What is Spirituality?

The definition of spirituality is aplenty. Some say that it is about becoming a human being, some say that it is to transcend desires, some say that it is to give comfort and peace. Many definitions but the main question for me is whether spirituality is a door that once you walk through, you can never walk back?

The way I see spirituality is very simple but ultimately complex at the same time. Spirituality is the realization of the no-self. Once one attains the state of union, there is no longer two. If there is only one, there is no need to say so. Once we give this formless, or shapeless no-self – the idea of self, even the label, we end up losing what it actually is. It is clear through Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta that there is no-self at all. The mind is not the self and the body is not the self. The only thing that remains is something that if spoken about, it would be destroyed of all it’s essence.

Many people claim to be spiritual but they have some affiliation with some concept and I guess what I am trying to say is that if there is affiliation with one, then there is a possibility of infinite affiliations. If there is no affiliation, no attachment to anything – philosophy or thought, we will find that it encompasses it all. In my head, this all makes sense and I don’t know if this is making any sense to you. I really do find that defining spirituality at its core is a dangerous path because once it is defined as a path, we can create multiple diversions.

Once we discover this no-self, I do find that we end up seeing everything as it were a great theatrical play in motion, this time the characters fail to understand that it is all an act. They have become their characters. The method is now madness. When we are able to step back and observe, the no-self within us in untouched by any of the experiences perceived.

Ultimately, what is the Formless to itself? absolutely nothing and I think this is the fear that we have, we are afraid to be nothing even if it means it leads us to be the nothing that is in everything.

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Mirages and Spiritual Awakening

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Growing up with a thirst for spiritual awakening was not easy as I had to study and build a life thereon. Studying for me was boring because it was forced upon me and inside I knew that I would probably never use half of the things I learned in high school. I was right about that but my thirst for spiritual awakening was also growing, as I became more thirsty, several mirages appeared in my life to distract me – whether it was women, intoxicants, wealth etc.

Eventually these mirages were ignored after several years of going through these experiences as if they were true. I look back at the past and think I was so sure I was doing the best thing for me and now I almost regret some of it. However, what has been done has been done. I have to move forward.

As several mirages appeared again, I knew it was right to let them be as they were but not be allured towards them. I was then clear for spiritual awakening, so I thought but such experiences never come easy even if you have the tool to instantaneously get it.

The mirage of concepts was very heavy and while I got rid of some concepts through careful analysis on their validity, I ended up created some more concepts and down again I went down the rabbit hole. From saying there is a god to know saying there isn’t a god – I was firm on both these concepts at one time and now – I don’t know even though the answer is very, very clear to me.

Two things I had never let go of: One was my love for my Spiritual Master and two was my meditation. Even though, I tried to stay clear from my Spiritual Master, I understood that something else was being played. Even though I disagreed a lot with some of the philosophy that His organization taught, it was later discovered through my own meditation that those were my philosophies and not His. This was when I realized that our perception had to be cleansed in order to truly understand a philosophy as it is and not how you interpret it.

Let’s just say that the way I see the philosophy now is very simple – the realization of the Formless Self, is the realization of your True Self. The Spiritual Master just points at that Formless Self. It is up to you whether you look at the Formless Self or take a little detour with looking at the Spiritual Master. If you do take the detour, it becomes dangerous territory because you may love the Master but your mind has not realized it’s true self so therefore, your Master will be judged by you – even if it is a positive judgement. Any judgment will not let you see something clearly.

As I mentioned, I stayed away from my Master while I was going through this major analysis, but I was very devoted to meditation and meditated a lot. I was working and would wake up as early as 4am and meditate for an hour, then read for two hours and then get ready for work. It so happened, that on a Saturday, I started meditating again around 9am and as I was focussing on empty space for a while, I saw the tiniest dot of Light appear and I was amazed at this. I floated in this empty space and went near it and I heard a sound that simply said ‘Before this, I am,’ and I just saw this dot expand and the whole of creation was presented to me. I couldn’t contain myself and took myself out of the meditative state. I didn’t know what I experienced other than there had to be something before creation.

I have never forgotten this experience but it came back to me three weeks ago. This time, the tiniest dot was not seen but empty space was taken away from me and I came to an absolute stillness and centered my whole focus on that stillness. I was so taken aback by it that it felt like I had been there for 10 minutes when in fact, it had only been around 30 seconds. It was an intense experience. I realized one major thing – it didn’t matter whether this is god or not – there is only stillness. Call it whatever you want now to personalize it. I totally understand why we name it. Yes, it certainly dilutes what It Is but people need something to relate to and the easiest thing to do is to name it.

I enjoyed this experience and I have noticed how it continuously presents itself to me without any desire from my side. It’s presence cannot be ignored by me. It only then occurred to me that my Spiritual Master had told me about this around 5 years ago. He held his right hand out, His palm facing His stomach, maybe 15 cm away from His stomach and with His left hand waving in between the right hand and the stomach said “You have to be aware of this, it is stillness. Keep focusing on this awareness.” Little did I know that after almost 3 years of His departure from His physical form would this golden nugget of wisdom make sense to me and I would understand it.

The mirage I had then was that a Spiritual Master is only the physical body, this is a massive illusion. The teachings are of an eternal nature and so is the presence of the Master. It is now that I truly appreciate everything that has been taught to me. I am still learning, discovering and in fact, I am more eager to learn than I probably was in my teens. Spirituality has no end in terms of literature but in the end it is your own experience that matters. Use the literature to inspire you, refuse to let it be a concept.

A few weeks ago, I had my second spiritual awakening, the sight towards enlightenment is also on the horizon. All gratitude goes to my Spiritual Master.

 

 

Devotion – An Underrated Practice.

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The intense longing for the Truth, the strongest desire for the perception of Reality, the heartbreaking moments of losing everything and everyone even your own self for the sake of enlightenment is the beauty of devotion. Dancing like there is nobody watching, dancing by yourself without the need of music because the sound of the universe vibrates around you. Singing like there is nobody listening, singing by yourself without the need of the audience because the only spectator is the Formless One. Speaking like there is nobody listening, speaking with yourself without the need of appreciation, speaking just because you are sharing your heartfelt experiences with the Divinity that is within you, that surrounds you and that permeates within every aspect of creation and yet at the same time is beyond creation.

It is a shame that the western audience for Hinduism, specifically for Advaita Vedanta or nonduality or even neo-advaita is shunning devotion because they feel the intellect can reach the highest state of knowledge. Frankly, it cannot and it never will. They praise Kabir, Shiva, Rumi and yet, the miss the fundamental practice they had and that is bhakti or devotion. They had a strong passion for the Formless and the one who revealed the Formless to them. They praised their Gurus and today, we have become sceptics, albeit not for the wrong reasons, we have not opened our hearts to the Guru.

Self-realisation or God-realisation is impossible without the grace of the Guru. The disciple feels that the Guru is absolutely needed and the Guru will feel equally as dedicated and passionate towards his disciple. I know for a fact that the Satguru or True Teacher is out there, literally in love with his devotees and sacrifices everything he has for them. Devotion is impossible without a Guru.

Here is a poem by Rumi:

Once again my beloved sought me and found
Joyously in the marketplace sought me and found.
I hid myself, at my feet that drunken rose, rose from the ground
I escaped the House of Wine, sought me and found.
How wondrous that so doggedly would hound
What luck that such swindling lock sought me and found.
Who would find me if with crowds myself surround?
Knower of crowded secrets sought me and found.
I have left a bloody trail; just look around
And the one on my trail sought me and found.
Run away to what avail, deathward bound
Why hide, a thousand times sought me and found.
I pulled the thorn from my side, yet one more round
That oak towering flowerbeds sought me and found.
Like a pearl at the bottom of ocean, drowned
Pearl diver, with a string sought me and found.
Shams-e Tabriz with piercing eyes and no sound
In the light of insight sought me and found.

Kabir also says:

Even if the whole earth is transformed into paper,
with all the big trees made into pens,
And if the entire water in the seven oceans are transformed into writing ink,
Even then the glories of the Guru cannot be written.
So much is the greatness of the Guru.

Today, devotion needs to be celebrated and observed correctly. It is not just about passionate love and affection but it is the route to grow within spiritually. Knowledge transforms into wisdom by the act of devotion. Having the intense love to be there with the Beloved, the Formless One. Without the Formless, there is no love for even the forms around us. With Advaita Vedanta and other paths, you may negate until you reach the Formless, but to stay with the Formless, you have to learn to love the Formless unconditionally. Only then does the realisation stay with you. Only then does wonder and awe become an everyday part of your life. Only then do you become an explorer of Reality and Wisdom. This is only when the intense longing of the Formless is within us. To truly be wise, is to truly long for the Formless. The Formless is Reality. The Formless created consciousness. You can only understand the nature of consciousness, if you understand the nature of the Formless.

The Formless is shapeless, ceaseless, boundless, birthless, deathless, self-existent, colourless, endless, without a beginning, full of love, compassion, radiating with peace and harmony, celebrating the oneness of all things. The Formless can be yours but can you let go and surrender to the Formless.

Surrender is not letting go of you, it is letting go of who you think you are. When you surrender then you truly find yourself. Then you truly discover who you are and this Reality will stay with you. Surrender is only possible in duality, once you enter the nondual state then who will it be that surrenders. In the grand scheme of it, it is the Formless surrendering to the Formless. Surrender removes any aspect of the ego that can disturb the process of enlightenment. The chances of surrender become higher with keeping in the company of like-minded people, serving others selflessly and constantly remembering the Formless is within you and around you. Remembering the Formless not as a form of repetition but as a form of daily practice. Every feeling, every intention, every emotion and every thought must be done with the remembrance of the nature of the Formless.

Devotion is the key to spiritual enlightenment. It can be done instantly and it all depends on how much you really want to be enlightened by the Formless One. The path of devotion is simple and it is simple because the Formless is simple. It doesn’t need to be complicated by massive words which mean nothing. The less you want the Formless then frankly the longer it will take you to be enlightened. It is not if you become enlightened either, you already are but the ego will always make a goal or a meaning out of it. Being on the path of devotion, you have to let go of meaning, of concept and context. You simple have to be in this moment. This moment reveals the eternal. Give time to the Timeless and you will see a moment transform into eternity. Devotion adds juice to your journey. Without it, your faith, your practice will stand like a wilted tree, bored and secluded in the desert. However, devotion will be like an oasis in the desert. Not only does the oasis enjoy itself but others feel blessed by the presence of the oasis. They also drink the nectar that leads them into immortality.

The path of devotion is extremely important. I would go far to say that it is the best way to God, to the Formless, to Reality or whatever you would like to call it. You can even curse This, and if you do it out of love and passion then it will reveal itself unto you. It is not partial to words. You think God is so sad that He analyses each word. He knows you analyse it yourself and you yourself provide your own punishment. God neither punishes nor congratulates. He has left that to You!

His Love and Blessings,
Rahul N Singh

Surrender – The Final Episode

humilityHow easy is it to surrender?

The moment I let go of who I am and become the ‘I am’ then surrender is there. Surrender isn’t making yourself any lower, in fact it takes you on a higher dimension. You may want to ask, how is it that surrender helps? Why should I give an Unknown energy or person more power over me? The issue with power is that it is all ego. When you see your Master or the Text and you see the Truth in those elements expressed in every sentient energy existing on the planet, you can surrender as there are no differences between you and any thing else. All are One. All are sparks of the Divine. Letting go of your ego is one sure way of becoming something more universal.

Speak of the Universal Truth – does this make it easier to surrender?

We haven’t tackled the aspect of surrender yet. What does it mean? I have a Satguru – a True Master or True Guru. Now, He is my reflection whenever I enter awareness of the Formless. This is where no thoughts appear, no emotions, no language, no sound, no feeling, no intention etc. It is pure. In this state, surrender is natural as you have nothing to give up. Without thought, the ego cannot survive. Living in the now, just being is the main practice and way of life for a devotee. It is not that thought does not occur; you are simply not what you think. When you are not what you think, you become what you are – the ‘I am’, the soul, the consciousness that pervades everywhere. The Universal Truth is contained in the ‘I am’ but is yet, beyond the ‘I am’. It is beyond consciousness. It can be consciousness but consciousness cannot become the Universal Truth.

How can the Universal Truth help me in my daily life like my job?

Who is it that is living? Who is it that is breathing? Who is it that has a job? There is only the personality that functions in that space. However, we enter times when life becomes too much. Sometimes you parents do not understand you, or your friends fail to give a helping hand. Or you may find the workload at school and work is getting overwhelming and you feel the pressure is crushing you. In these moments, only speak if necessary. Otherwise, just stay silent and observe for a minute what is happening. Watch your thoughts, emotions, intentions, attitude all appear and disappear in the screen of your consciousness. Once, you have taken the step back you will find yourself calm again as the screen only projects what the mind perceives. Once you watch this, you find a separation between the mind and the screen. Therefore, in this moment you know the observer is still, silent and forever in calming bliss. This screen is the Universal Truth and it’s tool for you to differentiate between reality and the illusion of perception. Perception is all you have but perception is not who you are.

Is surrender the end goal?

Surrender is a journey. Some can do it instantly and some take time. It takes me time. I have to remind myself constantly that this is not me and I am beyond all this. I have to observe the screen and watch the projection fade away and appear and fade away. This is why yoga is done. Yoga is not someone breathing or doing the physical exercises, a time comes in yoga when the doer becomes the doing. The yogi observes the body doing yoga. This is why yoga is important and aids meditation unless you have access to the Universal Truth, which I fortunately have. Surrender is not a goal to be achieved; it is something that happens behind the scenes. When you realise that all of life is simply a play, a little drama in the whole universe, you simply let go and become of service to the Universe and Humanity that finds its home in the grandest stage of them all.

I cannot surrender so easily to what basically is nothing.

This statement is not you but the ego that thinks it is you. What do you mean you cannot surrender so easily to basically nothing? Say even if you have to surrender to someone, is it easier then? Yet, you do surrender. Do you not surrender to your boss out of fear of losing your job? Do you not surrender to the politicians for the hope of change? Do you not surrender to your parents for some pocket money or help? Do you not surrender to a loved one for expression of love or a fancy gift? Do you not surrender to intoxicants like alcohol, nicotine and drugs in order to feel the intoxication? The moment your ego wants something from someone, you surrender. You do not realise this but it happens. You surrender to very mundane things, yet surrender to God or Universal Truth or to a Guru is something you will never consider. You will find that somehow, some way or another you are searching for these things. You can mask it with things like peace of mind, bliss, mindfulness etc. All it is that you are looking for a door to walk through and all you are doing is walking into the door, instead of knocking. The Universal Truth is everything, the True Guru is everything and it is only when you lose yourself then you find that. Now, losing yourself, who are you? Nothing. And if this ‘nothing’ surrenders to everything then what does it become? Everything! In fact, you do not become ‘nothing’ you become ‘no-thing’. Only a ‘no-thing’ can become everything. This is when not a single element is in your being. You are a clean slate. Become a clean slate and watch the Universal Truth pour in.

Surrender makes sense now, why can’t it be fast?

Do not look for results because that is intention, thought and emotion. Just be. Be in being and everything will take place at its own pace. There is no rush. You have eternity to make this happen. You will find time is a concept in order to live in the world but you are timeless. This whole universe is timeless. We use time to help us understand the Timeless. Therefore, surrender is timeless.

Once I surrender, what happens?

Don’t think about it too much that you forget to be in being. Just relax. Take it easy and realise that this life isn’t yours. There are two moments in life that you had and have no control over. Your own birth and death. When it happens, nobody knows and you have no say in the matter. Nobody can save you. The moment you are born, you are a ticking time bomb. You are ready to go at any moment. Life has become conditioned to such an extent that we forget that we are ready to go. The next moment, I may not finish this sentence and I could be gone. It is all well and good. I know that I cannot go anywhere. I am always here. I am always in the now. I am every particle in the universe, every atom contains me and I am contained in every atom. Everyone is a reflection of me and I am a reflection of everyone else. I am both timeless and time bound. I am both limited and limitless. I am both one and many. I am both form and formless. I am both false and truth. I am both motion and stillness. There is no contradiction in life, all is complementary and has a function in the grand scheme of everything. Every action is not my action, although I may perform it. Every thought is not my thought, although it arises in my mind. Every intention is not my intention, although it is perceived in the screen of consciousness. You are both the observer and the observed. You are the watcher and the watched, the witness and the witnessed. When this happens, you enter into the realm of the Divine – the Universal Truth.

Meditation and yoga, no matter how secular you make it, it will become a spiritual practice. Spiritual realisation does not belong to religion. Religion belongs to spiritual realisation. Without realisation, religion is good as dead. The Universal Truth is Formless and this Formless pervades and is immersed in all consciousness. Without the Formless, consciousness cannot be. You are Formless, a spark of the Divine and your consciousness has always known this despite being filled with the ego. Let go of who you think you are and inherit what you have been, what you are now and what you always will be. Surrender makes you awesome because what you are surrendering to will always be awesome. Surrender is the first and final episode of your existence, as and in the Formless.

His Love and Blessings,
Rahul N Singh

Nirankar – The Love of my Life

“Form-of-the-Formless”-2012-Installation-01A vast, changeless, void that looks like nothingness or emptiness. An atom is 99.9% pure energy and what we see is really just 0.01% of the atom. The Formless Reality is everywhere and in everything. It is a state beyond nothingness. Nothingness cannot be nothing when you can observe nothingness. If an observer is present then that means there is an element of awareness within that nothingness. This element is what is formless – this is Nirankar.

David Bohm towards the end of his life had likened humanity to be the “mirror created by the universe to reflect upon itself.” What does this mean? Upon reflection, we can discover that if humanity is a mirror created by the universe to reflect upon itself then we know this isn’t far from the Upanishadic thought that Brahman created the world in order to discover Himself.

We live in an era where people place scientific thought to be based as truth rather than their own experience and documented spiritual realisations. This is where I feel people falter. Spirituality is considered just as ludicrous as dogmatic religion. Spirituality is about your own experience and the eventual realisation of why you are here. It is to discover the obvious fact which is that we are the 99.9% of the atom and the 0.01% is merely our physical forms that we see with our limited perceptions. How can we human beings with our limited minds be able to understand a complex universe that can do whatever it wants at any given time? We are at the will of the Universe or the 99.9% and we think the 0.01% with it’s limited apparatus can understand and measure the vastness of the Formless? This is madness.

The vastness of the Formless is beyond any words expressed here. It contains so much love that intensifies within every moment. Love is beyond every dimension and it is within every dimension. The purpose of the whole universe, the whole reason behind it realising itself is out of pure love.

Time fails in front of IT as this is Infinite. It is timeless. It goes beyond time. What is time? The future and past are both in the present and therefore there is nothing as past. It is one time at every given time. A moment is an eternity. How can Formless Energy be given the parameters of time? In fact, how can the Formless be measured? It cannot be measured. The only apparatus you have is your self and when you realise your self then you are one with the Formless. Then you feel the Formless Nirankar. Nirankar means formless. You and the Formless are unified and bind together. You both expand as one. When the walls are broken down, the bridge towards wisdom and clarity appears. This is when our heart opens up to devotion to the Formless. Our dancing becomes the dance. Our singing becomes the song. Our writing becomes the poem. Such is the experience when the Formless enters our consciousness. In fact, it does not enter your consciousness, it IS your consciousness.

The endeavour of all spiritual discovery is to live in the Light of the Formless, to live in the energy of the Formless. To accept the grace of the Formless and enjoy the blessing that showers upon the soul. The challenge in life is not about remembering the Formless, the real challenge is living as the Formless. People are doing this and I bow to them. They are blessed and they keep blessing me. I am humbled by the One who imparted this Divine Wisdom to me as it led to my realisation.

This realisation is the best thing. Nirankar, the Formless is the love of my life. I cannot trade this wisdom for anything as nothing can ever be valued against This. The realisation has allowed me to travel to dimensions untouched by the limited human mind, it has allowed me to travel through time to timelessness, it has allowed me to perceive matter as it is. It has allowed me to expand into this Vast Void and then dissolve into it so that only the Formless remains.

Nirankar is not nothing, it is everything!

Love,
Rahul

Post 95 – Knowing is the Only Way!

Hi readers!

Hope you are well.

I had a thought, can I call it a thought or shall I say revelation? Hear this out: ‘If you know the Truth then you don’t know. You can only be in knowing of the Truth.’

I probably could say the last sentence with greater clarity but I shall explain this a little now. Whenever, you come to a point and say ‘I know the Truth’ that cannot be the Truth speaking. It can only mean that you have given up knowing or desiring to know more. Instead, you have made the Truth a possession and you cannot possess the Truth. It cannot be grasped nor seen but it creates a great amount of intensity within you. It creates something intimate, where the feelings overflow into something magnificent. So the state of what is called enlightenment is the discovery of knowing. Knowing is everlasting, it is infinite and therefore cannot be grasped by thought. If it is, it creates memory and memory cannot be the Truth. Truth is always new, always fresh and pleasant as it is created from wisdom. Truth is freedom. Memory is distorted and can lead to illusion as it is base is knowledge or just mere words on a paper. Memory is a prison.

Therefore, meditation must be treated as a ground for inner enquiry and discovery. It is easy to say there is a God or there is a soul. But has this very discovery been your own? Never be comfortable with any idea. The Truth is never comfortable because it implies knowing which leads to internal growing. Remember, knowing is a verb, it is action. And to know really means you knew. If you know something today then tomorrow it may be something different. Therefore, this means you ‘knew’, you don’t ‘know’ it. You have to think about this. This might sound a little too intellectual but if you let this settle within you, enquire within you, be part of this whole discussion then something great can be discovered. Can you know God? Can you know the Truth?

I shall keep this post nice and small so you may think about it.

My love to all,

Rahul

Post 94 – Meditation and Music

Dearest friends,

Hope all are well!

Gratitude to the Formless that resides in all hearts! I wanted to write about music and meditation/prayer. Real prayer is meditation and meditation is real prayer. In sanskrit, they call it dhyana. Meditation is a very cold word to use compared to the sanskrit word. I love the word dhyana because in the sanskrit, there is a sense of union. A union between you and Existence, you and the Divine and you and God. I use God because it is a common term. We all pray to God but do we know God? Worst still, some of us have Gurus or Gods that we worship and can we say we know them? And truly knowing them is loving them, truly merging with them is the only worship.

I want to tell you a story. A Hare Krishna devotee once asked me ‘Do you know Krishna, can I meet Him?’ When he asked me, I looked into his eyes deeply and saw whether he was genuine and trust me, some people are good actors too! I replied ‘What would you do if you met Krishna? What would you say to Him?’ He looked rather confused at my question and said ‘I would like Krishna to answer my prayers.’ I laughed because now I understood what he was trying to do. I shook my head and said ‘It is better you still repeat ‘Hare Krishna, Hare Rama’ because if I let this meeting take place, you will destroy everything. Don’t ask me again until you deeply inquire within why I will not allow this meeting to take place.’ I ended it there and you must be wondering why? But before I disclose why…take a few moments to think why!

So why did I say no? First of all, he was sort of challenging Krishna. He doesn’t truly worship nor love Krishna. In your case, you may not truly worship nor love your Guru or God(s) or Goddess(-es). Plus, his challenge was weak to Krishna, he wanted Krishna to answer his prayers. Now, to you it does not look like a bad thing but it is a sin in my opinion. Now, Krishna can easily say ‘No’ and this person, because he truly has not worshipped, he has not surrendered, he has not accepted, he has not loved will pretend to be ‘heartbroken’ and will lose his ‘belief’! Remember, I have not said faith! Faith is above belief, faith is based on acceptance and knowing. Think and inquire, whether every cell of your body wants to meet the Divine, to meet the Ultimate Reality, to meet God. If this meeting takes places, enlightenment is at your feet!

Now, for those that find meditation difficult, it is essential to put some music on. It is best if it is spiritual music of course and preferably without words. Meditate with eyes closed, concentrate on each breath and take your God’s name in the outtake of the breath. So exhale and take your God’s name or Guru’s name.  Music is the union of sound and instrument. Meditation is the union between your mind and the Ultimate Reality. There is an inner world that needs to be discovered and this is your chance now!

I will keep this post short and somewhat incomplete. If you have questions, just post them underneath but better still, meditate!

Love always,

Rahul