Last two talks we discussed how Enlightenment is not for a special few but for Everyone. In the first talk, it was about how one does not ‘attain’ enlightenment in the same way we can acquire something external to oneself or reach a certain goal. Rather we are all eternal spiritual beings and by nature are enlightened, but this enlightened state has become covered. Spiritual practice is the uncovering of our eternal spiritual nature.
The second talk dealt with the two spiritual paths, the ascending path and the descending path. The ascending path is likened to trying to become an Olympic gold medalist or climbing Mt. Everest. I must depend on my own strength and skill and not everyone can do it. The descending path means I become dependent upon Divine Grace. The foundation of this path is great humility and surrender and the cultivation of spiritual virtues.
This third talk is about living a life of surrender and becoming ‘whole’ again – Reconnecting with the Supreme.
Over the last 100yrs the developed world has led the charge towards the supremacy of the individual and that our most important duty is to try and satisfy ‘our’ desires, above everything else.
Materialism means the sacredness of the individual is being erased.
Self-centeredness means I must deny the eternal connection which we all have, as spiritual beings, to something transcendent, some higher spiritual truth or principle to which we are eternally connected.
Enlightenment is incomplete without this union without the experience of pure spiritual love which arises from the union of the individual soul with our eternal soulmate, the Lord of our heart. That love then extends out to all my spiritual brothers and sisters, to all life.
This video contains copyright material of Russell Brand being interviewed by Tucker Carlson on FoxNews. Original clip – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXY62OU8ZKg&ab_channel=FoxNews
Aum Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Haribol. So for the last couple of weeks our topic has been Enlightenment for Everyone. And guess what, we’re going to continue on that theme.
So, in the first talk that we did the main point was that to become spiritually enlightened this is not just for somebody special, that you need some special capability, that enlightenment actually means uncovering what already exists. We are all eternal spiritual beings. We have a spiritual nature, and that nature is also to have great understanding and great knowledge, and so in the process of spiritual enlightenment it means to uncover what is already there.
And of course, the foundation of this spiritual journey is the discovery, the recognition, and embracing the reality that I am an eternal spiritual being. This body that I am currently inhabiting is not me. It is only a temporary covering, and we spend almost our entire life absorbed in that covering and not really knowing our true self.
In the second talk we dealt with the idea that there are actually two spiritual paths, or processes. One is called the aroha pantha, it means the ascending process. And the other one is the avaroha pantha, or the descending process. So the ascending process is kind of like, you know, if you want to be an Olympic athlete you have to be special. Even if you’re good in one sport it doesn’t mean that you’re going to be good in another sport, like gold medal level, because of suitability of the body, the muscle type, all kinds of things are there.
Or, if you want to climb Mount Everest, it’s not like you can get on a plane to Nepal, and get off and ask somebody, “How do I get there?” and just show up and start trying to climb. You’re not going to get very far that way. It requires enormous preparation and skill.
So spiritual enlightenment, we can try to do it through that process, depending upon our ability and strength, or this other process called the descending process. And I mentioned that in the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali in the first pada, the first chapter, the 23rd sloka, where he says,
—that by complete submission and surrender to Isvara, that higher and ultimate spiritual reality, one can come, will certainly come, to the topmost spiritual experience.
So this is kind of like really, really important, because it deals with, if we, if I want to know who I am, there are three questions that need to be asked: What is my essence? Where do I fit in relation to other living beings, this world, any higher spiritual reality or God, where do I fit in there? This is covered by the English word position. So essence, position, and then function: What is the most natural expression of the soul itself? And to be fully enlightened one has to experience these three realities.
The talk tonight we are going to deal with this, the third part, the natural expression of the soul itself, and it has to do with what it takes to live a life of surrender and humility, and what does it mean to almost “become whole” again? Everybody in this world, we feel this emptiness within. We don’t want to admit it, and we don’t want to talk about it. Everybody wants to go around posing as being full and complete, but everybody alone at night in their bed, they know that I’m not full and complete, there’s something missing in my life. So self-realization will actually make it so a person experiences what it is to be whole and what it is to be complete.
Over the last 100 years the so-called “developed world” –which is actually not very developed. It’s becoming more animal-like by the moment just with high technology—but the so-called developed world has really led the charge on this idea of the supremacy of the individual. This is really what humanist ideas are all about, that me as an individual, I am the Supreme. It’s all about me, and it’s all about what I want.
And of course, with that message came this idea that your highest responsibility and purpose in life is to seek to fulfill and satisfy all the desires that arise in your mind and body. And this idea is called hedonism, or materialism. When we adopt this idea, this thing that everybody has been pretty much encouraged, like really strongly, to do, to be utterly self-centered, this is directly opposite of the realization that actually I am not supreme.
Last week we mentioned about, when a person takes to the path of surrender, and we used a practical example, like people dealing with drug addiction or alcohol addiction; and how powerful the process that’s laid out in Alcoholics Anonymous, AA, the 12-step program is; and how it was actually developed based on these deep spiritual principles. And the first thing that you have to realize is my life is out of control. I don’t have any control over it. I don’t have any control over my addiction. I need help from some higher power, from higher spiritual reality. And why this process is the most effective of all of the treatments for different forms of addiction is because those principles actually align with our true spiritual nature. Our true spiritual nature is not that I am all-powerful and I am supreme. And we are encouraged by the great spiritual teachers to choose this path of humility and surrender, of meekness of heart, in order for us to become spiritually empowered.
So if I am overly focused on me and looking to pull something into my world to make me complete, it’s kind of like this is not going to bear wonderful fruit. This idea that there is a higher or greater spiritual reality that I am actually connected with, although I’ve turned away from it, and I need to reconnect, this is like a really, really important spiritual principle.
If I am going to be very self-centered, then what I am doing is I am actually denying this eternal connection of the soul with some higher spiritual reality, where I take a lower position, where I seek enlightenment in the form of some grace, divine grace, some divine or spiritual intercession. This principle, if we can actually embrace in our life, is utterly transforming, utterly transforming. There is this need to actually discover this need for this spiritual connection, this connectedness to some higher spiritual truth or reality, or some people want to use the term God, or there’s so many different things. We’re talking about the same higher spiritual reality. There is a need to actually be constantly nourishing that, and what the effect will be is to give us a deeper and fulfilling and satisfying spiritual experience that really begins to transform our life.
Everybody has this yearning for love, or no? You guys are different than me? Everybody has this yearning for love, this deep yearning, and we don’t understand that this is actually not a desire of the mind or the body, this has to do with our deep spiritual nature. Our eternal spiritual nature is to have this connection with this higher spiritual reality.
In the Vedas the great yogis spoke of this Divine Personality, who actually resides within the heart of all, and whom we need to reconnect with. This is the actual meaning of soul mate. Soul mate is not a material experience. It doesn’t matter how nice the relationship is, it doesn’t really completely fulfill that thing that we’re looking for in this idea of a soul mate. But this was accepted as being a transcendent reality.
And that when I reconnect with this Supreme Soul, who is the Lord of my heart, then there will be awakening of great transcendental love, of spiritual understanding, and I will be so at peace that even though I live in a world that is filled with anxiety and conflict and argument and difficulty, one can be utterly undisturbed by that. One can sail through life without being crushed by all these different tragic experiences that a lot of people have to deal with.
Full spiritual enlightenment is incomplete without the re-establishment of this spiritual relationship. Somebody sent me a link to a guy I kind of use a lot because he’s got some good things to say. He’s learned from some good places. Russell Brand. Okay? And he was recently on some talk show in America. Well, it wasn’t—he was being interviewed. And in this conversation—and just so you know, Russell Brand, he’s talked about, he’s 20 years sober. He had a massive problem with heroin and addiction and alcohol and cocaine, and a sexual addiction. He’s talked about all of these things in his life, and how it was just crushing him. But because he was able to understand and embrace these deeper spiritual principles of being dependent on this higher spiritual truth, his life, he said, has just been utterly transformed. And then he made these statements that would just actually blow a lot of people’s mind.
It’s like so unfortunate that the word God has become like a bad word or something. Nobody wants (mimes frowning and disbelief) “What did you say?!” and it’s just like so immature and dumb for people to not have a higher or a deeper appreciation for the reality of a higher spiritual truth, and how, like they say in Alcoholics Anonymous, that they turn their life over to this higher truth however that may appear to you. And that’s the reality, everybody has a freedom to understand in different ways.
But in the midst of this quite serious conversation, he suddenly says, (insert of Russel Brand talking)
“So I’ve been blessed with a very practical spirituality. Like many desperate people I need spirituality, I need God or I cannot cope in this world. I remember that my wellness is contingent upon spiritual connection, upon certain values and principles and they, I’m sorry to admit, involve sacrifice and self-scrutiny about my own conduct and behavior which is often—we often fall short, and I’m working on improving myself. I continue to work on improving myself.”
So it was just like, oh my God, the clarity of his thinking arises not just from some intellectual thing, but a practical realization that he’s had in his life, and this is a manifestation at least of some level of enlightenment. And he says because of embracing this way of living and nourishing this connection and embracing these principles and virtues it transforms your life. You can actually become happy.
My—not just my, our eternal spiritual nature is to love, and that’s why we desire it so much, even in spite of the fact our whole life and everybody we know, the love that they sought nobody achieved it. It was okay, and it was nice, and they got a respectful and a kind and even an affectionate relationship but it’s not what we’re looking for, that (mimes wonder), that thing.
What this experience, this spiritual experience does, is it motivates people to serve, to serve a higher spiritual truth and reality, and to serve others—because they see this connectedness of all life, that all living beings are my brothers, my spiritual brothers and sisters, regardless of what their trip is currently or what road everybody’s going down. The ultimate reality is that we are all eternal children of this Supreme Truth, this higher spiritual reality of God. And when I—my life is being filled with this awakening of spiritual love it automatically overflows to everyone and to everything in my life.
When a person adopts this path, the descending path, the path of humility and submission, and seeks to cultivate virtue, these good qualities that are actually transformative and free us from the imprisonment of a crazy mind, just spinning out, all about me, and just hungry to consume and consume and consume, when a person takes this other path, it describes in the Bhagavad-gita what happens. In one statement Lord Krishna says:
“I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me comes knowledge.”
And when you engage in this process of meditation on spiritual sound as the foundation of your—the foundational spiritual practice on your journey towards spiritual enlightenment, when you engage in this, you will find that the effect is like the, like I’ve said before, the fog lifting, where I begin to develop clarity. I develop clarity in relation to where I fit in this world and how I should be living in relation to the world. I have clarity about relationships, and what they are for. I feel tremendous compassion for all others, and seek their well-being no matter who they are, even those who declare themself my enemy. And I am able to have this clarity to know what decisions to make in life, what I should do.
Every single choice that you make, every action that you take has a result. Our life, we are experiencing the result of choices that we made, decisions we took, actions that we take; and learning how to make brilliantly good decisions and take really good action automatically produces wonderful and spiritual outcomes.
In another verse from the same Bhagavad-gita it said:
“To those who are constantly devoted and serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come unto Me.”
So this is the reality of the—these are the component or the constituent parts of spiritual enlightenment. It’s not complicated. Even a child can do it. Even a child can grow in spiritual understanding and enlightenment. What is critically important is for us to take the steps. And of course, courage is required.
There is this wonderful prayer that they use in AA programs. It’s called the Serenity Prayer and it goes, “Grant me the serenity” (I’m just trying to remember. Is that right? Huh? What’s the first one. Yeah, yeah. Thank you.)
“Grant me the serenity to accept those things which I cannot change.”
I mean just, okay, just that idea is just like, Wow! That’s monumental. You’ll find if you look at your life, we spend most of our time focused on and trying to change those things that we cannot, like the way somebody talked to me or something that happened, or what—I’m always trying to change everybody else and everything else; and one needs to be at a very peaceful place to be able to understand I can’t change this person, I can’t change these things, and so I must learn to accept them for what they are.
“Grant me the serenity to accept that which I cannot change. Grant me the courage to change that which I can…”
—and that’s—because whoa, that’s hardcore, especially when it comes to me, me making personal changes in my life.
And the third one is:
“…and the wisdom to know the difference.”
—the wisdom to know the difference. This is like—It’s just like I’m going, like (mimes head full). I’ve, for over 50 years, I’ve studied yogic philosophy and the Vedas and stuff, and these principles are extraordinary. And of course, if somebody within that context, comes up with something like that, it doesn’t shock me, but when you find something like this floating around in the world where there is not a deep tradition, necessarily, of these things, and somebody says that, and it really touches so many people and it’s just like, wow, that’s amazing! The person who said that, they’ve got their life together.
Okay? So I think I’ve probably hopefully shared enough. I am posting the talks. They’re on my Facebook, YouTube channel, and on my web page. And it’s intelligent for us to sometimes revisit, particularly when we’re finding ourself in a position where there’s challenging things going on in our life. Revisit and think about these things in a practical way in relation to our own life, and everything will get much better, even in times of enormous difficulty.
And every single one of you has the capacity to come to the platform of highest spiritual awakening and experience the attainment of the highest form of spiritual love and understanding. We simply must embrace the process.
Okay? All good? Thank you very much.
So I will chant what? Aum Hari Aum. Ok, you got it.