Dedicated to the lotus feet of the divine guru Shivabalayogi Maharaj


Spirituality and The Self – online Q&A, No. 65

Recorded on 26 September 2021 with US participants

0:00 Introduction
0:17 ‘Spiritual experiences’ versus the Self
10:59 Among all the thoughts of the mind there is one thing that is not a thought
12:59 How does Babaji see the world?
14:45 Why are we not aware of the consciousness of existence?
18:04 How to become aware of the Self
18:56 The analogy of the movie projector
23:53 Switching off the mind during daily life
25:15 The ‘light’ in the movie projector analogy
26:45 The application of the mind keeping your thoughts alive
33:17 Is there a universal mind that runs the show?
33:36 The Parabrahman
35:12 Abiding in the Self in our daily life
38:07 Is it necessary to sit in meditation after achieving awareness of the Self?
39:41 Does abiding in the Self automatically take care of the physical body?
41:33 The difference between the path of knowledge and the path of meditation
45:55 Going beyond experiences, thoughts and mantras in meditation
50:35 Can we heal the physical body by doing meditation?
51:25 Transcending the 5 coverings of ignorance from Adi Shankara’s Viveka Choodamani
55:30 The creation manifesting due to the Parabrahman, not according to the wishes.
64:24 A Yogi’s attention

Discourse: Thus Spake Babaji – online Q and A No. 65
Spirituality and the Self

Recorded: 26 September 2021 with US participants

Start of Questions and Answers

Question:   First thing – there seems to be two types of spiritual seekers, and also two types of gurus.  One type of spiritual seeker is the one that’s trying to obtain Self-Realization, Self-discovery.  And the other type is someone who wants to obtain celestial experiences, they want to have siddhis, levitate, bilocate, clairvoyance.  Basically they want a glorified version of the life they’re having now, of their personality.  Now I know from the book ‘His Master’s Grace’ that was about Your tapas, You have had many amazing experiences, beings just manifesting in physical form right out of the ether in front of You, You talk about the blinding light.  Yet You never talk about any of those experiences, You speak only about the Self, why is that?

Babaji Maharaj:   What needs to be achieved –  so I have been talking on that topic.  And whatever experiences of such celestial things that happen, I have tried to explain in a scientific, technological way, how and why it happens.  And finally it is not significant.  That’s what I have tried to tell in the book, His Master’s Grace also.  Now for the sake of your question, one more time I can talk.  Any achievements about celestial bodies or any lokas, or any such personalities, if anybody wants to do that one, I would give my opinion that such a person would be wasting time and energy that is so precious, that is so short in one life that is available.  So when a shorter time is available – shorter time means your body has come into existence and it is going to disappear, which we call it as a birth and the death. In between is the time space that is available – is very, very precious, and short.  It simply keeps on going like this.  You are ten years old, you’re five years old then you are thirty years old young; and then you are sixty, you are eighty and you are gone.  Like that it goes.  So, without wasting, Self-awareness, abiding in the Self; that is the most important thing which can give you the supreme peace, the real peace for enjoyment that you are looking for.  Even when you want a celestial body or any such loka or any such things to achieve, it is only for your enjoyment, your happiness and your peace.  They are all interconnected.  If there is peace, there is happiness. If there is happiness, you enjoy.  If you don’t have any of these, you are not going to enjoy.  So any other thing other than Self is only temporary.  And at the most it could be a manifested form.

   Manifested here, one more time I will explain.  Mind has the quality to imagine.  This is not an ordinary quality.  Based on imagination people are working in the universe, achieving things, setting goals, discoveries, inventions and so on.  Different subjects, different fields talking people use their own terminologies.  Though the existence is the same, an impermanent and a permanent.  That’s what we have to look into the fact.  When the mind imagines about a particular thing, object or a personality more – say for example, when you fall in love with also, the same thing happens.  If you fall in love with the form of the Divine, or a Guru, like you fall in love with Babaji or Shivabalayogi, or anybody, the picture starts appearing more and more solid as you go on remembering the Master.  And then as it goes further, advances with your mental focus, better focused mind, so then it is known as mental projection. Then when you are able to do deeper meditations, before you achieve the nirvikalpa samadhi or Self-Realization, a manifestation of such a form can occur because of your own resolutions.  Manifestation means it is as physical as this universe that is in front of you in which you are there in the body.  But finally, everything is impermanent, and they are all going to disappear.  They are not going to give you a permanent peace or happiness under any circumstances.  Because your own physical body is impermanent, it is not going to give you a permanent happiness once for all.  No matter how much you can try to keep the body longer and longer and longer.  It has its own limitation.  I am not talking of maintaining the health, that is always recommended.  You can always take care of the health of your physical body.  As long as it is available, it is wonderful.  But however, finally you need to realize the impermanence of all these things.  Every appearance which disappears, which cannot stay for long, is not real.  That is important. 

   So that’s what we learnt in tapas also.  It’s like a practical workshop.  An appearance happens.  It could be a mental projection or a manifested form.  A manifested form could be a good or an evil, either of the two. It could be a Divine’s form which we consider it as a Divine, we have resolved, so that is appearance.  But however, that also simply guides and then disappears.  That means your own consciousness guides you.  That’s what we tell, “You can be your best friend or you can be your worst enemy.”  If you have resolved, imagined all the good things like Divinity.  So then it can be your fortune that you are guiding yourself to the ultimate truth, eventually.  So this is what I would recommend.  Because of this reason only, initially in the His Master’s Grace after talking my tapas experiences, then slowly I discontinued talking much about it, unless a question was asked, then I have tried to explain, because what is required for you to know is your own real Self, because that is the permanent entity.  You are always you.  You have to abide in yourself.  That means you are in the awareness of your Self, you are in yourself.  So, that is why I have been talking only about the Self, not the impermanent things, so that I don’t create unnecessary curiosity or interest, though one should not try to go for such a thing – lokas and all such things.  It is not important; it is not necessary.  What is necessary is to know yourself.  Time is very short, your life is precious, you yourself are very precious.  Supreme Peace is your existence right.

Question:   So Baba, is it a myth that people after they leave their body, after the body dies, that they can exist in some other world?  People believe they can live like in a heaven, eternally in some other place.

Babaji Maharaj:   Such a thing happens, but not as one imagines. Such a loka does not exist and you are not going to go there to enjoy anything.  Simply, if you keep imagining by listening to stories, or reading such books, unnecessarily wasting your time and energy, after the death of the present body, your mind will spin and visualize the same thing.  And you can go through same experiences.  But that is also temporary.  It is not going to give you a permanent happiness, not going to be at all times, just one more incarnation just like this incarnation, and that will also end.  So it can drag you to another mind boggling 55,000 life cycles type.  So unnecessarily being born in every species, as every species and then coming back to human being, struggling.  Because wherever you go with any physical body, whichever loka you imagine, both dualities will definitely be there.  Even if it is God’s loka, anybody’s loka, good and bad, right and wrong, happiness and unhappiness, both experiences will be there.  Only abiding in yourself, you gain the permanent one experience,  Supreme Peace at all times is possible.

Question:   So anything that is experienceable, anything that is manifested in consciousness is temporary and won’t bring fulfillment?

Babaji Maharaj:   Experienceable only in the imagination of your consciousness – not really, because really nothing exists.  It is all myth.

Question:   We don’t exist?

Babaji Maharaj:   As physical body.  You do exist as that eternal soul what we try to recognize in that terminology.

Question:   So that’s the false identification?

Babaji Maharaj:   Yes, yes.

Question:   You know, since our first memory, somebody has been there watching, observing every single part of our life up to the moment, up to the present.  And it’s that conscious presence or that observer has seen us grow from a child to a middle age, to older age, to imagine this being, you know, a football player or a student or a businessman or an older person.  So that’s the changing part, the person, that personality, but there’s some body there, there’s somebody watching, there’s an observer that hasn’t changed.  It’s always been there, every experience we’ve ever had.  And I think that ties to what You say about all those thousands of thoughts and millions of thoughts we have, there’s one thing in our mind that’s not a thought and that’s the consciousness of existence…

Babaji Maharaj:   Is the reality.  The one who is watching, one who is thinking to be a gaining an experience or absorbing in the consciousness something. So that one is the reality.

Question:   So the personality has no real reality, the body with the mind with all of its imaginations and experiences, memories…

Babaji Maharaj:   Just like you are sitting in a car and driving.  So, instead of realizing you as the driver, you start thinking the car to be yourself.  So that is what has happened here for the physical body and your real Self.

Question:   Yeah, or like being in a movie house watching a movie and you think…

Babaji Maharaj:   You are thinking you are in the movie and the movie is yourself.  You forget that you are the one who is watching.

Question:   Right, right.  So, Baba how do You see us or how do You see the world?

Babaji Maharaj:   It’s a vague dream, means as a witness, a picture’s appearance is there, but no further imagination comes to my consciousness of whether anybody is good or anybody is bad, or anything is important, anything is not important.  Such dualities don’t come as a further imagination.  My consciousness doesn’t go into one, two, hundred, millions of such imaginations.  Simply it is like a witness.  That is what is known as witness.  An appearance is there.  Like when I recognize Mr. Agastya Muni,  the appearance of this physical body is there, but I am very well aware when I call Agastya Muni, Agastya is the inner consciousness.  That is the reality.  This physical appearance is unreal; this will go away one day.  So, that’s what it is.  We won’t imagine anything real about this appearance.

Question:   So, is it kind of like, do You feel like You are the space or that You are the space and the object, all the objects are in You or You are in all the objects?

Babaji Maharaj:   Yeah, you feel that the body is in you.  You feel that space as yourself and the body is within you.  That’s how…

Question:   Your body or all bodies or all men?

Babaji Maharaj:   All bodies, all the entire universe…

Question:   is in You..

Babaji Maharaj:   …any appearance of the…

Question:   So, Baba the idea of a person, someone I think that’s like a jeeva, separate individual with an identity, all their personality.  And then there’s just that consciousness of existence which is the reality.  But somehow, consciousness seems to put reality into whatever it falls on.  It makes the body, makes it think that it is the body or it is whatever you’re thinking, you become involved in that and you think that you’re that.  People normally never experience themselves as just the consciousness of existence – it’s kind of like they never get to experience the movie screen, they only get to experience the movie that’s playing on the screen.

Babaji Maharaj:   That’s because they don’t have a control over the movie that is being played on the screen.  Just like they don’t have a control over the thoughts and visions, visualizations that are in the consciousness.  So that consciousness has come to be known as mind, in which thoughts and visions are there.  So that same consciousness has become preoccupied with those imaginations of thoughts and visions, and that is appearing as a reality.  And that is getting connected to the appearance of this universe also, and thus the universe also is appearing as a reality, because it is reverberating through the brain’s reflections in the mind. The mind is absorbing and registering in itself, considering this appearance as a reality, and thus for long time it has forgotten about itself.  So, somewhere in some life, the samskaara, means the acquired habit itself turns, when one realizes that the real peace one is looking for is elusive in this world, and to the physical body.  That realization has to come.  That’s when one starts thinking about “Who am I actually?” then.  “Why is that I’m not happy at all times?”  Like I thought, “Is there something wrong in me, something wrong in this world which I’m seeing?  I’m trying to gain happiness from this world, but this world doesn’t seem to be giving that happiness which I am expecting.”  And I have always told also, the mind is not going to stop on any object, any number of objects, or the entire world you give it to make it satisfied, it’s not going to be satisfied.”  Because it is looking for the same peace, supreme happiness that it has enjoyed by remaining in the Self, abiding in the Self.  That it has temporarily lost in consciousness of illusion.  So that’s why it is experiencing wrong identity of itself.  Me and mine.  That’s how the trouble started.

Question:   So how do you get out of that? How do you break…?

Babaji Maharaj:   See two things – either a realization has to come from within, that “I’m not getting that happiness that I’m looking for at all times, and I’m not getting that contentment which in turn gives the real happiness,” or a Baba might come in your life and starts talking all the [wisdom] things, and wants you to remove all the [nonsense] things in you, that which is acquired as a habit.  And all the trash you have to remove.  That’s what we go on talking.  So, that is also you would have resolved that you come as your own Guru, and you teach to yourself and you get out of these imaginations.

Question:   Baba, you know the analogy of the movie projector?  Is it possible to kind of expand on that? There’s a lot of parts to the movie projector.  There’s the machine itself, and then there’s the film, and then there’s the light which shines through the film and projects it onto the screen which gives the motion, the light dancing and changing color.  Now, truth is light.  I understand light can’t be seen unless it hits an object and the light itself doesn’t change – it’s the film that that makes the light appear in different colors and shapes.  So, all these little bits of information.  Can You elaborate on that analogy? 

Babaji Maharaj:  The screen is like the pure consciousness.  Projector is the brain which is reflecting.  So, through the projector, it is projected onto the screen.  And temporarily screen has forgotten that it is screen.  Instead of that it is registering the movie as a reality and getting involved into the movie.  And it is forgetting itself so it has not appeared to itself.  So, then a third person, a yogi comes and tries to teach the screen.  “You see, you are not this movie, you don’t have to cry, you don’t have to be afraid, you are the screen.  The movie is being played on your consciousness, on your screen only.  So, now how to get rid of this?  See, you have to look for the main switch of the electricity from where the fuel is being fed into the projector, and the projector is projecting the movie.  So, on the electric switch, when you see, and the main switch, you switch off, that main switch is again the mind itself, the screen itself. The screen has imagined the projector here and the projector is projecting the movie onto the screen.  That is the reality one realizes in deeper samadhi, that it was the screen which had imagined about the projector being projected on it.  When it wanted to see a movie, imagine, it created the projector and made that projector to project.  That’s how the brain is in touch with the universe and receives the message and sends the message.  In that process it reflects.  That reflection is caught on the screen of the consciousness.  And it believes that one to be the reality and fools itself temporarily without realizing.  So, that is when we tell the projector can be a very good servant if you use it.  If you allow the projector to use you, it can be a very bad master, it will make you to lose your peace.  So use your brain when you want to live in this world.  But don’t make it a master; it is not going to give any reality.  Everything that it tells is not a truth or reality about yourself.  So that is how this projector things can be stopped, if you can switch off the main electric switch.  Probably that is how unknown to me as a young boy of eight or nine, these things were coming to me.  I used to feel restless at the scene of the world, unknown to me.  Life was very comfortable.  Everything was comfortable at home – siblings, parents, all my childhood was very nice and comfortable.  Yet I felt restless as if I had come to a place where I did not belong to, and that restlessness made to think “If there is any such switch, which I can switch off and then the universe disappears simply.”  That thought itself gave me enormous peace within, to me.  That was a wonder for me when I thought of disappearance of the universe.  Instead of thinking of any attractive objects, kingdom or empires, money or any such thing, disappearance of the universe – that gave me enormous peace.

Question:   So obviously the way to switch – one switch is meditation?

Babaji Maharaj:   Yes, that is the meditation through which you can switch off these thought. And the watching is that technology to switch off.

Question:   Does remembering that during the day, remembering just to kind of be, does it help?  It seems that Victoria and I both we can kind of consciously stop thinking, maybe not like go into samadhi kind of stop thinking, but we can definitely just get kind of turned off the world. Going to what You were saying about the world being like a dream.  It’s like you see the world, everything’s there.  But without any definitions or naming it or in any way.  It just becomes one big field with no specific things.  Everything’s there, but it’s not.  It’s not three dimensional.  It’s kind of just a field with stuff in it?

Babaji Maharaj:   That is true.  And slowly, your attention goes to your Self who is watching that.  That happens automatically.  It is withdrawn from this universe and it goes to your Self. You get a glimpse stuff your Self.  But because if you’re active, it may not stabilize there for a long time.  For that only you had to practice the samadhi, long time stabilizing the mind quietly just by watching it.

Question:   So, the light in the projector, Baba, you can’t really turn the light off, I assume. What is the light?  Because there’s the bulb shining through the film projecting an image on the screen.

Babaji Maharaj:   That’s when I told – remember a while ago, “The technology to switch off is just watching.”  That’s where the switch is.  No other switch.  You have to just stop your thoughts and visions.  That stopping is what watching, just you go on watching, you stop thinking, then that stops projecting a thought, then the thoughts and visions dissolve.  That’s how the chain of actions and reactions are happening within you.  Your mind thinks, forgets that it has thought, and the thought becomes a reality.  That is the troublesome.  You want to stop the thought.  You don’t know the source of the thought.  So that’s when you just have to watch. When you are watching, initially it appears as if you’re watching the thoughts and visions, that means the source of thoughts and visions.  So then, when the mind achieves ‘just watching,’ suddenly the thoughts and visions disappear.  Because the mind has withdrawn, it is not thinking anymore.  So, that is the technology of switching off the electricity.

Question:   Yeah, You’ve said that by not putting our attention on things that the thoughts will disappear. Just like people that have a habit of ruminating – somebody says something to them, and they can’t get it out of their mind.  And they play it over and over.  It might have been some casual thing you said.  And then two weeks later or two years later, the person still hasn’t forgotten it.  So their attention is constantly on that, keeping it alive.  It’s like plugging your phone into this charger, it just keeps it going.

Babaji Maharaj:   If you remember, I told the story of King Vikramaditya and the betaalBetaal is the ghost, means Vikrama’s guru wants to bring that betaal, that ghost which is hanging on to the tree.  So he tells, “If you bring, I can offer it to the Divine.  And my yagna, my tapas will be complete.”  That is the condition he tells.  So he goes and every night he picks up that ghost, but then the ghost tells with a condition, “You see, I’m going to tell you a story.  After listening to the story, if you know the story’s answer, question’s answer which I’m going to ask, you must say.  Even after knowing the answer if you don’t say, your head will be broken.”  But another condition was if he had if he opened the mouth to answer, then the ghost gets released and goes back to the tree.  Like that, one thousand night it happens.  Every day it tells a story.  And the king listens, he was very wise.  He knew the answer when the ghost asks a question.  So then the moment he opens his mouth to answer, the ghost gets released and goes back to the tree.  He goes again to bring the ghost.  Last day, his wisdom is applied and he starts thinking. “Why is this happening?  Oh, the problem is I am listening to the story and I get to know the answer to the question.  If I don’t listen to the story at all, then whatever question it asks, I won’t know the answer.  So then he had practiced meditation; he shifts his attention to introverted, just carries the ghost.  The ghost goes on telling the story.  He doesn’t listen because his attention is totally introverted through his practice of meditation.  So thus he didn’t listen to the story.  When the ghost asks the question in the morning, he didn’t have to open his mouth because he had not listened to the story.  So that’s what happens.  A yogi also lives in the world but doesn’t listen anything to the story of this world.

Question:   Okay, so Baba by not putting your attention on it, it will go away.  If we just don’t focus on things they will die out?

Babaji Maharaj:   Well, to begin with, if you permit, Amba has some questions on these topic that we have been talking. If it’s OK with you Agastya we can go for questions from people. Amba, please.

Question:   Baba was just saying that you have to switch off the main switch.  I wanted to ask Baba that You said that the thoughts are the fuel onto the brain.  And if you remove, if the thoughts are removed, the mind is pure.  So how, when somebody meditates, the mind hundred percent gets focused, it gets sharpened.  It gets sharpened, it gets hundred percent focused, but there are no thoughts.  But I have noticed with Baba, when He applies his mind on something, His focus is very good.  So, if you switched off, fully switched off, then how He can apply and have that focus?  What is the technique between two?

Babaji Maharaj:   Here you see, the projector is always available.  Whenever you want to project and know something about this world, you can always switch on the projector, that is the brain.  Here, with the best concentrated mind, that mind is purified.  Now by this achievement of samadhi, it is not going to absorb any imprints and keep any acquired habits within but it can apply the brain.  Now it is the master.  It will apply the brain and it can focus on to anything of this world and apply that work also very well, if necessary.  So that is how I’m able to operate.  Like when you ask a question.  Most of the time, you have told me to face the camera or mic, but instead of that I would like to face, watch keenly the person’s lips when he is asking a question.  I have to keenly concentrate, otherwise it’s difficult for me to absorb what the question is being asked.  Once I am able to observe the question, instantly, spontaneously, the answer comes because that is from the source.  I don’t have to plan, I don’t have to imagine about the answer.  So that is how the application happens.

Question:   So the application happens very quickly?

Babaji Maharaj:   Instantly, very spontaneously.

Question:   So that means that mind which is purified, it applies on to the brain and get the answer also instantaneously.  It doesn’t have go into the analyzation.

Babaji Maharaj:   Yes, yes.  So, many times I have told also – suppose after a week, after a month, after a year, if I listen to the recording of this question and answer, I myself might wonder, “How did I talk about these things?”  Just now it is spontaneously coming.  I’m not planning, so that imagination that I am answering and you are questioning also is not there.

Question:   So Baba, is there any kind of universal mind, cosmic mind that kind of runs the show when the individual mind is being silent?

Babaji Maharaj:   Ultimately, that is the truth.  That is what is known as the Parabrahman.

Question:   I just have to ask, I’ve wanted to ask this for so long. Baba, the light bulb and the screen’s consciousness.  Is the light bulb, the Parabrahman – because it’s the source, without that there’s nothing?

Babaji Maharaj:   Yes, it is from the Parabrahman only ultimately.  Like from the Pararahman, just for sake of understanding the concepts of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, not as personalities – when an enormous amount of consciousness arose from the Parabrahman, that had the power to create, but it had the awareness of the Self. ‘Abiding in the Self’ only, it created.  Thus, it did not get involved into the creation. It simply created.  That’s what I try to tell, “This universe is being happened due to God, but not according to the wishes of God.”  He did not express any such wishes, means He did not plan as a personality and then create.  Simply it is happening spontaneously.  That’s when in spirituality we tell there is no future.  Past is also over, it is only in the memory.  What is the reality is in the present.  If you bring your mind, neutralizing to the present, that is the truth.

Question:   Hey, Baba.  So, you talked a lot about abiding in the Self, and the importance of abiding in the Self.  And going back to the movie analogy, we can be watching a TV show or a movie.  And our attention is all on the movie.  But there’s a moment that we can remember that we’re watching the movie.  So in my day, I’ve been practicing more silence.  And I see it’s profoundly changing my meditations.  But my question is about abiding in the Self.  Is it proper to just keep bringing our attention back to the witness or the awareness that we’re watching in our daily life? And is that witness at this point of my development, obviously is it still the mind or is it actually accessing awareness of who I really am?

Babaji Maharaj:   At least it is very close to its awareness of the Self.  Whenever you try to abide by your Self or try to be a witness, and try to even think that you are the one who is watching; you are not this world, and this world is not a reality, the moment you think, some quietness happens within the mind.  Whenever you experience quietness, it is going closer to towards the Divinity.  S, that is when only you are able to experience happiness or some peace, something that is satisfying, and that is what is the awareness.  So this must be done.  This is a very good gateway for karma yoga.   Everybody can be active in this world, do whatever you want.  But whenever possible, now and then, for a while, try to remember that you are that who is just working in the world and you are not this world, and this world is not you and it is not a reality, it is only an appearance within you.  The real you is just watching.  So, whatever is happening, a good or bad. Even if it’s a good you don’t have to become excited.  If a bad thing is happening also, you don’t have to be scared or worried or lose your peace.  Like that if you try to remember it is advisable.  That will help you to be a karma yogi.

Question:   So, at this point, this level, wherever I’m at, that’s what I’m saying when I’m not meditating, I’m abiding in the Self, whatever level it is, that’s abiding in the Self?

Babaji Maharaj:   Yes.  Yes.

Question:   About abiding in the Self, You said that is the most important thing.  So, my question is, is it necessary to sit in solitude for long periods of time to abide in the Self?  Does there come a time when you don’t need to close your eyes and sit in meditation, that you’re able to operate even without sitting in meditation?

Babaji Maharaj:   Yes, once you achieve, so then your mind will not absorb any imprints.  You see now, not to boast or any such thing claim, for my sake I don’t have to close my eyes and sit, but just to inspire others, to make them also sit with me, so that they feel the vibrations and they also practice meditation, I try to participate and sit in meditation and then teach them also, together.  That is like a practical workshop that I conduct always.  Like many times I sit in these classes also, sometimes I sit into meditation, sometimes I keep watching you all.  So, whatever it is. But because my consciousness doesn’t absorb any imprints anymore, one is able to be in that.  Tatvamasyadi lakhsam, that shloka that tells, “A yogi’s attention is always on the lakhsya, on the target, on the Self, is abiding in the Self.

Question:   So nice and so grateful Babaji for conducting this.  It’s very helpful.  The other question I have is, sometimes the health doesn’t permit to sit in meditation, but also they say that if you meditate, your heath will take care of itself.  So does abiding in Self automatically take care of our health, or do we need to spend time in taking care of our physical body? Because I’m diabetic, and sometimes I need to go exercise and need to eat right.  And that takes up a lot of my time.

Babaji Maharaj:   You see, just by abiding in the Self, to think that it will take care of the body’s health once for all is a myth.  To a certain extent it can be helpful, the load on the brain is very less.  So the blood circulation or blood pressure, any such thing can be helpful.  But if there is any serious ailment like a diabetic – Baba’s body is also diabetic.  I had to take medicine.  It is all myth to think that simply meditation will cure everything, it doesn’t happen like that one.  Many saints also you would have heard Ramana Maharishi, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, they all had illness in their body.  And that became the reason for the body to get dropped.  That’s how things happen.  Simply by abiding in the Self, you achieve supreme peace, the awareness of the Self.  After abiding in the Self, after knowing the Self, you don’t have to know anything else.  That is the achievement.  But however, while you are in this world, you need to take care of the body by proper exercises, proper type of food, living conditions is all very important.  If necessary, take the advice of medical experts, and some medicine also is recommended.

Question:   Okay, so the other question I had, this watching is a path of meditation, but there’s also path of knowledge.  Are they two different paths leading to the same goal, or as one or the other enough?

Babaji Maharaj:   You see, finally, realization means you go beyond knowledge.  The understanding of knowledge is to know something, knowing the truth.  Here you are not a separate entity, that you are going to know what God is – you’re going to merge with the God.  Like Ramakrishna gave the best example, “The salt doll wanted to know the depth of the ocean and jumped into the ocean, to know the depth.  But it melted, it itself was no more there to know the depth of the ocean.”  That’s what the reality happens.  Like, you want to know what the space is.  Except the space, nothing else can measure or know the space.  Impossible, any other thing.  So when you become space, there is nothing else to know.  You have to abide.  So that is the truth.  There everything else loses its meaning – knowledge, sadhana, karma, anything, all such things.  Until then, the knowledge is helpful to motivate yourself, to get a clue of what you are supposed to achieve, where you are supposed to go, what the Self is, a little bit clue. Like whatever teaching and terminology, language we are using, they are all the nearest imaginations to the truth, because I have experienced the truth.  But the truth itself can never be told as it is.  I can guide you towards the truth.  This is the truth, like this you have to go.

Question:   So, then it’s not necessary to be on the path of knowledge while you’re actually going on the path of meditation.  You can just…

Babaji Maharaj:   Path of knowledge means, like you want to read some books, or listen to some talks or answers of a yogi if that is possible.  These are all to motivate yourself, feel inspired, so that you also undertake that type of sadhana, to achieve that truth.

Question:   Baba, I like to make a comment that, you know, that kind of knowledge is really important, for me anyway and  I think for most people, because if you keep discriminating between what’s permanent and impermanent, what’s real and unreal, and as you get older, it seems like gets more and more obvious, what’s permanent and impermanent, but that gives you resolve, it gives you faith, it gives you determination to go for the Self.

Babaji Maharaj:   Yeah, I agree.  That is our Mission.  Otherwise, there was no meaning for our mission of teaching also.  So what we teach is to motivate, to inspire, to give a clue what they’re supposed to do, all these things.  Repeatedly you have to watch, watch, watch. After talking so many times, now people are able to understand, slowly, again and again.  Now, today’s question that you have framed is all very wonderful and interesting.  That would have given some insight to all others listening to it, what it is actually.

Question:   Baba if people could listen to this Advaita philosophy every day – all that the mind’s projecting just starts to seem less interesting because you see that it has no permanent existence. it’s not really what you’re looking for.  And so it doesn’t distract you.  It gives you some vairagya, some detachment so that you can easily meditate.  So I think it’s important for people regularly to remind themselves about what they really want.  You can’t know the truth, but you can know what’s not true.  You can be the truth and you can know what’s not true.  And that helps too.

Babaji Maharaj:   Yes, yes, very true.

Question:   Pranaam Babaji, and it’s really honor to be here.  So, my question is, when I do meditation, what I understand is that there are two things for which – one is for Self-Realization and second to have a very focused mind and to focus thoughts, and to be on the righteous direction, and make our life more helpful for the humankind so that we are kind and good-hearted and we are not just thinking about our own self; get out of the selfishness and help to the world, to the universe, either its family, friends or the country.  So whatever way we can help.  So I have been doing meditation with Gayatri Mantra always, and no matter what I do, automatically Gayatri Mantra chanting starts within.  Since childhood I do, and I do see sun rays falling on me.  And that’s the way I do.  No matter what I try, some of the thoughts which I want to do, like suppose in future I want to do something to help the universe in whatever way, it comes in my mind.  So how to control that?  You have given so many examples and everybody has talked here.  But for me, it’s very, very tough to do that.

Babaji Maharaj:   Yeah, but slowly as you try to understand the technology of watching and practice, definitely in the world also it is very helpful.  Your personality can be a very matured one, you will have more patience and understanding about others, consideration to others also which is a part of spirituality or religion that I have been talking.  In fact, I have tried to tell the real meaning of religion – religion word is taken, giving the meaning of obligation from the Latin word, that means your duties. What it is? Your duty towards your own physical body first.  You try to keep it as healthier as possible by following exercises and following right type of food, lifestyle, and then you try to purify the mind.  As you try to go towards Self-Realization, when your mind gets purified, you are able to uphold moral values in a much better way without having any selfishness, narrow mindedness, and you will become more mature.  That way it is definitely helpful.  So, side by side as you go on living in this world, you try to know yourself also, by practicing this meditation.  Slowly and slowly, one day it will come.  Chanting a Gayatri Mantra, any mantra is welcome always; it will help in the purification of the mind.  Only the silent meditation which we teach was being practiced since very ancient times in India, one of the highest methods in which you are trying to get the mind to become quiet and silent on its own without taking the help of any anchor of sound or sight.  All other methods, it is no wrong thing.  It is wonderful.  Anybody can practice if it is appealing to them.  But they are all like the preliminary exercises to practice the single-pointedness of the mind, trying to purify.  Finally to go to the Self-Realization, mind has to go introverted.  Then you have to abandon everything, every sound and every scene or any such thing, every form, every formlessness.  You go beyond that.  Then you go for Self-Realization.  So until then, it is up to you.  You can carry on with this.  God will help you one day to overcome this effect of the sound also.  One day you’ll be able to understand the technology.

Question:   Another question is when I do get trapped into the colors, a lot of colors rotating around.  And definitely, I get very focused after that, I feel like there is nothing existing around me.  But is that good way to do?

Babaji Maharaj:   Yes, as long as you are able to concentrate in meditation, and without getting much involved with those colors.  Do not try to analyze.  Instead of that, watch the colors, then the colors will also disappear; your mind would have become focused.

Question:   Okay.  And the last question. Can we heal our physical body by doing meditation?

Babaji Maharaj:   To a certain extent as I was talking a short while ago.  So hundred percent healing is a myth.  It is not possible.  If that was possible, everybody would have meditated and lived long, long time, thousands of years; that is really not possible.  Even all the Self-realized sages like Ramana Maharishi, Ramakrishna, and so many others also, after some time, the body had to go.  Some, definitely to a larger extent, you are able to take away the load on the brain and lessen it.  Because unknown to us, we are putting too much of mind’s load onto the brain.  So that gets released.  With a little bit of consciousness, you can use your brain and live in the world.  Thus you can maintain your health much better, definitely.

Same questioner:   Thank You so much.

Question:   Hello Babaji, Ambaji.  Sort of coming more on that topic about ‘Abiding in the Self’.  Adi Shankara talks about transcending the five coverings of the ignorance in order to get to the point where you can abide in the Self.  There’s the physical covering, the vital covering, the mental covering, the intellect covering and the covering of bliss.  And I wondered Babaji, if You could talk a little bit about those, in particular the vital covering, because I couldn’t really understand what He meant by that.

Babaji Maharaj:   Generally, I have avoided talking all these scriptural terminologies.  It could be very confusing as you’re talking.  Simply, we try to catch hold of one main switch, that is the mind.  These all get generated through the imaginations of the mind, body as me, that is the body covering, physical covering.  And then in the mind, we will have subtle bodies that ‘I am an American, I am an Indian, I am a Christian, I’m a Hindu’, so many things, imaginations, ‘I’m a businessman’, all these imaginations, goes into personalities.  These are all the wild coverings that is inside us as personalities.  We have to overcome all these.  So all the basic thing for all these existences is imagination.  That’s what you need to get rid of, through the practice of meditation.  If you just watch in meditation, all these five coverings, you can get rid of them as yourself, and you can go towards the real you.  That’s what is more important.

Question:   Okay, so they’re all just different layers of imagination?

Babaji Maharaj:   Imagination, exactly.

Question:   And then during the day when we’re not meditating, we should be reasoning that, remembering that, ‘I’m not really this,’ I’m not really that, this is all imagination’.

Babaji Maharaj:   Yes, yes, so, means how you do that one, when all the other things have appeared and are going to disappear – this physical body and everything, this universe.  Everything has its own time.  A tree may have its own time, a mountain may have its own time, earth has its own time, sun has its own time limit, the physical body its own time limit.  Like that you think.  So how can it be giving you permanent happiness and permanent awareness of myself?  So I need to look for my permanent awareness, permanent happiness.  So like that you can do thinking and try to know the Self.  So when mind itself vanishes, means there is no more mind but the pure consciousness, but your existence consciousness will be there in the meditation.  Observe that one, then you will get into it.  I’ll help you.  Several times, you keep asking this question in the next sessions.  Again and again you will listen to me, then your brain gets washed thoroughly.

Question:   Okay, should I avoid reading more scriptures?

Babaji Maharaj:   Yeah, it can be, because scriptural terminologies can be quite confusing.  It takes you into detail, more and more detail.  In those days they used to try to teach the students, so they went on giving more detailed accounts of whatever they observed.  We observed all those things, then we saw one basic problem for all these things, appearance is the mind and its imagination.  That is the main switch.  You catch hold of that and all these things can erase – one thing, in one go.  Just like you light a candle, in one go the darkness entirely disappears.  You don’t have to dispel a little, little darkness like that.  One light and the darkness is gone.

Same questioner: Okay, thank You Babaji, thank You so much.

Question:   Namaste Baba,  hello.  Baba, You have explained earlier today that the creation, the universe has manifested according to the Parabrahman, or according to the Self, but not because of wishes.  Here’s my question.  If the manifestation or the appearance of a universe in the present is a temporary existence that is not real, though it may not be the wishes of the Self or the Parabrahman, what is this according to?  The ‘according to’ is confusing to me.  It appears that if the appearance of a world is not real, it’s a temporary existence, why would the Parabrahman or the Self allow it, or cause it to manifest?  What I don’t understand is this ‘according to.’   The ‘according to’ sounds like a burden on the Parabrahman or on the Self.

Babaji Maharaj:   No.  If ‘according to’ is the wrong terminology, I might have used it wrongly, that is all. There is no problem with Parabrahman.  For sake of play only, this thing has happened.  So, what I have tried to tell this universe has happened or is happening due to the Divinity or Parabrahman, not according to the wishes of Parabrahman.  Here what I have tried to tell, Parabrahman doesn’t have a mind, it doesn’t go into a wide thinking.  So, then we could have asked the Parabrahman, “Why you have made some as happy, some as unhappy?  What is this trouble?  What is all this nonsense? You didn’t have a better job?”  Like that, as a youngster I used to talk to God all these things,when I used to see human beings very selfish and narrow-minded, this used to happen.  But as we understood, it is not Parabrahman has not done.  He has no mind.  He doesn’t get involved with the creation; He just imagined, just like that. It has come into existence and it will go away because nothing is happening to anybody, there is nobody is there.  That is the real truth.  Once you achieve that cleansing of the mind and that samadhi, then you will realize this.  Today it might appear very funny or wrong when I’m talking like this.  So that is what I have tried to tell.

Question:   Yes, maybe it is just something that is inexplicable in the language used.  It just seems that whether you call it ‘according to’ or ‘due to,’ it seems to be somewhat of a burden.  Why give any explanation at all if the Parabrahman is not functioning as a mind as we know it as we experience as individuals? It seems like the whole notion of an existence separate from the Self as expressed in the universe is just a fiction, that the whole manifestation, creation, Divinity is all a fiction.  I understand how troubling it is to try and come up with an explanation for those who are not experiencing the truth of our existence.  But it’s still, it’s not really clear to me and I can leave it off at that.  Whether we call ‘according to’ or ‘due to’ or whatever, and if we accept that the Parabrahman does not have a mind as we know it.

Babaji Maharaj:   Yeah, I understand your question, your doubts also.  You see, finally there is really no conclusive answer.  If at all the Parabrahman has done this world why He has done. At the most, just for sake of play only.  Just like in the morning your mind starts thinking all the good, then it jumps into good and bad.  When you’re thinking bad, in your mind there are characters that come up, personalities that come up when you start thinking.  So now you think, scientifically, technically, if somebody is suffering within your mind, are you really responsible for that person suffering within your mind?  Because that personality does not exist at all, it is only in your imagination.  You get it, what I’m trying to tell?  In the same way Parabrahman is not responsible, because He has not really created anything.  He has simply imagined.  Because we are thinking this to be a reality, that’s why we get to suffer.  That also I’ve explained in other things, from the Parabrahman when Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva concepts arose, and the creation happened, suppose – just for sake of understanding I’m talking.  So when they created, they are known as Gods – Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva because they did not get involved.  They remained free of any involvement; no mind, no insecurity, no power-mongering.  They didn’t feel anything.  They remained in the Self; they were abiding in the Self.  But after that, if you read the Puranas of the Indian philosophical things, when the devatas all came into existence it talks. But it talks of all devatas getting involved into fights, wars, insecurity, greed, wanting power, struggle, everything started happening.  That means to our understanding a little bit, the consciousness started becoming a little bit corrupted.  Corrupted means here, becoming selfishness, thinking the body to be me, and narrow-minded because of that ‘me.’  Then, generation after generation went on, went on.  So the consciousness became more and more corrupted, more and more corrupted.  By the time one has become a human being, that human being normally how selfish and narrow-minded they become.  Humans in this world, they talk about one set of justice for themselves, talk another set of justice for others.  So all selfishness, narrow-minded, everything happens.  But when again one practices the spiritual sadhana and purifies their mind, their personalities become matured.  That means if anybody is really practicing spiritual sadhana like meditation or any such connected exercises, they would become matured, their mind will become more purified, they are able to be considerate to others, a larger cause always, these are all possible.  If a person is not able to do, this means they have not done spiritual exercises properly.  So that is how you have to now practice cleansing your mind, cleansing your mind, go back to that Brahma, Vishnu status and then merge into the Parabrahman.  That’s when all this will end.  Everything is illusion what I’m talking. [laughs]

Question:   Baba if we call Parabrahman Divinity, why does Divinity have to have a why?  Can’t it just be its nature?  It just does that, like it expresses itself in consciousness and then consciousness to create…

Babaji Maharaj:   There are different schools of thoughts.  Some say the creation has not happened at all.  So the question doesn’t arise then.  If at all it has happened, your talk also appears to be right; just like that it has happened by nature.  So finally there is no conclusive answer, as we understand as we try to know, but a Guru really teaches, do not bother too much about this question.  Before time elapses and your body is claimed by death, just try to know yourself and abide in the Self.  Forget about everything else. That is the final teaching!!!

Question:   Working on it, working on it.  But if it never happened, there couldn’t be a question.

Babaji Maharaj:   I’m not telling it never happened.  I am not telling anything.  Forget about it, what happened, what did not happen?  Let’s not argue.   [Same questioner:  It’s not important.]

Question:   I mentioned because I’ve grieved my own death and so that’s imagination as You’ve just clarified.  But I believe that you could heal your own body and live as long as you want.  But I guess our physical death should just be viewed as any other event is what I’m getting – that it’s no more important than a basketball game.  And that if you chose to do that healing, then you’re just embroiled again and although it might be a fun ride, you don’t know when you’re coming back out, right?

Babaji Maharaj:   Listen, everybody who is listening, today I will tell you all one truth.  A yogi is a yogi when His attention is always on the Self.  If he brings out that mind, tries to heal the body, then others will demand, “Heal me also.  Why are you healing your own body?”  Then I go on healing others also.  Then others will come, others will come.  So I am gone.  I am no more a yogi because my attention is going into resolving to heal and heal and heal.  So, a yogi is not a yogi if he is not abiding in the Self.

End of Questions and Answers

End of Session

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