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Space, Time and Profound Meditation
Address to abhyasis from Hubli and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 18 May 2012, Chennai, India
Dear sisters and brothers,
The proof that distance does not matter is that you are all here. Some have come from Andaman and Nicobar, many are here from Hubli. And as my Master Babuji Maharaj used to say jokingly, “I am not from here. I am from nowhere,” because a liberated soul does not occupy space, nor does it exist in time. So you can say it is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. But we are conditioned to think of space and time from our Puranas, from our itihaasaas [epics], from movies, Puranic movies, where we see Narada saying “Narayana, Narayana,” and moving through, going to Vaikuntha [abode of Lord Vishnu] or ksheera saagara [ocean of milk] to talk to the Lord, and there you see him taking time. So we think that even after we are finished with this physical life, we are going to be slaves to space and time. Our literature, our itihaasaas, our culture has given us the wrong conditioning.
At the same time, I have been impressed by one fact: when we are sleeping – say during a marriage – fifty people in a hall, ladies, gentlemen, babies, grown-up children, one baby cries and its mother wakes up instantly. Its mother – not every mother. How does she know it’s her baby? How does she hear it? She is also sleeping. It is the bond between the mother and the baby. The father doesn’t care; often he is irritated. “Damn the baby!” he says, but the mother wakes up. It is that bond of love. And the mother says, “This child is dependent on me. If I don’t wake up, who will wake up and attend to it?” So what makes distance in space and time unimportant is love.
If you love somebody, you don’t care where he or she is; you say, “He is always in my mind.” So unless you get something in your mind, or heart as we say, we are subject to the demands of space and time, the limitations of space and time. So, whether you are an abhyasi or not, whether you are a rishi or not, if you don’t love, there is distance.
If there is hate, Babuji used to say, by some strange metamorphosis of space and time, there is no space and time. I had asked Babuji Maharaj about when the Lord was coming down and His conclave, college of maharishis, munis [saints] said, “Lord, we want to come with you. How can we be separate?” and He said, “Well, if you come, you will have to be there for some time because that is bhooloka [earth] where space and time predominate, they govern. They are life. So you can either stay there ten lives as my devotees, or three lives as my virodhis (as my enemies).” This was the dwaarapaalakaas – the gatekeepers to His Lord’s palace. They said, “Lord, we cannot stay away for ten janmas [lives]. We will come as your virodhis and finish it in three lives.” And the story says that that was Ravana and Kumbhakarna, Hiranyakashyapa and Hiranyaksha, Shishupala – all these people.
So I asked Babuji Maharaj, “What is the secret of this hatred which divides you from the Lord only for three lives, whereas bhaktas [devotees], poor fellows who are always thinking of you and reciting your name, have to be away for ten lives?” He said, “I will tell you the secret. In hatred, there is constant remembrance. You are always remembering. ‘I will finish that fellow. I will cut his throat. Where is your Narayana? Is he in this pillar?’ Every second of every day you are thinking of the enemy.” I said, “Then it would appear that is better. Why should we be devoted and meditate and all this nonsense?” He laughed and said, “Yes, Parthasarathi, it is better, provided you can have that type of constant remembrance where there is no forgetting.”
So, there is no distinction between friend and enemy also, because if you can think of the Lord every moment of time, which we call constant remembrance, your job is finished. In fact, Babuji said, “Once you are able to do constant remembrance for a week, you cannot stop it after that.” And then meditation is unimportant. Because meditation, like marriage, is to teach you to love the person to whom you are married. Meditation means I must remember Him not only during meditation but all the time. Do you remember your husband only during your wedding? Or you, your wives? Nitya smaran [constant remembrance] – “My wife, my wife, my wife. My wife must be expecting me, I am late.” Mere husbands and wives, you are able to think of so much, remain in constant remembrance. Then what happens? You have husbands and wives all over again, all over again, again and again – punarapi maranam, punarapi jananam [repeated death and rebirth]. “Yes, but why, Lord?” Because you remembered your husband; you should have remembered Him!
So the secret is what I remember I have here [in the heart] and what I have here I attain. Of course, pativrata strees [devoted wives] can ask, “Does it mean we should forget our husbands?” Not at all! You remember them in a different way. Like if you are working in a computer firm, you remember what you have to do. People often ask a silly question, “Master, if I am in constant remembrance, how can I do my work?” Babuji said, “It is not a question of you doing the work or not doing the work. The work gets done.” Understand? The work gets done! If I am in constant remembrance, my work gets done. Who did it? Doesn’t matter. Work is to be done, whether you do it or somebody else does. You may not be even conscious that you did it, like you slap a mosquito in your sleep. Who did it?
So space and time are the same thing looked at in different ways. And unless you are in constant remembrance, you cannot remove the effect of space and time. And as long as the idea of space and time continue to dominate our lives, we are part of this cycle of janma–punarjanma, janma–punarjanma [birth–rebirth, birth–rebirth], it goes on and on. There is no God who says, “You go back!” Why should God bother about all our souls? He says, “I have given you this and I have given you this: intelligence and heart. Use this wisely and you will find Me here. Once you have found Me here, you need nothing else.” You will walk and the road will create itself before you. You don’t walk on the road; the road creates itself before you. You think of something and it is done.
So the difference between man and God: man thinks, does, achieves – three distinct stages; God… and it is done, no thinking, no doing, no achieving – instant. So you find there are achieved souls (rishis, brahmarishis, whatnot); they think and they are there. It is not as we see in movies that Narada is moving through space and time, “Narayan, Narayan.” That is movie-makers. And they have disillusioned us so much that we continue to think that even Narada needs space and time. So children ask, “How does he fly in the sky?” You understand?
So the sooner you are able to meditate in such a way… After all you are told to meditate on the divine light in the heart. How many of us meditate on the divine light in the heart? I dare to say, perhaps one in a thousand. We think we are meditating on the light in the heart. As brother Somakumar was saying and which I would like to expand a little: when the prefect says, “That’s all,” nine hundred and ninety-nine out of one thousand instantly their eyes are open. It has nothing to do with the depth of meditation and going deep and all that (of course, it has), but it is because most of you are waiting for the prefect to say, “That’s all.” “Thank heavens, it is over!” Most of us are waiting for the sitting to be terminated, therefore we are not meditating; we are waiting for “That’s all”. What sort of meditation is this? What sort of progress do you expect? There would be no progress. It is all wasted effort. You might as well be in the cafe drinking coffee or in a movie, enjoying the picture. If you meditate, you must meditate. Can you sit on a bicycle and expect it to move without pedals? So meditation is an activity.
When Babuji was in Europe for the first time, many foreign abhyasis asked him, “Babuji, but you do nothing when you meditate.” So he smiled his simple smile and said, “I am telling you, you do nothing when you are awake and you are working because you are like an animal which is going round and round, drawing water from the well or grinding cement.” (Chakkar as we say in Hindi.) You are creatures of habit. The alarm rings, you get up; you wash; you walk out; you take the lift, go down; take the bus or your car and go to work. You have no thought. Those who follow procedures have no thinking to do. Take A from B, take C from D, make C-A-D as ‘cad’. Of course some of them are very highly paid in the IT industry, forty lakhs, fifty lakhs, two crores, four crores. They don’t think. The best typist is one who does not think. During your training you must have mastered the keyboard. You just see the word and go on typing – ‘Susheela’, S-U-S-H… if you stop you cannot type. Isn’t it?
What do we do in meditation? If you stop meditating, which means your attention is taken away from the light in the heart, you have to start all over again. Someone asked Babuji, “Why do you insist on one hour for meditation?” He said, “If you start meditating properly, really going into your heart, meditating on the divine light in the heart, you will find that it takes years of practice before you can stay on that object of meditation for one second. Most of the time you are trying.” It is like a man putting a bucket into the well, pulling it out to see if there is water, putting it in some more. And the water is so deep inside, as Somakumar was saying. You can’t put the bucket ten feet, then twelve feet, and fifteen feet and every time see if there is water in it. Forget everything. You let go of the rope; it goes down, splashes into the well – the equivalent of my achieving the ability to look into my heart, locate the light, and meditate on it.
To meditate means to think of the same thing continuously – not frequently, not occasionally; it means continuously. If you think of love, a mother doesn’t think of her baby occasionally. Whatever she may be doing, even something like gappa-maroing [gossiping] with other women, one ear is always there. “Quawk” and she is there. You have to be a mother to know that. That is constant remembrance.
I once asked Babuji why one eye of his was always looking down. His left eye always seems to be looking down. I said, “Your right eye is here [looking forward] and your left eye is here [looking down]. Why?” He said, “This is looking at the world; this is looking at my heart.” I said, “Why?” He said, “I have to look at the world because I am working on it. I have to look to my heart to make sure that everything is going right.” You follow? This [the heart] is what tells you whether you are going right or wrong, whether you are going at all or not. Now if you just look with both eyes at everything, you are only seeing what nature has to offer: a cat climbing up the wall, a squirrel running away from it, a boy and a girl standing at the street corner. Isn’t it? So Babuji said, “We have got to have at least one eye permanently fixed here [the heart].” I had experiences during meditation when I saw Babuji looking at me, but I only saw one eye of his. I said, “Babuji, why only one eye?” He said, “Are you not happy that one eye of mine is looking at you all the time? The other eye is for the rest of the world.”
So, we have to understand what ‘profound meditation’ means, by meditating, by not waiting for the prefects to say, “That’s all,” by not waiting for the child to make a cry so that you can get up and run away, by not waiting for a phone call. Nowadays this is a disease, this cell phone. I hear people here, I tell them, “No phones, please, no cell phones,” but they will bring. I say, “If it rings, thousand rupees fine.” They put it on silent mode; brrrr, it goes. Now, if that is so important, why don’t you stay outside and forget meditation? If for you the next telephone call is so important that you don’t care about meditation but are waiting for it to ring – and you have no compunction, you are so lacking in discipline that you are willing to open your eye and look at the number so that you can call later – better thing would be for you to be outside. Isn’t it? Now, we are attending neither to the phone nor to your meditation. You are obeying neither your wife or whatever it is, nor your guru. You are between two worlds.
So this business of meditation is not so simple as it sounds. I hear prefects talking of it, Masters talking of it, books are printed, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. You cannot taste the pudding by reading the recipe or by watching your wife cook or by buying it from a famous confectioner. You have to put that thing in your mouth; instantly you know whether it is good or bad.
So, unless you meditate, books are useless, prefects are useless, gurus are useless. They are useful to you only if you are willing to meditate; then you need books to see what the ten maxims say, what discipline means, what obedience is, and how important it is.
I pray that you will all appreciate these things, not just come and listen to a seminar and go back and say, “It was nice. Manapakkam has good facilities. Food also is good.” I hope you will all remember all this and I pray that you will succeed. Thank you.