Ramakant Maharaj USA Talk of October 3rd Part I
October 03, 2016
Colombia MD, USA
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.
I will tell you another aspect of this knowledge. In the process of your meditation, involvement, strong meditation, strong involvement, strong devotion, sometimes we come across with some miraculous experiences. They may be positive or negative miraculous experiences. And I’m giving you the example of Nisargadatta Maharaj – it will be more focused.
Nisargadatta Maharaj, at the early stage, was very rich – he had eight to ten shops. His finances were very good when, in 1933-something, he came across Siddharameshwar Maharaj. One of his friends took him to Siddharameshwar Maharaj. He said, at that time, that “I’m not believing in any body-based Sage or Saint, I’m not going to bow down to him.” But he went there and listened to him, and there was a miraculous change in him. The base was (already) there. He was so much impressed, deeply impressed, and he bowed down to him spontaneously. Then he was having association with Siddharameshwar Maharaj for about three years, three and a half.
Why I’m quoting the experience of Nisargadatta Maharaj is so that it will give more focus to your devotional life.
So then, after about 1939, he left his family life and he went to have the experience of the spiritual world or spiritual experience. He faced so many problems, unbearable problems. He left his family life, he left everything. He had about ten shops, apartment tenants, a tobacco shop and all these things, but he wanted to have the experience of this spiritual knowledge. And he faced so many negative experiences: no money, nothing is there, wandering, wandering here and there.
Once he came across with such a barren land, and there was no water, nothing was there. He said it would be the last moment of his life. But in that barren land he saw long in the distance that one cottage was there. I’m talking about some devotional experience that appears when you’re having involvement in spirituality. Though it is not knowledge, not Reality, but you’re coming across such incidents, miraculous incidents. He had seen the cottage, and with great difficulty went to that cottage. One old man was there, and he gave him bread and all, water and everything. After taking some steps, he looked behind him and there was no cottage.
Nisargadatta Maharaj was rarely giving as examples his experiences, miraculous experiences. But I learned from him.
And then he wrote a poem: “My Master became a cottage for me, my Master became food for me, my Master became water for me.”
This happens in everybody’s case. Your Master can take any shape when you’re in difficulty. But you must have strong faith within yourself and with your Master. What happens is that negative and positive experiences during the process of this spiritual knowledge, spirituality, devotion – when you’re having strong devotion and strong involvement in your devotion, then you come across with such types of miraculous, positive or negative experiences.
Negative experiences means that you’re having some negative thoughts, depressive thoughts, some difficulty may be there just like Nisargadatta Maharaj. He faced so many problems in his life – so many problems, beyond imagination. But he did not lose his faith in his Master – his knowledge was very strong, exceptional, firm, total conviction.
There are some positive miraculous experiences also. He rarely said it, but: one time when he was sitting at his shop, he started giving water from his teapot, and some people in long cues were being cured by that water. But Siddharameshwar warned him: “What are you doing? This is not knowledge, not Reality. It’s distracting you from Reality.” So he stopped this.
So in my speech, what I’m telling you is: after having strong devotion you may come across with such negative or positive experiences. It is not knowledge, it is not Reality, it is not Ultimate Truth. But the point is that you might be distracted from the Reality. If you’ve got ego: “Yes, because of me somebody got a miraculous experience.” Suppose you visit some house and something miraculous happens: “Oh, my power is so much!” that ego may develop. So it is a precautionary measure in the process of your devotional spirituality.
So, during your devotion, if you come across such experiences, not to give so much importance. All experience, miraculous experience appears upon your Presence. That Presence, Invisible Presence, Anonymous Presence is Ultimate Truth. There is no value for any miracles. It is the nature of our human body, of the human being. If any miracles happen you bow down: “Oh, you’re a very great man”. Those miracles are within you. You’ve got tremendous power, but not to take ego. Suppose something happens, suppose you visited some places, and some miracles happen and people say: “Oh, because of you something miraculous happened”. Nisargadatta Maharaj was not taking any prestige, not taking any credit. He said: “If it happens, it is because of my Master. I’m not doing any miracles.” He never took ego.
So why I’m inviting your attention is because in your strong devotional life, spiritual life, it may happen. You may call them progressive steps. But not to stop there. Until you’ve got Spontaneous Conviction you’ve got to continuously involve yourself in devotion and spirituality. I’m giving alertness, cautiousness in the process of your devotional life, your spirituality. So, ignore it, it’s not Reality.
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, 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”.
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.
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.
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.
Yes? Anybody having any questions? Be free! Yes?
Q2: You talk about the spontaneous release of really strong emotions, and I have been experiencing that. What I’m wondering is: can that also apply to physical symptoms?
Maharaj: Yes, yes, it happens. When you’re going closer and closer to your Selfless Self it happens. It’s good. Because you’re experiencing those emotions.
Q2: Yeah, the emotions have been pretty intense sometimes, like rage coming out of nowhere and lasting for a half hour and then just subsiding. But it’s the physical stuff that I was a little more perplexed about.
Maharaj: When there’s so much involvement in spirituality, so many emotional feelings, love, affection, appear spontaneously. It’s part and parcel of your Spirit, spiritual knowledge. Because you are full of love and affection. Exceptional peacefulness is there. After having strong devotion, strong meditation, total peacefulness will be there, total silence will be there. No confusion, no confusion, all confusion dissolves. Exceptional silence, you’ll remain untouched with the world. Why are we disturbed? Because we have some ego, subtle ego of this world: “I’m somebody else”. We’re having subtle expectations. So all expectation, body-based expectation dissolves. All body-based concepts dissolve. It happens spontaneously, it’s not difficult, it’s not impossible. You can do it, you can have it. Because it is your own property. As I told you: except your Selfless Self there is no God, no Brahman, no Atman, no Paramatman, no Master. It’s fact. Just remember it. Therefore Nisargadatta Maharaj said: “I’m not making you a disciple, I’m making you a Master.”
So practice is most important, practical knowledge is most important. You’ve got theoretical knowledge, you’ve read so many books, approached so many Masters. Practice is most important. Why is practice important? Because we’re wrapped with so many illusory concepts. We’ve got to come out from all these illusory concepts: ‘I’m somebody else’, ‘I’m a man or woman, female or male’. So many concepts are there, so many expectations are there. So far we’re holding the body, it’s okay. Whatever is necessary for the nourishment of the body, you can do it, you can have responsibility. But remain untouched with all these illusory concepts.
Any questions for anybody else? Be free! Don’t hesitate to ask any question, be clear.
Q3: Can I do this myself? Maharaj, I have a broken body, I have disease, I have addiction to medication for the disease, a broken back, and I wake up in the morning and I’m in so much pain, and if the medication affects my meditation, and if I don’t take the medication then I’m in so much pain. Can I do this myself?
Maharaj: Yes, you have to do it. Because, to get some tolerance, patience. Since you’re holding the body, so many problems are with the body. Physical problems are there, mental problems are there. You’ll get some courage, power, energy to tolerate all these things.