Mysticism and Spirituality


Those who have established themselves in their spiritual being through the practice of spiritual cult are the real human beings. Others, who do not move on the subtler and sublime path of spirituality, and behave like animals, are humans only in name. Human beings alone have the privilege to do sádhaná (meditation). Animals, because of their intellectual deficiencies, are unable to adhere to the spiritual cult.

Animals are guided by instincts. They do not know the why and the how of things. Human beings, on the other hand, are led by the mind.

Animals cannot go beyond their instincts. In case of [great] intellectual clash, however, the animal mind, like the human, gets subtilized. This is generally found to occur with those animals who remain in contact with humans. But the development that is discernible in this case is not spiritual, it is simply intellectual. Dogs and monkeys who are trained, for instance, can be made a bit [more intelligent] than other ones.

Human beings, on the other hand, have the capacity to develop even in the spiritual realm. Those who do not pay heed to this special gift are animals, nay, even worse than animals. Animals are unable to make efforts for their spiritual development, whereas humans do have this ability. You cannot call a beggar a miser, for the beggar has no money to donate. If a moneyed person, on the other hand, hesitates to donate, that person is presumably a miser.

The human is sometimes described as a rational animal. Such a view does not seem consistent. A human cannot be an animal. In the Cosmological order, at one particular stage of development a unit is called an animal; at another particular point it is inanimate; and at another particular point it is a plant. Therefore, it does not behove to call a human a rational animal, for in that case the human can also be called a rational stone. When in the process of psycho-physical development, the physical structure becomes complicated, and the psychic structure also develops to the extent that it starts controlling the physical body, you call that particular phase human.

In the creation of the universe, the consciousness that is existing as the Nucleus of the triangular Basic Principle is the Supreme Father, the Basic Cognition.(1) The avidyá shakti (force of nescience) that is working with the Basic Cognition as the Operative Principle, but is not yet manifested, is called the Basic Principle. There is no expression in the Basic Principle, neither physical nor psychic. She is active but there is no effect [or any creation] of operative nature. Expression does not occur so long as there is proper equilibrium between the Basic Principle and the Basic Cognition. When they lose their balance, a theoretical expression takes place as a sequel. In this stage it is called the Primordial Principle. The Primordial Principle is something theoretically manifest. It does not fall within the periphery of experience, due to the equilibrium of Shiva and Shakti [Basic Cognition and Basic Principle], but it is theoretically well established.(2)

It does not seem proper to attribute… to such a state, yet the situation is akin to…(3) There is actional vibration in the Basic Principle, but due to the absence of any measuring psychic entity it cannot be said to be temporal, though it is related to the time factor. There does not exist any second entity brought about due to curvatures in the Primordial Principle. That is why we do not find another, time-measuring, factor there. This curve is its special characteristic.

In the third phase of manifestation, due to internal clash and cohesion, curvatures come into existence. The difference between the vibrational principle and the Witnessing Counterpart becomes explicit. The vibrational principle is called in Sanskrit Bhavánii shakti. The temporal factor is established in the development of kála. What is kála, or time? Time is nothing but the psychic measurement of the relative motivity.

If the vibrational expression is towards the crude, the unit will face retardation. The final, or culminating, point of retardation [contains within it] the history of the full expression. In the crudest point of the human mind, therefore, lies the history of its innumerable lives. Even a timorous stroke will rip open the burden a person is carrying and make one able to see oneself. The development [upwards] from the nadir of Supreme Cognition is progress. So long as the fundamental negativity does not receive a stroke, there does not occur any progress, any development. A seed sprouts forth if struck by light, water, and soil. Similarly, when the fundamental negativity of a unit – that is, the kulakuńd́alinii – receives the stroke of the mantra, it awakens. But so long as the desire to move towards Paramátmá is not aroused, this phenomenon does not take place.

This does not happen with an animal because of its intellectual deficiency. Matter, due to external and internal clash, is converted into ectoplasm – the crude stuff is metamorphosed into cittáńu [“mind-atoms”, ectoplasmic particles]. The intensity of this clash and cohesion depends upon the intensity of internal and external clashes. [After] the animal mind, the mind that succeeds due to immense physical and intellectual or even intuitional clashes is the human mind, and the body that is associated with it is the human body. Sádhaná, the spiritual cult, is a progress from the crudeness of matter to the subtlest entity, that is, a march, a movement, from the last point of the vibrational principle to the nucleus of the Basic Principle, the controlling point of the fundamental triangle of forces. Sádhaná is, therefore, a march to the place from where one has come.

Those who want to make themselves the attraction or the ideal of the world add a Shrii before their names. The term connotes the charming entity, Máyá, Prakrti. Supreme Cognition is the shelter of Shrii, and that is why He is also called Shriinivása in Sanskrit. The movement towards the entity that has sheltered the universe is sádhaná.

Since humans [are] weak, they need the aid of some other entity for this movement. From where will they get the stamina, the strength, for this movement? Assuredly it can be had only from the Entity that is the source of this stamina, this strength. Whatever stamina, physical, mental, or spiritual, exists within you, is not your creation. Can you create anything? No, you cannot. You convert the external energy derived from food, light, water and soil into vital energy. You cannot create any energy, you can simply convert it into other forms. You convert sound energy, magnetic energy, etc., into vital energy. You then reconvert that vital energy into other forms of energy. While working, you convert your vital energy into mechanical energy. While speaking, you convert your vital energy into sound energy. The moment this vital energy is gone, the living unit turns into a corpse. You derive your vital energy from the external world, a gift of Parama Puruśa. Similarly, the strength to move towards the Supreme Father can also be obtained from Him. But the tragedy is that you do not ask for spiritual force from Him. Your sole concentration is on earning name, fame, money, promotion, prestige, and other such worldly gains. You remain so busy with your worldly desires that you hardly manage to get any time in your daily life to ask for spiritual strength.

In ancient times, when the desire to move on the path of spirituality was aroused, human beings felt the need of a guide to show the path. It is this desire that is manifested in the Vedas. When the desire to move on the path is aroused, He is compelled to come as a guide to the seeker. He cannot just ignore the seeker. Ask the way and you will get it.

But it is not enough to get the way, for one also needs to walk on that way, on that path. The strength to move forward lies within you – the only impediment being the encumbrance of sins that is on your head due to your past actions. Remove that burden, be light, and march on. Bhagaván [Lord] Buddha said the same thing when he asked his disciples to jettison the burden that is in the boat. Desire is, therefore, not enough. One needs to perform some tangible action. That action is called intuitional practice – spiritual cult. This cult is also called Tantra. It is not enough to read books, scriptures – one will have to be practical, will have to do something in practical life. You need to move from the fundamental negativity to the fundamental positivity. Thus, through sádhaná, a person makes himself or herself light and at the same time gets the attraction of Him. Furthermore, one needs to surrender oneself completely. Until and unless there is cent percent surrender, it is naive to think in terms of accomplishing the task.

The story goes [in the epic Mahábhárata] that so long as Draopadi kept even a grain of dependence on her own strength, she remained constantly under the threat of being exposed before the congregation. The moment she found herself completely helpless and reposed all faith in the Lord, Náráyańa [refuge of devotion], she got the divine help. So one who feels this attraction and surrenders oneself completely to Him is bound to get His help. One, on the other hand, who keeps even one paisa with oneself, fails to get that help.

A natural question comes up here. Since human life is evolved through animal stages, the impression of the animal life is bound to work within the framework of human psychology. In this situation, it is not unlikely for human beings to commit mistakes, to commit sin. How is it possible to move forward with this encumbrance acquired during the animal stages?

The answer has been provided by the Lord Himself. If even the most degraded person remembers Him single-mindedly, He will relieve that person from his burden of sin.

There is, however, a difference between the English term “sin” and the Sanskrit word pápa. In “sin” there are involved religious, doctrinal and biblical connotations. The Sanskrit term pápa is more explicit. Paropakárah puńyáya pápáya parapiid́anam – “Those actions that help to develop the physical, intellectual, and spiritual strata of human beings are puńya, and those that obstruct this are pápa.” The biggest pápii is called durácárii in Sanskrit, and one whom even the durácáriis call pápii is a sudurácára.

There is a common term in Sanskrit, pátaka [sin]. There are two forms of pátaka, pápa and pratyaváya. Going against the don’ts is pápa; pratyaváya means not to do what one should do. In Sanskrit dos are called vidhi and don’ts niśedh. The whole social structure revolves around vidhi and niśedh.

Those who shirk duties and responsibilities do commit a great harm to society. It is this lack of dutifulness in our country [India] today that has caused great retardation in different spheres of life. It has also caused spiritual degeneration. One should perform good actions regularly, should do sádhaná properly – these are the dos which everyone is expected to perform. Those who do not pay heed to these responsibilities do indulge in pratyaváya. Pátaka is the collective name of pápa and pratyaváya.

Pátakas are of three kinds. First, the ordinary kind. These are undesirable acts after which the person [may repent]. For instance, someone takes the money of others. That person’s act will be called pátaka, for he or she can pay back the money and repent of the act.

There is no atonement, however, for atipátaka. If, for example, one chops off the [arms] of an innocent person, one cannot pay those limbs back in the same capacity. According to the shástras [scriptures], persons indulging in these atipátaka acts can make atonement only if they renounce their worldly life and fully offer themselves to the cause of humanity in the service of mankind.

The third kind of pátaka is mahápátaka. There is no penance that will atone for mahápátaka, either.

Furthermore, the result of mahápátaka is of recurring nature. If a businessman, for instance, discovers a new method of adulteration, he commits mahápátaka. Mixing papaya seeds with the black pepper is bound to deceive purchasers. The discoverer of this new method shows the world a new path in the sphere of adulteration. The effect of this act is bound to be of recurring nature. The atonement for mahápátaka is like atipátaka, that is, this person also should renounce his or her worldly life and should offer himself or herself in the service of mankind. There is, however, a difference. Since this person’s act is more serious, this person will have to invent something that will have a recurring good effect on society. The invention of penicillin would be a case in point. There is no other way out for the mahápátakii.

There is an interesting story about this. When the defeat of Ravana became almost certain, he sat in prayer, imploring Lord Shiva to save him from the oncoming disaster. But Lord Shiva remained quiescent and did not pay heed to his prayers. Párvatii was also there. What happens is that the heart of the mother is more soft than that of the father. Seeing the miserable condition of Ravana, a devout of Lord Shiva, she started pleading with Lord Shiva on his behalf. The latter, however, refused to listen to even Párvatii’s implorings. He had to see to his duties and not to hear Párvatii’s lecture. When Párvatii finally pressured Him very much, Lord Shiva revealed the situation. He said that Ravana was a great pápii, so He could not do anything for him. Párvatii continued in her obstinacy. Pleading on behalf of Ravana, she said that at most he might be an atipátakii. The Lord thereupon said that he was a mahápátakii. Though it would have been atipátaka to kidnap a lady, Ravana’s act was mahápátaka, for he carried out his act in the garb of a sádhu. If he had done it as Ravana, he would have been an atipátakii. His act would not have had a lasting effect. But since thenceforward no housewife would believe a sádhu, the effect of his act was of recurring nature.

There is, however, a way out even for the mahápátakii. If the mahápátakii dwells on the Lord in his or her thought single-mindedly, and offers himself in the service of humanity, he or she will also be able to lead a respectable life, he or she will also get liberation.

Parama Puruśa, the Father of all fathers, the multiple of all multiplicities, the nucleus of all nuclei, knows everything. He is omniscient. He knows sarva – the Cosmic Father knows everything. He is omniscient, prescient and post-scient. The earth is [created] in Him. What has happened in the past comes within the vibrational principle. What is going to happen in the future also comes within the vibrational principle. (The present has no independent existence. It is nothing but an adjustment between the past and the future. That is why the present varies in accordance with personal differences.) The omniscient Puruśa, Pratyagátma (Supreme Subjectivity reflected in all beings), is the Lord of both heaven and hell. He is the Father of both developed sádhakas and of sudurácáras or mahápátakiis. There is, therefore, no question of His hating the sudurácáras and loving the good sádhakas. All are one to Him. He cannot ostracize the former and embrace the latter. There is no place outside Him where He can throw off the sudurácáras. He cannot disown them either, for in that case He would not remain Patitpavan [Saviour of the Degraded].

It is, therefore, naive to lose heart. Even if one is a sudurácára, he or she should not get discouraged. He or she should, on the contrary, do sádhaná and undergo the prescribed penance. There is no reason to fear. This world is not for cowards. Only the brave can enjoy the world. If love for Him is awakened, there is no reason to fear.

Your Longing Should Be Non-Attributional
Your longing for Him, however, should not be attributional. On the contrary, it should be non-attributional. Your attraction to the Supreme is called devotion [bhakti], whereas attraction to any finite objectivity is called ásakti. Attraction to friends is ásakti, attraction to God is bhakti. In the case of ásakti the object is limited, in the case of bhakti it is unlimited.

Mysticism is a never-ending endeavour to find a link between finite and infinite. It is the first phase of non-attributional devotion. Attributional devotion is no devotion(4).

There are two types of non-attributional devotion. The first is psycho-spiritual devotion, whereas the second is pure spiritual devotion. The reactive momenta remain mixed into this type of psycho-spiritual devotion of internal projection of the subliminal human mind, and these reactive momenta of the subliminal human mind disturb mental equipoise. As a result, the mind eventually comes back again to the lower status. A person rises during the period of sádhaná and comes back to the original stage when in normal life. Here, love for God does not become of permanent nature.(5) (While quarreling unnecessarily, one does not remember the untoward nature of one’s act. Later on one repents. But when the remembrance of the nature of the act becomes of permanent nature, it is called dhruvásmrti.(6)) In the non-attributional devotion of pure spiritual type, the reactive momenta cannot function within the scope of the subliminal stratum.

Even where the sádhaka does not long for name, fame and wealth but worships Him in order to experience inexplicable bliss, the devotion is attributional – it is attributional psycho-spiritual devotion.(7)

But where the devotee worships Him only in order to please Him, there the devotion is of purely spiritual nature. Here there does not exist the feeling of duality. Such a devotee is called a gopii [or gopa]. The term connotes one who worships God only to please Him – Gopáyate yah sah gopah.

One who has made it a mission to attain Paramátmá will assuredly attain Him. You are sádhakas, and you should always remember this. Your love for God, your devotion for God, should be of non-attributional, or spiritual, nature.

(1) The Author here refers to His revelation of Tantra cosmology. In brief, when in Unqualified Consciousness (Nirguna) an ineffable yearning arises to create. As a result the Shiva (the Cognitive Principle) allows Itself to be qualified by the sentient, mutative and static principles of Shakti (the Operative Principle). This results in the rise of Qualified Consciousness (Saguna). These topics are the subject of spiritual experience and not abstract philosophy. Kindly refer to the treatise Idea and Ideology for further understanding. – Eds.
(2) In the primordial phase of Qualified Consciousness the three binding principles of Shakti remain in a balanced flow around the Cosmic Nucleus. When an imbalance occurs between Shiva and these 3 principles of Shakti, then there is a disturbance in the flow of these principles leading to the rise of a Point or swollen seed (biija) of creation dominated by the force of Cosmic will (icchá shakti). This seed is called Shambhuliuṋga. When this seed bursts there is a flow of pure Cognition (Jiṋána) in the form of Divine Sound. This is the stage of Cosmic Mahat or Cosmic Existential State (Knower I, pure awareness of “I exist”) which is the first and highest level of the Cosmic Mind. – Eds.
(3) The ellipses, indicating missing words, occurred in the original magazine publication of this discourse. The missing words may have expressed that at this stage of manifestation it does not seem proper to attribute a practical differentiation to the relationship between Shiva and Shakti. In Idea and Ideology (1959), the Author has described the difference between Shiva and Shakti at this stage as “tending from the theoretical to the practical aspect”. –Eds.
(4) Attributional (Saguna) Devotion is of various types such as Static Devotion (devotion out of desire for one’s enemies to be punished or killed), Mutative Devotion (devotion out of desire for fame, beauty, wealth, power and other crude desires), Sentient Devotion (desire to leave this world of suffering, desire of enjoying divine bliss) and Jiṋánamishra Devotion (where one has desire for spiritual knowledge). – Eds.
(5) This is called Rágánuga Devotion. Anuga means “to follow”. This is a lower stage of devotion associated with lower cakras (plexii). In this stage one’s movement after the Supreme Beloved is systaltic with ups and down, speed and pause as per one’s mindset. In this stage one loves with no desire to get anything from the Beloved. One simply loves that Beloved because of the intense bliss one gets by loving. – Eds.
(6) And when love for the Supreme Beloved (in the form of continual remembrance) becomes of permanent nature, it is also called dhruvásmrti. –Eds.
(3) Though the Author has above called it the first type of non-attributional devotion, it is attributional in that the selfish desire for bliss is still contained within it. –Eds.

20 October 1967 DMC, Meerut