Our Spiritual Ascent

Excerpt from a talk given at a Seminar in Chianciano Terme, Italy
on the 16th of February, 1991

The other day I was reading some books how it was done, this self-realization, to know the spirit, and how people were tortured.

First of all they're asked to somehow or other deny, defy and condemn their body. Now, if the body wants to have comfort, then it was said that first try to sleep on the carpet, not on the bed. Then still, it's not enough; then from the carpet you go to a mat - still is not enough. Then from that maybe, you move down to the Mother Earth, sleep on the Mother Earth. Still if the body is not all right then you start sleeping on the stone. But still the Himalayas are far away, because Shiva resides in Kailasha. So you go to Himalayas and sleep on the ice. This was the minimum requirement.

Then it was said that you are fond of good food, you want to have sumptuous food, you eat a lot, all right; so you deny everything that you like, to begin with, all that you like. For example, Italians cannot eat pasta. Then deny that. But that's not sufficient. After that you start eating things which are very bitter. As in the Zen system they give you to eat something which is like quinine raised to power 108, absolutely bitter - or absolutely sweet. So put your tongue in to test.

But still the stomach is there. So if you are eating too much, you fast for one day. That's not sufficient. Then fast for seven days. Then for forty days. I mean, a month has got only thirty days; to fast for forty days means you are already finished. That's how if you have to do your penance for Nirvana. As it is you get a Nirvana because you're finished and dead, you see, nothing is left out of you, nothing but bones, and these bones then become Nirvana. Ultimately the death follows, so you are finished and there is Nirvana, no doubt about it.

Then you don't live in a house, because house is comfort. Give up your wife, give up your children, give up everyone. Now wear only one something, like a cloth tied round, and go and ask for alms from people. With these clothes also there's still problem, because you're attached to your cloth. So you go to Himalayas where there's nobody to see you, take out your clothes and in that cold you stay there, completely shaking. Then you'll get your Nirvana. As it is you get Nirvana. All such conditions were put as to destroy the demands of your body to begin with. You tell your body, "No, nothing doing. You better work out your Nirvana."

it starts from your heart and goes to your brain, something that comes out of your experience of joy and covers your brain.

So your brain cannot deny it any more. So it's important, specially for the people of the West, now open your hearts, because it starts from the heart, not from your brain.
The second thing was to destroy your mind which takes you to senses, to things of joy. Supposing you want to have some, something very much, so deny that, deny that. Anything that your mind tells you, just say "No, no, no" to it. In Sanskrit the shloka is like this, "Yan neti neti vachane, nigamo vacha" - which you go on saying, "neti, neti": "No, not this, not this, not this, not this."

And then you can discuss about - discuss only, yes - Nirvana. Before that you are not even worthy of discussion of Nirvana. When I read this book I said, "Baba, I give up. It's too much."

In Sahaja Yoga it is the other way round, like building first the pinnacle of the building, and then the foundation. Opening your Sahasrara was the first thing was achieved.

And then in the light of Sahasrara you have to watch yourself and see for yourself. Gradually the introspection was a better thing, through vibrations is to see why: why I want this? Why my attention goes to my comfort? Why my attention goes to food, why to my family, why to my children, when I have to achieve the highest? So you start introspecting yourself. Then you know on your vibrations also there's something wrong with you. Then you don't try to see others, what's wrong with others, you start seeing yourself; because it's your own ascent you have to achieve.

Jacob's Ladder by William BlakeIn the olden times, all these things were done individually. Like a one person who starts the path of Nirvana, he used to go into ekant, means into lonely places, stay away from people, avoid them, have nothing to do, and achieve this ascent, self-realization, only for himself. It was not for others.

Then this gentleman became absolutely exclusive. He wouldn't talk to anyone, he wouldn't meet anybody and he would sit somewhere on top of a remote mountain. Anybody who tried to meet him he would throw stones or say all kinds of horrible things, and never meet that person.

But Sahaja Yoga is not the same thing. Sahaja Yoga is the ascent of the whole. This kind of singular achievements did not lead people anywhere. Saints of course tried to talk to people, tell them about self-realization, about God, about righteousness, about value system; but they too were regarded as something strange, and were tortured and troubled.

On the level of an individual ascent, they couldn't do anything for others except for talking about it, telling about it, till Sahaja Yoga came. Even the talking about it was prohibited. Till the twelfth century in India nobody talked about it to the public. It was all in Sanskrit, very difficult Sanskrit books which were only available to few aspirants. Was explained to very, very few even, amounting to few numbers of people. But giving realization was denied.

So only one master had one disciple, and all was the individual ascent, individual working out. Such a disciple was taken away from others and was kept in secret, worked it out on him; and just he may sing, he may write poems, he may talk about it, he might say what his joy is, but he had no right to give realization to anyone, neither he knew how to give realization.

So now you see how far you have gone. You've got your realization without giving up much. You can work on a much wider scale, you can give realizations to others. You know about all the subtle knowledge about Sahaja Yoga ...

... Say for example, Shankaracharya wrote a beautiful treatise called as Viveka Chudamani where he described what is God, this, that; and "viveka" means the conscience, and consciousness and all that he described quite a lot. But there was one horrible fellow called Sarma who started arguing with him and he got fed up, Shankaracharya. He said, "No use talking to them."

So he just wrote Saundarya Lahari. Saundarya Lahari is nothing but all the mantras praising the Mother. He said, "Why, I know Mother, now let me praise Her. Nothing doing - what's the use of talking to these people? Stupid things, how will they understand?" He realized that "these people haven't got that capacity, that sensitivity to understand what I know."

Shri Mataji speaking about Spirituality and Sahaja YogaThat's the real knowledge, is to know what is God. And if that is God, then how can you suspect anything, how can you try to analyze anything? It's God. It's God Almighty, which knows everything, which does everything, which enjoys everything.

That is the one you should say is the gyana, is the knowledge, is the true knowledge, the pure knowledge. It's not the knowledge of chakras, not the knowledge of vibrations, not the knowledge of Kundalini, but the knowledge of God Almighty. And the knowledge of God Almighty is not mental.

Again I tell you, it starts from your heart and goes to your brain, something that comes out of your experience of joy and covers your brain. So your brain cannot deny it any more.

Like the - sometimes when you have your mother, little mother, you know the love of your mother. But you cannot explain, it comes from your heart and you say, "No, that's my mother, she won't do like that. I know my mother very well." The knowledge about your mother, the one who has given you birth; may not be, mother may not be very good or whatever it is. But knowledge about God, that He's love, that He's truth, that He knows everything, that just becomes part and parcel of your being, absolutely, and that's the time we say is the Nirvana.

So it's important, specially for the people of the West, now open your hearts, because it starts from the heart, not from your brain.