To be a Medium

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

To the question, ‘How to become a medium?' the reply is simple – empty yourself. The bamboo must be made hollow, only then each note can be produced. I think it is the best of musical instruments, the simplest. Every musical instrument has two parts, but the flute has no parts. Nothing has to be added to it.

In the life of a disciple the most important thing is to empty oneself. Everyone has their own desires, choices, difficulties and problems. Therefore, no one is empty. When a person has problems they are his problems, and when I have problems, they are my problems. I am one and you are two. Where there is duality there is no medium.

A disciple need not be an idiot. He can be an intelligent person. He can be a funny person, but before the guru he is nothing, like an Alsatian dog who has one master only. To become a good medium the disciple has to become a good conductor, otherwise the electricity cannot be conducted. Electricity cannot be conducted through string. It can only be conducted through a good conductor like copper. In the same way the guru can only flow through a disciple if the disciple is a good conductor.

Laying down one's arms

There are many stories of disciples who have attempted to be mediums but have failed. My guru was Swami Sivananda. He had many disciples who were outstanding and good people. I am not that good. I have my own way of thinking and living. These disciples became mediums and I became a medium for I had completely surrendered to guru. There came a point in my spiritual life when I was completely exhausted, tired and fed up with myself.

When one tries to control the mind for years and months and is not able to control it, when one tries to control passions and is not able, when all personal efforts have failed, one is fed up with oneself. At that time, one completely lays down the arms and says, "Oh, do what you like. I am bad and am going to be bad. I have tried my best and lost. I can't do anything without you." At this point, there is an awakening which only comes when one has totally laid down one's arms.

Making oneself empty

Many people say, "I am a good man." That is ego. They say, "I am a pure man, a brave man. I speak the truth at all times. I eat only once a day." It is only ego. All this is a product of the ego. A disciple's goodness can be a product of his ego. When people say, "Oh, I don't speak lies," they say it with pride which is a result of their ego.

A disciple has to be humble and say. "I can't do anything. I can't renounce. I can't control the mind. I am hopeless. My mind is full of terrible thoughts and I have got bad habits." This is the humility where the disciple accepts himself.

Many disciples and many people have certain ideas about themselves. This is not good. A disciple of a guru or a devotee of God has to be as humble as a blade of grass and should not boast of their qualities. They must devote at least two hours a day to meditation. Ten minutes of meditation is just a beginning, for in ten minutes nothing happens. It takes at least fifteen minutes for the disturbances of the body to settle. It takes almost half an hour for the brain to settle. For another half an hour the practitioner has to fight with the mind. Then, after one and a half hours, that mind will be sleeping. I am not making a joke.

If water is put in the fridge, it takes time before it becomes ice. In the same way, if the mind is to be transformed into a peaceful mind, it has to do it step by step. When one meditates for two hours one becomes empty. Empty means empty of thoughts and empty of duality. The practitioner is meditating on an object. This is duality. He is meditating on an object and is aware that he is meditating. This is duality. When the idea of meditator and the object of meditation is forgotten, it is called dhyana, meditation.

In meditation there is a threefold process: the meditator, the object of meditation and the process of meditation. During meditation one is aware of these three things. This must drop in order to become empty. One should not be afraid of becoming empty for in all religions it is the exercise - ‘Empty yourself, be like a flute, like a drum.' Only when the disciple becomes empty, energy flows through him.

Flow of energy

The energy can flow through the mind, through intuition, through speech, through the palms and through the eyes. One doesn't know what is going on. There are some people who can look at others and everything is finished. When Mahatma Gandhi used to look at the eyes of a person, he was under his control.

There are people who bless or touch someone's forehead and they start jumping. Therefore, the energy flows through the fingers and in some people the energy flows through speech. When they speak everybody is hypnotized. Another person's energy flows through intuition and he has perfect accurate judgment.

When the disciple becomes the medium of the guru it is not his choice what he wants to become. The guru's wish will be done through the disciple. To begin with, the disciple has to drop his choices, saying, "I want this. I want this and I want that." It is the beginning of discipleship.

This relationship is only with the guru, not with anybody else. With other people the disciple should behave just like a normal person. Before God you are nothing! Before guru you are nothing!

— 1983, Spain