Don’t Dream of Self-realisation


3That man who has a wavering mind and turbulent senses, and who has not ethical training, can never obtain this Atman.

There is no salvation obtained through the mere holding of the staff or making the head bald or other disguise or through ostentatious observances. Sitting for six hours on one Asana at stretch and reading Gita or Bhagawata for two hours, cannot give Mukti for a man. Though the man is seated with closed eyes, he may have day-dream and many evil thoughts. He may not possess right conduct and ethical cultureHe tells lots of lies daily. He injures others. He does backbiting and tale-bearing. He has an unchaste look. He has jealousy. Purification of the mind and cultivation of virtuous qualities are of vital importance. Then only the divine light will descend. Then only the vessel will be strong enough to hold on the divine light.

The mirror must be quite clean. Then only the reflection of the face in the mirror will be quite clear. The turbidity of the water in the lake must be removed. Then only you can see the bottom of the lake. Even so all impurities of the mind should be removed. The senses should be subdued. The mind should be rendered quite steady. The mind-wandering should be eradicated by constant practice and by eradication of Vasanas. Then only the aspirant can realise the Self in this self. Then only he can get Atma-Sakshatkara. Aspirants do not move on right lines. They do not practise the right kind of Sadhana and the right kind of Tapas. They do not attempt to control the Indriyas. That is the reason why they do not make any real progress in the spiritual path.

Just as there is a lot of pus in the sinus inside the apparently healed ulcer or wound, so also there are lots of impurities in the minds of aspirants, though they move about from Kashmir to Brindawan, from Gangotri to Badri-Narayan, under the pretext of realised souls. This is the real state of affairs. There is only Rupantara-Bheda or difference in colour and dress. Nobody wants to do any rigid Sadhana with patience. Nobody does introspection and careful self-analysis and correction of the mistakes, weaknesses and defects. They blow out empty powerless ‘SIVOHAM, SIVOHAM, and AHAM BRAHMA ASMI’. They cram some Slokas here and there, something from Panchadasi, something from Upanishads and repeat them like parrots in the presence of some selfish householder, their so-called admirers and Bhaktas (Bhagawatha) who are waiting with the false hopes of getting some wealth or a son or some Bhooti (herb from the Himalayas) from them. This is their Self-realisation. Great Pity! Life is wasted! No real improvement has come!

Renunciation is not lethargy, escapism, frustration or irresponsibility. Renunciation is getting rid of egoism, desires and cravings. When all the desires are annihilated, then this very mortal becomes Immortal. Freedom is supreme happiness. Dependence is extreme misery. Renunciation moves hand in hand with Peace.

Source: pg. 79, Self Realisation by Swami Sivananda

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Scriptural Knowledge and Abominable Scoundrels


Question 1: I have known people who can volubly quote chunks of verses from the scriptures but they seem to have serious moral turpitude. How do we reconcile their vast knowledge with their character defect?

Answer 1: “Quoting scriptures is….not a sign to indicate the spiritual development of a person. A man may recite the whole of the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras; and yet he may be the greatest and the most abominable scoundrel.” (pg. 24, Satsanga and Svadhyaya by Swami Sivananda)

[“Scoundrel” refers to a dishonest or unscrupulous (=having or showing NO moral principles) person: Oxford Dictionary]

Question 2: I have known people who give impressive lectures; yet, they have every trait that qualifies them to be un-spiritual. Oftentimes, some of them are even bad and hypocritical. How do we reconcile their impressive knowledge with their lack of spirituality?

Answer 2: “One may deliver a lecture on Adwaita Philosophy for several hours. One may interpret a verse in hundred and one ways. One may give a discourse on one verse of the Gita for a week and yet these people may not possess an iota of devotion or practical realisation of Vedantic oneness. It is all dry intellectual exercise. Nothing more than that.” (pg. 240, Sadhana by Swami Sivananda)

Answer 2: Swami Sivananda: “It is practice that counts. You know the Gita by heart. But are you living in the spirit of the Gita—that is what matters.” (Swamiji’s speech on 25.9.1950: pg. 150, Sivananda’s Lectures: All-India and Ceylon Tour).

Answer 2Mata Amritanandamayi: “Memorising something is NOT that difficult; putting what YOU have LEARNT into practice IS difficult.” (pg. 43, Lead Us to the Light)

Question 3: How is it that their knowledge of the scriptures does not help to eradicate their bad and evil tendencies?

Answer 3: “It is easy to become a lecturer on Vedanta. If you sit in a library for some years and enrich your vocabulary and phraseology and commit to memory some passages, you can deliver good lectures, in two or three years, but it is not so easy to eradicate an evil quality. Only a real aspirant who is doing Sadhana will realise his difficulty.” (pg. 240, Sadhana by Swami Sivananda)

Question 4: Some of these people who are so-called well-versed in the scriptures often say that there should be a balance between pleasure of living in this world, enjoying the sense satisfaction and leading a spiritual life. Can one make substantial progress in attaining God-Realisation in this way?

Answer 4: “Spiritual life starts with your recognition that as long as you keep going headlong in the pursuit of sense satisfaction and pleasure, you are NOT going to move one step. So all will be academic and theoretical. Our aspiration, our wanting spiritual life will only be in theory—a fancy and a feeling. You have not started. So, the beginning stage itself of the spiritual life is a turning away from sense experience and sense indulgence and starting to move in the opposite direction,” (pg. 19, The Role Celibacy in Spiritual Life by Swami Chidananda)

Question 5: So, what are the uses of spiritual or scriptural knowledge?

Answer 5: “It is not enough…merely to read the scriptures. We must hold their teachings up to the watchful presence within us…,” (pg. 203, The Promise of Immortality by Swami Kriyananda) [Swami Kriyananda is a direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, the author of “Autobiography of a Yogi”].

Answer 5: “Even if we memorise the most complicated… texts, without an innocent love for God, it will be difficult to make any real spiritual progress,” Swami Ramakrishnananda (pg. 246, The Blessed Life)

Answer 5: Mata Amritanandamayi: “Knowledge is good, but ONLY when expressed in life is its benefit experienced both by ourselves and by society….(Scriptural study) must be practised in DAILY life… ONLY when we live BY its principles can we progress without flagging, no matter what the circumstance.” (pgs. 4-5, Matruvani, March 2013, Vol.24, No.7)

Answer 5: “All too often the intellect becomes satisfied with just theory about God. Great and glorious is the story of God’s presence, but greater and more glorious is the actual perception of the Infinite….If you practice one millionth of the things that I tell you…you will reach God. Success doesn’t lie in listening to my sermons, but in practising what I have told you.” (pg. 94, The Divine Romance by Paramahansa Yogananda)

Answer 5: “It is true that our ancient teachers were great, their wisdom was profound, their morals were high, and their spiritual insight transcended the limitations of time and place. HOWEVER, we have NOT been able to take advantage of the great treasure that could have made life better and brighter.” (pg. 51, Spirituality by Swami Rama)

Answer 5: “It is not enough to read the scriptures as a form of duty. One should think deeply about the meaning they contain and try to get a firm conviction about the possibility of realising the Truth.” (pg. 514, Meditation and Spiritual Life by Swami Yatiswarananda)

Spiritual Life — Are you Really Serious about it? Do you Really Want God?


Question 1: What is the first thing that I should ask myself even before I think about God and spiritual life?

God

Answer 1a: “Enquire whether you really want liberation or whether you are simply talking of higher things out of curiosity…”, Swami Sivananda (pg. 269, Science of Yoga, vol. 6).

sivananda color smile

Answer 1b: “Do you want God?… Do not cheat yourself: be straightforward,” Swami Sivananda (pg. 413, Sadhana)

Sivananda3

Question 2: What is the next most important thing that I should do about my determination to continue in spiritual life?

 Answer 2: “Even if Lord Krishna remains with you, he cannot do anything for you unless you are fit to receive him and his teachings. Realise this point well and purify yourself thoroughly by means of… Japabrahmacharya and control of the senses,” Swami Sivananda (pg. 265, Science of Yoga, Vol. 6)

Question 3: I am serious but I don’t have the time.

 Answer 3 a: “Plod on in your sadhana. Give up idle talk, tall talk, gossip and backbiting. Save your time,” Swami Sivananda (pg 169, Science of Yoga, Vol. 6)

Yatiswarananda3

Answer 3 b: “We must minimize all unnecessary waste of time in futile thinking, gossiping, aimless activities, wandering, etc. Then, we will get plenty of time for our spiritual practice.” (pg. 341, meditation and spiritual practice by Swami Yatiswarananda)

How to Recognise a Sincere Spiritualist?


Question 1: How to recognise a sincere and truthful devotee of God?

Answer 1: Let not appearance deceive you. There goes the devotee, chanting the scared Name of Narayana. He sings in ecstacy and dances in rapture for an hour or two. He is vehement in asserting that all indeed is Narayana. Here is a great monist who would not stop repeating: ‘I am God, I am God’. Profound is his learning, and mighty his swordsmanship in argument. Tarry a while, friend. Watch them under three conditions: (1) when desperatively hungry, (2) when bitterly provoked and insulted, and (3) when another man is pathetically distressed. Now, if they fulfil former assertions, all hail to them, obeisance to them, veritable gods on earth they are, and let the dust of their feet adorn our foreheads.” (pg. 66, Self-Realisation by Swami Sivananda)

Question 2: Who is deemed an unspiritual and worldly-minded person?

Shaw

 

Answer 2: “A worldly-minded person is a prey to sexual thoughts, and thoughts of hatred, anger and revenge. He is enslaved by these two type of thoughts which take possessions of his mind. He does not know the laws of thoughts, and how to divert his mind, and fix it on good, noble thoughts. He cannot resist an evil desire, craving or temptation on account of his weak will. He is completely ignorant of the nature and workings of the mind. His position is extremely deplorable, despite his earthly possessions and knowledge obtained from universities. Dispassion and discrimination have not awakened in him. He has no faith in saints, in scriptures and in God….” (pg. 355, Science of Yoga, Vol. 2 by Swami Sivananda)

People in Spiritual Life Fall


Question 1: I know many people who, despite many years of associating with enlightened masters, and even after attending many spiritual discourses, have scant regard for the Guru, mahatmas and spiritual life. What blocks their understanding?
Mooji
Answer 1: “Even when the nature of God is explained, those who have not been purged of their faults and impurities would either disbelieve or misbelieve it, as was the case with Indra and Virochana. Therefore, knowledge as inculcated arises only in him who has purified himself by austerity, performed either in this or in a previous birth.” (pg. xiii, The Bhagavad Gita by Swami Sivananda)

Question 2: I know a few people, who claim that they read (or studied?) the scriptures and spiritual books. But they not changed a wee bit; worst of all, they have got bad to worse?

Answer 2: “Just as coloured dye stands out more clearly only when the original material is pure white, so also the instructions of a sage penetrate and settle down only in the hearts of aspirants whose minds are calm, who have no desire for enjoyments and whose impurities have been destroyed.” (pg. xiii, The Bhagavad Gita by Swami Sivananda)

BhagavatmQuestion 3: What are the qualifications that one should possess before one could read, understand and absorb the significance of scriptures like the Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam, for instance?

Answer 3: “An aspirant is expected to possess the qualifications of keen discrimination, dispassioncontrol of the mind and senses, and AVERSION to worldly attractions, before he can practise the threefold Sadhana of hearing the scriptures, reflecting upon them, and meditating upon their significance. (pg. xiii, The Bhagavad Gita by Swami Sivananda)

Question 4: It has become fashionable these days to hear people saying that they are hoping to get self-realisation or God-realisation. What are the prerequisites for that?

Answer 4: “Discipline and purification of the mind and the senses are the prerequisites for aspirants on the path of God-realisation.” (pg. xiii, The Bhagavad Gita by Swami Sivananda)

Spiritual and Religious Hypocrites


Question: Can a so-called “spiritual” or “religious” person, who prays, chants and does spiritual practices, be egoistic? It seems remarkably strange that someone who reads and talks about God and spiritual living could act and behave with so much self-importance. Aren’t spirituality and egotistical conduct polar opposites? If someone IS “spiritual” yet egotistical, then, he is a hypocrite. Right? Hypocrite

Answer: “…egoism assumes a SUBTLE form. The GROSS ego is NOT as dangerous as the subtle egoism… The working of egoism is VERY mysterious. It is VERY difficult to detect it’s VARIOUS ways of working. It needs SUBTLE and SHARP INTELLECT to find out its operation… (The) ego wants to exercise POWER and influence over OTHERS. He wants titles, prestige, STATUS, RESPECT, prosperity, house, wife, children. He wants self-aggrandisement. He wishes to domineer and rule over others. If anybody points out his DEFECTS, his vanity feels offended. If anyone PRAISES him, he is elated. This ego says, ‘I know everything. He doesn’t know anything. What I say is quite correct. What he says is quite incorrect. He is inferior to me. I am superior to him.’ He FORCES others to follow his ways and views.” (pg. 84, Conquest of Mind by Swami Sivananda)

Amma
“…(The) ego wants to exercise power and influence over others. He wants titles, prestige, status, RESPECT, prosperity, house, wife, children. He wants self-aggrandisement. He wishes to domineer and rule over others…”

Mata Amritanandamayi: “…it may happen that a spiritual person learns to hide his ego and PRETENDS to be very humble…. acts and behaves like a spiritually mature person… A person who wears the FALSE mask of a spiritually advanced person does not know what terrible HARM he is doing. He is MISLEADING others, and also paving the way for his OWN destruction. (pgs. 185, 186, 187, 188, Awaken, Children Vol. 7)

HYPOCRISY in the garb of religion is CRIME.” (pg. 273, Voice of the Himalayas by Swami Sivananda)

“Hypocrisy, arrogance, self-conceit, anger and also harshness and ignorance, belong to one who is born in a demoniacal state, O Arjuna!” [Gita 16:04]

“Religious hypocrisy is the WORST form. Hypocrisy is a mixture of deceit and falsehood. Asuras are those who have waged war and who are still waging war with the gods in heaven. Those who are endowed with Asuric tendencies or evil qualities are Asuras or demons. They exist in abundance in this Iron Age.” (pg. 426, Commentary on Bhagavad Gita 16:04 by Swami Sivananda [South African Edition])

quote-be-honest-with-yourself-the-world-is-not-honest-with-you-the-world-loves-hypocrisy-when-paramahansa-yogananda-87-59-13.jpg

What is Ego? Do Spiritual people have ego?


Question 1: Everyone in spiritual life talks about ego, and that it is the greatest impediment when it comes to attaining God. What, actually, is ego? How does it cause trouble to us?

Answer 1: “Ego… is the self-asserting principle…born of ignorance…It is the ego which has created the idea of separateness from God or the Atman, It is the ego which is the ROOT CAUSE of ALL human sufferings and births and deaths.” (pg. 44, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 2: How do we know whether we have ego? Or, whether we are acting out of egoistic tendencies? Are there are definite signs of the existence of ego?

Answer 2: “…ego identifies itself with the body, mind, prana, and the senses. Wherever there IS ego, there are mine-ness, SELFISHNESS, LIKES and DISLIKES, LUST, ANGER, greed, HYPOCRISY, PRIDE, JEALOUSY, delusion, arrogance, conceit, impertinence, vasanas (=tendencies), trishnas (=cravings)…”   (pg. 44, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 3: How do we get rid of this ego that causes so much trouble?

Answer 3: “…destrouction of thought, DESIRES, cravings, mineness, selfishness, JEALOUSY, PRIDE, LUST is really destruction of mind or egoism. Control of SENSES also is annihilation of the mind or egoism.” ( (pg. 44, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 4: Do people who are in spiritual life or who practise religions have ego?

Answer 4: “This egoism assumes a subtle form. The gross egoism is NOT so dangerous as the subtle egoism.”  (pg. 44, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 5: I have known people who claim that their religion is the truest and the rest are bogus, or they claim that their group, congregation, church, mosque or temple is genuine and the others, although they may belong to the same religion, do not belong to the true path of and to God. Are they actually working under the influence of ego?

Answer 5: “..Institutional egoism is a subtle form of egoism. The man identifies himself with the institution and gets ATTACHED to the institution or cult. He has no broadmindedness or catholicity.”  (pgs. 44-45, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 6: How to easily detect ego as it is so subtle and abstruse?

Answer 6: “The working of egoism is very mysterious. It is VERY difficult to detect its various ways of working. It NEEDS a SUBTLE and SHARP intellect to find out its operation. If you practise INTROSPECTION DAILY in silence, you WILL be able to find out its mysterious ways of working.”  (pg. 44, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 7: In your answer to Question 2 you said if we identify ourselves with the body, mind, senses, etc., it is an indication that we have that lurking ego in us. If this is so, what about our feelings regarding foreigners, strangers and people who do not belong to our society, culture, etc. Is that feeling of seeing the difference between us and others in terms of nationality, attainment, class, status, etc., the work of ego too?

Answer 7: “The seed of this ego is the differentiating intellect or Bheda Buddhi… This ego likes his own birth, place, and district, people of his district, own mother tongue, his own relations, and friends, his own ways of eating, mode of dressing. He has his own predilection and preferences, He dislikes others’ ways of eating, dressing, etc. (pgs. 44, 45 Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda).

Question 8: You see, I have spiritual friends—great spiritual friends, who are excellent advisers, guide and counsels. They have the little tendencies that you have described. Does it mean they too have the ego?

Answer 8: “It is the ego which has created the idea of separateness from God or the Atman… This ego wants to exercise POWER and INFLUENCE over others. He wants TITLES, prestige, STATUS, RESPECT, prosperity, house, wife, children. He wishes to domineer and rule over others. If anybody points out his defect his vanity feels offended. If anyone praises him he is elated. This ego says, ‘I know everything. He does not know anything. What I say is quite correct. What he says is quite incorrect. He is inferior to me. I am superior to him.’ He forces others to follow his ways and views.”  (pgs. 44, 45 Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 9: It, indeed, is subtle and dangerous. But how to destroy it?

Answer 9: “This ego lurks like a thief when you start introspection and self-analysis. It will ELUDE your grasp and understanding. You must be alert and vigilant. If you obtain the GRACE of the Lord through JAPA, kirtan, prayer and DEVOTION, you CAN EASILY kill this ego.”  (pg. 46, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda) 

Anyone Can Preach But Only a Middling Few Can Practise What They Preached


Question: There are people who are good at giving spiritual advice to others but when their lives spiral into an abyss of pressure and turmoil or when they face crisis, they fumble, tumble and flip, not being able to practise what they preached. Why is that so?

Swami Dayananda: “Paying lip service to obligatory values is no more useful than the chorus of parrots in a tree, who were singing out, ‘Be careful of the hunter’s net!’ A wise old parrot had seen the hunter coming and had called our the warning. But the silly flock did not look at the ground to spot the hunter—to understand the fact of the situation—to establish a personal content for the words they had heard from the old bird. Instead, they continued to sit happily on the branches of the tree repeating the words which were empty of any real meaning for them: ‘Be careful of the hunter’s net!’ Even after the net had descended upon them, they wriggled and squirmed, caught in the web, screeching: ‘Be careful of the hunter’s net!’

“When I claim as my standards values in which I fail to see any personal gain for myself, I am in as risky a position, so far as expressing those values, as were the parrots in the tree, who mindlessly repeated the warning.”

(pg. 17, The Value of Values)

Spiritual Hypocrites


Swami Vivekananda: “80% of those who take to spiritual life become hypocrites; it easier to be a hypocrite, to make an outward show without changing inwardly, than to pass through all the troubles and difficulties of intense spiritual life.

15% become INSANE; those who are NOT pure enough but try to be in touch with the Cosmic Force come to grief. Many people ruin themselves that way. If we want to pass a high voltage of electricity through a weak wire, what will happen? We shall blow a fuse, and so there is great need for the practice of purity.

“Five percent of those who start spiritual life and steadily purify themselves moves towards the goal. One should learn the secret of keeping oneself perfectly under control.” (pgs. 28-29, Adventures of Spiritual Seekers by Swami Yatiswarananda)


HYPOCRISY in the garb of religion is CRIME.” (pg. 273, Voice of the Himalayas by Swami Sivananda)

“Hypocrisy, arrogance, self-conceit, anger and also harshness and ignorance, belong to one who is born in a demoniacal state, O Arjuna!” [Gita 16:04]

Commentary on Gita 16:04 by Swami Sivananda: “Religious hypocrisy is the WORST form. Hypocrisy is a mixture of deceit and falsehood. Asuras are those who have waged war and who are still waging war with the gods in heaven. Those who are endowed with Asuric tendencies or evil qualities are Asuras or demons. They exist in abundance in this Iron Age.” (pg. 426, The Bhagavad Gita by Swami Sivananda [South African Edition])

Mata Amritanandamayi: “…it may happen that a spiritual person learns to hide his ego and PRETENDS to be very humble…. acts and behaves like a spiritually mature person… A person who wears the FALSE mask of a spiritually advanced person does not know what terrible HARM he is doing. He is MISLEADING others, and also paving the way for his OWN destruction. (pgs. 185, 186, 187, 188, Awaken, Children Vol. 7)

Srila Prabhupada: “There are many pretenders… such pretenders may also speak on dry philosophy in order to bluff sophisticated followers… But he who makes a show… is the greatest cheat, even though he sometimes speaks of philosophy. (Commentary on Gita 3:6)

Gita 3:6. “He who, restraining the organs of action, sits thinking of the sense-objects in mind, he, of deluded understanding, is called a hypocrite.” (Swami Sivananda Bhagavad Gita)

Commentary on Gita 3:6 by Swami Sivananda: “He who, restraining these organs, sits revolving in his mind thoughts regarding the objects of the senses, is a man of sinful conduct. He is self-deluded. He is a veritable hypocrite.

You Talk A Lot About Your Guru BUT…


Mata Amritanandamayi: “This is not an easy path, and there is pain involved….Faith and self-surrender Have become limited to words. More speaking and less doing is the policy of the modern age, and the tendencies of the mind are stronger than before. No one wants to be disciplined. Everyone wants to keep their ego, it is so precious to them. People think that the ego is an embellishment; it is not considered to be a burden anymore. People do not feel the heaviness of their ego. They feel comfortable inside its small, hard shell. They feel afraid and insecure to come out of it. They think that they are well protected where they are. For them, what lies beyond the shell of their ego is frightening, it is unknown, and therefore, unsafe…

“Surrendering to a Master is not easy. It needs courage. It is like jumping into a flowing river. The Master is the flowing river. Once you jump in, the current will inexorably take you to the sea. There is no escape. You may struggle and try to swim against the current, but the river is so strong that it is bound to take you to the ocean — to God or the Self —that is your real dwelling place. To jump in is to surrender. It needs a courageous mind, because it can be compared to the death of your body and mind.

“You may not take the plunge now, because you are not yet ready to jump into the Deep waters of the river. For the time being, you may want to remain standing on the river bank enjoying the beauty of the river. You may want to enjoy the cool gentle breeze, the constant chatter of the running water, the power and charm of the river. That is fine. The river is not going to force you to jump in, and you can stand there for as long as you like, because it won’t send you away. It is not going to say, ‘Enough is enough! Go away! There is a long waiting list!’ Nor is it going to say, ‘Okay the time has come! You either jump into me right now, or I will force you!’ No, nothing of the sort. It is all up to you. You can either jump in or stay on the shore. The river is simply there. It is always willing to accept and to cleanse you.

“The river of the Master does not have an ego. It does not think, ‘I am flowing, I am powerful and beautiful. I have the power to take you to the ocean. In fact, I am the ocean. See how many people bathe and swim in me, and how they find delight in me!’ No, the river of the Master has no such feelings. It just flows because its nature is to do so.

“But once you dive in, the current is such that you will become almost like a corpse. You will find yourself so powerless that you have no other choice but to simply be still and let the river carry you wherever it wants. You have the freedom to choose. You can either remain on the shore, or dive in. But once you take the leap, you do not have a choice anymore; you will lose your individuality, you will have to give up your ego. At that point, you disappear, and you find that you are floating in pure consciousness.

“So, you are free to stay on the shore. But for how long? Sooner or later, you will either have to turn and go back to the world, or you will have to jump. Even if you return to the world, the beauty and charm of the river is so enchanting and so tempting that you will keep on coming back. The day will come when you will be tempted to take that final leap, and finally you will dive in — it has to happen.

“While standing on the shore, you may have many things to say about the river. You will sing its praises, you will describe its beauty, you will have many opinions about it, and you have unending stories to tell about the river, and its history. But you are describing the river, and telling stories about it without having taken a dip in it even once. And whatever you may say about the greatness of the river without having gone into it, is Simply meaningless. Once you finally dive in, once you surrender to the River of Existence – the Perfect Master – you will be silent. You will have nothing to say.

“Surrender makes you silent. Surrender destroys the ego, and helps you to experience your nothingness and God’s omniscience. Once you know that you are nothing, that you are totally ignorant, then you have nothing to say. You have only unconditional and undivided faith; you can only bow down in utmost humility. In order to really know, one should be humble. The ego and real knowledge are not compatible. Humility is a sign of true knowledge.

“There are people who are good speakers. They tend to have big egos. There are exceptions, but the general tendency is to speak more and do less. Why? Because they haven’t surrendered to a higher reality, to the higher values of life. They have not really accepted God’s all-powerful nature, and become aware of their own nothingness, even though they may speak about it.Such people may do a lot of good for the world, but they also do a lot of harm…

“When you surrender to a higher consciousness, you give up all your claims; you Release your grip from everything that you’ve been holding on to. Whether you gain or lose, it doesn’t matter now. You don’t want to be something any longer. You long to be nothing, absolutely nothing. So you dive into the River of Existence.

“The ego, or the mind, is that which makes you feel that you are something. Unless it is eliminated, you cannot dive deep into your own consciousness. you have to become nothing. Not even a trace of, ‘I am something’ should remain. If you are something, there is no entry into the realm of pure consciousness.”

(pgs. 159-163, Awaken, Children! Vol 7)