Early Teachings of Sri Swamiji

Rajnandgaon, August 6, 1959

Irregularity in practice is the main obstacle in yoga sadhana. Some means must be found to remove it. If in everyday activities and performance of social duties you cannot find time, you should do japa mentally and remember God’s name anywhere, anytime. External causes do not obstruct the sadhana. Laziness and indifference constitute the chief obstacles to one’s practice of yoga. You are aware that the path of spiritual practice and attainment of perfection is at first difficult; in the middle it becomes active and energizing and finally it becomes successful. This is not true in regard to you alone, but it is true in respect of practitioners of philosophical mysticism, who also find their way difficult in the early stages. You are inclined towards the study of yoga. You have only to continue to practice it slowly and steadily. Gradually your practice will advance automatically.

Even in the midst of the distractions of daily life, you can bring before your mental vision the image of your desired deity. You can even practice japa, but you cannot practice sadhana with steadfast attention immediately. To make sadhana gradually more and more indwelling is the only remedy for people in active life.

The path of sadhana is not difficult. If you regard it as difficult, where else do you find smooth sailing in life? The conditions of life to which we are accustomed are hard indeed, but the mind is used to them and does not feel so. Sadhana is a new venture, the first step in the march by the divine to victory over the animal in man. Its practice will surely take some time. Merge this practice with your daily routine, with devotion and courage. Those who wish to move forward have to raise one foot at each advancing step.

—Munger, March 17, 1961

As soon as the guru’s slap is received, luck takes a turn and one comes to one’s senses. You have not received diksha only, you have received raksha (protection) also from me. Do not be afraid. No soul of a lower category will be able to make you its medium. For you are already reserved for the descent of the divine spirit. You need not think when and how the divine spirit will enter into your being. If you are afraid by night, sleep in your pooja room. If this is not possible, sleep upstairs every Thursday, for this day is earmarked for you to receive knowledge.

Let your inner consciousness be natural in meditation. First of all, there should be an attitude of indwelling, then experience of consciousness and finally pure consciousness alone. This practice easily succeeds. All this will automatically take place during the practice of ajapa. Get ready for shaktipat. But it has no relation to spiritual illumination. Do not think that after shaktipat you have reached the goal. Even after this you have to begin at the beginning. You may not be aware of the rules of shaktipat.

Before your initiation you practiced levitation. Do not begin it now, lest your nerve centres be destroyed by combustion, and your capillaries dilated for lack of vitality because of the family life you lead. You should be urdhwaretas for twelve years and then practice pranayama for levitation. Give up all ideas of levitation at the start.

On the plane of consciousness, guru and Govinda are one. But in yoga, a living guru is necessary, even though one may meditate on Govinda. The guru alone knows the way to the destination. His commands are heard in the causal body through ajna chakra. Consciousness may dwell deep within, supporting itself on Govinda, but who except the guru will show the way thereafter? Then the name will change, ajapa will change, devotion will change, nirati will change. Know this secret.

Give up living on the plane of intellect. How long this obsession? Let thoughts go; let intellect go. If this continues, I may not give you the key. Not only will you have to follow my instructions, but my unseen commands too. Even if I speak from above the sky you will have to listen through ajna chakra. You must get up when I wake you at three in the morning. Sometimes, you do follow my commands but your ego gets in the way and a higher life is forgotten. Nothing can be achieved if you ignore my commands.

There is selfishness in you, there is hypocrisy in you, there is cleverness in you – terrible storms are concealed within you. O seeker, know first of all that you can deceive everyone, but you cannot cheat yourself. Before initiating you, how often did I remonstrate you and tell you that my path was not the path of those who know how to whisper in the ears only, but that it is the path of the brave ones, of heroes, of proud men. It is the path of those who are prepared to die for it. In spite of my warnings you took initiation. Now let me see how you escape.

How long will you sleep in the night of infatuation? If you desire to accept the words of the guru, first pass the test. Those who have full pockets will one day find them empty; those who have intellect will remain unenlightened; those who are doubters will wander in darkness.

It is the duty of the disciple to go according to the oral, written or inspired commands of the guru. It is the duty of the disciple to think according to the spoken, written or inspired thoughts of the guru. Let me take into my hands the reins of each one of your thoughts and actions. When I call you to the tenth gate, come there quickly. Do not fear, this is not the secret yoga of the Himalayas. This is the word of God. I say it because I know it to be so. Do not treat me as if I am a book, or else you will grope in darkness.

If I make a determination to do something, I shall surely accomplish it. If I am unable to perform even an ordinary thing, how can I ever execute any great task? Great tasks have small beginnings. I desire you to become a dynamo and work for eighteen to twenty hours a day, move like a rocket, speak like a leader, think like me, sleep like Napoleon, live in the world like a jivanmukta, and move into every nook and corner of life like a hurricane. Give up your ideas about femininity. Like a soldier of god, be independent, frank, fearless and forward.

I have not made anyone my surety. I am my own surety. One who has faith in my credit will believe in me. One who hasn’t, won’t. Is the world to be my guarantee? Is my surety worth a trifle? Look at them; they do not believe in my credit and seek out strangers. Such persons who have eyes to see and yet behave like blind men are really stupid ones and deceive themselves. To prove their innocence, they simply proclaim that, “I am doing this work with faith in God.” But I declare that whatever I do, I do according to my inner convictions. Let those who wish to believe in me do so, or else remain where they are.

—Letters to a disciple, first published in Taming the Kundalini