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True spirituality is experiential

Welcome to Mohanji Speaks. 

Hello, my dear friends. Hope you’re doing well. 

Today, let us think about an important matter connected to our spiritual evolution. I’d like to quote a real story here.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, the guru of Swami Vivekananda, used to go into ecstasy by witnessing the presence of Maha Kali in front of him. His chosen deity is the deity who he worshipped. Whenever he closes his eyes and remembers or chants the name of Maha Kali, she appears. She manifests herself in front of him. Immediately, he goes into ecstatic states. Totally diluted, dissolved, absolute ecstasy of having Mother standing in front of him and he used to go through those states. At a certain point in time, he felt that there is still no completion. There is no continuity of ecstasy. There are times when he comes out of ecstasy. 

MS67 - True spirituality is experiential

When you own something, it should be continuously with you; there should be continuity in your connection.

At that point in time, a great master called Totapuri happened to come to a place near his abode. He went and met Totapuri. Totapuri immediately recognized Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa and his spiritual stature, which is very easy. A true realized master immediately recognizes the constitution of every person coming in front of him, and he delivers accordingly. Even if the person says anything, they want to say, or even if they portray whatever they want to portray; any personality traits they display, the Master sees through everything.

The Master recognizes the actual spiritual stature of that person and delivers accordingly.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa

The same happened with Totapuri and Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa. Totapuri realized that Ramakrishna Paramahansa has reached the edge but has not crossed over. So, Totapuri asked him, “What next?” Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa said, “When I close my eyes, Mother dances in front of me. When I open my eyes, I see Mother. Mother is everywhere. Mother gives me ecstasy with her presence.”

Totapuri said, “That’s not good enough. Mother is outside of you. There is duality; you are still practicing duality; you and Mother, separate from you. That is not going to take you to your ultimate liberation.”

He said, “Next time when Mother comes in front of you, cut her into pieces with a sword.” Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa asked Totapuri, “Where do I get a sword from? And as soon as I see Mother, I enter into ecstatic states. I do not have the power to lift anything. I wouldn’t even feel that I have a body.” Totapuri said, “Get the sword from the same place where you’ve got the Mother. It means you created the Mother, and you made a connection with the Mother, and then you created that ecstasy in the connection. From the same place, you can get a sword as well.” 

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa tried.

He kept a sword next to him. But whenever Mother comes, he can’t really use the sword. He can’t pull himself or make himself to lift the sword and cut her to pieces, because he was so affectionately attached. It’s impossible for him to cut the Mother to pieces, which he told Totapuri later.

So Totapuri said, “Fine, I will cut your forehead when you are crossing over from your current state to the ecstatic state. Exactly at that point in time, I’ll cut your forehead. Immediately you cut Mother to pieces.” For cutting the forehead of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Totapuri found a glass piece from the neighbourhood, (a piece of glass, maybe a broken bottle). He kept a piece of glass with him. He sat next to Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, and at the right moment, the moment when he was moving from a physical state to an ecstatic state, he cut the third eye area, the forehead of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa. The same moment, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa lifted the sword and cut the Mother to pieces. Immediately, there was no separation.

The Mother was not outside of him; the Mother was inside him.

They merged. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa started experiencing oneness, perpetual ecstasy. Not conditional ecstasy, or situational ecstasy; perpetual ecstasy and he became complete. 

So, this is what a true master delivers, but the disciple should do his work very well. He should apply himself completely with conviction, without doubts, with full concentration. If he immerses, takes a plunge into the activity, he can reach the unity of consciousness. This is definitely possible. 

So why do most people not achieve that end?

That’s because of distraction—so many distractions. We have imbibed many, many books, many ideas, many philosophies, many, many concepts. And they confuse us because they don’t give us clarity. Cramming up a lot of external knowledge is not going to give ecstasy, it’s only going to create more and more mental activity. Because when you consume more information, there is more to process. And that literally takes a person off the track. Because he will feel, or he may feel that he knows a lot of things. But knowing is nothing connected to the experience. Experience is the main thing. If experience is not happening, it’s not worth it.

The true path of spirituality, what is it for?

Experiential spirituality, you must experience it.

And what is real?

Something which is permanent, not situational.

We had a situational ecstasy. When it’s gone, we are back to square one. Now, look at ourselves. We mean good, we do decide that we must reach the highest pinnacle of spiritual ecstasy in this lifetime. But often we do not have discipline. We practice for some time, or nothing is happening, so we leave it. And the worst is then we change the guru, or change the path, or change the practice. That way, we become renegades, we don’t stick to anything for a period of time. 

Until and unless you stick to something for a period of time, it doesn’t manifest in front of you. 

So you can create any effect in your life, provided you’re consistent, you have a good discipline, you’re focused, and you’re not affected by any situations outside of you. You should have firm faith in what you do and do it consistently, even without expecting any results, no expectations. And then you can cross over.

In this story, which I told, it’s a real story; you can understand that a state of ecstasy itself is not a permanent state when the duality is present. When duality is present, it can have temporary ecstatic states; it’s almost like having alcohol or having some weed or something. For some time, it lifts you; then it drops you back. That’s not permanent. 

This is the answer to the question people ask –

What is the difference between spiritual ecstasy and something which is given by using a substance?

The answer is this: one is permanent. The other is temporary.

If you use a substance, it temporarily eclipses your mind, so you feel ecstatic. And then it goes back to mind, and then you need more. So, it gives you addiction to something outside of you. You should have no addiction to anything outside of you, even if it is Mother Kali. This is what Totapuri told Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa. He said, “You cannot be addicted to anything. You are unity. You are one with the supreme consciousness. You should experience being supreme consciousness.” It is a perpetual state of ecstasy. And ecstasy also is not the right word. It’s a perpetual state of being. Where there is no ecstasy, nor lack of ecstasy, a total stillness and peace – that’s true spirituality

Contemplate on it. I leave you with these thoughts. Wish you a great day ahead and a great week ahead. Do well for the world, and the world will do well for you. 

Lots of love. 

This is Mohanji for you.

Transcribed by Ulla Bernholdt

Proofread by Rekha Murali

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