Zoom Satsang on 24th June 2018 – part 1
Good day, namaste!
Through the spine to the Inner World
Is there any specific reason that as a sadhaka we are asked to concentrate on the spine instead of the middle of eyebrows or the top of the head?
Mohanji: The spine or the back side of the body is usually neglected. We are all front oriented. That’s why we have all the stresses of life. We have two types of existence. One is the external world, the other is the internal world. The external world is very easy, because our senses, the mind, everything is moving towards the external world, by default. The internal world is a bunch of conditioning: concepts, fears, various emotions, feelings. We experience them at random. It is not easy for us to see what sits inside. But it is easy for us to see what sits outside. So there should be a conscious effort to go inside. That is why people have guided us in the past, masters have said “use your breath, connect to the space between your eyebrows, or connect to the heart center, connect to the spine, etc.”
The reason why I was suggesting you to connect to the spine is because that’s on the back side of your body. It is not a usual thing for you to connect to the back side of your body. When you start connecting, experiencing or feeling your spine, automatically vibrations shift. Your outlook changes. The whole tapestry of existence changes. That decreases your connection to the frontal side i.e. the outside world. So you will be more compelled to look within. The more you look within, you will start experiencing feelings. Feelings have connection with something outside. When you see a beautiful garden, there is an expansion of heart happening inside you. An external thing triggered an internal experience. Likewise, everything, whether it is good or bad, creates an impression or an experience inside. Experience leads to a particular level of state. Various experiences, sometimes good, sometimes bad (these are the broad categories), over a period of time, create stability. If you are existing in an unconscious mode, it will be repetitive. It will become a pattern. That is why we have certain patterns, sometimes related to relationships, sometimes connected to certain things, likes and dislikes, habits. These patterns are created because we are on an unconscious mode.
So when you connect more and more to your spine, you will start looking at everything objectively, whether it is good or bad. When you look at it objectively, you tend to detach from it or you have no problem in detaching from it because you are unbound by it. This is the reason why I suggested the spine. You can also go to the heart center, but again, the problem is – it’s in the front. We are used to the frontal side. Spontaneously we are always connecting to the things in the front i.e. the world outside. Outside world is one thing, inside world is another thing and we are not really, really familiar with our inside world. We only experience certain things and then we realise these emotions are sitting inside. But when you are consciously going within and start experiencing the inside world more and more, that point in time you realise, ”I’ve been in a huge storage box.”
We have stored so many things inside. It can be emotions, fears, insecurities, likes and dislikes, doubts, anxieties, insecurities, you name it. All these things are sitting inside and they all sprout based on some external stimuli. So connecting to the spine helps you to detach much more than connecting to your heart center or the space between your eyebrows. This is why I suggested the spine.
From integration to transformation
Q: What should be done when the mind is relentlessly questioning the authenticity, credentials of the guru, the path, the tradition or the practice? (When these questions are hindering your practice.)
Mohanji: When we start questioning anybody, not even a guru, this is coming from certain concepts which we have collected from outside. We have certain notions about a teacher, or we expect that a teacher has certain boundaries. But a person who is liberated, beyond the karmic boundaries, will only operate as per dharma (purpose). He will only concentrate on delivering what is supposed to be delivered. There is no way you can bind a liberated person in any frame. If this is clearly understood, you will not question, doubt or be affected by the characteristics, mannerisms, habits, appearance or any aspect of the teacher. You will only concentrate on the teaching. A teacher’s job is to DELIVER. That’s what the story of Nagarjuna illustrates.
A thief came to Nagarjuna and said, ”Can you please make me your student?”. Nagarjuna said, ”When you decided that I’m your teacher, you already became a student.” Then the thief said, ”I have been to various teachers, but when they asked me, ‘What do you do?’ I said, ‘I’m a thief.’ They said, ‘Get out of this place.’ Nobody has wanted to teach me because I am a thief.” Then Nagarjuna said, “If a teacher judges a student, he is not a teacher. His job is to deliver.”
So, a good teacher’s job is to deliver. He only looks whether the student is available and eligible. Eligibility is emptiness. If somebody has come with a lot of information in the head and there’s no space to receive more, a guru can give nothing.
Then the thief asked Nagarjuna, ”Can you please initiate me?” Nagarjuna said, “When I gave you the method of breathing, which is a kriya, I have already initiated you. There is no need for a formal initiation.
So, it is up to the student to be available. In our path, the path of liberation,they say the only thing a student needs to do is to be available, have conviction and consistency. That’s it. You should have full faith in what you do. Not in the teacher, or any other thing. You need to be clear and sure about what you are doing and the rest will come to you.
If you start judging the master, it is either because you are connecting to the master with your mind, as mind will never understand the stature of the master, or you are bothered by concepts. You say a master should be like this or he should behave, walk, talk like this, have these standards, appearance… all these things are concepts. A true master who is beyond the mind, who has dissolved the mind, which is the fourth state of samadhi, will just follow dharma. Dharma means: what he is supposed to do, he will do. What he is not supposed to do, he won’t do. Because there is no pleasure or pain connected to karma for him. One who has transcended is not bound by pleasure or pain. He will only deliver what he has to deliver. That was the case of all the masters in history. That is also why, most of the clear, powerful masters were not understood during their time. They were understood much later. When Pilate (Pontius Pilate, Roman prefect (governor) of Judaea (26–36 ce) under the emperor Tiberius, today best known for the trial and crucifixion of Jesus) asked people, “I can release this noble man or I can release the thieves,” people said, ”Release the thieves,” because they did not understand Jesus. Then you know the rest of the story. It is always like that. Contemporaries sit and judge, posterity honours the master. Then they realise this was a great master. By that time, we would have lost the chances. This is happening time and again in the history. That is because we connect to somebody with mind. When you connect to something with mind, you do not understand. When you connect to the consciousness through the teachings, then you understand what the benchmark for it is – TRANSFORMATION. Understand whether the teacher is transforming you. Making you more silent inside. Making you immune to the pleasures and pains of life. These are clear signs of transformation. Earlier we were probably getting affected by everything happening around us. Later on, when you are connected to the master, so many things that you thought as dear or inevitable, start losing their importance. For example, certain food, certain emotion, certain connection with people… You will see a big change in yourself and that exactly is transformation. Your dependency reduces. Your needs change. Your understanding evolves. All these things can be taken as benchmarks for your spiritual progress. This is exactly what the master is delivering. This is the master’s job. Not what the master does, what he eats, where he sleeps, this is not important. The important thing is: is the message suitable for you? Then you will not be affected. You will focus on the teachings and you will evolve. This is exactly what you need to do in a lifetime. You need to make only one decision, “I won’t take a life again because I have already taken a life.” That means you get more and more evolution, awareness inside, and then you detach from all the things outside. Detachment does not mean you do not enjoy anything. When I say ‘detach’ it means nothing binds you. Whether you have a thing or not, it is the same for you. You are always happy. Contented. Peaceful. This is the criteria. When you are connected to a master, he changes you, transforms you into something positive. When doubts, fears and confusions happen, you are bound by emotions more than transformation. When you know that you are not being open and that you are not expanding, it means the track is wrong. When mind binds you, you will feel suffocated. You will feel small in your views. It is important that you understand it is YOUR evolution, YOUR journey, YOUR transformation that is most important. Master is a facilitator. Understand: You are not marrying the master. You are marrying only the consciousness that is talking through the master for YOUR benefit. Then you will have no confusion. There’s nothing to change. All you have to change is the concept that a master should be within certain frames. It is not necessary. A master can be anything. A realised person i.e. a person who has gone beyond the boundaries of mind may behave in any way which the dharma asks him to behave and that is not controlled by the society or social norms. Their operating level will be totally different. You should understand this. You will also be the same.
When you go beyond your mind, you will only see the absolute truth with clarity. When you see the absolute truth, you will see the past, present and future. Then you will behave in a different way. When you only see what is happening ahead of you, you will be bound by those visions processed by your mind. It cannot give you the truth. Also, what the eyes see, is truth. What the ears see is not always truth. We depend on ears to see. That is sometimes a problem. We ask the ears to see. That means we listen more to people’s words rather than our own eyes, our own expressions, our own experiences. And your own experiences are your truth. It doesn’t matter what the ears see. Ears see somebody else’s opinions. It cannot be true. It may be an opinion. Opinions could be based on concepts, boundaries of likes and dislikes, or the frames which they have created. These could all be wrong. But what YOU see, experience, how YOU connect, that brings forth the difference. This is what you should always understand.
The benchmark is one word – transformation. If transformation is happening, keep moving. Transformation literally means stable mind amongst all the storms of life. This is the fundamental thing that you can understand. Practices are all for the mind. Transformation happens through INTEGRATION into the consciousness of the master. Imagine the master is stabilised in a certain level of freedom from mind; you integrate yourself into the master; through integration, you also attain that level. That means your wire is connected to the plug point, you get electricity and the machine gets operated. So integration leads to transformation and that is your benchmark, not the mannerisms, character, constitution, the words they use, appearance of the guru. These are all transitory. These are provided to you only for YOUR sake, YOUR journey, YOUR transformation. Now if you choose not to like the master, not to like the teachings, it is all because mind is getting involved.
Do not look at anybody through your mind. Look through the eyes of truth.
Calm your mind then decide
Q: What is the best way to gain clarity when you have an important decision to make?
Mohanji: Whenever you are emotional, angry, upset, do not make any decisions. Just hold on. Just be calm before making any decision. Whatever decisions we make when we are extremely emotional, agitated, angry, etc., we will have regrets later. Take a step backwards, just allow the time to pass, let it flow and then you make decisions based on truth. Always base yourself on truth and do what is right. What is right is what enhances you, what makes you feel good, what expands you and other people. This is good. What contracts you, makes you feel bad, makes you contaminated, the base emotions like anger, hatred, jealousy, revenge, make you more and more bound. You feel much more contaminated. You feel down. You feel low. Avoid all those emotions. If you choose higher feelings such as kindness, compassion, love, and express these through the words you use too, the whole life would be a smooth flow. Even if you made a mistake, you would not feel it so much. But if you are angry, upset, revengeful, and when you make a decision – if it goes wrong you will feel even more miserable. So don’t make any decision when you are agitated, angry, upset, etc. Please understand it will pass away. Everything moves.
Please remember, if you live 80 years in this world, it is only 29200 days. There is no room for these base emotions like anger, hatred, jealousy, revenge, character assassination. All these things are very, very basic and mean. That will only bring YOU down. Other people may not be affected as much as you are. It is always important that your aspirations and expressions should be of higher nature. Make a decision basing on truth and doing the right thing. Always be right.
Destiny vs. free will
Q: If our destiny is pre-decided, what freedom of action do we have?
Mohanji: Destiny is pre-decided. The duration of time of each incarnation is decided, but your awareness can be different. For example, if you are aware why a certain thing is happening, it will be much easier for you to travel through it. Life is all surprises because before we came, we erased the past which brought us here. We know very well that we have a duration, e.g. 80 years or if you are lucky you may live for 90 years, but then the soul changes the face, changes the body. The body is useful only for about 80 years out of which you have about 40-45 effective years. First 20 years, we figure out our existence. Last 20-25 years, we are on a downward trend because the body is not as good as it was before. The effective years are the middle years, from about 20-60. These effective years are all you have. During that time you can always have a higher awareness through acceptance.
You have to accept yourself 100% because you chose this incarnation, this body, this mindset, this understanding, awareness in this life. Total acceptance is very important.
Also, please remember, you are original. There’s nobody like you. You are authentic, because there’s nobody like you. When you understand that you are authentic and original, express your highest with that originality which would be compassion, kindness, love, where you are giving more to earth than you take from it. This is very important to understand. That would be an authentic existence.
Whatever the society gives you, does not matter. Society gives you love, society gives you hate, we can’t control it. We cannot control anybody else outside. We cannot control anybody’s emotions. Some people choose to love you, some people choose to hate you, some people choose to be somewhere in the middle, where they may be in a doubt. This is the way it goes.
Those who really love you will never leave you. They will love you through rains and suns. Then don’t worry about them, you have nothing to prove to them because they love you anyway.
Those who choose not to love you completely, will always judge you, whatever you do. When somebody judges you, they have no time to love you.
Always remember, do not try to prove anything to those who are constantly judging you, criticising you or abusing you, or talking bad about you, etc. because they have already made a decision not to love you. What you need to do is to be sure that you are doing the right thing and that you are travelling in the right path. When I say ‘right’ always do things which expand you, which will definitely not be against anything. We cannot be against something and still be happy. Whenever we are against something, we are resisting. Resistance creates friction, and friction always leads to pains of various types over a period of time. That also leads to diseases. You can see that somebody who is constantly fighting against something catches some disease like cancer. They do not know why the cancer is happening because if you look back, an emotion such as resistance was continuously there in them. They are not releasing the energy which is positive. The flow of energy is not happening. You can see all these things in your life.
What I suggest is – always be truthful to you. You don’t have to convince anybody, but be truthful to you i.e. to your conscience. You should be truthful that you are doing the right thing. You always have to be truthful to your conscience and do what is right. And whenever you are emotional, refrain from making decisions. This is it. That is the way to make decisions.
Overcoming addictions or bad habits
Q: What is the best way to break an addiction or a bad habit?
Mohanji: When you know there is an addiction, there is always something which has created it. So go to the root cause. It could be boredom or some kind of disappointment, something which could have created it. Just an environment would have also given you that. Because you live in a particular environment and it was ok to have this addiction. So anything could have given you this addiction. AWARENESS is the right thing to overcome addictions. When you say ‘awareness’, first awareness is that your duration in this world is limited. You know very well, if you live 80 years, it is only 29200 days out of which we sleep, eat, wash, wash clothes, fight with people (laughs), we have our moods, then we watch television, entertainment, for all these put together we have only 29200 days, if we live 80 years. That awareness is the fundamental.
In that time what would you like to do properly?
This is the most important thing. Forget about destiny, forget about karma, forget about everything. You have a body, you have a situation, a life, environment, a particular nationality, a house to stay, food to eat, whatever. What do you want to do now? When you are clear about this, stop complaining. No self-pity at all. That’s a very, very bad thing which paralyses you. Don’t look for somebody’s sympathy or approval. That is also going to paralyse you. You are an individual. You are born alone. You will die alone. Nobody will be there for your birth or death. Your parents were there at the time of birth, somebody will take you to the graveyard. That’s about it. But you are taking birth alone and you are dying alone.
In this boundary of time, what would you like to express? What do you really want to do in this world?
If you have clarity about that, you will automatically go beyond all your habits and addictions because mind is often on a repetitive mode. Mind is just following a repetitive pattern.
When you are conscious about your life and the duration of life and that this body has been leased from earth and body is made out of elements, like earth, water, air, fire, then you understand you do not have control over your body – it is changing, mind is changing, everything is changing. You have no grip on any of these things. When you are very clear about all this, you will understand, ”What am I supposed to do here? What is my core nature?”
Once you come to terms with your core nature, you can get out of any binding habit. This is not a problem. Otherwise, mind will say, “Ok, you are used to coffee, tea, smoking, just do it, what’s the problem?” But then we understand this is not what we want to do in our life and we start being detached from being any of these things.
So, sense of purpose, CLARITY OF PURPOSE, removes everything unwanted from our system. Gain clarity. Clarity should be individualistic, not that somebody tells you what you should do. That is not yours. Even if I tell you what you should do, that’s not yours. You should gain it from the inside. “What am I supposed to do in this life? What do I really want to do with this incarnation which has a duration, time limit?” Then it will give you the clarity of purpose. Think about it. Contemplate on it and make your purpose very clear. Purpose means the highest purpose you want to achieve in this life. Not just eat, drink, sleep and die. That clarity will give you a lot of strength, determination and then you can break any boundary in your life, especially habits.
How to pray for someone
Q: Does praying for someone in difficulty help them?
Mohanji: Praying for someone is a good idea actually, it is your expression of compassion. Nobody can stop you. But, when you pray for someone, who are you praying to? That means you are looking for a particular entity or a particular form of God who will help and also you are reemphasising that the person has a problem. Instead, what you should do is SURRENDER the situation of that person to the hands of whichever Almighty you are looking at and say, “You know very well, there is this situation. I surrender the situation to you and let it be good for everybody.” Then the prayer is more of a surrender.
When you say, “I WANT more and more things,” or “I WANT somebody else to have something,” you are actually emphasising a truth that there is something missing, something lacking. When you keep saying that something is lacking, the world reflects it back to you. You say, “I do not have this thing.” The world will say, “You do not have this thing.”
The world is like a mirror. Your prayers should be prayers of love, prayers of gratitude, prayers of compassion, prayers of surrender: “I have this situation and I have probably wanted to experience it and this person whom I love has this situation, I surrender them to you.” You are automatically relieving that burden from your shoulder.
Lord Krishna says, “Surrender your activity to me and the results of the activity to me, I release you from the ownership or the sins or the burden of it.”
Karma happens only with ownership. When you have ownership of action, it becomes karma. If you know things are happening through you, you are not bound by that particular situation, or a particular activity. An activity is happening because you were supposed to have that experience. Activity leads to experience and that becomes a memory. That activity will happen, but you are not taking any ownership – you are just being neutral. When you are being neutral, you are not adding to your karmic burden. You are just being neutral, normal, there is no ‘me’, there is no ‘mine’, there is no thing which you control, which is actually true, we don’t control anything. We don’t control even our body, emotions, our thought processes. We do not know what we are going to think next moment. In this whole tapestry, we will flow through life. Life happens through us. That is why we are all related.
Always remember we are all connected and related. That is why we are listening and talking today. It is not a coincidence at all because in this space, in this time, we are all uniting – in energy. This energy continuously flows as life through all of us. In this bargain, when we say, when we fight something, when we resist something, we tell God, ”This is not right”, this is all mind trying to figure out something.
You collect emotions, ownerships. When you have ownership, that stays as your karma, a thing to do or a particular reality in your life. It is important to understand that you need to flow, continuously, consistently, without boundaries and surrender everything. When you feel a situation, you surrender, say, “I leave it to You, at your feet,” also “Whatever is right for this person, let it happen, I surrender this person to You.” Invariably, the pains will reduce because you are not the doer. Only with ownership there is pain.
When somebody asked Ramana Maharshi who had cancer, “Do you have great pain?” He said, “I have a body, so I have pain. But I have no suffering. I choose not to suffer. Body has pain. I have no pain.” That is exactly what we do. Whatever belongs to the body should remain with the body and not with your mind.
It’s about food, emotions, sexuality, all the things which have to remain with the body let them remain with the body. And what has to remain with the mind, let it remain with the mind. You can see this in animals. Look at how the animals operate. Whatever is in the body, they keep with the body. Whatever is in the mind, they keep with the mind. They have this clear separation, but we mix all these. We have judgements, criticisms, analyses of people…
Analyses of people create emotions all the time. When you analyse too much, you are creating more emotions. Analysis often leads to paralysis of mind (laughter). Sometimes it is emotional. Clusters happen through analysis. We also distort reality through analysis. You have to accept things as they come, experience them and let them go, so that you always remain calm, peaceful.
Everything is changing. Nothing is permanent. Everything is temporary. Let life flow like this.
Transcribed by Biljana Vozarevic
Proof-read by Vidya Rajagopalan