Q: I just have a little technical question about the Mantra Japa. A person can do Mantra Japa while breathing in and breathing out…
Q: …and also he can (inaudible), and he can also do the same Mantra, (inaudible), ten or fifteen times, so which one is…
Maharaj: Why ten or fifteen times, there’s no limit of ten or fifteen times. It can be continuously, it is your property, you can use your property.
Q: But then if I take breath in and breath out, I can repeat more than one time…
Maharaj: See, when you’re sitting for meditation, at that time, this principle is there. All the time you can recite the Mantra as it is, be simple.
Q: So if I can do five…
Maharaj: Yeah, yeah, yeah, no problem. I told you, when you’re sitting for meditation, you sit as per the instruction given to you, as for all the time you can recite the Mantra as it is. Be normal. And even then, there’s no hard and fast rule, I’ll tell you. This is the beginning stage, just like when you’re learning some language you write ‘a’ like this, ‘b’ like this, ‘c’ like this, when you’re a student. After having some stages, you’re no longer a student, you’re a master of that particular language.
So when you’re sitting for meditation, you sit in that fashion for half an hour, one hour, two hours, it depends. And according to the breathing it will give more effects, it will be give more absorption. But all the time you can recite the Mantra as it is, not concentrating on the breathing and all. And thereafter also, you’re not required to sit like this also, your meditation will be spontaneous within you. So without your knowledge, even within deep sleep, that meditation is going on inside. This is the beginning stage, the initial stage, but you have to do it.
So be practical. As I told you, this is an opportunity, the body is an opportunity to identify yourself in a real sense. Basically you’re formless, this form isn’t going to remain constant. This is a shape, a form (Maharaj refers to his body).
Yes, anybody have any more questions? Be free.
Q: I have one. Does a certain type of diet help calm your mind? Like a sattvic diet? Vegetarian, not many spices?
Maharaj: No, no, no. No question of diet, diet is not a restriction, it is not a concern. Whatever physical requirement is there is unconcerned with the Reality. What you’re eating, what you’re doing, what you like for the feeling of the body, the requirements of the body, you can do it. Whether you take non-vegetarian or vegetarian is not a concern. How you are identifying yourself, that is most important. You’re not the body, what is required for the body, you can do it. Whether you take the pure water, whether you take other water, this is unconcerned.
So many concepts are there, therefore I’m telling you, you have to come out from all these concepts, body-based concepts, you have to undergo the meditation.
Q: So the yoga, the postures, is another body-based concept then?
Maharaj: Yoga? Yoga is good for health. But it will help you, pranayama is giving some good (effects). There are some types of yoga, padmasana also gives good effects. Yoga is also helping. But it is not Ultimate Truth, it will help you. Pranayama is good for you.
Q: Maharaj, I just want to make sure I understand or elaborate a little bit more on what this gentleman had asked you. There’s a lot of chaos and drama in my family during the course of the day, and I’m trying to repeat the Mantra during all this drama, because in Reality there’s really nobody there…
Maharaj: Correct, correct.
Q: …correct, and I just want to understand: I don’t have to focus on the in and the out breath while I’m repeating the Mantra, while experiencing or seeing the chaos and the drama that is going on. As long as I’m aware and repeating the Mantra, that’s all I have to do. I don’t have to be aware of the in and out breath at that time. I do take time to meditate by myself, but I’m talking about all the other time that all this is going on. Do I have to be aware of the in breath and the out breath….
Maharaj: It is only the beginning stage only, until you’ve got conviction. Breathing, reciting the Mantra – only at the beginning, initial stage. At the Ultimate stage it’s not necessary, not necessary to recite the Mantra also. It happens spontaneously. What is a Mantra? It is reminding you, trying to identify yourself. Where was the Mantra prior to beingness? Any Mantra was there when you came into this world? After leaving the body, any Mantra will remain? The Mantra is also a concept, it is illusion. But to remove one illusion, you have to take the help of another illusion. Just like a thorn, you know a thorn? To remove one thorn you take the help of another thorn and then throw away both the thorns. But you have to do it at the initial stage, I’m telling you the initial stage, the beginning stage.
Maharaj: You’ll get some courage, power, energy to tolerate all these things. Not even that, I’m telling you, you’ll overcome all the difficulties of your physical problems also.
I’ll tell you a real story, about Guru Ranade, a devotee, a disciple of Bhausaheb Maharaj, it is fact. In those days, say about one hundred years back, he was suffering from tuberculoses, and in those days it was an incurable disease. Guru Ranade’s mother took him to Bhausaheb Maharaj, and he (Guru Ranade) was really surprised that out of meditation he was completely cured. Really, it is a miracle. Though it is not Reality, it happens, it can happen, because you have tremendous power. What I want to tell you, the principle behind that is: you’ve got tremendous power. Anything can happen. You’ll get courage to tolerate all these body-based concepts, all these body-based physical problems.
And therefore I’m insisting, in the beginning stage, you have to devote some time for meditation, it’s very basic. Only discussion is not sufficient. Now the ball is in your court. But it doesn’t require any conditions, any restrictions, what you’re eating, what you’re doing.
Through meditation you can identify yourself in a real sense. Basically identification is most important. All these concepts appeared upon your Presence.
Q: I have a question.
Q: I’m finding the more quiet I get, and the quieter my mind and ego get, that my desire to be of service is the only thing that matters. Money’s not mattering, food’s not mattering, just being of service to others has become a priority. Is that natural progress, or…
Maharaj: What happens is we’re counting ourself, measuring ourself in body-form. So many desires are bound to be there, expectations, needs are bound to be there. So for which, after having strong devotion and meditation, all desires will be dissolved. You remain untouched with the world.
What do we want exactly? In the human life, what do we want? We want happiness, peacefulness, tension-free life, and fearless life. But everybody is having fear of the death. After knowing ‘what is death? Exactly what is death?’ – in deep sleep are you fearing? In deep sleep: “Oh, let me go alone!”, you want deep sleep, no? So like that, why to fear death? There’s no death at all. Prior to beingness have you got any fear?
So to have a fearless life, you have to undergo meditation. Meditation gives you courage to face these things. It is placing before you your Reality. And thereafter, I’ll tell you, meditation is also illusion. Until you’ve got Spontaneous Conviction, meditation is a must. Then meditation will be spontaneous afterwards – that Mantra is going on throughout. It creates a vibration, it’s reminding all the time: “You are Brahman, you are Brahman, you are Brahman”, knocking on the door all the time.
Yes, any questions? It’s very simple. Yes?
Q: Can you be specific about the meditation? When we do meditation, it’s not just like closing our eyes and concentrating, but we have to repeat the Mantra? And another thing is: what kind of thinking we should have when we meditate?
Maharaj: Yes, it’s a good question. I’ve placed before you the Ultimate Truth, the body is not your identity at all. I’m not the body, I was not the body, I’m not going to remain the body, it’s a fact. Through meditation, through involvement, through devotion, you’re reminding all the time to your Selfless Self: you’re not the body at all. And after having continuous involvement and devotion, there will be Spontaneous Conviction.
I’ll give you a simple example. This body is called man, you accept it as a man, you’re dreaming as a man. You’re not saying “I’m a man, I’m a man, I’m a man”, some name is given. That conviction that this body is called man, this body is called woman, we accepted it. So you’re neither woman nor man, you’re Brahman, you’re to accept the Reality. And for which you have to undergo the meditation. Through meditation you forget your body-identity, you forget about your body-concepts.
So until you’ve got Conviction, until you remain untouched with the world, untouched with the body-based knowledge, you have to undergo the discipline of meditation. And as I told you that during the meditation and involvement, you may come across with some miraculous experiences, but it is not Reality. They are progressive steps.
Spiritual knowledge says there are three types of miraculous experiences occurring, positive miraculous experiences: Darshan, Sparshan, and Sambhashan. ‘Darshan’ means: after having strong involvement in spirituality, you see your Gods and Godesses and Masters etc., near about you. That sight you’re getting, that transference of sight. ‘Sparshan’ means you’ll get some touch of your Masters. Suppose you’re in difficulties, you’ll feel them placing their hand on your head. Sambhashan means that sometimes your Master, your God, is talking with you. You’ll have some experiences, it’s fact, it happens. So it is a sign of strong devotion, but it is not Reality. Not to stop there. Some day it may happen that the ego will distract you from the Reality: “Oh, I’ve got miraculous power, I can do it!” or something. Nisargadatta once said: “Suppose you’ve got some miraculous power. You’ll use it for one time, second time, but maybe the third time it doesn’t happen, so you’ll collapse.”
So, these are progressive steps, not Ultimate Truth. So be cautious, be alert. And my Master says “I’m not making you a disciple, I’m making you a Master”. Same thing I’m repeating to you: I’m not making you a disciple, I’m making you a Master. You are Master, you’re already Master. I’m not telling you to please you, it is fact. Because you forgot your identity, the only thing I’m doing is reminding you of your identity, inviting all the time your attention: that Invisible Listener within you is Master of Masters. It’s everywhere just like space or sky. Like the five elements, fire is everywhere, water is everywhere, sky is everywhere. You’re the Projector of the five elements, but you don’t know.
Basically, no knowledge is knowledge. What is knowledge? Knowledge means just to identify oneself in a real sense. We’re identifying in body-form and that is illusion. And as you know, it is a very clear thing. Basically, nothing was there prior to beingness, and after leaving the body nothing will be there. What is the use of knowledge? Because you forgot your identity. And if you glance within you – forget about the world, sit quietly, glance within you – what is there? Bones? Blood? Hm? And Flesh. What is the value of this body? If there is no Presence for a moment, what is the value of this body?
We have a lot of planning, egoistic planning. So, I’m not asking you to neglect your body. Do your duties, do your job, but remain untouched with the body-based knowledge. Because it’s fact, open fact: the body is not your identity, the body was not your identity, the body is not going to remain your identity. But you’re not accepting this fact. And to accept this fact spontaneously, you have to undergo the meditation only. And during meditation, as I told you, you’ll go through so many experiences, miraculous experiences, magical experiences. You may get some power also, it happens. But not to use or not to misuse that power – it happens, you’ve got miraculous power. But that is not Ultimate Truth.
With strong involvement will come some power, you’ll feel it. And there may be chances of ego, subtle ego: “Oh yes, I’ve got power, I can do something.” So that ego is supposed to be dissolved. These are a kind of progressive steps. So this is a precautionary measure I’m telling you, it happens, but it is not connected with any Reality.
Anybody having any questions? Be free, don’t worry, this is friendly chatting. I’m not delivering some spiritual lectures, I’m not considering myself as a ‘great spiritual master’ like that. Bodies are different, same thing is there.
Q: Maharaj, I’m noticing that I have been doing, you know I’ve been doing different practices for many years, and different Mantras come up in different contexts. That has been my practice, if you will. So, would you advise me as to…
Maharaj: What you’ve been told, that Mantra, you recite that Mantra. See, it is told that this Mantra came from Dattatreya. It has got tremendous value, importance, power, energy with this Mantra. It creates some vibrations inside. When you are reciting the Mantra, you’ll forget your body-identity. You’ll become one with the Mantra. What is the meaning of the Mantra? : I am Brahman, Brahman I am. It is not something else, it is practical, it is your Reality. You forgot your Reality. You’re reminding Reality, your Self.
So whatever Mantra is given, it may be any Mantra, forget it you got this Mantra, some say “Aham Brahmasmi”, “Sivoham”, “Soham”, these are the various words. But whatever Mantra you’ve got, be loyal with that Mantra. Because through the Mantra you’re inviting the attention of the Invisible Presence: “You’re Brahman, Atman”.
Q: So are we supposed to recite the Mantra at the same time?
Maharaj: All the time, all the time, you can recite Mantra all the time. When you’re sitting for meditation, sit in that fashion, what I told you. At the initial stage, I’m telling you again: Mantra, meditation are required at the beginning stage, until you’ve got Conviction, until you remain untouched with the body-based knowledge, body-based concepts. Then all your actions will be spontaneous, untouched with the world. Though you’re holding the body as a man or woman, male or female, you’re untouched with the world. No concern. You’re living in this body, doing all activities, as if you’re acting in some drama, as if you’re acting in a dream. Are you taking any ego saying “I’ve done a good thing or a bad thing” (in a dream)? There’s no deed, there’s no doer. No experience, no experiencer. Even if you have the experience ‘I am Brahman’, it is also illusion. Where everything ends, there you are! Everything came out of nothing, everything dissolves within nothing! If at all you want to compare, compare just like sky or space. Space is everywhere. Is American sky different and Indian sky different? Sky is sky.
Those who are here holding these bodies, the Spirit and Presence is one, there’s no difference. When I’m talking with you I have to take ego that ‘I’m something else’. There’s no difference at all. How we are prior to a hundred years, just remain, nothing, we don’t know. After a hundred years, how will you be? “I don’t know”. ‘I don’t know’ means we are shapeless, no birth or death. The body is only the media to identify yourself.
It is very simple Reality, it is the Listener’s Reality. Not to run after miracles. You don’t need to go anywhere. Everything is within you. But we’re not giving importance to ourself, we’re giving importance to something else. Your Spontaneous, Invisible Presence is having tremendous power. It is the Master of Masters. And again I’m repeating, to dissolve all body-knowledge, all body-based concepts, you have to undergo the meditation at the beginning stage. Whatever experiences are happening during the process of meditation, just ignore it. Good experiences, bad experiences.
And as I told you, spiritual science says there are three types of experiences. ‘Darshan’ means you can see the Gods and Godesses and idols. ‘Sparshan’ means you feel the touch also, and ‘Sambhashan’ means talking. It happens, it can happen, but it’s not Ultimate Truth.
So not to come across with such elements that will distract you from the Reality. Such elements may be that you come across some miraculous experiences, or unpleasant experiences. It happens. Where were those experiences prior to beingness? And after leaving the body, any experience remains? Nothing.
Maharaj: So you’re doing meditation every day? Good.
Meditation is the base. Though it is not Ultimate Truth, it is the base, the foundation, which is required all the time until you’ve got the Conviction of Selfless Self.
So, only literal knowledge, oral knowledge, will not help you, because you are holding this human body. You are holding this human body, and the holder of the human body is called Brahman, Atman, Paramatman, God, Master. Because of long association with the body we have become one with the body. We started considering ourself in body-form, though we are formless, no shape is there. Your Spontaneous Invisible Presence is just like space or sky. But, that Conviction is not there. And to have this Conviction, one should undergo this meditation, it’s the base.
What is the principle of meditation? It is not only sitting like this (Maharaj pretends to meditate). Through meditation you are inviting the attention of the Meditator, the Invisible Meditator within you. And all the time you are hammering yourself. Basically, body-knowledge is supposed to be dissolved at any cost.
You can hold the body, take care of your body, not to neglect your body. Have all your responsibilities, be practical not theoretical. Do your job, do your duties, whatever you’re doing. But at the same time you should be untouched by the body-based knowledge.
What do you mean by untouched by the body-based knowledge? We’re having some subtle ego. You know, as I’ve told you, that ego, mind, intellect are functioning organs, subtle organs which came along with the body. They were not there prior to beingness. Prior to beingness, nothing was there. No requirements, no needs, no need of happiness, peacefulness, nothing was there.
The body is not tolerable, body-knowledge is not tolerable. To make it tolerable we need some material causes like publicity, money, sex, and all. This is temporary relief. And to come out of these body-based concepts, meditation, the Mantra is most important. The Mantra is a concept, it’s words, words we’ve found out with long experiments, sanskrit words. The meaning of the Mantra is: ‘I am Brahman, Brahman I am’. So in the beginning stage it’s required, it’s necessary, absolutely necessary – until you’ve got Conviction, then it is absorbed spontaneously, it happens spontaneously.
You’ve got a dream-experience, for example you’ve got a dream-experience. In a dream you see all the five elements, you see water, the sun, moon, everything. Not only that, you see yourself. And you’re deep sleeping. But you’re watching that dream, you’re acting in that dream. Who has created that dream-world? Who is witnessing that dream-world? Who is experiencing that dream-world? Just think it. Same thing here, your Spontaneous Invisible Presence projected all this world. If there’s no awakening in the morning, who’ll talk about the world? Who’ll talk about all these Masters? Who’ll talk about the God?
So directly or indirectly, you’re the base of this world. You’re Ultimate Truth, you’re Final Truth. You’re not required to go anywhere to find out God or Goddesses. But, devote some time for meditation. This is the only solution. Only dry knowledge, if we go on for hours together with dry knowledge, if you read so many books, visit so many Masters, you’ll get temporary relief. One should learn to concentrate on the Concentrator, the Invisible Concentrator. Even if you think intellectually: what is there? Is this body your identity? What is the value of this body? If for one moment the Presence disappears, what is the value of this body? Nothing. Who is talking from this body, who is listening from this body? They’ve got tremendous value. These bodies are different, the Listener and Speaker is one. So not to discriminate. Be with you all the time.
Not to depend upon anybody else. You’re totally independent, you can fly with your own wings. Without wings you can fly. You’re a free bird. Have some courage – spirituality is giving you courage. Since you’re holding the body so many problems may be there. You may come across some unpleasant atmospheres also. But all problems will be solved spontaneously if you’ve got strong courage.
I’m telling you, Nisargadatta Maharaj faced a lot of problems, beyond imagination. When he came back after three years, one shop remained, all family life ruined. Nothing was there. But he was having strong faith in his Master. And strong faith in himself, that is required.
Q3: How do you increase your devotion? I mean, how does one become more devoted? If you find you get distracted by the world and then you forget to meditate, or you need to increase devotion…
Maharaj: You have to accept it. Reality is placed before you, the Reality of the Invisible Listener within you. When you accept this totally, it is devotion.
So this body is called ‘woman’. Are you saying “I am woman, I am woman, I am woman”? You accepted it. I say you are Brahman, but you’re not accepting it, you say “Oh, you’re making fun of me”. I’m placing before you the Listeners Reality, but you’re not accepting it. But if anybody says anything wrong, you’re immediately accepting it, you’re immediately reacting.
So it is now up to you. Reality is placed before you, you have to accept it. You were not the body, you are not the body, you’re not going to remain the body, it’s a fact. Who is holding this body? This is the Invisible Listener’s story, the Reality. It’s called Brahman, Atman, Paramatman, God, Master, it’s not separate from you. You’ve got tremendous value, but you’re not giving that value, you’re underestimating yourself. Why to go here and there in search of any Masters? “Oh God bless me, Oh God bless me”, why? To say ‘God’ your Presence is required. If there’s no Presence who will talk about the ‘God’? Are you not the father of God? ‘God’ is a concept. Okay, it’s not bad, I’m not criticizing that God concept. If your Presence is not there who will talk about the ‘God’, how can you talk about ‘God’ and ‘Masters’? The moment that Spirit clicked with the body, you start identifying the entire world. The entire world is projected out of your Presence, it’s fact.
And therefore I’m insisting: to have this Spontaneous Conviction regarding your Selfless Self, you are to undergo the meditation. Meditation is not only sitting, again I’m repeating it. Total involvement is required. Recite the Mantra all the time, and you’ll feel some miraculous experience within you, you’ll feel some exceptional peacefulness, you’ll remain unconcerned with the worldly things.
Prior to beingness you’re unknown to yourself, after leaving the body you’re unknown to yourself, and at present also. This is Unknown, Invisible Identity, Anonymous Identity, Unidentified Identity. Thoughts are flowing, not to struggle with the thoughts – good thoughts, bad thoughts. We’re struggling with the thoughts: “Why are these thoughts coming!”, “I’m meditating all the time, some unpleasant atmosphere is there, depressive thoughts are there, why are they coming?” Okay, you’re experiencing depressive thoughts, bad thoughts or good thoughts. The thoughts which are tolerable you say ‘good thoughts’, the thoughts which are not tolerable you say ‘bad thoughts’. What is not tolerable? The body is not tolerable, body-based knowledge is not tolerable. When there was no body, there was no question of toleration.
And after having Conviction, I told you, people say “How can I identify if I’m realized or not? I’ve got knowledge, spiritual knowledge, how can I identify if I’m realized or not?” Some feeling will be there. As I told you last time: six stages are given by spiritual knowledge, spiritual science. Shama means ‘forgive and forget’. I am giving the example of Jesus Christ, you know? When they were nailing him, what did he say? “Oh God, forgive them, they do not know what they’re doing.” Then ‘Dama’ means tolerance and patience, no irritation, no excitement. It happens spontaneously. Prior to knowledge, suppose for a small matter you’re getting excited, now no excitement. You’ll get spontaneous tolerance, patience. I’m giving the example, in Maharashtra, of Saint Eknath. He was a very calm and quiet Saint. So one person said: “I will make him irritated.”
Every day he (Saint Eknath) went to take a bath near the river. After coming from that bath, he (the person) spit on him. Calmly and quietly he went back to the river. Like this, forty times he spit on him – then he got irritated! And he bowed down to him (Saint Eknath). And what did he (Saint Eknath) say? “Because of you I got to bathe forty times.” This is patience and tolerance. And he (Saint Eknath) invited him to come for lunch with him. Exceptional silence will be there, it happens spontaneously.
And the third thing, ‘Titiksha’, means just to know the Reality. Total involvement, total devotion. And the fourth thing, ‘Uparati’, means you remain untouched with the world. Whatever happens whatever doesn’t happen, you remain untouched with the world. Even though you’re holding the human body, and a good thing happens or a bad thing happens, you’re not concerned. Then devotion (Bhakti), complete faith. This happens after having strong devotion.
The body is an opportunity for us, because we forgot our identity. There are so many concepts: ‘you are born’, ‘last birth’, ‘future birth’, ‘hell or heaven’, ‘karma’, ‘dharma’, so many things are there. Our identity is wrapped up in all these concepts. You have to break the circle of all these concepts.
It is very simple. You are not required to spend a single penny. And if you’re Realized, make others Realized. Siddharameshwar Maharaj says: “If you’re Realized spread out your carpet and go on talking. Share the knowledge free of charge, not to commercialize it”.
Suppose somebody lost his memory. They’re showing something: “See this thing, see this thing.” The purpose behind that is to gain the memories. Same thing here. Because of long association with the body you forgot your identity.
Why is this required? What is the principle, what is the use of this spiritual knowledge in your life? We’re not happy, see. What do we want exactly? We want happiness, peacefulness, tension-free life, fearless life. Material sources are there, but it’s not sufficient. We want money, publicity is there, sex is there, but no happiness. Because there is already inbuilt happiness within you.
It’s open fact. This body is not going to remain constant. It is having stages: you’re a child, you’re a young man, then you’re an old man, and some day, willingly or unwillingly, you are to leave the body. The body is not your identity at all. You’re unborn, basically. No birth, no death. Birth and death are connected with the body-knowledge, and you’re not the body at all. That Conviction is supposed to appear spontaneously, this is the purpose of this spirituality. After having Conviction, there’s is no necessity of spirituality. So in the beginning stage you have to recite the Mantra, your involvement is required. Devote some time for yourself. There are no restrictions, no bondage, not to do for anything, not to spend a single penny for that. But you are to give some time for yourself. Out of twenty-four hours you are giving some time towards your regular responsibilities, but give some for you. Sit for some time, for one hour, half an hour. See what is there! Reality is within you, you are Reality, your Presence is Reality, your Invisible Listener is Reality. Why to go here and there? You don’t need to go to any Master. You forgot your Inner Master. Your Inner Master is very strong. We’re neglecting our Inner Master and we’re visiting so many Masters. It’s not necessary, not to go anywhere. I’m not telling you not to respect anybody, respect all the Masters. The Masters are the forms of Reality. But Reality is not having any form, any shape.