Dedicated to the lotus feet of the divine guru Shivabalayogi Maharaj


Your mind is the first casualty

Sunshine Coast Talk, 2005

Prostrations again and again to my beloved Guru Shivabalayogi. He taught us through so many ways. Such a Guru is the greatest and such a disciple is the luckiest. That is what Swamiji used to tell – it’s not easy to get a Guru who would have Liberated Himself and will talk only of such things through which you can practice and liberate yourself from the hypnotized bondage of your own mental hallucinations and imaginations. So whatever your mind imagines, you will experience the same thing in your own mind – that’s what repeatedly you need to understand. So when you practice this meditation for yoga, if this mind can become quiet, then only it can go into yoga – it can become one with that origin called ‘the Divine’. The mind’s origin is the Divine, the Self. The mind is a spark of the Self which has come out, just like the droplet has come out of the ocean. That is what troubles everyone – if that trouble was not there, nobody would have been working to do anything. Thus in the end of Yoga Vasishta, sage Vasishta tells Shri Rama, “There is nothing that you have to sacrifice, nothing that you have to own the things for yourself. As and when – based on our own nature – if you can be helpful to others, live such a beautiful life and still remain unattached mentally, still you are in yoga and you won’t be having such problems of depressions, sadness or any such thing.”

My Guru always said, “Detachment does not mean that you go into a depression or, holding your hands, become sad. All that is needed is that simply you be alert about this universe, this world and about your own physical body that, one day this has to go; when it has to go then be prepared to just accept. That is all the alertness of detachment that is required. If we cannot have this detachment, we cannot have the Peace.” That’s what every teaching says.

The Guru is the one who dispels the darkness of this ignorance. That’s why a Guru is recommended in our philosophy as equal to God; or a son of God, a Yogi  is.

So in the Yoga Vasishta when Rama was depressed by the appearance of this world – not exactly depressed, we can say a detachment had occurred – it was an amazing intelligence that worked. When he went around the country, suddenly he felt very sad and detached. He thought, “We are born and we die. We are forced to live in this world. If we eat, if we go on eating, eating so that we sustain this physical body, still one day this body dies. If we don’t eat, then also the body dies. Then what’s the Truth – what’s the purpose of this life? What should I be doing? Who am I? Why am I here?” So like that he thought. That was his intelligence working. Then he had lost interest to do anything at all. He thought, “What’s the use? I’m born; I’ll be working so that I can get my food to eat, and then one day I will die. Then what? After that, what will happen?” He lost interest, so when the king Dasaratha informed the sage, the sage said, “Let us call him to our place then we will talk to him.”

So when Vasistha spoke to Shri Rama, “What is your problem? Why is it that you have lost interest in everything? Why is it that you are not participating in any of the palatial programs and activities?”

So then he expresses all these things in a long way; so then Vasishta the next seven days he explains the mind, its tricks – basically he tells, “Everything is alright; just it is your mind which has gone into its own type of imaginations, which is troubling you. Let the existence be in its own place. Suppose this world exists – let it exist. If our mind dislikes, we experience an unhappiness; if our mind likes, we experience an excitement. “

And so my Guru used to tell, “If you are greedy, if you are in anger and if you hate somebody – is it not that you are hurting yourself first? Your mind is the first casualty – that you are losing your peace.”

That’s how He used to tell me, tell us, to learn the things. So even if you have to fight with somebody, there is no need to hate. An amazing truth was hidden in this teaching of my Guru – if somebody is trying to hurt you physically, you can defend yourself – that’s totally a different thing. But if you start hating in your mind, if you lose your temper and become totally annoyed then you are losing your peace and happiness.

That’s how He used to teach.

He was the embodiment of Yoga Vasishta itself. His life was a message, a teaching. That’s how the great Gurus taught. When a Yogi  has Liberated Himself and is capable of Liberating the disciple, guiding him to that path.

If you pay attention to your Self, you are there. Just like if you pay attention to me, what I am talking, you are here; otherwise mentally you might be somewhere else. So when the attention is not there you won’t be able to understand, experience or become aware of the Truth. That is what is the Yoga through the mind.

Copyright © 2005 SRBY, All rights reserved.

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