HEART CONVERSION TALK SERIES
Volume 1, Number 6
The Sign of My “Brightness”
A Discourse Given by Sri Da Avabhasa on March 20, 1993
No Leg to Stand On
KANYA TRIPURA: When You spoke of the deeper personality, the hidden personality, I was reflecting on a particular period of my life with You, the last year, especially the last eight months.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Up to the present time?
KANYA TRIPURA: Yes.
SRI DA AVABHASA: You see how I deal with the Kanyas. Tripura was sent away from here, released from the Free Renunciate Order, the level six of practice, the Kanya Order. She resided at the Mountain Of Attention for four months, and she was here under similar discipline before she left. Any impediments in the Kanyas are dealt with very directly. Their relationship to Me is not a game, not a girlfriend business, not a householder business. There was something necessary for her to do in her practice altogether that required that particular discipline for a period of time, and she only returned here early in December.
KANYA TRIPURA: It is really quite profound, because I felt the body-mind released from the memory of this grosser personality. And then I was feeling Your description of the deeper personality, which is summarized also in the root-contraction of separate self sense.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Which should be the next to govern. You here gathered with Me are being governed by the grosser personality. The deeper personality does not come very much to the front in your case. It is suppressed, covered over, by the grosser inclinations and the grosser identification. The next thing to occur when you do significant foundation, or purifying, sadhana is that the deeper personality comes more to the front and begins to govern the grosser personality. That is not ultimate Realization, but it is the next step, and a necessary step. In fact it is part of the transition to the seeing stages. The equipment for seeing Me is brought to the front by virtue of your hearing Me, by virtue of your having done the true listening sadhana, handled your ordinary life-business, gone through the purifying process of true listening, and come to the point of true hearing and demonstrating it with real responsibility.
To move on from there to level two and the seeing stages is a kind of transition in which the deeper personality begins to come more to the front and to govern the grosser personality. There is a greater Governor even than that—I, My Self, am the Governor, the One with Whom you are in Communion—but that foundation sadhana having been done long enough through the beginning process, then you are available to Me through the structures of the deeper personality. Such sadhana brings to the front your capability not merely for reception of Me in the body itself but for surrender to Me as the body and for relinquishing the governing power of the grosser personality, to such a degree that your deeper motivation and surrender can come to the front.
That process is fundamental to the seeing stages. This is another reason why the listening-hearing process must be accomplished.
KANYA TRIPURA: Beloved, I felt during the time when I was at the Mountain Of Attention that You drove me even to the root of that deeper personality. You write in The Dawn Horse Testament that “Each and every born lifetime Requires many (even “ordinary”) helping associations (Even “Carried Over” From lifetimes past), and Every Kind Of Greater or Great Growth and Greater or Great Realization Requires Great Good Company and Great (Divine) Help, or Else The “Background” Strengths (or All The Virtues and Realizations Hidden or Forgotten In The Subconscious and Unconscious Deep) Will Not Re-Surface, or Otherwise Come Forward, To Consciousness.”
SRI DA AVABHASA: There are all kinds of help in any manifested lifetime. Your parents help, all kinds of associated help, education—these things are supposed to help. For the development of anyone, the security of anyone, the space for anyone to grow, much help is required, much ordinary help—not to mention extraordinary Help, especially for the greatest transitions and transformations of life.
KANYA TRIPURA: In my association with what I felt to be more the root of the deeper personality, rather than just…
SRI DA AVABHASA: The root of the deeper personality is the causal being, seated in the right side of the heart. The context of the deeper personality is in the center of the heart. The place and circumstance of the dominance of the grosser personality is in the left side of the heart. Therefore, all transitions, all growth in the Way of the Heart, can be measured in terms of the steps or stages or positions of the heart. Everything extended from the positions of the heart is involved, but it all can be seen in the plane of the heart itself. The grosser personality on the left, the subtler manifestation of the deeper personality in the center, the root of the deeper personality on the right. And beyond that the Ultimate Nature, Beyond the heart on the right.
KANYA TRIPURA: I even had direct visionary experience of Sister Christine. Of course, I have a very direct knowledge of India and all the details of living in India.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Although you have not been there in this lifetime.
KANYA TRIPURA: Not in this lifetime.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Her picture is in these books here. [Sri Gurudev holds up the book.]
DEVOTEE: I have seen these photographs, and the gross personalities of both are so similar.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Yes. The deeper personality is manifested via the gross personality.
DEVOTEE: Sri Gurudev, would that always necessarily be so, that the form would be so similar?
SRI DA AVABHASA: There are generally some similarities, yes.
ANOTHER DEVOTEE: Beloved Lord, that was also similar to my question. If I understand it correctly, then the strategy one might choose—that is, vital, peculiar, or solid—would be related to the deeper personality?
SRI DA AVABHASA: Yes. It is not chosen, however. It is spontaneously manifested. You may think you are choosing it or that details in your gross life are governing it, but the deeper personality enforces it.
KANYA SUPRITHI: I was feeling the extraordinary, incomprehensible Work You Do when You deal with someones deeper personality. I have heard it described as “Yoga Maya”, to use the traditional term for it. Sometimes Your devotees around You are only witnessing Your Divine Play, yet they progress in the Way of the Heart. But then there are other people You deal with directly when You do this Work, this “Yoga Maya”, and it totally disarms the character of any foothold. It is as if the person is dead and has no…
SRI DA AVABHASA: Why should you be denied such suffering? I was not!
KANYA SUPRITHI: It is not suffering. It is Your extraordinary Work.
SRI DA AVABHASA: It is suffering nevertheless, but it is also about My very Work with you. Yes, there is necessary Prapatti in it, no foothold, no comprehension, no limitation to be surrendered. The Catholic Christian tradition makes reference to the “dark night of the soul”. It is the same kind of thing—no control over it, no ability even to find a place of Grace in the moment of greatest purification. Just surrender is required.
Somehow you must find the resource of your devotion to Me without a great deal of information and Blessed visions and so forth. You must find the resource of your devotion to Me that will allow you to go through that dark passage when you have no other resource, no information, no guarantees, apart from the devotion to Me itself.
It is purification, it is a great wash, it is a burning. It seems as if you have no advantages, but there is just that naked advantage that is your devotion to Me itself. Even that may seem to be in doubt somehow, but you persist.
And so, in the case of My devotees every day, all the problems that must be endured and passed through and burned up every day, it is fundamentally the same kind of thing. You must be willing to endure it. That is what the Way of the Heart requires, that burning up, that surrender to Me, that persistence in devotion to Me and real work and maintaining a basic characteristic of sanity and devotion to Me in your daily life, even though you are going through this profound ordeal. That is it.
KANYA SUPRITHI: This is very interesting, because You are talking about rock-bottom self here!
SRI DA AVABHASA: Rock-bottom self is what it is really all about. All the rest is superficial.
KANYA SUPRITHI: And where you have nothing, no reserve in yourself other than what you would have at death.
SRI DA AVABHASA: And death is what is required—ego-death. Just surrender to Me, allowing the One Who is Great to be the Governor of the process even though you do not know anything about it. All you have left is just that string of devotion to Me itself, no guarantees, no thoughts, no visions, no Blessedness. You suffer the purification. This is a characteristic of the daily life of all My devotees, frequently occurring, and that is what it takes—a continuous submission to Me, no dramatization, no aberrated life. Endure it, persist, discipline yourself relative to the darkness of the necessary purification—that is what is required. That is how the great transitions occur. That is how the real process develops. Not by your knowing this and that, your egoic self-possession and self-“giving”—not that. Just by devotion given to Me, surrender to Me, trust in Me, even when you do not have a leg to stand on.
KANYA TRIPURA: Beloved, what I wanted to say was that I felt that Christine had wanted to have a different life with Vivekananda.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Everyone wants to have different life with Me—not the real dose of surrender to Me, the strain of tapas, the difficulties to be overcome, but some sort of a glad, smiling, idealistic ride. But that is not the real process. The real process is a profound ordeal, and you are obliged, by your devotion to Me, to live sanely, remain as My devotee, go through the process, endure purification. That is it. Never cease to be My devotee simply because there are difficulties to be endured. Do not cop out. Persist! That is the test, and that is what the Way of the Heart is really all about. And that is how the great purifications, the great transitions, occur.
KANYA TRIPURA: What occurred for me could simply be described as the most profound love and need for You that could be humanly imagined.
SRI DA AVABHASA: And that is the only prayer that exists in the dark ordeal.
KANYA TRIPURA: That was it. And it only intensified, and I only feel it growing more now. When you say the deeper personality has to govern the grosser personality and do the sadhana of submission to You, I feel that love at the root of it.
SRI DA AVABHASA: All must be burned up—Prapatti, just give it up. Have nothing but trust, nothing but devotion to Me. Everything must be done, given up, surrendered to Me, passed through. Such is the disposition of My devotee, just that. This is no cultic ride, no mere amusement. It is religious realism, the real process embraced, accepted, endured. And there are plenty of Blessed days, too. But it is not only those Blessed days that are the Way of the Heart. The Way of the Heart for the most part is a profound purification. Its transformations require utter surrender, without a leg to stand on—black!
But you tend to seek again, to find some way to feel good, to console yourself—a little sex, a little amusement, a little reading, a little conversation, a little socializing, and you let yourself off the hook. All your reactivity, all your nonsensical seeking, comes into play again, and that is how you bypass transformation and bypass the true purifying process of the Way of the Heart. The more the heart-motive comes to the front, the more willing you are to endure this life without a leg to stand on and go through real transformation. The rest is silliness. And, talk, as much as anything else, is how you avoid the ordeal.
I presume you have all felt such surrender, and I also presume that you have all felt some mechanism in yourself that seeks to avoid it. That strategy is what makes you mediocre. Whenever you choose not to avoid the ordeal and your endure it, a purification occurs. Some shit is released, and the purification does not have to be done again—not in quite the same way anyway.
You must stop taking vacations. You must realize that real sadhana is done without a leg to stand on. This does not mean that you should dramatize. Dramatization is how you bypass it.
DEVOTEE: It seems that the typical form of surrender to You still stays within the egos frame of reference.
SRI DA AVABHASA: The mediocre sign definitely does. That is what I mean. You introduce your reactivity, your desiring, your motives of consolation, your blab-blab, talkity-talkity-talkity, socializing, sexing, a little stuffing the bucket with food, whatever. You use all kinds of means to desensitize yourself to the darkness of the ordeal of real surrender. And this is how you prolong your beginners life. You always introduce a leg to stand on.
DEVOTEE: This is a silly statement, but I wonder how I could even function in that surrender.
SRI DA AVABHASA: You are always capable of functioning, always. You do not have to become a stupid fool just because you are enduring a purifying process, not at all. You are fully capable of functioning, serving, being rational and human with others. That is in fact your obligation. You must maintain the discipline. That is how you keep the purifying process in place, not by looking for a way out of it. “I am having a difficult day—I may as well get laid”, that kind of thing. A difficult day is no time to get laid or indulge in any consolation. That is a time to endure it. When things brighten up, when some congeniality, some energy, is manifested, then you can do some more ordinary things maybe, but still Yogically, rightly.
To live rightly is an art, and it requires true seriousness. This is just how it is. I cannot relieve you of this obligation. That is the practice of the Way of the Heart. Everything passing—that is the place you are in here. It is all just that. If you are sensitive at all, that is how it is—everything passing, all wounds, everything ending. Surrender to Me is your obligation. That is the place you are in here. But you are indulging yourself here in this place to console yourself and to de-sensitize yourself to your real situation and the work you have to do. That is the game My devotees are playing one by one, and that is what they must overcome.
KANYA SUPRITHI: Sri Gurudev, last year You spoke of the “free fall” in You. In these moments of most tapas where we do not have a leg to stand on and we are free falling …
SRI DA AVABHASA: And looking in all directions for a leg—some distraction, some consolation, some dimension of your search to desensitize you to this free fall. That is what you all do. It is a tendency even in the advanced and the ultimate stages of life. It is dealt with at a more profound level in those stages, but it persists. The self-contraction is at the root of it always.
The real process is an in-depth process of surrender without a leg to stand on. It is real tapas. And the right practice when tapas is closing in on you is not to react and seek and console yourself but to endure it, to maintain a discipline, to practice devotion to Me, to be straight in daily life. Do not dramatize. If you rightly do it, apart from your confession in your intimate groups with your friends nobody will even notice that you are going through such difficulty.
But you think that as soon as it is difficult, it is time to dramatize, time to lay it onto your friends, time to console yourself, time to indulge yourself, time to desensitize yourself. That is the technique you use as an ego-based worldling, and that has no relevance to the process you must endure. It just puts it off. That is how you prolong the beginnings, and that is what you must outgrow. It is a sign of maturing in the Way of the Heart that you do not indulge in such consoling efforts and do not dramatize. That is maturity.
By such maturity you keep straight in the midst of the tapas. You are having a bad day, feeling rather fragile, so you want to take a vacation? No! Maintain the discipline of surrender to Me, maintain the discipline of service to Me, do not change a jot of your behavior, do not dramatize with others, do not seek to indulge yourself. Be without a leg to stand on. Endure it. That is how you will grow. Abandoning that position, bypassing it through consolation and all the rest of it, you desensitize yourself and fail to grow, and you prolong the beginning.
There is nothing I can do about it. I cannot lay down some absolute law to prevent all dramatization. I can just tell you how it is and what is really required. You will take as long to grow as you are pleased to do. It is your business. Bypass the transforming purifying event and you are building time into your beginning practice, building time into your practice altogether. It is entirely up to you.
KANYA SUPRITHI: Sri Gurudev, I was feeling that this matter of tapas is what you have Called us to do.
SRI DA AVABHASA: You need to be a renunciate in ordinary life. That is My Calling to each and every one of My devotees.
KANYA SUPRITHI: So then, when we are feeling that moment, we can trust You. Not in any conventional sense, but trust You as our Master.
SRI DA AVABHASA: It is not about trusting Me to let you off the hook! It is trusting Me in the midst of enduring the real process, with no gestures to let yourself off the hook. Such sadhana goes deep. It makes profound purification, and that is what is necessary, instead of your abiding in this superficial orientation, dramatizing, seeking, consoling yourself. That is not it. That is being mediocre, insensitive, and a beginner forever.
[to Kanya Tripura] Do you have any more to say? Is there anything left over?
KANYA TRIPURA: The only thing I felt is that You had me literally undone through the years, any want or desire for the world, any want or desire for a social life, any want or desire for a conventional life with another. That ordeal brought me to the most primitive need and love that I have for You.
SRI DA AVABHASA: I brought you to the holy place where there are some things you just do not do. And you finally became willing to not do them. There are some things of Supreme Value that you must demonstrate the valuing of, instead of being a fool and consoling yourself, distracting yourself, and desensitizing yourself.
And so it must be with all My devotees, then. The Way of the Heart is one crisis after the next. If you abandon the practice, what you will get is one crisis after the next!—but there will be no fruitfulness to such crisis. Suffering is inevitable in any case, difficulty is inevitable in any case, so why abandon the arms and the context of practice? Suffering is not a loophole. You only get the suffering without the advantage.
People everywhere in the world are merely suffering. My devotees are still suffering but with great Advantage, and making conditional existence a real process that serves. That is the only difference. It is not that people in the world are suffering and My devotees are not. If you think you are not suffering, you are a cultist in My Company. If you do not want to suffer, if you do not want to endure the ordeal, then you are being a superficial fool, and you are still a worldling. To avoid suffering is the technique of the world.
Therefore, do not play it fast and loose with your personal practice of the Way of the Heart, and do not play it fast and loose with the institution, the culture, the community, and the mission of My devotees. See your dramatization, and see that it just bothers everyone and undermines the work you must do and forestalls the day of your significant maturity.