|Guru Ki Yaad Me
|(In the remembrance of Lord Sadgurudeo)
|Speech of Guru Maharaj Maharshi Mehi
|Dear Devouts !
'Mukti' or liberation means to be freed. To be freed from what? From the body and the world. Liberation takes place when one is freed from the body and the world. There is a strong relationship between this body (of ours) and the world. Our body is made up of precisely those very elements of which the world is made as well. There are as many layers or levels of the world such as the gross layer, the subtle or astral layer, etc as there are in this body. This body is called 'pind' or microcosm and the world is called the 'brahmaand' or the macrocosm. At a given point of time a person remains or lives at the same level of the world as at the layer of the body in which he is living currently. Similarly, if one leaves or rises above any layer of the 'pind' or body, he also transcends the corresponding layer of the 'brahmaand' or world. Thus, it is known that if one can transcend all the levels of his/her body, he can transcend all the levels of the world as well.
If some of us think that if one is freed of the body after death, he is freed of the world also, then we should know that this ordinary bodily death does not lead to anyone's liberation or salvation. This body is apparently seen merely as one gross body ('sthoola shareer'), but there are more bodies within this gross body; these are called the astral body ('sookshma shareer'), the causal body ('kaaran shareer') and the supra-causal body ('mahaakaaran shareer'). All of these four bodies are 'jad' (that which does not possess consciousness of its own) bodies. Further inside (even these four bodies) resides one more body that is called the 'chetan' (that which has consciousness of its own) body. Kabir Sahab describes six types of bodies as is evident from his following words:
"Saadho! shat prakaar ki dehi,
Sthool sookshma kaaran mahaakaaran kaivalya hans kee lehi."
— said by Sant Kabir
[O noble people! There are six kinds of bodies namely, goss, astral, causal, supra-causal, kaivalya or conscious and the swan.]
That is, he considers the swan to be the sixth body. But if one is freed of the first four bodies, he is freed of the 'jad' (non-conscious) realm or trapping. In ordinary death only one body (that is, the gross body) is left behind, while three more 'jad' bodies still remain intact which give rise to a new gross body again – in the same way as a tree with very strong roots grow up afresh even after its trunks and leaves have been chopped off. Now, how would one believe in the existence of these five bodies? All of us can see this gross body of ours. But any gross body can not be formed or created unless and until its subtle form also exists; that is, a gross body can't exist in the absence of a corresponding astral body. We are, for instance, gathered in this house. This is a gross house but this gross house was constructed only after its subtle or astral plan (map) was prepared. First of all, the house is made on a mental level, and then its plan is drawn on a piece of paper, and lastly the house is built. No work is performed without a cause. Even causes are numerous, not one. Causes keep on being produced in the world, and houses go on getting built. The clay that is used up in making one earthen pot is the cause of that one pot. The same clay is not the cause of all the pots (that are made or will be made). The quantity of clay needed to carve innumerable pots, or all of the pots, would surely be far more than that needed to make a single pot. However, in addition (to the clay that gets used up to make all these pots) is it possible to know or measure how much more clay over the whole of the earth still remains in undisturbed, in situ form, yet to be converted into causal form (for making vessels or pots)? This precisely (the undisturbed in situ part) is the nature of mahaakaaran or supra-causal sphere or realm. Mahaakaaran is also called the "traigunee saamyaavasthaadhaarinee may prakriti" (threefold equilibrial essential nature). Causes, you see, are of two types – one is 'upaadaan kaaran' (the material cause or the substantive cause) and the 'nimitta kaaran' (subject, motive or instrumental cause, the doer). The 'nimitta kaaran' of the entire creation is the God himself. The raw material or the substance or the `upaadaan' of which is this whole creation is formed is the 'mahaakaaran' (supra-causal domain). It is referred to as 'saamyaavasthaadhaarini' or equilibrial because it has all the three powers - the 'utpaadak' (creative) power or the 'rajoguna', the 'paalak' (sustaining, protecting) power or the 'satoguna' as well as the 'samhaarak' (destroying) power or the 'tamoguna' - in exactly equal proportions. World or nature can not be, can never be, devoid of any of these three gunas or attributes. Primordial or essential nature, though being threefold or possessing all the three attributes, lies in a state of perfect equilibrium. As all three gunas viz. 'raj', 'sat' and 'tam' are present in equal proportions (in 'mahaakaaran'), no creation can take place here. Unless & until some imbalance or disturbance or disparity in the proportion of these three attributes is caused, each of the three has equal power and, therefore, there is no movement or disturbance or agitation in the essential equilibrial nature. It can be likened to a situation where we have a rope with three ends, each end being pulled by three different persons towards them with exactly equal force. Naturally, there would be no movement caused in the rope. That is how the 'mahaakaaran' or the supra-causal nature is.
" When God came to have such a 'mauj' (playful mood, holy desire) in Him, then the vibrations emanating from Him due to this mauj came to hit some parts of the primordial equilibrial or mahaakaaran prakriti. As a result of this, the equilibrium of the three gunas (qualities viz. 'sat', 'raj', and 'tam') was disturbed in those parts of the primeval prakriti which came to be hit by this quintessential unstruck vibration (sound or word) due to which some of the three attributes were accentuated while some others were attenuated. Such parts of the prakriti were thus set into motion/shaking/ agitation. These very moving parts of the mahaakaaran prakriti became the kaaran prakriti (causal nature) from which countless pinds (microcosms) and brahmaands (macrocosms) are formed. The potter keeps on making pots by taking clay out of the earth and yet the reserve of clay on the earth does not get exhausted. I mean to say that even though several pinds (bodies) and brahmaands (macrocosms or universes) keep on getting formed, yet the whole realm or sphere of the equilibrial essential prakriti or mahaakaaran has not been converted into the causal sphere. Rather, apart from the causal nature and the brahmaands formed out of this causal nature, nobody can tell how much is still left or remaining in its original, in situ, equilibrial form – this is mahaakaran. Whatever was created out of that vibrating or moving portion (causal sphere) became the astral sphere or 'sookshma prakriti'. Again from the astral realm was formed the gross nature or the sthoola prakriti – which is our own bodies (and the world we see around us). He who can transcend all these spheres or realms attains liberation.
There are as many layers or levels of the world as there are of our body. The level of the world we live and work in our normal woken state is the same as the level or layer of our body we live and work in. We move from the awake state to the dream state. In between these two states is the 'tandraavasthaa' (half awake state or the state of drowsiness). What happens in that state? We start losing awareness of the outer world; our limbs begin to weaken, their power beginning to withdraw inwardly; we tend to become forgetful of our own body, to become unaware of the outside world as well. Through this example we come to know that we move from the gross level of gross body onto a different level. Therefore, we also rise from the gross level of the gross world onto a different level. Likewise, if we move beyond all the levels or spheres of the 'pind' or body, we would also move beyond all the levels or spheres of the 'brahmaanda' or the macrocosm. He who conquers the 'pinda' also conquers the 'brahmaanda'. Unless one gets rid of one’s pinda, the feeling or the awareness that "I am happy, I am sad, I am the doer and I am the sufferer..." does not go away. This awareness does not go away in the woken-up state or the dreaming state. Under the influence of drugs e.g. chloroform this awareness does go away for a brief interval, but returns after a short while. "I am the doer, sufferer, happy, sad" — this awareness remains in the woken-up state as well as the dream state. This does not happen in the deep sleep state; however, on waking up, we remark, "I had a sound sleep today". This statement can not be made in deep sleep. Why does this happen? Why do we have three types of awareness in these three states? Because, we live in three different places during these three states. Change of place leads to change of state, and change of state leads to change of knowledge.
"Is tan mein man kahAn basai, nikasi jAy kehi Thaur.
Gurugam hai to parakhi le, nAtar kar guru aur.
Nainon mAnhi man basai, nikasi jAy nau Thaur.
Satguru jnAn batAiyA, sab santanh sirmaur."
— said by Sant Kabir
[Where does the mind reside in this body? To which places does it go roaming?
It's good if you could find the answer from the Guru, or else seek another Guru. The mind resides in the eyes, and goes out to nine different places. The true Guru who is the crown of all sants told me this secret.]
"Netrastham jaagaritam vidyaat, kanthe swapnam samaavishet,
Sushuptam hridayastham tu, tureeyam moordhnim sansthitam. "
— from Brahmopanishad
[The mind resides in the eyes while we are awake; it descends to the throat while we are dreaming. It moves further down to the heart during deep sleep; and ascends to the head or cerebrum in the turiya state (stages beyond or above Ajnaa Chakra extending up to the realm of 'Saar Shabda' or the Quintessential Sound).]
On moving beyond the three states, the awareness that "I am glad, sad, doer and enjoyer/sufferer" goes away. It is quite common or natural for us to keep shifting from the awake state to that of dream and from dream to deep sleep. Let's try to move beyond these three states. We should try to shun thinking. Cessation of, or shedding thoughts can happen through meditation. We banish thoughts or restrain the wanderings of mind through ‘pratyaahaar’ (the process of withdrawing the mind repeatedly from external objects or thoughts and focussing on the desired target). A thought comes, but we push it away. One who loses this battle of reining in the mind will fail and would be called a coward, and he who comes out victorious in this tussle would be crowned as a valorous warrior.
"Shoor sangraam ko dekh bhaage nahin, dekh bhaage so shur nahi |
Kaam au krodh mad lobh se joojhanaa, mandaa ghamasaan tanh khet maanhi ||
Saanch au sheel santosh shaahee bhaye, naam shamsher tanh khoob baajai |
Kahai Kabir koi joojhihain shooramaa, kaayaraan bheed tanh turat bhaajai || "
— Sant Kabir
[A hero does not show his back on the battlefield; He who does so is no hero. It takes a fierce, gruelling battle to fight out the defilements like lust, anger, pride, greed etc.
When these enemies are vanquished, truthfulness, virtuosity, contentment etc begin to reign supreme. Only a valiant warrior can sustain this battle, says Kabir Sahab, the cowards take to flight.]
"Saadha sangraam to vikat bedaa mate, sati aur shoor kee khel aage |
Shoor sangraam hai palak do char kaa, sati sangraam pal ek laage |
Saadh sangraam hai rain din joojhanaa, janma paryant kaa kaam bhaayee |
Kahai Kabir Tuk baag dheelee karai, ulati man gagan son zameen aayee ||"
— Sant Kabir
[A 'saadhu' or sage has to wage a fierce battle, which is much harder than that fought by an ordinary warrior or a faithful wife or 'satee' (a widow who burns herself on the pyre of her husband). A warrior has to fight merely for a short interval, still shorter is the battle of a 'satee'. A sage, however, has to keep fighting every moment, day & night, throughout his life. If he falls slack, is thrown off the guard, even for a moment, the mind drags him from the heavens to the ground.]
This (such a fearsome) battle will have to be fought. And this would be accomplished through perseverant efforts. Just as a man desirous of having a son performs 'putreshti yajna', a man yearning for riches engages in commerce and those craving for heaven perform 'jyotishtom yajna', through meditation one attains 'Samaadhi' (i.e. metaphysical trance achieved at the climax of the practice of Yoga) as described in scriptures to get liberation in this very life.
People get bored or fed up with wealth or sons. Some have wealth but no son, while some others have offspring but no wealth. No one has peace. Even if one could attain to heaven through performance of yajnas or shrAddha, what of that? There also there is no happiness. Even there we have big and small people like we have here. Defilements like desire, anger etc. are to be found there also; envy or jealousy plagues people there also. What is more, once the stock or bank balance of 'punya' (virtuous deeds performed in the previous birth) is exhausted, one has to come back (to this mortal world). That is why, Goswami Tulsidas ji says,
"Ehi tana kar fal Vishay na bhaayee |
Swargau swalp ant dukhadaayee. ||"
— Goswami Tulsi Das
[Consider not the sensory objects (and indulgence therein) to be the goal or purpose of this human body. Even the pleasures of heaven are short-lived ending in misery only.]
"Nar tan durlabh dev ko, sab koi kahai pukaar ||
Sab koi kahai pukaar, dev dehee nahi paavai |
Aise moorakh log, swarg kee aas lagaavai ||
Punya ksheen soi dev, swarg se narak mein aavai |
Bharamai chaariu khaani, punya kahi taahi rijhaavai ||
Tulsi satmat tat gahe, swarg pe kare khakhaar |
Nar tan durlabh dev ko, sab koi kahai pukaar ||"
— Sant Tulsi Sahab (from Hathras)
[The human body is rare & difficult-of-attainment even to gods, proclaim all loudly. All proclaim loudly that even gods don't easily get the human cloak. But foolish people keep craving for heaven.
Having exhausted the fruits of their noble deeds (performed in the previous births) gods have to tumble from heaven to hell. And have to wander (thereafter) in the four 'khaani' (all living beings can be classified into four groups namely, 'pindaj' or those born of a body (like all mammals), 'andaj' or those born of eggs (birds, tortoises, snakes), 'swedaj' or those born of heat/sweat (insects like lice, bugs) and 'udbhijj' or those born out of the earth (plant kingdom)).
Tulsi says, He follows the essence of the teachings of sants and treats the heaven with the contempt it deserves. The human body is rare & difficult-of-attainment even to gods, proclaim all loudly.]
Go wherever you might, go even to heaven, you will find there sensory pleasure only. That is why, sufis say, "Strive for 'nazaat' or liberation". Even the king of heaven (Indra) is not content with indulgence in sensory pleasures. Even Brihaspati, the Guru or the teacher of Indra, could not be satiated with senses, as the story goes. There also the mental defilements like desires/ lust, anger etc. are very much there. The only difference (between here and in heaven) is that we have much less of these sensory pleasures here over the earth. Nobody, however, has ever got satisfied with sensory enjoyments, nor is there any such possibility of this being so in future. Therefore, one should strive to acquire that bliss which remains uniform, constant perpetually, for ever. And, liberation has to be sought towards this end only. Jivaatmaa or the soul will be liberated when it separates itself (from all the veils) and is left alone in its pure form. The soul is revealed in its true nature where there are no indriyas (organs – internal & external), no sensory objects. It is here only that true & eternal bliss can be found. One should not think that liberation would be attained after death. The liberation has to be attained first here in this very birth, this very body, whilst we are alive; then we would also attain liberation after death.
"Jeevan mukta so muktaa ho |
Jab lag jeevan muktaa naahin, tab lag dukh sukh bhuktaa ho ||"
— Sant Kabir
[Only he has attained freedom that has done so in this very life. Unless and until that happens, one has to bear the pains & pleasures.]
"Jeevat chhootai deh gun, jeevat muktaa hoy |
Jeevat kaatai karma sab, mukti kahaavai soy ||"
— Sant Dadu Dayal
[When all the attributes of the body have been left behind while still alive, when the bondage of all the karmas or actions have been severed, only then mukti or liberation can be said to have been achieved.]
Salvation with, or in spite of, the body is called jeevanmukta (life-liberated) state, and once this liberation has been accomplished, videh mukti or liberation after death happens. If I say, "Make efforts to attain deliverance", or if I say, "make efforts to realise God", they are one & the same thing. To get rid of all the veils of gross, astral etc. is to get liberation.
"Jimi thal binu jal rahi na sakaayee |
Koti bhaanti kou karai upaayee ||
TathA moksha sukh sunu khagaraayee |
Rahi na sakai Hari bhagati vihaayee ||"
— Goswami Tulsidas
[Just as the land surface is essential for water to rest upon, O Garud (King of Birds) ji, it is impossible, in the same way, to acquire the bliss of salvation in the absence of genuine love or devotion for God.]
Liberation sans bhakti or devotion simply does not exist.
"Raakaapati shoDas uahi, taaraagan samudaay |
Sakal girinh dava laaiye, binu ravi raati na jaay ||
Aisehi binu Hari bhajan khageshaa |
Mitahi na jeevan ker kaleshaa ||"
— Goswami Tulsidas
[If sixteen moons (or the full moon in all its splendour) as well as all the stars rise in the sky. If, in addition, all the mountains are set on fire, yet the darkness of night won't go away unless the sun rises.
Similarly, O King of birds, without devotion to God the afflictions or ailments in life would never be cured.]
'Jnaana' or knowledge is of four categories. First of all we develop 'shravan jnaana' (Knowledge by hearing) which is followed by 'manan jnaana' (knowledge gained through contemplation or reflection on things heard). Manan jnaana is followed by 'nididhyaasan jnaana' (knowledge accruing from practising the concepts acquired through listening & contemplation). And finally comes the 'anubhava jnaana' (knowledge gained by direct experience). Shravan jnaana comes from listening. Manan jnaana refers to the knowledge gained by reflecting or contemplating on what we have listened. Nididhyaasan jnaana results from translating whatever knowledge we have collected by way of listening & pondering into practice, that is by making efforts to acquire that (knowledge firsthand). Anubhav jnaana is the knowledge that directly comes from the first-hand experience (what we have ourselves experienced on practising whatever we had learnt on the basis of hearing, contemplating and regular practice). There is no knowledge beyond, or superior to, the anubhav jnaana. Shravan jnaana is like an ordinary fire, which gets easily extinguished by the rain water (that is, the knowledge which gets erased under the influence of maayaa or illusion). Manan jnaana is like a flash of lightning. Such a knowledge does not get quenched, but it is not stable or durable. Nididhyaasan jnaana is like the 'badavaanal', the fire or heat in seas or oceans. The badvaanal contains the sea water that is, keeps it within limits/ control, though it is not capable of drying it completely. The anubhav jnaana is like the fire of catastrophe or the fire that causes complete destruction or annihilation of the entire universe at the end of a kalpa. It burns all the dichotomies or dualities arising out of maayaa into ashes. Anubhava jnaana is gained during the state of perfect Samaadhi (deep trance or the highest state of meditation). Perfect Samaadhi happens in the 'tureeyaateeta avasthaa' (state beyond tureeya) where the triad of knowledge-knower-and-knowable gets completely dissolved. The person who has attained this state is always in the state of Samadhi.
"Saadho sahaj samaadhi bhalee |
Guru prataap jaa din se jaagee, din din adhik chalee ||
Janh janh Dolaun so parikaramaa, jo kuchh karaun so sevaa |
Jab sovaun tab karaun danDavat, poojaun aur na devaaA ||
Kahaun so naam sunaun so sumiran, khaav piyaun so poojaa |
Girah ujaad ek sam jaanaun, bhaav miTaavaun duaa ||
Ankh na moondaun kaan na roondhaun, tanik kashTa nahi dhaaraun |
Khule nayan pahichaanaun hansee hansee, sundar roopa nihaaraun ||
Shabd nirantar se man laaga, malin vaasanaa bhaagee |
UThat baiThat kabahoo na chhootai, aisee taaDee laagee ||
Kahai Kabir yah unmuni rahanee, so pargaT kari gaayI |
Dukh sukh se koi pare param pad, tehi pad rahaa samaayee ||"
— Sant Kabir
[O Noble People! Spontaneous Samadhi or union is the best state. Since the day I realised the glory of Guru, every day it has got better & better only.
Wherever I go I circumambulate Him, all I do or achieve is His service. When I lie down or sleep I lie prostrate at His feet, I worship no other god.
All that I utter is His name and hear is His praise or chanting, all that I partake of is His worship. I treat home and desert alike, I have done away with all the notions of duality.
I shut not my eyes, plug not my ears, do not mortify myself a bit. I behold Him with my eyes open and smile, and see His beauty all around.
I got hooked to the quintessential word, all the vile desires have fled me. |
Whether I rise or sit down, every moment am I connected to Him, so intense has become my intoxication.
This is all about, says Kabir Sahab, the detached way of living that I have sung (in above lines). I have merged myself into that highest state which lies beyond all sorts of sufferings and pleasures. ||]
This precisely is the 'aparoksha jnaan' (direct knowledge); this precisely is the 'anubhav jnaana’ (experiential knowledge). Only such a state can give perfect satisfaction, absolute contentment. In any way other than this, regardless of however much one read, wrote, lectured around, this state would not come.
Now I would say something on controlling or restraining the flow of thoughts, the propensities of mind.
"Dwe beeje chittavrikshasya prAaaspandovaasane |
Ekasminshch tayoh ksheene kshipram dwe api nashyate ||"
— from Muktikopanishad
[There are two seeds of the tree of chitta – praaNaspandan (beating of breath) and vaasanaa (desire, lust). Destroying any one of these two results in the destruction of both.]
Explanation: There are two seeds of chitta namely, praaNa-spandan or pulsation of breath and desires, just as we have two halves of a pulse. It should be noted here that 'praana' and 'praanavaayu' are two separate things. Respiration (consisting of inhalation and exhalation) takes place due to constriction & expansion of our lungs. The vital force or energy that powers or enables this cycle of contraction and dilation is the praana; that conscious current or energy itself is the praana. It is strongly connected to the lungs. The air that is related or associated with praana is called praanavaayu (vital air). The hymn quoted earlier refers to controlling this praanaspandan (pulsation of breath). How will that happen? Consider this. You are trying to sit upon an oscillating, shaking or moving object. If you don’t have adequate power, then you, too, would begin to oscillate or move along with the moving object. However, if you are powerful enough, you can forcibly still even the moving object. This way the pulsation of breath can be stopped. That would call for keeping the air even. He who is capable of doing so experiences delight. In the process several yogic acts like rechak, purak etc. have to be performed. These processes yield good results if they are performed exactly as per the specified rules, otherwise they can be dangerous, too:
"Yathaa simho gajo vyaaghro bhavedvashyah shanaih shanaih |
Tathaiv sevito vaayuranyathaa hanti saadhakam ||"
— from -Shandilyopanishad
[Just as lion, elephant and tiger are tamed slowly & slowly |
Breath-control should be tried slowly & slowly, otherwise it might even kill its practitioner.]
Secondly, only 'dhyaanaabhyaasa' or practising meditation is capable of controlling the pulsation of breath. Desires come, we push them away. Mind wanders, we still it consciously. The act of making such repeated efforts is known as pratyaahaar. Trying pratyaahaar regularly, repeatedly it would become possible to quieten the mind, albeit for an extremely short duration in the beginning. Such a state (of meditation, in which the mind gets stilled for very short intervals) is called 'dhaaranaa'. Subsequently (with continued & perseverant meditation) when it becomes possible to prolong the duration of dhaaranaaa for relatively longer time-intervals, 'dhyaana’ would be accomplished. This way or method of meditation is entirely risk-free, whereas 'praaNaayaam' is fraught with risks. If you try to concentrate hard on any topic, rate of breathing slows down. On the contrary, doing something in a restless state of mind, or in an excited state, in anger or deep attachment, respiration becomes racy. Thus, stillness or quietening of the mind results in stilling of the respiration, too. Scriptures even mention the distance at which if mind is focussed, pulsation of breath or praana ceases:
"Dwaadashaangul paryante naasaagre vimalembare |
Samviddrishi prashaamyantaam praanaspando nirudhyate ||"
— from Shandilyopanishad
[Pulsation of breath is stopped if consciously vision is focussed/ stilled at a distance equal to twelve times the width of a finger in front of the nose in the clear inner sky.]
So, it is your choice, practise any one of the above two methods as you like. If you love grappling or playing with risks do praanaayaam, or else if you prefer to have a peaceful risk-free way, practise meditation.
"Avaasanatvaatasatatam yadaa na manute manah |
Amanstaa tadodeti paramopashamapradaa ||"
[When mind becomes completely free from desires and gets absolutely detached from the sensory objects, then it ceases to exist which gives rise to absolute tranquillity or peace.]
Explanation: To make propositions etc. is the nature of mind. When the mind ceases to exist, gets dissolved, then who experienced tranquillity? - Obviously that entity which lies beyond the mind, that which the mind is not capable of knowing. You are beyond mind, so you would attain that peace.
"Man buddhi chitta ahankaar kee hai trikutee lag daur |
Jan Dariya inake pare, brahma surat kee thaur ||"
— Sant Dariya Sahab of Marwar, Rajasthan
[Mind, intellect, chitta, and ego remain active only up to trikuti (a region in the inner cosmos lying above that of sahasrar or thousand-petalled lotus) beyond which lies the realm of the soul.]
"sahas kanval dal paar mein man buddhi heraanaa ho |
praana purush aage chale, soi karat bakhaanaa ho ||"
— Sant Tulsi Sahab of Hathras
[Mind & intellect get lost beyond the realm of the Lotus with thousand petals. The soul carries on the rest of the journey and describes the regions lying further ahead.]
"Ek tattva dridhaabhyaasaaddyaavanna vijitam manah |
Praksheenachittadarpasya nigriheetendriyadvishah |
Padminya iva hemante ksheeyante bhogavaasanaah ||"
[Until the mind has been conquered, restrain or control the enemy that is, the senses, and completely destroy your chitta and ego, by practising to focus or meditate on a single element. Having done this all the desires and the propensity to enjoy the sensory objects would be completely destroyed just as the lotus is during the season of Hemant (fifth season in Bharati (Indian) coinciding broadly with months from November to December/ January).]
The fact of the matter, however, is that this word/ sound can not be expressed exactly in the worldly language. In order to express this unearthly or supernatural sound in a worldly language sants called it 'OM'. (The reason for this is that) as that supernatural sound is omnipresent, this word 'OM' also is spoken after filling all the places of pronunciation in the human body. There is no other word similar to this, which can be pronounced by filling all the places of pronunciation. Kabir Sahab says of this word:
"aadi naam paaras ahai, man hai mailaa loh |
Parasat hee kanchan bhayaa, chhootaa bandhan moh ||
Shabda shabda sab koi kahai, wo to shabda videh |
Jibhyaa par Aawai nahin, nirakhi parakhi kari deh ||
Shabda shabda bahu antaraa, saar shabda chit deya |
Jaa shabdai saahab milai, soi shabada gahi leya ||"
— Sadguru Kabir
[The first, the primary or the primeval name (word) is like the magical touchstone, while the mind is like an impure piece of iron. As soon as it gets the touch (of this magical touchstone, the mind) gets transformed into gold, being rid of all sorts of bondages & infatuations.
Everybody talks of the word, but that (quintessential) word is formless. The tongue is incapable of pronouncing it; seek it within your body.
There are many different kinds of words, put your attention into the quintessential word.
Get hold of that (quintessential unstruck) word, which can guide you to the Supreme Lord. ]
The primordial name or word is all-pervading. Similarly, select a word which can fill all the seats of pronunciation. Sants called precisely such a word as 'OM' and used it to indicate or hint at, or point to that quintessential word. This alphabetical 'OM' which can be orally pronounced is 'Vaachak' (descriptor) and that primeval word (which is pointed at or described by this alphabetical word) is the 'Vaachya' (that which is described or talked about). Similarly, that primordial sound also is 'Vaachak' (descriptor) for the Supreme Sovereign Lord who is 'Vaachya'. Thus, to meditate upon this very Quintessential Sound is to meditate on the single element.
It has been discussed earlier that the shorter the word to be recited, greater is the concentration of mind that results. Therefore recite or chant a short mantra. Then leave the 'jap' (chanting) and try to internally visualise a gross form – the form you have complete faith in, the form for which you have the highest regard. Reciting one mantra, or visualising (focussing upon) one form also may be said to imply meditating on a single element. But if you think carefully, it would become evident that this form has got a number of parts or organs and, therefore, focussing on these numerous parts/ organs would not result in complete shrinking or focussing (of attention). Hence, there must be something else beyond this, focussing on which would result in absolute shrinkage, collection or concentration. It is in this context that Kabir Sahab said,
"Shunya dhyaan sabake man maanaa | Tum baitho aatam asthaanaa ||"
— Sant Kabir Sahab
[By meditating in the inner sky or void which stills everybody's mind, be enthroned in the realm of Soul within.]
In the eleventh skandh of Shrimad BhAgvat Shri Krishna teaches Uddhava, "Collect your awareness which is scattered in all directions at one place and think of me. Then collect your concentration away from my different organs to focus on my smiling face only. When your attention gets focussed on my face, remove it from there also and still it in the inner void or sky." What is "Shunya Dhyaan" or meditating in the inner void? There must be a place in the void (sky). That is such an excellent place which exists for sure but occupies no amount of space (length, breadth or thickness). Well, what is that? That is a 'bindu' (point). You cannot draw a point in the outside gross space. When you would place yourself at such a place which exists, but occupies no space, then complete concentration or single-pointedness will happen. This also is that practice of meditation upon a single element.
When this happens, all our lusts and desires for enjoyment of sensory objects would die just as the lotus does during the season of Hemant. We should first practise these (grosser forms of meditation) and then practise subtle or fine meditation, because the ability to write finer letters comes by only after we have practised writing coarser or big-sized letters first.
"Chittaikaagrayaadyaato jnaanamuktam samupajaayete |
Tatsaadhanamatho dhyaanam yathaavadupadishyate. ||"
— Sant Kabir Sahab
[Single-pointedness of attention, which breeds knowledge and liberation, is the essence of dhyaan (meditation). This was explained to you.]
Dhyaan (meditation) gives rise to jnaan (knowledge) and knowledge begets peace. Dhyaan, here, means concentrating upon a bindu (point). Single-pointedness leads to stilling of mind, to complete concentration. How such a state could be brought about? Two lines intersect in a point. Converge the currents of your vision (in two eyes) at a single point. This calls for extreme focussing of sight. Our sight, which we use most of the time, is scattered or spread out usually. Another type of sight is collected or focussed sight. Focussed sight is that due to which we can see that object only which we want to see, nothing else, no other object; just as a perfect archer or shooter would see only his target and nothing else. Once Acharya (Teacher) Drona took the Kuru princes on a trip to a forest. There he asked all the princes, except Arjuna, to aim at a bird sitting in a tree. He called all the brothers one by one to take aim and asked, "What is it that you see"? One of the princes said, "I can see the tree, its branches, leaves and the bird." The other told, "I can see the bird along with the branches." This way he asked all of them but could not get satisfactory answer from any one of them. Finally, he asked Arjuna to take the aim and repeated the question. Arjun replied, "Acharya, I am seeing the bird only, nothing else." Acharya remarked, "Well, your aim is right." This is how our aim should be.
On an earlier occasion Drona had displayed his own proficiency at archery. Once it so happened that Kaurava and Pandava brothers were playing with a ball. Incidentally, the ball fell into a well nearby. The princes were at their wits' end, knowing not how to retrieve the ball from the well. As coincidence would have it, Drona happened to pass by and saw the puzzled faces of the princes. As he went to them, they told him the story and enquired of him whether he could be of any help. Drona shot an arrow into the ball, then shot another arrow so that it hit the bottom (rear end) of the first arrow and got stuck. Then, he shot a third arrow to partially pierce and stick to the back end of the second arrow. This way he went on shooting arrows till the last arrow came up to the top of the well. Then holding the top arrow he pulled the ball out of the well.
How focussed his sight must have been to be able to hit into the tail of an arrow? How collected was Drona's sight? Make your sight pointed in a similar way. In spite of having explained all that, the need of Guru's hint (guidance) still remains.
"Kahai Kabir charan chit raakho, jyon suyee mein doraa re"
— Sant Kabir Sahab
[Keep your attention focussed , says Sant Kabir, at the holy feet of your Guru in the same way as you would do while passing a thread through the hole of a needle.]
Single pointedness results in absolute concentration, which causes ascension (vertical rise) enabling one to move onto a higher level or stage. This way it would be possible to transcend all illusory sheaths. Kaivalya would be attained, God would be seen. Just as we cannot see a thing if our eyes are wrapped with a bandage, likewise we can’t see God without removing all the veils or bandage of the bodies and Maayaa or illusion (over the soul).
No physical labour is needed to remove these coverings or goggles of Maayaa; it is not a difficult task. You can practise (this meditation) while sitting on your cot, or on the floor. You do not have to renounce your household life. You are not advised to keep meditating all the time discarding all your assignments or business, because our mind is not so collected or withdrawn that it would every moment be absorbed in meditation only. Therefore, discharge your worldly or household responsibilities as well as meditate. Be righteous in your conduct, that is, give up adultery, stealing, drugs (intoxicating substances), violence and lying, thus keeping yourself away from these five sins. Save yourself against these sins. Have faith in one God.
"Mor daas kahai nar aasaa | Karai to kahahu kahaa biswaasaa"
[One calls himself my devotee (servant) and yet nurtures expectations from human beings. Tell me then, where is the faith?]
Such should not be the case. Have a firm faith that God would be found within only, not without. In the outside world all the things are perceivable with our senses. That which is within cannot be perceived through senses. The object of eyes is form. You cannot perceive sound with the help of eyes. A given sense organ can perceive only that which its object is. Likewise, God is not the object of any sense organ; He can be perceived by the soul alone. Therefore, the way to God's worship should be such that he attains the state of kaivalya, and then he would not have to wander anywhere else, as He will be realised. Satsang motivates or inspires one towards righteous conduct; therefore, one should regularly attend satsang. One should serve Guru, because it is impossible to advance on the path of spirituality without Guru's support. But the Guru should be truly a Guru, not 'goru' (cattle / animal). Guru's own conduct should be in conformity with what he preaches to others. If he does not practise what he preaches, his downfall is imminent, and the company of such a Guru would not bear desired fruits. We must practise meditation daily. These are five do's (Unwavering Faith in One God, Firm Conviction of Realising Him Within, Selfless Service to a True Guru, Satsang, and Regular & Rigorous Meditation). We must follow these.
|-- translated by respected Shri Pravesh Kumar Singh, a devout in Santmat.|
Santmat — Victory To All The Sants
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