WE ARE THINKING BEINGS
There is only one way to express our actions in daily activity, and the component of that way is to live a better life in our waking state consciously. We can do it. We are thinking beings. We can discriminate, and if we cannot determine, we can always go to the guides that have gone deep into the subject and that are living here amongst us, and ask brother or father or guru, whatever, “What path shall I take, where am I wrong?” And guidance is there for the asking.
That is the practical side, and meditation enhances the practical side of living by attaining that beautiful tranquillity of mind. By achieving that deep relaxation of the body, we can attune ourselves to the Universal Spirit within us. Because if we were just on the surface, on the ocean’s turbulence, we would not know the calmness within us, deep down in the sea. So, we dive within ourselves, and through systematic meditation, this is possible and experienceable; it is there just for the doing and the asking.
When one dives deep within oneself and regenerates oneself, it rejuvenates oneself. One can genuinely bring the mind to the level of outer expression, and the outward expression or action of body and mind could become very beautiful. Only by the refinement that is taking place within ourselves can our perspectives of life change, where we would see things from a different angle from what we have been seeing up to now.
WHEN THE HEART EXPANDS, WE SEE DIVINITY IN EVERYTHING
The flower seems beautiful to you now, but after a few months of meditation, you will look at the same flower and assume a greater beauty because through meditation, one’s awareness expands and not only the attention, but the heart expands. The mind appreciates the beauty of the flower, and the heart, in its expansion, becomes one with the flower. It identifies itself with the flower, and then the actual value of the flower is known. Right now, our perception of the flower is limited to the senses, but when this refinement occurs within us, this flower becomes limitless, and Divinity is seen in the bud. Life is seen in the flower. Then we can look at any object and see it as Divine, which is how one can love everything. Then we fail to see the surface value of things and the inner significance of everything and everyone. If someone slaps one cheek, we could turn the other because that slap came from Divinity itself. The separation ceases. If the Lord slapped me on one cheek, I would turn the other one saying, “Oh Lord, slap me again.” Because I would fail to see the man slapping me, but I would see God slapping me and having a mind, I would think, “What is the lesson for me to learn here?” And that is how men evolve, and man progresses.
THE TRUEST EXPRESSION OF DIVINITY IS LOVE
For two thousand years and even before that, people have said, “Love thy neighbour as thyself.” People have been saying that, and it is easy to say, “Love thy Neighbour.” But what are the mechanics in loving thy neighbour? The mechanics are within yourself. If you cannot become a channel of love, if you cannot become the channel for the Divinity to manifest in you fully, then your love for the neighbour cannot be complete. Then you are fooling around. So, we start with ourselves, and meditation is a process of purification; it is a process of refinement where we allow the truest expression of Divinity to be in us, and the finest, the truest expression of Divinity, is love. That is why love is so indefinable.
WHEN THE HEART EXPANDS, DIVINITY IS FELT
The day when a man can define love, then he has defined God. Yet the human mind is limited; it is finite. How can the finite ever define the infinite? But the infinite can be experienced; the infinite can be experienced in the expansion of the heart. When the heart expands, Divinity is felt, and that Divinity cannot help itself in love. And when we experience greater and greater depths of love, then we can honestly say, then we can genuinely practise “Love thy neighbour as thyself,” because thy neighbour as thyself. Separation ceases.
SARVIKALPA SAMADHI, SAMADHI WITH FORM
There are certain practices and processes whereby you start with separation. There are Sanskrit terms like Sarvikalpa Samadhi which means you use an object of Jesus, his beautiful statue, that is an object, or Krishna or Buddha or Mother Mary, whichever is most conducive to your temperament. You use that as an object, and the more and more you use that as your ideal, the more and more your heart and mind surrender to it because an ideal requires submission. A model in theological or philosophical terms is something to which you surrender. What is the sense of having an idea and not communicating with the ideal?
When you have an idea, the ideal of Krishna or Buddha or Christ – things happen within you. You have to love your ideal; otherwise, you cannot have an ideal. One of the aspects of love is surrender because you cannot love without surrendering. You surrender your small ego self, that little self which we think is so important, and it is that bit ego-self that says, “I do”. But when that little ego-self is surrendered to the ideal, we say, “Thou does, not me. I am but an instrument, Thy will be done.”
That we find in Sarvikalpa Samadhi, where there is a separation, and most religions are based on this duality. It is a valid path because one can find upliftment through surrender and ideal. One purifies oneself. It is very, very valid, depending upon man’s temperament.
There are many ways to approach Divinity, many, many ways, like rivers coming from different directions and becoming one in the ocean. This might be your way, and it is a valid way.
NIRVIKALPA SAMADHI, SAMADHI WITHOUT FORM
When man knows the ideal, surrenders himself to the perfect, and loves the ideal, there comes a time when the ideal is not at a distance from you. Then you reach the stage of Nirvikalpa Samadhi, where you and the ideal become one. This is possible. Even Psychology would prove that you are your thoughts, though in a significantly lower form. Psychology says that. You are what you make yourself to be; you are what you think yourself to be. Keep on affirming that “I am sick, I am sick, I am sick,” and you will become sick. If you are ill, affirm to yourself, in whichever form, that “I am feeling better and better”, and you will start feeling better and better.
The devotional person will say to their ideal I know, I have faith, trust, and Thou will make me better. That, too, is an affirmation. The one starts from the point of the I within, the real I, not the ego I, and one thereto is surrender, where one surrenders oneself to the big I within oneself and says, “Thou will make me better. It is in Thy hands.”
That might be difficult for some people to conceive because it is abstract. So, one uses an ideal which is concrete in the form of another, and the more human the being is, the more excellent the rapport that could be established with that human. That is why we have Buddha and Krishna and Christ. They have reached the height and achieved that oneness – “I am my Father are one,” they have achieved that oneness. So, our ideal is to become that ideal, develop that consciousness, and develop Krishna Consciousness or Christ Consciousness within us. That is how Sarvikalpa Samadhi, or the separation, the Samadhi of form, becomes form-less in Nirvikalpa Samadhi. It is through the concrete; the most straightforward path is through the concrete to reach the abstract. The abstract cannot be conceived.
THE END AND AIM OF LIFE IS TO BECOME ONE WITH DIVINITY
These are the ways devised by the Sages of the past through their personal experience. They have experienced these things, which is why these great truths are normally put forth to us in parable form because these eternal truths cannot find expression within the limitations of language. It is through Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of devotion – it is through Jnana Yoga, the yoga of discrimination, wisdom,- Karma Yoga, the yoga of doing good, being good, that we achieve that ideal. If we combine devotion, discrimination, and good action in our lives, we find skill in action. Then our actions spontaneously become good. Then our actions become part and parcel of us. Then our efforts do not remain separate from us. Every action becomes us.
When an artist paints a picture, a poet writes a poem, or a composer composes a piece of music, he is not apart from the poetry or the painting; he becomes the painting. That is the most authentic artist and the most authentic poet because that poet ceases just to remain a poet, but he becomes a Sage, where he and his work becomes one when knower and knowing and knowledge become one. That is the highest aspiration of humanity.
Choose whichever path is most conducive to you, but the end and aim are to find that identity with Divinity because man is essentially divine. It is just to reach Divinity; it is just to reach back home, and there are so many mansions that can accommodate us all. That is a skill in action.
These various factors bring about purity of action. I have repeated this before, and it is so beautiful that I will keep repeating it repeatedly: “It is so simple to be happy but so difficult to be simple.” Who creates this difficulty for us? Not my mother-in-law! Problems are developed by ourselves.
TRUTH IS ETERNAL
Through meditation for years and years, Sages have gone through these experiences, and they have found tranquillity. They have seen the peace that passeth all understanding, and meditation is the way for this age.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says, “When evil rises and injustice is done to the just, I will come again and again, to right the wrongs.” And we can also find its parallel in the Bible, where infinite consciousness, this abstract Krishna Consciousness or Christ Consciousness, solidifies itself, perhaps in human form, to bring the message for the times.
No new message is required – these truths are eternal and uncreated. Therefore, we call them revelation. They are not creations of man’s mind, and they are there. Newton discovered the laws of gravity, and he only found them. But even if there was no Newton, the law of gravity was still there; it is now and will always be. Likewise with the truth. But according to times and how the world behaves at specific periods, the same facts must be brought over and over again.
In such a manner and in such a way that people can understand those truths and not only understand the truths but practise the truths, not only practise the truths but become the truths. That is the way, always and forever.
… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang UK 1977 – 11