joy; it is supposed to be joyful because we are not acquiring joy, joy is inherent in us, joy is there, it is just for us to remove the veils of ignorance that precludes the joy that is an obstacle to the joy from shining out.


Suppose you ask why a person wants to start meditating. It is because he finds a certain lack within himself; he has a certain yearning, a yearning for the betterment and people that start on any spiritual path are really to be congratulated so much that after swimming around in that little well – remember the story of the little frog that is in the small well, he thinks that is all there is until he comes out and meets the frog from the ocean, and that is what people are doing.

When people start to meditate, they have a beautiful yearning to find betterment. They ask themselves, look, this cannot just be all; there must be something more. And in that quest of that something more, they progress further and further, and because of that quest, the joy is not only in attainment but also in attaining. The path to joy must also be joyful. With the unfoldment, with the stirring up of spiritual energies within ourselves, we also do one thing that in our conscious waking state, that living state, we also try to better that.


It is so simple, that “do good, be good”. That is all! If we live that kind of life, if we think of certain spiritual ideals in us in the waking state, naturally, we will try to behave better. Thought, word and deed also become one and the spiritual powers that are now awakened in us help us make thought, word and deed work in harmony and by having thought, word and deed in harmony, we become more loving. We start loving people, and when we start loving, we become lovable. You see the effect it has. You cannot separate one from the other. If I am loving, then I know I also become lovable. It is a circle, an ever-widening circle that starts with two people, and it widens, widens, widens until the whole universe is addressed, and then truly in the words of Christ, man can say, “I and my father are one.”

Then I and my father become one. We reach this stage of Christhood, and then the whole universe becomes one. All forces of duality, where you say me and mine or you and yours, ceases. That ceases; it is just us and ours. This can start very well in householder life between husband and wife, between boy and girl that wants to get married. All these thoughts cease. Somehow, through our actions and spiritual practices, we cease to think in terms of duality.


Naturally, from the relative level, there would be dualities. When we speak of it from the relative level, there might still be those two elements. Still, as we go on and proceed to a finer and finer degree of relativity, that duality too diminishes, diminishes, diminishes. And in that way, we are so refreshed to tackle anything. When we go beyond the laws of opposites, that is, duality, pleasure and pain, sweet and bitter, we find the aim and end of all existence. That is the point where everything becomes one, just oneness. And when that oneness is there, who can hate who? How can I hate you when you are me?

That is to give you a brief glimpse of the purpose of life, but we could never reach soul spree if we do not start going there. So, we start from where we are, and that is where the guru plays his part. He, a real guru, should have the ability to assess the evolutionary state; he should be able to know the mental makeup of the person and how it affects him in his daily life. In our system, it is not only the heart that gets developed, but the mind gets a better awareness, and the body becomes better refined. Many systems in the world get stuck in analysis only and get stuck on the mind level. Many things happening in this world today are not so good, which are not life supporting because people act and behave entirely from the mind level. If that mind is infused with the qualities of the heart, how much better this world could be? How much better could humanity be?


To change society, we have to change ourselves first because units compose society. It would be wrong to try to improve society as a whole, and it would be the better way and the right way to improve ourselves as units first, and these spiritual practices help us to that goal. It helps to improve society, and it helps to strengthen us because the improvement of ourselves is the improvement of society.

I am sure you must have had the experience where there is a lot of gloomy company, and just one person walks in, and he changes the whole atmosphere. Because the person that has changed the atmosphere, there is a person who, perhaps not consciously, has developed certain latent abilities within himself that he exudes the joy and so the whole environment is improved, and everyone becomes happier. I have seldom seen a sad person; I do not know what it is. Why should people be sad? It might be temporary sadness, and then you speak to the person, look at the person, discuss things, and this sadness evaporates. It is not only by the reasoning given by the mental analysis but also by some other power that exudes from a happy, joyous person that could make the other person happy and joyous.

… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang SA 1976 – 01