by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti
So many times I said that human existence is an ideological flow. You know, plants, animals and humans all are living beings, but there are certain differences amongst them. Plants cannot move, cannot walk, and certainly they are underdeveloped – they have underdeveloped intellect. They have got intellect, but less development. And in the case of animals, they can move, and they have got a bit developed intellect. In the case of animal life, life means physical pleasure – eating, sleeping, dying. But in the case of humans, it is an ideological flow. That is, a human can desert anything and everything for the sake of his or her ideology. A human can die for the sake of his or her ideology. But animals have got no such ideology, no goal of life; it is a goal-less movement. Animals’ movement is a goal-less movement, moving only to get food.
You are all human beings. The old Vaesnavas said (vaesnava means “universalist” – Visnu means “Universal Lord”, and vaesnava means “universalist”):
“I came to the world to worship Lord Krsna, but I have become bound by illusion and become like a tree.”
Krsna is the ideological goal for each and every human being. Human life is for – what? Moving towards that supreme nucleus personality. One boy told me that his name is Krsna Dasa, that is, “serving Krsna”. A very good name. A person comes for what purpose? To do according to the desire of the Supreme Lord, to do according to the desire of God, the Supreme Desideratum of human beings. But due to distractions, due to deviations, some people live like ordinary animals. If a person does not move towards his or her ideological goal, he or she is just like an animal. But in my opinion that person is not just like an animal, that person is worse than an animal. Because animals are deficient in intellect, they do not know what to do, how to do, why to do – but humans know, so [if they do not serve God] they are worse than animals. So I say,
“I have become bound by illusion and become worse than a tree.”
In Sanskrit vrksa or vrksa means “plant”, “tree”. Now, human life is an ideological flow, and ideological flow means moving towards the Nucleus of this Cosmological system, of this entire universe. (You know about “nucleus”: In the case of our ethereal system, the earth is the nucleus, and the moon moves around the earth. In the case of our solar system, the sun is the nucleus, and so many planets and satellites are moving around the sun, knowingly or unknowingly. Similarly, for the entire Cosmos Parama Purusa is the nucleus, and everybody is moving around Him, knowingly or unkowingly. This is the ideological flow.)
Now while moving towards that Supreme Krsna, Supreme Nucleus, of the Cosmos, one is to remember eight points. Lord Buddha said these eight points are as follows:
The first important point is samyak darshana. Darshana means “philosophy”. A person should have – should be guided by – proper philosophy. The philosophy is the guideline, and a person is to move as per the philosophy. What to do, what not to do; what are the dos of a perfect human and what are the don’ts. Samyak darshana. So a person must have a proper philosophy. Unless and until a person knows the proper philosophy, how is he or she to do [the right thing]? If you are to go to, say, Rangoon, you will move accordingly, but if you don’t know where to go, how can you move? So a proper philosophy of life, a proper darshana, is a primordial necessity.
But can a philosophy guide a person if the person is sleeping? If his or her potentiality is in latent form or dormant form, it cannot. A human moves, a human can move, by what? By his or her propulsive propensity. There must be a propensity guiding us – a propulsive propensity in order to move. So for this a person requires a strong determination – “I must move. I must move.” And then do it. There must not be any negative thought in the mind. “Will it be possible for me to do?” – such a question must not arise in the mind, and whenever there is such a question, it means you will not be successful in your mission. Your thinking should always be positive: “Yes, I must be successful.” There must not be any question regarding your success. Lord Shiva said, Phalisyatiiti vishvasah siddherprathama laksanam – “The first factor for attaining success is the firm determination that ‘I must be successful.’”
And Lord Buddha said the second factor is samyak samkalpa, that is, proper determination. (Here the word is samyak; in Sanskrit samyak means “proper”. Samyak samkalpa.) One may say, “I will be the greatest thief.” That is not proper samkalpa. [laughter] But samkalpa should be proper – proper determination, firm determination. “I must be an asset to human society” – this type of determination.
Then the third thing is samyak vak. You know, human beings have got two types of organs, that is, five afferent and five efferent – karmendriya and jinanendriya in sanskrit. Now the collection of karmendriyas is known as vak – doing something, thinking something, saying something – that is, wherever there is external expression. That is called karmendriya. And wherever there is internal movement, taking something from the outside world, it is called jinanendriya. Samyak vak – that is, whatever you are to do, whatever you are to speak, whatever you are to touch, it should be of proper order. It is the third direction for a person who moves along the ideological flow. Samyak vak.
The fourth point is samyak ajiiva. Ajiiva has two meanings. Ajiiva means – the actual meaning of the word is “occupation”. But occupation may be of two types – physical occupation, earning money, and psychic occupation, that is, the object of thinking.
So one must have a clean occupation, that is, one must not do anything antisocial, one must not encourage anything antisocial, anything that goes against collective interest. That is samyak ajiiva in physical sphere. One may earn money by selling wine. One may earn money by stealing. These are not samyak ajiiva. Your occupation should be neat and clean – not going against the interest of the society.
And the second ajiiva is psychic ajiiva, psychic occupation. For “psychic occupation” there is a special term in Sanskrit; it is abhoga. In English you may say “psychic pabulum”. (English or Latin? Latin.) That is, suppose one’s object of thought is a thief, what will happen? What is the psychic process? When you think something, your mind is then and there divided into two parts. One is the subjective part, and the other is the objective counterpart. And when you are thinking of a bad man, or a thief, what will happen? The objective counterpart of your mind will take the form of that thief, will take the form of that bad man, and slowly what will happen? Your subjective counterpart of the mind, that is, seer portion of the mind (one portion is seer and the other portion is seeing) will be slowly converted into that bad man, and slowly you will become a bad man. So a bad man must not be your object of ideation, should not be your object of meditation. If you think of a bad man, you will become a bad man.
You know, there is a particular insect in India, it is called peshaskrt. It kills cockroaches. You know the cockroach, that red insect? Yes. And cockroaches are very much afraid of that insect. So when a cockroach sees that insect, that insect becomes its object of ideation; that is, its objective counterpart of the mind becomes, takes the form of – what? [The peshaskrt.] And what happens? Slowly the body of the cockroach is converted into the body of that peshaskrt. That is, the cockroach itself is converted into the form of its killer.
So your psychic ajiiva should also be very pure. And what is the best psychic ajiiva? Parama Purusa. Krsna, Parama Purusa, is the best ajiiva. And if Parama Purusa becomes the objective counterpart of your mind, then slowly what will happen? Your very existence will be converted into Parama Purusa. So the fourth instruction was samyak ajiiva. Ajiiva means occupation. (Jiivika in modern Sanskrit.)
Then the fifth instruction was samyak vyayam. Vyayam, you know? Vyayam means “exercise”. Physical exercise, you know? And there are also instrumental exercises and so many exercises… But here, just as with physical exercises, you should undergo psychic exercises to strengthen your mind. So you must have, you must practise, what? Psychic exercise also. Physical exercise will make you strong, strong like a rhinoceros, strong like an elephant, but not strong in mind, strong in spirit. A human cannot be stronger than an elephant or rhinoceros in physical strength; it is not possible. So you must practise psychic exercise – in Sanskrit manasik vyayam. “Psychic” is manasik in Sanskrit, manasik vyayam. And what is manasik vyayam? You have to learn it from your acarya. You have to learn the process of your manasik vyayam, that is, psychic exercise, from your acarya. How to do it? Samyak vyayam.
Then samyak karmanta. I will not say in many people, but in certain people, I find a particular defect, and that defect is, the person starts some work, but leaves the work unfinished. This is very bad. Whenever you start any work, then you should complete it in proper order. That is, the finishing touch should be of proper order. This is called karmanta in Sanskrit. Buddha said, samyak karmanta. Whatever you are to do or whatever you are doing, finish it in proper style. Samyak karmanta.
And the seventh instruction is samyak smrti. In Sanskrit smrti means “memory”. What is smrti? Anubhuta visaya sampramosah smrtih [“Memory is the re-creation of things already perceived”]. Suppose you are seeing an elephant. What is the Sanskrit term for “elephant”, R–?
[R– replies, Hastii.]
Hastii. Gaja. Varana. Aeravata. Karii. Ahh. So many names. Suppose you are seeing an elephant, what will happen? The objective counterpart of your mind will take the form of the elephant. The objective portion of your mind will be converted into the elephant when you are actually seeing it. But when the elephant is not present, but by dint of your psychic power you are again creating that elephant in your objective portion of mind, that second creation, rather re-creation (not “recreation”, “re-creation”) of the elephant, is called memory.
Now I think there are so many graduates amongst you, and doctors – if you are asked to appear for the examination, the medical final, will you be able to pass just now? No. You have forgotten everything. Your smrti, that is, your memory, will not help you. The smrti has become – what? Very dilute, very faint, due to constant waning. What should be the best smrti? I think your acaryas told you that you should repeat and recite your Ista mantra whenever possible; I think this was the instruction of your acaryas, was it not? Internally, Ista mantra and guru mantra. But you forget it. Because your smrti is very dilute. So the best object of smrti is Parama Purusa. Never forget Him. Always take His name, as per the advice of your acarya. This is samyak smrti, that is, proper memory. The person who is established, the spiritual aspirant who is established, in samyak smrti, that is, who never forgets the Lord, is called – that particular state of mind is called dharmamegha samadhi, that is, the person is established in proper smrti. That bliss enjoyed by the spiritual aspirant is called dharmamegha samadhi.
And the last instruction, the eighth one, is samyak samadhi. Suppose one concentrates one’s mind on a particular flower. In this phase or process of concentration, first of all, the figure of that flower will disappear. In the second phase the colour of the flower will disappear. And finally, the existence of the seer will merge into the existence, into the theoretical existence, of that flower. This suspension of mind into its object is known as samadhi.
Now when the object of mind is Saguna Brahma, that is, the Attributional Consciousness, the samadhi enjoyed by the aspirant is called savikalpa samadhi; and when the goal is Nirguna Brahma, the Non-Attributional Entity, the samadhi enjoyed by the aspirant is called nirvikalpa samadhi – it is the highest stage of samadhi.
One attains nirvikalpa by practising dhyana [meditation in which the psyche is directed towards Consciousness]. What’s the Pali term for dhyana? Do you know Pali, any of you? The Pali term is jhan. The Japanese term is “zen”. Hmm? Mmm. One boy [looking towards someone in the audience] says yes, yes, yes. By dint of – what? By practising dhyana, by practising jhan, by practising “zen”.
So this is the eight-fold approach as prescribed by Lord Buddha, and this advice is the best advice for a spiritual aspirant. One must strictly adhere to these fundamental principles.