Death – The Yoga of Life – Adi Da Samraj

Death – The Yoga of

SRI DA AVABHASA: You spend your entire lives
bargaining about death–every moment of your life is
stressful. This is why it shows all kinds of signs of
reactivity, desire, and seeking, all the pursuit of
‘objects’ and others. The ‘self’-contraction is
the ‘root’ of that, but the ‘experiential’ context of it is
the ‘knowledge’ of death, the fear of death, the
anticipation of death. You are animating yourself constantly
because of the fear of death. You are trying to escape it,
argue your way out of it, distract yourself from the
feeling. You spend your entire life anticipating death,
fearing it, avoiding it, and going toward it. In Truth, you
must be up to the very thing that you are afraid of. Instead
of wasting your life bargaining about death, anticipating
it, you must be involved in it. Life must become
death—not in some negative sense of merely seeking to
destroy yourself bodily—I mean in the most profound
sense. What you are fearing about death is not merely a
physical event, but the dissolution of your own existence,
your own separate existence. The real process in life is one
of submitting to this death, engaging life as that very
process, entering into it most profoundly, moment to moment,
making death, ego-death, the Yoga of Life. You will not do
this until you have understood yourself most fundamentally
and overcome this bargaining game, the seeking game, and
enjoy the capability for transcending the
‘self’-contraction moment to moment, under all

Every moment of your life is
stressful. This is why it shows all kinds of signs of
reactivity, desire, and seeking—all the pursuit of
objects and others. The self-contraction is the root of
that, but the experiential context of it is the knowledge of
death, the fear of death, the anticipation of death. You are
animating yourself constantly because of this fear. You are
trying to escape it, argue your way out of it, distract
yourself from the feeling. You spend your entire life
anticipating death, fearing it, avoiding it, and going
toward it. In truth you must be up to the very thing that
you are afraid of. Instead of wasting your life bargaining
about death, anticipating it, you must be involved in

Life must become death, not in the
negative sense of merely seeking to destroy yourself bodily
but only in the most profound sense. What you are fearing
about death is not merely a physical event but the
dissolution of your own existence, your own separate
existence. The real process in life is one of submitting to
this death, engaging life as that very process, entering
into it most profoundly, moment by moment—making
ego-death the Yoga of life.

You will not do this until you have
understood yourself most fundamentally and have overcome
this bargaining game, this seeking game, and enjoy the
capability for transcending the self-contraction moment by
moment under all circumstances. When you become thus
equipped, then even though you may have been having some
Spiritual experiences of Me all the while, you become able
to enter into My Spirit-Presence, into the true reception of
It, true self-surrendering, self-forgetting,
self-transcending submission to My Spiritual Presence. So,
then, instead of merely having Spiritual experiences in the
body-mind, you transcend the ego in Spiritual Communion with

At the beginning of level two, you
intentionally, with fullest commitment and with the
capability of true hearing, enter not merely into the
Initiation into My Spiritual Presence, because you may have
had some experience of It already, but most profoundly into
commitment to Me Spiritually with the fullest reception of
Me, and you begin the conscious Yogic ordeal of submission
to My Spiritual Presence. And this Yoga can fulfill itself
as I have indicated to you—can, should, likely
will—in the maturity of level three of the Way of the
Heart, in the fundamental dissolution of the point of view
of attention, so that you Realize that you Stand in the
Position of the Witness, Prior to the body-mind.

You can from that point, then, enter
into the “Perfect Practice”, where ego-dissolution is
Perfected in Divine Self-Realization.

The fundamental sequence of practice
in the Way of the Heart is the listening-hearing process,
developing the capability of ego-transcendence, then the
ordeal of the Spiritual Yoga via the design of the frontal
line, then the “Perfect Practice” in its three stages. This
is the fundamental course. There may even be ascending
experiences early on, just as there may be ascending
experiences in level three, but fundamentally that is not
ones responsibility if the Yoga is in the frontal line in
level three.

The real beginnings of the Way of
the Heart, then, are about a conversion of life, beginning
with handling life-business, setting it straight,
understanding yourself most fundamentally. Another way of
describing that process is that it is a matter of coming to
terms with your life of seeking, or in other words your
effort to avoid death. In some fundamental sense, then, true
hearing is the acceptance of life as the death process, so
the body and the mind and the self-knot itself have
voluntarily submitted to Divine Communion. You are equipped,
then, to allow the Descent of the Divine Force and your
submission to It, so that all the manifested personality
gives way, is dissolved.

The frontal Yoga is not merely about
openings in the body, experiences in the body-mind, feeling
energies in the body. It is about submitting to My Spiritual
Force in the context of the entire body-mind, submitting the
entire body-mind, so that the self-contraction in that form
is utterly given up and replaced by the Divine Presence, the
Divine Consciousness. It is quite a different thing, then,
than simply the matter of experiencing My Spiritual Force in
the body, relative to the body, and so on.

The frontal Yoga is not significant,
not a matter of responsibility, until there is the
capability for ego-transcendence. Until then, experiences
are strictly secondary, purifying to a degree, inspiring
perhaps, but not of ultimate significance or consequence.
Also, your ability to receive Me, or in other words to
surrender the body-mind to My Invasion Spiritually, is very
limited. You can experience Me but not most profoundly, not
in the fullest Yogic sense. Without the equipment of true
hearing, it cannot be done. This is why in the traditions,
even though there are Yogic practices, Yogic practitioners,
and so forth, practice is essentially an ordinary, or
evolutionary, matter, an egoic matter, of developing the
conditional persona by combining it with Spiritual force in
order to develop the conditional persona and largely expand
it, develop its knowledge, its power over this, that, and
the other thing. This is not true Yoga, it is not the great
Yoga, it is not the Divine Yoga. It is conditional Yoga,
ego-bound. It is evolutionary. It is part of the
psycho-biography of egoity itself.

The Divine Yoga is always and
fundamentally about ego-transcendence, utter dissolution of
the ego in the Divine. It is not a matter of seeking the
Divine but of receiving the Divine, Communing with the
Divine. The Divine, then, is the Gift from the beginning of
the Divine Yoga, not that which is to be Realized at the end
of it. Of course It is Realized all the while and at the
end, but it is the principle from the beginning. That is the
uniqueness of the Way of the Heart, the Divine

DEVOTEE: Thank You, Sri Gurudev. You
talk about how we are limited in terms of our reception of
Your Transmission. And I can feel in meditation that
sometimes I am having very profound feeling-Contemplation of
You or reception of Your Transmission, but suddenly I

SRI DA AVABHASA: “You you you you
you you you”, you see. It is not it. It is not the Divine
Yoga. It is just experiences that are interesting to you,
consoling to you, new to you, fascinating you. But
you—not Me, not the Divine—are the subject, and
the process is not ego-transcending in any full sense, any
profound sense. You are just acquiring experiences. In that
sense, Spiritual experiences have no greater consequence
than your ordinary life-experiences. You all tell Me,
practically in the same breath, about your emotional-sexual
experiences and also, from the other side of your mind,
about your Spiritual experiences. They are all part of the
same game of ego-glamorization, seeking.

The Divine Yoga does not take place
in the context of seeking, only in the context of
ego-transcendence, ego-transcending Divine

So you must be equipped for the
Divine Yoga, and that is what hearing is about, such that
the subject of the Yoga ceases to be that of the ego and
becomes the Divine. That is why this hearing matter is most
critical, most fundamental. It is not the disappearance of
the ego as the subject and the appearance of the Divine as
the subject. It is about the embrace of the Yoga of death in
God—passing out in God, not into unconsciousness but
into Divine Consciousness.

The Way of the Heart is not about
developing the ego. It is about the transcendence of the
ego. You must understand the unique difference between the
Way of the Heart and traditional approaches. Then you will
be serious about the beginning, because it is most profound.
Now you are being amateurish about it. You are talking about
listening and hearing in amateurish terms and rather
conventional terms. You want to just talk yourself into
believing you have heard without going through the

It is death. It is acceptance of the
Yoga of death in God. It is a profound turnabout in the
disposition of the living being because it is no longer the
subject of its own existence—the Divine is the subject.
That is why the seeing process can follow upon

Not only do you tend to be rather
amateurish about the process of listening and hearing but
you also tend to be casual about handling your
life-business. You are constantly creating more and more
complications and problems about your ordinary life instead
of simplifying, handling that business, setting it straight,
making it a lawful foundation for Spiritual life in My
Company. You are endlessly creating emotional-sexual
complications, dramatizing reactivity, desiring, seeking,
pursuit of objects and others and so on. You are dramatizing
that instead of setting all that straight based on real
self-understanding to the degree of the crisis of hearing.
And you stop the pursuit of escape from death and accept it
as the very process that is the meaning of life.

Just feel yourself now. Feel your
own tension and stress. It is about the fear of death. You
must be voluntarily and now doing it instead, doing the
death, entering into the submission. Then this stress
dissolves, the heart is relieved. The body relaxes, the mind
relaxes, and you become sensitive, attuned, to reality and,
more and more, then, to the Divine Reality Transmitted to
you. As long as you are under the stress of this knot, you
are self-bound, avoiding even God, desensitized, crippled by
your own act, afraid, and cut off from the true Yoga. Then
you just spin your wheels for the rest of your life, waiting
for that terrible day, you think, when you will not be able
to avoid death anymore and it is just going to happen to
you. Then it finally will, and none of it will have been to
any great effect at all. You will just be recycled, and the
same thing will begin all over again in one form or

It is important to use life
according to its law. The stress you feel, the pressure you
feel, is your own knot, your refusal to be given up to the
One Who Is. Given up to the One Who Is, your life becomes
plain, simplified, Divine. The Divine becomes its context.
Then you will no longer be the fitful, egoically
“self-possessed” seeker, but you will be more and more
transformed by Divine Communion. Then, instead of being a
worldly fool, you will begin to look like a Yogi or a Saint,
and so on—as such beings do, better than they do. Your
bodily sign will change. Everything will change.

Why do you think This Body looks as
it does? The Yoga has been done in This Body. It is a kind
of a corpse, a Yogic corpse, its sign no longer made by fear
of death or the dramatization of egoity. So it must be in
your own case. That is what the Way of the Heart is

Read The Knee of Listening. I talk
about death all the while. That is what it is about. You are
trying to smile your way through, be amused, stimulated,
fulfilled in conditional terms, ego-based terms. That is not
Yoga. That is not Divine. That is the ego-life, the worldly
life. You must be willing to give up all of your games in
ordinary life and straighten out and purify your ordinary
life, bring it to order, stabilize it so that it becomes a
true foundation for Yoga, the Divine

Here you have been in My Company
fussing and bargaining about life fulfillment, seeking,
principally about this whole emotional-sexual business. It
destroys Yoga. It dissociates you from the Divine. It is an
egoic preoccupation founded in your own stress.

Find yourself out. This contraction
is why you are doing all that ordinary dramatization. Be
responsible for this. And the more you do become responsible
for it, the more you can handle your life-business and
simply set it straight so that it no longer interferes. You
must find out exactly what it is you have to do in your own
case to set it straight. It is different in every

Some may be celibate. Some may be
sexually active. Some do one kind of work, others another.
Some may be formal renunciates, others live in the general
community. Nonetheless, all must make life-resolutions at
the foundation of their practice. All your business must be
handled in every fundamental sense before you can move on to
the advanced and the ultimate stages of the Way of the

You may imagine that because you can
have some Spiritual experiences and some benefits of the
religious life, even though you do not handle your
life-business fully, you can get away without handling it,
you see. But all you are having is piecemeal, mediocre, and
ego-bound experience. Even if it is Spiritual or religious,
it is conventionally Spiritual, conventionally religious.
The Divine Yoga requires responsibility for the ego and
requires you to handle your life-business. It is like coming
on retreat, which also requires you to do so. To live the
life of practice you must do so. The beginning time of
practice is the time to do that. If you are taking a long
time at the beginning, it is because you are not handling
your life-business and you are not “considering” My Word
seriously and entering into the listening process for

Why do you think I call it
“listening”? Because it is an address to My Word. It is
listening to Me in the context of handling your
life-business, adapting responsibly to My Company. If you
refuse to do that, your life becomes more and more
confusion, more and more entanglements, more and more
impediments forestalling the time of real practice in
Spiritual and ultimate terms.

DEVOTEE: Beloved Sri Gurudev, I
recently had a dramatic experience of something that you are
talking about. When I first came to Sri Love-Anandashram a
few months ago to live, it was an answer to a prayer to be
able to live here and practice in Your Company, the
fulfillment of my deepest dream. Years ago I had suffered
from chronic insomnia, but I had not suffered it in

The first night I was so excited
about being here that I began to realize I would not be able
to sleep. Immediately my subjectivity started to go crazy,
and I felt I was about to destroy my dream to live here,
because I might not be able to sleep and would not be able
to function. A great fear and despair arose in me, and I was
completely overwhelmed by it. I realized in that moment that
I had to practice intensively and resort to You

Basically what resulted was
something like the death process. I realized I had to give
up my desire. I had to be willing to accept that I might
have to leave here. I had to be willing to accept that I
might not have this opportunity to practice in Your Company
and that I might have to reside forever in one of Your
communities and develop as a mature practitioner and just
deal with all of this. In that crisis something like death
occurred, the profound release of what I was holding on to
and aspiring to and seeking. In that crisis, a great release
occurred, and a realization that my relationship to You
would survive. It was a profound crisis.

Over the next few days, what I would
describe as true hearing did awaken. There was a profound
change in my practice and true self-observation in my life.
It reminded me of the crisis I had been through when I was
diagnosed as having cancer. It was the same sort of
necessity and profound acceptance. It was very instructive
to me. Unfortunately, I was not able to sustain

SRI DA AVABHASA: It was not true
hearing, then. It was a crisis of self-understanding,
apparently, but not true hearing. The crisis of true hearing
does not come to an end. You can experience incidents in
your life that are transformative to one degree or another,
insightful and so on. But they are not permanent.

DEVOTEE: It was so dramatically
different than what I had experienced and so much
self-understanding was given in the midst of it. And the
ability to observe and understand that I was doing the
contraction was much more obvious to me than it had ever
been. There was a dramatic distinction between what I
normally had experienced as practice and what was occurring
then. I wondered if it was hearing. I was not certain what
it was.

SRI DA AVABHASA: What are you up to
since that is different? You started being able to sleep, so
you stopped worrying about it. If you had not been able to
sleep ever since then, you would have stayed in place with
that understanding. You went back to getting a good nights
sleep—or a good days sleep.

DEVOTEE: I went back to sleep. That
is true. I began to get on top of it. The ego began to

SRI DA AVABHASA: So you found a way
to survive. That is not true hearing. You must find out
about yourself some more.

DEVOTEE: It is beginning to occur by
Your Grace.


ANOTHER DEVOTEE: I have felt very
greatly instructed by You relative to how we superimpose
ourselves on the experience of Your Transmission. I have
noticed that I do that all the time when I am feeling

SRI DA AVABHASA: Do you see how much
reference there is to “I” in almost everything you say to
Me? That is why I keep Calling you all to the voice and mind
of praise. “Oh, Master”—not even “my Master”—is
the voice, the mind, of utterance that is free of this
“I”-reference. Of course, the English language is built on
the “I”-reference, so you cannot avoid it entirely. The
voice of praise is the balance.

Tell My Leela instead of your story.
You think Leelas are about some encounter you had with Me
that brought about some change in your practice. Those are
Leelas of a kind, certainly, but the fundamental form of
Leela is simply telling about the Guru—just that,
describing the Divine Play itself, not combined with you but
just As It Is, just As I Am, just As I Do. This is the most
fundamental form of Leela-telling. It is another form of the
mind or voice of praise. It is Contemplation of Me, whereas
Leelas that are simply about My effect on you one way or
another are ways for you to refer to Me while still talking
about yourself. There can be some usefulness in that, but it
is not the greatest form of Leela-telling. You all tend to
be preoccupied with the lesser form.

Most of what I do you hardly tell
anyone about. Little of My Leela actually gets told. You
basically want to talk about yourself and interest others in
how something can happen to them. What you should be
interesting people in is transcending themselves in My
Divine Company. If you did that, you would be telling them
about Me. But you will not do it. Human beings these days,
you feel, are invariably interested in themselves and do not
want to hear about the Guru. You tell as little about the
Guru as you can. Instead, you tell people about yourself and
about themselves. It is just another way of enslaving the
Divine, dismissing the Divine, and making the ego the
subject of religion. That is false religion.

You are even a little bit afraid of
getting involved in true religion. You are worldly and
conventionally religious by tendency. This is especially
characteristic of Westerners. It is a part of the principal
fault that Westerners must overcome if they are to develop
authentic practice in My Company. In the traditional East,
just the opposite is the case. People do not want to talk
about themselves. The rule is modesty, make as little
self-reference as possible, talk about the Guru endlessly,
talk about the Divine Leela endlessly, make as little
reference to oneself as possible. In the West it is just the
opposite. You are supposed to only talk about

DEVOTEE: Sri Gurudev, You have
talked a great deal tonight about the simplicity and
relaxation of the process of self-understanding. I am
understanding more that it is all about the
self-contraction. I am feeling it more.

SRI DA AVABHASA: You are being it

DEVOTEE: Yes, I am being it more,
and I am feeling like me.

SRI DA AVABHASA: Yes, and you must
transcend that. That is what I am talking about.

DEVOTEE: In that process of Finding
You, everything that keeps coming up is suspect.

SRI DA AVABHASA: What is coming

DEVOTEE: Even the feeling that I am

SRI DA AVABHASA: Of course you are
dying. Everybody is dying. You must commit yourself to
dying. You must invest yourself in dying. That is the Divine
Yoga. Embrace this pressure, this imposition. Be willing to
die. Be willing to do the thing that you fear, the thing
that you keep putting forward to the end of time, the end of
your life. Do it now.

Start doing some dying here, then.
Start giving yourself up if you have any self-understanding
at all, and receive Me down behind your tongue here. You
have to gulp Me down and give way to Me. So what? That is

DEVOTEE: In the process of gulping
and receiving You, this pressure does not go

SRI DA AVABHASA: No, you must give
yourself to My Divine Invasion. Accept It. Accept that that
is life, that is the reason for existence, that is the law
of existence, that is the Perfect State you are Given, and
allow It completely, more and more, with all your stress,
with murders in your heart, in your gut, just

All your “oinking” refusal, hatred,
anger, upset, pursuit, seeking. So what? You have to make a
life out of this acceptance, this embrace. Eat It. Eat the
Living God.

You must let your fear of death go.
You must accept the imposition of What Is here that you have
been refusing all your life, and take Me on. The dying
business is a great Yoga, all over your heart, opened,
relaxed, because you gave it up. Give it up, relax down,

You are all in the same boat here in
these independent bodies. Death is coming. Do it, then. Do
it now. Embrace What is Imposing Itself on you. Do not wait
until the end of life. Do it now. There I am—swallow Me
down. Take a deep breath. Be done with it. It has to happen.
Do not wait for the end of life.

That is “conductivity”. Give Me your
attention. Let it go, down to the frogs, the toads. Be at
peace. Give up your struggle. Be at peace here and now. All
your obstructions, your impulses, and your
reactivity—let them go now. Be at peace, free in your
mind, free in your feelings, free in your body, free in your

Take Me down. Breathe Me down. Be at
peace in your mind. Be at peace. Do right now what you think
you would do on your deathbed—right now.

[Speaking very slowly and
quietly] Come and sit before Me and offer your gifts,
not ceremonially merely, but as a real act of

Sit with Me. Receive Me.

Be at peace here in My

Reside here. Live in My

Be at peace with Me.

Release the stress of the refusal of
death and your self-defense. Drop the

These bodies go to corpse. You go to

Those who remain behind will wash it
and burn it.

See—amazingly and during the
day, your eyes are open, the mind is clear. All is

The world will live at peace—a
peaceful life. Relax into it.

This is My Admonition to My
devotees: Self-surrendered, self-forgotten, give up your
stress, your own act of separateness.

Breathe deeply, down to your
toes—emotional relaxation.

[As He spoke these final Words,
and for many minutes afterwards, Sri Da Avabhasa made gentle
stroking movements over His Heart with both hands as He
Gazed around the room at all of His