“Though, in fact, the real Master is not merely his outward form, but his inner self. Still it is almost impossible to ignore the form altogether. But those who stick to the idea of the physical form alone as the Master, create for themselves the grossest entanglements and complications”. (Reality at Dawn-page 77)
Working of the System:
It is worthwhile to remind ourselves that the system attaches prime importance to the Goal of life. The Goal is to realize the Master (Ultimate Reality) within the deepest core of one’s heart. The concept of the Ultimate Reality is beyond definition. It is as it is. Purely, for the sake of understanding and for the practical aspect of Sadhana, it is ideal to think of that as pre-creation state/condition. Kshobh (Stir) at the time of creation is the First Mind. Its manifestation is human mind. It is through the medium of mind that the Sadhana proceeds under the system. Hence, sadhana is a tool (means) to achieve the Goal but not the Goal itself. As the abhyasi proceeds with it sincerely and regularly, he/she starts feeling that the Goal and the Guide are one and the same. One needs to make that feeling as a base for onward march. This is what really constitutes constant remembrance. It is the natural development of meditational practice. The change comes in subtle and spontaneous way. It gradually becomes obvious to the abhyasi. Sometimes/quite often, one is likely to misunderstand and attribute the change as the resultant effect of personal efforts. He forgets the Unseen Hand of Master at work.
That is why it is always important to believe that the system is Master centered. It is in a way “the Personality Cult”. To make it understandable, it can be described as personality without person (physicality). So to say, it is similar to Divine Light, where in the light is without luminosity. The personality works through a human agency. Its working is guided by its own principles and parameters. It does not compromise with them. Its purity remains intact under all circumstances. Consequently, the human mind through which It works, is pulled up to the level of That purity, so as to make it akin to itself. The individual mind casts its reflection on the First Mind. When the equation sets in the personality manifests itself through the mind of human agency. Rev. Bhai Saheb Sri Raghavendra Rao has been an example of this phenomenon. He has been an embodiment of Ten Maxims. That’s why the training under the system is basically the same. Impact also remains the same. Apparent difference may be discernible in approach and expression.
Meaning of Precepts:
Our system is spiritual. Method is simple and subtle. Sense organs are of little value in achieving the Goal. Practice proceeds through the medium of mind. Among the precepts, the constant remembrance is given lot of importance.
It is “the mother tincture” according to our Master. In constant remembrance, we recall what is memorized. But our mind has memorized many things. It has in addition, a wandering habit. Meditation is helpful in this regard. Meditation on Divine Light is mere supposition (illusion).
As the practice continues we come across some experiences / feelings. Sometimes, they happen to be glimpses of That. We may infer that the Master is manifesting His form. It is not a fixed thing. It is dynamic. It keeps on changing. It is from That. It is spontaneous. It no longer remains the form if we try to see. It becomes our mental projection, when we try to see. Further practice of meditation results in disappearance of form too. We feel nothing. We call it blankness, lightness etc. it may be taken as a step forward. Mind is coming under regulation. It starts losing its wandering habit. It is able to make the thought dwell on the object of meditation i.e. The Goal of life. We feel inclined to think repeatedly. In a way, we remain in touch with That. It is constant remembrance in real sense. It creates more of interest in the Goal and less of involvement in other things. Mind gets evolved. Constant remembrance undergoes different shades. Our Master has indicated that the constant remembrance should reach a stage where we ‘remember That without remembrance’.
Direction of Practice:
Most of us have been practicing under the system since years. We are also regular in the morning meditation, evening cleaning and bedtime prayer. We attend weekly Satsangh. We go to places/centers where functions like Founder’s day, Basanth Panchami, Master’s Birthday are held. These activities do indicate a definite interest that we have in our Sadhana. In addition each one undertakes constant remembrance of our Goal quite often. Most of us are senior enough to have seen the Master in physical form. For them, the constant remembrance is by way of frequently remembering Master’s features like his beard, cap, soft voice, attractive face and his hukka. After the physical veiling of Master, the method of constant remembrance is shifted to his statements, incidents, sayings etc. It is modified even further. Reading of this books, messages and articles is taken as constant remembrance. This is the present metamorphosis of constant remembrance. The story does not stop here. Suppose there is a group of ten to fifteen abhyasis, it is asked to reply a question i.e. what is constant remembrance? You will find as many answers as the number of abhyasis. It is stated on the basis of personal observation. It is not mere hypothesis. Analysis reveals two possible explanations –
- Physicality of the Master constitutes constant remembrance.
- An abhyasi thinks of sadhana as physical activity.
Location of the Bottleneck:
Our practice continues as usual. Years have passed. Lectures and clarifications have gone on records. Seminars and workshops are taken as report. But, result is not encouraging. Nobody is coming up as expected. It makes one think whether our practice itself is pulling us down. I am afraid, it may be the case. It is difficult to rule out the possibility. Our system is dynamic, our practice also needs to be likewise. It demands mental activity. Its working is based on thought power only. There is no scope for physicality and physical activity. Faculty thinking/concept is not only obstructing our path but also carrying us downhill. The trend has set in. There is need to make it go up. How is it possible? Solution is straightforward. The same thought power is to be used. One needs to understand in correct perspective the philosophy of our system. Practice is then taken up with application in mind.
Therefore, our system invites and expects each one of us to come up to That level i.e. the real Goal of our life. Course correction is absolutely essential at individual level. Mental activity and thought power should replace the physical activity and physicality as far as sadhana is concerned. Simplicity, Purity and Subtlety are the pre-requisites for the purpose of spiritual training followed by abhyasi in true sense. Then comes the question of realization. Our literature has made it amply clear that the realization cannot be achieved by mere abhyas. We need help, which comes from the Master. We stand in need of training. That’s why several training centers are established. Support is necessary. The support is to be sought from one of our own fellow beings of the highest caliber who happens to be within our approach, ever ready to solve our spiritual difficulties. The mathematical expression as given below, makes the subject presumably clear.
Sadhana + Support = Goal of human life.
Sadhana – Support = Goal of human life ? ….
Here is a situation which confronts us face to face. We claim to follow the system given by the Master on one hand. Our practice speaks otherwise on the other. Real significance of Sadhana is altogether different. To cut the long story short, it is sufficient to go through the ready reckoner as follows.
Here Sadhana by way of meditation, cleaning and prayer is simply for the sake of doing. Constant remembrance makes a guest appearance. It is no better than a ritual.
Practice is regular and punctual. Thinking faculty plays its role. One attempts for concept and clarity. Life seems to have an unique purpose, direction and struggle. This is dress code, so to say.
There is a felt need for guidance. One seeks association with an expert. Screening takes place. Reorientation is brought about. In simple words, it is preparation.
Spiritual training is taken up. It occurs under the supervision of an expert. It goes on till its maturity.
Mental evolution follows. One passes through different levels of consciousness. All feelings, emotions and experiences vanish. One is wonder struck. Journey goes on.
After these stages the real abhyas dawns provided there is Grace. One simply hopes and waits for Grace.
Above-mentioned list of stages is purely empirical. It is a sort of thumb-rule. It validates neither the practice nor pursuit. And the article, as such is to project the clash between theory and practice. Can it be taken as curtain raiser?…