Transcribed from a talk on September 5, 2011
What we call LOVE seldom fails in arousing joy in our hearts, so much so that to be loved and to love is perhaps the most desired of all that we seek and we want it to be the fulcrum of our lives. This is what brings a smile, brings happiness and makes us look forward to life. The word “Love” seems to be so deeply connected with life that we always seek it in every aspect of living and in almost every relationship. They way it is expressed obviously varies across relationships but its sweet fragrance is felt everywhere.
Why is it then that love slips with time and doesn’t retain its purity and essence as it once did at the start of a relationship?
Why does the love for a lover transform into attachment and possessiveness – a needy and obsessive behavior?
Why does the love for a spouse change into mutual need for security – a give and take relationship that eventually leads to being more habituated with each other rather than sharing tender and exciting moments together?
Why does the love for a child become a form of control and discipline?
Why does love for God end up becoming a mere ritual, or worse, bringing on fanaticism dictated by fear, dependency and greed?
If we are honest enough we will probably identify ourselves with one or more of the above feelings and still be searching for that perfect Love. Maybe we will search for it in yet another women or man, in God or Guru, in some material object, maybe in some esoteric technique of meditation or in some other method of teaching. Without Love there is a void and we are desperate to fill that somehow.
Please realize that this is not a criticism of the exploration of Love through any of these avenues. There is no problem with this form of seeking it. The question here is to inquire whether there is a possibility of finding true Love without actually seeking it! Is it possible to come upon Love without moving anywhere and remaining exactly where we are, right here, right now?
To know that, we probably need to inquire deeper into what true Love actually is. The right way to begin would be first, to ponder and investigate what is not Love.
What Love is Not
Any emotion we label as Love, that has a selfish purpose or intention, cannot be termed as such. This is a misnomer. Therefore, loving someone with a view to gain from it, is not Love. Living together for a secured future is not Love. Dependency or the mere habit of being with your partner, is not Love. Possessiveness and control is not Love.
Many equate duty and responsibility with Love. Think again! Love that is reduced to mere dry ritualistic action without passion and bereft of joy that one derives from giving is pale and ugly, isn’t it?
Emotion too, can’t be described as Love as all we are seeing is only a state of mind which is subject to change.
Death of a loved one brings so much pain. I may miss a dear family member who died recently. I may remember him with tears in my eyes and say I love him. I miss him because his sudden disappearance has brought an emptiness with a sense of insecurity and fear in my life. Can I truly call this Love? Is it not still about myself? After all, the one who died may have reached the perfect place. It is I who seem to be displaced due to this loss, isn’t it?
So, isn’t it is obvious that if this feeling centers on me and my world it cannot be Love? Only if it is selfless can it be called Love.
Drop the Barrier to Love
Most people think of selflessness as if it is a character or a quality to be acquired, whereas true selflessness is not about acquiring anything, but, about dropping everything. The name itself is suggestive: SELF-LESS. Even the self is absent!
So can I drop whatever my self or “I‟ represents?
And what does my “I‟ represent? Doesn’t it include all thoughts, memories, concepts, all past learning’s and conditioning’s, all experiences and knowingness? Don’t all of these represent “ME‟? After, all what else is this me except a collection of all of these in entirety? All of these define who I am and my relationship with everything and everyone.
So can I die to all of this? If I cling to them, I am living a preconditioned, robotic life. My problems are the same although situations may differ, and so is my way of dealing with them. There seems to be nothing fresh and new in living. It is a repeat of the same old challenges, conflicts and situations.
If you are truly aware, you will clearly observe a pattern that defines you and your life. This pattern appears to keep repeating over and over again and you meet life with nothing new because you respond to everything through the faculty of your mind – a mind that is always old. It knows nothing beyond what it has learned, and what it seems to know through these learning’s. It has been conditioned to all that it has seen, heard, experienced and learned and it continues to respond to challenges through these faculties, so there is nothing new there. No matter how fresh you think your learning’s are, all of that is already old. Your mind has been conditioned to what you have already learned in the past.
So, we arrive at this vital understanding – “If I die to all concepts and knowingness carried from my past, which, in other words means the death of my mind, then perhaps I will come to experience and respond to life and its challenges spontaneously, from an instrument beyond the mind”.
Opening the Senses Opens You to Love
Have you ever looked at your problems, no matter how often they keep coming, as if they have just arisen? This means seeing them without being blinded by past worries and looking at them with new eyes. If yes, then you are meeting life as it is and not through thoughts projected from the lens of the past. You are truly dying to the earlier moment.
Dying to the earlier moment requires deep attention to anything and everything around you and inside you. “Attention‟ implies that you use your five senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell) fully, totally and when you do that – thought
disappears! And where there is no movement of thought, the ‘I’ disappears too! And where there is no ‘I’, there is only Love.
You can try this anytime, anyplace and with anything, even while sipping coffee, and you will know Love. Look intensely at the hot cup of coffee in front of you. Look at it fully. Feel the cup and let the steam graze your lips. Breathe in the aroma fully and then feel the liquid on your tongue. Keep in mind that this is NOT about concentration. I am not asking you to hold the cup of coffee as an object. “Attention‟ is a far more pervasive and expansive term. I am only asking you to employ all your senses fully in any task you engage in. You will be surprised at how much life and energy you invite into your being by doing so. You will then discover that you are born afresh, moment to moment. You will truly be living that moment, which in other words, means that you will be dying to your past.
If you are attentive enough you will also know the suffering of others. You will experience their pain through the instrument of your fully awakened five senses. You will be alive and buzzing with remarkable sensitivity. Suppose a family member has been ill for many years or a dear friend is in the final stages of a life- threatening disease. You may go through the same pain, anxiety, suffering and fear again and again, day after day. It depresses you and saps your energy, tiring you immensely. It numbs your will, leading to frustration, as nothing seems to work. You feel utterly helpless.
Can you still meet that person with a caring and sensitive heart, untouched and unaffected by the memory of past pain and anxiety? Can you meet him afresh and unconditioned? Can you look at him, not with sympathy, but as if you are looking at him with fresh eyes? Can you listen to him all anew? Can you comfort him as if you are touching him for the first time? If you can do so, then you will know what it is to die to all anxiety, all fear, all depression. This means your door to Love is always open, no matter what the conditions are. You may smile inwardly or you may even cry. It does not matter what you do at that moment. But you will know Love. And all that you have done to come upon Love is to give your complete attention by engaging all your five senses in objectless awareness.
You will also know what it means to respect others. A person who has no respect for others does not know Love because acceptance is lacking. And without acceptance of the “Now‟ or the “Present‟, there can be no attention. An arrogant person will miss being attentive since he cannot even listen to anyone and he is present to no one but himself. All he thinks, breathes and lives is himself. He is far away from Love.
Attention starts with acceptance of the “Now‟ or the “Present‟. And in that ever watchful state of deep observation lies the experience of Love, compassion, respect and true humility. We don‟t have to practice any of these noble moral virtues. Bringing all your senses into play, moment by moment, is enough.
Beyond the senses, beyond the ‘Now’
However, attention to the “Here‟ and “Now‟, through the instrument of the fully alive five senses, isn‟t enough to keep the “I‟ away forever. As I discovered, the “I‟ always comes back and along with it comes the conflicts associated with it. One of the most common examples of this is what transpires during sexual intercourse – the mind subsides, the “I‟ drops and it becomes a form of worship. In this act of worship all of the senses are employed and are in a heightened state, without any effort.
Following the dropping of the “I‟ there is the experience of Love, which is why the sexual act is always referred to as “making love‟. But I saw that this is temporary. For a few moments the “I‟ drops, but it always returns with all its conflicts and inner turmoil. Seeking isn’t over. Conflicts haven’t vanished. I then understood that I needed to go deeper than what my five senses revealed to me.
The “Present‟ was only a step, albeit an important one, but not the destination itself, much like how Manolaya (a thoughtless state in sitting meditation) is only a temporary suspension of thought and not the state in which the mind/ego has permanently fled. Love and ego cannot co-exist. For Love to remain alone, ego must perish forever. The “Present‟ or the “Now‟ does not provide a permanent solution to this. The reason why this is so is that by embracing ‘what is’ you can only know or experience Love but you cannot realize that YOU ARE THAT LOVE. Knowing something is different from being it. In knowingness there is always duality and hence there is a strong chance for conflicts to arise but in Being, all dualities cease to exist.
Death of ‘Now’ is true Love
The “Present‟ opens the gates of Love, but when it has served its purpose you must be willing to step out of that too – into the Timeless – and know yourself as that Love. This means that you must be willing to die to the present too, die to the waking state by reaching the Source itself – from where this present moment has manifested.
Love has given birth to this present moment. If you can know death closely, you can know what it is to BE Love. This presents a problem to many modern seekers. While a few take the „Here‟ and „Now‟ to be the only reality, and equate awareness only to a waking state consciousness, others even imagine life after death (heaven, astral planes, etc.) and that is the reason they close themselves to exploring death, for they fear it.
But true living must embrace death first for there is no other way. When you die to everything, which includes even this present moment, only then will you truly live and know yourself as Love. It is hard to describe in words but it is something like watching the entire mechanism of body/mind collapse. The whole world may seem to be crashing down on you. You may feel like you are sitting on a pyre and burning. Every cell of your body will revolt and you will feel your skin peeling off. This is only a process that takes away everything you once were holding on to. So, whatever you once knew yourself to be – the body form, mind, senses, breath, prana, oneness – all of that will burn in that fire and turn to ashes. It is not a very comfortable place to be in but there will be no escape till the movement comes to a halt.
Once this ends you will find yourself in another dimension altogether. You will know yourself as Love – the substratum of all. This is real silence where Consciousness itself will be missing. There will be no centre.
This of course does not mean that the Present or Consciousness will not be available again, but now it will be different. Attention, and with it the employing of all the five senses will be totally effortless and immediate. The alertness, compassion and sensitivity will all function on their own without the senses being a pursuer. There will no more be any seeking or searching. How can there be? How can Love search itself? You then don‟t have to call upon Love or invite it. Love will arrive AS the SELF and will be known to have never left in the first place. It is only then that the search for Love can truly end, not before. You will then do nothing except rest in that Love.
True Love is not when your heart skips a beat, but in knowing that the beat has just taken a long pause! This is knowing the death of the I AM even as you continue to live.
~ Rajiv Kapur
Read the first part of this talk The Joy You Seek is You
In my first article I said that if you start your journey believing that the entire goal of Self-inquiry, meditation and all spiritual practice is an attainment of bliss, then you will easily be disappointed time and again during your spiritual journey. The goal of meditation is not to attain a state or phenomenon, but only to look.
You don’t have to beg for bliss or joy or to seek experiences, phenomena or any altered states of higher consciousness. I completely accept what my beingness shows me. I don’t want to transform into anything apart from what I am. I want to achieve nothing, nor change anything. I only want to look and feel deeply. That is my only intention in meditating.
Through one-pointed abidance in the sense of being, the “I am”, what starts as a looking through mind slowly transcends that very instrument and becomes looking through Awareness. Somehow the concept of looking through the mind gets dropped along the way, as the mind gets more and more purified and subtle. The looking has to be beyond the mind for it to be complete and total; only then is it called deep. When the looking becomes perfect through purified consciousness, the truth is finally reflected (as in the inner lake of bliss, discussed in last article.) It is then known that there was nothing to attain, to achieve or to acquire. We were always the joy we were seeking and searching for. All doubts completely vanish. Regardless of some practitioners’ belief that “nothing needs to be done,” the looking (journey into the lake of the heart) was very much needed, even though we always were that joy.
Similarly if you start your journey believing that the goal of Self-inquiry, meditation and spiritual practice is the end of all suffering (as most believe it to be,) then you too will be disillusioned. You will meet failure time and again if you think you can escape anything, whether pain or pleasure, through meditation or Self-inquiry. The fact is you simply CANNOT escape it. You will have to accept it completely, and surrender to it. Not even the knowledge that I am SAT-CHIT-ANANDA makes the pain or suffering go away.
It was the Buddha who said that Enlightenment is the end of all suffering. This statement has perhaps created one of the biggest misconceptions in the world of religion and spirituality, contrary to what is actually experienced.
Just look around you. Don’t you see the amount of suffering taking place? The manner in which animals are treated, the way small children are exploited, the way humans are
treating each other, the level of intolerance leading to anger, rage and violence, the bloody wars that are fought in the name of religion, spreading hatred and division. Yet we have developed a habit of turning our eyes away from such unpleasant situations. We want to escape seeing. Escaping has become a habit. This is also the way we deal with our own fears and sorrows. We simply look away from them and think we can escape. It reminds me of the story of the hare who closes his eyes when a tiger attacks him. By merely closing his eyes, he believes he can evade the tiger’s attack. But the danger is never gone. The tiger is ready to pounce on the terrified hare at any moment. Similarly we too will always be disturbed and affected by what happens around us, even though we may choose to look away. Everything is so subtly connected to everything else.
Buddha obviously didn’t make a wrong statement. It is our understanding of him which is not correct, because we use our minds to arrive at every understanding. If we try to understand Buddha through our mind then we seek what our mind wants, which is complete happiness/joy with not a moment of sorrow or pain. The mind wants you to believe that this is possible through engaging in various spiritual pursuits, but this is far from the truth. You will be disillusioned keeping this goal in your heart. Undertaking a spiritual journey as a means to evade suffering and escape from it is starting the journey on the wrong foot itself. The looking will never be deep or complete enough because it is already biased to start with. This looking which is the result of deep meditation is to be done without thinking of what it can bring, only with the complete acceptance of what there is.
Here we have already assumed that all of our problems, suffering and pain will disappear altogether. On the contrary however the spiritual journey and awakening may actually result in tremendous pain and suffering, more than what you had ever imagined. How can that not be? As you continue your journey within, you will become highly sensitive to the suffering of those around you. It will twist and turn your heart, tear it into a thousand pieces to see an animal being tortured or killed for food or to know that a child has been sacrificed in the name of religion or forced to beg or become a prostitute. You will feel deeply for those who are crying in pain due to terminal illness. How can we not feel this? The knowledge that we are one being; one Consciousness interconnecting each one of us will make us feel and relate deeply to the pain of all sentient beings.
We don’t really have to practice Love or compassion as some guided spiritual disciplines advocate. How can we do that? Nobody can teach you how to Love and feel. It’s so unnatural to even suggest it. We don’t need to make any effort to reconnect with each other. We are already one singular Consciousness which was never separate in the first place. We have only to do the real seeing which we have avoided doing earlier. This avoidance has resulted in us becoming insensitive, with dull intellects. We hardly live as humans. We start to live almost like machines, dictated by past patterns on how to think, act and react. Even our spiritual quest becomes a pattern, often a programming. Our minds chase techniques of meditation or repetitive and endless recitation of mantras, all of which is mechanical. I read somewhere that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. I wonder whether that is really true. It would be more appropriate to say that
we are programmed robots trying to be spiritual beings, while we continue to fail being good humans to start with.
We have stopped feeling deeply because we have stopped seeing and observing deeply. However, if you are ready to accept that you will have to face more pain, more fear and suffering, then Self-inquiry and meditation will open your heart. You will reach the lake of the heart effortlessly and be able to see clearly your true reflection. This is not to imply that you must invite pain and suffering into your life. I am just saying, be ready to accept and embrace them should they visit you. Give them your attention. Not to the thoughts, but only the feelings. When you are attentive only to HOW it feels, rather than WHY, the entire inward movement will be known. This movement is known to have an origin and an end. And if you are intensely watchful you will know that where this movement ends, you will find yourself as deep peace and Love. You may feel great sensitivity; great compassion, great pain and great sorrow, and that will open the floodgates of love and bliss within you. Yet you will remain completely untouched by all of this. You will know that the inner arising and falling movement happens only on the surface and doesn’t disturb the peace, the depth at which you truly remain; much like how waves arise and fall on the ocean’s surface without disturbing the calm depths. The waves and the pain simply dissolve and melt. The greatest of all tsunamis seems to merge and retire into the abyss of deep silence.
The fate of every wave, every suffering is that silence. Silence which cannot be described, nor measured. That timeless silence is YOU.
True liberation doesn’t mean the absence of pain, fear, suffering, or sorrow. It means their transcendence. It means you have the inner strength to see them off and the knowledge that there is no cross you can’t bear. It means nothing can shake you. Suffering then becomes your teacher. It unlocks the door towards what lies beyond. It leads you to Love, and finally to that deep timeless silence where you lie and rest.
~ Rajiv Kapur
Transcribed from online satsang on January 5, 2010
Before I start talking something about the Heart, I would say a few words about the practice. You all must be well aware by now (those who are following my talks and a little bit about what I have written) that I have prescribed two basic forms or methods of Self-inquiry, depending upon the type of seeker that you are.
The first is for those who are more devotional types, more feeling-oriented. For them, I had said that you feel love as your beingness, beingness as your love, and automatically that your attention will be drawn near the area of your chest, at the heart. This is for those who are devotional types.
And the second way is for those who are more intellectual. They are more visually-oriented. For them, I had said in the last Satsang which I had given, was about looking at the Void ahead of you, and bringing the Void slowly downwards into the area of the chest.
These two methods are prescribed.
Two things are very common in this – the first is that there is continuous looking, continuous looking by way of sinking. And the second thing is that that sinking has to be done in the area of the heart. So, two things are very common for both these forms of instruction.
Now, I had stressed looking by way of sinking, because that is where real meditation takes place. It is not a looking by ordinary mind. It is looking which goes beyond the mind. The more you sink, the better will be the looking – the better will be the meditation and sooner the mind will die. And it has to be done in this area (near the chest, near the heart.)
Here the question about “heart” comes. When I gave this at the last Satsang, Matthew emailed me saying that “There are basically three different kinds of heart.” He asked me “Where are we supposed to sink?” – A very good question. He told me, in fact he enlightened me that there is one, the left one, which is basically the physical heart, which is present there on the left side of your chest.
The second is right in the middle of your chest. This is where the yogis practice pranayamas [yogic breathing exercises to still the mind] and concentration. It is called the Anahata chakra.
And the third is what Sri Ramana [Maharshi] had said – that it is on the right side; that is where the I-thought originates from.
So, which of these three do we need to sink into?
In my last Satsang, this question was raised by Tim also. And that moment also, I had said only one thing: that we have to forget about left, right and center completely.
The same instructions hold true even today, and will always. The reason is, first of all you have to understand that the object of your concentration, of your meditation, was never the heart. The object of your meditation was your beingness, or your Void. Right? It was never the “heart.” So, you are only concentrating, meditating on the Void or beingness – either of them are the object.
If I had told you that the object of your meditation was the heart, then the question about left, right and center comes into play. The only instruction as far as the heart goes, is that is a place where you need to sink – not even remain. You are supposed to sink there. So one thing is very clear: that the object is beingness or the Void, not the heart.
What happens if we say that the right side holds prominence, as Sri Ramana-ji says, or that the right side has a basic significance? Yes, there is definitely significance, but I’ll come to it in just some while.
But during your meditation, if you are going to concentrate or pay attention to the right side, or the left side, or to the center, then it is not meditation. It becomes concentration on a certain point. And then you do not allow your mind to sink, because all the time you’ll be thinking “Am I on the right side? Am I on the center? Am I on the middle? Am I on the left side?”
Your mind will only be thinking, sorting these things out… “Oh, Ramana-ji said right side. Ah, why did I drift towards the left side during meditation? No, no, no, no. I need to go back to the right side.” See? This is what happens when you are going to do attention on the heart area. The attention and focus will become the heart.
But it is not the heart. The 0bject is always the beingness or the Void.
So, you’re going to freefall (meaning, sink.) In that area, the chest area, you are falling, unrestrictedly! That has to be very understood. The only object is the ― again I repeat, either the Void or the beingness. And you sink, you sink, you allow yourself to go deep downwards, backwards, deep.
That is what I call as sinking. Otherwise, sinking will be very difficult to achieve, because who’s sorting “left, right, center,” other than the mind, only? Whereas, in sinking the mind is taken care of. You’re not even remaining even in one position. You’re continuously going down. Backwards.
Now my second point is, how is sinking best achieved?
You will realize that by dedicated practice, bringing the mind again and again to your beingness, or the Void, bringing it down here, to the area of the heart, you will realize that sinking is made possible with dedicated practice and with patience, without really worrying about the result.
You have to just worship. That is the center of worshipping. Without any fruits of what is going to happen, “What experience am I going to get, or not,” you’re just allowing to drift yourself downwards.
Another thing which will help you to sink more is the compassion, the feeling of love towards all sentient beings, helping them at a time of their suffering, when they need you most. You will see that your happiness within is growing, slowly and suddenly, automatically you’re spreading the love everywhere ― like fragrance, you’re spreading. And your inner world also is going to lighten up.
That will open that Heart which I am talking about. Not the left-right-center heart. The Heart. Just the Heart. So, as far as practice goes, this is what you have to do.
You know, once I read that a devotee asked Sri Ramana, “Where is the Heart? You say ‘Right side, the Heart is there; it is the Source’… So where is this Heart?” So, Sri Ramana-ji said this only – that where you address yourself as the first person, that is here, you point your finger. (pointing to right side of chest)
When you point your finger [to indicate who you are], automatically you will know that it automatically goes here. (pointing to right side of chest) When you say “I go there,” the finger is pointed automatically here. (pointing to right side of chest)
Intuition tells you where the Heart is. It does not say “Is it the left, right or center?” It automatically says, “It’s here.” (pointing to right side of chest) “I am going there.” (pointing to right side of chest) “I will see you soon.” (pointing to right side of chest) Whatever. When you address yourself as “I,” the finger is pointed intuitively. The mind is not used there.
Similarly, when you love, intuitively you will feel feelings here only. (pointing to chest) You’ll not experience feelings of love generated anywhere else, other than this area. That is why it has a prominence. So, Heart is Heart. Right?
Now, we have to come to the central part of today’s Satsang, which is: Is there significance to what Sri Ramana said about the right side? Is there any significance at all about it?
I think that Matthew wrote, “Ramana said the Heart is two finger-widths to the right of the center of the chest.” Of course, it has a big significance. If Sri Ramana-ji says something, then it has to be significant. He’s not going to just say it without any reason. So, let us find out what that could be, or what that is.
In my experience, the significance of the right side is that this is where bliss is experienced first. The bliss of pure beingness is experienced there. That is the state of Turiya. He’s talking from that level, in that context, the highest state of samadhi. This is where it first arises.
In my experience of Turiya also, I recollect there was a jerk. And with that jerk, fountains of bliss start to flow from that center ― fountains! That happens on the right side.
Having arisen from there, it does not stay there. It spreads. It spreads from that center, to the whole area, to the whole body, slowly, like waves and waves of bliss arising, torrential bliss, torrential joy, unimagined, unexperienced by human mind. That happens when you cross the state of Void. With that jerk on the right side, joy erupts. Soon the whole body, every cell of the body is celebrating, around with that joy! And soon, not only the body, space joins in the celebration ― entire space, entire universe. That is how the expansion of that center happens. That is how it happens. It flows away ― up, up, up! There is an expanse.
(Please note that this is purely experiential and words are self-defeating . When I say “up, up,up!” it is to give everyone an idea of how expansive it can get, but in the real sense there is no “up, up and up.” The expanse is experienced as a result of how subtle one’s beingness is actually getting. While a part of your beingness continues to sink downwards into the ground, another part seems to rise upwards, swallowing the entire space and universe. Later there is no downwards, upwards, left, center or right—only Joy remains. Even this boundless joy disappears. When, how and from where it disappears is not known at all.)
So it is not limited to that side, the right side. No. There is no doubt that it is the 5
source from where it arises, the pure beingness, the “I-amness,” the joy. It arises from there. But it is still the false center. Because you have to understand that it does not stay; it spreads. And therefore, when it spreads and disappears from there (beyond all,) how can you know the actual center?
The center cannot be traced. It is far too expansive. Far too overwhelming. It includes every part of the universe. It encompasses everything, pervades everywhere and disappears from there.
(Turiya, the highest state of samadhi is experienced, recollected when you’re back in the body-awareness. As a memory, you come to know about all these things.)
So, you can say, one can recollect the source from where it arises (that is the right side). But there is no way, from my experience I can say, that you can point to a “heart center”, to a center, because of all these reasons.
I cannot put it in words; words fail me if I’m trying to explain. I hope you can understand through my feelings what I’m trying to say here. But if I have to give you a slightly unorthodox example, please bear with me, just to make some understanding…
The source of sexual pleasure happens in the genitals. However, it does not stay there. During the act, it spreads through the whole body. The joy is experienced and participated by the entire body. Even though when we know that the source of pleasure is from those parts, no man says to a woman that “his genitals have made love to her genitals!” It never happens. He says he makes love to her. This is how it encompasses. This is how it is difficult for me to explain to you about what happens in the state of Turiya. But people have limited it, by saying “Right side of the chest.” How is it possible?
(One can say that the right side is a doorway or pathway towards the real Heart as things start to roll up from there with the experience of Bliss.)
It is a start. But soon, it pervades everything. And there is no way, to my knowledge, where I can point a finger and say that “this is where the center is” – arising, yes, but not the center. This is recollected by a Jnani (the right-side arising), but not the center.
To me, the Heart center is completely unknown. It is the Self itself. The True heart has neither a beginning nor an end, so it cannot have a center.
So again, I would conclude that we should not take words of present/past Masters and interpret it, without understanding in which context that he has spoken about. Context, as Edji said the other day, is everything. It is proven.
Alan: Pranams, Rajivji.
Alan: Something that has come up in conversation over the last couple of days – you have stressed the beingness, and to sink backward into the Void. If we are not of the body, how can we have a “backward” or a “forward?”
Alan: How can we “sink backward” into a void? Why not just “sink” into the Void?
Rajivji: No. “Sink into the Void…” I’m saying that there is a Void ahead of you. The Void is everywhere. The first point is when you close your eyes, you see a Void. It is for those people who are more visually oriented, I’ll say it again.
They see the Void ahead of them, right? Now, when you bring the Void downwards, backwards, downwards ― that is, through the heart area ― you sink from there. So, you’re sinking backwards only to the Void. By sinking, you’re going backwards only. Am I right? Is that your question?
Alan: Basically, you’re sinking the Void backwards into you.
Rajivji: Same thing. What is not the Void… if you’re going to go behind and look, what is there?
Alan: Behind would be the Void, too.
Rajivji: Same thing.
Alan: You are of the Void.
Rajivji: Exactly, exactly. Alan: Okay.
Rajivji: So wherever you look – left, right, center, wherever – it is going to be the Void only. Where is it not going to be the Void?
Rajivji: I’m only saying that those who are more visual, who want to see, for them I have said, that you bring the Void to the… The idea is to guide them, as a pointer, that you bring it downwards, and you sink there. So, you can go like that also, the way you were doing. It’s correct.
Alan: Yeah, but we have heard the term “sinking backward into the Void” a number of times, and it was sort of a little bit vague as to what that concept actually was, but I think you’ve clarified that very nicely now. Thank you very much.
Rajivji: The idea, Alan, is that sinking means relaxing. You have to understand.
Rajivji: You have to completely let go of concepts, even, of whether there’s a Void backwards, whether there’s an “I” backwards… Everything has to go, finished. You are just relaxing. You are not allowing the mind to operate. And the best way to do, is to go to that source. As I said, the source is the area from where the “I” comes from. There, if you relax, you will meet the subject, that is “I,” automatically.
So, why don’t you allow it?
Rajivji: That allowing is sinking.
Rajivji: That allowing is sinking, relaxing. Relaxing into that area. So whether you take Void backwards, or you take “I” backwards, or you take Void ahead, it is the same thing. The idea is to relax.
Alan: Or if you just sink into it. Rajivji: Yes.
Alan: It’s the same thing. Rajivji: Same thing.
Alan: Okay. Wonderful. That clarifies a lot of points. Thank you. Rajivji: Okay.
Sharjeel: I have been meditating for I think four years. I never forget the message of Master Edji last week, when he said not to ask too many questions and don’t pay attention to experiences, but this experience has been happening for a long time and continuously, repeatedly this thing has been happening, what you mentioned in your last Satsang. And this has been happening since, I would say three years.
See, with me, what happens is that, Rajiv, when I meditate, most of the things, the vivid dreams, the dreams when you know that you’re dreaming, or all these experiences, they won’t happen during the meditation. Most of the time in meditation, I’m just getting images, I’m getting thoughts and everything.
This happens just after I finish meditation and go to sleep, and relax. But this happens… like I am completely aware of what’s going on.
Rajivji: What happens?
Sharjeel: What happens is that, it is just like what you said last time. That you’re going somewhere like down, but it doesn’t feel like it’s in the Heart. It’s like I’m going down, and in some kind of a very scary place, it’s like the grave. When you reach there, it’s like you’re going under the ground. It’s a very scary, scary place. It’s extremely dark there, it’s complete darkness.
Sharjeel: It’s complete darkness. And then, most of the time, I stay there. I try to stay there, but then…
Rajivji: It doesn’t. Mind comes back! (chuckling)
Sharjeel: Mind comes back. So, when you told me, and this has been happening when I didn’t know anything about the “causal body,” or I didn’t…
Sharjeel: I read “Autobiography of a Jnani”, but this has been happening. My question is this – I mean I know it’s not some kind of delusional state because it happens in the dream, I mean in the sleep, but I’m completely aware. I’m completely aware of what’s happening.
Rajivji: Very good. That’s good. The thing is that, you mentioned that it is not the Heart… Again, I am saying the same thing: The Heart is a concept from this area (pointing to the chest) That is not the Heart. What you are experiencing is you’re going to that heart only. That’s all. As long as you’re sinking downwards, it is the Heart.
Okay. Now, “Heart” means “Self.” As I said, now it is clear. Heart means the source from where everything arises. That is the Heart. The real meaning of Heart is that only. It is the Self, itself.
So now, when you are going downwards, you just remain there… possibly if you can sink, you can sink, but just when you will have the experience of being aware of something extraordinary, of the nothingness, the moment you are trying, going to become that nothingness; before that, the mind will scare you. It will scare you, frighten you, too much.
Sharjeel: That’s true, that’s true, yeah.
Rajivji: That is a defense mechanism for the mind to come back into play. Sharjeel: Mm-hm.
Rajivji: Just like we have our own intelligence which we call “survival instinct,” the mind has its own survival instinct. It will try and scare you, that you’re losing yourself into that bottomless bit, almost like an abyss. You’re going downwards, downwards, downwards – downwards into the nothingness.
Thing is, you’re getting more subtler, and the mind does not allow you to become so subtle, because that will cause the end of the mind itself!
But I can tell you, Sharjeel, this is the most difficult part of sadhana [spiritual practice.] If you can, cross this ocean; this ocean that you are experiencing. Then for you the path ahead – for everybody, not only you – for everybody, the path ahead becomes easier. Because, you have to understand that beyond that lies infinite beauty, infinite joy.
This is only to scare you!
Sharjeel: It’s like you’re dying, like you’re dead.
Rajivji: Of course, you are dying, because that is a concept, that death. The mind is telling you that you are going to die. That is the death of ego, closely related to the “I-ness” – that is the individuality of the mind. The existence of “I- ness,” the individual ego, depends upon the mind. He has created you!
Sharjeel: You know Rajiv, the last time it happened, I just did some experiment. Because you know when you are in the “subtle body,” and you have lucid dreaming? In the beginning, I used to have it like I am going somewhere, but then after a while, after six months or a year, I could feel my physical body at the same time that I’m dreaming.
Sharjeel: But last time I did it, what I did was, as I was going down, sinking, sinking backward into that darkness, when I went there, I stayed there. But then I tried to feel my body, physical body, and because it seems like you’re going somewhere, like you’re not here, you’re going somewhere in the bottom of the earth, you know? Somewhere, a grave. So then I tried to feel my body, and I tried to bring back, and I said, Oh, it’s the same thing. I’m not going anywhere, I’m here. I mean, it’s just that this –
Sharjeel: That’s my mind.
Rajivji: I can say you’re going to the right place, but you’re coming back to the wrong place, that is the body.
Sharjeel: Yes. (Laughing)
Rajivji: So, change your focus. Rather, you go where it has to go. The body’s the wrong center. The body’s the wrong center, the false center. Because this is a security. See again, this sense of security that “I am there, the body is there,” is given to you by the mind because it wants to survive, and it will survive by your body, through your body. So, he’s bringing your attention back to your physical body.
Rather I would say, “Let it go.” You see what happens to you. Anyways, after physical death we have to go somewhere, no? Why not see now, only?
Sharjeel: That’s true.
Rajivji: We have to leave the body. Isn’t it? Or the body has to leave us; whatever. But whatever it is we are going to, this particular partnership of us and the body is going to break, one day.
Sharjeel: That’s true.
Rajivji: So why don’t we do it now, and see? What is happening with you, your experience, you are going subtle – and with everybody, I know it happened with me also, I’m not saying – It is scary, because the moment you start to become more subtler, more subtler, the mind will interrupt. It cannot see that.
Sharjeel: Thank you, Rajiv. Thank you so much. You’ve clarified that. Rajivji: Thank you. Very nice.
Rajivji: Any question? Is Matthew clear?
Matthew: Yes. Thank you. That’s a great explanation. I like how you put it in the context of Ramana, and the different systems. Nice. Very nice. Thank you.
Rajivji: You know, this is what I’ve said. It is experiential. The right side has significance, and it is experiential only after the experience of Turiya; not before that. Before that, if you bring the right-side, left-side, we are creating problems for ourselves. I hope you understand what I’m trying to say.
Matthew: Yes, yes. You said to focus on the sinking, or the beingness. Rajivji: That’s it.
Matthew: And in a way, what you’re saying is, it’s like when you’re driving: just remember to keep your hands on the wheel, and just steer and keep your foot on the gas. In other words, don’t get too taken up about what’s going on outside, you have to know what’s going on…
Rajivji: Exactly, exactly. You will be aware of it anyways. Matthew: Yeah.
Rajivji: When you’re driving that car, you’ll be aware of which car is coming from where, without really actually looking at it.
Matthew: True. Instinctively.
Rajivji: Instinctively! So, you have to trust your instinct more than anything else. Practice is all about trusting instinct. It is automatically happening around you. Similarly we have to do, but we are to not forget that car. And the brakes. We have to apply the right brakes at the right time! (chuckling)
Rajivji: It will be a problem! (Laughing) Matthew: (Laughing). . . Thanks, Rajivji. Rajivji: Thank you.
Jean: Pranams, Rajivji.
Rajivji: Yes. Come on, Jean.
Jean: When you spoke about being intellectual, being visually oriented, as – maybe not using the correct word – but as opposed to being heart-centered – for lack of a better word, devotional? Bhakti?
Rajivji: Yes, yes.
Jean: How does one know? Can there be elements of both in one’s practice?
Jean: Just as a curiosity?
Rajivji: Surely, surely. It depends. Which is more prominent? And you can try both also. Ultimately what I’m trying to say is, you are brought to this area of the Heart that is near your chest, and you have to sink. As long as you’re doing that, it doesn’t matter which kind of seeker you are.
In the first kind the devotion there brought directly here, near the Heart, whereas the second one is kind of indirect. You’re trying to force slightly, you bring it downwards.
So, the aim and the goal is the same thing. You are retiring here (pointing to chest) on this area of the Heart. That is the goal, and you’re sinking there. That’s it.
So, it doesn’t matter what is more predominant – you have to be one-pointed. You are going to bring all your attention of that beingness here (pointing to chest) and you’re going to sink from here. Ultimately, that is the way towards that beautified that I’m talking about, those indescribable joy which remains with you all the time.
Another thing I also have to clarify is this, that once you have had an experience of that pure beingness, or of “Turiya”, which we call it, it never leaves you – not for a second.
So, it is not a glimpse. This is not your question, but I just recollected that I have to say this. So, that is where you come to know that this is pure beingness, because it always stays with you. That is a part of pure “I-amness,” the nature of your self, the true Self, which is joy. That is what you are. You are joy itself.
So, whether you call it “joy,” you call it “love,” you call it “heart center,” you call it “Self,” everything is the same. That’s all.
So, depending on your happiness that you’re getting, Jean, in your meditation, that joy that you getting, you will know how well you’re advancing.
Rajivji: The progress is based upon how much joy you are getting. How much detached you are getting from the world. And how much happiness is growing inside of you.
That is the real symptom (smiling), of practice, of good practice.
Rajivji: These are all pointers: “Come to this area,” “Sink here…” They’re all pointers. But the real progress is where it becomes part of your life. Joy becomes part of your life. Happiness becomes part of your life. Nothing really disturbs you much.
And so, as and as the joy increases, the happiness increases, it reaches to indescribable zones, where you cannot contain it anymore! It flows! Overflows!
So, when that happens, you know that Self and you, there is not much difference in that. Of course you’re all the Self only, but the realization is not very far away. Right?
Jean: Thank you. Very good. Thank you, Rajiv.
Rajivji: Thank you, thank you.
Tim: My question is, and I asked you this before, I just wanted a little bit more clarification… Ed said I would keep asking and asking, and he was right! He must be able to see the future.
Tim: When I do my practice, I pay attention to my sense of presence, my sense of existence. And when I do that, sometimes it feels like it goes to the right. There’s a tension that goes to the right of my chest, but it has nothing to do with the emotion of love or anything like that. It’s just a feeling of being.
Tim: Okay. Because I thought that for the beingness to be concentrated on, the feeling had to be love or something, but mine – Rajivji: No, no, no, no.
Tim: Oh, okay.
Rajivji: Those are all concepts again, love and all that. Love is Self only. Heart is only love. Joy is also Self only. All those qualities, they diminish. They just go away. After that, after some time.
I’m saying, whatever you are experiencing, whichever side, your intuitive feelings are there – you have to sink there. Automatically, things are going to be dissolved.
Tim: Alright, that’s great. Thanks Rajiv. That was all I needed (chuckling)
Rajivji: Okay. Thanks.
Alan: I think that was a wonderful clarification today. And for me, you clarified that we get tied up. The mind gets tied up in concepts and ideas, and we get more tied up in how to do something, rather than just doing it.
Alan: And that we can get many ideas, many concepts, many names for basically doing the same thing. I think you clarified that this is a lot easier, and a lot simpler to do, if we just focus on the core of actually doing it.
Alan: Rather than getting caught up.
Rajivji: Exactly, exactly. That is why I say that reading should be banned! Alan: (Laughing)
Rajivji: Too much reading should be banned.
Rajivji: Because what is happening, this only – someone picks something else from what one Master says, and then they say, “This is what he said. Am I practicing correctly or not?” Then doubt is going to come in your mind.
But you see, only once you have reached the stage of the highest samadhi, all those things come and settle on its own. No one Master is saying different from the other Masters. They’re all reaching to a point where all meet. But we’re not seeing it yet.
Alan: No. It reminds me of the game that we used to play in school, where you would have ten children lined up, and you would pass one of them a piece of paper with a little message in it, just a little one-liner, and that student would read it. And then you take it away, and you tell that student to tell the second one…
Rajivji: (Chuckling) Yeah.
Alan: And so on, down the line. And so by the time it gets down to the tenth person, the message is totally different than what was on that piece of paper that the first one said the second student.
Rajivji: Exactly, exactly. But the first one knows the message. Right?
Rajivji: The first one knows the message. There you have to reach. There you have to reach! Where the first one knows the message.
So be the first man. Come back to your pure beingness. Yes, that is the idea.
Alan: Thank you.
Rajivji: You have to put effort to bring the sinking about. Even though it is of the mind, but we have to put that effort – initially – to start off with that motion. Because so far, we’ve only been looking outside. Now, we have to make the effort to come within. After you have done it repeated times, you will know that it comes naturally to you. Then, you don’t have to put effort.
So for some people, it becomes effortless already. Some people, put the effort. Nothing wrong in putting effort. Please, put effort where required. You’re putting effort for a good thing. So put that effort, and you will see. It will become effortless on its own.
It may also happen sometimes that sinking is not happening only, because you feel that you don’t have to sink, you feel like just being at that time. Just being.
So, no effort is required for that. You’re just quietly sitting in a relaxed manner. There is no sinking which is happening. You are relaxed.
You have to understand that that is because of the fruit of sinking that you are able to relax.
So, you should not stop your effort. When it becomes effortless, automatically you will reach to a stage where everything has become very relaxed.
There is a food when you go to a temple – after we have prayer, we get what we call as prasadam, the prasad. Prasad means that small sweet which everybody gives. In churches also, I don’t know if it is there, but in temples we have. Every priest gives us some prasad.
Prasad is what you enjoy after you have made the effort. It becomes effortless later. First, please put effort – everybody!
Rajivji: There are different kinds of pressure that you will feel. Sometimes you’ll feel on the chest area, like you are feeling. Some people feel on top also, on the head, because it will become very concentrated.
So, whatever you will feel, you have to have one-pointedness, that you are going to only focus, pay your attention to your beingness, and to the sinking. After that, whatever happens, let it happen. Your intuition will tell you whether you need to really focus downwards (sinking), or if you have to remain there (after sinking is done what it had too), or whether it is that concentrated energy that is getting gathered – what you have to do in that case. Your intuition will tell you exactly, when you reach to that. It will guide you further on its own.
I can tell you that you must try and sink as far as possible. Various kinds of energies are going to get trapped, right on the head or the stiffness on the chest, whatever. You just relax. And the more relaxed you will get, the more it is going to get resolved sooner.
Rajivji: One thing, very good question, Matthew, the thing is that as I said the other day also, and I always say that this is worship.
The beingness is worship.
It’s not a trade. We are not trading with divinity.
That, “Okay, I’m going to put two hours a day in; you’ve got to give me bliss!”
Matthew: (Laughing) Right.
Rajivji: You know – “You’re going to give me joy. You’re going to give me Turiya.” It’s not going to happen that way.
Rajivji: It is only when you’re selflessly involved in worship. Unconditional.
Then it will start to flower.
So, that expectation is all of the mind. That expectation that you have to reach somewhere, become something – that all is mind only.
Rajivji: So we should not try, as far as possible. I know it is difficult. Everybody expects that when he is sitting, he should get something out of it, somewhere.
Matthew: It’s a habit.
Rajivji: Yeah, it’s a habit. It’s about our habit, our nature, how we have become.
We do trade, we do business, we do everything with the intention of getting something. And the same thing will be reflected in our meditation also. But we don’t understand that what we are doing in meditation is only re-connecting.
A connection has got severed. That’s all. You’re re-connecting. It is not that we must have an attitude to gain out of it, as such. You’re not going to gain something new. We are already That – only thing, we have not realized it yet.
So, rather we should just sit in our meditation without expecting much from here, and you will see automatically that cup of happiness within your heart will start to fill. It will grow so much on you, that you will say, “Enough, I don’t want any more bliss!”(chuckling)
Rajivji: That can also come. (Laughing)
Matthew: (Laughing) Yeah, yeah.
Rajivji: That’s why I said it will overflow, that kind of overflow. That is how divinity works. Consciousness works this way.
You ask anything from Consciousness, then you become a beggar. So, you get like how beggars get – dimes. But you behave like a king, then Consciousness rewards you like a king. So, you have to just behave like you’ve got everything achieved already. And you’re sitting only worshipping that achievement.
Matthew: Very nice.
Rajivji: Right now. That much feeling you should have, not beg.
Matthew: I like that. I like the worshipping.
Rajivji: Yeah. That’s great.
Rajivji: Thank you.
~ Rajiv Kapur
Most on the spiritual journey find themselves dealing with two very important factors: pain and suffering on the one hand, and bliss on the other. The latter is obviously most desired and welcomed, and many times it is the goal of the whole spiritual search. The former is avoided, feared and very often also the reason for the spiritual search, which is looked upon as a means to somehow escape pain and suffering. I feel it is important to throw some light on these two because an aspirant will always come face to face with both of them during their spiritual pursuit.
In the first part of this article I would like to address Bliss and Joy. So, what is this Bliss? Is it permanent? How can I attain and achieve this state? Is this bliss real, or unreal?
Here it would be wise to bring up an old Hindu story from India about a lion cub who, through unusual circumstances, was raised by a herd of sheep instead of his own mother. The sheep were very kind and raised the lion cub (we will call it the “sheep-lion”) as their own. The sheep-lion cub grew up among them, believing he too was a sheep. He slept with them, played with them, ate grass with them, and bleated when they did. He became as fearful as they at the appearance of a potential threat.
Years went by. One day an enormous lion leapt out from behind some trees and threatened the pack of sheep. They huddled together, terrified. That’s when the lion noticed the sheep-lion shaking and hiding in middle of the herd. The sheep-lion was bleating instead of roaring. The lion asked, “Why are you bleating instead of roaring? Why are you living among sheep? You’re a lion.”
The sheep-lion didn’t believe this at all. He had been a sheep all his life. Frightened, he tried to run away. But the larger lion caught him and dragged him to a lake, where he told the sheep-lion to look at his reflection in the water. The sheep-lion leaned over and saw his face for the first time. He saw that he wasn’t a sheep; he was a lion after all.
From this moment everything changed for the sheep-lion. He roared instead of bleating and became who he was meant to be. He wasn’t meant to live a fearful life, following the herd of sheep and doing what they did without question. He was a lion. He was powerful, noble, and strong.
This analogy provides us a very deep insight into the spiritual journey and puts a few misconceptions surrounding our spiritual life to rest.
First of all, bliss is NOT an attainment. It is our own reflection, our own inner nature. The lion was always a lion. He was never a sheep. The sheep-lion cub had wrongly identified himself as a sheep… similarly, we too have wrongly identified with the herd mentality, which is that “I am so and so” – the body, the mind, the intellect, the energies. We have failed to look into the lake of our heart. Once we see our true selves clearly, the
false identification drops completely. The memory of the herd is no longer predominant. Bliss takes over completely. We have only to “look” inwards deep enough, and then we will see the reflection clearly. This Bliss is what you’ve always been, so there is no question of it coming and going. What comes and goes is only a state of mind. This bliss is often referred to as SAT-CHIT-ANANDA. This means that the bliss stays forever, never to leave. SAT-CHIT-ANANDA may merely seem like three separate words meaning EXISTENCE-CONSCIOUSNESS-BLISS, but together they denote a very important deeper meaning, which is “The Consciousness which ever exists as Bliss.” Once we see it, we will know that we were always that bliss. It stays forever. How can it ever leave me? It is known that it never did leave me in the first place.
A few key components and features of the Bliss of SAT-CHIT-ANANDA and my own experience regarding it are mentioned through the following points:
1) It is what you already are, so it is not a question of attainment or of becoming that Bliss.
2) It is continuous, ever flowing and ever new Joy.
3) All it takes to realize it is an intense looking inwards (towards the lake of our inner heart) and away from outward sense gratifications (the herd mentality.) The journey the sheep-lion makes towards the lake represents the inward journey every sadhaka (spiritual practitioner) has to undertake. It is not enough merely to assume that we are already that “lion” and so nothing needs to be done, as Neo- advaita declares.
4) Without looking at one’s reflection in the “lake” (Bliss flowing from the heart) any knowledge is mere mental knowing. Doubt will always persist. The sheep- lion has to take the journey to the lake to see its true reflection. This is a must. Without firm conviction derived through direct experience, no matter how hard the sheep-lion tries to roar he will only be bleating. Most on the spiritual journey don’t take the inner journey as a discipline (formal meditation,) and many of them who do are easily distracted midway along the journey, or drop the journey altogether. Many go “guru shopping” and read various books, trying to seek a technique or an insight which can reveal the “Truth” to them in a very short period of time. They mentally grasp various different concepts and try to find the Truth through these mental concepts. This is like trying to find fish in a pool of piss. Fish can only be found in a lake. Therefore it is of vital importance to limit reading and rather dive within, into the lake of one’s heart. All doubt vanishes when the lake is reached (when the life energy is stabilized in the heart.) Only then can the spiritual journey be called complete, not before
5) Two sure signs that one has reached the “lake,” which is the end of seeking, are:
a. Firstly, there must be a moment when the “sheep” memory (body/mind/ego) is completely gone and the lion consciousness (pure uninterrupted bliss) takes over. This means that the knowledge I EXIST cannot be of both the lion and the sheep (body/mind/ego). In that knowledge BOTH CANNOT CO-EXIST TOGETHER. There must be a time where one finds a new reality has emerged INDEPENDENT of the body/mind/ego. This means the experiencer is not this body/mind/ego. Many talk about bliss arising and falling, oneness experiences, alertness and mindfulness experiences or a background SELF (often another mental concept;) but none of these constitute real awakening because they are experienced through the normal waking state, where the experiencer is still the body/mind/ego. This is another flaw of the Neo-Advaitins and of those who shy away from formal meditation. They haven’t gone deeper than waking and dream to see their true reflection.
b. Secondly, seeking will automatically come to an end when there is no abidance by you. Rather, Bliss will abide in you, captivate you and possess you. It will hold you so close to itself that the outer sense gratifications will lose their charm and effect on you. Nothing outer or inner will enchant you. All forms of practice and searching will drop automatically.
6) The bliss which comes and goes (as a glimpse) is nothing but a state of mind. The temporary joy and bliss which appear take place when the mind gets purified through sadhana (formal meditation and inquiry). But they disappear too, as they come from the mind. Many aspirants chase this joy and bliss, and feel dejected and de-motivated to pursue their sadhana when the joy and bliss elude them, but this is a big mistake. It is here that a teacher advises his students not to worry whether bliss is manifesting or not. The student is asked to let go of whatever the mind brings in – sorrow or joy, and to identify with neither of them; simply to dive deeper without worrying about any results appearing in the form of joy and bliss. However, there will be no question of letting go the Bliss of SAT-CHIT- ANANDA, because it won’t allow you to let go. You will be powerless. Can a drunkard remain in his senses and let go of his intoxication by his mere willing it? I know it’s a bad example, and obviously it is not to imply that they are similar in any way, because the state of SAT-CHIT-ANANDA (Divine intoxication) is a highly alert state unlike that of any drunkard, and the joy far exceeds that of drinking or any pleasures of this world.
BEYOND THE BLISS OF SAT-CHIT-ANANDA:
Once a sadhaka establishes him or herself in that Bliss (the Divine intoxication) which holds them uninterruptedly and continuously, they will intuit and know that they are beyond that, too. It is outlined in my book with my Master Edji [“Autobiography of a Jnani” by Edward Muzika and Rajiv Kapur] how that certitude is established. It is “known” when a timeless existence/non-existence “state” visits you. It is a well established fact that it is impossible to describe it in words. It is then known that you are the One, prior even to SAT-CHIT-ANANDA. The reflection was not ME. I was still the witness. However, as long as Consciousness remains, the purest form of intoxicating bliss engulfs your entire being. Knowing that you are prior to this Bliss doesn’t mean the bliss stops flowing from your heart. It only expands further and further, and makes its way into the hearts of many forms of Consciousness, transforming the lives of others into great joy and happiness. Everything transforms into love. The lake of the heart (SAT-CHIT-ANANDA) transforms into an ocean of bliss and love, feeling great joy in the joy of others and tremendous pain in the suffering of others.
In my next talk I will address why we can’t separate ourselves from experiencing the pain and suffering of Consciousness, and how it transforms into love.
Read the second part of this talk Understanding Pain and Suffering
~ Rajiv Kapur
Transcribed from a talk on November 26, 2011
Close your eyes and relax yourself. Begin the session by taking a few deep breaths, way down into your belly, and exhaling the same outside into the cosmic universe. AHHH…..AEEEE…..AHHHH…..AEEEE…. (breathe). When you inhale, visualize that you are reenergizing your entire body, through fresh cosmic energy entering within you, through your breath and when you exhale, then you let go off all the stress and immediate concern, that you may have accumulated in your deepest memories. Keep your shoulders relaxed, face soft and posture upright. Repeat this a few times, till you feel that your body is very comfortable and steady.
Now pay attention to your breath again. As you inhale, mentally chant ‘I’ and as you exhale mentally chant ‘AM’.
Don’t force the breath inwards or outwards. Don’t control anything. Don’t analyze anything. Just let the breath flow naturally. Every time the mind wanders outwards bring the attention back to your breath and the mantra.
Do this for sometime till you are sure that your mind is relatively quiet and centered around your breath. Try to be one with your breath. When you feel that it is no longer the breath but it is you and your presence which moves inside and outside the nostrils, then it is time to move to the next step.
Drop the breath and the chant. You are only an observer of the breath and the mantra. You lie prior to them. Move just a bit inwards and locate the one who is witnessing the breath. What do you see? Look intensely and you will observe a dark void. This void is located between the front side of the body and the back side of the body. It is the space which lies within you as inner bodily sensation. Hold on to that void. Feel it, relax into it. You may feel an energy movement, particularly at the third eye, between the eyebrows. Be there.
Where you are at this moment there is neither the breath, nor thoughts, nor the world. There is only this void and you are one with it. Stay there for sometime. After you have stabilized here for sometime you can then play with the void. Make it your playground. Move into the void sometimes or allow the void to sink into you. Move into the silence of the void or allow the silence of the void to move into you. Become one with the void. When you feel that that this void is all that there is, then move to the last step.
It is time to move more inward from this void and find yourself falling back into a bigger void. The bigger void is first felt where the back portion of your body ends, where the boundary of your body is also felt and then left behind. The bigger void is limitless; it is timeless. It cannot be captured within this body. Sink into that. Allow yourself to fall into it completely.
Allow the breath, the energies, the void, the body, the space, and everything you have ever known about yourself to disintegrate into it. The big void swallows everything that is known or experienced by you. YOU ARE THAT BIG VOID. Rest there as the all encompassing, all pervading Consciousness.
Stay for a long time as that blissful, changeless reality.
~ Rajiv Kapur