Navaratri in Rikhia 2014 Notes taken from Satsang with Sw Satsangi
Day 1: 25.9.2014
The kanyas’ welcome is very special because it comes from the heart. It’s from children that we can learn atmabhava. They’re in line whereas we’re at the mercy of the mind. The mind is dissipated. It has a tendency to go outwards. That’s why we need to practice pratyahara. If you take away object and time there is no mind. Mind never sticks to one thing. These children are focused. Maybe they can retain it.
What can we do to stop this oscillation of mind? We don’t enjoy the moment we are existing in. It’s that which is causing us conflict. What we see is what we are. What is our vision? Is it one of depression, etc? Are you going to change it?
The Silver Jubilee is one of spontaneity. What is that medium through which we are able to grasp knowledge? It is living in the moment. Atmabhava means living in the moment. When you lose yourself in something that is atmabhava. We need to examine what we are losing ourselves in.
Navaratri is about transformation. We need to go beyond mind and intellect. We need to develop a vision of our life. It has to be one of bhakti.
This is a journey of bhakti which has originated from the Upanishads. The knowledge of the Upanishads has given the knowledge of atma. Secondly in the Bhagavad Gita we have a blueprint of how we should live our life. The Bhrama Sutras are the third text formally establishing that atma exists.
Sound, memory and logic give us knowledge. For experience you need to use bhakti. Bhakti is a brain wave just as anger is. Anger destroys us but with bhakti there is peace. Ego is the enemy of bhakti. That’s why Swami Satsangi loves to be with these children.
We need to learn bhakti to be in a position of strength. Only bhakti can take you out of difficulty. Even if I practice pratyahara the demon is inside me. The way out is by increasing the influence of a positive force.
That’s the importance of bhakti in our life. It makes our life fruitful, auspicious and accomplished.
We are not paupers, we are rich in bhakti. We got abundant blessings on the 23rd for this journey of bhakti. If we want to experience strength we need to practice bhakti.
My atma is mine and it is strong and I want to know that atma. It is hidden in me. What am I storing? We have stored something good to be here today.
Use the days to perfect whatever you are doing. When you go out spread it wherever you are because you want to stay connected. Make this the goal whenever you return (home) live those principles of serve, love and give. Join in again when you come back. Make your motive love.
We need to bring purity in our actions. We need to be what we are, like these children, pure and peaceful.
Swami Satsangi didn’t think she needed to read the Vedas, Bhrama Sutras and Upanishads and that they would give her a headache, but she was wrong. The Vedas incorporate what was heard about atma. There are divisions in the Vedas. One of them is the Upanishads. The Upanishads talk about atma.
When you want to know about atma you have to have a guru. A guru is a teacher but he/she teaches in a different way. Perhaps it was taught in silence. Mantra can be projected, it can be through frequency.
This is the place where Sw Satyananda experienced atmabhava. This is what we experience in Rikhia. Atmabhava is when you love unconditionally; pure, selfless love; love for the sake of love. How long would your love last if the person you love doesn’t love you?
Atma is true knowledge. Atmabhava is when you love people you don’t even know. It’s written in Sw Satyananda’s books, e.g. the case where Swami Satyananda knew of and gave assistance to a woman after her house had burnt down.
This whole universe is pervaded by atma. Scientists call it atomic energy but they didn’t discover what was beyond energy.
The Ishavasya Upanishad contains the essence of all the Upanishads and speaks about Atma. One must have a guru to learn about atma. The way of learning is through guru and disciple. A disciple is one who listens, absorbs and follows (does it).
The Upanishads say that the life of karma has to be lived but not with negative emotions but with the attitude of a witness, we need to be able to see the thread. Atma is awareness, enlightened awareness – chetana.
Every moment is important. You are born in the universe for this. Understand your role in this universe.
Atmadrishti is the vision. How can I have that experience? Sw Satyananda said, serve, love, give. Let the world be your family. Wherever you have come from you need to take it back and share it. The more you give the more you get. You have to light the jyoti then it will grow in you. You have to share it unconditionally with those you don’t know.
Serve and give with love. You can even do it within your family. Enjoy it but with detachment. Enjoy everything you get in life, for the air that you breathe, for the water . . . Atma means becoming aware of your breath. You may be aware of your breath but under the influence of your intellect. In the panchagni Swamiji experienced atmabhava. When everything around you is disturbing you can still be aware of atma. It absorbs you.
Atma gives you inner strength and self confidence. Atma is homogeneous, not divisive like the mind. It can take many experiments to discover the atma. Atma is sitting inside you. It is that which gives you inspiration; you may call it your inspiration or your inner conscience.
In Samkya atma is called purusha. Another name for atma is Rama.
These nights are dedicated to transformation in that same way that transformation is occurring in the cosmos. The transformation is to awaken the light of bhakti. You can have that in a flash by the grace of guru.
What you learn in the natural course of life you don’t forget but what you learn at school or university you forget.
These children have trust and confidence, willpower, strength, shaktipath, shakti. How do we keep that as adults? Rama was banished from his kingdom but he did not lose his smile or develop an illness. The fact that he did this indicates that it’s possible.
It’s easy to earn money. That’s not a challenge. The challenge is how I keep peace of mind and goodwill to others, even to those who are giving me difficulty. What was Rama’s response to Kaikeyi who was responsible for sending him to the forest? That is atmabhava, to feel the difficulty of others. The feeling you have for others has to be natural. Atma is pure and resplendent, you cannot pretend, it is a natural evolution.
This atmabhava gives you peace of mind even if death is at your doorstep. Your retain the memory of how you have lived your life; it’s recorded by the atma.
Atmabahava is awareness of atma, it is not emotion. Sw Satsangi asked Sw Satyananda whether it is possible to purify. He said yes, through serve, love and give. The mind and 4 intellect bring you to a point – understanding, but then you have to experience that atma. It’s a heightened perception/awareness; it’s that of unity and that’s yoga.
There is a higher quality of experience when you do not lose peace of mind. In every situation you can have it and that is atmabhava. It’s an evolution of mind. Before the sun comes out there is darkness. That darkness is in me, fear, anxiety, worry, depression, confusion. I have experienced those things. Heaven and hell are in me.
The concept of atmabhava has been given by Sw Satyananda. I am not the body, mind, senses, immortal self am I. That’s the state that Swamiji lived in.
Atma is not spirit. Atma is a force, like nothing you’ve ever seen. It incorporates intelligence, science, speech, movement, digestion and it’s serving you. The concept of atmabhava has to be understood. Mind can perceive many things but we get disturbed because we don’t understand what it’s trying to tell us.
Yoga is unity. Bhakti is awareness. It is not emotion. Bhakti and atma are equal. You have to unite with yourself. When you do that you will perceive your role, the path of auspiciousness, light, knowledge. The path of darkness is where you end up nowhere. Which one do you choose?
Atmabhava is the path for today. It is a narrow, selected, prestigious path. The basis is love. An example is Sw Sivananda. He was so pure that he never doubted any person. Even if people advised him that people were there to cheat him, he had the same love. That was atmabhava. That’s what the Ishavasya Upanishad says; the same thread is in everyone. You can call it anything. Sw Satsangi likes the word ‘awareness’.
You go into a room and in five minutes you’ll see everything. See what the kanyas are able to do. They have developed awareness and are able to pick up anything. They have perfected mantra. That’s what Sri Swamiji has given. It’s that dual awareness, inside and outside.
Right karmas do not bind you.
With every breath Sri Swamiji perfected his mantra and experienced the state of atmabhava. In 1953 he said that it was his dream to live in a village and serve those who are needy. But he was too early and served his guru. He never lost his awareness of his guru even when he was talking to you. That’s satkarma – it’s real, universal. That’s atmabhava or atmadrishti. He knew what was happening even if he wasn’t seeing it. Devotion, surrender, conviction are the qualities to enter this path.
Questions and Answers
Q 1 Tell me about atmabhava. (Question from one of the kanyas) A How do you explain that the fire is fire. They believe that when they are dancing or singing they are dancing and singing for Sri Swamiji, that he is listening or seeing. They already have it.
Q 2 Is there any condition in which atmabhava should not be practiced?
A Is there any time when you shouldn’t be intelligent? Atmabhava extends your focus. It is not a practice; it is a state of mind. It is about evolution. Do you want to experience higher qualities? It has to connect me with each and everything. We’re doing many practices but we’re not experiencing atmabhava.
Atmabhava is becoming aware of God. A new experience, thought comes in front of me. What is the further evolution of mind? It has to experience unity, peace, joy in every condition. Atmabhava is a state of mind. Is there any situation where I should not serve selflessly, love share? No there is no situation where we should not serve, love, give. Whatever life you choose, e.g. karma yoga, etc. it leads to atmabhava.
Dedication, sincerity, commitment, faith, devotion, surrender are qualities of atmabhava. Atmabhava is the result of serve, love, give. The seed of atmabhava was bhakti, e.g., in relation to the kanyas. It’s lovely to see them grow, but the seed was bhakti.
When you practice serve, love and give in the manner prescribed, then notice what you are experiencing – clarity, awareness. When you have atmabhava you see the world differently. Atmabhava is sharing, serving. Or you can live with competition, etc. It breaks the unity of people. It is through the heart that you experience atmabhava. You should live your karmas in a way that uplifts you.
The way is mantra and serve, love, give. Gradually mantra will refine and bring about purification. So you should do mantra. The more you do it the more it will become your swabhaya.
Rama lived in total acceptance, in peace, in goodwill. Krishna started a war to preserve peace. You have to destroy the demons within you to experience peace. Even when I’m destroying the demons, I have to do it correctly. You can look at your life from childhood.
In our time Sw Satyananda came to the conclusion that it is bhakti that you have to keep intact and preserve; serve, love, give and mantra. As you develop bhakti you will get respite.
Sw Satsangi said that chanting a few verses of the Ishvasya Upanishad was important because we utter the truth and truth percolates through us. If we chant or say what is untrue then that percolates through us.
We have not entered, we may be standing at the threshold but it is evolution (movement) evolution of mind. The mind will become more able. Growing more hands (multi-tasking), opening of the third eye are symbols of evolution.
Rising in love is the atmic way. We don’t get sleepless nights when we are not stirred by others suffering. Our heart is covered; the light is not shining through. You have to awaken the heart to go further.
Ishavasya Upanishad – the radiance within each individual is in the seat of the heart. You have to uncover the lid. You should read it with the translation that Swamiji has written. Isha means that which is eternal and that is running as a thread in all creation. This can be realized in a life. When you realize that we are one you gain confidence. The same force is prevailing. Lead your life in a way that it is not depleted. You live a life of enjoyment but with the awareness that it is not yours. You can have it for 100 years.
The basic of the work at Rikhiapeeth has to come from the heart. It’s not commercial. Rikhia is the result of atmabhava. In Rikhia yoga is lived. In the modern time the path has been given by Gurudev . . . mantra which is a purifier. Meditation only leads you so far. As you lead life think, “Is this leading me to live life with atmabhava? The path is to awaken a higher mind.
If you follow only the path of gyana you will go into greater darkness. You have to include something more in your life. You must start chanting mantra. It is sound which influences the causal body, where the karmas are. We don’t know the traditions our ancestors did, if we did we could quickly transcend. Never underestimate the power of mantra. Mantra has the qualities of power, light, knowledge, movement of energy. Mantra reaches dimensions that can’t otherwise be reached. The energy which you are raising you need to nurture and for that you need guru. Sri Swamiji has given us a tradition.
We are going through a negative field of energy. You have to face it. Be positive, optimistic by thinking of others. We have no right to judge someone when we give them something. We have no right. God has given us so much but we misuse it.
If the yoga I’m practicing is not bringing me closer to others, it’s not yoga.
The Silver Jubilee has a vision, a goal which is transformed into a sankalpa and then it is put into action. So much energy has gone into that. What was that vision, goal, sankalpa? It is peace, plenty and prosperity to all. That was the vision of Sri Swamiji. It is only when you experience atmabhava that you experience peace, plenty and prosperity. Whatever has happened in Rikhiapeeth is the effort of that sankalpa.
Purity means simplicity, simple. Everybody prays for themselves but do they pray for others to whom they are not connected? No. Heart has a hard crust around it. It is so weak you don’t even hear the voice. We don’t listen to the heart; we only listen to the mind. Do we experience compassion, surrender, giving, and serving? These are not the emotions of the heart. The emotions we are feeling are the manipulations of the mind and ego.
Sri Swamiji’s emphasis is on knowing and experiencing; love for the sake of love. That was Swamiji’s attitude – atmabhava. He didn’t have to do it. He came for seclusion. He didn’t come for this. But then he experienced the difficulties of others.
Life is a challenge and we have to face it. He said that real life is within. You look outside but also start looking inwards. By not being aware of the whole you are turning away from reality.
We need certain tools to turn away from negativity. We need to know that globally there’s an increase in negativity. If we revel in that negativity then in the course of time we are eroding our own energy. Let negativity continue, increase the positive. Nature has given everything. If we follow it we’ll go very far. We have become very intellectual. It’s a very limited plane. If we have one emotional outburst all the intellect will fly out. You’ll have a nervous breakdown.
We’ve lost touch with instinct. What is the use of the intellect? There are a few moments when we apply our mind to something and we achieve quite a lot. Imagine if you could live beyond the intellect. They call it atma.
The happiness that we experience from an object is not in that object but the light of atma shining in that object. Initially we are contented with that object but it is very short lived. It exists within a time space dimension. The mind becomes restless. The contentment is lost and again you enter the world of duality. And that is how we are living our lives; some contentment but then discontentment.
Many times the thing that you desire gets boring. You lose that interest and enthusiasm. You can continue living like that, but if you want to increase those moments of happiness . . . know what’s going on inside . . . don’t act blindly . . . “I did that out of ego, etc.”
Civilization is not about going to Mars or having a good job. Civilization is someone who is able to manage themselves. I have a better quality of experience.
You have to know that which is universal. Rikhiapeeth should give birth to a new type of person, one of universality. If you don’t awaken that you will have difficulty. Those who want to go forward will need to consider change.
Steps to atmabhava:
1. Believe in the force that’s in me and everybody else. It requires truth and honesty. I don’t have to convince you that you are male or female. If you’re not interested don’t bother. This is for people who want to experience. There is strength and unity in it.
2. You have to want it just as you want to go to a show, have children, etc.
3. When you desire in that way, intense desire, then you have to find a guru.
You can call it kundalini awakening, the awakening of a higher force within you.
1. Develop curiosity.
2. Become interested.
3. Find a guru. Don’t be in a hurry, but keep that enthusiasm alive.
It’s heartening to see all the events in the program because for the last twenty-five years we have lived in atmabhava. Is it possible to feel another as you feel yourself? She asked Sri Swamiji. And then he spoke of the way. Serve, love and give. At that time she could not have envisioned this. Sri Swamiji began to experience feelings of fearlessness, peace, joy. The light is there, believe in it. Whatever you’d like to learn, it has to become clear for you. Serve, love, give, purify, meditate, realize. It’s the most appropriate way for the person of today. We have erratic energy. We are aiming for stitha pragya, established, knowledge, inner knowledge.
It’s not a question of liking or disliking. The mind likes/dislikes. The quality of atma is accepting, transforming, transmitting. These are the qualities of guru. That’s what guru does in our life, changes negative into positive.
When we become more negative than is good for us, what do I do? Increase the positive. Sw Satyananda gave a new way of looking at things. He has created a higher revelation. He linked with every heart. I must learn the art of linking and connecting with the creation around me.
We all want to love but we don’t know what love is. Love is being kind to those who most need it; lighting a light in everybody’s heart. But at some point our gross mind and ego comes in.
In atma drishti the first step is atmabhava. Swamiji and Sri Swamiji and all the texts have explored it. The talk of atma has been going on for a millennium. The first emergence of atma was through shruti, hearing; after hearing, the memory, smriti. That’s when Rama lived. Then there was the emergence of Krishna when it was coded into writing.
Slow and steady wins the race. I have to introduce atma into my life according to my capacity. You have to be with a guru.
I have t introduce atma into my life according to my capacity. You have to be with a guru. Without that it is difficult to experience atmabhava. The karmas are pulling me down. When we travel we can overcome false impressions.
The light we will be given will need to be shared. It will become compelling, a force within you. Atma is knowledge, strength, a force, clarity. Atma is a torch. It is within you. We have to keep that light burning through sadhana. Sadhna means perfection. We are watering the roots and nourishing the soul.
Today is the most important day when the darkness is overcome with light. She has come to bless us on this day. The entire creation manifest and unmanifest is worshipping the energy.
Ask the mother for what you want but also ask her that you should attain the vision of atma, the vision of yourself.
Everything that’s happening outside is happening within you. Atma is a big torch which is never running out of batteries. Symbol of the jyoti is a symbol of the atma. Tomorrow light a candle; it’s a symbol of whatever is awakened in you, even if it’s .00001.
It’s a transforming day . . . call out to the Devi, don’t be sad, anxious, just pray to Devi with an open heart.
At the beginning of each day think that it is a day with tremendous possibility, there are possibilities each moment to connect with Atma. At the end of the day, you may have gratitude or regret that you were or were unable to connect with Atma.
Rocklyn Yoga Ashram, operated by Yoga Association of Victoria Inc. as an autonomous entity,
remains committed to the tradition of Satyananda Yoga and continues the teachings under
the banner of Satyananda Yoga by arrangement with the IYFM.