Book: steps to enlightenment

Attention.

Dollis Hill, London (England), 26 May 1980.

Today I am going to talk to you about attention: what is attention, what is the movement of attention and what are the ways and methods of raising our attention. Keep it in broad ways. Alright? But when I am saying all these things you must know that I am talking to you individually – it’s not about others. Always the first thing human beings do is, when I am speaking to you, you try to find out about who Mataji is speaking! This is the best way of putting your attention onto something else. If you put your attention to yourself that, “This is for me and me and me alone,” then it will have an effect, because these [words of mine] are mantras. And that’s why it is wasted because whatever is given to you is thrown onto another person.

So the attention, that you have, is the only way to know the reality. Your own attention is important, not the attention of others or your attention on others! This must be clearly understood. If you understand this point that the whole thing is to be consumed by you, through your attention to raise yourself to a higher situation, it will work out. Otherwise, it is like giving food to you and going to another person who is getting nourished, while you are getting nothing. And that person also may not be able get nourished, because he doesn’t know that you are throwing it to that person.

So today, as I am going to speak to you about attention, you should know that your attention should absorb all that I am saying. It is not meant for anybody else. You better sit in thoughtless awareness, that’s the best way, so that it goes into you. Otherwise it’s like a lecture, you know. That you listen to me has no effect. Every lecture will transform you because, after all, I am speaking.

But because you always think of others and you think of your problems all the time – something nonsensical is going on, about which you are worried – and the attention is so overloaded that whatever is said to you doesn’t go into you. So, just now, utilise it by being attentive and knowing that all these nonsensical things have no value. It’s your attention that has to come up and has to grow.

So, attention is the whole of the canvas of your being – is a complete canvas, is the attention. Complete canvas of your being is the attention. How much you have gone into it, how much you have discovered it, how far you have raised it is a different point.

Attention is chitta and God is attention.

How far your attention has been enlightened is a different point. But your attention is God – if you become enlightened to that extent. It is like a canvas. You can say it is like a canvas which is spread out for a film, and whatever aptitudes or, you can say, the drags or movements, your attention has, shows on that canvas. I don’t know what is the word for ‘vritti’ in English language. It’s not aptitude, but a person gets prone to, or his attention is dragged to – I don’t know [if] there is a word like that in English language – vritti. Can you suggest any word?

So our attention is just a pure, completely pure canvas and is acted upon by the three gunas we have, to begin with. And the three gunas come to you, as you know, one from your past, one from your future sense and one from the present. Now, whatever have been your experiences about a particular thing or a particular occasion, so far, is completely recorded in your memory.

For example, if you see the black colour: all that goes with the black colour is recorded in your memory. As soon as you see this black colour, quite a lot of it comes up. That means, as soon as you see this with your attention, the attention gets muddled up, or you can say the attention gets coloured with all the memories about this black colour. And then your action takes place according to the way your attention is affected.

For example, just now something was burned by these flames. Now, all of you became aware of it. Next time whenever you will see a flame, first thing [that] will happen will be that you will be cautious about it. It is not going to happen again, but the whole memory will come to you and you will try to be cautious or warn others, because your attention will become aware of that as soon as you will see that, because that canvas of your attention itself will start throwing out these pictures, out of itself, through your past experiences, on to the canvas. This is a living canvas.

Or may be that if you have got some ideas which you have premeditated, or thought of, of the future. For example, you must have thought of somebody that, “If I meet that man I will tell him like this.” As soon as you will meet that man, your attention will start bubbling out with those ideas that are coming about this man, and you will start addressing to him accordingly.

It’s all stored up within you, whether it is about the future or about the past. It’s given out of the attention through that bubbling process which depends on your dragging nature, where are you dragged. That’s called as vritti, but I don’t know what you call it in English language. I do not know what is the, what you are prone to (tendency).

Vritti is a very neutral word. It doesn’t mean anything bad. It means where you are drawn to. Vritti means a temperament by which you are drawn to. And whatever is your temperament, it acts like that. For example, if you see a man walking, say, blindly – he cannot see things –  one person may get angry with that person, another may have pity for that person, third may come forward to help him out. It’s the vritti, it’s the temperament, that you have developed through your three gunas. That’s why this attention becomes identified with you. And when you are identified with this, your vritti, your temperaments, then you are still in a misidentified area.

Let us take a case of somebody who has been possessed before. Now, coming to Sahaja Yoga his possession goes away. But the memory remains in the brain that he was possessed. And [if] the memory is stronger in a person, left side is stronger, then that memory lingers on, and as soon as that person comes in contact with anyone which has got something to do with the past possession, it clicks. And the whole thing starts coming into you bubbling out and you think you are again possessed. It is the memory which gives you [this reaction]. It’s a myth. It’s the memory that tells you, “Oh, you are again possessed!” Because your left side is weak, means you always live in your memory. Your memory is stronger than yourself. If you could make yourself stronger than your memory, nothing can possess you.

But after you get your Realisation, you are not still identified with that state of mind in which you see your ego and superego as myths. Still you get caught up into your ego and superego, and that’s why your attention is still in a mess. In a pure simple way of attention in an innocent child, he sees everything in pratyaksha, means in actual experiencing of something – for a child – because he has no memory. So he’ll have to burn his hand to feel that this burns. He has to touch something cold to know that it is cold. His memory is not yet built up. So into the actual experiencing of it he lives. But that actual experiencing becomes memory. And once the memory is built up stronger, the whole personality is affected by memory.

All the conditioning of all kinds come through that; your reading, even the whole atmosphere can come to you. You see, sometimes you smell a particular soap, or say a rose, you smell it – then all the memories of smelling such a rose, sometimes, comes to you and you may feel really elated sometimes, maybe sometimes, maybe, or sometimes very unhappy, whatever may be the situation. So you may feel happy or unhappy. Because, whatever experiences you have had, has given you a memory.

This memory might have given you a superego, or might have given you a ego. This scanning might have taken place. If it has been a ego and a superego, then may be that, if it was ego you must have felt happy. If it is satisfying to your ego you feel very happy. If it is not, if it is superego, if you are suppressed by this, then you feel very unhappy. So both things like happiness or unhappiness are the states where you are still in the myth, still the myth exists. You have to still go beyond.

So if you feel happy about some situation, you should know you are only happy before Realisation, because it is giving some support to your ego to bloat. And if you are unhappy, then you should know that there is some sort of a suppression on your ego and there’s a superego developing.

So both the situations have been of no help to you, of no help to you for your growth, except that both these institutions develop so much that you are away from the real experiencing. The real experiencing stops because your attention is so much muddled up.

So on one side if you move – on the left hand side – your attention is muddled up with fear, with pain, with unhappiness, with hopelessness, dejection. The other side, if you indulge too much on to the right hand side – little bit also – you start getting elated, excited, over-dominating.

The colour of the left side is blue. And the blue colour starts changing to the black. While on the right hand side it is, to begin with, yellow, light yellow or you can say golden, then yellow, then orange and then red.

So you go to aggression on the right hand side. On the left hand side you go into a complete state of entropy, you can call it, or a state where you are separated from yourself into a complete frozen state. So [on] one side you become completely frozen, on the other side you become completely heated up. Both these things are, again, movement on the wrong direction.

Even in the centre when the attention is kept – that you keep your attention more in the centre – there also, because it’s a very sensitive point, it doesn’t stay there. For example, when we, say, use fire, we can use it for burning the house. In the same way we can use it for creating smoke. But we can also use this fire in its proper way, if we use it, in its proper proportion, for cooking the food [or] for giving us light. If it is too much, it can burn like a big fire. If it is too little, it can burn like smoke. But in the centre when you know how to balance it, then you can use it for your own purpose – for cooking or for giving light, and then for a puja too.

So in the same way when we really balance our gunas properly, then we become gradually the master of the whole situation. The attention doesn’t get dragged into things that we have been doing or that we have understood through our memories or through our experiences or whatever it is, and is not also dragged towards, too much, on the right hand side that we try to overpower, or try to dominate someone. Because if you move too much that side you have seen [that] it becomes blood. It is difficult for people to understand how, when people become very religious-minded, like now Iran, the movement is on the right – all the austerities, all that, everything – now bloodshed. Christians also did the same. Brahmins did the same in India. Buddhists did the same, even [though] they talked of nonviolence they got to bloodshed, because movement started [on the] right hand side.

Left hand side movement will take you to very sly and dark methods. So right-handed sided people – like big nations who are supposed to be developed nations – they justify war. “We must have weapons to face each other.” But you all, each other, are the same people from God’s point of view! Why are you fighting? When God asks you, “Why are you fighting, what is the need? Why don’t you sit down properly and listen to each other? What are you fighting about? You are fighting about land. Is it your father’s land? It belongs to God! God has created this land. Why are you fighting?”

But your attention is such that immediately you think, “Oh, this is my land, this is my motherland, this is my fatherland, this is my brotherland.” But what about your land which is within you? It’s not your own!

So if you go on telling these people that we should have no war they will not listen. Realisation is the only way. By Realisation your attention gets higher and gets separated from that strata from where these things bubble in. Do you understand my point now? The strata goes higher, the attention goes higher, at a higher state.

By right side movement you get vikshepa, confusion. First you get confusion. Every intellectual, whatever brilliant he may be, he is confused. And the more confused he is, the more he asserts himself because he is confused, he’s not sure of himself, so he asserts, “This is the thing; this is the thing.” I mean, if it is so, why should you assert it? But he goes on asserting, “This is the thing!” Then understand that now he is going towards lunatic asylum – absolutely! And the way he asserts, and goes on talking about it, all the time, that means he is not sure. He becomes like a possessed personality. When he explains everything through his brains that “This is the thing. This is correct. We must all do, this is what…” and he convinces many others who are confused like him. They depend on him. He becomes a leader because, you see, they are much more confused and they find somebody who is not so much confused outwardly [so] they stick on to him, and all of them get to war or some sort of a bloodshed or some sort of – they want to see blood. They become heartless, passionless, compassionless, you can say – compassionless, loveless people.

The other movement is the blue side, is like the blue moonlight. So, for the romanticism starts. Sitting in the moonlight, you see! The ideas start coming from Lord Byron (laughter). And they come into your attention – then it becomes very strong passion with you. You think, “Oh, I am still, I have to find out my loves!” And you go on in search of your loves and this and that. These things are not really giving joy. That’s why so many poems have been written that, “Love is the most painful thing, it’s worse than death,” and all sorts of poems are written like that so why did you get into it? I mean, it’s already written down, books after books, still why do you get into it? (laughing) You are already warned about it that, “Don’t go after love, love is deception, love is this, that, it is very temporary, it is for the little while you get that.”

By chance, if somebody could stop at a point by marrying somebody who is sweet enough and realise that love and marriage and all these things are in the centre, are like the fire in the kitchen, are like the fire in the temple: looks after it and doesn’t overdo something about it. Then may be that this maybe utilised.

In the same way the right side movement of the Sun line. If people think that, yes, the sun is important, we have to have sun in the house, but you are not to become naked and insult the Sun and get your skin cancer! Sun is not for your skin cancer! But if you overdo it, also it is dangerous. A person who exposes himself too much to planning and doing that, and doing this, and doing all this, can land up into very great difficulties. So you have to balance that side also and this side and you have to be in the centre, in the equilibrium. Now this word ‘equilibrium’ doesn’t exist in our day-to-day life. It exists only in the fiction or may be in the so-called scientific research. But as far as human beings are concerned, they do not know what is equilibrium is. Because of this, the attention, though after Realisation comes up, still on the sides they just go down, this side or that side according to your vrittis. And when these identifications still act in them, they are prone to go down again in their attention and again start bubbling out the same thing as they had.

Now one has to become lighter in one’s own mind and should think that, “We have dropped all that now why are we there?” One should become lighter with all that load flowing out, because you are here to raise your attention higher and higher so that you come up to a point where you become one with the attention of God.

Already your attention is sparkled because through your attention you can see what’s wrong with you, you can see what’s wrong with others and you can see how far you are going with yourself. But the progress is retarded because you do not know that this attention is pure form and all that you get into this attention is a mythical stuff, is a myth. If you drop this myth gradually, treat everything as a myth and not depend on becoming unhappy or happy – just seeing the thing – [then] your attention will take a flight and it will be at a much higher level residing there. Instead of that, every moment you go this way or that way – it goes on like that – and the movement upwards is much less.

Even in Sattvoguna, when you rise, you can go much worse in that condition also. For example, if you say that, “I am trying to be Sattwoguni.” In Sattwoguni it is that you start seeing everything, discriminating through your understanding – not through vibrations – through understanding: “Oh! Should we not somehow or the other take out our attention from here?” “Should we not give up this?” “Should we be charitable?” “Should we go and serve the people?” There are people who think, “Oh, we are going to do something great!” – like your Salvation Army. Let them be salvaged by themselves! I don’t know what salvation they are going to do. So these ideas – ideas, I am saying – of Sattvoguna, can also immobilise you and can really freeze you down once for all, and that also can work in you in such a sly manner, we can say, in such a secretive manner, that you won’t feel it.

All these ideas of helping others, being charitable, “Let’s have a charity association!” – finished! Once you work in a charity association, your attention is finished there. But if your attention goes higher – say [as] my attention is. I am only nothing but charity! I mean what am I? It just flows. You just become the charity.

So the difference between a person who is a realised and a not realised is this that the attention which was giving myth as reality to you is gone now, is gone higher. It can see that it is myth. Attention can clearly see that it is myth, and you can see that yourself and you can remove yourself from them. That, of course, I have to give you a push, no doubt, and I am working hard on that to give you a push. But you should also know that mythical things must be dropped out, otherwise you will not grow. All mythical things must be dropped out. And the best way to do it is to be in thoughtless awareness because as soon as you transcend these three gunas you become thoughtlessly aware. You have to cross Agnya. Once you cross Agnya, these three gunas, absolutely you go into a state where you are gunateet, you are beyond gunas.

So you do not deliberately do anything, but it just works out.

But analysis is one of the diseases of the West. What are you analysing? What are you analysing? You ask yourself. I feel like laughing at the whole analysis that goes on. See, they’ll sit down, take out a hair, splitting the hair into hundred! And great analysers are sitting down there! They cannot even say how the chromosomes have that spindle action and, I mean at that minute level the things are worked out. They cannot say how a cell divides. What are they analysing sitting down here?

Now, they have analysed for a purpose – also done for God. Through their analysis now my things are recorded. Through their analysis I can go to the TV, if they allow me any time, because of analysis [it] doesn’t fit into me, they won’t allow, they may not, it might be expedited. But say, for example, if you had not discovered these things – for example take it like that – and the science was not discovered, your attention would have been at least better off. Because of science, your attention is also very much in confusion. So I don’t know which one to praise, whether the science or the primitiveness. When you raised yourself to science also, you got to another extreme as usual. Till you burnt out your complete attention, you were not satisfied. I mean if you had kept your balance in science also it would have helped, but the balance was lost there. Give anything to human beings and they know how to make the worst out of it. They will go to the extreme. You give them a horse, they cannot go ordinary trotting or galloping, they must have a double gallop, till they fall and die! Everything you see, they just are on the run all the time.

So first thing is needed is to steady down yourself and tell yourself that, “Now all these mythical things I am not going to allow to come to my attention.” All these things are nothing but myths. But you are giving too much importance to myths. You are taking them bit so seriously.

They are just mythical. Now, I mean, when you are realised now you laugh at people who just go mad over say, a moonlit night. Alright? But ask the fellow who is doing that, he’ll say, “You are heartless, you have no feelings!” (laughter)  He’ll give you a big poetry out of it. You go and see anyone of these people who are riding a high horse, who are at the helm of affairs, and you will feel like laughing at them. But they will think that, “You are useless, you are doing no work, you are good for nothing, you are just wasters.”

So now for you, because you are enlightened now, is to understand that our attention has to move higher and higher, at a higher space. Now actually what has happened in Realisation? Your Kundalini has risen and has come up, just like, you can say, a small, thin hair, one hair, and that has broken your Sahasrara and now the grace is flowing into you. But it’s a very small movement that has taken place, of course which is a very difficult movement no doubt, but it has taken place. Now you have not expanded like this. Your chakras are only pierced in the centre, but the rest of the attention is still intact. Actually it is so intact, that you don’t even feel that it is pierced. Now you have to expand that, open it out, so that more strands of Kundalini can rise and your attention, which is in these centres, expands. By expansion it drives out all that is mythical on the sides. On every centre we have our attention, which is being enlightened in the centre through this Light passing through. But the Light is too small for the darkness that you have collected.

Specially for the people of the West, I would say, your confusions, you must get rid of them. But still you identify. Because if I ask you anything [like], “How are you?” Means what? Means you are still confused. Alright?

Confusion should go. One confusion was there that, “This is Realisation or not?” I hope that’s over now with you people. At least now you believe it is Self-realisation. I had to tell people, “No, you are self-realised now, you are!” Still they would jump up like [a] jack-in-the-box, you see. They’ll say, “No, we’re not Mother! How do you say this is Realisation?” “We expect this out of Realisation and that out of Realisation – that we’ll be flying out of the door if we are Realised,” or something nonsensical like that. Thank God, these ideas have gone away.

But when we are Realised, there is Light that has come in us, we have to grow it only by separating our attention from the myths. It’s all mythical. I also play with you, because unless and until you are sure, I am not going to give you a wrong idea about yourself. I want to see how far still your attention is moving, and I know [that] still you are not sure, still you are not sure of yourself, that’s why the confidence is not there.

First of all you have to learn how to drive, then you are tested. There will be five stones put together, the distance will be only that hardly a car can pass through and the fellow will say, “You bring it zigzag!” And you cannot do it. Why? That’s how he makes you a master. The mastery of your attention will come when you will start seeing that it is all a myth that upsets you. It’s all a myth that upsets you. Just throw it away. Just throw it away and understand that you are the eternal attention, that you are the eternal life, that [the] only thing that keeps you away from it is ignorance, and the ignorance is too simple to understand: that you have accepted myth as Truth.

Just drop it! It’s all myth! You’ll be amazed how your attention will rise and you’ll see all these nonsensical things which used to frighten you or to elate you, will drop out, and you will just smile at it. And then only you are going to enjoy yourself fully because your attention will be completely drenched into the bliss of Self. I am saying you will, I say you are already drenched into that bliss. Keep it up.

Now, how to do it? Actually, in every day-to-day life, how to kill the memory of the past? To kill the memory of the past is to have new memories. You must remember when you got your first Realisation – always think of it. Whenever any such memory comes to you, you [should] try to think how you got your Realisation. Any memory that is troublesome or even so-called elating, you just try to remember how Realisation has come to you. When you feel aggressive about something or angry [about] something, just try to remember how you felt the joy of surrendering. Just think of that joy of surrendering, of dissolving yourself.

So the new memories must be built up. If you start building up new memories, then you will start collecting moments to establish other moments which have such memories. Like a memory when you tried to help somebody, you raised the Kundalini of someone.

Now the problem would be when you will be raising the Kundalini of others, you will be in thoughtless awareness – there won’t be any thought – and thought is the only thing which impresses. But [at] that time you can record the joy of raising the Kundalini.

If you could record the joy of raising the Kundalini of others, you will feel [that] a new wealth of these beautiful moments will be accumulated. And all those moments which were giving you confusion or fear or so-called unhappiness and happiness will drop out and pure joy will remain. Because now most of the experiences you have had are more of joy. Joy has no thoughts. It’s just an experience, a pratyaksha. That’s why I said you keep your eyes open.