18. The Hanuman Chalisa
(Darshan given on February 11th, 1996.)
A visitor: Yesterday I read an English translation of the Hanuman Chalisa, and there was a passage where it said that no one can pass to Rama except through Hanuman – that Hanuman is the gatekeeper, and no one can pass to Rama except through Hanuman. And then I remembered what Jesus said.
Swamiji: I know what Jesus said: “No one can reach the Father except through me.” Correct.
Visitor: Yes, and I always wondered about that statement.
Swamiji: Why should you wonder? You cannot reach God except through the world. All these statements mean finally that you cannot reach God except through the world, that's all. The answer is simple.
Visitor: Also maybe through their examples, the examples of Hanuman and the examples of Jesus, the way they lived.
Swamiji: That is a secondary matter. The hidden meaning is this only: You cannot reach the invisible except through the visible. Rama is invisible, and Hanuman is visible. The Father in heaven is invisible, Christ is visible. The Almighty is invisible, the world is visible. Without passing through the lower, you cannot reach the higher.
Visitor: Many people say that the Hanuman Chalisa is very good, a very nice text, and it's very important. What's so special about this Hanuman Chalisa? What makes it more special than some other texts?
Swamiji: Hanuman symbolises inordinate strength and power, humanly inconceivable – superhuman power. When you take the name of something which has superhuman power, a part of that superhuman power enters into you also, such power that the Earth cannot conceive. It is a centralisation of infinite strength. Even when you hear these words that I am speaking, you will feel some change taking place in your mind. You go on thinking of that person who has indomitable strength, the capacity to face anything, and the speciality of this chant on Hanuman is the power that this mantra has got to destroy any kind of evil influence. It destroys anything that is negative, and protects you immensely, for ever and ever, having the power even to cure diseases. It makes you hale and hearty, strong and safe. It gives you security. It is divinity itself, divinity.
When you go on thinking of something that is infinitely powerful, positive and divine, when you go on thinking that again and again – infinitely powerful, divine; infinitely powerful, divine; infinitely powerful, divine; tremendously magnificent, powerful; nothing can face it – you will become like that to some extent, and miracles can take place, miracles. So it is beautiful. It is good to recite it. Okay?
Visitor: Yes, thank you.
Another visitor: People talk about raising their kundalini.
Swamiji: Nothing can make the kundalini rise as long as man is foolish, idiotic in his thinking, full of blunderous desires, egoism, and has a fighting nature. How can kundalini rise in such people? Let people become at least good in their nature; let them be good, become really good persons, then let us think of kundalini. With all sorts of undesirable potentialities – greed, anger, jealousy – how will kundalini rise? The first thing is to be good, really good, in your nature. People should know that here is a good person, a very good person.
Another visitor: What is the language of God?
Swamiji: God has no language. It is the language of Pure Being. What is the language of the sun? God is like the sun shining in the sky. Now, what is the language of the sun? You tell me. The sun does a lot of work, takes care of the whole world, gives energy and life and prana to everybody; you cannot say that he has no language, but what is the language of the sun? That is the language of God also.
Visitor: “Be still, and know that I am God,” is said in the Bible.
Swamiji: That is only a symbolic way of talking. He inspires you to feel like that, but he doesn't literally speak in the English or the Hebrew language. Do you think God speaks Hebrew? No. That is only a symbolic expression of the illumination that he had at that time.
They say the Vedas are God's language. It doesn't mean that God is speaking Sanskrit. It is a spiritual inspiration which manifests itself in the language of the people who were inspired, and those people who were so inspired happen to be Sanskrit-knowing people. So the inspiration came out and manifested itself in that language, which is Sanskrit. If the inspiration comes to a person who speaks Hebrew, the inspiration will get materialised in the Hebrew language. If it is Karnataka, it will be in the Karnataka language. God is an impersonal influence, like sunlight, but that influence can be manifest through the individuality of a person who speaks a particular language; he expresses it in his language, and he imagines that it is God's language. Any language is God's language – any language. And you cannot say God is sitting silent. He is doing tremendous work. He created the whole world, and every minute He is busy. How can you say God is silent? Of course, God is silent in another sense, namely, that He does not speak in the tongue of human beings.
You have got the tongue to speak. God has not got that tongue. God's tongue is only His being, like the sun. His existence itself is the language. What emanates as energy and influence and power and magnificence, that itself is language in a highly spiritual sense. It is not language in the sense of a dictionary word. It is not that kind of language. That which is, and That which alone is, need not have to speak, because if it has to speak, it speaks only to itself, and so how will it speak to itself? In what language?
Pure Being is the language of God, and you may call it silence if you like.
Another visitor: I started doing meditation two or three years ago, and since then I've been living in South America, in the mountains. When I close my eyes, I immediately begin to experience sound. Sometimes the sound becomes very powerful and my body begins to shake, and sometimes it becomes very spontaneously strong and I experienced powerful moments of… It's hard for me to put in words – perhaps peace, perhaps stillness, no more thoughts.
Swamiji: Who has initiated you into the art of meditation?
Visitor: I do Vipassana. I was initiated five years ago in France. I focus on my breath, but when the sound begins I let go and I observe the sound.
Swamiji: From where does the sound come? Does it come through the ears or through the stomach, or where??
Visitor: Perhaps through the ears, perhaps through the bones, but it's an inside sound, not an outside sound.
Swamiji: What kind of sound does it make?
Visitor: A sort of buzzing sound, very, very light.
Swamiji: Are you disturbed by this sound?
Visitor: Oh no. All the experiences I observe as a witness, that's all. I don't put any value on it.
Swamiji: Do you feel happy when the sound comes?
Visitor: Neither happy nor unhappy.
Swamiji: Is the sound causing you any difficulty?
Visitor: On the contrary, it's very interesting.
Swamiji: So there is no problem at all.
Visitor: No problem. I wanted to ask you if I should correct my practice. Is it all right?
Swamiji: Correcting becomes necessary only when you have got some trouble. If you have no trouble, if you are well off in every way, there is no necessity to make any change in it. If you have got any problem, then only the question comes.
What is the purpose of your doing Vipassana meditation?
Visitor: For compassion.
Swamiji: What is compassion? Compassion for human beings?
Visitor: Not only human beings. I think I have more compassion for animals and plants. Human beings are a little more difficult.
Swamiji: Now, finally, what comes out is that you are practising this meditation for the purpose of developing compassion for living beings?
Visitor: And for myself. Sometimes I am very hard on myself. I become frustrated.
Swamiji: Frustration means you are having some trouble caused by not getting what you want. That is the frustration?
Visitor: Yes. It's not so strong now. It used to be strong before.
Swamiji: Are you thinking that you want something and you are unable to get it; therefore, there is frustration?
Visitor: I think that when I am not compassionate with people, I get mad at myself.
Swamiji: Who asked you not to be compassionate? Be compassionate.
Visitor: Sometimes I become angry spontaneously. They don't even have to have a name. I can become universal in my anger.
Swamiji: Suppose you manifest your anger to the universe; what consequence follows?
Visitor: I don't get angry at the universe. My anger becomes very personal, towards people.
Swamiji: You have got some personal difficulty, by what you are saying. It amounts to this.
Visitor: I am very arrogant. I know that.
Swamiji: Then you are not compassionate. There is some trouble with you.
Have you got any personal profession or career?
Visitor: I am a psychologist. Psychologists always have big problems.
Swamiji: Are you instructing people in psychology?
Visitor: Well, I stopped because I feel if I am not compassionate, I shouldn't instruct people. But sometimes, yes. I give classes to people. But sometimes I get upset with myself.
Swamiji: I would like you not to get upset. Be happy inside. Under any circumstance, try to learn the art of being composed, calm and happy in your own self. That is the best way of living, and everything follows afterwards. If you are a happy person, you can make others also happy. If you are not happy, then no happiness can go from you to other people. So first of all, try to always be satisfied with your circumstances and be perfectly all right in your mind, body and spirit. Okay? This is what I have to tell you. I cannot give you further instruction because there is actually nothing that is needed for you. This is quite sufficient. Be happy under any circumstance, and that answers all questions.
Visitor: Thank you.
Another visitor: This man said that in his meditation he was experiencing a sound, and you asked from where that sound comes.
Swamiji: It comes from his whole person, the whole mind-body complex. That's why the sound comes. Otherwise, sound is not supposed to come at all. When you do meditation, it is not necessary that sound should come unless you are deliberately creating a sound inside and concentrating on it; then it enlarges itself and becomes a large sound. This is one kind of yoga, called sound yoga. It is called Nada yoga. But what he does is not Nada yoga or anything. He has no clear objective or aim in doing this practice, and it is a big complex that he has created of varieties of ideas which have not concentrated themselves into a single focus, and that's why these difficulties have arisen. There is no single focus of attention on any permanent object. It is varying from moment to moment. “Sometimes I'm like this; sometimes the other people are like this. Sometimes I want this, and sometimes I don't want it.” It is a chaotic mixture of ideas and feelings which manifests itself as different kinds of experiences, not necessarily as a sound but in different kinds of feelings towards oneself and also others. The aim is not clear. It is like moving without knowing where you have to move. If you do not know where to move, and yet you go on moving, what will you reach, finally? You will be just going anywhere afterwards. That is what is happening. Now, what is your question?
Visitor: My aim is towards Brahman.
Swamiji: If you meditate on Brahman, you will not get any sound. You will not feel it at all.
Visitor: But how to meditate on Brahman, Swamiji?
Swamiji: Brahman is Absolute Universal Existence, in which you are also included, so when you are meditating on the Supreme Absolute, you cease to be existing. You don't exist there because you have gone inside it, and so at that time it looks like the Absolute itself is meditating on itself. Do you understand me? When you meditate on the Supreme Brahman or Absolute, you do not exist afterwards because you have gone inside it, because you are a part of the universal Absolute. So the consciousness gets switched off from your personal consciousness to the universal consciousness, and it is as if the whole universe is contemplating itself. That is the Absolute.