THE FREE DAIST
Volume 2, Numbers 3 & 4
“Celebrate My Good Company”
A Talk Given by Sri Da Avabhasa
May 3, 1991
(1) CHARLES SEAGE: Sri Gurudev, thank You very much for
this Darshan occasion. I see Your Beauty, the Beauty and
“Brightness” of Your Form, the Power and Strength, Love and
Compassion. It is a wonderful Gift to me and all of us.
(2) Sri Gurudev, during these last couple of years I have
felt my relationship to You. But I have also seen reflected
to me and to the entire gathering of Your devotees our lack
of right relationship to You. We are tending to be more
involved in the “religion business” than in the direct
relationship to You. And I myself do not want to see Your
Work fail. I want it to succeed. But there is obviously
something in myself and in all of us as a gathering that is
missing. I notice just through my observation of the Kanyas
over these last five years something that they did in
response to You five years ago that made a big difference,
and it seems to be something that we have not been able to
completely understand or establish.
Until we establish this right relationship to You, I know
we cannot do anything else properly. I know a lot of us
sometimes feel on certain days that there is absolutely no
problem, but a lot of the time we feel stuck. It does not
seem possible after seeing Your Beautiful Form, but there is
something we are not doing in relationship to You.
SRI DA AVABHASA: There are a lot of things that you are
doing that you should not be doing. It is not that there is
something that the Kanyas have begun to do that they were
not doing before. They have stopped doing a lot of things
they were doing before. You all have not stopped doing those
things. You are still doing the old thing and wanting to
play “religion” at the same time. It does not work. That is
what the Kanyas were doing until five years ago. Real
religious life involves a conversion of life, a change of
life, devotion to a different purpose. You all remain
ego-bound and devoted to your egoic purposes, your
conventional purposes, purposes that have nothing to do with
Perfectly self-transcending God-Realization, purposes that
are not God-Realizing.
I have Given you a complete life of practice, every
detail Given to you, and all built upon a fundamental
practice that is the great esoteric Secret. But ordinary
people make this Great Secret into an exoteric matter.
Devotion to the Realizer in His bodily (human) Form is not
an exoteric practice. It is an esoteric Secret. It is the
Secret and the Process that makes Perfectly
self-transcending God-Realization possible.
The Kanyas live their devotion in direct relationship to
Me. They remain accountable to Me. They conform themselves
to My Instruction. They did not come to Me for mere ideas.
They came for Perfectly self-transcending God Realization.
They came to be Instructed, not merely to have discussions
with Me, to talk it over and do what they like. And at some
point, they made the choice to stop doing what they were
doing before, to stop being fools, to stop “guruing”
themselves, to stop devoting themselves to worldly purposes.
It is not that they have become perfect in some conventional
sense. They were converted in their disposition, and their
When you observe their sign and feel that there is
something unique about it, it is because of these things.
There are things you must stop doing, there is a real
practice based on My precise Instruction that you must do,
and you must live the life of Guru-devotion, direct devotion
to Me, moment by moment. If you understand these three basic
admonitions, then measure yourself against them. Have you
abandoned your old ways? Do you accept My Instruction, and
do you practice it in detail? Do you live your life as
devotion to Me directly? Moment by moment? This is the
measure, you see.
You all like to fantasize great religious results,
fantasize that you are a Realizer in the Ultimate sense. The
fact of the matter is, you must understand yourself and
transcend yourself. You must do sadhana. There are no two
ways about it. There is no way to bypass this sadhana. There
is a way to make it most direct, but you cannot bypass
The ego wants to be its own “guru”. The conventional
political ideal of this epoch is that everybody is supposed
to be an independent, idealized center of existence. You are
supposed to project various goals and fulfill yourself. You
get a handbook and go and do it for yourself. There is no
culture of respect, no real process in the Ultimate
Look at the world. Look at how the world has changed in
the past twenty years. And yet everybody is gleefully,
blithely, in a self-absorbed, or egoically “self-possessed”,
manner, pursuing the same nonsensical philosophy. Mankind
has been projecting an attitude on the world. It has
neglected reality-ordinary, practical reality and Ultimate
Reality. And during this time of fantasizing and
self-indulgence, while those realities were being neglected,
great difficulties have been created for the whole
You are insane with your own mind. The entire world is
mad with mind. Sadhana is about transcendence of mind,
transcendence of the ego, of self-contraction. Sadhana is
not about embracing concepts, idealizing mind, pursuing
karmic perfection, karmic fulfillment. Sadhana is about the
transcendence of the mind itself and altogether. Sadhana is
about the Realization of That Which is Prior to mind, within
Which mind appears to be arising, and, therefore, within
Which everything apparent is apparently arising. Measure
yourself against this. What do you do from moment to moment?
Do you surrender the mind? Do you submit the mind to its
Source? Do you practice mind-transcending devotion to Me? Or
are you indulging in your mind from moment to moment,
letting yourself be controlled by it, indulging in
fantasies, distractions, memories, and possibilities?
God-Realization is not a fantasy. It is not a
“maybe”-except from the point of view of a certain state of
mind. To do sadhana, you must stop taking that mind
seriously and submit it to its Source, Realize That in Which
it is arising. Such sadhana becomes more and more profound.
Its primal Secret is Guru-devotion, Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga.
Self-surrendering, self-forgetting, and self-transcending
feeling-Contemplation of My bodily (human) Form is the most
direct opportunity for ego-transcendence, transcendence of
self-contraction, transcendence of mind, moment to moment.
It is not merely something to be done in a formal meditative
hour or two. Yes, it is done then, but, more than that, it
is the Way of life.
To one who so practices, Gifts of Grace are Given.
You, however, have been occupied with yourselves and not
with Me. You send Me your problems. You do not send Me your
devotion. And you do not handle your own business. You
expect Me to handle your business. You have wasted your own
Gurus House. You are mad with mind. You have been indulging
in mind, indulging in your egoic selves, presuming religious
fantasies and ordinary human fantasies-pretending, seeming,
You say that on some days it seems all right and on other
days it does not. Yet there has not been one day in all
these five years when you have done it right-not one day. If
you feel content on some days, it has something to do with
your own private, local state, not with the Great Process.
You have utterly neglected this Great Process and mocked My
The things I am pointing out to you seem to Me to be very
obvious. It is not that I have not Told you this before. It
is not that this Instruction is not on record. You may not
have much of My Wisdom-Teaching in print for your study, but
you have some. I think you have been worshipping a golden
calf down here.
Many people came here on retreat during the past three
years. They were grateful, and they made all kinds of
promises. But look at the state of this gathering. What did
they go home to do? Even when they were here, they indulged
themselves. They may have felt something of My Spiritual
Influence, but that does not mean they were Enlightened by
It, or even evolved or advanced by It.
That is why I have continued to remind people who come
here on retreat that you are in the listening phase of the
Way of the Heart. Therefore, you must surrender your
separate and separative self, observe your separate and
separative self, discipline your separate and separative
self, and then observe your separate and separative self
more. Practice self-surrendering and self-forgetting
feeling-Contemplation of Me. Practice this counter-egoic
sadhana until you understand your separate and separative
self most fundamentally and you have realized that unique
capability I call “hearing”, which is the unique capability
to directly transcend the self-contraction. Only then have
you begun to make even some possible right use of My
Until then, you may feel My Spiritual (and Always
Blessing) Presence. Given the opportunity to come into My
physical Company, or to be around some Place I have Blessed,
or to be among the people who have been around Me all these
years, where there is some residue of Blessing, you may have
some experience of My Spirit-Presence. And many have come to
Me on retreat looking to indulge in My physical Company for
the sake of such experience. But until hearing is true of
you, your experience of My Spiritual (and Always Blessing)
Presence is not significant.
At most it may inspire you to feel there is Something
Greater than this meat-body destiny, but why that should
still be a fundamental doubt in you is a wonder, because
even as a beginner in the Way of the Heart you are supposed
to be responding to Me and doing sadhana in My Company. You
are already supposed to be committed to Perfectly
self-transcending God-Realization, not entertaining stupid
doubts stimulated by your reading of confused books and
being casual in your mind.
Without most fundamental self-understanding, or the
capability to directly transcend the self-contraction,
experiences of My Spiritual (and Always Blessing) Presence
are of no great import, no great use. You will use them as
your mind determines. You will do what you want with them.
You will do what your tendencies determine. You will use up
My Spiritual Influence by indulging yourself one way or
another through your egoic effort.
It seems that this is why, after three years of retreats
in My physical Company, this gathering of My devotees is in
such an unfortunate state at the moment. You who came on
retreat did not really use My Company. You might have had
experiences of My Spirit-Presence, you might have been
grateful to be here, but you did not go from here and do
differently. You did not do the sadhana I Called you to do.
You did not fulfill My Instruction, the particular
Instruction that belongs to your stage of practice. You
preferred fantasy. You preferred to come here and fantasize,
and then to leave here and fantasize, form your doubts again
and indulge in your egoic self, instead of living the unique
discipline that is the relationship to Me.
It is absolutely essential that you do the sadhana I have
Given you to do, the sadhana that belongs to your moment of
practice, your developmental stage of practice and your
stage of life in My Company. All that I have Given you is
“radical” practice. The Way of the Heart is always a
“radical”, or most direct, practice, always about
ego-transcendence in the moment. That is the sadhana in
every moment. No matter what the form of your practice, no
matter what your developmental stage of practice, there is
always self-transcendence in the moment.
Even so, you should, even from the beginning, always
“consider” My Arguments relative to the “Perfect Practice”
of the Way of the Heart, which is the practice for which the
early developmental stages prepare you, and the practice for
which you should become prepared as quickly as possible.
But you all seem to have decided to make a way of life
out of student-novice and student-beginner practice. You
have created a nominal version of the Way of the Heart,
therefore. You have created a kind of “religion-business”
alternative to the Way of the Heart. Practice as a
student-novice and then as a student-beginner is just a
period in which to establish the foundation discipline. You
all have apparently decided to make the foundation
discipline into a lifetime occupation, something that could
take decades to do. This strategy is total nonsense. It is
stupid, adolescent resistance to discipline.
The disciplines of student-beginner practice are not
extraordinary. They are simple, life-positive, healthful.
Whats the big deal? Anybody on Earth who is being religious
does something like them. What is your excuse? You are just
indulging in your double-mindedness, your infantile and
adolescent mind, your vagary, self-contraction in the form
of self-generated doubt, the mood of the ego in its mind.
Instead of living your life on the basis of a clear
commitment to Divine Self-Realization, you wonder about it
all the time. Depending on the state of your digestion or
your hormones or your sex life, or whatever you are
preoccupied with in the moment, you are saying “yes” or “no”
to the Way of the Heart.
That is not sadhana, at all. That is the ordinary life.
You are indulging in it blithely because you are possessed
by worldly opinions and false views, and you do not know
their results. The knowledge of the results of these things
has been withheld from you, and you continue to be barred
from it by the conventional mind and the pressures of
worldly life. You imagine you can live an egoically
self-possessed life and indulge in its tendencies perhaps
without any grave consequences, either in life or after
This is the opinion of an idiot. Sooner or later you
begin to doubt that opinion, but by then it may be so late
in your life, and you may be so low in energy, that you may
feel there is nothing you can do about it anymore, and you
may even talk yourself into that point of view. But you can
always do it. You can always do this sadhana in My Company.
And this sadhana is about the transcendence of mind,
self-contraction, karmic destiny, transcendence of the
mechanism that makes conditional destiny.
At the beginning you are basically dealing with the
results of living as an ego, living in the self-contracted
mind. Ultimately, in the ultimate development of the Way of
the Heart, you are truly dealing with the essence of the
mechanism itself. At the beginning, however, you are dealing
with the results. The beginning of the process is basically
a purification. In the beginning you clean it, and in the
end you kill it, or transcend it utterly.
As a beginner, you may fantasize that somehow or other
you are ready for the ultimate process of the Way of the
Heart and perhaps even already involved in it. This is just
egoic fantasy. You must simply take up the fundamental
disciplines and practice them seriously, according to My
precise Instructions. You must endure the process of
purification and observe your egoic self more and more,
until the process becomes most fundamental
self-understanding and the capability to directly transcend
self-contraction. Then the process becomes more profound,
and My Spiritual Transmission is of real use to you. Soon
thereafter, hopefully, you become capable of the “Perfect
But now you are all living in this blithe dramatization
of the last many years and acting as if purification is not
necessary, as if you are just supposed to have a robust
attitude toward life, or so you think, as if you are here to
indulge in ordinary life, to fulfill it, perfect it, and use
it, to live the worldly good life. How many people on this
Earth are still living the worldly good life anyway? Have
you listened to the news lately? The good life is becoming
rather scarce, but still you have been living as if it were
You know that in general, as a gathering, you all have
been living a kind of discipline, living more
conservatively, more “straight”, so to speak, than worldly
people. But that does not make what you are doing purifying,
it does not make it sadhana, nor does it make it devotion to
Me. It has not been that, in fact. You have agreed to
observe self-discipline relative to certain aspects of your
functional life, but you have also found ways even to
intensify your self-indulgence, your egoity, in other
aspects of your life.
Look at all the people who are still so-called adapting
student-beginners or fully established adapting
student-beginners, after years and years, some of them after
almost twenty years. They are still proposing to take more
time to become demonstrating student-beginners or prepared
student-beginners. How many different slices of
student-beginner are there now-including the student-novice
stage? You all have insisted so much on making the
student-beginner stage a way of life that even it is filled
Such reluctant people simply want to indulge in doubt and
apparently very self-fulfilling, actually very
self-exhausting, habits of living, mediocrity altogether.
They want a little religion to take the edge off stress, but
they do not want great discipline or concentration. Some
among you appear to dramatize this weak intention more than
others, but basically the entire gathering has failed to
demonstrate practice of the Way of the Heart even in its
most fundamental aspects.
To transcend this weakness is your business. It must
become important to you. As for the Means of your
Realization, I have Given you every Instruction. Wanting to
do it is your part of it.
There appears to be something about the practice,
something very specific about the practice as a moment to
moment discipline, that you do not understand or that you
are resisting. I receive reports about you all the time. I
am aware of you all in those brief moments of contact with
those of you who are here. Do you think I do not know what
you are doing?
Some weeks ago a number of you applied to be members of
the Lay Renunciate Order. You made application to Me. The
people who made these applications actually thought they
qualified for the Lay Renunciate Order. I had told them the
requirements very specifically, but they thought they
could-by selling it, huffing and puffing, seeming really
hard, and using all the right language-somehow convince Me
they are practitioners of such maturity. Their very gesture
of submitting applications to Me in that form was itself a
sign of the unreality of the devotional relationship to Me.
They are all the devotees of another “guru”-Narcissus-Ji
After they tried that one out, they decided they would
re-apply, this time for the Lay Congregationist Order. They
tried to sell it to Me in the same way. But they had to be
refused again, for the same reason. I think they still did
not get the point.
The notion that you are supposed to be independent, that
even relative to such great matters as the Spiritual Process
you are supposed to be your own “guru”, is a symptom of the
times, a characteristic of Westerners, and in some special
way a characteristic of most people on Earth at the present
time. It is a universal philosophy, a popular doctrine.
People think it is just obviously true. It is an ideal,
something presumed to be true without inspection.
The religious process is about ego-transcendence. The ego
is no “guru”. The ego is mind. The ego is an illusion. The
ego is self-deluding. The ego is desire, motion, conditional
result. Sadhana is about transcending the ego. Sadhana is
about Perfectly self-transcending God-Realization, the
Realization of That Which is Obvious when the ego is
transcended. How can you do that? How can you Realize That
Which can be Realized only by transcendence of the ego if
you are already an ego?
You cannot. Divine Self-Realization is Given as a Gift.
There is a unique relationship whereby this Realization
becomes possible. That relationship requires a different way
of life than the conventional ego-made one. It requires a
different orientation of life. It does not necessarily
require that you become a monastic, a monk or a nun, but
that does not mean you can live the ordinary life and it
will be God-Realizing. Not at all.
In the Way of the Heart, you can live in the ordinary
world and continue the various ordinary aspects of natural
life, but you must re-orient everything. You must transform
your ordinary activities into Yoga, into devotion to Me,
into Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga. You must transform all your
activities into counter-egoic, or ego-transcending,
As My devotee you can continue to have your meals and
your intimates, but you must turn them into Yoga. If you do
not, you are simply dramatizing egoity and you will
inevitably realize egoic results. If you clearly understood
Me about this and responded to Me whole-heartedly, the
conversion of your ordinary activities into Yoga would be a
very straightforward matter for you. But you have been
struggling for years, and years, and years, as if changing
ordinary life into Yoga is a great and difficult thing to
do. It is not. It is very straightforward-to a person who is
committed to doing it, to a person who is committed to Me
and to the God-Realizing process through self-transcendence
in My Company. And it need not take much time at all.
Some waste their time with double-mindedness and
resistance. They seem never to introduce detail into their
practice. They take forever, it seems, to establish the
disciplines. Others are not such dull types, but they are
more slippery, accomplished at seeming. Such individuals can
seem to be practicing the disciplines, even with some real
detail, and, when asked, they describe what seems to be a
life of Yogic exercise. But it is not sadhana. It is not
devotion to Me. It is not self-transcending. Such people are
“guruing” themselves. When you examine their practice, you
find that real devotion to Me is missing. And certain
critical details are also missing. There is usually much
delusion in them relative to their accomplishments. You must
measure your own practice against both these
The more direct you are about your devotion to Me, the
less measuring there is to do. Whole-hearted devotion to Me
disciplines everything very simply. When devotion to Me is
not whole-hearted, when there is resistance and withholding
in one or another detail here and there, then you are
complicated and you must make all kinds of measures of
yourself, engage in all kinds of examinations of your
practice, to close the loopholes you have found and the
errors whereby you have bypassed My Instruction.