Rishikesh – 07Mar15
In the traditional teachings of Vedanta, in the Upanishads, we speak of three ways to know the Truth.
We say: “The Truth is learned in this way:
First, we must hear about It.
Then we must think about It, contemplate about It.
And third we must meditate very deeply about It.”
This is a very common practice – very traditional.
But let’s examine this practice more deeply.
What does it mean to hear the Truth?
What does it mean to hear the Truth from the Master? What does it mean?
When we go, for example, to the Master and we say: “Now, I want to hear the Truth!”, and the Master doesn’t speak, then what we do?
The Upanishads tell us: “You must hear the Truth”, and the Master doesn’t speak, or He speaks a language we don’t understand, what shall we do then?
The Truth is spoken through the Master by even the smallest gesture of Him. By the way He walks, by the way He looks at us, by the sound of His voice.
The Truth is emanated from the Master. One can smell the Truth from the Master.
The whole Life of the Master speaks out the Truth.
The way He sits, the way He walks, the way He takes food, everything.
One must be able to hear that. That means to let it come, somehow, inside of us. Somehow, to absorb it. To absorb that quality, not necessarily expressed in words. To be open to it, to be receptive to it.
That means to hear the Truth from the Master.
Many Masters who have reached a very High State, like Maharajji, they don’t speak about the Truth so much.
They would never say to you: “You are that Brahman, that Supreme Reality, you are the Self”. They never say these things. They don’t need to say this. Their very Presence shouts it. They don’t want to fill up your mind with information, we have too much information. They want to awaken us through the backdoor.
This is because, if they tell us directly: “Listen, you are the Supreme Self”, this might take a wrong direction. The ego will come and misappropriate it. And it will say: “Sure, I am the Supreme Self!”.
Many, many people were approaching Maharajji to hear of the Supreme Truth.
Maharaji was looking at them for some time without speaking, then he was slowly making a gesture as he was about to say something.
People were listening very carefully, thinking: “Now He will say!”.
And 99% of the times he was saying the same thing to everybody: “Which country are you from?”
People were thinking: “Why does He ask me this thing?”, and they said: “I am from Germany”, for example, and He was replying: “Ok, ok, you can go”.
And it got more interesting, when you were going the next day, and again He was about to say something, and what did He say? The same thing: “Which country?”.
That is why He had very few western disciples.
Maybe in twenty days He was asking twenty times the same question…
It doesn’t matter at all what the Master will say.
In the very sound of His voice is hidden the Truth.
In the way He looks at us, the Truth is there.
In His very radiance, in the Light that emanates from Him, there is the Truth.
And we must be able to hear it.
So that is what the Upanishads mean, what the Vedas mean, when they say: “First, you must hear about the Truth”. You must be able to hear the Truth.
We have the famous story of Siddhartha, a very famous book by Herman Hesse.
Siddhartha was listening to the River the whole day. Its not that the River came out and told Him: “You are Brahman!”. The River was nevertheless “speaking” to Him throughout the day, giving to Him teachings, and He was able to hear, to listen to the River.
That means to be able to listen.
We have stories from the Upanishads where the disciples listened to the Fire, they learned the Truth from the Fire. They were feeding the Fire every day for ten, twelve years. After twelve years they were very sad, and said: “My Master didn’t speak to me the Truth. My Master doesn’t pay attention to me, He has thousand disciples, He never looks at me, I will give up everything, I will kill myself!”. The Fire said: “Wait a moment, I will speak to you the Truth”. And they learned about the Supreme Truth from the Fire, because they were able to listen.
We have the very famous story, in India, of Dattatreya, the great Shri Dattatreya.
He had twenty four Gurus: the Mountain, the Ocean, the Fire, the Sky, the Bird, the Snake, the Elephant, and so on… twenty four Gurus.
He was able to listen to the Truth even from the bird, even from the young maiden, even from the snake. He saw in the snake, that the snake always lives in a hole, but He never makes a hole of its own. He always lives in holes that other beings made. He lives there for a little bit of time, then He goes away and finds another hole.
So, He learned from this, that the Sannyasin should not make a house of its own, because it is such a headache, such a burden. He just stays in houses that he finds in his way, somehow, for a short time, then he moves on.
One of His Gurus was the young maiden. There was a young lady, she was alone in the house of her parents, when guests came in, and the young lady prepared to make chapati for the guests.
And as she was making the dough, she was wearing many many bangles in her hands, and they were making much noise. She felt a little bit embarrassed, so she took out the bangles, and she kept only two. And she continued to make the dough. But still they were making noise, because they were clashing with each other. So, she took them out, and she kept only one in each hand, and at that moment no noise was made, anymore.
So, what Dattatreya learned was that “wherever there are two, there will be noise”. There is going to be conflict, there is going to be a clashing.
That is why the Sannyasin must live alone.
One who is truly thirsty for the Truth can find the Truth in anything.
He doesn’t need to read Vedanta, to read the Scriptures, even to visit Saints, this is not necessary.
If one is sincerely thirsty for Truth, he can find It everywhere.
He can find It in the Sky, in the Infinitude of the Sky, in the Unchanging Nature of the Sky, in the Vastness of the Sky.
He can realize that: “Truly, I am like the Sky, I am vast like the Sky!”
Everything that appears in my perception is like clouds in the Sky.
Somehow, from somewhere they appear, all experiences, maybe thoughts, maybe emotions, maybe sensual experiences, somehow they appear from somewhere.
They appear in the Vastness of my Being.
Somehow, they play inside the vastness of my Being.
And slowly they disappear in the Vastness of my Being.
Truly, I am vast like the Sky.
Truly I am like the Fire.
The Fire consumes everything without distinction. If you put ghee, or if you put a fruit, or a dead body, it will consume it in the same way, The Fire doesn’t care.
In the same way, for my Awareness, for the Awareness that I am, everything is very much the same. The Awareness that I am it falls upon everything, in the same manner, so perfectly purely, so perfectly undiscriminating.
The Awareness is of that Nature.
What discriminates is the intellect or the ego.
My Awareness does not choose.
Whatever is, somehow, presented into It, my Awareness embraces it in the same way.
Maybe a beautiful event, somebody gives me a flower, my Awareness embraces it.
Maybe somebody gives me an insult, my Awareness embraces it in exactly the same way.
What behaves in a different way is the ego.
The ego likes to be praised, the ego dislikes to be insulted. The ego feels “I deserve respect!”.
It is the ego that makes a distinction, not the Awareness.
That is why I am like the Fire.
In the Fire, if you put a Saint or the greatest criminal, it will burn the same.
In Truth, my Awareness is of that Nature.
Truly, I am like the Mountain, unmoving.
What I am never moves.
Nobody can move what I am.
Nobody can move the Self.
There is nowhere to move It to.
It stands everywhere, simultaneously.
There is nothing separated from me to move me.
There is nothing second to the Self, nothing to move the Self.
The Self is the very archetype of Steadiness.
Everything moves around It and inside of It, but Itself It doesn’t move.
It is the substratum of all movement, but ever unmoving.
Like the Himalaya Mountains.
That’s why the Self is like the Mountain.
The Self is indeed like the Ocean. Vast.
Many many things appear in Its surface, many waves appear that go up and down, up and down. Foam appears, bubbles appear. Many things appear in the surface of the Ocean, but, in Truth, the Ocean is ever the same.
The Ocean never goes up or down.
No matter how many rivers will flow into the Ocean, the Ocean will remain the same.
No matter if no rivers at all will flow to the Ocean, the Ocean will remain the same.
In the same way, the Ocean that I am, no matter how many thoughts, how many emotions, how many experiences will come, I will be just the same.
I do not grow bigger through experiences.
I do not grow smaller in the absence of experiences.
If there are waves on my surface, or if my surface is perfectly tranquil, it makes no difference to me. I am ever the Ocean that supports all waves. Maybe huge, millions of waves, maybe perfect tranquillity, it is the same to me.
It is the same for the Self.
The Oceanic Self.
Truly the Self is like the Sun.
It shines upon all with the same benevolence.
It shines on the clear water and on the dirty water in the same way.
It gives warmth to all Beings, without distinction.
It gives Light, it gives Life to all Beings.
And, although, It illuminates and It sustains so many planets, Itself is completely independent.
The Self is indeed like that.
It supports and illuminates everything, but, Itself, It is perfectly independent.
So, through Spiritual Practice, through a gradual purification, we become gradually more sensitive. Through this sensitivity we become able to hear.
To hear the Truth in everything that surrounds us.
And, most importantly, to hear the Truth from the graceful Saints.
In this way, many people had the Darshan of Maharajji and said He was the greatest Saint they had ever met. They were able to hear, even though Maharajji was not speaking.
Some other people went to Maharajji and said: “Who is that old man? He just asked me which is my country…every day!”.
They were not able to hear. Not yet.
So, that is what the Vedas mean:
first, we must hear about the Truth.
Some people say: “I go deep into Meditation, and, suddenly, I hear Om from inside of me”.
You don’t even need to hear outside of you the Truth, you can hear it inside of you.
And when you start hearing the Om inside of you, that means your ears start to work.
You have begun to hear. To hear the Truth.
Question: Could You speak more about hearing the Om, this vibration, this sound?
Some say, this voice, this sound, this Divine frequency is always sounding.
So, in moments when our mind is very very still, we are able, somehow, to hear it, to spot it, to understand it.
Some say that it is the True name of the Supreme.
So, if you want, somehow, to call upon the Supreme, to invoke the Supreme, you say: Om.
We go inside of us and we try to find our Supreme Nature. And we ask: “Where are You? And who are You? And what is Your name?”. And we listen very carefully. And then, in the perfect Silence, we listen: Om. That is why, sometimes, we say this is the name of the Supreme.
The Primal Sound.
The Highest of Mantras.
They say that this sound is composed out of three letters:
A, U, M. They say that each letter has some special quality and some special power.
But, truly, the name of the Supreme, the sound that invokes the Supreme, is the combination of the three letters together. If we can somehow pronounce the three letters together simultaneously, that is the correct way to do it.
And it is also a very beautiful meditation, simply to listen to the sound inside you, the sound of Om.
If you like, in the beginning, you can produce the sound yourself, after that you can stay silent and just listen to it, inside of you.
Listen to the natural Om. Get absorb into that.
It is a wonderful way to meditate.
It is also a wonderful way to practice hearing. Even a deaf man can hear it.
Om stands for Totality, for Fulfillment.
If we could, somehow, record all the voices that sound in the Universe, and play them back all together, what would come out is: Om.
It is the first of Mantras and the foremost of Mantras.
Question: How to open the Chakras?
Why would you like to open the Chakras?
It sounds interesting, fascinating, isn’t it? Aaahhh…
There is a path of Yoga called Kundalini Yoga – not the modern Kundalini Yoga by Yogi Bhajan – but the traditional Kundalini Yoga. And that deals, in a very scientific way, how to open and activate the Chakras. It is a good and genuine path.
It has one important requirement: one must be patient, and move slowly. If one rushes, he will stumble and he will fall, and he will fall for good.
For every single Chakra is required a minimum of one, two months, to work with this, then you move to the next Chakra, then to the next, etc.
But, in fact, all the Spiritual paths open our Chakras, but in a different way, indirectly, do you understand?
The best way to open your Chakras indirectly is Karma Yoga.
All the Chakras, all the blockages will open up in a very smooth, very loving way.
You will not experience some explosion inside of you. The Chakras will open, and you will not even be aware of that. And this is the best way to open the Chakras – to open them up and not even be aware that you have opened them, so that the ego doesn’t come and say: “Ah, I opened my fourth Chakra!”.
This is very important.
All the paths, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Vedanta, all the paths can open up your Chakras, indirectly, from the backdoor, without telling it to your ego.
The best way to open the Chakras is to open them in such a way that you will not be aware that they are open, otherwise the ego will take this achievement for itself.
And the power that will flow from that opening, the ego will misappropriate it. And we don’t want that.
So, this is why, if you want to open your Chakras, do Karma Yoga, do Bhakti Yoga, practice non-violence, practice truthfulness, practice charities. These are the best way to do it.
Your Chakras will open, but you will not be aware of it. That is the best way!
It is a very, very great art of the Master that He helps us to grow in such a way, that we are not really aware of it. Many times some people say: “Why, I am practicing for so long time, and yet I can’t feel any development?”.
And the Master laughs inside Himself, thinking: “You don’t need to feel anything; its happening!”
The Master thinks: “I can feel the growth, that is sufficient, you don’t need to feel anything!”
The Master says: “Just keep on with the practice!”. And He laughs.
And there comes a moment in our Life, that our Life is simply peaceful, we are just happy throughout the day, we don’t get so easily angry or disturbed by other people, we feel a spontaneous Love for our brothers and sisters. We have completely forgotten how it was before, few years ago, when we had all this restlessness, this anger, this aggressivity, all these things, we have forgotten all these things.
Perhaps we have no idea about Chakras, we know nothing about it, but we have Peace.
So, the Chakras have opened, and we are not even aware of that.
Then why asking: “How can we open the Chakras?”
So, the Master, He guides us to the essential.
He guides us to Peace, to Love, to Joy, in a mystical way.
Question: Can you speak more about Surrender?
Among the many Yogic disciplines – there are ten important Yogic disciplines, we will speak about them another time – but the final and most important of all is called: Surrender.
That means, after we have practiced very diligently all disciplines, like non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, brahmacharya, simplicity, all of these, all ten, in the end we still have not realized. What shall we do?
So, there comes the final and most important discipline which is called: Surrender.
In Truth, Surrender is the Highest of all Practices.
So, why the Saints don’t just give us this discipline? Why they give us all the rest of the disciplines, if they can not lead us to the Truth?
The Pure Truth of the Being can come only by Surrender.
But the question that arises is: “Can you surrender?”.
The Great Masters tell us: “Surrender is the Highest of all Practices”. But the question arises: “Can you do it?”.
If it is too much abstract for you, too subtle for you, then you can start from non-violence, harmlessness. You can start by repeating a Mantra, by Japa. You can start by Pranayama, that will help you. You can start by austerities, by Tapasya. You can start by all the Yogic Paths: Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Vedanta, all of these.
The question is: can we surrender as long as the ego is present?
As long as the ego is predominant?
It is possible, but it is very difficult.
We will need also to surrender to the tricks of the ego. To accept it as it is. Maybe it is the greatest of criminals, still we have to accept it. Maybe it is a liar, a dirty man, all bad things, we have to accept it. It is possible to do it, but it is very difficult.
That is why all the other disciplines come first, to purify a little bit the ego.
And, even more important, to awaken That which is the True Master inside of us. To awaken the True Master.
That is the best way to bring down the ego.
When the ego is more weak, when the ego has switched off, then Surrender becomes more easy.
Then we can accept Life as it is.
We can love Life as it is, without wanting Life to be something else. That means Surrender.
Furthermore, by purifying slowly our mind, through the many different practices (like Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Vedanta, etc), as the mind becomes purified, the whole Universe around us becomes purified as well. It becomes more easy to accept it and love it.
To surrender to it.
To surrender to Life knowing that It is perfect.
It is always perfect!
For the criminal is perfect, for the Saint is perfect, but for the criminal is very difficult to surrender. For the Saint is more easy to surrender.
What I suggest is to work simultaneously with Surrender and Purification.
If we can surrender right now, perfect! We don’t need to do nothing else!
If it is difficult, because we would like Life to be different, then we continue with Purification.
By our own Purification, the whole Universe around us becomes purified.
Then Surrender becomes gradually more and more easy.
Surrender is the Highest of all Practices.
Surrender is the Highest Yoga.
All other Yogas are preparation for that highest Yoga.
The Life of everybody is perfect.
Whatever thought comes, whatever emotion comes, whatever experience comes, it is perfect in its own place! Even the appearance of the ego that says: “I want to be different!”, that is also inside the Perfection! If we can accept even our ego, all our defects, if we can accept them and love them, this is a very quick way to Realization.
As we said before, the Awareness falls in the same loving way upon our saintly qualities and upon our evil qualities as well.
The Awareness shines the same upon all.
That Awareness is Life.
That Awareness is our Self.
That Awareness is perfect.
That Awareness is Truth.
Surrender to that Awareness.
– Om Shanti Shanti Shanti –