Daily Readings

Insights Inspirations - August

CYT - 1982 - ISBN 10: 0959069038 ISBN 13: 9780959069037

Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Venkatesaya

August 1

no place for conversion

Hinduism, which has a ceremony or ritual for all sorts of things that may happen to us, does not have a ritual for converting people of other faiths into Hindus.
The reason is obvious - it was not encouraged.
Even the more non-revolutionary 'conversion' of people from one school of thought to another within the Hindu framework, was discouraged, unless this was born of full inner conviction and understanding - in which case it was obviously the 'carry-over' of past birth.
Even if the path one walked was found to be defective, it was left to a sage or man-of-God to bring one over to the right path, without confusing him or shaking the foundations of his beliefs.
This was most important.
Lord Krishna gives a stern warning in the Gita: "Do not unsettle anyone's beliefs, but give them a proper direction".
We find this attitude prevalent even among the early Christian missionaries who exhorted the people to adopt the Christian way of life, while they gave 'a Christian significance to such of the extant pagan ceremonies' as were deep-rooted in the hearts of the people.
That certainly is wisdom.
Why does a man want to be converted?
Except in very rare cases, he is impelled by a very strong inner conviction.
The man seeking conversion runs away either from the moral standards of his own faith or from the spiritual challenge that his own faith offers him to realise perfection; and while running away, he raises a bit of dirt and dust, betraying his own ignorance and foolishness.
Proselytisation weakens the religion practising it.
The wise path is confirmation: this is what my Master Sri Swami Sivananda adopted.
Even when on account of past births, one feels drawn to Indian philosophy, My Master, without disturbing one's own faith, supplements it with the wholesome art of yoga.
The Christian becomes a yogi (mystic) but remains a Christian.
He is not converted but rather confirmed in his faith.

August 2

What is Your Purpose

Has my life any purpose at all?
Does it need to be manipulated either by myself or others so that I might measure up to some kind of a standard?
When I am measuring up to a standard I am struggling all of the time.
You know how these standards are set, don't you?
Someone takes what they call the average.
Average intelligence Have you ever met someone with an average intelligence?
The average intelligence doesn't apply to anybody.
Either you are above average intelligence or you are below average - nobody has 'average' intelligence.
How do you live in this world?
Is there a purpose in all this?
Must I measure up to a standard?
Set by whom?
And this fashion seems to be changing continuously.
Not only your hairstyle changes, thinking fashion also changes.
I don't know if you are subject to these 'decadent' cataclysms - decadent in the sense of 'once in a decade' another cataclysm takes over.
Now it is psycho-analysis, and now it is primal scream, and now it is transcendental meditation, and now it is...
Every few years something gets hold of us and all of us swing.
The standard has changed - which means it was not standard - it was 'runnered'!
If it was standard it must be standing.
This standard seems to be running and all of us are chasing one another to keep pace with this changing phenomenon.
Who sets the standard?
How do we discover this?
How do we discover what the purpose of life is, and if there is a purpose at all?
And therefore, the first question which seems to be of great importance is for each one of us to ask ourselves, or to ask life itself, "What is your purpose?"

August 3

A Time for Everything

The person whom I hate and who is evil is able to see, think, live, breathe and do what he does, because of God; just as I am able to do these things because of God.
Here the energy flows in one direction, there the energy flows in another direction.
That's all.
When the energy flows in this direction it appears to the other crowd to be destructive.
Sometimes Krishna explains this very beautifully: "When the balance is upset, when it looks as though one would swallow the other, then the divine force manifests itself to restore the balance."
No God, no incarnation, no Shakti, nothing in the world has ever been able to annihilate evil once and for all.
If that were possible no other incarnation of God would be necessary!
There is always what I call Noah's ark.
God wishes to destroy the world.
Then suddenly there is a change of heart and he keeps two of everything as samples.
If he had destroyed even those and created something new, maybe even better than before, it would have been marvellous.
But it's never done.
Then you realise that it is not consciousness or God or the energy that is at fault.
This energy has to flow and dance everywhere, and occasionally it takes turns - which to some look evil - and there is conflict.
When this conflict becomes a terrible conflagration, then God incarnates to redress the balance: the Shakti itself manifests.
He who knows that there is a time for everything is never frustrated.
That understanding is brought about by the direct realisation that the energy that makes all these things happen in the universe is one and indivisible, and that energy is beyond me and you.
'You' is one spark of that energy; 'I' is another spark of that energy.
You are as much his creation, her creation, as I am.
Suddenly this 'mineness' is gone.
You are God's child and I am God's child too.

August 4

Pragmatism or Idealism?

Advertising has become a fine art of the twentieth century.
It is as old as time.
One finds it in the scriptures: they glorify heaven and offer its delights free to those who adhere to certain moral codes, which are often measures intended to promote social welfare.
History however, bears witness to the failure of this approach.
Advertising aids 'promotion', which is a synonym for salesmanship.
The other side of advertising is the promotion of the baser elements in man - selfishness, greed and dishonesty.
Thereby a confusing if not conflicting situation is created: whereas one endeavours to promote happiness and social welfare, the promotion of selfishness and greed effectively destroys these.
Advertising rests on the theory that it is pragmatic.
It produces immediate results.
The sales and the popularity increase, the profits increase and there is perhaps a temporary pleasure to the consumer.
Whether or not the commodity was responsible for this, the advertiser has the satisfaction of owning the advertised product, of belonging to the popular movement or of adopting the current fashion.
But something intangible, yet precious, has been lost: innocence.
Unfortunately, even religion, philanthropy, co-operative endeavour, social service, meditation and other yoga practices are caught in the same net.
We are told constantly "Do this, you will gain that."
There is disaster if the hopes thus raised are shattered in real life: but even if they are invariably fulfilled, this approach only intensifies selfishness and corrupts the human heart.
One is then unwilling to do anything unless some reward is guaranteed.
Advertising may be justified in the promotion of merchandise, but it is good to avoid it in human conduct and behaviour in social and religious spheres.
Idealism is more appropriate there.
Lord Krishna advocates pure action in the Bhagavad Gita: "To be active is your birthright."
So do what you have to do; the reward is not your concern.
There is great beauty in this ideal.
It achieves social welfare and human happiness without promoting selfishness and greed.

August 5

Exploitation is Vicious

Two young singers died one after the other.
One was male and the other female, but both of them were top pop stars.
The people acclaimed them, applauded them and thus persuaded them and encouraged them to sacrifice themselves.
But whether they were happy or not, nobody cared.
Their friends admitted, "They were not happy in themselves".
Yet, they sang, they entertained, they brought happiness (however momentary) to their patrons.
Theirs is not an unusual story.
These subtle persuaders and deadly exploiters are found everywhere in the world, in all walks of life.
They are in positions of power and prestige.
They are the rulers of the world who wage wars (of course with the blood of young people, not their own); they are the builders of nations (with the sweat and toil of the young people, not their own); they are the adored heads of mighty institutions and leaders of powerful cults, whose loving arms embrace their hard-working and hard-worked followers (whose loyal and unselfish service is applauded and who are consigned to their own solitude and suffering once they are unserviceable).
Modern society has divided itself into two camps - the exploiter and the exploited.
The exploiter often expounds altruistic ideals, they are the hidden persuaders!
Of course, the philosophy is sublime; and it is even possible that the exploiter believes in it.
But the exploiter's own moment of truth comes when he is confronted with the other man's needs - physical, mental, social and spiritual.
The tune changes.
Unselfishness, oneness, renunciation, spirit of service, love, etc. yield place to other convenient philosophical doctrines.
The singers are silent.
Their exploiters are looking for others.
How long will this go on?
Till the exploiters are silenced by the cold hand of death.
And then, on the other side of the fence, they will have to face those whom they exploited; their hypocrisy is unmasked. O fool!
Will you be able to face your own darkened soul?
How will you look into the face of the pure and powerful souls whom You exploited here?
Listen to the voice of Gurudev Sivananda and live in the constant realisation of your oneness with all.
Give more than you take.
Serve more than you are served.
Love more than you are loved.

August 6

Obstacles to a Religious Life

There are two serious obstacles to a religious life.
The first and foremost is the assumption 'This is the answer'.
Such an assumption signifies that there is inattention or laziness which tempt the investigation to be abandoned in favour of pretended certainty.
This assumption is very different from the clarity of an uncluttered mind which blossoms in enlightenment - and enlightenment is not its description.
The other obstacle is a tricky motivation.
Indeed, it is the sorrow, death and destruction that one observes in life in the world (whether this is one's own experience or one's observation) that triggers the investigation.
But, if this motivation is allowed to dominate the investigation, it might lead to strange results.
However, if there is energetic and single-minded investigation, one will soon realise that pain is inextricably related to the pursuit of pleasure, and that death and destruction exist inextricably related to life and construction.
In other words, sorrow, death and destruction are 'life seen in fragments'.
If, by the Grace of God (for here there is no help, not even self-help), one is sustained beyond this understanding, Life reveals its meaning.
What that revelation is, is a great secret, known only to you.

August 7

Burning Desire

My Guru, Swami Sivananda, was once asked, "Since You did not live with Your Guru, since You led an independent life during Your sadhana, what were the obstacles that You encountered and how did You overcome them?"
Gurudev smiled and said, "I had no obstacles at all."
How is this possible?
Perhaps the key lies in the fact that whatever discipline He undertook was natural to Him.
It wasn't forced upon Him either by others or even by Himself.
It was the natural fruit of an inner vision.
If the inner being sees a truth, then there is no struggle.
"I must know the Self and be free. I must realise the Self now," with this as the uppermost thought all obstacles were wiped away.
There was no struggle, no temptation to revert to a life of ease and status.
His sustaining power was, "I must realise God now."
He was determined to realise God 'here and now', and whatever He did was based upon this.
With the inner direction fixed, then all the disciplines like asana, pranayama, japa and diet were natural and bore fruit.
Minus this basic direction, carrying on some practices will never yield fruit.
This is what is called burning desire.
Not fireworks which flare up and disappear, but a wood fire, burning silently, constantly giving warmth and illumining everything around it.
In our case, in the beginning our zeal and enthusiasm are overwhelming.
But in six months... gone! And we swing to the other extreme when the reaction sets in.
In His case the burning was constant, without noise, without show or fuss.
Such a fire burns itself out completely.
The fire, 'I must realise God now', was all there was.
There was no looking back.
Back had been burned and there was only forward.
In his own words, "When shall I be free? When 'I' ceases to be, when 'I' is burned in the fire of enquiry."
Here there is no identification with ego but simply active observation, observation in itself - light that shines without a source, because this light is omnipresent.
These were not just words, but truth, truth that emerged from the crucible of life.
Living truth.
When truth becomes living truth, that living truth experiences no difficulty and no obstacle whatsoever.

August 8

Sivananda's Yoga

Without entering into conflict with conflicting theories, our Master Swami Sivananda sought the subtle middle path which reconciled them and brought into healthy use their beneficent principles.
Hence, in the practice of yoga asanas, his commandment was: "Perfection, without strain," and in the practice of pranayama, "Inhale, retain, exhale, as long as it is comfortable."
The wise student of yoga neither forces the body nor leaves it alone; he educates the body and gently guides the indwelling intelligence to perceive the hidden potentialities.
This may often (not always) be achieved by a repetition of the particular posture, instead of holding it for a considerable time; and every subsequent repetition improves the ease with which the posture is executed, for the intelligence within discovers (and thus removes) the obstacle.
There is no pain in this process; and therefore there is no resistance at all.
The will-force is not used.
There is an inner awareness which detects the obstacles and removes them - whether these obstacles are sluggish, disused muscles and joints, or tension brought about by wrong habits of living and thinking.
Once this is done, it is a joy to hold the posture "as long as it is comfortable," in the words of Swami Sivananda.
The 'comfort' must induce and inspire the body to hold it 'long'.
All this is discipline, which is the characteristic of the disciple.
It is up to the disciple to study his own mind (which is what discipline means) and see for himself how it throws up doubts and distractions.
The light for such self-study is viveka or vigilance.
Such vigilance keeps the distractions away and the doubting intellect at bay, so that the heart may be open to the Guru.
The Guru is everywhere at all times, for He is the light of God, and His Grace is freely available to all at all times.
This wisdom filled every aspect of Gurudev Swami Sivananda's teachings.
Non-violence is neither violence nor its true opposite which is total inertness or passivity.
It is an inexpressible 'something' which eludes your grasp and description!
May His grace lead you into its discovery!

August 9

Divine Life

The most important principle which we should constantly remember and which should govern any one of our thoughts, words and actions, is that we ourselves are instruments in the hands of the Higher Power.
It is not easy because our own little human self, the ego, bursts in every little while - sometimes in a tragic way.
Tragic because at such times our own selfish little personality projects itself in the garb of the divine, which is terribly confusing.
Hence meditation is vital.
In meditation when we are still struggling to still the mind, it is essential to use a formula.
It is like self-hypnotism or, as I would love to put it, self-dehypnotism.
We have fooled ourselves long enough that 'we do'; and we have fooled ourselves long enough with the idea that if we want to, we shall not do it.
Against both these wrong hypnotic suggestions, we dehypnotise ourselves with the counter-suggestion: 'Not I, but God does'.
Having dehypnotised ourselves, we make sure that we neither get behind our life and start pushing it, nor stand in front and obstruct its course.
These two together must act as a constant motive-power in our life: on the one hand, regular meditation in the morning, and on the other, living as His instrument.
Every morning we re-dedicate ourselves to the divine, making ourselves humbler than the smallest blade of grass, humbler than dust... and yet more powerful than all the divinities of the world by virtue of our oneness with the Supreme.
It is this that has made the supermen and superdivine beings in all walks of life.
It is when the ego is pushed out of the way and neither used as a prodder nor an obstruction that the divine flows through the personality!
'Lord! Thy will be done, not mine.'
This suggestion must sink deeper into our consciousness during the morning meditation.
In the helter-skelter of our life it is possible for everyone, even for the greatest spiritual giant, to lose the thread of this consciousness now and then.
And therefore all religions insist we should sit down and pray, if possible five, if possible fifty times a day, so that this consciousness of the divine functioning in and through us, becomes constant.
At the end of the day it is good to review the day's activities: "Today has not been ill spent, in as much as I have endeavoured to lead the divine life".
Every day we strive a little harder till we reach the Supreme, till we are not even conscious that we are instruments in the hands of God.

August 10

Religious Life versus Divine Life

The world has never lacked good people.
There are many religions (in fact too many!) in the world today claiming countless adherents.
All that is good, excellent, wonderful, super-wonderful.
But spiritual life or divine life is a different life.
Spiritual life can grow out of a religious life, out of a good life, and even outside of a religious or a good life.
That is, it is possible for a man who has had no religious training at all, for an atheist, to be suddenly awakened to the existence of the Supreme Spirit.
It is equally possible for a man who has not been good to get a sudden inner transformation and awakening.
In religious life, as it is popularly understood, religion is one part of life - prayers in the morning and evening, regular visits to the temple, observance of fasts and festivals, etc.
In divine life, the entire life is divinised.
In a good life goodness is adhered to as a ritual, as an end in itself.
In spiritual life, this goodness is founded on the right spirit.
This does not mean that divine life or spiritual life is opposed to a religious or a good life: on the contrary, it is the fulfilment of a religious or an ethical life.
Goodness becomes more stable when founded on spiritual life; religion regains its significance when life is made divine.
But the spiritual life is definitely opposed to worldly or materialistic life.
It should awaken in us the consciousness that we are in truth the Immortal Spirit.
It should result in our expressing our essential divine spiritual nature in our thoughts, words and deeds.
This demands keen discrimination, intelligent dispassion and firm determination.
This demands an ability to make sacrifices, a daring spirit of adventure and a willingness to make the necessary psycho-spiritual experiments which might cost us not only the pleasures of this worldly life but our life itself.
All this is possible more easily when our spirit (not only our body) is young, than when the senility of pessimism and infirmity has overtaken us and we cling to the false security of riches and relations.

August 11

Make Your Life Divine

There is too much of spiritless living nowadays.
The little spirit that is evoked now and then is mostly unhealthy and negative, generated by false sports and amusement, political and economic struggle.
What a great loss!
Lord Krishna reminded us that we can transform every one of our daily actions into a joyous and thrilling spiritual adventure, if only we put the spirit into it.
This is what my Gurudev Swami Sivananda called 'Divine Life'.
He explained and defined Divine Life in the following words:
Within you is hidden God
Within you is immortal soul
Kill this little 'I'
Die to live
Lead the Divine Life.

Divine life is the divinising of the entire life, recognising God to be the source, sustenance and goal of our life.
When we plead that God should be put back into our life, we only pray that the ignorance which created the illusory distinction should realise that our life is truly divine in its origin, progress and destiny.
This spirit makes all the difference.
Without it your service at home, office or hospital may be a tiring task.
With it, even cutting sugarcane and carrying heavy loads in the harbour may become soul-satisfying service of the omnipresent God.
None except you can put the spirit back into your life.
Any activity, whether it is ministering to the sick, or preaching the gospel, or working on a political platform, or just scavenging any job can be sublimated, transmuted into yoga.
No job, no works no activity is superior or inferior.
None is to be lauded or condemned, provided the spirit is maintained.
If the spirit is not there, even a swami teaching in his glowing garb might be paving his way to hell.
If the spirit is maintained, even an illiterate peasant cutting sugar-cane throughout the day, might ascend to God-consciousness. it is the spirit of the divine Omnipresence that is vital to our life.
May you all lead the Divine Life here and now.

August 12

Diagnosis, Then Cure

As in disease, so in life: the diagnosis is the most important and the most difficult part of treatment.
If we concede that our sufferings spring from causes outside us, we try to remove those causes by reforming the world.
If we feel that it is the heat of the summer that worries us, we air-condition our room.
If we find that someone criticising us worries us, we try to silence him.
If we think our suffering comes from the policies of a certain government, we work against it and topple it.
But soon we realise that the remedy is worse than the disease!
As my Gurudev Sivananda used to put it humorously, "The operation was successful, but the patient died!"
The air-conditioned room makes our bodies too sensitive to even a slight change in the temperature.
In trying to silence our critic, we create more.
We discover that power conferred by position and authority corrupts all, and that one government is as good or as bad as another.
We continue to suffer, groping for the real cause which is not outside us, but within us.
It is 'desire', 'craving' in all its shades right up to its subtlest form as 'will to live'.
Looking at the functioning of our own bodies, we can easily arrive at the conclusion that conscious desiring is unnecessary (and is perhaps a hindrance) to the proper functioning of our vital organs.
It is enough for us to realise that food is not digested and blood does not circulate because we desire these.
In our own body, there are certain functions which are voluntary (e.g. movement of our limbs, speech, etc.), others which are involuntary though to a limited extent they can be voluntarily controlled (e.g. breathing and elimination) and yet others which are completely involuntary.
In the same way, life in the world goes on whether we will it or not.
The major part of it is beyond our control.
We have some power to modify some phenomena and alter a few.
By systematic training it is possible to so tune our conscious being to bring it into perfect alignment with Nature.
We shall then entertain no desire at all, and yet be as active as our own heart which beats day and night without our desiring it and perhaps without a personal desire of its own.
First, all evil desire should go, then personal desires and ultimately all desire.
Then there will be an end to suffering.

August 13

The Life of Life

What is psychology?
Psychology is truth concerning the psyche.
Usually, they say that psyche is the mind, though perhaps it means a lot more than that.
Surely mind itself means a lot more than what we have come to regard as mind.
Superficially it is the thinking instrument, but what is that power, what is that energy that makes the mind aware?
What is the content of awareness?
What is the meaning of awareness?
What is the meaning of consciousness?
This is what we should try to discover.
This discovery is made by insight that which sees into oneself, into this awareness, into this consciousness, into this mind.
The Keno Upanishad hints that that supreme principle within which enables all these to happen is God the mind of mind, the life of life.
The religious quest is directed towards the realisation of God.
How do you know what God is?
If you already know what God looks like, you know God.
Then what are you looking for?
If you do not know God at all, how will you recognise Him if you see Him?
Both ways you are caught.
To avoid this impasse they introduced the Guru - Jesus Christ, your Guru, or Buddha, and He points out, 'This is God, bow down'.
Now comes a difficulty.
Will you accept that or not?
You might think: 'What is He trying to do to me, is He cheating me or indulging in some kind of mesmerism, hypnotism, black magic?'
This is because you have no faith either in God or the Guru.
If you have no faith in the Guru you will suspect whatever He says, even when He points to God - which means you are not sincere, mature or eager in the first place.
Therefore in both yoga and Vedanta they insist upon maturity.
In ancient times the enlightened ones remained incognito, unperceived, unrecognised.
They 'veiled' themselves so that only the mature disciple went to them in a state of readiness.
Then it was very easy for Them to indicate the truth and the disciple was enlightened.
That is perhaps what was meant by the Holy Ghost.
In German the word 'geist' means mind, so the Holy Ghost is a purified, mature, sincere, virtuous mind; a mind that is ready and eager, which naturally seeks the truth.
In that natural search for the truth you may need some help, which comes to you as your Guru, as God almighty, as the Son in Christianity.
So the Holy Ghost takes the help of the Son (or the Guru) and finds God (the Father).

August 14

Creating a Hermitage Within

There is a rather strange aspect of human nature; when we have something we want something else, and when we do not have it we miss it and long for it.
Life or fate or karma throws you in the middle of a fish-Market and you have to live there.
You begin to think "Oh! if only I could get away to a nice quiet place where I could meditate seriously for twenty-four hours! I am interested in attaining God-realisation but there is the family, the business, this and that! If these could be taken care of and I were free, I would sit and meditate all day and night."
Then you are brought into a situation where all these things suddenly come into your life.
There is all the seclusion, privacy and non-distraction you wanted; and what happens?
You discover the distraction is not outside.
The 'distractability' is inside.
If you have this 'distractability' you will be distracted anywhere.
How can I have a completely impenetrable fortress where I will not be distracted - not only now, but forever? Provided you have the strong wish, through the materialisation of this wish, one is able to create for oneself a 'hermitage' - which is a nice way of saying you can stay wherever you are.
Take the example of a yoga camp where a big percentage of distraction is absent.
You are here for only a short time.
Why don't you enjoy it?
Why don't you watch yourself and see whether you have any interest in life other than the fish-market?
You were accustomed to that before you came here.
Do you indulge in the same small-talk - in the same behaviour pattern?
Can you release yourself from the fish-market and find a new interest?
This is point number one.
If what you are doing here is a mere extension of what you were doing there, there is no sense in coming here.
Being here also gives you the opportunity to look within and see whether you were really serious when you wished for seclusion.
Can you, in this atmosphere, pull yourself completely away?
Do you really want to change or are you merely bluffing yourself?
Will you use this opportunity to unmask your sincerity or insincerity and look within and face yourself?
In a camp situation one can, even though it seems to be painful.

August 15

Spiritual Renewal

During these days of retreat here I received exceedingly rich spiritual gifts.
I am not too shy to call it a spiritual fruition.
The spiritual growth is clear enough to be felt.
From here I could go straight to a hermitage and the bliss would continue.
But we all have to go back to our daily lives, which for some of us is hard.
For this going back we need a word of strengthening.
Every sincere spiritual seeker has felt this at some time or other, until we discover that the 'hermitage', when it becomes one's home, might fail to further one's spiritual growth.
It is not the fault of the hermitage but the inevitable fruit of the problem one transports to the hermitage!
The problem is oneself, the self, the 'me' at the door of the home.
I remember the words of Gurudev Swami Sivananda, "You will find good and evil even on top of Mount Kailas".
When will 'I' leave 'me'?
But why should I pick it up at all?
Why do I pick it up?
On account of ignorance, of selfishness and of foolishness.
Oftentimes we wake up after we have been trapped: even a rat will not be trapped if it sees the trap - it only sees the cake!
We seek the pleasure and awake to find ourselves trapped.
If we can keep awake all the time we shall see the trap from miles away, and not rush into it.
This is done by daily, and if possible hourly, spiritual renewal, whatever be the method or non-method you wish to adopt.

August 16

Right Action

There are times when the boundary between right and wrong is obliterated.
There seems to be no such thing, except for the honesty and sincerity that is within oneself.
We can, of course, rely on nothing else.
While living in society we have to obey social laws and norms or face the consequences.
Obedience to authority is not even obedience, let alone wise or right action.
In the very concept of obedience there is inner resistance, fragmentation of the personality, and therefore violence, which is bound to spill over sooner or later as disobedience.
In love there is no obedience.
There is total harmony, individual and social, and hence no resistance.
There is direct action.
But such love (not of someone or of something) is extremely rare.
It is of God, it is God.
While this love is not there and when obedience is seen to be lacking in the spirit, one has to turn to what is prestigiously (in the right sense of that word - deceptively) called conscience.
However, when this word is called into the service of action, it is usually qualified by 'my' conscience.
'My' conscience is the handmaid of 'me' which is 'memory'.
This conscience is therefore an unsuitable arbiter of wisdom in action.
It is not difficult to see that such conscience is basically egotistic, selfish and hence untrustworthy.
Therefore, he who rejects 'external' (scriptural, parental or guru's) guidance should be careful enough to avoid the 'promptings of the conscience' and probe deeper to come face to face with the innermost springs of action.
If your heart is pure and mind transparent, this is immediately realised.
In most of us, however, neither of these may be in an enlightened state.
The state of confusion prevails.
While there is no clarity, there is also an anxiety not to do the wrong thing.
What is right action?
The essential factor in right action, say the greatest of scriptures, is 'not to hurt anyone'.
This is righteousness in essence, according to Sage Vyasa.
But, is it enough not to hurt intentionally?
Or, is it necessary also to consider possible consequences and avoid even unintentionally hurting another?
Also, is it possible that everything that we do may directly or indirectly hurt someone, even when this was not intended?
Can one ask oneself, "Have I looked at the problem from all possible angles to ensure that all foresee-able factors have been taken care of?"
This enquiry is endless, unfathomable and pathless.

August 17

Nature and Culture

Nature is complex in her simplicity.
She loves those who try to understand her and receives them into her bosom (the grave); the rebellious conquerors of nature, too, receive from her the same treatment.
Nature remains a mystery.
Every philosophy that the understanding man has proclaimed as truth has been falsified before the ink is dry on the thesis.
This is perhaps inevitable when the ever-changing human mind endeavours to study nature in which change is constant.
Helplessly whirling on this merry-go-round, man invents what he considers permanent values.
There are permanent realities which are not man's invention and which do not care to be discovered by man.
However, the permanent values invented by man are his creatures and therefore share their creator's character - impermanency.
Confused and impermanent man, having created such values and having envisioned permanency in them, is scared to death even to think that they might be threatened.
Man struggles against the inevitable.
The inevitable is the reality!
This reality takes no notice of the private wishes and aspirations of puny, ignorant man.
Man might call his creatures 'tradition', 'culture', 'nationhood', or even 'philosophy'.
But, his creatures must inevitably share his characteristic - confusion, ignorance, impermanency and hopelessness.
Unwilling to admit this, successive generations of men have invented other philosophies.
One school of philosophers have challenged another school and declared that their invention is more permanent and truly real and totally universal!
All this inevitably leads to conflict, to aggression and to violence.
Ironically the man-made values are the first ones to go in such a conflict.
The natural change is brought about, the unnaturalness of the means arose out of human ignorance and unwisdom.
Conflict is born of ignorance.
Wisdom sees different forces as cooperative agents.
Wisdom is synthesis.
Wisdom recognises that even the threatening pull in the opposite direction' is inevitable when the pendulum swings, and this recognition acts as the moderating influence.
Conflict is avoided, coexistence is realised and cooperation made possible.
Aggression yields place to Love.
Love is God.

August 18

Swami Sivananda's Satsang

Since this satsang is conducted in the name of Swami Sivananda, it is appropriate to mention that this was the pattern, the method, that the Master himself instituted.
In summer the satsang used to be conducted on the verandah outside Swami Sivananda's room.
It was not very large.
It could accommodate about 20 people and, in those days, there were not even 20 in the ashram, and there were just a few visitors.
By that I hope I have indicated that satsang is not something which will ever become overcrowded and, perhaps it should not be overcrowded.
It will not be overcrowded because it will not appeal to everybody in this world, not even to all the people who profess to practise yoga.
There was no electricity so we had one of those hurricane lanterns on a small coffee table.
Precisely on the dot of satsang hour Swami Sivananda would open His door and walk in like a shot, and sit on His appointed seat in the middle of the two rows.
He wouldn't talk to anybody, wouldn't look at them, nothing at all.
Then immediately the person at the head of the left row started the 'Jaya Ganesha'.
As soon as that was over the person sitting next would read from the Bhagavad Gita.
Even the hurricane lantern was so veiled with paper that the light shone only on the book, otherwise it was darkened.
He would read one chapter of the Gita, with or without translation, and on the conclusion of that he would sing a chant (kirtan).
All of us would follow in chorus.
Then the little table with the lamp would be passed on to the next one who had the Upanishads.
He read a few words from the Upanishads and chanted.
All of us followed him in chorus.
The table is pushed on.
Like this, three or four scriptures were chosen, and each person reading it followed it with a chant, which we followed in chorus.
And as soon as the last person had finished he would nearly put out that paraffin lamp and put it to one side.
Then everybody would sit in meditative mood and one after the other everybody had to lead the chorus.

August 19

Satsang: Listen With Your Heart

You have heard hundreds of lectures, you admire the speakers, "Oh, marvellous man, he speaks wonderfully..." but... nothing changes, nothing at all.
I met 95 year-old Swami Gangeshwarananda in Canada.
At that time they were organising a convention somewhere in the southern states and I was told that he was also on the list of invitees.
I asked him, "Swamiji, are you going?"
He said, "Oh no, no, no. I don't believe in these conventions. Self-realisation is not given in these conferences. Speaker after speaker after speaker after speaker - and you don't even know who spoke! Self-realisation is not in these conferences. It is a good thing, it arouses some kind of curiosity, enthusiasm, it's impressive."
Impressing means 'pressing in', but nothing really happens.
So talking, talking, talking, the whole thing is forgotten before the talk is concluded.
By his style of satsanga, Swami Sivananda had eliminated this talking boredom, at the same time pointing out that whatever anybody is going to say anywhere in the world is all there in the scriptures that have already been introduced: the Bhagavad Gita, the Srimad Bhagavatam, the Bible, the Yoga Vasistha, the Koran.
We have heard them, we have ignored them; so are people going to ignore the person who is talking, the fool who is going on talking.
You may ask someone who was at the ashram in Swami Sivananda's times, on how many occasions Swamiji delivered a lecture.
Hardly any!
In the life of the ashram, probably Swami Sivananda would have talked, delivered a lecture three or four times a year.
He was a listener.
He let other people talk.
If someone wanted to talk - talk!
Because as far as he was concerned it is a waste of time.
The knowledge is there in the Gita, the knowledge is there in the scriptures.
Read them!
And see what kind of awakening is produced by reading them.
And read them in the right spirit, listening with your heart to the message contained in them.
That was the beautiful style that Swami Sivananda gave us.

August 20

Spiritual Organisations

When teachings are taught they are not understood, but misunderstood.
When someone like my Gurudev said, "Spiritual institutions are a dire necessity," someone else jumps up and says:" 'I' have understood what the Master means".
The shadowy personality, the ego, thenceforward takes over - and censors further teaching to suit itself.
The ego has 'understood' the teaching and henceforth becomes the Master's self-appointed messenger or interpreter.
If the Master had also said something else like "Beware of institutionalism," the ego assures itself that such admonition is for the other fellow.
Of course, spiritual organisations are necessary: it is easy to see in Nature that all living things are organised, that nothing living is without 'organ'.
It is through an organisation that a teacher works and teaches: in other words, the instrument used by the teacher is the organisation.
In olden days there were the 'gurukulas', the hermitages,- and later the Buddhist Sangha and later still the ashramas, etc.
There were organisations which naturally grew around a great teacher during and after his lifetime.
But what makes them 'spiritual'?
Here we run into difficulties, for the spirit cannot be defined at all.
If the spirit is absent the 'organism' dies.
Of such an organisation whose founder had passed away, the great wise Rajaji said to me, "When the life has gone, the shell remains: but the dead shell is hard to break".
The ego converts the shell into a real hell.
In such a hell, one ego dictates rules for the weak to obey and the strong to violate.
This inevitably leads to polarisation of the ruler and the ruled, to conflict, to power-struggle - it is not a spiritual organisation any more, but an organisation (yet more dangerous because it wears the 'spiritual' mask and commands - literally! - the adoration of the weak-vested interests).
A spiritual organisation is a necessity, but a dangerous necessity.
If you are constantly alive to the danger, your spirit is alive too, and you are not trapped.
God be with you as Wisdom.

August 21

Satsang with Swami Sivananda

When someone leads the singing in satsang, I follow in chorus and think I am an expert - I know everything, but that is an illusion.
When you ask me to lead, what happens?
I fumble - then I realise that I was suffering from a false assumption - which is true of our whole life.
We assume, "I can do that, I can do everything!"
Try to do it!
That was Swami Sivananda's message.
Satsang had to go on, whether you were a novice or an oldster, a visitor or a non-visitor, a millionaire or a pauper - each man, woman or child had to lead in the chanting and, because of this, it is better that the satsanga is not too overcrowded so that everybody has a participating chance, not merely in chorus, but everyone has to do something.
And so this thing goes on, like an assembly line.
Now let us say it is her turn to lead the chant, and if she is quiet for 10 seconds, another would not be allowed to take over.
When there was an ominous silence for a few seconds it was only then that Swami Sivananda would interfere.
He had a flashlight and he would take that and press it.
It came right on your face: "Go on, go on," He would say.
"My voice is not good."
"God knows your voice is not good. It is no news to Him! Go on, sing!"
Even in this little bit of dialogue he would not waste one word so that the atmosphere would not be disturbed.
Everybody had to do it, and when the last person had finished his chanting Swamiji would conclude the satsang.
He used to suggest that those who participated in the satsang quietly walked back to their rooms in the same mood, without disturbing that mood by chit-chatting and gossiping.
That was the style of Swami Sivananda's satsang.
Though it changed later on, I have the feeling that that was what he liked, because firstly, it creates a mood in us and secondly, it brings home to us the realisation that the talking that is being done now is a waste of time.

August 22

What is Life?

In the great scripture called Yoga Vasistha, Rama went on a pilgrimage and came back a thoroughly disillusioned person.
It is normal to be shocked by this word 'disillusion'.
You come into contact with a religious man or leader, thinking that he is great and enlightened, and then at some point you are tempted to say, "I am disillusioned," as if it is a misfortune, something shocking and undesirable.
But I'm afraid I love that word disillusion.
It implies that you are under an illusion and that illusion was knocked away.
One should love to be disillusioned!
Rama came back disillusioned.
Many of us are in that position.
You have everything, all the good things in life, and you don't know what poverty, suffering or sorrow means.
But when you travel with the eyes and ears open, you are exposed to the realities of life - realities which are very different from the assumed realities which we hold dear to us.
In the first section of the scripture, which is devoted to Rama's analysis of life,-we are given a complete and beautiful picture of life itself.
What is so charming about this life?
When you are a child you are the plaything of everybody, not an individual.
Crying seems to be your constant occupation and the one reason for your being here on earth.
What a miserable condition, says Rama.
But still, that doesn't last for long.
In fifteen years you become a young man, but then you have other problems.
Many scriptures say that God created everything in pairs, but they are given birth to in different places; a boy here and a girl there.
Each one runs after the other.
It looks exciting and this chase continues for several years.
There is only one way of putting an end to it, and that is to possess each other.
So they get married.
Does that end life's sorrows?
No, it multiplies them.
Previously I had one, now I have two.
And in order to cure myself of this headache I bring about a third, hoping that the third will somehow take the two headaches away.
Such is life.
Then Rama also examines this phenomenon called the ego, the sole slave-driver in the world.
You can escape from and rebel against all your masters except this one, the ego.
It drives you relentlessly and remorselessly.
What is life?
Am I born here merely to fulfil the whims and fancies of something which I have imagined to exist - me, my soul?
Is that life?
Ambition, desire, craving - these are the real slave drivers.
Is it possible to live in peace and enjoy life while this slave driver is behind me all the time?
These are the fundamental questions concerning life which haunted the life of the prince.
And please remember that he was considered an incarnation of God.

August 23

The Snake is Its Tail and Mouth

Unless you frequently visit hospitals and infirmaries you forget the magnitude of human suffering.
If you are part of the establishment of hospitals etc., you become immune to such suffering.
But an occasional encounter with human suffering powerfully brings home the great truth which I have often heard from the lips of Sri Gurudev: "Your intellect fails when confronted by the magnitude of human suffering."
We pray and we struggle to sustain hope and faith, and surely these do work in the case of some sick people who are able to endure the suffering bravely.
Hoping for a better life, they endure the suffering.
Faith in the unknown diverts their attention from the tyranny of the known.
But unless based on truth, these act as palliatives and tranquillisers, and by mitigating the pain they lower the vitality.
Only a clear and direct comprehension of the truth can really and truly free us from suffering.
That truth embraces not only the present suffering, but all its causative factors - which are the pursuit of pleasure, insatiable ambition, immoderate enjoyment, dissipation of physical and mental energies, an imbalance not only in diet but in work and rest, disharmony internally and psychologically, as well as externally in one's relation with others.
When you see the whole truth concerning suffering, then you drop the cause and effect!
When you see that the lovely tail and the dreadful mouth both belong to the same cobra, you do not touch the tail and you are not bitten by its mouth.
Even in other fields of human life and activity, unless we take a complete and total view of every problem that confronts us, we shall go round in circles for ever, solving one problem by the creation of several other problems.
Truth is not partial: which means it cannot be divided into 'cause' and 'effect', and it does not favour one and frown on another.

August 24

Let Life Take Over

Whoever created the world and 'me' did not intend that I must be miserable.
It depends upon me.
The moment you see this truth you begin to examine life to see what it is that makes you unhappy, miserable. Again it is basically these two - love and hate.
Must all relationships be either swallowing each other or antagonistic hitting each other?
Can we live without clinging and kicking?
Unfortunately, these things have become so commonplace, so acceptable today.
We don't mind extremes of emotion, but we don't like calm, tranquil life.
We have reached such a state of perversion that we value those things.
We have begun to mistake possessiveness for love.
If you see that jealousy makes you unhappy and it arises directly from this sense of possession, if you want to avoid the pain that jealousy causes, you will drop the whole thing.
You cannot keep only one part of it.
It is quite simple!
This does not mean that you are indifferent to the world, or you hate the world (that's impossible).
What happens is delightful, beautiful.
I don't see any difficulty or problem in this, nor do I see that such a life can be unhappy, sorrowful or miserable.
Such a life is full of joy.
You take the fullest advantage of every spell of happiness that comes your way, but you don't cling to it.
If it goes, it goes.
Therefore you are safe from the terrible distress that formerly possessed you when happiness left you.
The second third of life's misery is expectation.
You are expecting another spell of happiness to come.
That expectation is more excitement, more tension.
If it doesn't come you are miserable.
If it comes and it is not up to your expectations, you are miserable again.
What must you do?
Drop the expectation and let life take over.
If it has to come, let it.
Why should you worry about it now?
You don't get hung up on past unhappiness or happiness.
You don't get hung up on the future happiness or unhappiness.
You're just left with the present happiness or the present unhappiness.
Then you are quite happy!

August 25

The Law of Karma

The Law of Karma makes me at once responsible for my own present state - for my present suffering or misfortune.
It is vital to understand this.
So long as I blame others for it I am immature, and my life vain grumbling.
Since I am my own tormentor (enemy) and my own saviour (friend), do I not become self-centred, selfish? No.
A mature man looking constantly within realises that an impure mind and heart torment him.
So he becomes good.
Good actions proceed from his innate good nature.
He is looking within himself.
He knows that his own suffering is brought on by himself.
Does he then say, "Others suffer because of their own Karma"? No.
Because he is not concerned, he does not judge.
He only sees the suffering of others.
His goodness spontaneously responds to relieve that suffering.

August 26

Intelligent Divine Life

Why are we taught to regard the whole world as God and all our actions as offering unto the Lord?
Because that again is a yajna (sacrifice).
It is not a total yajna but it is a part, a sample.
Unless the whole life is transformed into divine life, it's still hopeless, useless.
But why do we indulge in all this?
Because we can see the result immediately.
While seeing it, if we are alert all the time, it is possible at one stage to suddenly see this truth: with me or without me, and more without me, the world goes on better.
That is because the 'me' does not exist at all.
Hoping that one day the inner intelligence would arrive at this truth, the sages invented all these little sacrifices, yoga practices and techniques.
You go on doing this, one day you will surprise yourself by arriving at this truth: "Huh, I thought there was a shadow here on the wall, it isn't there. Even so, I thought this is my wife, my son, my house, it's not so any more. My God! Maybe the whole thing is imagination!"
When there is thus no attachment and no motivation, the egosense drops away.
Does it mean that one would become inert, lazy? No.
Because what holds back also is the ego-sense.
What says "I won't do," is also the same ego-sense.
The motivation of restraint is as good as or as bad as the motivation of action.
That is why the rishis invented the 'havan' ceremony and called it 'yajna'.
It has nothing whatsoever to do with yajna according to the Gita interpretation.
But some intelligence must some day ask, "I am pouring this ghee into the fire, what does this fire give me in return?"
Nothing. Ashes.
Why is this ghee poured there?
The same ghee that is poured into this body makes it grow but one day this body also is going to be cremated.
What is happening to this ghee right now is going to happen to this body a little later.
It will be reduced to ashes.
If nothing comes out of that fire, nothing comes out of this body either.
Why should I cling to this body and feel that this is 'me', 'my' body, 'I must make it live'?
Can I drop this body as I am dropping this ghee into the fire?
Can you also drop everything and reduce every action to ashes?
When will you do that?
When you discover that the ego which motivates this action does not exist, that pure action takes place not because 'I want', not because 'I don't want'.
If this 'I' which says 'I do' is seen to be non-existent, then your problem is solved.
Then what is called God's Will will prevail.

August 27

The Fragment and the Totality

Wisdom and intellect are completely interrelated.
If your intellect is dull, the wisdom that is derived through that intellect is also dull.
The dull intellect thinks that one point of view is the absolute truth which means that you think that your point of view is the only truth in the whole world.
It may refer to your concept of God, your religious doctrine, your community, caste or religion.
He who imagines that one fragment of existence is the totality of existence, has a dull intellect.
When you hear this, perhaps in your heart you feel that this is the basis for the yogis' tolerance.
Tolerance is an inadequate and insufficient quality.
We saw in the life of Swami Sivananda that he never exhibited tolerance.
There was, of course, not the slightest trace of intolerance in Him, but He was not tolerant.
He had His own faith, He had His own deity (if you wish to call it so), His own method of adoring God, His own philosophy, His own teaching, His own ashram, His own disciples; but He loved, appreciated, admired, revered and honoured all other doctrines, all other points of view, all other philosophies and all other saints of all the religions of the world - not in a spirit of condescension or tolerance, but (that is the most beautiful thing) in the fullest realisation that 'that is this'.
It is not even a feeling, - 'This is my point of view and that is your point of view. You can have it.', but the fullest realisation that your point of view is the same as 'my' point of view.
We are both looking at the same truth.
There is no difference.
In Swami Sivananda's vision there is or there was or there will always be only one truth.
That will be seen by diverse people from infinitely diverse points of view, and each one is exactly the same as the other.

August 28

Only God Knows How

My Guru often pointed out, "Serve someone self-forgetfully."
If you are able to reach that point of self-forgetfulness in the service of even one person, then it is possible for you to acquire a taste for it, and this period of self-forgetfulness might become more and more permanent, more and more expanded.
In the course of time you may not only forget the self, but find out that the self does not exist.
This again is possible only when that which is called karma yoga is combined with meditation, prayer and all the rest of it.
The master suggests a certain inner approach of constant meditation, and observation.
This may or may not be so easy for all: where it is not the yogi suggests some kind of an auto-suggestion.
That is again based on the understanding that you are what I have taught myself you are.
First you were a total stranger, then I am introduced to you by somebody.
Now the relationship of a friend develops.
What is it that has made you my friend? Thought.
So if I start thinking now that you are a manifestation of God and go on thinking it, it is possible that one day I'll really see God in you.
As you go on, you realise that there is disharmony inside.
We see this in our relationships too.
I think he is my friend, but when that friendship is put to the test, something cracks.
That 'but' butts in and creates some disharmony or shows that there is some disharmony within.
In the same way I think, or I teach myself to think, "I am nothing, it is God who does everything, but..."
The 'but' comes up again.
God does everything, but if there is a garland, put it around 'my' neck!
'I am nothing' but this self comes up - you become aware of this contradiction.
There is deep, deep within each one of us this feeling 'I am so and so' and that has to be shaken.
You can adopt any sort of yoga practice you like, or you can attack it from all sides at the same time.
Though some of the yoga practices are considered to be easier than others, all are always slippery.
The self can get into any dress, take any form, and still it becomes self.
Only God knows how to make it non-self.

August 29

Life - The Interminable Bridge

If we can face life, look at it and understand it for what it is, suddenly we realise, "I was frustrated because I had entertained hopes and ambitions".
In the real world of life there is no room for hopes and ambitions at all.
There's plenty of room for action - which is inevitable - but hopes and ambitions must lead either to distraction, (occasionally), and to frustration, (more often).
If there is frustration, and at that very moment you are wise enough to look within and to see this frustration, you immediately see that the frustration is not related to you, but to the hope that was entertained.
Where there is hope there is frustration - the frustration belongs to the hope.
Life goes on.
So, the other attitude is one of wisdom, where wisdom discovers this truth:
that life goes on regardless, and
that where there is hope there is frustration.
If there is no hope at all, one can be extremely active, live a full life; and when that life decides to put an end to this body, to whatever you and I call a life-span, it doesn't matter.
This is an interminable bridge with millions of spans.
When you are driving on a bridge, you don't count the spans do you?
That's it.
Drive along the bridge without even bothering to look at the spans.
That is possible if one understands life itself and understands that action (karma) is inherent in life and that karma might keep throwing up its own results which in turn become causes of other results, but 'I' have nothing to do with it.
When this understanding arises, you are instantly freed.
Freed from what?
From nothing: from some sort of foolish idea that you had previously entertained.
That is what they call freedom or liberation, which is the goal of yoga.

August 30

Buddhi Yoga

Our endeavour to assimilate the truth will inevitably seem to involve contradiction.
We pray: "Thou art omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient," but our actions deny this.
This is because we have not discovered and assimilated that truth.
Is it healthy to allow ourselves to be so hypocrital?
Perhaps yes.
For example, I do not want to teach, yet I see that some of you want me to, so I am trying to oblige you.
I can see a contradiction, but so long as I am aware of this contradiction in myself, there is no contradiction.
On the other hand, if I pretend and convince myself that I am a great Self-realised sage come here to enlighten and save, then I am a hypocrite.
If I know why I am doing this, then that awareness - which is aware of the contradiction - is free from the contradiction and hypocrisy.
Our effort should be to assimilate the truth and not let it stay as an almond with shell.
Cracking this nut of truth is called yoga.
Krishna calls it buddhi yoga.
Without buddhi yoga all the traditional yogas that we practise become a travesty: hatha yoga becomes gymnastics, karma yoga becomes social service, the devotional practices of bhakti yoga become sentimentalism, meditation becomes hallucination or day-dreaming and jnana yoga becomes an intellectual game.
In between the senses, the mind and the ego, is the buddhi which is nothing but a reflection of the Light of the Self.
The buddhi merely co-ordinates the function of the mind, and makes a recommendation to the ego to act.
Individualised, the intelligence is naturally caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.
It is trapped by the mind and the senses, and the discriminating faculty or the buddhi itself is perverted and confused.
Is it forever doomed? No!
This is where Krishna's buddhi yoga becomes meaningful.
The mind is superior to the senses; and the discerning intelligence, the buddhi, is superior even to the mind.
Beyond that buddhi is the Cosmic Intelligence, of which individualised intelligence is but a small fragment.
Drop this fragment.
Let it realise that it is but part of the whole.
When the buddhi becomes united with the Cosmic Intelligence, then the ego (which takes its cue from the buddhi) makes decisions that are no longer deluded.
One no longer functions as a crazy individual fighting against the rest of the universe, but works in total harmony with the entire cosmos.

August 31

The Problem With Problems

A correspondent has written about problems, their understanding and solution.
Nothing can really be understood intellectually.
The intellect only thinks it understands.
The intellect creates the problem and then it thinks that it has produced a solution or, if the solution is suggested by someone else, it thinks it has understood the solution.
All this unfortunately is in the field of ignorance.
If the problem concerns an action, the solution is action, too, and is not a question of words and formulae.
"All I understand is that only this moment counts," says the correspondent "and to understand this there must be awareness moment to moment of that inner consciousness."
There is a snag here.
The inner consciousness 'is' the awareness and you cannot make it the object of your awareness.
When the obstacles that stand in the way of the awareness - which is the very nature of the consciousness - are removed, the awareness exists and shines in its own light.
It is obvious that an imposed solution is a problem, whether this imposition comes from your mind or from the mind of another person.
Hunger does not arise in the mind, but from a deeper level; the mind merely calls it hunger.
Unless something happens at that deeper level, no change is possible in the hunger-satisfaction pattern.
Is it possible for the intelligence to probe the very source of all this?
That is what is meant by saying, "If this is what you want, have it, but watch it and know what you are doing."
It does not suggest that what is done is right or wrong.
'If this is what you want' you will of course have it, without anyone suggesting you should.
From the moment the urge is noticed, is it possible to watch it and to discover its deeper source?
If this is possible, then in all probability it will drop away.
The watching intelligence is free from anything unnatural.

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