What is You Intention – Love Ananda Gita – 1988



Part III: I Am What you Require


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What is your Intention?

DEVOTEE: Sat-Guru Da, I feel I should speak to You because You have Given me so much. When I simply Contemplate Your Body, I feel expanded completely beyond myself and drawn into a feeling of no-difference and no-contraction, and just the purity of Your Being, which is all that I love and desire. I thank You for this most direct and full Revelation of the Truth of Your Wisdom-Teaching.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: And how is this feeling-Contemplation developing? What kind of orientation are you maintaining that determines the fruits of this feeling-Contemplation? The One you feel (and thereby Contemplate) is Consciousness Only, Self-Radiant, Self-Existing, Unmodified. But what is your Realization of Me? Are you feeling-Contemplating Me and yet maintaining an orientation toward gross embodiment and the changes within it? Or are you feeling-Contemplating Me and maintaining an orientation toward subtler evolutionary development, moving beyond the gross planes into subtler planes and higher evolutionary development? Or are you feeling-Contemplating Me and feeling beyond all the planes of modification into the Divine Domain of Being Itself? What kind of Realization, in other words, is being demonstrated in your case, presently and potentially?

DEVOTEE: When I Contemplate You, everything becomes transparent. That is what I feel.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: But what is your motive? The One Contemplated is the same, regardless of the level or degree or kind of Realization. It is the one who Contemplates who makes the difference-and “difference” is what is made. So what is your motive? What are you looking toward? Improvements in gross embodiment? Evolution into other planes? Or “Divine Translation”?

DEVOTEE: Just You. I have no interest in the rest.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: Nonsense! [Laughter.] There is a motive. It must be discovered. To discover it is fundamental to sadhana. There is not only the Contemplation. There is the transcendence of self by means of Contemplation. This self that is to be transcended is a design. It is a motive. It is an effort. The counter-effort, then, is specific. It transcends specific motives-or perhaps indulges in them.

Is your impulse to transcend all? Or is your impulse to “improve your situation”, after your present lifetime here, by moving into higher planes? Or is your impulse and the motive of your attention such that you will likely repeat this kind of circumstance? What is your preference? Hmm?

DEVOTEE: I don’t know.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: Are you reinforcing gross bodily existence, or going beyond it? Do you want a happy physical human life? Is that your principal impulse? Or are you moved to sacrifice the happy human life for something greater?

DEVOTEE: I feel that the sacrifice of that is very much what You have Revealed to me over these last few years. I felt the resistance to that, but Your Teaching Demonstration has made it very clear.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: Yes, I have made My Self very clear. [Laughter.] But what about you? What is your disposition? What is your intention? You only have three options, basically. In some sense they correspond to My three Signs-My bodily (human) Form, My Spiritual Presence, and My Very (and Inherently Perfect) State. In other words, there is a sense in which these options represent three different kinds of destiny, or Realization.

You can either reinforce gross conditional existence, or you can go beyond gross conditional existence into subtler planes of conditional existence, or you can go beyond conditional existence altogether. The only one of these things that is likely to happen automatically is the continuation of gross conditional existence, which is already set in motion. For one of the other two to be Realized, there must be a sacrifice. There must be an intention to sacrifice. And you must do tapas. You must do the sadhana of that intention.

A kind of evolutionary potential is fundamental to existence itself, which can remain more or less as it is, grossly manifested, or it can evolve higher and higher, subtler and subtler, or it can go Beyond, Utterly. The One you Contemplate is Utterly Beyond, but also made manifest, Revealing Himself, even in this plane where you are grossly perceiving, and asking you which is your intention. Which of these three options is the mover of your life, your attention, your sadhana?

DEVOTEE: I am just a beginner in that sacrifice.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: Is that another way of saying that your attention is grossly oriented?

DEVOTEE: I can feel what I have not sacrificed in gross terms.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: But do you even want to? Really? Want to? That is the point. It is possible to live a religious life that Contemplates the Divine, even the Realizer, without having a working intention to go beyond gross existence. We could say that that pretty much covers exoteric religion. In general, the sign given to Me by those who have come into My Company over the years seems to indicate this choice. Although the Way of the Heart is itself an esoteric Way, it also has its own kind of exotericism, if you will. In other words, a dimension of its process is animated within the limits of gross existence.

The non-religious gross life simply indulges in tendencies, fulfills gross motivations, and, therefore, in general gets worse. If it is truly religious, a religious life lived in the context of gross existence necessarily involves a process of purification, or relinquishment of karmas such that gross existence is purified and improved. Such purification has been the common aspiration of people practicing exoteric religion since the ancient days. Such is the common religious practice, the active God-orientation that purifies existence and improves its potential. Even so, the exoteric religious orientation, like the non-religious orientation, does not lead toward a Realization of existence that is beyond gross phenomenal existence. The grosser religious path leads to purification and improvement of gross existence, but it does not lead beyond gross existence, even though the One Contemplated is utterly beyond gross conditional existence itself.

Most people, if they are moved toward the religious life at all, seem to fit into this category. The purification of gross existence seems to be their intention, at least. People have come to Me for the last two decades as if coming to Me for the Great Process Itself and altogether, but they are always bargaining and resisting and withholding and in one way or another indicating to Me that their intention is only at the beginning, or limited to this grosser, what we might call “exoteric”, aspiration.

The beginners orientation, then, if it is religious, is a life of feeling-Contemplation that purifies gross existence through devotion, service, and self-discipline. It improves the gross condition itself, progressively, and its after-death Realization does not go beyond gross consciousness but proceeds toward a like embodiment, either through the mechanism of reincarnation or through the mechanism of continuation in the grosser dimension of the Cosmic Mandala. This seems to be the intention of most people, and, therefore, also of most people who come to Me.

My Confession to you, My Revelation to you, My Wisdom-Teaching, covers the entire Process of God-Realization (which becomes Divine Self-Realization) in its totality. Therefore, when you all consider this Way of the Heart and talk about it, you tend to use My own language, the language of the total Way. Your practice, your demonstration, is another matter, however. What does your practice, your demonstration, indicate about your intention? The motivation to transcend conditional existence must be found if practice is to be real and effective. But even if you find it, you must still measure your aspiration or intention, because you will not, simply because in some sense you practice the Way of the Heart, Realize Divine Translation automatically. Simply because you belong to this Communion and you are My devotee does not mean that you will Realize Divine Translation or the seventh stage Disposition or any degree of significant advancement beyond the beginning.

I hope, if you are a practitioner of this Way of the Heart, that you will at least be relieved of a certain burden of karmic tendency, and therefore improve your disposition and your destiny, not merely in this lifetime but after it. I hope there is at least that minimum intention or strength of participation in you. But nothing beyond that, nothing more than that, will be Realized simply because you take up this Way of the Heart as an ordinary practitioner. Movement into subtler or higher planes of embodiment does not happen automatically. It does not happen merely because you function in religious terms and are becoming purified to some degree. That potential destiny occurs only if you live the sadhana in very specific terms. It requires the sacrifice of lesser tendencies of embodiment and the release of attention into the higher planes. Such is a specific kind of sadhana, then, you see, that necessarily involves the sacrifice of the gross orientation of attention.

And if there is to be Perfect Awakening to the Realization of “Open Eyes” (and, ultimately, Divine Translation), a sadhana must be engaged that directly and effectively sacrifices all forms of attention, all intentions toward conditional embodiment, gross or subtle or causal. If that literal sacrifice is not made, persisted in, Realized, Accomplished, then you may enjoy some of the virtues of the religious life, but you will not Realize a destiny beyond the present form.

The One you Contemplate is the same, regardless of your intention relative to this what we might call “evolutionary” matter. But those who Contemplate Me are all differently disposed, and most often those who Contemplate Me are inclined toward a religious development of gross human existence rather than anything beyond it. Although there is much fantasizing by people that they are actually moving toward higher planes or even perhaps ultimate Realization, it is just mentalizing and fantasizing. Because you are associated with Me and this Wisdom-Teaching, you acquire a kind of mind through familiarity. But that mind has nothing to do with the actual Realization of What is beyond this present manifested form in which you are appearing.

Truly there is nothing but Consciousness-Self-Radiant, Self-Existing, Infinite, Absolute, Radiant Consciousness. It is so even now. But by virtue of attention, you are associated with a mechanism, a body-mind, that is structured in such a way that it associates with modifications of the Absolute that are of a particular kind, what we call gross. The body-mind with which you are presently associated is a mechanism, a machine, if you will, that is sensitive to only a certain range of vibration. It therefore perceives the Absolute in the form of this gross modification.

At the same moment in which this perception is taking place, there is still nothing but absolute Energy, absolute Consciousness. The perception is an appearance. Someone associated with a subtler body-mind in a higher plane within the “Cosmic Mandala” is enjoying a very different kind of perception and state of mind and experience than you at the present moment. But even so, what is determining that perception or experience is the fact that attention is associated by tendency with a certain degree of modification, a certain portion of possible vibration or apparent modification of the Absolute.

All are appearing within the same Absolute, but attention associates with degrees of vibration or appearance or modification of that One Absolute. You are associated by virtue of attention with this gross mechanism, which is a machine, a way of tuning in to the Absolute and perceiving It through a certain color, a certain vibration. And you are, by virtue of this association, habituated to perpetuate that kind of awareness. Therefore, you will continue thus, unless you either raise attention up or transcend it altogether. Without the sacrifice that goes beyond this gross range, you will either stay more or less as you are, or get better, or get worse, but only within this plane of gross attention.

It is useful, then, to discover just what is your intention. What is your intention relative to attention, relative to experience? Are you basically moved to cling to this kind of experiencing, or not? If you are not inclined to cling to it, then the sacrifice that goes beyond it is potential for you. If you are clinging to this gross experience, then you must examine your heart-intention. Are you willing to submit to tendencies and fulfill your karmic destiny through self-indulgence such that your destiny becomes grosser? Decreases? In other words becomes more difficult? Or are you not willing to have it be so? Are you not willing even to just live a less exaggerated life of self-indulgence and simply continue more or less as you are? Are you dissatisfied enough, in other words, to seriously embrace the religious life and purify your gross karmas so that your Realization, even though continuing within the gross planes, will improve?

You first must find out what your intention is. And then, having found that out, you must make such measures as this. It is useful to do this, you see, and not to fantasize that you are involved in a greater intention than is true of you.

[To the questioner] What is your sense of yourself, then, in these terms?

DEVOTEE: I feel that I dramatize the intention to cling to the gross drama. You have talked about the two-sidedness of the being, and I see that on the one hand Your Communication Awakens me and, I feel, grows the impulse to move beyond gross existence, and on the other hand, I can see the complete attention of this person, this body-mind, to itself, which is gross.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: It is inevitable. The body-mind is just what it is. The body-mind is not here to Realize God. The body-mind is here to be what it is, to persist in being that. What is your intention? You can either submit to this mechanism, the present trend of attention in gross form, or you can make it into a sacrifice and go beyond it. Even if your intention is to make it a sacrifice and go beyond it, you are still going to have to struggle, you see. It is an ordeal. It is sadhana. It requires tapas, the discipline of the sacrifice. It is not that if your choice is to go beyond, all of a sudden you are not going to be struggling with tendencies. That is what there is to struggle with, a mechanism that is tending to go its own way and fulfill its destiny. All the body-mind in itself wants to do is be what it is. An old-time radio from the 30s does not want to become a TV set in the 80s, you see. Attention has to be different and make something new.

DEVOTEE: I do feel my intention to go beyond the body-mind, Sat-Guru Da. I feel that You have Given it to me. I feel that it is Your Gift.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: Yes, but to what degree are you embracing this Gift intentionally? In other words, is your concrete, moment to moment intention to sacrifice this gross form of attention, or not? Are you simply trying to improve the situation, or do you not care that much about it and just want it to go its own way? Or would you really like to indulge yourself in it? What exactly is your intention?

DEVOTEE: I dont feel it is just to indulge in it.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: So the grossest, to get worse, is not your intention. You have indulged yourself a little bit in your life, but you cannot really say such is your commitment. Well-is your commitment toward just getting along, then, just hoping it will not get worse?


HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: That is not good enough, either? Is your intention, then, to be purified in this body-mind so that it improves through a religious life lived humanly?

DEVOTEE: I do feel my attention is to be purified, although purification simply occurs by the Grace of Your Company.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: If you do the sadhana.

DEVOTEE: I see that very clearly. It has been demonstrated for me since I have been here in direct relationship to something very specific about the second stage of life, in my own case, an emotional obsession with loss and sorrow, and feelings of rejection, that kind of emotionalism. I never really felt before that I could make the gesture of self-transcendence in relationship to it, and I felt the tapas in doing that. It is tapas.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: Yes. You must renounce sorrow. It is not that you must figure it out or analyze yourself or go into reveries and try to discover when it first appeared and what is holding it in place. No. You must sacrifice it, relinquish it, Stand Prior to it, be in a senior position relative to it. You must surrender it, just that, period. No mind about it. It is just a mechanism, a level of vibration, if you will, a thought. It is just something to be let go of. If you want higher thoughts, greater thoughts, you must sacrifice the ones you are tending to have right now. But you must do it intentionally, and, therefore, consistently. You must make it into a way of life. Your way of life must become one of intentionally and consistently relinquishing your association with lesser tendencies.

If you do not relinquish them systematically and consistently, the tendencies will persist. If you indulge in them, you reinforce them and accumulate further destiny. It is not enough to feel sympathetic with the idea of becoming purified and going beyond. You must do the sadhana consistently. You must constantly deal with these tendencies that arise, no matter what they are. You must make the sacrifice. Your Contemplation of Me must be a sacrifice or it is not effective sadhana. You must literally be going beyond limitations constantly.

But, as I indicated earlier, you will go beyond only those limitations that you do in fact sacrifice. Therefore, if there is a limit on what you submit through this practice, then that limit necessarily becomes your destiny. You see-it is a choice. You see how Lawful it all is. It is not that there is some petty Divinity punishing you for not fulfilling certain rules and rewarding you for doing some other things you are asked to do. It is a structure within which you are free, at all times free, to change, if you will fulfill the Law of change. Basically, that Law is Contemplation and tapas-in simple terms devotion, service, and self-discipline. These cover the process very basically. And it is a matter of doing that consistently, profoundly, going beyond the limitations that are arising such that attention moves beyond its present apparent level of manifestation. It will do so, by Grace, through feeling-Contemplation, if you do the sadhana consistently. Give your life up completely to that sadhana.

But you define the result. You must understand that it is not someone other than you who is determining the result. You determine it. Therefore, you must discover in yourself-through development of self-awareness, self-observation, and self-understanding-just what limit you are placing on the sacrifice, because you are determining the result, or the Realization.

[To the questioner] You just suggested that your commitment is not toward self-indulgence and getting worse, nor even toward perpetuating the status quo and just going along with living a sort of moderated life and fulfilling your destiny. You are at least inclined toward some kind of purifying sadhana. But how does that commitment define itself? Does it define itself in terms of gross embodiment or in terms of going beyond it? What is your intention?

Real sadhana is a consistent sacrifice. The actual qualities of your performance of the sacrifice determine the result. You must find out if you are using attention in the midst of this ordeal of sadhana in such a way that at most you are simply a little bit at a time purifying and improving your grossly limited state of existence. This is something you must discover. If you discover that it is so, then you can still change it. You can still go beyond it. But you must find it out. Otherwise, notions of the seventh stage of life are just fantasies. Life will not turn out that way, you see, if you do not do the sadhana.

People practicing conventional religion imagine that, because they believe in such and such a religious doctrine, they are going to go to heaven after death. You must do the sadhana. Belief does not determine it. Belief only cuts so deep. What do you do? What is attention about in your case? Attention is destiny-guaranteed. What you do with your attention-and you are completely free to do what you will with it-what you do with attention determines destiny. Just that. That is exactly how it works.

Attention, you could say, is pure location. It has no dimension. The location of attention determines destiny because where attention goes, so to speak, becomes a choice in space-time. Attention itself has no dimension to it, but what it is associated with has all kinds of dimensions. If attention is by tendency locating itself in the grosser space-time configuration, then it will remain there, and the dimensions of space-time that are gross in nature will remain the apparition, the destiny in the Absolute, until such a time as attention is deflected or moved otherwise. Once attention is established in such a configuration as the present one, the apparition perpetuates itself, because attention tends to remain there. You must be moved in your attention to go beyond this particular configuration, or it will simply continue to unravel as this gross destiny, which is only one fractional range of total possibility.

Even the subtler planes are countless, and none of them are absolute, as you find out in the ordeal of sadhana when you encounter them. In the subtler planes you can make the same choice you made relative to the gross plane. You can choose to make it a sacrifice and go beyond. Those who make higher dimensions of existence into a sacrifice do not become fixed in them. They go utterly beyond them, ultimately. But those who cannot make that choice remain fixed in that higher locus until they are moved above it or below it or variously within it.

Attention is moving about in a Matrix of space-time, tending to become fixed in one location or another, perpetuating destiny there until it becomes unsatisfactory. Ultimate Wisdom Realizes that there is limitation everywhere in this Grand Matrix, or Cosmic Mandala. Therefore, by that Wisdom, the sacrifice of attention itself is made. And that is the Ultimate, or Perfect, Process that becomes the Realization of the seventh stage of life, and, ultimately, Divine Translation. But it is not an automaticity.

I have said that the simplest practice in the Way of the Heart can potentially Realize even the seventh stage Capability. That is true. It is possible. But it requires the profundities of sadhana. I had the feeling when I first passed The Love-Ananda Gita to you that people were imagining that with a little casual devotional practice the seventh stage Realization will happen to them, as if there is nothing to it.

Great Realization requires a great sacrifice. There are no two ways about it! I have Given you all the Means for it, but you must do the sadhana. It is not going to happen as an automaticity, and you will not move beyond the beginners practice unless you become involved in the greater sacrifice. It is not possible without the sadhana. You are Given the sadhana that is associated with Grace, so you have a great advantage. But that does not mean the sadhana itself can be bypassed. If you are moved to the religious life, at least toward some purification of the grosser life, you must discover whether or not you are moved to any more than that, other than in your imagination, because there is no movement beyond the beginners practice if this greater motivation does not awaken in you. And the practice of the Way of the Heart does not even move beyond the gross plane until after practicing stage three in the elaborately detailed course of practice of the Way of the Heart (or an equivalent Realization of practice).

Without sadhana, there is no destiny greater than the sector I call the gross plane-which includes not only this gross physical plane here, but a range only slightly subtler than this-and no movement beyond it. Even through practicing stage three (or an equivalent Realization of practice), all sadhana relates to this gross life, which is progressively purified, and thus progressively improved, so to speak. But, through practicing stage three, there is no indication, at any rate, of a possible destiny beyond these grosser planes. There may not necessarily be reincarnation in this grosser physical sense, but what is indicated is continuation in the grosser sector of the subtle worlds, if one has advanced as much as practicing stage three.

It was presumed anciently that in any generation, if you have at least any interest in Realizing something more than the mayhem of your own suffering, go and find a Realizer. Try very hard to find such a One. And when you have found Him, throw yourself at His Feet and take His Instruction, because that One is the only One, or one of a few, in that generation who enjoys the capability to go through the ordeal and discover what the structure of Reality is and what to do within It. This is not something that every individual can find out on his or her own. You are not born with the tendency to do it, and you will not do it on your own. Rare are the individuals who have the capacity to Realize even to any degree at all, and rarer still are those who have passed through the entire Process and who can speak with authority about it in its totality.

Well-if one finds the Great Process at the Feet of a Realizer, you see what difficulty this generation is in! This generation is dramatizing a disinclination toward authority-every man for himself, every woman for herself. A struggle against authority characterizes this generation and many generations now past. The great link to the Ultimate Process is being thrown away with this disinclination.

Some apparently think that because of the orientation of Westerners the Great Way cannot be brought to them as It truly Is, and It must be changed for Westerners-therefore, the Guru and all kinds of matters associated with devotion and the Spiritual Process as It has been traditionally communicated must be eliminated, and the Great Way must be changed into something a Westerner can do by himself or herself. However, simply because Westerners are (or have been), by tendency, not disposed (or inclined) to take up the Great Way as It Is does not mean that the Great Way can be changed, and that they will (thereby) wind up Realizing It. It does not work that way.

The Great Way is just the way It Is. Its own Laws are inherent within It. The Great Way is characterized by certain Laws of process. They simply cannot be changed. Individuals are all born with certain tendencies of attention, and they are simply tending to fulfill their destiny. Realizers appear to help break the spell and to link individuals with the Great Process, but one by one. So what is your inclination? What is your intention? How are you purposed? To what degree will you enter into this process? Yes, in some sense one Way is Given to all-I Give you all this Way of the Heart-but on the other hand I am Giving you as many Ways as there are individuals. Each one practices the same Way of the Heart within certain characteristic limits, in a certain characteristic fashion, with a certain characteristic intention. Each one will, therefore, Realize differently within the same Way.

You will not Realize the seventh stage of life simply because your Heart-Master is a seventh stage God-Realizer. You will Realize according to the motive of your own attention. You will Realize according to the quality of your sadhana in My Company.

So, you see, even in the simplest gesture that I describe in The Love-Ananda Gita , there is still a necessary function that we can call self-understanding. This Way is still the Way of Understanding. Even in the simplest practice you come to understand yourself more and more. The more you enter into feeling -Contemplation, the more you understand yourself, and the more you are reflected back to yourself. Even the simplest practice is not only Contemplation of Me. It is Contemplation of Me in the context of functional, practical, relational, and cultural disciplines. Contemplation and self-discipline-the two go together, you see, even in the simplest practice.

Necessarily, a process of self-understanding is involved in this practice. The limit of your devotion, service, self-discipline, feeling-Contemplation-the limit of all of this is constantly being exposed to you. To do even the simplest practice you must go beyond the limits that are exposed to you. The Way is, therefore, still the Way of Understanding.

That being the case, then, observing yourself, you must come to understand the limit you are enforcing in your sadhana. And you must decide whether you will accept that limit or not. First you must find out what that limit is, and then you must decide whether you will accept it or not, and whether or not it is enough sadhana for you.

Many people read or listen to My Teaching-Word and have the intention to honor Me, have a positive orientation toward Me altogether, but they are not inclined to do anything more than that. They like studying the Wisdom-Teaching and having some positive feelings about Me. They read My books when they are published. But they are basically not inclined to do more than be what we call a “formal Friend”. They are not inclined to take on the disciplines of this practice.

What is such an individual saying? “That is enough for me, just this much. Im helped by this Wisdom-Teaching and by knowing that You exist, and that is about all Im willing to do about it. Im satisfied with how things will go if I accept just this much Gift.” Of course, this view may change over time, since the more experience there is, the more suffering there is, but that is what such a person is saying.

Likewise, someone who is willing to take up this Way by taking up the basic functional, practical, relational, and cultural disciplines, and intentionally responding to the Call to devotion, service, and self-discipline, such an individual, having embraced that sadhana-and there are many such people among the members of this Communion presently-is standing at the beginning of the process. There are approximately nine hundred formal practitioners at the present time, and almost all of them are standing at the very beginning. Some are standing right at the door, just entering into the Way, only beginning to adapt at all to this practice. Some others, however many there may be at the moment, have advanced to some degree in the student-beginners dimension of practice, but they have not yet exceeded the student-beginners practice. Such is the limit of almost all practitioners at the present time.

What is everyone saying to Me, then? To choose to be at the beginning-and in many cases that choice is being announced perhaps even after a decade or more of association with Me-to stand at the beginning is to say that your choice as a practitioner is limited by the gross orientation of attention. You are saying that it is enough for you to assume only this much discipline and you do not want to overdo it. You do not want to press yourself too much, or require any more of yourself at the present time. All such language is an expression of a choice.

If you are still saying this after many years, you must understand that it is very much an expression of your intention. It is not merely that you are a beginner. For how many years can you be a beginner? You have intentionally, in other words, limited your sadhana to the beginners expression, and by this you have indicated a choice. You must take this fact seriously.

Particularly those who have been associated with Me and this opportunity with Me for some number of years need to examine themselves and see that being a beginner after so many years is an indication of a choice. It is a statement about practice. You are basically satisfied with the minimum of the Way of the Heart and the minimum discipline, and you are content with the destiny you will Realize on that basis.

As I said earlier, the first thing you must do is find out what choice you are animating. Having found that out, you have the option to make another choice. But to do so is not just a matter of momentarily feeling that you really want to Realize the Absolute. It is not a matter of being a fan of the Divine. If you are going to make a choice that goes beyond the destiny your current sign indicates, then you must perform the sacrifice. You must do the sadhana with that much more intensity, and you must do it consistently.

It is possible to remain a student-beginner as an orientation to a lifetime of practice. Such is not a fruitless choice. It is lay practice in the Way of the Heart to be a student-beginner. You can remain a student-beginner or become what we call a general lay member-practitioner and let that level of maturity characterize your practice for the rest of your life. It is good practice, because it involves a choice to relinquish attention on a certain level. If you did not make such a choice, you would only indulge in attention such that either your destiny worsened, or, at the very most, your destiny continued along its present lines.

To take up the Way of the Heart, even as a student-beginner or as a general lay member-practitioner, is to use attention differently. It is to embrace a Way of life that will purify karmas to a significant degree, not sufficiently to evolve into higher planes, or to move beyond conditional existence-no, not that-but sufficient to improve destiny through purification, such that the destiny after death is superior to the destiny Realized in the present lifetime.

It is, therefore, good sadhana. It is true religious practice. But you must understand that it is a choice of destiny also, and you must decide whether for you it is sufficient to go through a basic process of purification to improve your current destiny. If it is sufficient for you, then perpetuating the student-beginner practice and the beginners signs in the general lay practice is good sadhana. Do not suggest that your motive is greater than that, unless you would be relieved of this gross imposition and moved beyond it, at least into higher planes, or utterly beyond it, fulfilling My Teaching-Call Perfectly. And do not suggest such is your motivation unless it is also your practice.

If you are not satisfied with the choice to be a beginner, or even a general lay member-practitioner-which is true religious practice, or a purifying process that improves destiny in the context of gross existence-then you must also practice differently. You can make another choice to go beyond even that purified destiny-and even how purified is up to you. You could make a choice to go beyond the gross potential, but such a choice requires sacrifice, it requires renunciation, it requires the renunciate Way of life. Even the renunciate Way of life has its degrees of sacrifice, which likewise determine destiny within the higher ranges of conditional existence, or even the Destiny that is Perfect.

Realization and renunciation coincide. If Realization is Perfect, renunciation is Perfect. Fundamentally, it is renunciation of attention, but such renunciation must be demonstrated in the context of psycho-physical existence, in other words in the body-mind. If you do not relinquish the body-mind, you will not Realize the fulfillment of the Perfect Practice. If you remain committed in your attention to the Cosmic Mandala, you cannot practice the Perfect Practice. It is not a matter of being sort of solid and mental and preferring the orientation of the sixth stage of life. Your preparation for the Perfect Practice must be demonstrated through real sadhana. You must demonstrate the capability, the clear disposition, to transcend attention in the context of the Cosmic Mandala. If that disposition is there, then the sadhana must be done. The renunciation of attention must increase, and likewise its demonstration in the body-mind. A clear disposition demonstrated through sadhana, not merely a mental or philosophical preference, justifies the Perfect Practice.

[To the questioner] So what is your choice then? Which one? The beginners sadhana?

DEVOTEE: That is the sadhana I am doing.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: So you are content with that choice for the moment?


HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: You are not content with it?

DEVOTEE: I feel that Your Grace is drawing me into the beginners sadhana very quickly, and the more it becomes my daily practice, the more I am moved to simply live that practice as my life.

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: But your demonstration is still very much that of a beginner.


HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: Only beginning to adapt to this sadhana. So you cannot really answer for any greater motivation than the one to establish the beginners practice.


HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: So that is your choice for now.

DEVOTEE: You asked me whether I am content, and I . . .

HEART-MASTER DA LOVE-ANANDA: By “content” I do not mean necessarily a mood of contentment. I mean that the choice is clearly yours, and it is just that, and not more than that, until you are capable of making a greater choice.

You are not capable of making a greater choice until you have established the foundation practice, so it is not even a matter of real discussion about a greater choice until then. And so it is with practitioners of this Way in general. Everyone is haggling about the foundation practice. Other than the Kanyas, people have not moved beyond that foundation struggle to the point that they can discuss just what is their disposition relative to Realization, and what commitment they can make beyond the lay orientation, or beyond self-purifying practice in the context of gross life.

If, for you, the struggle is about disciplining the gross personality, all talk about greater Realization is fantasy. Similarly, if you tell Me that you have all kinds of experiences of My Spiritual Presence, well, that is fine-maybe you are having experiences of such things because you live in proximity to Me. But that does not mean that the process is leading you toward a greater destiny than one associated with the gross personality-it does not mean that at all. The measure is what has been sacrificed at the gross level, not how many subtle experiences you have. If the gross personality is not relinquished, not effectively transcended, then it remains your destiny, regardless of how many mystical experiences you may have had.You will not Realize a destiny beyond the gross body if you do not transcend the gross body. Now you are all kinds of sorrowful and afraid because the gross body is your commitment. You are afraid to die, and you are afraid to lose all the relations you can enjoy when you are alive bodily. Yes, it is the body that has these tendencies, but you can (ultimately, you must) transcend that gross personality. It can be as afraid and sorrowful as it pleases. You must Stand Beyond it. And that requires the great Ordeal in which you cease to be identified with the gross body and are instead identified with That in Which it arises.

There are degrees of that Realization, you see. You can be identified with the subtler field in which the gross body is arising. You can be identified with a subtler field than the lesser subtler field. Or you can be Identified with the Divine Self-Condition. There are degrees of Realization.

But, to move beyond the plane of gross bodily destiny, you must become Identified with That in Which the gross body is arising, rather than with the gross body itself. If that sacrifice does not occur, gross existence will replicate itself automatically. And, beyond identification with the gross personality, there are all the subtle possibilities, all the subtle planes of existence, everything that is mind, in other words. Mind is not merely the thoughts you have at the present. Mind is planes of existence. Mind is destiny, ultimately, or really.

It is one thing, therefore, to transcend identification with the gross body. It is another thing to transcend all the possibilities of mind beyond it. There is no Perfect Realization, no seventh stage Awakening, and no Divine Translation until there is the transcendence not only of the gross body, but of all the planes of mind, all the planes of cosmic existence. You can Commune with, Contemplate, and sympathize with the One Who is Transcending all, no matter within what plane you are apparently resident. But you cannot Realize a different destiny than the plane in which you are apparently resident without sacrificing your attention, and literally releasing it from this locus to another. You can move attention from this locus associated with the gross dimensions. You can move it from there to subtler planes, subtler loci, or you can transcend attention itself and Realize the Divine Self-Condition Itself, prior to all apparent modifications.

There is a tendency in people to trivialize this Great Process. Because I can Communicate about all this, write it down for you, engage in discussion with you about it, and, therefore, you can receive all this, reflect it all in your mind, you tend to imagine that somehow it is already done, it is already accomplished, it is already so, somehow. You trivialize it by somehow locating it in mind, replicating it through certain mind-forms. People imagine that somehow they have already done the sadhana. A couple of thrills in the spine, and they are God-Realized! That is to trivialize the Great Process. The Great Process is the Ultimate Sacrifice. It is a profound Ordeal. You cannot Realize the Divine by trivializing the Divine, familiarizing yourself with the Divine to the point that no sadhana is necessary, getting so cozy with Me that you need not accept My discipline or fulfill My Instruction.

I can be at ease and conversational with you for your sake, because such is an appearance that you require, but it does not change the requirements of the Way.

I am, therefore, waiting to hear from practitioners about their choice. I am interested to find out if any individuals in this Communion are going to take on renunciate practice and embrace the Way of the Heart with the greatest intention. For those who are content, so to speak, to assume the lay orientation, or the beginners orientation, that is good, too. It is admirable practice. It is just that I expect you to be realistic about what that practice involves, and not presume that you are casually moving toward the Ultimate Realization.

The beginners sadhana is good sadhana. It is basically a process of purification, and of integrating ones life with the Divine Law at the level of gross existence. This is good. And it seems that it is enough for most people, for most people who intend to be religious at all.

Occasionally, when I ask about this, numbers of people tell Me that they intend to advance in their practice. And yet they do not show Me the signs. They remain reluctant to give Me the evidence of devotion, service, and self-discipline. As yet, they have not fully or truly adapted their lives even to the foundation practice, and yet they are “talking” about advanced practices. There is yet, in other words, a dramatic difference between performance and the aspirations some of you have in mind.