Faith and Intuitive Understanding: Cornerstones of the Spiritual Life

by Brother Satyananda
Excerpts from a talk at 2016 Convocation; 12 August, 2016.

It is a Dream!

Through pure intuition the soul begins to awaken.

“From this sleep, Lord, will You wake, wake me?
From this dream, Lord, will You wake, wake me?
In Thee I dive;
In Thee I rise, in Thy sea, in, in Thee.
From this sleep, Lord, will You wake, wake me?
From this dream, Lord, will You wake, wake me?
In Thee I’m born;
In Thee I die, to live forever in, in Thee.” (Cosmic Chants)

A story of Krishna and Uddhava. The story comes from the end of Krishna’s life. His work is over and His time is nearly complete. He decides to communicate important principles to His people – and they gather in a public forum – the Hall of Righteousness.

Krishna warns the people about the ever rising dangers in the world. Krishna is very somber and serious in His tone.

Uddhava, a disciple, asks Krishna to take him with Him (he knows Krishna is leaving). Krishna tells Uddhava that the time for Him to go is near but Uddhava cannot go with Him. He must stay and continue the work. However, Krishna offers Uddhava the following counsel:

1. This life is a dream, but your true soul is everlasting.
2. How the Soul Begins to Awaken in the Dream.
3. Live at the top of the tree.a

1. This life is a dream, but your true soul is everlasting.

Our immortal souls are shrouded in a dream manifestation of God. Our sleep and dream at night are very much like this dream creation. The relationship between cosmic consciousness and dreams is the same. The Dreamer, the Act of Dreaming, and the Objects of Dreaming.

As the soul becomes self-aware, the soul becomes awakened. Dream, Dreamer, and Dreaming become One. Turiya – self-awareness with the dream.

This awakening is waiting for all of us. The Guru is trying to make us self-aware.

When I Am Only a Dream (last stanza of Master’s Poem):

“And yet when I am only a dream to you
I will come to remind you that you too are naught
But a dream of my Heavenly Beloved,
And when you know you are a dream, as I know now,
We all will be ever awake in Him.”

Krishna to Uddhava: Separation is only a dream. I must go, you must stay. The world needs you. Practice daily sadhana and practice detachment.


2. How the Soul Begins to Awaken in the Dream.

This Self is never born nor does it ever perish; nor having come into existence will it again cease to be. It is birthless, eternal, changeless, ever-same (unaffected by the usual processes associated with time). It is not slain when the body is killed. —II:20 [—Commentary]

Chapter 2, Verses 18-28 in GTWA offers a description about the nature of the soul. See also Lesson 109.

Some behold the soul in amazement. Similarly, others describe it as marvelous. Still others listen about the soul as wondrous. And there are others who, even after hearing all about the soul, do not comprehend it at all. — II:29 [—Commentary]

In Chapter 2, Verse 29, Krishna and Master teach us how the soul becomes self-aware in the dream. Intuitive perceptions – a higher form by which the soul can know itself.

The eyes of the soul must be opened in order to become self-aware in the dream.

The wonder of the soul can only be known through intuition by the right techniques of meditation. Realization of oneself as Soul and Spirit. Through intuitive knowing we will truly know ourselves.

Intelligence and the senses can only know what is mortal. For soul awareness we need different instruments. Seeing the Soul with the eyes of the Soul.

Use meditation techniques to go beyond thought. Put both aside and you have pure awareness. The state after meditation is a pure state.

Unfolding stages – sheathes that need to be removed.

Dr. Lewis wrote the song, “Sitting in the Silence” to remind us to take time after the techniques to sit with God.


Sitting in the Silence on the sunny banks of my mind,
Sitting in the Silence with Lord Krishna by my side [with my Guru by my side]
When the thoughts have gone to rest, is the time that I see Him best,
Oh 'tis lovely sitting in the silence.


Brother Bhaktananda advised to sit in the stillness.


Most important is in the inner stillness of meditation, in the seclusion of the heart and soul. Master often told us, "After you practice the techniques, sit a long time in the stillness."

Stillness means

just being absorbed in feeling God's presence at the spiritual eye.

No thinking,

No chanting,

No praying.

It is in that stillness that we really have communion with God, as peace, joy, and love.
As the Bible says, "Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalms 46:10) (How to Develop Love for God)


The techniques help us to sit in a state of stillness. They help us to go beyond the mind.

When you reach stillness, sit quietly and be self-aware.

“I am. I exist.”

Intuitive perception begins to expand. We become aware of ourselves beyond energy and thought. Then we become aware of ourselves as the Buddha and Bliss.

Use the techniques to go beyond the mind. When you feel a little bit of joy – concentrate on that joy. This will begin to expand. Then you will realize that you are this Joy.


3. “Live at the top of the tree.”

Remain true to your intuitive perceptions.

Chapter 18, Verse 58 of the Gita:

With heart absorbed in Me, and by My grace, thou shalt overcome all impediments; but if through egotism thou wilt not heed Me, thou shalt meet destruction.

“The yogi who has his heart fixed on God finds that, through His grace, all previous material taints of his heart—the sense-bent likes and dislikes—have been eliminated. After explaining this, the Lord cautions His devotee about the treacherous ego:

'O Arjuna, if instead of listening to My advice about liberation, you continue to exalt the physical ego, which considers itself as the doer of all human deeds, you will he entangled in rebirth-making actions and destroy your chances of salvation.'

Lord Krishna did not mean that, by a single error made under the influence of the ego, Arjuna would ruin forever his chances of liberation; rather, that because of getting mixed up with the misery making ego, he would temporarily lose the opportunity for salvation. No matter how deep and long-continued a sin may be, it cannot forever obliterate the soul's consciousness of its divine heritage.

The meaning here is that when ego consciousness even temporarily substitutes itself for God-consciousness, whether in dutiful or meditative actions, the desire for salvation is lost—and along with it, the requisite effort—whether for a short or long time, owing to the complications created by delusive egotistical desires.” ~ Paramahansa Yogananda

Listen to the Guru’s advice and not to the ego. Continue to strive.


Ego vs. Soul — the Battlefield of Daily Life.

Inspiration, intuition and free choice. Use your power of free choice wisely and be true to the Guru and your soul.

Intuitional Experience:

Inner peace;
Love beyond outer objects;
Clear guidance from conscience.

How does the ego make substitutions? You can have a wonderful meditation and then worry yourself to sleep. Don’t choose suffering over the comfort of God. The trial is there but so is the comfort of God. See how the ego makes substitutions? Don’t let this substitution happen.

Intuitive insights are never accompanied by fear. Don’t inflict suffering on yourself. When ego tries to assert itself through doubt and fear, we need to rally the soul. You shall not pass! NO! Master is waiting for you to engage.

Become aware of your real choices and begin to choose and protect what is valuable to you.

Develop a conscious conviction of the truths you believe in.

We can govern what choices we make. Make them sacred. Put them beyond the reach of the doubting mind.

Profound insight, valuable life lessons, a moment when you realize how much God loves you – capture these valuable insights and make them sacred. Put them beyond the reach of the doubting mind.

Don’t doubt the reality of your divine inspirations. Put them out of reach – make a conscious effort. They are beyond discussion with the ego.

Build a treasure trove of your blessings and keep them sacred. They will build.

Capture the inspirations that come as gifts and treat them as sacred. Your inner strength will begin to grow.

Concentrate on the feeling the blessing produces. Realize they are gifts from God. Create a sacred trust with God.

We can be our own champion of spiritual living. Side with the soul.

As the heart center begins to open, there is a shift. (Sri Yukteswar discusses it in The Holy Science)

The truth comes to us from within.

– love, unshakeable conviction, and the devoted faith in the Guru based on intuitive perception. Have steadfast, unconditional faith in Master.

The original disciples all shared this quality. They are unshaken. They know the Guru is there.


These notes are not an official publication of SRF. They were taken by the devotees during talks given by the monks and nuns. Please be aware that there is a degree of human error involved in taking and transcribing notes.