Sunday, May 23, 2010
by Sri Sandip Dasgupta
Welcome to the 2010 Buddha Purnima edition of e-Sri Sanai. Let me first begin with a few announcements.
a) Talks on Self-Identity is now being broadcast at 9am (IST) on Sunday mornings. Viewers outside India can watch the same by subscribing to http://www.watchindia.tv/.
b) The Canadian chapter of Saccidananda Society has now been registered as a non-profit body.
c) The US chapter’s application for recognition as a non-profit body is still pending with the Internal Revenue Service.
d) This summer, we will be having several bhajan programs in Canada during the week of Jun 21, 2010. Please contact Mr. Partha Guha at 1-416-432-1194 for all the details. All the artists have received their Canadian visas.
The following artists will be performing at these programs:
o Mr. Kedar Narayan Bodas (Vocal)
o Ms. Shaoni Mitra (Vocal)
o Ms. Arupa Lahiry (Bharat Natyam dancer and disciple of Chitra Viswesaran)
o Mr. Debasish Ghosh (Harmonium)
o Mr. Pritimoy Goswami (Tabla)
The USA chapter’s application for a P-3 visa was refused by the Department of Homeland Security. Hence a bhajan program will not held in USA.
In this issue, I will attempt to further explore Sri Sri Babathakur’s august proclamation “All Divine For All Time As It Is”. For the last few years, I have had the privilege of attending discourses in Vedanta given by Br. Prabodh Chaitanya of the Chinmaya Mission in San Jose, California. During the last couple of years, Prabodhji had extensively expounded on the teachings contained in the 10th and 11th chapter of the ‘Bhagavat Gita’. As I heard Prabodhji speaking vividly about Lord Krishna, I was constantly reminded of Sri Sri Babathakur and His words. Every word that He had spontaneously spoken to us now appears to have come out of Sri Krishna’s mouth. Let me elaborate:
In Chapter 10, Sri Krishna describes the Divine glory to Arjuna. Let me quote some translations from Swami Chinmayananada’s book on the Bhagavad Geeta.
Verse 3 – He who amongst the mortals, knows Me as unborn and beginningless, as the great Lord of the worlds, he is undeluded and is liberated from all sins.
Verses 4 and 5 – Intellect, wisdom, non-illusion, forgiveness, truth, self-restraint, calmness, happiness, pain, birth or death, fear and also fearlessness; Non-injury, equanimity, contentment, austerity, beneficence, fame, infamy (all these) different kinds of “qualities-of-beings” arise from Me alone.
Verse 8 – I am the source of all; from Me everything evolves; understanding thus, the wise, endowed with ‘loving consciousness’, worship Me.
Verse 20 – I am the Self, O Gudakesa, seated in the hearts of all beings; I am the beginning, the middle and also the end of all beings.
Verse 21 – Among the (twelve) Adityas I am the Vishnu; among Luminaries, the radiant Sun; I am Marichi among the Maruts; among asterisms the moon am I.
Verse 22 – Among the Vedas, I am the Sama Veda; I am Vasava among the Gods; among the senses I am the mind; and I am the intelligence among living beings.
Verse 23 – And among the Rudras I am Sankara; among the Yakshas and Rakshas the Lord of wealth (Kubera); among the Vasus I am Pavak (Agni); and among the mountains I am the Meru.
Verse 24 – And among the houselhold priests, O Partha, know Me the chief, Brihaspati, among generals, I am Skanda, among lakes, I am the ocean.
Verse 25 – Among the great Rishis I am Bhrigu; among words I am the one syllable “OM”; among sacrifices I am the sacrifice of silent repetition (Japa-Yagna); among immovable things, the Himalayas.
Verse 26 – Among all tress (I am) he Pipal-tree; among Divine Rishis, Narada; among Gandharvas, Chitraratha; among the Perfected ones, the Muni Kapila.
Verse 27 – Know Me among horses as Ucchaisravas, born of Amrita, among lordly elephants, the Airavata, and among men, the King.
Verse 28 – Among weapons, I am the thunderbolt; among cows I am Kamadhuk; I am Kandarpa, the Cause for off-springs; among serpents I am Vasuki.
Verse 29 – Among Ananta among Nagas; I am Varuna among water deities; I am Aryama among Pitrus or ancestors; I am Yama among controllers
Verse 30 – I am Prahlada among Daityas, Time among reconers, the Lord of beasts (Lion) among beasts and Vainateya (Garuda) among birds.
Verse 31 – Among purifiers, I am the wind; among warriors, I am Rama; among fishes, I am the shark; among rivers, I am the Ganges.
Verse 32 – Among the creations, I am the beginning, the middle and also the end, O Arjuna, among sciences I am the Science of the Self and I (am) the logic in all arguments.
Verse 33 – Among letters I am the letter ‘A’, among all compounds and the dual (Co-ordinates), I am verily, the inexhaustible or the everlasting-time; I am the (All-faced) Dispenser (of fruits of actions) having faces in all directions.
Verse 34 – And I am all-devouring Death, and the prosperity of those who are to be prosperous; among the feminine qualities (I am) fame, prosperity, speech, memory, intelligence, firmness and forgiveness.
Verse 35 – Among hymns also I am the Brihat Saman; among metres Gayatri am I; among months I am parts of December-January (Marga Shirsha); among seasons I am the flowery spring.
Verse 36 – I am the gambling of the fraudulent; I am the spendor of the splendid; I am victory, I am determination (of those who are determined), I am the goodness of the good.
Verse 37 – I am the Vrishnis I am Vasudeva; among the Pandavas, (I am) Dhananjaya; also among the Munis I am Vyasa; and among the poets I am Ushana, the great Seer.
Verse 38 – Among punishers I am the Sceptre; among those who seek victory, I am Statesmanship; and also among secrets, I am Silence and I am the Knowledge among knowers.
Verse 39 – And whatsoever is the seed of all beings, that also am I, O Arjuna; there is no being, whether moving or unmoving, that can exist without Me.
Sri Sri Babathakur’s famous words – “All Divine, For all Time, As It Is” captures all of these glories and also expresses the timelessness of the “I-Reality”. He always reminded us that “He” was always present in the good as well as in the evil. If we ever made the mistake of asking Him “How are you?”, he would immediately shoot back to us and “I am as I was, as I am and as I will be”!
The different manifestations of the “I-Reality” were described by Sri Sri Babathakur as “Sportful dramatic Sameside game of Self Consciousness”. Just like there are two sides of the same coin, different gold patterns made of the same substance (gold), different waves made from the same ocean water, different electric objects (bulb, heater, computer etc.) running on the same electricity – each and every object and individual being in this universe is a manifestation of the same “I-Reality”.
One of the bhajans revealed to Sri Sri Babathakur, during his Samadhi was “Jivan ke Udyaan mein …). In English, the rough meaning is as follows:
You are the Guardian of this garden of life
You are verily the Gardener too
You are the soil, you are the nutrients, you the luscious fruits
You are the six seasons —Summer, Monsoon, Autumn, Fall, Winter and Spring
In the blue sky you are the rainy clouds
You are the seven hues of the iridescent rainbow
You are the birds Doel, Koel, Shyama, Sukasari and Chandana
In all their chirps and noise, you are the tunes
The mellifluous notes you are in their beautiful songs
You are the self-effulgent Sun
With your bright light, you illuminate the living world
You are beautiful, placid and calm, the cool breeze of the evening
You are the medicinal herbs and the big trees
Comforting us in your cool, green shades
The picturesque lake, You are with the blossoming lotus buds
You are the charming blooms of the arbors of flowers
You are their fragrance floating in the air
You are the humming bees drawing nectar from flower to flower
You are the eternal Consciousness in the form of Prana
You are the driving force in the domain of Mind
The cause and reason of our Intellect
You are Consciousness Absolute, the Divine Glory
You verily are the Atman in all of us
You in Your very essence are friend to all.
Finally, I am reminded of a picture that was sketched by the renowned Delhi artist, Mr. Arup Das. In that picture, Mr. Das depicts Lord Krishna coming to Sri Sri Babathakur and getting merged into him. It reminds me of how lucky we all have been to have received His Grace and His teachings directly. Yet we have frittered away the wonderful opportunity of making the most of His teachings by just not being ready. However it may not be too late for us to contemplate on His teachings, practice them, feel His presence in each and every one of us and move towards the goal of perfection. As Swami Vivekananda once said, ‘Arise, Awake and stop not till the goal is reached’ – the goal referred to by Swamiji being that of realizing the I-Reality which is present within all of us.
GuruVani (Continued from Friday, Oct. 30, 2009 issue of E-SriSanai)
This is an excerpt of Sri Sri Babthakur’s speech as compiled by S.R. Rajderkar in Science of Oneness (1989)
TRUTH OF BEING AND BECOMING
The nature of ‘Being and Becoming’ unfolds the inner divinity of life. Being is the inner spirit. It is the principle of knowledge, understanding, conscience, bliss, love and peace, all ‘at-One-ment.’ It is the unity and identity of all the principles. Becoming is revealing glory of Being, which is twofold. One is from the centre towards the outer, and the other is from the outer towards the centre. The former is from Oneness to manyness and the latter is from manyness to Oneness as stated earlier.
Nature of life is analyzed in the following way: Outer nature is controlled, sustained and maintained by inner nature, the inner nature by the central nature and the central nature is controlled and governed by the transcendental nature. Different planes of energy-resource are the manifestations of one and the same Infinite Self or Divine Consciousness.
Dharma, religion, according to spiritual science is the sustaining principle. It is the infinite process and technique of all-round development and balance of power and knowledge of both inner and outer nature of man as well as that of the entire creation. It contains the total essence of all manifestations. In fact, it is the unity principle of free nature of life, whose function is ever unfoldment of Inner Divine Virtues of life.
CHARACTERISTICS OF NATURAL SCIENCE AND SPIRITUAL SCIENCE
The work of a scientist and the work of a spiritualist, though appear to be different in nature, are in fact not so, but are complementary and supplementary to one another. Modern scientists deal with the natural sciences; they are possessed by the sense of universal causation. Their function is mostly with the ‘effect and cause’ of the outer nature. So their knowledge is solely material, objective, relative, secular or rather empirical and intellectual. On the other hand, ‘Science of Knowledge’ is the reality behind all. The spiritualists or true religionists deal with the spiritual science, the ‘Science of Oneness.’ Their function is based on the knowledge of the Divine Self, the Absolute Reality, only source of all and the only cause of all causes and effects of life. They are found to deal more with the knowledge of ‘cause and effect’ than with the knowledge of ‘effect and cause’ which is the basic principle of the scientists.
Modern science consists of different branches, namely physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, botany, zoology, geology, astronomy, anthropology, cosmology, etc. Among modern scientists, some are devoted to the culture of life-science including psychology (mental science), bio-physics, bio-chemistry and other allied subjects also. All of them have contributed much to the library of human knowledge no doubt, but none of them could find out the true nature of man, nor they could find out the essence of character and conduct of man.
The physical science or natural science attracts the attention of scientists and makes them absorbed in itself, and the scientists, in and through their scientific analysis and investigation, become aware of some of the subtle laws and principles acting within the natural phenomenon. All such scientific discoveries open the gateway within the natural phenomenon to find out the cause state of creation of diversified nature and life as well. Scientific theories are formed out of these discoveries. They are named as Evolution theory, Quantum theory, Relativity theory, Atomic theory, Cosmic ray theory and so on.
In their work of observation and investigation, they are to depend on subtle powerful instruments and apparatus made by their mind. Though these instruments are to some extent very helpful to them and without which they cannot carry out their scientific work, these are after all a bar on their way to perfect-finding. For objective analysis, these apparatus are alright, but these are not helpful for the subjective research of life. In this respect, some of the foremost scientists admit and appreciate the idea – where physics ends, metaphysics starts.
SCIENCE OF ONENESS
The metaphysical science is nothing but a different name of the ‘Science of Oneness’which is the science of the Rsis and sages. By culture of this science, the sages and saintly people of the past, experienced and realized the Truth and Reality of life and creation of Supreme Divine SELF, the One (the Absolute) directly through their inner consciousness and a purified well-trained mind. Even the realisers of present time, with the help of the ‘Science of Oneness,’ have realized the same Truth and have attained their true nature, i.e. the Infinite Divine Nature.
CONSTRIBUTION OF NATURAL SCIENCE
Natural science provided us with material advancement in numbers and it has given us two powers – physical and intellectual. It is not all perfect. In spite of having well-development of physical and intellectual powers, people are not satisfied and fulfilled. They feel insecure for the fear of death. For the attainment of perfection, balance and peace in life, spiritual science is needed. The ‘Science of Oneness,’ if truly followed and cultured, can save all from the calamity of death, from the misery of bondage of transmigration. By proper culture of it, humanity will attain its True Nature which is ‘All Divine for All Time, As It Is.’ The present-day crisis of the world is that of proper education and proper security of life. Development of atomic energy and atom bomb by the modern scientists of physical science, causes several other problems for mankind, over which they have no control. As such they fail to solve the worldly problems and remove the tension of fear, which go on increasing until it brings the total destruction to themselves and all.
The physicist and chemist with their knowledge of physics and chemistry are all right in laboratory work, but they do not help us much in case of dealing with others in society and family with their household activities. Material science and Spiritual science both are necessary for the all-round development of human society. Laboratory versus family, i.e. head versus heart, can be equalized only by the culture of the ‘Science of Oneness,” the Adhyatma Vidya.’ I have no mission at all, yet my only mission, the missionless mission, is to spread out the ‘Science of Oneness,’ the Adhyatma Vidya, to the people of the world without any sense of restriction or limitation, just like the luminous function of the sun which itself remains unattached by all objects of the creation that it illumines. I know how people are suffering all over the world from the ignorance. The development of hatred, jealousy, violence, hypocrisy, corruption, nepotism, manipulation and delusion are born of duality of ignorance that hunts for sense-enjoyments. All these take place in life due to lack of self-control. By culture of Adhyatma Vidya (Science of Oneness), one can easily get rid of the reactionary effects of delusion of duality of ignorance and be perfectly established in one’s True Nature.
CONTRIBUTION OF SCIENCE OF ONENESS
‘Science of Oneness’ provides us with the Realization of Self Knowledge. It is not only for the hermits or the sages dwelling in the cave, but also for all without exception. It is the birthright of all. Only that, one should desire it, culture and develop it, side by side with the modern science. A scientific mind is essential for the culture of the ‘Science of Oneness,’ in order to achieve the highest end or goal in life. If ‘Science of Oneness’ manifests a little in the heart of man, he will be able to conquer anger, fear, desire and acquire inner spiritual power and knowledge with the fullness of its quality and quantity and thereby be fully reestablished in peace. With the perfect manifestation of this science, human nature is totally transformed into divine nature; and perfection, liberation and the realization of True Nature becomes spontaneous. The Divine Self shines in life. A man of Self-knowledge knows that ‘atomic energy’ forms the outer nature and ‘atmic energy’ forms the inner nature which is all conscious energy, designated as ‘Cit-tattva,’ ‘Bodh-tattva’— ‘Atma-tattva.’
REALIZER AND REALIZATION
Realizers of Divine Self are Sages and Seers – ‘Spiritual Scientists.’ They realize the entire universe to be with their Self. They accept and embrace all as their own Self, with the unity of understanding and identity of their Self with the universal One and the transcendental One as well. For such realization, one requires perfect training, a disciplined life and a pure mind along with the spiritual support and guidance of a perfect teacher. Knowledge grows from learning. Proper learning or education unfolds the inner knowledge, power and truth. For the knowledge of the established scientific theories, one requires proper training. Without proper training one cannot understand them rightly, not to speak of ordinary people. Highly educated people can follow the subject but cannot claim originality. A true scientist owns the originality of his realized theories, just as a true Sage or Seer (Spiritual Scientist) owns the originality of his realization or the direct experience of the Ultimate Reality as ‘All Divine For All Time, As It Is.’
TRUE NATURE – DIVINE NATURE
The depth of man, the spiritual nature of man, which is known as ‘Adhyatma Vidya,’ is all balanced; eternally one by nature which is full of love, sympathy, goodwill, compassion, bliss and peace.
Our Divine Nature should be cultured at all cost, for the attainment of our perfection, liberation and divinization of life. For that culture, the present educational system is not effective. It should be thoroughly changed and be replaced by that of a manmaking education. Such educational system would provide us with the scope of all sorts of scientific and technical training TOGETHER with full course for implementing the ‘Science of Oneness’ in life with the following four musts:
- control of senses both inner and outer
- practice of concentration and mediation
- spiritual discrimination and devotion
- self-analysis and self-enquiry
in and through Real love for Divine Self, the One (the Absolute).
Sri Partha Guha
“All Divine for all time as it is” - Sri Sri Babathakur
I feel very overwhelmed when speaking about Sri Sri Babathakur’s many teachings, let alone presenting an analysis about any one of them. I feel lacking in my ability to fully understand and act upon His teachings. Aware of our ignorance, our beloved Master always presented His teachings in a way that could be understood by all - something I consider to be a blessing that he bestowed upon us. How else would we be able to make any progress in our journey of discovering I-Reality.
In the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to spend some time with the Master. While listening to Him, I felt like I was absorbing all that He was saying. However when it came time to implement His teachings, I invariably found myself faltering. The obvious question arising in my mind was why? The reason is because all of His teachings are based on pure consciousness whereas the worldly life we live in is a ‘mixed life’, and hence mixed consciousness. This life of mixed consciousness has both positives and negatives integrated in it and therefore we will always experience difficulty in finding peace in our lives. Our only hope is to rid ourselves of the self contradictory life we lead and embrace the Science of Oneness. Pure consciousness is the real “I” and elaborating upon that, the Master revealed to us His realization of I-Reality.
One of the many teachings of Sri Sri Babathakur that has impacted my life profoundly is the following: “All Divine for all time as it is”. The most common cause of altercations and lives’ numerous problems is our inability to ‘accept all’. Our Master always emphasized the principle of ‘all acceptance’ – i.e. to accept whatever happens and allow the Divine Mother to play her game of self consciousness. If the Divine indeed exists in everything, at all times without any prejudice or change, then all that happens in our lives is as per the wish of the Divine - and accepting that will only take us closer to our own self realization.
On self reflection, I have found myself being swayed by life’s duality and struggling to follow His teachings. My journey towards self realization continues.
I would like to conclude by quoting Sri Sri Babathakur Himself when he spoke to me on August 2nd, 2005. He said, “Consciousness without I and I without consciousness cannot be possible - and that’s why I apply the science also on I; I in I, I of I, I from I, I for I, I by I, I with I, I to I, I on I and I beyond – beyond – beyond. Such a realization is of the highest order or higher than the highest of realizations –i.e. it is eternally one without a second “ekomebadvyam”, or second-less. Such is the realization I want to unfold before all, and I also try to unfold a science which is not a conventional one. If someone wants to study the conventional science surely they can do that, but what I have realized is the Science of Oneness, which is, All Divine for all time as it is”.
Joy Babathakurer Joy…………………………………………………………………….
Smt. Susmita Basu
To make it easier for followers to remember His utterances, Sadguru Sri Sri Babathakur often constructed short sentences in the form of stock phrases. The one, which has not been much written about is the ‘Formula of six-fold L’, consisting of 6 words starting with L. The formula, as uttered by Sri Sri Babathakur is as follows: “Laws for Life, Life for Light, Light for Liberty, Liberty for Love and Love for the Lord and the Lord for all. This is the ‘Formula of six-fold L’. In this way you will never find anything without your Self.”. (quoted from Nectar of Wisdom, page 241).
Sri Sri Babathakur pointed out, that Nature (Prakriti) follows the Cosmic Laws and, if more people would be aware of those laws - and abide by them - there would be no need for wars, quarrels, jealousy, greed, power-play etc. He added: “….You cannot divide your Self, nor can the Nature be separated from you….It is All Divine For All Time” (quoted from Nectar of Wisdom, page 241). The above formula of ‘Six-fold L’ was revealed one day when He talked about what the aim of life ought to be. He said, that most seekers read from the scriptures or listen to lectures to become more conscious of the Divine Aspect of life, either in the form of devotion or to acquire Knowledge (with capital K it means Self-knowledge), which is beyond argument. He added: ”Most of their lives people struggle because they have forgotten their Divine Roots, the Essential Unity and therefore the initial Oneness of all… and they rarely abide by the Cosmic Laws, which is the Self manifested as many. Nature manifests Itself in three categories - the outer, the inner and the Central. The question is, how can we use this kind of Knowledge in our daily lives?” The social oriented man has, I think, created too many socially related laws, obligations, traditions, cultural and religious differences etc., etc. over many, many centuries in order to discipline the baser instincts of people living in groups – from the larger ones like nations to the smallest one of a family. Nature, on the other hand follows Divine Laws only, and is therefore harmonious and suitably varied.
The first ‘L’ (Laws), if sincerely followed in life, leads one to becoming pro-active instead of re-active. That pro-activity is based on the principles of Entropy. The Law of Entropy says that any closed system goes from order to disorder if left unto itself and in the absence of any energy input. If this Law is not abided by, chaos will appear and grow till it becomes too difficult to deal with. The formula of ‘Right Use’ as uttered by Sri Sri Babathakur goes: “Right use of time, money, education, environment, life energy and all 5 together”. One must, therefore become aware or conscious of not misusing the available Life-force called Prana. The first application coming to my mind is how the ego uses Prana to satisfy itself through negatively tainted mind-work. If the ego (ahankar) is not ‘stroked’, it becomes angry or frustrated and will then try to find justification for thought or behaviour prompted by it (eventually through accusations towards a self-image). Verbal or physical expressions of such a reaction need energy, and that is an example of the misuse of Prana. We have all, I presume, experienced the exhaustion felt after a quarrel or fight. It however need not be so. If the mind is trained to become pro-active one can, as soon as negative thoughts pop up, remind oneself about one’s own loss of Life-force (unscientifically called energy) .… and thus avoid unnecessary loss and eventual confrontation. Such pro-action however needs a high degree of Self-awareness, the essential Oneness of all, which is an integral part of The Law.
Divine Laws represent a ‘Unitary Consciousness’ (based on Supreme Oneness), whereas man-made laws often are divisive. One must however remember that the laws (both man-made and Divine) are meant to facilitate a safe and successful life. By being aware and abiding by the Divine Laws, it becomes easier to cope with whatever karmic residue (i.e. karma phal) one has to go through in the present life. And do also remember, that the Natural Laws emanate from the Self alone. They give you a clear idea about the way to follow to the kind of life one ought to live. What's more, don’t forget that the mind can be conditioned to become pro-active instead of re-active when one actually draw on the training/awareness so graciously given to humanity by a Sadguru such as Sri Sri Babathakur. His guidance helped me to tackle the ups and downs of life with a honed detachment (which is NOT the same as indifference).
The second word with ‘L’ (Life) implies that one takes a form as part of Nature. That form may be of lower or higher nature, based on preceding actions and reactions. The state of an ordinary mind can, through practice of devotion or through imbibed Knowledge from a Master, evolve into spiritual awareness and slowly gain Wisdom, ending in Realization of the Self. Any life should ideally be guided by the Natural Laws, but due to the strong influence of the socially developed ego-sense, the progress towards the observance of the Self happens only at the pace of an old snail. By applying the ‘Right Use’ formula of Sri Sri Babathakur consciously and persistently, the ‘I (Pakha Ami) was, is and always will be’ the source of joy in life. The seekers of enjoyment of the senses like taste, smell, touch etc. may possibly some day realize how short-lived such sensual enjoyments are as compared to the eternal joys of the Self, the One, God.
The third word with ‘L’ (Light) is Pure Consciousness manifested. It is a manifestation of the diverse expressions of the Self. One ought, therefore to respect all perceivable as that. When one has respect for someone or something or act with respect, the Sattwic qualities of life will predominate instead of the Rajasic and Tamasic ones, which we, unfortunately, are too well acquainted with. To let the Light shine in life, one must constantly be aware of the “Sportful Dramatic Same-side Game of Self-consciousness” (another of Sri Sri Babathakur’s dictums where ‘sportful’ deliberately is NOT misspelled).
The fourth ‘L’ word (Liberty) is reached when the rules for Law, Life and Light are imbibed, through ‘Right Uses’ and firmly imprinted in the mind. One may discuss what is meant by ‘liberty’, for the word contains many aspects of a human life (for example free from the worries of economy, health, social prestige, ego etc). Once I heard Sri Sri Babathakur say that one is liberated or free only when mind becomes a ‘no-mind’ (Aman). In deep meditation, the Sattwic qualities will prevail; that is when the Raja and Tama Gunas no longer can play havoc with mind and intellect. Those Gunas will then be used only for living and learning, in other words to live a liberated kind of life (Mukti) according to the Natural Laws.
The fifth word with ‘L’, (Love), is the ‘Unitary Consciousness’. It is different from what most consider as love that actually is divisive in nature since it depends on two entities. The saying that love is blind only refers to what is infatuation, which basically is selfish or self-gratifying. Infatuation (I love you!) may be experienced, yet is rarely lasting – it comes and goes, it has a beginning and what has a beginning must have an end. Only genuine Love for the Self (also called God) leads to true devotion, which is sustainable throughout a lifetime because it is directed to and from the Essence of all. That’s why Sri Sri Babathakur once said: “I is” instead of the conventional ‘I am’. Another time He added: “’I is’ means the Self is infinite. I was, is and will always be”.
The sixth word with ‘L’ (Lord) relate to the ‘Formula of Nine’, which says “Lord in Lord, Lord of Lord, Lord from Lord, Lord for Lord, Lord by Lord, Lord with Lord, Lord to Lord, Lord on Lord, Lord beyond Lord… and beyond, and beyond”. This formula sums up the previous five, which denotes that a soul has realized its full potential, has become One with or merged with the Self either through Self-knowledge or devotion or a combination of both.
From the above it is clear that if one applies the formula of the ‘Six-fold L’ in daily Life, one can realize the Self in one’s present life. After I first took notice of this formula, I thought it was a road-map given to us and I humbly started with the first ‘L’. I could not deny that I had been born and existed according to the Law of procreation as a result of my parents’ marriage. The Light of understanding surely dawns in this very life when the spiritual ignorance is totally removed (eventually through the help of a Self-realized soul like Sri Sri Babathakur). Liberty from lower mental and physical impulses is experienced more and more as one proceeds (according to my experience)… and without the application of any strenuous sadhana. Once the Tamasic and most Rajasic thoughts and behaviours are eradicated, spontaneous Love for the Lord is bound to emerge in life according to the principle of Oneness, as put forward by Sri Sri Babathakur in the above ‘Formula of six-fold L’. The sole aim and purpose of having been born as human is, after all, to evolve and to unite or merge the individual temporary ‘I’ with the eternal ‘I’ (paraphrased by Sri Sri Babathakur as ‘Pakha Ami’ and ‘kaccha ami’).
HARI OM TAT SAT
Smt. Susmita Basu
Recently while opening a book, a paper fell out on which was written the following story. I suppose I wrote it quite some time ago as reminder of a story told by Sri Sri Babathakur. Re-reading it I think most need to be reminded again and again about the ephemeral nature of desire.
An emperor was coming out of his palace for his morning walk when he met a beggar. He asked the beggar: ‘What do you want?’ The beggar smiled and said: ‘You are asking me as though you can fulfill my desire!’
The emperor became offended hearing the answer. He said: ‘Of course I can fulfill your desire. What is it? Just tell me’.
The beggar said: ‘Think twice before you promise anything’. The beggar was no ordinary beggar – he was the Master of a past life of the emperor. In that life he had promised the emperor that they would meet again, but the emperor had completely forgotten it. Who remembers past lives? So the emperor insisted: ’I will fulfill anything you ask. I’m a very powerful emperor. What can you possibly desire that I can’t give to you?’
The beggar answered: ‘It is a very simple desire. Do you see this begging bowl? Can you fill it with something?’
The emperor said: ‘Of course!’ He called one of his vizirs and told him: ’Fill this man’s begging bowl with money. The vizir got some money and poured it into the bowl...and it disappeared. He poured more and more, but the moment he poured it, it would disappear. The begging bowl always remained empty.
All the people of the palace gathered around the beggar and the king, observed what had happened. Soon the whole capital was talking about it. The prestige of the emperor was at stake. He wanted to maintain his prestige and said to the vizir: ‘If the whole kingdom is lost, I’m ready to lose it, but I can’t be defeated by this beggar.
Diamonds, pearls and emeralds, along with other precious items, were put into the bowl, which seemed to be bottomless (although they could see the bottom with their eyes), and whatever was put into it disappeared immediately, went out of existence. The evening came and the people stood around in utter silence. The emperor then dropped at the feet of the beggar and admitted his defeat. He then said: ‘Just tell me one thing. You are victorious, but before you leave, just fulfill my curiosity. What is the begging bowl made of?’
The beggar laughed and said: ‘It is made up of the human mind. There is no secret about that. It is simply made up of human desire. Reflect on desire – what is it’s essence? Something is going to happen...you are on the verge of it. You have the car, you have the yacht, you have the house, you have the partner...and suddenly all is meaningless again. What happens? Your mind de-materialised it. The car is standing in the drive, the house looks beautiful etc., but the excitement was only in getting it. You became so drunk with the desire, that you forgot your inner nothingness. Now, when the desire is fulfilled, the excitement disappears. Again the emptiness is there, ready to eat you up. Again you have to create another desire to escape this yawning abyss’.
That’s how and why one move from one desire to another. That’s how one remains a beggar, being consumed with a new desire the moment a material goal is realized. Your whole life proves it again and again...every desire frustrates you. The day you understand that desire as such is going to fail you in realizing the Self, that day will mark the turning point in your life, the commencement of your journey inwards towards your Self. Move inwards – comeback ‘Home’.
Sri Ramen Basu
When I was young I saw a movie called ‘Tomorrow is never too late’. I remember the message of the plot and that is: No matter what the consequences are, the transcendence out of that, for sure, exists.
As I write this article, I’m making progress. I’m learning something new about myself. For the last 35 years of this life, I’ve been circling around the periphery of Sri Sri Babathakur. The recent proposal for an article from e-Sri Sanai editors told me that the time was ripe to share my recollection of Sri Sri Babathakur’s words with other bhaktas.
During the late 1980s, ‘Nectar of Wisdom, vol. I, was published. It was a complication of Sri Sri Babathakur’s words by Smt. Susmita Devi. As a so-called editor, I learned many things from those words, yet never got to live out the lessons contained within them until today. But they did have an impact which I couldn’t fathom at that time. After 35 years I can now see why the ‘Wisdom’ has not yet taken roots.
During prayers at the residence I now live in (an old-age home), we recite a few lines from a song of a prayer as revealed to Sri Sri Babathakur. The first four lines are:
“Firstly see your own faults
and do not find faults of others
Sing the praises of others
And praise not yourself”
In order to cultivate this in life, one must go back to the very beginning of the Christian era, where Jesus of Nazareth made a sermon as follows: “Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with thy strength and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as Thyself”.
I write this scriptural truth and make progress, for I have learnt where I failed. To me, this is the first unconventional step towards Self-inquiry.
At the time of Gautama Buddha, the 25th of the enlightened ones born in India, the Truth of God was not uttered by Him. He showed the technique to make a corrupt mind pure. Hopefully the Knowledge of God/Self follows. In Buddhist terminology it is called “That-ness”. For the common men, empirical truth is enough for a stable and prosperous society. And that materialized in India at the time of the Gupta Dynasty, the golden age.
The notion of Nirvana in Buddhism was re-structured based on the Upanishadic Truth of monism advocated by Adi Shankara. He pointed out that the seer of void is “no-void”, i.e. purna.
The history of Realization is formulated by Sri Sri Babathakur as follows: First avoid, then you become devoid then there is void, and the Real I, which is no-void, encompasses that.
Sri Sri Babathakur for this age, showed another way for those who had faith in themselves. It is the path of six-fold ‘Right Uses’ (right use of time, money, education, environment, life energy and all the five together). In this connection, ‘Right Use’ is meant for people who cultivate righteousness. All of humanity have the above six aspects, namely time, money, education, environment and life energy given to them according to the Law of Karma. The best use in this life is the Right Use through our self-effort. For sure, this will lead to Self-knowledge. When you learn something new every day, the goodness for all comes into our mind. That is the beginning of righteousness.
Thus from Christ to Buddha to the Seers of ancient India, we return to Sri Sri Babathakur’s words: “You must rise above convention, you must transcend convention with the help of some new Consciousness, which is all-perfect, all free. So.... You see, all My words come direct from within, from the transcendental state of Knowledge, which is ever free and perfect... and not conventional, because I had no opportunity to hear anything spiritual from any person, nor had I any chance to study the scriptures. What I experienced by virtue of Self-analysis, Self-inquiry and spiritual discrimination of Self and non-self, Real and non-real, Truth and false, One and many, being and becoming, made me give up the latter and I became unified with the former. There I find none but I Myself alone. That “I” is not a person in the conventional sense as ego (ahankara)...” (Nectar of Wisdom, p. 227).
My obeisance to Sadguru Sri Sri Babathakur and His words.
Sri Subbu Venkatakrishnan
We are continually learning since birth, even though we may not be aware of it. The baby learns the basis of language from his mother's ridiculous cooing, the infant points out her physical features when told by her parents, and the toddler walks following a rhythm his father has set. Further we learn to ride a bike, to add and multiply, to spell, even what and when to say certain things to certain people. Most of these simple but crucial activities are based on accumulating knowledge. And for each, we require a specific instructor - chemistry from the chemistry teacher, physics from the physics teacher, and so on. This is clear enough. But when it comes to spirituality, the equation changes. I suddenly become an overnight genius, a scholar in a field about which I know almost nothing! The very idea of having a teacher to teach me spirituality seems absurd. After all, who is going to teach me, about me, better than me?
Many have heard the expression: “Life is a death-long discipline.” Well, what happens when that discipline becomes our major? What happens when that mortality, which we have held away so forcibly, grips us with its inevitability? What happens when we can no longer sleep over our death, when our accomplishments and errors, our triumphs and falls, are exposed as ultimately transient? We may be paralyzed with the fear, we may curse and howl in anger, we may even come up with philosophies to celebrate it. But we cannot escape it. We find ourselves as fragile things, and that same “me” that was so sure of itself is now a husk, a wisp. It is at this point, at this existential crossroad, at this moment of total insecurity, that we truly become aware of the need for a guru. And it is at this same point that the guru appears before us.
The Chandogya Upanishad provides perhaps the most beautiful and accurate depiction of this moment. Suppose there is a man, walking cheerfully on his way. He is suddenly accosted by a group of thieves. They beat him black and blue, and steal all his possessions. Not only that, they blindfold him, drag him into the most desolate region of the forest, tie him up, and leave him for lost. The man is utterly alone. He doesn't know where he is, and he doesn't know how far from home is. All he can do is cry out, with all his heart. Yet just then, by some inexplicable miracle of reality, a soul of infinite compassion passes near this man, this near-nothingness. That graceful soul removes his bonds, takes off the blindfolds, and tells him the way home. And then he disappears. The man follows these directions faithfully, ensuring at every village that he is on the right road, and in time, reaches his home in profound peace.
So the value of the guru, the need for the guru, is truly manifest only when we have looked deeply into the impermanent nature of things, and when we have no other objective but, as the Upanishad says, to find our way home. We also come to know from this story, how the guru works. He does not come to introduce us to a new way of thinking, or convince us of an entrepreneurial scheme. We are past that point as it is. The guru comes, as the personified voice of redemption, to remove our primal blindness – i.e. the ignorance of our own true nature. If our faith were perfect, then we would not even need to reach home. The forest, the whole world, would become our home. But we are yet unprepared, and the guru is so compassionate. He gives us the directions, He points out the way, so that our faith may grow with every step.
But the story also addresses the issue of how to stay focused on one’s spiritual endeavors even when the guru isn’t physically around. This is perhaps the most difficult of lessons - one that all of us are most eager to learn. We are liable to lose our faith and fall into old habits when our guru isn’t around us. “What if that person is another thief? Maybe he's just directing me to the leader of his gang. See, you should never trust people who smile too much,” and so on, and so on. Hence the Upanishad says that the man checks to see at every village if he is on the right path. These villages serve as satsangs, providing continuous fellowship with good people and good thoughts. The seeker is refreshed by these pit stops. They reinforce his mental strength as well as tap into his own unexplored depths of compassion - for he sees that the members of the satsang are just like him. He sees his own mortality, his desires and fears in them; they become his friends. He shares with them as they share with him, in an open intermingling way that’s devoid of all superficiality. The guru is thus guiding His bhaktas, even in what appears to His absence.
In truth, the guru is always with us when we have faith. This ‘faith’ is not of a concept, it is not a ‘belief’. It is the byproduct of authentic experience, of being trussed up and tossed about in the storms of life, and remembering that singular ray of light that brushed against us in our deepest darkness. This faith is born from our need, our fundamental recognition of death and our search for transcendence. We have to live as bare mortals to appreciate the necessity for the teacher and His teachings. How the guru comes to us, we cannot explain. Yet She is there, the very embodiment of compassion, and we are here, lost in the forest of ignorance. But listen - what is She asking us? “My beloved child,” she asks, “where have you gone that you ever needed to come back?”