See also~ Bro. Jayananda Satsanga, Part 1
Brother worked with Daya Mata for many years, taking dictation as Ma responded to letters from devotees. It was very interesting, how she would respond. Brother remembers one letter in which the devotee asked for information about the different forms of samadhi, and Ma commented to Brother, “You know, I would have been more impressed if he had asked about developing devotion.” So try to ask questions that our on our own level – many questions devotees have are esoteric information that is way beyond us. …
Q. We have seen a resurgence of interest in Vedic astrology. What was Master’s advice about consulting an astrologer?
A. We read in Autobiography of a Yogi that Sri Yuteswar told Master to wear an astrological bangle. There is tremendous truth in astrology. But it is too vast to grasp unless one has profound realization. It is from a higher age. It is not necessarily based on wisdom unless you find someone with tremendous understanding. Master wrote in his Autobiography, “Faith in divine protection, and right use of man’s God-given will, are forces more formidable than are influences flowing from the heavens.”
We can overcome whatever is flowing toward us. Putting those negative destiny thoughts in your mind – be careful – don’t become sidetracked in these little offshoots. We are seeking God, and we must believe in our God-given will. Relying on astrological forecasts may put negative thoughts in your mind. Don’t get side-tracked. Instead give importance to keep going toward the goal.
Brothers told a story: His job for a time was to take dictation from Daya Mata. One time Ma was at her desk reading a letter. Brother had seen the letter beforehand and was wondering how Ma would react to it. The letter was from a well-known astrologer. He asked for Ma’s date of birth and offered to do an astrological reading for her. Ma finished reading the letter and then she threw it across the table at Brother and said, “You tell him I will not be bound by my astrology!”
That is the guru’s teachings – it’s not going to affect me. Brother said the force from Ma was so strong – it reminded him of a little cartoon that was posted for a while on a bulletin board at Mother Center that showed a fellow sitting in an easy chair next to some audio speakers – his hair was flying back and his tie was flapping behind him from the force of the speakers. Brother said, “That’s how I felt sitting in front of Ma.” (laughter from the audience)
Q. Please explain the rule of Yama/Niyama involving gift-giving and non-receiving.
A. Master translated this in the Gita as not to receive gifts with strings attached. Don’t get involved if there are commitments because it leads to karmic ties.
Learn how to give and receive gifts. If a compliment comes our way, don’t say “I’m not worthy.” Tara Mata said, “The only way to accept a compliment is to say ‘Thank you’.” Period.
There is nothing inherently wrong with gift giving. Gift giving is a way of saying, “You mean something to me.” The monastics give gifts to one another in the ashram.
Q. Why do obstructions come in the pursuit of God?
A. Master said, “A smooth life is not a victorious life.” The guru will see to that! (laughter from the audience). Along the way we will see obstacles coming into our life. We are here to learn the lessons we need to learn, and often we learn best when struggling. But it’s never more than we can bear.
There was a Belgian physicist, Prigogine, who won the Nobel Prize for his discovery that, without friction, things don’t change – they become stagnant and die. Friction is a necessary component of growth – our spiritual growth accelerates when we are pushed past insurmountable obstacles.
Q. What is the right attitude to have toward someone who leaves the path?
A. No one really gets off the spiritual path. (laughter from the audience) Life is a spiritual path. We must guard against becoming self-righteous. Remember, everyone attracts the experiences they need. If it involves a family member, you can let them know of your concern and perhaps express that you were hoping to travel the path together with them, but be non-judgmental. There are no absolutes.
Become an example yourself – this is the most effective way to influence people. Gandhi said, “We must become the change we wish to see in this world.” It’s about me changing me. Even in the ashram, we see people leave the path. We cannot judge others. Everyone has their own karma – their own relationship with Master.
One time there was a man in the ashram – he was not exactly a model devotee – and eventually he left the ashram. Then came a time when he was in the hospital – his final illness. There was one monk who visited him a lot, and after the man passed this monk told some of the others, “I couldn’t wish for anyone to go through what he went through – you can’t imagine. But what he became because of it – what happened and all that he went through was right for him.”
Q. How can we feel safe in this era of violence in our society? What is the proper attitude? And what precautions should we take?
A. Master said to be practical but have faith in divine protection. Don’t expose yourself to unnecessary risks. Everything is karma – we have to realize that things happen for a reason. Our lives are in higher hands than ours. Karma is always involved. If you are fearful, cultivate friendships with spiritual people – that will help us – and try to develop faith in God and guru’s protection. A woman chela once asked Lahiri Mahasaya for his photograph. He handed her a print, remarking, “If you deem it a protection, then it is so; otherwise it is only a picture.” The guru is with us and we are always protected.
Q. Is Joy an emotion, a feeling, or what?
A. The joy our guru refers to is Sat-Chit-Ananda – ever existing, ever conscious, ever new Joy. Joy is an attribute of God – an expression that comes from within through deeper and deeper meditation.
Master wrote to Rajarsi Janakananda:
“Last night I was in samadhi. My pulse, my heart, stopped; my body was dead and my life force like a comet sprang through the spinal tunnel and head into the blue heavens. Oh, such joy! I don’t feel any sensations making any permanent impression in me. The ordinary man walks, sleeps, works, earns. I find I am settled in Bliss. I am awake in Bliss, ever watching the states of the body and mind when they are awake or asleep or dreaming. Last night I ate, and when I finished I didn’t know I had eaten. All I knew was Bliss Eternal and Light ever spreading. Even now Aum is bounding over my head, tying it with the starry firmament. It is all very strange, all very secret. By meditation He makes the servant sit on the throne.”
a Brother Jayananda convocation satsanga, from devotee notes
See also~ Bro. Jayananda Satsanga, Part 1
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