Summer Kirtan 2013

On June 22nd, the summer solstice, there was a kirtan of the Universal Independent Ashram at the Narayans’ house in Lincolnshire, hosted by Mahalakshmi and Sri Lakshmi, with some assistance from Jai Narayan. About 25 devotees were there, spanning seven decades in age, and it was generally agreed that the atmosphere was happy and relaxed throughout. In the kirtan room there were two shrines: the left was centred round a portrait of Sri Ramakrishna by Swamiji, topped by Lord Shiva; the right was dominated by a depiction of Christ on the cross, also by Swamiji. Beneath this was a table on which were placed some consecrated wine and a loaf of bread, and also an assortment of photos of departed devotees, friends, etc Above this was written:

‘In loving memory/ of our departed devotees/ families, ancestors, friends/ and all those who have/ no one to remember them.’

After an hour or so of music from Marian, Yogini, Sri Lakshmi, Sanjana and Gayatri, an AUM chant was led by Satchitananda, followed by notes from an earlier kirtan. Shirdi Sai was remembered with Shiva Shakti singing ‘Sai Baba is the effulgent sun…’, and then reading a passage from The Incredible Sai Baba describing the universal nature of his instruction. Surya Naryan and Swargananda read from the GSR, Sarasvati from the Book of Wisdom, and Mahalakshmi from The Nine Gates, a collection of tales about the Chassidic devotees of eastern Europe and their wonder-working rabbis.

Sri Lakshmi had prepared a tape of Swamiji’s reading of Shankaracharya’s Crest Jewel of Discrimination, accompanied by fine meditative sarod music from Sada Siva, and this provided structure for devotees’ meditation. Mahayogini sang a beautiful new hymn to the Guru, using words from Feeding the Soul, a collection of Swamiji’s saying compiled by Satchitananda:

Holy Being, divine, eternal, Om Shanti Om.

You are the Fountain of bliss, in communion with God
You distribute to those who come to you empty and hungry
You are the ray, the effulgent sun
You are the seeds of peace
Your mouth is full for those who are hungry
You eat with the bread of truth, you drink the wine of humanity
You are absorbed in infinity
You know without words, you see without looking
You speak through the eyes of the heart
You speak in silence
You are the essence of truth, the friend of all
You illumine the mind,
You illumine the heart
You see with the light of love
You are the light that dispels darkness
You are my beloved
You are my Guru. You are my Guru. You are my Guru

Holy Being, divine, eternal, Om Shanti Om.

Your words are your smile
You are the generator of divine light
You catch souls, you waken them to reality
You meditate within the cave of the heart
You are absorbed in light
You live in the world, but the world does not live in you
You are a divine flower
You are the embodiment of love
You are my beloved
Your eyes pierce through the body and penetrate the soul
You are a child of God
You live in celestial bliss
You are born from the scriptures
You are the jeweller that cuts the diamond which adorns the devotee’s heart
You are the eternal companion
You are my beloved
You are my Guru. You are my Guru. You are my Guru

Holy Being, divine, eternal, Om Shanti Om.

Music is your soul, in harmony with God
Your spirit dances
You are a pillar of light
You are the invisible waters of peace
Your love is all pervading
Your love is unconditional
Your love is stronger than all else
Your words fill the heart
Your words taste of nectar
Your words are the food of love
You are my Father, I am your child
You are my Guru. You are my Guru. You are my Guru

Holy Being, divine, eternal, Om Shanti Om.

Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu
Guru Devo Maheshvara
Guru Deva Para Brahma
Tasmai Sriguruve namah

This hymn, with the devotees joining in with
Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu
 Guru Devo Maheshvara
Seemed to build up a powerful spiritual atmosphere in the room. For many this was the high point of the kirtan.

The ‘notes’ were from a discourse at Ramakrishna Loka, 31 March, 1984:

‘The “breathing mantra” is So Ham – So (in) Ham (out). If your mind is pure you can attain to God just by breathing, and by holding the breath… When you breathe in you call God. You breathe God in, and you release Him out, that’s what it is. Breathing is such a magnet, you pull God, you attract Him. And with the mantra, purified, and with concentration, all this combination becomes like a boat on a calm sea in full moonlight. … God speaks to the devotees silently. You can hear Him, in the depths of your soul, silently. He guides everything, and you can hear Him in the depths of your meditation. If you’re very still and quiet, He speaks to you in silence. You can hear Him very clearly, soothingly, in a motherly way.

‘So be prepared, pray and watch. Respect God, and give some food to Him. Food is Brahman. Because we feed the Gods they come and eat, they say, “Where is my food?” like little children! They partake of their share – so you can see how blessed this food is. A man’s life depends on food. In Blenheim Crescent we used to give whatever had been offered, even stale bread. But God corrects a person: “Do this,” He says, “Do that, be good…” Ramakrishna fed Vivekananda by force, closing the door. And he fed the Mother like that also. Food appeases hunger, therefore God is the food of the soul… [God feeds] but then too God eats and drinks, there is a banquet. And Jesus gives the bread. Christianity has so much offering. Food is Brahman.

‘When you have no existence and God exists in you, then you may have fancies. You know how fanciful children are, how demanding, how transgressing, like Ramlala [The child god Rama who manifested out of a figurine of the god. See GSR]. … The God may have fancies, fantasies, just like a child. God can be very naughty, pranky, contradicting, like a child. But very nice. It’s very difficult to understand the Child God, and very difficult to understand the holy man who loses his personality and goes back to the Original, to soul. The Child God is dharmic, he is truth – and he is playful. He can create on one hand, destroy on another, preserve on another. He has got three aspects, the Trinity. He is Brahma, he is Vishnu, he is Maheshwara….

‘All is sweetness with God, and not only sweetness but nectar. I was meditating there, and Babaji came. And all of a sudden he said, “Immortal.” And I said, “Oh yes, immortal, Babaji.” Then he gave me – amrita [nectar of immortality]. Ah, of course, amrita is immortality, and he is known as “the immortal Babaji”. This amrita is supposed to drip from the head, and many times at kirtan I have tasted unmanifest honey in my mouth.

‘As you come here bringing flowers, so God also, when he comes to see the devotee, brings a drop of honey, or some vibhutti [sacred ash]. But this is personal. God wants everyone to come out of darkness of their own accord. The seed is invisibly your self. This that you call “you”, your gross self, is a shell. The shell must die. And there is a second death. The second death is when you come out of your body. The second death is more important than the first, but there is no death for the seed inside. if I break open your own self it might be painful, so break it gently yourself, you will know how and when. …

‘In one way we have had a lot of experience. There’s no knowing, when I meditate, anything can happen, it’s normal, I don’t mention it to anyone. But at kirtan if something happens, [I tell] because of my joy for others, and it’s happening in a mass, and that gives more faith to others. I know what it is and maybe others can see it. It’s not just for me. I experiment even with visions sometimes. All day you put into your subconscious what it is you are going to attack – your mind must dwell on the object of meditation continuously… If you are a true devotee of God you have access anywhere. But it’s a private work, where you go. I don’t care for it specially, but maybe I’m just sent there…

‘A man can talk about his experiences, and no doubt he has had great experiences. But the tiny little spark that you experience is such a precious thing. It’s a gift. It’s a visit from the Most High. That’s where silence comes from – it’s not that you are observing silence, but that He has put you in a silent state. He drops in like a cascade and silences you, a cascade of light and water and divinity, all of a sudden. So everyone has his own richness, his own divinity.

‘When a man’s meditation is refined, like candy and not coarse sugar, it becomes like a kind of honey; and then the man will receive the Christ Consciousness. Otherwise he can’t go, there will be a bar. Christ is the essence of the flower of love, the essence of all flowers. And on top of that there is the hand of God, as God embraces the Christ: “Thou art My beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” And this no one can break, no world can break this relationship, the love of God to Christ.

‘This is beyond, it is personal, it has nothing to do with even Mother God. This is the Father God embracing the Son. That’s why the Mother isn’t mentioned much [by Jesus], but always “my Father, my Father, I come from my Father.” This was the part he had to play, but of course the Mother side is paramount. The Mother is waiting with the umbrella to welcome Christ, and the umbrella is heaven. You see how many decorations and jewels there are in heaven, stars – you can see that, but you don’t see who is holding the umbrella.

‘When Ramakrishna was looking at a picture of the Virgin, the Virgin became alive: Mother and Child. Later He entered Ramakrishna’s body, and a voice said, “Behold the Christ, the son of man, the master yogi who shed his heart’s blood for the redemption of the world.” The master yogi! Our Guru Dev is universal…

‘The Christ is love; you can’t deny Him. But that doesn’t mean we have to give up all of our [Hindu] meditation. Christ is the snake on the neck of Shiva in symbol. The snake becomes the Shakti [energy] of Shiva, so all is a symbol. This snake doesn’t bite, but there are others who are “the children of vipers”. He did give a blast: “You are not this kundalini shakti, you are where the commandment is broken.”

‘You have to penetrate deep, not just into the Bible but deep into your own dark development. The yogi’s room is a developing consciousness, like when you take a photo and want to see it, and so you go into your dark room and develop your consciousness. Go much deeper – see one picture and then something else. Jesus cannot be just Jesus like that; there is something behind it, definitely! Well, find out the definition, and definitely there is the Father. Find the Father, and definitely there is this link, this embrace. Find this embrace and definitely there is this coming down to be crowned again. He is coming back again to be crowned, the second coming.

‘Also there is the third unknown thing, which is that He dwells among us “when two or three are gathered”. Christ is a dweller for householders. He spent a lot of time among the householders – Martha, Mary, all this – but he was conscious that he was Shiva himself. To ask people to pray to the Father gives a hint, for “I and my Father are one.”

‘His crucifixion was the crowning of his victory, when he conquered death. At the time of death Jesus was pouring love until his body was completely cold. He was in a kind of trance. And he was already finished before he went to the cross; he had been beaten heavily, almost to death, by the soldiers. All the rest was put by force here and there – it is not properly revealed in the Bible. That’s why Ramakrishna said, when Jesus was on the cross he was already out of the body…

‘When Jesus said, “O God, why hast Thou abandoned me,” he meant that the devotees would be in darkness… You must not take him literally. He himself didn’t suffer really on the cross, he was very powerful and beautiful, but [it was] for the gross world, dying like that, suffering, the suffering of man. But in his real state, “where fire does not burn,” death did not kill him. Truth only was there, given to the world in the cross till the last minute – love and truth: Satya, Prema, Shanti…

‘Did Jesus suffer? Yes and no. Ramakrishna suffered – the suffering of Ramakrishna is the bliss of the devotees, I told you before. People meditate on the high state, they sing and all this, but you can meditate in your heart on Ramakrishna’s suffering of the cancer in his throat… Sarada Devi said, “Think of the Master, how much he suffered! Contemplate!” And Jesus said, ” Contemplate on my suffering.” So they do suffer for those who suffer. It depends on what they are doing. They do and do not suffer, yes and no. And they may invite the disease to come. Love becomes one with love. Your friend’s suffering may be your suffering, and your suffering is my suffering. “I and my Son are one. I am the pain in your body. Don’t you know, rogue, that your soul and mine are the same?”

‘These are higher states of reality. A man gave Swami Trailanga poison to drink, but who was dying after the saint drank it? – the man who gave it! Someone wanted to test me on LSD when [Paul] Gyss came [in Kabul, 1967]. I drew a little yantra and said, “OK, if there’s power in it, show me.” I took it – that other girl was there, Radheshyam – and I keep talking, keep talking, keep talking. After one hour the talk goes on, more and more. Another American had come with Paul Gyss, and he tripped out – that LSD state had changed over into him!

‘Both states, suffering and non-suffering, exist; there are two ways. If Jesus had come to suffer, he did suffer, you can’t deny it. He did fast a lot, he did all this sacrifice in a human way, at an ordinary level. But when his great mission had to start… Well, you can’t deny whatever has happened.’

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

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