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Finding Inner Peace | A talk by Babaji

A talk given by Babaji in May 2017 in Austin, USA.

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‘Finding Inner Peace

A talk given by Babaji in May 2017 in Austin, USA.

Start of discourse

   Babaji Maharaj sings the invocation:


Brahmanandam Paramasukhadam Kevalam Gnanamurthim
Dwandwateetham Gaganasadrsham Tatvamasyadilakhsam
Ekam Nityam Vimalamachalam Sarvaadhisaakshibhootam
Bhavaatheetam Triguna Rahitam Sadgurum Twam Namaami

   After a twelve-years of vigorous tapas, my Master had achieved total contentment. He had no desires of this world, in this world. When Shiva and Parvati appeared before Him, told “Your twelve-years tapas is over. You can seek anything you want. You can go anywhere and you do anything.” But because there was nothing in His consciousness, Swamiji told, “I don’t have anything to ask, but my Lord, if there is anything for you that I can do in this world?” Then Shiva Parvati said, “People of this world have forgotten about themselves. Help them to know themselves and find an inner peace within themselves. Initiate people into the technique of meditation so that they can learn to watch, practice and become aware of themselves.”

   Finding inner peace is important. We always try to search for peace and happiness outside. Because of the impermanent nature of this world, a permanent peace or happiness never comes from any matter, any object that we might possess, no matter how high or big or large or whatever it is, whatever status, whatever power, whatever wealth that we might acquire, it never gives a complete peace and happiness. An inner craving must come to an end; cravings of the mind. That is the basic reason for unhappiness. If your consciousness in the form of mind is totally preoccupied with its own imaginations which is in the form of mind and a world that sits into this mind, that has prevented you to become aware of yourself. Just like when you are dreaming, the dream appears so solid and it attracts your attention so much that you would never even bother about the one who is watching that dream. Instead, the dream that is being watched, the attention sucks into it, and thus one never gets a chance to think about one’s own Self. In what way do we exist? In what way that we can find that inner peace, that contentment that is so elusive?

   That is the practice of meditation that one can achieve. Through this practice of meditation one can achieve the peace. In the meditation you will be able to pay attention to the one who is watching. When you will be asked to watch in between eyebrows, first, in the beginning thoughts and visions appear. And many times, people misunderstand that you have to be finding something to watch other than you yourself. But in this meditation, eventually you have to find yourself. You will get a chance to watch yourself. After you would have watched all those thoughts and visions and when they disappear – that is the technique. If you do not get involved into a chatter box with those thoughts and visions, you just watch them; that is important. Then all those thoughts and visions disappear because they were all there because of your mind’s imagination. When this imagination comes to an end, when the mind’s silence is achieved, then you get a chance to become aware of yourself, the one who is watching, who had been watching, trying to watch. This is the essence of meditation’s technique.

   I have told, in this technique you are trying to give the mind a practice to become quiet on its own without any external anchor. If it is not into any type of imaginations, it gathers, it all becomes focused, it becomes concentrated. When it is concentrated like that, that is the pure consciousness. Why I would like to call it as a pure consciousness? Wherever you apply that consciousness, you become aware of that truth. If you had applied your consciousness into further imagining, thinking, conversation, analyzing, judgment of all those thoughts and visions which were imagined by the mind itself, either by a pattern of acquired habits or a new habit that you would acquire.

  When you are simply asked to watch in between eyebrows, it is to make these imaginations and visions to disappear, so that your attention is drawn back to yourself, the one who is watching. Until the dream doesn’t come to an end, you would not be able to watch yourself, because your attention is drawn to the dream that happens. That is the visions and thoughts. It is such a mysterious thing that people seldom would bother or think why it is appearing. Instead, always we get attracted to that, a color, a light. Anything that an ancient teacher would have told symbolically like an energy or a consciousness or a knowledge or wisdom sometimes would have been symbolically compared to a light. But then that light sits in the mind, that the truth has to be a light. It is not so. The truth is beyond that, not that it belongs to any of these worlds. Any of these worlds’s example we can say symbolically just to enlighten, to give you an understanding. Like knowledge is compared to light and ignorance is compared to darkness. But ignorance is not dark and knowledge is not light. It is a pure infinite consciousness of existence. As you go on watching in the meditation, it is this consciousness of your own existence that slowly your attention will fall in. As other thoughts or visions disappear, when you are simply watching and you do not analyze, you do not show any curiosity to know what it is, about any vision or any thought. It will become awful when you start thinking in that way. Instead, if you just watch them, they will all disappear in due course of time. The mind becomes focused onto itself. That is the one who is watching. That is only a consciousness of existence and you do not see anything else. It is so infinite.

Even when we start thinking that we do not see anything, it is simply because of ignorance. Like the space, it is an existence. It appears to be void because of our imagination. It is there; because of space, entire universe is there. Into these naked eyes the space is visible. That must be something when it is visible. It cannot be simply nothing. This is what you can experience in deeper meditations about your own Self when you focus on that consciousness of existence. Like everything else can vanish in the mind when you simply learn to watch in meditation. But you cannot make this consciousness of existence disappear. You will always be there. You do not disappear. You do not become unconscious. That is an important point to be noted. You may lose consciousness of the world. You may lose consciousness of the surroundings. You may lose consciousness of your own body. But consciousness of your own existence is not lost. So that is the essence of this consciousness. Wherever you apply, you become aware of that and you become unaware of the other. Like when you are able to apply your mind, keep it in this hall, just apply to me when I am talking, keenly listen to the words that are coming out of my mouth, you will be unaware of what is happening outside the hall. Your consciousness settles here. You are unconscious that you are sitting in a hall, eventually. So that is the essence.

   In an example of Mahabharata, when the Master was teaching archery, he kept a bird on the top of a tree and wanted all the students to aim to the neck of the bird. So, when he asked everyone to take up the bows and arrows and aim, he went on asking what are all visible. One said, “A beautiful sky, a beautiful tree.” Then the Master said, “Your focus is not good enough. Next.” So, another said, “There is a beautiful tree and on the beautiful tree a bird is there.” “Slightly better though, it is not still enough.” Like that, he went on asking everyone. As their concentration was better and better, their focus narrowed on to the target. Finally, in the story, it says that Arjuna says “The neck of the parrot is visible.” Then the Master says, “Your focus is perfect. Shoot the arrow now.” So that is how you have to practice this focus. That is what watching means. That is what meditation means. That is when you will be able to observe the truth, know the truth.

   Seeing the truth means not simply by eyes. See the truth through your consciousness, through your mind. That is when you practice, your focus narrows in on; slowly and slowly every day practice. So, when you understand this technique and apply this and sit down, then it is like a beautiful game that you are playing. Your mind tries to run away and you try to apply it, focus it, and that becomes enjoyable when you do this. That can become exciting also to achieve this focus. That is the practice with the dedication, discipline and patience that you have to undertake. That is what one needs to know. And as you practice, when you live in this world also, slowly it will be possible that your focus goes on remaining on to that. And mechanically you will be able to do all your duties, your work. It will be possible. Whatever bodily you are trying to do, your attention will always be there – Tatvamasyaadhi Laksham. To that Master whose attention is always on to the Self, on to that Tatva, ‘That’, that truth of existence. That is the practice.  

   So that is how in the story of Shuka Maharishi and King Janaka, Shuka Maharishi also learned. Shuka Maharishi was born in a monastery to Veda Vyasa. And at that time, Janaka was the emperor of Mithila. He was ruling, but he was known to be a Self-realized person. People spoke about him highly. Then one day Shuka Maharishi’s mind started doubting – “I was born in a monastery and I hardly saw any exposure to the outside world. I could keep my mind on to the truth by practice. And I don’t have any other engagements, any other administrative work. But being an emperor, a person will have to be attending to the administration, politics, favoritism and so many things. How come that he would be able to keep his attention on to the truth? His attention will be sucked into so many things.” When he asked Veda Vyasa, his father…  So, now points which needs to be observed here. How you can become serious? Veda Vyasa said, “If I try to answer, in your consciousness I am only your father so you are likely to take my words casually. You will not pay serious attention, and you will not learn. Instead, I would suggest considering King Janaka as your Guru, as your Master, because you want to know something from him. Go to his court, seeking his permission, with all your humility and surrender. Putting an intelligent question, seek the answer, then your mind will become serious.” When you shall have reverence to your master, that is important; attention when the master talks. It is like an initiation; it is like a command that you have to listen with full attention. Then it penetrates the inner layer of your mind. That was how every single word that my Master uttered still rings in the ears. It is always there; we could never forget. Though He is physically not around, that reverence, that fear, that seriousness is there. That is why we are ready to work even today with punctuality and with discipline, and trying to share this knowledge and wisdom.

   Thus, Maharishi Shuka came to the court of King Janaka. Janaka also wanted to test his disciple’s discipline. How much you really are in need of that knowledge is also important. Just for sake of a little bit of curiosity, for five minutes you just come for a formality, and you don’t pay attention at all. Your mind is running away like a monkey somewhere else, and you are sitting, you appear to be listening and yet you are not listening anything to the Master’s teachings. In a class or workshop, you do not pay attention and then you don’t get to learn anything; that goes waste. Like that every year, Baba might come and go. Simply, time passes by, and it goes waste, and the whole year goes without practicing anything, without understanding anything. This is the system that was taught in ancient times. How much essential that a student needs to be serious with all reverence and by paying attention. You mean business. When you sit in your office to earn something, you have to be so serious, then only you will be able to work. If you are not ready to work, if you are not serious in executing your duties, the company will dismiss you. That is the seriousness.

   To test him, King Janaka said to his servants, “Let him keep standing at the door, and just watch him, how he behaves. Do not ask him for any water or any eatables; no reception to be given. Let us test him. Is he is really serious to know something?” After three days, when he heard his servants reporting, “He is very composed and at peace. With all his reverence, he stood at the gates. He was not annoyed; he was not irritated. He said that he understood us, O master, that we were simply carrying on your orders.” Pleased, King Janaka went and received the sage, brought him inside and washed his feet. After all, Maharishi Shuka was also a Self-realized sage. So, he was given due respects and that reverence was shown. So, then while conversing, so this is the question that Shuka puts to the King Janaka. “How is that it is possible for you to keep your attention on to the Self all the time while attending to your administrative duties, politics and so on?” So, then King Janaka said, “I have court to work. Sage, please forgive me. In the evening, we can discuss about this point. So, during the daytime, I would like you to go around my township of Mithila and enjoy yourself.” As you all know, before going, a candle was put on the head of Shuka Maharishi, and King Janaka tells, “Please take care that this candle doesn’t fall down.” And throughout the day, King Janaka attended to his court work, and Shuka Maharishi went around Mithila and came back. In the evening, when again they sat for conversation, King Janaka asked, “How did you find my beautiful Mithila? Was it interesting for you?” To this Shuka Maharishi said, “O, respected Emperor, I went around your Mithila, but I did not see anything, because all the time my attention was on to the candle that it should not fall down.”

   That is the essence of attention that you have to practice in meditation. When you close the eyes, your attention just should go in front and not on to the thought, not on to the vision that comes. They are all projections; they are all imaginations of the mind. No matter how interesting that shall be, never get attracted. Your meditation gets disturbed, and you shall be stuck there for forty years or seventy years, or whatever you try to do. You must understand this watching process is so important, paying attention.

   This story, our Master said so many times. He knew that He had told me this. We knew that we had heard, but He wanted that it penetrated the inner layers of our mind and it sat. The meaning, inner meaning should sit. When you sit for meditation, this is what you have to do. Your attention should be just in between eyebrows and not to bother about anything else at that time, in that one hour of meditation, whatever time you take. So, this much of seriousness if you all exercise, then meditation becomes so easy. Greatest secrets of the consciousness, the mind gets revealed. And one day you will be able to know yourself and achieve that inner peace, self-contented. When you are realized that you are eternal, you realize that it is always there. And you are able to exist without the need of anything else when you realize. Then peace descends, Supreme Peace. That is enjoyable.

   Always we start wondering whether a peace can give enjoyment. It is the peace which really gives enjoyment. Whenever the mind is at peace, then you enjoy. If the mind is not at peace, you do not enjoy. Even the best food kept in front of you would not be enjoyable if your mind is suffering, if it is depressed, if it is not happy. So, that is the essence of this meditation.

End of Discourse

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