Saturday, July 02, 2011

The Secret of God Realization (Complete)

This is the complete version of my commentaries on Upasani Maharaj's booklet The Secret of God Realization. I have re-posted it as a single document to facilitate its reading.

The Secret of God Realization

It is about the same size as a modern soft-cover book—sixty seven pages—so somewhere between the size of a pamphlet and a book. The cover is of thin paper—a little dog-eared— its color a very faded uneven blue.

Within the black patterned border the title, The Segret of God Realization (yes, the typo is it’s, not mine) followed in smaller letters in parenthesis by (Discourses by Shri Satchidananda Sadguru Upasani Baba Maharaj, Sakuri). At the bottom of the cover, under the border, is stamped something in either Hindi or Marathi. In short, the appearance is old and unprofessional looking by our modern publishing standards.

I remember a saying of Gurdjieff, “auspicious exterior, suspicious interior” that he used to describe the state of modern man and society. This book’s exterior being quite the opposite, as well as its interior when discovered by any sincere aspirant.

After the table of contents which lists six chapters, or discourses, there is a black and white photograph of poor quality of Upasani Maharaj sitting cross-legged on the ground with his right hand on his right leg and his left hand on the ground behind him—apparently supporting himself. Upasani appears to be about sixty years old, his short beard is white and his head nearly bald. He is bare-chested; his only clothes a rough looking cloth or blanket of rough gunny material that is wrapped around him. He is neither fat nor thin. His posture is casual, his aspect unpretentious, yet, somehow, powerful and auspicious.

The pages that follow are a preface and an introduction, most-likely by Mr. S. Subarao, a close follower of Upasani Maharaj, who translated the original text in Marathi—the language used by Upasani when He gave the original talk—into English. Both the preface and the introduction offer a glimpse into the material that is to follow as well as some general background on Upasani and His ashram at Sakori, India.

The writer humbly apologizes for “all the defects inherent in all (his) such attempts (to render the talks into English” listing the following three reasons:

1. “The far too sublime nature of the subject;

2. The peculiarities and angularities of the different languages and

3. Inadequate equipment—spiritual and literary—on the part of the translator.”

It is a fact accepted by all enlightened minds that upon achieving the human form man remains bound in the dream called life and continues to die and be born again and again in order to experience and exhaust his accumulated sanskaras of pleasure and pain, wealth and poverty, happiness and despair etc. Both Meher Baba and Upasani Maharaj places the outside limit of lifetimes as eighty four lacs, or eight million, four hundred thousand.

But the Lord is All Merciful and Eternally Benevolent and continues to provide appropriate exit strategies for worthy individuals — this is what is meant and explained in the book, The Secret of God Realization. There are some traditional ways that Upasani names and then dismisses as being impractical for most individuals — impractical because they are generally not really appropriate to life the Kali Yuga, the cycle of time we are all now currently experiencing. These methods include, Bhajanpujan, Anuthan, Vratas, Yadnya-Yaga, Tapascharya, Yogabhyas, Namasmaran, Dhyan-dharna, Vedapathan, and Brahmacharya — practices and techniques that can be variously grouped within the categories of the four yogas described in my recent posts.

Upasani then goes on to describe some methods that are more effective in the Kali Yuga. These methods include association with pure souls in various forms such as Sadgurus (God-Realized souls), girls under the age of eight years old, girls and boys beyond the age of eight who remain in the state of purity by being kept in association with Sadgurus, and women who remain in the pure state — what Upasani calls the Kanya State.

Under the topic heading of “Natural Attributes of Man and Woman” Upasani states;
“If it is asked as to how and from where the Kanya acquires this power to lead others to God the answer is that the state of Pure Consciousness (the satchidananda — knowledge, power, and bliss — alternately, existence, consciousness, and bliss) is very nearly found in this world in the Kanya; and the state of a man is its direct opposite.

That is to say, man is chiefly composed of Rajas and Tamas Gunas, the grosser qualities Asatguna of Maya — (Sat equals knowledge, asat means the opposite i.e. ignorance; Maya is the power that makes illusion appear to be reality; hence Asatguna of Maya meaning illusion’s power in the form of ignorance.) — which develop egoism and induce him (man) to undertake an endless series of activities good or bad, fruitful or otherwise, whereby his worldly sanskaras (mental tendencies) grow stronger and inextricably entangle him in the (nearly endless) cycle of births and deaths.

It is not, however, ordained by Providence that man should be forever involved in the cycle of births and deaths and undergo continued suffering. On the other hand, without man composed of Rajas and Tamas the world cannot go on. So, man has been created to keep the world going and women, on the contrary, is his exact counterpart. She is composed chiefly of Satvaguna as denoted by the term ‘Kanya’ and her main function is to destroy the evil sanskaras accumulated by man in the course of his numerous worldly activities and lead him back to his original state of Eternal Bliss. Such is the harmony of the Natural Order.” The Secret of God Realization – Upasani Maharaj

Of course, the most important ‘qualifier’ in Upasani’s statement is this last sentence, “Such is the harmony of the Natural Order,” and, we shall see, if we don’t already know it, that in the present cycle of time, the Kali Yuga, the Natural Order of things is turned on its head and ‘natural’ can in no way ever be taken for granted.

“What has been said about the power and capability of a Kanya is equally applicable to a woman in the state called Kumari or Kuwari. What then do these terms connote? ‘Ku’ signifies bad or evil, perishable, that which throws a Jivatma into all the grosser qualities of Maya and entraps it in the endless cycle of births and deaths. ‘Mari’ or ‘wari’ means destroyer. She who destroys ‘ku’— destroys the false and leads to the True — is a Kumari or Kuwari, and from this point of view, it does not matter whether she is called a Kanya or a Kumari.

The words Kanya and Kumari should not be taken in the popular sense of an unmarried girl of any age. It should only be applied to a woman who possesses pure Satvaguna of whatever age, whether she is married or unmarried, with or without issue. In short, by whatever name she goes, if she is in a Kanya state, she is capable of destroying the evil of anybody and leading him to God.

Two opposite forces operate together and produce a third. Man and woman unite in the family way and beget children. But, if on the other hand, man preserves woman in the original Satvic state, and himself imbibes Satvaguna, the result of their association in accordance with the forgoing principle will be realization, the production of God (God-Realization). God will become visible in both, and both will experience Him. Even if there is physical union between such a couple in the Satvic state and a child is born, neither the Kanya state of the woman, nor the celibacy of the man is lost. Both are, and remain, worthy of God-realization. When the husband of a Kanya seeks union with her, not for sensual pleasure, but with pure, platonic love, his soul acquires the pure Satvic state, the state of the Kanya — his own original pure state — and the result of such a union is Realization of God.”

Here, Upasani explains about the current situation in the world:

“For spiritual and temporal (worldly) happiness, and finally for Realization, Satvaguna is essential, but now-a-days man has not left his Swadharma, but forced women to leave hers.”

Upasani defines Swadharma as “people’s conduct in accordance with the laws of their own being… ‘Dharma’ signifies conduct in accordance with the form i.e. the male and female human forms.”

“An unrestrained life of Rajasic and Tamasic activities has almost completely destroyed the Satvaguna in both, and like an actor moving about in his guise, even after the play is over, continues his Rajasic and Tamasic career unrestrained, even when there is absolutely no need for it.

Men and women have at present lost all sense of duty, and are actually leading an unrighteous life under the false impression that to behave as they please under the influence of Rajas and Tamas is their Swadharma. And so, Swadharma (the life of righteousness) is neglected, and Adharma (unrighteous, licentious life) prevails. As Adharma goes on increasing, its evil consequences affect not only the people, but the lower kingdoms of evolution as well, thus destroying the harmony of the Natural Order and bringing untold misery upon themselves and the world.”

But God is Merciful, as Hafez says, “He never tries His slave in vain,” and in the next blog Upasani suggest a way out of our present situation.

So after my last posting a close friend of mine sent me this in an email;
“So PLEASE post the next installment soon! At the moment, you’ve pointed out the depressing stuff, now let’s get to the way out of this!”

Of course, if it was me who was doing the pointing out that would be one thing, but when it is a Perfect Master, a fully God-Realized being, that is quite another. Still, to my friend, point well taken; leaving things where we did make things appear quite hopeless. The world is in a mess; the mind is in a mess; and, on our own, by our own efforts, our state remains helpless and hopeless.

What to do? Just give up? Stop trying? Do nothing? For me, to get to the point where I recognize that my mind, if it is not exactly my enemy, it is certainly not my trusted friend, would be something - maybe a big something - to realize that my miond has its own agenda, and that agenda is to maintain its status of supremacy over me — over my spirit — over my soul is big - huge even...

I once asked my friend, who works for a very large and successful advertising agency, “Who has the most successful advertising campaign in the universe?” Of course the answer is the mind.

What is the basis of all advertising? Making the product or the client appear to be totally and completely one hundred percent indispensable. And that is what the mind is selling; and that is what our spirit is buying.

If I could only fully understand that, at all times remember that, and not continue to buy into the dictates, the appearance of ever-rightness, of my own mind, that would be, as I said,something, but would it be enough?

In my book, Meditation and Prayers on 101 Names of God, I wrote;

Seventy-one: Gail-vad-gar (Transmuter of Dust into Air)

Oh Dust, did you really think that your journey was over,
when you found the feet of your Beloved?

You had become helpless and hopeless,
worthless in every way,

but did you think He would allow you to remain
in your pathetic state?

Did you think that your Lord would breathe dust?

No, the Lord does not want us to experience eternally the state of dust; He has made it quite clear to us that He wants us to experience ourselves as God. Meher has often said, “You and I are not we, but One.”

Upasani Maharaj says that if you bring your mind to a form and invest that form with certain qualities, the form begins to exhibit those qualities. He uses the example of an idol. If one begins to worship that idol as God, then that idol begins to exhibit the qualities of God and one can even gain realization through that worship. He uses the expression, “to charge the idol with Godhood.”

Seem a little hokey? But if one keeps in mind that everything other than God is Illusion, than it would follow that the mind is constantly charging every form with certain qualities and those forms begin to exhibit those qualities for that individual. If I think that so and so is a bad person, then I begin to experience that so and so begins to act toward me in a bad way. If someone else sees that same person as good—charges that person with goodness—then for that person—the charger—the one charged begins to exhibit those qualities of goodness he has been charged with. Do we not see that this actually happens?

So in the ancient Vedic teachings it is advised to, for example, charge one’s son as God and act accordingly. Love the son as God and help God in the “son form” to achieve that Godhood in his life. This should not be construed as doing everything the son wants; on the contrary, the parents must help the son in all possible ways to act in a way befitting an incarnation of God.

As for a daughter, Upasani advises parents to treat that daughter in a manner appropriate to her form which naturally exhibits all of the qualities of the purity and perfection of God.

But who can do this? I mean really, who has the ability and the state of mind to act appropriately to his or her daughter or son? I think the honest answer is very, very, few. And so Upasani Maharaj exhibiting all the qualities of the Perfect Pragmatist suggests that the parents and the children associate themselves with the Realized forms of Perfection, i.e. God-Realized human beings in the form of Sadgurus and the Avatar—God in human form.

Meher Baba states that at all times in all cycles of existence there are always fifty-six God-Realized souls on the planet earth. All fifty-six share exactly the same consciousness of Reality, but do not share the same exact consciousness of Illusion—the creation. Of the fifty-six, only five are Perfect Masters who have perfect and simultaneous consciousness of both Reality and Illusion. The remaining fifty-six can be differentiated between by their various degrees of Creation consciousness. Some have more, and some have less, and some have it simultaneously with their consciousness of Reality and some have it alternately with their consciousness of Reality.

It is the role of the Perfect Masters to precipitate at the appropriate time the descent of God into the creation in the form of a male human being. Meher Baba states that God as the Avatar takes a birth every seven-hundred to fourteen-hundred years.

“When things come to such a crisis, God manifests Himself in the form of an Incarnation or a Satpurusha to set things right. His ways and means are not, at first instance, quite agreeable to the people. What Rama and Krishna did for the welfare of the world was subtle, and it appeared to be exactly opposite to what it really was. The workings of all the Avatars that have so far appeared were and are mysterious, and are incomprehensible to the general public, whose view of things is always superficial. Their conduct seems inconsistent to the people.

Whatever their external conduct may be, they are ever conscious of and true to their real nature. Sometimes they appear sane, sometimes insane. Their composition itself is such. Though Rama (the Avatar of Treta Yuga—when Adharma—evil—enters the world and the very fabric of time begins to decay) was all-powerful, when Sita (his wife) was carried away by Ravavna, he kept on crying for her like an ordinary human. Similarly, Krishna showed himself to be amorous; but their inner workings for the welfare of the world were altogether different…”- Upasani Maharaj, The Secret of God-Realization

There are two types of individuals that Upasani Maharaj describes in His booklet, The Secret of God Realization;

“Those who have no experience whatsoever of spiritualty and are wholly engrossed in the joys and sorrows of this transitory world, and out of sheer ignorance feel perfectly satisfied with their lot—who are said to be in the state of Avidya (ignorance); and on the other hand, those who have taken to a life of spirituality or aspire to do so, or those who disregard the material (life of Avidya) realizing it to be full of ignorance and misery, are said to be in a state of Vidya (knowledge) or Pure Maya.”

I am quite confident that even in this age of internet accessibility; few belonging to the first category would ever find their way to these teachings, and if they did would either find the whole subject incomprehensible or highly questionable. If God Realization is a secret, it is not so much a matter of being hidden as it is buried — buried under a load of Tamasic and Rajasic sanskaras.

I am also quite confident that those in the first category are not eternally doomed to a life of darkness—for does not the seed have to be buried in the earth to sprout? Does it not have to inhabit darkness, even though its nature is to seek the light? “To everything turn, turn, turn; there is a season turn, turn, turn…” I try to remember this when it appears that the teachings of the Masters fall on deaf ears. Do I really need to see results? Is not the wisdom that transformation occurs in ways that the average person does not see the real meaning of faith?

Another thing that strikes me about this booklet is what it doesn’t say. Upasani does not describe any complicated, esoteric, techniques that demand great knowledge or preparation. He does allude to the fact that they exist, but suggests that they are inappropriate to the age we live in. The four yogas described in my previous blogs perhaps shed some light on these techniques. They all seem very difficult, nay almost impossible.

What is also quite clear to me is that the methods he does describe as appropriate are effective not so much by the quality of the efforts we make, as that those efforts are made under the suggestion, or the influence, or the proximity of God-Realized souls and those who retain or acquire the purity of consciousness that is one as the same as that of the Perfected Ones. This is the yoga described by Meher Baba as Sadguru Bhakti, and it is interesting to me that the Avatar and His Sadgurus reveal that love is the key—love for the Avatar, the Sadguru, God the Beloved.
Pure Love is the main factor in bringing about this union. God is realized through Love, because God is Love and Love is God. All the attributes of Satchidananda exist in Pure Love. This Love is also called pure Bhakti — pure devotion. By devotion is meant pure Love of God, and it is Bhakti, pure love, that draws God to us.”- The Secret of God Realization by Upasani Maharaj.

So God-Realization is not about being smart enough or talented enough or even clever enough. God –Realization is about be ready—being ripe—being detached enough from one’s own sense of pride and self-importance to be able to love.

I used to ask myself the question; what is my work? And my answer was, to become self-defenseless enough to be able to live in the company of Meher Baba—to be able to take whatever it was He dealt me—and from the stories I have heard, Meher Baba sometimes dealt some very difficult hands to his closest followers. Hafez said, “Praise be to God, for He never tries His slave in vain.” But remembering that, believing that, under the most trying of circumstances seems to me to be not as easy as it might first appear.

Adi K. Irani, one of Baba’s closest disciples used to say, “A kiss and a kick from Meher Baba are one and the same—still I prefer the kiss.” Yet, Adi stayed with Baba, enduring both kisses and kicks for his whole life—could I do as well? And my honest answer is no; I have too much pride; I would probably get mad and up and leave when Baba was difficult with me. I would begin to find fault with Him, my mind justifying, assuaging my anger and my fear.

Because, in the end, it is all about the mind—the problem of the mind. Rumi once said, “The mind is a great and a wondrous thing, until it brings you to the door of the King, then, like shoes upon entering a holy place, it is removed and left at the threshold.”

But, removed from what and how? In God’s Hand, Meher Baba puts it quite simply, “When the spirit (the consciousness of the soul) is absorbed in the mind, it experiences illusion—the universe—pleasure and pain—life and death, but when the spirit is absorbed in God, it experiences itself as God—as Reality—as Eternal, Imperishable, beyond birth and death; it experiences itself as Infinite Bliss.

And, The Secret of God Realization reveals the method. Absorb the mind in God—in One who is God in human form—or has become God in human form; couple your train to His engine and pass your time as you wish without worry, being happy, trusting the Engineer to carry you to the Goal.

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