A message from Gurudev Shree Chitrabhanuji
Namaste! I bow to the beautiful soul in you! This is the teaching that I have learned and am practicing. I do not see you as just the name and the frame. I see you as pure sentient energy residing in this human form, and this energy is purifying and evolving from uni-sense to enlightenment, from aspirants to masters. We evolve though awareness, through getting in touch with people who have purified their lives, and through the practice of their insight. Not with preaching, not with reading, but with practice! And how much we practice depends upon how much understanding has dawned upon us.
Let me share some insights about our pure sentient energy, and about how we can experience it. We can go far because we are connected to the whole universe. Our evolution is a purifying process. If you go to a gold mine and take a rock, the rock has gold in it. It looks like a piece of stone, but it is a sparkling stone. A gold miner knows there is gold hidden in that rock, so he takes the rock and purifies it by acid, chemicals and fire. Slowly, the gold particles are separated from the dross. As the purifying process continues, the rock becomes 14-karat gold. If you continue purifying, then you have 16-, 18-, 24-karat gold which is so soft that you can bend it even with a touch. It is a metal and yet it feels very tender. Why? Because it is 24-karat gold! There is now no rigidity or stiffness.
As human beings, we begin our purifying process by searching for something nobler. Of all the life forms, humans are the only beings who can change themselves by asking themselves, “Who am I?” Even at this elementary level, human life is more developed than that of animals. Horses are powerful, and elephants are strong. But neither asks the question, “Who am I?”. Even as small children, we tend to ask, “WHY?” And when anything happens, our consciousness asks, “What should I do?” We do not decide blindly if we do not understand or are not sure, we ask ourselves again and again. We explore. Life is to explore. Through our questioning we begin to get some insights of our real Self. Through introspection we separate grain from husk – soul from matter, from desires.
As we know ourselves better, we are able to affirm, “I am consciousness. I am soul. Freedom is my essence. There is a deep spiritual quest in me which is guiding me and giving me upward thrust”. At this stage we no longer think of ourselves as sinners. We take out the smearing element of guilt. A person with a feeling of guilt will pray but will continue feeling guilty and hurting oneself, and a person who hurts oneself is likely to hurt others. But a person who is happy will give you pleasantness. A thorn will pinch because it is sharp, and a flower will give fragrance because it is tender and peaceful.
We cannot give anything but what we are. And if anybody gives us pain, that person also must have pain; so, we need to have compassion. We should not blame the person and put her or him down. We go to help because we are life-feeling, sentient beings. But we will not be able to understand somebody else’s pain as long as we go on harping on our own pain. So, we continue slowly and very gradually purifying ourselves till our heart becomes a shrine, where love resides. Sometimes when negativity influences you, just watch without feeling guilty about it. Just let it go. Un-cleanliness is seen because there is a lot of dirt around. There are particles of dirt moving everywhere. Even with closed windows your apartment will become dirty and you have to keep cleaning. Every day we have to clean. Somebody asked me, “How long do I have to practice meditation?” and I said “As long as you live.” If you want to live, you have to clean. Meditation is a cleaning process. Every day, take a few minutes to process. Every day, take a few minutes to clean. Take a good bath. The physical bath is for the body. Meditation, the spiritual bath is for the heart, the mind, and the psyche.
As we continue our development, we learn to give up many things. We become like fragrance- giving flowers who do not have attachments to what they have. They do not collect; instead they share. Then we become aware and objective. We reach a height, and from there we touch divinity. For a moment we feel we are with ourselves. And when we are with ourselves, we are with the Higher Self. Before we reach this height, we learn to deal with the four main binding and polluting elements: anger, ego, deceit, and greed.
Negative Emotions Anger
Anger is to be mad. Anger is one letter closer to danger. Anger comes because our desires are not fulfilled. We get angry because we had an expectation. So when an expectation is not fulfilled, it turns into frustration and that frustration gives birth to ugly anger. But if we do not have any expectations, then we do not get angry. When we build expectations, we become angry with ourselves and with others. And when we are angry, we lose our peace. So, to understand the cause of anger, we ought to look into our desires and expectations.
We also need to understand our ego. What is ego? It is good to be recognized, to receive certificates, to get trophies – they give a boost of some kind. But if we go on collecting certificates and collecting trophies, there is no end to it. We put the trophies on the shelf, and we still have to live with ourselves. Instead of depending on the trophies, titles, approvals, and favors for our importance, we have to learn to appreciate what we have and what we receive and say, “Thank You.” We learn to appreciate the time others spent thinking of us, their feeling toward us, and their love and appreciating. When we appreciate their appreciation, we need no shelves to store any objects. Instead, we cherish the feelings being the gift, store them in our hearts, and let them become part of our lives.
Another polluting element is deceit. People complain that others do not love them, but often the root of the problem is that they are not being themselves. If we become something else to be with others, how can they know who we are, and how can they love us for who we are? They can only love who we are if they can see what we really are. People love nature and children because they are natural and not deceitful. In the same way, older people can be natural.
The art of life is to reduce the complexity into simplicity. Once we leave deceit behind, our greed will also diminish. Then whatever we have, we share. And when we share, things come to us. It is like a cornucopia. You go on giving things and things keep on coming. That is why we sing “From you I receive, to you I give.” We have to enjoy every moment with no regrets. If you lose something, do not say to yourself, “How stupid I was!” Do not blame yourself. It was probably meant to happen. Things come and things go. When we were born, we were born with nothing, not even clothes. But there was already milk in our mother’s breast. If you live with your spirit, things always come. When we are generous, our greed is gone, we feel contented. Life is beautiful and we get up in the morning and bless ourselves. And whatever we deserve, it will come because we have opened the doors so that the light of blessings can come. At this stage we have to be careful not to hold resentment toward anybody, not even one person. When we close the door on somebody, in reality we close it on everybody. Our hate toward one person will permeate our feelings toward other people, including ourselves. And when we close the door, good things will stop coming. So the teaching is: we have to love. That is how life becomes a cornucopia filled with amity.
A Clean State
If we continue our work to overcome these four negative emotions, and to forgive and love our adversaries, ultimately we become enlightened. We become Siddhas. This state is the purest form. This is like basking in the warmth of the sun: you feel warmth, you feel purified like 24 karat gold, you feel loving energy, and this will bring a connection between the self and the Higher Self. But first of all, we have to start where we are. Then we can grow from there. We must believe in ourselves. We tell ourselves. “Yes, I am a seeker. I am not a bad person. I may have done bad things because I did not know any better. I was brought up in my culture and in my family, and I was taught in that way. Or, I kept the wrong company. Or, I was not aware, and bad things happened.” Now is the time to untie ourselves from the past. Our future is a clean slate. Self-realization is self-confidence and believing in the Higher Self. And by practicing these insights we evolve from uni-sense to enlightenment, from aspirants to Siddhas.