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Rare Quotes from a Rare Master
by Swami Krishnananda

7. On Attainment and Experience

It is the opinion of Bhishma that it would not take more than six months to attain Samadhi if the needed precaution is taken to prevent the mind and the senses from hovering round their objects. That this achievement has not been possible in most people shows that it is easier to glorify God than to feel it in one's heart and the effort at self-control is more difficult than it is announced
from pulpits.

The highest meditation consists in the recognition of the Self in all things so that there is no object before the Self to think or deal with. It is here that the mind melts like an exhausted camphor cake in the process of self-sublimation.

The highest 'Bhava' which rouses 'Para Bhakti' in a devotee is that in which one cannot recognise even one's own body as if forgotten since many years, for there is no body-consciousness when the mind expires in pure experience.

To be able to realise God, you have first to want God. It is almost a question of supply and demand. To want God is not merely to 'think' but to 'feel' through your 'whole being' that you cannot exist without Him. The entire personality vibrates with a longing that cannot be satisfied by the beauty and the grandeur of the world. There is a want for 'That' alone, and nothing short of it.

The sense of perfection slowly enters the mind, when it gradually learns to dovetail the various discrepant particulars of the world into a coherent whole. This stage comes when the existence and activity of the mind coalesce in an adjustment of oneself with God's creation.

Brahmabhāvana, the art of the affirmation of Brahman, is called Brahmābhyāsa in the words of the Yoga-Vasishtha. It consists in constantly thinking of Brahman, speaking about Brahman, discoursing to one another on Brahman and depending on Brahman alone for everything that one values in life. This is the final stage of meditation.

In an act of Divine Meditation the soul recovers all that it appeared to have lost in states of its ignorance and gains back its eternal status of all-completeness. Errors are rectified, sins are destroyed, and even death becomes a matter of laughter in that experience supreme. All existence becomes one's own consciousness which here assumes an infinite proportion. The tendency of the mind to view things sensuously, however, persists, and there is called for a perpetual vigilance to overcome this habitual urge to sensualise experience instead of universalising it. This is the culmination of Sadhana, which is an unsagging effort to rise from the particular to the Absolute.

Life is a process of entering into God. This is achieved by seeing God in the objects as well as the actions of the world, which is not the seeing of particulars but of the universal in them.

When the senses stand together with the mind and the intellect does not shake, the state of Yoga supervenes. The secret of meditation is this: The mind and the intellect should shine, but not shine upon things other than the shining awareness. This is the realisation of God within.

When man's meditation on God ends, and God begins meditation on all creation, the consummation is reached. It is here that all questions are answered and all problems solved.

The depth and solidity of substance in the world is similar to the distance and substantiality of things seen in a mirror. This truth is not realised in life because the body of the observer is itself involved in this reflected appearance called the world.

It is of little consequence to one who has awakened to normal consciousness whether he or she was a king or a beggar in last night's dream. Likewise, what one is in this world matters little to one who has awakened to the presence of God.

Tapas is the process of stilling the senses and the mind and allowing the lustre of the Atman to manifest itself spontaneously. The power of the Sage is this energy of the Atman revealed by the cessation of the externalising activity of the senses and the mind.

The passing of the soul from plane to plane is all a process of consciousness within the Absolute. Just as our movements in the dream world are actual spatial allocations of personality but are really within the circumference of mental activity,—all dream being only within the mind,—so is the transmigration of souls real empirically but are activities of consciousness within
its bosom.

The first form of religion is worship through idols. The second stage is repetition of the Divine Name as His symbol. The third stage is internal meditation on a conceptual form of God. The fourth and the final stage is absorption of consciousness in Universality of Being.

The ups and downs of life are also part of the process of the evolution of the universe. Even a retrograde movement in this process is a part of the universal completeness. There is no forward and backward or up and low in the Universal Whole. These distinctions assume a meaning when experience is viewed from a localised, narrow standpoint but in the status of the Universe in itself, there is only perfection. This has to be realised.

Meditation is participation. All spiritual meditations are types of participation in Unity. In such meditations, we become larger than we are and develop a wider feeling than we entertain at present. We begin, then, to pulsate through bodies other than our own, and enjoy the pleasures that may be anywhere. We overcome the sense of want and feel filled with something which includes all things. Desires lose their meaning and dislikes likewise take to their heels. We step over psychological individuality and get consumed in spiritual existence.

Things which are distant appear to enter into us and space seems to shrink into our very being when we learn to recognise the Self in everything. Here it is that we have no needs or wants, because these are for ever fulfilled in their spaceless proximity to us, nay, their vanishing into our substance, when things and persons and the very world itself crave for us as the centre of everything, a condition where we have not been deprived of anything by desirelessness but filled to the brim, overflowing, with the fund of all existence. This is where one hails as 'Svarāt' or 'Self-King'.

Do not look at but through the world.

Kaivalya is the Supreme Independence which one attains on account of freedom from the phenomenal vestures of individuality. Here the individual merges into the Absolute, which alone is. This contemplation is spirituality.