When you read good books, like the Holy Scriptures, you just need to understand the meaning, the essence of words and that very essence you formulate in your own words. In Sanskrit, we have three words meaning: listen, ponder and practise. That can only come about if you grasp the essence of what is said and interpret it according to your understanding of it, and that is how your understanding will grow. But just by using words and words and words, they could be parrot-like. Yet, we need those words for inspiration. It could inspire us. But of course, the main thing is to get the gist of the essence and digest the essence, and after digestion, the essence should be assimilated. Only when incorporated, could it become part and parcel of practical living.


Eastern philosophies have divided things up, and people, philosophers especially, try to analyse and break things up into pieces. They have about five sheaths in the realm of occultism, which we in some way agree with and in some way we do not agree with. You will find this in theosophy and amongst the Rosicrucians, and it is unnecessary for man’s evolution. In our philosophy, this has been significantly simplified; we say that there are three aspects to man: the physical body, the subtle body, which is the mental body and the Spiritual Self. It is much easier than breaking it up into all these various things because they are of no help, and they do not explain anything.


The subtle body, or the mental body, is of a subtler substance than the physical body, so when we pass over, it goes back and exists in the subtle sphere, and there, it will not evolve at all. It evaluates its progress since its very beginning, since the primal sub-atomic particle, up to that stage it has reached, and that evaluation might take two years, five years, ten years, five hundred years, a thousand years. And when it finds the suitable medium, it will be born through that medium of two people. I have said that our parents do not choose us, but we prefer our parents.

One could never evolve without having a physical body because Divinity is forever like a flower expressing itself, and it has to have a concrete vehicle like the body to evolve. Everything is but a continuum from the grosser to the subtle to the subtlest sphere, and that is what evolution is all about. In the process, one goes to finer and finer levels, and philosophers have divided these levels of the subtle body up in these various phrases, but it is not necessary. There is one significant danger: it verges on occultism, and you can be stuck at a certain level of the mental Self and remain there because too much emphasis is on it.


We use the words physical, mental and spiritual in the context of just explanation. Otherwise, there is no such thing as it is one wholeness. You do not own the physical Self; you are the physical Self. You do not own the mental body; you are the mental body. You do not own the Spiritual Self; you are the Spiritual Self. These three aspects are but one interpenetrating each other: the Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are all there, you. They are not apart from you. They are you.

They are not only a part of you, but it is the wholeness that is you, inseparable. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are but three aspects of the same.


When we speak of the Holy Spirit, we speak of it as eternal, as an excellent energy which is always there, and the Holy Spirit permeates the Father and is the Father. The Father permeates the Son and is the Son. There could be no separation between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. For the Father, too, is the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, and we had discussed before that the Father represents the entirety, and the Holy Spirit is one with Him, and the Son is one with the Father. And being one with the Father, the Son is automatically one with the Holy Spirit. So, these three aspects are but one, but we seem to divide it or compartmentalise it for definition. It is but one.

The human mind cannot abstract the Holy Spirit, but the Son and the Father can be. This leads us to deeper devotion and more profound prayer, for all prayer can never go to the abstract. In meditation, you can, but prayer has to go to something concrete that can be visualised. For in sending forth your thoughts in prayer, there has to be an object to which it is transmitted. These things are essential.


Through meditation and spiritual practices, prayers, one starts realising that there is no separation. These boundaries that are created are created only by man. They say oh, that man’s mind, body, spirit, or whatever. These are boundaries created only by the thinking processes of the mind, and philosophers have the habit of trying to break up things to prove points rationally. And yet that which is beyond oneself, one’s authentic Self, is beyond all rationalisations. The finite mind could never comprehend the infinite, and you are infinite.

How many people can say, “I understand myself,” for understanding requires a mental process? It requires thinking when your real Self is beyond thought. The fragrance does not analyse the flower, nor does the flower analyse the fragrance.


It is said that people speak in many tongues. It has been interpreted to be something Divine. But it is not Divine. It is not the Spiritual Self of man. It is the mental Self where specific energies are released from the mind, psychic energies, we would call it. The mind is so vast that some regions of the mind can be activated where a person who cannot even speak Egyptian would start talking in Egyptian and, of course, gibberish. That has nothing to do with your authentic Self. It has to do with specific psychic energies that anyone can develop. But I would not advise that because that could become an impediment and an obstacle to knowing yourself.

Listen to those that speak in tongues, various tongues, but do not add much importance to it. It means nothing at all. Today, many people are interested in psychic phenomena and occultism. If you read the writings of Alice Bailey and things like that, you will find a lot of that in there, but how far does that get you? How much peace does that bring you? I have come across some of those very people who speak in these tongues, and when I analyse them, which I should not be doing but just for the sake of knowing what is happening, I find their lives so unhappy. They do lack a mental balance because of non-integration. These psychic phenomena are only produced because of non-integration. We are aiming for balance, for integration, for peace, and for that peace that passeth all understanding. So, stop, look, listen and forget.

… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang UK 1983 – 04