Heart Conversion Talk Series – Adi Da Samraj – Realize Responsibility, and Love Flows from You

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Volume 1, Number 11


Realize Responsibility, and Love Flows from You

A Discourse Given by Sri Da Avabhasa on March 27, 1993

DEVOTEE, A WOMAN: Beloved Gurudev, one of things I have observed about myself over the years is the strategy of being a victim and martyr. I have been served by taking on disciplines, but I feel that I am still not entirely aware of how I dramatize this.

SRI DA AVABHASA: Listen to your tone of voice. I so frequently have to point out your tone of voice whenever you speak to Me. I frequently bring it up. Be mindful of it. You are being the victim right now just by the manner of your speech.

DEVOTEE: I see myself falling into it, and I observe how the mind keeps it going. I feel that I can be responsible for that much. But in our group “consideration” today, one of the ladies said to me that she feels I am not aware of how often I am in the mood of the victim and the martyr. For years I have had the discipline of not complaining, and I have applied myself to it at different times. In the gatherings of the last few days I feel again how important it is to assume this discipline completely consistently, or else I will just fall back into that tendency and keep going.

SRI DA AVABHASA: Of what use is a discipline if you do not apply it consistently? If you let yourself off the hook when the stress of your tendencies starts coming to the front, then the discipline is ineffective. Then you only apply yourself to it when it is easy to do, and it has no effect. You will not observe anything.

You must not let yourself off the hook. That is why you must be kept accountable by the culture. You must be in the position to be observed regularly, and obviously you must also observe yourself. The whole point of assuming a discipline is to embrace it consistently and not find room to let yourself off the hook. You must be served by others, but you must also observe yourself. Dealing with yourself is the root of discipline.

DEVOTEE: I have observed that this does have to do with something I have carried from childhood, definitely a negative self-image.

SRI DA AVABHASA: In addition to that an incredibly positive self-image, or an image of great self-importance. You want to talk about the victim, and even that does not sound like an overwhelmingly bad social characteristic. You are not talking about the sense of great self-importance behind it. All martyrs feel very self-important. To view yourself as a victim is to be very self-important.

DEVOTEE: I try to get attention.

SRI DA AVABHASA: So – it is not just a weak self-image, is it?


SRI DA AVABHASA: It is strong egoity, manifested in a particular fashion. A strong egoic tendency is also what you got out of your childhood, a great sense of self-importance and difference, even superiority.

[to a man] You said you wanted to talk about this victim mentality this evening.

THE MAN: Sri Gurudev, my own life has been characteristic, I think, of white, middle-class males in America who, in spite of every attempt not to be a victim, have gone out of our way to enjoy a victims status. I speak of my own personal experience. I have not had any traumas or any life-threatening situations that would have produced a victim consciousness. Still, somehow, I find it appealing to be, in my own mind, a victim.

SRI DA AVABHASA: You need not have had great traumas to be in that position. Everybody has difficulties. Life is difficult, and it requires something of you. Another way of characterizing the so to speak victim consciousness is that it is always looking for something or someone to blame even for the most petty of lifes difficulties and demands. If you feel you are the victim, you always look for somebody or something to blame, some past incident, whatever it may be, to justify your lack of responsibility, your lack of clarity, your lack of effectiveness. It is not just in reaction to the most traumatic of lifes incidents that this mechanism is generated. It is an ordinary mechanism, and it is also culturally enforced, socially reinforced, politically reinforced, reinforced by social and political institutions even. It is not associated with traumatic life, really. It is just the strategy of living life in such a fashion that you are always relieved of responsibility, because there is always something or someone to blame and you, therefore, need not be responsible. You just presume that the seat of responsibility is not in yourself but in all the causes in your life. And they are just what they are, so there is nothing you can do about it.

DEVOTEE: I was reflecting on the root of it. I was struck by Your phrase in Breath and Name , “in rooms protected or threatened by your father”. The dual nature that the father brings, not only protecting but also threatening, is a set-up to produce a victim. The time when one sleeps is a time to be nurtured and protected while you are safely vulnerable, yet the threatening father is there somehow-and one wakes up feeling the victim.

SRI DA AVABHASA: Sometimes people wake up in the middle of the night sweating or screaming or wary.

DEVOTEE: Wary indeed.

SRI DA AVABHASA: Sometimes you may not get to sleep because of your wariness, your trouble. You are worrying.

DEVOTEE: That has characterized my life and also the lives of men who are my friends and acquaintances. It has always been a puzzle to me that Americans, who are a small percentage of the human race and who enjoy a much larger percentage of the natural resources, have themselves been defining, in my lifetime, a characteristic victim strategy that allows us to do things in the world that ordinarily we would take responsibility for and not do, such as use up the planet to our own advantage. There is a self-help movement in America of several millions of people who meet every week to deal with their victimhood.

SRI DA AVABHASA: Yes – they go there to blame something! They are always running through the time-streak of memory to find where they were victimized, to find what there is to blame, what incident they can blame for their trouble, what people-mommy, daddy, whoever else-what incidents, what experiences, what diseases. They are always going down the time track to find what to blame and then dramatizing being victimized there and receiving sympathy from everybody else about their bad experience.

This is characteristic not just of Americans, by the way. It is characteristic of Western culture, and it is also characteristic of mankind. It is shown politically, socially, culturally in certain ways in America, in Europe, and in other parts of the world. It is a rather universal disposition.

The root religions, the original religions, were rather local, tribal, and, in general, shamanistic. I have told the story about my checking out a gypsy woman, one time when I was traveling across the country, and getting a taste of what the shamanistic ceremony is all about. It is always about blaming some curse or evil spirit, the curse of some living person or persons or some evil, discarnate personality that is somehow surrounding you or effectively disturbing you. The shaman directs you to perform a ritual, and then the shaman does a ritual, does a dance, says some words, whatever it may be. The whole intention is to somehow eliminate the bad spirits, the curses, that are affecting your life. No responsibility has been generated in you by those rituals. You have resorted to somebody else, someone who could do a song and dance and direct you to do a song and dance. Maybe that sugar-pill relaxes you a little bit and you feel a little better when you go back to the herd, but it does not become great responsibility.

What is psychiatry but shamanism, then, in a rather sophisticated, modern form, looking for what to blame, what incident, what people, what experiences, what events, going through the ceremony of letting you talk about it, dream about it, then explaining it to you, describing you as the victim of whatever those events and those people may be. Through that sugar-pill ritual maybe you feel a little bit more relaxed, but what has become your responsibility?

Responsibility is in the person, the “own” state, the ego place. That is where responsibility must arise. You must understand that it does not make a bit of difference who has done what to you, or what experience you had in the past recently, long ego, before this lifetime, in this lifetime-it does not make any difference. You may discover how in the past you established patterns that are effective now, but there is no true healing in such discovery unless you get down to the “consideration” of your responsibility for your own reaction, ultimately for your own self-contraction.

In the “own” position, the egoic self-position, you must realize responsibility for your own reactivity, your own dissociation, your own separativeness, your own generation of a victim ritual. There will be difficult events in the future just as there have been difficult events in the past. How are they to be dealt with? By responsibility for your own reactivity, your own egoic “self-possession” (or self-absorption), your own self-enclosure, your own dissociation, your own separativeness.

This is the key to healing people of their various disorders and life-problems-the development of responsibility, not the constant finding of things to blame and, in effect, practicing shamanistic rituals to just relax your mind so that now you feel cured. No – responsibility is the key, responsibility for the ego-act, the self-contraction itself, and all the reactivity, dramatization, seeking, desiring, pursuit of objects and others and so forth that arise by your own act.

Realize that responsibility, and love, forgiveness, flows from you toward all events, all past, all future, all present, and you can live freely and transcend life-difficulties. That is religious life manifested in action.

Of course, the religious life most fundamentally is about self-transcendence to the point of Most Perfect self-transcendence and the Realization of the Divine Self-Condition. But as a manifestation in life, it shows itself through responsibility for the self-contraction, not through rehearsing the victim rituals.

What else about it?

DEVOTEE: Sri Gurudev, You have said it already this evening. You remind us that we have agreed to practice the Way of the Heart in Your Company, and this reminder straightens our spines because in each moment we are tending to forget that we have made this agreement with You and that we are not engaged in a therapeutic process. Unfortunately, because we have not adhered to Your Admonition about yamas and niyamas consistently, we let ourselves off the hook by presuming to be the victim in our own life.

SRI DA AVABHASA: Thus, you bring the world into this gathering with Me, and you carry on in a worldly fashion instead of applying the religious discipline I have Given to you.

DEVOTEE: That is right. We are not assuming that we each have the strength, the clarity, to take on a discipline and consistently abide by it and be responsible for it.

SRI DA AVABHASA: To be so responsible is what it is to be a man, male or female. That is manly responsibility. That is appropriate human responsibility. That is true civilization. To be civil is to be responsible for yourself, to know that what you do not only affects yourself but also that it affects others, and therefore to assume responsibility for yourself. For the sake of your own life, continued growth, development, and freedom and for the sake of the same in others, you must experience a great unwillingness to contaminate other living beings.

This is another way of describing the Bodhisattva principle of Buddhism – to live in such a way that everything you do your whole life serves the Liberation of others instead of yourself. To live casually and to be worldly in the egoic fashion is to agree to contaminate others constantly, to agree to have a bad effect on everyone, not to mention on yourself. Such is not the religious commitment. It is a Godless, ego-based disposition – not only Godless but Truthless, without Reality, without understanding, without discrimination, without seriousness, without commitment to life as a serious process that has great dimensions to it and not just the local, contaminated point of view of the herd at the moment. True religion is a willingness to be clear in yourself and to live the righteous life, whether anyone else does it or not.

You have made that agreement, and you have come into the company of My other devotees. All of you must have made such an agreement. Now you are here with one another and with Me for the purpose of getting down to living a truly human life, a great culture with no diversions and no dramatizations.

DEVOTEE: Sri Gurudev, for my own clarity, at one of the very first Darshans I had of You – it was a slide show – You were Radiating Your Love-Bliss and I just fell in love with You. Your voice said, “Every mans life is bullshit.” The Force of Your Radiance and this statement of the life ordinary people lead . .

SRI DA AVABHASA: Which is delusion, nonsense, knowing all kinds of things, most of which are not true, crapola, garbage, presumptions based on the most limited point of view, not only egoic but the most limited, the lowest possible.

DEVOTEE: And then further, in a gathering You also . . .

SRI DA AVABHASA: You wanted to get higher. It is still garbage. Apart from the Most Ultimate, Absolutely self-transcending Divine Self-Realization, it is all garbage. That is it-flat.

DEVOTEE: Flat. Yes. It is a hard message, Sri Gurudev.

SRI DA AVABHASA: Good. Find out. Find out the truth of it.

DEVOTEE: In these gatherings You have also said that if one is doing anything at all, which covers . . .

SRI DA AVABHASA: Everything. Apart from Divine Self-Realization Most Ultimate.

DEVOTEE: . . . it is a dramatization of the self-contraction.

SRI DA AVABHASA: Exactly. It is egoity.

DEVOTEE: With all due respect, it is easy for someone to flip into a victim mentality in response to that message.

SRI DA AVABHASA: Not at all. Not at all. I Give you My whole Teaching, not just one-liners like this one. I am not a fool. Such descriptions are Given in the context of My address to you about being responsible for the self-contraction, responsible for your illusions, responsible for your dramatizations. This does not suggest a victim consciousness in the slightest, and you are deeply offending Me by suggesting so. It is not at all what I suggest. Not at all.

DEVOTEE: I have never taken it that way myself . . .

SRI DA AVABHASA: I do not take it personally. I am just suggesting what it is you are offending by casual remarks, by superimposing on Me more nonsense that has nothing to do with the content of My Communication to you. To say it is all garbage means victimization is garbage, too. Why, therefore, would you think I am suggesting victimization? It is all garbage. In other words, it is something for which you must be responsible and which you must outgrow. You must transcend it.

I have told you exactly how to do so in thorough detail relative to every potential of life. I do not suggest victimization to anybody or justify it in anybody. Only responsibility, understanding yourself, becoming responsible for this mass of illusions and the self-protected, egoic “self-possession” that you are dramatizing and calling “life”. Sometimes you even call it “the Truth of Divine Communion”, whereas it is, as I say in My New York manner, bullshit!

And you must deal with it rather than finding some other way to avoid dealing with it by calling yourself either a “victim” or a “mighty whoever”. You must take responsibility for the fact that you are embedded in illusion and dramatization, egoic “self-possession”. There is no way out of it except to observe and understand yourself and outgrow these limitations. No victimization is suggested in the slightest.

DEVOTEE: It is clear to me that the therapeutic process as it has developed in the Western world in the last 150 years is incompatible with Your Wisdom-Teaching.

SRI DA AVABHASA: With the real practice of the Way of the Heart, certainly it is incompatible. It is an extension of shamanism, just that. It is not about responsibility. It is about being the victim. The shaman always suggests that you cannot handle your life-difficulties, but you can participate with the shaman by doing some ritual yourself. The gypsy I went to once suggested I wrap a tomato in my handkerchief and put it in My shoe under My bed for the night. That was not a responsible act on My part. According to the gypsy, I could not do anything about the evil spirit that was attacking me, but she would do what was necessary. She would burn candles all night, make prayers, and do her rituals.

The next day I went back to her and brought her the tomato wrapped in a handkerchief. She took the handkerchief, and she very carefully manipulated the tomato so that she could stick into it a little sculptured golem with a really weird little face. She broke open the front of the tomato, and there was this ugly thing inside! She was telling Me that her ritual had been effective. The evil spirit had left me and was now in the tomato. She would throw it away, and I would be all right.

DEVOTEE: It has all the elements of modern psychiatry.

SRI DA AVABHASA: That is it exactly. Substitute for the little sculptured golem mommy, daddy, childhood sex experiences, all the blah-blah and difficulties since. The only way you can get free of it is by mommy-daddy-psychiatrist doing his-her candle ritual-or the intellectual interpretation and explanation-and then everything will be okay.

Okay?! You do not get God-Realization by having a psychiatrist do anything! If the sugar pill works, you may get some ability to be better integrated as a social personality, to be a little more relaxed about it, a little less aberrated, a little less dramatic, if you are willing to be all those things.

There are evil spirits, there are evil intentions, and there are all kinds of things that affect people. But the way to deal with them is to generate the position of responsibility in your own case. This Way of devotion to Me, Ishta-Guru-Bhakti, is not about irresponsibility. It is not about giving yourself over to somebody who is going to do a shamanistic ritual for you. It is about responsibility, right use of the Divine Self-Realizer. It is a religious discipline. It is laudable and most profound. It should not be mocked. It must be understood, and it must be rightly practiced.

You are not called to irresponsibility in My Company but to complete responsibility – complete and from the beginning, responsibility from the beginning and growing more and more.

I do not invite people into a cultic relationship to Me, a phoney relationship to Me. I am not a fake. Therefore, I must constantly address your tendencies to be cultic in relationship to Me, to be childishly dependent on Me, to play out adolescent games with Me with dependence-independence, two sides, crazily. I must constantly address your bad tendencies, your worldly tendencies, your misuse of Me, your wrong approach to Me. I am not interested in surrounding My Self with irresponsible people who are like some stupid, cultic herd-not in the slightest. Such cultism in you offends Me mightily, and I will have nothing to do with it.

Therefore, understand what it is I am talking about and what Ishta-Guru-Bhakti is about. Be responsible for it, and communicate in the world what a great and truly responsible matter it is. Make it plain. Educate the world to this true, responsible practice in My Company. Do not be fools.

“Consider” this: Every time you dramatize reactivity, you are thinking you are the victim of someone or something or some event-every time. Reactivity is the sure sign that you have this point of view. If you react and dramatize reactivity, you are always blaming the event, blaming the other, instead of introducing the self-responsible discipline into the occasion of difficulty or stress. Always. It is always so.

Of course, there are all kinds of events in life, and there are reactions to them. Therefore, perhaps you cannot altogether stop reacting to the events of life. But to dramatize the reaction, to extend it into a whole period of drama, irresponsibility, egoic “self-possession”, weakness, non-practice, is to act like the victim. It is to blame the event, as if the event or the other is the reason that you are weak, the reason that you are not responsible, the reason that you cannot deal with yourself, the reason you get crazy. It is your own reactivity, and you must become responsible for it.

Perhaps in an instant a reaction cannot be avoided. If a tiger jumps out of a bush, fear occurs-fine. But to make a life out of such reaction, even when the tiger disappears, that is the dramatization of reactivity, egoity showing itself in a life-form. Every time you dramatize reactivity you are blaming something or someone and not being responsible for yourself.

Before your reaction becomes dramatization, you must deal with the reaction itself. And to truly deal with the reaction itself, you must come to the point of most fundamental self-understanding, before the reactivity, before the action that precedes all reactivity, all desiring, all seeking. You must become responsible for that action in every instant-moment by moment. Especially from that point of view, then, you can retard the dramatization of reactivity.

Even before you realize such maturity, however, do not blame non-hearing or use it as an excuse to dramatize. Even from the beginning of the Way of the Heart, My devotees are supposed to understand themselves and be able to deal with their dramatization with significant self-understanding, apply discipline, not roll with their dramatizations and abuse everyone. Every dramatization abuses others, because the dramatizing ego thinks it is the victim of others and events. As long as you think that way, you will display sometimes horrific dramatizations and abuse and collapse. Such drama is infantile, certainly adolescent, and not the kind of thing that adult human beings should be doing.

Even though you may be older than 18 or 21 years of age, you perhaps feel you still have the right to react like an adolescent or to live and react in an infantile manner. You should still be at home with your parents in that case! You should not be permitted association with adult humanity. Unfortunately the world is roamed and infiltrated by adolescents and infantile characters who never finished their life-business in the first three stages of life, never became responsible for themselves. What part do they play in a civilized life, then, a human life, an adult life? They are not prepared for it.

If we sent all the aberrated characters back home to their parents to be locked in their room, there would hardly be anybody functioning in the world! The world, as it is, is based on the adolescent mentality and the infantile mentality. The world justifies a mentality that is not civilized and that has nothing to do with true religion. It is suffering. It is chaos.

Unfortunately, there are no norms for true, adult human behavior. Many petty expectations are brought out of the hip pocket whenever it seems convenient to abuse somebody, but real norms of human life, of civilized life, of politics and social life, do not really exist anymore. What is regarded to be an acceptable way of living is brought out as a matter of convenience usually in order to abuse somebody. But where is the presumption of real adulthood? Where is true humanity in politics? Where is it in the relations between nations? Where is it in the relations between people face to face, one by one?

The psychology of irresponsibility pervades the entire world, not only in the West, not only in America. The whole world is dramatizing the self-contraction and losing its order, losing its positive human basis, losing its true religious basis. Real human life is being thrown down the toilet by dramatizations. Everybody is in the trenches, wary.

DEVOTEE, THE WOMAN WHO BEGAN THIS CONVERSATION: Beloved, everything You are saying I feel so served by.

SRI DA AVABHASA: Make sure you remember it. Do not just forget about it tomorrow because the gathering is over. Keep it in your notebook, keep it in your heart.

DEVOTEE: I wanted to say before that I really have seen how I create this strategy.

SRI DA AVABHASA: To call yourself a victim sounds okay. It sounds mild. But when you think that to call yourself a victim or a martyr is to blame other people and events, to hold blame, you realize that it is not so nice.

If anybody is dramatizing, that person is blaming everybody. They are blaming Me, blaming you, blaming the world, blaming the past. They are being fussy about that, pretending to be just overwhelmed by it, and you are all sympathetic, crawling all over the person with your consoling blah-blah. But all the while that person is engaged in an aggressive act of blaming you, blaming others, blaming everything. It is that persons justification for collapse.

What does that have to do with the Way of the Heart? Why should that contaminate this culture of My devotees? There is no one to blame. Straighten out! Wake up.

You cannot work anything out with dramatization. You only leave victims of yourself all over the place-people abused, shut down, turned off, worked over, and you calling yourself a victim, which sounds sort of cute and mild, inoffensive. But you must understand the aggressiveness of this notion that you are a victim. Dramatizers are abusing people. Always. They are always blaming people. To do so is not nice-and not true either. They are only resorting to an adolescent or infantile disposition, which has no business in an adult, human society.

Do not carry on a dramatization for any period of time at all. Be sufficiently responsible for yourself. You can just stop it while you are right in the middle of it. Just straighten out. Understand what you are doing, apologize whenever necessary, and just get out of it. Do not wither the gathering of the community of My devotees with garbage. Just drop it flat.

Such is the expectation side of this culture of inspiration and expectation, and it requires the human signs of responsibility for your dramatization.

ANOTHER WOMAN: Beloved, Sri Gurudev, I remember several occasions in my life when, by Your Grace, I was able to just drop my normal, complicated, egoic, reactive relationships with my intimates and really feel deeply my love for them. Unfortunately, it was in times of real crisis. Once my sister was to have brain surgery for a massive tumor, and it was very possible she was not going to survive the operation. She was a nurse, and she knew very well what she was submitting to. There was sheer terror on her face. I felt such a simplification in that moment and such profound . . .

SRI DA AVABHASA: Why cant you feel that all the time?

DEVOTEE: I dont know.

SRI DA AVABHASA: Yes, you do. You know exactly. I have told you.

DEVOTEE: When I let myself really feel and drop this chronic, stressful effort, I feel virtually incapacitated, unable to function. This is really a confession, I know, of non-practice, but I havent yet found a way to . . .

SRI DA AVABHASA: Yes, you have! You have to do it! That is it exactly. Does somebody have to have a brain tumor to make you feel? Do you have to have breast cancer to feel? And the rest of the time you are dull, too complicated, with no self-understanding, no clarity, no precious thing in life? These moments mount up. They become months, years. Your life flashes by. The older you get, the faster time passes. You are wasting your life. Your life is a precious thing with a great purpose. Why waste it in dramatization and self-immunization? Live simply, do your service, understand yourself, be happy.

Dont we have a happy life together? All the time, not just now when you are gathering with Me? Make your notes, carry it on tomorrow and every day. Do not forget it. The destructive people, the fools, the dramatizers, who have nothing to value, nothing to protect, nothing to preserve, nothing to love, are willing to die because of their emptiness, willing to abuse and even to kill other people in this world because of their own emptiness, because for them there is nothing precious in it and they are not heart-born. Do not be like that.

I am here. You are attracted to Me. Your Communion with Me is present. Do it. Be heart-born, free, with no expectations, nothing left over.

How is such freedom possible? All kinds of things can be said about it, but you must embrace the discipline of the Way of the Heart. That discipline enables you to be clear, straightforward, free of casualness and conventional dependencies so that you can live the Heart for real.

Be sensitive to yourself to discover the root of your own egoic self-possession, and abandon it in your love of Me.



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