Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Importance of the "Sandhi"

Meher Baba said something to the effect that there could be one, but if there are two, a third will come.

Gurdjieff spoke about three forces—the Holy Affirming, the Holy Denying, and the Holy Reconciling. He also spoke about the Law of Three.

And Upasani Maharaj spoke about the Sandhi—the joint between two opposites.

I began to wonder if they were all talking about the same thing and what the significance was… 

In nature, between any two things can be found a third thing—a joint. It is dusk and dawn between night and day, midnight between one day and the next, and it is the present between the future and the past.
It is the bardo of death between lifetimes and the dream state between the deep sleep state and the awakened state.
It is the still moment between the turning of the breath from the inhalation to the exhalation and from the exhalation to the inhalation, and it is Vishnu—the Preserver—between Brahma and Mahesh.

Gurdjieff said; “Examples of the action of the three forces, and the moments of the entry of the third force, may be discovered in all manifestations of our psychic life; in all phenomena of the life of human communities, and of humanity as a whole, and in all the phenomena of nature around us.” In Search of the Miraculous, P.D. Ouspensky, page 78.

He emphasized the importance of being able to create the third force—

 I have a wish to do something—that is the first thing—first force—the yes—it is the affirming force. But then I notice a resistance—an inertia—the no—this is the denying force. If I allow these two forces to battle they will cancel each other out—deplete each other’s energy—my energy—because these forces are within me.  What I need is to create a third force—a reconciling force in the form of a higher awareness of both the yes and the no that does not react to either of them—does not react to them, but that draws energy from them both in order to accomplish my aim—the aim of that higher awareness that I call I.

Gurdjieff said that this higher awareness was possible could be learned. A period of observation, of both the internal and external, plus a kind of work on oneself was essential to gain the necessary degree of wakefulness. And what was it all for? Gurdjieff answered this by saying that the purpose of his work was to help others to be able to, “labor consciously and suffer intentionally in order to help bear the suffering of our Common Father Creator.”  He called it Being Parkdolg Duty.

In 1979 I was sitting in Adi K. Irani’s office in Ahmednagar, India, talking about Meher Baba when I mentioned something about Gurdjieff. Adi asked me to tell him about this man and his work. I said that, in my opinion, his work was about Being Parkdolg Duty—“the ability to labor consciously and suffer intentionally in order to help bear the suffering of our Common Father Creator.”  Adi tapped his hand on his desk and said, “I like this man Gurdjieff, his work was the work of effacement.”

Meher Baba was once asked about the type of yoga He taught. He said that His yoga was the yoga of “You go!” 

How ironic it is that until one goes one cannot do.

When I try to envision Upasani’s Joint—the Sandhi— my mental image is linear—like something between two sticks that links them together. When I try to envision Gurdjieff’s Law of Three—the Three Forces—I see a triangle.

It is difficult to reconcile these two different images, but I feel that they represent the same thing in different ways—the Sandhi being a two dimensional representation and the Law of Three a three dimensional representation, but perhaps I’m wrong. So, when in doubt, always go to the Perfect Masters because they don’t think—they know!

Meher Baba said that Upasani Maharaj was a Perfect Master—a fully God-Realized being with duties and responsibilities toward creation. So it happened that one day in 1924 as Upasani Maharaj was giving a talk to some His followers at His ashram in Sakori, India, a woman approached Him and offered Him a sari. It is not unusual to give personal items to a Perfect Master. In this case, perhaps she was offering herself and her family to the Master.

Upasani Maharaj responded in this way; “One should have the same complexion—same color—from within and without—the internal and the external color should be the same.”

He then went on to explain that “There are really speaking only two colors—white and black. If you start wearing black, then go on wearing black throughout your life and that will lead you to white after death. If you start wearing white, then after death you will get the black.”

Perfect Masters sometimes speak simultaneously on different levels. I think that this is the case here. He is speaking to the woman, about how certain actions, “ordained by God,” will lead her and her husband to Godhood. He tells her that because she has black hair, she should use white head-wear—that a married woman should wear a black blouse with a white sari.

He said that what is needed is a mixture of the black and the white colors—that one should not differentiate between them. He said that mixture of the two colors creates a third color; “As you mix the black and the white, a red color is produced, and that is the color you are in need of. Red is the junction of white and black. Once you attain this red, you have done your job. In other words, you have to attain the state of a joint; you must always remain at the joint—on the fence. That is the principle and this is what needs to be achieved.”

Upasani Maharaj then cites these examples:

“To represent this state, devotees of Vishnu put a white ‘U’ shaped mark on their foreheads and then put on a black line with a red dot in the center.”

“It is on account of this that every Faith has ordained that the various rituals for the attainment of Godhood should be done during the periods of dawn and dusk. During these two periods, there is not one independent state alone, but there is a mixture of two opposites—the white and the black—knowledge and ignorance—consciousness and unconsciousness.”

“The Muslims believe that during these periods Allah is in a wakeful state—a state of wakefulness that can hear their Namaz.”

Regarding the states of wakefulness and sleep of God, He says:

Well in those states (God’s states of sleep and wakefulness) there is neither consciousness nor unconsciousness. The joint—the junction—the Sandhi—is necessary for the knower to know. If there is only consciousness, nothing can be understood. This is, of course, difficult to comprehend. I will try to make it very clear and simple; see if you can follow.”

In a recent post, (, I explored Ayushya, a word Upasani Maharaj discussed in one of His talks.
“The word 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

An Ayushya—a lifetime—can be considered a Sandhi that is experienced between the birth and death of a human being. All of creation is a Sandhi—an Ayushya—between God’s deep sleep state and God’s fully awake state, and to use Upasani’s own words, it, this creation, also “is obviously not something having an independent existence.”

From deep sleep one does not straightaway come into the wakeful state; one has to pass through the intermediary dreamy state; conversely, one has to pass through the same intermediary dreamy state when one desires to enter the state of sleep from the wakeful one.”

Upasani Maharaj explains that God’s dreamy state is experienced by us as our awake state but that we shouldn’t assume that our awake state is consistent with God’s awake state.

That is why the Shastras are seen to din into your ears, ‘Please wake up. The world has gone blind—it is in a state of deep slumber. So please wake up and come to your senses.’ One has to conclude from this that we are not in a wakeful state.”

There are many meditations that urge the student to remain in a state of wakefulness. Ever try it?

I sit quietly in my body, feeling being in the moment, maybe watching the movement of my breath… But then thoughts come, sometimes eliciting feelings. I try to watch them, not get involved, and then a few seconds or minutes later I realize that I have been gone—absent—carried away to the past or into the future or someplace other than where I am—where my body is. This is the experience of the dream-state within the dream. My inability to wake up and stay awake is what Gurdjieff called, “the terror of the situation.”

How many times did Jesus remind His disciples to remain awake—not sleep? 

“If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.” Mark 13:36

Meher Baba once accepted an invitation to attend a meditation group that was organized by one of His Western followers. I listened to a tape recording of this meeting.  Eruch Jessawala, interpreting Baba’s gestures, gave a short talk and then it was time for the group to meditate. On the tape there is a period of silence that is broken by the sharp sound of Meher Baba’s clap.

Once again Eruch, interpreting Meher Baba’s gestures, told the group that they were all asleep. Even meditating, even having Him—the Highest of the High—in their midst they were still all asleep.

Just think that between the wakeful and sleep states of God is His dreamy state which is recognized as the world. The world, thus, is the dreamy of God. The Shastras, Puranas, Sages and Saints call—understand—and experience this world to be just a dream of God. But you people call this dreamy state—the world—as the wakeful state—you think it to be true. And you have been looking on this world as the real wakeful state for births on end.” The Talks of Sadguru Upasani Maharaj, Vol. IV, page 364.

Take a moment and think—to feel—that I am writing this post and you are reading it in God’s dream—in sleep. We are not awake. Where do we go—where can we go from here?

“When what one sees has no reality, the inevitable must occur: the consciousness looks within and begins the inner journey, and the Jiv-atma again dreams—but this time the dream is divine.” The Nothing and The Everything, by Bhau Kalchuri

“When the Jiv-atma begins the inner journeys it means that he dreams the Divine Dream of becoming God. (‘I will become God. I will know Him and become Him.’—Ibid.

Between every two things—two states—two forces—exists a third thing—a third state—a third force, but this is far from the end of it because circles turn within circles that turn within other circles infinitely across the vast spectrum of creation—an atom in one dimension is a universe in another— a macro-cosmos in one dimension is a micro-cosmos in another—esoteric an exoteric play many different roles.

Meher Baba said that there was a junction between illusion and reality. He called the state Turiya Avastha—the Divine Junction—and described it as “God Consciousness alternately with or without Creation consciousness… ‘I am God’ alternately with or without ‘Everything is with Me.’” God Speaks, (second edition revised), page 296

Upasani also talked about the Turiya state;

That Turiya state is beyond the state of deep sleep prior to the dreamy one.”
In other words, neither God nor man goes directly from His/his respective deep sleep state to His/his respective dream state or from His/his respective dream state to His/his respective awake state. In between is another state—the Turiya state.

Further, it should be remembered that though the deep sleep state of God and the deep sleep state of man are the same, and that in that state neither God nor man are conscious of it, and that the experience of fully awake state of God and the fully real awake state of man are also the same, i.e. the experience of I am God, it is the middle state of God—the dream state—that is perceived by God as man as his awake state.

So when can you experience the wakeful state of God? You can experience it when you make your wakeful state your dreamy state. If you do this, then you will be losing your dreamy state and with its disappearance your state of slumber is bound to disappear—you will then always be in the wakeful state.

“If you experience the world to be a dream, then on one side there will be the real awake state and on the other that of deep slumber. After all, dreams are temporary.”

Anyway, if you lose your state of dreams, you automatically lose your state of sleep; if you now begin to call your remaining wakeful state as a dreamy state you will be automatically passing into either the wakeful or sleepy state of God.”The Talks of Sadguru Upasani Maharaj, Vol. IV, page 364.

And so it appears that the key is to experience—to recognize—to be aware—that all of life is but a dream.

A child is having a bad dream. Her mother shakes her gently; “Wake up honey, it is just a dream—you are having a dream—wake up and you will see that it is just a dream.”

Row, row, row, your boat, gently down the stream,
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.”

There is a relationship that exists between the deep sleep, dream, and awake states of man and the deep sleep, dream, and awake states of God. Confusion occurs because man believes in the reality of his awake state when it is, in fact, a dream state—the dream state of God.  And that is why the Enlightened Ones are always reminding us that to attain Godhood we must begin to see ourselves as a creature of our own dreams in a dream world that is not Reality.

The dream states—the joints—between deep sleep and awakening are of three kinds. In the following description, Upasani Maharaj uses the term Krishna Bindu. Krishna refers to the state of Vishnu—the Avatar—the Christ—and His consciousness of Himself as God with consciousness of His Creation. Bindu refers to a point—a junction—between Reality and Illusion. This junction is what Meher Baba called Turiyavastha;

“On the Seventh Plane between Nirvikalp Samadhi (Infinite Consciousness) and Sahaj-Samadhi (God Consciousness plus Creation Consciousness) is the state of Turiyavastha.” The Nothing and The Everything, Bhau Kalchuri, p. 111

Upasani Maharaj says that there are three types of dream states;

“The first one is between that Single Pure and the Krishna Bindu; in this, one gets the experience of either Sat-Chit-Ananda or of deep sleep, as is desired, and Yogis are seen to try to achieve this state.

“In the second, the world is experienced as a dream, and God is seen to enjoy it—He experiences His own reflection in the form of the world in that Krishna-Bindu—and enjoys that sight.

“When the Satpurusha descends from the first into the second, his name is changed to Parameshvara. The Parameshvara state is thus that which descends from its original Sat-Chit-Ananda state to experience and enjoy its own transformation or reflection in the form of the world; in this, that dark spot—the Krishna Bindu—serves as a mirror which reflects the Sat-Chit-Ananda state.

“This state, of course, is eternal in nature and hence the Parameshvara also is eternal, even if He gives up His state to look at the world. He is there, as you are there, when you give up looking at your reflection in a mirror. This means that Parameshvara has no particular span of life, meaning therefore that He is eternal. If the Parameshvara is eternal, then His dream-state—this world—also is eternal. Now the third dreamy state, the last of the three, is the one you call as yours.”—Ibid.

Upasani Maharaj says that as there are three dream states, so with regard to the other two states, the awake and the sleep states, there also must be three types.

Your wakeful state is one, that of Parameshvara is the second, and that of the Satpurusha is the third. Similar will be the types of sleep. The wakeful state of one is the dreamy state of the next order. Those that remain in the dreamy state will have only two to experience—the wakeful and the sleepy—this is equally true in the case of the Parameshvara and Satpurusha, of course in their own respective triad.” —Ibid.

He says that to have the experience of the Parameshvara and the Satpurusha, we have to leave our triad of sleep, dream, and awake and adopt theirs.

You must, therefore, leave you own triad. If you leave one of the two, either the wakeful or the sleepy, then the other two automatically leaves you. To lose the sleep state, some may practice fasting, singing of Bhajans, etc. at night in order to keep themselves awake. As sleep decreases, wakefulness increases. But people come to me and say that they cannot stay awake.”

Upasani Maharaj tells them that rather than trying to stay awake, they should instead begin to treat their awake state as being seen in a dream and give no importance to it—“to not allow the experience of the world to have its sway.”

If you thus try to win the wakeful state then your sleep state will become one with that of God; but you will have to practice this till yours merges into His; it is then that whenever you will come to consciousness, you will look upon the world to be a dream—as God does.” —Ibid.

He reveals what He calls a “simple method” to win the wakeful state. He calls it a “simple method” but says that without the help of a Perfect Master this “simple method” would be impossible. The method is this; for one week, stay in the sleep state without dreaming or awakening.

Sleep in this way for one whole week; if you do it this way even for one week, you will attain the real awake state.” —Ibid.

“Grandfather, can He be serious? How can one possibly stay in the deep-dreamless-sleep state for an entire week?”

Ever wonder why Masters—Perfect Masters and the Avatar—appear to say what they do and  appear to act in the ways they do—sometimes making suggestions and offering prescriptions that seem impossible to follow? I have come to the conclusion that it is always about consciousness, that Masters add a measure of their own consciousness to that of the aspirant—a measure appropriate for each aspirant—that illumes and encourages in the aspirant’s mind and heart living images and the existence of the possibility of higher and higher consciousness that will, unfailing, at some point, transform the aspirant’s illusory consciousness to Real consciousness—consciousness of Reality—the Master’s consciousness—the consciousness of Self.

So, after revealing to those present the technique of remaining in the deep-sleep state for one week, but then saying that this would, of course, be impossible to do without the Divine grace of a Perfect Master, Upasani Maharaj explains that for some aspirants understanding precedes practice while for others practice precedes understanding—the latter being the more rare and more difficult.

You know that you can behave after you understand, so also you can behave first and understand afterwards. At present, according to your capacity, you are given to understand these things, and simultaneously, but imperceptibly, you are also made to behave accordingly.

“When you pass many days like that you will understand. This, of course, is the first type of progress, to understand first and behave afterwards. The second alternate of behaving first is very difficult. To behave correctly is to revert back—to turn back. Once you turn back you begin to understand, but people with such capacity are very few; rarely do you meet one of this type.” —Ibid.

This turning back refers to the place—the state—the junction—where one experiences creation as God’s dream—as one’s own dream—and simultaneously experiences the Reality of God—Self.

In short, you have to be at the joint—you have to be on the fence. The moment you sit on the fence you have achieved that ‘red.’—the junction between black and white—false reality—man’s awake state—and Reality—the real Awake state.

“Dawn, dusk, noon, and midnight are the four junctions in every day; in the same way there are hundreds of such junction periods, but these are four are the main ones. One of them, the midnight period, is of great importance. One who performs ‘meditative repetition of God’s Name or Attributes’ at that time, achieves early. Jesus Christ was a great thinker. In order that His followers achieved things earlier, He made it customary to do things at midnight.

“Even amongst Hindus, the books have said, ‘Anushthana Kije Madhyaratri, Basuniya Svaastha Chitti, Pratyaksha Murti Prakatela,’ meaning, if with a peaceful mind you go on performing Anushthana at midnight God will actually appear before you.” (Here Anushthana is taken to mean a period of time set aside for the repetition of a mantra involving God’s name coupled with the practice of self-awareness or self-study.)

Jesus Christ actually put this into practice, but you people do not make use of this period. Jesus Christ had attained the primary joint—He had attained the ‘sitting on the fence’ and that is why He could lay down many procedures capable of showing all sorts of miracles. This midnight period is of very great importance and that is exactly why I ask you men and women to do your practices at that time; but you fellows choose instead to sleep.

“Jesus was one of the intermediary forms of Incarnations between the two major ones—the Krishna and the Kalanqi Incarnations. He was one of the old Maharishis who came back as an Incarnation.

“In short, the joining periods are of importance. Always stick to one color, and that leads you to these joining periods. Men should use white clothes and women black. That Bliss is at the junction of white and black. So please stick to one color in this life and you will have your ensuing birth attaining that joining period. That Infinite Bliss can only be had at the fence.” —Ibid.


“Ayushya, would you like some more tea?”

“Yes Mani, thank you.”

“And you Grandfather?”

“Yes, please.”

“Ayushya, I have been reading your most recent posting on the Sandhi and have a couple of questions.”


“Well, first, why do you think that Upasani Maharaj spoke in such detail about Jesus Christ?”

“Yes Mani, I find that interesting as well. Of course, to try to second guess a God-Realized Master is quite futile, but we continue to try—yes?”

“Yes, the play of the mind.”

“Yes. And so with that caveat I would say, well who knows, maybe there happened to be a follower of Jesus Christ in the group that day and He was speaking primarily to him or her, or perhaps He was speaking to the ‘future’—to someone reading His talks—or even speaking to the ‘past’—to someone between incarnations, or someone now incarnate who has some question that remains from the past.  Past, present, and future are not the same when one is in the experience of the Eternal Now. Also, Upasani often said that He was only a mirror—that what people saw when they looked at Him were really their own a reflections. And your second question?”

“Yes, can you say something about the Kalanqi Incarnation and what He called, ‘the intermediary forms of Incarnations’”?

“I believe that the Kalanqui Incarnation refers to the first Incarnation in the Age that follows our  Kali Yuga. It is sometimes called the Kalki Incarnation. Krishna was the first Avataric Incarnation of the Age of Kali and Meher Baba is the last Incarnation of the Age of Kali. In between, there were other Incarnations. Now as you know, Meher Baba said that there is an Avataric Incarnation every 700 to 1,400 years. But He also said that in-between these ‘major incarnations’ there were many ‘minor incarnations’. He spoke about Shivaji as being a minor Avataric Incarnation.

“As you recall, Upasani Maharaj said that Jesus was an ‘intermediary incarnation’. I don’t think this is what Meher Baba meant by a ‘minor incarnation.’ But then again, what do I know—since, I am only, as you yourselves have so aptly named me, Ayushya—Meher Baba’s talking parrot.
“What I can say is that Meher Baba was very clear on the point that there is no difference among God-Realized beings with regard to their consciousness and experience of God but only with respect to their consciousness of Creation and their duties and responsibilities to that Creation.
“One should therefore not construe that the distinctions of a minor incarnation or an intermediary incarnation implies that any one of those beings is any higher or lower or more important than any other God-Realized being. There can never be any state beyond or other than the I am God state.”

“Thank you Ayushya, that is quite helpful. Would you like some more tea?”

“Yes Mani, thank you.”




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