Question: Babaji, what is true devotion and why is it called supreme? What does it take to practise true devotion?
BABAJI: Firstly, as a human being, be sincere and true to yourself. That is true devotion. Then, if you want to be devoted, respect thoroughly. That is how devotion is taught. Let’s say that you want to be a true devotee of Babaji, without any expectations, sincerely for your sake, you just be devoted. Then, you will follow my instructions in your life. Just now I was telling sincerely that you have to do meditation for your peace and happiness and to know your real self. So, if you are a true devotee, whether I am physically in front of you or not, you will always follow my instructions and will do as I say. If you don’t meditate, you will be missing something. You will become restless because you are not following what Babaji has said. So, that is what true devotion means. And if you achieve something for yourself, then that will be the real donation that you give me. When you achieve peace, this is the true devotion. Truly devoted means that you should not forget me. Feel me in everything, as everything. Good or bad things happen, feel that there is some reason for it. There could be some mistakes that you have done and there might be something that you need to learn. That’s how you can be a true devotee.
Question: Babaji, if there is any one advice that You would give to us today, what would it be that will enrich our spiritual journey.
BABAJI: Do your sadhana. Become the master of your mind. Become the swami of your mind. Your mind should listen to you, not you listen to your mind. If your mind is stressed, then you are stressed; if the mind says cry, you cry; if the mind is not peaceful, then you are also not ... this should not be the way it is. If you tell it to be peaceful, the mind should be peaceful. Then you will be peaceful. So, just do your sadhana ... that’s all you need to do.
Question: Babaji, is there any other way to purify our mind, other than meditation?
BABAJI: All exercises that are taught spiritually can purify the mind but we just have to do it sincerely, we have to apply our mind to it. For example, if we do prayers, we have to do with full focus of our mind. If you talk while doing prayers, or ask others to do the prayers for you, the prayers will not benefit you. You have to do the sadhana... others cannot do it for you. If you are singing bhajans, you have to sing with full concentration of your mind. Then the bhajans will be a good therapy for your mind control. So, the basic thing is we need to apply the mind in whatever we do. We can do any exercise to purify the mind, but meditation is the highest. For example, when doing aarathi, we should not be thinking of the shopping complex. Focus your mind and pray so that your pooja will be successful and sadhana will be successful too.
Question: Babaji, why are there so many Gods in the Hindu religion? Is there a particular God, or Gods that we should pray to?
BABAJI: These are all forms of God. God is only one. There is really not so many Gods. Luckily, otherwise they too would be fighting for supremacy like human beings. There is no fight. Only one God. All different forms and concepts of God were taught and in due course of time, manifestations happened.
Aathi Moorthi were 3 concepts of God. Brahma, is the concept of creativity. The supreme consciousness erupting to create an illusion and not getting involved in the illusion. Brahma is the one who creates illusion but He Himself is beyond the illusion. Vishnu, who sustains the imagined thing is widely known as the protector. The same supreme consciousness becomes Brahma when it creates and Vishnu when it sustains. It’s the same thing always. Like a woman feeding the child becomes the mother. When she is helping her husband, she is a wife. She is a sister to her brother. She is a daughter to her parents. Its the same. In the same way, there is one God. So don’t be in any confusion. In Hinduism, this is the greatest thing to be proud of. So much of liberation is given. It is your choice. You can choose any form of God. You should not think that other Gods will be annoyed. It is all the same God, just another path. That’s all. There is no particular God you have to worship. You love and just follow. You worship whichever appeals to you. My Guru was a very unique teacher. He never tried to impose anything on anybody. Even when he initiated also, he did not claim himself as a Guru. He said, “as a friend I am giving this technique. You all practise. If you want to adopt me as a Guru , it is your choice. With your own free will. I am happy to help you as a Guru. It is my duty”. So never get confused. There is only one God, many names, different paths.
Question: Babaji, there are many rituals in the Hindu religion. How are they beneficial to us and should we keep the rituals to the minimum?
BABAJI: Rituals are your choice. Up to you. Rituals are taught in ancient times as a form of exercise so that your mind also gets applied. That’s what it is. Sometimes, through our own understanding and interpretation, we could have misinterpreted the rituals to suit our own selfishness and be misguided. Always understand the basic idea – through your mind only you can get connected to God. Your mind is your real self. That is the ultimate truth. This mind has to become concentrated. It becomes concentrated when it is purified. Then it goes introverted. If it is into imaginations, then it is away from the real self, that is God. If it becomes quiet, it goes towards God. It has no third way. With that idea only rituals were also taught. If you do, apply your mind – it is an exercise. Whichever rituals appeal to you, you can do that. If it doesn’t appeal to you, you don’t have to do it. It is your choice.
Question: Babaji, in the Rig Veda, God is referred to as “That” – a formless, omnipotent and omniscient entity. Should we pray or meditate on the formless or should we have a particular deity or ‘kula theivam’ to pray to or focus our mind?
BABAJI: If you have an inclination to pray to a form of God, before meditation, you can do that. This was what my Guru did. Though we don’t claim any formless or form, because my Guru never tried to define. When any one thing is defined, your mind starts imagining about that also. If I say formless also, the mind tries to imagine that. That is why my Guru never tried to define anything. Without trying to imagine about anything, just silently meditate. Then it will take you to the truth of “That” which is mentioned in the Rig Veda. However, if you have any deity, if you love that form, it is up to you. Before the meditation you can pray and during meditation, silently watch.
Question: Babaji, we often tend to set goals and even tend to evaluate our progress. What is the real destination Babaji? How do we know if we are truly progressing?
BABAJI: In this world, whatever you want to achieve, you set a goal. And when you are putting an effort, focus and be mindful of what you are doing. Then you will achieve it. Sometimes, things may not happen according to your expectation. Never feel dejected or disappointed. Till the last breath of life, you keep trying if you want to achieve. That is one thing. This world is there. You have a body, you have to live a life. When this life is available, from the time of your birth and death of your body, there is one opportunity – the purpose of life. You have a chance to know your real self – how you existed – the immortal soul. You set a goal for that also. For that only meditation is taught so that you can achieve peace and eventually one day, your self realisation. You become aware of yourself – how you existed as the immortal soul. The birth and death of the physical body has nothing to do with your existence. You always exist. That should be the purpose of life.
Question: Babaji, I am currently trying to meditate based on some other teachings from books. What is the difference between Babaji’s teachings and the rest, on meditation?
BABAJI: This is one of the highest meditation techniques practiced in Rig Veda, where you are leaving the mind to become quiet on its own without any external anchor. No dependency. Independently it comes. When it becomes quiet on its own, it goes introvert and merges with the self, giving you the awareness of the self. Other methods are also equally honourable but the basic idea is first try to concentrate the mind. Instead of having millions of thoughts, try to have one thought, imagine one object and try to focus on that one. So when all is focused, then you have to abandon that also. Then only the mind can go introverted. If it is stuck, then it is stuck there also. So that is the difference. In my opinion, all other exercises like mantra, jappa, concentrating on an object or on the breath are preliminary exercises to practice the concentration of the mind.
Question: Babaji, is it possible that when you mediate, even during an hour’s meditation, that you would go into dreaming? Like being in a dream state?
BABAJI: Yes, because your mind is habitual to keep on imagining. It always builds up stories. It is creative in itself. It tries to enjoy but gets involved into good and bad in its own imagination. And then that becomes torturous. So when you are trying to meditate, follow the technique that has been told. Watch. Watch means just watch. Dont think what it is. Because mind has two aspects - one is watching and the other is thinking. If you are thinking, you are unable to watch 100%. If you are watching 100%, you won’t be able to think. Then your mind becomes quiet and all your thoughts and visions disappear. That is what you have to achieve in meditation. Then you will know about your real self.
Question: Babaji, can you tell us a little bit about karma? Can we change it? Are there ways to overcome our bad karma like bathing in the Ganges or doing special poojas?
BABAJI: I have told you about your mind’s application. Whatever you want to do, that is important. That is why pilgrimage is also taught. But, if you forget to apply the mind, you simply chant 10 thousand times, or pay 500 dollars and break some coconuts, then you start thinking we have done a great job of pleasing God. So, such things do not happen. If at all, any exercise you want to take, you apply your mind. That is very important. Then your mind becomes purified.
Now the karma question, when bodily you do an act, with the doership of thinking, the mind absorbs imprints of “I have done”. That guilt feeling will not go. That is how it acquires karma from time to time. So, life after life, that it gets involved into this destiny. It shapes its own destiny by this mental habits of good and bad. I have told – whoever has this greed or extreme anger, stinginess and vengeance, false pride and jealousy – their mind is the first casualty before they try to harm somebody else. Beware! That’s what the ancient sages used to speak of - the 6 enemies of the human mind. Due to this only, the karma is acquired which will shape your destiny. But, if you practice meditation, sincerely your devotion and all your mental attention will go towards the self and the divine and your mind will become more purified. Thus, you won’t notice any karma at all.
What happens in this world, when we are here, everybody expects “No trouble should come to me. I should never die”. All such things. So, that is why this question is always asked, “Can we change our karma? If I fall ill, can we change this”? There is no future. Before it comes to the present, you don’t know what will happen to you. Just meditate and your mind will achieve peace and your prayers will be more successful. You can get connected to God also. When you pray sincerely, focus your mind, then pray. Then God‘s grace will descend on you. Then you won’t bother about karma. You will be like a soldier. Come what may, let us face it. Challenges come. Let us face it. Let us fight without any ill will to anybody. Like my Guru used to say, be like a soldier. A soldier knows that when he goes to a battlefield, either he will do it or he will die. Both are acceptable. So, he’s not perturbed at all. He’s totally focused on his job. So like that, if you do a job, just do that job. Remain. Don’t become anxious whether it will happen or not, should I do this or do that. Don’t get confused.