Principle of Retreat – Crazy Wisdom Magazine – Advaitayana Buddhist Communion – Adi Da Samraj

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ADI DA SAMRAJ: As one of you just indicated,
it is an auspicious sign for there to be sannyasins in our
community, and it is a fulfillment of years of struggle on
my part. Short of perfect Realization itself, it is the
fulfillment of the very purpose of these years of struggle.
It has fundamentally been a struggle to draw people beyond
the egoic limitations of the body-mind, of conditional
existence altogether. Therefore, people must practice the
two fundamental disciplines and practice them on the basis
of real understanding and spiritual awareness. Those two
disciplines are the discipline of the body- mind, or
everything that we might call renunciation, and the
discipline of attention, or the transcendence of attention,
which includes everything that we call Ishta Guru Bhakti
Yoga,11 or the conscious process. Of course, it
includes conductivity as the servant of the conscious
process. The first discipline is the discipline of the
body-mind simply. The discipline of attention follows,
because the first discipline frees energy and attention. The
second discipline, then, is what you do with free energy and
attention. The discipline of the body-mind is the first
response of those who listen to Me. Having heard Me to a
significant degree, they begin to take on conservative
disciplines of the body-mind. As soon as such disciplines
are taken up on the basis of self-observation and
self­understanding, more and more energy and attention
begins to be released from confinement to the body-mind, the
activities of the body-mind, the motive of the body-mind, or
egoity, or self­contraction.

The discipline of the body-mind is based on
understanding. As energy and attention are released on the
basis of self-understanding and the discipline of the
body-mind, hearing begins to awaken, and the responsive
recognition of the Master, reception of the
Trans­mission of the Master, and the development of
real meditation follow. Thus, our Way is based on these two
disciplines, or what I would call the Principle of Retreat.
There is no practice of this Way of life without these two

I have been struggling with listeners and devotees of a
kind for many years, trying to awaken self-understanding in
them, trying to move them to these two disciplines, trying
to move everyone to renunciation and meditation, ultimately
to renunciation and Realiza­tion in the fullest sense.
You have all seen what a difficult and terrible struggle
that has involved. The ego is at war with that possibility.
Even though it may be momentarily inspired by this
possibility, in the next moment the mechanics of the
body-mind, the purposes of egoity, intervene
again—attention moves back into the destiny of egoity.
This apparent ego must constantly be addressed by the
Teaching and the Transmission of the Master.


11. The Sanskrit term “ishta” means literally
“chosen”. In Hinduism, “ishta” is most often used
in the combination “ishtadevata” (literally, “chosen
deity”), which refers to the personal deity or
“beloved” of the spiritual aspirant. In this sense,
“ishta” does not so much refer to a willful selection
as it refers to the movement of one’s heart, the object
of a spiritual longing. Thus, the “Ishta Guru” is the
Heart-Master, the Beloved of the devotee, the Perfectly
Realized Guide who Awakens the devotee through his Divine
Blessing Power. The Sanskrit word “bhakti” means
“devotion”, specifically devotion to the Radiant
Consciousness Who is the Transcendental Source of all
arising. “Guru Bhakti’ ’, then, is devotion to the
Supreme Being in the Form and through the Agency of the
Guru. Traditionally, “Bhakti Yoga” is the Way of
Realization through devotion. Thus, “Ishta Guru Bhakti
Yoga” is the Way of devotion to, Communion with, and
ultimate Realization of the Radiant Transcendental Being
through the Agency of the God-Realized Heart-Master, the
Beloved of the heart.


However, it is not enough simply to be addressed by the
Teaching and the Presence or the Transmission of the Master.
The individual must be equipped with means to effectively
use those Gifts, and those means are contained in the
Principle of Retreat. Those means, in other words, are
contained in the two basic principles of practice—the
discipline of the body-mind and the discipline of attention.
These disciplines begin to be used, or are used at least
momentarily, even in the first contact an individual has
with the Teaching and the Presence and Agencies of the true
Heart- Master. Even something as simple as going to a public
lecture involves the Principle of Retreat, because at least
during that time when the consideration of the Teaching and
the presentation of the Presence or Transmission or Agency
of the Master are being made, every individual is practicing
the discipline of the body-mind, renunciation, if only for
that hour or two. They are sitting in one place and they are
directing the mind to the consideration that is being
presented to them.

The first Principle of Retreat, then, is already intact
in some rudimentary form in that first contact. The second
Principle is likewise practiced from the beginning. By
controlling the body and the mind, at least to that degree
for that hour or two, most individuals are granting energy
and attention to the Great Con­sideration. They are
granting energy and attention to the Agencies and the very
Transmission of the Heart-Master for the period of time in
which devotees present the Teaching as well as their own
demonstration, leelas, forms of the Murti of the
Heart-Master, and so on. Thus, the Principle of Retreat
begins with the first contact, and from that moment really
all that occurs is that the Principle of Retreat is
progressively magnified. That is all that this process is
about. Just as the two aspects of the Principle of Retreat
or basic practice are there in the first occasion, every
occasion thereafter in which the individual has contact with
the Teaching and the Transmission of the Master is, or
should be, associated with the Principle of Retreat.

It is not sufficient at any moment for our institution or
community to simply present the Teaching and the Master, the
leelas and so on, without involving the listener in the
Principle of Retreat. Unless such means are given, you
invite either reaction or mere enjoyment, cultic
attachment—everything that is not about prac­tice.
The offering of the Teaching and the Presence of the Master,
even through Agency, are always to be established with the
simultaneous granting of means. The presentation of the
Teaching and the Master must always be associated with the
circumstance of retreat, if only in the most rudimentary
form. The Principle of Retreat must always be present.

Establish the listener in the Principle of Retreat, by
one means or other. The listener must discipline the
body-mind to give you his or her energy and attention. Each
individual must grow in his or her response to this Gift,
and this growth can take place only by intensifying these
means or the application of this Principle of Retreat. In
order to grow in this Way you must progressively magnify the
practice of renunciation and the practice of pondering and

You can spend years and years on end, as many have,
without growing because you are simply indulging in being
amused by the Teaching itself or the Presence and Person of
the Master Himself. This is the dilettante’s or
non-practitioner’s way of associating with these Gifts.
It is only practitioners who can make right use of these
Gifts, even if they are practitioners in only the most
rudimentary sense of being willing to control their
body-mind and energy and attention in relation to these

I have indicated that even to attend a public lecture is
to practice retreat. Having indicated some response,
individuals are invited to intensify their practice of
retreat. The next thing they are invited to is perhaps a
series of lectures or something like a seminar occasion that
lasts for half a day or a day—an occasion with a
smaller group of people. In that circumstance the control of
the body-mind, the making of oneself available to the
Offering, is increased and the level of pondering is
increased. Pondering is the beginning of meditation.
Pondering begins as soon as an individual begins to consider
the matters of the Teaching. Then they begin to read the
literature. Every such act and consideration of the Teaching
is pondering, and it is supported by renunciation, or
control of the body-mind. An individual may become a friend
of The Laughing Man Institute and become increasingly
involved in the offerings of the community and the
institution and so on, and eventually may become a student
of The Laughing Man Institute.

Each step of the Way, even in these earlier forms, is the
practice of the Principle of Retreat, you see. Each step
increases the application of the two basic principles that
come under the single heading of the Principle of Retreat.
As soon as there is sufficient self-observation and
self-understanding, an individual can enter ABC 1 practice.
The first aspect of the Principle of Retreat, which is the
discipline of the body-mind, or renunciation, is
dramatically magnified by taking on life-conditions and
beginning to develop what will ultimately become a full
practice of renunciation. Now that self-understanding is
confirmed by taking on such disciplines, more energy and
attention is released and made steadily available to respond
to the Great Offering, and so seeing begins in its seed form
in the ABC 1 level of practice.

Pondering, which is a form of meditation, should be a
regular, formal aspect of the practice of individuals in the
ABC 1 level—even at the LMI level. Others who are
simply friends or participants in the offerings of the
institution practice such pondering rather in­formally
by reading the Teaching and participating in seminars
perhaps, but pondering must become more and more a formal
matter. The institution must formally establish pondering as
an activity at the centers and as an activity that
particularly ABC 1 and even LMI students know they are
called to practice regularly.

Such individuals should be spending time daily in formal
study, but also in simply pondering aspects of the Teaching.
Then, having spent that formal time, they should spend the
rest of the day involved in random self-observation,
allowing the Teaching to serve their self-understanding.
This practice, when coupled with the disciplines of the
body-mind, becomes full meditation once seeing develops,
once there is sufficient free energy and attention for
spiritual recognition or spiritual receptivity. In this way,
ponderingj which is simply based on self-understanding,
becomes meditation, which is based on hearing and seeing.
Therefore, the practice continues to develop on the basis of
this Principle of Retreat, or these two basic principles of
practice, intensifying stage by stage.

In some cases, hearing and seeing may be magnified
perfectly at any point once the basic practice is
established—in other words, at any point after the
beginning of the ABC 3 level of practice. The four
individuals who took sannyasa diksha here yesterday are
examples of this. They moved to the ABC 6 level of practice
and to The Free Renunciate Order directly from maturity in
the ABC 3 level of practice, based on hearing and seeing
itself. Hearing and seeing permitted them, you see, to
suddenly magnify the two disciplines. They were suddenly,
clearly, and freely able to manifest renuncia­tion in
the fullest sense and to manifest the discipline of
attention, or the Ishta Guru Bhakti Yoga, or meditation in
the most radical sense, in the form of the “Perfect
Practice”12 associated with the sixth stage of life.
All that they have actually done in their transition is to
magnify the principles that even those sitting at a public
lecture are practicing.

12. The “Perfect Practice” is a progressive
three-stage discipline that can be taken up by devotees at
the ABC 6 level. It is described fully in The Liberator and
The Dawn Horse Testament (particularly chapter 43).

Understand this and know what you must do in every case,
in every moment. What you must do is magnify these two
principles. Hear Me and see Me and magnify your use of those
Gifts—true renunciation and pondering and meditation.
Formally practice renunciation, or discipline of the
body-mind, and formally practice pondering or meditation, or
the discipline of attention, moment to moment. This is your
calling. Do not take vacations from these disciplines. Do
not become soft. Do not act as if you do not hear and see.
Do not let the egoic mind convince you in your phasing that
you are really oriented toward the egoic or worldly point of
view. Relinquish this endless phasing, this endless argument
with your­self, about the matters of practice. Hear and
see and receive the Gifts and formally establish that
practice moment to moment. Presume that practice as a form,
and self-generate that form moment to moment.

Those who hear and see Me best do that formally and
moment to moment and do not waste any time with phasing or
arguing with themselves. Until egoic limitations are utterly
purified in the process of practice, they are there latently
and can be stimulated by your own act of attention on them
or by events that you allow to control you. Therefore, if
you do not practice the discipline of the body-mind and
attention formally, moment to moment, you will tend to allow
these latent tendencies of egoity to come to the surface, in
which case they become the drama of your life.

Why should you waste your life submitting to your
tendencies? It is clear that these tendencies are there.
Once you have observed yourself, you know they are there.
Why, then, should you waste your life in a form of practice
that really is not practice, in which you allow these
tendencies to surface from their latency and to cease to be
subject to the cutting edge of the discipline of practice?
Why submit yourself to such phasing? Why degrade yourself
with doubt? Live with your doubts, at first, by considering
the Argument, observing yourself, applying the disciplines.
Once your doubts have been resolved through this
confrontation with the Teaching and all the Gifts of the
Master, you must then renounce doubt, assume the form of
practice moment to moment, assume the discipline of the
body-mind, or renunciation, and of attention, or meditation
and pondering. Do this moment to moment and give no room for
the latencies.

What you call doubt is simply the trouble you get into
when the latent tendencies of egoity come to the surface of
consciousness and suddenly you are wondering whether the
Teaching is true and whether you should make the gesture of
discipline in the next moment. Of course that egoic mind
wonders! If you allow it to control you, you will be
spending your life constantly having to recycle yourself
through the consideration of the Way, constantly having to
be re-trained, reinstructed, reawakened, constantly having
to hear and see again.

That is precisely the circumstance under which I have
Taught. I have had to Teach people who in one moment
appeared to hear and see and in the next moment, because of
their refusal of the form of practice, drifted back into the
latencies of the ego and needed to hear and see all over
again. What was lacking was the Principle of Retreat, the
two fundamental disciplines of practice—consistent
renuncia­tion, or discipline of the body-mind, and
consistent pondering and meditation, or discipline of
attention. This is what was lacking. People refused the
means and wanted to depend simply on the Gift, and that is
not enough. The means must be there if the Gift is going to
be effective or usable.

The means must not be refused and, in fact, must be
associated with the Gift constantly. Do not indulge in my
Company or in the Teaching. Associate yourself with this
Teaching and Transmission on the basis of your renunciation
and meditation. This is the calling of all who listen to Me
and all who hear and see Me. My Work of Teaching is
complete. Now there is a Teaching literature and an

institution of Agency to serve all others in the future
with that Gift.

But in doing so, that Agency must always call those who
are contemplating the Gift of the Teaching and the
Transmission to practice discipline—in other words, to
use the means that will enable the Gift to be effective.

The Communion must formalize itself in relation to this
understanding. A basic reason for the establishment of the
Hermi­tage Service Order and the Free Renunciate Order
is to gather an Agency within the community of practitioners
that will constantly affirm, establish, implement, and
formally, constantly recreate the Principle of Retreat, or
the means whereby the Gift can be used. There should be no
circumstance in which any devotee or the institution,
through its representatives, offers the Gifts of the
Teaching and the Master, or the Master’s Transmission
and Agency, without doing so in a circumstance in which
individuals also accept the means for using those Gifts.

In other words, a right approach to this Way is
necessary. There is a different kind of right approach for
every kind of individual, every stage of practice, every
circumstance of consideration. A different approach is
expected at a public lecture than in the Meditation Hall at
the ABC 6 level, but it is not different in kind. The
difference is in the degree of application. Therefore, there
should be no frivolous, casual offering of these Gifts, no
un­conscious service to dilettantism and cultism.

The Hermitage Service Order and the Free Renunciate Order
must exemplify the fullest practice, the fullest application
of these disciplines, or this Principle of Retreat, and they
must constantly establish these disciplines everywhere in
the community and in the work of the institution. The
Hermitage Service Order and the Free Renunciate Order are
the Agency whereby the means are to be established. These
Orders, and the Communion as a whole, are the bearers of the
Teaching and the Agents of my Transmission. Whenever they
offer these Gifts, they must oblige the listener to
discipline the body-mind and attention. In other words, they
must create a right circumstance based on right attitudes, a
circumstance of equanimity and serious consideration, a
circumstance of practice. Even in a public lecture, there is
practice of these basic disciplines as I have indicated.
Therefore, all consideration of the Gifts I offer should
take place in a circumstance of practice. It cannot be
effective otherwise. These Gifts are not effective without
the means, without the disciplines.

These four women who have accepted sannyas in your
company have confirmed and affirmed and exemplified to you
their accep­tance of these means. The Hermitage Service
Order and the Free Renunciate Order as a whole should do
likewise, as should all devotees, each in their stage of
practice. Likewise, the Communion is called to assume the
Hermitage Service Order and the Free Renunciate Order as its
core, its basic sign and face, and to adopt the face of this
exemplary practice, rather than assuming the beginner’s
face, the enthusiast’s face, the dilettante’s
face, the non­practitioner’s face. The face of
seriousness and equanimity, of discipline and economy, must
everywhere develop in this institu­tion and community
and in every individual.

Now that my Work is done and that sign is given, everyone
is called to do what they will do having heard and seen. I
have done everything I can possibly do to make my Sign to
you, and now you must make yours in response. It would be
good for us to have many Swamis and many formal renunciates,
many renunciates in the Hermitage Service Order above and
beyond even those necessary for the critical role of
cultural leadership. All devotees are called to enter the
Hermitage Service Order, based on real preparation.

It would be good if all did respond to that call soon.
Perhaps not everyone will. Perhaps instead of entering the
Hermitage Service Order quickly, some will still choose to
move through the stages progressively as described in The
Dawn Horse Testament.That is fine.

All of that, however, is a slower or more progressive
process of arriving at the same disposition that is
otherwise expressed through full renunciation and,
ultimately, Realization.

Every individual must consider whether he or she has real
reasons for not presuming renunciation in the fullest sense
and taking up practice in the radical and most direct form.
Perhaps the only appropriate reasons are impediments at the
level of hearing and seeing. What does it mean to have heard
and seen in some fundamental sense, sufficient to respond
with the full application of the means, but to choose not to
practice renunciation in the fullest sense? What is that
based on? It is the refusal to accept the Gift and its
implications. This refusal of the Gift is another tendency I
have observed in the community all through the
years—the failed case, the phasing individual, the
weak-minded, weak-naveled, weak- hearted dilettante, the
Western softie.

Perhaps softie is not even a good term, because the same
character is a rather aggressive one in my experience. The
softness, in other words, is a mask, a costume for
Narcissus, the ego, a form of self-protection,
self-indulgence. In the moment of deprivation or challenge,
suddenly the softie becomes hatefully aggressive. This ego
must be observed, understood, and renounced. Ultimately, you
understand that the ego is the body-mind itself. It is not a
something behind the body-mind and it is not a way of
operating as the body-mind. If it were, all you would need
to do is, in the first case, become very inward and simply
dissociate from the body-mind and the essence of the ego,
or, in the second case, clean up your act somehow and
improve or perfect your psycho-physical self or ego.

The ego must be understood, renounced, and transcended.
Ultimately this means that the body-mind itself and all of
its associations, relations, and patterns must be
transcended. All of it must be transcended, perfectly
Outshined in the perfect fulfillment of the W ay in
Translation. The ego is transcended fully, perfectly, in the
Awakening associated with the seventh stage of life. There
is even a perfect confession associated with the practice of
our Way in the context of the sixth stage of life, in both
the ABC 6 practice and the special form of the ABC 6
practice that is given to the Hermitage Service Order and
the Free Renunciate Order, the practice called

As I have reminded you all in the Love-Ananda Gita,14 the
Way that I Teach is Advaitayana Buddhism. As Buddhism, our
Way is about Nirvana, about blowing out, about the
transcendence of conditional existence, of egoity. Likewise,
the Way is about Advaitism, non-dualism, transcendence of
duality, of difference, separation, self-contraction. It is
the Way of Liberation, not the way of self-fulfillment. It
is inherently a Way of renunciation—renuncia­tion
of the body-mind and renunciation of attention itself, which
leads to the body-mind and its relations. Using my Teaching,
you observe yourself. On that basis you must come to this
under­standing, this appreciation of the
self-contraction, of the ego, of the inherently Narcissistic
nature of psycho-physical existence. This understanding
should confirm the attitude of renunciation in you.
Renunciation is confirmed in you through
self-understanding—it is not necessary for you to
selectively develop a dislike for various aspects of
conditional existence so that you can discipline them!

There are practical disciplines associated with our Way,
such as

13. “Feeling-Enquiry” is a newly introduced form of
practice Master Da has given to devotees at the ABC 6 level.
It is the practice of those in whom hearing and seeing have
been magnified to the point of readiness for the most
radical practice, bypassing the necessity of much of the
tour of experiential possibilities in the firth stage of
life, and, in some cases, bypassing aspects of even the
fourth stage of life. Feeling-Enquiry consists of twelve
parts enumerated in the Love-Ananda Gita (forthcoming from
The Dawn Horse Press), and involves Feeling-Identification
with the Inherent Feeling of Being to the point of
Realization of Consciousness Itself.

14. Love-Ananda Gita (The Free-Song of Love-Bliss) is
forthcoming from The Dawn Horse Press in June.

the disciplines of diet and sexuality, which are
apparently very difficult disciplines for individuals to
develop. People use all kinds of techniques to convince
themselves, at least temporarily, to discipline diet or
sexuality. Among the traditional devices is the attempt to
find food and sex repugnant and somehow undesirable— to
counter your desiring by finding its objects undesirable.
How­ever, if you look to find food and sex undesirable,
you are never going to transcend either one of them!

The secret of renunciation is not in repugnance. It is in
self­understanding. True and natural renunciation lies
in the observation of the self-contraction, in the
observation that the totality of conditional existence
involves limitation, suffering, and disease, and is
unnecessary, an illusion of bondage from which we are
inherently Free if only we will stand in the Position that
is Free. It is this understanding that is the basis for
renunciation. If you look for reasons to renounce based on
disliking the pleasures of life, you will never find an
argument that lasts. But if you observe the totality of
these experiences in the context of the totality of life,
which is about death and limitation, separation and loss,
then you get the full picture. In that case, you see
pleasure in the context of the total picture and you see
that every address to pleasure is submission to the bondage
of that totality. It is a blithe indulgence.

Examine these pleasures in their moment and you will see
that they are an effort of struggle, a search to eliminate
pain, boredom, doubt, and discomfort. Individuals may
imagine that when they are moved toward sexual experience
they are simply looking for or embracing pleasure. But if
you examine the source of this pursuit, you will see that it
is motivated by discomfort, by pain, by boredom, doubt, and
discomfort. Why would you seek happiness if you were not
already uncomfortable? Observe yourself in any moment in
which you are moving to do something else or moving on the
basis of desire. Observe the state that you are in. It is
always boredom, doubt and discomfort. A state of
wretchedness, pain, and dis-ease always precedes your
desiring. Always!

You may be living in an ambience or moment of existence
in which you manage to avoid the most dreadful possibilities
of life. You already know that the dreadful possibilities of
life—great pain, intense boredom, profound doubt and
discomfort—are not desir­able, and you willingly
renounce those. But you still desire the relatively
pleasurable things. You do not really observe the moments in
which you are moved to those pleasures—moments that you
otherwise perceive as pleasant, or at least bereft of
terrible matters. But if you really observe yourself in
those moments, you will see that you are always moved toward
pleasure on the basis of pain, boredom, doubt and
discomfort. Contraction is always the motivator.

Seeking is a way out of contraction. Ordinarily, however,
an individual does not recognize that that is why he or she
is pursuing pleasure and avoiding pain. People do not know
that the root of this search is the self-contraction, a
constant dis-ease for which they can be responsible, that
they can relinquish and transcend, that they in fact always
already transcend in the Position of their Real Existence.
People do not know this, you see. They need to listen, they
need to hear, they need to see, they need to discipline
themselves in order to make use of what they hear and see.
Then they will relinquish this seeking, they will discipline
the body-mind progressively, they will discipline attention,
and they will become renunciates. In other words, they will
grant attention to That which precedes the
self­contraction. They will grant attention to its
Source. They will relinquish it in its Source, allow it to
dissolve or be resolved in its Source, allow it to be
inherently transcended in its Source.

This is the Way of Happiness. Happiness is not the search
based on self-contraction. It is not the dis-ease of
desires. It is not in the fulfillment of the body-mind.
Happiness is in the transcendence of the body-mind and the
world based on self-understanding, re­nunciation, and
meditation. This is the Way of inherent Happiness,
Love-Ananda, Love-Bliss, Realization, Samadhi, Nirvana,
Libera­tion, and perfect God-Realization. It is the Way
that I Teach, the Way that I have always Taught, the Way
that I have been Attracting individuals to through my
struggle with them all these years. Now I have no Sign to
give but that Realization and its Expression in my own case.
I have no more Teaching to do, no more impulse to struggle
with those who do not hear and see. I respond to those who
do hear and see and practice the true discipline in my
Company and I am naturally, spontaneously available to them.
I look to be associated only with such renunciates, and to
allow all devotees to make use of my Transmission and
Teaching through the Agents I have established.

I have given all Gifts to devotees through these various
Agencies. It is not that I have passed on the struggle to
devotees. The Teaching Work itself is done. It is not just
that my Teaching Work is done. The Teaching Work is done.
The era of the Teaching Work is past. It is not in the
future for me or for the institution or for devotees. It is
no longer necessary. It has fulfilled itself. It is full of
Siddhi. It has been accomplished. It is complete.

The institution and devotees functioning on its behalf
are not called to enter into the struggle with the world or
with other devotees that I have had to suffer. I have done
it and it is done. All means have been given. The
institution is simply here to allow the Gift to be
available, and it makes this Gift available in circumstances
in which people presume a disciplined approach. The
institution is not here to struggle with individuals who
have no will to presume a right approach. The Gift should be
given to those who presume a right approach, always. And the
right approach should be estab­lished in the very
circumstance of the giving of these Gifts.

This Communion simply needs to carry on an orderly,
balanced presentation of its Gifts. It need not go out into
the public and struggle with those who are antagonistic, or
who want to play the aggressive ego game. Of course, the
institution must be strong, but it is not called to function
in a Teaching struggle. It is called simply to be present as
I am, making the Gifts available in circumstances in which
people make a right approach. Thus, the sacred institution,
through its Hermitage Service Order and Free Renunciate
Order leadership, has a very orderly service to perform, one
that requires great energy, great creative work, but that
does not involve a duplication of the Teaching struggle. The
Teaching that it has to present is complete. The Teaching is
there, the Agencies are there, the Calling is there, and the
means are fully elaborated. It is simply a matter of
assuming the form of all of that. If the form is maintained
in every instant by devotees and by the institution, the
circumstance of the Teaching struggle will never be
re-animated, even by the institution.

Equanimity must be the sign. Therefore, only mature
practi­tioners, only the Hermitage Service Order and
the Free Renunciate Order, can represent the exemplary and
inspirational core of the sacred institution. The equanimity
represented by this core group must govern the form of the
means that I have established. In this way, you see, the
institution as a whole, like any individual who rightly
practices, will stop its phasing and become fully balanced.
It will be established in equanimity, in real practice, and
it will, by expanding the means, effectively make its
offering in the world and individuals will respond. When all
struggle is absent, when equa­nimity is the sign,
people will find their place in our community. The
institution must move out of the time of struggle. That
great creative effort has completed itself, and it need not
be duplicated. The need for it must never be regenerated. I
will never Teach again in any case, but devotees are called
to preserve the Gift and maintain the form of the means.

Does everyone understand this?

I am reminded of a traditional Buddhist simile that
relates to this

matter of functioning on the basis of desires in relation
to things that seem pleasurable, that seem to potentially
fulfill your search for Happiness, your motive to be free of
this dis-ease, distress, boredom, doubt and discomfort.
Someone goes to a bee’s nest full of honey and puts his
hand directly into the hive, in order to get the honey to
eat. The motive, of course, is the sweetness, the pleasure
of eating the honey. But since the hive is full of stinging
bees, pain must inevitably follow. The motive of attaining
pleasure is so strong, however, that understanding of the
totality of the situation dis­appears. The stressful
one-pointedness of egoity in its selective desiring moment
to moment is so intense that the total picture is lost,
self-understanding is lost, awareness of reality is lost,
the fact of living in the realm of death is forgotten.

So it is with all ordinary pursuits which those who hear
Me and see Me have come to discipline. All such pursuits
consent to pain, consent to death, consent to dis-ease,
consent to illusion, fear, sorrow, anger, unhappiness,
bewilderment, distress, boredom, doubt and discomfort. They
are all the same in life and after death. It is an
unimaginable cycle that you cannot account for in yourself.
To desire and seek is to consent to all of that, to choose
it. In your moment of desiring and reaching for pleasurable
consolation, you forget the total picture and act and feel
in relation to the moment as if you are an immortal in a
realm of bliss. In fact you are that ultimately,
Transcendentally, Really, but you are not that as the
body-mind in the context of egoity. In that context you are
suffering from an illusion, an imaginary disease, and you
are motivated by it, seeking ends that only reinforce your
distress and your bewilder­ment.

Renunciation is based on an understanding of the total
picture. It is not based on indulging in your pleasures
until you exhaust your need or your desire for them. What
are so many individuals waiting for in this matter of the
understanding of the sexual discipline, for instance? They
appear to be waiting to exhaust all of their interest in
sexuality. Such interest does not become exhausted. Only you
are exhausted. You cannot come to the point at which you do
not want it anymore or cannot take pleasure in it anymore.
You cannot come to the point where you find it repugnant in
any final sense. It will not happen. You cannot exhaust
karma. You can only transcend it, based on understanding,
self-understanding, understanding of the total picture. It
is not a matter of finding experience repugnant. It is a
matter of seeing that the totality of it all is pain,
unhappiness, and how That which is Happiness may be Realized
inherently, prior to the self-contraction, prior to the

That which is inherent and prior to the body-mind and the
world is the Ultimate Realization. It is the Truth. It is
the Divine. It is the endlessly metaphored goal of human
striving, religion, and spiritu­ality. It is difficult
to get through the metaphors and discover what exactly is
being pointed at. A Realizer must appear and be that very
Realization so that It may communicate Itself by Grace. That
Realization is communicated by the very person of the

Those who understand this understand perfectly. They can
be not only true and free renunciates, but practitioners of
the Way in its most radical sense. By that recognition they
are transferred from progressive practice to radical
practice, because they receive not only the Gift of
self-understanding and the means to practice, but the
Realization itself, whole and presently.

This is the confession of perfect devotees. This is the
confession of those who become Swamis in our Way of life. If
this confession had not come from these four devotees, they
would not have been offered sannyasa diksha. This sign must
be there. It is not a matter of saying the right words. It
is a matter of a demonstration through signs that you cannot
account for. You can prepare your speech to me in advance,
and if it is not true, it will still be completely obvious
to me, because you will not know how to cover all the bases.

It is remarkable. How did these practitioners move from
maturity in the third stage of life to practice of the sixth
stage discipline? There was not enough time for a transition
like that to be made through progress, through development.
It is a Grace, a confession, an acknowledgment of
recognition. You must appre­ciate the principle that,
once acknowledged, makes the radical or most direct form of
this Way instantly possible. A certain funda­mental
maturity is necessary before that radical practice can be
fully justified. There must be the fundamental recognition,
the funda­mental hearing and seeing that makes your
practice a renunciate practice in the fullest sense, a
radical and most direct practice.

Those who have recently entered the Hermitage Service
Order and the Free Renunciate Order have been transformed by
their recognition. They have dared to make that confession,
have been real enough to make that confession, and they have
now assumed the obligation to practice this Way fully. Among
renunciates in the Hermitage Service Order and the Free
Renunciate Order there is no soft approach. You are under a
solemn obligation, and there is no point in playing around
with yourself about whether you are going to be able to
practice this discipline. You have come forward, you have
taken the initiation, and that is it! If necessary, you will
simply have to struggle with the occasional karmic
disinclination in yourself and so forth, but there must be
no casual weakening of yourself that makes it appropriate
for you to abandon that practice.

It is a very serious gesture and a gesture that becomes
more and more serious as time goes on. You move into the
HSO, and then you move into the FRO, and then you accept
sannyasa diksha, and then you move into the seventh stage of
life, even beyond the orientation that may produce signs of
Transfiguration and Transformation. That is also indicated
in the Love-Ananda Gita. Renunciates immediately and
directly go beyond the more progressive signs in the seventh
stage that are associated with Transfiguration and
Transformation. The signs of the seventh stage associated
with renunciates are basically those of the progressive
development of Indifference. The renunciate in the seventh
stage of life is inherently a renunciate, a simple or more
simplified manifestation, a Free manifestation, one that
does not have a lot of business in relation to the

In my own case you have seen the full spectrum of all the
stages of life, including the seventh. It is the discipline
I assumed for this submission. Thus, you have seen the
Transfiguration and Trans­formation signs in my case.
Now you see the signs of Indifference as well. In my case
you have an example of all those signs. Likewise you have
examples among yourselves of all the stages that lead to the
sixth. The progressive development of the principle of
renunciation is simply a progressive relinquishment of your
reasons not to be a renunciate and not to practice the
radical or most direct form of this Way. The direct form of
the Way is the offering from the very beginning, even in the
first public lecture. What occurs over time is that you lose
your reasons for refusing it. You discover in yourself the
inherent or native capacity for practice, full renunciation,
and radical practice of meditation. Everything else is a
preference for an egoic occupation.

The sooner you understand and relinquish egoic occupation
utterly, the better, obviously. Why should one settle for a
karmic or conditional destiny? One should immediately
embrace Freedom, having been granted the Gift and the means.
That is what sannyas is—the embrace of Freedom. It goes
far beyond any conventional motivation to avoid this and
that, to suppress sexuality, to struggle with appetite and
so on. It is not about all of that. It goes far beyond that.
It is the embrace, the confession of Freedom. That is what
was confirmed by these sannyasins on this day. In the
future, whenever there is an occasion associated with the
celebration of the taking of sannyas by individuals, what
has been said here today should be re-uttered. ¦

Blank holding line