A holy text (“Vivekachudamani” 367) : “The first door to Yoga (here Yoga means liberation) is control of the speech…” (We should guard our lips as the gates of the palace of a king are guarded. We can never be too careful. One of the sayings of Hazrat Ali is: “You will often regret what you have said, but never what you have not said”. It is written in the Islamic scriptures: “God has given you two ears, but one tongue. Therefore, listen two and speak one.” We should associate with those people who do not expect waste of words from us. Our speech should be sweet, truthful and helpful. This is the first door to Yoga or liberation.) “…aparigraha, to expect no favour from anyone…” (He is in a miserable condition who expects favours from this friend and that friend. The real joy of living is to expect no favour of anybody. Why? “Brahman sattyam jagan mithya.” Sansara is mithya, I am Brahman, and about mithya what can you say?
Things will happen this way or that way according to our past karma; not by any mechanical law the things happen. There is nothing happening without law, and the law is “what we sow we reap.”) “…dependence on one’s own Atman…” (to have the habit of santosha, contentment. This is the door within the first door.) “…reduction of desires…” (the barely essential desires only. ) ” . . . love of solitude. ” (It does not mean to live in the forest but inner solitude, which is much greater than the outer.
The outer is only to help the inner. The inner is to have no fears, to have no hope. To depend upon no friend, to fear no enemy, to wish good to all, absolute good to all, whatever they may do to you. The love of this solitude is a great virtue.) The holy text is useful and we should remember it.
Our buddhi, which is the purest part of our intellect, is like a pool. A pool of water can be agitated. In it there can be foreign bodies to rob it of its transparency. There are two ways: by holy study, by devotion, and by surrender of our personality to God, we make our buddhi transparent and peaceful. If you want to feel the light of Atman in the buddhi, two things are necessary: vairagya, reduction of desires and detachment, and loving devotion to the God, by these two means the buddhi is made of such a type that it can very easily reflect Atman and the reflection of the Atman, when clear, can lead to the identification with Atman and the disidentification with what is not Atman.
Here is the truth, the unconditional and absolute truth. It is embodied in the following verse: “Thou thyself art Brahma the Creator. Thou thyself art Vishnu the Protector . Thou thyself art Indra, the Governor of the universe. Thou art Shiva Himself” .
“Thou art”? there is nothing other than Atman, there is nothing other than Atmans. This is the absolute truth, this is the great truth, the highest truth. Devotion is undertaken, Sat-Sang is cultivated, discipline is pursued, for this conviction. And to ripen this conviction, the stilled mind has to affirm it again and again and again.
When the Frenchman Coue taught self-suggestion: “Day by day in every way I am getting better and better” , the people took it with great joy. Shruti hundreds and thousands of years before has taught this “Svayam Brahma, Svayam Vishnu . . . there is nothing other than Atman” (“Vivekachudamani” 388). Affirm it and say it. By affirmation, the illusion will end and the sun of truth will shine. It may shine now, it may shine at the time of death, it may shine when you are in Brahmaloka.
These are the three conditions when release takes place. It can take place now, who knows when and at what moment? It can take place at the time of death. At the time of death the mind undergoes very great changes which are laid down in the holy Shastra. For a detailed exposition, read the commentary of Shri Shankara on the third and fourth books of “Brahmasutra”. It may take place then. In some cases, those who are still attached to devotion and karma, they pass to the most blissful region called Brahmaloka in which there is nothing to do, no ahankara, no idea of doing or acquiring.
The jiva is wrapped in great spiritual bliss, like sushupti plus enlightenment, above time and space; the jiva dwells there. There is no time, and when the cosmos is dissolved in the Creator, in creating Consciousness, then the jiva acquires mukti or release. But all that depends on one’s efforts, on the discipline, on the kind of life. And the affirmation can lead to all this and can help all this.
One thing remains to be said. They will say: “Very difficult”. We should forget “very difficult”. It is difficult if we are alone. Look at the words of the Ruler of the universe in the Gita 18.58: “Macchittah (if thy mind is centred on Me, if you become ‘my-minded’), then all the mighty forts and castles of avidya thou shalt demolish by My Grace …” (It is only when the mind is antaramukha, all introvertive, and devoted to the contemplation of the Lord as “I am Atman” and “O Lord, whatever I am, I am thine. I belong to Thee.”
“My true condition I to Thee explain
In two short verses that will all contain:
In love of Thee I will myself lay down
In hope Thy love will raise me up again.”
It is not difficult because the Lord of the universe is with you, in you. He is you. Remember) “By My Grace, O Arjuna, if thy mind is devoted to Me …” (that is, to the contemplation “I am Shiva, I am Atman” or in the relative sense “I am truth, benevolence, helpfulness, I am beauty, I am bliss.” In either case, either in the relative or in the absolute sense) . “… by My Prasad or Grace thou wilt conquer all the forts …” (not one only. He makes this promise to you, by Whose fear the sun rises in the East, by Whose fear the fire burns, in obedience to Whose commands death is knocking at the doors of the high potentates, by Whose command at every moment millions of universes and stars explode into smoke and spring into being again. He is promising.) “… But if, Arjuna, by virtue of thy thickened individuality, thou wilt not listen to Me, what I am saying to thee, thou shalt perish“. (It means again and again to be thrown into the whirlpool of avidya to wander there from incarnation to incarnation. It is better to have faith in Him and depend on Him.