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On Detachment (pt.#2)

 

yoga-vasisthaRama’s Discourse

What are worldly pleasures good for, and why do men multiply on earth? Men are born to die, and they die to be born again. There is no stability in the tendencies of beings whether movable or immovable. They all tend to vice, decay and danger, and all our possessions become the grounds of our poverty.

On Wealth

A rich man without blemish, a brave man devoid of vanity, and a master lacking partiality are the three rarities on earth.

Riches, like the shadow of night, overcast the good qualities of men, and like moonlight, bring to bloom the buds of their misery. Like a hurricane, they blow away the brightness of a fair prospect.

Fortune is a frost to those who are bound to asceticism, and is like the night to the owls of libertinism. She is an eclipse to the moonlight of reason, and like moonbeams to the bloom of the lilies of folly. She is as transitory as the rainbow, and as pleasant to see by the play of her colors. She is as fickle as lightening which vanishes as quickly as it appears. Hence none but the ignorant have reliance on her.

It is pity that prosperity is like a shameless wench who will again lay hold of a man who has abandoned her for her rival poverty.

On Human Life

It is as impossible to confine the winds or tear the sky to pieces or wreathe waves into a garland as it is to place any reliance upon our lives. Fast as the fleeting clouds in autumn, and short as the light of lamp without oil, our lives appear to pass away as impermanent as rolling waves in the sea. Men of restless minds, desiring to prolong their useless and toilsome lives, resemble the barren she-mule conceived by a horse.

This world (samsara) is as a whirlpool in the ocean of creation, and every individual body is as impermanent as foam, froth or a bubble, which can give me no relish in this life. True living is gain which is worth gaining, which has no cause of sorrow or remorse, and which is a state of transcendental tranquility. There is a vegetable life in plants, and an animal life in beasts and birds. Man leads a thinking life, but true life is above thoughts. All those living beings who being born here once do not return are said to have lived well in this earth. The rest are no better than old asses.

Knowledge is a burden to the unthinking, and wisdom is burdensome to the passionate. Intellect is a heavy load to the restless, and the body is a ponderous burden to one ignorant of his soul. A good person possessed of life, mind, intellect and self-consciousness and its occupations, is of no benefit to the unwise, but seem to weigh down on the unwise as if he were a porter. The discontented mind is the great arena of all evils, and the nesting place of diseases which alight upon it like birds of the air. Such a life is the abode of toil and misery.

As a house is slowly dilapidated by the mice continually burrowing under it, so is the body of the living gradually corroded by the teeth of time boring within it.

Death, the lover of destruction and friend of old age and ruin, likes the sensual man, as a lecher likes a beauty.

On Ego

Egoism springs from false conceit fostered by vanity. I am much afraid of this enemy, baneful egotism. All men in this diversified world, even the very poorest of them, fall into the dungeon of evils and misdeeds under the influence of ego. All accidents, anxieties, troubles and wicked exertions proceed from ego and self-confidence. Hence I deem ego to be like a disease.

This world resembles a long continuous night in which our ego, like a hunter, spreads the snare of affections. All our great and intolerable miseries, growing as rank as thorny acacia plants, are only the results of our ego. It overcasts the equanimity of mind like an eclipse shadows the moon. It destroys our virtues like frost destroys lotus flowers. It dispels the peace of men as autumn drives away the clouds. Therefore, I must get rid of this egoistic feeling.

Excerpts from “Yoga Vasishta” by Sage Valmiki, translated by Vihari Lala Mitra

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Perfections of Our Soul

Siva’s Three Perfections

Lord SivaWe know Siva in His three perfections, two of form and one formless. First, we worship His manifest form as Pure Love and Consciousness, called Sat chid ânanda in Sanskrit. Second, we worship Him as our Personal Lord, Mahesvara, the Primal Soul who tenderly loves and cares for His devotees—a Being whose resplendent body may be seen in mystic vision. In our daily lives we love, honor, worship and serve God in these manifest perfections. Ultimately, in perfectly simple, yet awesomely austere nirvikalpa samâdhi, we realize Him as the formless Parasiva, sought for and known only by yogîs and jñânîs. We cannot speak of His Absolute Reality which is beyond qualities and description, yet knowable to the fully matured soul who seeks God within through yoga under the guidance of a satguru.

For the sake of understanding the mysteries of the soul, we distinguish between the soul body and its essence. As a soul body, we are individual and unique, different from all others. Our soul is a self-effulgent body of light which evolves and matures through an evolutionary process. This soul body is of the nature of God Siva, but is different from Him in that it is less resplendent than the Primal Soul and still evolving, while He is unevolutionary Perfection. We may liken the soul body to an acorn, which contains the mighty oak but is a small seed yet to develop. Even when God Realization is attained, the soul body continues to evolve in this and other worlds until it merges with the Primal Soul, as a drop of water merges with its source, the ocean. This is the destiny of all souls without exception.

At the core of the subtle soul body is Sat chid ânanda, or immanent Love, and at the core of that is Parasiva, or transcendent Reality. At this depth of our being there exists no separate identity or difference—all are one. Thus, deep within our soul we are identical with God this very moment, for within us are the unmanifest Parasiva and the manifest Satchidananda. These are not aspects of the evolving soul, but the nucleus of the soul, which does not change or evolve. They are eternally perfect and one with God Siva. From an absolute perspective, our soul is already in nondual union with God in His two perfections of Sat chid ânanda and Parasiva, but to be realized to be known. Sat chid ânanda is the superconscious mind of the soul—the mind of God Siva. Parasiva is the inmost core of the soul.
We are That. We do not become That. There exists no relation between Satchid
ânanda, which is pure form and consciousness, and Parasiva, which is without form. Paramaguru Siva Yoga swami taught us, “You are Siva. I am Siva. All are Siva. Even as Siva is immortal, so too are we.”

If sâdhana is pursued, will finally grow and stabilize, opening the mind to the constant state of Sat chid ânanda, where the holy inner mind of God Siva and our soul are one. Sat chidânanda is pure form, pure consciousness, pure blessedness or bliss, our soul’s perfection in form. Parasiva is formless, timeless, causeless, spaceless, as the perfection of our soul beyond form. Though it is supreme consciousness, Sat chid ânanda is not the ultimate realization, which lies beyond consciousness or mind.

Thus, we understand Parasiva as the perfection known in nirvikalpa samâdhi, and Sat chid ânanda as the perfection experienced in savikalpa samâdhi.

Being and Becoming

Out of the microcosm ever comes the macrocosm. Out of Parasiva—which is timeless, causeless and formless—ever comes all form. This is the great mystery without a reason why. Out of pure consciousness ever comes the light which binds all form together.

The man is both being and becoming. He is already perfect, for the essence of his soul, Parasiva and Sat chid ânanda, exists eternally within him as him, having never been created. Yet, man is evolving, becoming, for his individual soul body, created by God Siva, is not yet perfect, is still evolving through time, eventually to mature into the image and likeness of the Primal Soul and Creator, Mahesvara.

Creation is merely recognizing what is already there—that there is nothing new; everything is within you and it is portrayed on the outside as you become aware that it is already created, finished, within you.

As you become aware of one thing at a time, you are really creating it into the lower realms of your mind. You are translating it into the lower realms of your mind. Your recognition of what is is the way you create it to yourself. This is deep. This is in the realm of contemplation. And only in the realm of contemplation will you begin to conceive of it.

Contemplation is man’s power over his mind as he begins to go within himself. Concentration is man’s power over his mind as he goes through life working out life’s problems. And meditation is man’s wisdom.

“Know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” Freedom does not come through what you have remembered, how well you can rationalize, how well you can talk yourself into and out of situations, how well you can excuse negative happenings. The knowing state of
consciousness in which you can know the truth only comes when you can control the lower state of mind and live a godlike life each day, and then your consciousness does expand automatically. Your daily life becomes a life of inspiration, and in your expanded consciousness you begin to know the truth, and that knowing of the truth sets you free from the lower state of mind which you then realize is the lie, the eternal lie. The point of conception is the apex of creation.

Excerpts from “Merging with Siva” by Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

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The Potency of Tradition

Satguru-Sivaya-Subramuniyaswami-26Modern existential thought tells us that we can do anything we want to; we don’t have to follow tradition. Out of such a belief comes a great sense of loneliness, a schism between the individual and all his ancestors, all the generations that preceded him on this planet. Out of such a belief comes the breaking up of culture, society, religion and families. Tradition allows you to go through life’s experiences in a controlled way, rather than just throwing yourself into life and upon life without forethought and preparation. When you respect tradition, you call upon the collective wisdom of tens of thousands of years of experience.

Tradition is wisdom of the past inherited by the men and women in the present. In the early stages we tend toward untraditional ways. That is natural. Experience later shows us another way, and we begin to become traditionalists. This maturation comes to all souls over a series of births.

Some traditions set in motion by people to solve certain problems at certain times have no relationship to our circumstances and in our times. The Hindu tradition is initiated and administrated from the inner worlds, from the Devaloka. The Deities are the source of most tradition. They ordain the proper way to chant and the mantras to be used. They establish the language, the music, the dance, the systems of worship. Tradition guides experiences in life. It is a protective mind structure. Any experience that you have to go through is gently guided by this great mind structure. The old ways are world patterns that have come down through thousands upon thousands of years, which you have, in previous lives, lived through and known.

Excerpts from “Merging with Siva” by Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

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Words of Indian Saints Part #12

paramahansa-yogananda“God is harmony; the devotee who attunes himself will never perform any action amiss. His activities will be correctly and naturally timed to accord with astrological law. After deep prayer and meditation he is in touch with his divine consciousness; there is no greater power than that inward protection.”

“Then, dear Master, why do you want me to wear an astrological bangle?” I ventured this question after a long silence, during which I had tried to assimilate Sri Yukteswar’s noble exposition.

“It is only when a traveler has reached his goal that he is justified in discarding his maps. During the journey, he takes advantage of any convenient short cut. The ancient rishis discovered many ways to curtail the period of man’s exile in delusion. There are certain mechanical features in the law of karma which can be skillfully adjusted by the fingers of wisdom.

“All human ills arise from some transgression of universal law. The scriptures point out that man must satisfy the laws of nature, while not discrediting the divine omnipotence. He should say: ‘Lord, I trust in Thee, and know Thou canst help me, but I too will do my best to undo any wrong I have done.’ By a number of means – by prayer, by will power, by yoga meditation, by consultation with saints, by use of astrological bangles – the adverse effects of past wrongs can be minimized or nullified.

“Just as a house can be fitted with a copper rod to absorb the shock of lightning, so the bodily temple can be benefited by various protective measures. Ages ago our yogis discovered that pure metals emit an astral light which is powerfully counteractive to negative pulls of the planets. Subtle electrical and magnetic radiations are constantly circulating in the universe; when a man’s body is being aided, he does not know it; when it is being disintegrated, he is still in ignorance. Can he do anything about it?

“This problem received attention from our rishis; they found helpful not only a combination of metals, but also of plants and – most effective of all-faultless jewels of not less than two carats. The preventive uses of astrology have seldom been seriously studied outside of India. One little-known fact is that the proper jewels, metals, or plant preparations are valueless unless the required weight is secured, and unless these remedial agents are worn next to the skin.”

“The deeper the self-realization of a man, the more he influences the whole universe by his subtle spiritual vibrations, and the less he himself is affected by the phenomenal flux.” These words of Master’s often returned inspiringly to my mind.

The starry inscription at one’s birth, I came to understand, is not that man is a puppet of his past. Its message is rather a prod to pride; the very heavens seek to arouse man’s determination to be free from every limitation. God created each man as a soul, dowered with individuality, hence essential to the universal structure, whether in the temporary role of pillar or parasite. His freedom is final and immediate, if he so wills; it depends not on outer but inner victories.

Excerpts from the book by Paramhansa Yogananda “Autobiography of a Yogi”

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Words of Indian Saints Part #11

paramahansa-yogananda

“It is never a question of belief; the only scientific attitude one can take on any subject is whether it is true. The law of gravitation worked as efficiently before Newton as after him. The cosmos would be fairly chaotic if its laws could not operate without the sanction of human belief.”

“All parts of creation are linked together and interchange their influences. The balanced rhythm of the universe is rooted in reciprocity,” my guru continued. “Man, in his human aspect, has to combat two sets of forces-first, the tumults within his being, caused by the admixture of earth, water, fire, air, and ethereal elements; second, the outer disintegrating powers of nature. So long as man struggles with his mortality, he is affected by the myriad mutations of heaven and earth.

“Astrology is the study of man’s response to planetary stimuli. The stars have no conscious benevolence or animosity; they merely send forth positive and negative radiations. Of themselves, these do not help or harm humanity, but offer a lawful channel for the outward operation of cause-effect equilibriums which each man has set into motion in the past.”

“A child is born on that day and at that hour when the celestial rays are in mathematical harmony with his individual karma. His horoscope is a challenging portrait, revealing his unalterable past and its probable future results. But the natal chart can be rightly interpreted only by men of intuitive wisdom: these are few.”

“The message boldly blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth is not meant to emphasize fate – the result of past good and evil – but to arouse man’s will to escape from his universal thralldom. What he has done, he can undo. None other than himself was the instigator of the causes of whatever effects are now prevalent in his life. He can overcome any limitation, because he created it by his own actions in the first place, and because he has spiritual resources which are not subject to planetary pressure.”

“Superstitious awe of astrology makes one an automaton, slavishly dependent on mechanical guidance. The wise man defeats his planets – which is to say, his past – by transferring his allegiance from the creation to the Creator. The more he realizes his unity with Spirit, the less he can be dominated by matter. The soul is ever-free; it is deathless because birthless. It cannot be regimented by stars.”

Excerpts from the book by Paramhansa Yogananda “Autobiography of a Yogi”

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Words of Indian Saints Part #8

paramahansa-yogananda“The devotee inclines to think his path to God is the only way,” he said. “Yoga, through which divinity is found within, is doubtless the highest road: so Lahiri Mahasaya has told us. But discovering the Lord within, we soon perceive Him without. Holy shrines at Tarakeswar and elsewhere are rightly venerated as nuclear centers of spiritual power.”

“Masters are under no cosmic compulsion to limit their residence.” My companion glanced at me quizzically. “The Himalayas in India and Tibet have no monopoly on saints. What one does not trouble to find within will not be discovered by transporting the body hither and yon. As soon as the devotee is willing to go even to the ends of the earth for spiritual enlightenment, his guru appears near-by.”

“Are you able to have a little room where you can close the door and be alone?”. “That is your cave.” The yogi bestowed on me a gaze of illumination which I have never forgotten. “That is your sacred mountain. That is where you will find the kingdom of God.”

“The muscles relax during sleep, but the heart, lungs, and circulatory system are constantly at work; they get no rest. In superconsciousness, the internal organs remain in a state of suspended animation, electrified by the cosmic energy. By such means I have found it unnecessary to sleep for years. The time will come when you too will dispense with sleep.”

“Well, don’t you see, my dear boy, that God is Eternity Itself? To assume that one can fully know Him by forty-five years of meditation is rather a preposterous expectation. Babaji assures us, however, that even a little meditation saves one from the dire fear of death and after-death states. Do not fix your spiritual ideal on a small mountain, but hitch it to the star of unqualified divine attainment. If you work hard, you will get there.”

“A man who bows down to nothing can never bear the burden of himself.”

Excerpts from the book by Paramhansa Yogananda “Autobiography of a Yogi”

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Wisdom’s Path

They who have awareness see all worlds.
They who have awareness know no sorrows.
When they who have awareness are truly
realized, they indeed have seen the Infinite.
Tirumantiram 1786

Satguru-Sivaya-SubramuniyaswamiTo the awakened mystic, there is only one mind. There is no “your mind” and “my mind,” just one mind, finished, complete in all stages of manifestation. Man’s individual awareness flows through the mind as the traveler treads the globe. Just as the free citizen moves from city to city and country to country, awareness moves through the multitude of forms in the mind. Before we meditate, we view the cycles of our life and erroneously conclude that the mind changes, that it evolves. Through meditation, however, we observe that we have not changed at all. Awareness becomes our real identity, and it is pure and changeless. It was the same at seven years of age as it is today. It is the same in happiness as it is in sadness. Pure awareness cannot change. It is simply aware. Therefore, you are right now the totality of yourself. You never were different, and you never will be. You are perfect at this very moment. Change is only a seeming concept created through false identification with the experiences we have in various areas of the one mind. Everything in the world and everything in the mind is as it should be, in a perfect state of evolution. There is no injustice in the world. There is not one wrong thing. All is in perfect order and rhythm in Siva’s cosmic dance.

The mind is vast in its combinations of time, space and form. It contains every vibration, from subtle to gross. Awareness is free to travel in the mind according to our knowledge, our discipline and our ability to detach from the objects of awareness and see ourselves as the experience of awareness itself. What we term states of mind are, therefore, areas of distinct vibration.

As we move through the mind, the mind stays the same, just as the world stays the same as the traveler moves from city to city. Paris does not vanish when he enters New Delhi. Fear does not disappear from the mind when we are blissfully fearless. Others still experience it. Our awareness has simply moved to a more refined area. Therefore, the goal is to make awareness totally free by not getting too magnetically attached to only a few of the many areas. If the traveler enjoys Paris and settles down there, he will never know the other cities of the world. We on the spiritual path must work hard at keeping ourselves detached from friends, places, habits. Only then can we keep awareness free enough to travel uninhibitedly through the sublime, inner areas of the mind. Work on that every day. Observe when awareness gets so involved that it identifies with an experience. Then consciously tell yourself, “I am not fear. I am awareness flowing in the area of fear, and I can move into other areas at will.” Work at that. Strive for that simple ability to detach awareness from that which it is aware of.

Observation is the first faculty to appear in the awakening of the super conscious regions. Observation, when perceptively performed, is cultivated by abstinence from excessive talk. Talk dissipates the energies of the aura and of the vital body of man.Any intuitive breakthrough will be quite reasonable, but it does not use the processes of reason. Reason takes time. Super consciousness acts in the now. All super conscious knowing comes in a flash, out of the nowhere. Intuition is more direct than reason, and far more accurate.

We are not always aware in the super conscious mind, because we are generally aware in the conscious mind, or aware of our own subconscious or that of another. But the more and more we detach awareness from subconscious binds and conscious-mind attachments, the more we become super conscious. When we feel as if we are living totally in the moment, as if there is no past and there never has been any past or future, we are becoming subconsciously certain we are an intense, vibrating entity of the eternal now.

When your awareness is in super consciousness, you see yourself as pure life force flowing through people, through trees, through everything. Occasionally, in deep meditation we see the head filled with an intense light, and we know that that is the natural state of man. This is super consciousness: when we can look at another person and know what he is thinking and how he is feeling and how his subconscious is programmed. You see super conscious beings while in the super conscious area of the mind. Occasionally you clairaudiently hear voices singing, music playing, just as Beethoven heard his wonderful symphonies that he recorded like a scribe. When you are in this beautiful, blissful state of pure consciousness, you are barely conscious that you are there, because to have a consciousness of being conscious, you have to be conscious of another thing.

And then, as awareness soars within, we begin to experience the realms of super consciousness, man’s natural state. Then we have our ultimate experience, awareness dissolving into itself, beyond super consciousness itself. After Self Realization, you are looking at the film, the movie of the actors and actresses, including yourself, previously seen as real, being more sub super consciously conscious of the light projected on the back of the film than of the pictures displayed, which were seen as real before this awakening.

An excerpt from “Merging with Siva” by Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

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Words of Indian Saints Part #7

paramahansa-yogananda“In sleep, you do not know whether you are a man or a woman,” he said. “Just as a man, impersonating a woman, does not become one, so the soul, impersonating both man and woman, has no sex. The soul is the pure, changeless image of God.”

Sri Yukteswar never avoided or blamed women as objects of seduction. Men, he said, were also a temptation to women. I once inquired of my guru why a great ancient saint had called women “the door to hell.”

“A girl must have proved very troublesome to his peace of mind in his early life,” my guru answered causticly. “Otherwise he would have denounced, not woman, but some imperfection in his own self-control.”

“Do not allow yourself to be thrashed by the provoking whip of a beautiful face,” he told the disciples. “How can sense slaves enjoy the world? Its subtle flavors escape them while they grovel in primal mud. All nice discriminations are lost to the man of elemental lusts.”

“Just as the purpose of eating is to satisfy hunger, not greed, so the sex instinct is designed for the propagation of the species according to natural law, never for the kindling of insatiable longings,” he said. “Destroy wrong desires now; otherwise they will follow you after the astral body is torn from its physical casing. Even when the flesh is weak, the mind should be constantly resistant. If temptation assails you with cruel force, overcome it by impersonal analysis and indomitable will. Every natural passion can be mastered.

“Conserve your powers. Be like the capacious ocean, absorbing within all the tributary rivers of the senses. Small yearnings are openings in the reservoir of your inner peace, permitting healing waters to be wasted in the desert soil of materialism. The forceful activating impulse of wrong desire is the greatest enemy to the happiness of man. Roam in the world as a lion of self-control; see that the frogs of weakness don’t kick you around.”

The devotee is finally freed from all instinctive compulsions. He transforms his need for human affection into aspiration for God alone, a love solitary because omnipresent.

“To seek the Lord, one need not disfigure his face,” he would remark. “Remember that finding God will mean the funeral of all sorrows.”

“Do not confuse understanding with a larger vocabulary,” he remarked. “Sacred writings are beneficial in stimulating desire for inward realization, if one stanza at a time is slowly assimilated. Continual intellectual study results in vanity and the false satisfaction of an undigested knowledge.”

“If one busies himself with an outer display of scriptural wealth, what time is left for silent inward diving after the priceless pearls?

“Wisdom is not assimilated with the eyes, but with the atoms,” he said. “When your conviction of a truth is not merely in your brain but in your being, you may diffidently vouch for its meaning.” He discouraged any tendency a student might have to construe book-knowledge as a necessary step to spiritual realization.

“The rishis wrote in one sentence profundities that commentating scholars busy themselves over for generations,” he remarked. “Endless literary controversy is for sluggard minds.

But man does not easily return to simplicity. It is seldom “God” for him, but rather learned pomposities. His ego is pleased, that he can grasp such erudition.

Amazing it was to find that a master with such a fiery will could be so calm within. He fitted the Vedic definition of a man of God: “Softer than the flower, where kindness is concerned; stronger than the thunder, where principles are at stake.”

There are always those in this world who, in Browning’s words, “endure no light, being themselves obscure.” An outsider occasionally berated Sri Yukteswar for an imaginary grievance. My imperturbable guru listened politely, analyzing himself to see if any shred of truth lay within the denunciation. These scenes would bring to my mind one of Master’s inimitable observations: “Some people try to be tall by cutting off the heads of others!”

The unfailing composure of a saint is impressive beyond any sermon. “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit than he that takes a city.”

I often reflected that my majestic Master could easily have been an emperor or world-shaking warrior had his mind been centered on fame or worldly achievement. He had chosen instead to storm those inner citadels of wrath and egotism whose fall is the height of a man.

Excerpts from the book by Paramhansa Yogananda “Autobiography of a Yogi”

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Words of Indian Saints Part #6

paramahansa-yoganandaSri Yukteswar counseled his students to be living liaisons of Western and Eastern virtues. Himself an executive Occidental in outer habits, inwardly he was the spiritual Oriental. He praised the progressive, resourceful and hygienic habits of the West, and the religious ideals which give a centuried halo to the East.

“Good manners without sincerity are like a beautiful dead lady,” he remarked on suitable occasion. “Straightforwardness without civility is like a surgeon’s knife, effective but unpleasant. Candor with courtesy is helpful and admirable.”

“Those who are too good for this world are adorning some other,” Sri Yukteswar remarked. “So long as you breathe the free air of earth, you are under obligation to render grateful service. He alone who has fully mastered the breathless state is freed from cosmic imperatives. I will not fail to let you know when you have attained the final perfection.”

“If you don’t like my words, you are at liberty to leave at any time,” Master assured me. “I want nothing from you but your own improvement. Stay only if you feel benefited.”

For every humbling blow he dealt my vanity, for every tooth in my metaphorical jaw he knocked loose with stunning aim, I am grateful beyond any facility of expression. The hard core of human egotism is hardly to be dislodged except rudely. With its departure, the Divine finds at last an unobstructed channel. In vain It seeks to percolate through flinty hearts of selfishness.

Sri Yukteswar’s wisdom was so penetrating that, heedless of remarks, he often replied to one’s unspoken observation. “What a person imagines he hears, and what the speaker has really implied, may be poles apart,” he said. “Try to feel the thoughts behind the confusion of men’s verbiage.”

“I am hard on those who come for my training,” he admitted to me. “That is my way; take it or leave it. I will never compromise. But you will be much kinder to your disciples; that is your way. I try to purify only in the fires of severity, searing beyond the average toleration. The gentle approach of love is also transfiguring. The inflexible and the yielding methods are equally effective if applied with wisdom. You will go to foreign lands, where blunt assaults on the ego are not appreciated. A teacher could not spread India’s message in the West without an ample fund of accommodative patience and forbearance.” I refuse to state the amount of truth I later came to find in Master’s words!

New disciples often joined Sri Yukteswar in exhaustive criticism of others. Wise like the guru! Models of flawless discrimination! But he who takes the offensive must not be defenseless. The same carping students fled precipitately as soon as Master publicly unloosed in their direction a few shafts from his analytical quiver.

A self-realized master is fully able to guide his various disciples along natural lines of their essential bias.

“Man in his waking state puts forth innumerable efforts for experiencing sensual pleasures; when the entire group of sensory organs is fatigued, he forgets even the pleasure on hand and goes to sleep in order to enjoy rest in the soul, his own nature,” Shankara, the great Vedantist, has written. “Ultra-sensual bliss is thus extremely easy of attainment and is far superior to sense delights which always end in disgust.”

“Keen intelligence is two-edged,” Master once remarked in reference to Kumar’s brilliant mind. “It may be used constructively or destructively like a knife, either to cut the boil of ignorance, or to decapitate one’s self. Intelligence is rightly guided only after the mind has acknowledged the inescapability of spiritual law.”

Excerpts from the book by Paramhansa Yogananda “Autobiography of a Yogi”

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Words of Indian Saints Part #5

paramahansa-yogananda“All creation is governed by law,” Sri Yukteswar concluded. “The ones which manifest in the outer universe, discoverable by scientists, are called natural laws. But there are subtler laws ruling the realms of consciousness which can be known only through the inner science of yoga. The hidden spiritual planes also have their natural and lawful principles of operation. It is not the physical scientist but the fully self-realized master who comprehends the true nature of matter. Thus Christ was able to restore the servant’s ear after it had been severed by one of the disciples.”

“The subtle truths I am expounding cannot be grasped without your complete concentration. Unless necessary I do not invade the seclusion of others’ minds. Man has the natural privilege of roaming secretly among his thoughts. The unbidden Lord does not enter there; neither do I venture intrusion.”

Sri Yukteswar was reserved and matter-of-fact in demeanor. There was naught of the vague or daft visionary about him. His feet were firm on the earth, his head in the haven of heaven. Practical people aroused his admiration. “Saintliness is not dumbness! Divine perceptions are not incapacitating!” he would say. “The active expression of virtue gives rise to the keenest intelligence.”

In Master’s life I fully discovered the cleavage between spiritual realism and the obscure mysticism that spuriously passes as a counterpart. My guru was reluctant to discuss the superphysical realms. His only “marvelous” aura was one of perfect simplicity. In conversation he avoided startling references; in action he was freely expressive. Others talked of miracles but could manifest nothing; Sri Yukteswar seldom mentioned the subtle laws but secretly operated them at will.

“A man of realization does not perform any miracle until he receives an inward sanction,” Master explained. “God does not wish the secrets of His creation revealed promiscuously. Also, every individual in the world has inalienable right to his free will. A saint will not encroach upon that independence.”

The silence habitual to Sri Yukteswar was caused by his deep perceptions of the Infinite. No time remained for the interminable “revelations” that occupy the days of teachers without self-realization. “In shallow men the fish of little thoughts cause much commotion. In oceanic minds the whales of inspiration make hardly a ruffle.” This observation from the Hindu scriptures is not without discerning humor.

Master was cautious of his body, while withholding solicitous attachment. The Infinite, he pointed out, properly manifests through physical and mental soundness. He discountenanced any extremes. A disciple once started a long fast. My guru only laughed: “Why not throw the dog a bone?”

Sri Yukteswar’s health was excellent; I never saw him unwell. He permitted students to consult doctors if it seemed advisable. His purpose was to give respect to the worldly custom: “Physicians must carry on their work of healing through God’s laws as applied to matter.” But he extolled the superiority of mental therapy, and often repeated: “Wisdom is the greatest cleanser.”

“The body is a treacherous friend. Give it its due; no more,” he said. “Pain and pleasure are transitory; endure all dualities with calmness, while trying at the same time to remove their hold.

Imagination is the door through which disease as well as healing enters. Disbelieve in the reality of sickness even when you are ill; an unrecognized visitor will flee!”

Excerpts from the book by Paramhansa Yogananda “Autobiography of a Yogi”