Method of The Siddhas – Talks with Franklin Jones on the spiritual teahnique of the Saviors of mankind – Adi Da Samraj – Chapter 10 – Adi Da Samraj – Bubba Free John 1978

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The Path of the Great Form

DEVOTEE: Does proximity to you, closeness to your body,
have any relation to the intensity or the effects of

FRANKLIN: What is your experience?

DEVOTEE: It doesn’t seem to have that much to do with the
body. It seems more to be how much I am in felt contact with
you and how open I am to you.

FRANKLIN: It all depends on the quality of your
relationship. Everything is its medium, because everything
is it. The body seems to be a very potent source for some,
whereas for others the process seems to take place mainly or
only in very subtle ways. Neither one is superior to the
other. A person must discover the quality of Satsang for

DEVOTEE: I have two feelings or ideas about what is
happening that I would like to discuss. I have had the
feeling that you were receiving uptight or bad karma and
transforming it inside yourself.

FRANKLIN: What do you think?

DEVOTEE: That’s what I see, that’s what I experience, but
I’m not certain.

FRANKLIN: Why do you doubt it?

DEVOTEE: The other thing, after sitting with you for a
little while, I seem to be observing a pattern in myself in
Satsang, and tonight I had the feeling that maybe there is a
specific way that it happens. It is somehow different every
time, but there seems to be a continuity in terms of a
pattern. At least I experience it in terms of a movement up
through the chakras. Is there some sort of non-verbal
instruction being communicated?


DEVOTEE: In myself, yes. Something you do and, therefore,
I am also learning to do, because I am sitting in your

FRANKLIN: Many structures are used in the subtle process
of Satsang, and it appears different all the time, the
experience is different from person to person, and the
quality of Satsang seems to change in the same individual
from time to time. The reason there are differences,
apparent differences, is because different aspects of the
mechanism are animated or become a focus of attention at
different times. In different individuals, the obstructions,
the qualities of the mechanism, are different, and so
different things must occur. If you have a head cold, you
must clear out your head. If you’ve got an ulcer, you must
heal your stomach. In each individual there is a different
structural dis-ease, and these structures are physical,
psycho-physical, psychic, subtle. Each person may observe a
characteristic activity in himself in Satsang. A particular
kind of process may be characteristic over a certain period
of time, then it may change. But these experiences in
themselves are only purifying movements. Like that time when
you blow your nose and your head finally gets clear. You
don’t go around pointing to your sinuses for the rest of
your life, saying they are the center of Truth!

At various times, we have discussed the qualities of this
structure in which we live. In describing its various
levels, I have spoken of the three primary centers. One is
the region of the solar-plexus, or the soft region of the
lower body, which is the epitome of the psycho-physical
organism. It is the center or point of view of all religious
activity in men, and it is the center of all ordinary human
activity. The current of the force or light of Truth moves
down into life by a process of descent into this region. But
that same force or light also ascends. The structures
through which the current ascends have been described in
various traditions. The yogic traditions of India, in
particular, describe the pattern of ascent through chakras,
the wheels, lotuses or centers which are the etheric and
subtle counterparts of various vital and strategic locations
in the spinal structures of the physical body. The epitome
or fundamental “goal” of the ascending life is the sahasrar,
that massive area at the crown of the head, or, more
properly, just above the head. It is the primary center of
all subtle activity, all “spiritual” activity.

“Spirit” means breath in the Latin. In Sanskrit the word
is prana, usually translated as life, breath or vital force.
Spiritual life is the aspiring life of the vital force. The
kundalini is prana. The kundalini shakti is prana-shakti,
the subtle or ascending activity of the life-force. In the
practical activity or yoga of spiritual life, the vital
force ascends or is made to ascend (by the methods of the
yogi or the initiatory grace of his Guru) toward the
sahasrar, the point or region above. The yogi attempts to
merge his manifest vital-force with its subtle source above.
This produces the trance or samadhi states of yoga. There
are many types of yogic meditation or contemplation, but
they are all meditations of this same subtle process. All
spiritual life is simply an exploitation or realization of
the ascending, aspiring aspect of the life-force. Just as
all religion is essentially a surrendering or waiting on the
descending power, whose source or nature is called “God,”
all yoga or spiritual life, all spiritual method, is a
contemplation, concentration, or exploitation of this subtle
mechanism of the ascending activity of that same power or
vital force.

The yogi may do various things to control and harmonize
the breathing process in order to go inward and upward. To
the same end, he may add strict control of sex-force, diet,
thought processes, etc. There are also various forms of
concentration on the subtle centers or chakras. Some yoga’s
involve the contemplation of internal, subtle sounds, or
concentration on the internal “lights” of the life-force.
There are many forms of traditional yoga that contemplate
the various qualities of our subtle mechanism. The highest
form of yoga or the ascent of life is the spontaneous
kundalini manifestation, in which all the classic
“spiritual” events arise spontaneously by the grace of the
Guru. But the entire affair of the ascending yoga is only
one of the possible major events in this activity that is
real Satsang. The activities of descent are also a primary
form of the purifying operations of Satsang.

Some who live in Satsang begin to have kriyas,
spontaneous physical movements. Breathing activity or
automatic pranayama may appear in the form of sudden
breathing, fast breathing, quieting or even cessation of the
breath. Internalization may come quite naturally, then
concentration, inward experiences of centers, visions,
lights, sounds, experiences of the merging of bliss. Some
people may have these experiences. Others may not have those
kinds of experiences, or they may have them only
occasionally, or they may only have certain of them. These
other people may experience more of the calming descent of
that same bliss and force that purifies the mind and the
life of the yogi by ascent. Where the obstructions or
limiting tendencies of a man are essentially in this
descending path, then we have awakening or opening of the
descended, human life, the “purification of the navel.”
Where the obstructions and the tendencies lie more in the
subtle or ascending path of the same mechanism, then we have
the yogic manifestations, the spiritual manifestations. The
pattern of descent and ascent is the circle or circuit of
the life-force, the true “round dance.” And in the man of
understanding, the conductivity of that full circle is
re-established and full, whatever stimulation’s of
descending and ascending activity arise in the stages of

So far we have covered two of the three major centers.
There are many chakras, and there are also many points
within the descending parts of the total mechanism. The
epitome of descent is the belly, and the epitome of ascent
is a point above the head. But there is a third “place” or
epitome of conscious life. It is described in the tradition
of jnana or Self-knowledge, represented by Ramana Maharshi
and others. The religious traditions speak from the point of
view of “life.” The esoteric, spiritual and yogic traditions
speak from the point of view of subtle “planes” of existence
or “light.” But the philosophical traditions of the jnani
speak from the point of view of the “causal” being or body,
the seat of deep sleep, and also of the formless state,
whose epitome is in the heart, on the right side of the
chest. The physical heart of the waking and descending life
is felt to the left, and the “heart chakra” of the subtle or
“dreaming” life of ascent is in the middle, but the “causal”
center or heart is on the right. The “causal” center is
without light, without sound, without form, without
movement. The seat of the causal body, the formless “body”
of deep sleep, is also, when opened and conscious, the seat
of the “fourth state” (beyond waking, dreaming or sleeping)
called turiya, which transcends all modification.

The yogi seeks to merge in the sahasrar, or the highest,
subtlest place of light. The religious man seeks to be full,
to receive and be full of truth, life, the descending grace
of God. But the jnani, the man who resorts only to the
intuitive process of Self-knowledge, tends toward this
“causal” center beyond the mind, beyond form, beyond
visions, experiences. When this causal center opens, beyond
the apparent unconsciousness of sleep, the state called
turiya arises. It is a conscious state which, like a
witness, transcends the three ordinary states of waking,
dreaming and sleeping.

All of the traditions that have arisen in the great
search of mankind have been communicated, whether
consciously or unconsciously, from the point of view of one
of these three primary centers of conscious existence. One
or more. Read the traditional texts. Where the jnani speaks
in terms of identity with the Self, the yogi, the spiritual
man, speaks in terms of union with Truth, Light, God. And
the religious man, the one who surrenders to God and serves
God among men, talks about his relationship to God and his
creatures. But all three of these centers are only portions
of one great mechanism that all men share, all living beings
share, all worlds share. This mechanism is duplicated in all
forms, including this manifest universe. The manifest cosmos
is structured in the same manner as our own tripartite

But Truth itself contains and is prior to all of that.
And Satsang is the company of Truth. Satsang is not simply,
then, the attempt of seekers to do various things with these
three centers or functions of manifest existence to which
the traditions have paid so much attention. The traditions
always start from a low position and seek to attain their
goal, which is fullness, union, or identity. But the point
of view of true spiritual life is already that of Truth
itself, not of the search, but of the enjoyment of Truth,
the living of it, the present enjoyment of it as our real
condition. All real transformation that occurs within the
form of life at any level, is a manifestation of Truth, of
Satsang, not of the search. When a person moves into that
association that is Satsang, and lives it as the condition
of his life, he may begin to experience curious
manifestations in any of these three great or traditional
forms. So, as in the case of the questioner, there may be
these experiences of the chakras, the phenomena of the
“subtle body.” In others there may be another kind of
experience, more of opening, and fullness. In another it may
tend to take the form of intuitive directness. Some speak of
their spiritual life in terms of “life,” others speak of it
in terms of “spirit” and “light,” others speak of it in
terms of unqualified “being,” “consciousness,” or

Even so, each of those points of view is a limitation,
expressing only a portion of the structure that is within
the possibility of Truth. This is because your experiences
occur only in the areas where purification is stimulated by
the obstructive presence of your peculiar tendencies.
Therefore, Satsang is the true resort of all men, regardless
of their peculiar tendencies. And very Truth and radical
understanding is the necessity of all men regardless of
their experiences. Now, exactly how this mechanism of
Satsang works is not clear at the outset. Prior to its
perfect realization, it cannot be grasped. It is elusive.
So, as you say, you are trying to get down to it. But if you
try to discover or perform it yourself, your blood vessels
will burst. It wont happen. If you don’t already live the
point of view of the heart, vital, subtle or causal, how are
you going to move into it? Your point of view is in your
head, or your legs, wherever. Satsang, the company and
condition of Truth, is your true resort, and in Satsang you
will find yourself falling spontaneously into the “Heart,”
the Heart of Truth, which transcends the manifest

There is no real contraction. There is only that
enjoyment that is Truth, what is always already the case.
The body is a process of conductivity in which the force of
life moves in a circle, descending and ascending. The center
or epitome of the life aspect of this force is the vital
center in the general region of the navel. The epitome of
the subtle “body” is in the regions of the head, above the
eyes, even above the head. It manifests not as life or
vitality, but as Light, unqualified Conscious Light. The
modifications of most subtle, pre-cosmic Light are
everything we know as Life. The center or epitome of the
prior, “causal” or transcendent existence is the region of
the “Heart,” on the right side of the chest. It manifests as
very consciousness, absolute space, formless, unqualified
existence, the vast bliss. Nothing is being communicated but
That which includes these three. There is nothing but That.
That is Amrita Nadi, the Great Form, the conscious, moveless
spire which extends from the Heart to the Light.

I called the most subtle region the “Bright,” because it
is only Light. All of life descends from it, and returns to
it in a continuous cycle, conducting it as force, becoming
movement and form. But even this Light is a reflection of
the Heart, unqualified existence, just as the moon reflects
the sun. This Heart, which is the source of all light and
life, and of which every thing is the reflection, is itself
without quality. But the Heart, the Light and the Life are
all included and transcended in that which is very Truth,
the Great Form. Therefore, those who come to Satsang, where
the Truth, this Living Reality, is communicated, see it
manifested in them in three characteristic ways. One is in
the form of movement or of life: kriyas (spontaneous vital
and physical movements), changes in the life-pattern,
experiences and circumstances at the level of life, waking
phenomena. Others experience it more in terms of subtle or
dreamlike manifestations: lights, visions, dreams, sounds,
patterns internal to consciousness. Others move into the
intuitive or “causal” awareness, falling into a profound
sleep at times, even moving into turiya, the “fourth state”
which transcends waking, dreaming and sleeping. But all of
those phenomena are manifestations at particular levels of
the greater process that is Satsang.

Satsang is communicated from the point of view of
Turiyatita. It is the ascended life of the Heart. It is
Amrita Nadi, the Form of Reality. Satsang is the very point
of view of Truth, in which all things arise as a
modification. Truth, Satsang, simply manifests as these
three qualities I have described, and Truth itself, the
point of view which generates the processes of Satsang, may
be said to exist as a fourth and a fifth quality. The two
qualities of Truth are transcendent and unqualified. The
first and foundation quality is the Heart. It is the very
Self of Reality, enjoyed when the mind falls into its
source, and the gross, subtle and causal qualities are
purified of obstruction and contraction. This is Turiya in
its Perfect State. And the fifth quality is Perfect Form,
Turiyatita, beyond the fourth, ascended from the fourth. It
is the Eternal Form of the Heart, the Form of Guru, Self and
God. When the Guru speaks ecstatically of his Divine and
All-Pervasive Nature he is not speaking of some egoic
magnificence, but of That which is all that is and which
stands out when ego is dead.

The Truth, which is Satsang, and living the Truth, which
is sadhana or real practice, make possible the entire event
of the transformation and revelation of this great
mechanism. It is alive. It is not a structure that can be
blueprinted and then prescribed. Something can be said about
it, but the saying is not equivalent to the sadhana or life
of Satsang. It is alive. Just as it is very hard to control
the breath once it leaves the body, just so, this incredibly
subtle mechanism, whose source and very condition is the
Truth, is infinitely elusive, absolutely elusive,
paradoxical. That is why the image of the Mother Shakti and
the images of Deity in general, particularly in the Orient,
have a paradoxical quality. They are almost comical at
times, and at other times they are treacherous, violent.
Krishna is beautiful and blue. But he teases those who
desire him. He eludes them. He runs away, and he says “Yes,
I’m coming, I’m coming.” But you wait and you wait and you
wait, and he doesn’t come.

The Mother Shakti appears in all kinds of forms. The holy
yogi bathes his mind with repetition of mantra until it is
pure of desires, and then he walks down to bathe his body in
the Ganges. But when he gets out of the water, without his
bathing suit, this fantastic woman is standing on the beach
with a basket of fruit, with chicken sandwiches, and a
little wine. The next day he has to turn in his mantra and
his robe! He goes to tell his Guru how he broke his vows.
His Guru asks, “With whom?” “With that beautiful chick over
there!” says the penitent. And his Guru says, “That is the
Mother Shakti. She got you!”

The image of this great process of conscious life has
been symbolized as all of the paradoxical deities, and the
symbols themselves have a life. In my own experience, the
Mother Shakti has appeared like anyone else, then different,
as all kinds of forms, very strange, then beautiful, then
wise. But what is being communicated through the imageries
of these experiences is this great process, only a piece at
a time. It is perfectly glimpsed only when there is resort
to Truth absolutely. Otherwise a person will buy the
experience to which his tendencies gravitate. So, if you are
willing to buy a little foggy light between your eyes, then
that is where you will be. Whatever you are willing to buy,
you will be given. That is why the deities are pictured in
such paradoxical ways. They will give you a little pink
fruit, if you will come and take it. The dog comes for his
bone, he gets the bone, and he leaves. Thus, if you begin to
get very interested in the process that is awakening in
Satsang, you may become attached to the experiences
themselves. Perhaps, at some point, you will buy it. You are
already buying it. That is why this question was asked. You
may even become very angry, and reject Satsang, because of
the position you are put into by craving your own internal
life. Narcissus is addicted to looking at himself. It is the
only thing he will defend.

DEVOTEE: Will you say something about how the Shakti
relates to Truth?

FRANKLIN: What is called Shakti, the Divine Creative
Power, is not a separate thing, not a special force. It is
the same that is meant by the Self, Reality, Truth, Guru, or
God. The name Shakti is simply used to describe that aspect
of the Truth that is movement in manifestation. Siva-Shakti
is perhaps a more appropriate or complete designation of the
Truth. In other words, the Real is moving-creative, but it
is also static-perfect-untouched. The true Shakti is the
Conscious Force in and as which every thing exists. It is
the present nature of every thing, of all beings, and it is
also the cause, substance, support and end of all that

Now as it pertains to practical spiritual life, there are
those in whom the way of understanding or Satsang with the
Guru involves a pronounced subtle purification or
transformation. The peculiar qualities of their spiritual
experiences tend to arise in the “subtle body” as opposed to
the “physical, gross body,” or to what is called the “causal
body,” the deep well of being in which there is no form, no
modification. The subtle body is actually the range of
internal functions, of inward-directed energy and awareness,
of dreams, visions and thoughts. There are many who are
sensitive in that range of functions, and whose view of the
cosmic process is essentially through the subtle media. The
apparent process of their conscious life is more obviously
like internal yoga and meditation than the austere
intuitions of Buddhism or Advaita Vedanta, or even the
continuous practical orientations of those in whom human
activity in the world is the center of sadhana and
experience. Such people witness the specific, yogic activity
of the universal conscious force.

The force alive in yoga is called prana-shakti. It is an
aspect of the universal life, the subtle life of the Self of
Truth. The Shakti in this form has a specific involvement
with the internal processes of living beings, particularly
human beings. If the internal energy can be stimulated, or
if its source and path can be concentrated upon, there are
internal awarenesses and transformations of a subtle kind
that arise. Ordinarily, this process is not something over
which a person has the least control. He doesn’t “awaken” it
himself. It is always already there. It is just unconscious
and subdued. It feeds the outward tendencies of life. The
actual process of the spontaneous kriya yoga, which I have
described in The Knee of Listening, is stimulated by contact
with a living Siddha-Yogi in whom this force is unobstructed
and functioning very consciously. The contact with such a
person stimulates this energy and breaks down or purifies
the inner functions of their obstructions. By virtue of that
contact, this internal process, this subtle process, becomes
conscious, awakened, and manifests itself through a series
of purifying events, both internal and external. The
obstructions are broken down, perhaps on an apparently gross
level at first, then always subtler and subtler.

The first experiences such a person might have are
various bodily sensations. He may feel a certain energy, a
certain heat or cold, a certain tendency to move, little
jerking, spontaneous movements, a feeling of discomfort, an
intense, even erotic feeling all over the body, or in
specific regions of the body, such as the head. These
purifying movements are an automatic hatha yoga. Sometimes
such a person does yogic postures spontaneously. He cant
help but do it at times. He might perform postures of which
he would be physically incapable were this force or
yoga-shakti not active in him. He may perform automatic
pranayama or vigorous and curious exercises of the breathing
functions. The whole process of all that can be called
“yoga,” including all the types of yoga, may arise
spontaneously in that person, beginning with the more
physical forms of yoga, then moving on to the subtler
purification’s and the qualities of meditation. There may be
times when the mind becomes rapid, when there is endless
thinking, without apparent cause, and then, just as
spontaneously, it breaks down, breaks apart, slows down.
Such a one may begin to have visions at times, and to
perceive internal forms, colors, smells, tastes, sounds. He
may hear the nada, the sounds which are always vibrating
within. There may be visions, symbolic experiences, dramatic
mudras or poses of hands and body, movements of all kinds,
shaking of the body, ecstasies, spontaneous devotion, love,
bliss, and profound concentration in the various
psycho-physical centers, always moving toward and
culminating in the primary region of the subtle life in the
crown of the head. The movement is always upward. And since
the yogic centers are subtle, not limited to the physical
form, the highest subtle centers are actually above the
physical head, but the process is sensed as a concentration
in the general area of the crown. This region is called the

This subtle, ascending, yogic process is that which most
people would identify with “Shakti.” But in fact it is a
demonstration of only one path or one aspect of the greater
path of the universal and absolute activity of the true
Shakti. There are essentially three paths, forms or
qualities of spiritual life, based on the three primary
functional points of view. The classic texts talk about the
“knots” that need to be opened. “Liberation” is the opening
of these “knots.”

There is a knot associated with the region of the navel,
including the entire solar plexus and the soft organs which
extend above it (including the heart, lungs, tongue and
parts of the brain) and below it (to the anus). Some
indicate its center to be just below the navel. That entire
region is the gross-vital center, the life center. There is
a tradition of practice related to this center. If you are
centered or stable there, you are strong, upright, direct,
straight, active in proper relationship to things, in the
proper harmony. The purification of the “navel” or of the
life itself is the imminent goal of religious devotion, and
the various harmonizing practices which are applied to life.
Religion essentially looks toward life-purification,
life-stabilization, life-opening. And the life-center is its
point of view. This is the first of the three paths.

The second path is the subtle path. Such is the point of
view of yoga and the various processes that are very similar
to yoga. Such are the various paths that exploit the
internal qualities rather than abandon them. The “subtle
body” is conceived in terms of various chakras or centers
through which the subtle force moves. These centers
culminate in the sahasrar, the primary center of subtle
life. Several of these subtle centers are described as
primary “knots” in the traditional texts. The sahasrar
itself is not included among these knots, but a primary one
is just below the crown, in the midbrain, behind the eyes.
When all of these subtle centers are open, in other words
when the living, inward-directed energy moves and merges in
the sahasrar (the “thousand petalled lotus”), that is the
highest realization from the point of view of the
traditional ascending yoga.

The third path is one we see represented in such men as
Ramana Maharshi and in the monistic Hindu traditions, such
as Advaita Vedanta. In such cases, the path is generated
from the point of view of the “causal being,” the conscious
seat analogous to our deep sleep state. The gross path is
analogous to our waking state, the subtle path is analogous
to our dream state, and the causal path is analogous to our
deep sleep state. The paths associated with the formlessness
of the Divine or ultimate Reality are essentially forms of
this causal path. And the “knot” of the causal heart, on the
right side of the chest, is the center from which these
causal paths are generated, and toward which they move by
various critical and intuitive means. When this center or
knot is open, waking, dreaming and sleeping no longer limit
the primary enjoyment that is the Self or true and prior
state of consciousness.

Now all three paths necessarily involve force, the Shakti
or Conscious Force and Power of the Divine, the living
Reality. Christianity, an example of the religious or life
path, is very concerned with the “Holy Spirit.” That is the
Force, the Shakti, conceived from the point of view of the
life-knot, the vital center of the descending force, the
conductor of the descending Power of God. “Prayer,” the most
characteristic religious appliance, is always looking for
this descent of Power. And “fasting,” the ancient companion
of prayer, is the means of purifying or preparing the
“place” for the descent of Gods Grace and Power. The worship
of the Mother-Shakti in the cults of Hinduism is expressed
yearning for Her to descend, to send Her gifts downward. All
religious points of view want Power to come down. Western
occultism is the worshipping of the descending Power. That
is the descent of Shakti. All movements, all of this visible
world is Shakti.

The subtle path is also concerned with Shakti in a
peculiar way. The subtle yoga’s exploit the capacity of
prana-shakti to ascend. They do not hope for the descent of
Power, but they seek to become involved with and ultimately
identified with the ascending functions of that same Power.
In that case we have the subtle process of internal
movement, generated in an inward and upward direction,
toward concentration and merger in the subtle regions

In the causal path there is also force. The formless
Divine, the Self, Brahman, is absolute, unqualified Force.
It is only that this particular path is not associated with
the kind of “movements,” this kundalini process, that are
talked about from the yogic point of view. But it is the
same Force.

Ultimately, the teaching that is Truth is not generated
from the point of view of any of these three knots, or these
three dilemmas, and the paths created to open or solve them.
The descending (life, gross), the ascending (subtle), and
the moveless original (causal) Force are there in all men.
And each individual will tend to go through a characteristic
purifying process, according to his particular tendencies in
relation to these three qualities, when he moves into
Satsang with the Siddha-Guru. The point of view of Truth is
not the point of view of dilemma, or any of the three
traditional qualities of Force, or their primary centers, or
any secondary centers associated with them. No particular
process of experience is equal or identical to Truth, the
Heart, the Self, or Real God.

What is necessary is the absence of obstruction, of the
ego, of contraction, the avoidance of relationship. Then
only Truth stands out. Therefore, Truth is the communication
from the point of view of the true Teaching. The true Guru
always turns his disciple toward Truth, Reality, not to his
experiences, not to the possibility of experiences, not to
any psycho-physical state. The gross, the subtle, and the
causal, as I have spoken of them here, are psycho-physical
and temporary in nature. They are equal to the three states,
waking, dreaming, and sleeping, into which experience is
analyzed in the classic texts. The higher state than these,
all the texts declare, is turiya, the fourth state. In other
words, the more fundamental state is the witness to those
three states. The “witness” is not the religious man, not
the yogi, not the intuitive philosopher, but turiya, the
fourth, prior to all that, witnessing it all. And even
higher than that is perfect realization, turiyatita, beyond
the fourth, unspeakable, neither formless nor formed. It is
Amrita Nadi, the form of Reality, whose Foundation and very
Nature is the Heart. Therefore, Truth is not identified with
any process, any knot, any opened knot, any dilemma, any
solved dilemma.

Everyone’s experience in relation to the Guru is
different, depending on the quality or tendency of his
conscious life. But all experience the single force of the
Guru and of God as Shaktipat, the transmission of Divine
Conscious Power, the Power of Consciousness. Some tend
toward association with the descending force. The
life-center and life-functions tend to be the dimension in
which they feel both obstruction and opening. Their sadhana
tends to be a life-level activity, and they become aware of
the force of the Guru and of Truth as a descending blessing,
originating extremely above. Others tend more toward the
internally-directed, ascending process. Their experience is
more like that of the kundalini yogis. Others tend more
toward the causal, intuitive level of spiritual knowledge.
Instead of the yogic processes or the apparently
life-active, religious and devotional processes, theirs is
more a process of intuitive understanding, without special
inclination to visions and the various forms of mystical

The true Guru must live the conscious Force of Truth at
all of these fundamental levels. He must necessarily be Guru
in all of them. He must be fully aware in all three paths.
In him there must be no obstruction in the descending path,
no obstruction in the ascending path, no obstruction in the
moveless or intuitive path. These three “knots” are open in
him. He sees from the point of view of the Heart,
unobstructed. There must be in him no obstruction to the
whole path, the complex Force of the Heart, the presence of
Amrita Nadi

There are many that are called Teacher or Guru simply
because they perform a consoling or apparently beneficial
function of a peculiar kind. But such are not living the
great function of Guru. They are not what I call “the man of
understanding.” They are teaching from the point of view of
dilemma, the knots and their paths. Generally, they teach
those who are by tendency oriented to the same quality of
dilemma to which they themselves are tending. The
practical-religious-devotional type teaches those who are
sensitive in this way. The yogi type teaches those who are
sensitive on a subtle level. The more philosophical or
intuitive type teaches those who are similarly inclined. But
the point of view of Truth is not dilemma, not the knots. It
is not equal to any kind of experience, solution or form of
perception and cognition. Therefore, the true Guru teaches
Truth as Truth, from the point of view of Truth. Then, only
secondarily, the purification or opening of the knots occurs
in the ways peculiar to individual tendencies.

So you see, spiritual life in Satsang with such a Guru
manifests as many different qualities and types of
experiences. From the point of view of the Heart and the
understanding of the processes of manifest existence which I
have just described, the variations are easy to comprehend.
Only when the spiritual experiences of men are looked at
from the outside and from a limited point of view do they
seem disorderly. Then it seems as if there is too much
difference between people and traditions, and no single,
comprehensible process stands out. Truly, the great
spiritual process is not understandable from any point of
view that is not already the Perfect Heart. Spiritual things
seem confused from a point of view that is not the Heart,
just as the world seems confused from the limited point of
view of experience and circumstance.

The “Shakti” that most people have heard or read about is
that force manifested and used in the subtle process
associated with what we call yoga. But the true or perfect
Shakti is the Conscious Force that is the Self, that is the
Heart, that is Truth, Amrita Nadi, or very God. And this
Shakti is manifesting as all that arises or does not arise.
It is the Truth, the fundamental Reality. It is That which
manifests on all levels, as the descending power, the
ascending power, the moveless power. One and the same Shakti
is all of that. Therefore, in Truth, Shakti is not limited
to the subtle process with which people generally identify
it. It is greater than that, not limited to that. It does
not necessarily tend to manifest the dramatic course of the
subtle process in the case of some individuals. It is the
Heart Itself. It is Truth Itself. It is Real-God, God-alive.
When there is the Realization of the Self or Truth, Perfect
Understanding, there is also perfect manifestation of
Shakti, perfect communication of Shakti, because the Heart
is Shakti, it is Conscious Force, it is the Fire that is

Wherever there is any sort of an opening, there is the
flow of Shakti. Any person who is open on any level, to any
significant degree, is very attractive. People like to be
around such a person, because there is movement there. There
is not solidity, fixation. There is a certain energy, a
liveliness with which we like to be associated. It is only
that the usual liveliness of men tends to be limited. The
easiest to identify is the person who is open on a very
human, vital level. But there is also the liveliness of a
subtle variety, to which we are, individually, more or less
consciously sensitive. Ultimately, we are also sensitive to
the liveliness that is Reality itself. So, there can be a
man, a great saint, stone dead, whose “liveliness” remains
in the world. The burial shrine of Swami Nityananda is one
of the most lively places to which I have ever been in my
life. Ultimately, our conscious sensitivity must awaken to
the real, eternal liveliness that is the very Heart or Real
God. And it is perfect movement, not limited movement.

The liveliness or Shakti of the Heart is communicated by
the living Siddha-Guru. Whatever the tendencies of the
individual, it is the Satsang, or relationship with the
Siddha, with the true Guru, that is the simple condition
under which the utter and complete process of Truth may take
place. All that exists is relationship. All that appears as
suffering and dilemma is contact or conscious relationship,
relatively obstructed. The less obstructed any condition or
function is, the more it is a path, a flow of force. The
path of Truth is the relationship to the Siddha-Guru. It is
that course or functional path established between a man and
his Guru. That is the path. The path is not the methods and
strategies a man applies to himself. Satsang, the living,
active, functional relationship itself, is the “current,”
the “wiring” in which the Conscious Force, the Truth, flows
and manifests its activities at every level. So the simple
relationship to the man of understanding is the path. It is
the place where the search comes to an end, where the
obstructions are abandoned.

There are also various activities internal to the
Siddha-Guru and the realms of his awareness, but they are
not spoken. There is no point in talking about them, unless,
in the progress of Satsang, the Guru sees fit to instruct
his disciple. These processes are subtler than the mind and
require equal subtlety to be understood. Even so, certain
activities are eventually observed by the disciple in
contact with his Guru. There are various things the disciple
observes his Guru to do which he associates with his own
awakening and with the arising of certain experiences in
him. Those activities of the Guru are not utterly
comprehended by the disciple at the time. The traditions
describe these activities in terms of effects and
appearances. In India, these activities of the Guru are
called Shaktipat or Guru-kripa, the transference of the
Conscious Force of the Heart or God. The effects of this
transference are observed in various enlivening activities,
gross, subtle and causal. The Guru is observed to be
apparently involved in this in several possible ways: by
looking at the person, by touching him, by speaking to him,
or simply by thinking of him in some way. And the highest
form of that “initiation” is where the Guru simply and
silently abides as the Self, or very Truth. Then his
continuous existence as the living Reality initiates
everything that lives to Truth. All that turns to the Guru
in appropriate ways is enlivened by him. And that is
initiation, that is movement, that is the beginning of the
whole process of spiritual life.

Naturally, it is on the level of life that the
relationship to the Guru is perceived by the disciple. He
observes the occasional looks, occasional things said,
occasional touches, the effects of the Gurus occasional
remembrance of him. When he is with his Guru he may suddenly
feel his Guru is thinking of him. Or he may simply and
continuously resort to his Gurus Presence, whether or not
his Guru is considering him in particular at any moment.
These various sensations of the activity of the Guru are the
apparent means, from the disciples point of view, of the
transference of the Light, the Truth, the Shakti of the
living Self or Real God. The disciple may tend, as a result
of some enlivening experience generated by his Gurus grace,
to look again and again for that particular experience or
that particular form of “initiation” to be repeated. He may
tend to associate some peculiar experience or some
particular activity of his Guru with Truth itself. But in
fact any specific experience in the disciple, or any
specific activity of the Guru, such as looking, talking,
thinking, touching, whatever, is generated in a particular
moment when it is appropriate. It is thus not a necessary
experience or action that must be repeated again and again.
Different forms of the action of initiation may be used, or
no apparent action may be used. The Guru always remains
unpredictable, in order to test and mature his disciple.
And, at last, simply abiding as the Self, as the Heart, as
Truth, is essentially what the Guru does for all beings.
Just so, the quality of the relationship that the disciple
is living to his Guru is what determines the nature of his
present experience. The Guru does not withhold. He always
lives Truth openly. He always communicates it on many
levels, to transform the expectations, the obstructions, the
tendencies, the limitations that the disciple is living to
him. So the “drama” of this relationship or Satsang is at
the level of the disciple. It is he that must understand
obstructions. The Guru does not create obstructions. He only
lives the Heart of Truth. But he may dramatize or intensify
the obstructions already in the disciple, in order to make
him aware of them, to draw his attention to them, so that
this flow of Life can move through, unobstructed by any
particular tendency. The Guru always works so that awareness
can be lived on a more profound level.

Many things can be said about this activity to which I
have been referring. It is the greatest mystery, how the
Heart lives in the world, how it functions among apparently
separate, living beings. The whole process that occurs is as
complicated as the cosmos itself, and what is beyond it. It
cannot be described perfectly. Only certain things can be
said about it. Essentially, it is the very Life, the Self,
very Existence, Reality, God manifesting under these
conditions, under all conditions. All the traditions, taken
together, are essentially a way of retracing the structure
of manifest life back to its source. Each particular
incident or tradition does it in a limited way, from the
point of view of a particular dilemma, a particular center,
a particular viewpoint of experience or consciousness. Those
in whom this drama of realization is essentially a
life-process are concerned with the descending force and the
opening of life to it. They are tracing the current of
descent, from the highest to the lowest. The processes of
yoga and the like, the subtle processes, trace the current
of ascent, from the lowest to the highest. These two taken
together, the gross and the subtle, form a circle. They
trace that portion of the circuit of existence which
descends to life and ascends or returns again from life to
its structural source. Therefore, life is always
descending-ascending. It is a circle. Then there is also the
“causal” aspect or portion of this circuit. Ramana Maharshi
talks about the path that leads and even begins beyond yoga,
and which is prior to subtle and gross existence. He points
to the place of the Heart, on the right side, which is the
causal center. And this center is connected to the subtle
center, the Sahasrar, by that transcendent portion of the
circuit called Amrita Nadi. Thus, if the three centers or
portions of the circuit are taken together with the Form
which includes them we see the great path, the circuit of
manifest and unmanifest life, the secret path of all
spiritual processes, all traditions.

The “shape” of man is like a fruit. His core is the
causal being, untouched, unborn, like waiting seed. When the
fruit falls into the earth (when the mind falls into the
Heart), there springs up an inconceivable thread, of the
same substance as the seed of being, which rises above,
becoming a great tree and extending even into the heights,
into the sky and cosmos of very God. This is Amrita

Until the seed is ready for life, it is concealed in the
form of the fruit. This fruit is the dependent and not
conscious form of man. It is the condition of suffering, and
also of sadhana in Satsang with the Guru. The stem of the
fruit is the route of the Light and Life which descends into
the fruit from places above, from the parent tree, and at
last passes down through the sahasrar, the crown of this
body or fruit. That Light and Life descends into the fruit
and makes it full and ripe below. Just so, it also ascends,
thus keeping the circuit or circle, until the fruit falls
and its seed is eaten in the earth. Such is ordinary death
and in the mature devotee, also “ego” death. Ordinary death
is the termination of a phase of the outer life of the
individual, but also the beginning of a new phase of the
manifestation or expansion and revelation of what he is
inwardly and ultimately. Just so, a man becomes perfectly
“fruitful” only in Satsang with the Guru, who is himself the
process, the goal, the means, the Power and the very Life.
Therefore, in Satsang the fruit ripens and falls into the
“earth,” the foundation, and opens. Such is the Heart.

When discipleship to the Siddha-Guru is perfected, the
whole circuitry is known and understood. It is seen to be
within your own real Nature or Condition, rather than to
contain you or limit you. And this is what is truly called
Self-Realization, the Heart of Truth, Nirvana, God-union. It
is perpetual freedom to enjoy Satsang with the Perfect Guru.
And one who understands, even one whose understanding is
Perfect doesn’t necessarily disappear from the world.
Gautama Buddha, for instance, got up and walked back to
town. So it was with Jesus, and all the great Masters of
men. After their return to the common life of the world,
they spent the rest of their lives trying to communicate
their understanding to all of those who felt limited by this
fruit-shape, this phantom circuit of manifest existence. And
in the case of all the Siddhas, the fundamental Teaching or
method was that functional relationship or Satsang which
living beings realized with them. This Satsang is the Method
of the Siddhas.

Satsang always serves to destroy or undermine the
fixation of attention and its implications. Whenever Satsang
is lived, there tends to be the opening of the knots in
which attention is fixed, so that consciousness falls into
its original form, which is the Self or Real Nature.
Therefore, one who has realized the ultimate end of the
whole path or cycle of the form of existence now exists
“outside” of that whole process, no longer limited by it.
But he remains consciously related to this whole structure
in an entirely different way than seekers and all those who
do not understand the process and form of existence. The
path of a mans experience will always return to zero, always
back to the dilemma. It will always fit him back into the
fruit, like a worm. Thus, the Siddha-Guru appears in the
world, to speak from the point of view of Truth or Reality,
not of experience, and to return the tendencies of the
disciple back to the essential structure in which Truth is
communicated, until he sees there is no path, no difference,
no separation. And when the disciple is perfectly one with
his Guru, he sees and enjoys the true Form of his Guru, and
participates directly in the functions of his Guru, who all
the time has been only the Self of the Real One.

Those who speak from the point of view of the Heart, the
living Truth, are always very radical, very eccentric in the
manner of their teaching. This is because they are no longer
limited to the “path” I have described, to the point of view
of dilemma, to the limiting structures of experience. Saint
Tukaram is a good example. Tukaram was a very strange man.
He grew up and lived in India, in a very traditional order
of society in which religious and spiritual life was a fixed
part of the cycle of life. He participated in all of that,
ritually, religiously. He performed all the apparent
externals of it, and this would seem to have made him
acceptable or ordinary. But if you read his words, you
realize he was a “heretic”! He spoke only in the most
radical way.

Tukaram lived in a culture that was devotionally
oriented, committed to the duality or radical separation of
God and man. But he would go around telling everybody there
wasn’t any God. When he sat down, he could find no One to
meditate on. He claimed that he was himself God. He went on
and on like this, disturbing all the orthodox devotees,
until, one day, he just disappeared. He had been sitting
with his disciples all night, chanting, enjoying deep
meditation, when, all of a sudden, there was a blast of
light, and he disappeared! There have been a number of such
cases of people who were reported to have abandoned their
life in the world by such “absorption.” It is not a common
form of “death,” even among the Siddhas. It happens rarely
as a matter of fact. But Tukaram was a very humorous guy!
And all of those who live from that point of view are very
radical, very eccentric. The acceptable and the expected are
not really a part of their communication. They are always
communicating from the Perfect point of view. For this
reason, their apparent manifestation is often very odd.

Meher Baba spent a period of his life teaching or serving
the masts (pronounced “musts”), a class of eccentric people
in India who live in extraordinary but still limited states
of conscious awareness. These masts were all, from a human
point of view, particularly a Western point of view,
psychotic, literally psychotic. Many of them spent their
time in catatonic states, displaying an automatic, strangely
ritualistic and incomprehensible way of life. When such
individuals come into contact with a genuine Siddha-Guru
they tend to become quieter, more “normalized.” The flow of
the “path” tends to become more harmonious in them. This is
because the eccentricity in which such individuals are fixed
is not natural to the realized enjoyment I call the Heart.
It is, rather, a form of aberration, or exclusive fixation.
Generally, it occurs in those who become more or less
exclusively involved in the ascending, internally oriented
process. Such exclusive fixation disturbs the descending
process, and produces the manifestation we call psychosis.
Nonetheless, genuine Siddhas or “completed ones” also may
manifest this eccentric quality, this oddity, this radical
unpredictability. This is because the Heart is absolutely
radical, not identical to any thing, any dilemma, any path
or moment in the path, any quality, any experience, any
limitation whatsoever. The Heart obliterates and destroys
limitation all the time. It is a wildness! That is why the
Guru is worshipped as Siva. He destroys everything. He walks
through town and burns everything. He hits people over the
head. He cuts them in half. Look at all the traditional
pictures of Siva. He is always wiping everybody out, tearing
their bodies apart, and sitting on them in meditation. But
all of that is a symbol for the perfect humor of the Self!
Such images are not intended to represent literal acts of
God or justifiable acts of man. They are only “meaningful.”
They represent meditative comprehension of an aspect of the
conscious and universal process. The representation of this
paradoxical display is intended to awaken the blissfulness
of non-separation, and non-identification with

The disciple is oriented towards his own obstruction, his
own path, and so he is delivered this process of the
apparent destruction of obstructions and limitations. This
causes him discomfort. But the great remedy for that
discomfort and the conscious crisis that must occur is
Satsang, the very and functional relationship to the Guru.
The more the disciple lives Satsang, knows it, enjoys it,
the less he is affected by his own crisis. Then the crisis
of transformation becomes a very simple, pure, harmonious
process. But the more he turns from that condition,
relationship and process which is Satsang, the more he
becomes fixed in his own obstructions. Then, when his
obstructions tend to get shaken up, even broken apart, he
has only them to which he can resort, so that he feels the
discomfort, prolongs the suffering, and exaggerates his

The eccentricity of the Siddhas and Saints, their radical
quality, is a demonstration of the living Nature, the Self,
Real God. The formalized, fixed, predictable quality is not
that of the Heart. Rigidity is the tamasic, fixed,
repetitive orientation of the limited mind. So the Real
Self, alive as the Guru, performs this eccentric display,
constantly abandoning all service to expectations. It is the
Divine leela, the humor or play of freedom. It always
disturbs the fixed, unconscious quality. It creates motion,
then returns to harmony, then settles into the formless
consciousness, then arises as creative Light. But whatever
the display, whatever the changes through which Guru and
disciple go from day to day, whatever the change in the
display or action of the Guru, there is always one thing he
continually does, which is simply to remain as the Self, the
Heart, the Very Reality or Truth. His apparent activity, his
drama, his play is always changing. He constantly builds up
expectations in the disciple, and then changes it around. He
continually disturbs the fixed quality, the rigidity, the
path to which the disciple always tends.

There appears to be a certain security in fixation, but
in fact it is a form of disturbance. It is only an illusory
security, because there is, in Truth, no fixed state. That
is why death is such a threat. But the more fluid, the
looser, the more rapid and intense within, the more like
consciousness the disciple becomes, the less fixed, the more
functional, the more harmonious, the more like fire, the
more there is of Truth and the less there is of the “path,”
the more there seems a movement in the direction of freedom.
It appears to be a direction. Perhaps we should only call it
a sign. It is a sign of that which is, always and


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Adi Da, Ramana Maharshi, Nityananda, Shridi Sai Baba, Upasani Baba,  Seshadri Swamigal , Meher Baba, Sivananda, Ramsuratkumar
“The perfect
among the sages is identical with Me. There is absolutely no
difference between us”
Chap XX,

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