O human mind, while thinking and perceiving,
invoke instinctively the subtle sound Om Kali.
Why not ground your entire being in her living name
that dissolves all dangers arising
from without and from within?....
O mundane mind, stop thinking in habitual patterns,
move beyond the structure of past, present, future,
leave your obsession with temporality.
Without care or regret sing Ma Tara, Ma Kali.
Sail smoothly across the ocean of relativity.…
(excerpted from a poem by Ramprasad Sen, Mother of the Universe, by Lex Hixon, p.46)
Members of the SRV Hawai’i sangha gathered together with Babaji over the first weekend of 2014 to plunge more deeply into the secrets of mantra. As the name of the retreat implies, mantra given in sacred ceremony to a sincere aspirant becomes a profound austerity when practiced with devotion and knowledge. Holy Mother avers that use of the mantra is efficacious even if repeated habitually, but She is also adamant that a single repetition with full concentration on the meaning of the mantra is worth far more than all the mindless or parrot-like repetitions. Thus, this retreat delved into the meaning of mantra in its parts, methods of repetition, and the results that one should experience if one practices properly.
Why does the mantra penetrate through Maya? Because it is made of maya – Mahamaya. Use the best and highest aspect of Maya to pierce through name, form, time, space, and causation. Get it from a high source, called Guru, and use it to pierce through maya's covering and distorting powers. Take a divine name, meditate on a blessed form – and the end to the regimen of cause and effect is right there and available. – Babaji
In the Upanisads the sheaths are described thusly: the essence of the body-sheath is the prana [which pervades the body]; the essence of the prana-sheath is the mind [which pervades the prana and body]; the mind's essence is the intelligence-sheath; the essence of intelligence-sheath is ananda, bliss; the self (sheath) of bliss is pervaded by Brahman. Brahman is not pervaded by anything. So, come to know these sheaths and then set them aside. Know that "I am the essence of these sheaths; I am the Pervader."
The mantra comes spilling out of the Word. It makes everything balanced.
All the aspects of the Wisdom Particle are scattered and disjointed when one does not concentrate. The mantra reveals this predicament to the mind. When the mind concentrates, it is like throwing a magnet into a pile of iron filings – clap! – they all connect!
Mantra, Yantra, Tantra, Siddhanta! Via concentration on the mantra given by the Guru in sacred ceremony, one intuits that everything is a symbol for God (Yantra). This leads to Tantra (the knowledge that saves), and ultimately to the conclusion (Siddhanta) that everything must be God.
Gaudapada says we have to awaken from the waking state. We are sleeping – the sleep of tamas, the sleep of the senses, the sleep of "mundane human convention." Render the waking state lucid and dream and deep sleep states will follow suit.
The deities are all in you. Think of them as divine qualities that you can manifest. One may pray for a vision, but the deity could come in a dream and say, "Just manifest Me!” Mother Tara is within us. If we get Her vision, okay, we saw Her. But what about manifesting Her as compassion in life?
Do not intensify an unclear mind. Purify first, and when clarity comes one should then intensify with austerities and deeper practices. Consult the Guru for guidance in this.
Dharma megha samadhi really means manifesting the deities within.
When one begins to examine one's consciousness, hidden samskaras come out – tendencies one did not know were there. Suppose one says to the mind, "I am Brahman," "I am Perfect." If one is sincere, then the next day one sees all of one's imperfections surface, and then knows what needs to be worked on. If one is insincere, deluded, then one marches on in false pretense. Pretense is immature presumption that belongs to the ego. It must be done away with.
Mantra is so powerful and subtle that it can be practiced in all the four main Yogas to help manifest the essential quality of each:
Mantra aligned with jnana yoga is wisdom.
Mantra aligned with bhakti yoga is devotion
Mantra aligned with karma yoga is calling the Deity to manifest in life and action.
Mantra aligned with dhyan (meditation) yoga is a natural.
[Babaji taught the Four Stages of the Word: Para, Pashyanti, Madhyama, and Vaikari. Para is Supreme and represents absolute unity, homogeneity, indivisibility. Pashyanti is also a state of unity, but is where the stage is set for concepts and meanings to come forth. Madhyama is where idea, meaning, and sound come together, and Vaikari is where everything solidifies into tangible objects.]
In deep sleep (correlative to Pashyanti in the individual) one's Witness is usually veiled. But one can take this Witness consciously into meditation and inspect the pashyanti stage – the world of pure ideas.
[Babaji presented a teaching on the Tantric principle of Kamakala, part of the Sristi Rahasya, the Secret of Creation. Kamakala can be described as the demiurge, the inexplicable urge to create.]
Kamakala is a cosmic principle that helps beings fulfill their desires in time. (kama, desire and kala, time). At a Cosmic level it is Lord Brahma's desire to create. But why is there this urge to leave the state of blissful absorption in pure Reality? It is an inexplicable drive to sport; it is the demiurge. It is you and your projections resulting in dreams.
Keep yourself in a high state of mind and maya will not be able to bother you. However, if you fail to do this, then maya seeps in without your knowing it in waking, dream, and deep sleep. You will know this to be true when imbalance attends your mind, and negativities enter your life.
Ishvara is a Mahatattva (Ultra-cosmic Principle) so high that It is both with form and formless. It becomes Avatar when it takes on Its aspect with form.
First clarification, then intensification.
If the Mahavakya, "I am Brahman," strikes the mind when it is in a clear state, then great strides can happen. But if it hits the unclear mind, then there can be trouble, such as presuming too much, too soon.
Mantra Retreat Reflection
Namaste! How does one articulate the ineffable profound change that I have experienced from this sweet, yet powerful weekend spiritual wisdom retreat on Mantra presented by beloved Babaji Bob Kindler with such erudite, clear, wise, and concise information transmitted with so much love and precision of thought for digesting within my whole being! I am truly grateful for this past weekend's opportunity to learn so much toward enhancing my daily sadhana, combined with the warm and loving fellowship of holy company and sharing the most blessed prasad to equal the nectar of wisdom I felt joyously stir my heart and soul. So many mahalos/thank-yous. I am truly blessed and blissed! ~ Love, Nivedita