” Dadaji “
“ message of attentive awareness ”
Dattaram Madhavrao Gavand ” was born in Bombay ( Mumbai ) in the Year 1917.
The eldest child of his parents, he came to be called ‘ Dada ’ or ‘ elder brother ’.
Early in his life, he heeded a compelling inner urge for spiritual understanding. On account of his father’s untimely demise, he inherited the family business at the young age of eighteen.
He ran the business very successfully but became disillusioned with the exclusive nature and binding effect of wealth, prestige and comfort. He saw the dehumanizing effect of commercial culture and also the limitation of tradition.
At the age of thirty-eight, after carrying out his family responsibilities of getting his five sisters and only brother married and settled, he went off by himself, in search of the true significance of life.
He read the work of Theosophists like Madame Blavatsky and Annie Besant. He also personally met J. Krishnamurti, Ramana Maharshi and the Mother of Pondicherry.
After some years of wandering, and many times of trial and testing, Dada finally realized to his amazement that the search was indeed totally within.
Hence, in the Year 1955, he left his cozy home, went far away from Mumbai to Mount Sajjangad, stayed in a tiny hut there and began an inquiry unto himself.
He spent nineteen more years in near solitude, widening and deepening his vision through meditation. Thereafter, an incredible series of events impelled him to take his message of attentive awareness to the world.
He also conducted meditation camps and urged seekers to walk alone, heeding their own inner promptings. Indeed, he looked upon himself as a facilitator rather than as a ‘ Guru ’.
After much pondering, “Dadaji” came up with a detailed proposal of Tapovan Ashram, got Shri Kanjibhai Nirmal to draw the complete plan and gave his approval to the design that was prepared.
On 9th May 2010, “Dadaji” did farewell to seekers in a poignant function at Thane. He shifted to “ Tapovan Ashram ” in the month of October, 2010. “Dadaji ” remained there for over an year, till the very end.
“Dadaji” left his body at the age of 95, on 29th January 2012, after nearly 57 years of tireless and dedicated work, giving personal guidance to genuine seekers.
Later, he travelled to U.S.A. and Canada, to teach and share his insights with lay people as well as scientists, psychologists, researchers and artists.
“ My Inward Journey ”
“ Exploding the Mechanism of Mind ”
“ younger brother Ram’s wedding ”
A celebratory atmosphere permeated our household in the summer of the Year 1955, in Thane, near Mumbai, as my younger brother Ram’s marriage drew near.
We all had to attend to a multitude of tasks and happily took part in the festive preparations.
My married sisters, their children and other close relatives had came to stay with us for three days before the wedding date, so the house was full to the brim with family members, food and ceremonial gaiety.
Since the death of my father Madhavarao Gavand in the year 1935 .. when I was only eighteen years old .. I had been carrying the weight of all the family duties.
Hence, at the time of Ram’s wedding, when I was 38, I had to play the role of senior family member and host.
Ram was the last sibling to be married, and I had to be involved in matters of planning and implementation.
“ my parents’ first child ”
I was born in Mumbai, in the Year 1917 and was my parents’ first child. As the eldest son, I inherited the responsibility of taking care of my mother Kashibai Gavand, five sisters and brother, in addition to running my father’s business.
With dedication and in good spirit, I accepted these duties, and also met the obligation of supporting my siblings until they got married.
This wedding brought me to the point of having fulfilled all these obligations to my brother and sisters.
Thus, after three days of intense and hectic festivities, when the grand event of this final marriage ended, I experienced a great relief. The sixth and last marriage had finally taken place. At last I felt unburdened of most of my appointed tasks.
“ new direction to my life ”
For quite a while I had been feeling that the time had come for me to find a new direction for my own future and way of life. Although, outwardly, I continued to be committed to my family duties, I carried within me the yearning for a more meaningful life.
Lately, this urge had become very strong. For many years my true objective lay in discovering something more than temporary enjoyments and excitements.
I began to see very clearly that my everyday life was mostly a glorified rut consisting of one mundane task after another.
So, I began pondering about this mysterious and unknown aspect of life .. what is this peace and where does it lie ? Is it possible to discover that hidden, spiritual dimension ?
“ a great void ”
I sensed a great void in me.
Engulfed by an incredible emptiness, I felt that I did not know what to do or how to proceed. I had definitely lost all interest in the so-called family-life that I currently led, with its routines, pursuits, ambitions and expectations.
I appeared to be passing through a great, deep chasm. That emptiness made me a little nervous, and it caused an intense inwardness.
Because I had lost all interest in making money and in social work, seeing them as mundane, I decided to terminate such a meaningless way of existence.
“ what next ? ”
At last I realized that this phase of my life had come to an end.
Having completed my responsibilities towards my family and to those around me, I pondered : “ What next ? What direction should my life take ? ”
I had refrained from marriage because I did not feel it would bring me fulfillment.
I saw that my family and my cultural tradition had themselves created the image of what I should be and what I should do, and I identified fully with that fabricated image of myself. Over a period of time, the cultivated image had become a real entity, “ me ”.
My family, being rich and respectable, had created a strong family identity. I felt I must keep this image intact and fulfill my role in it. This left me with no freedom to lead a way of life other than what that image demanded. I saw the constraints and compulsions in which I had got myself trapped .. by my self-created image of “ me ”.
That third night of the festivities, I remained alone and awake in my bedroom, seriously pondering and questioning .. “ Now, what am I going to do ? ”
It seemed to me that there was no room for me in this kind of “ society ”, not even in my family.
With this deepening perception, which made me question the established norms and family traditions, I found it difficult to discuss this matter with anyone in the family.
I could not openly talk about it to my mother or to my elderly uncles. But in the depths of my being, I felt clearly that this chapter of my life had come to an end.
“ What is life’s deeper meaning ? ”
What is the net result of our life-long struggles and striving ? I questioned whether the purpose of living is only to find temporary pleasure and to avoid pain. What is life’s deeper meaning ? Isn’t there a more significant mission ? Can there be more than just the superficial activities prompted by desires, ambition and greed ?
It seemed to me that the principal goal of man is to create a cocoon for himself, a secure dwelling for self-indulgent play.
Is the only purpose of being on Earth to create a shelter around oneself and then lead a life of stagnation ? Or, isn’t it rather to break through this stagnation and discover unbounded living and true inner peace ? Can one find a truly spiritual basis for living ??
Is there a way to be like a seed that shatters its own hard cover to sprout a new life hidden within ?
“ leaving the home ”
After all this deep churning and pondering, I decided to leave the house, to go away and be free from family attachments and social compulsions. I had no clear idea about the next step or what I would do. The strong urge to end this current pattern of existence became my main focus.
If I were to be honest with my understanding and yearnings, now was the right time to act upon them. This was my chance for the discovery of life, the discovery of something more profound but as yet unknown !
Honoring this perception, I decided to leave home and venture into a new life of solitude. This became the direction and the pointer : to honor the challenge of discovery in aloneness.
I informed my mother that I would be going on a short vacation. She said that she understood how I probably needed a rest after all the hectic festivities.
My mother, brother and sisters were accustomed to my going away periodically for my pondering and meditations. This time, they thought that after all my hard work during the wedding event .. I would go away for a short while as usual. But, I had a very different feeling, this time, within me.
“ I was leaving for good ”
I knew in my mind that I was leaving for good.
I touched my mother’s feet to pay my parting respects. She showed surprise at my action, wondering why I was behaving in this manner when I would be gone for only a short holiday. I had difficulty hiding my strong emotions from her.
My true feeling was that I would be gone for a very long time before seeing her again, perhaps forever.
I took a deep look at my nearest and dearest relatives gathered round me to say good-bye, and walked out the door with a heavy heart.
“ Mumbai to Pune ”
Soon came an announcement on the loudspeaker that the train from Mumbai to Pune was running a little late, and that it would arrive at the station half an hour past the scheduled time.
Hearing the announcement, but without actually thinking about it, I just took that opportunity and purchased a ticket to Pune. Soon the train arrived and I got into a
nearly empty compartment. Not many people boarded, so I sat comfortably in a corner seat.
I felt like an empty bucket, drained of thoughts and devoid of my usual busy ways. The journey to Pune took almost five hours.
At last the train arrived at Pune station. There, I remained until a porter came and asked me where I wanted to go, offering to help with my luggage. I replied that I didn’t need any help, that I myself would carry my own burden hereafter. I remained there for some time longer, still not sure what to do, my mind in turmoil. After a while, I realized that I had to go somewhere. But where ?
“ stay in ‘ Pune-dharmasala ’ ”
I started walking out of the railway station. Right in front of me, on the other side of the road, I saw the big board of a “ dharmasala ”. Traditionally, a “ dharmasala ” is a travelers resting place where one can stay free of cost for a few days.
I thought I would stay there that one night. When, I went to the office and asked for a room, to my surprise they told me that for just one person no separate rooms were available. Single travelers all went to a dormitory, they explained, and the separate rooms were reserved for families only.
That was my first experience of staying in a common hall, sleeping amidst strangers.
I felt irritated that I did not get a private room that I would have to be in a dormitory with all the other single people. I saw how my ego got hurt by having to stay with them. This was not the usual accommodation or treatment for me. But, ‘ I ’ .. this rich man .. could not afford to go to a hotel now !
This experience made me realize that now I was an ordinary person, without much money or prestige. It showed me clearly that I was no longer a family person, but rather a single, solitary man. As such, I had to adjust myself to this new situation. So, I found myself a place in the corner of the dormitory and spread my mat to sit upon. There in that big hall, with strangers all round, I felt a bit nervous and very lonely.
I stayed in the Pune dharmasala for three days, with no plan, no specific place to go to, no books to read.
I felt lost. The inner turmoil continued, and so did the questioning, seeing my lack of direction, watching my ego getting offended by my change of status. I knew that at a dharmasala, pilgrims are generally allowed to stay for only a few days, so I kept wondering where I should go from there.
“ go to Sajjangad ”
On the third day, I was supposed to leave the dharmasala, but I still did not have any idea about where to go from there.
That morning, as I sat in the dormitory, a group of seven or more people came in hurriedly, sat nearby, and started talking loudly amongst themselves while taking their breakfast.
They were discussing their plan to go to a mountain called “ Sajjangad ” .. the ‘ samadhi ’ place or shrine of Swami Ramdas who lived three hundred years earlier. It is also a historic fort. The name and description of the place struck me, and suddenly, I had a strong impulse to go there. A bus would leave at 10:00 that morning, and the group planned to go to Sajjangad on that bus.
Without much thought, I quickly gathered up my things and rushed to catch the same bus.
Soon I got into a conversation with some of the people sitting around me. Looking at my city clothes they became curious and asked why I wanted to go to the remote temple of Sajjangad. They told me that I had missed the connecting bus to reach the mountain, so I couldnot go there directly.
Surprisingly, they suggested that I stay at their house in Satara City overnight and then continue on the bus to “ Sajjangad ” the next day.
Although I was a complete stranger to them, they offered me a place to stay ! Amazed by their hospitality, I accepted the invitation.
They gave me breakfast in the morning and then took me to the bus-stand around 9 am. From there, I caught the bus to Sajjangad. Thus, in less than an hour, I arrived at the foot of the historic mountain.
From this final bus stop, pilgrims had to walk the rest of the way up. The distance was about 3 to 4 kms. Porters immediately converged on me, offering to carry my bags and practically snatching my baggage. But I said, “ No, thank you, I will carry my own luggage : I will not burden anyone with it. ” And, I picked up all my things.
While walking up the steep mountain, I began to feel the actual weight of my baggage. Not accustomed to this kind of heavy physical work, I normally would have hired a porter to do this for me.
The climb up proved to be very difficult since it was a high mountain, and I had to stop and rest several times during the long ascent. It was summer time and the Sun blazed hot overhead, making the climb all the more difficult.
“ attracted to an 7’x9’ empty room ”
As I continued exploring around the mountain, I came across a small hut consisting of just one empty room about “ 7’x9’ ” in size, with a small door and tiny window. Somehow, I felt attracted to it and the surrounding area. No one lived nearby.
It was quite a distance away from the temple with all its noise and people. My excitement grew as I contemplated living in this solitary little hut.
I rushed back to the ashram office where I found the temple manager and asked him if I could stay in that hut. He flatly refused, saying that it was not at all fit to live in. He pointed out that he had plenty of convenient rooms at the ashram. That remote place posed some risks, he warned, with nobody nearby. The ashram could not assume responsibility for someone staying there.
Then he asked me how long I wanted to use it. I said that I did not know exactly how long, but maybe a few weeks. I explained that I wanted to do my ‘ sadhana ’ .. or spiritual practice .. which required a quiet place.
Suddenly he asked me, “ What type of sadhana are you doing that you need a special place ? ”
Generally spiritual practice consists of repeating ‘ mantras ’ a certain number of times per day, plus chanting, reading holy books and doing other kinds of worship or ‘ pooja ’.
I replied that my way of worship was simple and somewhat unconventional. I intended to stand back and observe my thoughts, desires and emotions with a view to understanding my true nature. For that I wanted a totally quiet place.
Finally he said, “ Well, if you will be entirely responsible for yourself, then you can try it for a few days. ”
Jubilantly, I thanked him and immediately went to the hut and cleaned it up thoroughly.
Finally, here was my quiet and solitary spot on a mountaintop ! At last, in this noisy and restless world, I had found my quiet nest!
“ stay on Sajjangad Mountain ”
My stay on Sajjangad Mountain started out smoothly, quietly.
But, very soon, the villagers and later even the ashram people .. began to think about me suspiciously. I lived alone, away from the ashram, and did not attend the puja and rituals at the temple. They started having some doubt about me, wondering what this man was doing there.
They thought that if I were a real seeker, I would be wearing saffron cloths or at least the traditional-style plain white clothes, and I would go to the temple to take part in prayers and worship.
had not given my name or family address to the temple manager, so no one knew who I was or from where I had come.
They saw only my clothing, fancy boots, good trousers and hat, and expensive watch. Then they started ima
for some reason, since I had not revealed my identity to anyone. They became all the more suspicious about me and reported to the village official.
One day a uniformed policeman came to my door inquiring about me.
I told him, “ I am a seeker and I have come to this holy place for my meditation. I am doing my worship in my own way. ”
I welcomed the official and told him, “ I can understand that it is your job, your duty to make inquiries and keep a watch on everyone around this sacred place of Swami Ramdas. I would like to tell you the whole truth about what I am doing. ”
He appeared open to listen and not at all hostile.
“ My basic issue is that I want to be in a quiet and solitary place to practice my own meditation. My little dwelling and this remote area are good for this. It is quiet and away from the temple and people. I am not given to rituals. Rather, I am interested in inquiry, meditation and the discovery of my own self within me. It is different approach, but this is my way of worship. ”
I waited quietly as he pondered this. Somehow, he was convinced that I had told him the truth.
This educated man had listened openly and was convinced of my sincerity. That left him free of doubt. He saw my way of living and the simplicity of my hut. I had appealed to him to help me, and he was satisfied. Finally, he said, “ I need to know nothing more from you. “
“ thoughts and memories stormed my mind ”
So, the days passed quietly in subdued silence. However, my recent conversation with the inspector about my identity and my past triggered a fresh chain of thoughts. I wondered at this sudden opening of the floodgates after a period of quietude. Several thoughts and memories stormed my mind. First, I began to remember my mother.
The strong image of my mother made me aware of these other thoughts and the activities in my mind. I grew more inward, more watchful, to find out what was happening inside.
I saw that beyond these obvious thoughts some other subtle, hidden emotions and attachments at deeper levels were also present. As they came one by one, I witnessed them attentively. I observed that the mind is not one homogeneous unit, but a rather fragmented bunch with many different levels of thoughts and emotions. Many underlying feelings and subterranean currents were seeking conscious recognition.
“ intense watchfulness ”
In this intense watchfulness, I saw that my mind was much more complex than just an instrument for decision-making.
A portion of the mind always hides somewhere. I had never been in touch with the whole mind and all its hidden aspects.
Gradually, I started making contact with the submerged layers, which had been unknown to me until then. It I became a hard task of perseverance and patience to see those deeper, known layers.
“ heightened awareness ”
My heightened awareness and my passion simply did not allow me to be distracted and kept me right on the track. Looking constantly within, with alert awareness, had become my way of life.
My mind could no longer hide in fanciful ideas or escape in wishful thoughts, plans or pursuits. Without any fixed routine or discipline of any kind, just to live simply, attentive in the present became my way of living in the mountain hut.
During this period, I hardly slept. Everything in my mind became active. With intense watchfulness I observed all that was happening in the chasm of my mind.
Thus began my game of observing aloofly and understanding honestly and frankly, the wonder of the uncharted territory of mind.
I could not learn from anyone or ask questions. With no books to guide me, no prayers to satisfy me, no chants to lull me, and no activities to escape into, I faced only my complex mind .. the totality of the internal psychological structure .. directly and squarely at every moment.
“ surge of vibrancy without thought ”
Gradually, I began to sense a new intensity, a fresh surge of vibrancy without thought.
I felt openness, a kind of quietude and space, but not like a ‘ deadness ’ or ‘ void ’. The absence of thought/ idea activity is not the negation of energy. Rather, it is only the elimination of thought as the dominant and compulsive drive.
I could sense that the ENERGY remained intact, active and alert .. in fact it became more vibrant than before. The “ MIND-ENERGY ” became more free, unburdened from fervent thoughts of past and future, and thus was very much in the present.
As I began to recognize thoughts as stray things moving in space, they lost their appearance of interconnectedness.
Every thought was seen as a separate entity. Only our identification with and attachment to a thought give it continuity, time and space, thus creating the logic necessary to justify its line of action.
This so-called ‘ logic ’ is nothing but a subtle and clever activity of the conditioned influences of the fragmented mind. It formulates its wishful plan of action for the smooth fulfillment of the goal of desire.
I perceived and understood this onesided illusory activity of the ‘ logical ’ mind. Its tempo and luster were lost, its thrust diminished, and my mind slowed down automatically without putting up resistance.
“ the ego lost its strength ”
Thus, the ego lost its strength.
With that deep and clear perception on the fragmentary nature of the ego-mind, its fighting capacity as a unit diminished totally and scattered in disarray. It surprised me how experiencing intimately the fragments of ego helped me to loosen its crystallized structure.
With this experience of the disarray of the ego I started feeling a kind of inner vibrancy. I sensed a new motion or flow not at all like my usual mind activity.
My mind and brain began to feel an expanded awareness with nothing hidden within. All its contents and movement were revealed, and it assumed a new vibrancy.
“ watchfulness became my meditation ”
That kind of watchfulness became my meditation.
Slowly, my awareness grew much stronger in response to meeting the challenge of the thought-emotion mind. As the intensity of the thoughts of fear and sex grew, my watchfulness also became proportionately more and more intense.
The moment my attention wavered, thoughts and then the desires would rush in. To keep them at bay, to keep myself free, I had to be intensely attentive. In order to see every single desire that entered my mind, my inward awareness became very sharp and clear.
I could see every fleeting thought as it appeared in my mental space. The catchment area of my awareness became much wider, and polyangular attention came into being. I became conscious of the broader landscape of my mental space, since the divisions of all the hidden layers were eliminated and became one open unified space.
Watchful alert observation in every moment became my way of living in the hut.
I saw that the intensity and depth of watchful attention were increasing, and I felt a kind of objectivity within.
As the depth of perception and aloofness of observation expanded, the thought process slowed down, and I experienced serenity and tranquility.
I threw up undigested thoughts as it were, and experienced a great sense of relief and freshness as a result. I was cleansed of all the stored up psychological toxins of the past.
“ state of wakefulness in sleep ”
During this period I slept very little.
Sleep became a state of very subtle and sensitive wakefulness. When, I watched intensely in this way, no state of forgetting or falling into semi-consciousness was possible In sleep, we usually lose ourselves and forget everything for a while. But for me there could be no escape even during sleep. Although I slept, rested or lay down, there was no forgetfulness, but a state of wakefulness and attentiveness all the time.
I would lie down yet stay awake all night, and in the morning I would realize that I had not slept at all ! But I often did not feel tired from this sleeplessness.
I began to remain full in my own ENERGYFIELD without any interference by my own mind. Thought activity started dissipating and losing its grip.
Endurance and tolerance became my way of life. I saw that the intensity of this highly charged sensitivity .. the energy-free thought .. was becoming very obvious and strong within me. I watched, felt and objectively observed everything happening inside.
What a wonderful experience to be in this state ! To see how the mind as an entity slowly lost its capacity to assert itself over the energy ! Surprisingly, I was witnessing a new momentum of pure tranquil energy quietly and mysteriously flowing within.
Then this energy-field itself took charge of my life.
“ In alert and attentive perception Energy dissipation is arrested And is gathered within To stay at home, Tranquil and serene. ”
“ farewell to Mount Sajjangad ”
On the day of leaving my place on the mountain, I tried to store that humble hut in my eyes and heart.
My long stay in that solitary dwelling and the experiences of those seven months had created a subtle bond of benevolent relationship.
So much happened there in such a short time. This little room of “ 7’x9’ ” was my nest for the last seven months, providing me with warmth and shelter.
Emotions, worries and fears had flared high and struck me like tornadoes. Then, I also experienced peace, tranquility and ecstasy. Jubilation over my rebirth was celebrated here. In this humble hut I experienced the DIVINE ENERGY and lived with it intimately.
Now, when I went to say goodbye to the manager, he told me that I appeared somehow a changed person, not just my clothing and beard, but that he saw a distinct difference in me. Other disciples of the ashram came to greet me, and they expressed that same feeling.
They were not able to pinpoint what type of “ change ” it was, but they did recognize a difference.
Indeed, I knew in myself that I had gone through a deep change within, so I felt happy to hear their confirming comments !
They became curious and began asking me many questions, especially about what the change in me was and what I had been doing up there alone all this time.
Some of them had been staying at the ashram for ten or more years, sincerely working on spiritual understanding in a more traditional way. They were consumed by their disciplines, prayers and chanting, but they were not at all open to any other approach.
“ a dialogue about my inner journey ”
One disciple finally asked me specifically what had been my spiritual practice and routine. They knew that I did not visit the temple, nor did I participate in the daily “ pooja ”, prayers and other festivities.
They never saw me reading the classical religious books or chanting, nor did they find me discussing or debating with anyone else.
So, they all were very curious and eager to know what I had done in that deserted little cabin, by myself all those months.
Seeing the eagerness of those ‘ sannyasis ’ or ascetics and their questioning minds, I sat with them for some time to open a dialogue and tell them move about me and my inner journey.
I told them, “ There is nothing one has to do but be free from all the doings of the mind .. its imaginations, attachments, temptations and habit patterns. This ceaseless activity of mind, even in the name of religion and spirituality, is itself a hindrance. “ If one can see the limitations as well as the binding nature of mind-emotion activities, and remain free from them, then perhaps there is a possibility of discovering the inner silence. In-depth silence of the total energy is the gate through which real spiritual change enters.
“ One has to learn the art of being with oneself, free from the constant activity of the habitual mind. Only then is there the possibility of becoming free from the desires, traditions and domination of our wishful mind. One can then discover the quietude of inner being. “ That is the challenge .. the discovery of one’s inner being. That alone is the basis of spiritual life. Anything else is only an indulgence of mind. That is why I remained away from all the ritualistic activities basically created by people in the name of religion. The urgency within me has always been for the discovery of the spirit, my inner being. ”
“ Call from Meher Baba ”
One afternoon, a few weeks after this amazing explosion, as I sat upon the large rock outside my hut, a stranger came walking straight towards me.
He approached and handed me a small piece of paper, introducing himself as a disciple of Meher Baba. He said that Baba had sent for me by means of this note. It contained only a few words : “ Come to see me tomorrow before afternoon ! ”
The whole situation made me very hesitant, and I did not give the messenger a specific reply.
My meditative living on the mountain was going on well, and I had no wish to leave this place. Yet, he had come all this way to take me to where this famous living saint held ‘ satsang ’ or a prayer meeting. Still, I hesitated to accept the invitation.
In the evening, I took my usual walk along the mountain cliff, and, surprisingly, I came across the head of the temple ashram. By now he knew me, so I told him about the message from Baba, and also about my hesitation to go.
To that he immediately exclaimed, “ Meher Baba is a great saint, so you should not disregard his call ”. He also told me that Baba stayed not very far from the base of the mountain. He said, I could go there and return easily the next day.
This conversation with the temple head helped me take the decision to go meet Baba with the messenger he had sent to fetch me. Early the next morning, I left my hut and accompanied the guide.
The guide took me to the main entrance, which led to the hall where Baba sat with maybe twenty people around him.
Dressed in all white, he occupied a high seat. He was very fair, with flowing hair, sparkling eyes, and a long nose.
For many years, Baba had never spoken, and he communicated only in gestures. The interpreter at his side always explained the message.
The moment I entered the hall he raised his hand in front of him, pointing at me with a gesture, which meant “ I know you ”. And with a little smile he also proclaimed about himself : “ I am the Ancient One. ”
Then he instructed one of his devotees to take me to a room where I could wash and rest. He told me to meet him at four o’clock in the afternoon. I left the hall with the devotee. The long walk to his Ashram had made me quite tired, so I had a bath and relaxed.
There was a full size mirror in the room and I was surprised to see how different I looked, beard and all. Soon, someone brought me a cup of tea. What a pleasant surprise .. my first cup of tea in five months ! They gave me a cot to lie on, and this, too, was a luxury for me, after sleeping for so long on the hard floor .. with only a thin mat. I lay down comfortably and pondered this surprising declaration from Baba : “ I know you ! ” And that he was “ The ancient One ! ”
After an hour or so someone came to inform me that he would bring me lunch. Ten minutes later he brought my food, which again surprised me. What a feast to the eyes after my months of only boiled rice !
As if seeing food for the first time, I gazed at the colorful items on my big round plate, appreciated their beauty, felt grateful, and then ate heartily. I waited till 4 pm, the time fixed to see Meher Baba.
About that time his interpreter, “ Dubash ”, came to escort me to Baba’s living room. We exchanged greetings, and I sat on the floor with Baba, his interpreter by my side. Baba gave me a broad smile and a very compassionate look. I saw his sparkling eyes from close quarters and was very impressed by his radiant face.
“ Baba’s offer ”
He inquired through the interpreter about my health, food and daily routine. He seemed especially surprised when I said “ only rice two times a day, without any vegetables or milk. ” I said that it was alright for me, that I didn’t want to spend much time going out to purchase foodarticles and then cook them.
His first question was, “ Are you happy living alone on the mountain ? ”
I replied, “ Yes, I need this solitude. ”
Next, he casually suggested, “ If you stay here with me, I will give you everything that you want. ”
I answered, “ Baba, I do not know what more I want in life now. ”
He continued, “I would suggest that you stay with me, but on one condition.”
Surprised, I looked at him and asked what the condition was.
Baba made a strong gesture with his hands and head, and his assistant interpreted, “ Baba says that you will have to surrender completely to him and obey whatever he tells you. Even if he tells you to cut your throat, you will have to do it without hesitation ! ”
I was stunned by his suggestion, and utter silence filled the room for some time. Then, I replied quietly, “ Baba, it is very easy to become sentimental and say ‘ yes, I will do it ’. But, I have not travelled on my path this way. If you suggest a convincing line of action, I would be the first to go along with that. But to do something because someone else says so, was never my way of life. I will not be able to do it wholeheartedly and with honesty. ”
Again he looked at me, smiled and proclaimed, “ Surrender and faith are very essential on the path. If you do as I suggest, I will give you all the spiritual riches for which you are searching. ”
Still seeing my hesitation he suggested, “ Stay here for a few days, think it over, and then tell me what you would like to do. ”
At this point the meeting ended. Baba left for satsang in the main hall.
“ Voice of Silence ”
Meher Baba’s offer indeed posed a challenge. After living on the mountain for five long months, without any facilities or amenities, I came and stayed with him for three days, enjoying delicious food as well as a comfortable bed and other small luxuries. Then, on top of all this, he promised a spiritually fulfilling future.
All this sudden change did influence my mind a little bit. But my first-hand experience of the inner .. of this explosion and the new-dimensional energy .. helped me maintain balance and clarity.
Baba’s promise of giving me spiritual riches surely sounded alluring. But now I saw clearly that it was not for me. His
not have any value to me. His offer of helping me to reach a spiritual goal also lost its appeal.
I reconciled with myself and decided to go back to my hut, to be on my own.
Accordingly, I informed Baba honestly about feeling regarding his offer. He smiled gently and said, “ In the future, whenever you feel like coming here, you will be welcome ”.
To my surprise, he also suggested that I should go to see my mother. I, respectfully, thanked him for taking such keen interest in me and for his kind suggestion. Thereafter, I took my leave and returned to my mountain hut.
After arriving at Sajjangad I started pondering over the whole drama of this trip. How did Meher Baba know about my presence on the mountain? This remained quite a mystery to me. Did he really want me to stay with him or was he trying to test me?
One has to depend only on one’s inner voice .. the voice of silence within .. which becomes eloquent. That inner perception or understanding, which comes from the silence of the no-mind state, is more honest and reliable.
It had been almost seven months since I left my family home in Thane. Now the need to visit my mother to tell her about my well-being became stronger day by day.
I felt that Meher Baba’s suggestion to go see my mother was very practical. My time to leave the mountain had come
“ Silence is absence of Thought ”
“ Speech is a vibratory activity, but are you conscious Of the movement of thoughts behind the tongue ? Are not the tongue and mouth vehicles of the psyche, The mind, the thought process ? Can you see right now and watch how thought speaks, How thought expresses itself in every word, every action ? Can you feel the movement of thought behind the word ? ”
“ Is it necessary to talk all the time ? To be constantly active in thought ? Have you ever asked yourself Why thought is chattering ceaselessly ? Are you aware of the compulsion of thought ? ”
“ Do you think that you have a choice In selecting your own thought and action? Or does thought dictate its own course, And use you as a mere vehicle for its expressions ? ”
“ Do you have any control at all Over this constant movement of thought-mind ? ”
“ What you call ‘ silence ’ .. Is only a period of non-verbalization. That is the time when tongue and voice are quiet, Simply the absence of speech. But is that ‘ silence ’ ? ”
“ The state of Silence is the absence of thought, Not merely the absence of voice. One can be mute and not necessarily be Silent. Willful and forceful subjugation is not Silence. Will can induce the state of non-thought for a moment, But such a compulsion is not Silence. ”
“ Silence happens When the flight of thought is observed, With sensitive polyangular attention, Within one’s own Energy-Field. ”
“ Silence happens When the flight of thought is observed, And its trajectory followed, quietly and aloofly, Without any attempt to arrest its thrust. ”
“ Silence happens When the flight of thought is observed and understood To be a mere mechanical reaction Of old habit-patterns, And allowed to come to its natural ending. ”
“ You never know the beauty of Silence, Which is so very comforting, aesthetic and mystical. Silence is a state of fullness and contentment. Silence permeates the perfume of the present. Silence generates the joy of creative existence. ”
“ Silence of total energy is an experience of ecstasy. It is not inaction, inertia or lethargy. When the Life-Force is free from the domination of thought, It becomes very sensitive and potent, Effervescent and dynamically active within. ”
“ ‘ Silence ’ is not the right word to describe the state, As it is so vibrant and spontaneous by its nature. Silence is a fountain of new-dimensional force. In Silence resides the creative source. ”
“ Silence is the outcome of undivided energy, Gathered and consolidated Life-Force, The foundation of wholeness, The source of divinity and holiness. ”
“ Silence is the gate to go beyond. ”
“ Silence becomes eloquent and active. Silence becomes intelligent and positive. Action that springs from the depth of Silence Is spontaneous, truthful and universal. It is immaculate, timeless and spiritual. ”
“ Silence is the means and Silence is the end. Creative Silence is the ultimate challenge. ”
“ Silence is the sap that rejuvenates life. Silence is the source of eternal life. ”
“ Universal Intelligence ”
The UNIVERSE, with its planets and stars, superstars and innumerable galaxies is stupendous and mind boggling reality.
Its order, balance and rhythm is beyond the comprehension of the human mind.
TIME is in the eyes and in the mind of the beholder. Mind cannot comprehend anything that is total, anything that is whole and absolute. Sight and all other senses of a human being have their limitations. The eyes cannot see the whole landscape at a time, in one stretch and in one sweep. Eyes see part by part and the mind connects and creates illusion of overall integration.
This memory process which is the MIND, has invented TIME .. and TIME is responsible for the separation in consciousness. Basically, memory-mind has fragmented human consciousness. This is the reason why separation and duality is experienced.
Is it possible to dissolve this subtle screen of duality, this optical illusion, this delusion of separation and discover the reality of existence ?
Basic universal energy .. the cosmic intelligence .. is a pulsating, pervading and all-encompassing universal presence. This creative energy of life is present everywhere, spilling over man, the Earth and beyond.
But, the human brain .. in fact, the whole consciousness of man .. is not developed enough to capture this subtle wave-length.
The real challenge for the civilized human being is to discover a new apparatus that could capture this non-conceptual and non-verbal intelligence. With the discovery of such new sensitive apparatus, a higher dimension of intuitive energy will dawn upon man.
Separation is created by the personalized mind and this conditioned consciousness makes a human being a prisoner of himself. He is divorced from the whole creation because of his self-centred mind. He sees himself as a separate entity from the rest .. in his thoughts and feelings. He lives his life in exclusion, restricted to his personal desires and goals with affection for only a few individuals around him.
He is missing so much ! He is loosing the fragrance and the beauty of “ oneness with nature ” .. that exalted feeling of kinship with the whole of creation !
The path to establish a relationship with the outer nature is through his own “ inner being ”. The experience of one’s inner energy, the experience of one’s own unbiased and unfragmented Energy-Field within, alone is capable of putting him in touch with universal reality.
Those who are sensitive, humble and have some rapport with their own inner being .. of the pulsating Life-Energy, are blessed with the experience of kinship with nature and with creation at large.
Universal intelligence is trying to engulf earthly ignorance. The subtle is trying to overcome the crude. The timeless is trying to negate time. But the rigidity of matter and the man holds itself firmly and stubbornly.
In a way, the spirit remains helpless before matter and the man, the inner is sidetracked by the outer.
Unless the mind .. which is matter, the crude, the ‘ time ’ .. begins to see its own limitations, its own hindrances and starts to open to the influences of the subtle and the sublime, there is no way out of this self-created impasse, there is no real move towards the boundless and the global.
The ultimate challenge for a human being is to discover his kinship with the universe, the cosmos .. the flowering of the human being wherein he discovers his intimate relationship with the whole of creation.
Here the personal self, the mind, is negated. The limited is erased and the self is submerged in the profound and the boundless. Intellect flowering into intuition, mind surging towards the spirit.
Any art, craft or science is not aesthetic or sacrosanct by itself. They become so by the play of creative energy, an intuitive faculty, that works through a person.
Mind offends this Life-Energy by being logical as it blocks the spontaneity of intuitive expression. It is this sensitivity, this outpouring of spontaneity, that has the magical capacity to transform the person into an universal being.
The internal flow of pure sensitivity, uncontaminated by any design or motive of mind, is the source of Life-Energy. Such a clear, clean and pristine flow of energy is the real stuff of life .. the fountainhead of it. At this level the human being discovers and experiences his unity with universality .. the cosmos.
When the human intellect sees the limit of his own logical mind and becomes aware of the awesome phenomenon of the timeless universe all around him, he begins to become humble.
Only in humility and egolessness one discovers a new state of being. This beingness is a highly sensitive state of inwardness. This impersonal inward state has the capacity to establish a relationship with the higher dimension through a unique spark of intuitiveness.
This dimension of INTUITIVENESS, a unique faculty, is available to man to commune with nature and universe. Through this he will experience his bond with nature.
NATURE .. the whole universe .. in its play of movements, tries to communicate and contribute to enrich human life. It works to fill human consciousness with its aesthetic excellence and cosmic intelligence.
NATURE, due to its causeless kindness is influencing and assisting human wellbeing on our planet Earth.
MAN has to have only the openness and humility to comprehend the cosmic play of intuitive universal intelligence that is operating within himself and all around him, on Earth and in space.
“ Wisdom of DADA”
“ When tongue is let loose Intelligence goes to sleep In attentive alert state Gossipy mind has no place ”
“ Conflict .. Confusion .. And Chaos Fragment and dissipate Life-Energy ”
“ Unity, Integrity And Harmony Generate constructive And creative flow of Life-Energy. ”
“ Every morning is a new day A fresh ray of hope to humanity It’s a moment in timeless eternity A spark of omnipresent reality. ”
“ Life-Energy Flows freely like a fountain .. Spontaneously and creatively
When left unhindered By thought-dominated mind. ”
“ From darkness of accumulated knowledge .. Move into the light of attentive awareness To enter the realm of the intuitive unknown Where life and truth blend together. ”
“ Meditation is intense attentive inwardness .. A play of the entire Life-Energy in the present It’s a tranquil, total, blissful state. ”
“ Like an autumn tree, When the mind Stands denuded and empty, Of all its fluttering leaves Of desires and dreams It becomes ready To receive the celestial showers. ”
“ We daily sweep the dust To keep the outer clean. But what about internal dirt, Anger, hate, gossip and greed ? ”
“ Respecting everybody’s freedom And remaining in one’s own beingness Is celebrating life In its intuitive newness. ”
“ When the primordial energy drive is watched .. Impersonally perceived and understood Witnessed in its entire manifestation Without any involvement, It begins to move inwards And rise upwards. ”
“ He who tames and channelizes This wild primordial energy Becomes an intuitive wise one. ”
“ Beyond the mind Deep within oneself One carries a mysterious fire A spark of cosmic flame. ”
“ When the consciousness of man Becomes quiet, clean and transparent Like a morning dew drop It reflects the beauty And the existence of creation Of which it is an integral part. ”