More questions, more answers:
Q: Could you continue to speak about the Self in His Grace mode?
A: Yes. When He does want to reveal Himself to someone, He does so. This is His Grace. And when He does not want to reveal Himself to someone, He will not do so. This is His concealment. There is no other way to go.
Q: Can we not do anything at all to attract His Grace at will?
A: NO, because He does according to His wish. If He does not want to, there is no way to force Him as I have already explained. The process is always regulated by Him through His own Power. Who is this limited individual to claim that Final Liberation should come to him now and not tomorrow or in his next life? The limited individual has no crucial role in spirituality but rather everything is always about His Grace. And this Grace comes or does not come. You can practice Yoga postures for eons, you can repeat mantra-s for entire lifetimes, you can study scriptures for zillions of years, you can go to all sacred cities, you can practice austerities till your body is as thin as a hair, you can pray for endless nights, you can cultivate all virtues in the world, you can meditate till your body falls unconscious to the ground, etc. But all that will not ever warrant that His Grace will descend upon you. To become aware of that truth is disheartening if one’s identification with the limited individual (e.g. Gabriel, in my case) is strong.
The more identified with the limited individual one thinks he is, the stronger the disappointment. But this is the truth and you can see it everywhere. You can visit spiritual communities around the world, and you will notice that the vast majority of all those people are not liberated from bondage despite decades and decades of spiritual effort. You can see an incalculable quantity of guru-s and sub-guru-s constantly messing around with this or that teaching but none of them attain Final Liberation. They may belong to any type of lineage, teach any type of philosophy and so on, but none of them are Self-realized. As the Self is not in Grace mode in their case, they and their disciples constantly live a contradiction. They can give great lectures and all their teachings might be right, but as the Self does NOT want to confer His Grace, all those processes give no Liberation to anyone. Such guru-s may have multitudes of devotees around singing praises and auspicious mantra-s, but that is not a sign of His Grace. His Grace is either PRESENT or It is NOT. It doesn’t depend of anything else but His Will.
Q: But that takes away all my hope.
A: Human beings are fond of hopes. They like people who give hopes, but no hope will be effective in attracting His Grace. It is just about His Will. He says: “Now, let this limited individual receive My Grace!” and that is it. The limited individual is the Self but after going through a heavy process of limitation imposed by the Power of the Self. Therefore, that which is lower cannot control That which is Higher. It is that simple! If this Truth was understood, most of the spiritual communities would collapse, because most of them are based on limited individuals who do “something” all the time. No quantity of efforts or actions will attract His Grace, because it is always about His decision. Meanwhile, the spiritual aspirants are given practices to kill time. But then the erroneous notion that “their” effort causes His Grace arises in them. This is completely false according to Trika as well as my own experience.
That mistake is made due to human arrogance. Arrogance is both deafening and silent. The former is easily perceived by everybody, right? But the latter is hardly detected. There are a lot of aspirants meditating and at the same time thinking that such action will reveal the Self. That is a clear example of “silent arrogance”. They can meditate for a century and His Grace will not come to them anyway. The fault lies not in their act of meditating but in their attitude. They are arrogant and always put the limited individual in the first place. They think that they are able to cope with Final Liberation through their efforts. Next, one day, they get an impressive experience during meditation, but soon they lose all that and depression comes. They cannot understand how they could have that wonderful experience and lose it just like that. They are arrogant and constantly put the limited individual in the first position. Hence they are constantly puzzled by His Absolute Freedom visiting them from time to time.
Q: What should they do then?
A: They can do nothing. Your reasoning is again based on human arrogance. This arrogance is like a pest. If one can meditate, he should continue meditating. If one can pray, he should continue praying. If one can recite mantra-s, he should continue reciting mantra-s. And so on. Those activities just keep happening, but there is no room for the notion that they will attract the Self’s Grace. This is real spirituality. One simply does the activities He allows you to do and that is it. Today I will meditate, tomorrow I will study scriptures, the day after I will meditate again, etc. But there is no notion that all those activities will force Him to reveal Himself. This is real cessation of arrogance. Still, this cessation is not possible without His Grace. Hence the human being is always powerless regarding divine matters. But it is from this position of “powerlessness” that a spiritual aspirant is able to advance in spirituality, because he cannot advance when he thinks he is powerful and consequently a doer.
When our bodies are sick, we go to the doctor and he checks our condition and makes all the decisions regarding how to cure the body. At that time, one is powerless because he doesn’t know everything about his body and how to restore its health (that’s why he goes to the doctor in the first place). Only when one becomes powerless the doctor can cure the body. For example, if the patient acted as if he knew more about his own disease than the doctor himself, then the doctor’s job would be constantly interfered with due to the supposed knowledge of the patient. In the end, even a little disease could never be properly cured due to that constant interference on the part of the patient. But when the patient becomes passive and accepts that the doctor knows more about his disease than himself, such attitude accelerates the process of curing the body.
In the same way, only guru-s who save or save and teach are proficient in removing bondage in a limited individual, except cases when the disciple is extremely advanced and can do it on his own, which is rarely seen. For the most part the process of “real” Final Liberation will involve a guru who saves or saves and teaches (as I explained before) and a disciple who is passive enough to allow such a guru to proceed with the process of liberating him from bondage. If the disciple is not passive enough, he will be constantly interrupting the process and there will be some delay. Normally, as the disciples are of very low quality, they are never passive enough and the guru is bound to be patient and tolerate tons of discussions and such while he assists them. As most human beings are completely caught by the notion of “I know” (spiritual aspirants included), it is pretty usual to have disciples always opining about what is the best practice for them and the like. Human foolishness is endless, as you surely know.
Q: Maybe this question sounds stupid, but how do guru-s know how to set their disciples free?
A: IIt is not a stupid question at all. It may seem that those guru-s who save or save and teach, according due to their vast knowledge of spirituality know which practice is better for a specific. Anyway, that is not the whole truth. It is all about Guru or the Self in Grace mode. For example, if someone comes to one of those genuine guru-s, Guru in him will emerge at the time of meeting if such a person is a genuine disciple. Everybody can surely cheat guru but nobody can cheat Guru. So, guru will feel Guru emerging in him in the way described in Śivasūtra-s I.5. When he feels Guru, he knows that such person is a real disciple. Next, he will talk to Guru inside. Guru is the Self in Grace mode and speaks in divine ways (like 0’s and 1’s in the case of the main chip of a computer). As guru is fully enabled by Guru, the former understands the instructions of the latter and the process of Final Liberation starts. However, if Guru does not emerge at all, guru knows that that person is not his disciple. There is no way of cheating here because Guru cannot be deluded by anyone ever.
The very meeting between guru and disciple was already arranged by Guru Himself in His unfathomable manner. Afterwards, when the meeting actually happens, Guru emerges to welcome the disciple. The process is fully automatic and even guru might not realize it. The only role of guru is to remain available to translate the instructions of Guru in him. Nothing else is required on his part. Besides, as Guru is emerged in guru, the disciple will be affected by the Mass of Rays that is the essential nature of the Self.
Q: Mass of Rays?
A: Yes, Guru is beyond description, beyond space and time, beyond everything, but He is described in the scriptures as a Mass of Rays. The Rays are the Power of the Self and the One living at the center of that dense Mass is the Self Himself. When He wishes to bestow His Grace on someone, He is known as Guru. The Power of the Self always binds, but as the Self is in Grace mode in guru at that time, the Rays are soaked with Grace and instead of binding, they liberate. All this could look extremely strange but I it’s the truth.
Q: Is that meeting an encounter between two physical bodies?
A: NO. Whether guru and disciple meet in person or by phone, e-mail, etc., there is no difference because Guru is all-pervading. As Guru is everywhere (as He is the Self in Grace mode), even if the guru is in this galaxy and the disciple calls by phone (or whatever) from another galaxy, it is the same. There is no limit to Guru.
Besides, when the meeting happens, the disciples are generally very interested in the instructions they receive from Guru through guru, but that is secondary in comparison to the importance of the encounter itself. Whether Guru tells the disciple to practice a technique or something else, the important thing is His emergence and Grace bestowal. He emerges spontaneously in guru when a genuine disciple approaches.
Q: What is His emergence like?
A: The Power of the Self residing in a human being is called Kuṇḍalinī in the scriptures. This Kuṇḍalinī has three forms as taught traditionally, but in a genuine guru those three forms became one through a special process of fusion (a complex subject I cannot explain right now). When Guru emerges, this Power of the Self reaches Sahasrāra and meets with the Self there. As the Self is in Grace mode, He mixes His Grace with the His Power and the process of Grace bestowal proceeds. As guru feels all that happening in the crown of his head, he knows that Guru has emerged in him. From that point on, Guru starts to speak to him in His divine ways which are only understandable to guru. Next, guru translates all those instructions into human language. This is the general process. This guru is able to do all that because Guru is pleased with him as to dwell in his body and emerge naturally. Though the Self dwells in every body, He is not assuming the Grace mode, also known as Guru, in all of them. Even among the liberated ones, He will not be as Guru in all, but only a few will play the role of genuine guru-s. I have already explained that..
Q: What is the duty of the disciple who met Guru and received His instructions?
A: To attempt to accomplish them to the letter. This pleases the Self very much and He is more likely to assume His Grace mode again and again. As the Self in the disciple is the same Self as in guru, there is no cheating ever. To please Guru is the most important thing. Even if the instructions are: “Do not eat bananas from now on”, if the disciple follows them accordingly, this pleases his own Self and He is more likely to bestow more and more Grace. These processes could look like science fiction but they are very real. In fact, when guru and disciple meets with each other, there is nothing more Real than that. The rest of life and its activities look like unreal in comparison. To guru, He is the Most Real Being at all times. The world looks like a dream to him in comparison to Guru’s Reality. To fully understand all this one must be a genuine guru, i.e. someone with Guru active in himself. Theory always looks complicated till the moment you see all that in practice. Only Guru (the Self in Grace mode) “knows” what is better for a disciple. Nobody else knows it. Even guru knows that only when Guru tells him and not before. In fact, a guru might be having disciples that he has no idea about whom he will meet in the future. It is already arranged by Guru beforehand. All this sounds dual, but it is due to the fact that words are being used to communicate the way these processes work. In reality all this is always non-dual because the Self is everybody. If the disciple were not the Self, he could never realize Him. So, the entire question of a disciple becoming liberated would be absurd. Therefore, the disciple IS already the Self but in a state of “not recognizing” his real identity. Next, guru is the Self too, but he realized his real identity.
As I told you, the encounter between a disciple and a guru is arranged by Guru beforehand. Hence the disciple acquires required good qualities as to meet a guru. The ordinary thought would be that one must acquire good qualities before being given Grace, but that is not so. Grace bestowal in the case of the disciple, at least in minimum degree, had to occur before the encounter between him and a guru, or the disciple would not have the required good qualities to be with a guru. This shows that Guru had already arranged the encounter beforehand. Good qualities in a disciple are the work of Guru always. Grace allowed him to acquire all that, and not that he acquired those good qualities on his own in order to meet a guru. That is not possible, because no limited individual on his own can acquire the required good qualities to be with a guru and receive instructions from Guru. That way of thinking is based on the false conception that the limited individual “is capable”, but he is not. He needs Grace all the time in order to advance toward Final Liberation. There is no other way out in his case, according to both Trika philosophy and my own experience.
Therefore, as Guru (the Self in Grace mode) knows about the encounter between a guru and his disciple, He prepares everything beforehand. As the Self is all-pervading, there is no question about how Guru comes to know about the disciple and so on.
Q: Yes, I can understand that. So, Grace is all-pervading too.
A: Yes indeed! Grace is being bestowed on everyone all the time or they could never advance toward Final Liberation as the limited individual is always powerless. In most people the degree of Grace bestowal is very little, but it is there anyway. For example, when people suffer a lot, they pray to the Lord for help. At that time, He confers a little Grace on them. This degree of Grace bestowal is not remarkable because those people remember the Lord only at the time of great distress and not when they are well. Anyway, Grace bestowal takes place and they can slowly advance toward Final Liberation. After several births, they will finally attain a degree of evolution where Grace bestowal will be more prominent. Therefore, Grace bestowal does not occur only in the presence of great guru-s, but it takes place everywhere in various degrees. When one becomes a spiritual aspirant, that is a sign that Grace bestowal has become significant. What follows from that point on is only Grace bestowal increasing till the person realizes his own Self, whether this process takes one lifetime or several lifetimes.
If Grace bestowal were not like that, no human being could advance toward Final Liberation due to his inherent incapacity. The factor known as Grace is crucial for human evolution. When Grace bestowal is too little to produce Final Liberation soon (in one lifetime or maybe two lifetimes), a person can be a success or a failure from a worldly viewpoint, i.e. he can have all what this world has to offer or else he can be a beggar dying in the streets. Anyway, from a spiritual viewpoint, he is a failure and in need of more births in order to be a “real” success. Why? Because he has not realized he is the Self. He has not realized his divine “I” but rather he remains identified with his false “I” or ego. Accordingly, at the time of passing away, all his material possessions along with family, friends, pets, etc. are taken away from him by mother death (the Power of the Self in that form), and he has to be born again.
This is elemental spirituality but very few people can get it. They might “know it” but they do not “fully understand it”. The proof of their “not fully understanding it” rests on their attachment to material things, family, friends, pets, etc. In theory, they already know that death will put an end to all that, still, in practice, they become attached to material things, family and so on. Some of them are even very proud of behaving in such a foolish way. For example, it is usual to see how some people commit suicide because they lack money to sustain their families. Or they say that they would be “nothing” without their children. They are based on what is ephemeral and their behavior shows that they have not discovered their own Self. The problem is never money, family, friends, pets and the rest but the fact that one’s happiness depends on all those things and people. This must be clear from the start. Therefore, it is NEVER a matter of renouncing money, family, friends, pets, etc., firstly because a limited individual cannot do that and secondly because it is not necessary at all. The problem is attachment and not the object of one’s attachment.
Consequently, all human behavior is a fruit of one’s incapacity to deal with Self-realization. As human beings are so incapable and are at the mercy of the Power of the Self in all of Its aspects, the factor called Grace is indispensable to remove ignorance. Nobody can cross this ocean of worldliness full of foolishness without His Grace. This Truth should be engraved in big letters somewhere so everybody can remember it.
Q: So a liberated person is different then.
A: Yes. Not because a liberated person is inert like a rock but because he is both human and divine, as I have explained. He suffers just like any other human being does but at the same time he keeps his Bliss intact due to the massive Grace bestowal in his case. And even in the case that he wishes to leave his physical body, this is not due to the stock market falling or some other triviality of that sort, but to his deep desire to merge into the Supreme Self. As I told you before, a liberated person is a “different kind” of human being and not an ordinary human “reloaded”. He is not a superhero or something as inert as stone. On the contrary, he is full of Life or Divinity. As he is like this, he can keep walking and walking on grounds where other people would perish, symbolically speaking. For example, he is not dependent on money, family, friends, pets, etc. for his Happiness. So, in the event that all those are taken away from him by the Power of the Self, he would suffer like any other human being, but at the same time his autonomous Bliss would overpower him. Finally, he is able to overcome any tragedy in a short time or even instantly according to His Will, while it would take years to cure the wounds in the case of other people who are not Self-realized. All in all, a liberated one is able to do things that most mortals can only dream of. Why? Because the Self always saves him.
Happiness, in the case of a liberated person, is kept safe in the Self and not in objects, family, etc. as in the case of ordinary people. It is like saving your files only on your computer or making a backup on an external server as well. Therefore, if one day someone steals your computer or something, you do not lose your files in the process. Most people have their happiness in objects, family and the like. Hence, they are always ready to fall into the hands of misery and grief. This is a real tragedy from a human viewpoint, and His Play from a divine viewpoint. Anyway, living while one’s happiness is completely dependent of someone or something spoiling it is not the “right way of living”, I assure you. It is pretty dangerous to live like that. A liberated person first finally understood that living in such precarious conditions is extremely hazardous. And after understanding that simple truth, he became a spiritual aspirant desirous to know a way to keep his happiness “really safe”. Through His Grace, he advanced in his spiritual search and ultimately attained Self-realization. When he realized His Self, i.e. when he realized he is the Self and not a limited individual, his happiness became Happiness and remained stored in the Self forever. This kind of achievement is truly a real Success and not based on money, family, fame, objects, etc., because it is eternal like the divine Self while worldly success is sooner or later snatched out of one’s hands by the Power of the Self appearing as someone (e.g. a thief) or something (e.g. a tsunami). What doesn’t belong to you can be taken away. The Self cannot be robbed ever because He is oneself. Therefore, the wisest course of action would be the one leading to Self-realization (also known as Final Liberation) through His Grace. This is a basic concept in spirituality.
Let this Self bestow His Grace upon the reader now!