Sunday, July 26, 2009

Money is of the nature of manure

Man has been enslaved by money. People live a superficial, hollow, artificial life. This is indeed a great pity. One should seek to possess only as much money as is most essential for his living.

The quantity of riches one must own can be compared to the shoes one wears; if too small, they cause pain; if too big, they are a hindrance while walking. Money too has to be with us only just enough for a life of physical and mental comfort. When we have more, it breeds pride, sloth and contempt for others.

In pursuit of money, man descends to the level of the beast.

Money is of the nature of manure. Piled up in one place, it pollutes the air. Spread it wide, scatter it over fields - it rewards you with a bumper harvest. So too, when money is spent in all the four quarters for promoting good works, it yields contentment and happiness in plenty. But today, such deeds of renunciation and holy thoughts are absent.

We pride ourselves today as being 'modern'. Does modernism involve giving up morality and justice? Or, allowing the senses to run amok? Or, blindly running after countless desires? No. Modernism means self-control and self-confidence.

-Sai Baba
Divine Discourse, July 17, 1981

There is no condition that cannot be turned into joy

Supermundane I, 55. Urusvati knows how to bring joy. This quality is contained in the disciplined will. The realization of joy grows through conviction, not through the acquisition of things. There is no condition that cannot be turned into joy. When We speak repeatedly about joy We evoke it as a great reality. One cannot imagine Our Abode without joy. The most tense battles are filled with joy. Without it there is no action. To elucidate the meaning and value of joy is to resolve a great physiological principle.

The ignorant connect the sensation of joy with a healthy digestion or with success in life, but joy is greater than health and success. It can also exist amidst sickness and humiliation. Such a feeling is developed not only through many incarnations but also from a wisely spent sojourn in the Subtle World.

People encumber themselves with objects not only on Earth, but also in the Subtle World, where each unnecessary object will become a heavy load. Equally intolerable is unrestrained, foolish creativeness in the Subtle World. There one can create so much ugliness that it will follow one through all lives. Joy cannot be born when dirty tails are dragged along. Joy is about the future and cannot live in the past.

It should be understood that We wish to explain joy as something creative and inspired. Joy is a reliable magnet. We want people to know where their panacea is. They can conduct a better and higher communion in joy. They will find a firm co-worker in joy. They will wish that the world might live in joy.

We can affirm that despondency will not cross the threshold of Our Abode, for joy lives there. Let people remember that no one can deprive them of their joy. Even a machine works better when it is used with joy. Decidedly, everything can be set right and improved, and nothing can close the way to perfectment.

For Us it is a festival when We see that Our co-workers have understood the shield of joy.

-Agni Yoga

Losing attachments - Do not wait for misfortune to arrive before you seek spiritual direction

In reality, none of our possessions and none of the beings we are attached to belong to us indefinitely. We are constantly at risk of losing them, and when we do lose them we must call upon all those forces within us that are able to help us endure the loss. These forces are found in light, disinterested love, humility and sacrifice. So why not seek them immediately and consciously?

It's difficult, when everything is going well, to convince humans they should concentrate on what is essential in order to prepare themselves for the ordeals to come. For they will come, that is certain; no one is spared. So do not wait for poverty, illness or misfortune to arrive before you seek spiritual direction. If you are already well armed, not only will you overcome them, you will also be strengthened by them.

-Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

You are born not to be born again

You are born again and again, seeing, doing and experiencing what you have already seen, done, and experienced. You should realise that you are born not to be born again. You should see and experience that by which your life will find fulfillment.

Once you have experienced the Atma, you do not need to experience anything else. That is the oneness of Atmic principle. In order to experience this eternal principle, you should give up body attachment and understand the truth that the Atma in you is the same as the one in others.

-Sai Baba

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Debates, differences and confrontations

It is legitimate in ordinary life for human beings to express and defend their opinions, even very eccentric ones. Yes, as long as people have no knowledge of the eternal truths of initiatic Science, it is important for them to assert themselves, to question and challenge each other. By crossing swords and making sparks fly, they may end up closer to the truth.

But once you have entered an initiatic school where you are taught the great cosmic laws, it is no longer appropriate to argue and impose your personal views. In society, differences and confrontations are fine: it is necessary to have lots of thinkers, investigators and critics who analyse, theorize and debate. Once you have discovered the truths of initiatic Science, however, you must no longer waste time in debate. Strive only to put these truths into practice.

-Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

Liberation from habits

Brotherhood, 529. Habit is second nature-a wise proverb indicating to what an extent habit dominates man. Precisely, habits render a man immobile and unreceptive. One can suppress habits, but it is not easy to eradicate them. People are continually encountered who boast of their victory over habits. But observe the daily routine of such victors, and you will find them slaves of habit. They have become so imbued with habits that they do not even feel the weight of such a yoke. It is especially tragic when a man is convinced that he is free, whereas he is really shackled in the fetters of his habits. It is most difficult to cure a sick man who denies his illness. Each one can name such incurable ones among people known to him. Yet in order to assimilate the concept of Brotherhood, mastery of existing habits is indispensable. Under habits We have in mind not the service for good, but the petty habits of selfhood.

It is Our custom to test those who are approaching the Brotherhood on liberation from habits. Such testings must be unexpected. It is best to begin with small habits. Man is often concerned with defending them more than anything else. They are considered to be natural qualities, like birthmarks. Yet the newly born have no habits. Atavism, the family, and school foster the growth of habits. In any case, a routine habit is an enemy of evolution.

-Agni Yoga

Youthful enthusiasm

One day an acorn said to an old oak: 'My heart is full of love, and I am going off to do good in the world.' The old oak shook his head and replied: 'Don't be in such a hurry. Go down into the earth for a bit and develop yourself. When you are a beautiful tree, you will shelter birds, you will feed the animals of the forest, you will provide shade for people and inspire painters.' 'You are old and tired,' said the acorn. 'You understand nothing of youthful enthusiasm. Farewell, I'm leaving.' He stood proudly at the side of the road, ready to leave, when a pig passing by saw him and had him for lunch!

This is what happens to young people who are presumptuous and imagine they can change the world without having studied and prepared themselves: they are eaten up by the first pig that comes along. They must understand that we can only help others according to our abilities and knowledge, and that this demands humility above all else.

-Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

Some effects of meditation

It is a fact that negative emotions wear out our body, and worries separative and selfish thinking cloud our minds. Meditation releases light upon these three levels, and we start to regenerate our vehicles and radiate vitality, peace, and serenity. Meditation makes you more able in your daily duties and works because it increases your right judgment, sharpens your power of observation, increases your control over your body, quickens your actions and makes them more accurate.

Meditation gradually cleanses you of your glamors to such a degree that you are no longer the slave of your emotions and their effects. Because of this you do not leak energy, you waste no time, and you do your work better and in shorter time.

-Torkom Saraydarian

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bliss is mans' inherent Dharma

Every object in the world has got certain unique qualities. The quality that is the vital essence of the object reveals its Dharma. For instance, it is the basic quality of fire to burn - burning is its Dharma. When the fire loses its capacity to burn, it ceases to be fire and becomes mere charcoal. Sweetness is the inherent quality of sugar. A rose flower has the natural quality of exuding fragrance.

In the same manner, for man, the quality of Ananda (bliss) that flows from his heart is his inherent Dharma. But man today, for the sake of external achievements, forgets this inherent nature.

For all, whether they are educated or not, there is one common Dharma: They should extend to others the same honour and regard which they expect others to show towards them so that they may feel happy. We should not do to others anything which if others do to us will cause pain and unhappiness to us.

-Sai Baba
Divine Discourse, March 26, 1988

Friday, July 17, 2009

It is precisely this emptiness that attracts fullness

Depending on the circumstances, pride and humility are considered either qualities or faults. What are they really? From the spiritual point of view, you could say pride makes humans poorer, while humility makes them richer. Yes, just look at the attitude of proud people: they puff themselves up and are full of themselves, whereas humble people make themselves empty, and it is precisely this emptiness that attracts fullness. For wherever a vacuum occurs, a force rushes in to fill it.

You have to be humble to attract the Lord, for he cannot visit where the containers are already full: in order for him to enter, you have to have made yourself empty. If you say, 'My God, I am foolish and you are wisdom, I am poor and you are wealth, I am weak and you are strength', you are creating an empty space within yourself, which the Lord will hurry to fill. Whereas, if you boast about your virtues and your abilities, you will never receive a visit from the Lord; he will say to you, 'Well, since you're so pleased with yourself, stay as you are, you don't need me.'

-Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

The Immortal Body of the Soul

As soon as we start on the path to enlightenment, we begin to wonder about our own personal life, and that becomes very important to us even to the point where sometimes it could make an aspirant rather selfish, because he becomes more interested in himself, his own personal life, than people around him.

This is one of the things on the path that really should be avoided, and again, a complete change of perspective is needed. We have to change our perspective and begin to realize that beautiful body of the soul which has been growing through the many, many lifetimes that we have spent on the Earth. It's an indestructible body, and each lifetime it grows a little bit stronger in its inner nerve system. That is called the soul, or the psyche.

This body has been in existence for some thousand years or more on this planet, through the reincarnation process, and it is rather mature when the individual asks for the realization of the Self. It has lived so many lifetimes and gone through so many different experiences that in its maturity it wants its last experience on this Earth, that of Self Realization.

So, therefore, our individual existence, our individual life, should be identified with the immortal body, not with the physical body, not with the emotional body, not with the intellectual body, not with the astral body, which of course, is the instinctive-intellectual body, but with the body of the soul that has come along and had one body after another. It's come along on the physical plane and had a physical body. Then it was overshadowed by an astral body. Then it was overshadowed by another physical body. Then it was overshadowed by an astral body. Then it was overshadowed by a physical body. And the layers went onto the body of the soul--the instinctive, the intellectual, the physical. And now, in its maturity, the layers are coming off again.

We drop off the intellect. We drop off the instinctive actions and reactions. The only thing we want to keep is the physical body and the body of the soul. And that is the path that we are on. And when this begins to happen, when the beautiful, refined body of light and the physical body merge as one, we see light all the way through the physical body, right into the feet, into the hands, through the head, through the torso, through the spine. We're just walking in a sea of light.

This inner light is so beautiful. All day long my head has been filled with light. It feels that if I were to reach up and put both hands around the top of my head, there wouldn't be a head there. It feels like there is nothing there. It just goes on and on and on into endless space, as I look back up within the head. When I look into the back of my neck, I see an array of, they look like, wires, and these, of course, are the nerve currents that run through the spinal cord. They're all bright and active and scintillating, drawing energy from the central source of energy. And, of course, if you looked into the central source of energy, what would you see? You would see light coming out of nothing. That's what it looks like, light coming out of nothing.

-Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

"Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well"

"Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well." The kingdom of God represents the highest ideal to which a human being can aspire. When you place yourself in the service of this ideal, you attract all blessings.

Everything you may wish for, apart from the kingdom of God and his justice, in other words, apart from light, love, generosity and brotherhood, can only weigh you down, make you poorer and make your life more and more difficult. Perhaps after tasting certain pleasures or achieving personal success you will feel satisfied for a few moments, but you will soon tire of it, and you may even have to pay dearly for that moment of satisfaction. That is why these words of Jesus: 'Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well' are said to be the absolute quintessence of initiatic Science.

-Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Re-examine all you have been told

Re-examine all you have been told in school
or church or in any book, and dismiss whatever
insults your own soul; and your very flesh
shall be a great poem.

- Walt Whitman

Man is born for high destiny. He should not fritter his days in low pursuits and vulgar vanities.

Man ruins himself by greed and lust, worry and fear; he falls an easy prey to his insatiable thirst for a happy life. He does not know the source and spring of happiness, which lies within himself; he believes he can get it in plenty and quietly by running after the mirage of fashion or fancy, excitement or entertainment. He thinks that floating on the roaring, raging torrent of the world will help; but that only gives him un-bearable tossing and nausea.

Man is born for high destiny as the inheritor of a rich heritage. He should not fritter his days in low pursuits and vulgar vanities. His destiny is to know the truth and live in it and for it. The truth alone can make man free, glad and bold. If he is not prompted by this high purpose, life is a waste; a mere tossing on the waves, for the sea of life is never calm.

-Sai Baba

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Such a fuss over material success

Radio, television and newspapers all make such a fuss over material success! But why give so much importance to the successful, the wealthy, the business tycoons? I’m not suggesting they are not interesting, but such an emphasis on their success makes others who are less fortunate feel inferior and unworthy of attention. This inevitably leads to their jealousy, resentment and hostility, and what problems for society!

Nor is this good for those who have been placed on a pedestal. They are convinced they have made it to the top and are invincible, when a fall is always possible. If humans were shown that it is more important for them to exploit their inner riches, society would be much better off.

-Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The greater problem is how to live like a hero

It is not a big problem or a laudable achievement to feed the little stomach and find a few feet of space to sleep. One can manage to live until the call of death releases one from bondage to the body; the greater problem is how to live like a hero, as master of the inner enemies - lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride and hate; how to train the mind, how to listen to the dictates of the Intelligence rather than the senses, and accept Dharma and Brahman (Righteousness and the Absolute Reality) as the two guide-lines of life.

-Sai Baba

With love there is no painful reaction

With love there is no painful reaction; love only brings a reaction of bliss; if it does not, it is not love; it is mistaking something else for love.

When you have succeeded in loving your husband, your wife, your children, the whole world, the universe, in such a manner that there is no reaction of pain or jealousy, no selfish feeling, then you are in a fit state to be unattached.

-Swami Vivekananda

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The supreme poet

The Lord is the supreme poet, the first cause, the sovereign ruler, subtler than the tiniest particle, the support of all, inconceivable, bright as the sun, beyond darkness. Remembering him in this way at the time of death, through devotion and the power of meditation, with your mind completely stilled and your concentration fixed in the center of the spiritual awareness between the eyebrows, you will realize the supreme Lord.

-Bhagavad Gita 8:9-10

How to use the gift of a beautiful voice

Those who have received the gift of a beautiful voice should know they possess a great treasure, thanks to which they can work wonders. But singers are often like spoilt children; they don't consider how valuable their talent is, and, most importantly, they don't reflect on the best way to use it. 'Which is what?' you will ask. To wrest humans from their mediocre, petty preoccupations, and inspire in them the wish to embrace a new life, dedicated to beauty and light. And then the names of these singers will be recorded in the book of life. It will be noted: they have opened hearts, enlightened minds and saved souls from tribulation and death.

All activity born of a disinterested idea and placed in the service of a divine cause possesses the seed of immortality. Those who are conscious of this law acquire true wealth, for winning a soul to the light is higher than anything else.

-Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

Monday, July 06, 2009

The importance of regular meditation

The disciple must do regular meditation. Meditation is accumulative. Through meditation, you create a sphere of magnetic light around your head and around the place where you are sitting for meditation. This magnetic sphere attracts higher inspiration and devas who bring spiritual impressions to you from greater centers. The sphere of energy in the room attracts benevolent devas and this sphere turns into a source of energy, peace, and inspiration.

If you do not keep your meditation regular, this sphere of light around your head and in the room dissipates and vanishes. Then you must build it again when you restart your regular meditation. Also, Higher Beings may lose interest in you because of your instability and lack of persistence.

-Torkom Saraydarian

A method to overcome anger

How should you react when a gesture, a word or a glance triggers agitation, anger or some other negative state in you? First of all, stop for a moment. For if you allow your instinctive reactions free rein, you risk doing more harm than was done to you. Anger is the irruption of a brute force, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It can be quite the opposite even, but only if you know how to master it and direct it. How? By taking a deep breath and making a few harmonious, rhythmical movements with your legs, your arms or your head.

Even if you are bound hand and foot, just one free finger is all you need to regain equilibrium, peace and harmony within yourself. You can also imagine that you are writing magical words in the air in letters of light: peace, wisdom, love, beauty. These very simple methods produce great results, but you must remain sufficiently lucid and in control of yourself to think of using them.

-Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Cracking the shells, exposing problems

There are some kinds of fruits in which the kernel grows but the shell does not grow. The shell prevents the growth of the core (the soul). The shell is the physical body, the emotional body, and the mental body. It is traditions, your knowledge, your philosophy, your psychology. It is your money, your dollars, your possessions, your car. These are the shell. The shell is so hard that it does not allow the core to radiate out or to bloom. And because the core is strong and eventually breaks the shell, it causes lots of trouble in the shell. It cracks it. And this cracking is your problems, your emotional problems, physical problems and mental problems.

What we see, what we are observing perhaps within ourselves or with others, is that once we have gone through the first rush of enthusiasm, then accordingly the psychic energy, which radiates from the "source" of the Teaching, evokes a call from your core (kernel) (human soul) which responds and cracks the shell, exposing the problems. Why? "There is something in you that is trying to grow, but the contents of your shell have been preventing it." Once the gate opens, the floods of resistance pour through, resistances fond in the personality. So, it is not the mundane work life that makes us too exhausted to go any further, it is the resistances of the personality life!

-Torkom Saraydarian
Dynamics of the Soul

When suffering comes in waves, be glad that the shore is near

Suffering entitles you more to the Grace of the Lord. When suffering comes in waves, one behind the other, be glad that the shore is near: bear them bravely; do not like cowards throw the blame on some outside Power or develop dislike for the Lord. Welcome the test because thereafter you are awarded the certificate. It is to measure your progress that tests are imposed. So do not flinch in the face of grief.

The Lord bestows a favour when He decides to test you, for He is impressed by your achievement and wants to put upon it the seal of His approval. Rise up to the demands of the test, that is the way to please the Lord.

-Sai Baba
Divine Discourse, March 6, 1962

After death

Man lives in his physical body as if in a shell, and it is this shell which prevents him from sensing the reality of the psychic world. But when he leaves his body at the moment of death, he finds himself defenceless on the astral plane. What religions call purgatory or hell are nothing more than states of consciousness fully experienced on the astral plane.

When they die, people who have completely given themselves over to a life of debauchery, injustice, wickedness and cruelty, and who have succeeded in evading human justice, find themselves confronted on the astral plane with all the evil they have committed. During their life they have managed to anaesthetize their conscience, but in death they cannot find refuge anywhere. They no longer have a physical body which protects and desensitizes them, and they experience exactly the same suffering they inflicted on others throughout their life.

-Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

Challenge evokes hidden sources of strength

Jesus was compassion come in human form. He spread the spirit of compassion and conferred solace on the distressed and the suffering. Noticing the torture of birds and beasts at the Temple in Jerusalem, he reprimanded the vendors and drove them out of the precincts. He drew upon himself the anger of the priests. Good works always provoke the wicked. But one should not falter or fear when opposition obstructs. The challenge gives joy; it evokes hidden sources of strength; it brings down Grace to reinforce the effort. Pleasure springs during the interval between two pains.

-Sai Baba
Divine Discourse, December 25, 1981

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

How to ask for the help of Angels

The first requisite for help is a pure, sincere heart. As long as there are hypocrisy, self-interest, thoughts of exploitation, lies, and deception in your heart, angels are repelled by you.

First of all, we must know that angels see us as we are. We cannot ask for their help if we are trying to hide our motives or if we want to continue to live the way we were living in the past. We often need their help because we face difficulties which were the result of causes we put into action. We must not continue to create the same causes if we expect their help. This is why a self-confession is necessary before we ask for their help.

The second requisite for their help is not to have doubt in your mind - doubt about their existence or doubt that you are doing wrong by praying to them instead of praying to God. Remember that often you ask for the help of your friends, and you do not think you are doing wrong. You ask for the assistance of the police and other governmental officials instead of going to the President. The Angelic Hierarchy is designated to help people, like all the officials of the government. There is nothing wrong in going to an official whose duty it is to meet your special needs.

Angels like to communicate with you and help you if you create the right approach. But the amount of help they can give you is conditioned by your karma, by your ability to recognize the mistakes you made in the past, and by the attitude you hold in the present. If you are able to face yourself clearly and decide to walk the path of Beauty, Goodness, Righteousness, Joy and Freedom, you can minimize the effect of your past karma and open the door of possibility wider to receive greater help from the angelic kingdom.

A similar prerequisite applies to other kinds of help. For example, you may need light and wisdom to solve certain problems. Or you may need deeper inspirations to create great artworks or to invent things that will help humanity. In all such needs for angelic help, you have to purify your motives, detach yourself from past failures, and decide not to follow the path which leads you toward self-defeat. When your motive is really pure, it shines like a magnetic light and attracts help.

You must also remember that if your needs are not answered, it does not mean that angels have rejected you. They cannot act against your karma, but they can help you to be strong and to understand the real issues. Also, for example, in having a disease it is well to remember that not all diseases are the result of your own karma; they may be the result of the karma of the world, whose debt you may be helping to pay.

Not all the difficulties and sicknesses on your path are the result of your mistakes. They can also be the result of your love, labor, and dedication carried out beyond the capacity of your bodies. There are also cases in which a person pays for the karma of others, in order to save a group or a nation. But in all these cases, angels can help you in various ways. The important thing is not really healing or solving problems or making discoveries; the important thing is the process of perfection and unfoldment that you go through during your sickness, problems, and difficulties because through them you gain the resources of your knowledge of light, not otherwise available.

-Torkom Saraydarian
Angels and Devas

Those who think only of giving grow rich

If people feel poor and destitute, it is because they are always afraid of losing something. They curl up in themselves and close themselves off, unaware that, entrenched in this attitude, they will become all the poorer. In order to become rich, we must give.

Yes, those who want to take become poor, whereas those who think only of giving grow rich, because in giving they awaken unknown forces slumbering somewhere in the depths of their soul. When these forces spring to life and begin to circulate, people are amazed at how wealthy they feel. They say to themselves: 'But how can this be? I have given and given, and yet I'm richer!'

Well, this is what the new life is. Everywhere you hear people saying: 'We have to change our lives. We have to create a new society.' But they will never succeed if they hold on to the same old mentality, inspired by the need to take rather than to give.

-Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

Earn the Bliss

Man has in him all the Bliss, as well as all the equipment needed to unravel it; but, he is caught in dire ignorance of his own inner resources. He can have supreme peace but, he does not strive to earn it; his attempts are weakened by doubt and indecision, and so, they are doomed to failure.

Of course, there is the flow of water underneath the ground. But, how can we benefit by it unless efforts are made to dig down into that source? A good deal of 'desire-for-sense-satisfaction' has to be removed before that inner spring of peace and joy can be tapped.

-Sai Baba
Divine Discourse, February 21, 1974

'I have the courage of my convictions'

Some people proudly state: 'I have the courage of my convictions.' And it is true; we see them battling courageously against those who hold different opinions. We cannot reproach people for having convictions, but occasionally they should ask themselves how valid they are and whether they would do well to revise them. From wisdom's perspective, the attitude of certain people with 'conviction' is rather one of pride or foolishness. The consequences - fanaticism and cruelty, for example - can be terrible.

We can be convinced of something and yet make the worst mistakes. The fact that we are convinced does not turn an erroneous opinion into the truth. 'Well then,' you will say, 'how can we know whether our convictions are valid?' If they make you a better person, more generous, more lucid and more understanding of others, keep them. But if this is not the case, you have nothing to be proud of, and you should undertake some serious revisions.

-Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov