Q. What was the impact that Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda made on you?
A. Meeting him became a turning point in my life. He asked me at the very first meeting to join the Brahmachari course – probably sensing the thirst in me to know about Vedanta. One day, when I was at the Yoga centre office, the phone rang. I picked it up and heard the voice of Gurudev on the other end. I felt as if it was the voice of God himself!! I was bereft of words! It was some time before I could give a response. Such was his impact upon me.
Q. How do we develop concentration in meditation?
A. By leading a very pure and disciplined life throughout the day, we can concentrate when we are on the seat of meditation. Just watch your thoughts throughout the day. It will help you to detect the pattern of your thoughts. This will help you to understand your innate tendencies which need to be exhausted. It will also help you to develop the faculty of alertness and concentration.
Q. Is Meditation not a continuum? Why should it be restricted to a particular time?
A self realized person is continuously in a meditative state even when he appears to be doing actions. He is always in a state of ‘being’. He is ever reveling in the Self. On the other hand, a seeker has to prepare himself for success in meditation. For him meditation is a process at the end of which he gains single pointed concentration. Therefore, for him, meditation is an action of overcoming his thoughts and gaining that stillness. During this period of preparation, he needs to regularly sit on the seat of meditation for a certain amount of time everyday. This is necessary until he learns to abide in the Self.
Q. We find that in society, there is no continuum. From temple to the workplace, there is so much of division and discrepancy?
A. Who should give us this continuum? Is it the duty of society to give it? It is not. It is the duty of each of us to prepare ourselves to get that continuum or oneness. When we find ‘Ourselves’, we will find that there is nothing other than that eternity. Only in ignorance do we experience divisions and imperfections. It should be our sadhana to build a bridge from the superficial river of identifications to the deep river of pure awareness.
Q. It is said that “the ‘One’ wanted to see himself as the ‘many’ and therefore he created the world”. Again it is said that “The self realized person who experiences that there is nothing other than the ‘One Self’ wants always to revel in the self”. Tapovanji himself sought every opportunity possible to shun the world and to be with himself. Why these opposite ‘wants’?
A. Who can explain it until we come to that stage? Everything that happens is God’s Play and our duty is only to do our sadhana and gain the state of perfect knowledge.
Q. Sometimes I blame others for certain problems and later understand that I was at fault and regret my behaviour. Is my behaviour wrong?
A. Realization of your faults shows that you are on the path of progress in spirituality. It shows that you are gaining that state of witness-ship, that you are able to stand apart from the situation and see it objectively.
Q. I always try to be humble at my workplace but it is being misunderstood as weakness by my colleagues and management. What do I do?
A. How do you define the word humble? If you understand it as mere obedience, it is a wrong understanding. Humility does not mean being weak or condemning yourself. Real humility lies in accepting it when you are wrong. To be able to recognize the greatness of others is also humility.