Sit evenly, erect, at ease, with palms folded on the lap, with eyes fixed on the nose: cleanse your lungs by taking a deep breath, holding it in and then discharging it, raise in your heart the OM sounding like the tolling of a bell, and in the lotus of your heart, contemplate My form as encircled by light.

The path of knowledge is for those who are weary of life; those who still have desires should pursue the path of sublimation through works: and to those who are not completely indifferent nor too much attached the devotional path bears fruit.

Perform your actions for Me and with thoughts fixed on Me: untainted like the sky, see yourself within your self; consider all beings as Myself and adore them; bow to everybody, high or low, great or small, kind or cruel; by seeing Me constantly in all, rid yourself of jealousy, intolerance, violence and egoism. Casting aside your pride, prestige, and sense of shame, fall prostrate in humility before all, down to the dog and ass. This is the knowledge of the learned, the wisdom of the wise – that man attains the Real with the unreal and the Immortal with the mortal.

Krishna to Uddhava

 One cannot awaken the powers of spiritual attention if one is preoccupied with externals. One cannot be spiritually awake and attentive if one has forgotten that one is an immortal soul. Even if at some level one knew it and then forgot it, that is going to have an effect upon the power of attention. Understanding means making connections. When one truly enjoys thinking about what one is trying to recall, then one can summon other ideas connected with the same line of thinking. Correlations begin to emerge and connections can be made. With calm and detachment and true love of something larger than oneself, there can be access to a vaster perspective. The reason why people forget and why they fantasize is that they do not really know in the present. The reason they do not know in the present is that they are not fully attentive as immortal souls. They are misled by the sensorium, by the shadowy screen of prejudice, by the film of false anticipation and by the burden of failure, shame and regret. Therefore, they have neither lightness nor freedom nor joy, neither do they have any fullness of receptivity and devotion. The path of spiritual reminiscence has to be summoned, and the future is obscure to those who desperately want clues or cues from the outside.

 Human beings define themselves during the day by how they relate to deep sleep, and during their lifetime by how they relate to their golden moments. They could know their karma if only they would have the courage to look at their vows, at their highest moments and the extent of their fidelity to them. If they can say that they have at some level made an effort to be true but failed, then they should go on and say that they are willing for Karma to work. They must be honest with themselves if they would gain the strength they need through rekindling a golden moment. This could again become real for them in the present. Then they do not have to see their future only in terms of failures, betrayals, forgetfulness and loss of vision. They could see it in terms of a renewal of vision and a rekindling of strength.

To work with Karma is to learn why one is what one is at any given time on any plane, to look at one’s strengths and with the help of this awareness to recognize the seeds of former resolve. One always has the opportunity to be grateful to those who made it possible, to have the courage to look at one’s weaknesses and understand calmly how they arose, and be determined to counteract them. Then one has a sense of actually shaping the future on the basis of true knowledge, not on the basis of mere chance or the whim of a capricious god. This is true spiritual knowledge based upon a courageous correction of one’s own relationship to the divine spirit within, the indwelling Ishwara.

Great teachers work under a law where every genuine striving is noticed, but all human beings throughout the world come under the same law. Those who can see the past, the present and the future simultaneously will only let their gaze fall where it is merited, because where it falls there is a tremendous quickening of opportunities for growth, but also an enormous increase of the hazards of neglect. In a dynamic universe of thought and of consciousness, a great difference can be made in one’s understanding of causality and of energy through one’s concept of time which is determined by one’s concept of selfhood and being. This is truly a function of how one thinks at this moment today, how one sleeps tonight and how one wakes up tomorrow, in a cycle of progressive awakenings through meditation and ethical practice, not for the sake of oneself but for the sake of all living beings in the visible and invisible cosmos.

Raghavan Iyer
The Gupta Vidya III

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