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Darshan with Swami Krishnananda during 1996
by Swami Krishnananda

4. Two Types of Shock

(Darshan given on January 14th, 1996.)

Swamiji: There are two types of shock that a person receives, two kinds. One shock is when the sense organs move towards a desired object and the mind feels that it has got what it wanted. Hear properly what I'm saying. When the mind moves through the sense organs to an object which it loves dearly, and it is satisfied that it has got what it wanted, an emotional shock will take place in the whole mind-body complex. Only those who have experienced it will know what I am saying. It is not a theory. Very few people get what they want, so they would never have felt this joy of an internal nervous shock which creates the impression that whatever one wanted has come. This is the opposite of spirituality. This shock that the sense organs induct into the mind because of the feeling that the desired object has been obtained is a negative of the spiritual bliss that one aspires for. So much about the shock received when the sense organs are satisfied. This has nothing to do with spirituality.

There is another shock, and it is caused by spirituality. Only those who are practising deep meditation know what that shock is. Sit quiet. Open the eyes or close the eyes, as you like. Feel that the mountains and the rivers, and the sun and the moon and the stars have suddenly jumped on your body. It is not merely enough if you hear what I'm saying. You must be able to feel what I'm saying. The sun and the moon and the stars and the sky, and the entire creation, has come and sat on your body. It has entered your bloodstream. The bloodstream has received into its function inside all the energy of the sun and the moon and the stars and the sky and planets – everything. As I told you, merely hearing what I say is of no use. The mind has to accept that such a thing is so. Then you will get a shock. The whole body will tremble when it feels that the whole universe has melted into liquid and gone into the veins of a person. Such an energy will enter. That kind of shock is a spiritual shock, which is quite different from the sensory shock about which I spoke.

If you have ever felt such a kind of shock, I may say that you have touched the borderland of meditation. But if you have never felt a shock of that kind, then you remain in what you are as a physical entity – a man, a woman or whatever you are – and you have not touched the borderland of Reality. If this shock has been felt by you and you are able to accept it every day in your meditations or in your daily life, God has blessed you, you may say. If this shock has not been felt by you even once, God has not touched you.

So going to Uttarkashi, talking to this man, that man, visiting a temple, ringing a bell, and so on, is not spirituality. The shock of God's entry into you must be felt by you. Have you felt it at least once, or are you still the same person? Have you felt this shock at least once?

Visitor: I felt a tremor in my body, Swamiji, from a sense of devotion towards God.

Swamiji: Don't say ‘a sense of devotion'. Has the whole world entered into you in meditation?

Visitor: In meditation, it's fleeting. Sometimes it comes, sometimes it goes.

Swamiji: Let it fleet. Even for a moment have you felt this?

Visitor: For a moment I have felt this, Swamiji.

Swamiji: Then you have touched God if this feeling has arisen in your mind. That is one point.

The second point: As long as you are conscious that you have got a body, it is your duty to take care of the body also. If you are hungry you have to eat, if you are thirsty you have to drink, if you are tired you have to sleep. You cannot harass your body in the name of God. Going to Uttarkashi and sitting with a mahatma in the cold wind is not a… The body is as much real to you at present as God is. I am telling you all this so that you may not go to extremes, going to sit with some baba under the impression that everything is fine. These babas cannot protect you. No baba can protect you, only God, and God can protect you only if you have felt this shock. God comes as a shock – not like a sensory shock, but a different kind of shock which will look identical to it – so sometimes sensory experience and sensory joy is mistaken for spiritual experience. Cupidity may appear as divine devotion. Sensory attraction may look like divine bliss. These are two different things. Now I won't say anything more. You can use your discretion and use your mind.

Another visitor: You spoke about two shocks, a sensory and a spiritual shock.

Swamiji: This is a great spiritual secret, and difficult to understand. Suppose in a lottery you are told that you will get one hundred million dollars. Will you feel a shock suddenly, a shock of joy? You will feel something unusual taking place in your personality. This is called a shock. Or there is another kind of shock. You have lost everything. Your job has gone. You have not got one penny in your hand. Everybody pooh-poohs you; they condemn you. They don't even want to look at you. You are hungry. You can't get food. You feel that life is miserable. That gives a shock: “I have lost everything. I had so much of property, so many relations. Everything has gone.”

So I mentioned two kinds of shock. One is, you got more than what you expected. Another is, you lost everything. Either way, you will get a shock. Both these kinds of shocks are connected with the physical body, self-respect, and the desire to live. They are empirical. They are connected with one's life in the external world. Since the world is not really external – it is an organic, universal substance in which you are also included – any experience caused by the feeling of the externality of the world cannot be regarded as having any connection with spirituality. So neither are you getting a hundred million dollars, nor are you losing everything. The shocks caused by these two events are purely conditions which are associated with the externality of the world. That is to say, the joys and sorrows of life cannot be associated with spirituality. This is one kind of shock.

There is another thing, a spiritual shock, about which I mentioned in some detail. It has no connection with the materiality of things. It has connection with the universality of the whole of creation.

Close your eyes for a few minutes. Deeply feel that you are inseparable from creation. Every atom, every leaf, every tree, the space-time complex, the sun, moon and stars are impinging on your personality not merely as external things outside you, but as organic essences of your existence itself so that it is not anymore yourself feeling the impact of the coming together of the universe, because you are not existing separately from this universe. The whole universe is feeling its own total existence. If that feeling can go deep into your heart, you will feel a kind of universal shock entering into you. That shock is the sign of spirituality.