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Post-Meditative Sadhana

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

04 August 1999

You know your mind only through the meditative efforts. Judging the mind’s complex notes, you are led to the further stage of dealing with it. The goal must be to make the meditation and non-meditation equally spiritual, ennobling, elevating and fulfilling. Let the yearning and effort be on for this.

 

Poojya Swamiji,

Pranām. Please accept respects and regards for the special occasion of Gurupoornima. May God bless all of our Ashram so that we continue to receive your divine guidance for many years to come.

Recently, I passed through a small crisis when we had to ease out one of our four partners in the company for gross misconduct. For legal, commercial and practical reasons the separation was not an easy process. To my dismay, I found that my mind is not at all immune to apprehensive tension. This has happened even though I was fortunate enough to receive solemn assurance from my inner voice that this episode would conclude favourably and satisfactorily. And the mental tension stayed with me for the entire period of four weeks during which a sustained negotiation took place.

This episode has convinced me that I need a lot of correction, and all the advice I received from you and respected Baba has not been put to good use. On review of the situation, my own mind has pointed out that I should not restrict my ‘sādhanā’ only to the hours of meditation and spend the rest of the day in so called ‘normal’ way. Instead, my whole day and all the interactions should be associated with the thought of divine nature of everything around. The above has been told to us many times before, but I had missed its value and importance. Moreover, I may try to do this but it is not easy in the absence of proper ‘satsang’. Old habits die hard.

Having told you what I could say on this matter, I pray for your advice, since I am in severe need of correction.

Once again, my sincere Pranāms to you and love and respect for all in the Ashram.

Yours sincerely,

P.

*  *  *

Dear and blessed P,

Harih Om Tat Sat. Your letter of 4th came here on 6th. I read it right then, and am going through it again while replying you. The points that have impressed you now are very important. The transition from singular meditational emphasis to a constant sādhanā during the day’s activity and interactions is, in a way, even more important and sublime than the few hours of spiritual absorption or joy one may gain from samādhi.

In fact, this emphasis on post-meditative sādhanā is dealt with in our scriptures. It is in this context that they describe ‘Jnāna’ and ‘Jnānin’. For Jnāna, meditation is a necessary step. But, for getting the Knowledge established, to become a Jnānin, the seeker has to outlive meditation and practise a continuous and wholesome sādhanā.

brahmavit āpnoti paraṃ is the final declaration of the Upanishads. What does this mean? The Knower of Truth attains the Supreme. If knowledge results in supreme attainment, how will you describe that knowledge?

It is a wholesome development in which one’s being in totality stands engulfed by the sublimity and purity of Wisdom, Jnāna. It is exactly like the river bringing slush and dirt and other impurities flowing into the sea, to be totally engulfed by it.

Only such an engulfing into one’s inner being can be called Jnāna. It denotes expansion, depth, loftiness and clarity, all of which together transform the seeker into a Knower. For a Knower, everything is knowing, its extension and becoming.

If the Knower is going to be active and interactive, then his knowledge-depth and fruition must be profound enough to engulf his activities and interactions. Does this not mean a diametrically opposite development — withdrawal on the one hand as well as an expansion on the other? Is it not like a centre emerging from a point to become a huge circle?

ānandaṃ brahmaṇo vidvān na bibheti kadācana, declares the Upanishad. One who has known the bliss of the Self, fears not. brahmavit tarati śokaṃ, tarati pāpaṃ, guha-granthibhyo vimukto bhavati:  Knower of Truth transcends grief, transcends sinfulness and is freed from all the knots of the heart.

Naturally, till this outcome or fruition transpires, Knowledge is not complete. It is not effective. This clearly means that true spiritual wisdom has to be effective in the seeker’s interactional life. Interactions normally proceed from desire, hatred and fear. With the Knower too, interactions take place, but freed from desire, hatred and fear. You may wonder whether such desirefree, hatred-free, fear-free interactions can actually take place. They can and do. That is why the normal worldly interaction is called vyavahara, and the latter, the spiritual one is called ‘Kalyana-karma’. It proceeds from the purified mind, enlightened buddhi — like spring season’s breeze, spreading fragrance around, like huge forest trees and creepers bringing flowers and fruits. Is there any desire, expectation, fear or the like in these? Think of the Mother Earth herself. All are her children. The mother goes on revolving herself bringing days, weeks, seasons and years, all as a flow of natural felicity, with no motivation.

What you had to do was a significant task. Dispensing with a partner, who was instrumental in setting up the unit itself, is difficult and painful. To love one for a long time, to find him foster a different response and intention, and therefore to take leave of him, especially to preserve the group or corporate integrity, is certainly self-victimizing. But within this complex world, such events, or even graver ones, can knock at the mind’s door.

Hinduism distinguishes itself in that it discusses spirituality with its full relevance to the complex world. The world and our involvement with it necessitate a great deal of complexity. Spiritual enrichment must be able to afford and withstand all such consequences.

Thus in the winning of the Mahabharata war, Arjuna and Yudhishthira had to sustain heart-rending losses. Krishna, to grow and be what he was, had to, among other things, contend his own uncle and behead him. Sri Rama, at the end of his righteous life, had to depart with a note, quite strange and afflicting. He had to abandon Lakshmana, for a righteous cause, and in pursuit of it, leave Ayodhya and go into the Sarayu depths. Lakshmana had also to leave similarly.

We are born into the world, into a company of people, the family. But the end of this joint life, is a clear cut and full separation from it. Union leads to separation. Knowledge and sādhanā must be able to provide for and embrace this climax, this finale. In our scriptures, Knowledge is discussed as a point of enlightenment. But when enlightenment makes itself felt, then the seeker is led to its further development and outcome. The scriptures then speak of enlightenment as a full-fledged expanse, growth, flexibility, assimilativeness, synthesis and integration.

Integration is that process by which you integrate and assimilate every input and development into yourself, gallantly and benignly.

The Knower is tested, the seeker all the more. Read the Sthita-prajna section of the 2nd chapter of Bhagavad Gita. Krishna said just one verse on Sthita-prajna describing his samādhi state. The entire remaining 16 verses speak only about the active and interactive Sthita-dhi. Where lies the Truth then, both of Wisdom and the sādhanā for it?

But meditation is indispensable. Only to the meditative, this secret will be disclosed, together with the compulsion for growth and expansion. In meditation, absorption is likely, the need for dealing with the mind’s notes is also compelled. You know your mind only through the meditative efforts. Judging the mind’s complex notes, you are led to the further stage of dealing with it.

So I am happy that realization has come to you, at least now. And it is not late at all. Now act upon it. The goal must be to make the meditation and non-meditation equally spiritual, ennobling, elevating and fulfilling. Let the yearning and effort be on for this.

Love and Sivāśis,
Your own Antarātma,

Swamiji

– From the Book– “Dear and Blessed Soul”.

“True spiritual wisdom has to be effective in the seeker’s interactional life. ”

“Interactions normally proceed from desire, hatred and fear. With the Knower too, interactions take place, but freed from desire, hatred and fear. ”

“You may wonder whether desirefree, hatred-free, fear-free interactions can actually take place. They can and do.”

“Knowledge is a wholesome development in which one’s being in totality stands engulfed by the sublimity and purity of Wisdom, Jnāna. It is exactly like the river bringing slush and dirt and other impurities flowing into the sea, to be totally engulfed by it.”

“Hinduism distinguishes itself in that it discusses spirituality with its full relevance to the complex world. The world and our involvement with it necessitate a great deal of complexity. Spiritual enrichment must be able to afford and withstand all such consequences.”

“Integration is that process by which you integrate and assimilate every input and development into yourself, gallantly and benignly.”

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