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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Glimpses of a Mystery - 7 - Baba's Mystical Aspect

Glimpses of a Mystery - 7 - Baba's Mystical Aspect



Tula upama va Krs'n'asya nasti.

Krs'n'a can be compared only with Krs'n'a.



Similarly Baba can only be compared with Baba. Millions of His disciples scattered around the world have had different experiences according to their individual sam'skaras.



Upon hearing these stories, it is natural for everyone to desire similar experiences. Baba taught us to treasure our spiritual experiences and discouraged us from sharing them with worldly minded people. They usually belittle or make fun of such things, and often wound our devotional sentiments. However He did not mind when we discussed them with other spiritual aspirants for our mutual inspiration and education.



It is also true that the range of words which we have to express our sensory experiences is very limited. For example, feelings of love vary in many ways, but we only have a few words to describe the nature of love. The best understanding is always to be had from anubhuti rather than from words. But in spiritual matters, even the glimmer of a glowworm can strike the mind like a flash of lightning.



A person whose psycho-physical body is not refined or pure enough to receive the subtle but very powerful currents of spiritual energy, may become disturbed or collapse.[16] So Baba gave these experiences according to a person's individual sam'skaras. He always maintained samadarshita (judicious impartiality) by any standard of measurement, but He did not indiscriminately distribute anubhuti.



So how can scientists argue that what they cannot demonstrate cannot be accepted? The depth of anubhuti varies from person to person in proportion to the development of the glandular system. The psychic expansion of Self by making the glandular system more subtle is called Jinana Yoga.



The mystical aspect of Baba's life was the most difficult to understand. He remained constantly in one of two moods, liilá or nitya. It was very difficult for anyone to know when He was in nitya or in liilá. I gradually came to believe that He was in both moods simultaneously.



Nitya means eternal. Whether giving personal contact or a DMC discourse before thousands, this eternal mood in which He expressed the omniscient Baba was predominant.



Liilá means sportive. When the reason for a particular sportive or playful mood is not known, it is called liilá, and when the cause is known, it is known as kriida.



When He moved with the members of His vast spiritual family, sometimes He would feign to forget, go into moods of anger, or exhibit other human emotions or foibles in keeping with the drama He was enacting on the stage of the world. Most people could not comprehend this seemingly "human" or "fallible" aspect of Baba, as they were rarely exposed to it. Only those closest to Him could see through this enigmatic aspect of His personality and realize that these dramas were pretensions. They were only external, not internal.



Anyone who sincerely desires to realize the Supreme, no matter from which background they hail - geographical, linguistic, historical or cultural - can find a place in His universal spiritual family.



One amazing realization that I had of Baba as the Supreme took place in the second week of January 1968 in Jaipur, Rajastan. Baba stayed ten days as my guest while I was working there as Regional Secretary of Ananda Marga. The entire period was wonderfully blissful. One day, when Baba returned after His morning field walk, I attended Him. He was relaxed, so I closed the door and was alone with Him for nearly three hours. I addressed Baba as Shiva. I repeated the long Dhyána Mantra of Shiva in front of Him which ends with Paincavaktram trinetram, which means "You have five faces and three eyes." Baba then explained and demonstrated the three eyes of Shiva. First He placed His hand over His left eye which He said represents the past; then He placed it over the right, which represents the present; and finally He placed His hand between the eyebrows which represents the future.



Then He explained that the five faces represent the five different expressions that the Lord uses to convey different messages to people. On the extreme right is Daks'in'eshvara, which guides people in sweet language. On the extreme left is Kálagni, which punishes wrongdoers severely. The middle right face is lishána, which clearly states the consequences of misdeeds and offers some advice. The middle left face is Vámdeva which threatens and scolds severely but does not actually punish. The middle face is Kalyán'asundaram, which displays pure bliss. He explained that good or bad, all are His beloved children and have an equal place in His lap.



Then Baba asked, "Do you want to see these five faces?"



I immediately said, "Yes, Baba."



Then He gave a wonderful display of what He had just described. I found that my mood changed dramatically according to the face of Baba that I saw.



He began by showing me Iishána. In that mood He began reprimanding me for my mistakes. He scolded me lightly for ten minutes and it made me very serious.



The second face He showed me was Daks'in'eshvara, which was affectionate guiding. It was heart touching to see Baba advising me so sweetly.



Then He showed me Kalyán'asundaram for almost half an hour. He was deliciously sweet and inexplicably affectionate. I sat on His lap and embraced Him. The attraction built up and I was seized with a fervour to shed the limitations of my body. The experience was so blissful that I wanted it to go on forever.



Then Baba said, "I will not show you the terrible Kálágni, because no human can stand it. Even the Vámdeva is very terrifying." He cautioned me against seeing it, but again asked, "Do you still want to see?"



"Yes, Baba," I replied.



Then His eyes and face started becoming sarcastic and angry. As I watched I became more and more afraid. He was becoming so ferocious looking that I, who had an exaggerated idea of my courage, quickly put up my hands to cover His face and said, "Enough, Baba, please stop!"



It took Him a few seconds to become normal again. Then He broke into peals of laughter.



Masters of the past often acted abnormally when they experienced deep spiritual bliss. This is because parallelism with the physical body is not possible, even for very great persons, when one is in high spiritual states. For example, when Paramahamsa Ramakrishna was spiritually intoxicated he sometimes went outside naked, oblivious to society's reactions, and it was Hridaya's job to clothe him.



The Upanishads say that the salt doll could not come back to tell how many fathoms was the ocean. The secret esoteric texts support this, saying that after attainment of the highest state of nirvikalpa samádhi, the body has to be shed in three to seven, or at the most 20 days. It is like an elephant trying to enter a small hut. The hut (one's body) cannot accommodate such intense spiritual energy and it disintegrates.



In Baba's case, however, His ensconcement in the Supreme state did not produce a ripple. The salt doll never dissolved. He moved with ease through the ocean and told us not only its depth but everything else about it. Baba was always calm.



When asked how He could display such vast knowledge so effortlessly, He would quip "I have an uncommonly developed common sense," and so lightly sidestep the question.



Our modem age badly needed a worthy legacy of Shiva and Krs'n'a. Their unfinished work needed a conclusion. Baba revived their forgotten contributions in Namah Shivaya Shantaya and Namami Krs'n'a Sundaram. He also added Neohumanism (The Liberation of Intellect) as well as an appendix in the form of the Progressive Utilization Theory (Prout).



In order to create this legacy Baba worked hard and suffered greatly. He created the model of a new society with the active participation of both householders and sannyasiis who mutually help each other. The sannyásiis take spiritual care of the householders, and they in turn provide the basic necessities of the sannyasiis. For the protection of dharma, this mutual help is essential.



The beauty of this legacy has as its focal point a happy blending of oriental sublimity and occidental dynamicity. What qualities are needed by those who will carry this legacy into the future? He trained His sons and daughters to be:



Nafz par kabu rahe

Aur dost banjaye zamir

Shan phir hogi ata

Sab se juda sab se alag.



With well-controlled nerve

And conscience as friend,

You glow in esteem

With intimacy to all and detachment from all.



During my posting in Himachal Pradesh, I met saints who lived alone and remained aloof from our society. From them I came to know about a language known as Sandya Bhasha in which the Prayoga Shas'tra, a practical Tantric cult text, is written. During one of Baba's Sunday darshans He talked about it and said that this language is prevalent among the Tibetan yogis who call it charya pad



In the Mahabharata, there is a story of Yudhistira and a _yaks 'a (a luminous being). More than a hundred and twenty questions are asked by the yaks 'a (who was dharma in disguise) and Yudhistira answers all of them correctly. One of the questions is: what is the number that exceeds the combined number of all the floras and grasses of this planet? Answer: the number of thoughts that pass through the human mind!



One Ekádashii (fasting day) I was distracted by the thought of a particular food item while travelling in a bus. I brushed the thought aside and chastised myself (with a little pain) for stooping so low as to think about food on my fasting day. I then forgot it. After Baba came out of the jail, He took me to task for that thought. He asked me to remember the actual occasion but I could not, even after some effort. Then He touched my head with His stick and I remembered instantly. I was amazed to realize that He remembered every thought of mine, yet only with His power could I remember my own thoughts!



During another reporting session, Baba asked Ac. Citkrs'n'ananda Avt. about conversations he had when he was an engineering student in his hostel in Coimbatore. He could not remember anything. Then Baba temporarily gave him a special power to recollect his conversations about a haunted room and many other matters with his friends. He was amazed how Baba could do it.



Baba praised Gandharii of the Mahabharata. e told how when her son, the immoral Duryodhana, went before the battle to receive her blessings of victory, she only said, "Where there is Krs'n'a, there is dharma, and where there is dharma, there is victory." She did not give importance to filial love, but to dharma. Viewers of the popular TV serial that was made of this epic may remember that this part was included by the script writer, the late Mr. Rahi Mazum Raza. In fact I knew Mr. Raza personally and he happily included these lines after I mentioned them to him.



Once while I was talking with Baba in March or April of 1982, He traced my ancestry back to 544 BC. He also described my home village perfectly, named many of the local places and explained many local words. He illustrated how each word and name evolved out of the ancient history of the place and then became simplified. The things He spoke about are known only superficially by the local people of my village, yet He spoke in great detail. I think someday someone with a highly developed intuition will rediscover this knowledge. Some are in Baba's book, Varna Vicitra.



In Jamalpur, about February 1966, one new Acarya asked Baba, "When You know everything, why do You ask questions of us?"



He replied, "My son, do you want that I not speak to you at all?"



In the early 1950's in Jamalpur, Baba carefully selected His disciples and purposely maintained an aura of secrecy. At that time they could not comprehend Baba's vision for the future of Ananda Marga because they were very few, perhaps less than 50. His plans seemed impossible to realize in their lifetime.



His extreme secrecy conveyed both a good and bad impression to the public. In fact, His extreme aversion to public recognition was a special facet of His mysterious existence. He told Harigovind Dada then, "Malicious propaganda is the real propaganda."



In the early seventies when Baba was arrested and the most horrible slander about Him and the organization was carried by the national and even world mass media, He used to console me by saying that, "Apapracar is the real pracar." This means that negative reporting and sensationalism is a highly effective means of getting well known.



Throughout His life He refused to meet journalists. He explained that He was a spiritual Guru, not a politician, and so only gave audiences to initiated Ananda Margiis. In this way He hid His multi-faceted divine expressions from mass recognition; and He left this earthly abode when His genius could remain hidden no more. The recognition and the garlands He left for His disciples.



He did not want cunning and conceited people around Him. In March 1968 in Ranchi He told me categorically that He did not want misdirected millionaires and self-serving politicians to join Ananda Marga. He said, "Wherever they go, they pollute society." While good people welcome Ananda Marga, its strong moral stand causes headaches for bad people. "Let all good people of the world love my sons and daughters," He said.



Nevertheless, these last 28 years I have been wondering and worrying why such a beautiful ideology and its founder should remain in oblivion. Once He told me that India's main defect is that her leaders are over jealous. They never allow others to come to prominence. By hook or by crook they sabotage the emergence of any independent great personality. So there was a concerted effort to undermine the glory of Ananda Marga and keep the middle class intelligentsia away from it.



We were and still are too primitive to fully appreciate His ideas. Due to defective education, we are nationalists, we have different sentiments, we identify with different religions. we have no common ideals, though spirituality is fundamentally the same for all. While making the final touches to His discourses on microvita, He told us that He had made us do 25 years of sadhana so that we could understand this concept and utilize it in our lives and society. Gradually His universal philosophy spread universal values of life that will eventually result in a common constitution for the entire human society.



Baba told me once, "The human body is a miniature form of this universe." In every human disciple, there is a fight going on between the spiritual personality and the combined influence of the cellular minds of the physical and psycho-physical body. The culmination of this fight is the achievement of spiritual realization. Then only does one become completely universal.



Science is advancing and Baba encouraged us to help this advancement; but we should be careful to transmute the negative aspects of intellectual vibrations (pratikula vedana) into intellectuospiritual vibrations (apluta vedana).



He personally taught me a method to achieve this. The body remains completely motionless and one has the feeling of being completely at ease out of the body. This is called apluta samadhi, and it can be practiced only in a burial ground. The difficulty is that one cannot easily come out of this state; one may want to re-enter the body and stand up, but it is very hard to do so.



Baba was Mahákaola. Who is a Mahakaola? Those who can move the collective ectoplasm, through the medium of their own ectoplasmic rhythmic stamina by awakening new power in shabda. The awakening of this power is called purashcaran'a in Sanskrit, and those who can perform this tough task are called Mahákaola. They can create a stir in the universe. They alone are worthy of the status of Guru and none else.



Footnotes:



[16] The yogic practices of strict vegetarian diet, asana postures and pran'ayama breath control gradually purify the nerves and glands of the body, allowing one to experience higher states of spiritual bliss.

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