A short story on accidental enlightenment

Yes. Someone can accidentally get enlightened. I know of a soldier, in 1971 Indo-Pak war, he was shot. He is from Haryana. He was on his horse and he got shot in the neck. He survived that but he then he got enlightened. The man suddenly saw himself not being the body and it was an accidental enlightenment. He passed away in the late 80’s; he was a very nice gentleman.
When there is total harmony and synchronicity between the left and right hemisphere of the brain, and when the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system are working in harmony, then you say that this is an altered state of consciousness. And this altered state of consciousness which can be physically measured today, is what is called enlightenment.
But then after enlightenment, he wanted to know more, study a little more, after enlightenment he went to look for a Guru (Master). He needed a Guru. In those days a lot of this caste politics was there. Almost like Eklavya, he sat outside the kutir of his Guru, and just heard and learned what the Guru was talking to other students. Then he thanked his Guru and then he came. 
He was living in Kotla, Mubarakpur. There was a drain in New Delhi, Kotla area, he used to live there. He was married, he had children. But then he made his own little kutir, an ashram, he used to sit there. He had just passed second class in the school, not very educated, but a very wise person. 
There are many such examples, many many people. That is possible. But you know, here again, they must have done something in the past life. In this life, it appears to be an accidental one, but really not, it is all in the grand plan.
I used to meet him, I was only 23 or 24 at that time. And he used to call me as ‘Oh, Yogiraj.’ I was a little shy to listen to all those praises. ‘You have come after so many thousands of years.’ He used to tell me, ‘The whole world is looking for you.’ This is how he used to talk to me. But he was very rude to other people. He used to have a stick and used to chase people out. Rude means in a sweet manner; he used all the slangs. But he had the vision, he knew, he could see.
There is no criteria for enlightenment. You have it already. When will it come out, when will it blossom, is completely a mystery.

Diversity needs to be honored, acknowledged and celebrated

The world is beautiful because it is diverse and diversity is the beauty of this creation. There is not one type of fish, there is not one type of potato. You know, in Peru, there are three thousand varieties of potatoes! Three thousand type of potato in Peru alone. And in Colombia, I say it is the most bio-diverse country on the planet. So many types of trees, birds are there. We have seven hundred types of rice alone in our country and so many types of wheat. In this ashram, we have eighty types of butterflies.
Whether it is religion or it is food, any species of fish or cows, we have to protect the diversity. Because diversity is the basis of existence. In the Vedas, it is said that the Divine says ‘I am one, but I become many.’ Why? In ‘many’ there is bliss. To express the bliss that I am, I became many. So the diversity is to be celebrated. I think tolerance is a very negative word. You tolerate something which you don’t like. But when you love diversity, it is no longer tolerance, it is a celebration of diversity.
When Devi Puja is done in the Vaidic time, in Vaidic ritual, they say ‘O, Mother Divine, you present yourself in such diverse way. Mother, you are in so many different forms.’  (When things are not of your own form, your own type, you always have a fear about it. Someone who is not like you, someone who doesn’t belong to you, you have some fear about them). Mother Divine remove this fear from my mind and let me recognize you in all the diverse creation. This is the prayer. And it is said, ‘Mother, you have manifested yourself in such diversity, in such variety, how I can sing thy glory!’
One who recognizes this diverse nature of the Shakti, of the consciousness, is the real King. You yourself bestow the Kingship in the person. You (Mother Divine) offer various and different kind of wealth. This planet contains so many minerals, so many types of precious stones, this is all part of this diversity and it is the Mother Divine’s manifestation in this diverse universe, and in abundance. Diversity needs to be honoured, acknowledged and celebrated.
Even in sesame, there are many different types of sesame, many different types of grains, not one. So diversity is what is being praised here. And this has been the lifeline of ancient Vaidic Civilisation.

How to overcome inner conflict

The term "great warrior" refers to someone with valor and is usually used for people who fight battles and attain victory over their enemies. However, one who sits still and follows the path of ‘ahimsa’ or non-violence totally, is also referred to as a great warrior.
In the word Mahaveer, veer means warrior, and the word “warrior” comes from the Sanskrit root veera. Mahaveer (a great warrior) is a title given not only to people who fight and win but also to people who are in deep meditation.
There is turmoil in the inner world (referring to the mind) as much as there is turmoil in the outer world. There are more conflicts inside you than what you find outside in the world. When you can win over the turmoil inside, be still and keep smiling, then you are a great warrior.
The world is made up of five elements and they are all in conflict; conflict is their nature. Fire and water are never friendly; fire evaporates water and water extinguishes fire. Similarly, air can put off fire and it is only because of air that fire can exist. However, that same fire can split air too. And, Earth is affected by all the three elements: fire, water, and air.
Similarly, there is conflict world over. Inside you, the heart and mind are in a conflict. The heart is compassionate but the mind is logical and reasons everything. When the mind says, "This is the right thing to do", the heart doesn’t want to do it. When the heart wants to do something, the mind says, "This is no good". The fight between the mind and the heart—between likes and dislikes—bother you. These are storms that get created inside you that don’t let your mind be at peace.
Worry, conflict, sadness, unhappiness – all these emotions pose a great challenge for meditation to happen and do not let you be at peace. When you are peaceful and happy for a few moments, something comes up and it destroys your peace. There are a hundred and one reasons for you to be miserable, and if you’re not intelligent, your mind makes up thousand and one reasons to be unhappy. Sometimes you are unhappy because there is conflict, and sometimes you are unhappy just because you have lost your peace of mind. This continues throughout life.
In meditation, a million things can come up, but if you raise your head above all these conflicts and be unmindful of them, not questioning why they have come, it makes you go deep in your meditation. By thinking why these bad thoughts are coming, you are being party to the conflict, and this makes you weak. Let them come and go. Stay in the mind-frame that you have nothing to do with them. This is the strategy to win over inner conflict.
When inner conflicts arise, this strategy is there to remind you that you are much more powerful and much bigger than the conflict. Then you rise above it, flying above the clouds, piercing through them, and reaching the clear sky.
Sit still in your inner space, unmindful of any conflict, thought, or emotion. If they come, let them come and go, and when you think, "I don’t care about how I feel", then that will give you strength.
You have to stand up against inner conflict and fight it. The world doesn’t care how you feel – the world is only interested in what you have done and what you are doing. One day you may feel good and another day you may not feel so good. Feelings go up and down, but the world will only ask you, "What good have you done, and how have you contributed to the world?"
When we get into this complex emotional turmoil, so much time and money is wasted. If people get over this emotional turbulence—if they don’t succumb to it and waste time—the world would be a much better place, and we can save trillions of dollars.
In any relationship, be the giver of strength. This you can do only when you are strong. And meditation will give you that much-needed strength.

What makes Consciousness look outwards though the inner world is so beautiful?

Nature has made our senses go outward. The world outside is there for the senses. Beautiful sceneries are there for the eyes, fragrances are for the nose and similarly for taste and touch.

But there is also this mechanism, where the mind can withdraw from the five senses and go to its own source from where thoughts and emotions come. So the mind has this ability, and the intellect is a big aide for the mind to go to its own source. Without the help of intellect it is not possible. It is the intellect which discriminates, judges and says, ‘Yes I have seen this, enough is enough. Now let me go deep in.’ 
One of the very revered mantras, the Gayatri Mantra says, ‘Dhiyoh yona prachodayat’, which means let my intellect be inspired by the Divinity, let my intellect get soaked in the Divinity, let the inspiration, intuition flow in my intellect. This has been the main prayer in India for thousands of years. It is said, ‘Everything else is later, first let my intellect shine and let it bring forth the Divine, the transcendental Divine knowledge.’

Panch Prana

The five types of prana in the body are Prana, Apana, Udana, Samana and Vyana. 
Prana is the energy in the upper part of the body, in the region above the heart. If prana is too high or is imbalanced you cannot sleep.
Apana Vayu is the energy in the lower part of the body. If Apana is too high, then you feel lethargic, sleepy, and dull. 
Samana Vayu is in the stomach region, it aids digestion. 
Udana Vayu is in the upper chest and throat region, it is responsible for emotions. If Udana Vayu is imbalanced, you have no emotions, you become like a stone or you become so mushy-mushy and weak. 
Vyana is all over the body, it is responsible for movements in the joints, the circulation in the body. If Vyana Prana is disturbed, then the circulatory system is disturbed, your joints are not flexible, there are aches and pains. 
Panch Prana, the five different types of prana are present in everybody, and different pranas dominates at different times. The imbalances in the pranas are corrected during Pranayama and Sudarshan Kriya, which is why sometimes you laugh or cry as all the five pranas get activated.
Knowledge is an unfathomable ocean, there is so much knowledge, but this much is enough to know, that the five pranas are present in our body and when we do pranayama and meditate regularly all the pranas get into balance.

Did Lord Buddha, King Janaka and Arjuna attain different levels of enlightenment?

Not at all! If there is a difference then it is not enlightenment at all. The mind does not depend on what clothes you wear. Whatever you wear on the outside, you will still remain the same inside. So self-realization is the inner awakening, it has no relation to the outer appearance or make up. In this regard, a king, pauper or monk, all are the same. 
Buddha became a monk, and made everyone a monk. 
In those days, India had reached the helm of its prosperity, and there were no beggars. This is the reason why Buddha encouraged people to become monks. He encouraged people to become monks and beg for their food as there is no better way to tackle the ego of the egoistic.
When a beggar begs for food, it is natural. But just imagine if a wealthy person has to beg for his food, it is like doing the impossible, and it hurts the ego. So, to hurt the ego, Buddha made all the wealthy people become monks, to make them dispassionate. 
King Janaka’s story was different. Janaka was already established in dispassion. Being in dispassion, being enlightened and then ruling the kingdom was also a kind of tapasya (austerity). 
Arjuna also wanted to become a monk and go into the forest; he did not want to fight the war. Lord Krishna said, ‘No, sit, don’t become an escapist.’ 
Yogastha kuru karmani sangam thyakthva dhananjaya, make yourself centered on the Self and then do action, then work in the society. 
Do not think that there is a low or high level of enlightenment.
Maharishi Sukhdev, who was a renunciate went to King Janaka, and he waited for three days at the door of King Janaka to obtain knowledge from him. So, being in an Ashram does not mean that one has more knowledge. 
One cannot assume that brahmachari (celibate) is less knowledgeable when compared to a saint. The greatest of saints can learn even from a child or a brahmachari (celibate). In fact sometimes you have to learn. 
Once a person is established on the Self, the outer circumstances or situations do not make any difference.

What can you do when anger rises in you?

You may remind yourself a hundred times that you shouldn’t get angry, but when the emotion comes, you are unable to control it. It comes like a thunderstorm. Emotions are much more powerful than your thoughts. What can you do when anger rises in you?
Anger is a distortion of your true nature and it doesn’t allow the self to shine forth fully. The structure of human consciousness or the mind is very similar to that of an atom. The positively charged protons and neutrons are in the center of the atom while the negatively charged particles are only on the circumference. Similarly, even in human consciousness, mind and life, all the negativities and vices are only in the periphery. Your true nature is peace and love.
Showing anger itself is not wrong, but being unaware of your anger only hurts you. Sometimes you can show anger purposefully. For example, a mother gets angry at her children and can act tough or shout at them if they put themselves in danger. There are situations that warrant showing anger, but when you get angry, have you observed what happens to you? You are shaken completely. Look at the consequences of getting angry. Are you happy with the decisions you have made or the words you have spoken in a state of anger? No, because you lose your total awareness. But if you are completely aware and are acting angry, that is fine.
Being in the Present Moment
All anger is about something which has already happened. Is it of any use getting angry about something which you cannot alter? The mind always vacillates between the past and the future. When the mind is in the past, it’s angry about something that has already happened; but anger is meaningless as we can’t alter the past. And when the mind is in the future, it’s anxious about something that may or may not happen. When the mind is in the present moment, anxiousness and anger appear so meaningless.
Spiritual practices help you maintain your centeredness and not be shaken by small events. This is where a little knowledge about yourself, your mind, your consciousness and the root of distortion in our nature helps. It is when you are exhausted and stressed that you lose your nature and get angry. Every individual is bestowed with all the virtues in the world. They simply get covered-up by lack of understanding and stress. What is needed is just to uncover the virtues that are already there.
The Secret of the Breath
Breathing techniques and meditation are very effective in calming the mind. Learning something about our breath is very important. Our breath has a great lesson to teach us, which we have forgotten. For every rhythm in the mind, there is a corresponding rhythm in the breath and for every rhythm in the breath there is a corresponding emotion. So, when you cannot handle your mind directly, you can handle it through breath. Meditation is letting go of anger from the past and the events of the past. Meditation is accepting this moment and living every moment totally with depth. Often anger comes because you do not accept the present moment. Anger comes when one seeks too much of perfection. When you are joyful, you don’t look for perfection. If you are always looking for perfection then you are not at the source of joy.
The world appears imperfect on the surface but, underneath, all is perfect. Perfection hides; imperfection shows off. The wise will not remain merely on the surface but will probe into the depth. Things are not blurred; your vision is blurred. Infinite actions prevail in the wholeness of consciousness, and yet the consciousness remains perfect, untouched. Realize this now and be natural.

Relation between Atma and Parmatma

It is said that in the beginning there was just energy. That one energy, that one Divine light thought, I am alone, let me multiply into many. Eko'ham bahu syam (I am one, may I be many), and it assumed the form of Para Shakti (Mother Divine). Then from that came out three energies, i.e., Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. The creative impulse, the protective impulse and the transformative or destructive impulse. So three streams of energy that are called Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.
That is why it is said, in the beginning there was just one Omkar (the primordial sound). And the Omkar became 'Aa', 'Uu' and 'Ma'. We think 'Aa', 'Uu' and 'Ma' together made Omkar. No! Om was the beginning, and this one impulse expanded into three different impulses or devatas (deities).
So one paramathma or one divinity multiplied into many so that this diverse creation can come into play. 
All the scientists say in the beginning there was only one amoebiasis. From one amoebiasis all the species in the universe have sprung up.

Why a mantra is given so secretly; as a whisper

You know what psychology says, if there is anything in your mind that is bothering you, speak it out. Bring it to the field of expression. Then you are free of it.

We want the mantra to stay inside. We don’t want it to be in the field of expression. We want that mantra to remain in the mind and take the mind deeper. So for your mind to go deeper, you need to have a mantra which is not in the field of expression; which is secret. That is why it is given secretly. A secret stays deeper in your heart, deep in your consciousness.

So mantra is a vehicle for the mind to dwell deeper into the consciousness. That is why it needs to be given secretly. 
The mantra given to me may be a very open (common) mantra, but my mantra (the one given to me), I keep it a secret so that I can go deeper into meditation.

This is the idea from ancient times. It is so scientific. 
There are mahamantras that everybody can chant loudly. But a personal mantra is what one has to keep secret. That is what we give you in the meditation course, i.e., the Sahaj Mantra. You keep it to yourself and don’t bring it into the field of expression. But other mantras like ‘Om Namah Shivay’, and  'Om', these can be chanted loudly. They enhance the vibrations.

Dealing with constant blame, especially from a dear one

If someone constantly keeps blaming you, then do not care about it.
It happens so often, when mothers constantly blaming their children, the children stop caring about what their mother is saying. This is because they know she is going to continue the same behaviour every day, right?

The trouble happens when someone who never complains suddenly complains. When someone who is never rude suddenly becomes rude, that bothers you more, isn’t it so?

Either you are eternalizing the problem, or you lack the skill to deal with what is happening. These are the only two aspects to it. So skilfully handle these situations and do not eternalize them.

Everybody has a right to be a little imperfect. You should accept others’ imperfections and your own imperfections as well. When you do not accept peoples’ imperfections, you get angry. And when you do not accept your own imperfections you feel guilty and then you become angry at yourself. Both situations are not healthy and congenial for you. So, you need to keep a little space in life for imperfections, and just move on. Do not get stuck in the past.

What is Swadharma?

Swadharma is that action which is in accordance with your nature. It is acting in accordance with your skills and talents, your own nature (svabhava), and that which you are responsible for karma.

Any action that does not make you feel afraid or restless is swadharma. That action which you feel compelled to do, without which you feel restless is swadharmaNow do not misunderstand this and say, ‘I feel restless if I do not drink alcohol’. No! Not at all.

Every time you feel restless, it not always because of Swadharma. But at the same time not following your swadharma always makes you feel restless. 

That is why it is said in the Bhagvad Gita, ‘Swadharme nidhanam shreyah paradharmo bhayaavahah’ (3.35). 

When we do something without authenticity, just to show off to another person, that is when we feel fear because such action is not genuine, it does not come from the heart. But when we do something that is authentic and from the heart, then there is no fear. 
When someone speaks lies, they definitely feel scared somewhere inside. But someone who speaks the truth does not feel scared at all. In fact speaking the truth and abiding by it brings so much strength to you, isn’t it? This is what swadharma is. 

When we follow that which comes naturally to us in our life, then it brings abundance and prosperity to us. When we flow in accordance with our nature, we grow from within. Any action that uplifts us is our swadharma.

Dharma is that which holds the mind, intellect, memory and our inner soul together in harmony. Growth comes when we follow our swadharma.

Try a different pair of shoes

‘Indriyarthesu vairagyam anahankara eva ca, janma-mrityu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanudarshanam. ’

Indriyartheshu vairagyam, we see so many things, such beautiful sceneries, but till when can we keep seeing? At some point, our eyes get tired and we close them. Similarly, with smell; people who work in incense factories, they cannot stand smelling any fragrances. Sometimes their nose stops functioning, they can’t make out whether the fragrance is jasmine, or chamomile, or rose. After constantly smelling fragrances, they like being in places where there are no fragrances. 
Similarly, with taste, how much can you taste? Then, touch, how much will you touch? For 24 hours in a day? If people keep touching for 24 hour s a day, then both will start getting fed-up. They will feel like saying, ‘Don’t touch me, stay away!’ So even touch has a limit.
Indriyartheshu means taking the mind away from the sense of sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing; having a feeling a dispassion towards the senses.
Anahankara eva chameans a personality without ego. Letting go of the ‘I’, ‘Me’, ‘Mine’, and becoming empty. This I adds a lot of weight to us; it gets attached somewhere or the other, like ‘My house’, ‘My country’, ‘My language’, ‘My religion'.

People are ready to give up their lives for religion. Why? It is not because of the religion, but because of the Iam Hindu, I am Buddhist, I am Christian, or I am Muslim; this is the reason. When people get attached to the I, they become blind about the issue. Let go of this I and be-free. Look at everything from a free state of mind, separate from yourself, from the I, that is anahankara.

We need to realize that we are stuck in our own shoes. Take your feet out of those shoes, and try a different pair of shoes and see, there will be a whole new world before you. In India, the prophets have adopted such practices. 
Don’t remain stuck in I. Don’t say, ‘My religion is bigger’. If there are shortcomings in your religion, recognize them. View all religions together, and then you will see the virtues and limitations about each religion. If you continue to be stuck in, ‘My religion’, neither will you be able to spot the shortcomings in it nor will you be able to live in peace. Nor will any magnanimity or vastness manifest within you. If magnanimity does not arise in you, and if your mindset remains closed then knowledge of the self will not dawn in you; neither will you experience devotion or any blossoming in your life.

You must have heard about Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (a famous mystic of 19th-century India). He experienced different religions, Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam. He adopted each religion for three days and performed all the practices and rituals of that religion. That does not mean everybody should do the same thing.
When I was young, about 8-10 years old, I too went to a Church, listened to the priests and saw the practices. I also went to a Mosque and learnt the Quran from the Muslim clerics. We shared a good relationship and discussed knowledge. I have also had discussions with Buddhists, learnt their methods. We should share the joys and sorrows, trials and tribulations of the people of every region.

When I go to Europe, I live like an European. When I go to Mongolia, it feels like my own country. Similarly, when I travel to South America it feels like my own. I do not know a single syllable of their language and they do not know my language, yet there is a feeling of oneness. So, this feeling of oneness is a sign of no ego (anahankaar). It arises from no ego; ahankara is where there is a feeling of being stifled, of smallness.

How to Cultivate Faith?

Faith cannot be cultivated, it is simply there!
You have parked your car in the parking lot and you have faith that it will be there when you come back.
You may have come from Alabama, Atlanta, or from some other place, but you have faith that when you go back, your house will be intact. You have faith that your job is secure or your business is secure. That is faith. Faith is something that is inherent.
There are three types of faith:
  1. Faith in oneself
  2. Faith in the goodness of people around you and in the law of society
  3. Faith in something that is unseen, which is not tangible, and which is beyond reason and logic

Everyone has experienced a glimpse of something that is beyond logic, beyond reasoning, and beyond what the intellect can tangibly comprehend. No matter how much one denies it, they have at some point experienced something that is beyond these limits. Having confidence in this is faith in the unseen.

These three kinds of faith or trust have to be there, and are generally there in everybody. If you are a normal person, it has to be there. If you have some psychological paranoia or illness, then you don’t have faith in yourself.

A couple came to me once. They lived just 10 minutes away from the venue, but they said that it took them 5 hours to come and meet me. I said, “How come?” The lady then said that the moment her husband got out of the house and walked a few steps, he felt that the door was not locked. So, he went back and checked the door. He pulled the door front and back several times to ensure it was locked. Again, he walked some steps and the same doubt came over him and he went back to check if the door was locked. This gentleman was paranoid; he didn’t trust himself. This is a sort of psychological illness.

In society, you will find many people who do not have faith in themselves, and they walk around without being diagnosed. Lack of self-faith leads to lack of faith in others – you will always feel that everybody is after you, or everybody is angry at you, or everyone is out to get you. Can you survive like that? Impossible.

You have parked your car outside, you cannot keep thinking – will my car be there when I go back or not? Unless you are in Lebanon or Afghanistan, where such incidences may happen and these fears are justified!

We are here only for 60 - 70 years, and we think we are in control of the whole world. I tell you, this is such an illusion. This Earth has been in existence since millenniums. This Earth has sustained itself for nineteen billion years, and we think we are managing this whole world.

There can’t be a bigger illusion than this. There is a force that is taking care of this planet and that will continue to take care of this planet Earth, and this is going to last for a long time. And there is not just one planet but there are many such planets, and many lives.

We think that we provide food and we are providing everything. But if we go underwater and do some scuba diving and see – there is a whole world there and they are being provided for. Every creature is being provided something to eat.

I am reminded of a philosophical quote by a 12th century saint – Ajgar kare na chakri, panchi kare na kam, das maulak keh gaye, sabke data ram.

He says, a python doesn’t serve any master, nor does a bird go looking for work, but food is being provided for everything by the Lord. So why do you worry!

A python is very lazy and moves very slowly; it just keeps lying around all the time. However, birds are very busy creatures, flying around all the time. Yet both are equally provided for; the Divine is providing for everybody.

This has been said to instil confidence in people – whether you move slowly or fast, you will be taken care for. Whether you are very busy or moving at a snail’s speed, there is compassion in the cosmic consciousness, and the Divinity provides for everybody.

Now, when you realize this and wake up from within, faith is a byproduct of that. Faith is anyways there, but it manifests with awareness.