Transitory nature of
Twelve Facets of
GURU SHREE CHITRABHANU
The Nature of the Universe
We are standing on the platform
of human life From here we have a choice. We can either go up with awareness
or down with dependency. We have to decide between these two directions. It is
our own decision. No body compels us to do this or that. There is no outside
force which determines our course. We have to know that the deciding force
resides within us
Once we know this truth, we
stop groping for things outside of us, and we start working from within. We
determine what we want to do. If we have a longing to go up with awareness,
this life becomes precious and meaningful to us. If we don't have this quest,
life appears to be boring or meaningless.
Regardless of what one gives to
this body, it is going to disintegrate. One day, it is going to go. If one
doesn't use this body for moving toward higher awareness, then one will use it
for temporary pleasure, gratification, or satisfaction. If one doesn't have an
inner quest, then one can live for enjoying as much as one can, and doing
whatever one wants. But in this case, there is no need to have a human body.
To enjoy sex, to indulge in food, to accumulate things, to sleep a long time,
to live in inertia ear, aggression, one can have an animal form just as well
as a human form. It does not matter.
Look at the animal kingdom.
They are all doing the same thing. A bull can enjoy as much sexual pleasure as
a human being. A bear can sleep for hours and hours with no one to disturb
him. Compared to what an elephant can eat, what can a man eat? If you peer
into the home of an ant colony, you can see their huge accumulation of food.
Through all the seasons, they go on collecting. Think of the bees. They spend
their lives in collection. There are human beings who do the same thing. They
spend their whole time on earth collecting money, property, things, wealth,
only to leave them behind when they depart. And sometimes the children who
inherit this wealth call their parents fools and use the hard-earned money to
finance their destructive habits and vices.
If this human life matters to
you, you have to be very careful. You must know that this life can serve a
great purpose. To serve this purpose, there is no better vehicle than this
human body. You have to be very clear about what direction you want to take.
That clarity of thinking will determine your course, your condition, your way.
From this platform of human life, you will see that you have to move either
upward or downward. The two are entirely different directions. They should not
be mixed .
To move upward, we need
awareness. To go downward, we need attachment. What is attachment? It is
clinging to things. Someone has mentioned that in attachment four things come:
a little crying, a little sighing, a little lying, and a little dying. You cry
because you want something. You sigh when you don't get it. To get it, you
have to lie a little, and, ultimately, inside you die a little. From your own
self you die, you separate. So when you notice these elements arising in you,
say, "My goodness! Why am I crying? It is because of attachment!"
There is some confusion on this
point. Many people ask, "Why should we run away from life? Should we not have
joy? Can we not enjoy companionship with our friends? Is it not all right to
have a good car, a house?" The teaching does not tell you not to enjoy life.
On the contrary, it does tell you to enjoy your living. Only it objects to
your crying, sighing, lying, and dying.
In fact, you can only enjoy all
if you are not clinging or bound to anything. When you are not weighed down by
dependency, you see things as they are. If something is here now, it will stay
only as long as it has the nature to stay. So you enjoy, and when it goes, let
it go. That is its nature--to go.
When you go to a florist, do
you make a business deal with him? Do you agree to pay only if he can promise
that the flowers will last for so many days? No, you select the best flowers,
and they remain as long as they remain. That is all. When they wither, what do
you do? Do you cry? Or do you accept, thinking, "For three days they have been
beautifying the atmosphere, spreading a delightful fragrance"?
This is the approach of the
enlightened person. You see as it is. You know that the flower is going to
wither. At the same time, you are aware of the beauty and the fragrance of the
flower. You have double awareness. You do not become sad and lose the joy of
the moment Because of the awareness of withering, you don't cry and say, 'What
will happen after three days?" The moment you see the flowers you are happy.
You know that their living presence is offering joy to all, whether they are
your friends or complete strangers. So you are not focusing on the withering
at the moment that the flowers are in full bloom, although in your double
awareness you know they will wither.
In this tenth reflection, the
aspirant understands the nature of loka--this universe in which we all move.
In this universe we all are permanent as well as transient. There are two
standpoints. From the standpoint of essence, we are permanent. From the stand
point of form, we are transient.
As we grow, we see with double
awareness two qualities: dravya, or substance, and paryaya, or modification.
Dravya is essence and is by nature permanent. Paryaya is form, that which
revolves or alters around the essence, and is by nature transient. We see in
the same moment both the essence and form. we experience both the flower in
bloom and its changing elements.
This deep awareness which comes
from meditation makes you live in this moment of the present, not in the worry
of tomorrow. What is to be gained by running to a palmist or astrologer and
asking her to tell you how long you will live? If some one tells you, you are
going to live eighty years, what do you do? Perhaps you say, "Well, I have a
long time to live, but are you happy? What do you do with the eighty years if
they go in sickness, in the hospital, in distorted thinking, in bed? What if
someone told you, you have only one year to live? You would become anxious and
say, "After one year, I am gone. What shall I do?"
You may know how long you will
live, but do you know how to live? What are we to do with the few years we
have? Are we here to vegetate? If we know how to live, one year can surpass
one hundred years. It is not how many years we live which bring us happiness.
Joy is not counted with years- it is counted with moments.
Can we learn the art of living
in the present moment and get in touch with our dravya, our essence? We are
always thinking of the future We worry about the future. We don't live in the
present. That is our problem.
There was a retired gentleman
who used to be president of a large steel mill and who was a millionaire. He
had no reason to worry about his bank account, but he used to complain and
fret about the devaluation of the dollar. I asked him, "What is the matter?
You don't have money?" He answered, "Oh yes, I do, but if the dollar goes on
melting like snow, what will happen to me?" This kind of mind is completely
distorted. The worry is so big that the millions appear as nothing to him. The
person becomes frightened by his own fear.
There is really no fear except
the fear you have created. Once fear takes root in your mind, it will take you
in thousands of different directions. Those distorted mental creations which
we call black magic are nothing but the products of fear. When you have a
fear, there are people who know how to capitalize on it and manipulate you.
That is why Mahavir spoke
directly to the initiates, saying, "Anything you do out of fear has no
meaning. You have to reach that state in which you see what the whole world
is. Then what you do, you do out of fearlessness." When you are not under the
shadow of fear, then you are able to enjoy the moment. A person who is under
fear is not going to enjoy life. For example, if a prisoner is told, "Tomorrow
you will be hanged, so today eat as much as you want and go wherever you want
to go," he will not be able to enjoy food or anything. He will be trembling at
the prospect of tomorrow.
In the same way, fear does not
allow you to be spiritual. Even to remember God out of fear is nothing but a
kind of bribery; it is not spirituality. Spirituality is always aware;
whatever you do, do it out of awareness.
How do you transcend fear? The
only way is to know the world as it is, to know what you are, to know your
relationship with the world. You are here for what? When you know your real
nature, you will know why you are here. When you can discriminate between your
essence and your transient nature, then you will be able to transcend fear.
In this bhavana, there are two
reflections: loka and aloka. This galaxy, this cosmos, this universe is loka.
Knowing its elements, you know what was once unknown to you. Knowing the
unknown, you will be free from fear of the unknown. You will feel at home in
this universe and move to your goal in fearlessness and conviction.
The constituents of loka are
these six: jiva, soul; ajiva, matter, dharma, the law of motion; adharma, the
law of rest; akasha, space; and kala, time. Space is the container of all the
contained. What does it contain? Form. What is form? It is another container.
Contained in form, like a bird in a cage, is jiva, conscious energy.
Loka is also a place in which
two laws function, the law of motion and the law of rest. Owing to the
existence of these two laws, the two energies called soul and matter are
moving from place to place, alternating between movement and rest. Because of
the functioning of these two laws, loka is that place where the atoms of
matter compose and decompose. Matter is continually forming and unforming.
Because this process occurs in a sequence, time can be perceived. The soul
too, relatively speaking, is taking time to make its way out of its cage.
Relative to the conditions or forms-- physical, emotional,
psychological--which surround it, a soul's journey can be measured in time. If
there were no forms, a soul would be in its limitless nature. Then, from the
height of this vantage point, time would not exist.
The opposite of loka is aloka.
We can call it the void, because nothing exists here; it is only space without
existence, without life.
At the frontier between loka
and aloka, Enlightened Ones find their ultimate resting place, their height of
consciousness. Until they reach this point, souls are in a process, on a
journey, subject to certain limitations. Moksha is freedom, limitlessness.
Once the soul drops all of its karmas, sheds every particle of matter encasing
it, it finds uninterrupted peacefulness. There is no fight, no movement, no
journey, no need. There is no desire to go anywhere because the soul has now
reached a state in which it experiences life in completion, perfection, and
desirelessness, which is fulfillment. Jiva dwells here in its own nature
radiating its qualities of soothing peace and bliss, infinite love, and
The souls who reach this
frontier are Siddhas, or Perfect Ones. Those who have freed themselves from
all limitations and inner weaknesses come to rest here. From all religions,
from all cultures, from all time periods, they ascend to this place where
there is no duality, only unity. This ultimate quenching of the soul's quest
When we take a look at loka
from another perspective, we see that there are two aspects: the outer and the
inner. The outer universe is the universe of fact. It is a constantly changing
process. The forms it takes are a construction of ever-changing material
elements. The inner universe is the universe of fantasy. It is composed of
thoughts and emotions.
First let us see the outer
universe as it is. Like the bits and pieces of a kaleidoscope, it is nothing
but the combination and permutation of forms of matter ceaselessly building
innumerable designs. Its main elements are earth, water, fire, and air. These
elements combine and come apart, combine and come apart. According to the
various stages of this process, the outer appearances are also constantly
Mahavir used a vivid word for
matter: pudgala. Pud means to fill and gala means to empty or dissolve. Our
body is filling and dissolving every minute. Old cells are dropped and new
cells replace them. The process of cell-building and cell-disintegration is
constantly active. Twenty-four hours a day this process goes on, even while we
When we understand the body's
pudgala nature, we become aware of how to take care of it. We learn to empty
it properly before we fill it up again. Yoga postures are practiced to
eliminate toxins from the body. We exhale fully so as to discard all carbon
dioxide from the body. To keep the body clean and healthy, we must know how to
eliminate waste. Then we are ready to fill it with the proper nutrients in
food and water, and with fresh air.
We see the body as a process.
We understand the nature of its insentient energy. It is different from jiva,
conscious energy. There is no reason to identify with it. There is no reason
to praise or blame it. We see the body as it is.
The process of pudgala is true
of our inner universe as well. Just as our cells are constantly changing, our
emotions and thoughts are continually renewing themselves as well. Emotions
and thoughts are fine forms of matter. They are the constructions of our inner
loka. Thoughts are the bricks of the mind; emotions are the plaster cementing
the bricks together.
You can transcend this process
and see that whatever forms you create in your mind are capable of being
dislodged, removed, or transmuted. Once you know this, you don't hold on to an
old opinion of yourself or of any person. You are not the same now as you were
a moment ago, a year ago, a lifetime of awarenesses ago. The old bitterness of
the past can be dissolved within minutes. He or she whom you knew in one way
may be a completely different person today.
There are examples of people
who change the entire structure of their inner world when they catch a glimpse
of themselves. Within minutes they transform their lives. How is this
possible? The soul has tremendous power. Its light is more intense than the
laser beam. In meditation, focus that light on a particular inner structure,
and a miracle can happen. In a flash of insight, karmas can be dissolved. The
cumulative effect of focusing your awareness on any undesirable element is to
remove it once and for all and to lift a lifetime's burden.
You may ask why we call
emotions and thoughts a fine form of matter. The soul or conscious energy is
meant to flow in a steady stream toward the awareness of itself --as an
immortal blissful energy of love and truth. It longs to experience universal
consciousness and join the company of the Siddhas.
But from beginningless time, it
has been in the company of matter. Its flow has been limited by certain kinds
of particles which have been around it, acting as coverings. These particles
of matter are ajiva, inanimate energy. They are the conditions in which the
soul finds itself. As the soul perceives the outer universe through the senses
and the inner world through the mind, it is continually influenced and
conditioned by the presence of particles of matter. It is in what may be
called a matter-dominated state, and it attracts additional karmic vibrations
or particles. These karmic formations become what we call emotions and
In this way, your inner
universe becomes a complex structure of biases, demands, expectations,
projections. They are nothing but the accumulation of vibrations which have
become crystallized as thought forms and emotional blocks. Their presence in
you blocks the pure flow of sentient energy. If you allow yourself to be
attracted or repelled, to act, react and be acted upon, without checking the
process, then your soul becomes laden with layers and layers of matter. They
are like coats of armor obscuring your direct experience of Self.
When you become aware of your
pure formless nature and stop identifying with matter--physical, mental, and
emotional-- you can stop attracting matter. But if you continue to be swayed
to and fro, you will not be able to unburden your soul to let the steady,
radiant, flickerless flame come out.
Once we know the construction
of the universe, we realize that there is only one among the six substances
which is aware--that is jiva, the Self. Time does not know anything. Space
does not know anything. Matter is incapable of awareness. The laws of motion
and rest are not aware. They are all inanimate. Truly, awareness pertains to
the Self only. Our Self knows everything. When we know this, we are not
confused. We focus on the inside universe which has the key to all the puzzles
in our life.
Everybody has an inner
universe. Look at your universe and ask, "What do I depend on? How can I
depend on ever-changing change? What is this desire to hold on to things? Is
it not ignorance? Am I not bumping up against mental walls, opinions,
concepts, and expectations instead of being free in my universe? How can I
hold on to that which is moving?"
Someone can stand in back of a
train, chain his feet to the ground, and hold the train with his arms to stop
it from going. He can use all his strength to keep it from moving. If he does,
what will happen? He will be split. In the same way, you are split inside. You
are clinging to things, to shadows, to transient elements, while life is
passing by. You are putting yourself into a box by saying, "No. I want this to
stay. It must not move. I want it to be permanent." You are focusing on the
wrong thing. You are trying to make the impermanent permanent instead of
seeing that only the permanent is permanent. You have a fear that it will go
away. Even if you deny the fear, how can you stop the change? There is no
device in the world with which to stop it. That is the main point.
As soon as you try to stop
someone or something from changing, you kill its nature. You block its life
force. And when you have destroyed its nature, you no longer like it. Why?
Because it is not natural, not spontaneous. The life inside departs, and the
form starts to dry up and wither.
Just like a corpse, its
disintegrating form starts to give off an unbearable odor. And when you don't
let someone else's nature flow, whose life stops flowing first? Your own.
So one has to stop jumping from
point to point; one has to focus. Focus on what? On the limiting structures in
one's inner universe. On one's addictions and their source, fear of change.
Ask yourself, "How can I stop my fear, my anxiety? How can I stop expecting
people to do as I want? How can I stop desiring to have a promise fulfilled?"
If you are truly aware, you
will know that no one can promise you anything. From moment to moment, there
are so many changes--in situations, in emotions, in the body chemistry. All
one can do is to be open and receptive to the moment itself and say to
oneself, "This is the moment!" Give yourself wholly to the moment, so that
when conditions change and someone may not be able to keep his word, you
retain the essence of the moment rather than the form it took. To depend on a
promise is to invite sadness, for though it may be given in good faith, it may
lose its validity with the changes which occur in time.
So let go of the moment and
remember its essence. Realize, "My addiction to hold on to something or
someone is my ignorance." It is difficult to accept one's own ignorant state
of mind. If someone tells you that you don't know something, you become a
little angry. "What do you think I am, a fool?" you ask. You do not want to
hear the truth.
Addiction makes you angry,
bitter, irritated, resentful. What happens is that you alienate the person to
whom you are clinging. When he or she goes away, you become bitter. Why carry
bitterness? Why sulk? There are those who recommend that you express your
anger and show it openly. Instead, I say--vomit it; throw it out! The person
you are crying for is gone; why continue to carry him around?
This can only come from inner
understanding. As an initiate, you neither suppress nor depress. For you, it
is a different direction. You cast out. You say to yourself, "I don't want to
hold this unpleasant feeling; it will spoil the rest of the day, and I don't
know when this day is going to come back." Every precious day which goes from
our life cannot be bought back by any means. There is no currency in the world
which can buy back the day which is going from our life. So if we cannot
afford to buy the day, how can we afford to spoil it? This main awareness must
permeate all parts of our consciousness. It must settle in.
Then, in the heat of anger, you
will not be ready to spoil your day. No matter how angry you are, you don't
throw your ten-thousand-dollar ring from a moving train. You know its value,
so you preserve it. In the same way, when you know the value of the day, you
don't spoil it at any cost, not for any lover, not for any boss, not for any
business, not for anyone who comes into your life. It is more precious than
anything in the world. It is not going to come back.
This is called examining one's
inner universe. You begin noticing any condition which makes you upset. You
bring that condition before your inner eye and ask, "Why does this condition
make me unhappy? Why does this habit spoil my day?" As you start discovering
which conditions trigger an unbalanced state of mind, then you are using
double awareness to watch the process.
So you see that you have become
upset. That is the first awareness. Second, you watch yourself being upset.
That is double awareness. In this way, you are both the observed and the
observer. You are both the patient and the doctor. You are the patient because
you are angry, and you are the doctor because you are curing. Your mind is the
patient; your soul is the doctor.
Seeing with double awareness,
you take each occasion as an experiment. You say to yourself, "This is my
laboratory. Now I am going to find out why this disease has come." Each event
provides you an opportunity to learn something more and to remove additional
layers of pudgal. - ossified mental or emotional blocks.
When we live within the
confines of limited perception, we exist in a very small inner universe. We
color the outer universe with these limitations and perceive it as a
hindrance. When we break those inner confines, our universe expands with our
awareness. We dance through the universe, connecting with each hand as we go.
Communicating and sharing with sentient beings wherever we are, we perceive
the universe of motion, rest, space, time, and matter as a means to help us
celebrate reverence for life, to help us reveal our inner power.
You are jiva, a limitless,
infinite soul! There is nothing to fight for, to compete for. Know what is
your world and use it! From this platform of human life, you can see your
present condition. Clear away the obstacles and forms cluttering your inner
universe by becoming aware of their cause and their nature! Open the windows
of your heart and mind and feel the spacious space inside! Meditate on this:
"I am living, conscious energy.
Let me melt away my inner walls of fear, greed, possessiveness, anger, and
ignorance. I want to free myself from all the forms and live beyond."
SEED-THOUGHTS FOR MEDITATION
The constituents of this
universe are soul, matter, motion, rest, space, and time. Of these six, only
soul is aware. I have to reach that state in which I know these unknowns. Then
what I do I will do out of fearlessness.
A flash of insight can lift a
When I know the value of the
day, I won't spoil it at any cost.
Joy is not counted with years,
it is counted with moments.
Soul is the doctor; mind is the
patient. With double awareness I can heal my mind and make myself whole.