Mountain Man's Global News Archive
Web Publication by Mountain Man Graphics, Australia
reprinted from ...
The SONIC SPECTRUM
Volume IV, Issue 4
For Explorers of God's Inner Sound & Light
© April 1997
(from a satsang given on June 15, 1994,
based upon a reading from "The Teachings of Kirpal Singh")
- Sant Kirpal Singh
It's a funny thing. On one hand, one could explain the way of Surat Shabd Yoga in just a very few sentences:
2. It returns home.
3 If you attach your attention to It, It takes you back home with It.
End of story.
To expound a little bit further, stored karma (or "Sanchit Karma") is the kind of stuff that - at the end of a lifetime or the end of a day, whatever's left in your bank balance, you know, it's there the next day for you to work through. It's a really tricky thing to talk about, because that's what folks got into in the 60's and 70's when the idea of karma really started coming into the forefront. There was a perspective regarding karma which was quite popular for awhile which said, "Hey, it's your karma, man. You're responsible for your own reality. So if you live in Bangladesh and your family's killed in a flood, or you're killed in a flood - well, you must have had some really bad karma, dude."
In a sense this is true. But it's good to look at karma with compassion - and basically begin to look at all of life with compassion. Because karmic balances must be stored and cleared out, either good or bad. If there's a deficit, it must be paid; if it is an asset, it must be reaped.
There's also day-to-day karma ("Prarabdha Karma"), which people are always creating; and if you don't work it off, it becomes stored karma for your next lifetime. Because there will be a next lifetime so long as you keep creating karma.
The third is fate, or destiny, karma ("Kriyaman Karma"). I look it more as "educational" karma, in which God, or the Lords of Karma as they're sometimes called in the lower worlds, will assign you certain karmas as lessons from which to learn. Or you may even, if you evolve to a certain point as a being, you may choose certain conditions yourself as a means of learning. And it's because of this that I strongly emphasize having a compassionate attitude when understanding karma and delving into it, and when you begin to view people's karmic situations and their life conditions. Because a negative - or what appears to be a negative - situation in life may not be the result of "bad karma."
A classic example would be people with health conditions, people with mental dysfunctions, people with developmental disabilities, such as what used be called "mental retardation," something like that - or being confined to a wheelchair, or having cerebral palsy. An insufficient understanding of karma would lead people to say, "You must have done something really bad to be stuck with this." Or people who are very compassionate and loving in nature will wonder, "Why is such a good person undergoing such a horrendous life difficulty?"
A great case-in-point in recent years is the physicist, Stephen Hawking, who basically speaks through a voice box now. They have a little bit of him on the new Pink Floyd album. And he's totally tweaked out - his nervous system is just completely shot. And yet, he has an amazing brain. I'm not one to say it's because he was bad in a previous lifetime, or perhaps it's a lesson he's undergoing. Many times, people will choose difficult situations to learn compassion - who may only have a few lifetimes left. Of course it's easy to say "A few lifetimes left?! That's a lot!" But really, if you're looking at a hundred or a thousand lifetimes, a few is not that many. And there are a lot of people who become fairly enlightened who still have to come back several times. But there are those souls who will want to choose a difficult situation in order to learn compassion. And it's not from being bad, it's just that they want to deepen their level of compassion. And it can be a really beautiful thing.
There are cases of people who have tragic deaths - of children who die young. And you wonder what this could possibly serve, because hearts are broken. Sometimes that child, that soul, which is born in a young body only has a little bit of stuff to work out, and only requires a short stay on earth. And so, in its own reality, it's just working some things out, and it's leaving. Because it's really just shedding a suit of clothes. But then you also get into things like family karma. When it's family, you're affecting these people. You're choosing to split, and of course it's affecting the members of your family. And so there are lessons which you are learning; and there's also lessons which you may or may not be imparting, depending on people's openness to learning the lesson, dealing with such kind of grief.
People who have a degree of clarity might look at such a situation as, "I was blessed to have this soul with me for this period of time." - not wailing at God, saying. "How dare you take this young person away from me. This is horrible." It's all just part of the game, part of the wheel of life. And it keeps going around, and around, and around. As long as people have desire, they will create karma. As Ram Dass' teacher - one of his teachers - Hari Dass Baba, wrote on a chalk board: "Desire is the creator. Desire is the destroyer. Desire is the universe." And you may be, in a sense, finished with a lot of your work here in terms of physicality.
But if you still have few desires left (like "I always wanted to be a cowboy. I always wanted to be a ship's captain. I want to be a nurse. I want just want to climb Mt. Everest once. I want to bicycle across the country, or across the state. Or I want to go white water rafting on the Salt River."), it is divine law that every desire you have must either be released or fulfilled, because desire's a magnetic force. It's a matter of physics. You will be attracted to the things you desire, even if you think you're done.
Now, a lot of people look at their time on earth as being "penance." Once they start understanding the idea of karma and reincarnation, it's like, "Oh m-a-n! I want this to be my last lifetime!" How many times have we heard people we know who are familiar with karma or new age philosophy saying, "I hope this is my last lifetime man, because I'm done. I went to a psychic, and they told me this is my last lifetime." Maybe it is! And praise the Lord if it is, and if it's something you're really striving towards.
But, at the same time, if you are working things through and you still have a couple of unfulfilled desires, they are going to attract you back here - as sure as we're sitting here. And, there's nothing wrong with that. There's nothing bad about coming back for one last time, perhaps, one more lap around the course. And if it's really important to you to climb that mountain on the physical earth, then that can be done. The universe will accommodate you. It's actually part of God's blessings. Please, take your time. There's no rush in attaining Jivan Mukti. But if you really want it, you should seriously examine your life and see if you have any residual desires.
My Satguru, Darwin Gross, makes that very clear in one of his more recent books, "Inner Trek" - based on "The Inner Life," by Hazrat Inayat Khan - in which he, to paraphrase, states: If when you set off on the inner trek, before you begin this spiritual unfoldment in this lifetime, which will lead to spiritual liberation, look within yourself. Examine yourself clearly and deeply to make sure there's nothing left that you think you want to do. Because sometimes people say, "Well, I did want to do that bicycling trip. Or I did want to play in a rock & roll band. Or I did want to do 'x, y or z'. But that's okay; it's not that important."
So they'll shove that desire to one side - they'll submerge it, they'll sublimate it. And just as sublimated trauma - if you know anything about recovery theory or post-traumatic stress syndrome, things like that - comes back to the surface, so too will a sublimated desire come back to the surface. And if it's really important to you, you'd better do it because you will not be able to make that trek to spiritual freedom if there's anything still holding you back. It's like you can't get enough loft in a hot air balloon if you have an extra two gold coins which are just that much weight.
It's important to take that look at yourself. Because the Way of the Shabd, the Way of Divine Spirit with the living Satguru, is the fast track. I'm not saying it's "better" than anything else; it's just direct. The Satguru, in a living, physical body, links you to the return flow of Spirit, and It lifts you up - in a single physical lifetime. And, in the realm of eternity, in the realm of a myriad of yugas and a myriad of lifetimes, finishing off in one lifetime is a pretty heavy deal.
So you want to have as little drag and resistance as possible. You want to become totally streamlined. You want to have your focus and attention completely on the Shabd, and nothing else. Because It's carrying you back home. And you will drop away your attachments to your bodies - your physical, your emotional, your causal, your mental and your etheric bodies will drop away. You will become Soul, which is gravitation-less, which has no mass. It is pure aware- ness. It has no drag.
But that's why you drop these other things away, because they do have drag. Even your mental body, even your Etheric (subconscious) body, has a density to it. And the final porthole that takes you from the worlds of duality into the worlds of Pure Spirit is so tiny, it's just like that thing that Jesus said about the eye of the needle and the camel. You have to be completely mass-less, gravity-less - you need to have your attention completely on the Satguru and Spirit to get you through that final curve in the tunnel into the pure positive God Worlds of Spirit. And if you're zipping along, if you're in the fast lane cruising at mach 2 - you know - and your heading right for that little needle's eye and there's any kind of veering at all, you're not going to make it through. In fact you're going to get banged up a little bit, you're going to hit the wall - splat! - and come back down. So it's really important to understand this.
Now the second part of the whole equation is, "How do I cease to create karma?" A very popular spiritual path these days is a form of Buddhism - I'm not going to name any names, I'm sure you've all heard of it - where they do a lot of chanting. They chant for a better life in their next lifetime. They chant for material goods. They chant for prosperity, and all this stuff. And part of the chanting is, "I want my next life to be a great life." Sure! If you come back again, you want to have a good time - beats having a bad time. But you are still creating karma.
I remember talking to a fellow who sang in a band I used to belong to. He was talking about this whole thing of creating good karma for yourself, and I said, "Well, what about no karma?" And that was not even in the realm of possibility for him. He hadn't even considered that. Because for the mind - which is part of the worlds of duality - to the mind it's like, "What do mean, 'create no karma?' You can't create `no karma.' There's always karma. Is it good karma or bad karma? You want to create good karma! "
But it's like, no, that's the right-handed path/left-handed path - duality - yin yang - oscillation - the binary pulse. But there's this frequency that carries us all the way up to the singularity of pure Spirit. And the trick is, "How do you create no karma?" The masters and the saints say, "Do everything in the name of God. Do everything in the name of the master."
Now this is commonly thought to mean you wake up, brush your teeth, and chant - before you start brushing your teeth - "I brush my teeth in the name of the master." And then you floss your teeth and you say, "I floss my teeth in the name of the master." And you use your Q-Tips in your ears and say, "I'm clearing out my ear wax in the name of God. I eat my cold cereal in the name of God. And I drive my car, and I pump my gas in the name of God."
In a sense, this is true. It's a beginning step. Because the idea is to get your attention on it. Be aware that God is in everything you're doing. But it's also kind of comical, because it's kind of like "Eye of newt (no, not Gingrich), ear of toad" in a sense. You're trying to do this incantation, do this magic spell that will make everything great.
What is really meant by "doing everything in the name of God" is, in your beingness, in your doingness, you are in Naam - you are in the Name. Because the term "the Name" is the same thing as the Word, the Shabd, or the Holy Spirit. And so what was really meant is, you immerse yourself, you saturate yourself, in the Name - until It totally imbues you, dyes you in Its color and merges with you.
This saturation process takes time. But what it does is that Spirit, pure Divine Spirit, is pure love. It is the very essence of the Supreme One we call "God." It is karma-less. It neither creates karma, nor does It receive karma. It just is.
As a result, when you work with pure Spirit, and every day you do your meditation, you start by bathing yourself in It and It starts lifting the day's karmas off of you. It washes away the grit and grime. It starts to alter your perspective, because you become united with It. And you find yourself, on a day-to-day basis, doing fewer and fewer things that would create bad karma. You find that, when you're doing things that are negative, it doesn't feel good. Earlier on in our evolution, when you do things that are funky - whether it's ripping off something or not paying for something in a store (whatever, you know, treating someone badly) and there's no initial ramifications - we think we've gotten away with it.
Actually, it just carries over into our next life time. But there is that sense that people get away with negativity. And there are people who say "There's no justice in the world" because they see somebody who is corrupt, and yet a multi- jillionaire; and then good, average people who are spiritually inclined, out of interest and compassion live just above the poverty line, trying to be ethical and selling Guatemalan clothing and hemp bracelets - or whatever the analogy may be - or criminals get away with things, and honest people don't.
But when you start following the Way of the Shabd, It starts working your karma off faster. On a very basic level, whatever you do starts coming back to you much quicker. There's a much shorter time lag. It might be a few days at first, then a few hours, then a few minutes, and then a few seconds. I'm at the point now when I'm at work and somebody gets to me - and I get reactive - it hits me immediately. I had a negative thought about a co-worker yesterday. And I gave speech to that thought, because I was being irritated. And it was just like I got slapped in the face! I felt lousy for a while. It was just like putting your loaves on the water and it comes back tenfold with blessings - well it can also come back tenfold with negative stuff. It doesn't feel good. So it's just like a smack on the nose with a newspaper for a dog, you start learning "I don't want to do that, because I don't want to feel bad."
You also learn that, when you start harmonizing yourself with Spirit, you cease to create karma altogether because you are becoming one with Spirit. And when you become united with Spirit - which is really what they mean when they say "becoming one with God" - you gradually cease to create karma. Because you are in harmony with the Wave.
- Kirpal Singh
Sometimes people, when they have a lot of stored karma, will have to work off some serious stuff in this lifetime, if they desire to get off the wheel of death and rebirth. And this can be very difficult. This is the background of why some teachers in the east will not initiate somebody who is blind because, they say, "How can he see the Light? And furthermore, his karmas are so negative, he could not work it all off in this lifetime - I'll have to work off some of it for him."
But that's mostly superstition. A master, when people are applying for initiation, will look at you and decide if it's time for you or not, or if you're ready for it or not. Because, if you actually have three or four lifetimes to go, but you want to do it all in this lifetime, that means you may have to work off three or four lifetime endings in this lifetime. They can be near-death experiences. They can be accidents. They can be illnesses, or various forms of trauma. Or they can just be - as joke I like to tell goes - ten stubbed toes equal a broken leg. So do you want to break it? Or do you want to stub your toe ten times? Every time I stub my toe, I say "Thank you, Lord, for one less time I have to stub my toe."
- Sant Kirpal Singh
And it's not just physical actions. You'll deal with emotional karma, as you bring your emotional body into balance. You'll deal with your mental karma. You know, thoughts are things. There's a point in the Bible where Jesus said something about, if you lust in your heart (and, of course, they asked Jimmy Carter about that, in that Playboy interview in '76) if you lust in your heart, then you've lusted in flesh. Now some people may freak out and say, "You're anti-sex." But it's really just an analogy saying, if it happens in the mental realm, it has happened. And so you have to bring your thoughts into balance with everything else. But as you do this, you will,
b) have the poise to deal with whatever life dishes out to you. Because, you gradually learn to place your attention upon, and be in harmony with, Spirit - until that is all that exists.
M ... Well he did say that. I'm not going to try to go through eight pages to track it down. What he means is "Try to form no attachments," because you're trying to get rid of your attachments. You're trying to release the bonds of desire. So, you may get rid of your attachments to "X-Y&Z." But, suddenly, you revert instead to a lust for hot fudge sundaes. You get rid of tobacco, and suddenly you're on hot fudge sundaes. You're still involved in desire. That's why, in recovery, they say, if you're real problem's alcohol, but you smoke a little weed, you've got to give up the weed too - if you're in AA - because it's really an addiction to intoxication. And you may give up one thing, but then just get hooked on something else.
In fact, it's really amazing. The whole theory of co- dependency and recovery really, the underlying key, is enlightenment! The underlying solution is spiritual freedom and self realization, because you try not to be the effects of your outside environment. You try to release your attachment and your cravings for things, and letting your cravings control you - whether it's a craving for relationship, or drugs, or sex, or nicotine, or shopping - you know, now there's, like, "Shoppaholics Anonymous." It's all desire. And so the focus is on just being - being the Cause - instead of the effect.
Q ... It seems like how you do this is the mental force in action - getting rid of desires comes from meditation. Do desires go away, or do you just go away?
M ... The seeds are always there. But you made a very good point in the beginning by saying: by giving a lot of mental energy, you're forcing it. If you're forcing it, you're still into action and reaction. What you want to do is just gently replace your attention upon Spirit. It's just like in your meditation. The mind will wander. It does. It goes scampering off like a monkey or a puppy dog, finding some new scent it's checking out. And with our culture especially, in America where we're taught to be sort of self-negating and self-flagellating - you can beat yourself up going, "Oh, darn it! I blew my meditation again, man!" It's like, no, relax with it! (Whistles) "Come on back." And your puppy dog of the mind turns around and comes trotting back. You pat it on the head and say, "Good mind. Good mind. Okay, let's put our attention back on the Shabd again."
Then something else will happen, and it will go scampering off again in the other direction. A bird goes flying off overhead and it goes off to check it out. (Whistles again). And you bring the little puppy dog of the mind back to the center.
There's a point that Kirpal makes in "Night is a Jungle" about making friends with your mind. The mind is not to be fought. It's not to be struggled with. It is effortless effort. The point is to get the mind inebriated on Shabd as well. As you rise up, and make it to the Mental Plane, basically leave your mind behind. And it's like you set it off in a playground to go play with the other minds. And you continue on. As you journey up into the Banwhar Gupha, up into the realms of Pure Spirit. And then, if you're returning and still coming back down into these lower worlds, then you're returning to duality and come down as far as the Mental Plane, you go back, you pick up your mind, ask it how was it in day care and take it along back with you and do what you do.
People tend to be very judgmental about the mind and the emotions. As one of my teachers said, self-condemnation is one of the worst sins you can commit. You should be aware of the repercussions of your actions, and make choices that will lead you to right action. But don't get all hung up on it.
Q .... "But does it go against this path to have desires, but not be attached to them? May all of your desires be fulfilled, but may you be desireless and spiritually free. But is one way to do that to just go with it, but be unattached. Do you know what I mean? Because that other way is so, I don't know, it's like a big battleground.
M ... Well, I think there is a subtle difference between desire and interest. You see, as soul you have eternity to grow, and you can learn new things. Let's say, you're finished and you want to take up the Mental Plane equivalent of pottery - or let's backtrack. Let's say you're living here, and you're a weaver - like Kabir - you're really good at weaving. And you still enjoy it, but you want to pick up another hobby. So you take up pottery. And maybe later on you want to learn how to play the guitar. Mastering that, you want to learn how to play the bassoon, or the oboe. Those are not activities that create karma, necessarily. If you have cravings for them, then you can get into a karmic situation. But then, in the same token, you can have interests in tantric expression, or learning how to develop your sexual consciousness - which is perfectly valid (though people can get awfully hung up on that) - or any other yogic system. You want to learn hatha yoga. You want to learn anything. You want to learn about computers. It's not bad. And, with eternity, you have a long time to do stuff.
Q ... "So that can be karmaless. I'm kind of going off on what someone was saying about, "Don't start new relationships." It can be karmaless to do things like that? Or is it really just prolonging..."
M ... It can be. It depends on the motivation.
Q ... "Sometimes I just don't feel like doing anything. But I don't know if that's a good thing or not, you know? Sometimes I think it would better for me, that I would develop more, if I did more things."
M ... Perhaps. There's time for action - and there's time for inaction. I'm reading this book by Paul Brunton right now called "A Hermit in the Himalayas," and he remarks about getting a letter from friends in England wondering what he's doing up on this mountain top. And they're saying, "Oh, you're not doing anything." It's like in that John Lennon song, "Watching the Wheels," "Don't you miss the big time boy? You're no longer on the ball." Paul Brunton writes back saying, "Oh actually, I'm really enjoying watching the sun come up, and the sun set, and there's this sparrow that's hanging around my hut. Occasionally some Sherpa comes by and we break bread together."
There is no right or wrong. There are five billion- some souls on this planet right now, all occupying various states of consciousness and each having its own point of interest. And each one finds the way home to God in his or her own way. As long as it's done out of love, out of spiritual love, then there should be no problem.
"When one has become the conscious
co-worker of the divine plan, all past actions,
Sanchit karmas (those in store) are erased -
finished. If the person who was tasting the
actions is not there, then who is there to taste
them and become responsible. When there is
I-hood, one must receive the results of one's
actions. A man may state, ‘I am not the doer,'
but within the folds of his heart, he cannot
believe this, and continues to consider he is
doing everything, thereby holding responsibility
for his actions and the reactions to follow. If he
becomes the conscious co-worker of the divine
plan and knows that he does only that which
God wills, how can he be burdened by any
action? To be neh-karma then should be our
ideal in life, and this means salvation."
- Sant Kirpal Singh
"No initiate can take the karma of others. It is only for the gracious Master Power working on the human ole of the Living Master who can liquidate karmic debts under His divine will, and none else."
- Sant Kirpal Singh
To honor both our eastern roots and western traditions, SPIRITUAL FREEDOM SATSANG's name combines both eastern and western elements to help convey the essential unity that the inner Light and Sound of God (i.e., Shabda, Naam, Word, Holy Spirit, Kalam I Ilahi, Ek) infuses in all religions and spiritual paths. SPIRITUAL FREEDOM SATSANG is a nonprofit religious organization based in Tucson, Arizona, and is tax exempt in accordance with 501 [c] (3) of the Federal Internal Revenue Service Code.
#2 "The Sonic Spectrum" is published monthly by SPIRITUAL FREEDOM SATSANG as a journal for explorers of the Inner Light & Sound of God. While its primary focus is the path of Surat Shabd Yoga as taught by Sri Michael Turner, "The Sonic Spectrum" is also designed to facilitate an open exchange of ideas and perspectives regarding spiritual growth as it pertains to this ancient path of self and God- realization, and spiritual freedom, with the goal of fostering spiritual unity among our planet's various Light and Sound Paths. As such, it welcomes input from practitioners of any Shabda-based path. The opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the beliefs of "The Sonic Spectrum," or any particular master or religion, including SPIRITUAL FREEDOM SATSANG. All rights reserved.
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Mountain Man's Global News Archive
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