Yesterday I told you a few things about aum. There are a few more things worth knowing in the same context. In the first place, aum is the symbol of the seventh body, an indication of the seventh plane. It is a symbol of the seventh state which cannot be explained by any word. No word can be associated or utilized in connection with it. Thus, a meaningless word was found - a word which has no meaning. This I told you yesterday. The search for this word had been carried out through the experiencing of the fourth body.
This was not an ordinary search. Actually, when the mind is totally empty, without any clamor of words, without even a ripple of thought, even then the sound of the void remains. The void also speaks; the void has its own sounds. Go and stand in a very secluded place where there is not a single sound and you will find that emptiness has its own music. Seclusion has its own kind of sound, and in this silence only the basic notes remain - a-u-m. All our melodies and tunes are developed by permutations and combinations of these basic notes. When all words, all sounds are lost, these basic notes remain.
So aum is the symbol of the seventh state, the seventh body, but this sound has been grasped in the fourth plane. In the emptiness of the mental body the resonance of aum is captured. If the meditator makes use of this aum there can be two results. As I told you before, all planes have two possibilities. The repetition of aum can bring about a state of sleepiness, a state of sleepy trance, and this state can be brought about by repetition of any word. The modulated repetition of any word has the same impact on the mind as gentle strokes on the head that produce drowsiness and sleep.
If this state is brought about by repetition of aum you become lost in a world of dreams and imagery which is the natural potential of the fourth body. It will then be a hypnotic sleep in which you can see whatever you want to see. You can travel to heaven and to hell or have a vision of God, but all this will be in dreams. You can experience bliss, you can experience peace, but all in a dream; nothing will be real.
This usage of aum happens more often, because this is easy. To produce the sound of aum loudly and be lost in it is very easy and enjoyable like pleasant dreams. The quality of the mental plane, as given by nature, is that of imagination and dreams. If the mind wishes to dream it can dream; this enjoyment is possible for it. The other possibility is that of willpower and visions of the divine.
If aum is used only as repetition upon the mind, its impact brings hypnotic sleep. What is called yoga tandra is brought about by the repetition of aum. But if aum is pronounced with the witness well established within; if you are fully awake and are listening to the sound without drowning in it, without getting lost in it; if the sound is on one plane and you are standing on another as the listener, the observer, the witness; if you are fully awake to the sound - then only can work on the second possibility of the fourth plane begin. Then you will not go into yoga tandra, but into yoga jagriti, wakefulness.
I strive constantly to keep you away from using mantras. I always advise you not to use any mantra or any word, because the chances are ninety-nine out of a hundred that you will go into an imaginary trance. There are reasons for this. The fourth plane is vulnerable to sleep; it knows only sleep. Its dream track is already there. It dreams every day. It is just as if we were to throw water into this room. After some time the water will dry up, but it will leave a mark on the floor. Then if we throw water again on the floor, this water will flow along the same tracks as previously.
The greater possibility with chantings and mantras is that your mind with its tendency to dream will at once, by its very mechanical process, fall into dreaming. But if you are fully awake and witnessing inside, observing the sound of aum without merging into it, without losing yourself in it, then it could do the same work as repeating "Who am I?" - which I advocate. Now if you ask "Who am I?" in a sleepy state and are not a witness, the same error can take place here and you will merely be dreaming. But the possibility of this happening with "Who am I?" is less than with the repetition of aum, and there is a reason for it.
With aum there is no question asked; it is only a gentle touch. With "Who am I?" there is a question, not a mere pat. There is a question mark after "Who am I?" and this will keep you awake. It is an interesting fact that when there is a question in the mind it is impossible to sleep. If a difficult question revolves in your mind during the day, it spoils your sleep at night also. The question will not let you sleep. The question mark is a helpmate of sleeplessness. If there is any question, any anxiety, any curiosity in the mind, it is difficult to sleep.
I suggest "Who am I?" in place of aum because basically it is a question, and since it is a question it is an intrinsic search for an answer. Besides, you will have to keep awake for the answer. In aum there is no question; it has no sharp corners and hence it does not strike you. It is absolutely round and there is no question. Its continuous gentle strokes generally lead only to imaginary trance.
Besides, there is no melody in "Who am I?" whereas aum is full of melody. The greater the melody, the more it will hasten you to sleep. "Who am I?" is disproportionate like the masculine form; aum is well proportioned like the feminine form: its gentle strokes quickly make you sleep. Words have forms and their impacts are different, their resonance is different. "Who am I?" has no melody; it is difficult to sleep with it. If we repeat "Who am I? Who am I?" near a sleeping man, he will awaken. If however we repeat "Aum, aum" beside a man who is asleep, his sleep will become deeper because the impact is different. This does not mean that aum is not workable. The possibility is there for someone who stands behind the repetition as an observer, a witness. But I do not advocate the use of aum for meditation. There are many reasons for this.
If you utilize aum for meditation, then it will inevitably become associated with the fourth body. Aum is the symbol of the seventh plane but its resonance is experienced on the fourth plane. Once you start the meditation of aum this inevitable relationship of aum with the fourth plane will come about which will prove a barrier to further progress. So there is this difficulty with the word. It is experienced on the fourth plane but it is used for the seventh plane. We have no other word for the seventh body.
Our experience of words ends after the fourth plane.
We use the last word of the fourth plane as the symbol for the seventh plane. There is no other remedy, because from the fifth starts the wordless state; then the sixth is absolutely wordless and the seventh is the ultimate void. On the last boundary line of words in the fourth state, where we leave all words, the last word heard will be aum. So aum is the last word in the realm of speech and the primal word in the realm of no-word. It is at the boundary line between the realm of words and the no-word state. This word is primarily of the fourth plane, but we have no other word nearer to the seventh plane; all others are far behind. Therefore, this word is used for the seventh.
So I prefer that you do not associate it with the fourth body. It will be experienced in the fourth, but it should be kept as a symbol of the seventh. Therefore, there is no need to use it for meditation.
For meditation we should use such devices which will fall away with the fourth plane. For example, "Who am I?" - this can be used in the fourth and can be discarded also.
The meaning of aum should remain symbolic. There is yet another reason for not using it as a device. That which is the symbol of the ultimate should not be made a means: it should remain the end. The symbol of the absolute should remain only for the attainment. Aum is that which we have to attain, so I am against using it in any way as a means of meditation. It has been used in the past with detrimental results.
The meditator who practices the sound of aum takes the fourth for the seventh plane, because the symbol of the seventh is experienced in the fourth. When it is experienced in the fourth the meditator becomes confident that he has reached the seventh plane. He takes this to be the journey's end; thus, great harm is done on the psychic plane. The meditator then stops here.
There are many meditators who take visions, colors and inner sounds to be the attainment. This is only natural, because the symbol of the ultimate is felt on the boundary of this plane. Then they feel that they have reached the destination. So I am not in favor of prescribing the practice of aum for persons in the fourth body, as this technique will have no effect on the first, second and third bodies.
Its effect will be felt only in the fourth. This is why other words are used to cause the necessary impact on the first, second and third bodies.
It is necessary to take one more point into consideration regarding the basic notes of a-u-m. Just as an example, The Bible does not say that God made the world; he did not perform the act of creation.
It says, "God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light." God pronounced the word. The Bible also says, "In the beginning there was the word" - and many old scriptures testify to the same. At the very beginning there was the word and all else followed afterwards. Now even in India we say, "The word is the Brahman," although this causes a great deal of misunderstanding. Many people tend to believe that the word is enough for the attainment of the Brahman. The Brahman is attained only in the wordless state. "The word is the Brahman" means only this, that from all the sounds we know the most subtle of sounds is that of [Aum Symbol].
If we go back, back and back toward the source of the universe until we come to the void from where the world must have started, there also we will hear the resonance of aum. As we reach nearer to the void by entering the fourth plane the sound of aum is heard. From here we begin to fall into that world which must have been in the beginning. From the fourth we go to the spiritual body; from there to the cosmic body, and finally to the nirvanic body. The last resonance, which is heard between the last two, is also that of aum.
On one side is our individuality of four bodies which we call the corporeal world, and on the other side is our nonindividuality which we may call the Brahman. The resonance that vibrates on the boundary line of these two is aum. From this experience we come to understand that when the world of matter took form from the Brahman, the resonance of aum must have been ringing continuously. Hence, there was the word. So the belief is that everything came into being through the word. If the word is broken into its basic components we find the three basic notes of a-u-m in it. This combination is aum.
So for this reason it is said that there was aum in the beginning and there will be aum in the end. The end means to revert to the beginning, and thus the circle is completed. Yet I always feel that aum should be used only as a symbol and not as a meditation technique. Other things can be employed as devices. A pure sound like aum should not be made impure by using it as a technique.
Many people fail to understand me. They come to me and say, "Why do you forbid the repetition of aum?" Perhaps they think that I am an enemy of aum, but the fact is that they themselves are. Such a pure word should not be used as a means of spiritual growth. In fact, our tongues are unworthy of pronouncing it; it is too pure to be uttered by the physical body. It is a word that begins where the tongue becomes meaningless, where the body becomes useless. Therein lies its resonance and this resonance vibrates on its own. It can be experienced; it cannot be created. Therefore, aum has to be experienced and not pronounced.
There is another danger. If you use aum as a technique you will never know the basic sound of the word as it arises from the existence, because your own articulation will be imposed upon it. So you will never witness its purest manifestation. Whoever uses the sound of aum as a technique never experiences aum in reality. By continued practice they will superimpose their own nuances on the actual resonance when it comes. Then they will be unable to hear the pure reverberation of aum.
They fail to hear the direct resonance of the void because they are filled with their own sound. This is natural, because that with which we are familiar becomes implanted in us. Therefore, I say that it is better not to be familiar with aum; it is better not to make use of aum. Someday it will appear in the fourth body and then it will have some meaning.
Its appearance in the fourth body will mean that you have reached the limits of the fourth body. Now you are about to step out of the psyche, out of the realm of words. The last word has come and you now stand at the place where the word started; you stand where the whole world stood at the beginning; you stand at the threshold of creation. And then, when its own melody begins to flow, its charm is inexpressible. There is no way of describing it. Our best music cannot compare with its smallest echo. No matter how hard we try we can never hear this music of silence with the outside ear. Therefore, it is better that we do not have any preconceived ideas about it. Let us not give any form or color to it or else we will be caught by our imagery and this will be an obstacle.
Many things will have to be clarified in this context. As I said before, the difference between male and female exists until the fourth body. After the fourth there is no difference. The fifth is beyond any difference in gender. But the difference is very fundamental up to the fourth body, and this basic dissimilarity will bring many kinds of results. Let us first understand the male body, then we shall go on to the female.
The first body of the man is male, the second is female, the third again is male, and the fourth female. In the female it is the opposite: her first body is female, the second male, the third is again female, and the fourth is male. There are radical differences because of this. It is these differences that have deeply influenced the whole history and religion of mankind and which have given man's culture a particular type of order.
There are some characteristics unique to the male body and some characteristics and specialities unique to the female body. These complement each other. In fact, the female body is incomplete and so is the male body; therefore, in the act of creation they have to unite. This union is of two kinds. If male a unites with female b externally, creation of a child takes place. If male a unites with female b within himself, a creation takes place which is toward the Brahman. This is the journey toward God, whereas the external union is the journey towards nature. However, sex is involved in both: if the male body unites externally with a female body, coitus takes place; if the male body unites with its own inner female body, then also sex takes place. In the first the energy is diffused outwardly, whereas in the second the energy begins to move inwardly. This is what is known as the rising of the sex energy: it is a union with the woman within.
The energy always flows from the male to the female regardless of whether it happens outside the body or inside the body. If the sex energy of the physical body of a male flows toward the etheric female within him it is not diffused. Then happens what is known as brahmacharya. Then the energy flows upwards continually; it reaches up to the fourth body. After the fourth body brahmacharya has no meaning, because there is nothing like male and female there.
That is why after crossing the fourth plane the meditator is neither a male nor a female. The concept of ardhanarishwar - Shiva as half man, half woman - came into being with the first and the second body in mind. But this merely remained a symbol and we never understood it. Shiva is incomplete and so is Parvati. Together they become one. So we drew a picture of Shiva as being half man, half woman, but in actual life this other half is not visible outwardly. It hides behind each of us. One side of you is male and the other female, and this is why very amusing incidents take place sometimes.
No matter how fearless and strong a man is in the outside world, no matter how influential - whether he is Alexander the Great or Napoleon or Hitler, whether in the office, in the store or in the market, he lives like a lion the whole day, but by evening all his swagger is lost before a simple woman in his house. This is very strange. What is the reason behind this? The fact is that he uses his male body twelve or fourteen hours and after that time his first body becomes tired. When he reaches home the first body demands rest. Then the second body which is the female comes to the forefront and the male body becomes secondary.
Now the wife has made use of her first body the whole day long, so by evening the male body behind her has the upper hand. Then the woman begins to behave like a man and the man like a woman.
It should be remembered that the intercourse with one's own inner female body is the method for the upward flow of the life energy. This process has more inner details, but we shall not talk about that at present.
Another thing: the energy always flows from the male to the female. The most important quality of the male body is that it is not receptive; it is always aggressive. The male can give but he cannot take. No current flows from the female to the male; it is always from the male to the female. The female is receptive. She can take but she cannot give.
There are two results of this and both are worth knowing about. The first result is that since the female is receptive she can never become the giver of shaktipat; shaktipat cannot take place through her. This is the reason why there are so few female masters in the world, nor are there any female gurus of the stature of Buddha and Mahavira. The reason is that no energy can be imparted to anyone through her. It is a fact though that women gathered in great numbers around Buddha, Mahavira and Krishna, but not a single woman of the stature of Krishna was ever born around whom millions of men would gather. The reason for this lies in the fact that women can only be recipients.
It is also an interesting fact that around a person like Krishna there will be very few men but very many women. The same was the case with Mahavira: there were ten thousand male ascetics, monks, and forty thousand nuns. The ratio is four to one always. If there is one man there are always four women around him. Men could not be as affected by Mahavira as women could be, because both they and Mahavira are men. What was transmitted by Mahavira the women could absorb. But men are nonabsorbent; their receptivity is very limited. Therefore, though it is man who is the herald of religion it is woman who always protects and preserves it; it is woman who saves religion on earth. Men only pioneer religion.
Woman is receptive; the quality of her body is receptivity. She has this quality biologically also. She has to carry a child for nine months, and after that she also has to bring it up; thus, she has to be receptive. No such work is assigned to man by nature. He becomes a father for a moment and then he is out of the picture. The woman receives the semen and then retains it. This fact works in shaktipat also. Therefore, in shaktipat a man cannot receive from a woman. This is speaking generally; there can be exceptions. Of these rare cases I shall talk later. Sometimes this can happen, but the reasons are different.
Ordinarily, shaktipat does not take place through a female body. You can call this a weakness of the female body. But she has a complementary quality - the strength and power to take shaktipat quickly. Man can conduct shaktipat but he is unable to receive it. Therefore, shaktipat is also difficult from man to man because the male meditator is not receptive; such is his personality. At the very first step, there where he has to begin, stands the male in him who is not receptive. There are cults in which a man performs his spiritual practice taking himself to be a woman. This is a method of making him receptive. Still man does not become receptive. Woman becomes receptive without any difficulty because she is receptive by nature. Therefore, in shaktipat a woman is always in need of a medium. Why she is not able to get grace directly, please understand well.
Shaktipat happens from the first body. If I conduct shaktipat it happens to your first body. The energy will emerge from my first body and strike at your first body. If you are a woman this will happen quickly. If you are a man, then it will require more effort; it will be difficult. Somewhere deep within, somehow, you will have to acquire the state of complete surrender. Then only is it possible; otherwise not. Man does not surrender; no matter how hard he tries he cannot surrender. Even if he says "I surrender," it will be in an aggressive manner. In other words, it is the ego that is proclaiming the act of surrender. It says, "Look! I surrender." The 'I' standing behind does not leave him.
A woman does not have to surrender: she is already surrendered; it is in her nature. To yield is the quality of her first body. She is very receptive. Therefore, shaktipat from a man takes place easily within her. From man to man it is very difficult and from woman to man nearly impossible.
From man to man, though difficult it is possible. If there is a powerful man he can reduce the other man to a near-female condition. Shaktipat through a woman is practically impossible, be-cause in the moment of the happening she tends to absorb the vital energy herself. Her first body is like a sponge and sucks everything in.
Until now we talked of shaktipat. In the case of grace the conditions are the same. Grace comes from the fourth body. The fourth body of the male is female so he receives grace very readily. Now the woman's fourth body is male so she experiences the same difficulty with regard to grace: she cannot receive grace directly. The fourth body of the male is female; therefore, Mohammed, Moses, Jesus, established relationships with God instantaneously. As the fourth body was feminine in them, they were able to drink in the grace as soon as it descended upon them.
The female has the fourth body of the male. At this extreme is her male body, and this makes it impossible for her ever to receive grace. Therefore, the female has no direct message; that is, no woman has been able to claim that she has known the Brahman. At her fourth body is the male that causes the hindrances. She cannot receive grace from that end.
Man receives grace directly. It is difficult for him to take it from someone, as happens in shaktipat, because he himself is the barrier there. But it is not so for the woman. She can receive shaktipat from any medium. Even very weak people are capable of performing shaktipat on women. This is why even very ordinary mediums are successful in this. Shaktipat depends less on the medium himself and more on the receptivity of the recipient. But women always require a medium. It is very difficult for them without a medium, because then no happening can take place.
We have been talking of the ordinary state of things. Extraordinary conditions can also be created.
It is because of the ordinary course of things that there have been fewer woman meditators. This does not mean that women have not experienced God; they have experienced God but there was always a medium in between. However negligible, the medium has always been present; they had their experience through a medium. Another thing: there can be differences caused by unusual conditions. For example, it is more difficult for grace to happen in a young woman; it is a little easier in an older woman.
It is an interesting fact that throughout life our sex remains flexible; we do not remain in the same male-female ratio throughout life. There is a continuous change; the ratio keeps on changing. So it happens that a woman develops hair on the upper lip and chin in later years. Even her voice changes by the time she is fifty and it becomes deeper, more like a man's. The feminine voice will have gone. Her ratio changes: the male factors emerge and the female factors recede. Actually, her work as a woman is over. There was a biological binding up to the age of forty-five which now is no more. She is no more bound to the female in her, so the possibility of grace is more in an older woman. This is so because the male element increases in her first body and the female element decreases in her second body. Also, the male element in her fourth body decreases and the male element in her third body increases. So grace is possible in an older woman.
A very old woman under certain conditions can act as a medium for a young woman. A very old woman, nearabout one hundred years old, and who has no trace left in her mind that she is a woman, can act as a medium for men also. But this will be a different thing altogether. It is the same for men: as a man gets older his female traits go on increasing. Old men generally behave like women. Many masculine traits fall from their personalities and feminine traits develop.
In this connection it is necessary to know that the personality of whoever receives grace in the fourth body develops feminine traits. For instance, if we were to examine the body or the personality of Mahavira or Buddha, they appear more feminine than masculine. The softness and beauty of a woman combined with the feminine receptivity is increased in them. The quality of aggression leaves them, and so they become full of nonviolence, compassion and love; violence and anger are banished forever.
Nietzsche has accused Jesus and Buddha of being feminine, and he says that for that reason they should not be counted among men. They have no manly qualities and they have succeeded in making the whole world effeminate. There is some truth in his complaint. You will be surprised to know that we have depicted Buddha, Mahavira, Krishna and Rama without a beard or mustache.
It is not that they did not have mustaches and beards, but by the time we made their pictures their personalities had become filled with feminine qualities; thus, the beard and mustache would have looked out of place. We dropped them because they no longer suited their effeminate manner.
Such an incident had taken place in the case of Ramakrishna. His condition could have become a unique case for scientists. It was a very strange happening. Later on his followers tried to hide the facts - because how were they to talk about it? He developed breasts and began to menstruate.
This was such a strange happening - a miracle we might say. His individuality became so effeminate that he walked like a woman and talked like a woman, and in such an exceptional case many other changes can occur. For instance, in such circumstances one cannot perform shaktipat on anyone.
His personality had become completely feminine.
With the help of the meditation techniques of Buddha and Mahavira, hundreds of thousands of people attained to the fourth body. As soon as they reached the fourth plane their personalities became feminine. By this I mean that the passive side of their nature developed. Violence and anger vanished as aggression left them; affection, love, compassion and nonviolence increased.
Femininity took hold as the inherent nature of this whole country, and my feeling is that this was the cause of the great amount of aggression that occurred here. All the neighboring masculine countries succeeded in subduing the feminine personality of India.
In one way a very valuable thing took place - that we experienced wonderful things on the fourth plane. But on the plane of the first body we found ourselves in difficulty. Everything has to be compensated for. Those who were prepared to leave the treasures of the fourth plane attained the wealth and kingdoms of the first plane. Those who were not prepared to leave the pleasures of the fourth plane had to give up many things on the first.
After Buddha and Mahavira, India lost its aggressive instinct and became receptive. So with whoever came we made it a point to be-come receptive; whoever came we absorbed them within us. The question of segregating them never occurred to us, let alone attacking them. That question was lost forever because our personality had become feminine. India became one large womb that harbored all who came to her. We denied no one; we never tried to remove any of these aggressors from among us, because the warlike quality that was required in order to fight was no longer within us.
With the great men it became lost, and the ordinary masses followed the great men. And the masses had to remain dominated by them. The ordinary man heard the great men talk on nonviolence, compassion, and saw them living accordingly, so he accepted their word and remained silent. He could have fought but he had no leader.
If the history of the world is ever written from a spiritual point of view - when we no longer will consider only physical happenings as history but instead will begin to consider the happenings on the plane of consciousness as history, that is the real history - then we shall understand that whenever a country turns spiritual it becomes feminine. And whenever it becomes feminine, lesser cultures, most ordinary cultures, will defeat it. It is a surprising fact that those who conquered India belonged to very backward cultures. In many ways they were wild barbarians, whether they were Turks or Mongols or the Moguls. They had no culture, but in a sense they were men - though barbarious - and we were feminine, passive. We had no other way than to absorb them within us.
So the female body can absorb. Therefore, a woman needs a medium while the male body can transfer energy as well as receive grace. That is why men like Mahavira had to say that women will have to be reborn as men for the final attainment. This was one reason among many others.
She cannot receive grace directly. It is not necessary that she should die to become a man. There are methods in which a transformation of personality can be brought about. The second body can become your first body and the first body can be made to take the position of the second. For this there are techniques of profound willpower by which in this very life physical transformation is brought about.
There is an interesting story about one of the Jaina tirthankaras. One of the Jaina tirthankaras was a woman by the name of Mallibai. The Swetamber sect calls her Mallibai while the Digamber sect calls her Mallinath; they take her to be a man because the Digamber Jainas feel that women are not entitled to moksha - liberation. Therefore, a tirthankara cannot be a woman, and so they call Mallibai, MalliNATH. Now, nowhere else in the history of mankind is there such a controversy about a person. There have been all kinds of other controversies: over whether a man was five feet six inches or five-five, over when he was born, over when he died, but never was there a controversy where the sex of the individual became a matter of dispute. One sect believes Mallibai to be a man and the other a woman.
What I feel is that when Mallibai began her spiritual search she must have been a woman. But there are such methods by which the first body can be changed into a masculine body, and it was after this took place that she became a tirthankara. So the first sect, who take her to be a woman, revere her first state; and the second sect, who take her to be a man, worship her second state. Both are correct. She was a woman but she must have turned into a man. Mahavira's path is such that any woman who goes through it is bound to become a man. His path is not of devotion but of knowledge, and so it is completely aggressive. His path is not one of receptivity.
If any man begins to sing and dance like Meera for years on end, sleeping with the image of Krishna on his chest and considering himself his beloved, he will remain a man in name only. His consciousness will undergo a complete transformation. The first body will change and become female, and the second body will change and become male. If the transformation is very deep there will be physical changes in his body also; if not the body will remain the same. But the mind will not be the same: he will develop a feminine consciousness. So in these special cases things can happen: the happening of shaktipat can take place; there is no difficulty. But this cannot be a general rule.
Shaktipat can happen through man and he can receive grace directly also, but it is difficult for a woman to attain direct grace. The door to grace can only open for her through shaktipat. This is a fact and not an evaluation. There is no question of high and low, above or below: such is the fact. It is as much so as the fact that man ejaculates semen and woman receives it. If someone asks whether a woman can ejaculate semen into a man we will have to say no, because there is no natural law for this. There is no question of either one being above or below. But all manner of evaluation arose out of this fact. Woman came to be looked upon as inferior because she is the recipient. Then the value of the giver went up.
The difference in status between man and woman all over the world arose from the fact that man considers himself the giver, the provider, whereas woman considers herself the recipient. But who said that the receiver must necessarily be inferior? And if there were no one to receive, what use will there be for the giver? And vice-versa: if there is no giver, of what use will be the receiver? There is nothing superior and inferior in it. In fact, these two are complementary to each other and neither is independent of the other. They are interdependent; they are tied to each other. These are not two separate entities, but rather two sides of the same coin in which one gives and the other receives.
Normally however, the very concept of the giver raises a picture of superiority within our minds.
There is no reason why the receiver should be inferior. Many things are connected with this, however, and the status of women has been accepted as second to men. Not only men but even women have accepted this position. In fact, both are first in their respective places - he as a man and she as a woman. There is no second place; both are complementary.
Now this concept has had extensive consequences in many areas and it has permeated our entire civilization and culture. That is why man went hunting - because he was aggressive. And the woman sat at home waiting for him; she accepted him naturally. He went to the fields, he harvested the crop, he worked in his shop, he flew airplanes, he went to the moon, he went out to do all these things because he was aggressive. The woman sat at home waiting for him. She also did a great many things but was not aggressive; it was receptive. She set up his house, she gathered things together, she kept everything in place. In all cultures the principle of stability is due to women.
If the woman was not there man would have been a wanderer, a vagabond; he could never set up a house. The woman acts as a peg. He wanders here and there but has to return to the peg. If the situation were otherwise he would never have settled down. Then there would have been no towns and cities. City culture came into being because woman wanted to stabilize her living in one place.
She always pleads to the man, "Enough! Let us stop; let us halt. A little difficulty may come, but let us not go any further." She catches hold of the soil and grows roots into it. Then man has to make a world around her. That is how towns and cities came into being. This is how all cultures, civilizations and homes, which woman beautified and sanctified, were made. No matter what the man earned or gathered in the outside world, she saved.
Man is never interested in saving. He earns, and there the matter ends; he is no longer interested.
He is eager and anxious as long as he is fighting with the world, challenging the world; his attention is always turning to other places for conquest. Whatever he brings there is someone else looking after it all, saving it all, and this individual has her own place, her own value. She is a complementary part of the whole situation, but as she does not go out to earn, as she does not accumulate, as she does not create, it seemed to her that she was lagging behind. This feeling entered even into very small things, and everywhere she began to feel a sense of inferiority which is absolutely unfounded.
This inferiority brought evil results. As long as woman was uneducated she tolerated this inferiority, but now she will not. In order to break this sense of inferiority she has gone about doing exactly what men do. This will prove very detrimental to her. She can violate her basic personality, and this can have destructive results deep within her psyche. Now she wants to be on a level with man, but she cannot be like a man completely. She will only succeed in making herself a second-rate man; she cannot be a first-rate man. She can, if she chooses, make herself first rate in her womanhood.
There is no evaluation in this, but these are the facts about these four bodies; that is what I mean to say.
There will be a difference, and it will not be in spiritual practice so much as in the state of mind.
For instance, when the method is one and the same, even then a man will go about it aggressively, whereas a woman will go about it in a passive way. The man will attack, the woman will surrender.
The method will be the same but the attitudes will be different. When a man enters into spiritual practice he catches it by the neck, so to speak, but when a woman starts a spiritual practice she will place her head at its feet.
This difference in attitude is natural and there is no more difference between the two than this. The woman's attitude will be that of surrender: when she reaches she will not say that she has attained God; rather, she will say that she is fortunate that God has taken her unto himself. When man reaches the ultimate he will not say that God has taken him in; he feels that he has ATTAINED God.
The difference is in their comprehension. This difference is bound to be, but only up to the fourth body. After that there is no question of male and female.
If it comes spontaneously it is more valuable. If it comes with the repetition of aum it can be imaginary. That which comes of its own accord is authentic, valuable. If the nada begins you should become a witness. Do not be merged into it, because that is the state of the seventh plane.
If you tend to get lost in the nada before reaching the seventh you will halt there; it will act as a brake.
As these inner sounds become more and more subtle, our witnessing too will have to become more and more subtle. We will have to go on observing to the end, when the sound is completely lost.
I have already told you that shaktipat takes place in the first body and grace in the fourth. If shaktipat takes place in the first body and the kundalini is not awakened, it will awaken - and with great speed.
Then we will have to be very careful, because with shaktipat what ordinarily happens in the course of months happens in a few seconds. Therefore, before shaktipat there should be a deep preparation of the first three bodies. A sudden shaktipat on a person who is not at all prepared, on any Tom, Dick or Harry, can be harmful. Therefore, a little preparation is necessary before shaktipat. No elaborate preparation is necessary; only enough to bring the three bodies in focus. That is the first thing.
The next is that there should be a line of connection between the three so that the energy does not become blocked anywhere. If shaktipat gets caught on the first plane it can be dangerous. If it spreads to all the three planes it will not be harmful. If it stops at the first it is very harmful.
It is just as if you receive an electric shock while you are standing on the ground: this is then harmful.
But if you are standing on a wooden frame it will be quite safe: the current of electricity then passes through your body and makes a circuit. If the circuit is formed there is no danger. It is only dangerous if the circuit breaks. All energies follow the same rule: they go around in a circle. If the circuit breaks in between you receive a shock. So if you stand on wood you cannot receive any shock.
You will be surprised to know that the use of wooden platforms for meditation had no other purpose than the fact that they were nonconductors. Deerskins and leopard skins were used for the same reason: so that the energy that is released by meditation should not give a shock. So these nonconductors were used as seats. A man can be killed by this electric shock. Therefore, the meditator put on wooden sandals and slept on a wooden platform. He may not have known why he did all this; he merely followed the rules laid down by the scriptures. Perhaps the meditator who practiced this thought that he was torturing his body so that the body should not have any comfort.
This was not the reason. The danger was quite different. Any moment the happening might take place within the meditator from any unknown source. He must be fully prepared.
If his preparations for the first three bodies are completed, the energy he receives will form a circuit within him. If he is not ready and the energy is obstructed at the very first body, it is harmful.
Therefore, this minimal preparation is necessary so that the meditator is able to make a circuit. This preparation is easy and does not take long. It is not at all difficult.
So shaktipat can be useful to a certain extent to have a glimpse of the divine; but a preliminary preparation is needed, otherwise it is harmful for an unprepared layman.
Kundalini rises with great intensity through shaktipat, but it can go only up to the fourth body.
However, this much of a glimpse is more than sufficient. The journey after that is entirely individual.
If a flash of lightning on a dark night reveals a little of the path to you, it is more than enough. Once the road is seen everything changes. Then you will no longer be the same person you were before.
Thus, shaktipat can be used to see a little of the distance that lies ahead. The initial preparation, however, is necessary. If given to the masses directly it can be harmful.
And the most surprising thing is that it is the masses who are always looking for shaktipat and such things. The ordinary man wants to get something for free - but nothing is ever obtained free. Many times we come to know afterwards how expensive the free gift turned out to be. Never try to obtain anything for free. We should always be ready to pay the price. In fact, the more we show our readiness to pay the price, the more worthy we become. The greatest price we pay is by our efforts for spiritual growth.
Two days ago a lady came to me and said, "I am well advanced in years and am nearing death.
When will I attain enlightenment? Please hurry and do something lest I die." I told her to come for meditation for a few days; then we would see what is to be done.
She said, "I do not want to be bothered with meditation. Do something so that I may attain enlightenment."
Now this lady is searching to get something without paying for it. Such a search is dangerous. You gain nothing by it; on the contrary you lose. The meditator should not harbor any such expectations.
One receives what one is ready for. You should trust that this is so.
In fact, a man never gets less than he deserves. This is a law of existence, it is the universal law.
You get as much as you are prepared for, and if you do not get then know that it is not an injustice; rather, you are lacking preparation. But our minds always lull us into the belief that injustice is being done to us. We are always very sure of our own worthiness and complain against existence.
We always receive according to our own worthiness. Worthiness and attainment are two names of the same thing. But the mind expects a great deal and strives for very little. There is a great gap between our expectations and our effort. This gap is very self-defeating. It can be very harmful.
Because of this we wander here and there in the hope of getting something somewhere. Then, when the number of such persons has increased, it is certain that some clever person will come forward to exploit them. He will offer to give them what they seek for free. Such a person hardly knows anything. He comes upon some formula from somewhere which he can work upon them, and though its effect will not be very deep it can still be harmful.
For instance, take a man who has no knowledge of shaktipat: he too can practice a little bit of shaktipat with the help of body magnetism. But he has no knowledge of the other six bodies within.
The body has its own magnetic force. If arrangements are made through some situation you can be made to receive shocks through it. This is why the meditator in ancient times was careful about which direction to keep the head when sleeping. He would not put his head in a certain direction or his feet in a certain direction.
The earth has its magnetic force and the meditator is always mindful to be properly aligned with it so that he is constantly magnetized by it. If you sleep at an angle to this force your body magnetism becomes less. If you lie in the direction of the current, the force which gives the earth its magnetism and which forms the earth's axis will also magnetize your own body magnet. It fills your body with the magnetic force in the same way that a piece of iron is magnetized by placing it in front of a magnet. After becoming magnetized it will begin to draw smaller objects like pins and needles.
So the body has its own magnetic force. If it can be properly aligned with the magnetic force of the earth it is very beneficial. The stars too have magnetic forces. On special occasions certain stars are particularly magnetic. This can be verified; we have all the necessary information. So if you are in a particular state seated in a particular posture at a certain special moment, a particular star will cause your body to become especially magnetized. Then you can give magnetic shocks to anyone and they can take it for shaktipat. But it is not shaktipat. The body has its own electricity. If this is produced in a proper way you can light a bulb of five to ten watts by merely holding it in your hand.
These experiments have been successful. There are people who just hold the bulb in the palm of their hand and it is lighted. But the energy within the body is infinitely more.
Twenty years ago a woman in Belgium became unexpectedly electrically charged. No one could touch her; anyone who did got a shock. Her husband divorced her, and the reason given was that he got an electric shock whenever he touched her. The divorce created a sensation all over the world. After many tests it was discovered that her body had started producing surplus electricity.
The body has many batteries. If they are working in order we do not feel anything. If the order is disturbed a great deal of energy is produced - released.
You take energy from the food you eat and this energy charges the batteries in your body. Therefore, many times you feel the necessity to recharge the batteries. A man is tired and spent by the evening.
A good night's rest recharges him. However, he does not know what it is that recharges him in sleep.
During sleep some influences are at work upon him. Much psychic research has been done and we know what kind of forces work on him in sleep. If a man wishes he can take advantage of these influences in the waking state. Then he is capable of giving you energy shocks that are not even magnetic but which are of the body electricity. You can mistake this for shaktipat.
There are many other ways of pseudo shaktipat that are equally false. They are in no way connected with the actual transmission of divine energy. If a person has no knowledge of body magnetism, of body electricity, but he knows the secret of breaking the electric circuit of your body, he can give you energy shocks then too. There are many ways of breaking your body's electrical circuit, and when this is disturbed you receive a shock. Nothing comes from the other person toward you but you feel the shock. It is the shock of your own body electricity which has been disturbed.
I cannot tell you everything in detail because it is not proper to do so. All that I say is incomplete.
Even the false methods I talk of are not completely described, because it is very dangerous to speak extensively and completely about them as then there is the temptation to try them out. Our curiosities are very shallow. One mystic has referred to curiosity as sin: there is only one sin in man - the sin of curiosity. He has no other sin. Man commits so many sins entirely out of curiosity. We are not aware of this, but it is curiosity which makes him commit many crimes.
There is a story in The Bible that God told Adam to eat the fruits of all trees but one. This one curiosity put him into difficulties. The original sin was the sin of curiosity - and he found himself in trouble. What was the secret? In such a large forest filled with trees of delicious fruits what could be so special about the fruit of this ordinary looking tree? But this one tree began to have a meaning to him and all the rest became meaningless. His mind was hovering round this one tree until he could no longer remain without tasting the forbidden fruit. Curiosity got the better of him, and Christianity says that this was the original sin that man committed. Now, what sin could there be in tasting a certain fruit? The original sin was his curiosity.
Our mind is filled with curiosity - but it rarely inquires into it. Inquiry happens in one who has grown beyond curiosity. Remember, there is a fundamental difference between curiosity and inquiry. A curious man never inquires; he is only filled with curiosity about everything and does not see one thing in its entirety. He hardly glances at one thing when ten others draw his attention. Then he is never able to investigate.
The false methods I have talked about are not complete. Some important parts of these methods have been purposely dropped. It is necessary to do so because our minds coax us with the curiosity to try them out. There is no difficulty in performing these experiments. When false seekers go in search of power, in search of God, they come across false givers of power also. Then it is like the blind leading the blind. The blind leader is bound to fall and also the long line of blind people that is behind him. Then the harm done is not only of a lifetime but of many lives. It is easy to break a thing but very difficult to set it right again.
So do not try in this respect to investigate out of curiosity. Prepare yourself in the right direction.
Then what is necessary for you will come your way; it certainly comes.