Sit in the room and be realized. Do not offend anyone or make anyone uncomfortable. Then leave and resume your ordinary habits. Is this what you think sādhana is?
Around Baba, there were people who did just sit around and then go home. Their discomfort came from their fellow ashramites, so their interactions and relationships looked very much like the ones back home. Baba would sit and smile and say, “Meditate on your Self. God dwells within you as you”. These people believed that by showing up and hanging around, they had imbibed all that was needed, and there was nothing more. They could have powerful shakti experiences around Baba and imagine their own place in the universe. When they returned to their homes, they would continue “sādhana” by living life as before and occasionally sitting, maybe even religiously, and imagining their experiences with Baba.
Sitting with Baba and experiencing bliss happened for me also, but I did not want to imagine. I did not want bliss only when I sat for meditation. That would have been just like when I had formerly relied on Tai Chi Chuan for my bliss. I had already done that. I wanted bliss all the time. I did not want to imagine and then be slapped back into relative reality. I wanted the Real.
I did not want Baba as an abstraction, or the teachings as abstract. The lineage was not about imagining, or about having a great awakening and then being realized. We had to, and have to, walk the path Baba walked. That does not mean adopting particular external trappings. That means doing what he modeled: surrender of the small self.
That surrender will probably remain no more than an abstraction unless you have a teacher—a teacher who is willing to do battle as you should with your small self. Sādhana is not an intellectual exercise. We have to do something to get to the Self and then live the Self. What do we have to do? We have to give up our wrong understanding, our wrong identification with the small self. We have to give up our smallness.
Of course we want to get rid of our smallness, you might say. Really? Then do it. Right now. Be who you really are. It is not that easy. We do not realize how much we are attached to our wrong understanding. Again, this is where a teacher comes in. The teacher will be able to see this wrong identification and begin the process of awakening the student, not just once but all the time. This has to be done over a period of time, with the teacher constantly bringing the Truth to the student. Each student is different; hence the Guru-disciple relationship will manifest differently for each person, but the outcome is the same.
The teacher will shine a light on who we think we are, then call it what it actually is and show us our delusion. For instance, a student may think of herself as noble and generous when in fact she is a miserable doormat. Facing this reality will hurt. The teacher will then work with the student to remove her wrong understanding. So the Guru will be with us through our pain of our stupidity and guide us in the burning up of our delusion. Each time another layer of delusion is removed, we will feel lighter, and the bliss will be there for us.
If all you want is a course that teaches a tool or technique like meditation, then you do not want or need the Guru. If you want the Truth, then the Guru will be there and shine the light for you. Meditation will be just another tool you use in the process of removing your darkness. Meditation will support what the teacher is saying and guiding you to do in your daily life.
So whether you are a monk or a householder, whether you live in an ashram or house, know your commitment. And do not fool yourself into making your imaginings into something they are not. Sādhana with a living teacher is not easy for the small self. It pulls back the curtain on the small self’s magic show. Only the Guru can do this with us.
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