The object of meditation in its radiant form
Finally, in the last one, as we’ve said – Samadhi. The consciousness of the world and the body, which before had become faint, now disappears, and there’s only the object of meditation in its radiant form, for example, the case of the Buddha in radiant form. It takes practice and persistence, but it corresponds to something already in ourselves. The forms, like the Buddha or the avatars, like Christ, Krishna, they are forms which are taken on by the Lord for his devotees. We need, mostly, a human form, for a long time. It’s not easy to meditate on abstract things for long, particularly if we need forgiveness, or if we’re very frightened, or if we’re very tempted. (We need) to have a human form, from whom we can feel we’ve been forgiven, or that we’re being helped in temptation.
Crime will never be banished until there’s certainty of detection, and the only certainty of detection is when the Lord within us says no. Otherwise the time is going to come when I can get away with it; when nobody will know, and nobody will be able to find out, ever. I may think, “Well, I’ll do it just this once – make a killing (as they say) and then live charitably on the proceeds. I’ll help ever so many people, and do an awful lot of good.” But through meditation, I begin to become aware that I’m scarring myself if I do that. They don’t teach it now, but in the higher realms of judo, when you took a really high teacher’s degree, there are methods of disposing of people without leaving a mark. They’re not very easy to do, but anyway, they exist, and those high judo men, who are also doctors, have examined them, and say they would work. Well, if you know that, you could be tempted. You’re subject to a temptation that ordinary people are not subject to. You look at someone and you think, “Hmm, that would be quite easy, wouldn’t it? Then it would be a lot pleasanter somehow.” But although I could get rid of the disturbance outside, but there’ll be a turmoil inside afterwards. If I realise that, I won’t do it. Only if I realise that clearly, will I be able to resist the temptation – though the temptation won’t be a temptation, in fact.
So the point is to become to realise gradually that the Self, the true Self, is independent of the makeup, so to speak. Where makeup makes me a king or a beggar or a Shylock, or an Iago, I’ll have a bit of fun – but (we should) really begin to realise there’s one underneath the makeup, apart from the role, who is free from it. This sort of illustration – we can think of others, and notice others – (show that) we get caught into something which is not really part of ourselves but, because of what seems like accident, we get caught into thinking this is me. When I get drawn into that, then I start suffering with the makeup and getting exultant when the makeup is glittering with its glass jewels, and thinking I’m rich.
So, he says repeatedly: “When you look at other people, try to see through their makeup, and you will see this same Self.” You think, “Well, how can you do that?” Supposing somebody’s going for you – it’s not nice to be hit. If you’ve known someone in the tropics, as it used to be before antibiotics, people had fever, very high fevers, and delirium. Now when people are in delirium, in some cases, they start feeling they’re surrounded by enemies – particularly in war time, when there were enemies – and they can sort of run amok. Then, if you’re supposed to be skilful in one of the fighting arts, you are deputed to subdue them. Now, there too, you will get punched in the face. You can’t always avoid everything, unless you use a lot of force, which you’re not supposed to do. So it hurts, and you do feel a flash of anger. But you look, and you see this face distorted with rage and sweating. It looks almost like the face of a beast. It’s in delirium, but underneath it, or somehow in it, you can see the face of the person you know well. Then you know that what’s hitting you is the delirium and, although it is that person, it’s not actually that person. The delirium is, so to speak, like a quilt, or a cover, or makeup, on top of the true self – of the human being in this case. You can see the noble human being behind this sort of raging animal.
These things are little hints but think, perhaps with mothers, they can see children do something particularly cruel, as some children, especially boys often do. They know it’s got to stop, and they stop it – but they can also see the noble human being that it’s going to develop into – perhaps a very compassionate one. I remember my brother shot a sparrow with his little air pistol, and then burst into tears. Well, my mother said, now he was just below the threshold, and he never did anything like that again.
We’re asked in this doctrine – upadhi – to try to free ourselves from these associations, these forced associations also in the behaviour with other people. You will see in a number of instances in the book how Shri Dada is able, not in every case, but in many cases, to appeal successfully to the true Self which is within.
Now, it’s a doctrine of Yoga that people who are practising Yoga will, by the fact of practising it affect the spiritual atmosphere of the world, not only the immediate surroundings. So if we want to make a contribution to the world, the most effective contribution we can make is to subdue our own passions in meditation. That purification which takes place has an effect on the deeper layer, what’s called the ‘karana sharira’, the causal layer of the world. It affects the minds, as our teacher said, of thousands of people. Unconsciously, their minds begin to change – they receive a little more light from their own inner Self, as well as from an external lord.
© Trevor Leggett
Previously “Consciousness of the world disappears”
Titles in this series are:
Part 1: Mysticism of the Heart 3
Part 4: Honen worshiped Amida Buddha