What does it mean to be connected to your spirit, to follow the path of spiritual development? For many, it means joining a group and following the social codes and teachings of that particular group or teacher. But the degree to which there is true development in spiritual life depends not upon discipline alone. Following the teachings and doing the practices, is a basic requirement. Beyond that, to make those practices truly enriching, truly serving the purpose of bringing your spiritual life into focus, bringing you connected to the infinite, the heart must be involved.
If there is discipline but no passion then the mind during the quietude of meditation follows what is foremost where there is interest. And it will stray into various engagements that have gathered your passion, have gathered your attention. For your meditation to go deep, the divinity within must be a source of your passion— something that you have passion for, something that you truly want to move close to; not just with the mind, but with the heart.
Then the question comes, what does it mean to move close? What does it mean to have a deep connection to your soul, to the indwelling God? Love alone brings the answer. When you have been touched by that divinity, when you have had moments of sinking into that unitary whole, it becomes the passion of your heart to know that one, to go beyond divisions and separation to wholeness and union.
This passion of the heart is known as devotion. It is given by the grace of the infinite when you tire of your external pursuits and all of the material ways and intellectual ways that you have sought wholeness, that you have sought happiness, power, money, wealth, and relationships. Though you have a love for others, there is still something that needs fulfilling within you, and that is what draws you, and your yearning is the calling manifesting within you; the call of the infinite to you.
Purushottama, that cosmic nucleus, is attracting the entire creation. There is an introversion pull towards the cosmic nucleus. It is all-attracting. It is drawing you inward towards this nucleus, towards this home of homes. That is the nature of this cosmic nucleus, of Purushottama. It draws living beings to it. And when the other desires that have dominated the mind begin to lessen, you begin to feel that draw, and you feel that all of the ways you have pursued happiness have not yielded the complete depth that you want. Then you are naturally drawn to that cosmic nucleus, that cosmic home from which you have come. You feel the pull within you. You feel the yearning. It may come out as discontent, even sorrow, or even fear.
You begin to yearn for something more, and that yearning is his calling, the calling of the infinite to you, the calling of the Beloved to you. And as you allow yourself to sink into that love, to follow that call, in your meditation process that call begins to dominate the mind, begins to draw the heart, the passion from you to know the supreme, to be close to that one.
When this happens, the thoughts of lesser passion begin to fade from the mind, and this calling brings you deep into your mediation. So discipline allows you to sit. The discipline allows you to take the name of the divine. The discipline allows you to do the remembrance during the day when you act. But it is the passion that connects you. If you didn't sit, your mind ever busy in the world forgetting, forgetting, then where is the time? So, when you take the time, the infinite is there with you. When you feel passion, and devotion, the mind grows in magnitude. You begin to feel the presence, and as you do so, you sink deeper and deeper into the unitary whole, drawn by the call of the infinite, drawn by the love divine into the vastness of being, into the wholeness where I and Thou do not exist, where there is only the one eternal infinite being.
In that unitary whole, where is the difference between you and the Beloved, between you and your Baba, your Ma, your Ishta Deva? You and your Ishta Deva, your one form that has drawn your passion, blend. For in reality there is only oneself, one infinite being, one truth. That one is so close because it is your very own nature, your very own Self—your Baba, your Ma, your one. Your Ishta Deva is your very own Self, and is that pure Beloved, the embodiment of infinite compassion, undying love, and exquisite beauty.
That one is the core of your being. Never diminish yourself, for you are the form which that one has taken in the world, in the play of creation. That one has taken all the forms, like the dreamer dreaming the dream, that one dreams this created world. It holds its relative reality. But there is a truth beyond that relative reality. There is a depth of being. Some see the awareness, the attention, consciousness that is brought, knowing that consciousness, that awareness, is the knower of your existence. There is awareness when the one who is aware becomes aware of himself/herself. There is a touch with the atma, the knower of your I-feeling, closer than close. But what is the atma, this knower?
Is it simply an impartial aware consciousness? No, no, no. That knowing consciousness, that aware existence is not only the witness of your life, your thoughts, the play of your existence, but it is the witness of all of creation. All creation is in its body. You are the child of the great one that has one desire to bring all beings back to itself. It flings the creation into existence through the gunas and the five elements and then it draws that dream back into itself, and that draw is the passion, the love. That one loves you unconditionally.
So to say that this all-knowing awareness is impartial is to not understand its nature. For it is partial to every living being. It has a great connection. You are its own, and it is one desire is to bring you back to itself, back to your home. That desire is the sole passion of the infinite, all attracting entity. And from that desire comes the yogamaya. The manifestation in different forms, in different times, comes to the teachings that guide the mind and the heart toward wholeness. All come from that yogamaya, that love of the infinite embodying in forms to teach, to guide your soul.
For that one, not only has a relationship to the cosmos, is not only the very substance of the cosmos, it has a personal relationship with every one of you. It has an intimate relationship. You are its own embodied form. And that infinite one, that Beloved is calling to you ‘come home, come home, I'm here for you. The love of that one is the love that is sought in every relationship in your life.
But human relationships are only a dim reflection of the deep love of ParamaPurusha, the deep love of the indwelling Self. That love is all-consuming. It burns away illusion. It burns away lesser desires. It speaks to the heart, calls your name, 'come home, my child. come home.
As so, embodying in the form of your Ishta Deva, your Beloved draws you home, draws you to itself. So that all-attracting entity is the source of your being, is the home of your home, the home of your heart. It is hridaya, your spiritual heart, which must open and dance with the Beloved until there is no separation and you let go, surrender, and dissolve into that one. That is your destiny, and whether it be now, or many lifetimes forward, it is surely your future, your present.
So, don't hold back, don't hold your heart apart. Trust that divinity that calls to you. Let your heart open. That one is your solid rock, not things of this world. They come and go. Form is ever-changing, but that one is unchanging. That one will ever be with you through thick and thin. Let that one be the polestar of your life. Forms come and go, but the eternal remains always. Are there any questions? It is alright to ask a question.