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Seminar on "The remembrance of everything should merge into the remembrance of one - the ultimate"

2. I. Chalapathi Rao

Recently when I was going through a site I found the word Fana, a term used by Sufi Saints for the condition of negation. Babuji Maharaj also gives us the concepts of fana (negation) and fana-e-fana (negation of negation). In the site fana has been defined it as self annihilation, at the very face of it, the word self annihilation arouses a negative emotion in the mind and can also create fear in the minds of the common man. Immediately a thought came to me about the concepts of remembrance with negation as explained by Babuji Maharaj. I thought since all of us have certain amount of remembrance which would not have been possible without some negation. So it would be proper to understand about negation so as to gain more in the path of remembrance. I feel that negation and remembrance are concomitant to each other.

I have understood negation in this manner - Negation: When the self experiences and recognizes the presence of Master as all supreme and also endearing and chooses (surrender) to remember Him, live for him and work for him as a part of him. A process where we tend to give lesser precedence to our selves. This is the experience of mediators of the Natural path and it is not due to an understanding or intellectual knowledge of a cosmic compulsion of Rta even as a use of force in case of animals or sub rational beings or not even reconciling through rationality but the love that germinates and grows into total self effacement. Pujya Babuji says this negation manifested in the form of Love for the Master is naturally possible for us as “Remembrance brings a lover close to the beloved. There is no limit to this closeness. The greater the love or affinity, the more does one advance towards Him. This relationship comes to us by inheritance. Now it is up to us to develop it as far as to secure utmost nearness to Him” ( Imperience Beckons page- 19) .

Love has to be understood as phenomenon occurring in the supra rational levels of being which is simple to understand but difficult to articulate. The commonality of the aspirations to express in its universalness is the starting ground for the relationship of love which is the essence of the first line of our Prayer,” O Master, Thou art the real goal of human life”. Here Master is the goal of human life or the goal of human life is Master. But the commandment under discussion asks to offer our prayer with heart full of love and devotion. That means we have to develop love and devotion to the Master.

Who is this Master that we are referring to? Is he our beloved Babuji Maharaj or the Ultimate. Babuji Maharaj clarifies this in the chapter The Guru of book Dawn of Reality “God is the real Guru or Master and we get Light from Him alone. But as it is extremely difficult for a man of ordinary talents to draw inspiration from God direct, we seek the help of one of our fellow beings who has established his connection with the Almighty.” (Dawn of Reality page 59) But for himself he said the following “I must assert that God alone is the giver of negation and of all higher approaches beyond that. But for myself I may assure you that all that I have got was from my dear Master alone, though I am thankful to God as well for having moulded my tendencies towards him. The method for securing God's help is the same as that of seeking the Master's help. “ ( Silence Speaks page 174).

The subject of love for a fellow human being as an Ultimate being has its own votaries and also its critiques. It is really interesting for seekers of the path that how our Master Babuji Maharaj has resolved this issue of grave concern in the field of yoga. He brings in the concept of consciousness, which is beyond name and form and through Pranahuti the highest consciousness is introduced into the heart of the individual thus enlivening him to the memory or remembrance of Divinity.

The reluctance to accept a fellow being as an object of love is due to the inability to understand the inherent Oneness of Being due to apparent external contradictions both physical and mental as the perception is through external organs like indriyas . On the contrary it has also been difficult to establish the love with the Nirgunatmic Bramhan as it is the beyond the scope of sensory knowledge and buddhi. For all of us the initial lessons of love are taught by our parents. family and later by friends through the emotions.. The limitations of emotions are well known that it cannot extend its domain to the universal level. May be for its limitedness in its scope and dimension that it called as a body or a boundary and hence a sarira.

We see today that the love expressed for Lord Krishna by devotees all over the world is a kind of transcendental love as the person concerned is neither seen or existent in some physical form. The love for such transcendental God head is developed and cultivated mostly through the emotions and Babuji Maharaj says that emotion is not love. To love the transcendental form one invariably goes through the immanent form (cognition of mind). The immanent form could be in the shape of idols, pictures, portraits etc – the archa concept but for some they meditate in the heart on some mantra, or light –the antaryami concept.

When we come to the System of Natural path given by beloved Master Babuji Maharaj, there is a unique fusion of the immanence and transcendence. The problem of immanence and the transcendence is solved in one shot through the process of Pranahuti and the means is through meditation on divine Light without luminosity in the heart. We all know very well that the methods of meditation coupled with support of Pranahuti mould our physical, vital, mental and other spheres of Being and make them capable of grasping the transcendent and make it immanent in our heart which is experienced as Remembrance. People are thirsting for this real remembrance and taking the help of nama and roopa in the form of bhajans , kirtans etc as discussed earlier. How fortunate are the persons who have come in contact with the Natural Path of Sri Ramchandra that they are given the gift of remembrance just like that. This remembrance is slowly but surely transforms into Love for the Master. Addressing the issue of remembrance and Love, Master has said very graciously that if you love somebody you will remember him and he says apply the inverse, practice remembrance to develop the Love. Love is the cardinal principle in spiritual life and therefore one should ensure to practice the methods and the commandments for the development of this Love. Transcending the borders of personality, Babuji Maharaj defines Love as the inner awakening to the Reality. Love for the Master in our system has a very broad and deeper meaning and has to be understood very carefully lest one may find oneself short of the mark.

Love in practical sense means living a life for the person who is loved. When we talk about the Love for the Master, here we are not confining the Master to a certain name and form. He is the consciousness, a force or power that responds even as stated in the third line of the prayer “Thou art the only God and Power to bring us upto that stage”. If we can understand the consciousness as a principle then Love can easily translate itself into a meaningful action in this life by adhering to that principle. We all understand our Master as Sri Ramchandra Consciousness, a principle that is striving to uplift the humanity to its destined levels. In this direction only we have been given the practices, the Natural Path of Ten Commandments and the support through Pranahuti. When we fix up the Goal which we find it , as we start practicing that, is something very natural to ourselves i.e our consciousness, before that we also pass through states of tension , internal contractions leading to strife, restlessness, irritation etc due to the demand and attention from the wishes and desires. Here we should carefully separate out the drives like hunger, thirst, procreative urges etc which are also to be moderated to the extent that it should just meet the requirements for survival from the above said desires and wishes. Often it takes quite long a time in sadhana to resolve the inner conflicts between our desires and the spiritual goal. May be that is the sadhana itself. When we start understanding the purpose of life and its higher aspirations through regular meditation, purification and fomentation through Pranahuti, we are in a position to give much higher precedence to the goal as we understand to be our higher Self and not as a separate activity then we stop bothering about our petty desires or wishes of our lower self. This can also be understood as the first step in negation. Babuji goes further and uses the term negation of negation and says when you do not know whatever you love and also that you are loving. I understand it to be naturally living for the Master and he forgets to seek anything for himself. This was very beautifully and figuratively expressed in the article – A FAQIR'S WEALTH from Silence Speaks

“…. Let us ponder over the state of mind he is in. He has approached the Master with the object of begging for his bounties, but he is so much lost that he does not even remember that he has approached him for having his bowl filled. The bowl is presented forth without a word of begging, so much so that he is not even aware of whom he stands before. So much lost is he as to have madly rushed in, where even the last spark to illumine the grandeur of the place is extinct. The hands holding the bowl are alone held up, so much lost is he… …. What would then be the condition of the beggar? He shall be permanently residing in a state of contentment which cannot be matched even by the greatest riches of a king…”

If we ponder over the above article, from the sadhaka view point, the state of contentment should reign supreme at all times. If we look at the prayer given to us, the second line deals with this aspect of contentment saying that” We are yet but slaves of wishes putting bar to our advancement” At each stage of advancement the bar is felt and expressed in different ways but when look at from the remembrance aspect, the wish fulfillment is a bar to negation. From sadhana angle negation is not an intellectual exercise of self annihilation but the extent of dedications of one’s heart, mind nay his life for the cause of the Master.

Negation grant us freedom from misery (Misery is always defined in reference to the self – jiva aspect and life is a great lesson in misery and afflictions) as all work is for the Master and by the Master but the experience of happiness for no apparent gains of material wealth is the positive affirmation of the progress in negation. From the practical angle, one of the yardsticks in this subject would be the levels of commitment to the service of the Master. If the individual has his own agendas to be fulfilled apart from the duties which he is enshrined to fulfill as a grihasta dharma then that indicates the amount of wishes that need to be fulfilled or have become a bar to his negation.

It is the experience of the sadhakas of the path that the first change in the state of his consciousness is the development of vairagya which goes on getting rarified and rarified as one moves on into higher levels of consciousness like Bramhand and beyond. Here when we say the condition of vairagya becomes rarified means that it is felt naturally. One does not feel attached or there is an inclination to possess and enjoy. One loses the conscious awareness of his vairagya. For others it looks like vairagya but for the subject, it is a state of contentment preceded or existing with the feeling of reconciliation to the will of the Master. One learns to be compliant from being a complaint. Infact one does not have explicit liking and disliking and sometimes the mind refuses to qualify the things. It has been my practical experience that I would not like to choose but like to accept whatever is offered. Right now it is truer in case of the food that is offered in the house. But I think it is the general state of mind. It in anyway does not mean one is lacking the discriminating ability or Viveka but mind does not like to spend much time on the trivia’s. The remembrance of the Master is engrossed on the heart to such an extent that one simply rejects to consider matters which are routine. I do hope this is the condition experienced by all my brethren.

Somehow the feelings of vairagya that have come to pass have left me bewildered in a sense that it is difficult to explain to others in the society that it is not a negative approach but infact it is an integrative approach to life because the balance and happy state of mind is seldom affected due to denials in life and one takes life as it comes. Certain sense of equanimity is had, the first fruits of Master’s entry into our life. The states of vairagya have never left in me a feeling of despondency though at times I felt the drag on the heart which I oflate is being understood as the resistance to get rid off the samskaras. Ofcourse prior to that there were intellectual fears that detachment will lead to despondency. This was sheer ignorance of the inner condition of the heart where we have an admixture of the feelings of peace, detachment to the world, Love for the Master, love, kindness, empathy for our fellow beings and to other creatures of the Nature as well- a feeling of oneness with the Nature, aspiration for the Goal preceded by an urge for fulfillment of life’s purpose , a natural feeling of lowliness coupled with dependency on Master and above all a feeling of immense happiness, calmness etc. All these feelings could be there in various proportions at any point of time.

It is a matter of details that how we are remembering him i.e, like, are we remembering as a bhakta or as a saranya but what is remembered is always the Master. The relationship or thread of remembrance keeps on changing as we start to move up on our spiral ascent in the heart.

The exposure to the Sri Ramchandra consciousness in the from of Pranahuti naturally leads to a feeling of liking, happiness etc but also creates a urge to have it again and again. This aspect of Pranahuti was expounded very lucidly by our Revered Master of the order, Dr KCV in his new Darshana as “Some abhyasis expect immediately some changes like the abolition of the mental modifications – or the passing of thoughts which prevent concentration on the Guru or his transmission. But, what is experienced actually is not any such radical or spectacular phenomenon, but a setting up of a new kind of vibration which makes one feel ‘the quiet’ amid the chasing thought, ‘the quiet’ amid the noise of the surroundings, a withdrawal of senses of hearing from the outer world and also a slow giving up of desire for anything other than the ‘quiet’ itself. The experience of the ‘silent mind’ even when the objective mind is not completely stilled, is almost the first experience of the abhyasi” (complete works of Dr. KCV Vol.1 pg-368)

If the thoughts are not about the Master, then they thoughts could be divided into the following broad categories

a) Play of Lower Vrittis - about possessing something or seeking some sensual enjoyments ; This could be due to infatuations, impulsive desires for possession and enjoyment. During such times, we enjoy reading such books, magazines, news papers etc which we may reject to even look at them when we feel certain amount of purity after out meditation or cleaning. Similarly we also derive enjoyment and pleasure in watching TV’s, movies etc. The indulgences could be only with our senses and our involvement in it but this usually leads to a state of laziness. Laziness in the context that we find disinclination to meditation. This has been my experience and at times I used to carry on with it especially watching TV till I felt nausea. This kind of thing is like a trap and addiction which is no bad than other addictions to nicotine, alcohol etc. I feel addiction is some kind of a habit pattern where we find no freedom to act otherwise. If we are able to turn our attention to our Master and create a craving for the Master, then immediately I felt certain amount of purity and the thought gets diverted from the worldly enjoyments and his presence is felt in the heart. Even if I was trapped in a movie, if I were able to link some incident or event of the movie with the Master, then immediately I felt purity and moved away from the movie. This has happened many times and in many situations.

b)Self Love: But I have observed that when the thought is linked with self glory or imagination of our greatness which deal with

- appreciation by somebody, pat by somebody

- an achievement which is unique and also not achieved by somebody else

- imagining our selves getting some awards, rewards, position of power, positions of leadership

- the thoughts could also be with regard to seeking love, sympathy, attention

- thoughts of being the agent to bringing happiness to the people concerning us etc

In these thought patterns the mind literally takes its wings and we feel no boredom or tiresome ness. I usually felt the whole process quite rejuvenating (active mind) but as a sadhaka who is committed to the Master, I found great difficulty in switching the mode of the mind from the self glory to the remembrance of the Master. During these times the mind was active or rajasic in nature. Even the attempts to do cleaning are difficult as the mind is overpowered by these thoughts and it is quite active. I have learnt and continue to learn that we should never allow the mind take off in the first place and try to divert it by our alertness.

c) Worries, afflictions and other Mundane preoccupations: Sometimes when we have some impending work either at office or at home, the mind is pre occupied with it till the task is completed. This is also true in case of a physical affliction of not only self but also of the near and dear ones. I have quite often felt while attending to some office work, the whole thought content is filled with it. But the state of mind would become calm and light and the remembrance of the Master is spontaneous immediately after the work is over.

On analysis I have found that when we take up the responsibility of all the work on your head and fail to understand our limitations or our role, then this problem is acute. This is sheer ego in action though outwardly we give explanations of commitment, sincerity etc. But the inner motives are wanting to succeed and establish our competence coupled with an underlying fear of failure. At these times I have not only lost sleep but also the ability to meditate. I am learning to deal with such situations by yielding to the Master and offering the fruits of the work to the Master. Though we are asked to understand that he is the doer which I feel quite difficult as there is not only the act of the performance but also there is an awareness of the performance.

d) Doership, knowership and Enjoyership are the different facets of the ego which we have to overcome through our remembrance. I feel the conscious remembrance will not help in this regard and it may affect our performance of the activity but the remembrance has to be really be sub conscious so that we start remembering the Master after the work is over. But for that we have to start the work by remembering him. This, I think we should assiduously practice. In this regard, I would like to recall a small experience,” I heard one abhyasi sharing his feelings about remembrance that every day he remembered the purity aspect while taking a bath. This I tried to implement, but I found it quite difficult to begin with but with conscious awareness I slowly imbibed it and now the thought of purity is naturally remembered while taking a bath”

Conclusion: After many years of practice in the natural path, an awareness that has come about naturally is that the thought is yoked to the Master on a more continual basis. The mind is tending to think or remember Him. This, I feel is the blessing of our beloved Master Babuji Maharaj. Otherwise, the mind is generally is pre occupied with something or the other and if we probe a little bit we can also know the content of our thought, which will be mostly pertaining to the self, a bounded thought. When I am not remembering the Master, it is a feeling of separation and remembrance seems to be the linking factor between us and the Master.

Master, in this message, which is a commandment signifies the importance of prayer in being the only method of establishing the link with the Master. He says, the prayer has to be offered in a supplicant manner which is possible by keeping our position vis a vis His position in view.

We feel a certain amount of purity which is a refreshing feeling, we also feel lightness and happiness. The mind feels inclined towards the Master and this feeling or state of mind is what I understood as remembrance. All work should be done in the remembrance of the Master that is what is understood as sadhana.

Thank you.