Whenever we are going and growing towards the realms of subtlety, subtlety is something which is less and less tangible: the gross, the habitual gross, keep pulling us out. The gross means our habits, the materials we are used to, the places that we are used to, the people we are used to, all the positions, possessions and commitments of life, and all the attachments of life. They keep bothering us and pulling us back to them, while we are trying to detach and move towards the subtler and subtler aspects of us. The subtlest aspect of us is our soul.
When you demonstrate your devotion or your practice in the world, a lot of opinions will come your way. It can be positive opinions or negative opinions. Sometimes there are apprehensions, sometimes prejudices, sometimes the fears that people keep in their minds about things like spirituality. Sometimes it’s not considered as a positive thing, but we know very well that we have gone through all these emotions, all these things of life, and now we need absolute peace, or permanence in peace and that’s exactly why we are following spirituality. The benchmark, as I have already explained, is the silence inside. Whatever happens outside, you are always stable and still.
When I was practicing seriously, I was working as the country head of a multinational company, a very, very busy job. So I was finding my own time, my personal time, the time to connect to myself, between 3 am and 8 am. Even if I slept at 12 o’clock, after some party or some get-together, I would still wake up at 2:30 am. I used to have very short hair, and I used to take a bath, without taking a bath I never used to do anything. I’d take a full head bath, wipe myself clean, and then I’d just light a lamp. There was nothing else in the room except a lamp, a flame, and that flame was the only companion for my connection. I used to dissolve into that field of energy, into myself, and that was my practice.
Nobody knew I was practising, because in public life, in the real-time world, I was not practising anything. I was not visiting any temples, I was not visiting any Gurus, I wasn’t doing anything. But I was very happy with myself, I was practising with myself, and dimensions started shifting because of consistency. Whatever happened, I was always practising. This is one aspect I can tell you, you must have your time, the time with yourself, and as I explained, it’s all about you. The path is you, the destination is you, the journey is you, everything is you. Always remember, it’s about you. Connect to yourself as much as possible.
The time of the day which is quite suitable for this is between 3 am and 8 am, as far as I have experienced. You may have a different time, but that’s up to you, that’s an individually suitable time. I don’t want to say this is the only time possible; whichever time is good for you, that’s fine. But understand one thing – during that time between 3 and 8 am, usually the outside world is sleeping, it is silent with very little sounds outside. And inside, to get into silence, it’s much easier. There are no sounds, not too many vehicles and traffic sounds of various nature. Even the birds, animals, every being will be sleeping, more or less, and they all wake up after 5 am. By that time, you have already almost completed your connection with yourself, and you can conveniently come out of it at any point in time. But up to 8 am actually, in my experience, I hardly used to get any calls, nobody used to bother me. This is one. Secondly, the great Masters have given us various techniques and methods to connect to oneself, because we are a Universe.
The whole point, or the whole message of TAT TVAM ASI is – You are That, whatever you are looking for is – you, and this can be found through self-exploration and connecting to oneself. There is a method which is very popular – connecting to your heartbeat. When you connect to your heartbeat, there is a sound and a silence… a sound… and a silence. You are connecting to the sound and the silence, you are observing that sound and the silence. Then slowly, slowly, over time, you go between that sound and the silence. That means there is a sound… and the sound stops and the silence starts… and the silence stops and the sound starts. We try to feel that deeper and deeper, and as we go deeper and deeper into that space between the sound and the silence, we will start exploring higher levels of subtlety, the sukshma state.
Another method which the great Masters have gracefully given us is the space between the inhalation and exhalation – that idea, that thought of breathing in and breathing out. There is a small gap between the breathing in and breathing out, that is supposed to be the space of Heaven, that is what people say. That space is very momentary, but if you are aware of that space consistently, the space between your inhalation and exhalation, you will start experiencing various layers and layers of silence. You will start feeling that silence, a silence, a state where everything stops: the breath stops at some point, and then the breath starts. So between this stop and start, there is a space, and that space is a very pleasurable space, it’s very, very blissful. These are all methods you can practise.
I was particularly practising connecting to my spine. I feel the spine, I sit, and I feel the spine. When I’m walking, I feel the spine. When I’m sitting and talking sometimes, I spontaneously feel the spine. Any part of the spine, as per your orientation, you feel it, and spontaneously, you will start experiencing a vertical existence. Usually, we experience a horizontal experience as per the flow of karma. But here, when you are concentrating on the spine, you start experiencing a vertical existence, and that is a very beautiful state. When you are in that state, the past, present, and the future do not have much value, there is only the present.
The oscillation of the mind to the past or the future, the dwelling of the mind over matters of the past and the future will all reduce, it’ll all come to the present existence, present awareness. Awareness is bodh, and when you continuously connect to your spine for a long period of time, the bodh, the awareness, will start growing and flowing from you. You will become aware of everything around you, everything beyond you, and dimensions can shift rapidly. I do not want to tell you that this much time you have to do it etc, that’s all individual. Please understand spirituality is an individual journey, everything is individualistic. The more time you can spend with yourself without distractions, that much progress you can expect. So these are all guidelines I would like to give youngsters who are probably in a hostel with other people, etc. You don’t have to demonstrate any of this. Spend some time with yourself, be normal, be involved with all the work, whatever you have to do, you can do.
I was actually very busy when I was practising, I was heading the country and it was a very big job. Big job in a sense, it was a very active and a very stressful job. But at the same time, I never ever forsook my practise. Also, I was experiencing, just like now, I was not in one place long enough to have the comfort of one location. The comfort of one location is always an advantage. If you have a space for yourself to practice, that’s always an advantage, because the energy level of that place will complement your practise. But I didn’t have that luxury. Even now, I don’t have that luxury. I keep traveling. So you have to accept whichever way it happens.
Understand that your only exploration is yourself, and you are always with yourself, so you don’t have to really worry about the environment. If you really mean to succeed in reaching or becoming Shiva, the Supreme Consciousness, you have all the materials you need for that, because, by birth, you have it; nobody can take it away from you. If you are really keen on exploring yourself to the highest possibility, use any of the techniques. You can do what suits you spontaneously. We have bhakti yogis, who like to sing and chant, they are devotional people, they like devotion. There are jnana yogis who like to explore the truth of spirituality through knowledge. Then we have karma yogis who would like to live a selfless life. Through selflessness, they explore higher dimensions. Then we have raja yogis who are only established in awareness – bodh, and through bodh, through constant awareness, they reach the highest. There are so many different methods and practises which are suitable for everybody. And I feel that you will automatically reach there, once you decide to start walking. Nobody can stop you if you decide to walk. And nobody needs to give you any input. In my experience, whenever I needed guidance, somebody has given me guidance. I’ll give you an example.
I was practicing seriously like this for about four or five years. I was reaching a state of complete blankness, meaning I didn’t even know who I was, I didn’t even remember my name, my identity, etc. A completely blank state means I don’t exist. It’s almost like the deep sleep state in the night, where you are not aware you are sleeping, you are not aware of anything, you are totally lost, or completely gone. I was in that state, and I was the general manager of a company at that time, and I had to take care of the whole company and all the people. And at that point in time, I was experiencing these blank states. There were times let’s say, from a few hours to a few days of the blank state. It was very difficult to work during those days. I may forget how to sign. I’d forget my signature. There were occasions when I would ask my financial controller to bring all the papers I had signed earlier. He did not know that I didn’t know how to sign because I couldn’t tell him that I was going through this state. I used to tell him, ”Bring me all the papers I’d signed earlier.” He would bring those papers, and I learned to sign. Then I signed the chequebooks and other things. After a while, he thought that I didn’t trust him, and he almost resigned. He said, “Sir, if you don’t trust me, I don’t want to work with you.” So I said, “Don’t worry, we’ll sort it out, actually I am just correlating something, etc…” In a way, I lied. I told him, “See, I want to check the past records,” and things like that.
Anyway, one day I was so frustrated. I decided I can’t work like this, I had to leave. I almost sat down and wrote my resignation letter. In those days there was no WhatsApp, Facebook or all those things, this was in the early 2000s. There was Messenger. I hardly used Messenger because, I didn’t like to use it. When you open it, a lot of people will come to chat with you. It’s so annoying when you are busy, somebody is asking you things, with which you don’t really want to engage into. I was sitting there. I was fully confused, in fact, I was very frustrated. I was almost writing my resignation. Suddenly the Messenger opens up. I used to practise yoga with a teacher, almost six years before, and that yoga teacher and I had no connections afterward. I lost his number, he lost my number, and I even moved to another country, so we had no connection. But he came on chat. He said, “Mohanji, are you there?” I said, “Yes, I am here. Oh, it’s a real surprise! How come you found me here?” Then he said, “I was meditating in the morning, and my Guru came and told me to tell you that these blank states will end that month, it will be over, and you will not have to experience them again.”
First of all, this man and I had no connection for almost six years. Secondly, he had no way of knowing that I was going through this situation because I never ever told anybody. I was alone – I didn’t have a relationship, I had no girlfriend or wife, I was completely alone in those days, at that time. Nobody used to communicate with me on spiritual terms, on spiritual grounds. I was only involved with my job, my work, and then I used to withdraw to my house. So no way he would know. And I did not know his Master. Then I asked him, “Who is your Master?“ He said the Master had left the body a long time ago, at the age of 90. I was surprised and asked, ”How did you know?” Then he said, “Mohanji, I don’t know about any of these things, my job was to convey the message to you, that this is probably the answer you have been looking for, and I have conveyed it.” I was surprised, totally surprised, this was the accurate answer. Then I said, “Sir, can I have your phone number?” When I called him, he said, “I don’t know anything more, I have told you whatever I know.” So I said, “Okay.” Then in fact, I copy-pasted that message and saved it, because, in the future, even I may doubt whether it happened. I always tell people, “All your positive experiences you should write down and keep it with you.” Because when negativity attacks you, this is your only oxygen, escape way. As a reminder, these will come in handy. When negativity hits you – negativity hits in the most vulnerable time, in the most vulnerable way – if you have the bank balance of your positive experiences written down, you can definitely go through it and get out of it with this antidote. It is very difficult, because negativity sucks you out.
So I spoke to him and that was it, there was nothing more he knew. He also told me one thing: his Master appeared to him about a week or ten days before he spoke to me, and told him the same thing, to convey this message to me. He was searching for my number and my contact and he didn’t have it, then he dropped it. On the day when he contacted me, the Master appeared again, and apparently scolded him. He’d said, “What sort of a disciple are you? I told you something, you are not even doing that, and how come you call yourself my disciple? I am ashamed of you!” Then he found out my email ID, and he tried the email ID, found the Messenger, and that’s how he reached me.
The point I am saying is that when you really want an answer, one way or the other the answer will find you. That we must trust. This has been my experience, the couple of experiences I had are of this completely uncanny nature. Why I am explaining this is because you should not be frustrated about the presence of people, the absence of people, the appreciations or the distractions of life. It is not important. You decide to go deeper and deeper into the subtle levels, but at the same time, do not leave your dharma, do not run away, do not be an escapist. Don’t leave something deliberately because, if you leave something deliberately, that means you are postponing that thing. Whatever God has given you, whatever destiny has brought you, you must perform the dharmic side. When you are the child, you are responsible to take care of your parents, like parents take care of the children. So we have to do that dutifully, with reverence, with love. This has to be done. There is no escape. You cannot say, “Oh, now I am free, I am myself, and I don’t like to take care of my parents or children.” That’s not right. If you have a family, take care of the family. That’s part of the dharma, that dharma must be fulfilled. Every responsibility should be dutifully fulfilled; respectfully, with reverence, we should fulfill it. You can’t run away, I do not recommend any kind of escapism, because if you run away, you will have to come back and solve it later. That might be with interest – that means if it is only a hundred thousand now, it will become one million later. So might as well finish it as it comes – any promises or any part of dharma.
If you are living in a hostel, or you are living in an environment that is not conducive to practice, it doesn’t matter. This connection with yourself, you can always do. As I said, you can connect to your heartbeat, you can connect to your breath, you can connect to your spine, you can connect to your thought processes, you can connect to your interactions or simply, you can meditate all the time by just making sure that no words are uttered without your mind being present, and no actions are done without the mind being present. That means no absent-mindedness, ever. That itself is a sadhana, it’s a beautiful practice. If you practise like that, that itself will elevate you. So there is no excuse for not practising.
Now, if you are determined, fully determined to reach the highest level of subtlety, you should and you can reach there definitely, whoever you are. Even if you have a Guru, a path, a destination, or anything you defined, no problem, they will all come to you at the right time.
Another experience I’ll tell you in the same context.
I was working in the company, and one day I got an email from a woman whom I did not even know, her name was Linda. She wrote to me from California, and I had no connection with America at that time. This was the early 2000s and this also was well before the time of WhatsApp and Facebook. She contacted me and said, “Are you Mr. Mohan? An elevated Master wants to speak to you. Please call this number at this time.” I didn’t even reply, because there are so many fake mails, hoax mails coming your way. Even now it comes, that you won a lottery or you got an award and things like that, which I don’t pay attention to. I just discard them, I remove them as spam. And I did that, and again in a week’s time after that date, she sent another message. “I’m very serious, a Master is asking me to contact you, he wants to speak to you. He does not exist on Earth, he’s from another realm, but he wants to use me as a medium to talk to you.” I became curious: what is this Master talking about? Even if I lose some money for this experience, it’s okay. So I contacted her, and the first question I asked was, “What’s the price, what’s the cost?” Because everything is connected to money, so I asked how much I should pay. She said, “I never asked you for money. This is serious. This Master wants to speak to you. Please call on Sunday at 10 am” and a date was given, so I said, “I will call you.”
On Sunday, I prepared myself and called this number. She picked up the call, and she sounded very old. I asked her, “What’s your age?” She said, “I’m 82.” I said, “How did you reach me?” She said, “This Master gave me your contact email.” I asked her, “Do you know me?” She said, “No, I don’t know you, I don’t even know who you are, nor am I interested to know you.” So that was very clean and clear. Then she asked, “Do you have sufficient money in your phone if the conversation prolongs?” I said, “No problem, I pay every month.” She wanted to know whether it is prepaid so that the charge will not go after a while. So everything was set, and she said, “Are you ready?” I said, “Yes, I’m ready.”
Then she started speaking to me. Slowly, slowly her voice changed to a very deep male voice; a totally different voice from this feeble old woman voice to a very strong male voice. And that man, just to convince me, told me all the major incidents of my life, which nobody will know. Not just the death of my daughter, but various things connected to it, and also various details. That convinced me because nobody will know those details unless they are connected deeply. I think even my family do not know those details. So all those things were told and I was convinced that this is genuine. Then there was so much of guidance and so many things were going on, I don’t want to go into micro details. It was about a forty-five minutes call, and finally, he asked, “I’m done. Is there anything you want to ask me?” I said, “No. I’m happy that I could speak to you, and I realize that you are from a very high realm.” Then he said, “I am not from Earth, I’m from a different realm, where we guide people at random, as per the instructions from above.” So they also have a hierarchy. Then he asked me, “Is there anything you want from me?” I said, “I would like to continue to talk to Masters of your realm.” He said, “I’ll arrange that.” Then the call was disconnected. When I wrote to this lady once again, thanking her, she never replied.
So this is something which we must understand. All these connections are matter fact. There is no attachment, there is no emotion, there is no expectation in these relations. A true relationship with a Master will have no expectations, no conditions, no bindings, no boundaries. This is something that you should always remember when you are connecting to higher realms. Don’t think that everything is obligatory; it is not so. All they want to do is that they found fertile ground and they want to sow the seeds of Liberation there, that’s all. They have no other interest. They don’t expect any gratefulness, they don’t expect anything in return.
So this is exactly how the true spiritual world works, which was my practical experience. Later on, I met various Masters on the Earth realm also, and they were all the same: whether it is Vittal Babaji, Ganeshananda Giri Babaji, whether it is Vasudevan Swami of Vajreshwari, Devi Amma of Bangalore, Avadhoota Nadananda of Kurnool, Lamperi Babaji, Taradas Swami, and numerous Masters, even Swami Govindananda of Rishikesh, all those Masters – everbody was selfless. Whenever I discuss with any of those Masters, I feel free because there are no expectations connected to it. Such Masters will come your way when your eligibility increases.
As I said earlier, eligibility is inner silence. How much deeper into yourself you have gone, that much silent you have become. The thoughts per second reduce. If your mind is not oscillating to the past or the future, if you are not dwelling on guilt, or regrets, and those kinds of things connected to the past, or anxieties of the future, you will be more or less stable in the present. And do your best in the present. Also understand – in the karmic law, it’s not the same do’s and don’ts of the human law. Human law’s do’s and don’ts are connected to the security aspect. The security aspect is connected to survival instinct, it’s a by-product of the survival instinct. Human laws are the by-products of the survival instinct, which across the species is the same. When you look at everything through the human law, you may not understand the karmic law.
In karmic law, the fundamental truth is fulfilment. Karma is connected to pending desires, something which you need fulfilment for, and the natural culmination is fulfilment. The higher culmination is that you don’t need fulfilment, because you’re beyond it. Even though that feeling was there, you are not worried about it, you are not bound by the fulfillment aspect so that you overcome it and then you don’t need it. So we must understand the karmic law clearly. As you grow higher, many of the things which the Saints do, you may be very surprised, how come? In that context, we talk about Lord Krishna. He supposedly had 16,000 + wives… And people say He is the perfect Brahmachari. How is that possible? Krishna was fully Brahma, only occupied in Supreme Consciousness. Whatever activities he was doing on earth, he was definitely not attached to them. He was performing various roles on earth as per the demand of the time. Even as a small child, he was protecting himself. He killed his opponents, those who came to kill him, he murdered. And he also killed his uncle. He did all those things which are probably necessary to preserve dharma. He said, “My only purpose for existence is the preservation of dharma.” And they will continue to do that, they will always perform as per the expected law of dharma.
So there, the boundaries are different. He was engaging with a lot of people in different capacities, at the same time he was fully occupied with Brahma – the Supreme Consciousness. When one is fully occupied with the Supreme Consciousness, he is a Brahmachari. That is something which we must understand. I’ll tell you a story connected to it.
The Brijwasis were going to meet Krishna, and they found that Krishna was sitting on the other side of the River Yamuna. But the Yamuna was overflowing and no boatman wanted to cross the river, because it was dangerous to cross the river at that time. So they were all disappointed. They had made lots of sweets and things out of cow’s milk and ghee etc. They had made everything possible which Krishna loved. But they couldn’t cross to the other side because of the overflowing river. They were disappointed and they all sat down and found that there was a Master meditating under a tree, just a short distance away. They all went towards him, and sat in front of the tree, looking at the Master. When the Master opened his eyes, he saw the people sitting there. He said, “Oh, you’re waiting here. What are you waiting here for? What can I do for you?” They said, “We were going to see Krishna, but the river is overflowing. We can’t cross, so we are all sitting here. We don’t know what to do.” Then he asked them, “What do you have in your bags? What are you carrying?” They said, “These are all sweets which Krishna likes, so we’ve made them. We expected to bring it to his palace so that he can also relish them with his people.” Then he said, “Can I see? Open this.” So they opened and showed him, and he started eating. He ate almost half of it. He was apparently very hungry, and they were getting embarrassed. They were thinking, “Now what will we tell Krishna if we can cross the river, that what we brought for you, somebody else ate?” They were a little worried. He said, “Don’t worry, pack it, come.
That saint was sage Vyasa. Vyasa took them to the edge of the River Yamuna which was swollen and overflowing because of the floods, and he commanded to the river, “If I have not eaten (consumed) anything, let the river part.” They had seen in front of their eyes that he had eaten. He’d eaten almost half the basket and he was telling that he had not eaten anything. They didn’t understand, but the river parted and all these people crossed the river. Sage Vyasa stood where he was, everybody crossed the river and they went to the other side safely. Then the river again merged, and the floods continued. They were really surprised ”How come this had happened?” They’d seen that he was eating, and he was saying, “If I have not eaten, let the river part.”
While they were walking, they reached a garden, and when they looked into the garden, Krishna was lying there under a tree on a bench, sleeping peacefully. So they waited there. They were very happy that they could meet Krishna. When Krishna woke up in about fifteen minutes or half an hour, he looked at them saying, “Oh, you are all sitting here. When did you come?” They said, “Oh, we just came.” “How did you come? The river is flooding, how did you reach?” They said, “A sage did this, and we came here.” He said, “Okay, what have you brought?” They were ashamed to say that half of it was already gone, but they opened the baskets and showed him one. “Oh, no, no, I can’t eat anything now, this same thing I ate about an hour ago, I can’t eat anything.” So, when Vyasa ate those things, he ate it without ownership. That means he surrendered to Lord Krishna and he ate, and Lord Krishna actually consumed. So even though it was going through the mouth of Vyasa, it was filling the belly of Krishna. This is something that we must understand clearly in the path of spirituality. The laws of karma are always related to the ownership of action. We lose ownership completely after a while. When you go deeper and deeper into levels of subtlety, there is no ownership possible. We can’t have ownership. We know very well we don’t own anything. We don’t own the sunrise or the sunset. We don’t own our waking or sleep state. We don’t own our birth or death. We don’t own our heartbeats, circulation, respiration, digestion, brain function, nothing. Then we understand, “Oh, this is a show, it’s going on.” Then our approach to the world will be totally different.
We will look at everybody, every being, as karmic beings. They have a duration, they have a reason, they have an expression, particular character trait, all those things. We will look at everything as our own expression. That will make us very, very stable. All this is possible by developing awareness. To develop awareness, first and foremost, we have to connect with ourselves, look at ourselves, feel ourselves, breathe ourselves, sleep ourselves, everything ourselves. And then we realize that there is no ownership connected.
But let me tell you, do not do violence and say, “I didn’t do that.” That’s a different story. That’s when the mind is cheating, or the mind is trying to delude. That’s not the thing. When you genuinely do not have ownership, your actions also will be pure. The purity of action is connected to lack of ownership of action; no doership, no ownership. That will make your actions pure. And especially if you surrender your actions to the Higher, you will only do pure actions, essential actions based on ahimsa or non-violence. These are all signs of pure action. Pure actions are always non-violent actions. It’s not about what you eat, or where you sleep, or what you drink, or whether you are married, this is not the point, the point is that you are settled inside. Whatever actions you are engaged into, you’re fully settled inside, you’re fully peaceful. You’re just being an expression of the Consciousness, and you are aware of that. So you are always liberated.
This does not need much practice; it needs presence. Practice is often a means to reach this presence. If you’re aware of this, that awareness will bring you the presence and the awareness to the present. So these are the things which you can definitely work on, and it doesn’t matter which environment you are in, or who is with you. If you keep discussing with other people, they can delude you. I never used to talk to anybody, I used to keep my practise to myself. Even if it is the wrong practise, even if it is not so good, it’s fine, no problem. It’s our personal issue, personal matter.
We don’t have to believe, or we don’t have to insist that whatever we do should be successful, because that gives stress, that gives ownership. So we try our best and we connect to ourselves, we start accepting and appreciating, and then we just exist. This is something which you can all practise, there is no problem. Also, always remember, whenever you practice something, the first and foremost is that you have an experience because of the practice. Even if you go to the gym, or you go for yoga, or any other activity, initially there will be experiences. After that, there will be stagnation. The same practice cannot give you the same experience – stagnation. At that point, many people go to different paths. They may go to a different Master, a different method, a different practice. They derail themselves. After that, if you still practise, after the stagnation state is the vacuum state. The vacuum state is that from the collected (collective sankalpas) memories, feelings and notions, you are detaching to a level of complete silence. So that transition time is a bigger time. Through practice, through your consistent practice, you may transcend into a state of vacuum. Vacuum is the ‘in between’ state, and that is a very delusional state. Sometimes, we may feel that we have lost everything, or we are stupid, or we don’t know what we’re doing, all sorts of things can happen to us. And we sometimes criticise the Master, criticise ourselves, criticise the path, criticise the practice. This is all possible at that time. After that the bliss state comes. If you cross over these three states, then it’s bliss state. That’s a permanent state, you can just be there, and that’s it.
So this is something you should always remember – initially there will be experiences, then there’ll be stagnation, then they’ll be vacuum, and then bliss. Always remember, initial experience will not probably stay long. It may come, it may go, but you need to continue. You need to have conviction, consistency; stick to one path, stick to one Guru, stick to one practice, and then you will reach the highest. This is for sure. When we keep shifting, we reach nowhere. The mind takes you for a ride, all over. This is very important to understand, and if you put yourself, surrender yourself to the practice, glory will be there.
Transcribed by Nada Rakovic
Proofread by Shyama Jeyaseelan