Stevenson Talk – 27th September 2013
Whenever a yearning is there for the Truth, for peace, harmony and two steps of effort made, a Grace of the Divine Master also definitely descends which enables us to come to the door steps of such a Truth where one will be able to practice and become aware. For me, after I had completed the Tapas and Total Peace had descended, the only purpose of life was to keep this body alive in this world for any opportunity that the Divine Master might give, that people of this world who are genuinely interested in Spiritual Truths, genuinely interested in peace and harmony and to experience the Truth, come to us seeking such Truth, and that we are able to impart such knowledge and wisdom and share our experiences, guide and give them a clue so that they themselves practice, put in effort and achieve through the Grace of the Divine Master.
But during the duration of this body on this Earth not every day, not every moment will happen according to our wishes or what we want. Sometimes circumstances, things force us, which drags us, which makes us to get involved. Any such efforts that we do will always be to establish peace and harmony, not only for us but for others. And in the same way when I am talking please know that whatever I would like to share is just for educational purpose, what happens to a Yogi, because sometimes, some minds might wonder why a Yogi should get involved into these things, why this happens. It would be odd if a person is a doctor in this world, if he needs to become a policeman it is definitely very odd, “Why should he be doing this?” In the same way when we are a Yogi, we are a Saint, our job is to impart such knowledge and wisdom, always try to inspire people to go for the Truth. That’s what we have been trying to do for the last ten to twelve years that we have been going around the world. But sometimes odd jobs also come. But always we try not to get involved too much, more than that is necessary. Such involvement should not waste our energies and the very purpose of life. So as quickly as possible with a minimum effort we try to fulfill our duties so that there is peace and harmony.
In the same way certain things prevented us from travelling out of our base in India, the Dehradun Ashram, which was established by our Beloved Master Shivabalayogi way back in 1972. Fortunately where we are staying there since forty years now, immediately a couple of years after that Ashram was established we got the opportunity when we begged with my Master that we would like to serve Him, His Mission and also learn such Spiritual Truths and practice and achieve it to ourselves. Swamiji (as we called Him affectionately, our Beloved Master Shivabalayogi) He sent me to Dehradun Ashram where I had the opportunity to spend twenty years at His Lotus Feet learning such amazing truths of life, of spirituality, feeling all the time inspired to go for the Truth, to scrutinize every happening, whether it has the Truth or not. Wherever there was no Truth we did not feel interested or try to get involved. No matter if it was appreciated by the whole world. Our eyes were always probing to have the Truth only, to know the Ultimate and our efforts were to achieve, and there was practice of forbearance, patience, so that very often wherever it was needed we tried to sacrifice our personal egos. All this was done not out of fear or cowardice or any such thing – just for sake of peace, for sake of Spiritual Truth.
An Ashram my Guru had established with the basic idea that the seekers of spirituality might be able to come, sit there in peaceful atmosphere and just do sadhana to achieve the Spiritual Truths. He put me as a guardian there, as a servant, as a watchman to look after that place. He didn’t ask me to give it in writing or He didn’t ask me to promise Him, no such deal was worked out. He simply said one word, one sentence, “Look after this Ashram so that people can come and sit, do sadhana.” That was enough. It was like an order, an ordainment. Today it is nearly twenty years after He has physically disappeared, but still that commitment that our mind made to His Lotus Feet is always there. That was the reason we have always struggled to maintain peace in that place and harmony. Not simply for myself because I got myself trained to live in odd circumstances, in difficult situations, struggle, but at all times have that yearning for Spiritual Truth and an inspiration was always there to put in effort only for that Spiritual Truth – never compromise for anything, come what may be.
We were put through enormous tests. This happens because we human beings wherever we are, we give priority to our egos more than anything else. But I learned not to give priority to my ego. I thought that I must give priority to a Spiritual Truth and a priority to the service of my Master and a priority to love Him. So when these things became priority in my life I could forego so many things easily. I could simply sacrifice my ego in a very simple way, not much effort was needed. Though often people made fun, even criticized that I am very mild, I don’t react and I am not courageous also. But there were so many eyes which saw the truth because I didn’t run away from the path. I was there all the time. Simply I was quiet and at peace. All the time contemplating the Truth, putting my efforts, never giving up until the last breath of life.
The things that we learned that gave us enormous inner strength – like the childhood teaching of the teacher, ”If anything happens in your life think that after all my head is going to be cut, that’s all. More than that what trouble can come to us? That is the final thing.” You don’t have to die but that gave us that inner strength to remain at peace, quiet, courageous, which did not involve any boasting or talking unnecessarily but it sustained us to remain and to keep continuing to do sadhana. Such a thing saw us through and the Master appreciated that. He understood, He loved, He blessed. Eventually as He dropped the physical body He blessed us to go for a five year continuous deeper meditation known as Tapas. In those five years also nothing was easy. Though there was a building, a room, an attached bathroom even, but still tests came for patience, for inspiration not to lose the inspiration and to stick onto the Truth and your path; not to give up, never get discouraged, never try to get compromised about the Truth come what may be.
In the midst of all these tests, troubles, circumstances, everything, there were exceptionally such people who became so friendly with us, who dedicated their lives even. They understood me, they tried to help me, they served, they helped. Thus the Divine Master’s Grace descended that we could achieve and complete. Those on the spiritual path who had a yearning, they could understand and appreciate it; those who were not, they could not understand and appreciate it, what we were doing during those first twenty years of service at the Lotus Feet of the Master and later those five years sitting in a room.
Because always the spirituality brings an inner transformation. There is no external sign visibly except for an aura which people might be able to recognize. Very often such a thing also goes unnoticed by many people. No two horns come on your head; you don’t get extra limbs or extra hands – nothing. The same human body, the same human being, you sit. But inside, the mind until then it was building such stories and empires, worlds of its own, making analyzations and judgments, creating such egoistic situations – it all collapsed. The mind understood its own faults that it’s a Pure Consciousness of Existence. When it understood it gave up every imagination of itself, every analyzation, every judgment. Thus it simply became a witness to the existence of this universe and it became aware of the existence of itself as the Immortal Soul, the ultimate goal of the spiritual path. Thus Supreme Peace descended. All these were the Grace of the Beloved Master Shivabalayogi.
So when this Supreme Peace descended that was it, there was nothing else to achieve because there was no need of any other thing, no need of achieving any other thing. An achieving requires when you need something. When all your needs come to an end you are at peace and in total contentment so achieving anything also stops. When there was contentment there was no need of achieving an emperorship or this world or any materialistic things, or dominating over a community of people, dictating terms – nothing. Everything subsided and the mind became Supreme Consciousness of Existence.
Well after we came out of Tapas we noticed a simple sattvic purified ego remained – a love to the Master Shivabalayogi remained; it did not diminish. Because after all it was His Grace, His love, His training, His teaching, His life which had inspired us, which had induced us to go into such an achievement. So that love remained. That helped to keep this body alive and thus followed another small ego – to share this beautiful knowledge and wisdom, to convey the real Truth about spirituality to the people of this world.
During those five years definitely hairs became matted a little bit. After the Tapas many people asked questions, “Master why do these matted hairs happen? Do You have powers in these?” I told, “Just nothing. These are simply traditional things. You leave your hairs unattended for a long time, your hairs will become matted. That is all. The real power is in the mind, in the knowledge and wisdom about the Ultimate Truth and nothing else.” “Master why don’t You sit on a tiger skin?” Though it was a traditional thing my Master had but the present situations are different for which we decided there is no need. I answer such questions like in ancient times human beings were not as greedy as they are today. Hunting was done by a royal clan of the hunting clan and they kept the ecological balance also. Like in a plant we need to pluck the flowers, we just take as few as simply we need to offer to the Divine. We are not going to pluck every part of the tree and destroy that plant itself, that is greed. So that’s what has happened. Due to our own greediness we have put so many species into the danger of its own existence. So we need to create an awareness that for our needs, our sake we should not become so irresponsible putting any other species into such danger. We need to be compassionate. It is a part of spirituality. A simple cloth, anything is enough.
I heard even from the mouth of my Master itself, though He hardly spoke anything, but sometimes He did speak such beautiful truths to me. Don’t know what He saw in me. Perhaps He was grooming me or He saw my readiness to understand such Truth. This was a sentence He said once we were walking on the balcony of Dehradun Ashram. I asked, “Is a tiger skin necessary for a person to do Tapas?” Swamiji retorted, “Nonsense. You can sit on a gunny bag and do Tapas!” so that was His answer. That was how He trained me, that was how I learned the Truths that these are simply traditional things which you can change according to the availability or circumstances and times. It need not become a hard rule that without such a skin you cannot meditate or you cannot achieve anything whether anything is available or not. What needs to be there available within you is your yearning, your determination, wanting to know the Truth under any circumstances. Ready not to compromise on the Truth. Like my Master said, “Even if God comes in front of you ask that you want God only, not the things that God can give you.”
So these truths always helped us to go for the Truth finally, not to accept anything less than that. That was how we always tried to teach. Don’t see what powers I might have or I might not have. That is not important. See whether the knowledge and wisdom I am able to give you, if this is worthwhile. You have to practice. As in the beautiful teachings of Vivekachoodamani, Adishankara tells, “When you come face to face in your consciousness and when that consciousness is not into any type of imagination, know that existence is the Truth. Not until then.” While your mind is generating a certain imagination that is not the Truth, that is simply a glimpse. So you must know when you are trying to meditate that is what you have to achieve. A total silence of the mind has to happen. The mind must stop all its analyzations, visualizations, picturizations, imaginations, everything. Then only you can become aware that that mind is a pure Consciousness of Existence and that status is a pure Supreme Peace and that is the Truth of Existence, an amazing wonder. That which appears as nothing, that which appears as a void space, you realize that is the Supreme Consciousness of Existence in total thoughtlessness state.
Well as I was telling, due to some circumstances in Dehradun Ashram we could not undertake our normal travelling to share this beautiful knowledge and wisdom during the summer months. Though the circumstances were a bit difficult I assure you we always had that peace within us and there was nothing really threatening. Simply we had to execute some duties to maintain peace so that people could come there, sit and perform their sadhana, achieve things. We didn’t want others to get scared away. For that only we had to be putting in effort. And in these efforts I would like to be very appreciative to Ambaji who has dedicated her total life to assist and to serve, to be helpful in my Mission in every way.
When there were misrepresentations amongst the authorities about me and our other Ashram residents as if we were wrong, as if we were trying to harass an old person, she went around, she met every authority, convinced them, made them come and see the truth that we don’t have anything against any personalities, there is no such personality clash. If a person is old we do respect. Only when somebody is trying to threaten our own peace and existence of that Place which they might utilize for wrong reasons, our effort was to keep that place more peaceful and such a purpose should be served for which it was established. It was established as an ashram.
See, always a place becomes a certain place when we behave in such a way. If you see, this is simply a hall. If some people drink alcohol and dance this can become a bar. If we sit to meditate and remember the Spiritual Truths, this becomes a monastery, an ashram. So ultimately it is with us, we human beings who have to make the place what it has to be. So for that we needed to put an effort and struggle for which I am thankful to Ambaji for giving all her time. Because it was not coming to my consciousness, but she undertook that task, “I will present Babaji properly. I will make every authority understand that we just want to have peace and live in dignity so that others would come and achieve peace.” Then finally she could achieve it. So now a lot of peace has come back and those people who are trying to disturb have been kept at a distance and those authorities assured that we could undertake the travel peacefully. So that’s how we finally decided that now we are ready to undertake our travels, to share our knowledge and wisdom that we have achieved and thus we are here.
Of course all of you in America, senior devotees, our friends, our board members and all other volunteers who have been working in different capacities to make this travel, this tour a beautiful success so that people can come, sit with us and this truth of the Ultimate Spirituality can reach everyone so that everyone can practice and achieve – so may the Grace of the Divine descend upon all of you. So thus when we put in effort Grace also descends; when we pray that prayer gets answered. Simply we need to be sincere then there are eyes to appreciate. This is what we always experienced. Temporarily there could be a setback when some people become greedy, selfish, narrow-minded or try to present a wrong picture. But all that is needed in this world is that we need to stick to the Truth, simply live our life and then there are definitely eyes to see it. The Divine’s Grace also descends and the Truth prevails upon. So thus we are deeply appreciative of all of you in this world who love us, who are able to appreciate our coming, our travelling, our teaching. So for this we are ready to undertake and undergo any hardship, any travelling that is necessary. It gives us immense pleasure to be travelling, to come to you all, to share my experiences.
So that’s how we are once again here with all of you, and in this retreat may this serve as a practical workshop for all of you. One more opportunity to get all your doubts cleared and to practice the meditation in its right sense. What you need to achieve – when you are practicing I have always told, “You’re the best judge for your mind, you know what is happening inside your mind. Just observe. Are the agitations of the mind decreasing? The hurt that this world gives you is becoming less and less?” Eventually one day you shall never get hurt by this world. This world may behave in any way in anything, there is no hurt. So these are the symptoms of progress in meditation. And a personal ego also decreases. Your ability to understand others, consider about others increases. Patience is an enormous virtue. Patience is the real gold, diamonds that increases, that becomes very natural. Instantly you are able to forgive others. Like our Master said, “You are a Saint only when you instantly forgive and don’t wait for somebody to apologize.”
So these are the symptoms of real progress in meditation, if this is happening within you, these changes are occurring within you. And of course peace descends. Along with the peace a contentment also descends. So thus you will know that you are progressing. As I have told, every effort should be technologically in the right direction. In meditation I have emphasized repeatedly you need to achieve that watching process. Watching, looking, gazing is all the same thing, same meaning. I have told thinking and watching are two different aspects of the mind. When the mind is simply watching, simply gazing and looking, it cannot think of anything at all. Like when you fall in love with a beautiful scene, a gorge area and your consciousness merges with it and such an experiences becomes inexplicable, your mind stops thinking, visualizing, it doesn’t imagine, it doesn’t create anything else. That is the best enjoyment, the ultimate. So that is the achievement of watching. When you are meditating you just watch, you just look. The more that you are able to stop recognizing a thought or a vision, analyzing a thought or vision, making any judgment, the more progressively you will be able to go ahead with meditation and achieve peace.