Swami Chidananda

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When man listens, God speaks. When man empties himself, God fills his entire being. When God enters man and fills man’s entire being, man is no more man but becomes the Light Itself. For when this happens, man arises from dualities and emerges into Reality - consciousness. Man arises from the darkness of the slumber of a self-forgetting ignorance into the dazzling light of awakening, into the fullest knowledge-awareness of one’s real essential nature, which is Divine. 

When this happens, death becomes a myth to man. Death becomes a non-existent non-entity, conjured up in the imagination of the mind, but having nothing to do with the Atman that is the reality of man. When it is said that the Atman is the reality of man, this is not said in the third person, impersonally. It means that that eternal, imperishable, indestructible Divinity is your reality. I am not addressing hypothetical, academic theoretical man. These words are being said to you who are present here. 

Thus, when God fills your being, you awake and arise into the awareness of the stupendous and wonderful fact that death has no meaning—it is a zero, a cipher—for you are beyond death, being unborn. Only one that is unborn can be beyond death, ever liberated from so-called death. For it is declared that for the born death is certain. But the same Divine Teacher who said this also says, “Thou art the unborn, eternal, permanent Spirit, beyond time, ancient. Nothing changes if this body is killed. You are That which nothing can affect or alter, what to say of destroy.” 

Thus when you awaken into this awareness and death becomes to you a meaningless myth, then and then alone you are truly yourself. Then and then alone you live in reality, you live in the light of the great truth of your divinity. 

May, therefore, this sacred nine-day period when we have been contemplating and pondering the great mysteries of this universe and beyond—the transcendental mysteries of the Cosmic Being and the primal Cosmic Power or Divine Mother—when the mind has been elevated to a higher level of thinking and understanding, a higher level of awareness, may this indeed be the time, this indeed be the hour and moment, when taking advantage of the rising wave of consciousness in the presence of the Divine Mother, your spirit becomes elevated and soars into a higher level and dimension of a greater and truer awareness. Let it be so! 

Planet Earth is never in total light. When half of it is radiantly lit up by the effulgent rays of the sun, half of it is in total darkness. It is slumbering, in a state of unawareness. I mention this as an analogy, just to give an idea of what this mysterious Cosmic Power is. It is half full of awakening radiance and half full of dense, unseen darkness covering and veiling your entire being with somnolence and slumber—one is in a state of non-awareness of one’s own Self. 

Therefore, being of this dual nature—vidya maya, which means liberating knowledge and avidya maya, which puts you into a slumber of non-awareness—the manifestations of this Cosmic Power, whom we call the Divine Mother, also naturally contain and are constituted of these dual factors, factors that can awaken you and factors that can plunge you into deep darkness, slumber. It is for the discriminating mind to see the difference between the two. 

It does not come easily. Non-discrimination is the nature of the unregenerate and unpurified mind. For countless births it has been in a state of spontaneously running after appearances, shadows. Why is it so? The answer given by Lord Yama in the Kathopanishad is that because of a ‘preponderance of rajas the movement of the mind is senseward. Thus it is not able to go inward to ponder and contemplate and try to know things of the invisible spiritual dimension of our being and of the world appearances. 

Therefore the necessity to guide the mind, discipline it, educate it and channelise it in the right direction by an awakened intelligence. The Great Reality may be beyond intelligence, and at a certain point intelligence may be a hindrance, but not for those who are caught and enmeshed in maya. It is of no use for them to say that the Reality is beyond mind and intellect. It may be for those who have gone into that state. They are in a position to affirm that. But what dimension are we in? 

This question can only be answered by each one for oneself. Flattering references to you in great laudatory terms by a thousand people or a million people avails nothing. The true appraisal of oneself is by oneself. This is the not very palatable simple truth—that is if you are prepared to be hctnest with yourself. Then this true awareness can be yours. 

Thus the need of an awakened intelligence. It is good to know that maya is both illuminating and liberating vidya maya as well as blinding and binding avidya maya, but this knowledge is not sufficient. Ultimately, knowledge only becomes of real value to us personally when we begin to apply that knowledge in our own life. When we are not satisfied with knowledge or theory and want to apply that knowledge, then we are wise. Then alone we become scientific in our spirituality. Then we become practical in our religion, we become pragmatic in our sadhana. Then we do wonderful things to ourselves. 

Spirituality needs to absorb the spirit of the scientist, who not only discovers something but proclaims it to the world and says, “Here it is. Make use of it.” All great mystics and yogis were thus scientists in their spirituality. They were practical in their religion. They lived their religion. Their thoughts, speech and actions were infilled with the spirit of true religion. True religion means the divinity of your identity because of your oneness with the Supreme Being. 

A part is always what the whole is; it cannot be different. If you pluck a leaf from a mango tree, it will be a mango leaf. If you pluck a leaf from a basil plant, it will be a basil leaf. If you pluck a leaf from a mint plant, it will be a mint leaf. So silently, without uttering any words, nature teaches us the highest metaphysics, if we can see it. The part is always identical and of the same nature as the whole out of which it has its being. 

The highest discovery of the scientists of the spiritual realm was tat twam asi, thou art That. Thou art a part of that great Whole. And if thou art That, thou better start being that which you are and not be a counterfeit. This is the least that one can do when one has entered and adopted the spiritual life. 

Do not be a dud, do not be a counterfeit, do not be spurious. Be genuine, be authentic, be true. In simple words, be yourself. Be what you are, and, therefore, let your life be what it ought to be— a reflection of your reality, a manifestation of your divinity, an expression of the truth of your essential being. 

The Bhagavad Gita tells us how to live our life, how to relate ourselves to this phenomenal manifestation—which contains both light and darkness. Lord Krishna first warns us, “daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya (Verily, this divine illusion of Mine, made up of the three qualities of nature, is difficult to cross over).” Therefore, it is very difficult to deal with Her. But later He says, “daivi sam pad vimoksaya (The divine natüré is deemed for liberation),” meaning that if we relate ourselves to Her divine aspect, then we will be liberated. 

This then is the secret of dealing with maya. She is both light as well as darkness. She is both awareness and wakefulness as well as slumber and self-forgetfulness. Therefore, relate yourself with Her divine aspect. Open yourself to Her divine aspect, not the demoniacal or negative. Open yourself up to the Divine, and then you will be liberated. Begin to apply in your daily life all such factors and aspects of Her being that are divine in nature. Adopt and apply in your daily life those factors within Her that constitute a liberating force as are explained in the sixteenth chapter of the Gita. 

Now you have the key how to understand maya, how to relate yourself to maya and how to make use of maya to liberate yourself. Then She becomes your greatest asset. Do not hobnob with both sides. Then you are riding on the back of a tiger. Do not play a slick game. Do not trifle with God’s powerful Power. Do not think that you are cleverer than God. 

Spirituality is a practical science. Religion is an applied affair, something to live by wisely. Therefore, we should use our knowledge and make it part of our day-to-day practical being and doing, our day-to-day practical life Then knowledge becomes a liberating knowledge. Then it becomes illuminating knowledge. It becomes your saviour. The truth makes you free. Therefore, we have to apply truth— live truth in thought, word and deed. 

That is the way taught by the ancients, and that is the way taught by the Holy Master in and through his own life and by his own being and doing. He was an embodiment of the daivi aspect of Divine Mother Maya. He was an embodiment of all that was divine, auspicious, awakening, illumining, liberating. 

May his benedictions be upon you all! May God’s divine grace be upon you all! May we bring God into our everyday life. Then our life will become our liberator because it will become divine, it will become daivi. And we have just recognised that daivi is liberation. Our life will become the field for applying the science of spirituality. Our life will become a process of religion in practice, the process of practical religion. 

This is sadhana. This is being true to yourself, honest with yourself. This is being a true disciple, true to your guru. And this is being true to God, who is your alpha and omega, who is your beginning, middle and end. Therefore, be true in all these aspects, and such a life will liberate you!”

(This article has been reproduced from "Awake! Realise Your Divinity!" by Swami Chidananda)  

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