I bow to that infinite guru, in all forms including your forms because that infinite one, although playing at being a man or a woman; playing at being a certain age; playing at having a certain role in life; it’s all a play. Who you really are; is the infinite Brahman. You are that supreme spirit, dwelling momentarily in this little human form.
An exhortation the master gave on the importance of putting out a real effort spiritually. There’s a certain dichotomy here because on the one hand, there is nothing easier in the world than finding God, but the answer to that is, there’s nothing easy in the world that even works for you, except finding God.
You can work like crazy to achieve success and happiness and power and all sorts of things, but you won’t find them at the end. So, can you call that easy when at the end there’s nothing? This is one of the supreme ironies of life that no matter how hard you work it all has to add up to zero.
All those lifetimes that you’ve worked at achieving this goal, that ambition, this hope, everything you find it’s either plus or minus, like the waves on the sea. The waves can be very high but that doesn’t change the level of the sea because for every high wave there has to be a corresponding trough, the level of the sea remains unchanged. God, the spirit never changes and so all duality has to end up as nothing.
As I say, working all those incarnations to achieve all those goals and the end product of it is that it has to be zero. Isn’t it ironic to think that you work so hard, for so long, for nothing and that’s literally what it is. So, when we say “but it’s easy to find God”, we mean, relatively speaking “it’s not easy, it’s a big job” and if you want to do something successfully in this world even knowing that that success will not last, still it needs a lot of work.
The work however, in finding God is like the work that you put forth in stopping a swing. You see in this world of you elevated swinging keeps going like this and if you want to stop the swing when it’s going this way you have to push on the rope holding the swing to sort of stop and then when it comes back you pull just to gradually up in an opposition to that movement bring it back to the zero point.
So, in a way, the work involved in finding God, is the work, one has to put out to stop working, to stop the restless mind from jumping up and down to stop the tendency, that we have to do this and do that go here and go there and that does take work.
This is conversation number 229 from the book “Conversations with Yogananda”.
If a man wants to be a concert pianist, the master told us, he must practice playing for 12 hours a day. One who pecks hardly at the keyboard a few minutes at a time then gets up and eat something will never become a pure musician. That isn’t the way to find it God.” You can’t expect to find him by only half trying.
Ram Gopal, the sleepless Saint, in ‘autobiography of a yogi’, meditated 18 hours a day for 20 years, then 20 hours a day for another 22 years and even he said “I don’t know if I have yet found favor in God’s eyes”.
It is very hard to find God, those who make the effort however will find him and out of the small minority who seek him that way we are blessed with quite a few here. “Just look at Saint Lynn”, the master went on to praise him speaking of how the disciple would spend hours at a time in Samadhi on the lawn at the Encinitas Hermitage.
I remember at my first Kriya initiation, at Mount Washington in 1949, Master said, of those present there will be a few Siddhas. He talked about great saints like Bhaduri Mahashaya, the levitating Saint and Master Mahashaya for whom Guruji had great love. They were “Jeevan Muktas”.
Jeevan Mukta is somebody who was freed completely from any new karma because he has overcome the ego, he has merged the ego into the infinite, but there is also past karma to be worked out.
I spoke to master at length on this subject, and I asked him – What brings them back?
He said, they say sometimes don’t care at that point because they know that they’re out of the delusion, they see it all as a dream whether they remain dreaming or not, they’re not touched by it, they’re free. But a Jeevan Mukta in coming back, makes use his karma just as an excuse to come back and help others.
A Siddha means a perfected being which has no Karma at all. When master said that, there will be a few siddhas, that’s quite a promise. He said that sister Gyanamata, for example, she was completely freed, Rajarshi was completely freed.
The point that he wanted to make was that, to reach that, you have to really dedicate all your energy to it. You have to reach the point, where you know there’s nothing else you want in life and the difficulty of it is basically stopping the swing from going on swinging.
It’s that simple, but how difficult! Well, it’s for their sake and for the sake of others, we don’t want to frighten you from the path. But I do want you to know that there isn’t any other path. I don’t want you to know that nothing else is going to work for you. Sooner or later, you’re going to come around to knowing who you are. Sooner or later, you’re going to come back to the simple realization that, your own essence is God himself. You don’t have a choice; you have no chance of finding anything that you want. Except in yourself. So why waste all that time.
Master wrote in his interpretation, and I published it in a book called the ‘Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (explained by Paramhansa Yogananda)” He explains, a rather abstruse saying or a quatrain of Omar Khayyams, saying that many souls, that came into maya, into manifestation, at the beginning of a day of Brahma, are still wandering in delusion at the end of that day, and it makes you wonder that, how many days of Brahma, do people have to wander?
It’s so easy, to get caught and you think that, “Well I didn’t get it quite together this way, but if a try it that way, maybe, I’ll have what I want”. It’s sort of like washing your shirt and trying to get all the cloth under water and there’s a bubble there, you push the shirt down here, that bubble pushes the shirt up, somewhere else. Everything that you try to do, you take energy away from something else and that comes up, delusion is such a tricky animal.
Many of the old myths have a lot of spiritual depth in them like the Hydra monster. A hydra monster is maya itself. You get rid of one thing, cut off one head, it springs back. Hercules discovered that the only solution was to cut all of them at once and cauterize the wounds.
This is what you have to do with the spiritual teaching. It won’t do to do a halfway measure. Even one little thing there, we’ll be able to fester and build and finally become a full-blown involvement in Maya again. Once you’re out of the ego, however, once you know that you are not responsible, that is to say, you are not the doer, then you suddenly realize that nothing can ever touch you because you’re free. My guru said to me once, ‘Remember, you won’t be free until you’ve attained Nirbikalpa Samadhi.”
Paul Brunton, who became a disciple of Rana Maharshi who was a great soul, he wrote ‘a search in secret India’, it’s a great book. He himself tends not to emphasize what he had but he was himself saintly and he achieved sabikalpa samadhi, but even he fell. Why? I asked my guru, my guru said because he couldn’t forget he was English. In other words, it really bothered him that Ramana Maharshi’s brother was not his guru, would order him around. Anyway, he remained a great soul, but he didn’t find what he was looking for, he lost that.
We have to reach the point beyond sabikalpa samadhi, which is immersion in the infinite for a time, but there’s still that little presence of ego there, that sort of recalls, ‘I – Paul Brunton’, and you see that that little lingering thought like a germ has to be eradicated completely.
When you try to weed a garden, it’s so difficult, you may miss one little weed, and before you know it, the weeds have taken over the garden again. The roots are very deep. The point is that, when you can really meditate deeply and know that God is acting through you, know that you don’t have any reality except this is a thought that the ego finds terrible to accept, because it seems like, the death of the ego.
But the trick is that it’s not death of anything. You don’t really lose anything when you find God. You find everything. This is the amazing thing – You don’t even lose your ego because what is your ego? Well, if you define it in the proper terms, it’s the soul identified with the body, but your sense of self is deeper than that identification. You lose the identification with the body; you lose the identification with a personality that says I’m an artist or I’m a businessman or I’m this or I’m that.
Some people, master said, they are sort of like psychological antiques. Most people are old after 40, many people are old after 20, many people never get out of their psychological antique mind. We need to have our minds fresh, we need to look at things in new ways, we need, “I’m not a young man by any means now but I feel young because my mind is young, I’m willing to look at other people’s points of view I’m willing to change my mind.”
In our communities, sometimes, I’ve had an idea and other people come up with a better idea and I recognize it and I say okay we’ll do that. Sometimes, I don’t see that it’s a better idea, but even then I go along with them because I’m trying to develop leadership in them. I’m trying to help them to develop creativity and it’s good sometimes to give up not for any reason except to help other people.
Our minds have to be flexible. It’s like going down a slope when you’re skiing, you can’t stand at the top of the slope and say, at this point I’m going to turn left, at that point I’m going to turn right. It’s when you get there, that you see this little mogul, as they call the little hillocks, and that’s when you have to decide whether you’ll turn left or right to go around it. Now if you’ve already made up your mind, if that’s where you want to turn left but the slope means that you have to really go right, you’re like you’re going to fall because you’re already committed to turning in the wrong direction.
Be centered in yourself, that’s the first trick. Once you have that inner center, you will see that you can turn left or right or go straight. At a moment’s notice, it won’t matter. This however means, hard practice and that hard practice is just getting back to who you are.
Don’t lose your balance in the sense of committing yourself too much to any outward direction or desire or hope. Remember the hopes you have are ultimately God himself. We were born to know God like a beautiful poem of my Guru’s, it’s from the book, Whispers from Eternity, “I was made for Thee alone, I’ve was made for dropping flowers of devotion at thy feet on the altar of the dawn.” I remember back when I began the spiritual path, I recited it every day in meditation. Read it, learn it. It’s so beautiful and it’s a constant reminder of why God put you here, what life is really all about. Once you know that, it’s not hard at all. You just have to have your priorities straight.
God bless you.