We talk again after a full year. A year of happiness and sorrows as usual! As someone told me, “The year was nothing special”. Well, making every moment special and worthwhile is within us. It is the way we are that makes our life special or ordinary. We often keep too many expectations on ourselves and from life. We weigh ourselves down. We punish ourselves. And when finally health gives way, we lament at our losses. A balanced life needs discipline. A satisfied life needs balance of mind. A complete life needs selflessness as the basic operating platform. This is within us.
Do not live this life as a favour to anybody. You are doing nothing else on earth except experiencing something. It could be good or bad. It could be expected or unexpected. But, all beings on earth are just experiencing and, in a way, expressing oneself so that it flavours one’s own experience. Our expressions add flavours to the life around us. We are doing nothing to anybody anyway. There is nobody apart from us. All are our own expressions. All situations are our own creations. Sit down at a quiet place. Silence your mind by concentrating on your inhalation and exhalation. When mind is thus silenced, ask yourself what you are and what you think you are. As yourself what you are up to and how much control over life you have. Spend some time with yourself like this every day. Measure your understanding with your own inner silence. Start accepting yourselves with all your weaknesses and strengths. There is not one person in this world that does not have any weaknesses. Accept them. Accept your weaknesses more than your strengths. When you finally accept your weaknesses, they will start becoming weaker and you will start becoming stronger. When you suppress them, liked caged tigers, they will wait to be unleashed to pounce on its prey which is you. Who are you, what are you, why are you – are the most relevant questions that can lead you to liberation. Be liberated from your own mind through constant awareness and contemplation.
Ask yourself why you need a guru. What do you lack? Ask yourself why you are listening or following Mohanji? Mohanji is an ordinary man just like you. What is so special in him? Remove all your superimpositions on this man called Mohanji and decide if you should be with Mohanji. Do not be with any Guru because of infatuation, fear of any kind, illusions, thinking that they are someone else from the past or something else, enlightened, better than yourself, filled with powers and strength and without weaknesses, miracles or misconceptions, expectations, karmic conquests or clearance, or even a shoulder to cry on. If you look at a Guru as anything else apart from a reflection of yourself or as a mirror in which you can see your own reflection, I am afraid you are in the wrong track. Remove yourself from all such bindings. Be free from within. I would not want anyone to follow me out of fear, compulsion, herd instinct, illusion, misconception, or thinking I am someone else’s incarnation. Take your time. Think well. Should you be with Mohanji from 2017 onward or not? Take firm decision. If you can accept me with all my imperfections, just like I have accepted you with all your imperfections, we can travel this life together. If not, we can part with love in our hearts for each other. Do not be afraid to leave Mohanji and be free, if you feel any binding here. Your freedom is most important as is your free will. Nobody can live peacefully together if their imperfections are also accepted along with their perfections. Every person who ever walked on earth had been imperfect in the eyes of the society, one way or the other; especially if he has made a name for himself. Society likes to highlight imperfections of people and discard their goodness. “The good that men does are often interred with their bones. The bad survives them” – Shakespeare. So, be brave to leave if you do not like than suffer a forced companionship. Again, also look within what makes you bitter. All things outside are only triggers for what is already within. Be Aware.
I would like to use this space to make myself very clear. I cannot promise you a bed of roses. I cannot promise any comfort zones. I cannot promise you healing or cures. I cannot predict your future or for that matter mine. Do not think that I have supernatural powers or direct access to God Almighty better than you. I am just as you are. Nothing special. If you love me without expectations, you are welcome to be with me. If you are here to test or taste, or here with bundles of expectations, I am afraid you will be disappointed very soon. Do not blame me then. I have warned you. I have all the strengths, weaknesses that you have. I am more ordinary than the ordinary.
This is a fresh year. A good time to start anything fresh and new! So, if you would like to leave me, leave me now. If you decide to stay after taking time and thinking well, take one resolution; stay with me till the end of life. Otherwise, I may not be able to give you whatever I have and you will be disappointed because of the same. Do not change your mind too often. Change it now for good, if you have to, so that it does not inconvenience anybody.
Just like you incarnated on earth for a set of experiences, I have done the same. What I am today is part of that plan. I can never say that I consciously chose this way of life or even this name or costume. If some people like my expressions, it is because my expressions suit their agenda on earth. In that context, I have no feeling, let alone bad feeling towards those who have chosen to leave me. When they were with me, they shared me, my time and whatever I am and I shared their space, time and whatever they have been. Only gratitude wells in my heart for all the experiences time has given me through various situations and people.
I use this space and your attention to thank you for every experience, company and comfort that you have provided me in the years past. I am grateful. Truly Grateful. If you will continue to be with me, I shall remain grateful. That is all I can say. I cannot promise you anything else apart from my love from the bottom of my heart. How you receive it is up to you and I presume would be as per your capacity.
2016 was a turbulent year for me. Some people, whom I loved deeply, parted from me. I understand and respect their reasons and choices. As a human being, it does hurt when those who you love leave you. Then again, life is all about meetings and partings. So, we wish them well and move on with our life. Some people who were close to my heart left the world as well. Baba Ganeshananda Giri and Vasudevan Swami have been my pillars and support. I cannot even begin to fathom how much value and power they added to my existence.
Avadhoota Nadananda, a powerhouse, pillar of strength, a father, mother, friend, brother, Guru, God and everything else, gracefully received me under his umbrella, protected me from the storms of life, gave me all he has in terms of his spiritual bank balance and allowed me to walk free. There are no words to express my feelings for him. A true master, as innocent as a small child, a spiritual titan, a remarkable guru and a humble human, he has touched hundreds of lives. He connected me with the Guru Mandala when he made me to offer a dakshina to the great master from Guru Mandala, opposite the Shiva temple at Shirdi in June 2016. Guru Mandala officially adopted me in 2016. Guru Mandala also conferred the title of Brahmarishi on me, through Avadhoota Nadananda. 2016 was an overwhelming year for me. I am truly grateful. Once again, I can only prostrate at the feet of the great masters of Guru Mandala `who adopted me, an ordinary man, despite all my flaws and weaknesses. I can only be grateful to the supreme Mahatapa Babaji who Himself asked Avadhoota Nandananda to look after me. Gratefulness moves my heart.
Once again, thanks to each and every one of you who walked with me through time, without expectations and conditions. Thank you for your love and care. Thank you for your companionship. Thank you for your company during our pilgrimages. We are again going to Kailash in 2017 July and Macchu Pichu in October. We shall meet in Croatia, Serbia or London for our retreats. We shall meet at Sedona Yoga Festival, USA in March. We shall meet somewhere. We shall definitely stay in touch. To those who are disappointed at my not answering via Facebook, let me confirm to you, I have listened to your heart always. If you really want to reach me, come via email@example.com and I shall revert back.
I would like to thank the teams of Gurulight, Speaking Tree, Awakening Times and various news papers and media that covered our programs at various locations. Speaking Tree’s guest editorial was a great honour and I appreciate the love and respect showered on me by the Times of India team. Thanks to Ahimsa Vegan and Madhuban restaurants for supporting our programs with good food.
I would also like to thank the trustees and teams of Sreepaada Sree Vallabha Sansthan, Baba Ganeshananda Giri’s Dattatreya Shiva Sai Trust, Ashraya trust Kurnool, Manav Seva Samithi and other groups and trusts who honoured us, respected us and associated with us in the years past. Sincere thanks to Skanda Vale and Yoga Ville team for their true love and companionship. Special thanks to Himalayan School team, Mohanji Youth Club team, Mai-Tri Healing team, Consciousness Kriya team, Conscious Walking team, Kailas team, Retreat team, so on and so forth. Heartfelt thanks to Mohanji Foundation India, USA, South Africa, Macedonia, Serbia, ACT Foundations, Ammucare, as well as ambassadors, activities or centres in USA, Canada, UK, Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Croatia, Romania, Russia, Germany, South Africa, Mauritius, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, and all their team members. All of you have really helped our mission to gain a good momentum despite all odds. Thank You.
My sincere thanks to the M management team who made the processes and made me more available in the world. Thank you for envisaging, orchestrating, streamlining and optimising my time and availability to the world. Thanks to all the volunteers who supported and helped to reach my expressions far and wide into the deep corners of this world. Your presence and support really made my life easier. Thanks to Mamu for efficiently managing my office and optimising it efficiently.
Special thanks to Amma for the translation of Power of Purity into Telugu, Dr. P. K. Namboothiri for Malayalam translation. Thanks to Sunil, Sujatha, Sunitha and Shirdi Sai temple Palakkad for the book Sai Mahima, translation of my writings on Sai Baba into Malayalam translated by Dr.P.K.Namboothiri. Thanks to Taiji for Sahasranaama and Ashtothari. Thanks to Jyothi Bahl for the rendition.
I wish you a great and fulfilling year. May happiness fill you at every moment and may your life be simple and purposeful.
February 23rd is a reference point to me. The day of entry into this world in this form. The day this chapter in existence by the name of Mohanji began.
This soul has had many such chapters in the past and this essentially is the final chapter before it becomes just an existentialistic time rider – or merges with time and becomes a part of the soul of time. I always believed that each lifetime, as we call it, is just a chapter in the existence of the soul. A chapter which has its own character, duration, flavour and purpose. Every chapter has a call, a solid reason to be there. You would not start it unless you have to and have a compelling reason for that matter. I never call a chapter – LIFE. It is part of LIFE, but it is not LIFE by itself. LIFE according to me has no duration. A chapter has duration. Whatever has duration is NOT LIFE. When we take a chapter as LIFE, we miss the real life and we suffer. I always believed that LIFE can never be bound by time because LIFE is not bound by TIME. In that context, I am riding the time – as if time is a horse. And I will exist as long as time exists. I have no birth or death. A chapter does have a distinct beginning and end and it must because it has a distinct purpose.
Half a century of existence later, when I look back at this chapter called Mohanji, my heart overflows with gratitude. Hence, I would like to dedicate this overflow of powerful feelings at the feet of all those who walked into my life at various points in time and to all those who will come in the future at various points in time. They are not just human appearances. Some stayed and are still staying. Some left and some are in the process of leaving. Some never fully came, nor fully left, but always existed whenever needed. This is especially pertaining to the masters and the guides including protecting angels which all of us have. I like to look at all those who came, existed, existing and left with utmost gratitude because all of them gave me invaluable experiences and added value to this incarnation. They all are irreplaceable.
LIFE itself is the message. There is message in each life and there is LIFE in each message. When I “slipped into” the path of spirituality totally unaware of what is in store, I encountered many kinds of people which I would like to call as various flavours of the grander LIFE. They could only be segregated based on their operating levels in awareness.
I have been walking this mysterious path called spirituality since many years. This is a path to the intangible. The path that we as human beings are used to is tangible. From tangible to intangible and knowing to the unknowable, the path is quite treacherous and often winding. There are many trials and errors possible. Many falls and rises. Tenacity and conviction plus the will to survive against all odds will keep us going. I am not talking about the comfort zone spirituality where we can choose what we like or discard the uncomfortable. Here, the path of dissolution itself is the path of pathlessness. It is a long and winding road by itself. Then again, those who walked ahead of us always come to help. There are times when we cannot explain anything to anyone because the experiences are indescribable. In this journey, I encountered two distinct groups of people – the aspirants and the accomplished. The aspirants have fresh roots while the accomplished have deep roots and are totally balanced. Both have roots and hence they stand. Since seekers do not see roots, often they cannot differentiate between the aspirants and the accomplished unless they spend time patiently to see and feel.
They are usually graduated into higher frequencies in their past lives. Their roots are well set over those lives. They are balanced and deep rooted. They are totally established, unassuming and will never display any powers even when asked or challenged. They need nothing from the world and give everything even without asking.They do not even consider themselves as more important than the lowliest of beings in the canvas of creation and stay to serve. They never care who follows them or whether anybody follows them at all. They are self-sufficient. They do not care about terrestrial names and fame. They only exist as a reference point or a beacon of light for those sincere seekers who have only one aim – LIBERATION. Those who are already established and have dissolved their minds, their powers would be unlimited because they are always one with the Source. Each chapter for them is only another door to serve and lead the people in the right direction of LIBERATION. Their messages will be clear and simple. They will never bind their subjects to any fear based rituals or compulsory conditions. They will have no fear. They will never betray, steal, lie or encourage any of these because all these things are traps of karma and it takes lifetimes to shrug it off from the system.
Those who use the spiritual path for achieving spiritual powers essentially for their own gratification or to prove to the world. They are the immature lot who would do anything to impress the world and, in a way, conquer the unsuspecting spiritualists. They are always alert. They plan, plot and even betray those who trust them with their life, as their aims are totally selfish. They are predatorial, aggressive, cunning, intelligent, (using their intelligence for conquests), skills of public display of their acquired powers, often trap entities through mantras and make them work for them and even use those entities to trap their clients or bring them to their knees and control their minds to create slaves. They are very dangerous people. Once they have sucked the sap of the ones in their control, they will go for fresh ones. They thrive on conquests. A true spiritual seeker should have extreme clarity as to what he or she is seeking, otherwise they could easily get trapped with such spiritualists and their sensation oriented methods. The tragedy is that, when one is with such spiritual teachers who use power to control, they would never know that they are trapped. They would even feel that they are much better off from the rest of the world and will adore the teacher and his prowess more easily because he controls their minds. They restrict their subjects from thinking independently and will make them believe through mind control and fear that the rest is all bad for them. Hence, one of the most important points that every spiritual seeker should keep in mind is that “All that glitters is NOT GOLD”. Also that if someone is in a hurry to prove something to you, especially their spiritual prowess, be watchful and be very careful. Powers are easy to acquire, but easy to lose as well. Inherent powers and its spontaneous usage without mind getting involved cannot be put in the cause and effect category of karma.
This is this chapter of life. Living in truth and living truth against all odds is not an easy task. It takes guts and more than guts, it takes GRACE to stay alive. Hence this letter is a letter of gratitude.
Numerous masters walked into my life. Some were in form and some were formless. The whole Datta tradition was revealed to me slowly and spontaneously by these masters and they still do. I do not claim to know even an inch of the tradition because the tradition of sanatana dharma (the eternal religion) out of which all traditions are based, is truly unfathomable. When I asked for aloneness, quietness and solitude, they pushed me into the world of noises and prejudices and made me to swim against the waves of sundry noises. Later I realised that the actual silence sits in the core of these noises and by avoiding them, you will never reach its core. And unless you keep your inner boat steady, the noises could overwhelm it and sink it completely. I saw many such sunken and half sunken boats in the path of liberation. The task was to keep the inner boat steady against all the external waves. It will always be the masters, who are huge ships compared to our little boat who will guide and hold us, who help us to navigate through time. I hereby express my unequivocal indebtedness to each and every one of them. Each one contributed at each point in time so that the boat kept moving.
There is only one love – Unconditional LOVE. The rest are all illusions. The situation more dangerous than the waves outside of the boat are the erratic and unstable fellow passengers. When they become seasick, some of them perform bizarre behavior patterns. Their solidarity and vows of companionship until the common destination are thrown in the winds. They jump out of the boat often jeopardizing the lives of fellow passengers. Unfortunately, most of them do not make it to the shore. They drown in the world of noises and illusions. I have watched this spectacle, quite helplessly, many times.
School girl Indu from Karnataka asked me this question: “Mohanji, what makes you happy and what makes you sad?” I would like to answer her through this message.
Acts of compassion makes me happy. When people spontaneously, without thinking, display love and compassion unto the society, it makes me happy. When generations enjoy peace and love, I am happy. When people love and serve all and I am happy. Well being of my fellow beings irrespective of gender and species makes me happy.
Cruelty, acts of violence and insensitivity towards fellow beings makes me sad. Betrayals of the most trusted friends make me sad. When people who I trust lie to me, while I know well that they are lying, It makes me sad even though I allow them to experience themselves as liars 100% without interference. And such lies badly affect their conscience to an irreparable extent.
I am a hardcore romantic. I have always been. My first and foremost love with this incarnation is towards the nature. This includes the beings of nature. I love the various emotions of nature. I see the changes. Most of all, I see the underlying love beneath all the flavours of nature. I am convinced that nature can only love. No other emotions work with nature. There is love in her storms and rains too. Nature is love. This is why when people insensitively harm the beings of nature, I become terribly disturbed. This is unnatural for me. When a lion is not hungry, the zebra is safe. When man’s recreation encroaches into the freedom of other beings, it disturbs me. Live and let live.
As most of you know, I am a very private person. I consider myself as empty and reasonably illiterate which I later found as a great advantage. The more literate one is, the less flexible he is. I have never been predatorial. I never snatched anything from anybody. As far as I can remember, I never cheated, never stole or never betrayed. I never betrayed the trust of anybody. Many people have betrayed my trust over them. But, then I always believe in eventual justice. Justice always happens irrespective of time. Their illusions will break and they will come to know what they have done. Justice could be delayed, but never denied. I have seen this justice at work in the most decisive manner. I keep repeating that I am not someone else; I am not any of the past masters nor will be any of the future. I am not Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Baba or Mahaveera. This body is called Mohan and will die as Mohan. When people see resemblances of past masters or incarnations of the past in me, that could very well be their mental projection, imagination or dharmic and consciousness resemblance. (When the message and operating frequency becomes the same at least sometimes, the matter may also look the same).
I always tell the world the message or knowledge that came to me or the truth that happened to me. I do not know anything else. I have no acquired knowledge sitting in me, waiting to burst forth. I am always empty. That way, I have no agenda and I am always free. What can be truly called ours? That which has happened to us or that which is with us. Nothing else at all. The rest are all borrowed. Since I have a body, I have all the needs of every body. Since I have an operating mind, I resonate every feeling and emotion associated with an operating mind. Since I have an intellect, I do relish knowledge at times. But, I am none of these. I am connected to all these only in the operational level and only on the basis of need. I maintain my separation from all these so that they never bind me. I feel pleasures and pains as much as I have to. Nothing more and nothing less. I am not different from anybody who has a body, mind, ego and intellect. I like to maintain this originality of incarnation at all times to avoid all confusions and “larger than life” projections. I feel the seemingly extraordinary revelations that I have had are accessible to anybody. I am not special. But, remember, the key is inside of you. When the knowledge breaks forth from inside, it is real. The rest is acquired knowledge and they are someone else’s experience or guidance. The problem with acquired knowledge is that it could become a burden, bias or concept that feeds the ego without us being aware of it. When ego takes over, the urge to prove to the world becomes a dire necessity. These are all traps. I always stay away from it. There is nothing to prove to the world. All we can do is live our truth with utmost honesty. Those who truly love you, will never leave you through the summers, winters, springs and rains of our life. Those who do not care will leave you at the drop of a hat. Bless them and send them away with peace and love and never hate.
I talked a lot even though my original plan was to just express my gratitude to all of you out there for being with me, loving me, hating me, walking with me and accommodating me at various points in time during this incarnation, which I sincerely hope will be the final. 🙂
I love you. I love you from the bottom of my heart. I hereby extend my sincere apologies to each and every one of you, if I have hurt you in anyways, intentionally or unintentionally. While walking the life, we may walk over many beings which might cause their death. We do not mean it. A sincere heart filled with gratitude is the only thing we can maintain during this existence with a firm decision that we shall never be selfish and we shall give back to earth much more than we take from her. I sincerely appreciate those who loved me. I appreciate those who betrayed me too. They all added value to my life one way or the other because through all these encounters, I witnessed another flavour of life. Life is a continuous flow. It keeps flowing. Ocean is ahead. All of us will reach the ocean sooner or later. While I float towards the ocean of dissolution in the boat called existence, my conscience is my row. Unconditional Love is the water that takes my boat forward. The waves that sometimes shake the boat and confuse its people are the ego and mind. Tradition is the sky. Grace is the sunshine. Love of nature is the breeze. I am responsible for all those who are in my boat and I will always be. How can I be responsible for those who are not in my boat?
Let us shed our prejudices and be together forever in this short life. Differences are only in the ego state of the waking mind. The same differences does not exist in any other states. Be aware. Be clear. Be together. I love you and am always with you, irrespective of time, space and moods. Whenever you remember me, I am yours. When you love me or hate me, I live with you, in your heart. When you enrich yourself through consistent acts of kindness, you are enriching the whole universe, which includes me. If you love me, express it to the beings around you. The beings around you are my self in other forms. I am not alone here. I am not just this incarnation. I am everything. I am everybody. I am both you and I. So, please do more for the world. Give to mother earth much more than you take from her. You are consuming food, water, sunshine, wind and numerous other things from earth. Now, concentrate on giving back to earth much more than you have ever consumed in the form of kindness, compassion, tolerance, love, togetherness, so on and so forth.
Many members of our Global Family are celebrate this day. Thank You.
I am with you always. I love you always. I will always be.
Centuries ago, in the current state of Maharashtra lived a humble saintly priest named Vishnu Sharman with his family. He had only one son, named Vamadeva. He was a quiet but brilliant boy and both the parents were proud of him. Vamadeva grew up and it was time for his formal education. When this discussion happened in the household over dinner, Vamadeva insisted to his father Vishnu Sharman, “I want to go to Varanasi to surrender to the tutorship of Maharishi Shantananda”. Vishnu Sharman was taken aback by the insistence of his 8 year old son. Varanasi was a month of travelling away from their village. He tried his best to dissuade Vamadeva. More than the distance, he could not digest the fact that he will not be able to see his only son Vamadeva for many years. If he had gone to any nearby Gurukul, he could have visited him whenever he felt inclined to see his son. The same was the feeling of Vamadeva’s mother. But, Vamadeva insisted that he would only go to the school of Shantananda. Even though both his parents did not understand the reason for his insistence, after a lot of reluctance they agreed to fulfil the wish of their only son. They also realized and told Vamadeva that Maharishi Shantananda is very famous for his extremely strict methods of teaching and also it was not easy to get his acceptance as a student. He rejects his aspiring students for seeming petty reasons. He never displayed any soft corner towards any disciple. He even seemed indifferent. He believed in extreme uncompromising discipline. And his tests for admission were also equally difficult. None of this could deter Vamadeva and he still insisted on going to Shantananda.
After days of walking, bullock cart rides, camping in various shelters and inns, after a journey that lasted close to a month and a half, Vishnu Sharman and his son Vamadeva reached the city of Varanasi. All through the journey, Vamadeva was quite silent and contemplative, while his father Vishnu Sharman was talking all the time as if he would not get such a chance ever in life. Vishnu Sharman was hoping against hope that perhaps Shantananda may reject his son or Vamadeva may change his mind against staying and studying at Varanasi.
After reaching Varanasi, they rested for a few days, visited Lord Kashi Vishwanath temple which every Hindu is supposed to visit at least once in his lifetime, bathed in Ganga and drank the nectar like water till their hearts filled and started inquiring about the ways to meet Shantananda. They came to know that every morning at 3am, Shantananda used to come for bathing in the ghats with his disciples, irrespective of rain or cold weather. They decided to wait and meet him at the ghats. They waited.
It was 3AM the next day. Maharishi Shantananda walked in with three of his disciples. He was handsome and majestic with flowing beard and soothing eyes. His face was an ocean of calmness. Eyes were deep pools of wisdom. His every step was majestic. He was tall and elegant. Vamadeva and Vishnu Sharman prostrated at his feet on the ground. Shantananda paused. Looked at them and asked without words, with his eyes which meant – “Who? Why?” He did not ask this verbally.
Vamadeva bowed his head down and said “Great Master, I seek your discipleship”. Shantananda’s eyes penetrated the young boy’s constitution. His eyes pierced through the visible into the invisible. A faint smile dawned on his elegant face – perhaps because of recognition from another life, perhaps because of what he saw in Vamadeva. Shantananda was a man of few words. He observed silence almost always except when it was extremely essential to speak.
Shantananda: What is your name?
Vamadeva: The ignorant restless walking corpse called Vamadeva, Guro
He asked “What are you seeking?”
Vamadeva: “The Ocean, Guro”.
Shantananda said “The path is right here within you. Why not walk?”
Vamadeva replied “Ignorance, Guro. Need fire. Need light. Need guidance to enter the journey, Guro”.
Shantananda “What is the destination?” (Where do you want to reach?)
Vamadeva: “The non-perceivable and the unknowable, Guro”.
Shantananda “Where shall you walk from?”
Vamadeva: “From the darkness of ignorance inherent in the terrestrial mind, illusory knowable, identifications, bindings. Illusory pleasures as well as sundry delusions, Guro, into the stillness and bliss of absolute and unchangeable and unknowable truth”.
When the seeking ends, man becomes FREE.
Shantananda smiled and said “Come with me.” Vamadeva won his test and was accepted! The eight year old truly surprised his father. He looked in awe as to how his son acquired all this knowledge without formally learning anything from anyone so far! On one side, he was deeply impressed by his son’s stature at such a young age without any formal education. On the other hand, he feared he will never understand his son. Vishnu Sharman did not understand the conversation. He guessed a little and as a result, a deep fear dawned in him. A deep premonition. A kind of conviction and associated fear that he is perhaps losing Vamadeva forever. Is this the beginning of a path of renunciation for Vamadeva? He is seeking silence. Will he leave everything and take the plunge into the anonymity of the saffron dress? As a regular father, he wished his son to have good education, marry a good girl, have children, settle down and have a regular life like anybody else. But, he could perceive that his wishes are getting shattered right in front of his own eyes.
Shantananda never spoke to Vishnu Sharman even though he acknowledged his presence. There was no discussion on where he is taking Vamadeva, or how long he is expected to stay with him for the sake of education, or any other thing. There was no conversation at all. As Vamadeva walked away with Shantananda with just a glance and a nod towards his father, he sat under the Banyan tree and cried. So many unanswered questions rocked his mind. The most predominant were, “When will I see him again? And “Will I ever see him again?” Then, “What will I tell his mother?” He wept uncontrollably. Then he walked to the ghat and looked at the footprints with water on the steps, that of his son, Maharishi and others that disappeared into the wilderness of the city. He sat down and wept bitterly. Then he removed his clothes and plunged into the freezing, yet warm arms of mother Ganga. He immersed himself and his sorrows in her bosom. He took many dips. When he returned back to the shore, he felt better. He was calmer. He walked towards the temple of Lord Viswanath. He wanted to remove the rest of his emotions at the feet of Lord Shiva. Earthly emotions and relationships are almost always heavy and binding.
Nothing affected Vamadeva. He had just found his path, the reason for this incarnation. He was happy. He was excited. His Guru’s feet were the only reality for him. There was nowhere else to look. Nothing else to see either. Vamadeva walked with his Guru and his fellow students to his abode, not so far away from the ghats.
Shantananda’s abode was disciplined, neat and clean. A medium sized house with big verandas on all four sides. At the time Vamadeva joined, he already had 8 disciples of different ages. Vamadeva became the 9th disciple. Mostly, the disciples slept in a row on the Veranda on the front side of the house. There was an open court yard at the front portion of the house. Between the gate and the house, the open court yard was paved with cow dung. Shantananda’s household consisted of himself, his wife and one son, a few cows and calves. He treated his son and his disciples alike. He treated the animals the same way too. Some local house helps came in the morning from their homes and assisted Shantananda’s wife Rukmini Devi in her house hold chores. But, mostly, it was the students who helped the major chunk of work including tending the cows, washing and cleaning clothes ad the ashram floor etc. They took turns to do the household chores. Shantananda insisted on practicing the silent lung breathing to increase the concentration of his disciples. When a set of students are immersed in the practice, the others used to do all the work. The next day or a couple of days, the rest will practice and the others will take over the duties of the household. This went on beautifully without any hindrance, without any reminders or even compulsion of any kind. There was perfect symmetry and synchronicity in the ashram of Shantananda.
Every student did more or less everything. Tending cows and calves, taking them to grazing grounds and back, cleaning the yard and the house, washing clothes, helping kitchen, attending to Guru’s needs, attending to lectures, which was very random as mostly the Guru spoke through Gautama, his assistant and principal disciple.
Gautama was one of the more senior disciples. He was always very close to his Guru, attending to the gurus needs and the rest of the time, helping the guru’s wife in household chores. He also found time to orient the students with the key teachings of the master. His daas bhaav (total surrender and servitude) was so amazing and spontaneously became a living example of how a disciple should be to all the other students. It was interesting for Vamadeva to witness the humility and surrender of Gautama to his guru. Shantananda was a man of few words. He spoke very little. Gautama was one disciple who read the silence of his Gurudeva and acted on it. It was indeed a feast to watch how Gautama translate Gurus silence into deep and appropriate action without a word being uttered between the Guru and the disciple. The unspoken commands gave strength to Gautama to serve the Guru and his mission unfailingly. And it was perfect synchronicity. Shantananda’s silence was his strength. He taught his students mostly through silence than his words.
Everyone closely observed and then imitated Shantananda. Shantananda’s key teaching was silence and witness hood. He was always calm and unshakeable. No events or activity reached or touched his unshakeable silence. His presence itself was powerful. His daily routine included a trip to the ghats in the early hours of the morning as well as his time with his dhuni (the ever burning pyre that burns samskaaras and empties the cup of terrestrial identifications from the causal layer). In both these, his disciples participated. Shantananda’s son Mukunda was about three years older than Vamadeva. He was a very quiet and silent boy, with lots of humility and love towards everyone. Shantananda never discriminated between him and his disciples.
Shantananda had a small farm a few miles away from his abode. His attendants ploughed, sowed and reaped the harvest. Yet, Shantananda and disciples used to visit the farms a few times a week and work there. During the non harvest season, they took the cows and calves to the farm and allowed them to graze the whole day. Even though the Shantananda household used milk, they never kept the calves away from the cows. They only milked the excess after the calves drank to their fill. They always treated their animals with respect and love. Everyone lived together in perfect harmony.
Whenever the junior students like Vamadeva had doubts, they preferred to speak to Gautama. Shantananda did not spend much time with his students every day except during the ghat visits and fire ceremony.
Gautama was the mouth or the communication aspect of the silent Shantananda. Whatever Shantananda wanted to convey to his students, more often than not, he conveyed through Gautama.
Gautama explained about bad karma based on an incident of one student betraying another on a small issue, and another incident of a village boy eloping with the wife of a neighbour leaving behind his wife and children. Shantananda prohibited the villagers from chasing the eloped couple and asked them to have patience. He was against all kinds of violence. He told the elders to allow them to have their chosen experiences even though it amounts to betrayal and hence it is against dharma. He said that once they are contended, they would return back. He told them to accept them like before, when they return back, because every incident has its karmic provocation and repercussion. All causes and effects are accounted for. Those who sow must reap. Allow karma to play out completely and reap the fruits of it as well. No external interference was appropriate.
Gautama said “Betrayal, cheating, stealing and such acts that create pain in the other should be avoided at all times. Betrayal is bad karma. Very very bad karma for the one who performs it and also the ones who supports it. It will haunt the one who performs it beyond lifetimes and similar experiences will disturb him time and again. Those who betray others will be betrayed much more. Same goes for victimization and character assassination. It is equal to assassination. Be aware. Never engage or support any of that. Lead your life as cordially as you could. Always tell truth, convey your mind without prejudices and live a clean life. Extreme guilt will haunt those who betray and cheat others. You may win some initial success, but you will lose your conscience, which is close to your soul. What is the use of winning the world by losing your soul? Eternal damnation will befall those who cheat, steal, betray and character assassinate others.”
He continued “Every cause has its effect. Every effect has its cause. This is unavoidable. The only thing we humans can do is to avoid acts of emotions, cruelty and in-sensitiveness. Avoid bad company. Always walk with elevated friends or at least those who are good at heart and benevolent by nature. Never be lured by spiritual powers or its demonstrations and resort to practices of dark nature to acquire them. This will affect you through life times. Always stay with the light path of our gurus and tradition. Help ever and hurt never. Never harm any being, let alone another human and never harm any saintly people through thoughts, words or action. You will never come out of its implication for hundreds of lifetimes. Bad causes will give bad effects. This is the major cause of all the sorrows of the world today. Insensitive actions – resulting in bad results.”
An eagle was flying with a piece of meat clasped in its beak. He was in a hurry to take it to a safe location and eat peacefully. The meat was a bit larger than he could easily swallow on its way. Suddenly a school of crows started chasing the eagle. They flew with him and started attacking him. The eagle was helpless. He could not retaliate because he had this piece of meat between its beaks. The eagle did not realize for a long time, why the crows were attacking him. Finally, he realized that the crows were after the meat between its beak and not him. For some time he was reluctant to let go of the hard-earned meat. Then wisdom dawned with the intense suffering due to the attack of crows. Finally, he dropped the meat. Immediately, the crows left him and followed the piece of meat. We all are like this eagle. We always refuse to drop the cause of our suffering and suffer eternally, often unconsciously and unknowingly. We work hard and earn our possessions suitable for our body, or mind or intellect. When we have those possessions, irrespective of whether they are material possessions or siddhis of spiritual nature, crows of the society starts chasing and hunting us. They come to take our hard earned possessions from us. We refuse to let it go because we believe they are legitimately ours. Neither us nor the crows understand the fact that these possessions are temporary and truly never ours or theirs. Everything passes hands sooner or later. But, we do our best to defend our possessions. In the bargain, we may get hurt. Finally, when we become helpless, we will reluctantly let it go. Otherwise, death will detach us completely from our worldly possessions. The more our possessions are, the more we will be attacked by the world. Lesser the possessions, more free is the life. Human beings hold on to their possessions and attract many such crows. When he lets his possessions go from his body, mind and intellect level, the world of crows stops bothering him. Avadhootas are walking examples of this level of non-possessive detachment.
On another day, while attending to the cows of the ashram, Gautama said “Our gurudeva says cows are sacred. The vedic wisdom never gave so much importance to any other animal except cows, even though it is rooted in ahimsa and respected all beings.”. Cows are considered as celestial beings. Do you know why? Students nodded their head in the negative sense. Trees consume carbon dioxide and releases oxygen which is beneficial for human existence. Similarly, cow is the only animal in the planet earth that has the capacity to take the negative energies of the society and releases only positive material. Cow in the society absorbs all the negativity of the society in a subtle level, stores it in her body and releases only good things like Milk, Dung and Urine – all of which nourishes life. They are all medicines as per Ayurveda. They are all used in our ceremonies and worships as well as farms and for organic cultivation of crops. The dung of a cow is also antiseptic. The dung of a cow eating pure stuff will have no odor. We spread it on our yard and on the floor to make it antiseptic. A cow’s meat should not be eaten because in subtle level, it contains all the toxins of the world which it absorbs every moment from the society. They are subtle beings and never engage in conflicts and fights. They absorb, store and give out only pure stuff. This is why a cow can be compared to a tree. A tree takes in used and polluted air and releases pure air which is good for our lungs. This is also why we are always sitting under the trees during satsangs. The pure air is refreshing and rejuvenating us. It is making our minds sharp and receptive. This helps us absorb more wisdom. The ancient sages used the dung of no other animal on earth except that of cows for the purpose of safeguarding themselves from bacteria and also as fire wood when dried. Its sacredness is its antiseptic quality. It can even heal wounds and injuries. A cow’s entire body is useful.
Our scriptures say that the entire body of the cow is the abode of many deities. Each deity has a functional purpose. This purpose is fulfilled through the body of the cow. It includes purification from gross to the ultimate subtle. Cow stores all negative subtle that she takes it in her body and destroys it at death. Thus the world is kept purified. Those who respect cows, are spontaneously sattwic in nature. We drink its milk. Hence, the cow is like our mother. We respect our mother. We respect the cows as our mother. Who can kill one’s own mother? Our predecessors, saints and sages constantly asked us to stay away from “himsa” of any kind. Himsa is Violence. Violence disturbs the vibratory level; both inside and outside of us. Violence in thoughts, words and actions bind us to emotions and emotions lead us to further karmas. Karma has its root on unfulfilled desires combined with emotions which re-enforces an operating character and constitution. So, a true sadhak (Seeker/Practitioner) should be aware of such traps of the path of liberation and stay clear at all times. We should not harm any beings of any species. Be compassionate and kind always. Never be selfish and upset anyone’s life. Life is the bed where you experience your karma over time. Keep your bed always tidy and clean.
Fear destroys like fire. Fear is one of the formidable enemies in the path of liberation. Religions and possessive masters sometimes use fear to control their subjects which eventually affect themselves and their path adversely. In the path of liberation, before one sets himself to the conquest of his mind, he should conquer all his fears. Guru is the epitome of fearlessness and our leading light. We dissolve our fears in the consciousness of our Guru and lead a life of total emptiness and lightness. We have no reason to fear when we have unshakable faith in our Guru. Guru takes care of us every step. Faith destroys fear like water extinguishes fire. Faith is the most reliable water that destroys the flames of our fears. Awareness is the permanent way to tackle our fears.
In other words, the best way to conquer one’s fears is to face them and burn them in the fire of awareness. A rope feels like a snake in darkness to an ignorant mind and corresponding fears happen; but when he gets the light of awareness, the fear disappears. Likewise, most fears are related to darkness, death or unknown. They have no value in the daylight of awareness. Fear is the trap. World uses fear to bind people. This is wrong. When we delve deeper and deeper into our inner silence, all the stored fears will begin to surface. Watch and let go. Watch and let go. They have to escape through the conscious mind. Do not panic nor meddle with them. They are to be released gracefully. Fear is ignorance. It’s remedy is awareness. Your guru is protecting you, watching over you. All fears are illusions. Let go of your illusions and you will be established in the absolute truth.
Be aware that we are essentially the fire. The fire of creation that rested in the belly of the Sun became the Galaxy. The fire of will in the consciousness of the supreme Para Brahma manifested as the universe. The fire of your mother’s womb created you. The fire in your stomach sustains you. Existence is connected to fire. Fire is the only element that burns everything and never gets contaminated. It just leaves behind ash which is beyond flavour and design. The flames of fire only go up and never down. Hence, it is considered as the chosen carrier of offerings to all deities. It is always pure. It is always sacred. This is why our tradition keeps fire as our closest ally and fastest friend. We offer all our impressions and afflictions to the sacred fire. All our sankalpas and all our samskaaras are offered to the fire every day. Fire takes it on and releases us from its bad effects each day, yet it never gets contaminated by it. We worship Sun as the source of this platform called galaxy where life could thrive. We worship earth because she gave us the platform for our gratifications. We keep our bodies sacred and lust free because our only plan and aim of life is liberation. When we burn all our identifications and identities along with the stored impressions in the causal layer, we dissolve into the supreme Parabrahman. When we stop existing, only the supreme unsullied consciousness exists. Thus, we nullify ourselves.
Be one with the elements when you are in your body and you will remain in equanimity with the nature.
Soul is one. Manifestations are many.
“If you are born from fire, no sun can burn you. I am born from fire”
Our guru is an avadhoota. He is a great yogi. He came accomplished. Those who come fully accomplished can be considered as avataric births. They chose their births consciously while most of us chose our incarnations out of the need to fulfill the unfulfilled desires from our past incarnations. They have taken birth on dharmic basis to preserve dharmic causes. They abide dharma and their life itself is their biggest teaching. Those who come accomplished have nothing to achieve in this incarnation. They have only to deliver over time. They reveal themselves accordingly, as per the necessity and need. They do not display anything off which are unnecessary. They will never pretend nor will they expect anything from the world. They are totally detached from the samsara or the mundane existence yet will perform as per the demand of the incarnation and time. Most teachers are only acharyas. They are teachers. They have only acquired knowledge. The problem with acquired spiritual prowess is that, the power achieved through the mantras and practices have to be maintained through abstinence and rigorous practices an are difficult to maintain. They need to perform sincere practices on a consistent basis while abstaining from many lures of earth to keep what they earned or else will soon lose them. Some people observe strict celibacy. Some stay away from people. Some immerse themselves in severe practices. But the ones who come accomplished will walk and talk like ordinary men as they have nothing to do with the names, titles and vain glories or fame of the world. Such ascetics can never be compared with the acharyas. They strictly follow the divine will, in divine order and will never deviate an inch even if it costs their life. Their only interest is the establishment or re-establishment of sanatana dharma, the basic ground rules for harmonious existence. They have neither excesses nor demands. They expect nothing from anyone and none can do them any favour. They accept alms and bless the giver with abundance of spiritual bliss – they never beg nor they ask. They accept what comes to them spontaneously. Even small acts of kindness are deeply appreciated and nurtured.
Love is their food and offering. Fire is their ally. Silence is the bed on which they exist. Consciousness is AUM. There is nothing apart from them. So, friends, do not be confused between an accomplished master who has no interest to prove anything with an acquired saint who is eager to display what he has earned through books or practices. People who do not understand the inherent silence will not connect with these established saints who often look like nothing. Restless minds will leave them. The restless mind wander towards acquired teachers who display their earned prowess. Such seekers easily get trapped in activity which maintains the inner noise for a lifetime and sometimes beyond. So, even a spiritual enthusiast may take a long time to find his path, and even if he has found it, to recognize and marry it totally. An accomplished master like our guru Shantananda is full and complete. A pot filled with water never makes a sound. The noise happens only when the pot is half filled with water. It shakes and spills. So, be full pots and never compromise ever. There is nothing to prove in the external world. But you have to stay rooted in your inner world and this needs alert attention. Inner silence is your highest treasure and greatest blessing. And the association of an established master will spontaneously and effortlessly remove the age old karmic blockages and set you firmly in the direction of dissolution. So, never confuse between inherent siddhis (powers) and acquired siddhis. Inherent always stays and acquired can vanish any time.
As an example, Gautama narrated the story of another monk in the monk’s own words to a question as to how he acquired enlightenment at such a young age?
“I served the master in his house so I could observe him closely. And day and night I stayed looking at the master. He never looked at me so much. I sat on the ground and stared as the master went ahead with his work. Initially, my mind was restless. And I saw the master restless and often irritant too. I still kept doing the same practice. Master asked me nothing. I asked the master nothing. Slowly, I started feeling some emptiness inside me. Some things were leaving me. Perhaps I was merging with the master’s consciousness. What left me was my restlessness. Mind started to settle down. When I looked at the master, he also seemed pretty relaxed and settled down. No restlessness manifested in him. I continued. My inner silence became deeper and deeper. A kind of ecstasy started occupying the space. When I looked at the master, I found him ecstatic with uncontrollable joy. When I asked a man sitting next to me why the master is so happy, he asked me “Do you see happiness? I see anger and restlessness”. I decided to follow my own awareness which was the best thing to do. Truth was delivered to each according to his state of mind and capacity. Emptiness increases the capacity. We must be true to ourselves. We must trust our own experience. Ever since, I asked no opinions about my guru to anybody. My inner silence made me immobile. I started sitting at the same place in deep silence with the absence of mind from morning till evening and even through night sometimes. I never bothered about food or water. Often, they became a hindrance to my state of beingness. I understood that I have no other realms to conquer. I have attained the highest Everest of consciousness. I waited for Guru’s command. He never looked at me. He still played his role as always and different people saw his different flavors and thought they knew him. He played this illusion and existed as long as it takes. I felt complete, yet there was no “I” to feel that completeness. I asked nothing from my Guru. I never even asked him if he is my Guru. I just watched, watched and watched. I realized that i am watching myself when I am watching him. He is my SELF. He is my soul manifested in another form. I understood the core of existence. I understood that I have no existence apart from the universe. “I” died. Master called me one morning. He put his hand on my head and said “I have emptied you. You have become me. Now go into the world and be a beacon of light unto the darkness of ignorance. Be like a tree that give shade to the wood cutter and nursing mother alike. You have no separation from me. We are essentially one. I gave you emptiness, which made you complete. Now I give you freedom. Be free.”
Govinda was a classmate of Vamadeva. Same age and size. They were close friends right from the beginning. They bathed in the river together and slept in the same mattress. They even had a bit of resemblance to the extent that some thought they were twins. Govinda was a few months older than Vamadeva. But, he behaved as if he is the elder brother which Vamadeva accepted and allowed.
When they grew up and both moved to their late teenage. Govinda started developing love interests while Vamadeva fell in love with isolation and silence. At every opportunity, Vamadeva would withdraw his mind from outside materials and would plunge it into the inner pool of consciousness, while Govinda would be busy chatting up with his girlfriend who was the daughter of a shopkeeper not so far from the Guru’s ashram at Varanasi. Many times, he tried to bring Vamadeva to his path of pleasures in vain.
Vamadeva had no interest and he was getting deeply settled in the pool of inner silence and making his mind float on it like a log of wood, unattached to anything. Slowly but steadily, as his dependency on the outside world reduced, his mind was getting dissolved into the pool of silence. His mind matter became lesser day by day and finally, it totally dissolved in the pool. The technique of swimming in the inner pool of silence was delivered by his guru Shantananda in silence. One day, Shantananda nodded to Vamadeva to come to him in his room. When he entered his room, Shantananda was sitting on the floor on a rug in lotus posture with his eyes closed. He stood in front of him until he opened his eyes. It took a good half an hour. He nodded Vamadeva to sit facing him. When he settled down in lotus posture, Shantananda looked into the eyes of Vamadeva. He was probably measuring the depth of the pool of silence. His eyes penetrated through both his eyes into the inner ocean. Vamadeva sat mesmerised. Shantananda plunged into the ocean of silence that was waiting to be explored inside his disciple Vamadeva. The waves of the ocean of silence roared and rolled in silence at the steady stare of Shantananda. He was activating something. He was delivering as well as collecting and removing the remnants of sound from the pool. Vamadeva felt as if he is floating, whirling uncontrollably and dissolving. He dissolved. He had no awareness of his body or what happened. Total stillness! Unbound joy of stillness! No person, no personality, no world outside. Only when there is a personality, there is a world outside. We witness the world according to our personality. Everything dissolved. Only silence existed. The sound of the ocean was silence. When Vamadeva came back to terrestrial awareness, it was well past midnight. His guru had left the room. He sat there much longer, until day break just being in silence without the push of thoughts in total and complete bliss. He knew that he has arrived. His guru has given him the greatest gift. He has arrived. The consciousness that he has been searching for within, has LANDED! Gratefulness welled as salt water in his eyes. It started flowing onto his cheeks. When he heard the sound of guru and his fellow disciples leaving for bathing in ghat, he also got up to accompany them.
Govinda could not understand the sudden change in his friend neither did Vamadeva explain anything. His lack of interest for almost all worldly things came as a big time confusion for Govinda. He tried his best to make him sane. He even introduced some of the prettiest girls of the neighborhood to Vamadeva and took him to places of pleasures. Nothing worked. Vamadeva remained as aloof as ever, but never denied his company for Govinda’s pursuits. Vamadeva was more like an inevitable shadow for Govinda – inevitable yet, non-interfering.
The key to Govinda’s charm was his ability to predict future. It was partially skill and partially intuition. But, it always worked. Starting from his girlfriend who later became his wife to even the old and toothless women who check with him if there is marriage in their cards; all were enchanted by his prowess. It was Gautama who initiated Govinda into astrology as per the instruction of Shantananda. The guru’s assessment was accurate, as always. He had known that Govinda will lead a terrestrial existence immersed in his personal glories and accolades. What he gave to Vamadeva was exactly what he came there for. Every disciple always got what exactly they deserved.
Govinda’s journey was colourful, but not always very smooth until his marriage. The shopkeeper father in law of Govinda never really liked him. His talkative nature and display of power to predict did not go so well with him. He believed that Govinda is an upstart and will eventually abandon his daughter for other women. In those days, two or three wives were a status symbol. He understood that Govinda may walk that path to show off because he ate, lived and bathed on applause. Hence, at one point in time, he had to elope with his girlfriend and get married at a temple in the next village. Vamadeva was his companion in this adventure too. Even though silent and preferred isolation, Vamadeva was never afraid. Likewise, all the display of romance of Govinda never created any ripple of desire in the still consciousness of Vamadeva. Finally, when he came back, the helpless father in law was forced to accept his flamboyant son-in-law. That was the beginning of Govinda’s settlement in the city of Varanasi as an established soothsayer visited by the rich and the famous as well as the poverty ridden classes of the society. He was a good man with a good heart. He helped selflessly. Eventually, he became rich and popular and lived happily with his wife and children.
Govinda always cared for Vamadeva even though the latter preferred isolation and silence. Later on in his life, whenever he could catch hold of Vamadeva, he would bring him home and get him to give lectures on philosophy to an audience he would gather effortlessly. But, more often than not, Vamadeva would recognize his hidden agenda of meeting up with a girl or forcing a matrimony and would escape from the place. Often, Govinda never told Vamadeva what to expect and invited him to his house in the pretext that his wife has been inquiring about him or that he has not seen Govinda’s children for a long time. Vamadeva loved children and he could not deny such invites. When he arrive there, there will be lots of people waiting to see him or attend his satsang. He would immediately take a U turn and disappear or if Govinda’s grip is firm, would escape whenever he could. After a few years, as Vamadeva wandered away from Varanasi, they did not meet for a long time. They did meet one time before Vamadeva left his body at the age of 49.
After 14 years in the presence and guidance of Shantananda, it was time for Vamadeva to leave. Govinda had left the school before he got married. Vamadeva stayed on bathing in the pool of silence of his guru and the tradition. He also nurtured new disciples in the absence of Gautama. Unlike Gautama, he was a man of silence. Hence the students liked Gautama’s classes much more than Vamadeva’s. Vamadeva was almost like his guru – always engaged in unshakable silence.
It was the day of departure. Vamadeva felt no emotions. The world that he was deeply involved in was within him. There is nothing outside that he considered as his own. When the old maid asked for a cloth, he gave his only spare cloth to her. Why does he worry? The heat is inside and he is always basking in the inner heat. How can the outside cold bother him?
Shantananda’s words were very few, deep and pregnant. He said in his deep and matter-of –facted tone. “Never give into pretentious image. Stay true to your true image which is formless. Do not display yourself or your stature easily to people. If you do, it will only enhance their expectations over you. It will not enhance their inner silence. Reveal yourself to those who are ripe and ready to dissolve. Then, they would need no display to know who you are. Walk the path inside. There is nothing outside to conquer. You have already earned your throne. The throne is eternal. You will always be watched and protected. You need to care for nothing. You need nothing because you have become everything. You have nothing to do with the pretentious world. You have nothing to do with the worldly possessions. You have to visit your parents one last time, serve them for a year before you start your journey, thus completing the dharma of a son. You will not stay in one place for more than three days. You will not develop attachment towards anything. You will have followers and not disciples. Even though you are a raja yogi who is established in silence, you will be known as a Jnana yogi. In your next incarnation, you will be a complete raja rishi. But, do not worry about any of these titles, name or fame which is all earthly lures and bindings. Be always aware of who you are and stay true to your true image.”
“From now on, you will be known as Atmananda Chaitanya and will be recognised as an Avadhoota.”
Shantananda took his vessel filled with sacred water from Ganga, took some in his hand and sprinkled on Atmananda’s head. Took two flowers, did some silent chant and gave it in his hand and sought Guru Dakshina (offering to Guru). Atmananda took a pomegranate out from his cloth bag and put it at the feet of his guru. He prostrated full length at his lotus feet. Guru accepted the offering of his disciple; put both hands on his head and said “Be blessed. Be a blessing. Be useful and live the life of purpose until you leave this body at the age of 49. You will again meet me in sookshma (subtle) before you leave the earth. When you see me you will know that it is time for you to leave. Prepare yourself and leave within two days after. Go now. Do not look back. You have nothing left here to take. Whatever you need for your further life, you already have. You are self- sufficient. YOU ARE FREE.” SELF SUFFICIENT… SELF SUFFICIENT…. ACCOMPLISHED… FULLY ACCOMPLISHED… FREE… FREE… FREEDOM… these words kept ringing in his empty inside for a long time, as he left his guru’s abode with a heart brimming with gratitude. He sat for a while on the banks of Ganga. He looked at her for a long time. Slowly, stepped into the water and dipped himself many times. Drank lots of water. Wiped himself with his only towel. Wore the only cloth over the wet underwear and started walking towards the direction of his home and parents.
Lord Ram asked Hanumanji “Who are you?” Hanumanji replied with total humility. “Great Lord, if I knew who I was, I might not be serving you.” The moment one realises who he truly is, there is no separation. What Hanumanji meant was that if he realised who he really was, then there would be no separation from Ram, as Hanuman and Lord Ram are indeed ONE – two aspects of the same consciousness. There is no servant and no master. There is no expectation. There is no separation. Until this realization happens, this and that, me and that, he and that, and all other kinds and aspects of separation, will exist in the mind.
Ego has the power to expand illusion (Maya) that already exists with us, within us. Ego maintains us in the make-believe. Humility is purity. The more humble we are, the more pure we can be. Humility keeps us close to the truth. Every sadhak (seeker/practitioner of a path of spirituality) goes through the process of highs and lows of the mind and body unless deeply surrendered to the guidance of a true guru. Then the presence of the inevitable fluctuations of the mind will not matter because purpose takes precedence.
As their practice brings forth certain experiences, when they have not yet tasted life inside the silence of stillness, the urge to spill out their findings to the “ignorant” public becomes more and more. We should maintain a clear understanding that it is not yet time to speak until we fully and properly settle down in the lap of silence. It will take time. We tend to open out when really, it is the right time to withdraw. Deliberate silence comes in handy at such times. This also keeps the ego in check.
Flavour (Bhaav) determines the constitution. In the same entity, whether it is animate or inanimate, we can see various flavours in time and space which, if compared to human constitution, will provide us with a different understanding and awareness of existence. My first impression of the Ganga River when I saw her was, “Mother, you look like a river.” What I saw was motherhood flowing, unconditionally nurturing everything from the utter gross to the unperceivable subtle. The difference is feeling instead of “seeing”. Thousands of powerful yogis since time immemorial have worshipped the Ganga and stay in her lap because they do not see a flowing river; they see a mother’s lap. Thus, a true yogi’s vision is different. It is this vision that makes them a true yogi.
My first impression of the Ganga River when I saw her was, “Mother, you look like a river!”
In my life’s journey, I have met many true but unassuming yogis who are deep treasuries of knowledge. They are well established in the truth (God), but maintain a deep silence and humility. Often society takes their humility as a weakness or even ignorance. What you experience is not always explainable in words. The taste of a tasty dish can never be explained. It has to be experienced. Even if you do explain, unless the listener is deeply aware, they cannot understand the subtleties fully. Some elevated beings choose the medium of “miracles” to create awe and attention, if they choose to physically communicate with the world.
Then there are many who only work in the subtle planes like avadhootas. Avadhootas may look like mad people, inconsistent in their behaviour and often unpredictable. However, they exist in a totally different operating level because their awareness has surpassed their body, and their sole reason for existence in society is to guide or protect society through subtlety. Even though there are many cases of people getting healed from chronic illnesses, karmic blockages and being cured through a mere glance or pat on the body by these unparalleled masters, they usually live in relative anonymity. This is perhaps the only way they sometimes reveal their stature. For common eyes, they are mad, unpredictable people.
The usual operating intellect of an average human is either intellect anchored on acquired knowledge (Srutha), or intellect based on situational, rational event analysis (Yuktha), viz. analysis based on acquired knowledge versus rational bent of observation, thinking and analysis. However, for a true master who operates in a still mind, it is an intellect beyond the boundaries of the usual brain, which is called Ritam Bhara. Ritam Bhara is indeed cosmic consciousness. Since true masters constantly operate on the energy plane, they wield power over the elements and everything else. Even then, when they do interfere or intercept in someone else’s karma, they suffer through their body while the subject gets relieved. The masters take it on themselves.
It is not easy to understand the stature of a true master. One can only perceive. The external always conceals the internal. Their need for isolation is often for the sake of keeping themselves free from various or multiple frequencies. The frequencies of nature always have a pattern of love. Nature is LOVE. There is even love in natural calamities. Natural calamities are auto corrections just like a fever in the human body or a stomach pain. They demand rest for an internal correction, much like a stomach problem demands a fast or a reduced food intake. Likewise, nature corrects itself time and again. Sometimes it’s a mild warning, just like our body gives us time and again. Sometimes, it’s severe and far reaching.
However, the social frequencies emitted by humans of various natures are almost always chaotic. Collective consciousness usually revolves around negativity, because that’s the easiest and the lowest. The media supports it actively too. The yogi usually avoids the world, because having to handle multiple lower frequencies all the time pulls down or at least stretches their hard earned elevation. Elevation happens spontaneously by keeping the mind inside oneself and not attached to the senses. Thus, when he has to deal with the outside world, he will be totally dispassionate. When the mind is anchored inside, it’s total stillness. A still mind is a clear mirror. Thus, the yogi becomes a mirror to the world. The outside world looks at these mirrors and witness themselves in full clarity. Yogis only show the totally non-manipulated true images. It is a challenge to keep the mind still when the yogi is forced to deal with the varied frequencies that he gets to handle each day. Once the yogi dissolves the mind totally, he becomes a permanent mirror. Otherwise, it takes sincere, continuous and consistent practices to keep the mind inside. A yogi operating in society easily becomes a trash can of the residue of multiple frequencies. Some use arathis (ritual prayer) to cleanse themselves. Some just leave it and abandon their body when unusable.
Input has relevance. Input makes us. We are what we consume. We consume food through the body, emotions through the mind, and knowledge through the intellect. These inputs make us and sharpen our character, as well as determine our constitution. Hence input, if uncontrolled, can create obesity – which can affect the “circulation” – in various aspects of our existence. True yogis control inputs to a large extent through isolation and contemplation, if not meditation and silence. The less the inputs, the less will be the impressions, and thus naturally the less storage. Storage of anything demands its corresponding manifestation. This is what we see in the world. The dramas that we see enacted in this world are all expressions of stored impressions in numerous minds. Nothing else.
Isolation is essential for rejuvenation, concentration and purification. Some resort to far off places, some to caves and some to mountains. Finally, when the mind is isolated from the rest of the system, then it’s just isolation everywhere. It is isolation even in the market place, because what happens outside cannot create any ripple effect inside. Inside is separated from outside. The usual bridge between the internal and external is the mind. Here, the bridge itself is burnt for good.
I am the tradition. I do not have any other existence. Nothing exists except the tradition. If I have a form, it is just a projection of the tradition, or a sign that the tradition exists. All powers and all manifestations rest with the tradition and not me. Any form the tradition uses to express itself is not the doer. The tradition is the doer. The tradition is the witness. No gurus of the tradition have ever been doers at any point in time. The form can do nothing on its own. It’s the tradition working through various forms to add to multiple realities of existence for the purpose of showing the light of liberation to the world.
The NATH tradition promises that “If even one person seeks liberation, the tradition will provide a guide”. This is the promise of the golden tradition where liberation is the sole aim. Freedom is the way of life. Freedom from the mind is real freedom.
I have no existence of my own. I am just a projection, projected by the tradition for its purpose. When the purpose is over, the projection will be withdrawn, just like an image on the silver screen. The purpose of the projection will remain unclear while the show is on. Usually one has to wait until the end of the show to know the full picture. In most cases, the extent and depth of the operating level of a master will remain unclear or unfathomable even after centuries of their existence. What need not be revealed, will not be revealed. Clarity of purpose is the requirement of a seeker’s mind. A master seeks no such clarity even though he has access to every detail if he wants to. Do we know why a thing is happening in our own life each moment? Every effect has a cause. Every event has a reason. The tradition knows. It has projected many forms into this canvas over time who we worship today as “masters”. It will continue to project many forms in the future too. The mind of man may get stuck with a form, which is normal, because the mind needs the help of the senses to recognise, feel and connect. As long as the mind needs, the form is relevant. When the mind moves on, the form dissolves. And all forms have a specific duration too. The tradition delivered me, operates me and will dissolve me at its discretion. I do not think, I do not choose, nor do I ask. I do not seek. I do not crave. I do not pretend. I do not…..
I do not DO anything because I do not have to. It is all the tradition.
I have no powers of my own. Everything rests with the tradition. The tradition chooses forms to express itself; just like the supreme consciousness manifests itself through its trillions of creations. This form is just another form – a perishable piece of flesh, a temporary manifestation. Its value depends on the purpose of the tradition. Value is directly related to usefulness. My value is up to the tradition. I have no value apart from it. None of the past masters have or had any value apart from their representation. There is a clear understanding that “me and my Father are ONE”. There is no will or choice of thought, or even action. The purpose of the tradition drives this machine. The purpose of the tradition opens doors, speaks through the machine and also dissolves whatever is unwanted or unnecessary.
Relevance is limited and rests with time. Everything on earth is time bound. Whatever is eternal shall not have any dependency. Dependency is always related to forms supported by elements. Non-dependency rests with the subtle and, in the forms on Earth, with their souls. Souls have never depended on forms, while forms have depended on souls. Minus the soul, the form is dead. The relevance of every incarnation is its purpose. Nothing less, nothing more. I have no further relevance than the purpose of the tradition, and its duration rests with the purpose.
Even though status can be conferred externally, stature must be earned. Sincere practice brings capacities. Grace maintains it. When capacities or powers are misused, grace is lost. When grace is lost, powers are lost too. Even if powers stay, they may start breeding negative karma. Hence a true master will never flaunt his power, nor display his capacities to ignorant eyes. Stature needs patience and perseverance. It needs tenacity. It is like climbing a steep mountain. It takes efforts and sacrifices. It takes immense pain and determination. Once achieved, one cannot rest still. He must maintain it through positive actions, words and thoughts, as well as through a life of selflessness. This is a true yogi. When he shares what he has, grace replenishes the energies needed by the man like a well replenishes its water. When people crave capacities and eventually achieve them, but don’t gather the maturity to handle them, the capacities wither away like a beautiful garland in the hands of a monkey.
The inner world is difficult to fathom or display, and the outer world does not have the eyes to see the inner world of a person. Thus, displays are useless. They will serve only as a show of ego or to prove a point. Both are unnecessary in spirituality. There is nothing to prove. All you have to prove to yourself is that You are the only reality. You are the only truth. The proof of the highest achievement is utmost humility. The need to prove is ego or ignorance. When the pot is full, the water never spills. When the pot is half filled, the water will shake and spill with every movement. A learned and totally settled man never spills his knowledge unwarranted. The half learned are eager to share their fresh catch to anyone and everyone, even to unworthy ears. Sometimes it brings unlimited woes.
Years ago, a bookaholic in various religious materials tried to discuss his intellectual trash with me. I was working in a company at that time. This man, my colleague’s friend, knowing that I do some practices wanted to discuss his knowledge. I did not answer any of his questions as I found them shallow if not childish, as everything was related to his interpretation and analysis. Later, when my colleague asked me why I disappointed this “sincere seeker”, I said “First of all, I am not his guru. Secondly, he is still searching outside. Until he starts to search inside, I will not make any sense to him. Thirdly, my head has no roof (upper limit), it is as open as the deep blue sky. His head has a roof. How can he contain my experience even if I explain my state in words which again is impossible?” Whether he understood or not, he never imposed any of his “spiritual” friends on me.
What can be told is little. What remains untold is mountainous. What can never be told is a universe. What is understood is the same. What is understandable is truly limited. The rest is all maya – illusion or pretension. If we clearly understand this truth, we will remain humble.
Spirituality is a journey from the illusory known to the unknowable. The illusion that the words create, the impression that it leaves in the mind, is one of the main reasons for delusions, detours and confusions leading to rebirths until understanding becomes clear. Standardisation is impossible. Everything is as it is. Consciousness cannot be explained. Consciousness just IS.
A true yogi is empty inside. They have nothing inside. Just emptiness. Out of emptiness, they churn out realities based on purpose. They churn out words, expressions and miracles. The inner emptiness is the Source. They are one with THE Source. What separates one from the Source is the mind and ego. They have no mind or ego. Hence, they are the Source. They are purpose based and purpose bound. Every action, thought or word is unselfish and higher-purpose based. They do nothing for themselves. They eat, drink, sleep and walk for others. True emptiness provides true humility. An empty pot has the most capacity amongst all the pots.
Nothing affects the soul. We all know that. But the yogi experiences that day and night. The visible world, or the world of images, cannot affect the soul. It can only affect the mind and through the mind, the body. The bridge between the visible world and the incarnation is the unseen but experience-able mind. The soul remains neutral, pure and unaffected through lifetimes. A true yogi identifies himself only with the soul. Hence, his state is detachment irrespective of where he exists. When one’s identification rests with the soul that cannot be polluted, the external world has no impact on them. When we finally experience our own shining truth, our soul, every other faculty will become dim. Nothing else will matter.
Identification is the flavour of existence. When a man identifies himself with the body, he will become bound by the inherent desires and inclinations of the body such as hunger, thirst, etc. When a man identifies himself with his mind, he will flow with the emotional highs and lows and all the other fluctuations of the mind. When a man identifies himself with his intellect, he will be bound by knowledge and analysis. Finally, it is only when he starts identifying himself with his unseen, unbound soul, that he will become truly liberated. This is a long walk. It takes pain and sacrifice. Terrestrial emotions always appear to pull the seeker back to its whirlpool. Hindrances such as stored impressions, past memories, anger, feelings of injustice, and lack of understanding or awareness, emotions, expectations, opinions, hatreds and numerous such hurdles are part of the path of this journey. Seekers need extreme tenacity and determination to navigate themselves to the other shore through powerful and extremely treacherous currents. This is where grace comes in handy. Protection of a true master helps. The help of one who has already reached the other shore is a great advantage. Just clinging on to the master who appeared as a saviour will help the seeker to reach his destination. That is all it takes – clinging on.
In the spiritual journey, prejudices and analyses block more than ignorance. Every seeker must be aware of this. One’s lack of understanding is often due to prejudices rather than one’s capacity for understanding. Pre-conceived notions based on past understanding are also a hindrance. Things should be taken as they come.
When life is higher-purpose bound, there is no alienation because there is no doership. When the purpose is completely over, then it is complete merger. Purpose keeps the form. Purpose determines the duration of the form. However, if the incarnation is karmic, as Hanumanji said, “The moment I realise who I am, I lose my identity. I merge into you. I become you.” After that merger, the rest of the incarnations, if at all, are only for the sake of a higher purpose. The rules of such incarnates are different. It is purely the purpose determining the personality and duration. Nothing else. Karmic beings will not understand the operating levels of such incarnations.
Mala was 45. Mother of two. She grew up in India in a middle-class family. There was love and silence at home. Tolerance of individuality was an unwritten rule of her family. It helped each one to be their normal self without having to pretend ever. She had migrated with her husband to America when she was 30. Initially, it felt strange. Everything looked different. Food, people, culture, roads, and even the air felt different for her. She missed the confident familiarity of homeliness. She missed the unpredictability of existence at hometown which kept everyone always on their toes. She felt her new abode as a luxurious cage.
Eventually, she started adjusting to the environment. She created a shell of habits into which she withdrew whenever escapism was the only solution in daily life situations. Her husband Mahesh was an IT professional and was totally immersed in his compelling work. Her children, ever since they migrated to USA, seemed aloof, independent and became lesser and lesser dependent on her. She felt that they got matured overnight. Sometimes, she felt she did not know them at all. Over 15 years, there was not even an emotional companionship with her children or her husband. They spoke to her only when they needed something. She had little support or friendship outside as well.
Thus, she lived a cloistered life. Coming from a Communist – Intellectual background, she hardly had anything to do with Religion or God. She kept the popular news channel which incessantly streamed bad news non-stop as a sound accompaniment while she went around with her daily household chores. An occasional call to her aging parents reminded her where she began her journey from. They were contented people. They were happy with what they had. Otherwise, she was like a boat in the deep sea without any reason or destination.
Mahesh was literally wrecking his health in his work. He was working day and night. He was earning well though – but at the cost of any happiness or relaxation whatsoever. He would have gladly shed the rest of his body except his hands and head if given a choice. That was sufficient for him to earn his livelihood. The rest of his bodily functions were quite a burden and nuisance for him. Hence they steadily deteriorated. He was so preoccupied with his work that he hardly cared for Mala or their children. When she wanted to apply for a job a few years before, he objected saying that there will be none to look after the children. When she said that their children are minding their own business, he said it was all her imagination. So, she continued to lead an empty life of complete dependency and total vulnerability.
Stress was visible on Mahesh’s face and as each day passed, he became grumpy, serious and more often than not, angry. He snapped at every sound in the house. Whenever he came home, he wanted pin drop silence. He hated any questions, answers or demands from his family. He stopped attending calls from his parents or relatives. He refused to go home even when he was informed that his father had fallen down, broken his hip bone and had been hospitalized. He did not pay any attention when he was informed that his mother had had a heart attack. On both occasions, he sent some money and completed his obligation. He was too preoccupied with his work, that he cared nothing about others or even himself. Eventually both his parents died and the only thing that he did was send 2500 Dollars for their funeral. His sister’s family conducted their funeral. The money he sent was not received and returned to the sender. His family members stopped communicating with him. One day, he got an envelope from a lawyer in his home town which said that his parents have left their house and compound in his name and he should come and complete the paperwork for its possession. He put the envelope in front of Mala and said, “You handle it”.
They talked less. There was nothing to say. They did not even have much eye contact, let alone any quality conversation or time together.
Soon enough, Mahesh increasingly became abusive. He started shouting at Mala and children for no reasons. Its intensity increased and once or twice their neighbors intervened. That made him angrier. He felt insulted. He accused that she was discussing about him with their neighbors. He started beating her. She became more and more helpless each day. Soon the children left for higher studies and moved to hostels near their universities. The verbal and physical abuse continued.
Mahesh was increasingly becoming paranoid about everything and this made Mala’s life totally miserable. She was totally dependent on him. She had no income of her own. Finally, after years of abuse and zero love situations, one day she decided that she cannot take it any further and to leave him. She had no idea where to go to. After an evening of verbal and physical abuse, when Mahesh finally became tired and slept, she packed her suitcase, took some money and left the house.
Her mind was filled with mixed emotions. It kept bubbling up. Anger and helplessness kept taking bizarre forms in varying intensities. Even though she never believed in revenge against anybody because of her stable upbringing, internally she wanted him to suffer at least a bit because of her absence, which she doubted will happen at all. Perhaps her absence would give him more freedom! At that point in time, it was overwhelming helplessness and a mild need for revenge interlocking itself in her mind. Yet, all the while, she hated to see anybody sad, let alone the father of her children. Her mother had told her “Being revengeful is a deplorable weakness and a personal illness. It will destroy oneself more than the other.” She just wanted Mahesh to feel what she feels, at least for a moment. She would have compromised everything for just a word of kindness, love, or appreciation. None came from him since years. And to top it all up, verbal and physical abuses too. First she thought she would go to the police and register a complaint.
Then she changed her mind thinking that she should not be punishing anyone. One will be punished by one’s own karma. Jesus said that the one who wields the sword will perish with it.
It was close to midnight. She was sitting alone at the bus stop thinking and contemplating, with a firm decision to leave for somewhere. It was cold. There was none at the bus stop except an old homeless man. He was covered in an old torn blanket and was puffing a cigarette. She was sitting and crying without a sound. There will not be any buses until morning. She knew it. Still, she thought it was better to stay in the cold bus stop steel chair than in the abusive fluffy cushions of her uncomfortable home. She had no idea where she was going to. She had no destination. She was sad and confused.
The old man looked at her and smiled. She did not respond. She was not interested. There were many serious problems to tackle even though she did not know how. She was not used to responding to strangers and she was in no mood for any small talk in the middle of the night – especially in her confused state. She was getting more upset when her thoughts brought Mahesh into the canvass of her mind and knew that he would be in deep sleep unaware of his wife leaving him. He probably wouldn’t care either, even if he knew that she had left him.
The old man looked at her and smiled again. He asked, “Young lady, why are you at the bus stop at this time? There won’t be any buses until morning.” She nodded, but did not speak. He knew that she has left home after a fight. It was obvious. He said, “Young lady, you have left home over a quarrel. Am I right?” She nodded again. But she was in no mood to explain. He said again “This place is for people like us, homeless, in the night. This is not a good place for a beautiful lady like you at this time. Are you not afraid?” She thought for a while, turned to him and said “I am homeless too” and continued without thinking “You are here to protect me.”
She surprised herself with this reply which appeared to flow out of her mouth quite unconsciously. Was this an instinctual response which had the fuel to create a potential adversary into a saviour?
He laughed. She looked at his laughter. Toothless, innocent, child-like laughter. She liked it. She wanted him to laugh more. Just to see laughter. Just as an entertainment to while away the night. It was as if she was inventing something precious – the laughter. He was probably giving her back her laughter.
The old man asked, “You are angry. You are upset. Why?” She said “Oh! It is a long story. Not worth the breath”. He persisted. “Tell lady, all of us have our stories for our predicament. What brings you to this bus stop on a cold winter night?” She said “Problems.” He laughed again. He laughed and laughed. “Problems! I am sure. It has to be problems. I am sure a young lady will not leave her homely comforts and warm bed in the middle of a winter night for better pleasures. It has to be problems”. He laughed again. Seeing his contagious laughter, unknowingly, she also broke into laughter. They both laughed together. For a second, she realized that she has not really laughed in abandon like this since her childhood! She laughed. The old man laughed. They both laughed.
The old man asked again. “What problem?” She briefed about her home situation and abusive husband. He said “Good you did not go to the police. It would have sealed yours and his fate. It would have officially established the state of being abusive and being abused. Good you did not tell the world either. It would have made the same effect. Others would have nurtured your agonies more than you. Too many cooks would have spoiled your personal broth. Good. Good that you are sitting here, giving an old man company in the cold winter night. I have no place to go. I have nobody to make me a warm cup of tea. I have no family. Nobody wants to call me a friend because I am penniless. You have everything, but, inside you have nothing. I have nothing, but inside, I have everything. I have no treasure to guard. I have no emotion to safeguard. I have nothing. I need nothing. I am free. So, in that way, I have everything.” He laughed and she laughed.
She started feeling warmer. She felt as if the winter is not as harsh as she thought. The winter inside her mind was harsher. This old man had warmth inside his heart because he had no expectations. It is expectation that spends the warmth of heart and creates deficiency in us. It was a deep realization. She started feeling better. The old man looked at her face and laughed again, as if she was wearing a clown’s mask! He said “I am sorry. When I look at you, the irony strikes me. An affluent woman sitting at a bus stop in a cold winter night, totally poor inside. And a penniless old man sitting in the same bus stop on the same night fully rich and contented! One is cold inside with overwhelming sorrows. One is warm inside with overwhelming nothingness!” She looked at him with eyes of warmth.
He continued. “Here is the rub lady. You know how to warm yourself up. Laugh. Laugh. Laugh. This is the rub. Counter all your sorrows and anger with laughter. Laugh. Let your husband be abusive, he is frustrated in the material world. Let him be. Nobody can change anybody. But, you can change yourself. Laugh. Through laughter, you could change your world and others world too. Your husband has forgotten laughter. The heaviness of greed is obscuring the child in him. Bring that child out with laughter. Laugh. This is your medicine. Go, young lady, this is not your place. This place is for unwanted beings like this toothless old man.” He laughed. His laughter was contagious and child like. She laughed with him. They looked into each others’ eyes and laughed. She felt that she found herself at last. She found her real self. She found the remedy for all her ailments. She felt that all her internal bindings and chains were totally broken. She laughed and laughed. Her whole being laughed. She felt as if she was born again. She felt the winter warmth. She felt that she has much to do in the world. The fire of optimism made warmth in her brain. Both of them looked at each other and laughed out loud, in the cold winter night. The old man stopped for a while and said “When life weighs you down, our God given gift is laughter”. “Laugh.” They laughed again. Tears of joy were streaming down each one’s cheeks. Still they laughed and laughed. Both of them got up. Hugged each other and laughed. Collective laughter sprayed warmth like electricity in their veins. They felt warm in their laughter.
She did not know when she slept. She was sleeping like a baby. She was sleeping blissful with her head on the old man’s lap. She slept unaware of anything, totally ego-less, without inhibitions.
Time ticked on. Soon she woke up and realized it was close to day break. People had started to come out of their shells. The morning always brought people out of their shells. Nights put them back into their shells. She realized that she was sleeping with her head on the lap of the old man who was sitting on the bench at the bus stop. She jumped up. She apologized profusely, for giving him inconvenience. He laughed. He said “Lady, you are a newborn. Newborn babies need to sleep well”. She laughed again. She felt good. She pushed her hand into her pocket, dug out some currency and put it in his hands. She whispered “Thank you teacher. This student is indebted”. He looked at the rolled up currency that he had kept in his hand. “My God, so much money! Lady, you have given me enough money for a decent burial!” He laughed and she laughed. She bid him good bye and left. While walking, she thought. Even the thought of death is a laughing matter for a man who is rich inside and the one who has lived his life selflessly. No amount of money can buy this richness.
She came home as the sun broke and when she opened the door; her husband was standing at the kitchen with a steaming cup of coffee in his hand. His eyes were heavy. He looked like having a hangover. The moment he saw her, he did not ask where she has been or why she has come back home. He never cared. Instead, he started shouting at her. He abused her for not keeping the coffee mug handy, not being able to find coffee powder and so many other things. He looked at her. Suddenly she felt him very funny. She started laughing. He looked at her in bewilderment. She was seriously laughing. Shock of unexpected behavior was written large on his face. He tried to shout back at her. She felt that more funny. She laughed again. She laughed and laughed. Mahesh felt totally drained. His jaws dropped in wonder and confusion. He stopped shouting and stared at her as if he saw a ghost. He thought he did not know this woman. “Has this woman gone mad?” “Has she been drinking or taking drugs?” His surprise made her laugh again. First he made a vain attempt to ignore her. He could not hold it much. Seeing her uncontrollable laughter, a smile broke on his face. Initially he started laughing mildly and cautiously. In between, his mind that is not used to laughter tried to stop him. But, the contagious laughter took over. They both started laughing. They laughed and laughed. The cloud cleared and the sun finally shone bright.
The power of laughter changed Mahesh. He took leave, booked a flight the next day, went to his parents place and completed the formalities of their property. He gifted them over to his sister and family who looked after their parents in their old age. He performed the rituals connected to the death of his parents with an attitude of repentance. He gave a part of his wealth for providing food for the abandoned children and old people at a hermitage. He donated for a new shelter for abused children. He came back and visited his own children. Took his family out on a holiday! The whole family woke up to a new life. The whole family came together with the new learning. Learning to laugh!
Maya was indebted and thankful towards her teacher, the toothless old man of the bus stop. When she returned from India, she did visit the bus stop many times especially to tell him about the change that took over in her family. She wanted to thank the old man. But, she could never meet him, even though she even visited the bus stop in the middle of the night. On one night, she saw another man sitting at the same place where she had met the old man, puffing on a cigarette. She asked him if he knew the old man. He said that the old man had died a few weeks before and when they came to pick up his body, they found a bunch of rolled up currency with a small note attached to it, saying “For a decent burial”.
Curtains to 2014. A new page in the calendar – 2015. As we lay down the ceremony of waking up a new year in our life, we rake up resolutions, hopes and optimism. A new human year is about to be launched along with new hopes and aspirations. I wish you great elevation in awareness in the days ahead. We die every night and are born every day. Every day, especially every birthday is another milestone in our life. New Year is another day in the flow of time.
As we shed the weight of 2014 behind us and as we continue to trek into the unknown terrains of the inevitable future, let FAITH be the guiding light.
As we wear the garlands of resolutions that we aspire to change in ourselves; change that we consider as the blinding blocks within our character and detrimental for terrestrial excellence, DETERMINATION is the pillar.
As we wear the new garbs of life, and as we turn another page in life, we look for new terrestrial glory. As we spread on time our expectations about ourselves and our future, may COMPASSION be the key ingredient. May your terrestrial success be measured by your acts of COMPASSION and KINDNESS. Do not be too harsh on yourself.
Be Unconditionally Kind and Let it show.
Do not judge or condemn another because we do not know their karma just like we do not know ours.
Shed the weight of everyday – every night
Be the sun to life. Rise in the brilliance of the sun every morning and live as unconditionally as the sun every day and spread the warmth or moonlight every night.
Let compassion be your breath. Build your liberation on the acts of compassion
Unconditional love is a state. Be in the state of Unconditional Love. Be that. Do not DO that.
This is human NEW YEAR. Dedicate this to the well-being of beings of other species and pledge to make their
life a bit better each day. They will be better off if we just leave them alone.
Reduce dependency and enjoy freedom. Dependency leads to expectations and eventual disappointments. Avoid expectations and experience satisfaction every moment.
Do not judge, criticize and condemn others and thus contaminate yourself. When we condemn others, we are condemning ourselves.
My dearest Embodiments of Love
This is 2014. 2014 is concluding. Another year in time is dawning. Christmas and New Year are just around the corner – just a few days away! While you are leaving on your well-earned holidays, thank you for finding time and sending me so many wishes and love from various parts of the world. I appreciate your time and sincere love for me. Life is all about expressing and experiencing multiple flavours in relationship. Relativity is equal to relationships in terrestrial terms. Hence, sharing time and nurturing relationships are the most beautiful flowers that bloom in this garden of life. A healthy life needs positivity. It is difficult to maintain positivity in this hypermarket of tragedies called the “modern world”. Tragedies sell. Media thrives on snuff stuff. More money is spent on weapons of mass destruction than preservation of what has survived our greed. Real awareness or unity consciousness is still not taking root which is the real human tragedy. We are still encouraging divisions based on religions, races and countries. The same God is put into various names, garbs and used to induce differences, displacements and wars. It is still your god and my god – not our God, ONE God.
In the name of religion, people are killing children, women, men and animals. How can we have world peace when such ignorance is mounting day by day? Let us be deeply aware. But, let us also be optimistic. Peace is only possible with true awareness. Let brightness of wisdom illumine us. May darkness be dissolved in the wisdom, that all are one and all beings of earth are part of one consciousness. All are beings and all they need is LOVE. The world order is bound to change. It should happen sooner than later. Much destruction can be expected. Yet, we should sincerely hope that it would not take much destruction before the change over takes place. Peace must happen. Peace must prevail in individual minds as well as the mind of the society.
We have been trained to be normal. Normal in social terms is average. Our psychology is based on average social human behavioural patterns. Anything that is not average is abnormal. Abnormal is considered as weird and something that needs special attention. This discrimination has made our “scientific generation” grossly average. Society is programmed to support “normal” beings. Hence, average beings are the rulers, law makers and those who enforce laws. Their vision is grossly two dimensional. The “allowed” is the average. Being average also means carriers of social emotions. Social emotions can create wars and divisions. And “normal” also means you need to possess the socially accepted fears, concerns and problems. We are grooming our children to be “normal”.
Our society and educational system has systematically crushed many original thinkers, geniuses and those who had the potential to change the way we see the world to average “harmless” human beings. Non-conformists are branded as eccentrics. We should not allow this to happen to our children. Allow them to be natural. Nourish them to cherish their spontaneity and naturality. Tell them it is not weird to be different. Life is all about expressions and experiences. If your expressions and experiences are harmless to other beings, it is OK. The trained conformists may or may not appreciate them, but, tell them it is OK to be different. It is OK to walk your own path. Non-conformity is not a crime. It is your freedom.
Remember, this “average-hood” that the “normal” enforces has created much inequality within the society. It has minimalized or even nullified species equality. Do we know or care about the suffering of animals and birds in our society? It has sponsored human supremacy and religion based separation. This means it has consistently sponsored injustice. It always protected the rich and the powerful. It supports “might” in disguise and the weaker strata of the society are always kept poor and wanting.
Let us look at life with optimism. Awareness is growing. Silence is taking deeper roots in many minds and many pockets. Many people are doing whatever they can to make their neighbourhood a bit healthier, lively and comfortable which are positive outlooks of life. The non-violence in expressions always leaves a residue fragrance of goodness behind. When you touch the lives of those who are not part of your life, unconditionally, you become rich inside. Just as all people strive hard to stay rich, once you are rich inside, you will do your best to stay rich inside. See the good in people. Nurture the good in people. Remain selfless against all odds and pressures of the society. Nurture love and kindness. Leave the residue of compassion through your thoughts, words and action spontaneously.
One positive action could lead to a positive movement. This is what all great masters lived for. This is what Jesus, Buddha and Krishna appeared for. They lived their lives in Freedom.
Freedom is our choice. It has nothing to do with people, places, time or situations. Freedom is an internal thing. If you are free inside, you will float through life. If you are free inside, it will show. Freedom is also associated with inner richness. Inner richness makes you free and freedom leaves you rich inside. When we are bound by concepts, we will only see differences. When we are liberated through freedom, we only see oneness and love everywhere. Unconditional Love! This leaves us totally free.
Fears bind us to earthly cycle of birth and death. Seven billion people are walking this slender earth with heavy hearts filled with concepts, refusing to experience, let alone enjoy the freedom of liberated existence. There is only one choice to make in life. Only one choice which really matters! The choice is between freedom and binding. To be free or to be bound! And remember, this has nothing to do with any religion, master, guru, book or philosophy. It has to do with you. Only You! You choose to be bound by your fears and concepts or be free from all bindings and start enjoying the terrestrial experiences like a small child who sees the world with the eyes of wonder. So, liberation is not a thing that you need to achieve through a person or a practice. It is your very nature. It is the choice that you make. In this context, I would like to tell you one more important factor. You cannot approach your freedom selfishly. “I need to be free but I do not care if others stay bound.” This is the wrong attitude primarily because if the whole society is blind and you are painting a beautiful picture, who will appreciate it or gain experience from your expression? Secondly, even if you are free from inside, but you are living in a society that cannot understand your state, what is the use? They will never let you express your state of liberation by considering you as weird or an eccentric or on extreme cases, even assassinate you from existence. They may bind you or even crucify you for being original. So, if you have seen light, it is your duty to guide others to light, in your own way. You need not become a guru for that. Your inner guru will shine forth spontaneously, without any effort from you. You could show light to people through your expressions and actions. You could make a difference around you through your expressions of compassion, kindness and love. The expressions of liberation are sufficient for bringing a positive difference in the world around you. You belong to the world around you, primarily.
You can achieve wealth, money, possessions, pride and many things terrestrial through hard work or deceit. But none of these can guarantee you freedom. All of these could become traps to build your ego as a wall between you and your freedom which is your birthright. Ego is a subtle matter. It is like your shadow, which always lurks behind you even if you are ignorant about it. Ego could make you critical and judgemental and delude you into believing that all you needed for happiness are the worldly possessions and people. And all the aspects of “Purushartha” such as dharma (text book of existence), artha (physical properties and terrestrial collections), kama (lust for fruits of existence) and moksha (vision of liberation) can also become addictions. (P.S I have interpreted the “Purushartha” in the context of this mail.) Freedom means free from fears too. When you are free from inside, everything amounts to freedom. A birth, a death, and all things in-between amount to another aspect of inner freedom. If you gain or lose, it is the same because everything is dimension of inner freedom. Nothing stays forever on earth. Change is the only permanent thing on earth. So, when we travel with the wings of freedom, the changes of life are just passing locations of transit. People, places, time and things change. Nothing stays. There is nothing to hold on to which is worth it, except your inner freedom. And once achieved, inner freedom spontaneously stays. We will always stay rich inside. And it will never be affected by the passing emotions or karmic agendas.
Great Masters have been great shepherds and cowherds. Why did Krishna, Baba and Jesus spend so much time with various sentient beings, rather than human beings? All beings have the same soul. All beings are expressions of the same God. All are same on earth. For a liberated being, there cannot be any difference between species. We CANNOT kill another being. We SHOULD NOT kill any being due to any reason. If we are superior beings due to our intellect, we should express the godliness within us. We should express compassion and kindness without discrimination of species. We should care and it should show. Do please use the time that we use in abandon over silly matters and soap operas of life for the protection and care of other beings of earth. Help prevent killing of any kind and spread peace and non-violence purposefully, spontaneously. We have NO right to kill another being, even for the sake of our palette or conditioned existence.
So, my message for you, as you take off on holidays, is that – do what you can for the world, the environment, the nature, and the beings of the nature. Help them to feel love and kindness capable of expressing by human beings. Most of our fellow sentient beings love unconditionally and never complain if they do not get that back in return. Every bird and animal out there responds well to love. They feel fear too. There is huge anarchy and bloodshed happening out there in various corners of the world towards humans and beings of other species.
Only one thing can heal the world – AWARENESS. Awareness is what we should give to the world. Shower the world with higher awareness which amounts to non-violence, kindness, compassion and peace. Awareness leads to all that. If you take one decision, that to be free from inside, not to be bound by any emotions, people, places or time, express that resolution in terms of unconditional love, kindness and compassion towards the world and all its beings. Do not see the differences in gender, class, race or species. Differences mean ignorance. Differences mean non-understanding. Freedom is the thread of consciousness that links all beings of the universe. Consciousness is free and unbound. When we are driven or propelled by consciousness, we can only see the thread of love which is also the thread of freedom. Freedom is love and love is freedom. Differences and all lower emotions such as anger, hatred, jealousy, so on and so forth, are clear signs of operating in lower frequency. Choose higher frequency and let it shine forth in you and through you to the outside world too. All of us are potential masters, irrespective of our social conditioning. Thoughts Per Second (TPS) determines master-hood. Lower the TPS, you are a master of your own mind. Higher the TPS, you are bound by concepts of the world which are denying you inner freedom. Hence, inner silence despite compelling external calamities determines your stature. Remember, even if you are externally or socially bound, you can still be internally free. Let the wave of awareness unite the world beyond caste, creed, races, religions and differences. Let love unite the world. Let us not sponsor news of bloodshed and displacements of property and lives. Let every breath we take lead us and the society to more awareness and freedom. Remember, we are just visitors here. Sooner or later, we will have no signs of our existence on earth just like our great grand parents, who lived five generations before us. Please live in love and add love to our life.
Kindly pardon me as I am unable to write to all of you individually, even though I would have loved to. Please accept my Best Wishes and Sincere Thanks for all the love that you are consistently showering on me each day. I love you through time too.
I wish you a great and fulfilling holiday season as well as a GREAT NEW YEAR.