In The Holy Science, SWAMI SRI YUKTESWAR outlines the five states of the human heart. Here we find universal themes relating to the natural unfoldment of the soul. All of us: saints, you, and me, go through these stages as part of the universal architecture. You will be able to see how each of us goes through the universal stages in a personal individualized way. You can see where you, your friends, and family were, are, and will be. This knowledge will help you to help others.
THE FIVE STAGES OF THE HEART
THE DARK HEART
There is no awareness of the purpose of life. At the low end, there is evil, but most are just unaware, not seeking. There is no knowledge of anything beyond the material. There is no awareness of cosmic law.
We emerge from the dark heart through suffering. It can be psychological, depression, substance abuse, and so on. This is not an ordinary but a profound suffering, a great trial. The mind is sick of delusion. Our suffering forces us to ask cosmic questions. Every one of us has gone through profound suffering which brings us to the propelled stage of the heart. This is the real ticket to convocation.
We all want to save our children from this but we can’t. They have to go through their profound suffering before they find their path and make it their own.
THE PROPELLED HEART
We begin our seeking. We want to know the real nature of the universe. We are on a quest for truth. We read, go to lectures, and talk to others. We say, “not this, not that” as we desperately look for truth. This is an essential prerequisite to get to the next stage. We must go through this as God will not reveal His secrets unless the soul really wants to know.
On this intensely propelled quest, we put out an increasingly urgent soul call, “Lord, I need help.” We petition God and God answers. Anytime we have a desperate need, God answers. He communicates directly to you to let you know, “I am here.” There will be some kind of confirmation through intuition, a dream, and so on. So, crisis—search—soul call—confirmation. Now you get the guru.
No matter where you are, the guru will find you. God responds to your soul call with the guru. God determines your guru. God picks you and chooses your guru for you. Each of you at convocation has gone through this. It’s not so easy to get this ticket.
THE STEADY HEART
The propelled heart leads to the steady state of the heart but many fall off the path here. Why? Very strong karma—temptations and barriers–takes them away. We each have our own karmic script as we go through these five universal stages. As stated, many fall away here, but not forever.
The guru makes promises at the latter part of the propelled stage. He says he will show us Cosmic Consciousness. We say we will battle maya and dark forces. However, to get from the propelled state to the steady state, you must have loyalty to guru as you will have to have his help. So you need to promise you will follow and listen. You will need to make changes. You will need kriya yoga pranayama.
Some people will think you are weird because you are responding to a higher call they cannot hear. However, if you stay kind and open, your true friends will rise with you. Your spouse may not be in it with you but there are vital lessons in these committed relationships. If you are patient, kind, and make sacrifices, you will see you are making a very important contribution to your spouse.
Service is awakened as a new motivation as you enter the steady state of the heart. People are drawn to you because you are truly listening. The compassion of Christ is growing in you.
In the steady state of the heart:
The most important relationship is between guru and disciple.
The most important life style is sadhana.
The most important action is kriya yoga.
At this stage, you have enlightened faith: a little spiritual experience plus “my guru says so.” Here you are motivated by intense yearning based on intuitional faith. Complete surrender to the guru is a signature virtue of the end of the steady state. You know your guru is guiding, protecting, and fulfilling all of your needs. Your faith is way up and fear way down. You can’t have fear if faith is there.
Swami Sri Yukteswar on the steady heart: “If man continues in the baptized state, remaining immersed in the holy stream, he gradually comes to a pleasant state wherein his heart wholly abandons the ideas of the external world and becomes devoted to the internal one.”
THE DEVOTED HEART
We are so dependent on the outer world. We crave support, love, and understanding from others. This makes environment stronger than will. But in the devoted state of the heart, we transcend mortal dependencies. We get our needs met inside through the guru-disciple relationship. If you stay in tune with the guru, you feel his vibrations.
Meditate with your ecstasy-tuned guru. Do kriya yoga. Kriya yoga awakens you to his voice. Then in stillness you can feel the vibrations in your head and spine. Concentrate on these vibrations with reverence. They grow and expand, giving comfort and joy. Then you will recognize that your master is here as he is the one manifesting these vibrations in your meditation. His presence goes before you. He is in Cosmic Consciousness, in ecstasy, ahead of you, calling you. He is there calling each one of us. In the devoted state, the omnipresent guru appears first in meditation and then all of the time.
THE CLEAN HEART
The heart is purified. It is a source of light. You are a fearless, loyal, faithful servant. Ma: “I have nothing to say or ask Lord, but I love you. That’s how I judge the quality of my meditation.” In this state, the guru’s work is done. Eventually you become equal to the guru. We can’t imagine this but this is the guru’s promise.
Swami Sri Yukteswar Summarizes the Five Stages
“It has been shown in the foregoing pages how love may be cultivated, how by its culture it attains development, and when developed, through this means only, how man may find his Spiritual Preceptor, through whose favor he again becomes baptized in the holy stream, and sacrifices his Self before the altar of God, becoming unified with the Eternal Father forever and ever. This little volume is therefore concluded with an earnest exhortation to the reader never to forget the great goal of life. In the words of the illumined sage Shankaracharya: “Life is always unsafe and unstable, like a drop of water on a lotus leaf. The company of a divine personage, even for a moment, can save and redeem us.”
Spiritual advancement is not defined by powers but by stages of the heart. To determine your progress, see how you can advance through these stages.
“Blessed are the PURE IN HEART For They Shall See God”—Jesus Christ
from “Guru and Disciple: A Journey to Freedom,” Brother Satyananda
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