“My dear child, you have never questioned me and have followed all my instructions and requests with full conviction and faith. I have sent you to many places about which you knew nothing but you took my words as words of God” –The state of Super consciousness-II
In the beginning of 2001, when I came here, I was battling to relocate myself in a new city and environment when a series of super normal experiences took place at home. Apart from handling relocation, I was also learning to survive the avalanche of personal, familial and health issues. Providentially, I was extremely alert during those days as I tried especially hard to overpower the concurrent hardships thrown at me unexpectedly. As the going got tougher, the inner efforts to rejoin and clutch on to the Supreme Power was intensified in me. I practiced meditation religiously at home whenever I could snatch some time apart from the fixed one in the morning and night. As the super normal faculties in me were unfolding and growing, I soon began to have visions of saints, holy and godly figures more so at night when I was alone. I did not recognize some of them and speculated who those souls were. But they persisted to occur in my dreams and periods of complete rest and calmness during the day. However, there was one prominent face with whom I could easily identify and recognized him immediately.
The arrival and presence of Shirdi Sai Baba was calm and serene whenever I saw him some times during my practice of yoga and meditation. From his recurring emergence, I comprehended that probably he was calling me to his samadhi at Shirdi for some reason, and so we made a trip in 2004 to pay our obeisance to the holy saint. I could only thank him for calling me to his abode and I remember even today that I only asked for one thing. I silently prayed there by saying, “Baba, God is very kind and gracious to me because he has given me a chance to stand in your temple and I have come here to take your darshan. If you think it is right to ask, then, please grant me your blessings. Please give me good health so that I can find God within myself and bring an end to all my sorrows. I want to see God in myself. I want to solve my problems with the help and guidance of God alone. I wish to know why I am facing so many troubles all at one time. Make me and my family stronger; mentally and physically so that we can tide over the current difficult issues and problems. Bless me dear Baba that I learn the right technique of meditation, bless me that I can concentrate and I find the right teacher for all these things. Sai Baba, help me to navigate my path, please.”
When we were coming back home, we drove under a beautiful blue, vast sky and the fresh air was so rejuvenating. There was no habitation anywhere as such except for a few occasional mud huts of the farmers in open outstretched fields. As we were in the middle of our journey enjoying the unspoiled nature and tranquility of the open space, all of a sudden my eyes fell upon a nice, sheltered, cool and calm place full of trees and I persuaded my husband to stop the car there. I requested him and my daughter to comply because it was a good excuse to take some rest apart from satisfying my curiosity. As my pull was so irresistible, it was decided that we shall halt there but not for too long.
What I saw there was a feast for my eyes and a balm for fatigue to the body. My curious eyes saw a few very big Banyan Trees and I was attracted towards them as though they were calling me. In the previous few years as I have got more and more inclined towards spiritual matters and practices, I have become all the more fascinated by the Spiritual Tree or Banyan Tree. Though not spoken or expressed, I have been mesmerized by it since I don’t know when. I have felt many a times that there is an old man in it who is pious, wise and is full of judicious knowledge watching the fleeting world and its chaos by being just an onlooker. Sometimes in early childhood, I have got a sensation while standing next to a big Banyan tree that there is an old wise spirit in it who is watching me and extending his hand over me as if blessing me. I remember something like this happening to me when I went to our village as a child long time ago. At other times, I have felt that the tree is a representative of our forefathers and if I water them, or plant some saplings I will obtain peace and their blessings. However, this is the first time I am letting out my random thoughts about my fascination about the Banyan Trees. In any case, the series of Super Consciousness posts have Banyan Trees as point of reference.
Very well, we move back again in time when I found a coppice full of Banyan Trees in wilderness. When I got a bit closer and walked up to the first tree, to my astonishment I saw many more huge Banyan trees behind the first. In fact, there were two symmetrical neat rows planted meticulously thus creating a definite path between them to walk on. I was pretty overwhelmed and wondered what kind of place is this and who must have grown so many Banyan Trees and that too very intriguingly they have all survived. I walked a little further on that path and approached one such Banyan Tree to take a picture and decided without forethought to quickly call upon God and pray while standing there. I prayed for our living and the dead,“ Dear Spiritual tree, please bless me , my family, our forefathers and the future generations to come. If we have committed any mistakes in the family now or before, please forgive us. Please may we all have longevity, good health, goodness and prosperity. Whatever corrective measures need to be taken to amend and atone for the past mistakes committed by our forefathers, I shall do them.” I hoped in my heart that somehow my prayers should be granted so that there is peace and harmony in the family. We left the wonderful place in about half an hour after strolling around the place and taking a few photos.
When I returned home, my curiosity was satisfied in time of meditation when I discovered that the neat rows of Banyan Trees were planted by a rishi kanya,* daughter of a sage many years ago. I was satisfied at last to know who the creator of such an exclusive and sacred place was and I left it at that. Once in a while I have been looking at these photos and have wondered how and why did we ever go there in the first place.
On 17th evening of this January, around 4.15 after I had a cup of tea, I decided to sit down calmly to contemplate by closing my eyes. I was thinking about what matter and content should be discussed this time in our post when….
I first of all saw a faint face of an old man who had long, thick, white beard and he was wearing white clothes. There was a bright aura of light around his face and his eyes were calm. He smiled lightly and introduced himself by saying that he was a rishi who used to live in that shady place where we stopped accidently on our way back from Shirdi. He told me that he used to live there 2,350 years ago and his lineage is of Agastya Muni. He had his gurukul, a school there and boys from faraway places used to come to him to learn Vedic lessons and teachings. He had a daughter whom he helped grow many Banyan Trees at that spot so that she does not have pitra dosha in future, debts of family. In order to avoid the harmful effects; and not to have to bear consequences of the wrong doings of the forefathers and past generations, she was made to grow a line of Banyan trees. She should live comfortably and in peace in her life. Consequently, he made her cultivate a ‘ Shanti vana’, the forest of peace!”
In August of 2004, at dawn before I woke up I had a vision in my dream. This is what it was – that there were two Banyan trees standing side by side. The one on the right side was very big and was distributed while the tree standing to its left side was quite small in comparison. Some geeta shlokas were written on the bigger tree which were not legible since they were hazy. But there was one shloka written in between these two trees which I could read and comprehend. It was this-
Paritranya sadhunam, vinashaya ch dushkritam I
Dharmasansthapnarthayam sambhami yuge yuge II I Ch IV verse 8
Lord Krishna tells Arjuna: To deliver the pious and holy, to destroy evil, and to establish Dharma, truth I shall manifest and appear in every era.
At that point of time, I could not interpret this dream. I assumed that I must probably read Bhagwat Geeta once again. So I picked it up and read it with devotion, particularly this verse and left it at that. In retrospection, now there emerges a very clear and definite co-relation between my past events and blogging as those experiences are being used to explain many things without which I could not explain complicated topics such as this one. So many people have no faith in debts due to our family called pitra dosha which brings complications and problems. We never knew that trees had spirits, or for that matter people who are no more would still help us in our ascension of Spirit like the sage. It is he who has confirmed that the people in our family who are no more or negligence of our parents, siblings and other relatives can spoil our good fortune and bring dissatisfaction, sickness or pure bad luck to us, more so if we are facing a bad patch in our lives!!
The old rishi *continued– “Babaji is God sent for all of you. He has mercy on every living creature. You are so very fortunate to be able to worship him in Pure state and Form in this life. This is your punya, good deeds. You have added many more punyas by asking for forgiveness for your clan. Babaji will manifest in you as light, knowledge, love and tapasya. Give all the fruit of your tapasya back to him so that he can use the tapafal, outcome of your spiritual efforts for the vridhi, escalation of satya, truth in this world. Babaji has blessed your past generations by accepting your forgiveness and their redemption through you. Your future generations will be pious, healthy, happy and prosperous and spiritual in nature. One day you will print and publish a book of this blog of articles by which the society of pious souls shall benefit and they will uplift their spirits. They will atone for their misgivings and they will get redemption from past and present wrongful karmas and they will surge ahead in spiritual evolution. You and your family will be healthy, prosperous and spiritual. All your desires will be fulfilled and peace shall prevail in your present and future lives to come. Preach to the world the power of love, co-operation and harmony. Where ever there is Dharma, truth, there is God, peace, prosperity and inner happiness. I bless all those people who read these articles with reverence and faith in Mahavatar Babaji, and they too shall be showered with spiritual happiness and satisfaction, good health and prosperity.”
Ultimate Divine realizations are for the brave hearts and not timid souls. The path of knowing Atma within oneself is a very long and consuming journey but the determined are unstoppable and will not rest till the top is reached. My dear friends, if we compare this journey with the pilgrimage of tedious Kailash Mansarovar yatra, then we can divide our spiritual journey into three parts according to escalation and intensification. The three stages are low, medium and high. On the journey on this blog too, we were at low heights at segment A, then at medium height at B and now at segment C we are already on the higher level. Post 8 onwards, we have been moving up and up and have reached the top by now by touching upon very intricate and subtle issues such as delusion, mirage and Atma. At present we shall be introduced to what is mind or manas, prana, ahankar –mind, vital life force and ego respectively, and types of ego, hurdles or doshas about which we have no idea and finally how to release ourselves from the last remaining shreds of ego and desires. So be a little more attentive and focused as there will be lenghty explanation as we move forward from this point on.
In the last few months, I have been endowed with many wonderful gifts from Shri Mahavatr Babaji. He has educated me on many intricate metaphysical matters like-
What is Atma?
What is manas, mind?
What is prana?
How our ego is entrenched in our prana ?
How is one born again?
How should one die?
How we can shape our coming lives?
How to recognize our lost dear ones?
Why we again meet many people from previous lives ?? etc…
To get a grasp of subtle unseen forces within us, we will have to first understand the following things-
Atman-There is a Universal, all pervading, infinite, immortal Power or Force which is all comprehensive. It is called Atman, Brahma or Ishawara. It is present in the form of light in all beings. It has no definite beginning or end hence is immortal. Atman can only be felt or experienced but cannot be described. Only a sacred soul can realize and know it. Those who do impure and profane acts can never know Atman, cannot even have belief and conviction of its existence. The glory, beauty, and praise of Atman should not be sung before the defiled and desecrated spirits.
Jeeva A fraction of the Universal Force is present in us and it is called jeeva or individual self or human self. The human has mainly two impurities or vikaar and they are desire and ego because of which he gets deluded and forgets and fails to remember God and consequently suffers from troubles, problems, unrest and unhappiness.
Manas or mind In every individual jeeva there is present manas or loosely called mind. A fragment of the Universal light is present in the individual. Out of this fraction, a little portion of the Universal Force and Light is present in the manas or mind. The mind is shaped in accordance to type of actions performed by the individual. It is the manas that feels and perceives and it has its own light, dim or bright depending on the person. The manas also has its own power depending on how well we behave, think and act. The type of actions performed by us is responsible for the type of force that enters our mind. It entirely depends on the quality and type of actions performed by the individual thus attracting either negative or positive forces.
The power in the mind predetermines a set direction and path and shapes the lives to come. Manas compels us to act in the first place and it is the mind that suffers. After death, the body disintegrates, not the manas. The mind leaves one body and sets on its path and travels according to the karmas performed. According to its desires and performed actions, the mind creates a new body and moves on from the point it has already covered.
The mind is so powerful that it is everything. It possesses the power of sankalp, ichcha shakti – will power and the power to initiate an action.It is only when we have a will that we do something, we change ourselves, we give a definite course of line and direction to our thoughts and life as a whole. It is because of our desire that we are born and we die only when we have a desire to die.
The mind has immense powers. It can travel anywhere (telepathy), it can hear far off sounds (clairvoyance) and if the mind determines and decides to do something, it begins to connect and tap the Universal Energy which is positive and accomplishes impossible feats.
Tendencies of self doubt, skepticism, lack of faith in God are innate in the mind. It is self doubt that separates us from our Atman. They should be discarded.
In Yoga, the first step is to control the mind’s flow and curb it with discipline, self control and obedience. Once the mind is restrained, its restlessness is contained. When we do bhakti or have devotion, the ego begins to fade away slowly and one loses the passion, attachment and longing for worldly desires and ultimately the human discards the ego entirely for the sake of bathing in God’s bliss. His identity mingles with that of the all pervading power like the iron when melted in very hot fire, melts wholly after becoming red hot and is moulded in the shape which is desired.
The process of complete transformation is done and executed with the kripa of a guru. We must have full faith in ourselves and the Guru who completes the process of divinization for our good. The prana or vital life force is entwined intricately in the mind in a very subtle form and gives force and a concrete push to the mind. Desires give a shape to the mind and the prana give a direction. In the humans, this concept can be explained very well with this comparison and example as explained in the holy scriptures- A blind man is unable to go forward as he cannot see and so is a lame man. The manas is the lame man and prana is the blind man. The mind is blind if there is no force of prana while the prana have movement, they have no direction. They can however walk together by helping each other. The mind acts as eyes and the prana as crutches when the duo walk together. Desires are the catalysts.
Meditation makes the force of the prana feeble in its seamless and unrestricted movements. It quietens its senseless roar and curbs its dangerous speed. If one meditates for a very long time, the death of the subtle, hidden desires on its own is absolutely certain. And the countless desires which are unborn yet; however very, very faint they may be; are destroyed by the guru as dreams during the time we sleep by his thought power or sankalp in the last phase.
When all the desires are completely dissolved and finished, Self Realization or Atma sakshatkar takes place naturally just like the day breaks and simultaneously night recedes. This journey is also of the ascension of the energy chakras beginning from throat chakra to third eye and eventually to crown chakra. In other words we begin from vishuddha chakra to agya and finally to brahmarandra. Vishuddha chakra is the center of mind or manas and is the first phase. Agya Chakra is the center of breath or prana, the second phase and finally the Brahmarandra – the center of Atma, our final desired destination.
A human being has three levels or degrees of ego or ahankar– gross, subtle and very subtle. If we translate it in Hindi it is sthool, sukshma and kaaran respectively. The individual must get rid of the ego completely till its last shred to free itself of maya or prakriti.
Sthool, Gross ego-This is my house, my building, my son….
Sukshma, Subtle ego -I am a gyani, knowledgable, I am sensible, intelligent, I know, I have understood everything. For such people further learning is impossible. People in this category love to hear their praise and find it difficult to handle criticism.
Kaaran- Ati sukshma ahankar, Extremely subtle ego -is entrenched in our breath.
It is due to very subtle ego that one believes that he is the doer and experiencer or karta and bhokta.
The prana or breath have to be purified of this impurity. Doing kriya or attending spiritual discourses only accelerates the purification of the prana but cannot destroy the very subtle ego completely. Prana can only be totally purified with the blessing of a saintly guru, Atmagyani guru on conditions of our surrendering completely and secondly if we have an intense desire to free ourselves from the suffering of recurring births and deaths.
These are two important preconditions if we wish to realize Atma. Please refer Why is Atman difficult to know ? once again to get a good understanding of this thought. By surrendering to the Guru, we cross vishuddha chakra, the throat chakra, the seat of manas or mind. It is the mind which stops one from submitting. When the pranas are completely purified, we cross the third eye centre or Agya Chakra about which explanation is given a little later.
When the Agya Chakra cleans completely, then the crown chakra begins to open gradually and the disciple begins to sense and experience Atman. There is a chief difference between understanding Atma intellectually and perceiving it. Atma cannot be ‘known’ but can be perceived within oneself. It is just a very subtle perception, a sensation of its presence inside, a conviction of its presence and a feeling of its existence beyond the senses and mental bodies. It is to be just felt. Atma can neither be explained to others nor can it be given in alms. It can be attained with the mercy of God; it can be conveyed and transferred from a Atmagyani guru to his disciple out of love. It is the selfless love of the guru which spontaneously flows to the disciple and flows as grace and benevolence. The Guru and the disciple both should be pure and selfless for this exchange.
As the prana become purified, our thoughts become pure and refined. Once the thoughts are purified, our actions become untainted, we become humble. Humility is achieved when the disciple crosses the last step of manas or mind. The pranas can be purified by worshipping the Atma gyani guru and not by maintaining silence or maun. If the disciple contemplates and thinks deeply on the guru for a long duration, his prana is purified completely whereas with pranayam the pranas are purified to a good extent. By purification is meant the eradication of the subtlest ego, the thought of doership and the existence of individual self-‘I”.
There are very subtle desires or vasanas clinging to the prana flowing inside us and those desires cannot be destroyed by one’s own efforts as they cannot be detected. If the disciple has immense admiration and adoration for his guru, if he worships him with his mind, body and soul, if the disciple immerses himself in the divine words of the guru, the seeds of the vasanas and unborn desires are destroyed. The brightness and light of divinity in the guru burns the vasanas of the sansara. The delusion of the jeeva that he is the doer and experiencer of the actions performed, vanishes in the knowledge of Atma given by the paramgyani guru. He offers the results and fruits of all his actions to the guru, in return he gets peace and spiritual joy.
The disciple acquires true humility after this stage of development as he has no unpleasant feelings for anybody and is unbiased and selfless. Once awakened, initially he sees everyone as ignorant and uninformed but at a little later stage, the yogi has compassion and mercy for the people who are in sleep state as he sympathizes with their suffering and wishes to improve their deplorable condition. At this stage maun or silence is actual and proper otherwise in silence is hidden subtle ego which can erupt as a volcano in some circumstances.
Repeat the holy sound of Om, meditate on Om. Om is whole and complete in itself and shall give you wholeness. Om is Light itself.
Shwas+vasana=new birth, Or
Breath+ desires= new birth.
When manas or mind enters a new body as new birth, it carries with itself past vasanas or desires, fruits of all past karmas, sanskaras or tendencies of past karmas etc. This is known as pranadosha or corruption of pranas and because of this the prana of the disciple have to be purified to destroy all the past desires of the physical world experiences of all past lives. The desire to enjoy the physical world, the enjoyment of the pleasures derived out of the senses of material, the desire to relish the effects of the karmas done in the past by the jeeva is strongly embedded and hence the master cauterizes all the seed of the embedded desires to liberate him of unwanted and undesirable future consequences.
After the pranas are purified, they flow at a medium pace and the rhythm is tranquil. During meditation they slow down further and in sleep they are as good as negligent. In the absence of desires, in the absence of excitement created by desires, in the absence of mere thought of desires, the mind automatically flows in a calm rhythm and beat. When the mind and body become so calm, we are able to contemplate on Atma. Meditation on Atma, contemplation on Atma releases us from the clutches of repeated births and deaths and gives us mukti or salvation. Therefore, the disciple must clear all debts and self- created desires. To achieve the state of Atma or Super Consciousness, there are a few debts that one has to clear.
At the last and final stage of God realization, there are three types of debts that we must clear before we can see God. They are pitra rin, matri rin and guru rin .They are debts towards our father, mother and teachers. If unpaid, they act like hurdles, obstacles and difficulties in the form of lingering mental as well as physical weakness, sickness, poverty, loss of respect and a host of other related problems. We must repay them now by respecting and serving our parents, elderly people and all teachers, doing charity, social service, helping and feeding the poor and by doing other types of good deeds in order to free us from the doshas or deficiencies as explained above.
I am eternally grateful to my holy Master who has cleared all the obstacles, weaknesses and impurities and has shown me Light, given me knowledge to free myself. As usual, words are never enough to thank Babaji. What can I give him in return? I have only my love to offer him today as my heart is brimming with thankfulness, gratitude and humble silence.
I recall a classic composition of Sant Kabir, the poet- saint of medieval India belonging to bhakti movement. I present this composition as a token of my gratitude towards my holy Master.
Sant Kabir has praised his Guru who has realized Brahma and has described the transformation process of self mingling , assimilating and uniting with the Infinite. This is what he has to say:
Hamare guru mile brahmagyani
Payi amar nishani…
Kaag palat guru hansa kinhi, dini naam nishani
Hansa pahuche sukhsagar mei, mukti bhare jahan pani
Hamare guru mile brahmagyani…
Jal beech kumbh, kumbh beech jal, bahar bhitar pani
Niksyokumbh jal jal mei samai. Yeh gati virle jani
Hamare guru mile brahmagyani…
Hai Athah thah santan mei. Dariya lahar samani
Jeevar jaal dal ka karihe, jab meen pighal bahi pani
Hamare guru mile brahmagyani…
Anubhav ka gyan, ujjwalta ki vani, so hai akath kahani
Kahat Kabir gunge ki sena. Jin jani un mani
Hamare guru mile brahmagyani…
I have found a Brahmagyani Guru and
And got a gift of immortality…
My guru has changed me from crow to hansa (a bird equipped with the skill of separating water from milk) and given me the name of god.
I have been blessed with an ocean of divine happiness and now salvation is a small thing.
I have found a Brahmgyani guru……
There is an earthen pot in the river, there is water inside the pot.
There is water outside it. When the pot breaks, the water inside,
Mixes with the water outside, only rare people understand this
I have found a Brahmgyani guru……
The saints have a depthless depth in them, the wave shall mingle in the waters of the ocean
How can a fisher man catch a fish which has dissolved in water?
Kabir says that this knowledge has come from experience, speech is born out of purity, and the knowledge is endless.
The state that I have reached is indescribable, only those who know shall believe.
(Me walking in Shanti Vana, forest of peace near Nasik)
*Rishi kanya , daughter of a Sage. I went back to the same place where once upon a time I was the daughter of a Sage 2,350 years ago and my father made me grow ample Banyan trees to eradicate pitra dosha in advance for this incarnation so that I get moksha at a quicker pace.
** The old Rishi was Guruji Krishnananda (Manasa Foundation) who was my father at that time years ago.