Friday, February 26, 2016
There is a technique exercise for the guitar that consists of playing single notes on open strings by plucking them alternately with two fingers of the right hand. It is a very simple exercise that could be performed by just about anyone.
One day a student of Francisco Tarrega, the great virtuoso master of the classical guitar, entered his studio and saw him playing this exercise. “Maestro why do you play such a simple exercise?” he asked; “What is to be gotten from it?” Tarrega replied, “I am always looking to improve my sound and this simple exercise gives me the opportunity to study my mechanics. Why do I need a more complicated exercise when this one does the job?” In other words, if there is a simple way then why look for something more complicated? In philosophy it is called the principle of Occam’s razor.
Though not one of my blogs on music, I begin with this story of Francisco Tarrega because it parallels a similar tendency among Perfect Masters in the spiritual panorama, mainly, that they continue to remind us that all of this—all of life—is not such a complicated affair. Their explanations are quite simple really…
“A thousand times I have looked and a thousand times I have ascertained that the universe and all of its affairs are truly nothing into nothing.” – Hafez
To a devotee who asked Upasani Maharaj to bless him with a worth-while life in this world, the Master replied;
“The world is called Jaga or Jagat; both mean the same thing.” – The Talks of Upasani-Baba Maharaj, Volume II, Part A, page 345
He goes on to tell the devotee that the word Jaga consists of two letters, Ja and Ga. Ja means the birth—the birth of everything—animate and inanimate in and of creation, while Ga is derived from the word Gata which means gone—death—the destruction of all and everything in and of creation.
“The states of Ja and Ga are thus two states opposed to each other. Here is a very interesting piece of conversation between these two opposite states:
Ja – I have come; I have come into existence.
Ga – I have also come.
Ja – Why did you come?
Ga – I came because you came. If you would not allow me to come, you will not be able to exist. If you want to exist, you must come along with me.
Ja – How can I lose my existence? The qualities of coming into existence—taking birth—of mine are quite different from your qualities of destruction; cannot these qualities of mine remain independently of you?
Ga – Without death, your state (of birth) cannot remain permanently. Lord Shri Krishna has said; ‘Jatasya Hi Dhruvo Mrityuh Dhruvam Jamma Mritasya Cha.’ According to this Siddhanta, for your state of birth to remain permanently, my state of destruction is very essential.
Ja – What are you saying! When everything takes a birth—comes into existence, if there be no death—destruction, then that existence is bound to remain permanently; so where is your necessity then?” – Ibid.
Here, Upasani Maharaj, through the voice of Ga makes a most important point—He corrects the faulty assertion just made by Ja.
Ga – Your state is the state (only) of giving birth—bringing into existence—and not the state of existence as such. – Ibid.
This is incredibly profound; think about it. The ability to bring something into existence does not imply that it is also the force that sustains that existence. In other words, existence is not implied by creation, and if creation is not preserved, it also cannot be destroyed, because there would be nothing to be destroyed.
So here, enters the necessity of the state of Vishnu—the Preserver and Protector all—the Preserver and Protector of the state of existence between birth and death, the state Gurdjieff called, ‘the Holy Reconciling’, or ‘the Third Force.’ The force of existence, therefore, necessitates the force of destruction.
And thus we have the three necessities of creation as we know it; creating, or bringing into being, preserving that which has been brought into being, and dissolution of that which has been brought into being. We are talking about constant change and constant change is, by its nature, impermanence. Contrary to the state of impermanence is the state of permanence.
Ga—If anything exists and remains permanently without destruction, then it will be in the state of Sat – Chit – Ananda (Infinite knowledge, Infinite power, and Infinite Bliss) ; that permanent state of Sat – Chit – Ananda remains unaffected by me and that is why it remains permanently. But that means that your state (the state of Ja) also does not affect it since you cannot give birth to it even once, much less again and again. In other words, that permanent state of Sat – Chit – Ananda remains unaffected not only by me, but by you also. – Ibid.
Imagine two infinitely large circles so close to each other that they appear to be actually touching each other, but are not. The two circles are infinitely large while the distance between them is infinitely small. Both circles are God, the only difference is that one circle is conscious and one circle is not. Imagine that we aim a super high-powered magnifying device at the infinitely small distance between them. What do we see? We see all of creation—a teeny- tiny spot—Ja and Ga—Jaga—the world.
The Avatar and the Perfect Masters are always reminding us that this infinitely small point, the Jaga—the creation—exists merely as a mechanism to rouse sleeping God, in the form of individual souls, from their unconscious state to their fully conscious state of “I am God!” Beyond that, creation has no meaning at all, nor does its existence even have any reality in and of itself. So why do we take it—why do we take life—so seriously?
Ga—Out of the whole creation, over centuries of time, rarely does a human being get beyond our states—beyond the duality of birth and death and is able to remain unaffected by us. Such a person is called in this world a Satpurush—one who has attained permanently the state of Sat-Chit-Ananda—Infinite Knowledge, Power, and Bliss. A person who has thus gone beyond us gets his gross body for the last time through you and through me that last body is destroyed—while he as Self remains unaffected by us eternally. – The Talks of Upasani-Baba Maharaj, Volume II, Part A, page 346
"Words that proceed from the Source of Truth have real meaning, but when men take these words as their own the words become meaningless.” – Meher Baba
“A postman brings you a check for a thousand dollars, what do you do? Do you throw yourself at the feet of the postman or do you remember the one who sent you the check?” – Eruch Jessawala responding to a question about the homage paid to him by some of the grateful followers of Meher Baba for sharing with them the wisdom he had acquired from a lifetime of serving the Avatar.
“Thus every object comes into existence, in due course it gets destroyed, and then again it comes into existence; and these two states thus affect every object, in fact, these two states together form the world. You people are born in this world; from the very moment of birth the Ga is automatically after you. The Ja and Ga have been affecting you for many a birth. But what have you been doing for yourself?
“What you must try to do is to get out of the clutches of both the Ja and Ga; you have to conquer both of them. But, what you are actually doing is helping the Ja and Ga to affect your gross physical body, and thus you suffer from and endless chain of births and deaths. To escape this endless chain of births and deaths, the thinkers of old have laid down many a method suitable to every taste; see which you like and put it into practice.
“Out of all these methods—service, darshana, association with God or a Satpurusha is the chief one. You have come here with the idea of having the darshana of God; if you stick to that Faith of yours, you will soon have the beneficial fruits thereof.” – Ibid.
“My dear, you have become very quiet.”
“Yes Grandfather, Upasani Maharaj’s words have carried me into some deep thoughts regarding the Jaga and the life I lead.”
“Indeed. And what are your thoughts?”
“I don’t think that Meher Baba wants me to hate or avoid life. On the contrary, I think He wants me to live my life to its fullest, but to live it as service to Him—to my higher Self—for the real happiness of all souls in creation—with love and appreciation and awe.”
“Indeed, my dear, indeed! Please read this message on the back of Baba’s picture.”
“‘To penetrate into the essence of all being and significance, and to release the fragrance of that inner attainment for the guidance and benefit of others, by expressing in the world of forms, truth, love, and beauty—this is the sole game which has any intrinsic and absolute worth. All other happenings, incidents and attainments can, in themselves, have no lasting importance.’” – Meher Baba
© copyright Michael Kovitz 2016