Principle 1 - Babuji Commentary
Rise before dawn. Offer your prayer and puja at a fixed hour preferably before sunrise, sitting in one and the same pose. Have a separate place and seat for worship. Purity of mind and body should be specially adhered to.
The fire of the Divine which has been burning since the beginning of time has not yet cooled down. When the time of creation came the latent thought came into action and the subtlest particles got heated up. Thus the preliminary covering set in from the very first day. By the effect of continuous heating, the particles began to come into motion. Its intensity went on increasing adding veils after veils to it. Grossness began to develop by the effect of the growing intensity of the vibrations. The action of every particle started and went on multiplying till the Reality was completely wrapped up within, like a silkworm in the cocoon. In other words only the white shell of the egg remained open to view while the reality within was lost to sight. Co-relationship began to spring up. Now one who was more closely attached to it, received more of it for his share. The heat which existed on the first day manifested itself in man, and gradually it went on developing assuming the form of organic growth. Every particle got affected thereby, absorbing its due share of it. A material tinge was thus introduced into it and it remained subject to the influence of that which it was part of. The bigger layer previously formed by the heat maintained its connection with it. Now the influence caused on the greater thing will naturally be reflected on the smaller thing, which will get affected thereby in proportion to its magnitude. All things being subject to external influences are affected by the rays of the sun in accordance with their capacity. The heat produced by external causes begins to exhaust itself after some time and the real comfort comes only when it gets completely exhausted. Take the case of the summer season. When the effect of the external heat which reduces after some time is thoroughly removed, some comfort or ease is definitely felt and experienced. Now the time when the external heat begins to subside, yielding place for the cooler effect to settle in, or the meeting point of the two is known as Sandhi-gati and this, in the opinion of the mahatmas, is the time best suited for the practice of Sandhya and Upasana (worship). This (sandya)is the time of the advent of that which is opposed to heat and it can be that alone which existed prior to the generation of heat at the time of creation and which is in close conformity with Nature, or in other words the very image of the ultimate state we have finally to arrive at. Thus the point we start from is the very point which corresponds closely with the Destination.
Importance is also given to Sandhya at the time of noon (Tam). But in that case the power is utilised in a different way. The sun's rays are quite direct at the time causing greater heat. Nature's eternal heat which proceeds from the origin is also attached with it. Thus indirectly we connect ourselves with the Ultimate Power through the medium of the material heat and secure closeness to it. This continues till the time when the heat begins to subside and we draw the fullest benefit thereof. Now the time that follows will enable us to have a taste of the condition which comes next, helping us to acquire still further closeness. The sages have therefore advised Sandhya at noontime too. The reason is that by continuous influence the sun's rays get connected with the plane wherefrom they have originated and which is next to the Ultimate. Since the rays of the sun are closest to the perpendicular at noon the effect brought about by them is more direct owing to the nearness. The heat which seems to be coming from the sun is in fact the heat of the particles. Thus if we meditate at noon our thought gets unconsciously attached with the Centre or the Ultimate. Putting it in a different way, I may say that in order to solve a problem we often assume the answer first. Similarly in order to solve the problem of life we assume the very real thing first, however hazy it may be to our view, because on arriving at the last phase the cognizance of the previous ones is often lost. In this way we utilize that excessive heat to our best advantage. But since the material heat at the time is also great we do not treat Sandhya at noon to be compulsory in our system. During the time that follows, the heat of the sun begins gradually to subside. In other words, we begin to advance towards coolness till we reach the point where both the heat and coolness are at par and this is the evening time which is fixed for the practice of Sandhya. It helps us to derive the full benefit of the time getting more closely attached with the coolness of the hour. As the time advances further we go on getting closer and closer to greater coolness. Finally we reach the point where we are closest to it and that is the time of dawn. The sun's rays have their least influence at that time. It is a scientific principle upon which the division of the timings for puja and Sandhya is based in accordance with the natural effect of the time.
A question now arises as to why Sandhya has been fixed only at the times of Sattva and Tamas and not at the time of Rajas. The principle of Invertendo is well known to everybody. Both terminals are taken into account, viz., the beginning and the end. The beginning is Sat and the end is Tam. Inverting them we get the reverse. The beginning becomes the end and vice versa. The middle in both cases remains the same, or in other words a hypothetical line which connects the two ends.
I now reveal herein the true significance of a little known mystery. Generally they consider Sat to be the reality and treat it as a yardstick for measuring the knowledge of God. The mystery at the bottom is quite unknown to them. In fact it is all the sphere of Tam and Tam alone. This is the only thing worth achieving for a true yogi. It is no doubt very difficult to gain access up to this point. To acquire Sat is a very easy job but the state termed as Tam cannot be so easily attained. There is nothing beyond it. Though generally people talk a good deal about it, few amongst them even attempt to secure approach up to it. Even purity, simplicity and peace are not there. It is in fact beyond all of them. This is the very thing which is acquired after persistent labour through several lives. I can boldly assert that even the greatest saints of the world have remained short of the mark in this respect. The state of negation which one craves for and which is the real life, abides in it and all activities cease before one reaches the point. This is the Divine mystery which is revealed today. It is the central point of the real state of Being which in most of the cases remained unattained in spite of all the efforts of the pursuer. Perception has no approach up to it. People tend to consider this state of Tam as their deadliest enemy. But if you ever happen to study a person in whom this state of complete 'ignorance' is reigning in full swing, you will find that at the highest pitch of advancement he, like an infant baby, has no awareness of his own condition. But if a slight touch of Sat is applied to it, he will then begin to have cognizance of his state of Tam. This is due to the fact that the meeting point of the two leads to the creation of a new state, identical with that which was the basis of Creation. Now the principle of Invertendo applies in this case too.
The third phase of manifestation relates to the material exposition of the objects of Nature. People remain entangled in it, forming numerous ideas and desires. Generally our eye is attracted by anything bright and glaring, which we commonly misunderstand as Sat. This bright object is nothing except Maya and those who talk so highly about it are in fact far away from the sphere of spirituality even, not to say of Reality. But people have developed such a state of torpidity that they are neither prone to hear nor perceive anything in this connection. They have lost sight of the true Reality which is beyond both light and darkness. This is what has been shown in the emblem of the Mission and which is in a true sense the real state of man's perfection, from which no decline or fall is possible. This is a very delicate point of philosophy. The saints have generally called this state of neither light nor darkness as Satpad which is not correct, for this state is much beyond that. That is in fact the reflection of the Reality which in itself is still beyond. This may be astonishing to most of the readers but I have written this only for those who are well advanced in spirituality and who have thorough knowledge of this science. It can only be experienced in a practical way and is not to be found within the bounds of religion. It is an entirely different path. It is itself a science for which one may not be well fitted unless he develops the capacity to perceive Nature with his inner eyes. Till then he can have no approach upto its fringe even, not to speak of knowing or understanding it. Religion helps one only to understand that there is something more in Nature for him to perceive. But for picking up the pearls one must oneself dive deep into the ocean. In fact, the very simplicity, purity and innocence of the Reality have become a veil to it. This book has been written not for the novices but for those who are highly advanced in spirituality.
Performing of Sandhya before sunrise is stressed upon for the reason that the external heat and other influences, which have been driven out of the body, may not creep in again by the effect of the sun which would prevent our deriving the best advantage of the time. It has been generally advised and Western culture too supports the view that a separate place must be reserved for each type of work so that relevant thoughts conducive to the nature of the work may spring up on arriving at the place. Man possesses power which he has derived from his thought connection with the Reality. When one resolves to do a thing, the connecting link between the thought and the work becomes intensified, and one begins to draw power from the real source in accordance with the strength of his thought. When the power begins to flow in, and we associate it with a particular point of time, then the remembrance of the work begins to revive in our heart and we begin to feel attached to it in some way or the other. The room or place we sit in for meditation is also charged by our thought force and a feeling of sanctity begins to prevail all over there. The influence taken in by the place helps us further in the accomplishment of the task. Now it depends upon one's individual capacity to expand it as much as he can. It has been generally observed, and the sacred shrines are a living proof of it, that this influence is not exhausted with the lapse of time, and even today pilgrims and visitors get benefited by it. Not only this, since the air blows through, it carries its fragrance to the adjoining layers also. Now there is contraction and expansion in each layer, so the effect thus caused continues to develop and expand.
As regards Asan or posture, it is a well-known step of yoga. It is treated as a preliminary step and is much emphasized upon by the mahatmas, though the mystery at the bottom has not been revealed yet. Everything comes to light at the destined time. Before creation everything was in an almost inactive state and had dissolved into the Origin. But though they were dissolved into Origin losing their individuality, the previous impressions persisted. This was because of the shade of reality, which they remained under till the time of dissolution, which helped them to retain the effect of the impressions during the entire period of their existence. How long they continued to absorb this effect is beyond human imagination to determine. It must at least have been during the entire period of existence since the time of creation. The effect taken in by them was no other than the motion which generated from the shocks of the Root- Power. This being saturated with the effect remained silently active and this continued indefinitely. It is known as the Latent Motion around the Centre. The latent motion which is concentrated energy, cuts our crevices for the power to burst forth and flow out afresh leading to the reformation of the universe. Man came into being. The latent craving to return to his origin also began to spring up in him, because the real Essence, which he partook of, being very powerful, began to attract him towards it. The thing which after coming into motion led to be the cause of the creation was also inherited by him. But that was contrary to the static condition because its basis was activity. When the thought of going back to the static state was stirred up in man, it became essential for him to bring the activity which had sprung up in him into a latent state as far as it was possible. He began to seek out means for it. At last it came to his understanding that just as the latent motion was grosser in comparison to the Absolute with which it was connected, in the same way he must also take up something grosser for the purpose, to enable him to attain the destined ideal of Reality. This led him to the conclusion that he must create in himself a form of contraction or withdrawal similar to that at the time of Pralaya. Now, Self is all pervading in man just as it is in the whole universe, taking the universe in a collective sense. The state of Pralaya comes in when contraction begins to take place. Similar contraction in man leads to his individual Pralaya. This means that he begins to proceed from his state of grossness to the real state. The contraction always starts from below and proceeds gradually upwards because of its upward tendency. Therefore in order to go upwards he must start contracting from below. The form would only be to bring his legs and the allied parts to one pose and to keep them steady. In whatever way it might be done, the form would finally be that of Asan. It is essential because it paves our way to the Ultimate. The posture must always be the same. The reason is that in this way he gets associated with the great Power, the very thing he takes up in the beginning for the attainment of his particular objective. Thus the form which is associated with Reality helps him a good deal in his primary initiation.
Performing of Sandhya in an upright sitting pose has been thought to be most advantageous from very ancient times, because in that position the flow of Divine grace descends straight upon the Abhyasi. If an Abhyasi sits crookedly or obliquely, or in an unsteady pose, the flow of effulgence will necessarily be impeded or disturbed. The Abhyasi will thus be deprived of the full benefit of the descent. Therefore in order to get the greatest spiritual benefit one must sit in a proper steady pose. Some may probably think that the upright steady pose may be reflecting a tinge of pride. It is not so. In principle the devotee or Abhyasi should present himself before the Master in the same manner as a soldier does at the time of parade. At the call to 'Attention' it is essential for him to keep up the same steady upright pose, looking with attention towards the officer. This indicates alertness, healthy disposition and the freshness of the body. The same principle holds good in the case of the Abhyasi while sitting in service before the Master.
The ideal of purity held by the Hindus, in particular, is indeed very high. But now, in its degenerated state, it has gone down to such an extent that it exists merely in imagination. All the principles thereof have been quite forgotten, and bathing and washing are the only remnants left now. The principle of purity was based on the thought that the Eternal and pure Existence which we have to enter into is entirely free from all contaminations. It is perfectly pure. This highest standard of absolute purity free from all impurities (mala), distortions (vikshepa) and coverings (avarana) was taken up for the ideal. Our being is contaminated with all these, hence far below the ideal. Thus our attention being directed towards the attainment of purity of that highest level, we began to imitate it in all outward ways, looking particularly to the cleaning of the body. The external ways adopted for the purpose began to cast their effect upon the mind and thus the internal purity too began to develop. This continued process supplemented by our firm attention upon the Ideal contributed greatly to the attainment of highest purity. The process thus being accelerated, real purity began to flow in all through, and the mind began to get purified, producing good thoughts which helped us further in our pursuit. Thus we were doubly benefited. We had already resorted to means for the internal purification and now the external ways too began to help us a good deal in the work, and both combined together helped us immensely in the attainment of the objective. When both these get harmonised with each other, it becomes in itself a power which makes our path all the more smooth and we go on soaring higher and higher. Thus our feeling of purity helped us so efficiently in the attainment of the ideal.
Our first and the foremost commandment relates to the proper observance of Sandhya and Upasana. By following it we begin to draw in power which we have finally to attain in due course. Another important point in this connection is that when the Divine currents began to flow, their actions and counter actions created a state of grossness which led to the formation of atoms (Anus) and sub-atoms (Paramanus) in their particular forms and shapes. The continuance of the flow created heat which was the very basis of life and which gave further stimulus to existence. But though the heat remained in existence, its force got diverted downwards. One may be at a loss to understand the real significance of the words 'up' and 'down'. When we conceive of the highest, our thought takes into account the opposite view too, i.e., of the lowest. Besides, when we have sprung up from that which is the greatest and the best, the level next to it will naturally be called lower or lesser in comparison. This brings into our mind the idea of high and low. When the downward tendency begins to get diminished, the very same thing which had been continuously pouring heat into the particles helps to direct them upwards, wherefrom their existence had started, and the heat created by the effect of motion makes it lighter still. A lighter thing always tends to rise upwards or in other words it moves towards its source. Thus everything that comes into activity by the effect of the Divine flow tends to fly towards the Origin. Man has also inherited the same tendency, so, when his downward tendency is checked, the thought of reaching the Origin automatically revives in his heart. This is why he begins to feel inclined towards Sandhya and Upasana.
There is a immeasurable difference between Nature's heat and that caused by the sun. The former which originates from Reality is totally devoid of materiality, whereas the latter which originates from a comparatively material source is heavier. In my view the former may more aptly be called as force or energy. In energy the heat exists in a latent state while in the sun it is apparent. The sun's heat is mere warmth while the other is the promoter and preserver of life, though the word used in both the cases is the same. It is regrettable that no adequate means of expression of such subtlest matters are available and possible. I have, however, tried my best to explain it through words as far as possible, yet the actual realization of the difference depends upon practical experience (anubhava) alone. Under Natural Path, our system of spiritual training, the teacher at the very outset weakens the downward tendency of the Abhyasi by the effect of his own power, so that it may get automatically diverted towards the Divine. This is the philosophy of training and also the foundation. This state of mind relates to the higher plane of consciousness whereas the former one relates to the lower. This basic principle of spiritual training under the system may offer a chance to philosophers to ponder over. I have dealt with it very briefly. In this connection I may quote the following remarks of a great saint. "The Lord has closed upon man the door of every query." A poet has also said: "One can acquire the intelligence of Sahban (a Chinese philosopher) in eloquence and rhetoric but none can attain the knowledge of the holy Almighty. What that veil is may be discerned only by deep thinking. For an explanation of that which obstructs our appropriate knowledge of the Real, I may say that when we ponder over God, our imagination creates a circle round it. This is the knot which bars our approach to the answer of every question. If possibly we can get over this knot and remove the limitation of thought, then the subtlest things can be revealed to us. But there is also another circle within, or which this one is but a reflection. When we force our entry into that one also the mystery of the Centre can be revealed. But the breaking through of these limitations will be possible only when one is able to shatter the particles of his being. But this is rarely possible since the means required for the purpose cannot be brought into practice except in rare cases. If however a person does come into existence who can do so by his will, then the circle will disappear from view because the vision will, in its shattered state, become one with it. But in order to have a knowledge of it, it is also essential for him to be able to rearrange the particles of his being so as to assume a similar form of existence as it had before. Common imagination may not conceive of such a personality having ever been born, but my perception asserts that definitely a few such ones have come into existence already. The condition that exists after the shattering of the particles is similar to that of the Latent Motion and his will lies dormant in it, just as it was before the time of creation and will again be after Maha-Pralaya (complete dissolution). The same dormant will which caused creation to come into being will again lead to the re- adjustment of the shattered particles and there will be no limitation then left.