II:25 - Wiesbaden, Nov 26, 1934 - (Vol.II 165-177)[NY230-235]

The hideous world of Maya

II:25.01 We are all mad, raving lunatics, running after the false, identifying ourselves with the false.

II:25.02 If we are not able to see the Divinity in all, we should know that this comes through the impurity of our mind, and we should try to make the mind purer.

II:25.04 The inner thought brings about a change in the body, too. Why be afraid of Divine madness? Mad we are anyhow. Every form of jealousy, of lust, of anger, of hatred, of greed, is madness. So there is really no reason why we should be afraid of getting mad. There is no doubt that Divine madness is better than this dirty kind of worldly madness that possesses us.

II:25.05 Swamiji said:“This hideous world is Maya. Renounce and be happy. Give up the idea of sex and possessions. There is no other bond. Marriage and sex and money are the only living devils. All earthly love is body, body, body. No sex, no possessions; as these fall off, the eyes open to spiritual vision. The soul regains its infinite power. ’’

II:25.06 This is perfectly true. With our impure minds we cannot realize Reality as It is. And Swamiji had to tell this to people again and again. “Where Kama is, there Rama cannot be.’’ So, see that you become pure in mind and body. Then everything will be achieved.

II:26 - Wiesbaden, Nov 28, 1934 - (Vol.II 178-188)[NY383-390]

Only the hero can stand Truth

II:26.01 We always want to realize our inmost hopes with the help of someone outside, but when the centre of gravity is shifted outside, our whole balance becomes unstable. If you go and ask a person to rely on something outside, even on a good thing, he will go and lean on a bad thing too. A good thing is never very far from a bad thing. First of all we must come back to our little self, and then we can go to the bigger Self.

II:26.06 Spiritual life is like hunger, and until we feel real hunger we do not eat the food that is being offered us.

II:26.07 Once a child said to its mother, “Mother, please, wake me up, when I am hungry!” But the mother answered, “I need not do that. You yourself will wake up when you feel really hungry.”

II:26.08 Without the ego, no striving can be done, but then the devotee tries to keep his ego attuned to the Divine.

II:26.09 The sex-aspect plays such an important role in the life of the aspirant, that it should never be awakened, even by seeing a picture. First of all, undermine your body-consciousness, your sex-consciousness by never thinking, “I am a man, a woman etc.” And to the extent in which you succeed in doing this, you come to have a new outlook and new reactions.

II:26.10 Initially, this brings about an awful unsettlement in people who have the consciousness that they are men or women, as their consciousness is centred in their bodies. So most people cannot even be told this truth. We must dilute it so strongly that very little of it remains, and what remains must be taken as a working ideal. However, there comes a time when everyone must be told the full truth regarding these matters.

II:26.12 Swamiji, in his ‘Song of the Sannyasin’ beautifully says:

Strike off thy fetters! Bonds that bind thee down,

Of shining gold, or darker, baser ore;

Love, hategood, bad—and all the dual throng,

Know, slave is slave, caressed or whipped, not free;

For fetters, though of gold, are not less strong to bind;

Then off with them, Sannyasin bold! Say—

“Om Tat Sat, Om!"

They know not truth who dream such vacant dreams

As father, mother, children, wife, and friend.

The sexless Self! whose father He? whose child?

Whose friend, whose foe is He who is but One?

The Self is all in all, none else exists;

And thou art That, Sannyasin bold! Say—

“Om Tat Sat, Om!"

Where seekest thou? That freedom, friend, this world

Nor that can give. In books and temples vain

Thy search. Thine only is the hand that holds

The rope that drags thee on. Then cease lament,

Let go thy hold, Sannyasin bold! Say

“Om Tat Sat, Om!"

Truth never comes where lust and fame and greed Of gain reside. No man who thinks of woman As his wife can ever perfect be;

Nor he who owns the least of things, nor he

Whom anger chains, can ever pass thro’ Maya’s gates.

So, give these up, Sannyasin bold! Say

“Om Tat Sat, Om!"

II:26.13 These truths are too much for most people. They cannot stand them and become unsettled. So weaker doses must be given them, weaker injections of truth, for a time; but, some day, everyone will have to face up to them and follow their call, no matter whether the heart breaks or not! Only the hero can stand Truth. There is no place for the weakling in real spiritual life. True Religion, real Vedanta is no joke. The whole Song of the Sannyasin is full of the inspiration of the highest Truth. It is good to meditate on such passages and to assimilate them, especially for you who are getting the training of a monk and should be even more careful than others. I am so glad that I can speak to you all so freely about these matters, that I need not dilute them, but you must be more on your guard than those who are getting less. The person undergoing a monk’s training has to avoid greater pitfalls and to overcome greater difficulties and be more careful in all his associations with others. I am so glad we are having such intensive studies and readings and that you are all so willing to accept these ideas. Only you must perform your practices very steadily, without any break for some years, then you will see wonderful results.

II:27 - Wiesbaden, Nov 29, 1934 - (Vol.II 188-193)[NY383-390]

The body-worshipper is an idol-worshipper

II:27.01 Sometimes one staircase may be as good as another. But the trouble is that many take the staircase to be all in all, forgetting the terrace. This produces the fossilised dogmatism we find everywhere in institutional religion. The terrace is one, but there may be many staircases leading to it.

II:27.02 The Deity of the ignorant is the image. This is always so. It makes no difference whether the image is a mental one, or of clay, or of metal, or the body. But body-worship is the worst form of idolatry. Yet so many people feel superior just because they do not worship clay images!

II:27.03 In the very depths of our consciousness we come into touch with the Universal Spirit. It is like this:— there is a limitless mass of water underground, but there are many different wells, although the same water is everywhere. If we consciously dig our own well, the water must flow, because the water is always there. But we cannot make use of the wells of our neighbours. That won’t do. Only our own well will help us in realizing the Truth, though others may, at the beginning, serve as signposts.

II:28 - Wiesbaden, Nov 30, 1934 - (Vol.II 193-202)[NY390-393]

Look behind the form

II:28.07 The true devotee rises above the manifestation and sees the substance, of which all these are the different manifestations.

II:28.08 As children, we stress form so much, but we should know how to separate the form from the substance. We have not the power to look within and find the substance which lies behind the form. This will only come after many years of steady meditation and Japam and ethical culture.

II:28.09 If we are able to have the right attitude of worship towards one form, we are able to have it towards all forms. This is the great secret.

II:28.10 To the extent in which one is able to see the Divine in all, one becomes more or less established in the spiritual path. The aspirant has to try to remain in the transcendental state and then bring this state down to the phenomenal. This does not mean that we should lose our moral sense in our outward conduct. Everything is one on the plane of the SELF, but on the plane of matter there are differences.

II:28.11 The bubble, in a certain mood, can identify itself with the ocean and even with the water-substance.

11:28.12 You should often repeatthe following (and other similar passages) to yourselves, and drive them into the subconscious by constant repetition. They are a great help in annihilating body-consciousness and showing the way to the experience of Truth:

I am neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor air, nor ether, nor the organ of sense, nor the combination of all these,—that are transient. I am the Ultimate Truth which alone remains in deep sleep. I am the All-Pervading Self, I am the Self All-Pervading, the One without a second.— (1)

I am beyond caste and rules of caste, society and custom. I am the self-existent reality, beyond concentration, meditation and other practices of Yoga. All illusion of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ is rooted in not-self, and is dispelled by knowledge of the Self. I am the Ultimate Truth, the All-Pervading Self, the One without a second.— (2)

For me there are no mother and father, nor gods, nor the worlds; neither scriptures nor sacrifices, nor holy places. Even in deep sleep I ever exist. I am the Ultimate Truth, the All-Pervading Self, the One without a second.— (3)

Doctrines and creeds, rituals and dogmas, I do not need any more. By special realization have I known the real nature that is absolutely pure. I am the Ultimate Truth, the All-Pervading Self, the One without a second.— (4)

There is neither above, nor below, nor inside, nor outside, nor middle, nor across, nor before, nor behind. I am indivisible by nature, and all-pervading like space. I am the Ultimate Truth, the All-Pervading Self, the One without a second.— (5)

I am neither white nor black, neither red nor yellow, neither bent nor stout, neither short nor lean. I am formless, of the nature of self-resplendent consciousness. I am the Ultimate Truth, the All-Pervading Self, the One without a second.— (6)

To me, the Self, there is neither teacher nor scripture, neither pupil nor teaching, neither object nor subject, nor this empirical universe. I am the Absolute Consciousness, the Reality that does not admit of differentiation. I am the Ultimate Truth, the All-Pervading Self, the One without a second.— (7)

To me, the Self, there is neither waking, nor dream, nor deep sleep. I am not conditioned by these three states as these are of the nature of nescience, for I am the fourth state beyond these

three. I am the Ultimate Truth, the All-Pervading Self, the One without a second.— (8)

All this universe, being other than the Self, is unreal; the Self alone is all-pervading. IT constitutes the Reality and is self-existent, independent of everything. I am the Ultimate Truth, the All-Pervading Self, the One without a second.— (9)

It cannot even be said that IT is one. How can there be a second other than THAT? There is neither absoluteness nor non-absoluteness, neither entity nor non-entity. IT is absolutely non-dual in ITS nature. How then can I describe THAT which is the Goal of the highest knowledge?— (10)

Nirvana-dasakam (Sankaracharya)—

II:28.16 There should be perfect clarity of vision, clarity of thinking. Seeing things dispassionately as they are, things that are real as permanent, things that are unreal as fleeting, and the aspirant must be able to separate one from the other. In the highest transcendental state, which can only be experienced after years and years of unceasing struggle and discipline, the unreal, the fleeting, the phenomenal, vanishes altogether, and only Truth as It is remains.

II:29 - Wiesbaden, Dec 1, 1934 - (Vol.II 203)[NY393-399]

Nature of the highest spiritual illumination II:29.01 The highest spiritual illumination is neither feeling, nor intellect, but something that transcends both, but manifests itself through both. We call it ‘heart’ or ‘head’ according to the dominating factor. In some cases, it brings more intellectual illumination than feeling. In others, more feeling than intellectual illumination, but both are always there.

II:30 - Wiesbaden, Dec 3, 1934 - (Vol.II 203-205)[NY393-399]

Sensualists gross and refined

II:30.00a All people are either refined sensualists or gross sensualists, but the sensualist, whether gross or refined, has no place at all in spiritual life. The desire for subtle enjoyment I find in many of you is just as bad as the desire for gross enjoyment. Who cares for the Divine? Who is going to take up spiritual life in right earnest? We cling to our subtle desires and enjoy our clinging and call ourselves ‘spiritually-minded people’!

II:30.00b The refined sensualist, priding himself on his refinement, but running after refined and subtle enjoyments and sense-pleasures, must very soon come down to the plane of gross sensual enjoyment and gross sense-pleasure. There is no other go for him, whatever he may think. But then, people will not listen if I tell them the truth.

II:30.00c Whatever I may tell them, people go on clinging to falsehood, to the unreal, to the transient and to their petty likes and dislikes and aversions, so why should they not get nice kicks and troubles and miseries?

II:30.00d Why expect happiness if your whole life becomes one big lie and untruth? We want happiness while we go on clinging to falsehood, to the unreal, with the greatest tenacity and a perfect lack of discrimination, so we deserve kicks and kicks. For many people, kicks are the only means to make them proceed, to make life intolerable for them.

II:30.00e If suffering and misery and pain increase, a larger number of people will be drawn away from the material things and towards the Divine. Naturally, some will break down. Others will find out that they cannot cling to human bodies and idols and to their own false personalities and to mental and material enjoyments, gross or subtle. And then only will they awaken to the reality.

II:30.00f The moment you cling to falsehood, to the idea of “I am so-and-so, a man, a woman, old, young etc.,” you get nice kicks, because you are clinging to falsehood. But then, there always comes a day when you find out the falsehood to be falsehood and nothing but falsehood, and then your heart breaks or is broken. This day comes for all, sooner or later, in this life or in many lives. And misery and suffering and pain and frustration alone can bring us to our senses, break our hard shells, stop our craving for enjoyment and sense-pleasures, be it on the gross or on the subtle plane.

II:30.00g Very often, so called ‘moral’ men and women, leading so-called ‘moral’ lives on the gross plane, are moral on the gross plane and terribly immoral on the subtle plane. Moral life must always be based on true desires, otherwise you can never maintain it in the long run. Without the higher ideal, and higher intense longing, it can never be maintained by anybody. Maya is too strong. Unless the outlook is changed, unless a serious attempt is made to minimize our desire for sense-enjoyment, gross or subtle, one can never be moral. The entire outlook has to be changed, and we should really make sincere and repeated attempts to do this.

II:30.00h In the Gita Sri Krishna denounces such spiritual people and types, who, while controlling the senses outwardly on the gross plane, go on thinking of sense-pleasures and subtle enjoyments, and enjoy them mentally.

II:30.00i One should control the senses and at the same time think of the Divine. Then only one becomes established in the moral life. Otherwise one will fall down and become a nice hypocrite dabbling in spirituality.

Cosmic consciousness

II:30.01 We proceed from the gross to the subtle, from the subtle to the causal, and then there is a big jump. We cannot connect the Absolute with the relative.

II:30.02 In the course of evolution, things appear as what they are not. We get water in so many forms. There is water in the cloud and the same water-substance in ice. But, to our senses, how different does the cloud appear from the ice!

II:30.03 Western philosophy has never had any great influence on life, not even on the life of the philosopher himself. Western philosophy is all reasoning, and mere reasoning has no great value and only leads us up to a certain point. We see the results in Kant. This is of no value at all as far as life and our progress are concerned. It is just intellectual gymnastics.

II:30.04 The Indian way is quite different. In India, experience comes first, and then, much later, some intellectual foundation is found for the experience—though the experience, not the intellectual reasoning, always remained the first and most important factor. There was never empty intellectual speculation before experience. We always stress actual experience, not the speculative system without experience.

II:30.06 Salvation should be the attainment of that which is immutable and eternal. We want a state from which there is no falling down.

II:30.07 Truth is that which is beyond dualism and beyond monism.

II:30.08 It is a serious mistake ever to take Cosmic Consciousness for Absolute Consciousness, because there remains a slight trace of the individual in an experience of Cosmic Consciousness, which is a source of ignorance and obscuration.

II:30.09 Cosmic Consciousness is not better than a glimpse. It is not the attainment of the goal. In spite of having had the experience of Cosmic Consciousness, a person may retain all his silly whims and fancies. I find in the West many people make too much of Cosmic Consciousness and attribute too great a value to such a small experience.

In Cosmic Consciousness there always remains a slight trace of the individual. In real Advaitic experience, nothing is left of the individual.

II:30.10 With God-vision, all our desires and passions become, as it were, ‘loosened’. There sets in a disintegration of them, and through that we slowly begin to acquire a true personality, an integrated personality.

11:30.11    Aftertrue realization—not after the attainment of Cosmic

Consciousness—all these petty desires of ours become like a burnt rope. The experience of a ‘glimpse’ would be just like a seed that gets a little scorched, but still retains its solidity and form, and may even sprout again.

II:30.13 Everything we see is the pulsation of one Existence.

II:30.14 There are indeed ghosts, goblins and many subtler worlds, many planes of existence. All these are perfectly true, but of no importance. For us there is no sense in attaining a vision of the ghost-world etc. We should strive for the Highest and nothing but that.

II:30.15 Where there is no life, or rather, where we do not perceive life, in what we call inert matter, there is such a small manifestation of consciousness that, to us, it appears dead. But the whole Cosmos is really instinct with life. Every stone and rock possesses consciousness, though in a very dull form.

II:30.16 There is absolutely no break between my body and your body, between your body and this table before you. There is no such thing as a vacuum. They may pump out the air, but they cannot pump out ‘ether’.

Intellectual enjoyment is not enough

II:30.19 Because Sri Ramakrishna was filled with intense renunciation, he could realize both the immanent and the transcendent. But ordinarily people just follow their comfortable worldly doctrine without dispassion, without any non-attachment, without real inner purity, without any personal spiritual realization. They agree to some dogma and think they are safe. Anyone who has not attained realization is no better than an atheist, mind you. Mere lip-service to a certain doctrine, a certain religion, has no value.

II:30.19a I am becoming a talking machine, and I sometimes wonder whether it would not be better if we gave all the time we are talking away to real spiritual practice, Japam, meditation etc. But who wants to meditate?

II:30.19b These talks are a form of enjoyment, intellectual enjoyment, but even intellectual enjoyment is enjoyment and merely fulfills our pleasure-seeking instincts. No one who does not perform his practice day by day without any break for a long period of time will make any real progress, and nothing will come of these talks. It is good to have these daily readings we have been having for more than a year now, but they are not all. Only those who are willing to take their practices in right earnest with an effort of the will, will profit by them. Not others.

II:30.19c Sri Ramakrishna will not accept you as His children without having tested every one of you again and again. He does not accept anyone and everyone. So see that you are able to stand the test when it comes.

II:31 - Wiesbaden, Dec 4, 1934 - (Vol.II 206)[NY393-399]

Test ideas before accepting them

II:31.01 Before accepting any idea, even from our Guru, we must always try to examine it as well as we can. And when we are convinced, we should try to assimilate it. Truth can always stand tests. Truth is never bound to any petrified dogma or dogmatic assertion that cannot be verified. And when Truth puts us to the test, we —the seekers—too, must be able to pass it. Mere intellectual assertion or assent is not enough. It is the realization of Truth that must be attained by all. With reference to people also, we should exercise true discrimination, and not allow ourselves ever to be swayed by our irrational petty likes or dislikes, attractions and repulsions. We should test every person again and again, before we allow ourselves to associate with them on intimate terms. We should always find out the roots of the attraction or repulsion we feel for him, and see whether it leads away from Truth or not. Mere charm, bodily or even mental charm, of a person, should never be permitted to bring us into closer and more intimate touch with him. We should find out the worth of his inner being. This, of course, means that we, too, must be fully prepared to be put to the test by others. And it is good for us and for them if they do so.

II:31.02 Once Sri Ramakrishna told his greatest disciple, Swami Vivekananda, who put his Master to the test: “Test me as a money-changer would test his coins. ’’

Ishtam-visualization

II:31.00a The question of the Ishtam is very important. No one reaches the Father except through the Son. And during our evolution the lesser Ishtam merges into the more important one, and finally everything merges into the Formless. In the West you, too, have Christ-visualization in certain Orders of the Roman Catholic Church. It contains the psychological truth India discovered thousands of years ago. In Christ-visualization, Christ fulfills the role of the Ishtam, just as Krishna, Buddha, Ramakrishna does in the respective visualizations. The idea of the Ishtam and the practice of Japam that goes with it, is very important. If a particular Ishtam does not suit a person, that person won’t be able to advance.

II:31.04 It is good to think, during a certain period of the Sadhana, that all men are Shiva, and all women Parvati, but consciously, intensely; or, that all men are Rama and all women are Sita. Every time we see a man or a woman, we should at once cover his or her form with Shiva or Parvati, or with Rama or Sita. It is a very effective form of practice for all aspirants and can be done at all times and in all places. Try to take it up and stick to it for some time. Then a great change would come over you.

At the back of the Ishtam there should be the idea of the Formless. The direction should always be from the form to the Formless, though now, for us, the Formless, is still very, very far off.

“Know that which has form to be unreal and the formless to be permanent. Through this spiritual instruction you will escape the possibility of rebirth.

Just as a mirror exists within and without the image, reflected in it, even so the Supreme Lord exists inside and outside this body.

As the same all-pervading ether is inside and outside a jar, even so the eternal all-pervasive Brahman exists in all things."

—(Ashtavakra Samhita 1.18-20)

II:32 - Wiesbaden, Dec 5, 1934 - (Vol.II 206-209)[NY393-399]

The cosmic principle and Maya

II:32.01 The principle of Mahat, mentioned here by Sri Rama-krishna (Vol.II p.206 [NY395g]), means the disturbed but undifferentiated cosmic state, the cause of all things subjective and objective. II:32.02 In the Vedantasara we find:

“From Consciousness associated with the projecting power of ignorance which has a preponderance of the quality of darkness, has evolved Akasha which, in its turn, has produced air, from air has come fire, from fire, water, and from water, earth.

As in such Sruti passages, ‘From this Self has evolved Akasha.(Tait.Up.2.1.1)." —(Vedantasara 1.57)

II:32.04 So, from the Cosmic Principle conjoined with Maya comes Akasha. Prakriti is the out-and-out undifferentiated state. Sankhya says: “From Prakriti associated with the Self there comes into existence Mahat.’’ The Upanishads say: “From Brahman (Sa-guna Brahman) there comes into existence Akasha.’’

Matter as such cannot create, but matter associated with the Self becomes creative. Nowhere do we find matter existing as such, unassociated with consciousness.

II:32.11 Brahman has, as it were, transformed itself into Akasha. Brahman associated with ignorance (i.e., Primal Matter) is the first cause of the universe. And from that comes into existence Akasha. II:32.09 The Katha Upanishadsays:

“Even to hear of it is not available to many; many, even having heard of it, cannot comprehend. Wonderful is its teacher,

and (equally) clever the pupil. Wonderful indeed is he who comprehends it when taught by an able preceptor." (Katha Up. 1.2.7)

II:32.13 Another passage in the Katha Upanishad runs:

“The objects are superior to the senses, the mind is superior to the objects, the intellect is superior to the mind, the Great Atman is superior again to the intellect. The Unmanifested is superior to the Great (Atman), and the Purusha is superior to the Unmanifested. Nothing is superior to the Purusha—that is the end, that is the supreme goal." (Katha Up. 1.3.10-11)

II:32.14 Here superiority is ranged in the scale of subtlety of existence.

II:32.15 Along with the Cosmic, there is the individual. So we have the cosmic mind and the individual minds.

11:32.16    Even in Sankhya, Prakriti ceases to be, in the state of highest illumination.

II:32.17 When we are in Maya, the question whether Maya ever ceases to be does not arise. When we are beyond Maya, we cannot even say that Maya exists. Maya has disappeared. In any case we can never know Maya, but we can transcend Maya and attain a state where Maya has ceased to exist.

II:32.18 This principle of ego is not our ego, but the Cosmic Ego-Consciousness. In the previous state there is no ego-consciousness. In the state of Mahat there is an indefinite consciousness, something like the consciousness in deep sleep. From this appears the Cosmic Dream-world and from that the gross world.

II:32.19 The Vedantin wants to attain to a state of dissociation from all things material, wants to find a way to the highest state, through involution. In the presence of the Spirit, Maya appears as nothing, a mere shadow.

II:32.23 Desires make people abnormal. Every person who desires anything is in a dis-eased, an ab-normal state. He has not reached his true being.

Whatever we look upon as real, draws our entire being, all our feelings and sentiments. This activates us to enjoy and possess that thing. If Brahman becomes real,—if this world becomes real,—we move towards it with our entire being.

II:32.24 The world is Maya when we realize the existence of the Spirit behind. The world is real when we do not do so and try to cling to it with all our faculties and powers. So the faculty of ceaseless discrimination and dispassion must be cultivated by all earnest aspirants.

It is only when you create a real wilderness in the heart, that you can get God. Our heart is so full of worldly ideas, worldly impulses, worldly clinging and wishes, worldly desires and tendencies in their gross, subtle and even very subtle form, so we can never get God, because God has no place in it. Create the void, become empty of all worldly things and wishes, even the subtle and very subtle ones, then He comes. There is a gross form of worldliness and a subtle form, and both stand equally in the way of God. Both have to be eliminated if you really wish to attain the goal.

II:33 - Wiesb., Dec. 6, 1934 - (Vol.II 209-228)[NY393-399,406-414]

Misery to perfection

II:33.01 There is a Sanskrit poem by Swamiji [Swami Vivek-ananda] where he says,

“SHE who has brought me to the stage of perfection by making me pass through misery.

O Thou most Beautiful whose holy hands hold pleasure and hold pain, Doer of good, Who art Thou?"

II:34 - Wiesb., Dec. 7, 1934 - (Vol.II 228-234)[NY406-414,415-426]

Hatha-Yoga

II:34.01 The higher Hatha-Yoga just approaches Raja-Yoga. Hatha-Yoga, if practiced at all, should always lead to Raja-Yoga and should never become an end in itself.

Various experiences on the spiritual path

II:34.03 ‘Vishnu’ is derived from a Sanskrit word that means ‘to pervade’.

II:34.04 When the mind is properly attuned, you hear some vibrations not produced in the ear, some vibrations that the ear catches during a certain state of spiritual development. But this has no great value. All these small experiences come by the way, and sometimes, when any of them comes for the first time, your mind will even be troubled by it and diverted from its real aim. But those vibrations are not something produced by the ear. Neither are they imagination. They are just like a bell ringing sweetly at a distance. You feel these vibrations in the ear. You specially hear it at the right side of the head.

II:34.05 Even here, in this room, I hear them. They are easily heard when the mind attains a certain state of concentration and calmness, especially in the depths of the night. You should never over-rate their spiritual significance if they come.

11:34.14 Sometimes when one repeats the sound in a higher mood, one creates a vibration. It is like a stone thrown into calm water. From the Cosmic comes the energy, and into the Cosmic it melts away.

II:34.06 All this can only serve as a landmark. I do not care for it, but it shows a certain state of concentration. If the mind is disturbed, you cannot hear it. There are many things, many experiences that come to you, even psychic powers, on the way— enchanting things sometimes, and in many cases they have an enchanting influence on people when you talk to them about them —but, carefully brush all these things aside when they come, otherwise all progress will be stopped. No one can advance any further if he allows himself to be ensnared by their charm.

II:34.07 The mind is to be fixed on the point where sound merges into the soundless, where the form merges into the formless, where the name merges into the nameless, thought must be fixed on that which is beyond all thought. You should think of this when doing your Japam.

II:34.08 In the sound symbol there is the audible and the inaudible aspect, and taking hold of the inaudible aspect you go to Brahman, Saguna Brahman.

II:34.09 Some symbols are symbols of vision, some of the ear, but the goal for everyone is to go beyond all the senses—and all forms and manifestations of the senses—with the help of the senses.

II:34.15 You should see that you never generate more energy than you can control. When you find there is too much physical energy, take less food or fast altogether. If there is too much mental energy, have more meditation. In the course of our progress we have to pass through many troublesome and abnormal states. But we have to control them.

II:34.17 It is very important that you should transmute energy consciously if the flow of energy becomes too strong, and if you cannot transmute it yet, then just go and exhaust yourself. If you do not do this, the energy will become very dangerous, and you are sure to slip your foot sooner or later. So never be careless in this respect, nor over-confident.

II:35.05 You should never spend more than you have got. He who has a large capital at his disposal, who can renew his store of spiritual energy easily, can give much. The other person can give very little, but the little of the other person is his whole.

II:35 - Wiesb., Dec. 8, 1934 - (Vol.II 234-245)[NY415-426,545-557]

The different states of consciousness

II:35.01 If we come to have a different standard, then waking and dream will appear very much alike to us.

II:35.02 If one has passed through the disciplines of life and fully controlled one’s desires and passions, likes and dislikes, then only such a realization will come. Only when we are firmly rooted, firmly established in ethical culture and have become dispassionate, we see the strings that thread together all these different states of consciousness.

II:35.03 If we dream, we know it is all Maya. So, Maya experienced in the waking state, should also be seen as a dream. We should have not attachment for Maya.

II:35.04 He who tries to rid himself of Maya should take the position of the ‘witness’. As long as you remain the ‘witness’, you remain unattached. We should be dispassionately ‘witnessing’ our talks, our feelings, our likes and dislikes, our thoughts, our actions. To the extent in which we are able to stand apart, attachment is minimized.

II:36 - Wiesbaden, Dec 10, 1934 - (Vol.II 245-257)[NY545-557]

Dualistic sectarianism

II:36.01 Dualism and pettiness are cousins. You usually find intensity, but awful narrowness in the dualist.

II:37 - Wiesbaden, Dec 11, 1934 - (Vol.II 258-278)[NY545-557]

Swastyayana

II:37.01 Swastyayana (Vol.II p.263) means a ceremony that is performed for the fulfilment of some desire and that brings good luck to the family.

II:38 - Wiesbaden, Dec 12, 1934 - (Vol.II 279-291)[NY545-557]

Sri Ramakrishna and Truth

II:38.01 Sri Ramakrishna once said, “Unless I am truthful, how am I keeping these vows? I gave everything away, Dharma and Adharma, but I could not give away Truth."

II:39 - Wiesbaden, Dec 13, 1934 - (Vol.II 291-299)[NY715-723]

The idea of Cosmic Salvation

II:39.01 Just as there is a Cosmic destruction or destructive power, there is also a Cosmic constructive power. Destruction and construction go on side by side eternally.

II:39.02 No Incarnation can save the world. All cannot be saved. This Cosmic process goes on eternally, and it is only the few, those who have advanced far enough after thousands or millions of lives, that can be saved by an Incarnation; not the others.

II:39.03 On the plane of relativity there must be multiplicity, and multiplicity always means good, bad, evil, birth, death etc., all kinds of things. On the relative plane, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, are eternally inseparable, and there must be manifestations of all the three in different permutations and combinations. Everything else is just a fond dream, caused by our inordinate clinging to the pleasant, to enjoyment, to the transient, the unreal, the changing.

II:39.04 This idea of Cosmic salvation, of the salvation of all through an Incarnation, I do not know wherefrom it ever came. Even Sri Krishna makes this very clear when He says that out of thousands of seekers, of aspirants, only a very few will ever attain the goal.

II:40 - Wiesbaden, Dec 14, 1934 - (Vol.II 300-304)[NY736-742]

[The Life of Sri Ramakrishna was read (pp.586-589)]

Obstacles

II:40.01 If the seed of the bad samskaras is not wholly burnt, it bears fruit sooner or later. That is why every devotee ought to be very careful and wide-awake, and never allow himself to be drawn into undesirable company or any intimacy with persons of the other sex.

II:40.02 The devotee should see that there is at least no physical manifestation whenever a bad thought, desire, passion arises.

II:40.03 Our progress is retarded by so many things:- health, or bad economic circumstances, or both etc., etc. It is really a great grace of the Lord, if we are allowed to advance at all.

Establish the inner harmony

II:40.04 Whenever you feel something is wrong within, just try to establish the inner harmony.

II:40.05 Whenever this harmony is broken, you will find, that the centre of consciousness has shifted. First of all, in such cases, you have fallen down from your centre of consciousness. So, regain your centre of consciousness, and after having regained it, try to regain your harmony.

II:40.06 A buoy floating on the water may appear all right to the casual observer, even if its anchor has not touched the bottom, but it is not all right. The moment your centre of consciousness is shifted it becomes like such a buoy that has torn itself loose from its moorings. In all such cases there is real danger of your slipping your foot and having a nasty fall. There should not be any self-condemnation in the aspirant, but the beginner should not rely on his own powers too much.

II:40.07 Always note your mood and try to establish the inner harmony. Follow this rule strictly, then you will find your growth will be secured.

II:40.08 Old desires may rise any time, first having the form of very tiny bubbles, but more and more assuming the form of a mighty wave. So, “Sadhu, be on your guard!"

II:40.09 If there be the tiniest bubble in the mind, it may assume huge proportions. That is why you should all be careful, and should believe me when I tell you this. It is a fact of experience.

II:40.10 Being beyond or above all passion and desire will only be, when all the desires, passions, etc., etc., bad samskaras, get completely burnt to ashes.

11:40.12    We are still quite capable of wallowing in the mire. So always pray (Sri Ramakrishna’s prayer), “O Mother, do not enchant us with Thy Divine Maya.

11:40.14    You cannot capture realization with violence or with

muscle. It is not something you can snatch with the strength of your muscles, with the strength of your well-trained body. It cannot be had at so low a price.

II:41.. Wiesbaden, Dec 15, 1934 - (Vol.II 304-321)[NY736-742]

Become merciful like the Lord

II:41.01 Always remember the beautiful words of the Buddha, “May all the evil of the world come to me, and may the world be saved.

The same idea you find in Shiva churning the ocean and drinking the poison. The idea of the Lord as Redeemer is not only to be found in Christianity. You find it in Hinduism in very many aspects.

II:41.04 In the Bhagavatam you find a beautiful story showing the infinite mercy of the Lord. There was a very poisonous snake in a lake, that poisoned the water and was a real danger to the cowherds or shepherds of Brindavan. So Sri Krishna went to punish it. When He called it, the snake came and made obeisance to Him. He asked it, “Why are you poisoning the water?” But the snake Kaliya replied very humbly, “O Lord, what else can I do if Thou hast given me the poison?”

II:41.05 What can a poor man do if the Lord has only given him poison? He can only give what he himself possesses, and if he possesses only poison, poison he must give. This realization should make us merciful.

II:42 - Wiesbaden, Dec 17, 1934 - (Vol.II 321-335)[NY736-742,868-876]

Avoid association with unholy persons

II:42.01 One becomes unholy by keeping the company or associating with unholy men. Association forms a very important point in the life of the spiritual aspirant. We should never be careless in this. We think we are not influenced, but we are not sensitive enough to realize all the damage that is being done, and then, later on, we are bound to have a nasty fall.

II:43 - Wiesbaden, Dec 18, 1934 - (Vol.II 335-355)[NY868-876] Forms must take us to the Formless

II:43.01 In the mental world there are various kinds of Divine forms, and the devotee sees some of them when he rises to a certain plane. Not everyone sees them, but all these forms must take us to the Formless. There comes a time when the devotee may not see any form at all. But even if he sees the form, he also gets a glimpse of the Formless, if the vision is really deep. “My Mother’s beauty illumines the whole world. The formless beauty of my Mother shines forth everywhere.”

II:43.02 During the first stage, aspirants should avoid the other sex like poison, at least most of them should do so; afterwards, they should see only the Mother in every woman, and only Siva in every man. But by then, all woman-forms and all man-forms have lost their attraction and are clearly seen as what they really are, disgusting, dirty things, full of worms and filth.

II:43.03 The Upanishads say, “If the monk touches gold with attachment, he kills his soul. ’’

II:43.04 When you really follow the path, all power is taken away from the lower nerve-centres; energy does not merely rush up to the brain. The sense of body-consciousness is minimized.

II:43.05 You see, Kalipada and Girish belonged to a category by themselves. Girish was very wild and boisterous, but a very advanced soul. Many of these people were not at all morally sound at the beginning of their spiritual life; they were wild, unruly natures, but then at the back there was a highly advanced soul, and at the Master’s touch they were completely transformed. Of course, all men, when they approach liberation outgrow their old wayward mentality.

II:44 - Wiesbaden, Dec 19, 1934 - (Vol.II 355-367)[NY931-935]

Vijnana, the culmination of spiritual striving II:44.02 The superconscious state is to be brought down to ordinary consciousness. Inner and outer have to cease to be. No guna-tita, but jivanmukta. It is not enough if one feels the Divine presence in the state of Samadhi. A state of Divine consciousness permeates all one’s activities and one’s whole life at all times. But then the person should be in such a higher mood that even while the senses are working he sees, in and through all the objects of sense, the one undivided and indivisible Brahman. This is a state of consciousness much higher than Samadhi, but Samadhi is a necessary step to it. To the highest Jnani there should be no inner and outer but all should be the experience of the One. Sri Ramakrishna stresses the state of Vijnana, which is a higher state than ordinary jnana, and which alone is the true culmination of spiritual striving.

II:44.03 There are people who see some light, or something, or a form, and think that the goal of life, full illumination, has been reached by them. All these visions are sign-posts, certain indications of progress, but they are very small, petty things indeed. They do not mean anything when considered from the true spiritual standpoint and true spiritual illumination.

Kamini-Kanchana [‘Woman and Gold’], defined II:44.04    ‘Kamini-Kanchana’, ‘Woman and Gold’, should always be understood in the very subtlest sense. Even the slightest tinge of sense-pleasure or sensual craving comes under this head. Brahmacharya, true continence, is more than mere outward refraining from sexual intercourse or sexual thought. We must be perfectly free in thought, word and deed from even the very subtlest forms of sexual enjoyment and sexual desire.— We must lose all our man-consciousness and all our woman-consciousness.— First comes the physical, then the mental and then the causal aspect, of course. As long as there is body-consciousness in an aspirant, there is lust in a very subtle form, even if he leads a perfectly controlled life and no longer gives any physical or mental expression to his lower instincts. The seed, in such a case is still there, and he has not yet gone beyond the danger of slipping his foot one day. Similarly, as long as there is the slightest sense of possession, of physical wealth or intellectual wealth, in anybody, the goal is still far off. The sense of possession, of hoarding etc., even in very subtle forms, all this comes under the head of ‘Kamini-Kanchana’. And before rising beyond Kamini-Kanchana, the highest spiritual experience cannot be attained. All these terms have to be understood in their subtlest sense. Here, people are apt to take everything in its gross sense only. But the annihilation of the desire for Kamini-Kanchana is not so easy as that.

II:45 - Wiesbaden, Dec 20, 1934 - (Vol.II 368-378)[NY939-940]

[The Life of Sri Ramakrishna was read (pp.661-662)]

Vijnana

II:45.01 Mahamaya is the personal aspect of Brahman, the relative aspect, the Shakti, the power of Brahman. Through the Saguna aspect the Bhakta comes to the Nirguna aspect, or he many not care to come to the Nirguna aspect at all. “I do not want to become sugar, I want to taste sugar.

11:45.03 The state that comes after Jnana and that is higher than Jnana, is Vijnana. This was Swamiji’s path.

[The Hymn on Kashi (Kashi-Pancakam) by Sankara was read from Altar Flowers p.247.]

II:46 - Wiesbaden, Dec 29, 1934 - (Vol.II 378)[NY947-950]

The last words of Buddha

II:46.01 When Buddha’s wife came to him and asked to be ordained and to give permission for the ordaining of women, he knew that this permission was going to shorten the life of the Order and to bring about its degeneration, but his heart was so kind that he could not refuse the prayer.

II:46.02 The last words of the Buddha always impressed me very greatly, even before I took up the monastic life, in my student days. They should be pondered again and again by all serious aspirants.

Last words

*********

Then said the Exalted one to the venerable Ananda: “It may be, Ananda, that you will say, ‘Gone is the word of the Master! We have no longer any Master now!’ But you must not so regard it, Ananda; for the Norm and Discipline, taught and enjoined by me, they shall be your teachers when I am gone. Now, Ananda, whereas the brethren have the habit of calling one another ‘friend’,—when I am gone this habit must not be followed. By an elder brother, Ananda, a brother who is a novice should be called by his name or clan-name, or by the word ‘friend’; but by a novice, Ananda, an elder brother should be addressed as ‘lord’ or ‘your reverence’.

“Again, Ananda, if the Order so desires, when I am gone, let it abolish the lesser and minor charges.

“As to the brother Channa, Ananda, let the extreme penalty be applied to him when I am gone.”

“What, Lord, do you mean, by ‘the extreme penalty’?”

“The brother Channa, Ananda, whatever he may wish or whatever he may say, is not to be spoken to, not to be admonished, not to be instructed by the brethren.”

Then the Exalted One addressed the brethren: “It may be, brothers, that in the mind of some one brother there is doubt or perplexity, either about the Buddha or the Way to the Path. If it be so, brothers, do ye ask now. Be not hereafter remorseful at the thought, ‘Here was our Master face to face with us, and yet we had not the heart to question the Exalted One, though we were in His very Presence’.”

At these words the brethren were silent.

Then a second time and yet a third time did the Exalted One address the brethren in the same words. And a third time the brethren were silent.

Then said the Exalted One, “Maybe, brethren, it is out of respect for the Master that ye ask not. Speak to Me, then, as friends to friend, brethren.”

Whereat those brethren were silent.

Then exclaimed the venerable Ananda to the Exalted One, “Strange it is, O Lord, a marvel it is, O Lord! Thus assured am I, Lord of this Order of brethren. There is not any one brother that has a single doubt or perplexity as to the Buddha, the Norm, the Order, or as to the Path, or Way to the Path.”

“You speak out of assurance, Ananda. But in the Tathagata there is knowledge of the fact— ‘There is not in any one brother a single doubt or perplexity as to this’. Of these five hundred brethren of mine,

Ananda, even he who is the most backward is a Stream-winner, one who is assured from the Downfall, assured of reaching the Supreme Wisdom.” Then said the Exalted One to the brethren, “Come now, brethren, I do remind ye: ‘Subject to decay are all compounded things’. Do ye abide in heedfulness.”

Those were the last words of tfte*Exalted One.

II:46.04 There is no fact more certain in life, you see, than this, that everything that is subject to decay, means misery and always brings misery at the end. This is the great bane of attachment, of clinging to the unreal, to what is transient and fleeting and will never bring us any lasting peace.

End of READINGS ON THE GOSPEL OF SRI RAMAKRISHNA VOL.II (English edition. Madras, 1922) by Swami Yatiswarananda