Dedicated to the lotus feet of the divine guru Shivabalayogi Maharaj


The Teachings of the Yoga Vasistha – online Q&A, No.167

Recorded on 24 February 2024 with worldwide participants.

0:00 Introduction
0:40 What is the Yoga Vasistha?
7:22 “The thing that exists in itself” – what is the meaning of the Self in this phrase from Yoga Vasistha?
17:20 Why in Yoga Vasistha it says that if you consider your body as yourself you are foolish
24:17 How is time and space an imagination?
30:05 How mind and matter will all return to the origin
37:15 What is the state of a Yogi?
42:10 Does a Yogi perceive others as separate entities?
44:50 In sakshi bhava (the witness) is there anything to perceive?
46:38 The meditation technique that Babaji teaches and that is taught in the Yoga Vasistha
53:22 Is Babaji watching the Divinity?
55:19 What is the difference between the mind and the Self?
55:55 Feeling of consciousness coming from somewhere into the body in meditation
58:34 What is the difference between shushupti and turiya?
59:38 How the Atman, due to relationship with matter, acquires characteristics of matter
01:00:57 How to go beyond the feeling of being stuck within the body
01:03:00 “If you can see with the vision that lies between the looker and the object looked upon”

Discourse: Thus Spake Babaji – online Q and A No. 167
The Teachings of Yoga Vashista
You tube Link:
Recorded: 24 February, 2024

Start of Questions and Answers

Babaji Maharaj:   So, now I’m ready to take your questions, Amba. Thank you for sitting here, and for having framed some questions. It will be very helpful for me to express my opinion, my experience, and what my Guru taught me. So, we can go ahead now.

Mata Ambaji:   Pranaams Babaji. Pranaams at the feet of Shri Guru Maharaj Swamiji and Pranaams at the feet of Babaji. Baba, for today’s session You graciously have given me an opportunity to ask some questions. So, today’s topic is Yoga Vashista.

   Baba, Yoga Vashista is one of our ancient scriptures and Swamiji, Shivabalayogi Maharaj, always advised His devotees and seekers who were searching for the truth and practicing meditation also. He always advised if they want to read any scripture, they should go and read Yoga Vashista. Because Swamiji always said that Yoga Vashista was the closest to His teachings. This is what He always wanted to convey, what is being mentioned or has been written in this ancient text. So, could You please explain it a little bit more?

Babaji Maharaj:   Years ago, way back in 1976, a couple of years after I had gone to Dehradun Ashram, joining Swamiji, once talking He spoke about this. “You must read Yoga Vashista Ramayana, wherein Sri Rama is given upadesha by Vashistaji. And the story says just briefly, when Rama and Lakshmana were around sixteen years old, first they go on a pilgrimage of the kingdom and come back, then Rama remains a bit depressed, means not talking to anybody, not smiling, not eating properly, always appeared to be deeply immersed in deep thoughts or something like that. At that time, Vishwamitra sage comes to Ayodhya seeking Dasharatha’s help to send Rama and Lakshmana to protect a fire sacrifice that He had undertaken there; because the demons by pouring meat and blood into the yagna kunda, the fire sacrifice pit, so, they were disturbing the thing. First Dasharatha refuses, “They are children, they cannot come; what can they do? I will come with all my army and protect.”  But Vishwamitra refuses. “No, if at all you want to send, you send only Rama and Lakshmana.”  Then Vashista, Sage Vashista, who was the royal priest there, royal Guru, so He intervenes, advising Dasharatha, “Please send Rama and Lakshmana. They are powerful enough to protect the fire sacrifice that Vishwamitra has undertaken.”  At that time, Dasharatha expresses to sage Vashista, “Venerable sage, I am afraid. Sri Rama is supposed to be crowned as the crown prince very soon, but he is not smiling or talking to anyone, doesn’t eat properly. Ever since he has come back from the pilgrimage, he seems to be depressed – don’t know what is bothering him, he doesn’t talk to anybody. Then Vashista summons Rama and Lakshmana to the court and they start talking to Him. “What is the reason for your behavior like this that you don’t talk, you don’t participate in anything?”  Then Sri Rama expresses his detachment or puzzles on watching certain truths of life, etc. In the Yoga Vashista Ramayana, the chapter is known as the vairagya prakarana, the detachment. Then Rama… what impressed me, one line that I remember which I could catch the essence of that vairagya. Simple thing – I have always insisted on emphasizing on that point only, He tells “Whole world seems to be looking after the body, the body needs, body urges and filling the belly, all these things. If we don’t do it, the body dies, it perishes. And we go on doing it, the whole life we struggle to keep the body fit and body healthy, body happy, all the things that the body needs, all luxuries, everything, yet the body doesn’t stay permanently, it perishes after some time. So, I am puzzled, what is this fun? Who am I in the middle? How do I exist?”  So, like this the conversation starts to which only Vashista, replying, teaches basically how time and space, means  everything that we identify as a matter, as an object, as a thing, is only based on our own imaginations and if you can overcome that imagination, the truth of existence will be revealed. That’s what He talks, basic essence of the entire Yoga Vashista, using numerous stories for how the time can appear as prolonged, as short, as unhappy, as happy, depending on the imaginations of the mind. So, that is the essence of the teachings of Yoga Vashista, which Swamiji also wanted to teach. That’s why He emphasized and recommended that “You have to meditate; meditate and know yourself.”  That’s what He always emphasized. So, thus, this was the book He recommended. So, I read in those days sometime in the time of 1976 and ’77. It was mesmerizing, it sat in my mind; ‘The one all-pervaded space that which exists in itself’. So, such wonderful teachings that have been given. So, that’s what is the essence of Yoga Vashista.

Mata Ambaji:   Thank You Baba. Baba, here You said that You read this and this one sentence which really struck You and brought a lot of detachment in Yourself – ‘The thing which exists in itself, the Self’. What do You mean by here, ‘the thing which exists in itself’ and what does ‘the Self’ here mean?

Babaji Maharaj:   That is the ultimate truth beyond which nothing else exists, and that is eternal. Generally, many of you would be familiar with Indian scriptures, Upanishads or great sages’ teachings like that, and other Gurus talking; they all talk of the all-pervaded-ness of the Divinity. That ultimate truth is known as Self. It is also recognized as Divinity in duality or you can recognize it as the Self, the real Self. So, ‘Who am I?’ like Ramana Maharishi talks. Everybody knows it is all-pervaded, it is omnipresent, omnipotent; these are the words used. But it was Yoga Vashista which talks that, that Ultimate Truth, that Self, it exists in itself. First time when I read this sentence, it struck to me. I was sitting under the tree behind Dehradun Ashram in the between the bushes under a mango tree, that is where I was sitting; I was reading that book, then I looked up, instantly it occurred to the mind. ‘That means it is this space, this space which we are thinking of as a void place or space is not actually space, because this is the only thing which is existing in itself. The rest all seems to be existing in the space.’

By then I had read a little bit of Adi Shankara in which a small story that had happened also created an impact about the truth of existence. Once Adi Shankara was going to have a bath in the Holy Ganga River while he was camping in the pilgrimage town of Kashi, or Banaras. So, when he was going, it is said that the Divine Lord Shiva came in front of him as an untouchable person with a country-made alcohol earthen pitcher on His head. So, Adi Shankara, for a second, perhaps forgot the all-pervaded-ness, everything of the Divinity and just said, “Give way to me, get out of my way.”  So, to that, composedly that person says, “Look, it is in this Brahmanda that you also exist, and I also exist; your body also exists, and my body also exists. But if you think there is any place beyond, beyond the space where there is no space, show me that place. I will go away, leaving this space for yourself; you can occupy the space and have it for yourself.”  So, suddenly Adi Shankara is astonished, it strikes him, “My God, what a great knowledge he is talking. If this person has this amazing knowledge…” Like today, if we all think in a commonsense way that is in front of us, whatever home, district, state, country, planets that we claim that are ours, even air space that we might claim, but the space is one single piece; it cannot become two different pieces. We cannot catch hold, “This space is mine, now I am holding it and you hold your space” – that doesn’t happen. In the same one space we all exist. At that time I thought, if only everybody, particularly humanity could realize that we all belong to one home, one space – that is our home. If at all we have to exist, we have to exist in the space. If we exist on the earth… See, everywhere, right from our body to the earth planet, everything depends on one another. If we exist inside our house, that house depends on the earth or on some construction work, something like that; one depends on the other for existence also. Finally, if we all depend on the planet earth for our existence, or sun, like this that we depend on our body’s existence, all these exist in space and that is the final frontier. Beyond that, there is no such thing that the space exists in which…  That’s what Lord Shiva who had appeared as an untouchable person to Lord Shankara asked. They addressed it as Brahmanda, what we call it as space today. They are addressed as Brahmanda. The imagined absoluteness, whereas the actual absoluteness is beyond imagination, but about that absolute, we have imagined, that is what is Brahmanda. Anda is round, though it denotes the egg in a way, but the egg-shaped one, absoluteness. So, that’s what it is. Then Adi Shankara realizes. “So, it is this space that you exist, I exist, everybody exists. So, beyond the place, if it is there, then I will go over,” He said. Then Adi Shankara prostrates to Him. “This is equivalent to my Guru if He has this amazing knowledge, awareness in Him.”  See, the humility of those great teachers, He never hesitated to prostrate to the person who had this knowledge. So, by then Lord Shiva had disappeared. So, Adi Shankara realized. Like this, this has such wonderful teaching. So, I realized that day sitting under the mango tree, “My God, that means this space is not actually the space as we are thinking hitherto, because this was told to us by our teachers, by others, and it was fed to our brain, and I have assumed this is simply a void place.”  Space, for one of the definitions it is said, “It is a void place through the surface of which matter can pass through,  that is the thing known as space”. We call it like that one; apart from that it is all pervaded. “So, it is not like that,” I thought at that time. “If any object of the matter can pass through its surface, that means in other words, positively we must take this is a special quality of the space. Not simply that space is nothing, that is why any object matter can pass through its surface. The space has graciously allowed the matter to pass through its surface, has graciously allowed the matter to exist in its surface.” That is how the thought came to me. It was like a realization for me at that time when I was thinking. And this space is the only thing which has the quality to exist in itself. The rest all depends on the space. Without space nothing can exist. You take out the planet earth and try to place it somewhere else if you have that capacity, but the space will be there where the earth existed. But try to take out the space and make it exist somewhere else, it does not happen. Then I realized having read in Bhagavad Gita also, suddenly, “O, this is the thing Krishna talks, “Nainam shastram chandanti”, “No weapon can slay, no fire can burn, and no water can soak, Arjuna”, He talks. That means it is this space – space is the only thing. Let them bring any powerful weapon, any nuclear weapon, can they burst open the space? The bomb may burst, but can they harm the space? Nothing. Nothing can happen. They can try to cut the space, it won’t happen, they can put fire to the space, you can put fire to my home, but can you put my space into that fire? Not possible. So, that’s how this realization came to me on reading that book, and the meditation became so easy, the thoughts all receded. I started recognizing that consciousness of existence at that time itself. That’s what I thought, “This is the ‘I’ feeling that is coming, and that means this doesn’t go anywhere, because this is the space itself. So, space is not the space, it is a Supreme Consciousness of existence”, I concluded that day.

Mata Ambaji:   So, Baba, You spoke about the space, and in Yoga Vashista, Nirvana prakaran, what You were just mentioning, it comes again and again when Vashistaji says to Rama that  – sorry, it’s a bit tough language – He says, only moork, means agyani or ignorant or a stupid person will always think that “I am the body”, but a gyani, the gyani who is established in itself will never consider the body as atman or as a permanent entity. So, Vashishtaji has said atmanbodh into the body, using the body as an object should not be conceived.

Babaji Maharaj:   So these sentences that you read just now from the chapter, I will try to simplify so that it’s easily understandable. This is one thing, the ancient teachers were very straightforward and blunt and when they needed to use such language, they used so that it can prick the student and go seriously for that truth. So, that’s when they said, “If you still consider a body as yourself, you are foolish” – the Guru used to tell like that. Guru never bothered to impress upon or please a student, “O, this student should not run away, he is from the royal family”. Because they didn’t have any greed at all, no desire was there for such Gurus. They were Self-realized and totally liberated, they just spoke the truth as it is. So, that was why they used to think, if an ignorance is there, it is equivalent to foolishness. So, if we fail to gain that knowledge; that means we fail to observe the truth that is in front of us, so we are not mature. We try to modify; we don’t try to be so blunt or rude or tough with the students who are learning, spiritual seekers. So, we try to tell in a different way. The truth is in front of you, but consciously your consciousness is hidden into the body so much, strongly that you are unable to make out this – it is in front of you. Because all you have to do is feel yourself. When you feel yourself, be attentive to that feeling, definitely you can understand that feeling is not on the body, it is not coming from the body. If ever you are able to observe, even keeping the eyes opened also, if you simply observe for a while – that means at the time you need to be silent mentally, no other thoughts or visions should be attracting your attention. That means your attention gets distracted, then it gets concentrated, then you try to feel yourself, your existence. That is what I keep telling, consciousness of existence, that which is in the middle of millions of thoughts that are in the mind, this one consciousness of existence is not an imagination, it is a reality, whereas rest of the things are all imagined thoughts and visions. The moment you become quiet, the thoughts and visions disappear because they were imagined, they were not reality. But this consciousness of existence will not disappear, that is how you are able to feel. So you have to feel, that means it is in front of you.

For that only we try to prepare a student by teaching meditation of ‘just watch, just watch’. Because the mind has gone out of control since time immemorial, it takes a lot of time sometimes for the students to realize this fact, which is in front of, just in front of us. That is what I used to think when I used to read some other scriptures – Brahman, Sarvavyap, all pervaded-ness, all these. ”Oh no, this doesn’t sound…; they should have used a certain language which is just in front of us.”  At the time at that young age, I didn’t know how to put it, but this is what I used to think. A teacher should be able to tell “This is the atman. If it is everywhere, why is it not that possible that this is the atman?”  Now we realize if I tell “This space, this is the atman”, if I tell, I need to prove that also. So just now with a logic a little bit clue can be given, but I cannot make this space talk to people, because the technology is not there. The technology in the body is there, the brain is there, that is why we are able to communicate to the people of this world, other people who are having the same type of bodies like us, physical body, we are able to communicate. If we know the language that what they also know, but nobody can communicate to the soul.

The same soul with the help of the brain is able to have the consciousness of this world and is able to communicate. So, if we have to communicate with this space, it’s only through the help of the mind, with our mind. So we go introvert through the mind. If we make it totally quiet, then that mind becomes one with this space, means it is able to communicate or it is able to understand, then the truth is revealed. These are all terminologies used only for sake of understanding; it is actually beyond awareness. Like that we go on talking as the student also develops, matures in understanding, that’s how we try to tell. So, that is the reason those teachers said, “That which truth is in front of you, instead of that, if you assume something else as you, that is foolishness, that is ignorance”, they spoke like that.

Mata Ambaji:   Baba, in the same Nirvana prakaran, Vashistaji explains to Bhagawan Rama that what we see as a world around us, again and again they said that it’s a kalpana, it’s an imagination and He says that there is a no time and the time does not exist for the atman, means for the Self there is no time because it exists in itself. So, the story of Lilavati which You often have told about the time, so would You please explain one more time how time and space ultimately in duality is imagination. If one object is in front of another object it exists, otherwise there is no time and no space exists.

Babaji Maharaj:   You see, now we have to understand the theory of relativity in this way. If there is a relative existence there, then we can define the nature of this existence; if there is no relative existence, you can never define what it is. Just like if you are flying in the air, if you see outside the windows, because if equivalently there is no other object there, it’s only a space there at that height of 35,000 feet, then you don’t even feel the aeroplane as moving. Only when you come across clouds which is another object, then you feel the aeroplane is moving; so that is the relativity, we have to understand. So just like in the center of the space you go, there is no direction, what is east, what is west, what is south. Only in contrast to the relativity of the planet earth and sun and these things, we try to say the direction, “This is northern direction” for our communication and understanding. To which way you are going to travel, you can tell “To the northern direction that I have to travel, then I will find New Delhi.”  So, that is all in relativity happens; if the relativity is not there, it is beyond that. Because the space is beyond any such existence, no equivalent existence is there – to talk in relativity of that one. So that’s how we tell even the Supreme Peace, when you achieve in nirvikalpa samadhi, there is no relative existence. Until now, all these twenty-five years that I have been teaching, I have not been able to teach what that Supreme Peace is actually, because no relative existence is there. For sake of understanding, I might have quoted many names, many terminologies, imagined other so many things, but not exactly what that Supreme Peace is. Only the day you are able to experience that serenity, that quietness, so that’s what the truth of relativity is. Without that, you cannot explain what it is; it is beyond all such things. That is how the time or space, when one object is in between two things that is happening, means appearance and disappearance, so whatever is in between, we call that as time, but where that time exists? Nobody has seen it in naked eyes. We simply call, “Bhai, it appeared yesterday and it is going to disappear tomorrow.”  That is, we recognize in that infinite name, but that is infinite, yesterday also infinite, tomorrow also infinite, today also infinite. Same sun rises, the same earth moves, it is the same morning happens, same evening happens, yet for sake of our understanding, we have imagined, yesterday it was 23rd, today it is 24th February, tomorrow it will be 25th February, whereas in fact it is all the same. So, if we don’t calculate…  Many times it happens to me in the Ashram. Same routine, at 3:15-3:30 in the morning I have to get up, do my yoga and do attend emails and do attend my pooja, wash, everything, go on doing. So suddenly if you ask me what is the day, I have to ask you many times, “What is today’s date?” If I have to do any particular time, either I should note down or I should see the calendar, “O, today is a Thursday, I have to send quotes”, it occurs. If I don’t see that one I can forget. Sometimes it has happened and some people asked “Today, You are not sending any quotes?”  “Okay, today I have to send quotes”, and I start sending that one. So, like that it doesn’t occur to me, that time factor, so it will happen only in relativity. Other than that… The birth of the body has happened, it will die or disappear, perish, in between we call it as “That man lived for seventy years, that man lived for eighty-six years”, but that is all in imagination; it doesn’t exist at all. Where is it?

Mata Ambaji:   Yes, Baba. So Babaji You just mentioned – that’s very beautiful – about the time and the space, again, imagination. Again at one place Vashistaji tells Sri Rama that the mind which has come from that tattva, means a portion of that existence will go back to itself and the body which is gross, which is not tattva, which is matter will go back to its own… means the way it has come, it will go back, the way it has originated. So, the body is an object to realize the tattva so the mind can go back to its origin – so could You please explain that? What is it which He says, they both will go back to their origin?

Babaji Maharaj:   Amazingly these things have happened in such a way, the origin which I talk about, the Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, because the creation was not continuing, they created an illusion. The illusion was created that the consciousness would depend on something solid, though which does not exist, it would be made to appear to be existing and thus they both started getting connected in a different way. It was brought up, it came out and it started existing in a different way and it has come out in infinity from the Brahman as it is in the same form, though in a smaller way like a droplet. It has come. So now, that is why always in spirituality, first the seeker is taught by the Master to take care that this mind simply goes back to its origin and merges with the Self. Once that is taken care of, this matter, it will go back in its own way and merge. Means we don’t have to work any technique, anything to make it to go back to the Self. It will go back to the Self, but we should not touch to destroy; simply by destroying the planet earth, we cannot make it disappear, it will simply take another shape. But in the technique when it happens, it will happen, it will also disappear; it will also go back to the Self in a different way, the way that it has come. The technology is totally different. Simply, if this mind goes there, so this automatically carries this also. As long as the mind is there, it brings out the matter also. When simply the mind goes back, it sends back the matter also, that is what is the nirvikalpa samadhi you experience which cannot be demonstrated, but today I am just telling the experience, the technology, how it happens. For that you have to get rid of yourself as the mind and merge with the higher consciousness and go towards the Self. That can happen when mentally you become quiet. That is the basic essence of spirituality, or all these sadhanas that are taught – first you have to cool down mentally. The more you go on talking and creating chatterbox and creating in the mind, you will create more and more matter, more and more matter, and never-ending process of hen out of the egg. When I tell that, if one of them is withdrawn skillfully, the process stops. You withdraw the egg, don’t allow it to hatch into a hen, then the process stops. Or when it is hen, you don’t allow it to put an egg, then the process stops. So, in the same way here, you just take care of the mind. Once you stop the thoughts and visions in the mind, means you are stopping that process, how it produces the matter, and the consciousness gets involved into the matter.

See, it has produced the body, but now it’s stuck in the body. Just by finishing the body, we cannot get liberated. There are many misunderstandings. Some schools of thought think that if we simply finish the body, we will get liberated. Liberation does not happen like that. You don’t have to kill the body at all, because it will go away in its own way. You simply have to kill the mind. ‘Kill’ word if it is strong – you quieten the mind. Then that will take care; this body will go in its own way, it will also go back to the Self. So both had come out of the one single Self only. How? That Supreme Energy, presence of energy and Supreme Consciousness, such a wondrous thing, this will be experienced in nirvikalpa samadhi time, so a clue comes to you. Until you don’t reach that state, no amount of teaching of this technique one will be able to grasp how it happens. That is what Vashista also talks – whenever Rama talks, “Okay, I agree everything is illusion, but how did this illusion come into existence?”  That means He is asking, this matter is an illusion, this world is an illusion, but how did it come into existence, who made it possible, how will it disappear, how will the liberation happen? To that Vashista tells, “When you achieve that nirvikalpa samadhi, you will understand on your own, or at that time if I explain, then you will be able to understand.”  So, practically if you want to learn to cook the bread, bake the bread, you have to be there and then you will understand how it bakes, otherwise you will be wondering. It is the same flour, it becomes like a rusk, crispy rusk, the bread is very soft – how does this happen? So, when you start cooking, you will understand it is all that temperature differences, that is all. Here also, consciousness – temperature difference. [laughs]

Mata Ambaji:   So, Baba, what You just now said reminds me another question – Vashistaji says, “The state of a yogi or a state of a jnani is always jagrit, is always awakened, even while the jnani, the one who has attained the nirvikalpa samadhi is sleeping, walking, or dreaming – Swapna jagrith aur sushupti, samast avasthaon mey, sabhi –  in all the conditions, He is walking, He is sleeping, He is having a dream, in all the conditions, a jnani is in a jagrit, is in an awakened condition. So, can You explain that? Means You explain so beautifully that the mind has gone back, so what happens when the mind has fully gone, but the matter, body is still there, and the mind has stopped operating, and the consciousness, alertness, awareness is only there – what happens to a jnani?

Babaji Maharaj:   The mind has stopped. It has become one, so it is in the awareness of the Self all the time. This world is appearing because of the existence of the body, and the consciousness is still there in the body a little bit. It is watching the brain’s reflections, but it is totally matured, fully Realized now. It won’t become a victim anymore of the brain’s reflections, or this world’s appearance, it will never be threatened, that’s what it is. So that’s what it is, otherwise you get frightened by the appearance of the world and its happenings. If your consciousness is stuck to the body, you are thinking this ‘I am this body’, then everything happening appears to be happening to this body and in the world you are stuck. But if you have come out of this body’s consciousness, settled into the Self, you are always in that awareness, whether a dream comes… and this world also is a longer dream; simply I am inside the dream, but I am not considering I am in the dream, I am the awareness of the Self, so I am free, at peace. Nothing of this world really bothers me. It cannot make me emotional, it cannot make me unhappy, it cannot make me happy. No need. If somebody doesn’t invite me to give some food in their home, it doesn’t matter; simply inviting me to their home and giving some food doesn’t give me any happiness. I am already happy; there is no need. So, that is what, but out of devotion, out of due respect, if anybody invites we do go there as a yogi. But not out of a need; we don’t go with a begging bowl. So that’s what happens, because it is already in the awareness. That’s what Vashista is talking, Atmagyani is always in the awareness of that Self. For this, we don’t need anybody else to give me any certificate. There is no such thing that “O this person was giving me a certificate, now he’s withdrawing the certificate as he’s annoyed.”  I don’t have to catch his feet, “O, please, please, I will do whatever you want me to, please keep certifying me that I am Self-Realized.”  There is no such thing at all, no need. Because I don’t need to satisfy this world, or boast to this world. I’m Realized, I’m Realized, I am the atman, I am the atman, that is all. Just like you are a woman, and you are a woman. You don’t need anybody’s certificate, that “O, because you are a woman, you are really great. O, they should not withdraw this” – you don’t bother such things. In the same way, the yogi doesn’t bother actually. So I don’t know why sometimes people think that they have to certify and if they don’t certify, it’s going to [mess] things. So, like that, this world’s appearance is there, because the body is inside the dream. As long as this is there, it will appear to these eyes; through these eyes the consciousness is watching, but here consciousness is only a witness – saakshi bhava He talks; scriptures also talk. That we understand now. In spite of the watching, this world doesn’t move us into any such reality or non-realities. The reality is done.

Mata Ambaji:   So Baba, You just said – that was my question – You said that being in a saakshi bhava, being just a witness, witness of the play which is going on, and which we consider as the world going around us. So when You are in the saakshi bhava, do You perceive, or You are neither a perceiver, or there is no saakshi, only just a play going on, means there is no duality left in You and us? As Bhagavan Rama has asked in Yoga Vashista, “How do you see me? As a separate entity, or as one single entity, as the ghatakakash?”

Babaji Maharaj:   Just like the space in five or ten earthen pitchers you keep, it is the same space. The One who is aware of the space all pervaded, when He gets to see, He understands this space is also this space only. It is not different from this space. He won’t identify with the earthen pitcher. “This space in the earthen pitcher is different, that space in the other pitcher is different”; it doesn’t happen like that. He is always aware – though the earthen pitcher is there, temporarily as an imposition of appearance it is there. Just like in the mind also, temporarily the imposition is there as a thought and vision, but that is not true He realizes. Once we realize, that’s when many teachers might try to give different meanings; one student says, “I had this vision in the meditation, Babaji. O, this vision means this is the thing, that is the thing that has been indicated by the Divine. Swamiji has indicated this thing.”  Nothing!  If at all some vision is coming, just use it to watch and don’t do anything with that one; this secret my Guru taught me during tapas, and a little before tapas also He had spoken this secret. People keep asking about visions, visions – initially to attract them to sit for meditation we have to do that one, but no vision has any significance at all. That is beyond all visions, that truth.

Mata Ambaji:   Babaji, You were saying that even in the saakshi bhava, there is nothing to perceive?

Babaji Maharaj:   Nothing to perceive.

Mata Ambaji:   Or is there…

Babaji Maharaj:   It is just like I told, on a white paper you write, instantly it gets erased, it doesn’t stay there, so in the mind it doesn’t stay as a reality, doesn’t register anything, no registration office is there. Simply it comes, and it disappears.

Mata Ambaji:   So, even as a saakshi,there is no second that exists?

Babaji Maharaj:   No existence.

Mata Ambaji:   No existence for a…

Babaji Maharaj:   It is totally aware. Except for that one Self, there is no second existence there. In simple words, except for the space, there is no other second existence equivalent to the space there; the rest is all appearance. But because you are all inside this appearance as a micro speck, so this appears to be real. So all the characters that is in the mind, difficult for them to realize that we are just being created and we are in this. As the mind, “I am the mind” – actually it doesn’t realize. But the same mind watches also. That peculiarity you will realize only in deeper samadhi. There is One who is watching; you catch hold to that One who is watching, then you will be led back to the Self very easily.

Mata Ambaji:   Yes, Baba. That’s very beautiful because I was coming here. The technique, which You always, Swamiji always taught us to how to meditate, so Bhagawan Rama has asked Vashistaji, “Tell me the technique that which can help me to bring my mind under control and my equilibrium into the sam bhava, means which is in union, in union of my mind.”  So Rama says to Vashistaji that and Vashistaji says, “Keep your eyelids low on to the tip of your nose, withdrawing all your senses and just keep watching.”  Same thing, so You just now said that you just have to watch…

Babaji Maharaj:   Catch hold of that watcher – watch that watcher.

Mata Ambaji:   Yes, so watch the watcher. And Baba, a common person, we all struggle all the time on what it is which has to be watched. And the whole time goes into this struggle of controlling the thoughts and we forget that we don’t have to control the thoughts, we just have to watch, watch the watcher. So, can You explain this technique one more time because the same technique what Swamiji has taught You and You teach is the same technique that has been mentioned in Yoga Vashishta also by Vashistaji to Bhagawan Rama.

Babaji Maharaj:   Yes, exactly. I have tried to tell, even in the dream also, explaining the dream – in the dream a dream is happening to you and you feel yourself as if you are suffering, you are happy, you are unhappy, the different characters that you would have created in the dream, you are there in all the characters and the story is happening. And you are watching also. Who is this watcher? Watch that one. Means, if you stop getting involved into this dream, then you come to the level of the watcher. That’s what in meditation we have not given any target, what you have to watch. If a target is given, your attention goes to a relative second existence; you always try to look for that one, “What is it that I have to watch?”  There is no second relative existence that you have to watch. That is how this is one of the highest methods of meditation practiced in ancient India. Nobody knows conclusively from where this technique came actually, but for my Guru, the appearance of the Jangama sage, from that this technique came to Him and He just gave this technique to everybody for free. He simply used to tell, “Just watch in between eyebrows. Everything will happen. Just sit and meditate.”  That’s what He used to insist. So, that’s what we are trying to explain. No target is given. Simply watch in between eyebrows is told, but what you have to watch there, whether you have to watch the darkness or light; no relative existence is given at all. That’s when the mind can become quiet. When the mind becomes quiet, what the gap is and thoughts, everything, what so many try to understand as we were talking, they all disappear. There is neither a gap nor a thought is there and the watcher and the thing that was being watched, they come into one level, they merge with one level. So, neither the seen nor the seer is there – that Ramana Maharishi told, this language. So neither the watcher nor the thing that was being watched – they both disappear, that’s how that oneness happens. That level is what you have to achieve. Your mind has to understand this.

If you sincerely, faithfully just watch, this will happen – without bothering with anything else. So, that’s what this technique is – just concentrate your mind and sight in between eyebrows. Don’t repeat anything. Don’t imagine anything. This is what we need to understand. Any vision that comes, don’t try to imagine. Any thought that comes, do not try to imagine. That means you just keep quiet. See, the command is given, “Do not imagine anything”, yet again people keep talking of visions, “This happens, you have to call the Devi here, you have to call that here, this here, that vision, this vision. What happens in meditation? Do you get visions?”  Not any such things. Visions are plenty enough in this world. That vision is here, you don’t need anymore. You have to get rid of this. For that only this is the highest one of its kind techniques that you watch so that the thing that is being watched, they both merge and there is only one existence there. That’s when the samadhi starts happening. That’s when it becomes pure consciousness, and it is no more mind. Till then it is mind. You are watching, thoughts are appearing, you are watching, thoughts are appearing, you are watching, vision is happening and so many experiences happen. Many people try to understand, “If something happens in the body, is that a sign of progress?”  Just do not bother anything happening in the body, anything happening in the mind. Only when the mind becomes quiet, then you and you were watching yourself, they both become one, that oneness happens. That’s why you have been asked to ‘watch.’ Understand this ‘watch’ word.

Mata Ambaji:   So, Baba, is the world sarva vyapi na ishwaram to You, or how do I understand You? Are You just watching the Ishwara, the Divinity or You are also a Divinity in Divinity?

Babaji Maharaj:   I’m not watching the world, I’m not watching the Divinity. Nothing is being watched, not being watched and not watching anything. Just in itself. Just in itself, it’s there. So, you can understand how difficult to make others understand this status.

Mata Ambaji:   It’s very beautiful Baba. It gives me goosebumps to even think about that. Nothing exists and I exist in itself. In my pure conscious awareness, if I establish, it’s just so… It gives me goosebumps even just imagining that, so it’s very beautiful.

Thank You very much Babaji for this beautiful session and it was a lovely question and answer, I think we are coming very close to finishing this session. Are there any people who would like to follow up on the questions on Yoga Vashista or we are done here?

Babaji Maharaj:   We can see at least one hand lifted, Ambaji, so we can take a few questions before we go for the aarathi.

Question:   Namaste Babaji, yes, it was a beautiful discussion. I had a few questions. We were talking about the mind and the Self; You’re using two words, mind and the Self. Can I understand the mind to be full of thoughts and the Self is without any thoughts?

Babaji Maharaj:   Yes, just for sake of understanding I was using ‘mind’ and mind becoming pure consciousness. That’s when the watcher and the watched, they both become one. So at that time there is neither mind nor anything else, just one Self.

Same Questioner:   Okay, so the other question I had was, when I’m meditating, I feel that as an observer, my position shifts from when I’m watching in the center… I’m watching in the center, there are no thoughts, there is only silence, I become aware of that and then gradually I even lose awareness of the silence and the lack of thoughts, but suddenly I find myself a thought has come, and it has hijacked me, I have gone into an imagination and I’m imagining all kinds of things like in a dream. So, then I have to pull myself back to the center and say, “Okay, that’s not where I want to focus, I need to focus here”, and I continue. And then my meditation goes into a deeper level where I have no consciousness at all of either the body or the thoughts or even the existence, and then when it is time to close the meditation, when the time approaches, I feel like my consciousness is coming up from somewhere into the body, and then I just kind of get grounded in the body. So, is that a normal thing or is that my imagination that I’m coming from somewhere and then becoming aware of the body?

Babaji Maharaj:   So if you imagine you are coming from somewhere, that is imagination. Then and there itself it comes into consciousness of the surroundings and the body – that’s when you feel that you have come from somewhere, but you are there only and you came into consciousness, that is all. You are there and you lost consciousness; you are there and you came into consciousness. That’s fine. Carry on with the meditation, same situation.

Same Questioner:   But when I lose consciousness, I am still upright, I’m not sleeping, but there are times when I droop and I fall asleep and I know this is not the proper meditation. But I cannot call it that state of awareness where I’m in pure awareness?

Babaji Maharaj:   You need to maintain the consciousness of existence until it is totally purified, until it gives up all its habits once for all. Till then, you should not become unconscious, is important.

Same Questioner:   What is the difference between sushupti and turiya? In sushupti I am not aware, in deep sleep?

Babaji Maharaj:    Yet, you have not yet reached the Self, but sometimes you become unconscious. That is that deep sleep state; the brain has gone into deep sleep, but as consciousness, you have not yet become totally purified.

Same Questioner:   How would I know? That’s why I asked, what is the difference between sushupti and turiya? What is happening in turiya state?

Babaji Maharaj:   You will know when the mind, it will not go back to become a mind again. It will be in the silent quietness. Till then you have to continue.

Question:   Okay, I’ll be very fast. I had a question that I believe what we’ve been talking about pretty much encompassed it. I just wanted to get some verification that in the Yoga Vashista, a verse says, “Like the relationship between fire and water, the atman, due to its relationship with matter, acquires the characteristics of matter, and matter also acquires the characteristics of the atman.”  I think that You kind of explained it as this is the mind and the body gaining consciousness and consciousness gaining a body?

Babaji Maharaj:   Yeah, you see, it is the consciousness which imagined the matter also. So, when it imagined the matter, it became mind. And the matter became more powerful for a while. So thus, this mind got stuck into the matter called body. So, now you cannot handle the body with that consciousness, but you can handle your mind; you can make it quiet. So, then it will come out of the entanglement that has happened due to an illusion.

Same Questioner:   Okay, thank You Baba.

Question:   Pranaam Divine Guru. Pranaam my Ishwara Istadevata, Pranaam at Your Lotus Feet. You had mentioned that when you close your eyes, then you focus on the feeling, the presence which we feel, the feeling within our body. So, when we do that, there are three distinctions – one is the body. The other one is the pressure of the mind which is racing outside, and then there is a third presence which is the feeling. And when we focus on the feeling, that feeling is within the body, but You also said the watcher is all pervading. So why, when I am on that feeling, when there is something which is silent, but that silence is only confined within my body, but that silence You say is all pervading, but how can I have the presence go to the all pervading?

Babaji Maharaj:   That is because it is still stuck. stuck into the brain’s reflections. That’s why it is feeling as if it is stuck within the body. The same thing which is all pervaded feels as if it is within the body, because it is stuck. It is firmly believing the reflections of the brain. So, then it thinks that it is inside; it is the dweller.

Same Questioner:   So, how will it go towards…

Babaji Maharaj:   With the watching technique of the meditation. That’s why simply watch, simply watch – you understand. Means without doing anything, you don’t have to do anything, you don’t have to understand anything, you don’t have to really watch anything, but simply watch. Then it becomes quiet, and it gets released from the brain’s clutches. Then you will feel the all pervaded-ness.

Same Questioner:   Thank You. Pranaam Babaji.

Question:   Yeah, Hi, Babaji. Thanks for taking my question. In Yoga Vashista, Vashista says, “You will be able to know your soul, O Rama, if you can see with the vision that lies between the looker and the object looked upon.”  So, I was wondering, could You please expand on what Vashista is trying to convey here? Is it a technique?

Babaji Maharaj:   In the technique, you stop imagining that you are a looker, or you are the one being looked at, both? So, you have to understand, when we talk of the watching in between eyebrows, you are neither the watcher nor the thing that is being watched. So, when this state comes. This comes automatically when you just watch, watch, watch and all thoughts, thinking, visions, everything disappears and the mind achieves becoming silent. When it is the pure consciousness, then the thing that is being looked and the looker both disappear. That same thing Ramana Maharishi has told as a seer and the seen disappear and the watcher and the thing being watched both disappear and that Oneness is experienced.

End of Questions and Answers

End of Session

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