Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Other Yoga (Part 4.)



So, to make the distinction between ‘forced’ and ‘natural, yoga, Upasani Maharaj described the larger context of life lived in a natural way saying;

The World somehow came into ‘Being’; ‘Being’ means: to use things therein in a natural way; not to exert to make anything useful; to see whatever happens, just like a witness; not to name anything as good or bad; not to stop anything that is happening; not to exert to cause anything to happen in one’s own or anyone else’s interest; not to think of what one is doing; not to think of any pleasure or pain; only to see as a mere on-looker, whatever goes on—whatever happens—all this is just ‘Being’.”The Talks of Sadguru Upasani-Baba Maharaja, Volume II, Part B, page 537

Pondering this statement, I try to imagine a life opposite to what Upasani Maharaj describes, in other words, a life full of exertion, naming anything and everything as good and bad, trying to stop unwanted things from happening and make wanted things happen, etc. In other words, the picture I end up imagining is the life of the average man or woman living in the world these days...

No doubt, people do what they do to be happy, but does living a life such as this bring happiness? Do the people of the world really seem happy? Can one really be happy while continuing to swing back and forth on the nearly endless pendulums of pleasure and pain, riches and poverty, health and sickness, etc. for lifetimes on end? And so, if the opposite of a natural life, does not lead to any real happiness, perhaps the natural life described by Upasani Maharaj does?

But who can lead such a natural life? Does the average person  really have a choice? There is a saying translated from Sanskrit, “A problem comes to a person with a troubled mind, it is like chiseled into the stone, but when a problem comes to a person with a happy mind it is like written in the sand.”

A Perfect Master once repeated this to one of His followers. The follower replied that he had heard it before and that the Perfect Master should tell him something new! A pretty cheeky follower, no doubt, but Masters sometimes allow such intimacy from their followers; after all, Perfect Masters have no need of anyone’s respect and are unaffected by either kicks or kisses. They also never want to hide a follower’s suspicious interior with an auspicious exterior, so they create conditions that encourage hidden hindrances to come to the surface so that they can be seen and worked on.

So the Master asked the follower what the saying meant and the follower said that it meant that things go more easily when one is in a happy state of mind.

The Master nodded His head in agreement, but said that there was a deeper meaning to the statement and explained that the sanskaras created from the actions performed at the behest of a happy mind do not make deep impressions on the mind and are therefore easier to erase than impressions created from the actions of a troubled mind.

I mention this story as a reminder that the lives we live are, as Meher Baba put it, the consolidated molds of impressions—sanskaras—created in our previous lives. In other words, most impressions formed in a lifetime are not experienced in that lifetime, but in the next. It is almost as if we are always living one lifetime behind.

Now, this is not to suggest that we don’t have some choice, but the choice in any given lifetime is not the choice of the cards that we have to play, what is generally called karma, instead, the choice lies in how we choose to play those cards, or what is generally called dharma—playing the game from the level of the highest directive we can fathom. And so, if one’s life is the consolidated mold of past unnatural sanskaras, like the one I imagined, then to live a natural life, such as the one Upasani Maharaj described would be very difficult indeed.

Of course, Perfect Masters know all this. They know everything and are always most merciful, and they would never leave us, so to speak, hanging. And so, sensing our inability to lead the natural life in order to become free of the nearly endless pendulums of duality that lead to an almost endless chain of births and deaths, they suggest appropriate paths that fit the various natures of their followers in order to lead them, in the most efficient and compassionate ways to their ultimate liberation.

(To be continued.)

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Other Yoga (Part 3.)



I have often said that most of what passes as ‘spiritual teachings’—most yogas, religions, etc. are really ‘life teachings’, that is, teachings that help one to experience happiness and avoid unnecessary suffering while  in the second state of God—the dream state of creation. Of course, by minimizing the heavy bindings of certain actions in life, these yogas, religions, etc. do facilitate the process of God Realization, and therefore, the cessation of all bindings and suffering. In other words, if it is in the nature of the bubble to rise, the only things that can impede its progress are places where the bubble can get temporary caught. These places are sometimes called; lust, anger, hatred, jealousy, selfishness, and pride.   

I have spoken about the dream state of creation—the second state of God—at various times, about what it is and what it isn’t, and its purpose in the process of attaining the third state of God—the fully awake state of I am God and I always quote the God Realized as authorities on the subject because they speak from experience, while I am just, well, Ayushya—God’s parrot.


In my post called, Ayushya – Period of Life (http://imbedded.blogspot.com/2015/02/ayushya-period-of-life.html), I quoted Upasani Maharaj;

“The word (Ayushya) refers to a restricted period of time between (the states of) birth and death in which one enjoys or suffers certain amounts of pleasure and pain, but really speaking, there is nothing like Ayushya as such in existence; it is obviously not something having an independent existence.” The Talks of Sadguru Upasani-Baba Maharaja, Volume II, Part B. 

In other words, a span of life from birth until death, experienced as living in creation as a human being, is the experience of the dream state of God. Who experiences this state? God, experiences this state as you and I and as everyone and everything. The dream state of God is God dreaming that He is all of the beings and paraphernalia of His creation. As I said, I always look to the Masters on these subjects because with regard to my own experience—

 I'm looking at the river
But I'm thinking of the sea
Thinking of the sea
Thinking of the sea.” In Germany Before the War, Randy Newman

 Quoting again from Bhau Kalchuri’s book, The Nothing and the Everything, one of my favorite passages;

In the same way, though ‘awake’, the whole world is dreaming. The people of the world do not know they are dreaming, so deceptive, so binding are the sanskaras—that stuff that makes dreams and more dreams. People marry while dreaming, have children and homes, work, play, fornicate, love, hate, theorize, intellectualize, and philosophize, thinking that it is all real, when not one experience is real.” The Nothing and the Everything, Bhau Kalchuri, page 57

Yet, after many lifetimes in the human form, sometimes as a man and sometimes as a woman; sometimes rich and sometimes poor; sometimes of one color and sometimes of another, in other words, after many lifetimes, impaled upon the almost unlimited various horns of duality, at some point, the dream begins to change.

When what one sees has no reality, the inevitable must occur; the consciousness looks within and begins the inner journey, the Jivatma (the embodied soul) again dreams, but this time the dream is divine. When the Jivatma begins the inner journeys it means that he dreams the Divine Dream of Becoming God. (‘I will become God. I will know Him and thereby become Him.’)” – Ibid, page 58

Being God, knowing that God is God and nothing else exists, is the third state of God and this being and this knowing is the inevitable culmination of all of the journeys of all souls (jivatmas) who enter creation. Upasani Maharaj spoke about the first soul to realize God, and why this journey was different than those of all who followed.

“The one that was there right from the Beginning, obviously did not study Hatha yoga; he behaved in a natural way; he did not work on his own; he did not think of results; he did not do anything to have pleasures; he just went on in the most natural way—he remained in the state of ‘Be as it may,’ and ultimately experienced that he himself is everything; and this state is the state of Infinite Bliss.”The Talks of Sadguru Upasani-Baba Maharaja, Volume II, Part B, page 537

He then went on to say;

The World came into ‘Being’; ‘Being’ means: to use things therein in a natural way; not to exert to make anything useful; to see whatever happens, just like a witness; not to name anything as good or bad; not to stop anything that is happening; not to exert to cause anything to happen in one’s own or anyone else’s interest; not to think of what one is doing; not to think of any pleasure or pain; only to see as a mere on-looker, whatever goes on—whatever happens—all this is just ‘Being’.”The Talks of Sadguru Upasani-Baba Maharaja, Volume II, Part B, page 537

This is an incredible statement; it makes me wonder what a life like this would be like and how it compares to the life I am now living. It seems to be a prescription for how to be in the world but not of the world. It also seems to be a prescription for what Upasani Maharaj called the state of “Be as it may.” But a part of me wonders, would such a life be a selfless life, or would it be a selfish life, or somehow some combination of both?

Gurdjieff said that first one must become a conscious egoist to be of any help to oneself or others. On airplanes, the instruction given is to first put on your own oxygen mask before trying to help others put on theirs. In this case, is not the best help for those who wish to wake up, or even those in whom the wish to awaken stills lies below the surface of their consciousness,   rendered by those who have already woke up?

(To be continued.)





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Wednesday, November 09, 2016

The Other Yoga (Part 2.)



I frequently return to consider the three states of God—God in the state of deep sleep, God in the dream state, and God in the fully awake state. In the first state, God says nothing—is so deeply asleep that He is neither conscious nor unconscious of Himself; in the second state, God is asking and attempting to answer His question, “Who am I?” while in the third state, God consciously experiences Himself and says, “I am God!” This waking up of God occurs drop by drop—soul by soul in the timeless eternity that has no real beginning or real end. That said, was there a first drop—a first soul—who realized the third state—the I am God state? In His talk on Yoga, Upasani Maharaj, addresses this question.

“The one that was there right from the Beginning, obviously did not study Hatha yoga; he behaved in a natural way; he did not work on his own; he did not think of results; he did not do anything to have pleasures; he just went on in the most natural way—he remained in the state of ‘Be as it may,’ and ultimately experienced that he himself is everything; and this state is the state of Infinite Bliss.” The Talks of Sadguru Upasani-Baba Maharaja, Volume II, Part B, page 537

So, who was that one “that was there right from the Beginning?”

In a small town in central India is the ashram of Sadguru Narayan Maharaj, one of the five Perfect Masters who precipitated the advent of Avatar Meher Baba. In that ashram is a room with a silver throne that depicts the throne of God. It is called Ars-e-Maula. You can see a picture of that throne in Bhau Kalchuri’s book, The Nothing and the Everything. It is quite an impressive thing.

In his book, Bhau writes;

In the beginning of time this throne remained to be filled until Infinite Consciousness was gained through the medium of Infinite Unconsciousness. The first to occupy that throne, who eternally remains enthroned, is none but the Nameless Ancient One who gained Infinite Consciousness by Himself.

“By occupying that vacant seat filled by Infinite Consciousness (at the instant He realized Infinite Consciousness), He established the eternal aspect of Personal God when His Infinite Consciousness filled the Vacuum of Impersonal God’s Infinite Unconsciousness.

“Ars-e-Maula represents the vacuum that was filled by the First Soul when He realized God, and when He realized Himself to be Infinite Consciousness.” – The Nothing and the Everything, Bhau Kalchuri, page 103

This first soul became the first Sadguru—the first Perfect Master—but what is different about Him than the Sadgurus that followed Him is that these later Sadgurus never incarnate again after they drop—discard—their physical bodies. Meher Baba explains that when A Sadguru drops His body, He remains in the I am God State, eternally enjoying Infinite Bliss, but loses all consciousness of creation.

But the first Sadguru did take another Incarnation and continues to take an Incarnation, Meher Baba says, every 750 to 1,400 years. Meher Baba tells us that when He comes again and again He is known as the Ancient One, the Christ, the Messiah, the Buddha, the God-Man, etc.

All these Names are Names that identify His State and His Station. For example, Jesus was the Incarnation of the Christ State and Gautama was the Incarnation of the Buddha State, but though the name of the State is different, the State is always the same, and the One who incarnates in that state is also always the same One—the Ancient One—the First Soul—the One who was the first Sadguru.

As Upasani Maharaj said, “The one that was there right from the Beginning, obviously did not study Hatha yoga; he behaved in a natural way; he did not work on his own; he did not think of results; he did not do anything to have pleasures; he just went on in the most natural way—he remained in the state of ‘Be as it may,’ and ultimately experienced that he himself is everything; and this state is the state of Infinite Bliss.”

And what is the Beginning? What does that signify?  The Beginning does not signify the beginning of God, because God is Eternal and Infinite, and the Eternal and the Infinite cannot have a beginning or an end.  But creation does, on the other hand, have a beginning and an end, in fact creation has had many beginnings and many ends, but that is a subject for another day…

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” – John 1:1

God was there in the beginning and God will be there after the end and when God, in His own language, spoke the first Word, “Who am I?” creation came forth and with creation came the First Soul.

“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” Colossians 1:15


(To be continued.)


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Wednesday, November 02, 2016

The Other Yoga (Part 1.)



And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” —Matthew 11:12

Meher Baba stated that John the Baptist was one of the five Perfect Masters who precipitated the incarnation of God in the human form of Jesus Christ. Most history suggests that Jesus was born approximately B.C. 4-6 and that John the Baptist was born a few years before Jesus.

The crucifixion of Christ is placed A.D. 30-36. Approximately fifty to seventy-five years later Matthew wrote his gospel. In other words, the period of time when the kingdom of heaven could be taken by violence was at least 100 years, but I believe that it could have been much longer, possibly thousands of years…

This 100 year period between the birth of John and the birth of Jesus and the writing of the Gospel of Matthew is within the cycle of time known as the Kali Yuga, the dark age of the cycle of four yugas when, metaphorically speaking, the shadow of the sun appears much greater than the sun itself. We are now in a major transitional period between Kali Yuga and the Satya Yuga which begins a new cycle of cycles. Yugas last a long time, depending on who you ask, a yuga could last from a thousand years to hundreds of thousands of years.

My sense is that it was in Dwapara Yuga, the yuga before Kali Yuga, that the kingdom of heaven could be taken by violence—the violence of austerities, penances, and certain breathing exercises. People were powerful in those days, more powerful than now. The word violence was translated from the Greek word biázœ. Biázœ means force, or to force. The techniques used to force open the kingdom of heaven fall under the term yoga, but this yoga is not the yoga that is currently being taught in gyms and fitness centers around the world or even in yoga schools and ashrams in India, instead, it is the Hatha Yoga that Upasani Maharaj refers to in this talk from 1924.

To effect union with God means yoga and there are many a method for the same. Not knowing the different forms of yoga, many call Hatha Yoga alone as yoga and the control of the breath and holding the breath is taken to be the proper study in the line by them.

“The study of yoga, however, that does not go against nature, that takes place at a slow pace at the will of a Sadguru, and is based on punya accruing out of motiveless, desireless, actions, in other words, what is called Nishkama karma, leads one to its final stage of Sahaj-Samadhi. This method is natural and not forced as is methods and practices of Hatha Yoga—it never goes against nature.” The Talks of Sadguru Upasani-Baba Maharaja, Volume II, Part B, page 537

There is so much to be learned from this statement, but first let’s take a step back in order to create some context: I always return to the teachings of the Perfect Masters for guidance and clarification. Perfect Ones are those who have achieved the kingdom of heaven and have become the embodiment of Infinite, Knowledge, Infinite Power, and Infinite Bliss. These Perfect Ones retain their bodies for a period of time after their Realization in order to help others in their journeys to God. In this talk, Upasani Maharaj refers to these Perfect Ones as Sadgurus. Upasani Maharaj was such a Perfect One. He never gave an opinion, He always spoke from His own experience of Infinite, Knowledge and so I give His statements a lot of weight.

In this talk, Upasani Maharaj uses the term Nishkama karma. Karma, of course, is the fruit of actions; these fruits could be tasty or not, golden or spiked. Kama generally means the pursuit of pleasure—this is pleasure as distinct from happiness. And Nish means without; hence, “motiveless, desireless, actions.”  To attempt to live one’s life without regard for personal pleasures or gain is, in fact, one of the meanings of Karma Yoga. But how is it possible to live such a life?

If you want someone to not think about pink elephants, you don’t tell them to not think about pink elephants, because the nature of the mind is to always go where it is told not to go. Therefore, it is more effective to tell the person to think about blue elephants. In the case of Karma Yoga, and the pursuit of eliminating actions born of self-interest, there are various methods; one is doing actions for the benefit of others without regard for oneself, but the highest method is to do actions with the single and self-less motive to please God in the form of a living Perfect Master or the Avatar.

In light of all this, Upasani’s statement makes total sense; “To effect union with God means yoga and there are many a method for the same. Not knowing the different forms of yoga, many call Hatha Yoga alone as yoga and the control of the breath and holding the breath is taken to be the proper study in the line by them.

“The study of yoga, however, that does not go against nature, that takes place at a slow pace at the will of a Sadguru, and is based on punya accruing out of motiveless, desireless, actions, in other words, what is called Nishkama karma, leads one to its final stage of Sahaj-Samadhi. This method is natural and not forced as is methods and practices of Hatha Yoga—it never goes against nature.” – Ibid

(To be continued.)








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