Achieving Self-realization

by Sri Daya Mata
(Extracts from Living in the World, Be not of the World in SRF Magazine)


Become Absorbed in Peace Within

One purpose is uppermost in my heart and mind when we meet like this for satsanga. I want to impress on all of you again and again the importance of knowing that only one thing is real:

That which you discover by going deeper and deeper and deeper in meditation.
Become absorbed in that peace within,
which nothing in this world can give,
that security which nothing in this world can offer,
that love which no human heart can give to us,
only the Divine.


Do Not Procrastinate

Do not procrastinate, waiting for heartaches and difficulties to make you realize the wisdom of Paramahansaji's words and the wisdom of the gurus: "O my saint, wake, yet wake! You did not meditate, you did not concentrate, but passed thy time in idle words. O my saint, wake, yet wake!"* [*From a traditional Bengali devotional song often chanted by Paramahansaji's guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar.] Use time, what strength, what energy you have to find God first, so that you will be able to feel that steady flow of His love during the difficult times, which come to all of us in this world of duality.

To walk inwardly with God is the state of the spiritual person. Each day, silence the body and still the mind, and turn your whole being within to commune with God. If you form that habit of meditation, it will make all the difference between your being ordinary person, one who is certain, filled with doubts and frustrations, and a spiritual person, who feels that his life is completely in the hands of God and that therefore all is well with him.


Be Fearless

Nothing in life or in death should make us fearful or upset. The marvelous guidance Master [Paramahansa Yogananda] gave us, for which I am forever grateful, instilled in us the awareness that life is eternal. …


Cultivate Divine Aboveness

Divine aboveness does not come through mere imagination, or through trying to force a state of higher awareness. It comes through patience and perseverance in practicing yoga meditation techniques, and devotion. Thereby one gradually attains that state of which Guruji wrote in his Gita commentary: "The exalted yogi feels his little physical body and all its perceptions not as an ordinary human being, but in oneness with omniscient Spirit."* [* God Talks With Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita, ch. I.] Some of you may have had a glimpse of this through your practice of Kriya Yoga. When you have done Kriya correctly, faithfully, for a long time, with full attention, you will experience a tremendous sense of expansion, a sense of weightlessness; no awareness of materiality in your body—it becomes like light. Make this little experiment: Concentrating at the center of spiritual perception between the eyebrows, feel the life energy flowing into your hands as you rotate them very fast around each other. You begin to feel a ball of energy forming there; and you are not aware of your hands, but are conscious only of this sensation of energy.* [* The method mentioned here is a part of the technique used in SRF prayer services to send divine healing energy to all who have requested help. It is described in the booklet, Self-Realization Fellowship Worldwide Prayer Circle, available on request.] That energy has no materiality, no sensation of weight to it. In divine consciousness, your whole body feels like that: You experience the body as nothing but a mass of whirling energy, unsubject to the burdens of material existence.


Experience Freedom & Joy

I remember when as a young devotee I had been practicing Kriya, and suddenly the weight was gone from my body; it was so light, as though I had levitated, and I felt expanded throughout the whole room. Master said to me,

"That is a glimpse of the tremendous freedom and joy that come when you realize you are not a body, but a divine soul."

In 1932 I wrote down these words Master said to us: "We must always think that by applying constant effort, by properly following

the right path,
the right attitude,
the right actions,
we can make life beautiful,
we can make life right,
we can attain the highest goal of realization.


Concentration Leads to Self-Realization

By deep concentration on the path, and by taking those steps which lead us to our goal, we will definitely find Self-realization. And we must always hold the thought, that as eager as we are to reach the infinite goal, the first thing we must apply is patience."


Be Patient

Without patience, the devotee cannot make much progress. How many people come to me and say, "I have been meditating so deeply, I have been trying so hard, but I find nothing. What shall I do?"

There is only one answer:
Keep on.
Go on trying harder.

Let your attitude be:

"My Lord, devotees may come, devotees may go, but I will be Thine always."

Shed more tears of longing for God. Exercise infinite patience, because my dears, it takes infinite patience—patience that refuses to give up in the face of all the difficulties and all of the obstructions that stand in the devotee's way. Never be dismayed; you have already progressed far. God has brought you to this path now because your karma from past efforts entitled you to seek Him with divine assurance in this life. Waste not that opportunity.


Be Evenminded

In addition to meditation, the Gita teaches evenmindedness—to accept all circumstances with a divinely imperturbable attitude:

"If I have crosses to bear today, all right; I'll do my best to overcome them. If good things come to me today, all right; I'll enjoy them. Neither will make me forget God. Whatever comes each day, I am not dismayed, I am not overexcited. I am resting always in the eternal Peace, the eternal Love, beyond this finite world." ...

These are not merely poetic sentiments. Everything that Master has said, we can—and should!—prove in our own lives. When you sit to meditate, after you have practiced the techniques (Hong Sau, Aum, and Kriya) and interiorized the consciousness,

then go up and down the spine mentally chanting Om at each of the chakras, so that you actually begin to feel and perceive those subtle centers of divine life and awareness. In that inner communion, with your eyes uplifted to the point of concentration between the eyebrows, plunge deeper and deeper.

Churn the ether with your longing: "Lord, reveal Thyself,
reveal Thyself, reveal Thyself."

Go on repeating it, again and again, until your brain becomes saturated with just that one thought: "Reveal Thyself, Lord." You will feel a tremendous joy that begins to bubble up within you as you use the pickax of will power and determination and concentration to dig away at the crust of ignorance and indifference that covers the soul—the well from which God's joy, love, wisdom flow into our being. …


Living in the World, Be Not of the World

Master in his Gita commentary describes the state the devotee is striving to reach:

"Living in the world, he is not of the world. He is aware of hunger, thirst, and other conditions of the body, but his inner consciousness identifies itself, not with the body, but with Spirit. The advanced yogi may own many possessions, but will never sorrow if all things are taken away." …

Think how often we become sensitive or may want to hit back at someone for having hurt us. But when you have that consciousness of God with you, you do not want to lose it. It does not matter what people say or do to you. What does matter to you is keeping your mind always here,* silently conversing with your Divine Mother, with your Divine Beloved, with your Lord. [* Daya Mata indicated the center of spiritual perception at the point between the eyebrows.]


Seek God & God Alone

So many persons we encounter today are nervous, irritable, simmering with pent-up negative emotions—perhaps some are even on the verge of a breakdown. Why? Because they have forgotten to maintain conscious contact with the Source of their being.

"From Joy we came;
for Joy we live;
and in that sacred divine Joy we will one day melt again."

Attunement with that Infinite Joy is the solution to all life's problems: God and God alone.

Is that not what every individual is seeking? If you look within and ask yourself, you will know: You are seeking happiness, you are seeking love—the two go hand in hand. Because we are made in the image of the immortal Beloved One, whom I like to think of as the Divine Mother, we will never be happy until we find God's all-fulfilling love. We seek it through many channels. As children we look for that love in our parents. And when we fail to find complete fulfilment there, we seek that love in friends. In time, we seek it in husband or wife. When inevitably we are disappointed (for no imperfect human being can give us perfect love), we suffer greatly. We may even begin to grow bitter in our frustration, and to develop a complex of self-pity. What we have failed to do is to bring into our lives that one Divine Being whence all love flows. We have to look within to find that infinite love. And finding it within, we can share it with all.

Master set forth a universal theme for Self-Realization Fellowship:

"O Beloved God, may Thy love shine forever on the sanctuary of my devotion,
and may I be able to awaken Thy love in all hearts."

Seeking God first, finding divine communion within, may we be able—by giving a kind word, a thoughtful act of service, an outreach of understanding—to awaken God's love in the hearts of others. It is in giving understanding that we receive understanding; in giving consolation that we receive consolation; in giving selfless service that we receive service. Above all, it is in giving love that we receive love. In giving pure love, God's love—not selfish love that demands gratification and feeds our ego (for we are nothing without the support and guidance and blessings of God)—we receive God's love, that love which brings out the best in us by reminding us that we are souls, reflections of the Divine.

To strive for Self-realization is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and to others. As Gurudeva said to us:

"It is wonderful to be in the consciousness
of the soul—fortified, strong!
Be afraid of nothing.
Hating none,
giving love to all, feeling the love of God,
seeing His presence in everyone,
and having but one desire—
for His constant presence
in the temple of your consciousness—
that is the way to live in this world."

[Full talk is in the SRF Magazine, Summer 1999]