1959, The Self God, Bringing Nirvikalpa Samadhi, Part 2
Merging with Siva
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2022-02-02
"We learn that man is not man, man is God and that the inherent nature of his soul is divine, existing in perfect oneness with God." Three devotional practices: austerity-tapas, Self study-svadhaya, and devotion to God-Ishvara pranidhana. Attenuating the five kleshas: ignorance, I-am-ness, attraction, aversion and clinging to life and then coming into the joy that comes from your Effulgent Being. You are the unchanging inner light that permeates every atom of the universe. You will know from deeper and deeper experiences, from the inmost depth of your being that form itself is not real. You are the unchanging light. Keep trying, moving forward twenty four hours a day to make as much progress as you can in this lifetime.
Master Course Trilogy, Merging with Siva Introduction, The Self God. Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.
Good morning everyone.
Continuing our series of reading the lessons of "Merging with Siva" in chronological order and we're in the middle of "The Self God" this morning is the second half and it's a talk given in 1959, Sacramento Street Temple.
So we're starting, this is Gurudeva's description of the talk:
"On October 3, 1959, at our temple in San Francisco, just before flying to the island of Oahu in Hawaii, I sat with a small group of initiates in a discussion of the mind and the mind's essence. We attempted to penetrate in consciousness the realms attained when an individual leaves the actinodic causal body, becoming a pure state of consciousness, a pure state of actinicity, and finally merging into the Absolute, the Self God. And though no one has been able to adequately explain this experience, which is beyond the mind, I was overly inspired to explain the unexplainable. It is just as fresh and relevant today. Inner truths never change. On the following pages, you will find "The Self God" in my own hand."
This is from the introduction to "Merging with Siva" and the next section is Gurudeva's hand written version of "The Self God."
"From this inspired explanation, we learn that man is not man, man is God, and that the inherent nature of his soul is divine, existing in perfect oneness with God. This identity of the soul with God always exists and awaits man's awakening into realization. In the years that followed, tens of thousands of copies of the little booklet called 'The Self God' were printed in America and in Asia and have been widely distributed. To show just how widely, one day our car experienced a flat tire on a road out side a remote village in South India . As it was being repaired, we wandered about. People were passing by now and again. After a while, an elderly villager noticed us and inquired as to our 'native place.' I handed him a little pamphlet to be polite. He looked at us, refused my offer and pulled a little booklet from his shirt pocket, saying...He looked at us, refused my offer and pulled a little booklet from his shirt pocket saying, 'I am in need of nothing more. I have all I need right here.' He held up my 'The Self God' booklet. Having made his point to these strangers, he walked on, not knowing he had been speaking to the author. In India and Sri Lanka, it is often referred to as 'the little gem,' and is highly regarded as an explanation of the inexplicable nirvikalpa samadhi. As you read this unedited talk, don't think about it, feel it. Try to feel the vibration of the room in which it was given. Try to feel it in the innermost depths of your being."
End of introduction.
And I found another Yogaswami quote that relates nicely to Gurudeva's statement the first line: "The Self you can't explain it."
"He who says he knows does not know. Nobody knows. Nobody has ever known."
Then we get back to the text:
"Have you ever noticed that something you think is permanent, you and you alone give permanence to that thing through your protection of it? Have you ever stopped to even think and get a clear intellectual concept that the Spirit within you is the only permanent thing? That everything else is changing? That everything else has a direct wire connecting it to the realms of joy and sorrow? That is the mind."
The understanding that everything has a "direct wire connecting it to the realms of joy and sorrow" is an important one. And this idea is found in chapter two of "Patanjali's Yoga Sutras."
Verse II.1: "Kriya yoga is comprised of austerity, self-study and devotion to Isvara."
So austerity in Sanskrit is 'tapas,' Self study is 'svadhaya' and devotion to God is 'Ishvara pranidhana.'
And my commentary on that was: In modern Hindu teachings, the most common use of the term kriya yoga is to refer to a breathing technique, pranayama, found in the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda and offshoots of that lineage. Here, however, the term kriya yoga simply means the 'yoga of action' and refers to three of the niyamas.
So it's referring to these three devotional practices: austerity, Self study, and devotion to Ishvara.
Verse II.2: "This yoga has the purpose of bringing about samadhi and attenuating the kleshas."
So we need to find out what that kleshas are, that's in verse three.
[Verse II.3:] "Ignorance, I-am-ness, attraction, aversion, and clinging to life are the five kleshas.
So my comment is:
These five kleshas can all be reduced, attenuated by the practice of kriya yoga. Ultimately the kleshas can be completely obliterated through the experience of dharma megha samadhi.
We get verse four.
[Verse II.4:] "Ignorance is the breeding ground of the other kleshas, whether dormant, attenuated, intercepted, or activated."
[Verse II.5:] "Ignorance is seeing that which is impermanent, impure, sorrowful, or not self as permanent, pure, joyful and as self."
So there we what I was trying to get to. Sanskrit word for ignorance is 'avidya,' spiritual ignorance. Wrongful understanding of the nature of reality. Mistaking the impermanent for the everlasting.
In common usage 'ignorance' refers to not knowing how to do something such as being ignorant about caring for dairy cows. Ignorance of the type mentioned in this verse is different. It is referring to looking at something and totally mistaking its nature.
So, in other words, Gurudeva's idea that everything is connected to the realms of joy and sorrow is what avidya relates to and avidya means you don't realize that everything is connected to joy and sorrow. You think it's permanent joy. You think it's like the joy inside. Whereas, joy from experiences in the world is followed by sorrow. The coin has, the coin has two sides.
Back to the text:
"As the Self, your Effulgent Being, comes to life in you, joy and sorrow become a study to you. You do not have to think to tell yourself that each in its own place is unreal. You know from the inmost depth of your being that form itself is not real.
"The subtlety of the joys that you experience as you come into your Effulgent Being cannot be described. They can only be projected to you if you are refined enough to pick up the subtlety of vibration. If you are in harmony enough, you can sense the great joy, the subtlety of the bliss that you will feel as you come closer and closer to your real Self."
Gurudeva has made the point in giving up the joy that comes from worldly experience, not really giving up joy, you're replacing it with the an even greater joy that comes from your Effulgent Being.
"If you strive to find the Self by using your mind, you will strive and strive in vain, because the mind cannot give you Truth; a lie cannot give you the truth. A lie can only entangle you in a web of deceit. But if you sensitize yourself, awaken your true, fine, beautiful qualities that all of you have, then you become a channel, a chalice in which your Effulgent Being will begin to shine. You will first think that a light is shining within you. You will seek to find that light. You will seek to hold it, like you cherish and hold a beautiful gem. You will later find that the light that you found within you is in every pore, every cell of your being. You will later find that that light permeates every atom of the universe. And you will later find that you are that light and what it permeates is the unreal illusion created by the mind."
So in this paragraph Gurudeva's nicely showing what the deeper and deeper experiences of inner light are. You start by just seeing it shining within you and then it is in every pore of your being and then it is permeating every atom of the universe and then you are the light. And what it permeates is the unreal illusion created by the mind. The last stage can be thought of as being the light in a movie projector permeating through the film. So normally you relate to the images on the film but in this experience you're, you're being the light, it's permeating though the images. So the images are changing but you're not changing, you're the unchanging light.
"How strong you must be to find this Truth. You must become very, very strong. How do you become strong? Exercise. You must exercise every muscle and sinew of your nature by obeying the dictates of the law, of the spiritual laws. It will be very difficult. A weak muscle is very difficult to make strong, but if you exercise over a period of time and do what you should do, it will respond. Your nature will respond, too. But you must work at it. You must try. You must try. You must try very, very hard, very diligently. How often? Ten minutes a day? No. Two hours a day? No. Twenty-four hours a day! Every day! You must try very, very hard. "
What is it exactly that we are exercising? It is, of course, our self control, control over the instinctive and intellectual mind. And that self control needs to be in place twenty-four hours a day, even in our dreams.
"Preparing you for the realization of the Self is like tuning up a violin, tightening up each string so it harmonizes with every other string. The more sensitive you are to tone, the better you can tune a violin, and the better the violin is tuned, the better the music. The stronger you are in your nature, the more you can bring through your real nature, the more you can enjoy the bliss of your true being. It is well worth working for. It is well worth craving for. It is well worth denying yourself many, many things for--to curb your nature. It is well worth struggling with your mind, to bring your mind under the dominion of your will.
"Those of you who have experienced contemplation know the depth from which I am speaking. You have had a taste of your true Self. It has tasted like nothing that you have ever come in contact with before. It has filled and thrilled and permeated your whole being, even if you have only remained in that state of contemplation not longer than sixty seconds. Out of it you have gained a great knowing, a knowing that you could refer back to, a knowing that will bear the fruit of wisdom if you relate future life experiences to that knowing, a knowing greater than you could acquire at any university or institute of higher learning. Can you only try to gain a clear intellectual concept of realizing this Self that you felt permeating through you and through all form in your state of contemplation? That is your next step."
Having an inner experience such as a deep experience of the inner light builds a new type of faith, sraddha, based on personal experience. Such experiences deepen one's faith in a way nothing else can. So that's experiential faith. Second point Gurudeva makes is that knowledge obtained from within is of a higher nature than that obtained from books. So as we all know Yogaswami's famous statement: "It's not in books, you fool." And of course doesn't mean you should never read books, but it means at a certain point you should stop reading the books and try to experience it.
"Those of you who are wrestling with the mind in your many endeavors to try to concentrate the mind, to try to meditate or to try to become quiet, to try to relax, keep trying. Every positive effort that you make is not in vain. Every single brick added to a temple made of brick brings that temple closer to completion. So keep trying and one day, all of a sudden, you will pierce the lower realms of your mind and enter into contemplation. Then you will be able to say: 'Yes, I know, I have seen. Now I know fully the path that I am on.' Keep trying. You have to start somewhere."
The comparison of spiritual progress to building a temple of bricks gives a good sense of the path taking time, multiple lifetimes to complete. What is important is to keep adding bricks, to keep moving forward. In other words, sometimes people are in a hurry. "I need to realize the Self in this lifetime." All of a sudden it's become an urgent goal. It's not really the best perspective. It's better to focus on making as much progress as you can in this life. Adding as many bricks to your temple made of bricks as you're able in this life. You're not trying to rush to the end.
"The Self you cannot speak of. You can only try to think about it, if you care to, in one way: feel your mind, body and emotions, and know that you are the Spirit permeating through mind, which is all form; body, which you inhabit; and emotions, which you either control or are controlled by. Think on that, ponder on that, and you will find you are the light within your eyes. You are the feel within your fingers. 'You are more radiant than the sun, purer than the snow, more subtle than the ether.' Keep trying. Each time you try you are one step closer to your true Effulgent Being."
The statement "...and emotions, which you either control or are controlled by..." is one I often quote in answering emails concerned with difficult situations. Gurudeva's statement points out very clearly that we have a choice. We control our emotions or we are controlled by them. Very simple choice. That some people don't think about.
Thank you very much. Have a wonderful day.