Mysticism and Yoga

28 10 2008

Mysticism and Yoga
14 September 1979, Istanbul

When the aesthetic sense, based on the subtle aesthetic science, comes to touch a certain standard, it is what is called mysticism. And when this mysticism reaches the pinnacle of human glory, or the excellence of human glory, it is called spirituality. What is mysticism? Mysticism is the never-ending endeavour to find out the link between the finite and the infinite. It is a never-ending endeavour to find out a link between the self and the Super-Self, khud and Khudá. This is mysticism.

It is one of the human wonts that human beings are never satisfied with something finite. They are never satisfied with something limited. In Sanskrit it is said, Nalpe sukhamasti bhunaeva sukhamasti [“Human thirst cannot be satisfied with something limited, human hunger cannot be satisfied by something finite”].

That is, in the quest for the Infinite, human beings first come in contact with aesthetic science. Aesthetic science does not always mean to get something pleasant; it may mean to get something troublesome, something embarrassing – it may or may not be something pleasant. Aesthetic science is that which one can express in a subtler way, from subtle to subtle, and when it reaches the subtlest point, that point is the pinnacle of human glory. Now, it is the duty of artists to express their work in a nice way, in a lucid way, and place it before the world. Not everyone can do this. But enjoying something with aesthetic taste or aesthetic charm is within the capacity of each and every human being.

When human beings started their movement towards the Supreme Being, in quest of Supreme Bliss, they first came in contact with spirituality. As spirituality is coming in contact with the Infinite, that is, the finite comes in contact with the Infinite, it is called yoga. Yoga is the unit moving in quest of the Infinite, the finite moving towards the Infinite in a mystic style. In Sanskrit, yoga means “addition”. For instance, two plus two is equal to four. But for a mystic, for an aspirant of the mystic goal or the mystic desideratum, yoga is not only addition; here yoga means “unification”. What sort of unification? It is just like sugar and water. Say there are two plus two apples. In the case of addition there will be one apple, then two, then three and then four apples. Every apple will maintain its individuality or its identity. The identity of the apples remains unchanged before and after the addition. But in the case of unification, that is, in the example of sugar and water, the sugar does not maintain its identity because it becomes one with the water. This is unification. In the realm of mysticism, yoga means this type of unification. That is, it is unification like sugar and water, and not simply addition like two plus two.

Now the starting point is aesthetic taste or aesthetic science. The culminating point, that is, from the culminating point, starts the movement of Supreme charm. In that movement with the goal of Supreme charm, human beings become unified with the Supreme Entity, whose seat is above the pinnacle of existence.

This movement for yoga, for the unification of the unit with the Supreme, the finite with the Infinite, is a must for each and every human being. The human physical and psychic structure is most suitable for this purpose. Animals and plants act according to their inborn instincts. They are mentally undeveloped, and because of this their brain is also undeveloped. The cranium is very small and the conscious portion of the mind is sufficient for them; there is no necessity or little necessity for the sub-conscious or unconscious strata of the mind. A plant gets pleasure or pain when its inborn instincts are either encouraged or discouraged. When the inborn instincts of a plant or an animal are encouraged it gets pleasure, and when the inborn instincts are discouraged, suppressed or depressed, it gets pain. This is how the brain or the mind of plants and animals functions. But in the case of human psychology, human psycho-spiritual movement cannot be suppressed, cannot be checked. There lies the speciality of human existence.

Now yoga. Yoga is the most developed and most valuable expression of human wonts, so it is in the first phase of yoga that one expresses oneself through so many arts and sciences. The final point of all artistic movement and the final point of all branches of sciences is the supreme source, the perennial source of all energies, the supreme seat of all energies. It is Parama Puruśa, the Supreme Entity, who is the Father of all, the Causal Matrix of all created beings in this universe, both animate and inanimate. That is why for all people, whether they are intelligent or illiterate, thin or fat, educated or uneducated, the Supreme Entity must be the goal of life. That is, the Supreme Entity is the culminating point, the desideratum of all human expressions. When human beings are lacking in this spirit of movement, they degrade themselves from the human status. All you boys and girls, you should remember this supreme expression of veracity.
14 September 1979, Istanbul
Published in:
Ánanda Vacanámrtam Part 14
Yoga Psychology [a compilation]


What is Yoga

28 10 2008

What Is Yoga?

12 September 1979, Haifa

Yoga has become a very popular word throughout the world. We should know what Yoga is or rather, what the spirit of Yoga is. Human existence or human expressions are trifarious. Human beings have got a physical body and they have got physical problems, and they have to be solved. Secondly, human beings have got an intellectual structure, a mind, a psychic body, and all their psychic problems must be solved. There are so many knotty and complicated psychic problems, and when those psychic problems are not solved properly, people may become insane. There is a constant rise in cases of insanity throughout the world. This shows that the human problems, the psychic problems of human beings are not being properly solved. And, there is the spiritual body of human beings, their spiritual life. The culminating point of all spiritual progress is Parama Puruśa, the Supreme Entity, the Supreme Cosmological Lord.

Now, what is Yoga? We must have Yoga in all the three strata of life. If there is Yoga only in the spiritual stratum and there is no Yoga in the psychic and physical strata, what will happen? The very existence of human beings will become unbalanced, human equipoise will be lost. So we must have Yoga, or rather Yoga-oriented movement, in each and every sphere of life.

The crudest portion of human existence is the physical body. Now, what is this physical body? For human beings there is the external physical body and there is the inner projection of the physical body in the mind. You see an elephant in the external physical world, and you see the projection, that is, the extro-internal projection of that elephant in your mind. But for the creating Entity, for the Causal Matrix, there is no external world, so there is no physical world. For Him there is a psychic world and a spiritual world. But, for human beings there are three worlds – physical, psychic and spiritual. So, for us, our physical world is nothing but an ectoplasmic world of the Creator. While doing any work, while being engaged in any action we should remember the fact that whatever we see, whatever we do, is within the ectoplasmic scope of the Creator. This will be our Yoga in the physical sphere.

Suppose, there is a drop of water in an ocean. When the drop feels its unity with the ocean, the drop no longer remains as a drop, it becomes the ocean. But when it feels its separation from the ocean, it is nothing but a drop of water. So, when a human being feels his/her unity with the Supreme Lord and feels that he/she is not an ordinary person, but the blessed child of the Supreme Father and when becomes one with him, then he/she is no longer an ordinary person. He/she acquires immense power, immense vitality, infinite vitality and this is your Yoga in the physical sphere. You should always remember that a man or a woman is an ordinary person when separated from the Supreme Father, but he/she becomes Supreme when one with the Supreme. This we do with the help of our Guru Mantra. This is Yoga in the physical sphere.

In the psychic sphere, human mind is a projection of Cosmic mind. The so called physical body of human beings is nothing but the ectoplasmic creation of the Supreme. When this physical body, due to internal clashes and cohesions, gets powdered down, it is human mind, it is unit mind, and for this unit mind there are two worlds – internal and external. We become associated with the external world when there is an intro-external projection or an intro-external emanation. In the intellectual field, what is Yoga? “Yogashcittavrtti nirodhah.” In the field of intellectuality, Yoga is Cittavrittinirodhah or “Sarvacintá parityágo nishcinto yoga ucyate.” What is Cittavrttinirodhah? We should know.

Just now I explained to you Yoga in the physical sphere and now I will explain Yoga in the intellectual sphere. In the human mind there are 50 propensities controlling 20 directional movements or propensities. So in all, there are 50 x 20. How many? 50 x 20 = 1000. So human expressions – human intellectual or human psychic expressions are 1000 in number. Those 1000 propensities are controlled by the pineal gland in the human body. This controlling point lies in the unconscious stratum of human mind and these 1000 expressions are there both in cerebral and non-cerebral or rather extra-cerebral memory. These propensities are there both in cerebral and extra-cerebral memory. If I get time I will explain to you what are cerebral and extra-cerebral memories. Now, when one withdraws particular propensity or all the 1000 propensities and goads those collectively withdrawn propensities unto Parama Puruśa, that is, when all those withdrawn propensities and the collective force of those propensities are guided and goaded unto the Supreme Entity, it is Yoga in the intellectual sphere, Yoga in the psychic sphere. It is called Jiṋána Yoga in Saḿskrta, and the former one is called Karma Yoga in Saḿskrta.

What is Karma? Karma means action. What is action? Action means change of place. Suppose the boy was there, now the boy has come here. There has been change of place. So, it is an action or deed in English, D-E-E-D. What is intellectual? Intellectual means movement of ectoplasmic staff.

The third Yoga is yoga “Saḿyogo yoga ityukto Jiivátmáparamátmanah,” Yoga in the spiritual sphere is unification of the unit entity with the Cosmic Entity. There is Mr. X, there is Mr. Y, there are Mr. A, B, C – so many units. And when these units become one with the Supreme, it is Yoga. But in Saḿskrta language – you know Saḿskrta is a language about 15,000 years old and it is no longer a spoken language – in Saḿskrta, each and every word is created from a root verb. That is, there was a verb and from that verb a noun was created, an adjective was created. Wherever there is any word, there is one root verb or rudimental verb or controlling verb. For “Doing”, the Saḿskrta is Kr, K-R, and from that Kr, the noun Karma, was created. Karma means action.

Just now I told you about Karma Yoga. Similarly, in Saḿskrta, Jiṋá is a root verb – J-I-Ṋ-Á – Jiṋá. From Jiṋá, the noun form is Jiṋána which means subjectivisation of objectivity. In modern English the verb is “know” although there is no pronunciation of K because “K” is mute, “K” is silent. The original Saḿskrta term was J-I-Ṋ-Á Jiṋá. That is why intellectual Yoga is called Jiṋána Yoga about which I told you just now. The last one is Bhakti Yoga, that is the unification of unit with the Supreme.

In Saḿskrta the word Yoga has got two root verbs. One root verb is “Yuj” and another root verb is yunj? Yuj – Two plus two is equal to four, Three plus three is equal to six. It is also yoga. But this yoga is derived from the term “Yuj”. “Yuj” means to add. There is another root verb of the word Yoga and that root verb is “Yunj.” The root verb is “Yunj,” not “Yuj”, and the word Yoga is also derived from that root “Yunj”. Here “Yunj” verb means to unify, not to add, but to unify. Yuj means to add and Yunj means to unify. Suppose there is sugar and there is water. Sugar plus water, what will happen? Sugar will unify with water. You won’t find sugar in a separate form after this unification. Adding two mangoes with two mangoes will be four mangoes – one mango, two mangoes; three mangoes, four mangoes – four items or four mangoes. But in case of Yunj it is like sugar and water. After unification, will you get sugar in separate form? It will be one with water. It is unification. In case of Yoga, in the spiritual sphere it comes from the root “Yunj” and not “Yuj.” Here Yoga means unification. When unit consciousness, unit spirit, unit cognitive principle, becomes one with the Supreme One, with Parama Puruśa, the unit no longer exists. It becomes one with the Supreme. The little boy “A” or the little girl B will become Parama Puruśa. This is unification.

For each and every human being there are two “I’s” – two “I’s”. The name of a man, say, is Solomon. Then that means the name of his little “I” is Solomon and the name of his big “I” is Parama Puruśa, the Supreme Entity. Suppose the name of a little “I” is Joseph, Mr. Joseph. But the name of his big “I” is Parama Puruśa. That is, the big “I” for all created being is the same, but the little I varies. So many bodies have so many names. These names are names of little “I’s”, but the big “I” is one and indivisible for the entire universe – there is one big “I”. One is for one Parama Puruśa, one Parama Pitá.

What is Yoga in the spiritual level? It is to become one with Parama Puruśa. When you become one with Parama Puruśa, you are getting everything, but you are losing nothing. You are losing the name of your little “I” and nothing else and in return you are getting the Supreme “I”, the big “I”. This is Yoga in the spiritual sphere.

Some people think that Yoga means a particular exercise, No, no, no: Yoga does not mean exercise. Yoga means unification. It is the Supreme definition of Yoga.

There is common wont in each and every human mind and that wont differentiates human being from animals, people from plants. What is that difference? That spiritual wont is called human Dharma. What is Dharma? Human beings want to expand, and secondly, they want to become one with the Cosmic Body. Thirdly they want to do something noble and the fourth thing is that they want peace, Supreme peace, undisturbed peace. These are the four special qualifications of human beings. Collectively you may say, it is the human mode.

Yoga is the path of progress, the path of development for each and every human being. Nobody can keep himself herself away or aloof from that track of Yoga. Yoga is Dharma. So in individual life we should practice Yoga, and in collective life we should encourage others to practice Yoga. It is the solution of all human ailments in the physicial stratum, in the psychic stratum and also in spiritual stratum.

12 September 1979, Haifa

28 10 2008

When an infant starts walking, the parent first guides him to walk a little. He tries to walk but falls. Then the parent advances and lifts him up in his lap. So also, God. Make the slightest efforts and He will pick you up and place you in His Lap
(“God is with You”)

28 10 2008

Even a gold vessel needs polishing occasionally. Unmaintained, it gathers dust and dirt and loses its lustre. Similarly, even a good person, a spiritual aspirant needs proper maintenance, for in a world of constant change, care must be taken that the change be always towards the better or the higher. Keeping good company is essential for this positive development. While bad company strengthens the bondage of the soul, good company is conducive to liberateion and salvation.

(Seminar Notes 1980, 137)

Time Article – Guardian Angels Are Here, Say Most Americans

3 10 2008

Sounds like Microvita stuff

Thursday, Sep. 18, 2008
Guardian Angels Are Here, Say Most Americans
By David Van Biema

More than half of all Americans believe they have been helped by a guardian angel in the course of their lives, according to a new poll by the Baylor University Institute for Studies of Religion. In a poll of 1700 respondents, 55% answered affirmatively to the statement, “I was protected from harm by a guardian angel.” The responses defied standard class and denominational assumptions about religious belief; the majority held up regardless of denomination, region or education — though the figure was a little lower (37%) among respondents earning more than $150,000 a year.

The guardian angel encounter figures were “the big shocker” in the report, says Christopher Bader, director of the Baylor survey that covered a range of religious issues, parts of which are being released Thursday in a book titled What Americans Really Believe. In the case of angels, however, the question is a little stronger than just belief. Says Bader, “If you ask whether people believe in guardian angels, a lot of people will say, ‘sure.’ But this is different. It’s experiential. It means that lots of Americans are having these lived supernatural experiences.”

Sociologists may need further research to determine how broadly the data should be interpreted. The Baylor study tested other statements that might indicate a similar belief in the supernatural intruding into everyday personal experience — “I heard the voice of God speaking to me”; and “I received a miraculous physical healing.” But far fewer people claimed to have had those experiences. This raises the possibility that guardian angels, which famously support an industry of sentimental accessories, are just so darned attractive that they exist in a charmed belief niche of their own.

But other factors may be in play. On one end of the spectrum of American religion are the analytical churches, on both the right and the left theologically and politically, which are primarily concerned with establishing Biblical principles to live by — and are suspicious of any modern-day irruption of the supernatural into religious life. Their miracles all took place in the Bible. At the opposite end of the spectrum are the more experiential churches, like many African-American denominations and those in the Pentecostal movement, that lay heavy emphasis on the workings of the Holy Spirit, where the supernatural, through gifts like healing, prophesying and speaking in tongues, makes regular visits in the pews. In the middle are sacramental faiths like Roman Catholicism, where the supernatural has a regular place on the altar (after all, the Eucharist is said to be the literal body and blood of Christ) but one that occurs only within the restrictions of very specific ritual.

What’s interesting about the Baylor findings on guardian angel experiences is that they cross all boundaries. They have scriptural writ (in Psalm 91 and elsewhere). They are clearly experiential. And guardian angels are a prominent part of Catholic belief that happens to float freely outside of a sacrament. The cross-spectrum legitimacy of the notion of angelic interventions may free Americans to engage in the kind of folk faith that is part of almost any religious system but is not always officially acknowledged.

Randall Balmer, chairman of the religion department at New York’s Barnard College, says that the Baylor angel figures are one in a periodic series of indications that “Americans live in an enchanted world,” and engage in a kind of casual mysticism independent of established religious ritual, doctrine or theology. “There is,” he says, a “much broader uncharted range of religious experience among the populace than we expect.” Just possibly, Baylor has begun to chart it.