Tuesday, June 11, 2013

 95. Mysticism. Part three



Please read blog 93 and 94 for continuity

d). those persons who have a moral compass in them, do not need an external prop of religion to tell them how to be good, they know it intrinsically. In a survey of least corrupt countries in the world, Scandinavian countries were on the top. Another survey found Scandinavian countries to be least religious; almost 20% did not even believe in God.

               e) one to one session with God gives bliss, and bliss helps in becoming good. I quote from blog 83:

 “. Meditation by Kriya Yoga gives such bliss that one likes to do more of it. More of spiritual bliss leads to less of evil passions. Base side of human nature gradually comes under one’s control. In simple words one becomes good. Therefore, Lahiri Mahasaya said, that without such a course, mere moral teachings are ineffective”.

Bliss is lacking in ritualistic practices because there is no intimate talk with God

The two great advantages of spiritual meditation are bliss and guidance

6. How does the process work? I do not know enough. Here are some preliminary conclusions. There are four main factors; God’s light, receiver in the seeker, intervening space between the light (or vibrations) and the receiver, and the exposure time. Let me explain:

               a) God’s light. This mysterious force works on a person, through the receiver. We do not know enough. Is it everywhere, all the time, like radio waves? Does it vary in intensity, in other words some persons receive more than others? Some have said that it is ubiquitous, but it is absorbed only when there is a receiver. Whereas others have said that one has to come in God’s notice. There are perhaps millions of inhabited planets with many having intelligent life. Therefore God cannot possible be aware of one, personally.  One has this difficult task of attracting God’s attention. For instance this mote, at the time of writing these words, has approximately 25 thousand billion red blood cells (RBC) circulating. Each is performing the vital role of carrying oxygen. Each one lives 120 days. Therefore each day many billion RBC are born and an equal amount die. Am I aware of any one of them? Perhaps similar situation exists between man and God.

               b) Receiver. As I have already mentioned people may or may not have a receiver, and the receiver may be strong or ordinary. Receiver can be made more sensitive. For instance fasting, tears, devotion, prayers,yearning for God, chanting, can make the receiver more sensitive. With prolonged, years of practice, receiver becomes more sensitive.

               c). There should be nothing to obstruct the light. Wandering thoughts are the greatest obstruction. They don’t let one focus on God. Worries, anger, jealousy, fear, temptations of sex, wealth, and power, ruin the meditation. They act like clouds obstructing sunlight. They are one of the main challenges to a seeker. For the light of God to reflect in the clear water of a cup with muddy water, the mud has to settle. Thoughts are constantly churning the water and don’t allow the mud to settle.

               d) Exposure time. After the strength of receptor, this is the most important factor determining success. Strength of receptor is not in one’s control, but the exposure time is in one’s control. What is meant by exposure time? It is the total time spent in meditation (or one to one session with God); the hours each day, the days in a year, the years in one’s life.

It is my unshakable conviction that those who quit the world ( tiag ) for sake of God and only God, never fail in this path. That is why all great mystics forsake the world, at least, for some time. That is why they went to caves and jungles for meditation. That is why they tried not to marry, so that they would’t have the distraction of family. All this to have more time for meditation. They tried to think of God at night. In order to sleep less, they ate less.

That explains the reason why householders, such as myself, take such a long time for meager success.

That also explains why Swami Ram Das achieved such heights in mere one year( blog 82-5) and Mr Shevani( blog 67,72) in eleven months ( despite the fact that Mr Shevani was in his fifties or sixties ).
In these blog I have mentioned many mystics. Here is a list. Many of them, came back to the world, after God-realization, to help humanity.

Narendra (swami Vaveka Nanda), St Threse of Lisieux, Brother Lawrence, Sri Ramakrishna, St John of Cross, Unknown Russian traveler (blog 52 ), Great Qalander (blog 53), Data Gunj Bakhash, Abu-ul-Fazzal Muhammad bin Hassan Khatli, Shahab, Shevani, St Teresa of Avilla, Fray Peter of Alcantara, Therese Neuman, Swami Ramdas, Dilip Kumar Roy, Indra Devi, Sri Aurobindo, Rajab Sain, Mirabai,Krishnaparem, Paul Brunton, Maharishee Ramana, Chandi Das, Sudhei Babu, Ramiah, Yogi from India who always wore dark glasses (blog 64 ), Seeker from England who had been travelling for 25 years ( blog 64) , Qalander who got injured ( blog 64 ), Sri Yogananda,Sri Yukteshwar, Lahiri Mahasaya, Daya Mata,Giri Bala, Nancy Mayorga.

All of them, except, Shahab, and Nancy Mayorga, to pursue the path of God-realization, quit the world.

               I do not mean to imply that to realize God quitting the world is obligatory. It is not. But if one does not quit the world, two things are going to happen; it will take much longer to realize God, and one may not realize God at all, because there was not enough time left in his life. One thing is also certain to happen, he will make some progress and have some gains (like this mote ). God will not let him go empty handed. I quote from my own poem, blog 61 (the riddle);

               “Everybody gets his just reward

               Something if he has worked hard”





94. Mysticism. Part two

4. Mysticism is different from religion. In this mote’s opinion mysticism (spirituality) is far superior to religion. However it is limited to very very few. Why is it practiced only by very few is because it is extremely difficult to practice, it is a very long process (often lifelong), there is no worldly reward at the end, it is very difficult to practice without a competent teacher and teachers are rare, and one has to have a spiritual receiver to begin with. Therefore one need not worry that if everybody starts meditating how the world will function. I am simply amazed that how Mr. Shahab considered it inferior to shariat . The bliss of God’s touch on one’s face is ineffable. Words cannot describe it. One touch is greater than thousand ritualistic prostrations. All great saints, like St Teresa of Avilla, and Sri Ramakrishna have said the same thing.

One critical difference between religion and spirituality is that religion is a collective formula, whereas mysticism is an individual effort. Religion provides a set of laws, a code of conduct, for a group of persons ( may be in millions or billions ). It tells them how to lead their life and how to build their society based on those set of laws. Mysticism does no such thing. Its aim is only God; to reach God, to be near God, to realize God. Mystics neither care for themselves or society, although their heart does melt at the suffering of others. Indra Devi said it beautifully, I quote from blog 88:

                       “ Her love for her Beloved is the reality of her life. It is like air to her. Whether or where she shall arrive is not very important because all she needs is to love Him and seek Him. There is no urge to become anything at journey’s end. Her prayer is to give herself completely to Him. It is not her aim to help or better the world. Everything which comes from God is a blessing: joy or pain, love or rejection. “Only reveal to me Your will and the way to do it……………………………………………………………………….good or bad, whatever I am, belongs to You………………………………………that You draw me closer to You is all I ask”

               Mystics indulge in their practices not for any material benefit, but because an inner force compels them to do it. They are helpless against this superior force. They do it for God. Most of the times they derive joy from them ( although dry periods come frequently )

5. Does religion make a person spiritual. I don’t know the definite answer, but I have the following observation to make

               a) There is no evidence that, at least since Renaissance, societies based on religion, have been superior to secular societies.

               b) There is no evidence that the set of laws pronounced by various religions are better than the secular laws. In fact there are glaring deficiencies in religious laws. There is no mention of Universal Human Rights ( freedom of thought, freedom of expression,freedom of assembly, and others ) , the Rights of animals, etc. Slavery was not abolished, outright.

               c) I had previously outlined three standard paths ( see blog 26 ). Since then I have learnt of a fourth path; the path of religion. Deeply religious persons may too have a receiver in them. Devotional practices then lead to love of God, which may make them a mystic. Therefore, religious tenets should not be criticized. They serve a good and noble purpose. They attempt to kindle love for God, and be nice to other human beings.

What is missing in religious practices performed by billions ? There is no one to one session with God.  For power of God to work, one has to let it work. One has to invite it, give it time, and stop worldly thoughts. This mote had the opportunity to watch a very religious couple for some months. They performed their five daily prayers, and even an optional 6th prayer (namaz ). But they performed their namaz in public (often children running around, TV going) and hurriedly (because of the pressure of worldly activities). I once advised them to perform their prayers in private, that way they will get more benefit. Their reply was that namaz was an obligation. They had to do it as efficiently as possible. And yes, they were bothered by wandering of thoughts, but it could not be helped. That couple did not change their habit.

               To be continued

Monday, June 10, 2013

93. Mysticism. part one

I feel that I should tell what I have so for learnt about mysticism, in the final blog of this book, after travelling on this toad for thirteen and a half years. It has to be an interim report, subject to revision. I have not crossed any important landmark, as outlined by other accomplished seekers, and I have not travelled long enough. Great Qalander told my brother that he came in that area fifty-fifty-five years ago. But still I have made some gains, which entitles me to say something. I will write more about my struggle in Foreword. Here I want to talk not about myself but about the subject matter.

I have arrived at some conclusions;

1. Nobody travels on the road to God-realization (or spirituality, or mysticism, or Sufism or tareekat, or real Yoga for God-union) without God’s prior approval. In other words everybody is pre-selected. In blog 8, my categorization was wrong. Still there are 2 groups, so the grouping in blog 8 is correct. But the grouping should be based on age; those who are pious in youth and even childhood, and those who come later in life.

Jesus Christ said “many are called, few are chosen

Who is called? Those who have a receiver in their soul. Just as a radio or a television set has a receiver which catches the waves in the atmosphere, some people have a receiver but vast majority does not.

The call comes many times in such person’s life, but it bears fruit only when the soul is ready, otherwise, person just ignores it... It may bear fruit in childhood, or in middle age or even in old age. Therefore the classification should be:

               1) People with very powerful receiver. Born yogis and fakirs, such as almost all the mystics that I have written in my two books with the possible exception of Mr. Shevani.

               2) People with ordinary receiver. These people often turn to this path in their fifties or there about, when passions cool off.

               3) People with no receiver. Rest of humanity

I have written in great detail about this early process, and subsequent stages in blog, 8, 25, 33-38, therefore there is no need of repeating it.

2. Those who are content with their life will not go on this path. This includes the ordinary religious, devoutly religious, secular humanist, and ordinary worldly people. Only people who are discontent and unhappy with their inner life turn to mysticism. Those who have hunger in their soul, restlessness in their heart, void in their beings, look and search for something more.

Take the example of devoutly religious. One may think that since they follow religious tenets so much they would have great love for God, and thus more prone to mysticism, sine mysticism aims at closeness to God. Religious tenets are nothing but duties to God and fellow human beings

You will be farthest from truth. Often the devoutly religious are so extreme in their views and so narrow minded that it borders upon fanaticism. First they are completely sure that their religion is the best, so what is the need to go to second best. Secondly, they are completely certain that the instructions given in their religion are comprehensive, why to add something more such as meditation, which is anyway a Hindu concept. Thirdly, they have heard that the practice of mysticism requires isolation from society, chastity, etc, which are often forbidden not only in their religion, but are against common sense. If every body starts sitting isolated in caves and houses, how can the society function? Who will earn the living? How will procreation proceed ?

               As for others, they don’t particularly care about God. As my two friends ( one religious and the other atheist ) remarked “ I am not particularly keen to meet God any earlier than I have to” and the religious one added “ I don’t want to think of Him now, I will be with Him, after death, for whole of eternity”

3. What is the purpose of mysticism?  In the opinion of this mote there are several purposes:

               A). To prove that there is a God. Read blog 92 again, Paul Brunton who initially was a disbeliever became a believer. People who watch these mystics closely, get convinced that there is God. They sometimes see supernatural events from them. Furthermore, these sages never tell a lie, therefore if these sages say that there is God, and they have personally seen or felt God, then there must be God. Sri Ramakrishna used to tell a story of a little boy who had never seen his father, but loved him dearly. When asked why does he love his father when he had never even seen him. The little boy replied “ but my mother has seen him “

               b)  To have direct access to God or His representatives, for those who want it. The fire of God brought originally by prophets becomes dim after passage of time. Rituals replace the message. Adaptability, a requirement for any system to remain efficient over time ( telephone, radio, cars, airplanes, etc; to name a few ) is prohibited.

This system allows direct access to the Source, the God. These sages bring the fire again and again to humanity, though not on such a large scale as prophets.

Great Qalander said as much to my brother “ such people are present in all religions, in all areas, and in all times”

These mystics do not bring any new knowledge. They do not bring new guidelines or formulas. There message is the same: Be good to others, love God with all your power, conquer your desires, know your Self 

               c)  These mystics spread the message, they have personally learnt, by daily talk to the visitors, through books, through disciples

               d) They have a healing power emanating from their body, which spreads peace and tranquility around them ( Brunton noted it from Maharishee ). In old times, when medicines were not readily available, these sages taught spiritual practices for common maladies such as headache, backache, scorpion bite, snake bite, etc.

               e) The great adepts have all proclaimed, that once one has realized Self, it becomes an infallible guide to one’s problems. When Brother Lawrence was entrusted to buy wine for the monastery, he was not fearful at all. He told God (Self ) “it is Your problem”


To be continued