SUPPORT ALONG THE PATH
In terms of the mind needing support, is that just because if it didn't have
these supports, it would feel as though it didn't exist?
We have our limits but our needs in the world are vast. We cannot live in the world
as we want without support in the world. When all supports crumble down by
knowing that those supports are not real, then we seek support from God. To exist
in worldly life we need support from parents, friends, society.
But the mind is still seeking support.
Yes, the mind always seeks for support in our life in the world and also in getting
out of the world.
What is the relation between the mind and the support that it always needs
Because our needs in the world are vast and the mind alone cannot achieve all that
we want. For our existence, we need support.
Do we really let go of a support when we realize it is not supporting us? Or are
there other reasons that prompt us to let go of a support?
We cannot live without supports. In worldly life, we get supported by everything. If
we become detached from the world, we seek the support of God. If we realize
something is not supporting us, then it cannot be considered as a support and we
have to let go of it.
When we turn our support to God, is that different?
When worldly supports crumble down. Then only we seek for support from God in
reality. It is different in the sense that it is for our liberation from worldly miseries.
Then we seek spiritual supports. As long as we are alive, will we always seek
for some kind of support?
What is your support?
Everyone, in my social life and no one, in my spiritual life, except God alone.
All the people, you mean?
Everyone means everything, the whole creation.
So everything supports us as long as we are alive? No matter how far we get?
The earth is supporting us; the society is supporting us.
We eat; the food is our support; we drink; water is our support. We breathe; air is
So you are talking about practicality.
Life should be practical.
When we seek support from God, is that really real? God is a presence that is
always there. It's not that sometimes it's there and sometimes it isn't. So how
real is that feeling of support?
Suppose there is no God but you believe there is. By your belief in God you create
God within and feel supported. It is your faith and devotion which creates support
So how does support from God actually manifest itself?
It manifests the way we seek for it. Ramakrishna Paramahansa got it from his Kali
deity. Ramana Maharshi got it from his own faith and devotion.
There is a story that Buddha asked his disciples that if you had a raft and used
it to cross over to the other shore of the river, when you get to the other side,
will you continue to carry the raft? Buddha said that once you had reached to
your goal, you would no longer carry the raft. All dogmas at a certain level
become unreal and everything has to be abandoned. Any support.
Yes. That is a non-dual state when nothing exists as a support for the aspirant.
I am trying to liberate the idea of looking to God for support. It's not like
peace of mind. Would it be like faith?
Faith comes first. The Sanskrit term is shraddha; it means faith on 'sat' or reality.
If you are looking for God realization, then that aim is supported by the belief on
God. Again it is a support from God.
In beginning meditation, if you begin it by trying to take complete
responsibility for yourself, even down to your heart, what impact would that
have on establishing a relationship with the Self?
If you truthfully take responsibility of your achieving liberation, then that strength
comes from the Self. We don't know God. We imagine someone is out there to
liberate us. We know the Self (God dwelling inside). This Self is pure 'I' sense and
it is always with us in our evolution and involution. Because it is an eternal reality,
so it is no different than God.
And trying to become conscious of it.
It's the ego (I-ness) which is the enjoyer of life. It's your individuality; you are
responsible for it. But it's very frightening without taking divine support. We take
divine support by saying thy will.
In saying thy will, how do we distinguish between 'thy will' and 'my will'?
'My will' is my ego. The ego is crying out 'thy will.' In the beginning it's not clear
because 'my will' (the ego) is falsely crying out 'thy will.' But it will get clear when
the mind understands 'my will' or my ego is limited.
There is a loneliness in the world which is caused by separation from truth or
God. There is also a loneliness that you have to walk the path alone.
Yes. Separation from God or Truth creates a loneliness which makes an aspirant to
seek for God. The path to achieve liberation is internal, in our mind, so it cannot
be shared, like you cannot share the taste of candy. Everyone should eat his or her
own candy in order to experience the taste.
I understand that to walk the path one must do it alone. Why is it so much
easier to do a yoga class in a group rather than to have the discipline of doing it
In the modern system, Yoga is becoming a group thing. I did not grow up with this
kind of system. In my discipline, doing Yoga in front of anyone was forbidden.
Because it's a personal thing. That is why yogis chose to live in seclusion.
How does walking this path alone translate into this modern age?
In modern system, we learn by doing in a group of like-minded people. Support
from each other. In olden system, that support is your own dispassion and
devotion. By taking responsibility for your self-development. To do yoga with like-
minded people is a big support for a lonely traveler of the divine path.
How do we apply that idea of aloneness now? Sometimes it's easier to be alone
in the context of a crowd than to be alone in the context of one's own head.
How do you balance taking responsibility for your own self-development with
all of our other responsibilities in the world?
Did you hear the name of Lahiri Mahasaya? He was a householder. He had a job
in a military office. He had children and both his parents lived with him. He did all
his duties and achieved his aim. A renunciate who renounces house, children,
property, etc., goes in the woods and dwells in the memory of the past, is not a
renunciate. So what is renunciation? We renounce the false notion we create that
it's mine, I am the doer, etc. One who understands one's aim of achieving
liberation is lone from the beginning to the end of this journey.
Recently you spoke about yoga practice, that it used to be an individual
practice and now it's a group practice. Do we then have to go back to an
individual practice or do the same things happen in a group practice?
You have to practice always taking your own responsibility. Group practice is only
for a support. Yoga practice should be a part of life and should be practiced every
day. Going to group meditation once a week or month and not practicing every day
will not fulfill the aim of liberation.
Do you think that God has a mischievous quality?
Through the human ego. Without the human ego involvement, God is truth, reality,
© 1997 Sri Rama Publishing
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