SRI DA AVABHASA: There has never been another seventh stage Adept. There has never been another true seventh stage Wisdom-Teaching. There has never been another seventh stage Realization, true and full. The principle of ego-transcendence has never been understood, and transcendence of the self-contraction has never been made the basis for the God-Realizing process before.
There are many things that I could say about the reasons why there has been no such Revelation previous to My own, but a fundamental reason is that there has been no true understanding of egoity, and the principle of egoity has always been the basis of religion, even esoteric religion. The search, egoity, separateness, the separative motive, the self-contraction itself, has been fundamental to both religious exotericism and religious esotericism, as well as ordinary life. Obviously this is the key matter.
This understanding is the key to the Way of the Heart. It is fundamental. If you do not have this understanding, if you do not truly engage it and demonstrate it, you turn the Way of the Heart into an extension of the great search. You make the Way of the Heart into another form of conventional religiosity.
DEVOTEE: Self-understanding by itself might have some effect, but it is clear to me that outside the context of Satsang with You the practice of self-understanding cannot go far.
SRI DA AVABHASA: If there were no such Satsang, where would you ever find out about self-understanding? Satsang with Me is fundamental to the process of selfunderstanding. Apart from your relationship to Me, what you may call “selfunderstanding” is just another intellectual matter.
DEVOTEE: The relationship to You and the Great Work that You do brings selfunderstanding to life. You make it alive.
SRI DA AVABHASA: It is in the context of Satsang with Me that you get the Word of Truth. You never would have heard it anywhere else. It is in the context of Satsang with Me that the Way of the Heart is lived. The Way of the Heart is not merely a mass of ideas–both self-understanding and Ishta-Guru-Bhakti Yoga are essential.
KANYA NAVANEETA: Last night, through the Gift of Your Heart-Transmission, I felt the root of the self-contraction in the heart on the right. I could feel how I am creating the feeling of relatedness, that it is the result of something I am doing, and I could feel that action as egoity. In that simple understanding, in the simple observation of my own activity, through Your Transmission, I spontaneously felt tremendously relieved of it.
This felt very much like the moment of hearing, and I felt why You have said that the entire process of the Way of the Heart is a progressive development of the process of hearing.
SRI DA AVABHASA: My Spiritual Heart-Transmission is the Transmission of NonSeparateness! In The Love-Ananda Gita I Speak of the Wisdom of Non-Separateness. My Spiritual Heart-Transmission is Non-Separateness Itself. In general, My devotees tend to register My Transmission in terms of self-bound experiences. In that case, they are not really getting My Transmission. They register My Transmission only in the form of energies or this or that vision. These are just your possibilities, experiences experienced by you, a seeker, an apparent individual, perpetually active as selfcontraction. Such is not the fullest reception of My Spiritual Heart-Transmission. It is not fullest Communion with Me. It is not true self-understanding, demonstrated.
You must find out about yourself. Not only are you always seeking, but you are involved in the perpetual action of self-contraction. The self-contraction is a devastating act, a self-deluding act, most profound. That act makes existence what is traditionally called “samsara”.
You are living an illusion because of this act. You are only imagining that you are in the real world. You are not aware of reality. You are perceiving an illusion. The world as you perceive it is an illusion. Everything you think about it, everything you pursue, is an illusion. Your perception is based on a self-deluding act. You are selfcontracted.
The self-contraction is most profound. It is controlling your life, and you are unaware of it. You are not yet responsible for it. Becoming responsible for the selfcontraction is what the listening-hearing process in My Company is about. Transcending the self-contraction is the most profound matter, and yet you want to chat with Me about all kinds of Spiritual things. You want to involve Me in what you think Spiritual life is. In your egoity, you trivialize the listening-hearing process. You make little of it. You seem to want almost nothing to do with it. You just want to get on with your seeking, to get your little bit of good feeling. All of that is the expression of your non-seriousness.
DEVOTEE: Beloved Sri Gurudev, I would like to share a couple of things that happened to me …
SRI DA AVABHASA: You want to share something with Me? [Laughter.] “Sharing” is a word like “mellow”. Whenever you say “share”, it must be okay. As soon as you say “share”, everyone is supposed to get “mellow”! [Laughter.] They are having a “sharing” experience with you!
DEVOTEE: I want to tell You about a moment of self-understanding that I had a couple of days ago. [Laughter.]
SRI DA AVABHASA: Why should I care about a moment of self-understanding that occurred a couple of days ago? Stay here with Me, right now! You are always talking about your memories, about how it happened last week, about what occurred two years ago, about what happened when you first came into My Company. What a waste of time.
Right now! Be on the edge of self-understanding right now! Speak to Me in present time, in terms of what you are up to right now. I do not care what happened a couple of days ago. Maybe it was good, but tell somebody else. You are here to deal with Me right now! I have heard enough memories for tonight. Your memories do not have anything to do with right now.
Right now you are doing the self-contraction. Right now you are seeking. Right now you would prefer a little consoling feeling. Right now! You want to talk about a couple of days ago because talking about the past is comfortable. It is very safe, and you do not have to deal with anything. Therefore, your talk just expresses to Me your intention not to deal with anything. If anybody has anything to say to Me, say it to Me right now. Do not rehearse your past to Me. Get down to it here, get on with it. Okay?
ANOTHER DEVOTEE: In this “right now” moment, You said that first we must find out that we are seeking.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Yes, and nothing else, nothing more.
DEVOTEE: And You said that seeing one’s activity is the same as observing it and transcending it.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Of course not. It is something to understand. If you do not understand it, you are not really finding it out. You can look at all kinds of things and not understand that they are seeking.
DEVOTEE: I was just feeling the process that we need to engage from this point on, and I feel that You have Graced me with a glimpse of this. I want to persist in this with You.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Well–let’s see you do it, then. DEVOTEE: I can just see all the ramifications …
SRI DA AVABHASA: Ramifications, indeed! What about right now? You do not have to leave the room and go do something else to seek. You are seeking right now! You are actively practicing self-contraction right now. So–how are you doing it right now? What form of seeking are you involved in right now?
DEVOTEE: Asking questions is a form of seeking.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Perhaps. How is it a form of seeking in your case? What are you looking for?
DEVOTEE: I am looking for an answer, or looking to get the Truth as a one-liner, something I can hang on to.
SRI DA AVABHASA: You have a question. Having formulated it in this moment, you feel a little uncomfortable because it has not been answered. You want Me to say something, and then you will get the good feeling. Is that it?
DEVOTEE: Not specifically that. I feel it is slightly broader. I feel I have an intuition of something, and I do not want to lose it. I am grasping for something that happened a couple of hours ago. That is more my activity of seeking.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Yes, but you are asking Me a question–at least you said you were going to ask Me a question–and you said that was a form of seeking.
DEVOTEE: Yes, when You said that, I could feel it was true.
SRI DA AVABHASA: So what do you want from Me in that search?
DEVOTEE: I guess I want to hang on to it.
SRI DA AVABHASA: No–that is not it! All seeking is the pursuit of union with something you are actively separating yourself from.
DEVOTEE: I could feel rested in the conversation, very much in relationship with You, and then I could feel the reaction …
SRI DA AVABHASA: Too analytical! Too intellectual! Not it! What are you seeking from Me right now?
SRI DA AVABHASA: Yes. Union with Me–what does that mean? What are you doing with your questions to Me, your talking to Me now? What do you want? DEVOTEE: I want to feel okay about it.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Okay about what? You are not just sitting there, quietly listening at the moment.
DEVOTEE: No, I know.
SRI DA AVABHASA: You are talking …
DEVOTEE: I contracted! I completely contracted. As soon as I started talking in the form of trying to ask You a question, I began .. .
SRI DA AVABHASA: Particularly since I am not receiving it. There is nothing left but you sitting over there with a question on your face, contracting yourself. And if you continued talking, what would you be looking for?
DEVOTEE: [Laughs.] I think I shouldn’t be talking.
SRI DA AVABHASA: What would you be looking for if you continued talking? DEVOTEE: I am trying to resolve the contraction itself. Once I became uncomfortable, I became …
SRI DA AVABHASA: But the contraction is the motive. You are trying to feel relieved of it, aren’t you?
DEVOTEE: I am trying to feel relieved of it.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Right now! Right now, as you are talking to Me, you are trying to feel some relief.
DEVOTEE: Yes, that’s true.
SRI DA AVABHASA: You want Me to do something to make you feel better, and this game is to get Me to talk to you. I could do all kinds of things to make you feel better. I could go over and give you a big wet kiss, and that might make you feel good, too!
You do not really care about where the good feeling comes from!
DEVOTEE: I am seeking union with You.
SRI DA AVABHASA: You just want to feel better, because you do not feel too damn good right now!
DEVOTEE: I try to relieve myself of the contraction in the body.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Just as a few minutes ago this other person wanted to tell Me something that happened a couple of days ago so she would feel better.
THE WOMAN WHO SPOKE EARLIER: I realized when You were talking that it is what I do. I have these moments of self-understanding, and I want to hang on to them and be consoled by them. I don’t want to keep practicing in the next moment.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Yes. Right now you wanted to talk about a few days ago in order to feel good. Chatting about the past, talking about yourself, gives you a little bit of a sense of the relaxation of tension. So–right now, you feel bad and you are talking to Me.
DEVOTEE: Yes, I just feel that as soon as it happened, I kept talking …
SRI DA AVABHASA: You are still talking! You feel bad in the “right now” now! Right now you feel bad, and you can feel much worse in all kinds of ways, be in all kinds of pain. This is a rather ordinary moment. But still you are sensitive to the fact that you do not feel good. You are disturbed, uptight somehow, under stress somehow – –right now.
Therefore, one of the things you do, like causing gatherings with Me here, is to use this kind of contact with Me to feel better. Getting self-understanding, Realizing the Divine Self-Condition–that is too big a matter for you to Contemplate in a gathering with Me. All you are getting out of life is an occasional hit. The rest is pain and illusion. You just want to feel a little better.
Find this out. You are not going to enter into this “consideration” with Me most seriously until you do find it out. Until then, you will be satisfied with your occasional hits and getting it on with the stimulation and stress of your own seeking. After a while you must start to like the search, because the occasional hits of relaxation and release are so occasional, so infrequent, that you have to enjoy the stress. You have to get high on stress. You have to somehow like it, or not mind it so much anyway. You come to the point of agreeing that that is life, that is all you can expect, and you just put up with it–it is not going to amount to anything more.
But does this describe you yet? Every day, you come up with a new “oink”, something or other that you are going to seek and that is going to make a difference and that is going to make you feel really good forever. You are all salesmen, bargaining with Me and promoting your garbage. Something you are involved with seems, in your deluded state, to promise the ultimate “high”, the ultimate intoxication. And you have not found out altogether that the notion is total and absolute garbage, just one of the lies of egos. Some of these lies you invent yourself. Some of them are invented by the collective of egos who are just like you. You have promoted the lies so heavily and you have put so many taboos and stresses on one another that you do not even have the freedom to find out that you are deluding yourself, and that life as you are doing it is only pain. You just keep being interested, keep on plugging through and following the line to death.
[Sri Gurudev turns to a man who had been the subject of the “consideration” earlier this evening.] Just imagine: Your retreat is over, and you go back to the mainland. You go out one day to sell your candy and you make a fifty-billion-dollar sale. Your father comes back to life and kisses you on your mouth! He says he is fine and he loves you and everything is terrific from now on. End of seeking. You do not have to work anymore. You have fifty billion dollars. The problem with your father is over. From now on you will just get it on forever and be a happy man. Right?
DEVOTEE: Sri Gurudev, I have often felt the liability my life would have been had I been in a circumstance of unlimited resources to indulge myself. That hasn’t been the case, but …
SRI DA AVABHASA: It has been the case with many people whose lives are quite well recorded. But they were not happy people. Their search was not over. Yet they had the very things you reach for–ultimate bucks and all the rest of it. Those things were given to them by their circumstance, and still they were seekers, still they were unHappy, still they were egoically “self-possessed”. Even if you achieve what you are seeking to achieve by your various means, your search would not be over.
But in the meantime, since you have not achieved it, you can imagine that the achievement would bring it all to an end and you would just be a happy man. Isn’t that the illusion of seeking in general?
You have little searches that can be attained in the next moment, and you have bigger ones that take a little while longer, and you have immense ones that could take you forever. Especially those that could take you a long time or even forever are the hangers! How often has it been said about people’s romantic and sexual gamings that the ones who stay on your mind are the ones you did not have sex with? The ones with whom it did not quite work out, the unachievable ones, seem to support your illusions most. So you keep those going, too. That is the game of the salesman. That is the game of the ego.
And this is how you prevent yourself from finding out that you are just a seeker and that the search is based on pain and that it is founded on the act of separation and cannot be fulfilled. You keep yourself from finding this out by projecting some of your searches onto such a large scale that you can never prove the point. You are something like the physicists these days who are theorizing about forces that are so immense they cannot conduct an experiment to prove their theories or disprove them.
The search is something like that. The hangers are the unachievable ones, the ones with which you cannot experiment to find out, the ones you cannot just glance at and know that your seeking is all pain and cannot be fulfilled. Of course you can do that, but you project these things so far out in front of you to support your illusion so that you do not have to get down to what I am talking about.
Then there is the sexual search, of course. You know what you can do with someone, you know what you can do with your present partner, but you do not know what you can do with everybody! You know very well that you cannot be fulfilled with your present partner or with anybody you have ever been with.
DEVOTEE: That’s right.
SRI DA AVABHASA: But you think that if you could just do it with everybody, at least with many of them, th-en you would be fulfilled! This is how the search works. You put off understanding it by projecting it on such an impossible scale that you cannot prove the point. “Oh, yes, yes, in my present intimacy, everything You are saying to me now, that’s completely plain to me now. I can see that definitely now. But … [His voice becomes wistful] there could be somebody … or there could be some fifty … with whom it would be all right.”
You keep skipping off the understanding. You may see in the context of excruciating limitations or even in present time that you are not doing it, but you keep suggesting to yourself, “There is something else, though. I’11 sneak in some way, or on a larger scale, or with someone else–and maybe then it will work out.” You avoid the understanding, and you keep continuing the conversation, the bargaining with Me, year after year after year, even in My Company, still arguing about it, still practicing in a mediocre, egoically “self-possessed” fashion, still not making your listening consequential to the point of hearing.
And you are perfectly willing to have it be just that way, to do it for all your lifetime, to do it for all My physical Lifetime, to just have this dull confrontation without consequence, where you refuse to get the point. Don’t you?
SRI DA AVABHASA: You are all just like My Uncle Gene. You just cannot get the point. You just cannot understand it. You cannot take the direct view, to understand and live differently. You have to be beaten over the head by the aging failures of life, never getting the point, on and on and on, wasting your life, wasting your virtue, being deluded, always another question, always another doubt, always another refusal, always another dramatization. You do not get the point. You do not get down to the consequential practice. You are content for your practice of the Way of the Heart to just in general be okay, worth doing–that is enough. You are not serious enough to understand the real point and transform your life altogether in My Company.
You are willing to be a beginner forever. That is your agreement. And there is nothing I can do about it if that is what you will settle for–the occasional good feeling, in your practice in My Company and in your daily life. There is nothing I can Do about it. I can only Do what I generally Do. But I cannot Do anything else about it. I can only Offer My Word and be Present among you. That is it. I cannot force you to it. You must respond. You must understand. Real practice must be important to you.
DEVOTEE: Beloved Master, I was just feeling something that I felt very profoundly while I was on retreat a few months ago.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Uh oh! [Laughter.] DEVOTEE: I was feeling it right now.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Well then, talk about right now, not about what you were feeling … then.
DEVOTEE: I had felt it then, but I feel it now.
SRI DA AVABHASA: RIGHT NOW! Not a few minutes ago, not even the last moment. RIGHT NOW!
DEVOTEE: I feel it now still.
SRI DA AVABHASA: RIGHT NOW!
DEVOTEE: I feel a stress, I feel a frustration of power, and … SRI DA AVABHASA: You are looking up in the air! DEVOTEE: I was looking up as I think.
SRI DA AVABHASA: You were looking up to the left hemisphere of the brainy bottom, and drifting away from the sensation that is actually motivating your talk right now.
DEVOTEE: I was thinking about You right now.
SRI DA AVABHASA: That in itself is avoiding the sensation, and that is what you are trying to do. You are trying to use some self-based technique to feel good, right now. It is not that you are responding to Me, Communing with Me. You are just sitting there all by yourself, sitting in your own knot, your own mess, and using all the odd techniques that you have generated in a lifetime–and even before–to just feel maybe a little bit better, at least to avoid the stress. Right now you are doing it.
DEVOTEE: I can feel it right now.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Trying to feel “mellow”, aren’t you? DEVOTEE: I want to stop when it hurts.
SRI DA AVABHASA: You want to feel “mellow”. And that has nothing to do with Me. You are just over there trying to feel “mellow”, but you are talking to Me as if somehow or other this is going to do it, or get you to your own “mellowness”, your inward “Om Bar”.
DEVOTEE: I was hoping the conversation would strengthen my self-understanding of what I am feeling and what I am doing.
SRI DA AVABHASA: That is a nice way of putting it. That is like telling Me you want to “share” something with Me. It sounds nice. But even so, all you are saying is that you are seeking some Word or other from Me, something in this conversation, that will “mellow” you out. Why would you be doing that if you were not already full of pain?
DEVOTEE: I am.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Right. That is it.
DEVOTEE: I am sitting in this self-conscious self-meditation and stress that I can clearly feel, and You are sitting in front of me.
SRI DA AVABHASA: And you are not responding, because you are actively separating yourself from it. You are not only experiencing your own stress, you are doing it. This is what you must find out. You cannot truly respond to Me because you are doing this [He makes a fist of His hand]–contraction–creating a stress that is making you be self-based and separate.
DEVOTEE: I am doing this as I am Enquiring of this feeling, but I’m not going to …
SRI DA AVABHASA: The feeling is not going to do anything. You must Enquire of yourself, if your practice is to be true self-Enquiry. True self-Enquiry, real self-Enquiry in the Way of the Heart, requires self-understanding to begin with. You can ask the question associated with it, [Speaking rapidly] “Avoiding relationship, avoiding relationship, avoiding relationship, avoiding relationship?” You can even sing it to yourself [in a sing-song voice] “Avoiding relationship, avoiding relationship, avoiding relationship, avoiding relationship?” [Imitating a crooner] “A-void-ing re-lation-ship!” [Laughter.] You can make a mantra out of it to avoid the sensation. In fact, this is how you all work.
DEVOTEE: I think we all know the difference between the two, Lord. ANOTHER DEVOTEE: No, we don’t! DEVOTEE: I think we do.
SRI DA AVABHASA: [Mimics the soft phrasing of “The Little Engine That Could”] “I think we do, I think we do, I think we do”, “I think we got it, I think we don’t”–NOT! [Laughter.] You are doing it right now. Right now! And you are sitting in the result of it, the discomfort. You can feel much worse than you do now. This is a rather congenial circumstance. It is interesting to notice that even in such a circumstance as this–in My Company, in congenial company in general, where nothing is immediately threatening –still it is so! Right now, even under this circumstance, which most people would say is basic life-pleasure, you are suffering. You are stressful. Right now, even under these best of circumstances, you are just disturbed and seeking for a way out of your disturbance and therefore relating to Me falsely, wrongly. You are doing this [Making a fist of His hand]–contraction–and addressing Me, approaching Me, looking in My direction, perhaps trying some practice or another while you are sitting here, because of this thing you are doing, the stress of it. That is what is motivating everything you do, everything you say, everything you feel, everything you notice.
DEVOTEE: You are absolutely right.
SRI DA AVABHASA: If it is so under these circumstances, where it could not really get any better in the general human sense, then how much more is it magnified in the more difficult circumstances of life, the more grossly disturbing, disappointing, painful circumstances of life? Of course, then you push the “God-Slave button”. When you get overwhelmed by the stress and the pain of it, all of a sudden you want your InfiniteFloating-Deity Slave, your Teddy-Bear-in-space, to come down and give you what you want. And all of a sudden you are a religionist.
There is no such God. It is your own pain talking, inventing God, reinventing God, redefining God, bastardizing God. Then you really pull down the God falsely. Now you are relatively at ease, but you are still doing it. If you cannot feel good in this moment, when can you feel good? How is it possible to feel good if you cannot feel good now? Maybe you feel peripherally okay, but apart from that you feel disturbed, essentially in pain, essentially under stress. You feel a subtle but almost profound frustration or dis-ease even in this circumstance.
The circumstance does not account for it. Nothing about the circumstance is producing it. YOU ARE! It is what you do! Nobody else is doing it. The environment is not doing it. I am not doing it. The circumstance is not doing it–nobody else, nothing else, just you.
DEVOTEE: It is so automatic, Sri Gurudev, that it is hard to see it.
SRI DA AVABHASA: NO, IT IS NOT! It is eminently easy. It is as clear as the nose on My face.
DEVOTEE: Well, the identification of …
SRI DA AVABHASA: You are blapping to Me in your pain. That is why you are saying what you are saying right now! That is why it seems to make sense to you. You are under stress. You are dis-eased, frustrated, blunted, separate, threatened–for your very existence! Just to N: here is to be under threat. You could drop dead right now. Suddenly the most excruciating pain could come over you! Somebody could run into the room and say that something immensely terrible is happening to everyone! But even if that does not happen, even though you are not anticipating it, you have accounted for it in your stress. You are doing it, right now!
DEVOTEE: Sri Gurudev, I came here tonight prepared to ask You how I could quicken the process of self-understanding …
SRI DA AVABHASA: That is a boring question. I have answered it so many times!
DEVOTEE: Your Divine Power is blasting me, Helping me feel how much stress and frustration I feel. All over my body I feel a great contraction and anxiety.
SRI DA AVABHASA: And I Am the Radiant Force of Non-Separateness Itself! Yet you are sitting there feeling that! You cannot bridge those few feet across the room.
DEVOTEE: No, I cannot.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Even though I Am over there where you are as well, you cannot get with it.
DEVOTEE: No, I can’t.
SRI DA AVABHASA: You think that all you have to do is to be here and bathe in the Blessedness and you will be all right. That is not enough.
ANOTHER DEVOTEE: We are shrinking from it at the same time we are seeking it.
SRI DA AVABHASA: At the same time you are in My Company you are separated from My Company, you are dramatizing the act of self-contraction right now! Therefore, merely to be in My Company is not enough. How often has it been regretfully said in the traditions that even though people were given access to Realizers of one degree or another, allowed to be in the Company of the Realizers, serving them all the time, most of those people got nothing–or very little. Why is it so, then? Since My Radiant Presence Is sufficient, and since all you have to do is come into It, why do you not feel altogether good? Why are you not sublimed to the Perfect Degree right now?
Of course such sudden Realization is eminently possible, but the reason it is not happening is that you are engaged in a particular act right now, here in My Company, as you are at all other times. You are enforcing that action constantly and making a life out of it. Therefore, you are doing it right now, and you are also feeling it and all its results and all its imposition on you. You are likewise ready to go out and dramatize it some more when we break up for the evening. Even though you are in My Company, you do not have the arms.
DEVOTEE: Sri Gurudev, I feel the small thimble that I hold up. SRI DA AVABHASA: More poetry.
DEVOTEE: I am a very bodily based …
SRI DA AVABHASA: Talk to Me right now, then.
DEVOTEE: I an a very bodily based character.
SRI DA AVABHASA: That is not right now. That is an assessment.
DEVOTEE: I feel Your Transmission right now in the front of my body, and I feel that I am willing to be satisfied with that limit, just feeling You here.
SRI DA AVABHASA: You want to stay here, just as you are, self-contracted, and receive some consoling sensation because I am here. You have that much of a trick going for you.
DEVOTEE: That is true. During the day, in my Contemplation of You, I receive that same feeling, and I feel that same limit. I have really felt in the last few weeks my willingness to be satisfied with just that instead of moving beyond it.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Moving beyond it is about self-understanding. You cannot just practice tricks of what you think is Ishta-Guru Bhakti and have that be the Way of the Heart. The Way of the Heart requires true Ishta-Guru Bhakti and true selfunderstanding. Both must appear. Both must be demonstrated. But you tend to bypass one or the other. Either you are exaggeratedly weak in devotion, or you are exaggeratedly weak in self-understanding, and sometimes, or in the general case, you are weak in both.
You cannot be one or the other, and you cannot fail to be both, obviously. Right practice in My Company requires self-understanding.
DEVOTEE: That is what I must develop–self-understanding.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Along with sensitivity. You must have sensitivity to the pain of your own approach to Me. And you must deal with it in order to Commune with Me truly, in order to respond to Me truly. Regardless of what you people have on your minds, this is not a difficult matter. It is not difficult at all. I can only state it plainly because it is so simple. It is not a complicated matter. It is eminently possible for you to understand this, to grasp this point, as I said when I first began to Teach. This is what I told everyone the very first night.
Why didn’t I Give fifty thousand other lectures before I said it? Because anyone can understand in any moment, that is why. You can deal with it now. In any moment you can grasp this Argument. It does not require the genius of an Einstein. It does not require an education! It is a very simple, ordinary, human matter that can be grasped by the very simplest observation of yourself. But you are still nodding at Me and glaring at Me as if you do not get it. You are just practicing self-contraction now, just seeking now, and ready to get up when we break up for the evening and go do it some more with everything else that you do.
Coming to this gathering is a kind of coming to the Communion Hall. All other life-matters are set aside. You are just gathering with Me and “considering” things with Me. But as soon as you get up from here, you are ready to go do your thing again, with all the complications that you build into your ordinary life here. How many faculties, how many functions, are being animated by you? Basically you are just here without other obligations, presenting yourself intelligently to Me. You are here to “consider” this very simple matter, and nothing else is intervening. You have no other obligations. You are not doing anything with the body except taking a piss break every now and then. Apart from that, you are not doing anything bodily. You have no bodily obligations and no social obligations. The men sit to one side, and the women sit to the other. Therefore, there are no social interactions going on at the moment, no phones calls, nothing intervening, just as when you go to the Communion Hall every day.
Yet here you are, acting as if you are oblivious to what I am saying.
DEVOTEE: Sri Gurudev, I am feeling tonight as You are talking that all the things I have done in my practice that I thought were counter-egoic activities were not. I am feeling that most fundamental self-understanding must be in place before I can even really engage in looking at it.
SRI DA AVABHASA: How can you engage in anything counter-egoic if you do not understand egoity? You may be doing things to work against the results of egoity and to try to feel a little better, but to be practicing Truth, to be practicing truly counter-egoic activity, you must understand the ego, you must be in the place of understanding it.
You are already in that place! You are doing this act! What is so remarkable is that you cannot grasp this fact.
DEVOTEE: Sri Gurudev, the ego seems to have a logic of its own, an addictive logic.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Yes, you become an addict because of it. You are addicted to the desiring, the reactivity, the search itself, the objects, things, and others that you have your attention on.
The ego is an addict. The search is addiction. It has all the patterning, all the characteristics, of what is otherwise called “addiction”. It also has all the patterning, all the characteristics, of the death process–the denial-anger-bargaining-depressionacceptance cycle. Every day on your way to death and reacting to it you basically go through that sequence of feeling.
This is the patterning of every moment. And you are doing it right now. Right now you are like someone on his or her death bed, because you know very well that no matter how you fiddle with it you are going to die, and the best you can do in the meantime is to get the occasional hit, to be slightly amused, to be slightly consoled. You know very well that is all you are going to get to do and that death can happen at any time.
Who else, then?
DEVOTEE: Sri Gurudev, it is very plain …
SRI DA AVABHASA: Right now. You, right now. You remind Me of My daily phone conversations before each of these gatherings. I say, “Are there any questions, ‘considerations’, or other causes for gathering?” Nobody responds. Then somebody asks some ordinary question or makes some ordinary suggestion. They say their piece, and then I say something, and then again I ask, “Are there are any real questions, real ‘considerations’, real causes for gathering?” I get ignored again, and somebody else says another piece.
Here I Am, Calling you to address this matter right now, and you want todigress. You want to avoid the stress of your actual state. If you do not avoid it, you will get this point. If you do avoid it, you will not get it.
DEVOTEE: You know, my Lord, the process of self-watching … SRI DA AVABHASA: More subject matter. DEVOTEE: Excuse me?
SRI DA AVABHASA: Some more subject matter. You are talking in the abstract. You are rattling off your mind here.
DEVOTEE: I am sensitive to feeling …
SRI DA AVABHASA: The reason you are thinking these things, feeling these things, talking these things to Me, is a dramatization of the very thing I am talking about.
DEVOTEE: I want to stay with it, Lord.
SRI DA AVABHASA: You are not staying with it. You are digressing. You are saying that you want to stay with it or that you are staying with it. Such is the language of the search. But you are doing the self-contraction at this very moment, separating yourself from Me, animating the act of separation, feeling the stress of it–all of that! It does not make any difference what we talk about. It is the same event.
In this conversation, however, I am not allowing any digressions. Get right back in focus here. If you want to speak, then let’s deal with it.
DEVOTEE: I do, but I do not know how to. Anything I am going to say is just separation from this feeling.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Good! DEVOTEE: I cannot say anything.
SRI DA AVABHASA: GOOD! That is it, then! Are you all aware of your stress now? You are doing it–right now. You are pinching yourself. You are doing this, whole bodily, altogether. You are doing this contraction. The stress you say you are feeling is the result of what you are doing. It is not a result of anything going on in the room or in your life at the moment. It is a result of this act that you are engaging without inspecting it.
Inspect it! Feel the sensation of it, and see that you are doing it. If you truly see that you are doing it, you will let it go.
DEVOTEE: Sri Gurudev, I was feeling that right then, right now, feeling the selfcontraction as I am. I began to feel that I am doing that, and the activity began to dissolve.
SRI DA AVABHASA: See it further. You are doing it right now, the fundamental sensation of dis-ease that will otherwise make you do this or that or the other thing in your life, that would otherwise even make you talk to Me now, blink the next blink, make the next turn to the right or left. That stress makes you do all that.
Investigate it. It can only be investigated in feeling. Talking about it is not the investigation of it for real–not directly. It must simply be felt, entered into, in a feeling investigation, a feeling examination just of the fact of it, the sensation of it. Feel it. Enter into it in that manner. And see that you yourself are doing the knot. [Pause.]
The more you feel that you yourself are doing it, the more it relaxes. And then you begin to feel Me. You are, as it relaxes, directly surrendered, truly forgetting yourself, entering into the field of Non-Separation, Which is My Very Nature, Condition, Sign, Demonstration, Transmission.
That disposition, that investigation that I just Called you to, is listening. That is what it is to listen to Me. There are many other aspects of your practice of listening in My Company, but this is fundamentally what it is. Feel into that knot of stress. Feel into it and account for it. See it as your own action. Regard Me in that moment, in every moment. Then the surrender comes, the self-forgetting comes, the feeling of relatedness arises spontaneously, the native sense of Non-Separateness is felt.
Is anybody getting any of that?
DEVOTEES: [Ecstatically] Yes!
SRI DA AVABHASA: It is just a matter of making a deeper accounting, a direct accounting, for the stress that is motivating your acts, instead of surrendering yourself to the desire, the reactivity, the seeking, the objects, the others. Listen to Me. Register this sensation of stress, this fundamental disturbance. Enter into it most profoundly. In doing so, you will discover the stress to be your own action, and in that mere discovery–not by some other effort but in that mere discovery–the opening begins. Then you respond to Me, then you can feel Me, and in that feeling of Me you are surrendered, you are forgetting yourself.
This is the simple mode of the practice. It encompasses both self-understanding and Ishta-Guru Bhakti. It requires just such depth of listening, just such tacit examination, in any moment. From that depth, all the elaboration of the practice can be understood, embraced, and animated. But you must be in exactly the disposition that I have just Called you to. You must be in that disposition, moment by moment, not in your reacting, desiring, seeking, concentrating on objects and others–not that–but just the mode of examining the inherent stress that is behind all that. In the examining of it, it unfolds, and then you are My devotee. Then you can exercise the “conscious process”, “conductivity”, self-discipline, service, meditation. That devotion to Me, that depth of devotion made by self-understanding, is true devotion to Me.
And you see how quiet it is. When you feel and need less, that is devotion to Me. Not AAAA-AAHHHHHH! ! [He screams wildly.] AAAAA-AAHHHHHHH! Gave you a jolt, did I? [Laughter.]
[To one of the men] You were writing all the time everyone else was examining this matter.
DEVOTEE: It is my tendency.
SRI DA AVABHASA: This is how you do it. Forget tendency–I Called you to “consider” this matter, just in the form I Called you to. If you had anything to write, you could have written it later. You have to keep the mind occupied–that is your search. You are exercising the search in this rather gentle manner. Writing some things down may seem totally innocuous and all right. But that is how you remain preoccupied with the stress of the search. [Sri Gurudev pretends to write feverishly.] Dzdzdzdzdzdzdzd, dzdzdzdz, dzdzdzdz–writing it down nervously, trying to keep the mind going, still that stress is making it happen. And then on some other day you will read it and talk it, stressed all the while, instead of realizing this very quiet depth of examination, of “consideration”.
And if that is the place of self-understanding, that is also the place of devotion to Me.
In your moments of real devotion to Me, if you have moments of kirtan, moments of moving ecstasy, fine! Be demonstrative in your devotion to Me–fine–but on the basis of this in-depth examination, which is necessarily quiet, not seeking, truly examining yourself, examining the fundamental stress that is motivating everything in you. That is the place of true devotion. If there is any devotional activity that is physically more moved and loud, it should be based on the heart-matter of your devotion to Me, truly done.
This is why the “consideration” of self-understanding and Ishta-Guru Bhakti can be meditative, why it can be done in the Communion Hall, which is a quiet place where nobody says a word, nobody makes a movement basically, except a few nervous physical movements or otherwise kriyas. Even your moving life must be this profound. Whatever you are doing, this depth must be registered in you. That is the moment to moment practice.
But you are always busy all the time, and you never get to the point of in-depth examination of the stress that is the self-contraction. If you did, don’t you see that the mode of your living would change by your living in this depth of examination, this depth of devotion to Me, rather than in your superficiality? It would change everything. And so it should!
That is actually what I am Calling you to do! Actually to do that! Then you will see the difference it makes to listen to Me deeply and account for the self-contraction in depth. Just to be doing it grants equanimity to you even bodily, grants equanimity to your speech, your actions, your feelings, because you are registering this depth-point and going beyond it and feeling Me.
This is the context of practice of the Way of the Heart, not merely outer observances. This is what it means to listen Me: to be examining this point of contraction in depth, to feel it, and by its unfolding to feel Me. That is selfunderstanding and devotion to Me. Both fundamental elements of the Way of the Heart are accounted for in the same instant. That is what it is to practice the Way of the Heart moment to moment, then.
Do you all have some sense of what I am talking about?
Did you feel the unfolding of that knot during this period of our “consideration”? Is there anyone who did not?
DEVOTEE: I didn’t.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Who else? So–we should talk to you, then, full of problems.
DEVOTEE: I just did not feel the unfolding of the knot. I felt the crunch, and I still feel it now.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Yes! But entering into it deeply was the “consideration”. You are just at the periphery, at the reaction, and being motivated by it. That is your habit, your nervousness, your preoccupation.
So you did not enter into it so profoundly. If it was such a grand and difficult matter, how come nobody else failed to feel it? The others did. In some significant sense you did not. This does not mean that it is greatly difficult. It just means you did not enter into it, being a rather agitated, egoically “self-possessed” character in a rather stark and rigid manner. You did not simply feel it, investigate it feelingly. You just stood here in the nervousness of the stress itself rather than entering into it deeply. You are experiencing the peripheral emotions, the peripheral mind-forms, the periphery of the stress rather than entering deeply into it.
You must enter into it deeply. Whether you experienced it in that few moments or not is really beside the point. At least you understand what I am talking about.
DEVOTEE: I do, I absolutely do.
SRI DA AVABHASA: And whatever you must do to bring yourself to enter into your own egoic “self-possession” in depth, that is what you must do. Until then, you will still be yammering about all the things you want to do out here and around–be the golden boy, sexy with everybody, selling big candy–just the stress itself registered by the search rather than the depth of the stress itself. When you enter into it deeply, you are discovering in that deepening that it is your own act, and the mere discovery of it is the relaxation of it. That is what you must find out. Try it out.
You all do not believe it is okay to lose interest in what is going on in life, in your life and in the lives of others around you and in the whole world. You think it is not okay. To lose interest to what is ordinarily going on is the secret of renunciation. To renounce is not okay from the worldly point of view, but from the point of view of those truly involved in the religious life and the matter of Truth itself it is not only okay–it is necessary.
You always think you must find another reason to be enthusiastic about garbage. Those who are most serious and who understand see garbage all around, not only in their own case but in everybody else’s case and in all the usual things that are being done. Ordinary life is just garbage, a harrowing affair of suffering and illusions, going absolutely nowhere but on to death! You are afraid to look at yourself, look at those around you, look at the world, listen to the news, and get the point.
The daily news has been going on since I was born. And it has always been-always!–the garbage of eminently stupid people hawking on one another. And not just the daily news but the daily everything that everybody is doing.
That is why there are so many comedians in the world trying to entertain everybody. Their basic message is that life is garbage as it is being lived, that everybody is a fool, and it is better to laugh at it because laughing at it gives you a little moment of consolation and relief. That is the point of all the joking. The whole thing is a kind of terrible comedy!
Do you see the principle? You like to hear jokes because they give you a moment of relief. That is why you allow professional comedians. And you tell jokes to one another or make moments of amusement with one another. This is part of the device of ordinary life. It is not wrong in the sense that you should be moralistically negative about it. Just understand what you are doing. Enter into it deeply.
You do not have to be hopeful about existence. You must get serious and become involved in the Truth, which is what life is really for. Truth is what is necessary. Therefore, the renunciate attitude toward life not only as you are living it but as everybody is living it is essential.
Getting that message awakens the heart altogether. It makes you compassionate. It does not make you a negative character among others. It makes you a positive one, but not just someone “oinking” out the worldly message or the worldly pursuit. It makes you someone who is a renunciate, whose life is God-ward, going to Truth, going to Ultimate Realization.
It does not take a genius to know that the whole world is bullshit. But you all do not get it. You are still like the salesman–you can always think of a circumstance in which you might be fulfilled. You never get the point! You do not get the point about DEVOTEE: I have been noticing, Sri Gurudev, that more and more this has been occurring. As I talked to You some nights ago about Your Enquiry of us …
SRI DA AVABHASA: Oh? Some nights ago? DEVOTEE: About how effective it is. SRI DA AVABHASA: That is good.
DEVOTEE: I am afraid even to speak from this place because I keep wanting to get back inside and get my thoughts together …
SRI DA AVABHASA: You ought to blast the hell out of these thoughts, as I once said. To be continuous is to be thoughtless. It is to live in the Great Swoon of Faith, of Absoluteness, of Continuity, of Non-Separation. Then who would be concerned about even death?
But you want to “oink” right back. Therefore, you must make this “consideration” continuous. It is not a moment, not a one-liner, not last week or the day before or an hour ago or ten minutes ago or three seconds ago. It is right now! The “consideration” must be continued. In every moment you must enter into the depth of examination to which I Called you a little while ago. Otherwise you fly to the periphery, you are dramatizing, you are avoiding the stress of this knot, this dis-ease, that is motivating your life.
You must be serious about this dis-ease that is motivating your life. Enter fully into it. When you enter fully into it, the fingers let go of the pinch, the knot dissolves, and you respond to Me. Then there is really self-surrender, really self-forgetting, because of My Attractiveness. That is devotion to Me. It must be done just that seriously, just that profoundly, in every moment. Otherwise you yank back into the contraction and fly to the periphery, and you are dramatizing with mind, emotion, and body in every circumstance, and you are working over every relation with your seeking madness.
Just because the way you do it is more or less socially acceptable, you think it is all right. It is not all right, not from the point of view of Truth, not from the point of view of Divine Communion–not at all.
DEVOTEE: Master, I can see why You Say that true hearing is actually a kind of Samadhi. The self-contraction is so relieved that the point of view changes and everything is different.
SRI DA AVABHASA: That is the Contemplation of Non-Separateness, or unqualified relatedness. It is not the end of the Way of the Heart. It is the foundation of it. It is very much in the likeness of the end of the Way of the Heart, actually, but it is just not yet the end. You must do the sadhana from that point of view, and to do the sadhana from that point of view you must be serious and involved in the depth of this “consideration” moment by moment.
Self-understanding and devotion at depth–this is what you must do every moment. You are not to slam back and on to the periphery. You must be more serious than that.
You are basically trying to feel good. Why would one want to get into union with feeling good if one were not already feeling bad? You must understand that Natively you always already feel good. But not the way you are doing it. You are not in the Native Position. You are in the position of the self-contraction. If you would Stand Prior to it and feel beyond it, you would always already feel good in the most profound heart-sense. It would not make any great difference how the rest of the body-mind felt, because the body-mind is part of the conditional world and always subject to negative changes and disintegration and death. But when you are in the heart-place, you are Awake. You always already feel good. Always! Already!