Transitory nature of
Twelve Facets of
GURU SHREE CHITRABHANU
Can I stop incoming Karmas?
The Art of the Full Stop
As seekers, you are like
mountain climbers. Your climb is to reach the height of your consciousness.
Whether it is a mountain or your own Self, to reach the peak you must climb in
stages, one step at a time. The higher you go, the more careful you have to
be. The wind at the top is very strong. If you are not well balanced, it can
throw you back. When we observe the lives of great people, we are moved by
their achievements, but we may not consider how much awareness and balance it
took for them to reach that height. On all sides, there were always
temptations and alluring things to divert he attention. At times there was
fear of falling into the valley below. Despite all the potential deterrents,
they went on steadily, because their whole intention was to reach the top.
They always kept their purpose
in front of their inner eye. They had to be vigilant, careful, aware, and
balanced. Why did they want to reach the peak? Because from there one can
experience the freshest air, the panoramic view, the joy of seeing the beauty
of the earth below and the skies above.
No one on the ground can
imagine what the person who climbs Mount Everest has to go through. It is
constant vigilance. Only when you start climbing do you realize how steep the
path is, how high the peak. But if you have inside courage, conviction, and
confidence, then you are not afraid. "I am going to make it," you say to
And you are going to make it,
because there is no agent outside of you determining your life, making it
prosperous or not. As a seeker, you accept the responsibility for each act.
You realize, "If I am responsible for my own steps, then there is no danger. I
am going to reach my destination because I am here for that."
You may accept somebody's
helping hand as you move along the path, but that help is second to your own.
Yours is first. In this way, you are neither arrogant nor falsely modest; both
attitudes are extreme. Both mean pretension. A person who is trying to cut a
figure in society or make a name for himself may play the role of being as
submissive as a lapdog in order to draw some kind of attention. It is a trick.
When you are aware of being humble, you want people to notice how simple you
are. Why do you want to tell everybody? It means you need to capitalize on
Be natural, be what you are!
Only watch where you are! Watching, you will become so subtle that you will
know where you are at all times. If you can know that, it is enough. Then you
won't need to ask approval from the world. When you finally don't need
approval, that is when the world is ready to give it to you. It appears a
little paradoxical. But people start sensing your genuineness. "Really this
person is not on a trip," they observe. "She is with herself."
The fact is we are here just to
live, just to be, not to collect trophies, degrees, and certificates. Our
whole approach is to be what we are. We are not here for some temporary
height, for some false inflated sense of who we are. Our aim is to return to
that natural state which is so balanced that we are neither down nor up. For
that we have to work in a wholehearted way. We can move toward that natural
state only if we refrain from despising, criticizing, and abusing ourselves.
We stop the craving to collect opinions, words of praise, and approval. When
we put a stop to the inflow of such old habits of thinking, how peacefully we
There is no greater joy in the
world than to have peace with oneself. That is the real reason behind our
seeking all kinds of joy. We want to remain in a beautiful mood. But when we
see that temporary joy depends on outside stimulation and often brings sadness
when its time is over, then we realize that it is essential to learn how to be
at home with ourselves and discover permanent peace.
It does not mean that you
reject the outside world. You appreciate the beauty and bounty of the world.
You have five beautiful senses. In fact, your senses are kept so clear and
clean that you can appreciate more keenly than most people the many sights and
sounds, tastes and smells, feelings and perceptions. When something beautiful
appears before you, you see it as it is. The point is this: you are not
dependent solely on your senses. When you close your eyes, there also is
beauty. So you see both the beauty within and the beauty without.
The problem with most of us is
that we see the beauty without but not the loveliness within. Isn't it strange
that after so many years of seeing beauty without, still we are unable to
retain it when we close our eyes? As soon as we close our eyes, we see
darkness. What is the point of all those years of enjoying outer beauty if
they have not given us a clue to our inner beauty? It is wonderful to open the
eyes and appreciate the beauty of sunrise, springtime, children dancing, and
mellow faces whose wrinkles tell the story of joy and pain. But there is
richness within, our moving,
Without that moving spirit, the
outer eyes would not perceive even the outer world.
We have to know that moving
spirit whose capacity it is to experience, remember, and grow. Because of its
presence, we are longing to quench our inner thirst. It is our true identity.
It is sitting inside our outer shell. Meditating on this, we realize, "What I
have been calling 'me' is only the shell. It is my instrument. The essence is
inside. That essence is me.
The initiate watches inside and
climbs each step of awareness until he reaches the core, the inner shrine.
Ultimately, you reach that shrine and sit on the throne which is waiting for
you. People call it God's throne. It is not reserved for only a few. It is
waiting for all. Each of us has that throne within. That is why we have a
longing, a dream, a quest. That archetype, that throne sometimes beckons to
us, "Come unto me!" So the initiate moves.
But in order to move and ascend
to the peak you have to be free from the load. If you have too much of a
burden, you cannot carry it along with you. Gravitational forces are there to
pull you down. The Buddha was not a foolish person to leave the palace and his
beautiful wife and child. He was not a dropout. He had a quest for truth. And
Mahavir was not a silly person when he talked to his wife, saying, "Where is
our kingdom, dear? Is it only on earth? This kind of kingdom will perish. This
kind of kingdom creates fights and wars. Can we not have that kingdom which is
eternal awareness?" In this way giving up becomes a receiving. True
renunciation is full awareness of the kingdom within.
That inner level will also
bring deep meaning to relationships. When husband and wife inspire each other,
they become beautiful company for one another. Their communication turns into
an eternal communion. The idea in marriage is to work out karmas and be a
complement to each other. When we live on that inner level, we communicate and
find out what is our mission. And when one feels low, the other is a lifting
spirit. "This will pass," he tells his partner. "We have to be patient and
wait for the sunrise." When one person is moody, there is no need for the
other to add to the misery. There is no permanent pain nor is there any
permanent bubbling happiness. What is permanent? Inner bliss, tranquillity;
all else comes and goes.
To see the nature of the outer
world and to experience the beauty of the inner world there is no need to go
to a monastery. You can turn your house into a monastery! After all, some
monasteries themselves have turned into political arenas for people to express
their power drive!
I wish each family, each of
you, could turn your small house into a beautiful monastery and create a
beautiful life there, growing in understanding and meaning. Seventy or eighty
years, our time on earth, is such a short period. You can use it to be alone
or to be with people who share your thinking and understanding. You can use it
to be with friends or neighbors or to be with whomever you feel love and
compassion for. The world does not belong to anyone. There is no need for
pettiness or limitation. There is no restriction of caste, creed, age, color,
or language. We can all speak the same language --of eve and heart and
Samvara means to stop the flow
of ashrava. First we meditated on ashrava, to know what the flow consists of,
and where it is coming from--without and within. Once we know how it works, we
When a rainstorm is coming, and
you hear on the radio that it is going to be a severe one, what do you do? Do
you not become careful and take precautions? Don't you get up and close the
windows, gather up any equipment lying outside on the lawn, bring it in, and
stay inside? If you don't close the windows, what will happen? The house will
be filled with dust and dirt and rainwater.
Samvara means to close the
windows when the storm is about to come. In life the storm is kashaya--anger,
greed, pride, and deceit. Anger is a storm. When it comes, first it upsets our
own peace. Then it destroys what is around it. Anger distorts, blinds, and
prevents clear vision. The person whose heart and eyes are burning with anger
does not like anything beautiful. Smile at the person, and you will see that
your smile is not tolerated. "Why are you smiling?" he will roar at you.
When you are angry, your child
may come rushing over to you. "Mummy!" he cries, but you say, "Go away," and
you push him aside. Your friend comes and you destroy ten years of friendship
in ten minutes. "I hate you those words can create a big impact on the
consciousness. How to erase them? You can say, "I am sorry," but that does not
take away the sting of the words. They pierce like an arrow, and someone's
heart is bleeding. The pain and the wound remain. Why do you use such harsh
words? I do not say that you should suppress anger, but watch from where it
has come. Feel the words you are throwing out. They are going to have
repercussions, both in you and in someone else. Every word has a vibration
which has an impact on your consciousness.
Once a woodcutter went into the
forest and saw a lion. He became frightened. The lion took pity on him and
told him where to find some ornaments which were buried in the forest. The
woodcutter was very happy, because he needed the money which the ornaments
would bring for his daughter's marriage feast. He invited the guests, and
along with them, out of gratitude to the lion, he invited the lion. The lion
was not anxious to go to the party, but the woodcutter convinced him.
When he arrived, all the guests
were alarmed and started to run away. "Don't worry," the woodcutter told them.
"He won't hurt you. This lion is just as tame as an old dog."
When the money from the
ornaments ran out, the woodcutter again went to the forest. This time the lion
would not show him where there were more ornaments. Instead, he told him,
"Here, make a wound on my paw with your knife."
The woodcutter asked, "What?
You want me to make a cut in your paw?"
"Yes," the lion answered. "Come
back in one month and I will talk to you then." He did as the lion requested,
and one month later returned to the forest.
The lion asked him, "Can you
see the wound you made with your knife?" The woodcutter saw that it was
completely healed. The lion continued, "The wound of the flesh can be healed,
but the wound from your words is still bleeding." The woodcutter had used the
words "He is just as tame as an old dog" in a hurry, and the lion was insulted
at being compared to a dog.
So when anger is about to come
and you are about to speak harsh words, say to yourself, "Let me close the
window." The first window to close is the mouth. It is better to close the
mouth and open the eyes and see who is standing before you. There is no need
to repress the anger. Watch the inside feeling and turn it into steam, into
some creative energy. Let there be space between you and the person with whom
you are angry. First you say to yourself, "I am angry. I don't like what
At the same time, you use
samvara, you stop yourself from speaking out. If you speak from a level of
imbalance, when the anger is giving too much energy, your words will be
amplified. So tell yourself to wait for your normal state to return.
Then ponder, "What is the cause
of this anger? Did someone else make the mistake or did I have a part in it?
Are not two hands needed to make a clap? Can it be avoided in the future? What
are the ways to prevent it?" When you have this spirit of inquiry, this space,
you don't allow the energy of anger to go out. You keep it in for the time
being like a pressure cooker. You let the steam out very slowly.
After that, instead of using a
lot of words, you select a few words and tell the person very gently, "This is
what made me angry. I would prefer this," or "This has spoiled my peace. I
don't want to spoil your peace with my anger." In this way, you stop the cycle
of action reaction, and interaction. You see the pain that anger has caused
and you do not want to evoke it in someone else. You want it to end here. With
a gentle feeling toward the other person, you can awaken his or her
consciousness. By shouting, what are you going to accomplish?
So follow these three steps
when anger comes. First, be aware of your feeling. What was your expectation
which created the sensations in your body, the increasing buildup of hot
energy. Second, retain the energy until your balance returns. Do not allow
yourself to speak. Third, when you are feeling calm, tell the person what has
made you unhappy, what has hurt your feelings. Your very gentle selective
words will start working on that person's consciousness if the person is
sensitive. If the person cannot understand you, even your shouting will have
Another storm is the storm of
pride. When pride inflates you like a balloon and you say, "I want to be
greater than that person," notice its cruel aspect. The ego makes you want to
surpass and make the other person feel inferior to you. If you were not cruel,
you would not do anything to make another feel beneath you. This inner cruelty
comes from complete unawareness of Self.
On the contrary, we must try to
make a person feel at home. Know that the things you have are for sharing, for
peace, for comfort, for communication; they are not for impressing others or
for creating a difference in levels. Find out how you really feel about
things. Things themselves are unimportant; it is your attitude which counts.
Ask yourself, "Am I playing a game? Am I really with people or am I trying to
be superior?" To be with people is excellent; to act superior is a result of
Pride or ego is not the same as
self-respect. Ego has a way of invading the whole cerebral area and causing a
vicious circle of behavior. Self-respect radiates from inner awareness, from
inner balance. Ego depends on the external situation; self-respect is steady
on all occasions. Ego acts like mercury in a thermometer, going up and down
according to the heat. Self-respect has its own poise, the outer climate does
not affect it. The aspirant is one who keeps balance.
The third inner enemy is greed.
Once greed takes hold of us, our needs continue to expand. We keep on changing
our standards. Greed tears people into pieces, and the inside pain that
results cannot be cured with any medicine. Many people who have reached the
top of the political, business, or religious hierarchy have torn themselves
apart with misery when forced to retire and pass their days in a small way.
They had lived from pomp, but
when their situations changed like the weather and their ego desires were no
longer satisfied, they felt utter frustration. For them, it was a mental
Only if such people have a
hobby can they survive. Eliminating greed does not mean you should not earn a
living. It involves asking yourself this question: "Am I comparing myself with
someone else or am I happy with what I have?" Greed is like a powerful
earthquake. It can cause havoc in one's life. So you practice the art of the
full stop and say, "Enough!"
When you have anger, ego, and
greed, then the fourth inner enemy comes--deceit. To maintain the first three
you have to play a role. You have to pretend to be what you are not. You
always have to be on your toes. You are not natural. You are always putting on
a mask or covering yourself with makeup. It is not easy to keep up the facade.
One day you will get up from your slumber and find yourself without any
makeup. It is far better to reflect on how to stop and see yourself, how to be
what you are.
As you practice samvara, you
understand its purpose. It is for your arogya--your spiritual health. If your
longing to climb to the height of yourself is genuine, you will want inner
health. It will not be to please or show any-body else; it will be for
yourself. Just as you brush your teeth to keep them clean and fresh for your
own feeling of well-being, so you cleanse your consciousness of impure
elements. Just as you wash your body to feel refreshed and not to show how
soft your skin is, in the same way you unclog the pores of your mind in order
to think clearly, without distortion. The highest soul uses meditation to keep
arogya. Practicing in this way, he or she has no need for any temporary lift
from the outer world. The aspirant does not want anything temporary; he or she
wants only that insight which is going to last forever.
So when the storm of anger,
ego, greed, or deceit is about to invade your consciousness, keep the word
samvara in front of you. Tell yourself, "No, let me stop. Let me keep quiet.
Let me not react. Let me not be cruel." Keeping a space between you and
negative vibrations, you are able to deflect the vibrations. They will
evaporate into thin air under the light of your ever-present awareness. In
this way, you are able to stop the continuous inflow of karmas into the waters
of your consciousness. You will be able to see clearly into your depths and
remove the residue.
SEED THOUGHTS FOR MEDITATION
Close the windows when the
storm is about to come. In life the storm is anger, greed, ego, and deceit.
Let me see the pain anger has
caused me so that I will not want to evoke it in anyone else.
Let me see the inner cruelty of
greed, how in taking more than my share, someone else has to have less.
Let me see how the ego wants to
put someone else down.
Let me see the pretension in
deceit, how it is centered on covering up the truth from myself and the world.
If I keep the purpose always in
front of my inner eye, I will make it to the peak. I am going to make it
because there is no outside agent determining my life. I am here for that