May 13, 1974
Bapuji In Kayavarohan on Jnana Yoga, Karma Yoga And Meditation, Purifying Body & Mind, Worship Of Idols[Rajarshi Muni translates, Gurudev occasionally speaks] [Bapuji speaking to disciples from USA and Canada]
The whole world has been attracted to yoga for ages. There are reasons for that. Out of these reasons, one is to attain miraculous powers. Second is to attain omnipotence. Third is to attain liberation. Union of jiv the soul with shu (?) the Lord is called yoga. As the salt dissolves into water, in the same way the mind dissolves into nature or atman. That state is called samadhi. In yoga kundalini Upanishad it is said that there are two reasons for the unrest of mind. First is desire and second is vayu, air. Guruji writes that we are not only to hear but to understand these things. Desire is in the mind. and the air is in the whole body.
In Shrimad Bhagavad Gita the Lord has pointed out two kinds of faith. First is faith in Jnana knowledge and second is faith in action, karma. The faith of knowledge is related to subtle senses and the faith in action is related to physical senses. Since there are only two types of faith there can only be two kinds of yoga. One is Jnana yoga and the other is karma yoga. In Jnana we make mind the medium and in karma yoga we make prana vayu the medium.
Here a doubt can be raised. Is there no existence of bhakti yoga? There is existence of Bhakti yoga. Without love even knowledge and action cannot be fruitful. Love is really the soul of yoga. Since it is already involved in knowledge as well as action it has not been shown separately. Jnana marg practices yoga from the angle of being master of body and mind. As a result he gives lesser importance to karma. And a devotee, he practices yoga from the point of being the servant of the Lord. As a result, he expects to perform action. Below the eyes it is karma yoga. Above that it is Jnana yoga, yoga of knowledge. Karma yoga is for physical self. Jnana is for mental self.
Jnana marg or Karma marg. Apart for Jnana and karma yogis there is still another type of sadhak. Guruji says if you cannot hear put your ear over here. And then he writes ‘ if God had made all these things, all these organs, fully? it would be very nice. And I told Guruji that then there would be no need to do yoga, because you would have gotten rid of all those things. There is another type of sadhak apart from those who follow the path of knowledge or devotion. They are the lovers of science, they have a scientific approach. They look at the principle of God or absence of God from an independent angle and go on doing their practice. They are known as karma yogis or yogis who practice yoga of action.
Those sadhaks who perform yogic action with some expectation of results, they are also known as karma yogis. Guruji says as long as all of you practice yoga with some expectation you are all satkam but the maturity of this results in nishkam yoga, desireless. But it begins with satkama.
One who asks for the labor charges, he is a laborer, he is a sakam sadhak and one who just goes on loving with devotion, he is a true lover, a true devotee, a nishkam sadhak. There is a family who has come out for climbing the Himalayas, doing the pilgrimage of the holy mountain. They had a small child with them. When the parents leave the child and go to climb the mountain, they do so out of love for the child, but when they hire some laborer, they have to pay some charges to the laborer. They belong to the second category.
The path of worldly desire is the action which is not meant for the holy yagna, holy sacrifices, and as a result such action is the course for bondage. But the path of yoga is the action which is meant for holy sacrifice and as such it is the path for liberation—it becomes the course for liberation. Whether the sadhak wants to follow the path of knowledge or the path of karma, he has to enter into the state of constant [?] karma. Any path you select, you will have to work through this.
It is only through the control of prana that you can control the physical and subtle senses, physical senses and the mind, or body and the mind. In order to master any type of yoga, the sadhak must first begin with Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga is the basis of all yoga. That is why it is the first path and the yoga of knowledge is the second path. Some sadhaks can think about the knowledge first, yet we have to begin the yoga right from the essence. If you say it is true that it is those who follow the path of knowledge—exert the principles of knowledge because they believe them to be true.
Yet it is equally true that simply by accepting the principles of knowledge, the knowledge begins coming there. In order to accomplish real knowledge, first of all we have to remove the obstructions which stand in our way and take “mol” [?] dirt, “vichef” [?] unrest, and “oun” [out of?] the illusion. Karma yogis out of the wheel of karma accept certain kinds of karma. But by merely accepting karma, one doesn’t accomplish knowledge. For that one has to do regular practice.
Only after that he accomplishes knowledge. It can also be said that those who follow the path of knowledge try to understand knowledge, but experience it only through the actions. On the other side, those who follow the path of action, they first know the action or practice it, and then accomplish it or experience knowledge. Since the subtle senses have the relationship with the knowledge, we have to first control the mind.
And since the physical senses have the relationship with the actions, they are first to control the body or the physical senses. Guruji says that these are many experiences, so at various places they keep coming back in different forms in different places. True yoga is naturally divided into two types: Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga. Whether the sadhak treads the path of Jnana or Karma Yoga, for him the path of action becomes inevitable. No one can remain alive without action even for a moment. In such a situation, even those who follow the path of knowledge cannot survive without doing action.
Yes, even those who follow the path of knowledge, they also do action, but they do not feel that they are the doers of those actions. They consider themselves only to be the witness because they feel only actions are generated out of nature. In the same way, the devotee also learns or performs actions, but he also doesn’t consider himself to be the doer because he considers himself to be only an instrument, an object, because according to him, the Lord above makes him do all the activities.
This sense of nondoing or feeling that I am not the doer as it is known as Karma sonya [?], anash karmeo [?], vishnur parnidam [?], charnagraphy [?], oltovar [?], or viernastami [?]. These are all the names for experiencing the same thing. True is it that subtle action and activities are implemented as gross action. In fact, subtle activities is itself the cause for the gross action.
Thoughts are built on desires and the desires are the contact with various types of objects of sensual pleasures, involvement into the senses. Desires, in fact, are generated since we get involved into the senses. That is why in Yoga Kundalini Upanishads, it is said that a sadhak should first of all master the prana. Why is it said that one should master the prana? The mind is the master of all of the physical senses and prana is the master of the mind and lay [?] is the master of prana.
Mind is the master of senses and prana is master of mind and lay [?] is master of prana. And that lay [?] is supported by nad. Lay [?] is where prana becomes very physical and is absorbed into the nature, and into prakriti. That is what I will explain to you. Unless one reaches this state, it is difficult to help this true conception of it. Dissolution of prana is called light or life, the cause of all nature. Guruji says that where the nada dissolves, it is called light.
This happens in the stages. The vital air results into nad. So the “vayu is the base of nada. Nada, Anahat Nad, it all comes out spontaneously from within and from that the more grosser manifestation of it is the word. The word. And then the further formation of it is the sentence. And the further formation of it is the language. In other words, “viou” is the base of all. In fact, behind the mind is the realm of pran.
When a sadhak of the path of knowledge begins self-contemplation of his senses, that will be withdrawn from the outer object. As a result, there is naturally steadiness in pran as well as mind. Guruji has promised earlier that he will speak and explain something. So fulfilling his promise—
In different religions, different types of meditation have been evolved. Guruji is first telling about the type of meditation, one type of meditation which is being taught in Buddhist religion. There is a book lying in front. Every yogi believes that all the activities of all actions are performed by means of pran, mind, and the senses, but behind all those three is the power of Atman, the soul.
In yoga, the sadhak has first to achieve the concentration of mind. Because his mind has been normally divided into many different aspects and hence it has many thoughts coming within a short period of time. It is never concentrated on one direction. And so it is first necessary to concentrate one’s mind on a particular object. To withdraw the mind from various objects or activities and to bring it to one object or one activity and make it concentrated is known as meditation.
When all of us act or move in the world just before we do any work, there is a thought generated in our minds and only after the thought is generated, we act according to our thoughts. So first there is a beginning from the mind, the mind thinks and orders the prana to do a particular thing; and prana takes possession of senses or organs of the body and makes it do a particular action. Now we come to the type of meditation that is being taught in Buddhist religion. Here is the book lying in front.
They say that in whatever work we do, if we can concentrate our minds, it is yoga irrespective of whether you worship God or drink water or whatever. It is all yoga, provided you do what you do with concentration of mind. Shri Patanjali also says that whatever we want to do we should choose, we can choose, what we want to do and that is the type of meditation; but the type of action that we choose should be of a sattvic nature so it doesn’t create any disturbances in our mind.
Even while dreaming, we are meditating and that is why the dreams have such an impact on our minds. That is why when we see dreadful dreams, sometimes we cry, or sometimes we feel pleasure when we see good dreams, or sometimes our senses get stimulated when we see such types of dreams also. And so sometimes we fall down from our normal level. All this is the result of the steadiness of our emotions or continence [?]. And that is called “vijan” [?].
Now I am seeing this book which is lying in front of me and then I will make a decision or think of lifting it up and putting it into my lap. In normal thought, our thoughts also are quickly generated—that we think of lifting the book and immediately our hand goes to the book. Immediately it lifts and puts into the lap. That’s in normal case we do all these things in haste. But in meditation, we have to first concentrate our mind only into what we are to do and secondly, we have to also see that our pran is directed to do only what we have thought of doing so all energy has to be concentrated toward doing that.
And thirdly, whatever we do we have to do with perfect harmony and perfect attention focused only into that and we forget about all other things around us at that time. Now I will not take more time from all of you, but I will slowly try to lift this book and take into my lap, but at that time, I will be doing all that from the point of view of meditation. Then I will be meditating, I will be only thinking about the book and only doing what I want to and my whole attention will be concentrated in what I shall be doing.
I shall be forgetful of all of you around me. It will be a process of meditation only. Now I will begin my act of meditation of lifting the book. [Silence] Here ends the meditation. Usually mind is not stable or very active, so as a result, pran also is unstable and active and, as a result, the senses also are unstable and hard to control. A Yogi wants to control the mind, pran, and the senses, and so he also tries to control them all. He first practices to control them all.
The meditation that I have just demonstrated before you is very useful from the scientific point of view—for the sadhak who wants to follow the path of knowledge, as well as the sadhak who wants to follow the path of karma. Both can use this method of meditation. But it is also true that one (only one) type of meditation may not be suited to all sadhaks. And the reason is that the nature of everybody is of different types and in meditation—it is very much necessary that one must have some interest in what one does.
And because of the different natures of sadhaks, there can be differences of interests also, as well as different sadhaks. So different sadhaks should be shown such techniques in which they could be interested. One who follows the path of devotion worships the idol. The meaning of idol should be only this much—that it is a thing which can be experienced by one of the senses. You can see it with the eyes. And anything that we see is an idol. Nothing but an idol.
Second sense is the ears. And whatever you hear with the ears is also in the form of idols. So whatever we experience should have some form. And when you experience something through the ears, then it is an idol, and that idol that is experienced by the ears is word, the tongue. Like this, in every sense, there are different types of idols and it’s only through these idols of different types that we acquire all knowledge through the senses.
But here the astonishing fact is that the knowledge that is acquired by yogis is beyond these senses, beyond these five senses, because the knowledge that is acquired by the physical or gross senses is a very ordinary knowledge. But the knowledge that is acquired by the yogi is beyond that ordinary type of knowledge. It is a higher type of knowledge, the real knowledge. In order to reach that real knowledge, the sadhak must make the mind introverted and give up all extroversion. The introversion itself can be called meditation.
Now the devotee, when needs, meditates on a idol—he takes idol to be the real God standing before him—live God, not a stone. But he has to just imagine what type of God will be, what will be the form of God, and in imagination, he is able to stabilize his mind or decide what type of God it will be. And so he approaches a Guru and requests him that Guru kindly tell him the form of God on which he can just concentrate my mind. So he is really giving up the difficulty of making his own imagination of God, but he takes advice of the Guru.
In answer to this very question, the realized Gurus of India, they decided to build the temples. It isn’t a temple of stone, it is the heart of the devotee. In that is the form in which Bhakti imagines to be God. In other words, it can be said that truth itself has taken the gross form and is sitting there just to inspire the devotee. The mind of the human being is a mixed storehouse of thoughts. Even if he desires to empty that storehouse, he’s not able to do so.
What should be done then? Think anew. Make new thoughts. Create new thoughts in order to get the old thoughts from the storehouse. As soon as the new thoughts enter into that storehouse, the old thoughts will have to vacate because there will be no space for them as we have no space for the other darshanates. This is the science of psychology. In Sanatana Dharma of India, we have idol worship. The meaning of that Sanatana Dharma is Immortal.
Sanatana means immortal and such immortal sharma only can be the religion of human beings, religion of whole world, and religion of all the time, religion of all Gods. Now we take it for granted that Lord is standing before us. Very nice idea, isn’t it? And our mind is full of love for Him. The mind is pulsed out to welcome God. What shall I do to welcome Him? So these are all difficulties, all the results of our mind.
Then he thinks that God is the name of purity, the name of Love. “I am impure, how can I touch such pure love physically?” So he thinks that, “I am impure and complete purity in me is not possible, so let me at least make my physical self pure by taking a bath from outside.” So he goes and takes a bath. But there is a problem then. The body is clean from the outside, but what to do for cleaning the mind because mind also is impure. Now which water should he bathe the mind in?
“Shri Krishna Govinda, Hare Murari, Hare Natha Narayana Vasudeva.” So he begins chanting. Chanting is the water in which one cleans one’s mind. He tries to purify the mind. This is not the mere imagination. The sensual person visualizes the form of a woman. A hungry person thinks of food. As a man who is working under the hot sun in the desert would like to have a shaded tree. At that time he is not merely making imagination, he really wants it.
It is his ardent wish that he gets those things. Like this, a devotee first cleans wholly, practically, his body by taking a bath, then he cleans his mind by doing this chanting. And now how the mind is purified. Mind can be purified only when the thoughts which make the mind impure disappear. And in place of those thoughts, which make his mind impure, when the new thoughts which make the mind pure are created and then take the place of those thoughts, then the mind is purified.
A devotee, having taken the bath, having chanted the mantra for purifying the mind, he goes into the garden and picks fresh fragrant flowers and takes it into the basket, small basket, and then come into the small temple where his beloved God in the form of idol is sitting. Suppose there is no river in which you can bathe? Suppose there is no garden from which you can pick flowers. Suppose there is no temple in which you can find an idol?
In absence of all those things, you can imagine also of having done all those things—having taken the bath, having picked the flowers, having entered into the temple, and seeing the Lord. But this imagination is not merely an imagination, it is linked with feelings and emotions. This mental worship in absence of a temple, of a garden, or a river—what to do is a mental worship. You wouldn’t physically have to do it, it is a mental worship.
And when the mental worship is done, a very real feeling in the heart of the devotee is created that he has actually done these things. It doesn’t remain merely an imagination process. Such a devotee who doesn’t have things before him, he is preparing a garden for the God. He doesn’t have a thread, he doesn’t have a flower, he doesn’t have a needle, and yet he is preparing the garland. He just imagines himself to be doing this, but yet with perfect devotion. So for him it is not an imagination.
Having prepared the garland, the devotee then prepares the paste out of sandalwood and then takes the garland and the paste collected in a small bowl [?] into the temple for the worthy Lord; he takes off the ornaments from the idol, takes off the clothes from the God’s body, and then bathes him and then again cleans the body with a piece of cloth.
He then again puts the clothes on the God’s body, puts on the ornaments and then pastes him on the forehead and garlands him and begins to worship. When he is doing all these things, one can feel like this is an actor performing a drama. But this is not a drama, it is meditation.
There is a family custom of climbing the Himalayas and do the pilgrimage of the holy mountain. They have a small child with them. When the parents leave the child, and go climb the mountain, they do so out of love for the child, but when they hire some laborer to lift the child, then they have to pay some [inaudible] to the laborer. The path of worldly desire is the action which is not meant for the holy yagna. Holy sacrifice.
This is a technical word. Unless you really understand the meaning of yagna, it is difficult to understand, and, as a result, such action is the cause for bondage. But the path of yoga is the action which is meant for [inaudible] sacrifice, and as that, it is the path for liberation. It becomes the cause for liberation. Whether a sadhak wants to follow the path of knowledge or the path of karma, he has to enter into the state of [inaudible]. That’s what I was telling you, that any path you select, you have to go through this.
It is only through the control of prana that we can control the physical and stable senses, physical senses and the mind, or body and the mind. In order to master any kind of yoga, a sadhak must first begin with Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga is the base of all the yogas. That is why it is the first step, and the yoga of knowledge is the second step. Some sadhaks can think about the knowledge first, yet, he has to begin the yoga right from the action.
If you say so, it will do, that the door to follow the path of knowledge, they, through the reading of scriptures, accept the principles of knowledge because they find them to be true, yet, it is equally true that simply by accepting the principles of knowledge, the knowledge they won’t come into it. In order to accomplish real knowledge, first of all, we’ll have to remove the obstructions in its way. [Inaudible] But, by really accepting karmas [?], one doesn’t accomplish knowledge.
For that, one has to do regular practice. Only after that he accomplishes knowledge. It can also be said that those who follow the path of knowledge, they try to understand knowledge, and then they experience it only through the actions. On the other side, those who follow the path of action, they first know the action, or practice it, and then accomplish or experience the knowledge.
Since the stable senses have a relation to the knowledge, they have to first control the mind, and since the physical senses have a relation with the action, they have first to control the body or the physical senses.