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Swami Anubhavanandaji’s Meditation Talk – Transcription

Meditation session 2 of 2 @ Washington Retreat 2016 English20160821 065953 NR YT


गुरु ब्रम्हा गुरु विष्णू Gurur Brahmaa Gurur Vishnu

गुरुः देवो महेश्वरा Gurur Devo Maheshwarah

गुरु शाक्षात परब्रम्हा Guru Saakshaata Parabrahma

तस्मै श्री गुरुवे नमः Tasmai Shri Guruve Namah

If we had a very good sleep at night, it means, we were nobody for a longer period of time and therefore the sleep was deep. Now this nobody status, we can encash – if we start our day early morning – the moment your sleep is over, get out of the bed, finish your morning necessities, and thereafter be SELF-oriented. One rule if we apply on ourselves – we will start living our everyday in meditation. And the rule is – WE DO NOT BECOME ANYBODY, unless our morning prayers or whatever we call is over. So you may be chanting or you may be reading or doing the japa or simply sitting quiet basking in the presence of the divine, whatever. DON’T BECOME ANYBODY. This status of remaining as Mr. NOBODY for a longer period of time is called as living in MEDITATION.

But normally what happens with us – we start our day and then so hectic. Because first of all we go to sleep very late and then in the morning when we get up there is the hangup of the sleep, and then we have to rush for the work, and our whole day is in a mess. And such a messy person, he wants to come and do meditation. See friends, we have to live our 24hrs in a proper mood. And the moods begin when we become somebody. Therefore remain as Mr. NOBODY as long as we can. So right in the morning, don’t start any discussions, questions, answers, arguments, logic, our experiences – no need. REMAIN AS NOBODY.

This remaining as nobody is indirectly – we are not yet getting identified with the body, although we are functioning through the body. The identification with the body becomes strong, because of the breathing process. Like if you go for a long run – marathon, your breathing increases tremendously, and therefore our identification with the body is extreme. Such a person who is intensely identified with the body, ask him to do meditation, he cannot.

But during the deep-sleep when we were remaining as NOBODY, that time our breathing was not heavy, our breathing was not fast. Because the mind and the body – they are glued together by the adhesive of breathing. Therefore death is when the mind and the body are separated. So this separation of the mind and the body happens under three conditions, yesterday I told you :

1] Compulsion called as death

2] Ignorance called as sleep and

3] Wisdom called as MEDITATION

It is for this purpose that the PRANAYAM is advocated in Yoga Shastra.

Pranayam1 is not basically an approach for healthy life, but it is primarily an approach for Spiritual life. Like you all know in India, we keep a cow also in our compound. That the cow is also one of the members of the family. Now what for we keep the cow? We don’t keep the cow for cow dung. We don’t keep the cow for the Go-mutra (Urine of the cow). We keep the cow for MILK. The cow-dung and the Go-mutra is a by-product.

In the same manner, pranayam is addressing the separation of the mind and the body through the control of Prana, and as a result of which whatever other things are happening – it is a by-product, like a cow-dung. So don’t give too much importance to this, if you do this thing, your Blood Pressure will go down, if you do this thing, your health will be good. Remove this health virus from the head. According to Yoga Shastra, every BODY (like you know we buy things they give us guarantee for 1month, 6months), in the same manner when every BODY is produced, it is having a particular number of breathings. This body is meant to breath ‘n’ number of times. You can’t change it. Those who are health oriented yogis, what they do, they go into pranayam, kumbhak for a long period of time, as a result, the number of breathing what they could have completed in ‘n’ number of years, that breathing they continue for ‘n +’, number of years. This is how the longevity of the body is increased. But that is not the purpose of life.

Therefore the PURPOSE of PRANAYAM is only ONE – that we are able to achieve FREEDOM from BODY-IDENTIFICATION.

Now what happens. When we breath normally our breathing is at a very superficial level, and therefore the cleansing of the blood does not happen. And what are the impurities in the blood that we are supposed to cleanse? Let us understand this also – very important. Whole day we keep on eating. The food that we eat has three functions. A part of the food goes into the formation of the tissues of the body. A part of the food goes in providing energy to the functioning of the body and the unwanted digestive and metabolic wastes, they are thrown out of the body which are not required. Now this waste is, being matter – of three kinds: solids, liquids and gaseous.

  • Solids are thrown through the faecal material.
  • The liquids are thrown through the urination.
  • And the gaseous toxins they keep on accumulating in our blood stream.

These gaseous toxins in the blood, they are responsible for the agitations of the mind. They act as a stimulus, and because of that the mind remains ever agitated. Therefore we have to remove these toxins consciously.

Like everyday we have to go to toilet, at least 2 -3 times a day. Suppose you are having constipation, you are not able to go to the restroom for 2 days – what is the condition of the mind? If the solids are making that uncomfortable preposition, these gaseous toxins are directly hitting the mind. And therefore the mind is ever agitated. And therein agitation becomes the second nature of the mind. Therefore like going to the toilet to remove the solid and liquid wastes from the body, pranayam is going to the toilet – removing the gaseous toxins. That important it is.

Now when we normally breath, the breathing is only superficial level. We have to remove the blood toxins – gaseous toxins, so we have to do a special type of breathing.

Special type of breathing will include:

1] One is Anulom Vilom which you all must be knowing

2] Or the second kind, without getting too much involved is deep breathing.

Deep breathing technique: Breath in slowly as much as you can. Fill in the lower and the upper lobes of the lungs and then breath out slowly fully squeezing the lungs by pulling the diaphragm inward and upward so the lungs are crushed and all the air is thrown out. And this has to be done very slow. No hurry.

Normally we breath 15 times per minute. But this Anolom Vilom Pranayam or deep breathing as I suggested, should reduce the frequency of breathing from 15 times per minute to 2, 3 times per minute. Lesser the frequency of breathing, the longevity increases. The tortoise breaths once in 4 minutes. Therefore the tortoise lives for 600, 700 years. The dogs and the cats they breathe very fast. Their life is very short. So this deep breathing or Anulom Vilom, it will cleanse our blood of all toxins. And if we don’t do it as we have never done it earlier, what happens? These toxins keep on accumulating in the blood, blood becomes saturated and therefore these toxins are thrown out of the blood, wherever there is a possibility. The possibility of throwing the toxins out of the blood is, the gaps between the two bones called as joints. So these toxins are thrown into those joints, and because they are gaseous they create tensions in the joints. And these toxins start eating the heads of the bone, if there is a cartilaginous disc in between – the disc it starts eating and the Synovial fluid which is the lubrication – that starts getting dried. As a result when the age is a lot then all the joint pain starts appearing. When you break your joins, nothing breaks, what is this sound? Because it was tense. The moment you break, the toxin gases which was accumulated gets relaxed. And therefore when you break your joints you feel relaxed. Keeping this in view, pranayam when it is practised it will slowly loosen, the hold of the mind and the body together.

Mind has two aspects.

  • One aspect is our common mind. The total creation has only one mind. There are not many minds. Just as the whole universe has only one electricity. It is not American electricity and communist electricity, no. In the same manner, there is only one mind. That mind is responsible for maintenance of life in the body. Because of that, life continues. That mind does not create sin or merit. That mind is not holy or unholy.
  • The second aspect of the mind is, the mind takes the shape and the form of a particular body. Like gold is common for all the ornaments. The name, the shape and the form of the ornament make the ornaments different from each other. Exactly the same way when our mind has taken the shape and size of a particular body, immediately, ‘I’ is separate from ‘you’.

See friends, so what is creating a problem? Common mind is not creating a problem. This specific mind, which is creating a separate entity is creating the problem. And separate entity is created only because of two things. One is the name and second is the form.

Therefore it is said, WHAT IS THE WORLD? World is nothing but names and forms. Mind cannot survive without names and forms. The moment mind reaches silence – no names, or the mind reaches absence of forms – the mind dissolves. And nobody wants to die! Therefore the mind is constantly throwing thoughts and each thought is nothing but mind+name and form with reference to our body.

Like when I say one word, see what comes to your mind. When I say mother, the moment I say mother what has come to your mind is your mother. I did not say your mother. Think. When I say health, immediately my health. See friends, our mind, because we have take a particular shape always thinks in relation to that particular body. Therefore when we are practising this (pranayam), what SHOULD happen is freedom from body identification. And this is not just theoretical but we can definitely achieve it by a proper way if we do it on a regular basis. Don’t expect things to happen overnight. In Yoga Vasistha it is said, Vasisthaji tells Rama, Hey Rama, you have been carrying these wrong notions for millions of lives. Don’t expect, it will be over, overnight.

Therefore two things are necessary. These two things are told by our Shirdi Sai Baba.

  • One is Shraddha the FAITH.
  • Second is Saburi the PATIENCE.

Without patience and faith if you start your any practice, the guarantee is you will be utter failure.

Shraddha in four places:

  • Shraddha in GOD
  • Faith in the TEACHER
  • Faith in the SCRIPTURES
  • and faith in ONESELF.

God’s grace definitely takes care of us. Like the sun cannot throw darkness, in the same manner, the lord is always careful of us. Have full faith in him. How do we know God’s grace is showering on us? -‘IswarAnugraht eva pumsAm advaita vAsanA’2. When God’s grace showers on us we are naturally motivated for something higher in life. The same routine type of life, going for parties and drinking and dance and stock market and politics and all.. routine.

And how do we go into this path by God’s grace? We come across satsangh and sadhu santa.

“Binu Hari krupa mile nahi santa”. See friends, many people have this notion that, because of our earlier good deeds in the last life we are going for satsangh. It is totally wrong understanding. Satsangh is not the result of karma phala, no. It is Ishwara Anugraha.

And when we go to satsangh or attain the sadhu santa what happens? They do not talk about the world, they will be talking about the authority and the knowledge given in the scriptures. So the grace of the teacher is in the form of exposing us to the scriptural wisdom.

See friends, Kabirji says: “Jaati na pucho sadhu ki, puch lijiye gyan mole karo talvar ka, pada renan do myan – don’t worry about who is what, focus your attention on the TRUTH“. That is why anybody who has to do anything in this world will use us, he will never guide us. See friends. So God’s grace is without any reason. As a result of the God’s grace we come across sadhu sant.

Sadhu sant expose us to the scriptures, that is scripture’s grace.

And what does scriptures do? They give us a vision. This vision that the body and the mind, they are held together by the adhesive of prana.

All these medical doctors etc they will never tell you this thing. They will tell, take a pain killer and die without pain. See friends.

So what is required now? This adhesive has to be removed.

Like if you have, let us take a stamp and fix on an envelope and it has dried. Then you come to know it was a wrong envelope, and if you have to peel off that stamp it will be torn. Now what do we do? We put that envelope without the content right into the water. Give Jala Samadhi. As a result of this, adhesive will be dissolved and you peel off the stamp without tearing it. Exactly the same way the adhesive of prana, which is keeping the mind and the body together, that is loosened. And when it is loosened sufficiently, be attentive, your experience will be body-free existence. And we all have this experience in dream and in deep sleep. This experience, when it remains while we are awake, then we are living in MEDITATION. This is how the great masters, they live through the body. They don’t live as the body.

See friends, this Yoga Shastra is meant for something higher. Yoga for early pregnancy, yoga for spondylitis. These are the cartoons. It is something like you know, somebody gave me an Elephant as a gift. Then I was thinking what for shall I use this Elephant. Then I remembered, Oh I have got a kitchen garden. Let me plough the kitchen garden by the strength of the Elephant. Kitchen garden can be ploughed by your own fingers. And there you want to use the elephant power. In the same manner these worldly things can be tackled by anything, but to know one’s essential nature you require tremendous energy. 8 hrs of work = 1 hr of talk. 8 hrs of talks = 15 minutes of intense thinking. See the quantity of energy consumed. See friends, and if we do not conserve our energy we can never never be at peace. It is for this purpose pranayam is done so that we are separated from the body.

If this is true then first I will demonstrate, and you simply see. Don’t do when I am telling you, afterwards you start doing.

Deep Breathing Technique:

(Please perform steps 1 to 4 below whenever deep breathing is suggested hereafter)

1] First of all breath out from your stomach by squeezing your diaphragm inside upward.

2] After that is done fully, then breath in again first fill in the lower lobes of the lungs. Stomach does not get air it is the lungs. So when we breath in, breath in slowly. Not in a hurry. Our stomach is full.

3] Thereafter fill in the chest. Now your lungs are filled with air.

4] Thereafter breath out first from the chest and then from the stomach by squeezing it inside upwards.

This exercise will slowly take out all the unwanted toxins from the blood.

In Yājñavalkya SmṛtiPatanjali doesn’t talk about this -; this leads to Nadi Shodhanam. Nadi Shodhanam means purification of the blood. Blood is containing a lot of unwanted stuff, it has to be removed. One of the techniques is this.

You know these Ayurvedic people, when they take your nadi / pulse and see, what they do is this only, what they see is the quality of your blood, without taking it out. Because the type of impurities which are in the blood, they influence the blood flow, the heart beat, the pressure and the different aspects of the blood flow. And therefore they say, Oh, your Kapha, Vata, Pitta balance is upset. Meaning what? Your blood is extremely impure. So what they do? They will be giving us the medicine, first of all to settle the balance between Kapha, Vata, Pitta. The moment the balance is settled, majority of your metabolic problems are settled. Majority. Ayurveda’s approach is totally different. Allopathy will not understand it and they do not want to understand it. So Allopathy is for earning money. That’s why when an Allopath holds the pulse, he does not hold the pulse, he holds the purse. Do you have insurance? Yes. Then please sit down. Directly holding the purse.

So let us understand this and slowly whatever are the subsequent steps, we will see them.

Sitting for Meditation:

So like yesterday I told you, to sit properly:

1] Let the weight of your body land equally on your sitting bones.

2] Let your hands land in your lap.

First, psychological adjustments:

1] We are here by our own choice. We are not here under compulsion.

2] Therefore we are cheerful and happy. Cheerful and happy means we have neither complaints nor regrets.

Second adjustment:

1] Our lord and guru maharaj, he is in our heart.

2] The lord protects us from within, guru guides us from within.

3] At this moment we are Mr. NOBODY. Thereby we have closed our total past. This moment we are like a day old chick. We are so fresh, like a small child.

4] We don’t plan anything, what we will do after meditation. Thereby we have closed the future.

Now we come to the process of Pranayam:

Like a banana fruit:

  • In place of the skin of banana, imagine that is how the mind is.
  • In place of the fruit that we eat, think the body is.
  • Between the skin and the fruit there are those threads which hold the fruit and the skin together, imagine that to be the breath or prana.

When the banana is not fully ripe and if we forcibly want to remove the skin, it tears off. It does not open the fruit fully. But when the same banana become ripe in due time then the skin comes out very easy. The skin takes the shape of the fruit inside. When the skin is removed there is no particular shape. If this is clear, in the same manner the ripening of this experience (freedom from body identification), whereby we can separate the mind and the body, without attaining death or going to sleep.

1] Now as I told you, do the deep breathing slower for sometime. Then the next step I will tell you.

( 5 minutes silence..)

Please continue and listen.

  • The time required for breathing in and breathing out may be equal.
    • So don’t have to count, but you will get a proper rhythm.
  • After sometime the breathing will start happening from both the nostrils.
    • Initially it is either the left or the right.
  • Third thing – do not hold the breath either inside or outside.
    • Let it be a continuous process of cleansing.
  • Initially one may not be able to achieve a proper rhythm and sequence.
    • But have patience. In due time it happens.

(2 minutes silence…)

  • Many times a lot of thoughts come.
    • Instead of fighting with the mind, go to the source of the thoughts and you will discover, there is somebody sitting there.
    • Like the soap bubbles, the somebody is throwing the thoughts.
    • Remind yourself, not now; for I am NOBODY.

(-After an interval of 1 minute Swamiji continues…)

  • Remain simply aware that breathing is happening.

(After an interval of 35 seconds Swamiji continues…)

  • Every single breathing must be recorded.

By this practice, we start remaining as NOBODY in the present. Because breathing happens only in the present. And if we remain aware of this breathing that is going on, we will be able to effortlessly remain in the present.

2] Now you may breathe normally.

3] See your breathing is now extremely slow and extremely shallow.

(After an interval of 35 seconds Swamiji continues…)

Do Bhavana (Meditation) on Mind Space:

At this moment the shape, size of the body has become almost non-perceptible. Therefore the concept that I am inside the body, the world is outside, this division of in and out has almost disappeared.

Now our experience is like the space. Space contains everything, but doesn’t get influenced by anything.

1] At this stage, now do this bhavana, think yourself to be like the vast infinite space.

  • Like the gross contents do not touch the gross space, similarly none of the thoughts influence the mind space.
  • We come to realise this fact, that presence or absence of thoughts in the mind have no impact on the mind. And therefore we remain undisturbed.
  • We are one with the total mind. Our individual mind has disappeared.
    • Like, when the pot breaks – a pot-space merges in the total space, even when the pot was – the pot space was never disturbed by the contents of the pot.
  • Now the thoughts will not cover the mind.

Last Step – Living as Chidākāsha (Conscious space)

1] When we start living as the mind space, last step is living as the conscious space referred as Chidākāsha.

  • This conscious space supports WAKER with the waking world, DREAMER with the dream world and so on, but without becoming a WAKER, a DREAMER etc.

This is what bhagavan says “vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo”3. All the scriptures ultimately point to THIS, as worthy of knowing. All other things are secondary.

(After an interval of approximately 5 minutes Swamiji continues…)

Conclusion: Once again include the body in the Mind

1] Breathe slowly, deep and see how the body is included in the mind.

2] Now the whole body is included in the mind.

3] Move your toes and fingers.

Now this concept is clear – I am inside the body, the world is outside. And our samsar (world) begins.

  • This inclusion of the body in the mind and
    • thereby enlivening the mind as somebody and
      • when tired the mind drops the body, meaning mind gives up the shape of the body and merges with the total mind,
        • thereby again gets recharged and this is going on for millions of years.
        • But we are never aware of this.

4] Be aware of this phenomena, then we come to know, never we were born never do we die. Like the waves coming and disappearing; the waker, dreamer, deep-sleeper they come and go, we are the same.

5] Offer everything at the feet of the Lord.

ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदम् पूर्णात् पूर्णमुदच्यते | Om poornamadah poornamidam poornaat poornamudachyate

पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते || Poornasya poornamaadaaya poornamevaavashishṣyate

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः || Om shaantih shaantih shaantih

Hari Om Sri Gurubhyo Namah Hari Om

1 Pranayam is basically a means to Nadi Shodhanam or purification of blood from metabolic gaseous toxins – which helps the seeker to detach himself from body-identification. This is the main purpose of Pranayam and the health aspects are just a by-product. So with regards to Pranayam, it is the spiritual dimension that is primary, while the health dimension is secondary.

2 (Dattatreya says in the AvadhUta Gita)

3 Bhagavad Gita 15.15

sarvasya cāhaḿ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo

mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaḿ ca

vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo

vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham

I am seated in everyone’s heart,

and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness.

By all the Vedas, I am to be known.

Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.