40 dagen 2008

The Guiding Principle of the Universe

Dag 00 - 40 Dagen 2008

Eve of 40 Days - Tuesday 25 March, 2008

PREPARATION FOR THE JOURNEY

Today we begin our pre ’40-Day’ Talk and Meditation. I want to say how happy I am that you have chosen to be here today physically, although I am sure that many people across the world will also be with us today, not just in this physical space but also in an energy space, where their minds and hearts will be connected to us.

Making this day special

I want to say a few words to you, to make this day a special day. I do believe that the physical plane is just one plane. There are other dimensions and there are Beings or forces in other dimensions that assist us on the earth plane. We may call that an aspect of Grace.

Cosmic Forces of Consciousness in the Universe

These Forces are forces that are working on the evolution of Consciousness in the Universe. I am saying this to you because I do believe that this 40 Day period that took place in 1978, was an act of Grace. I did not know it would be 40 Days, and even during the 40 Days I did not know when it would end. During that time I pushed for whatever was happening to me, whatever the process was, to happen as soon as possible as quickly as possible. But it couldn’t happen before 40 days. So the 40 Days, in my opinion, was predetermined.

I see it as 40 days of Grace. Over the years of conducting these 40 Day Meditation Retreats, I have seen so much transformation in so many people, that I know it’s an ideal period of spiritual discipline. My greatest wish is that what happened to me during that period, the flowering of my own spiritual consciousness, could happen to every human being. So it’s with great joy that we observe this period every year, this time is filled with Grace. And I would say that those 40 Days were a Cosmic event. I see it as a Cosmic event because not just the forces of the physical world were involved, but forces existing in other planes were also supporting it. I felt during that period a tremendous amount of guidance, there was a tremendous amount of support around me, and during the coming days I’ll share that with you.

It was a Cosmic event because what happened to me during that period is now impacting the world, not just this tiny island of Trinidad and Tobago. It was an event that was meant to impact the world and it was an event that was filled with Grace from other dimensions as well.

I see it as a cosmic event. And so when I honour this period as we go into it tonight, I feel that I am involved in a cosmic event that is based on human transformation. And so I look forward eagerly to these 40 Days.  

Preparation for 40 Days

Today is a preparation for the 40 Days and I want to say a few words to you that will make it more meaningful to you. During that period in 1978, we were preparing for an evening of chanting, when a series of very strong experiences took place within me. The entire day in that period would have been devoted to cleaning up the space and getting it ready for people in the evening. It would have been a small gathering but we would have been so excited about an evening of being together.

Baba Nityananda’s energy

A particular mantra or chant that I was chanting that evening was devoted to a great teacher of India who inspired me, not in physical presence but in tremendous spiritual presence. And for those of you who might be interested in knowing the name of that teacher, he is called Baba Nityananda. So the evening was an evening of remembering him and his power. I truly felt blessed when I was in India in 1975, in the sense that I had his guidance. I felt I had his guidance throughout my entire journey in India in 1975. And I do believe that his energy supports Blue Star and in particular these 40 days. I do not know how to explain that to you, but I know that many people across the world have had profound experiences of the presence of this Being, during these days.

So this evening is going to be an evening devoted to co-creating his spiritual presence and experiencing how Grace can enter into our space when we remember and invite in great Beings who have been on the earth. They represent that spiritual beauty that is within us, that is hidden, the unmanifested.

Spiritual energies of great Souls

Of course when we read his story, it’s an exciting story, about the simple life he lived and the very powerful influence he had on people. I do believe that great spiritual souls, who have left us physically, continue to inspire us from another dimension. During that period I felt as well, very strong spiritual energies of Paramahansa Yogananda, Swami Vivekanada, and Rama Krishna and other great Souls. I could actually feel during that period their energies were with me, because their lives and words inspired me so greatly. Knowing also, that it took place around Easter time, so the Christ Consciousness would also have been involved. I cannot describe the greatness of this period and I do believe in co-creating these 40 Days, that we are going to attract a lot of Grace and we can take great leaps in Consciousness and expansion if we observe these 40 Days of discipline.

The Cosmic Teacher of the Universe

I’m excited about the topic I’m going to use, because I’m going to speak about the Supreme Guide in the Universe, the Cosmic Teacher in the Universe, manifesting inside of us, manifesting outside of us, manifesting in everything that guides us in the Universe. I want to be able to broaden the concept of Guru and show that the whole world is filled with this particular quality that we call Guru Tattwa, or Guru Principle. If we can see that in a broad sense, then we can appreciate guidance on every level of the Universe, and not be limited in our thinking, that only particular teachers hold the power of guidance. So that’s going to be the subject of this retreat. I’m going to speak on the inner Guide, the outer Guide, the Universe as a guide, and the oneness of all these forces. And then how we can avail ourselves of the Grace that comes with guidance, the Grace that brings this Supreme Guiding power in the universe.

Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally

With these few words, I’m going to urge you to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for the day. And for those of you who are in the physical space, can we make this physical space as beautiful, clean, organized and energized as possible, I’m sure that’s going to make the evening even better. And for those of our friends who are in different countries, preparing for this day, we advise that you also do the same, that you make your physical space ready for the Cosmic event of this evening. I’m looking forward to joining with all the Centers who are remembering, and who are joining in the 40 Days. I do believe this evening is going to be filled with a lot of Grace. I’m going to co-create this sacred presence, I’m going to do it. I’m going to initiate it and inspire it, and let’s see how we can tap into it, in this period.

The beautiful Poui tree

Around the physical Centre (Blue Star Centre) there is a beautiful Poui tree in flower, it’s on the cover of our last year 40 Day Retreat. And this morning the tree is in bloom, and it’s a beautiful reminder that the 40 Day period is here. The beautiful Poui flowers really adorn our Ashram for this period. I’m going to invite you now to a short period of meditation, where we can enter a beautiful place of Grace. 

Dag 01 - 40 dagen 2008

Day 1 - Wednesday March 26, 2008


THE QUEST
 
Welcome to the first day of our 40-Day Retreat 2008. During this retreat we are going to explore once again the inner journey. But this time we will look at the Guiding Principle that is there in the Universe and which we need to work with if we are to achieve that state of enlightenment or liberation.
 
Broad perspective of guidance
Is there a power in the Universe that guides us? And what is this guiding principle, this guiding power in our Universe all about? You see how people gravitate to teachers. How we become attached to teachers. How we become narrow-minded sometimes when we think that our teacher is the best and we can learn only from that teacher and nobody else. We neglect to see that the Universe is a teacher, and that person who may be guiding you is only one aspect of the Guiding Principle of the Universe.
 
In this series of the talks, therefore, I want to focus on every aspect of guidance in our Universe. I am going to choose the knowledge that is there in ancient wisdom that allows us to see this. I want to begin by creating a perspective that is vast, so that you can see this subject in a larger perspective. I began my journey looking at life in this way. Whenever I do anything, I want to know what the greatest perspective is. I want to know how I can view this in the greatest possible way.
 
The seeker’s question
Today, I want to take one question that comes from Guru Gita which means Song of the Guide. It is an ancient scripture that deals with the subject of “Guru”. And what is marvellous about this scripture is that it sees the guru not as a person but as a principle in the Universe. I want to take one verse from the scripture today to begin our retreat and it begins with a question. In fact, seeking begins with a question. We become a seeker by asking a question, desiring an answer, looking for a solution. So the Guru Gita begins with this very important question that initiates the whole song - the Gita. The question is asked to the enlightened one. In Sanskrit it says:
 
Kena maargena bho swaamin

dehee brahma mayo bhavet
Tvam kripaam kuru me swaamin

namaami charanau tava
 
The meaning is: By which path can an embodied soul become one with the Absolute? The one who is asking the question says, “Be compassionate to me. I honour you as the great teacher.” The question asks, how can the embodied soul become one with the Absolute? So we are embodied souls. And what do we embody? If it says that the embodied soul can become one with the Absolute, it means that we embody the Absolute. So that is the important question that initiates this retreat: How can the embodied soul become one with the Absolute?
 
Cosmic processes at work
I want to go to a philosophy that has touched me very deeply. This is the Shaiva philosophy of India. It says that the Universe has five cosmic processes at work. That absolute power in the Universe has five processes in working in the Universe. It is important to understand because this gives us the big and expansive vision. If you look in the Universe you can see different processes at work. 

  • Creation: In the Universe you see creation. This physical body is a created being and you see creation taking place all the time. But in this philosophy it sees creation as something that is projected out of the Absolute. So whatever is created is already inside there. If you think of a tree and a seed, was the tree created in some way? Or was it inside the seed and unfolded from inside the seed? Therefore, creation in this sense is about this Universe being projected out of that absolute being. So that is one of the cosmic processes that we see in the Universe.

  • Maintenance: The Universe is maintained. After things are created or projected they are maintained so this is a cosmic process in the Universe. It is in the life cycle of things when they are created and come into being.

  • Dissolution: This is the aspect that some call destruction, but in this philosophy it is called dissolution, or reabsorbtion. First it was projected and then it goes back. So things disintegrate and go back to that place from where they emerged so it is reabsorbtion. That is a cosmic process. You see that after a while things everywhere begin to disintegrate, to age, deteriorate, dismantle and go back.

  • Concealment: There are two interesting processes that make up the rest of the cosmic process, one of which is concealment. It says that divinity becomes concealed in the embodiment. So in all the embodiments created it becomes concealed or hidden inside. So concealment is a cosmic process. In other words its Spirit becomes involved in matter. Spirit becomes concealed in matter. Think about this very carefully. We can refer to it as a process of involution – that inside of us there is the Absolute.

  • Grace: The last of the cosmic process is Grace. That which is concealed is liberated. So it is a cosmic process to liberate that which is concealed. It is a cosmic process for the Absolute that is embodied inside to evolve. And how does this happen? How does that which is hidden come into manifestation? That’s grace. It is called Anugraha. So it is said that the Guru Principle in the Universe is the power of grace; that the Universe carries the power of grace. Throughout the Universe grace exists, and that is the power to liberate us.
How can we tap into Grace?
The excitement about this is that in the Universe there is a power at work constantly involved in evolution, involved in support, involved in grace. Hence the reason for the question: How can the embodied soul become one, once again with the Absolute? How can that which is hidden become manifested? The whole idea is how can we recognize the grace in the Universe, because it is a cosmic process that is available. How can we begin to tap into the grace that exists in the Universe?
 
When we cry in suffering it is because of ignorance. We are unable to see the grace that surrounds us. The question therefore is “If this grace exists in the Universe why do we stay in ignorance? Then why are we not seeking? Why are we not seeking that grace that we may become liberated from this limitation, this suffering?”
 
Recognize the guiding power of the Universe
That begins the question of the Guru Gita, and it seeks out that guidance. Please tell me about guidance. How can I be guided? In ignorance when we begin to search and question the Universe: How can I come out of this? And when we ask this question to the Universe, when we become the seeker, the Universe is going to respond.
 
It is marvellous how the Universe responds. Through a series of situations, through a number of things the Universe can respond to you because in the heart of the whole Universe is the same absolute power. Everything that is embodied in the Universe carries this absolute power at different levels of manifestation or consciousness or awareness. So our Universe is a responsive Universe. And the great joy in this journey is when you begin to recognize that. Then you see the guiding power of the Universe not just as a human being, but in everything in the Universe that guides you towards finding that inner Self that leads us back to the Absolute.
 
In my own journey I began the search through the agony of not being able to control my mind; through the agony of not being able to feel love. Through the agony of not understanding who I really was, I began that search. And I knew that there was some great power in the Universe and that power has led me through a wonderful, wonderful journey which I will share in these 40 Days, that enabled me to see this power, this liberating power, not just through a person but through everything in the Universe. So the Supreme Teacher or Supreme Guru in the Universe is really that Absolute. And the challenge in the journey which makes it the adventure is to be able to recognize this Guru Principle everywhere.
 
Today I will end with that question, and the broad perspective of being able to see that inherent in the whole Universe is this process of liberation at work, taking us from concealment into manifestation. This power exists in the Universe. It is the power of grace. It is a power that is there to support us. We need only to recognize this power. So we begin our first day with this question.
 
Post-meditation comment
I leave you today with this query or question: How can I see my Universe supporting me in the journey to be liberated? How can I see it? How can I see in every moment on this day, the Universe working towards helping me to become more aware of who I am? How can I see that grace in every situation of my day, no matter how challenging it may be or how rewarding it may be? How can I see the power of grace in my Universe as it moves to take me away from ignorance and lead me into the awareness of my true existence?
 
I hope on this day you will embrace this question and you will begin to look for all the ways in which the Universe is working towards supporting you in your quest to become liberated from ignorance and to become one, once more with that Absolute Reality that is within you. In this we have to use the intellect or the intelligence. This is a very important faculty in our search.
 
Have a wonderful and blessed day. Our first day begins with this query with this awareness. We look forward to those unfolding days when we explore this journey to experience grace in the form of the Guide in our Universe.

Dag 02 - 40 dagen 2008

Day 2 - Thursday March 27, 2008

  

THE MOTIVATING POWER OF LIMITATION

    

Review

During this retreat our main theme is that Guiding Principle in the Universe. This is a very powerful theme. Is there a Guide in the Universe; is there a Supreme Guiding Principle in the Universe? What does Guru refer to? And in the course of these talks I want to show you that ‘Guru’ is not a person but a principle.

 

Yesterday I chose a verse of the Guru Gita to speak a little bit about the Inner Journey. And I chose one verse with a question and the question was... How could an embodied soul become one with the Absolute Reality? How can the embodied soul become liberated? How can this soul which is trapped in a body become free? And that is the eternal question of all who are embodied… How can I become free in this embodiment?

 

The background story of the Guru Gita

Just to give a little background of the story of the Guru Gita… Guru Gita means ‘Song of the Guru, a song of that eternal principle that we call the Guide. And the question is asked to the Supreme Teacher… Jagat Guru, by his companion. Now these two, the teacher and the companion, they’re also symbolic of higher principles which I will speak about later on, because the story is so profound in its symbolism. A little background information is, that the companion saw the Great Teacher, the Supreme Teacher, making prostrations, honouring someone, and she asks: “Everyone is honouring you, but who are you honouring? You make these prostrations every day; please tell me about this, I’m so interested in knowing who you are honouring?”

 

He replies he is honouring the Guru. Although he’s the Supreme Teacher in the Universe, though he is so great, he’s honouring Guru, so he’s honouring a principle. And she’s asking in the beginning of the story… Please initiate me into the mystery of this, that you are honouring. And then he goes into the story. Then she followed with the question I gave yesterday. How can the embodied soul become free? Become one again with that Divinity, that Absolute Reality inside? Then he goes into this beautiful narration, so it’s a narration, it’s a story, about who it is he’s prostrating to, who it is he’s honouring in the Universe.

 

What limits our awareness?

That which he’s honouring is called Guru Tattwa, or Guru Principle and that makes the story very interesting. The question was, how can the embodied soul (and this idea of embodiment is a powerful idea) having come into the body, how has it come into limitation? This sacred being inside, having been embodied has come into a limitation. So the awareness within you, that awareness that you have now… I  am body, or I am worthless, or I am ignorant, or I don’t know, whatever your awareness is, when in the body in ignorance, the awareness is limited. So we need to know having come into the body, what limits the awareness? This limitation in awareness is also called Maya. And so his companion is asking ‘Please tell me how to become free’. And I’ll read his reply to her, which is also a profound reply that takes us also on the journey. And he replies…

 

Mamarupasi devi tvam

Tvat-prityartham vadamyaham

Lokopakarakak prasno

Na kenapi krtah pura 

 

O Goddess you are my very self

No one has asked me this question before, this question which is a boon to all mankind.

 

The profound and supreme question

You are my very Self, here you see the greatness of the teacher. Although he’s the Supreme Teacher he’s telling his companion… you are my very Self. And he says “No-one has asked me this question before.” Which means this is such a profound question, it is a question not normally asked. So when we ask this question, this is the supreme question. He goes on to say “This question that you’re asking is a boon to all of human kind.” So important is this question, that all of human kind can benefit from the answer to this question. And so that excited the Great Teacher.

 

And by extension that is what excites our Universe. The moment you begin to ask the question…”How can I become free? Please teach me the way out of this ignorance.” You’re asking a supreme question that begins the journey to freedom. So that is the excitement by which the narration is being done. So we need to really ask ourselves that question. Are you really asking that question? And then he will go on to tell how you can recognize this guiding principle in the Universe, how to recognize it, which is a marvellous story. But I’m going to read one more verse to you. And this is also an important verse. It says…

 

Gudha-vidya jaganmaya

dehe cajnana-sambhava

Udayo yatprakasena

gurusabdena kathyate 

 

And he says here, Maya (which is the veil, the limitation) the creator of the world, and the veiled knowledge born of ignorance, resides in the body. And he says, he by whose light (which means true knowledge) arises, is known by the word ‘Guru’. So he’s saying…inside this embodiment, or due to this embodiment, this Maya, this limitation, this ignorance, is born of being in the body. And he says “that which releases, that which liberates it, that is Guru”.

 

Limitations of the human existence

So the question that I want to pose to you again is… are you aware or do you recognize that you have come into limitation? Do you recognize that you are in limitation? Do you recognize that something is trapped inside of you that needs to be free? Because if you don’t recognize that, then how can you seek freedom? So you need to recognize and understand that ‘I have come into limitation’. And the limitation or the darkness within is… I am worthless, I am ignorant, I am unhappy, I am sad, I am miserable, or my happiness is limited in the world, my pleasure is limited, there is suffering in the world.

 

These limitations of being in this human existence should drive us into wanting to become free of it. Are you so happy where you are, that you don’t ask the question that she asked (the companion)? Or do you really ask this question yourself… How can I become free? Yesterday I was speaking about that which is concealed inside. The Universe has a way of concealing that which is great, inside of us. So within all of us greatness is concealed. So the idea of seeing the body as a limitation, seeing that we are ignorant inside, that we are held in limitation, is an important recognition. So the idea of understanding the ignorance that is within us due to the embodiment is important.

 

How can I become free?

When you begin this spiritual path, one of the most important things is not wanting to be in limitation. And in my own journey, what pushed me, as I said, is my inability to control my mind, my lack of the feeling of love within, and my basic ignorance of who I was. These limitations pushed me to ask the same question… How can I become free? In my journey in asking this question, I ultimately realized, that it is not by reading books, it is not by mere practices, because I did a lot, but by meeting the One who lives in the awareness of Freedom…meeting that one was so important. And in my journey when I actually met such a one, I was inspired to go inside of myself. Not to become attached to a form, not to become attached to a limitation, but I was inspired to go inside of myself to become what I saw before me. So what is important here, is that when we begin to ask this question, the Universe responds.

 

Are you the recipient of Grace?

Yesterday we spoke about the idea of Grace, that one of the cosmic processes of the Universe is not to just conceal that which is great within us, but also to liberate that which is great within us. That act of the Universe to liberate, or to bring support is called Grace. Are you the recipient of Grace, do you think that there is something that supports you or guides you? Do you feel that there is some power in the Universe that responds to you? When you begin to feel this, then the real journey begins.

 

Experiencing this Great Power

In ignorance when I didn’t directly feel a response, somehow I acknowledged that there was a Great Power. I began to trust, I began to work with, and then ultimately I begin to see it, I begin to see and experience this great power. So he’s saying in the Guru Gita, you’re my very Self. He’s telling the one who asks the question, you are me, my very Self. So the Universe and the Guiding Power, treat us with great respect… you are my very Self. When we begin to ask the question that searches deeply, the Universe is happy to respond. The Universe wants to respond.

 

The Principle of Guru

In our next session I’m going to talk about the embodiment and how the embodiment creates the ignorance inside. Because we need to understand the trap that we have come into if we are to step out of the trap. Do you feel that limitation? And if you feel that limitation… that I know little, that my power is little, my experience of who I am is little… my knowledge of who I am is little. Then this should spur us to want more. But today, I want to emphasize the fact that the Universe is happy when we ask the question. Then grace follows, and it is that Principle which leads us out of the ignorance, that is the Principle that we need to recognize, understand and begin to follow. That is the Principle of Guru. In these series of workshops, or series of talks, I’m going to go deeply into the Principle that we may see it, like I said yesterday, not as a person but as a Power in the Universe at work in every moment.

 

Our true Journey

Today the contemplation is… the trap that I have come into, can I see my limitations and am I spurred on to come out of this limitation. Can I see my limitation? Does it bother me? Does it really bother me (like it did me)? And am I really serious about coming out of it? Do I want to open my awareness? Do I want to see my world differently? Do I want to rise above ignorance? Do I really want to? So when we really ask the question of the Universe…How can I, an embodied soul, become free? When we really begin to ask that question, our true journey to freedom begins. These first sessions, it is going to be recognizing the limitation, asking the questions, so we continue the conversation tomorrow, but now we go into meditation.

   

Dag 03 - 40 dagen 2008

DAY 3 – Friday March 28, 2008
 
GREATNESS BEYOND LIMITATION    


Summary of the previous day
- The positive impact of limitation

Yesterday we spoke about The Motivating Power of Limitation. This is what I will like to describe it as, the fact that you have come into limitation which means you have lost power. You have not realized it, but you have lost power and have come into limitation. And the fact that you have come into limitation gives you motivation to want to come out of limitation. I said to you when I was not able to control my mind, it made me powerless because I wanted to control my mind. So it is that limitation of not being able to control my mind that pushed me into wanting me to control my mind. A great desire came within me to want to control my mind. The fact that I did not feel love though I saw love around me, made me want to experience love at its deepest. There was an intense desire to experience love because of the fact that I could not feel it.

The same applies to the quest for Self-knowledge. The fact that I did not know who I was, that ignorance just pushed me into wanting to know. So limitation had a powerful impact on me – the fact that I felt so limited and some part of me seemed to know that there is more. That’s what I spoke about yesterday: that there is a greatness hidden inside. That there is some part of us that resonates to greatness so that when we see greatness and power around us we begin to feel inspired by it. That means that some part of us has this concealed greatness. I also spoke about concealment.

Yesterday’s message was meant to look at that limitation. We have become embodied and the embodiment that creates limitation should motivate or spur us on, or push us to want to go into a space of no limitation. That is the space we call freedom.

Grace exist around us
Yesterday I introduced you to another verse of Guru Gita  which means the Song of the Guide. That is the inspiration behind these 40 Days – the idea of seeing the Guide not as a human person, but to see that in the entire Universe this Guiding Principle exists. If we can open our eyes to see that, then life becomes filled with grace.

We also said that one cosmic process of the Universe is to conceal our greatness, to hide it. Another cosmic process in the Universe is the existence of grace that allows us to liberate this hidden knowledge or ignorance. So these are two cosmic processes in the Universe. One is the power to conceal or hide that greatness. The other is the power to liberate. The fact that we have this liberating power in the Universe is a motivating influence. So we need to  recognize that grace exists around us. This is what I have been saying in the last two days.

The idea of Guru is the idea of grace. The fact that grace, Anugraha, exists in the Universe, means that there is a power in the Universe that is supporting us, that power to help us to come out of ignorance and to come into freedom. It is what is called Guru.

What Guru Gita said
Here is the verse that I introduced you to yesterday:

Gudha-vidya jaganmaya 
dehas cajnana-sambhava
Vigyaanam yat prasadena
gurusabdena kathyate


Gudha-vidya – means concealed knowledge, that somewhere inside there is concealed knowledge or power.
Jaganmaya – means the world , the illusion , limitation or the maya.
Dehas chajnana-sambhava – I am the body; all of this originate because of the false idea we have because of ignorance or Agyana. So all these things are arising because of the basic ignorance that we have: when we think that this world is real, that knowledge is gone, that this world of false appearance is real. So it goes on to say
Vigyaanam – the knowledge of Self
Yatprakasena – the grace
Gurusabdena kathyate - Sabdena means the word. That which brings this grace of Self-realization, of having direct realization of our Self. The grace that brings it, that is referred to as Guru. So that grace which reveals that inner greatness, that gives us a direct realization of the inner greatness is what is called Guru.

So the fact that we have come into a body, into this flesh being, incarnate is what has lead us into this ignorance that we have become embodied. And having become embodied what have we lost? That’s what maya tells us. Maya tells us what we have lost. In the Shaiva philosophy maya is seen as a limitation. It is a contraction of the consciousness. It is a limitation and these are like coverings over the truth. So how have we been reduced in our consciousness? This is also important and interesting to know.

Maya – The five limitations of being
  • Kalaa: That great consciousness that is hidden within us has the power to create in the Universe. Kalaa is that part of Maya that reduces us to the idea that we cannot create. This is the limitation with respect to that.
  • Vidya: One of the limitations that maya creates again is the idea of knowledge. Though our inner being knows the truth, we think we don’t know. We are in the limitation that we don’t know. That is another limitation. This other limitation of knowledge is Vidya.
  • Raaga: Another limitation of the maya is the fact that desire is created in us raaga. We have lost that contentment or sense of fulfilment, that we now crave and have become creatures of limitations.
  • Time: Because we have come into a body now we exist in time, so the body is caught in the past, present and future. It is caught in time- kalaa. That is another aspect of limitation. That which resides within us exists beyond time, but we, as embodied beings, feel trapped in time.
  • Niyati: The next limitation is that we are bound by space and causation. We exist in a certain space and held in a certain form, and that limits our experience of freedom, that a part of us can be omnipresent. Suddenly we are caught in a limited space. This aspect of maya or limitation is called Niyati.

These five limitations: Kalaa – the limitation in terms of our ability to create and have effect in our world, Vidya the limitation of knowledge, Raaga - where we have desire, Kaala – where we have become time base, and Niyati – where we are bound by space and form. So this maya concept is that we have come into limitation because we are embodied.

Going beyond limitation
So if this describes our limitation, it also describes what freedom will bring. If we have lost our power to cause, to create, to have effect, when we begin to tap into that space of concealed knowledge, when we begin to realize that space – vigyaanam – when we begin to experience that space, we begin to feel the power to create, the power to affect, the power to cause. And those beings who are very powerful they make things happen. When you get into that consciousness you make things happen. And then knowledge – you know! You get into a space of knowing. When knowledge reveals itself automatically, it arises in your being. Whatever you want to know, it arises in your being. Then you command the power of knowing. That power of knowing is deep within our soul.

Then there is the idea of fulfilment. Somewhere deep inside there is the space where we are already fulfilled; where there is contentment already. But we have been reduced to the feeling that we are not happy, that we are not fulfilled. So somewhere deep inside there is that feeling that happiness is already there, contentment is already there. And the idea of time, we are so caught in time which is another of the maya concept. Aging – I am growing old, I am diseased, I am dying. The body will go away and that is the idea of the limitation of time. But there is that part of me, when I begin to experience that, I begin to feel immortal. There is no more fear of death; there is no more fear of change.

Beyond time and space
And the idea of space and time - we are held and we feel ‘I am here’. And now I am in this space and I can’t be elsewhere. But the truth is when you tap into that Universal Consciousness, that greatness within you, you feel connected to the Universe. When you go deep inside you feel that you can connect with anything in the world. And for those of you who have really begun to touch that space, you know that if another person is existing somewhere in this Universe and you go deep inside, you can actually feel that person. It does not matter where that space is. That is the idea of the soul’s omnipresence. It is not tied down to a physical location. Its impact can be anywhere in the Universe, or even in another plane of existence. So these are the limitations you have come into.

Strive to regain your power
It says that grace will take us back to that realization – vigyaanam – that we need to go back to that space of realization. The idea of grace is the idea we are going to carry throughout these days.

 

Vigyaanam yat prasadena – by whose grace this realization or direct perception comes.
Gurusabdena kathyate – is refered to as Guru, so it has the idea of grace.

Do you recognize that you have become bound? That which is great within you has become bound. If you don’t recognize this and you live in the limitation and you accept the limitation, you will never rise to your greatness. Do you realize that you have lost your power? You have lost your power to create. You have lost your power of knowledge. You have lost your power of contentment and being fulfilled. You have lost your power of living beyond time. You have lost your power that you can impact the greater space by your soul’s omnipresence. You have lost that! Does it have meaning to you that you live as a creature in poverty, in limitation, in powerlessness? Does it mean anything to you? And if it does, then another verse says:

Gurur buddhy aatmano na anyat
satyam satyam veranane
Tal laabha artham prayatnas tu
kartavyo hi manishibhih


This says: I am telling you with all emphasis, and of course the Enlightened One is speaking, the Cosmic Teacher. The great one is speaking to his companion, the one who asked the question. He said: Satyam satyam veranane. He calls her Veranane – the beautiful one. 

Satyam satyam – with all the emphasis that I have.
Gurur buddhy aatmano na anyat – the Guru is no different to the Atman inside of you. The Guru is no different to that Self inside of you. There is a Guru inside of you. There is an aspect of grace inside of you. There is a guide inside of you.
Tal laabha artham prayatnas tu kartavyas cha manishibhih – therefore every effort should be made by the seeker, by the wise for this attainment. Every effort! That’s what this verse says, which is so beautiful.  It says what you are seeking is inside of you. That guide is inside of you. It says, I am saying this to you with the full power of truth – Satyam satyam veranane. And he says the true seeker, the one who seeks wisdom, should make every effort to attain this.
Tal laabha artham prayatnas tu - Every effort
Kartavyas chi - should be made
Manishibhih – the wise seeker

Make every effort!
I leave you with the idea that the wise seeker will make every effort to connect with that inner Guide, with that inner grace to come into a space of liberation. So we have come into limitation, into embodied beings. Are we going to accept this?  Are we going to accept this reduction in power? Even when you get a demotion in your job how do you feel? When you are recognized as being less how do you feel? When you live with less how do you feel when more is available?

So how do you feel as an embodied being living in limitation? Is it acceptable? Are you happy? And the fact that right inside of here, this embodiment is the greatness. The verse says to make every effort, don’t spare any effort, make every effort to come out of it.

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Food for thought

"We can change the way we eat, breathe, think and then we change the molecules in our body. This is the medicine of the future." - Sri Vasudeva