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Way to Realisation(Role of the Abhyasi)



It is interesting that Revered. Master should have thought about writing a book on the role of the abhyasi as one of His last works. The book which is a compilation from His other works was published about 25 years after the system of SRRY had been revealed to the public. In the beginning and for quite sometime the belief had been gaining ground that the entire responsibility of bringing about the spiritual transformation lay squarely with the Master in SRRY with the abhyasi having precious little to do other than just becoming a member by expressing his willingness for the practice, duly enrolling himself through the introductory sittings and attending individual sittings and satsanghs. While it is true that the Master’s support is very crucial for the spiritual unfoldment of the abhyasi in the PAM practice, the abhyasi can by no means ignore his responsibility. He is the seeker interested in achieving the goal he has set for himself and hence must understand the full implications of the goal thus set, go after it with the Spartan spirit as the Master says, ‘either with the shield or on the shield’ and stop not till it is attained. If he is to be called a true follower, he has to act meticulously and in full compliance of the Ten Commandments in letter and spirit understanding their true import and significance. He should observe all the practices, meditation, cleaning and prayer as laid down in the system. He should be regular in keeping his appointments with his trainer, attend satsanghs and maintain his spiritual diary which will be shown to his trainer to enable appropriate training to be imparted to him.

Non-attachment- its cultivation in family life

The Master begins the subject by emphasizing the need for cultivating the spirit of non-attachment by the abhyasi as without this it would be impossible to be free from the clutches of Maya. The Master does not advocate the physical renunciation or non-possession of things towards this end. All our problems are owing to the undue attachment we have for the things, places and persons in this world and also towards certain ideas and ideologies as well. What we need to do is not to give up the things we have or run to the forest relinquishing our worldly duties but only develop due attachment towards the things associated with us. Having been born in this world, one has his duties towards it as well as towards God, the source from which all this has come about. As the Master has clarified in the last Chapter, Grihastashrama is not a barrier for realizing the Ultimate, rather it is best suited for equipping oneself for achieving perfection. It provides one with the opportunity for cultivating titiksha or endurance; the taunts and rebukes one receives from the family members help a good deal in practicing humility and the feeling of gairat or attributing the wrongdoing to oneself instead of blaming the other and genuinely repenting for the same and craving the Master’s pardon for it. According to the Master, it is only the person who has married knows what it is to love and be loved.

Many feel that it is necessary to go to the forest do penance and undergo severe austerities even as the rishis of yore who thoroughly devoted themselves to it for achieving the aim of a spiritual life. The crises one faces in family life setting are equivalent to a thousand penances if only one is prepared to sacrifice his comforts and privileges to make others happy. It is to be noted that as one grows in spirituality, the family circle expands to include all that is in creation in the entire universe.

Renunciation is actually a frame of mind arising when one contemplates the transitoriness of the things created and gets attached to the unchanging Reality behind all appearance. As it is mentioned in the Isa Upanishad it is by the sacrifice of the feeling of possessiveness alone one can be truly happy. Once the realization is had in the heart that everything in this universe is pervaded by Him, has been created by Him and hence belongs to Him, there is no ground to believe that anything belongs to any person. He has no rights of possession over anything. All things we are associated with have been entrusted to our care by God our Master and we should look after them, enhance their value, work towards their betterment and be prepared to give the same back to God in a better condition than we received them in the spirit of ideal trustees. If we can cultivate the sense of duty and perform action dedicating everything to the Master without any feeling of attraction or repulsion we are in a way away from worldly ties and have renounced the world in true sense. This is Vairagya in the proper sense of the term and once we are stabilized in this state of mind we are free from desires feeling contented with whatever we have. The end of desire means the stopping of the formation of further samskaras. Now it remains to undergo the effect of the previously formed samskaras or impressions which have to be worn out during the course of this life. Nature too helps us in the process by creating the field for bhog or experience in order to remove the impressions of our thoughts and actions from the causal body and when these coverings melt away we begin to assume finer forms of existence.

Balancing the spiritual and worldly aspects of living

None born in this world is free from misery and suffering. Pleasure and pain both contribute to misery; the Buddhist would say that life is only a series of miseries punctuated by fleeting intervals of so called pleasure, though it is certainly an extreme form of pessimism. The sense of doership and ownership are responsible for the formation and continuance of undue attachment. Actually both the spiritual world and the material world should go side by side glittering equally. We should soar with both wings. Though the Master has said thus and His sayings in this regard have been often misinterpreted, we should be on our guard here lest the material life and its advancement take precedence over our spiritual objectives. The person in whom Viveka or discriminating intelligence has developed through right practice and proper guidance would always maintain and observe the priorities so that he performs actions which are conducive to achieving the goal all the time no matter what may happen to the material side of his living. There are no worldly ambitions or great heights to be achieved for keeping the material life glittering. It is not to become the best scientist, the best businessman, the wealthiest person or a person with fame and name that we are pursuing a career in the world.

Due moderation is to be exercised in this respect so that we are not too much preoccupied with the pursuit of excellence in our chosen field of worldly activity with the result that the needed focus on the spiritual path may suffer. We need to remember that we take up an occupation so that we can earn through pious and honest means for providing for the various needs which a householder has to such as supporting the family, educating the children, looking to the wants and necessities of the family and protecting them from heat and cold. It is to be ensured that our being engaged in such activities for the due discharge of our worldly duties does not come in the way of our discharge of the primary duty each one of us has, namely Realization of our true nature. It has to be a balanced existence wherein due attention is paid towards both aspects of our living materialistic and the spiritual. Whether our worldly life is glittering or not, it is our paramount duty to ensure that our spiritual life is glittering.


People may think that it is difficult to live thus performing our worldly duties and adhering to sadhana for achieving oneness with the Absolute, both being regarded as mutually contradictory objectives. Actually it turns out that it is not so provided that we are guided and supported by a Master of caliber on the path. And especially when the individual mind is united with the First Mind or Stir as it happens in SRRY through the process of Pranahuti, the mind becomes in course of time capable of listening to the voice of God or conscience and has no difficulty in treading the arduous path towards perfection in the midst of the trials and tribulations of a worldly life. The Master says that the real state of Vairagya dawns only when one is wholly diverted towards Divinity. It is to be noted that this is a gradual process initiated and sustained by the attachment developed towards the Goal or Master. As a result the abhyasi loses body consciousness by and by and subsequently soul-consciousness as well. The condition of ‘living dead’ is entered into. This, however, is not to be taken to mean that an unnatural state of inertness or numbness is experienced all the time making one unfit for leading an active and useful life. Unnecessary preoccupation with the body and its state of health is removed. There is a profound clarity as to the goal in his mind and as he becomes more and more focused on to it he loses the sight of the existence of his body, mind or soul. The world looks indeed like a dream, the interactions with it leaves no lasting impression a state of forgetfulness sets in which all things irrelevant to sadhana or the Master’s work seem to evaporate. This is the superior and subtler state of Vairagya. This sort of affairs is encountered when we are intensely involved in any mundane activity as well such as being absorbed in reading, painting a picture or lost in contemplation over some one whom we love. Only here the object of absorption is the Divine Master. When the state of balanced functioning sets in we find that everything is taking care of itself. As the Master has pointed out misery, suffering, state of happiness or enjoyment are all the result of the bhog of one’s own samskaras. To some extent we also have to share in the sufferings and happiness of those associated with us in this life due to karmic connections developed from past lives. Only when we get involved in the happenings around us with the sense of doership and ownership and meddle with the unfolding bhog we sink deeper into the morass.

All of Nature works in utter tranquility making us suspect whether it exists even. Silent and smooth functioning is its hall mark. Only when nuisance is caused to its workings by the unbalanced functioning of the human will that has divorced itself from the line of Divinity, we hear its groans. The very purpose of the descent of the Supreme Personality is to restore the balance, which has been rudely disturbed by the unchecked and tumultuous functioning of the misdirected tendencies of the human mind.

The preliminary state of vairagya is quite easily achieved in our system through the diversion of the downward current to the right towards the Atman by the trainer through Pranahuti whereas in the normal course it may even take a lifetime of assiduous sadhana and practice of austerities without such a great help. The subtler and finer states of vairagya are attained with continued practice in the Natural Path, corresponding to the mergence and feeling of identicality experienced in the knots in the heart and mind regions.

Meditation (dhyana)

Dhyana in tradition

The Master now gets into a discussion of the means to move through the stages of ascent towards the Goal of human life. The topic of meditation is taken up. The Master makes a reference to Sage Patanjali, the author of the well known ‘yoga-sutras’, the most authoritative text on Rajayoga. Scholars differ widely in ascribing a date to the yoga sutras, the period ranging from the 4th century BC and the 4th century AD. However according to Revered. K.C.Varadachari, the yoga sutras could not belong to the post Christian era, rather they must be placed early enough in the 2nd century BC (CW V3 p 370). There seem to have been two Patanjalis, one of them a grammarian. Patanjali’s work is basically a compilation or reformulation, as the very opening sutra says (atha yoganushasanam), of the spiritual disciplines and techniques of meditation which enable the practicant to achieve the object of yoga normally understood in the Upanishadic tradition as the union of the individual soul with the universal soul. However according to Patanjali, yoga does not mean union but the spiritual effort to realize one’s real nature and abide in it through the control of the body, senses and mind and right discrimination between Purusha and Prakriti. The system of Patanjali is closely allied to Samkhya philosophy which may be considered to be the theoretical aspect and the Yoga constituting the practical disciplines leading to viveka-discriminative knowledge by which alone one attains liberation. The above referred techniques have been mentioned already in various Upanishads, such as the Katha, Swetasvatara, the Chandogya, the Taitriya and Maitrayani Upanishads very many centuries earlier.

Sri Ramchandra’s Rajayoga and the Patanjali school

In the Ashtanga yoga of Patanjali, the eight steps are yama-the restraints, niyama-the observances, asana-posture, pranayama-breath control, pratyahara-diversion of attention towards the divine from objects of the senses, dharana-point of attention or holding of the thought, dhyana-meditation and samadhi-absorption.

We start from the seventh step in SRRY, which however does not mean that the other steps are not significant or they are omitted. They come into practice automatically when we proceed with meditation supported by the divine influx of the transmitted consciousness of the Master. The modification thus introduced saves lot of time and labour for the abhyasi and needless to add, that it is possible only because of the active and continuous support of the Master through Pranahuti.

Light as object of meditation and heart as the nucleus

We find the Master referring to the Patanjali sutras I.36 and I.37 during his discussion on the topic of meditation. I.36 (visoka va jyotishmati) states that concentration in the sense of cessation of the mental modifications, as that is the view of Patanjali, results by meditating on the Light in the heart. The Master has referred this sutra in the connection of the practice followed in SRRY namely to meditate on the heart. The ancient yogis believed that there was an actual centre of spiritual consciousness called ‘the lotus of the heart’ situated between the abdomen and the thorax which had the form of a lotus shining with an inner light which could be revealed in deep meditation. It was said to be ‘beyond sorrow’ as those who saw it were filled with an extraordinary sense of peace and joy. The Kaivalya Upanishad exhorts one to enter the lotus of the heart and meditate there on the presence of Brahman-the pure, the infinite the blissful. The Chandogya Upanishad refers to the city of Brahman which is the body wherein is the heart in which there is a little house in the shape of a lotus and in that lotus dwells that which is to be sought after, inquired about and realized. Again we find in the Mundaka Upanishad the reference to the pure Brahman, passionless and indivisible dwelling within the lotus of the heart where the nerves meet like the spokes of a wheel and we are asked to meditate on that Brahman who is also the light of lights. The same Upanishad advises meditation on the omniscient all pervading embodiment of knowledge and bliss, the creator of all that exists and who directs the body and the life force dwelling as the atman in the heart- space, the luminous divine city of Brahman. The Katha Upanishad refers in its ‘anghushta matra vidya’- the science of the thumb sized-to the meditation on Divine Purusha, the eternal all pervading Lord of the past, present and the future dwelling as the atman of the size of the thumb in the centre of the body like smokeless light. (jyotirivadhumakah). The Upanishads also refer to the heart as the cave in which dwells the divine and which is to be meditated upon (nihitam guhayam). The science of yoga leading to Realization has been called ‘dahara vidya’, the word ‘dahara’ referring to the heart and the space within the heart is the ‘dahara akasa’, the replica of the vast space outside. In yoga there comes the imperience of the unification of the inner space and the outer space leading to the transcendence of the limited or pinda consciousness and the realization of the cosmic consciousness.

Master’s heart or ‘form’ as object of meditation

The sutra I.37 (vitaraga vishayam va chittam) meaning we can achieve the cessation of the mental modifications by meditating on the heart of an illumined soul, which is free from attachments. Meditating on an evolved soul in the heart with faith and conviction fills one’s heart with the holy attributes of that soul and the mind of the meditator becomes calm and tranquil. It becomes devoid of passion, attachments and the lower urges. This speeds up spiritual progress. As you think so you become.

The Master refers to this sutra while mentioning the technique of meditation apparently on human form which may be advised to an abhyasi at a certain stage of development in his faith. While people may consider this to be suicidal to spiritual advancement, the Master assures that it will not be so especially when the man meditated upon is one of special caliber having come down from the Immaterial Absolute for spiritual training or has attained the spiritual standard of evolution required for the purpose by supreme self-exertion. The Master speaks very highly of the efficacy of this process and says that He Himself had adopted this device during His own sadhana as His revered Master is such a soul fit to be meditated upon thus. All the stages in spirituality had been crossed by Him by taking up the meditation on the Master’s form along with continuous and constant remembrance of the Master. It must be noted however that the Master advises all abhyasis to meditate only on the divine light without luminosity in the heart which is the standard instruction and the Master’s form referred to is not the three dimensional physical form. The meditation on Master’s form should not be taken up by any abhyasi without referring the matter to his guide who would advise appropriately regarding the same and also the process of doing such meditation if the situation so warrants it.

Ashtanga yoga and Sriramchandra’s Rajayoga

Before we proceed further it will be proper to look at the significant ways in which SRRY differs from the Ashatnga yoga of Patanjali despite many references made by the Master to it as discussed above keeping in mind that the SRRY is an entirely new system of Rajayoga. It may be mentioned at the outset itself that while Sage Patanjali mentions many ways of meditation for arriving at the state of cessation of thoughts, the niruddha sate of mind, he does not recommend any one method as the one that should be adopted by the aspirant in preference to all others. In fact we find him giving a perfect choice to the aspirant through the sutra yathabhimatadyanadva (or by meditating upon any object that is appealing to the practicant I.39). There is no mention of Pranahuti or its application in the path of yogic evolution. There is no mention about the need for specific cleansing processes for the removal of the solidities and complexities accumulated by the soul during its repeated births towards the end of liberation in one life. The process of Pranahuti and the cleansing practices are the most significant features of SRRY as we will see below. We also find that there is no mention of knots, granthis or chakras in the entire discourse as we would come across in the SRRY and also in other systems like kundalini yoga etc.,

Yama and Niyama

There is no mention of yama and niyama in SRRY in the traditional sense but the Master makes it clear that discipline and following certain basic tenets are absolutely necessary. Perhaps He felt that there is no need to repeat the age old and well established norms of moral and ethical life which ought to be followed by any serious spiritual seeker. Our tradition lays down clearly that for one who has not turned away from wrong (navirato duscharitat-kathopanishad 1.2.24) there can hardly be the attainment peace of mind, nor of the worlds here and the hereafter.

The great saints of the past have emphasized that unless a sahdhaka makes a firm commitment to reach the ultimate goal of human life and follow such means as are conducive to realizing such a goal and avoid all distracting matters there is little prospect for achieving the goal. They even advocated strict celibacy and adopting the ascetic way of life in this regard holding that grihastashrama would be a great hindrance in the pursuit of realization. While the Master differs markedly from the above view that it is not possible for one realize the object of human life while living the life of a householder and even advocates that it is the best environment for the purpose of realization, He is quite categorical at the same time in stating the need for developing a good moral character on the path. Revered.Lalaji Maharaj has said that even attaining very high states in spirituality is of no consequence at all if the person is devoid of a sound moral character. It is utterly impossible to reconcile a vile character with advancement in spirituality.

Asana and Pranayama

It is found that there is no stress on asana and pranayama. Asana is the pose or posture and pranayama is control of breath and both have been made much of in the current view of yoga, thanks to the proliferation of yogacharyas and literature on the subject.

The vast majority of these much touted asanas said to confer great benefits upon the practicants are only physical exercises and contortions of the body in disguise. Even the aim behind learning the above practices is not self-mastery and realization but improvement of physical health and fitness, relaxing the mind and it is quite ironical to find yoga being included as part of the fitness regime of corporate executives, the rich and glamorous clientele of the yoga exponents of the day. We can not imagine a worse state of degradation for the really sacred discipline of yoga. The lofty purpose of yoga has been cast aside and yoga itself has been equated with asana and pranayama exercises with a few minutes of meditation thrown in. The real purpose of asana is however to merely allow the aspirant to sit steadily for at least up to an hour in meditation (as in PAM) without being distracted by bodily disturbances. Sage Patanjali himself says sthiram sukham asanam, (II.46) the pose shall be steady and be at the same time be comfortable to the practicant.

We find the mention of only a few such postures not more than six to eight in number in the traditional literature, the padmasana or the lotus posture being the most well known and much appreciated among them. Lord Shiva and Lord Buddha are portrayed often in this posture as also Swami Vivekananda and his Master from among the modern saints. Saint Jnanadeva talks about the Mula bandha or Vajrasana and the ability it confers on the aspirant for doing meditation undisturbed for a long time in detail in his commentary Jnaneswari, on the Gita (Ch.VI). In addition to the above, there are references to the siddhasana (the steady pose) and the sukhasana (easy and comfortable pose).

The attainment of steadiness or asana jaya as it is called is achieved only through regular practice. We find that the Master as also His Master seated in a simple cross-legged posture which is put into practice easily by all aspirants of normal health. This indicates clearly that posture is only of secondary importance as compared to the observation of the various meditational and purifiactory practices under PAM.

Pranayama is control of breath and is believed to have been practiced extensively by the yogis and also the Buddhist seekers. It has been the experience of the yogis that control of breath leads to the calming and control of mind which could be considered as an extension of the principle of a sound mind in a sound body-mens sana corporea sano.

There is a great variety of pranayama techniques essentially consisting of rechaka-exhalation, puraka-inhalation and kumbaka-retention and the proportion in duration amongst the three activities with their attendant benefits. However the Pranahuti or the influx of the divine consciousness is able to produce an almost instantaneous calming effect and the aspirant is able to experience the silent mind almost effortlessly due to this influx in PAM so that the Master dispenses totally with pranayama itself considered by all yoga practicants and the hathayogis among them in particular, as an indispensable part of yoga practice itself. PAM is indeed a great boon for the householders wishing to embark upon the path of yoga that they need not learn and master the intricacies of pranayama for achieving success on the path as most of the pranayama techniques are quite difficult to master even for the adepts following the ascetic life and prove impossible for ordinary persons who do not have the robust health, can not follow a strict celibate life and spare the time for the exercises. It is also to be kept in mind that the attention to be paid on the breath for its control in pranayama externalizes one’s view and this comes in the way of achieving internalization which is required in the spiritual path.

Pranayama and Pranahuti

Pranayama is replaced with Pranahuti in PAM; the Master gives a new interpretation for Prana viz., Prana is not the physical breath alone and it should mean in the human context ‘thought’. This thought is that which is common between him and the Ultimate and this feature distinguishes man in the whole scheme of creation. The prana is in a state of equanimity and a state of balance whenever it is dwelling on the thoughts of the origin or the base. When due to circumstances it gets attached to anything other than the origin, it tries to get out of the clutches of such extraneous matter giving rise to the awareness of ‘thoughts’ in the human mind. Our mind becomes aware of the thoughts because the mind itself is rejecting such matter which is foreign to its own original nature. With this profound insight regarding the nature of Prana and the origin of thoughts in our minds it becomes a lot easier to practice yoga which is all about the control and utilization of thoughts.

Now pranayama gets a new meaning i.e., the capacity for holding thought for a period rather than the breath and such a view helps very much in understanding the true nature of Pranahuti and how it is offered. The new meaning offered by Revered. Master to prana instead of its traditional meaning of physical breath is one of the major modifications to the system of the old ashtangayoga.


The step preceding dhyana or meditation in the Patanjali system is pratyahara which means literally alternate food. It refers to the effort to be put in by the aspirant to withdraw the mind going behind the senses and make it dwell on the object of meditation which is divinity represented in some manner. However the undisciplined senses keep running after their food or vishaya- vishayanstheshu gocharan as in the kathopanishad (1.3.4) where the indriyas or the senses have been compared to the horses and the vishayas or the sense objects are compared to the pastures grazed by the horses. The Lord Himself has made the senses look outward-paranchikhani vyathrunath swayambhu (katha-2.1.1); perhaps the divine dispensation is that the purusha, here the incarnated soul, should have all the experiences and enjoyments he can get out of nature through the senses so that he can come to the conclusion as to the imperfect and transitory nature of worldly enjoyments and seek that lasting happiness which is beyond the reach of the senses within himself.

It has been said in Patanjali yoga that, when the mind or senses go outward to sensual and other objects they should be supplied with adequate objects of purity which will counteract this outward movement (vitarkabadhane pratipakshabhavanam II 33). Pratipaksha means here Pratyahara-granting contrary food which is much sweeter and in tradition it has been advised that mouth must praise God, the hands must adorn God and the eyes must behold the beauty of God and so on (Ref. CW KCV V3-p 337). However this is a very difficult process to implement in practice indeed for the sadhaka whose mind is already ill disciplined and unregulated and ill prepared to dwell on the contrary food as suggested above. We find that the Master’s system starts from this step of Pratyahara, wherein the mind is offered the alternate food of the divine light without luminosity for meditation. As we have seen earlier that the mind accepts readily anything related to the divine and the suggestion that it thinks of the divine light as mentioned suits its real nature and it is able to hold the idea. Further the Master does not insist that the light should be seen and experienced unlike in the ashtanga yoga; it is only a suggestion and the presence of the object is not insisted upon as light is not the goal according to the Master.

This coupled with the Master’s advice that the thoughts, other than the object of meditation, are to be ignored as uninvited guests facilitates the process of meditation greatly and imparts a great deal of confidence to the seeker trying to find his feet on the path of yoga.

All along it has been dinned into ears of seekers that the perfect state to be attained is the absolutely thoughtless state of nirvikalpa samadhi and many a practicant is always confronted by thoughts even after much progress in the path. We will see more of this aspect when the practice of meditation proper is discussed. Similarly there are significant differences in the interpretation of the processes of control and concentration of mind and the states of samadhi as compared to the understanding of these states in Patanjali yoga, which will be brought to attention at the appropriate stages in our discussion of these aspects in SRRY.

Role of the Central Force in Pranahuti aided meditation

The mind of ordinary men has been spoilt by its habituation of running after sense objects. In the leisure moments the mind seems to take wings with the thoughts of diverse things crisscrossing the mind leaving impressions upon our emotive feelings and senses. The senses have thus been spoilt and adopt a wrong course. The marks made on the indriyas turn them solid like a rock depriving them of wisdom resulting in coverings to be formed over the soul so that we can not even peep into it not to speak of realizing it. The soul has become like a silk worm in a cocoon, implying that the soul itself is responsible for creating the various coverings through the wrong use of its faculties and under which it now remains enmeshed. If the message of Rajayoga, a subtle method of evolution, is recommended to persons who have built up solidity as above, they do not feel inclined to follow it and some of them do not even want to hear it. In the process of meditation advised in the system, we make use of the central force within us, though it has been marred by our wrong doings. It disperses the overwhelming clouds which are greatly fried up by its force. It is the experience of every practicant in the system that he feels happiness and peace at least for some time during meditation. It is indeed a blessed condition to feel this peace and calmness almost effortlessly for it is known that people have left their homes, went to the forests for pursuing severe austerities and penance in the olden days for years together just to get a glimpse of this peace.

The mind is disciplined and is regulated automatically, the senses come under control and mastery over self is gained gradually as the practice is continued. Further on one finds himself swimming in everlasting peace and happiness. Everything ends here. There is no attachment with the world. To attain mastery over the self means getting mastery over nature. The Master says that Nature’s work comes within the bounds and limits of a person when the passage becomes clear, i.e., when the rings of ego are crossed and the individuality fades off into identity in the realms of the divine. At this stage the soul starts working automatically. This then is the logical culmination of the process which is based upon taking support from the central or root force in oneself.

Method of meditation in PAM

The method advised is to meditate on the heart thinking of the divine light there; the Master says that all the saints have advised meditation on light as described in the Upanishads and referred to above. God is subtle and light is the subtlest thing which can be used to symbolize God.

But there should not be any mental projection or imagination as to the form and shape of the light like the sun or candle light. It will then be artificial with undesirable results and one will be far away from Reality. The abhyasi is advised to proceed with a mere supposition of light with the thought of divinity at the bottom. What happens then is that we meditate on the subtlest object we have to attain. It is to be noted that the light to be meditated upon is without luminosity, the essential attribute associated with all perceptible light and constituting the very definition of light. The goal being suprasensual the sensory experience of seeing luminous light is not the state sought after. The Master has also revealed that the goal is neither light nor darkness but beyond both. The impossibility of thinking of light without luminosity makes the aspirant yield to the Divine Master and this paves the way for the descent of divine grace into the heart of the aspirant enabling his movement into divinity. The aspirants do have the experience of witnessing bright or glittering light in the early stages of sadhana. The Master says that this is due to the contact of matter (present in the heart as accumulated solidity) and the energy of the divine influx. It shows that energy has begun to work in the abhyasi’s system. Further on it is felt as cool moonshine. Different hues are seen either alone or intermingled according to the knots traversed. But all these chromatic visions end in the realm of the pind desh or realm of localized or individuated consciousness and it is all achromatic when the person moves into brahmand or higher realms ahead. Since the yatra in any knot is not completed to perfection, luminosity continues to be witnessed even in the case of persons who have moved on beyond the pind desh. In the finer realms of the Divine it is the grey with a shade of light pink, soothing and conferring a quiet and blissful state on the practicant as one would experience the Dawn. The real light is a faint reflection of colourlessness. The word light is not the exact translation of the thing because it is far heavier than what it is chosen to represent. The sign of real progress is the feeling that one is becoming lighter and lighter and the thoughts do not cast their weight upon the mind. In reality the ultimate is a substance-less substance and losing of one’s substantiality or solidity is what is felt as one moves ahead on this path.

The Master lays great emphasis on eschewing all artificiality and misdirected stress created by one’s desires and preconceived notions regarding the experiences on the path, i.e. insisting upon having visions, seeing light and hearing voices from above and so on. Lot of curiosity is generated in the practicant’s mind by reading literature in this field and he tries to project unconsciously the experiences had by other sadhakas practicing the various disciplines and with basically different objectives. The seeker’s mind gets fascinated by the various miraculous powers supposedly attained by the pursuit of spiritualism and occultism which have nothing to do with genuine spirituality at all. This causes a tremendous distraction from the pursuit of the Real and there is a real danger of the abhyasi losing the way altogether. The Master advises strongly that the aspirant shall develop a deep personal attachment to the Ultimate goal of realization and hold fast to it till the very end. An instance is the unnatural and misdirected emphasis on the state of concentration and in particular the state of total thoughtlessness and the effort put in by some practicants to get at that state by forcing the mind to it.

This desire to get into the state of samadhi losing all outward consciousness for hours together has been generated in the minds of seekers in general due to the fascinating accounts given about such experiences had by some saints and avadoothas in the mystical literature. The Master says clearly in His guidelines on meditation that the abhyasi should not mind if extraneous ideas haunt him during meditation. He should not struggle with the ideas and go on with his work treating them as uninvited guests. Concentration, which He chooses to call as absorption is the natural result of proper meditation.

Real nature of concentration

Master has thrown new light on concentration or Dharana of the yoga school and also on Samadhi. His concept of concentration allows flow of thoughts to be there in meditation. But this flow has no effect on the mind and the abhyasi is unable to recall most of them at the end of the session of meditation. When the abhyasi does meditation by taking up the thought of divine light in the form of sankalpa (subtle idea) without any imposed resolve or effort and proceeds with it without enforcing any artificiality or imposition, he is able to experience the state of non-concentration concentration better known as absorption. This concept will be welcomed by all sadhakas with sincere gratitude. Meditation thus practiced leads to a state of absorption or state of Samadhi. Thus the popular Patanjali sutra yogaschittavritti nirodhah (yoga is the restraint of mental modifications) loses its significance for the practicants of PAM as the state of absorption is still possible with flow or non-cessation of thoughts. The journey of the aspirant can start in the real sense only after yoga or union with the divine which the divine itself has to perform through the agency of a competent master firmly established in the highest realm of the divine. Yoga can not be equated to a mental state however exalted it may be. The practicants of PAM experience the silent mind automatically due to the divine influx of Pranahuti and also imperience the state of ‘nothingness’ with simple awareness at least for some time in their day to day meditations all due to the connection or yoga established with the divine through the Master. Thus yoga precedes the state of silent mind here.

Samadhi- Its Types

The Master has mentioned three stages in Samadhi or the state of absorption. The first of these is wherein a man feels lost or drowned. His senses feelings and emotions are temporarily suspended in a way that they seem to be dead for the time being. He resembles a man in a dead slumber, unconscious of everything.

In the second the man though deeply concentrated at a point does not feel actually drowned in it. It may be described as a state of consciousness in an unconscious state. Apparently he is not conscious of anything but consciousness is present still within him though only in a shadowy form. A practical example is a man deeply absorbed in some thought walks on the road but does not collide with any person or object while he is yet unconscious of anything else does not see anything or hear any voices. In this state of unconsciousness he unknowingly attends to the necessities and as occasion demands. The state of consciousness creates little impression on the mind.

The third is the highly extolled sahaj samadhi, the finest state of absorption in which the man while being busy with his work, his mind being absorbed in it but in the innermost core of his heart he is settled on the Real Thing. With his conscious mind he is busy with the external work while his subconscious mind is busy with Divine thoughts at the same time. He is all the while in samadhi though apparently he is busy with the worldly work. The Master says that very little remains to be done after a person enters into the state permanently. Thus we find the Master giving the idea that samadhi is not a state of consciousness, that is one of absorbency during meditation but is a state that endures during the day and is something that is to be had all the time irrespective of the functions we are discharging throughout our life. It is not an isolated great moment to be had and into which we dive now and then and come back later to this otherwise gross dirty wakeful life out of sheer necessity (Ref. SRRY New Darsana BP V1).

Rationale for heart as the centre of meditation

Master gives the reason for choosing heart as the centre for meditation. The heart is the pumping station of blood to all parts of the body. Purity is infused into all the chakras and plexuses in the entire system by meditating at the heart on the divine light or the light without luminosity with divinity at the bottom. As a result the solidity due to one’s own thoughts and actions accumulated on the various spiritual centers begins to melt away and this effect is felt almost from the very first day. This facilitates abhyasi’s travel in the higher realms of consciousness. Heart is the only place where the connecting link between the animate and inanimate is felt clearly. During the pauses between heart beats we are almost inanimate if not absolutely. We may take the inactive aspect as corresponding to the backing or substratum of divinity behind all activity or manifestation. The rhythmic pulsations of the heart are the manifest action of the root force, which is behind the animate expression of all life. Further the heart is said to be the field for the action of the mind and it is the instrument by which we develop the discriminative faculty. This could be also called conscience or the voice of God. Master talks about the heart signal which tells us whether the thing referred to it is right or wrong. The decision comes always from the heart. He says that if after one decides on the course of action and looks to the condition of the heart and finds it to be tranquil and calm then he can conclude that it is the right decision. For this to happen the heart shall be kept always in a condition of purity, one must be devoid of egoistic feelings and the heart shall be full of feelings of dependence and submissiveness to the divine. The case has to be put up before the Master dwelling in the heart in a mood of supplicancy accompanied by a readiness to implement any direction that issues from the heart as coming from the Divine Master as a command. There must not be any prior expectancy dictating the nature of the outcome of the decision.

The purpose of resorting to meditation is to gather the scattered rays of the mind at one point. It is the experience of the sadhaka that when the mind thinks about worldly objects it is always agitated. On the other hand when it is presented with the idea of the divine to meditate upon it starts calming down. That is the alternate food or pratyahara for the mind in the place of sense objects as noted earlier. The Master has pointed out elsewhere that we find the darker aspect i.e., prakriti and the brighter aspect, namely purusha in all things created. Meditating upon the darker aspect leads to bondage whereas meditating upon the brighter aspect leads to freedom. It is only after the dawn of discriminative knowledge that one learns to fix his attention on the brighter aspect of all creation and proceed further on the path of evolution.

On other centres of meditation

The Master talks about the effect of meditating on other centers such as Trikuti or between the eye brows and the navel point. Meditation on the center between eyebrows also known as ajna chakra is difficult as it is the distribution center for the power coming down from above. There is always agitation at this center; a gentle throbbing sensation is felt here which is pleasant. The center has actually three discernible layers and it is difficult to penetrate. Even if one succeeded in doing meditation at this point there is a strong chance for the person to develop ahankar and his further progress becomes almost impossible. This is the point of highest approach for the hatha yogis. The person who arrives here by arduous sadhana and self control feels that he is the master of everything and feels no need of yielding to the higher power. The Master states clearly that approach up to this point has the only benefit that the person need not once again assume the earthly form and there are very many stages to be crossed before one can say that he has arrived at the destination. The sense of self is still there and the influence of Maya is yet to be fully overcome. This is just the beginning of the kingdom of God. The Master is emphatic in His declaration that it is only through Rajayoga and the effective and practical guidance of a master of caliber endowed with the power of Pranahuti that the sincere seeker can move beyond this center and reach the destination safely. The effect of meditating on the naval center produces a tickling sensation making a person laugh uncontrollably. Sometimes the base passions may be triggered leading to the sadhaka’s downfall. Thus the Master establishes the superiority of the heart center as a choice for basing the meditation if one aims at the highest approach. Further heart alone is the center of all emotions and feelings, relationships, love and concern for all beings. We call only those persons saints whose heart is filled to the brim with loving concern for all motivating them to serve their fellow beings in a spirit of sacrifice. It is only the heart of the teacher which is used for directing the divine grace towards the aspirant’s heart facilitating the aspirant’s movement towards the goal.

Purificatory Practices

The Master now directs His attention towards cleaning or purificatory practices which is a very unique aspect of PAM. We should note that none of the ancient schools, the Patanjali yoga in particular or the modern schools of yoga pay any attention at all to this most important aspect of spiritual sadhana, though all recognize the importance of purity and its maintenance in the spiritual way of life. The purpose of the cleansing practice is the purging of the mind and making it receptive to the efficacious influence of the Master’s grace.

We have seen earlier that samskaras are formed by the deliberate involvement of the heart and the brain in doing any action. Here it is to be noted that effects are produced even by mere thinking with passionate involvement as thoughts have life and have an effect on persons’ lives as stated by the Master. The origin of samskar formation has already been discussed in detail. If the person wants to attain liberation in his current life itself, he has to undergo bhog of all the samskaras he has created by himself for himself but normally a single life is not enough for this process as he goes on forming impressions even as the bhog process continues. The cleaning process devised in PAM aims mainly at the purging of the effects of impressions created in our day to day interactions so that need for their bhog in the future is obviated. In addition a good part of the impressions created already by our past actions can also be purged out by diligent and continuous practice of cleaning.

Tradition had advised that sravana and manana, hearing and contemplation of good things and satsangh with holy and pious persons would help to keep the mind pure. But in actual practice it becomes difficult as the minds of ordinary persons are already in a spoilt and impure state. There are three types of impurity, mala-superficial dirt, vikshepa-distortion of and distraction from the goal, a state of mind in which there are various thoughts which the sadhaka confuses with the goal and avaranas-coverings over the soul. The Master defines cleaning as using ‘the original power of thought in the form of human will for the refinement of the individual soul to enable it to ascend the steep and slippery path of Realization of the subtlest Essence of Identity’. We have formed the impressions with our own intentional consciousness through feelings of attraction, repulsion and ignorance of the underlying Reality. Hence we shall use our own will to remove the effects of solidity, complexities, darkness and grossness formed over our souls over thousands of births. But we are not really capable of doing this task all by ourselves and that is where we try to bring in the Divinity in some aspect or the other in the three methods of cleaning open to the aspirant in PAM. It must be clearly noted however that only one method is to be followed by the abhyasi, the one best suited to him or her according to the capacity of his or her individual mind, in consultation with his or her trainer. It is to be kept in mind that Pranahuti is not available during this individual cleaning and it is only the individual will which is to be exercised in the process. The Master’s support is there but only indirectly.

The three methods involve namely, the agnitatva or the fire principle, which is one of the most effective purificatory elements as conceived in tradition, as in the process described by the Master in the text which helps to burn off the impurities in the form of vapour or smoke leaving from behind. The second one involves the water principle another purificatory element when the abhyasi thinks he is immersed in the ocean of bliss and the pure waves of the ocean are passing through his system and cleansing him of dirt and disease. The last one involves the divine light imagined to be at the top of the head and that the abhyasi is linked to it and the light is employed as the cleansing agent by passing it through the entire system (Ref. PAM BP V1). It may be mentioned that mala or superficial dirt can be removed through the above individual cleaning process and the trainer’s help is to be availed through Pranahuti for the removal of the other two types of impurity, vikshepa and avarana.

Effective cleaning requires the steady application of one’s own will in removing the blemishes and this hardly possible unless he has created a firm resolution to attain the goal. One of the fundamentals in cleaning is that only the thing which had been originally pure can be cleaned so that it regains its original purity. The Master says that we are all descended from Purity and we need to get back to the original condition by removing the dirt deposited upon our innermost core, the contamination having been sustained by our own misguided and wrong actions. This realization makes it possible for one to apply his will in the process. It is necessary that the will is applied assiduously during the cleaning process and it is to be ensured that the abhyasi does not unconsciously drift into the state of meditation dwelling on the very things to be removed. The will is to be firmly exercised that all the impurities and grossness are removed from the system and one has become purer than when he began the session. If the practice has been followed properly, the aspirant feels purified, lighter and is eager to contemplate on the divine or the Master. He is filled with renewed enthusiasm in the pursuit of the goal. His confidence gets a boost and the faith in the Master and himself is reinforced. Realization grows within the practicant that oneness with the Lightest and the Purest is possible only when he also becomes likewise and that he can not enter the pure realms of the Absolute with the solidities and impurities. Regularity in cleaning is a sign of cooperation with the Master who has dedicated Himself to the task of spiritual up-lift of the abhyasi. It is also submission to the will of the Master and is a stepping stone to the state of yielding. It is also a display of good etiquette on the part of the servant who wants to appear in the true colours before his Master.

The Master states clearly that one should not force or pressurize his mind in any way while doing the cleaning or meditation practices. One should not feel tired or exhausted after the practice. The practice of ‘B’ point meditation done before the morning meditation practice helps in ensuring mental purity and is highly effective in fixing one’s attention on the divine light in the heart during the meditation. It also checks the fickle tendencies of the mind and promotes absorbency in meditation.

Preliminaries to meditation

Posture, place, time and seat - the First Commandment

The logic behind the process of meditation and the manner in which it is to be done is discussed by the Master under this topic. When the thought of going back to the origin stirred up, man realizes the need to bring activity that has sprung up in him to a latent state as far as it is possible. This is because the sphere just above the Centre is one in which the motions have attained a state of latency or potentiality. All stimulus and activity are manifested and supported in the grosser regions by it. This is the sphere called the Central Region, the cause of all regions of manifestation following it. Thus for attaining a similar state of quiescence man has to produce a corresponding to it within him by suspending physical and superfluous mental activities engendered by the human will. This state of silence is pregnant with divine intentions and to achieve the state of oneness with it man has to renounce his personal egotistic agenda. In other words, the energy channeled into the line of humanity has to be reduced to the barest minimum.

The Master further reasons that just as the latent motion is grosser compared to the Absolute with which it is connected, the aspirant must take up something grosser for the purpose of attaining the desired ideal of Reality. That is he should create within himself the state of pralaya or the state of complete withdrawal of each of the outer layer of being into its preceding subtle layer, the immediate cause of the corresponding outer. It is a process of contraction even as manifestation is one of expansion reaching out progressively outwards. The contraction starts always from below and proceeds progressively upwards as one moves from the grosser state to the next finer state. This is done by folding his legs inwards as in the seated posture and also drawing in the shoulders and arms and joining them through the hands. Lord Krishna states in the Gita that the limbs should be drawn in to the maximum extent as in the case of the tortoise which draws all its limbs into its shell (BG- II- 58). This helps in checking the outgoing tendencies of the mind. The physical withdrawal helps in mental withdrawal. It also helps us to concentrate when our energy does not get dissipated in various directions.

The posture should be steady and this is achieved through regular practice. We have already the occasion to discuss about posture or asana. Needless to say that it is impossible to achieve success in meditational practices if one is unable to master the physical posture. The Master says that the posture must always be the same for the reason that in this way the aspirant gets associated with the great power, the very thing he takes up in the beginning for the attainment of his particular objective. Again it has been held by many in the field of yoga from the very ancient periods that it is advantageous for the abhyasi to hold the backbone, neck and head in one line and keep this erect throughout the meditation period. The Gita mentions it as samam kaya sirogreevam (BG-VI-13), the justification being that the flow of divine grace is facilitated by such a posture. The Master however says that in our way of practice this is not insisted upon. He also advises that one should not strain himself unduly in maintaining the posture. Further as one develops a submissive attitude before his Master in whose presence he is seated, the head is automatically bowed and in this posture it is easy to stay blissfully absorbed in the thought of the Divine. As a matter of fact posture is not confined merely to the physical plane. It has a lot to do with the mental attitude as well. The suppliant and grateful attitude adopted by the aspirant before the Great Master makes the body follow suit expressing it through the forward drooping of the head and neck in comparison with the ramrod like straight posture indicative of pride and arrogance. Again the bowed posture also conveys the helplessness of the aspirant to do the sadhana on his own and the prayerful attitude inviting the grace of the supreme Master into his heart to enable his progress on the path. Master also mentions that we shall be attentive in the posture similar to the soldier in the parade standing in attention before his superior officer ready to take any order, more so because the person before whom we think we are seated is the Master or God Himself.

The Master advises that the practice of meditation be done in the grey of the morning or the sandhya, when night gives way to the morning. A state of perfect calm and balance prevails during the sandhya periods akin to what existed just prior to creation. As we are attempting to restore the state of balance and harmony within ourselves of a similar kind the periods of sandhya are best suited to offer Puja.

The commentary by the Master on the 1st Commandment (Ref. Imperience Beckons) called by Him as the first and foremost commandment addresses in great depth and detail the basis of and the logic behind sandhya upasana and relates to the proper observance of sandhya and upasana. It may be said that this commandment and the commentary on it by the Master summarizes the entire system of SRRY in a sense. He discusses the concept of the Origin, the beginning of creation, the conditions prevailing at that time, the Kshob, the descent of the individual souls and the concept of Tam the ultimate goal.

It may be seen that the Master uses the word Puja in the place of the usual word meditation. This implies that we shall be conscious that we are contemplating the holy divine with the avowed purpose of attaining the final state of oneness with the divine. Hence a worshipful attitude should be maintained all through and not the idea that we are doing a mental exercise. Today it is common to see that meditation of various colours and hues are being prescribed for having peace of mind, reduction of stress and anxiety, improving memory, efficiency at the work place, creating an optimistic and cheerful attitude to life. The goal is not realization or even evolving into a nobler and higher kind of person. Hence a conscious attempt is to be made by the aspirant to reinforce the idea of the goal in his mind and cultivate a strong craving in his heart to attain the original condition. A state of restless impatience is to be kept all through with an attitude of utter dependency on the Supreme Master for solving the problem of existence.

We have seen that the morning sandhya reminds us of the origin and creates the urge in us to get back. The Master refers to the sandhya at noon called madhahnika in tradition and which is not observed generally even by those who are enjoined to do so. The Master distinguishes between the material heat of the sun and the power of the Source, the sun’s heat being grosser. The sun’s rays are quite direct at noon causing greater heat. Nature’s eternal heat which proceeds from the origin is also attached with it. Thus indirectly we connect ourselves with the Ultimate Power through the medium of material heat and secure closeness to it. Thus when we meditate at noon our thoughts get unconsciously attached to the powers of the Centre. The Master however does not instruct that the noon sandhya be followed strictly by the abhyasi though the sages have recommended it, not merely because the heat of the Sun is more and hence inconvenient but because the heat is more than what is necessary for us to be reminded of the power of the Base and the need to get back to the source. When the heat of the sun comes down and it becomes cool in the evening sandhya, we are reminded of the state at pralaya, the end state of withdrawal. This suggests that every one is going to his original state some time or the other and will unite with the absolute. As we have seen above the evening period is devoted to cleaning in PAM for achieving the individual pralaya by getting rid of all the samskaras covering the soul as mala, vikshepa and avarana. The keen seeker can not obviously wait for the general pralaya which is a far off thing. The whole night is one of dormancy in the absolute and the cycle begins again with the dawn.

The abhyasi should maintain a separate seat for himself/herself using it always whenever he/she sits for observing the various practices enjoined in the system. This is because our thought force is capable of influencing the environment and every thing is only consciousness in a gross or subtle form.

When we meditate using the same seat, the seat also gets in tune with us so to speak and enables us to achieve stability in our practices. As we develop finer sensitivity, we will be conscious of the disturbances and contrary thoughts produced say for instance when we happen to be in contact with things used by another person such as his/her seat or pillow. We have to use our viveka in making best use of the environment. Master also mentions the importance of selecting a separate place for our sadhana practices. The place when used constantly for the purpose of meditation starts reverberating with Divine Consciousness gradually and the whole frame of our mind changes, the godly thought being revived in it whenever we go to that place. Even persons who are advanced on the path and hence can meditate wherever they may go and can be in His thought constantly and continuously have the unique experience whenever they meditate at the place reserved by them for the purpose. The Master has said that if a great personality had meditated in a particular place we should be able to feel him and that is how the Master Himself discovered or located the places where Lord Rama or Lord Krishna and others have lived and moved in their times. It is a fact of spiritual science that the consciousnesses of a great personality leaves its mark or influence on the place associated with him, hence the importance of reserving a separate place for our sadhana and maintaining the same for the purpose.

Lastly the Master advises that the abhyasi should remain oblivious to the various thoughts which may arise during meditation. It is unnatural not to have any thoughts which really come up for bhog. We should think that they are not coming in but going out. In fact too much preoccupation with them and exerting to avoid them strengthens them and makes the meditation stressful and distracted. Actually one is then meditating on the disturbances instead of on the chosen ideal. We are advised to think instead that they are in away helpful to us as they are reminding us the need for cultivating greater interest and absorption in the practice.


The Master goes on to describe the great significance of prayer and its importance in the practice of SRRY(PAM). Prayer remains the most important and unfailing means of success according to the Master. It is a sign of devotion and establishes our link with the holy Divine. The abhyasi is advised to offer the prayer, ‘Oh Master thou art the real goal of human life; We are yet but slaves of wishes putting bar to our advancement; Thou art the only God and power to bring us upto that stage’, before starting the Puja. It is instructed that the prayer be repeated mentally once or twice and the abhyasi should dwell over the meaning of the prayer for some time before going to sleep. We find that two Commandments, the 2nd and the 10th are devoted to Prayer in the system. The second Commandment exhorts us to offer prayer for spiritual elevation with a heart full of love and devotion whereas in the 10th Commandment the context is the prayer being offered in a supplicant mood before the Master before one retires to bed feeling repentance for the wrongs committed and resolving not to repeat the same. Readers are invited to refer to the detailed commentaries as given on the Commandments in Imperience Beckons for a more detailed treatment than will be possible here.

The prayer is a brief one simple and direct. Most of the religiously inclined persons are used to long winded prayers composed in exotic Sanskrit accompanied by complicated and colourful rituals for the purposes of keeping evil at bay, get protection from the elements, get rid of disease, beget children and lead a life of enjoyment in this world and also in the next. We have a large pantheon of gods and goddesses each having his or her jurisdiction over a particular aspect of existence i.e., Lakshmi for wealth and prosperity, Ganesh for removal of obstacles and so on. The words in praise of these gods are mainly in the nature of flattery. Usually there is an implied contract between the votary and the god as to in what manner he will be pleased provided the wish of the votary is fulfilled. The Master is quite critical of such prayers and says that one should always pray to Him alone who is the Master in the true sense. It is not proper to pray to slaves i.e., to those powers which are subordinate to man and are potentialized by him. It is a folly to pray for worldly ends except in most exceptional cases when peace of mind is greatly disturbed for want of basic necessities.

Any prayer can be seen to be composed essentially three parts, namely, the first stating the aim, the second the obstacles visualized by the beneficiary in realizing the aim and the third addressing the power being prayed to as the only competent one capable of removing the obstacles in the way and making possible the realization of the votary’s aim. We may see how our prayer contains these elements.

The Master has stated that God is the Adi Guru and all human Masters are receiving light and grace from Him alone. Surely the goal before us is to attain oneness with the God but God in His absolute status is inaccessible to us and the only course open to human beings for gaining access to the Supreme is through great Masters such as Master Sri Ramchandraji Maharaj. There are two sides to the Master, on the one side His personality is void and merged in the ultimate consciousness and on the other His conciousness is available to us through the connections established when we are introduced in the system. Thus such a Master becomes the goal of human life as He Himself led the life of a householder and achieved the highest state possible to man. He annulled Himself totally allowing only the Divine to express through Him and it is His mission to bring about spiritual rejuvenation of mankind. It is always easier for human beings to relate to a fellow human being and since we are talking about the goal of human life, taking the Master who lived the life of a fully divinized and perfected human being as such a goal is absolutely fitting.

Prayer is the sign of devotion one has for his Master making him feel that he is some one less than the Master, as His serf, a servant at His feet. The reason why prayer should be offered with a heart full of love and devotion is that a state of vacuity is created thereby within the abhyasi so that the flow of divine grace from the Master can be directed towards him. The Master has given in this context the example of King Bharata for who never allowed his heart to be contaminated with anything but the esteem, regard and devoted worship of his Master Lord Rama. This example is to be kept in view for maintaining the relationship which is the true form of devotion and this is the connecting link between the Master and serf.

The devotee makes himself known to the Master by the current of his own power through the link thus established as in the case of a telegraphic link cited as an example here by the Master. Whatever there is with the Master begins to flow into the serf from the Master who begins to adopt increasing nearness to him gradually by the effect of devotion. This nearness develops further leading to the state of intercommunion between the Master and the devotee.

The Master points out that there are many bhavas or feelings and attitudes one may adopt in loving God such as paternal, friendly, maternal and so on. But the most fruitful way is the way of the lover and beloved, we being the lover and He the beloved. Slowly the roles get reversed, He becoming the lover and we the beloved. Though this is a very advanced and blessed stage, there remains much more to be attained which only a life of practicality can reveal. The Master makes the point that when the world emerged in its present form, the central point was deeply rooted in every thing in manifestation. Since this is part of the Supreme, our attention is drawn towards the Source. In prayer we reach up to the central point which is possible only when we try to create a similar state within which is possible through steady practice. The hint here is that the state of negation and perfect resignation to the Divine Will is to be achieved. ‘Be like the dead in the hands of the dresser’ as the Master would put it. If a strong craving can be created and maintained in the heart one is in the state of prayer though this requires continuous practice to achieve it. Once a man enters this state even for a moment his prayer is granted. People should be exhorted to offer such a prayer. After a person is stabilized in the state of prayer as above he needs only to keep up remembrance and that too in a way that it never comes into consciousness even.

In the initial stages though it sounds more like a ritual when the prayer is uttered but as the person progresses on the path it gets transformed into the stage of seeking ‘that stage’ and that alone all other seekings and desires for wish fulfillment paling into utter insignificance. ‘That stage’ may be understood as one of perfect calmness, serenity and the piety which prevailed at the beginning of creation, the Reality beyond time. We are seeking to get back to that state of perfect calmness and balance through prayer which leads to the pointed attention to the Real. This is the real essence of prayer. Prayer is not just a few sentences uttered mechanically; it is a state of consciousness which is developed through constant practice. Though it may not start in such a form in the beginning, it develops into the devotion to the Master, ripens into love for Him and finally merges into the state wherein we do not know whether we are in prayer or not. It is a state of consciousness continuously maintained like the unbroken flow of oil. The Master talks about the culmination of the state of prayer wherein the abhyasi dwells all through in the state of prayer without interruption even during all his worldly engagements. The person who is constantly in the state of prayer has realized his own serfdom and the Lord’s Mastership and abides in the state of supplication permanently. He is at liberty to put up humbly before the Master anything he likes. The Master says that every one can acquire the state of prayer but only after sufficient practice.

Now the obstacles in the way of reaching the goal are nothing but our wishes to which we have become slaves. It is not only the personal wishes but the wishes of near and dear are also included in the reckoning. The pulls from the physical, vital and mental levels have been so strong that we have been yielding to them as helpless slaves and living at the level of a prani, just another existence. The voice of the higher self or the Master within is scarcely audible to us. Our greed, envy, jealousy, feelings of self assertion and possessiveness have compounded the difficulties and prevent us from leading a balanced life in tune with nature. Nature wants us to eschew all selfish interests and live a live of sharing, cooperation and service. It is impossible for us to do so in our present condition and we seek help therefore from Nature Herself who is now expressing Herself through the Divine Master Sri Ramchandraji.

The last two lines of the prayer express the total helplessness felt by the discerning seeker and the only way open to him for extricating himself from the morass he is in, namely that of surrendering to the Supreme Master who is the only power and God capable of saving him. Though it is easily stated thus the problems facing the abhyasi are twofold, firstly, is he prepared to accept that he is weak, hopelessly bad, badly in need of help and secondly, to depend on another personality for delivering him out of the enslavement. In today’s refrain of self- assertion and independence talking of surrendering the ego to a Master or God would seem out of tune. It is difficult to have faith in God who is essentially unknowable in the beginning at least. We need to go by the faith we have in our elders or intimate friends and accept their advice in this regard. Our Master is the only one in all spiritual history who said that He would make Masters and this statement alone will enable any reasonable person to repose at least trust in His method and start following Him. The positive experiences on the Natural Path would create and deepen the faith in the Master so that it becomes unshakeable withstanding all the vicissitudes of life. The other important component in prayer is the feeling of our own utter incapacity, incompetence to measure up to the expectations of the Master or Divine, namely to be one with Nature. When we meditate on the meaning of the prayer we begin to realize our lowliness before Master, our unworthiness as His disciples and feel miserable pondering our abject state despite all the help given by the Master who has been so generous and kind in accepting us unmindful of all our faults. When such a state sinks into the heart the descent of the Divine starts. We need to empty ourselves from our hearts so that God may enter it.

The Master has referred to the prayer in the context of the 10th Commandment in the text under discussion. The prayer is recommended at bed time because one is then free from all engagements at that time and the only thing in one’s view is rest and repose. The Master compares the freedom one has at bed time to the state of contentment of Nature and the time takes advantage of the natural condition. There are many difficulties felt by many aspirants though in measuring up to the requirements of the Commandment as reflected in the preoccupation in their minds with the problems of the day and the consequent planning for the morrow and the strong pull from the physical and vital planes which reduce the prayer to a mere ritual. The abhyasi is to feel the presence of God and offer the prayer. He has to feel in the depths of his heart his utter helplessness to overcome his shortcomings and further that God alone is the only power that can help him in the process.

People entertain all kinds of notions regarding God and what it would mean to be in His presence. We have to go by the indication given by the Master for judging whether a person is spiritually advanced and thereby will be in a position to help us in the path by the index of our feeling a certain amount of peace and calmness in such a person’s presence. The aspirant has to be fully conscious of his deficiencies and wrong doing and implore God for His mercy and forgiveness in a mood of genuine repentance for the deviations and transgressions committed. In addition he should resolve not to repeat the wrongs committed. The posture of humility adopted by the abhyasi before the supreme Master creates a vacuum into which the divine grace flows due to the connections already established for him.

There are many who feel that they have not committed any wrong and hence the need for repenting does not arise. However on deeper reflection we realize that the greatest mistake we have all committed is to have jumped out of Reality and getting attached to all sorts of persons and things instead of getting attached to that Supreme Being alone. We have created all the impurities in the form of mala, vikshepa and avarana owing to the undue attachments we have cultivated and thus got enmeshed in the very many coverings even as the silk worm that gets trapped in its own cocoon woven by itself assiduously.

Knowing our lapses and placing them before the Master and repenting for the same creates a jerk in thought waves carving an empty space in our ego. This generates a feeling of humility and the Master fills the space created thereof. It should be noted however that the prayer does not promise that all the lapses and follies committed by us would be ignored; they will naturally be treated according to their merits. Repentance enhances our deservancy to receive the grace of God.

There is a higher dimension to prayer which must be noted by all serious sadhakas. Every person adopts prayer for personal betterment, his own spiritual evolution and at best this may include those near and dear to him. The Master has desired that all abhyasis offer the prayer for the spiritual betterment of all the people in the world at 9 p.m. This prayer facilitates our growth into higher or universal consciousness as we are transcending the limits created by the name and form when we genuinely aspire for the spiritual betterment of all persons irrespective of differences due to sex, caste, creed, nationality or ideologies. The growth is from the level of ‘I’ to ‘We’ in dimension. Though in the beginning it may be a little artificial, as we move along it improves in quality and it becomes our second nature to pray for others ceasing to pray for ourselves. The Atman, the limited individuated consciousness has grown into the Brahman, the growing or enlarged consciousness. As the Master has willed such a prayer, not only it becomes possible for all of us to offer such a prayer but also the growth in consciousness is also facilitated whereby the effectiveness of the thought behind the prayer is ensured. In this context we may note the ancient prayer ‘sarve jana sukhino bhavantu’ in which we are saying only ‘may all people be happy’. Here in our prayer at 9 p.m we are willing that all are brothers and sisters are developing faith, love and devotion to the Master. This process can be made still more efficacious by maintaining the thought at the ‘A’ point as the Master has said that whatever suggestion we make at that point becomes true. The Master wants us not only to live as manavas but also grow to be maneeshis desirous and capable of conferring benefits on others.

The system is not for those who merely seek favours for themselves but who are willing to participate meaningfully in the process of spiritual transformation of mankind as a whole, which is the Divine intention now and the Master is the Supreme Personality in charge of the same. He in His magnanimity is giving all the aspirants the great opportunity in selfless service of the fellow beings which also becomes a way of spiritual growth for them as well simultaneously. It is also to be kept in mind that whatever growth an aspirant may have been blessed with is not for his own sake but for engaging in the spiritual betterment of his brethren and thus cooperating with the Master. While one prays at bed time one should be able to feel the lapses of every other person as his own. If the world has failed each one of us has failed, such will be the attitude of the person who lives at the level of universal consciousness and prays for all from that level.

Constant Remembrance

Constant remembrance of God as the Beloved and the most desirable goal of human life has been very much extolled in our scriptures and especially in that celebrated devotional text Bhagavata, the title itself suggesting that it is about the great devotees of God and the ways in which they practiced and expressed that devotion for the supreme Lord. It is regarded as one of the nine modes or forms of bhakti-devotion, namely, hearing, singing the praises, remembering, service, worshipping, prostrating, servitude, loving intimacy and self-offering. It may be regarded as a practice or process and at the same time a state of consciousness arrived at as a result of constant and devoted practice. The aim and the culmination of all devotional practices is in a way to develop a capacity for maintaining an undercurrent of smarana or remembrance even as the person is engaged in his various worldly pursuits. Such an accomplishment is considered to be the very pinnacle of devotional life. Of course this is possible only for those in whom an uncontrollable thirst and earnest craving for God and inseparable union with Him have been created by virtue of their sadhana under the guidance of a capable Master and the blessings of the Lord Himself, for it is only those who are chosen can indeed have such a craving and the blissful consummation of the union. A few references will give us some idea about the exalted status in which smarana has been held in our scriptures. The Gopikas are praised by Uddhava as those who have attained to the highest fulfillment in life and become worthy of worship by all the worlds for their minds are always fixed on Lord Krishna the Supreme Being. The purifying power of remembrance is extolled by the great Suka when he says that if a person fixes his mind on Srikrishna’a feet even once with a fervent appreciation of His excellences that person would have atoned for all his sins of the past and Yama with his noose can never approach him. Again addressing Parikshit who was awaiting imminent death and for whom the whole Bhagavata purana itself was narrated by him, the great sage asks him to fix his mind on Srihari in a firm and steady way whereby he will attain the supreme state for the Lord draws into Himself one who meditates on Him at the time of death. The Lord declares in the Gita (VIII.13-14) that one who departs leaving the body uttering the one syllabled Brahman-Om and remembering Him (mamanusmrtya) attains the Supreme Goal (yati paraam gatim) and further that He is easily attainable by that ever steadfast yogi and who remembers me constantly and daily with a single mind (ananyachetah satatam yo mam smarati nityasah l tasyaaham sulabha partha nityayuktasya yoginah ll)

Now we may see what our beloved Master says about constant remembrance; He says that constant remembrance of God is a special feature in spirituality showing its great importance straightaway. The minds of ordinary people are absorbed every moment thinking about the various problems of their material life and their attention is seldom drawn towards God except when they are in deep distress or misery. The reason is that they attach primary importance to their worldly interest alone which constantly remains in their view and thus they remain entangled within Maya without thinking even for a moment of getting out of it at any stage. This suggests immediately that without goal clarity and the arising and development of viveka and vairagya it is not possible for a person to enter into the state of remembrance in the real sense. We can remember easily only that which has become the most important thing in our lives without which our lives become meaningless. It is a supreme value proposition in that life shall exist and derive meaning only from the actualization and upholding of that supreme value. All else should pale into utter insignificance before it like a blade of grass. Naturally we will remain attached with such a value and be remembering it always without a break till its realization and continue the remembrance in an unconscious or subconscious manner even after the realization as now the value has become us and we the value, none can separate the two!

Master has said repeatedly that it is the supreme duty of every man to realize his true nature and further his oneness with the Supreme. He states elsewhere (SS p 284) that realization is very easy if one only diverts his attention towards it meaning that he should have a deep impression of it in his heart. Taking in of this impression means imbibing the very thing he aspires for and in that case the Divine thought will continuously remain alive in his heart and his attention will remain drawn towards it all the time. This is what constant remembrance really means. In another context (SS p 42) He says that bhakti- devotion is actuated by real craving, a craving which when fulfilled does not give rise to another in its place but puts an end to all cravings. This is in true sense the reminiscence of the home land which in turn will keep the remembrance of God alive in our heart and vice versa. Thus for constant remembrance to happen we must get awakened to the sense of duty (that of realization), the idea of God shall assume prominence in our hearts and consequently realization becomes the primary object of life. Naturally craving for the object begins to grow stronger and we are led to frequent remembrance of God during our routine daily work in spite of all our worries and anxieties. For those who are unsure about how it will be possible to carry on with remembrance in the midst of their worldly preoccupations Master advises that it is possible to discharge the worldly responsibilities properly if they can do so without any undue attachment towards the concerned. They may resort to prayer sincerely seeking His guidance and support on the path of duty by snatching a few minutes from their rest preferably at bed time.

As remarked earlier awareness of the Divine presence in all things animate and inanimate, that everything belongs to Him and nothing is ours, the ephemeral nature of all existence and the presence of the unchanging Reality as the support and the cultivation of trusteeship attitude are absolute essential prerequisites for the development and growth of the real state of constant remembrance.

Not only this but recognition of God or the Divine Master as the only object worth having, the craving to attain it, the development of loving attachment deepening into a single pointed orientation towards it, restless impatience for its attainment, feeling of inseparableness with it along with the realization the aspiring soul is but the body of the Divine, extreme dependency on it coupled with feelings of helplessness are also the evolutionary necessities for the realization of constant remembrance. Those who have done some journey on the Natural Path can immediately recognize that whatever has been mentioned above relate to the characteristics of knots 1, 1a and 2.

Frequent remembrance of God though greatly helpful does not suffice for our final success in realization. It is customary in almost every religion to begin any important activity in the name of God but has ceased to have any significance as it has been reduced to a mere formality. We never dedicate it to God in the real sense and are in fact quite far away from the idea of God at heart. Remembrance of God thus is of no avail. The real significance of the custom is that we must remain in touch with the idea of God in all phases of our mental and physical activities. We must feel ourselves connected with the Supreme Power every moment with an unbroken chain of thought during all our activities. Master gives the method for attaining to the above state according to which the aspirant is asked to treat all his action and work to be part of divine duty, entrusted to us by the Divine Master whom we are to serve as best as we can. Service done without any selfish motive qualifies for service done in the real sense irrespective of its nature. The best way of going about in our daily routine of work is to think that while doing a work we are really serving one or the other of God’s creatures and not our own purposes so that we may be following all along the path of service. This also helps in getting rid of one of the greatest obstacles on the path, namely, undue attachment to those near and dear associated with us by thinking that the beneficiaries of our service are only God’s children and service to them is service to God alone. This leads to the constant thought of the Master in all one’s activities and as this gets deeply rooted in the heart, every action will then seem to be a duty merely for duty’s sake in accordance with the divine dictate without any selfish interest or personal attachment. Universal love, then becomes predominant and we begin to love every being of God’s creation without any feeling of attachment with it. This leads us to devotion and sacrifice. Thus in a way devotion and constant remembrance are quite connected with each other, each reinforcing the other and also aiding in the blossoming of the other. Devotion is a very important feature of sadhana and as we will see later under the topic devoted to it, it never ceases to be, the abhyasi always abiding in the sphere of devotion whatever may be the state of his personal evolution. It is always the relationship as between Master and serf, the serf is the serf and Master is the Master for ever as we have noted under the preceding topic of prayer.

Master takes up another aspect of the sadhana which can lead us to the state of constant remembrance if practiced seriously. He refers to the meditation during which all experience a temporary lull in the mind and calmness prevails for the time we are in touch with the divine force. But doing meditation only at a fixed hour is not enough as most persons remain away from the sacred thought of the divine during most part of the day as they get busy with the various activities and thus removed from the path of service and devotion. Master says that this is the reason for stagnation in the spiritual path despite the aspirant engaging in the sadhana for years together. Master gives the remedy as well for the problem when He advises that the aspirant should attempt to retain the effect gained by meditation for most part of the day and abide in the state as long as he can. Thus he is in constant remembrance in a way and he makes rapid progress as well. He also gives another very practical and efficacious suggestion for rapid and dynamic spiritual growth when He advocates the idea of Guru as the Supreme Divine force. The aspirant should depend on His guidance thinking Him to be a superhuman being. While doing anything the aspirant should start by dedicating to the Master and carry on the activity that the Master alone is doing it for His own sake. The Master illustrates the method and attitude to be followed in the ordinary life situations faced by the householder such as taking breakfast, going to the work place, seeing a dance on the way, enjoying the moments of banter and laughter with friends and children and finally doing meditation itself wherein thinking that the Master alone is meditating on His own form produces the most beneficial results. However as already noted earlier this process of meditating on the Master’s ‘form’ should not be undertaken by any aspirant on the Natural Path without discussing all aspects of the process and the need for it with his trainer. He can however think that meditation as prescribed is being done by the Master for His own sake. Master states further that the method of thinking by the aspirant that the Master is doing everything in his place will enable him not only to be in constant remembrance all the while but also will prevent the formation of samskaras as well for the actions done with such attitude do not leave impressions on the mind.

The Master reinforces the message of constant remembrance so very often in His writings by saying that He crossed all stages in spirituality only by means of constant remembrance. However we need to realize that while the Master makes it appear so easy it is not possible for one to be established firmly in its most advanced form i.e., when we are not even conscious of the remembrance. But the remembrance continues in the sub-conscious plane even as the unbroken flow of oil (avicchinna taila daravat) and the person does not know who is remembering whom and why so. Unless our hearts become totally diverted to the divine or in other words, we have become established in the most sublime state of vairagya the state of constant remembrance being talked about can not be realized. That does not mean however that we should not practice it even if artificially in the beginning. Ultimately we shall become what we are remembering with loving attachment; the Master has stated that the remembered is always close by the person remembering. Thus the aspirant who is remembering the Master is in the blessed sphere of His influence which transcends space and time and protects him from the diverse and mostly undesirable influences surrounding him. He is placed like a premature baby in the incubator getting all the nourishment for sustenance and growth and being protected at the same time from the harmful and toxic outside environment to which it is vulnerable. Remembrance thus done makes the Master conscious of the devotee knocking at His door and renders Him even impatient to shower His grace upon him. This is how Revered. Master advanced by leaps and bounds on the path during His Master’s physical sojourn but very much more remarkably after He left for the brighter world. This of course is a very exceptional case of the devotee who is like a moth which could immolate itself on a ‘dead flame’ and is surely the ideal before all aspirants pining for the ultimate state.

Anthima Smruti

The discussion on constant remembrance will not be complete without considering the question of anthima smriti (remembrance at the time of death). All our hoary traditions and schools of philosophy, darsanas have emphatically declared that moksha, freedom from bondage and realization to be the goal of life, with the minimum goal being moksha. In this context the thought held by the person at the moment of leaving the body assumes great importance as it is said to influence the next life and the circumstances governing that life. Thus if the person remembers the divine name in a mood of abject helplessness and remorse and plead for His mercy and grace then all his sins past and present are obliterated, he attains the divine abode and enjoys the company of the divine for ever according to the scriptures such as Bhagavata and the Bahgavat Gita. The Upanishads have also stressed the importance of remembering God at the time of death (Chandogya III.14.1 and Prasna III.10). The episode of Ajamila from the Bhagavata is well known though it should be well kept in mind that a person who has not practiced and lived a life of love and devotion to the Lord can hardly remember Him at the last moment especially when he is enveloped by the fear of oncoming death, the wailing of near and dear ones and more importantly when he becomes acutely aware of all the wrongs he has done and is awaiting the consequences with trepidation and uncertainty. There is of course a sentimental custom of uttering the name of Srimannarayana in the ear of a departed person or one who is in coma.

The Lord declares In the slokas (VIII.5,6,7) of the Gita the importance and significance of the remembrance at the last moment, the reason thereof being attributed to the fact that whatever object a person has been thinking with involvement, as otherwise he can not remember it constantly, would also occupy his thought at the moment of death and consequently he will attain that very object(yam yam vapi smaran bhavam--). and the need therefore to keep up the remembrance of the Lord constantly during one’s lifetime and doing whatever needs to be done with the mind and intellect absorbed in Him (tasmat sarveshu kaleshu mamanusmara--). This is because one can not say when death knocks at our door and secondly a lifetime of practice will enable the person to remember the Lord automatically at the time of death too provided the faculties cooperate. The Lord states that the person who leaves the body remembering Him alone would surely attain to His Being without doubt. Great saints thought about the practical problem facing all of us, namely that the body being prone to illness and disease it may not be possible even for the devout to remember or even utter the name of the Lord at the last moment. The great azhwar Kulasekhara recognized this problem and prays, ‘ May the king swan that is my mind may enter the cage of Thine lotus feet now itself; How can there be remembrance of Thee at the time of impending death when the throat is choked with phlegm, wind and bile and the voice falters (pranaprayana samaye kapa vatha pitthairkanthavarodhanavidhow smaranam kuthaste). In fact it may be said that the saints devised the technique of constant remembrance for this purpose. They also felt that the Lord can not be so unmerciful and unkind that He will not take care of the devotee who has practiced devotion and surrender all through his life merely because he can not remember Him consciously and be able to utter His name due to bodily circumstances beyond his control.

However the type of constant remembrance which shall qualify for the purpose of liberation will be remembrance done purely and solely for the purpose of the Divine alone and not all sundry prayers for fulfillment of animal wants or elementary requirements of existence.

It should be realized by the serious aspirant that our existence is a gift of the Divine and it shall be used solely for the purpose of the Divine as the Divine wills. Revered K.C.Varadachari exhorts us to live our lives with the force, with the breath, with the vision, with the audition and with the conscience which the Lord gives us as men determined to achieve perfection in this world and yonder worlds with absolute fearlessness. That is the consciousness of the Master into which we shall constantly enter into and dive deep to unfathom the pearls of the Divine. The link to the Divine Master who is permanently established in the Base is provided under PAM and the aspirant feels the repeated call of the Divine Master in every meditation and contemplation session to get back to the original condition which is but His domain. Awareness of the Master and our grateful attitude towards Him being maintained in all the states of consciousness, waking, dreaming and sleeping, control is secured over body and mind. With gratefulness established Constant remembrance becomes the state of being for the dedicated aspirants in the system thus ensuring their liberation (Ref. PAM and Anthyakalasmarana BP V2 173-7).

Devotion – Introduction

The Master takes up next the topic of devotion and describes it as something which enhances the efficiency and efficacy of constant remembrance. As we have seen above we can describe these two, devotion and constant remembrance as twin attributes of the real lover of God, as one can not be really divorced from the other though it appears that constant remembrance arises first after goal clarity emerges and a loving attachment blossoms towards the dearest object of life. We will see briefly how devotion has been defined and treated in the scriptures for the sake of continuing the thread with the message of the Master on the subject.

Devotion is a very vast subject, a great ocean unfathomable and it has been dealt with extensively in the Vedas, Ithihasas and Puranas of the Hindu religion. The stream of devotion has been flowing without a break in this country maintained by the birth of ever so many saintly souls who have breathed literally love and devotion of the highest order as exemplified in the lives of the well-known azhwars of south India (devotees of Lord Vishnu), the first three of the twelve believed to have been born immediately after the dawn of Kali at the behest of the Lord for spreading love and devotion among the masses as the only sure and easy means for liberation in the dreadful Kali age. So is the case with the nayanmars (devotees of Lord Siva also of south India) and so many other poet saints of the dasa cult born in different strata of society with diverse backgrounds in the last millennium. It is seen that even the saints who have had the non-dual experience of the Impersonal Reality would like to assume duality if only for the sake of expressing their love and devotion to the Supreme Reality and even the praise of the Impersonal has been given a warm and rich emotional content (The Bhagavat Gita S.Radhakrishnan p 59).

For instance the great advaitic acharya Sankara is said to have composed hymns of great beauty, rich in meaning and imagery in praise of gods and goddesses with the very popular Baja Govindam hymn also attributed to him. Sankara himself is said to have established the six-fold schools of religious worship and recognizes the value of devotion as a preparation for gradual release (ibid., Radhakrishnan). The devotional hymns with rich poetic imagery, cadence and rhythm composed in the various languages of the masses by these exalted lovers and servants of God in His praise brought the esoteric truths of the Vedas and the puranas to the common man. Devotion and divinity have been kept alive in the hearts and minds of the ordinary masses essentially through such inspirational outpourings and the rich tradition of ritualistic worship in the temples. The seed of devotion has been laid in the hearts of men through the hearing and singing of the various hymns in praise of the Lord from childhood and this seems to continue even to this day at least in some households. The other major religions such as Christianity and Islam also give prime importance to a life of devotion and dedication to the Lord and in one sense we can not imagine religion without the devotional element. Most persons who enter the mansion of spirituality have but done so through the door of religion. The Master says characteristically that end of religion is the beginning of spirituality. Devotion relates to the sphere of sentiments, emotions and feelings and hence is concerned predominantly with the vital plane. All of us know through experience that we can never achieve anything in life without a passionate attachment towards it which alone makes it possible for us to put in determined efforts for its successful attainment. Naturally devotion is rooted in the heart whereas thought and intellection (usually understood as the ‘mind’) are connected to the brain. It has been held by most sages that the path of yoga demanding control and regulation of the senses and the mind is more suited to the ascetic way of life and quite difficult to follow for ordinary householders. Hence the path of devotion is recommended for them as it is possible to transmute and sublimate the natural human feelings of love and attachment by turning them towards the Divine Supreme and win His grace through which the most desired objective, namely, union with Him could be achieved relatively easily.

Tradition on Bhakti or Devotion

The concern with the sentiment of devotion to the Supreme Being is as old as the Vedas themselves in the Indian tradition. The Rig veda samhita is full of it although at later times it even the purely devotional hymns have been adapted for ritualistic use and propitiatory rites. Though the main theme of the Upanishads has been to get at the knowledge of Brahman, the path of devotion is discernible even in the oldest Upanishads, the Brihadaranyaka and the Chandogya. The doctrine of grace is expressed in the Katha and the Kausitaki while the Swetasvatara teaches a full-fledged devotional attitude and discipline, along with the conception of a deity who can be communed with and prayed to and who responds to such prayers, going to the extent of saying that the truths of the Upanishads will fructify as realization only to those aspirants having supreme devotion to God and his Guru. The Puranas in general and the Bhagavata and the Vishnu Purana more specifically, supplement this Vedic development with highly personalized conceptions of Deity suited for purely devotional purposes without losing the link with the Upanishads and to elaborate the devotional sadhanas into a highly specialized system.

This has resulted in the three fold ways of attaining to God realization or God-union, namely karma, jnana and bhakti yogas, namely the paths of action, knowledge and devotion. Of these the bhakti yoga has been declared by the sages of yore to have special significance to the hapless mortals with weak constitution and reduced longevity, plagued by fear, insecurity, disease and the various ills of earthly existence all enhanced due to the cruel Kali age.

The word bhakti is derived from the root ‘bhaj’ which has several meanings among which one-‘to serve’, ‘to honour’, ‘to love’, ‘to adore’- has given the expression its current meaning of devotion to God, though its earlier meanings have been ‘ornamental’ and ‘relationship’. The sages Narada and Sandilya the authors of bhakti sutras have given their own definitions of it, Narada stating that it is the whole hearted and supreme love of God, obtaining which a man feels that he has gained the highest attainment in life, he rises above fear of death, is blissful, indifferent to everything else except God and depends upon nothing but God. Bhakti is characterized by absorption in His worship and remembering His excellences. Its most conspicuous sign is complete self-dedication to Him and the feeling of intense anguish whenever the mind slips away from Him. Sandilya describes it as ‘para anuraktirisvare’- highest form of ensuing and ever continuing attachment to God, the prefix ‘anu’ meaning ‘ensuing’ or ‘following’ emphasizes that bhakti or this great attachment follows the understanding through imperience of the greatness and glorious and auspicious attributes of God, His loveability and dependability in particular. Narada states this consciousness of the greatness of God (mahatmya anubodha) continues to persist in the devotee after triggering the very devotion itself. There is another meaning of ‘anu’ which denotes ‘unabating or unslackening’ which points to the fact the genuine and deep-rooted love for God continues in its intensity and freshness in the heart of the devotee despite the most severe, adverse and life-threatening situations which may visit the aspirant. The great examples of Bhakti Dhruva, Prahlada of puranic times and Meera in the recent history of India stand testimony to what has been said above. The Bhagavata defines Bhakti as that state in which all energies of the mind including the jnana and karma indriyas become concentrated as a unified mental mode directed to the Supreme Being spontaneous like an instinct, implying thereby naturalness and the person has no other extraneous motives. Abhyasis of the Natural Path would note that the Commandments 5 and 7 of the Master can be followed only by those who have traveled well in the knot of devotion, namely the 3rd and are thereby well established in devotion of the higher kind.

There is also a classification of vaidhi bhakti- namely ritualistic bhakti consisting of hearing, singing praises, remembering, devotional service, worshipping, prostrating and prema bhakti or loving devotion which is constituted by dasya (servitude), sakhya (loving intimacy) and atmanivedhanam (surrendering one’s body, mind and soul to God). The Master always refers to love and devotion meaning essentially the higher kind of devotion or prema bhakti attained through the following of the ritualistic bhakti. The Master Himself says as much when He states that ‘constant remembrance is in fact a natural development of meditational practice and it acquires efficiency when the abhyasi has become devoted to the object of meditation or constant remembrance’.

Devotion in the Patanjali sutras and the Gita

The Master has stated that Lord Krishna introduced love and devotion in the path of Rajayoga. There is ample evidence of it in the Gita and we will just make only a passing reference to the same not only for the sake of continuity but also because the ideas presented therein make us appreciate very much the Master’s teachings on the subject. There is a foundation laid for devotion in the Patanjali sutras as in Isvara pranidhanadva (I.23) (the cessation of mental vrittis can be brought about) through love in which, without seeking results such as sense enjoyments all works are dedicated to the teacher of teachers, Isvara, as interpreted by Bhoja. Revered.KCV interprets pranidhana as utter giving up of oneself or surrender to the Guru of caliber and through him to the Lord. The Lord reveals the supreme or kingly knowledge and the supreme secret in the Ninth Chapter wherein He declares His real status of unsurpassable supremacy and the easy path of practicing exclusive devotion (ananya bhakti) and taking refuge in Him alone which together enable the person irrespective of caste and station in life to attain the supreme state of abiding in Him. Even a very wicked person gets quickly transformed into a virtuous person and attains to eternal peace if only he takes up exclusive devotion to the Lord (BG-IX.30-1). He assures and pledges in the same verse to Arjuna that His devotee is never destroyed (na me bhaktahpranasyati). The Lord’s exhortation to all through Arjuna is to fill the mind with His consciousness, be His devotee, bow down to the Lord and having thus made his heart steadfast in Him taking Him to be the supreme goal, the devotee shall certainly reach Him (BG-IX.34). We find in the Eleventh Chapter the categorical assertion by the Lord that it is neither by the Vedas, nor by austerities, nor by gifts nor by sacrifice that He can be seen as by Arjuna. On the contrary it is possible to know, see in reality and also enter into Him through single minded devotion (bhaktya tu ananyaya sakyam—BG-XI-53-4).

The Lord is also very easy to please as revealed through the oft- quoted verse (patram pushpam palam toyam—BG-IX-26) that He readily accepts the devout gift of the sincere and pure-minded, be it a leaf, flower, fruit or water. We may note here the Master’s statement that there is no affectation in real devotion. He declares that He is in those who worship Him with devotion and He too is in Him (mayi te teshu chapyaham). In answer to the question of Arjuna as to whom He likes more whether those steadfast devotees who worship Him or those who worship the Unmanifested and Imperishable, the Lord declares that those who fixing their mind on Him worship Him ever steadfast are the best versed in Yoga in His opinion. He also clarifies that those who worship the unmanifest imperishable controlling their senses and having even mindedness, also verily reach Him. But the path of worshipping the Unmanifest is quite difficult for the embodied souls. He assures that He saves surely those whose mind is set on Him, who worship Him resigning all actions in Him, regarding Him as the supreme Goal and meditating on Him with single minded yoga. He exhorts Arjuna to fix his mind on Him only, place his intellect in Him and assures that without any further doubt he would, as a consequence, abide in Him ever after (BG-XII 1-8).

The Lord gives in great detail the attributes of the real devotee in BG- Chapter XII (Sl. 13-20).

Devotion- means or end

In this context we should note that devotion is only a means and not an end in itself. There is a great temptation amongst great devotees to be satisfied with their devotional practices and the elevated moods of joy and bliss of the company of the Lord which result on account of their steadfast devotion to the Lord. Many of them even pray that they do not mind having repeated lives in whichever womb (even as a worm for instance), world-even hell does not matter as long as the Lord’s name is on their lips or form provided only they have the opportunity to worship Him and perform various services (kainkarya) to Him. Some of them have also expressed, no doubt from the higher pitches of their devotional mood and also perhaps as poetic exaggeration that they would like to be born even as inanimate objects, such as a blade of grass in the temple premises or the stepping stone at the entrance to His sanctum sanctorum which will be stepped upon continuously by the tender and pure feet of the exalted lovers of God. Being such a step he would like to enjoy for ever the sight of the beautiful red coral like mouth of the Lord of the Seven Hills (the last referred is actually part of the hymn composed by the great azhwar Kulasekhara). As discussed in depth in the article already referred to on Devotion (BP V3), these psychological states constitute various buffer stages on the path of the steep ascent from knot 2 to 3. The aspirant should hold the ultimate goal in sight always, keep the craving alive for attaining the same and push on hard towards the objective treating all the experiences as divine gifts and as a part of bhoga, feeling grateful towards the Master for the same and be prepared to renounce them for movement to the next higher stage in the ascent. The Master has been critical of the attitude of the devotee who would like to be born repeatedly just so that he could keep enjoying that condition and not willing to part from the enjoyment the state offers and worse wishing for birth in lower forms of life including the inanimate. He is against stagnation of any kind anywhere in the journey as He would say, ‘on and on is the voice of experience’. Nothing short of, ‘Nothingness’ as has been expressed by Revered. KC Narayana shall be the goal which should be like the pole star for those navigating the unchartered Ocean of the Infinite.

Grades of Devotion

We have already seen that the Master has laid great stress on devotion when the topic prayer has been discussed. The Master says in fact that devotion turns the otherwise dry abhyas (sadhana or practice) into a luscious all-absorbing engagement. Devotion is the characteristic of the 3rd knot and its finer reflections are imperienced in the higher and subtler regions coming thereafter. The fire element is rightly associated with devotion; fire has been always associated with purification and high aspiration. We talk of the upward directed ascending flame of aspiration which is quite different from desire and ambition. Aspiration is always towards upward evolution, bettering oneself, emulating the noble examples of the great elders who have walked and are walking the path towards the Supreme. Aspiration promotes will and determination to achieve the supreme aim of life at all costs. In our practice the diversion of the current towards ‘U’ by the trainer enables the abhyasi develop and sustain aspiration. The Master says that the fire of love and devotion alone burns down trivial trash and wins the gold from the dross.

He gives three different grades of the burning love the lowest in order being of the nature of suppressed fire smouldering and giving out thick smoke, the second has occasional sparks in it while the last one gives the bright burning flame capable of reducing everything to ashes in a moment’s time. The first two states are subject to their exposure to the combustible matter in the air. When the solidity which hampers combustion is removed by the effect of inner heating the final action starts with full force. The solidity refers to the obstructing matter present in the various kosas, especially the three lower ones. As relating to devotion our attachment to gross forms of worship, ideas and notions about God and His various manifestations, attachments to various acharyas of the past and their interpretations regarding nature of Reality, the ways of worship and pleasing it, addiction to repetitive and mechanical ways such as namasmarana through verbal japa and some rituals like sandhya vandana, yagas yajnas and so on constitute some of the more common obstacles which prevent our attaining to the state of steady and unshakeable faith in the Master and His method and developing single pointed orientation to the Master.

The Master refers to the electric fire which bypasses the first two stages and appears only in the final state free from smoke and vapour as the form of superlative devotion and if one can light up such a fire within himself his progress shall be in leaps and bounds.

Real Devotion

The Master characterizes real devotion as one in which there is no affectation meaning that it is sincere and totally transparent and it goes hand in hand with enlightenment. Going to the temple, bowing before the idol or reciting some hymns in praise of the gods is not real devotion but an imitation or affectation of it. But real bhakti comes from an awareness of the inseparable unity we have with the divine and a commitment to our own self which is also divine in essence. We have noted earlier that viveka and vairagya-the knowledge and experiential awareness of the transitory nature of all things and the permanent nature of Reality or God at the back of all things, His greatness and all pervasiveness, realization that He is the eternal companion and the supreme goal of life and development of loving attachment to Him with a consequent development of detachment or due attachment to worldly things and svasrupa jnana-knowledge and realization of the real nature of self are the prerequisites for the development of devotion. The knowledge of one’s real nature is viveka grown to its finest level whereby one knows that he is part and parcel of the Divine and has no separate existence apart from the Divine. It (soul or atman) is existence, knowledge and bliss; bliss in remembering its Divine connection, knowing that its existence is because of the Divine and its consciousness is because of the Divine. Its happiness is in the consciousness that it is linked all the time with the Divine leading to greater and greater absorption in the Divine. One starts feeling his inseparable oneness with the Divine and he begins to think how best to express the Divine as its body. This becomes the basis of real devotion. This is what the Master means as real devotion going hand in hand with enlightenment. Not only this but the craving arises in the heart to reach Him and have company with Him. We seek Him with an intense impatience and the craving referred to above replaces all other cravings and becomes the only thing in view. We start realizing that the only reason for which we live and work here is because of the Divine and the urge to express Him more and more and serve Him more and more becomes predominant rather than seeking Him. Our smaller self loses its value.

We are keenly interested in and endeavour towards enabling our fellow beings to feel the presence of the Divine and express the great ness of the Divine without seeking any rewards for ourselves. Humility and its by product tolerance are virtues granted by real devotion. The devotee realizes soon that despite his devotion and sadhana he is still a victim to the base animal passions and that he continues to be a slave of wishes as evidenced in the cry of agony from even the ripened souls struggling to move upwards on the path of spirituality. The only remedy lies in prayer to the Divine Master feeling one’s utter helplessness and taking sole refuge under Him with the firm faith that He alone can save. This is the stage of full maturity of the feeling of dependency on the Divine and the aspirant comes to realize how much dependent upon the Divine he really is. This is the graduation from bhakti to prapatti, devotion to surrender (Ref. BP V1 P398-405).

Devotion- its advanced stages

The Master talks about the growth of devotion from its initial stages to its most advanced state. He says that the devotee may be conscious of his feeling towards the object of his love but at higher stages the foam and fury is dimmed to the extent of an almost total loss of its awareness at the ultimate stage. The superfine stage of devotion may be spoken of as total self-surrender from which awareness of surrender has entirely been withdrawn by the grace of the Supreme Master Himself. It is to be noted that the final mode of bhakti in the tradition is also atma nivedanam, a total unconditional self-offering. In this context interested readers may refer to the Game of Life (CD) brought out by Imperience (also refer Path of Grace) to have an idea of the various sub-stages and buffers the abhaysi has to pass through from the state of devotion to that of surrender. There are many pitfalls awaiting the unwary traveler and it is only the grace of the ever watchful and benevolent Master of caliber that can take the devotee safely across.

In particular we may note the states of para bhakti-the state wherein the devotee is utterly devoted to the Divine and this alone can help him to come out of bhagavata vyamoham-divine infatuation or undue attachment to a person on the same path in particular to one’s guru or guide who could become a replacement of the final goal, God. In the state of para bhakti the divine also accepts the devotee as exemplified in the life of Meera bai. Still higher is the stage of parama bhakti wherein not only God is adorable but also all things created by Him are equally so. Ethics gets transcended here and the breeze of divinity starts blowing resulting in reverential attitude to everything. Ahimsa-non-injury is matured, asteya-non stealing is total and brahmacharya- living, moving and functioning in His consciousness is established, the will of Master is one’s will and there is unquestioning obedience to the Master. The stage of the Muni who silently obeys his Master begins.

Another aspect of perfected one pointed devotion (ekantha bhakti) is that the devotee ‘sees’ or feels the presence of his beloved object everywhere according to Prahlada, the supreme devotee (ekantha bhaktirgovinde yatsarvatranirikshanam). In fact this becomes the basis of paramabhakti. Our Master talks about remembrance (of the Divine Beloved) oozing from every object. Sadhakas who have moved on the path may refer with profit to the article on Devotion by Revered K. C. Narayana (Ref. BP V3 Devotion) dealing exhaustively and entirely with the practical aspects of sadhana and the buffer stages the aspirant encounters during his journey in the sphere of devotion.

The Master admits that there is the problem of practicing devotion and surrender in a natural way and gives the solution saying that it is found that one can love another person of his own species best. This is the basis of taking the Guru as the personification of the Supreme. Citing His own case He observes that His Master was the only object of His love, He was not a lover of freedom or peace or perfection but only of Him and Him alone.

He further states that His Master was altogether free from egoistic feelings, desires and worldly entanglements and devoted to ‘His own Self ‘, the phrase referring to a very high order spiritual state not commonly bestowed upon man. Thus His Master was the fittest person to be meditated upon and being devoted to. The Master continues saying that He tried to get Himself merged in His Master heart and soul and it was a life pursuit for Him the process yielding Him results inexpressible in words. He declares that His Master is the Infinite Ocean of grace in which all of us have to merge and that is His prayer too for all earnest seekers.


The Master states that the easiest and surest means to achieve the goal for the aspirant is to surrender himself to the Great Master and become a ‘living dead’ himself. If the surrender is cultivated by forced or mechanical means it is seldom genuine. It must develop automatically in him without the least strain or pressure upon his mind.

If the knowledge or awareness of the ‘self’ is retained in the surrendered person, then it does not become true surrender. Devotion and absolute dependency on the Divine Master leads to surrender and we have seen already devotion in its superfine state transforms itself to surrender.

Philosophy and psychology of Surrender

The philosophy and psychology of surrender or prapatti has been exhaustively worked out in the Vishishtadvaitic school of Vedanta; our purpose here is to merely recognize the six limbs of saranagati well stated therein. These are respectively anukulyasaya sankalpa (adopting that which is conducive to goal attainment), pratikulyasya varjanam (eschewing of that which is obstructive), rakshisyati iti viswasah (faith that he will save), goptrtva varanam (resort to the Lord/Master as saviour/protector), karpanyam (utter helplessness) and atmanikshepanam (complete self-surrender). It is also customary to hold that the last is the angin or aim and the preceding five are angas or accessories helpful in attaining the end. We will get a better understanding of the limbs of self-surrender if we examine why a person surrenders or feels an acute, compelling and inescapable need to surrender.

All of us human beings face some crisis or the other throughout our journey from cradle to grave and continue to be challenged by them. However there are situations characterized by dread, failing of the heart, confusion of the mind and collapse of all energy to strive or to live. Such may be caused by war, bereavement of some one very dear, treachery of a friend, threat to life, loss of honour, chronic ailment, failure of justice or acute deprivation of the very means to live with a consequent loss of faith in oneself and in one’s future. There is an acute helplessness before fate, all escape routes seem barred, no friends within reach or forces of sympathy accessible. In such a trying situation brought about by adverse circumstances caused by adyatmic (subjective psychological), adhibauthic (physical elemental) or adhidaivic forces (cosmic godly) one is compelled to bow down, forced to kneel down and humble oneself or in other words surrender himself expressing his abject helplessness before some power superior to him placing faith in the saving capacity of that power, taking that power as the ultimate refuge and implores that power to accept him and save him from the supreme predicament in his life. The best course would be to select the Supreme Lord as the ultimate refuge, ananya sarana feeling from the depth of one’s heart that there is no other alternative route than offering one’s entire being to Him, ananya gatih. Our scriptures declare that the all merciful Lord is prepared to accept such surrender from the helpless devotee who has taken Him as the last resort and protect him from all danger, save him from all sins and to those who surrender seeking union with Him as the sole objective He grants the state of union as well.

Lord Krishna exhorts Arjuna in the Gita to surrender his all to Him and Him alone giving up all other ways or means and assures him that He will liberate Arjuna from all sins of commission and omission in the course of performing his duty (sarva dharman parityajya—BG-Ch XVIII. 66). Lord Rama states that it is His eternal pledge to grant freedom from fear of all elements to any person who has surrendered his entire being at once and directly to Him (sakrudeva prapannaya--).

It may be noted in this context that the Lord reveals in two verses (BG-XVIII 61 & 62) prior to the above oft-quoted verse considered as the very epitome of the teaching of the Lord in the Gita, the supreme truth that the Great Lord of the universe is seated in the heart of all beings causing them to revolve as if mounted on a machine (of Nature) through the operation of His divine power, Mahamaya. The beings caught in the wheel of Prakriti have no rest and are ceaselessly impelled by the three fold gunas to act and enjoy knowing no rest or respite. The Lord commands the bound soul (Arjuna, meaning ‘white’ and here interpreted as the pure hearted one) aspiring for total release from the inexorable grip of Prakriti to surrender itself to the Supreme Being seated in the heart and to Him alone in an integral and total act of self-dedication. The assurance is given that the soul shall attain supreme peace and the abode eternal through His grace. Though the Lord has thus counseled direct surrender to Him, such a direct action is not possible for all. The surrender is thus performed normally through a capable Master himself liberated, firmly connected to and established in the Supreme Being, from a genuine heart which feels miserably helpless (karpanya), has taken up the Master as the last resort reposing unshakeable and unconditional faith in His saving grace. The aspirant undertakes solemnly to cooperate with his Master by living and acting in ways which are conducive to the attainment of the goal and abjuring such things and actions which stand in the way of the attaining of the supreme end. The philosophically inclined readers are referred to the excellent and succinct treatment of the subject of Surrender and its evolution in the Visistadvaitic tradition by Revered. K.C.Varadachari (Ref. Saranagati, a critique, in ‘Visistadvaita and its development’).

Different Instances of Surrender

We come across several instances of surrender in our mythological tradition illustrating the differences in the crisis situations and the levels of surrender. For instance in the Gayopakhyanam, Gaya runs to Arjuna and says that Arjuna alone can save him from certain death, the crisis occurring due to threat of life and we may say that it arises from the physical or annamaya level. In the case of Vibhishana, his surrender made to Lord Rama was occasioned by his strong concern for the preservation of dharma. His conscience warned him that his continuing to stay with his brother Ravana would militate against the cause of dharma and his support to his brother against Sri Rama would in fact mean fighting for unrighteousness. He was not afraid of death. In the case of Arjuna who was a competent warrior and had killed many a foe in battle, it was not again fear of death which made him speak against prosecuting the war. But it was undue attachment he felt for his kith and kin and his teachers which caused the weakness of heart and confusion in the mind as to what is the course of action sanctioned by the canons of righteousness. The serious aspirant has to put the question before himself as to what is the crisis which has driven him to the feet of the Master and what is the objective he is seeking to be fulfilled by the act of surrender. Is it for liberation from sorrow, protection from danger to life, honour, property and to all those he holds dear or is it from a feeling of acute helplessness in attaining the supreme object of life, namely oneness with the Absolute in view of the fact that he is yet a slave of his wishes and the animal in him refuses to get tamed despite all the efforts he has made under the guidance of his Master.

Introspection will reveal that a good majority of us have just drifted into the Natural Path mostly due to our good samskaras in the past and undoubtedly the supreme Grace of the Master, the Centre yawning towards the circumference. Thus it will be that the feeling of acute helplessness which arises only due to a great crisis of conscience or a matter of life and death literally, could be missing in most cases unless the thirst for Reality and a restless impatience to attain It have taken a deep root in the heart due to His grace.

Faith and Surrender

We have seen that faith plays a very important role in surrender. Faith encompasses faith in oneself, in the path or the means selected to achieve the goal and in the Master whom he has approached for guidance and support in his endeavour to attain the goal. The Master is categorical when He declares, ‘True faith is really an unspeakable virtue which is beyond the scope of religion, it is the dauntless courage which leads us on to success, it is the ubiquitous force which makes our path smooth, It is in fact the only thing that solves our problem of life’ (DR p 84). This kind of faith is the one termed ‘mahaviswasa’ supreme faith, the faith that moves mountains so to speak praised highly in tradition and especially in the context of surrender. This is the culmination or the final state of shraddha, the fifth of the shad- sampattis as depicted in the third of the four sadhanas of the Vedantins when the real faith begins to assume the form of self-surrender. This is not the ordinary faith with which the aspirant begins his spiritual journey, that is faith in himself and the initial faith in the Master formed mainly due to the aptavachana from our sincere, noble and self-less benefactors who have already trodden the path. The faith in the Master is promoted further by the assurance given by Sri Ramchandraji in particular that He makes masters and not disciples showing His absolutely self-less motive and genuine concern for the spiritual transformation of all human beings without any distinction. We will have further occasion to talk about the state of ‘mahaviswasa’.

The Master says that will, faith and confidence are the elementary factors which contribute to an easy success on the path of Realization. Strong will to achieve reality means that we are inwardly awakened to the thought of recognizing Self. It is quite essential that one has in his mind a clear and definite conception of the goal so that he may select the path which will directly lead him to the goal. The goal can only be one and can not be many. Multiple goals dilute the energy and distract the attention. There is an absolute need to accept the One Reality beyond all sensory perception as the one and only goal before us.

The path or the means has to be such that it meets all the requirements which may be imposed upon it by the nature of the goal and must be selected with due caution and careful consideration. Hasty judgment in the matter leads often to disappointing results and hence it is absolutely necessary for us to judge at the very outset that the path adopted for realization is the right one. The criteria for the selection of the path should not be merely because it is the oldest and/or majority follows it. The oldest will be ill-suited to the changed conditions of the world and society and the majority could be in the wrong. We should arrive at the conclusion only after due consideration and trial through the help of reason and experience. Once we are convinced of the merits of the thing we should stick to it with faith and constancy.

Faith thus formed, i.e., after trial, careful consideration and the exercise of reason and the benefit of experience will be genuine and lasting while faith promoted by inducement offered by outwardly attractive features and display of petty materialistic achievements is no faith at all amounting to mere persuasion. The Master emphasizes the prime need for the aspirant to have unassailable faith in himself that he will achieve his goal of God or Self-Realization. Despondency and despair are the worst diseases in spirituality. The Lord declares in the Gita (sraddhavan labate jnanam--; -asraddhadanascha samsayatma vinasyati; nayam lokoasti na paro na sukam samsayatmanah IV 39-40) that the man with faith in himself, the means and the Lord attains to the supreme knowledge. On the contrary the man plagued by doubt in all the above three goes to destruction and further that there is neither this world nor the other nor happiness for such a person.

Talking about the means to be adopted for achieving the ultimate Reality, the Master makes the important point that the final state we have to march up to being the one where we assume the same pure form we had at the time of creation, we have to renounce necessarily all our belongings of samskaras, maya and egoism and grow lighter and lighter every step. Heaviness of mind or internal denseness caused by gross forms of worship is thus a great impediment to our spiritual advancement and should be avoided. Faith claimed by persons addicted to gross ways of worship is not faith in the real sense but prejudice caused by their limited vision and their refusal to raise themselves high to seek Reality. The method advised in PAM i.e., taking up the meditation on the divine light without luminosity is eminently suitable to attaining to the final state described above, being the simplest and the subtlest method which could be adopted for the purpose. Once the aspirant is convinced of the right means he should stick to it constantly with faith. This faith in the means is had in the very beginning by the abhyasi when he experiences calmness and peace in the heart due to the divine influx of Pranahuti and that faith is reinforced by repeated exposures to this divine influx and also the progressive lightness and calmness felt by him within himself as he marches along the path. Further the realization that all of us have a common parentage in that Ultimate which has resolved to yawn towards us as the Master puts it and which is manifested as the flow of the divine superfine consciousness or Pranahuti into us, gives us the confidence that the Divine loves us and has accepted every one of us. In fact we realize that the Divine or Master loves us more than we love Him. The fact that we have somehow become worthy of His attention perhaps more because of His choice to be attentive to us as shown in our experience of the divine flow into us and this capacity to attract His attention gives us the confidence that one day we can reach Him. Thus the means in the system of SRRY includes the methods and prayers advised to the abhyasi, the Pranahuti offered by the trainers in the system and the Master Himself as will be seen later. There should be one goal, one means and one Master for the abhyasi determined to succeed. The practicant should follow strictly the instructions he receives for the various practices in letter and spirit and should not adopt those he may encounter in the advice of the Master or the guides to some other followers in entirely different contexts.

The Master stresses upon the need for faith in one’s spiritual guide or Master which is the other factor of great significance in one’s spiritual life. The help of a capable Master with practical attainments in the field of spirituality is indeed indispensable and He is the only medium through whom the divine impulse comes to the aspirant.

The Master advises the aspirant to go about this selection of the guide which he has to do himself after having a clear conception of the goal by associating himself with the guide/Master for sometime trying and testing him by all means in our power for judging his real worth. The choice can make or mar our spiritual future; hence lot of caution and circumspection is needed. The Master has said elsewhere that if one feels relatively calm and peaceful in the presence of the guide and the mind of the seeker is steady unmindful of the various problems confronting him at least for the time he is in association with that guide, such a guide is capable of assisting him on the path. Once we are convinced of the guide’s capabilities through reason and experience we may accept him as our Master and submit to His guidance. The Master sounds a note of caution that one should not blindly follow a person having been attracted by his outward imposition and display of knowledge. We must seek the real thing we crave for in him and we are thus convinced we start feeling an inward attraction towards Him and think Him to be the very person who can shape our destiny. The feeling gradually develops into faith and we begin to love Him and we submit to His views with due regard to His personality and proceed along the path under His guidance. The experience of achievements gained during the course convinces us of the extra-ordinary capacities of the Master and we begin to look upon Him as a superhuman being. Now our faith is greatly helpful in our spiritual progress. Describing the characteristics of such a faith, the Master says that it dispels clouds of doubt and uncertainty, removes obstructions and difficulties on the path and that faith in Reality, faith in the right course adopted and the faith in the Master to whom one has submitted is the rock on which the edifice of spirituality is to be built. Real faith will endow the person with an internal force strong enough to shatter all the evil forces that might be surrounding him and will help him to draw fresh divine impulse whenever the aspirant may require it.

Maha Viswasa

We will have a brief look at the state of Maha viswasa after attaining which the aspirant has to do very little by way of sadhana. In this condition, the aspirant comes to know that the Master is capable of doing any thing and everything for him, there is nothing beyond Him; he feels that he breathes because of the Master, he lives and moves and has his being in Him. He does not ask anything of the Master who knows all that is best for him, there is no prayer nor it is possible to meditate even as the aspirant sees the Master eye to eye, he breathes Him and feels that he is verily his Master and the Master Himself. There is nothing the Master will not bestow upon the aspirant on His own unasked and there is nothing which He will not give if asked for. In this stage the aspirant does not have anything to ask for and that is what the Master refers to in His article on the ‘Beggar’s bowl’, ‘there is neither the beggar, nor the Master is there only the extended arm appears now and then’. The difference between the first faith we form and this stage of the faith in its culmination is that the former belongs to the annamaya existence and the latter belongs to the anandamaya existence. The ‘self’ of the aspirant does not exist as ‘self’ at all, it is totally surrendered and the person has moved from the state of ‘dasa’ to ‘sarana’. The reason why one thought of the Master’s feet in the beginning would have been totally forgotten by the time he comes to the stage of Mahaviswasa; now the consideration is only about how to be His disciple, how to serve Him.

Unless a certain amount of laya (mergence or being in tune with His consciousness) is there with the Master one will not be even able to talk about Him not to talk of working for Him. It is His work to establish an order or Dharma not our work; we are utterly incapable and incompetent for the task. Thus to be an instrument of the Master, one must have love for Him and which extends naturally to His objectives, namely the overhauling of human consciousness and restoring order and balance in the Cosmos and emancipation of pining souls and this love makes for laya with Him leading to the possibility of working for Him or participating in His work as He deems fit. That is also the way of expression of our gratitude to Him for all that He does for us out of His unconditional love and divine compassion and it may be noted that such expression is also willed and enabled by Him alone. The Master says that the unshakeable faith placed in the Master of the highest caliber and who is devoid of all feelings of attachment and pride shall lead the person to the farthest limit of spiritual attainment for then the aspirant will be associating himself with Reality.

The Master extols real faith as described above as a lively link connecting the mortal with the Immortal which is no doubt effected through the medium of the Master who Himself is connected to the Immortal. The link once connected cannot be broken under any condition and subsists all along the entire course of our march up to the final point. The worthy Master never relies upon the preliminary or artificial faith of the aspirant which is formed, lost or regained for a variety of reasons and shall put up with all his emotional outbursts till such time the faith matures to the level of mahaviswasa as articulated above. The essence of self surrender consists then in mahaviswasa and absolute helplessness (kripanatva).

It is to be noted that all the angas in surrender mentioned in the beginning including atmanikshepanam (placing the ‘self’ entirely at the disposal of one’s Master or preliminary state of surrender) must be gone through before one comes up to the level of ‘maha viswasa’. The state of real ‘prapatti’ is entered into only after the stabilization in ‘mahaviswasa’. In this context we may consider the two stages of surrender as discussed elaborately in the traditional literature connected with surrender. The first one has been compared with the attitude and behaviour of the kitten which are carried by their mother and are totally dependent on her and similarly the aspirant is dependent on the Master all the time and for everything and allows Him to do whatever He wants to do with him. The other one is the baby monkey approach which tries to cling to its mother and gets dropped in case it leaves its hold even for a moment. This stage of surrender is inferior to the previous one. It is not possible to cling to divinity always and in all circumstances. It is our good fortune that the Divine is yawning towards the circumference that is towards us and which we all feel as Pranahuti and this forms ultimately the basis of Mahaviswasa. The person who has achieved the stage of the first type (the kitten analogy) should not however give up his sadhana thinking that his Master to whom he has surrendered his all will take care of everything including the sadhana. That would be a wrong understanding and extreme stretching of the mother cat-kitten analogy. One has to do his part as a duty enjoined upon him by the Master resigning himself to the will of the Master.

Master as the means and the goal

As we march towards finer and finer states of surrender we will realize that the Master is Himself the means and as well as the goal (upaya and upeya). Our efforts through karma (action), jnana (knowledge) and bhakti (devotion) are not always with us but the Master continues to be with us always. The person, who recognizes Him to be the saviour, does not attach himself to any means other than Him. This is what the tradition calls siddhopaya and Lord Krishna has been considered one such being ‘all Vedas, all sastras, all human goals, all sacrifices and all loved ones.’ One who knows the Lord as such is deemed to have done all sacrifices. Imperience on the Natural Path has enabled several aspirants to assert the same with regard to the Great Master Sri Ramchandraji Maharaj who has become the means as well as the goal for them. The Master has repeatedly said that He had taken His Master to be all in all for Him. In this context we may note the much quoted Gita verse ‘bahunam janmanam anthe jnanavan mam prapadyate I vasudevassarvamiti sa atma durlabhah II which means that the jnanavan or the man possessed of the knowledge or realization of his own nature of absolute dependency on God, the nature of Reality and who has developed the intense aspiration for liberating himself and attaining union with that Reality or in other words, a mumukshu emerges only after very many births and that he has come to realize that a total and integral surrender to the Lord is the only means and further, more importantly, that the goal he seeks is also the very Lord Himself (vasudevasasarvamiti). In practical terms jnanavan is some one who is human in the first place and is driven by values such as satya, ahimsa and so on and has his consciousness resident at least in the ‘U’ plane as noted earlier.

Ego – the barrier

The one and only barrier that comes in the way of achieving surrender is our ego. This causes problems even in the development of understanding of interdependency of various shades which we go through in the path towards surrender. Ego is also known as pride, self-importance and may be considered as the compulsive need to view oneself as separate from others. It has been very aptly described by a modern psychologist as a love denying obsession with separation and self concern. From the point of view of spirituality it may be taken to be an emotional knot in the consciousness granting a sense of separateness to us. Our samskaras are born out of our attachments to things, men, notions ideas and ideologies and all these have been acquired only through the sense of separate self, idea of doer, knower and enjoyer. The ego turns into identity in its final aspect and continues to exist till mahapralaya when it gets abolished in a sense to be fused with all other identities to become a common identity which becomes the cause for the next round of manifestation. We have to liberate the self from several shades of pride and self importance and sense of separateness before the final state is attained. All of us want to be free from the fears and desires of the separate ego, the ego of nations included and one can be really free from fear, all fear including the fear of death only when the ego is abolished totally at least in its initial forms, such as the idea that body is the doer through identification with it, that the rather fictitious entity termed ‘soul’ is the doer followed by the idea that it is the mind or the unfolding of the karmic effect is responsible for all action with the individual being only a helpless witness.

Later the idea that it is the Master to whom one has submitted is doing everything takes over and matures further into a finer state in which there is a transition from its initial state where though outwardly he thinks his Master is the doer inwardly he is yet unable to give up the idea of his doership resulting in duplicity. This stage matures further into mere awareness of the work being done automatically without an assertive sense of doership, the ego having assumed a subtler shade. This is the state where bhakti has assumed its finer state when the abhyasi ‘may not feel what he loves and what for’ as the Master has put it and also corresponds to the maturity of the surrender developed earlier in the Pind desh. It is marked by total dedication and the aspirant feels that he is a limb of the Master. The ego continues to transform into still finer shades before it becomes just bare identity for the determined sadhaka who pushes on relentlessly all the time yielding to the Master, though only the selected few manage to go all the way till the stage of swimming in the Eternal Ocean of the Absolute is reached. The only antidote for the problem of the ego is yielding to the Master from all levels of one’s being all the time seeking His grace for success even in this endeavour. Undoubtedly the aspirant should have absolute goal clarity, a strong will and unwavering determination to go the full distance undeterred by obstacles, disappointments and slippages which are bound to occur in various combinations as one makes his way towards the Infinite.

The diligent sadhaka goes through various states of interdependence on the ultimate during his march on the path and it is found that the ego progressively transforms itself during the progress made towards the state of surrender and beyond, the sense of separateness changing into states of negation. The contemplation of the few moments of total unawareness granted to the abhyasis of PAM in every session of their meditation assisted by the influx of Pranahuti leads them to the state wherein all opposites are resolved, conflicts dissolve and all existence is unified. Further one is made to realize the very illusory nature of the so called ‘ego’ itself, which also had disappeared along with every thing else. It also makes it patent that differences do not really exist in reality but they do so only from the point of view of the personal self and the network of relationships built around it. Yielding to the imperience of ‘void’ or ‘nothingness’ at once, understanding its significance, surrendering all that is in our mind unconditionally and totally enables one to attain to the universal perspective as contrasted to that of the personal self. Persisting in this practice of contemplation of the imperience of total unawareness makes for the development of surrender which is nothing but abolishment of ego. The reader interested in the sadhana aspects of surrender, the various intermediate states or buffers through which the aspirant travels on the Natural Path towards the fully matured state of surrender and attitudinal problems encountered or the various defects in surrender which could affect adversely his further progress may refer to the articles in the ISRC literature (Ref. BP V1 Articles on Surrender).

Some Important points

However we may mention some important points regarding the proper attitudes for achieving the state of true surrender:-

One needs to develop interdependence by realizing that as the vital truth of all existence and eschewing independence. It is also necessary to realize the interdependency between man and God as God needs us to express Him as much as we need Him to live, move and have our being.

One has to accept consciously that there is participation and contribution from other fellow beings in any effort we put in any field and thereby relinquish the feeling that we are the doers by ourselves.

One should share the outcomes of his effort with all others to the extent possible, thinking that the results are bestowed by God as gift and not try to enjoy it exclusively.

One should not distinguish between God and Master, especially of the stature and attainments such as the Master Sri Ramchandraji. Further he should recognize the presence of the Master in such of those competent gurus or guides who lead him to the Master and assist him on the path and be reverential towards them with gratefulness.

We tend to enjoy as our own the divine attributes or qualities which develop in us by His blessing and our sadhana but the right attitude is to treat as them as Master’s alone and always adopt a posture of lowliness and humility before the Master.

It is necessary to learn and feel that the Master alone is the doer, knower and enjoyer of every one of our actions and thoughts; of course this state is the result of considerable journey in knots 4 and later 9 assisted by Pranahuti and meditations on points A and B (Ref. BP V1 3rd edition p 101-2).

The Master talks about the problems encountered by the aspirant in surrendering; He points out that if there is any thing difficult on the path of righteousness it is surrender if taken up directly (that ensures the result), meaning thereby most of the aspirants have to surrender to a Master of caliber and through Him to the Lord. He emphasizes the need of yielding to the Master which is the first step towards surrender. Mostly people make verbal surrender as they do when they bow before the idol in the temple and this will not do. The best way of surrender is to feel dependence on God preceded by yielding to the Master.

Usually there is awareness in the person, his ‘I’ consciousness, when he surrenders and in course of time it is this ‘self’ which develops and not surrender. The consciousness of separate entity not only bars the spirit of surrender but produces sometimes undesirable results. The Master illustrates this by saying that the tiger if it knows that it is tiger it would pounce upon its cubs.

Ideal attitude for effecting true surrender

The ideal attitude for effecting surrender in the proper manner is that of the child which runs to its mother when it sees a tiger not thinking for a moment whether its mother would indeed be in a position to protect it from the tiger. This condition of innocence, simplicity and implicit unquestioning faith in the Master is attained in the course of the march towards surrender. Master draws our attention to King Bharata, the brother of Sri Rama, as a beautiful example of surrender. When Bharata went to the forest along with the people of Ayodhya to induce Sri Rama to return to the city, Sri Rama replied to the entreaties of the people by saying that He would return if Bharata would ask Him to do so. But Bharata calmly replied that it was not for him to command but only to follow.

This is an illustration of implicit obedience to the Master and His will exhibited by a person who has matured sufficiently in surrender. Yielding and obedience to the Master by following His instructions in good faith are also preliminary requirements for the development of surrender, though it may appear somewhat artificial to start with.

Perfect Surrender

Describing the state of perfect surrender, the Master states that in such a state the abhyasi will be in close touch with Reality all the time and the current of divine effulgence will continue its flow to him without any break. The problem of life would be solved in the most efficacious way in the shortest possible time. The person in this state is free from all fear and anxiety having resigned himself to the will of the Master and doing his duty with respect to the world as well as the divine. The sense of doing any thing is not there, all actions going on automatically as if it were leaving no impression on him. Further he is also beyond the ethical sense of right or wrong as every action proceeds truly according to the Divine Master’s will, his will held in total subservience to the Master’s.

Eventually only the good will result from the actions, thoughts and feelings of such a person whose heart has been gifted away to his Master, who is the embodiment of selfless and motiveless love interested always in the betterment of all without any discrimination. The Master suggests the simplest way to attain to the state of total surrender i.e., make a gift of the tiny heart to the Master which act, this being an act of will, will naturally bring the aspirant to the state of absorption in Absolute Reality. The lighter and finer the will the more effective shall be its working. The adoption of this easy technique is sure to bring in an attitude of renunciation from the very first day, the heart being absorbed in Reality, the feeling detachment from all else follows and it makes the very beginning to be the end of it.

Characterizing surrender in its full bloom, the Master says that in its perfected state it is complete resignation to the Master’s will with total disregard of self. A permanent stay in this condition leads to the beginning of the state of negation and a person in this state attracts constantly the divine force from the Master. He thinks and does only what the Master’s will ordains. He feels nothing in the world to be his belonging, but everything as a sacred trust from his Master and does everything thinking it to be His bidding. The Master states that the person in whom surrender is perfected surrenders automatically to the entire humanity, as the aspirant sees only His beloved Master everywhere and in all beings.

Mamnamatha and Gurumatha disciples

The Master cautions however that such a state of surrender is not something achieved easily; it begins after complete negation of all senses and faculties for which one follows the elementary rules of devotion. We submit to the Master thinking Him to be a superhuman being, love Him with devotion, faith and reverence trying by all means to attract His attention. The Master talks about two classes of disciples in the context of surrender. The disciples of the first category called Manmatha, approach the Master with some worldly end in view such as relief from misery, desire for wealth and so on. They submit to Him only so long as they are hopeful of satisfaction of their desires and if they meet disappointment in this regard they go away. For them the question of obedience or submission does not arise not to talk of surrender. On the contrary the second category disciples called Gurumatha obey the commands of the Master in all matters and try to submit to His will in all possible ways. Submission begins with obedience. When the disciple is impressed deeply with the great powers of a Master of higher attainments in spirituality, he is inwardly inclined to follow his biddings.


Before we end this Chapter on the Role of Abhyasi, a review of some very important aspects thereof will be in order. The Abhyasi should realize at the very outset that he is fully accountable for his progress and that the Master’s role is essentially one of support though he can not do without it ever. The Master states clearly that practice is the aspirant’s responsibility while spirituality is His responsibility. He says further that when we have played our part the Divine will never fail to play its part, which is Divine justice. The abhyasi shall have total goal clarity by reading the literature, participating in the various training programmes and workshops conducted (by the Institute-Imperience) and by doing his sadhana assiduously following the relevant instructions in letter and spirit. He should cultivate and maintain a yielding attitude to the Master and his trainer. He should develop loving attachment towards the Goal/Master and the spirit of trusteeship towards all things and persons who are entrusted to his care. He should feel that nothing really belongs to him and he has to discharge the duties towards the world and God thinking them to be Master’s biddings and dedicating them all to the Master without any concern for the results. He should try to be in tune with the Master’s consciousness trying to align his individual consciousness with it meaning thereby the Master’s aspirations and objectives become progressively his own. He should become aware that he is already blessed having the grace of the Divine Master through which alone he is able to feel the calm and tranquility in his meditations assisted by the divine influx of Panahuti and feel duly grateful.

This gratitude is to be expressed by sincere and meaningful participation as His instruments in the work undertaken by the Master, the overhauling of human consciousness. The true abhyasi is one according to the Master on seeing whom one would ask who his Master is. This is possible only when he lives a life where other people are impressed by it and ask how he is able to do it and the person who is guiding him enabling him to lead such a life. This is in fact the purpose of the life according to the Ten Commandments and in particular the Ninth Commandment which asks the abhyasi to mould himself in such a way that love and piety arise in others. The sincere abhyasi can even take this to be the goal in practical life terms. One of the prime duties of all abhyasis is to take part in the propagation of the Master’s message dedicating heart mind and soul to it.

It is not to be done through external ways so much as through the individual transformation of the abhyasi and his own life example even as the Masters of the Order and some great devotees of the Master have shown through their lives. This is a very important role that he has to play because the blessings of the Master are already with him, he has already imperienced many spiritual conditions authentically in his heart.

Now it is his turn to give back to the Master through his service which consists in trying to see that His earnest desire is fulfilled, namely, all people should know the method and realize the importance of spirituality over materiality. He has come down for that very purpose of installing spirituality in the place of materiality which has grown to such tragic proportions driving the world towards a catastrophic doom and the service of propagating His message through living a life of balance and moderation fully according to the Ten Commandments is most dear to Him.

In this context it is apt to consider following excerpts of Revered K.C.Varadachari’s inspiring thoughts on human destiny (Human destiny—p 581-4 CW1). He says clearly that the need for the New Darsana can be justified only when we accept the goal of divinization of man and not as one more system of sadhana for liberating a few souls. Nature demands that universal brotherhood be established before it takes up the divinization of man. The Master is equally impatient as is Nature Herself for the divinization to be accomplished and that itself is the reason for the emergence of the Supreme Personality Himself. He assures every abhyasi that He is taking care of him and the abhyasi should in turn actively participate in bringing about simplicity, purity and fraternal feeling in all not worrying about his own realization. The uniforms worn by the abhyasi are the practice of meditation and the Ten Commandments and his individual elevation is but a step in the greater task of divinization. If every abhyasi really believes in the Master he has the onerous responsibility of shedding through his actions and behaviour the Radiance of the Divine Personality deeply embedded in him and he should be conscious of the fact that he is a walking temple in as much as the Master is present in his heart.

There is a great responsibility towards the future on the shoulders of the persons already accepted by the Master and who have benefited considerably through His blessings. We are all victims of a very bad civilization based upon materialism, a civilization based on arrogance, greed, jealousy, conflict and unfair competition. From this the humanity has to move on to a civilization based on sharing, service, cooperation and sacrifice which are all spiritual values. The Master is demanding such a type of civilization and that is the Kingdom of God on earth, that is His call. We have to get out of the various mechanisms which serve to induce separation and compartmentalization amongst us such as rituals, class, caste, gender, creed and nationality and live a life of unity and harmony as demanded by divinity. Divinity has not brought out the manifestation with all its inherent diversity with the intention that all would fight amongst themselves but lead a life of cooperation, harmony and a restful and happy life through mutuality and sharing. For this a realization of the common parentage and consequent universal brotherhood is a must in the hearts of all men. The Master has given a unique solution through the 9 pm prayer where the abhyasi prayerfully wills that all men and women of the world are brothers and sisters and that they are developing real faith, true love and devotion to the Master. This prayer to be practiced by all aspirants not only paves the way for their growth into universal consciousness but also works on the atmosphere poisoned by prejudice, greed, pride and separatism resulting in the gradual purging of the poisonous effects and the substitution of altruistic and pious thoughts and feelings. This is the yajna which the true abhyasi does without fail every day dedicating it and its results to the Master.

The abhyasi also should realize his total irrelevance in the scheme of things and understand his relevance only in relation to the Master and strive so that his existence serves His purpose in all manner possible for him. His sadhana and his advancement on the path as blessed by the Master is not for his own sake but solely for His cause and noble purpose. The sadhana done by him is a sort of exercise in order that he may express Him to others and they in turn are attracted to the Natural Path, get connected to Him and benefit as he himself has and the whole thing moves on. There is no doubt that the spiritual Sun, the Special Personality has already risen, He is the person without any personality in whom the great Masters, saints and sages of the past have merged. He is the person who is weaving the common spiritual destiny of all and more than anything else He is accessible to every one without distinction albeit through some channels and the most important role of the abhyasi is to make available this message to one and all.