Dedicated to the lotus feet of the divine guru Shivabalayogi Maharaj


The True Self and the Monkey Mind – online Q&A, No.69

Recorded on 11 November 2021 with Malaysian participants

0:00 Introduction
0:15 How can a layman understand the True Self?
3:54 Who is the “I”? How to ensure we are progressing in the right way?
10:11 What is the monkey mind?
13:12 How does the monkey mind overshadow the Self?
17:55 After many years of struggling with the traits of the mind, why does it seem not get any easier?
25:26 Will constant mind chatter strengthen the monkey mind?
28:00 Can our daily conversation in the mind with Guru and God help to control the monkey mind?

Discourse: Thus Spake Babaji – online Q and A No. 69
True Self and The monkey mind

Recorded: 11 November 2021 with Malaysian participants

Start of Questions and Answers

Question:   So Babaji, the first question – how can a layman understand what is the true Self? Is it referring to the atma Babaji?

Babaji Maharaj:   Yeah, actually true Self you can become aware when you pay attention.  That is the idea of teaching meditation is that one of the basic meanings of meditation – ‘your attention to.’  Like just now, your attention is totally on to the imaginations that are in your portion of the consciousness that which we recognize as mind.  Totally you are preoccupied.  Whatever imaginations are there about yourself, like as the body, as you, you have recognized, all these things have happened because the consciousness is stuck in the brain’s reflections.  Consciousness – consciousness, when I mention this terminology, it is for the Self only; Self in a purified, total pure, quietness, state, is the pure consciousness also we mentioned.  And this consciousness becomes to be known as mind when it gets involved into imaginations, thoughts and visions constantly, and you are unable to stop them, then you become preoccupied.  So then your awareness is always on the body as yourself, which is wrong.  So if you practice meditation, your consciousness, when it becomes purified, when it is no more mind, then it shifts its attention to its real Self, that infinity.  Like another clue, as I have told earlier, amongst millions of thoughts, you have one thing, that is the consciousness of your existence. You always have the feeling that ‘I exist,’ but just now you don’t know what it is.  You think that you are this body.  If anybody calls your name, that is to the body, and you recognize as they are calling your name.  So, like that is what has happened.  So, gradually, if you practice paying attention to this consciousness of existence, that is the idea of silent watching in-between eyebrows.  Means when we also tell not to imagine anything, I elaborate it more – not to analyze, not to think about anything, whether it is good or bad, if any thoughts or visions are coming, then slowly your mind becomes quiet, regaining its purest form of consciousness.  Then you will know.  That is what is recognized as your real Self and also as the atman, you as the atman.  And that atman is your real Self.  Because this Self is the most important thing; the existence of yourself makes you total secure or insecure.  When a person feels threatened for his own existence, then he goes into conflict, that’s what happens.  So, that is why it is essential to know the Self.  So based on this, then if you learn to live, you will understand yourself better.

Question:   Thank You, Babaji.  The next question Babaji is connected.  Babaji please explain who are we or more specifically, who is the ‘I’?  And how are we expected to live in this world?  How do we ensure that we are progressing in the right way and manner?

Babaji Maharaj:   See, one thing, we have to live in this world through the physical body that we have. Often this physical body is referred to as the chariot and we as the charioteer, we move.  And in this body, some amazing beautiful organs are all there like the brain.  Through the brain only, we as the atman, we as the Self or the same Self or the atman is also known as pure consciousness.  And the same thing is also known as mind.  My mind you tell, means if you are imagining constantly, you are unable to stop yourself, that you call it as mind.  So like that one, but through the body, through the brain’s reflections you are in touch with the universe, you as the infinite form.  Here to tell what you are is the most difficult thing.  Ancient sages, when they experienced that truth, it is something like the space – it is there and it is not there.  Like, depending on your attitude, you can call this room is filled with space, or this room is void, empty with space.  Either way, the zero as absolute and absolute as zero.  So that is all the basic clue.  For that, basic clue is that consciousness of existence. Like I told, you always have the consciousness that you exist, but just now you have misidentified yourself with the body as yourself.  To know your Real Self and to become aware consciously is why you have to practice meditation.  Meditation practice is, first you erase all the unwanted habits that the mind has acquired. Constantly it is holding on to thoughts and visions, visualizations, everything is there.  In the mind a separate world is sitting.  If that is all washed away which is possible through the practice of meditation, just watching in-between eyebrows, when you are watching you are not thinking, then all the thoughts and visions disappear.  They dissolve, then what remains is that pure consciousness.  It is neither form nor formless.  Ancient sages called that as the tattvaTattva means also ‘that,’ ada, ‘that’. It was such an awesome existence of our Self.  They recognize this as the ‘me’.  This is the real ‘I.’  This is what I am.  So other, so many Self-realized Masters like Ramana have taught “Who am I?  Inquire and observe from where the source of ‘I’ is coming”, He tells, “Closing the eyes, observe from where that source of ‘I’ is emerging all the time.  Your mind will get absorbed into that.”  The same will happen, our technique, our Swamiji’s technique of silent meditation – silently when you are watching, you are not watching anything of the object.  Actually, mind is trying to watch itself.  When it becomes quiet, how its attention can go to itself.  Mind is made up by consciousness and energy, both are there. That is what is known as the Shiva-Shakti concept.  That also the ancient sages said.  Shivan means your existence in total thoughtlessness state.  Shakti means – Aadi Paraa Shakti is the first name of Mother Goddess is mentioned. Aadi Paraa ShaktiAadi means first, Paraa Shakti – the one which is beyond imaginations, invisible; Shakti, energy, that energetic force.  The sages all prayed that energetic force to be like a mother, Goddess Mother, so that who can unconditionally forgive all the Creation and take care of the Creation, take them to the right direction.  That is why this energy is worshipped as mother.  Shivan as the father.  Shiva is the Lord Shiva also.  Like in our Hinduism, the body when it is dead, we call it shavamShava means it doesn’t do any chesta anymore, it is gone.  But Shiva appears to be inert, but it is fully conscious of its existence.  So these are some of the clue, basic points about the atman.  These things you have to experience.  An individual has to experience.  Somebody cannot demonstrate, somebody cannot show, because if even we show, we can show only the space.  People will be bewildered, it will appear as the void place, just nothing.  You have to go introvert, the mind has to go introvert, then the mind will experience this space as the Supreme Consciousness.  This is not just a void place.  In deeper samadhi, a yogi experiences this space as the Self, which is supremely conscious of its own existence.  It is the creator.  Just like our mind can create a separate world of its own, so this Supreme and Brahma emerges from this, an enormous amount of consciousness emerges and creates.  So that is how these things are all mentioned.  To become aware of this, you have to meditate.  That is the only blanket remedy.

Question:   Thank You Babaji.  The next question.  What is the monkey mind?  Is the work or trade of the monkey mind the health issue or is it something we induce upon ourselves?

Babaji Maharaj:   Manam oru korunga, mind is a monkey.  Why this has been referred? It is actually to the mind.  You see, every human’s mind is wandering in this world like a monkey, aimlessly, don’t know what to do.  Everybody wants to have happiness and peace for themselves.  But they keep searching, searching, searching, jumping here jumping there, like the mind doesn’t stop anywhere.  Today, we want this, today we want that one, we want that one.  If everything comes, then also we are not satisfied, we want more.  If there is money, we want more money, we have property, we want more property, we have motorbike, we want the car, we want car, we want a helicopter, like that.  That is what is known as the monkey mind, which doesn’t stop or stay at one place peacefully.  It is constantly spinning, spinning, spinning and wandering in this world is what is known as monkey mind.   Manam oru korunga.    This has to be stopped, means through the practice of meditation. Otherwise, because your mind’s attention is so preoccupied with its own jumping, with its own imaginations, constantly.  You sit down somewhere; I have told an example – the whole day you are working in the office and you will be tired.  You come home, you want to relax and rest for a while.  Whereas you can put your body on the bed or on a sofa, try to relax, recliner is there.  You can try to relax but mind it doesn’t come on to the sofa or bed.  It keeps wandering.  That is the monkey.  You try to relax; no, the mind is running, running, it is giving you tension, it is fear, “What will my boss say?  What will happen tomorrow in the world?  Will I get this, will I not get?   Will I win the case, will I not win the case?” It is tension, tension, fear, fear always.  That’s what happens to the monkey.  Whereas you can bring the body to a halt.  But to bring the mind also to a halt and make it relaxed.  Every time in the beginning of meditation I tell “Relax.  Don’t bother about the world just now.  Everything can be attended after the meditation is over.”  When you are meditating, it is not the job.  Your job is to keep quiet.  It is not the job to attend to anything of the world. You are meditating so that you can keep quiet.  That is important.  Don’t allow the mind to run.  That’s what you are trying to practice.  That is the monkey mind.

Question:   If the true Self is our nature, why is it so difficult to lead our life from that?  How does the monkey mind overtake or overshadow the Almighty Self or Higher Consciousness?

Babaji Maharaj:   That’s because of the forgetfulness.  You have forgotten about yourself, consciously.  It is just like you go out of your home and you forget to come back to home.  Aimlessly, you are wandering like a monkey, like a madman.  That is what even Saint Adi Shankara talks about the basic definition for sattvic, rajasic and tamasic swabhavas of a human being.  Sattvic swabhava – this consciousness means we as the true Self, as the atman has the ability to be creative, to create, to imagine.  When we imagine, means we are able to create.  That is the sattvic quality.  But when we imagine and we start believing whatever we have imagined as the truth then we become like a little bit arrogant.  The mind becomes darpam.  Like a raja (king)- Raja has given, “I’m telling this.  it has to happen.”   “Why is this blue in color?”  “I am telling that so it is blue in color.”  “Why is this man bad?”  “I am telling.  I am the king.”  That is darpam, rajasic swabhava.  So you decide in your mind whatever you imagine as the truth, then a friend appears as a foe, a foe appears as a friend.  This is the rajasic.  Now, tamasic.  Long way life after life, birth after birth, you have taken, taken, and visualizing, visualizing, the monkey mind spinning, spinning has come so long distance in illusion from the real Self.  And thus, you have forgotten what you are yourself, that you have to remain in that Self.  Abide in that Self is necessary for you to have the peace, for you to understand about yourself better, for you to understand the situation, surroundings, how to deal with the surroundings, how to sort out your problems.  For all this, you need to have yourself under your control, restrain yourself.  If that is not possible, you have forgotten just like you had gone out of home and you have forgotten to return to home.  So, you create somewhat a little bit ugly situation for yourself.  That is how you’re wandering in this world like a monkey.  Everybody has created such an ugly situation that we have forgotten our real Self.  Everybody wanting peace and happiness, they are running here – is there any peace, enge nemmadi engay?  enneku koridum venu? [Tamil: Where is my peace?  I want my desire.]   So, like that everybody is going around, going around.  But no peace comes in a shop, in a shopping mall.  You can buy things; you have thousand dollars, you can buy so many things, but nobody gives you peace.  You give him, “Bhai, I’ll give you thousand dollars.  Can you give me some peace?”  He will laugh, any shopkeeper.  That is why the spiritual practices of japam, bhakti, devotional songs, havan, agnihotras and then meditation is all taught so that you can regain consciousness of yourself, you can control yourself, you can stop yourself.  Means you see, the ability to be creative, your mind, it is meant when you need to think you should be able to think.  When you don’t need to think you should be able to keep quiet.  Just like you have a car.  When you need to drive, you can drive around the town. When you don’t need you should be able to stop it in the garage.  Otherwise, you will be in trouble on the road if you’re going, if you are unable to stop the car.  You are in trouble and you are disastrous to yourself, dangerous to other people.  When you are angry, annoyed – such angry people for some reason they get annoyed, and they try to throw their anger at innocent people.  If a husband is angry husband throws it on wife, if wife is angry wife throws it on husband.  And they’re both throw the anger and the children, even though it’s their own fault.  That’s how it happens.  So they become disastrous to themselves, dangerous to others, surrounding us.  So, all these are the things about what happens.

Question:   Thank You Babaji.  The next question.  In our daily life, we set goals for ourselves Babaji.  For example, to do one hour meditation daily and to be in the present state of mind.  But the mind is so slippery; it almost instantly forgets and wavers between past and future.  After many years of struggling with this trait of the mind, sometimes we feel tired and dejected.  Why doesn’t it get easier Babaji?

Babaji Maharaj:   See, from childhood some of the Bhagavad Gita’s shlokas when we read – so Arjuna, such a mighty soul even after repeated teaching from Krishna tells the same thing. “Mana chanchalam astiram”, mind is so slippery and running all the time, it flows. How to stop this mind?  To this Krishna says “Abhyaase tho kaunteya,” “O son of Kunti, by practicing, that is the mantra. By having patience, by regularly practicing.  So when you practice, you have to follow or apply the right technique, that is important.  You see want you want to bake a dosa on the tava (frying pan), but you don’t light the flame at all.  You pour the atta, the batter for dosa, and the lady complains, “Oh, this is not baking at all.  Dosa is not happening.  How to do this one?”  And Master comes and examines.  She has not lighted the flame of the stove at all.   So, how will it bake?  The same way, Master repeatedly says “Relax, dedication, discipline, patience.”  Dedicate yourself mean set a priority – every day.  How many times?   Like all of you ask.  Every year I have been visiting Malaysia.  We conduct retreat for four, five days and we teach meditation, we talk, we answer questions, we take up so many topics.  After I come back.  How many of you sincerely have been sitting for one-hour meditation every day?  Ask yourself, have you been dedicating yourself?  Did you remain disciplined at that time?  You must become restless if you don’t sit down.  and patience, have patience.  Don’t be in a rush.  Because that is so infinite.  You cannot tie with the rope you cannot just take. No medicine can bring it under control; the brain will be spoiled.  You must not do that one.   The mind has to control the mind.  For that you need to have patience – practice.  Master says “Concentrate your mind and sight in-between eyebrows, just keep watching.”  That’s the command! How dare if you don’t watch?  If you don’t just watch and you are thinking “How dare you don’t do that one?”  That’s how Swamiji used to tell.  Swamiji used to tell, “The Jangama Deva came. He touched me in-between eyebrows, asked me just to keep watching there by focusing the attention of my mind and sight.  And He asked me “Don’t repeat anything.  Don’t imagine anything.”  That’s all I did and samadhi came.”  Means fourteen-year-old boy, Sathyaraju, Shivabalayogi who became.  He was so disciplined, perfect.  When the Master commanded, He did that.  He did not bother about anything, just watching.  Swamiji used to tell “I just used to keep sitting and watching.  Never bothered for anything.  And God came one day; He guided me.  So samadhi came, and I became aware of what I am, what the Self is.”  Like that He used to tell.

   So if only one can follow the Master’s orders as a commander’s order.  So then these things can happen.  Never feel frustrated, never look back.  Have patience.  If today it has not come, it will come tomorrow.  Never look back.  Don’t lose heart at all. Till the last breath of life.  Today’s quote, how many of you have received today’s quote and have you read what it is?  This is what I wrote; “Remain focused.  Till the last breath of life, it is worth it.  Keep practicing don’t give up.”  Today you are underdog and that has upper hand, the mind like a monkey running.  One day you should be having the upper hand and the mind should tire and come back, slowly it must come back.  Practice with this technique, understand the technique.  “All I have to watch,” and then one day you will realize “I have to become quiet.”  Nobody else that has to become quiet.  There is no other mind separate than me.  That mind is also me.  I am not quiet.  That is the problem.  I need to become quiet. 

   Practice bodily also sitting quiet.  See, so many times I have pulled every participant; even in front of me, keeping the eyes open, you are unable to sit quietly for ten minutes, for thirty minutes.  You want to talk something, you want to do some anga chestas [gestures/movements] and when you close the eyes you are unable to keep quiet.  First practice the body’s quietness. In one asana how long you can sit – twenty minutes, thirty minutes. Your leg pains, take out the leg and stretch out for one minute then bring it back quickly again.  Don’t take it out and go for a cup of coffee or a Nescafe, any such thing and another two hours gone.  You will never come back to sit again.  Just for a while stretch out and then back.  Back to business, again watching.  Like that if you practice you will enjoy that Supreme Peace and that is so enjoyable.  Such tasty things Swamiji used to tell “Bahut [a lot of] ruchi, ruchi,” He used to talk, means it is such a tasty thing.  Such a wonderful thing.  Blissful thing, “Anand hai bhai.” [Brother there is bliss.] “Anand hai.”  Like this Swamiji used to tell. Practice. If this makes any sense for you all, practice.  Don’t give up, never look back till the last breath of life by practicing, practicing, if you die one day is no problem.  Next life from childhood itself you will have inclination and your mind will be so gathered, like it happened to all of us in childhood itself,  Meditation became.  We learnt stotram, everything spiritual exercise we used by applying the mind.  I remember one day I was reading suprabharatam, Venkateshwara suprabharatam [a strotram] as a child of four or five years old, then my father saw me, “Hey manasa vechu padikanu da,” “apply your mind and read this suprabharatam.”  I immediately applied.  I thought that when I am reading the suprabharatam, I should be aware what I am reading, not that mechanically, you are reading and your mind has run away somewhere.  Like that we practiced, stotrams we read, our mind became nonviolent, quiet and learned to remain focused.  Then eventually when we grew up into teenage and young, meditation became so heady and beautiful.  It is simple!

Question:   With constant mind chatter and worrying about things strengthen the monkey mind?

Babaji Maharaj:   Yes, constantly worrying and consistently thinking when it is not necessary also.  So that is when the monkeyness of the mind gets strengthened.  So, mind wants to be roaming, roaming, roaming, roaming, aimlessly.  That is the monkey.  So that is the fuel you give.  You go on worrying.  See, always, that’s how our Masters, teachers said “chita, chinta.”  Chita anna [means] funeral pyre, chinta anna worries.  This worry is much more dangerous than the funeral pyre.  Agni, chinteyenu agni, the worry named fire is much more dangerous than the funeral pyre.  That is what is important; one has to practice.  One life is available for you all as human being twenty years, ten years, thirty years, forty years, fifty years, you all may have, but one day the body will die then you lose control over yourself, you don’t know what’s going to happen to you.  If you practice now and here the meditation, then you have control over yourself, what you want to do.  If at all you havw to be born from childhood itself, your Guru will be with you always, you will have the inclination from childhood itself.  You will be wondering about the Self, about peace, about happiness.  That happiness did not satisfy me simply.  For a while it came and then again a fear came, all this nonsense.  I thought, “Why is that this happiness is not there all the twenty-four hours and twelve months?  What makes?  Is something wrong in me?”   We have to ponder about our own fault also; that we never try to do.  We try to find fault with others.  Quickly we find fault with God.  What has God done?  God has not done anything.  God is just in Himself.  He is in mahasamadhi.  It is we who have become monkeys.  We all belong to God, we all were one with God, but started becoming monkey, we came out, we kicked out ourselves from our Divinity, have become ordinary human beings, ordinary mind, ordinary worrying, ordinary tension, ordinary fear.

Question:   The last question for today, Babaji is, can our daily conversation in our mind with Guru and God help to reduce monkey mind from controlling less Babaji?

Babaji Maharaj:   Yes, this is also an exercise in a way that you make your mind more single-pointed.  Instead of getting scattered into millions or millions of layers, you try to keep it when you visualize the Guru, when you try to converse with your Guru and thus your mind’s concentration will be better.  Eventually when you sit for meditation then you can silently watch, that practice comes very handy.  Otherwise, the mind is into millions of thoughts.  Just have one thought.  Like even Vashista tells in His Yoga Vashista, “If at all your mind has to think, ponder about that you are the atman.”  So that’s how it says.  If at all you have to think something, think about your Guru, your Divinity, your real Self.  Think about that.  Pray to the Guru.  Love your Guru.  Remember the Guru.  In a day in twenty-four hours, how much can you remember?  Try if you can.  That will be very helpful.

End of Session

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