Ragha Sudha Hall, Mylapore, Chennai, India, 3 March 2013
Action was yours and then
you have to simply accept
mentally, then only there is
peace, there is yoga.
So that is how the karma yoga is also taught. Karma yoga’s one basic secret is ‘karmani evaadhikaaraste maa phaleshu kadaachana’ – its one line, if we all understand then karma yoga becomes very effective. It means you have a right to put in effort, you can have a desire, no problem, nothing is prohibited but know when results occur, after your effort has been put, when result comes, that result whatever it is, whether it is according to your expectation or not it is definitely not in your hands, it has to come. Action was yours and then you have to simply accept mentally, then only there is peace, there is yoga. This means your mind recedes and becomes quiet. Otherwise it can become agitated, “Why? I wanted a hundred million dollars to happen but it didn’t happen, not even ten dollars has come.” The mind is agitated and frustrated and you curse everyone. You try to blame everyone, you try to find the reason why this has happened. Finally if there is a God-concept you want to accuse God and whatnot. And so the mind spins into monkey business, so no yoga can happen then. No karma yoga can happen. So that is all the simple secret of karma yoga if we understand the reality, “It had to happen like this, OK, no problem. Only ten dollars is available, no problem.” If this is possible the yoga can happen easily.
Meditation, dhyana yoga, also means if you are able to keep your mind attentive to one thing, single-pointedly not allow it to spin into hundreds and millions of thoughts then dhyana yoga happens. That is the basic, technical criteria of dhyana yoga.
So many varieties of sadhana have been taught. The basic idea is to keep the mind as single-pointed as possible. Otherwise you see your mind imagines and a thought appears in the mind. When a thought appears through a vision or a thought process, whatever way it is, mind forgets that this thought is there because of my own imagination. Instead of that it considers that thought to be a fundamental reality and gets involved with it, analyzing and making a judgement. Thus generates another thought. Like this thought after thought, thought after thought, hundreds, millions, billions, it goes on, never ending. It spins. That is how the mind creates an illusion for itself. It, itself has imagined but now it believes it to be a perfect reality. So that is how this illusion happens to the mind and it loses its peace and it gets into an anxiousness, cravings, fearful confusion and all sorts of things. Then there is trouble mentally, no peace. Even if you are sitting in an air-conditioned car mind is into craving and tense and anxious. No peace. So this is what basic secret is taught in meditation.
When you close the eyes
a purifying process happens,
which means the mind has to
give up all its acquired habits
When you sit for meditation, when you close the eyes a purifying process happens, which means the mind has to give up all its acquired habits. It is habitual now to keep thinking, worrying, analyzing, making judgements, applying its intelligence and becoming egoistic, “What I have thought is the right thing.” None of us know what is right, what is wrong, what is good, what is bad really but whatever occurs to us we build up our own attitude and we start thinking, “This is right. When I am right I would like to call the whole world as wrong.” That is how the mind works a trick for itself and gets involved into illusion. But during the process of meditation when you close the eyes thousands of thoughts, visions, everything starts coming. They all are getting evaporated eventually. But what happens the mind has picked up a tendency to anaylze and judge everything that it comes across, it must know through its own intelligence, but it doesn’t know it can only imagine. It cannot know the Truth. So thus it analyzes and makes a judgement. So one thought goes away and it absorbs another thought. So you get involved into the whirlpool of thought going and thought is absorbed, like hen out of the egg and the egg out of the hen. It goes on and on. Skilfully you need to withdraw one of them. Then the process stops. That is the greatest technical secret of meditation. Only then the meditation becomes effective, a sadhana.
Many other sadhanas are also taught by many Gurus. Because mind is used to sight and sound – Drishya and Shabdha. Shabdha is recognized as the Naadabrahma (the sound of the Ultimate Truth). So using the same technology you try to make the mind single-pointed. A repetition of a mantra or japam or any strotram, chants. Music can be such a beautiful therapy for mind control. You can make the mind forget about a hundred and one problems and become single-pointedly concentrated. Only then it is able to have some happiness and enjoyable moments. So that is using the technology when you repeat a mantra your mind has to be single-pointedly on that mantra. More than knowing the meaning of the mantra, more than knowing anything else about the mantra your concentration, mental application on that mantra can make your meditation better and more successful. So if this secret is understood then the sadhana becomes very effective. This is the dhyana yoga – all such things happen.
Blindly you believe,
or you have a faith
Knowledge also, in my opinion, when you experience the Truth only then you gain the first-hand knowledge. Until then you have to simply believe, have faith. Like when I am talking this is a second-hand knowledge for you. I have experienced the Truth, I know it is first-hand for me but when I am talking you don’t know, you haven’t experienced, you may not or you may have. You have to believe me, have faith. A belief and a faith, slightly there could be a difference. Blindly you believe, or you have a faith.
You need to have a faith when the Guru teaches, there is no other choice. But after listening to the Master you need to apply the technical methods and must practice and then know the Truth to yourself. For that must be the process. That is why shravana, manana, nidhidhyasa* all these have been taught. Step by step it must happen. If you stop at one point then other things do not happen. You come, you sit for one hour, you listen to the Master then once you go out of the hall you forget about things, then the things do not happen, yoga doesn’t happen. So you must adopt, mentally you should not be forgetting, like even today, whatever one single sentence or a single word that our Master uttered and taught us such beautiful Truth to adopt, even today it keeps ringing in my ears. I never forget them. Every day. It’s an adaptation. That is how the sadhana became so fruitful and effective for us when we sat for Tapas or when we meditated, when He used to physically go away after coming for a couple of months and staying in the Ashram where I have been based for the last thirty eight years in Dehra Dun. That is when it became effective.
You put in effort and then you
need to have the serenity to
accept the truth of reality
when such a result comes
So like this, if we adopt the technical things only then the sadhana can really happen. So now the uniqueness of our dharma is it has been left to your choice. In whatever way you are living in whichever way that is possible. If you adopt these methods still then the yoga can happen. So thus you can be a householder there’s no problem. You don’t have to regret or worry why you didn’t become a monk. It was your choice. Still it is possible if you adopt these methods. If you understand the reality you can have a desire, you put in effort and then you need to have the serenity to accept the truth of reality when such a result comes. It’s no problem. So that is when the yoga can happen. This is what we need to understand.
But very often in the society we do not try to adopt the methods and do sadhana. We simply try to keep it on to the level of a belief only when we listen to the teachings, when we read books then we start thinking that I have gained the knowledge. It is only a partial knowledge, a second-hand knowledge; it is not a perfect thing until you experience it yourself. So that is when a partial knowledge happens very often it can be half baked-beans type of things happen. Very soon a confusion in the mind can happen. A fearful situation or a doubtful situation, whether it is right or not, is there a God at all, or not? Is there any such thing or not? All these things start coming into the mind. So that is when if you experience then nobody can confuse you.
*[shravana – listen with attention; manana – absorb into the mind; nidhidhyasa – adopting such methods and practice sadhana]