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Share International magazine September 2004

Share Internaional magazineThis is an abridged version of
Share International magazine.
Through these electronic files, the magazine Share International makes available a compilation of its contents. Permission is granted to reproduce these articles in magazine, newspaper or newsletter format, provided that credit is given to Share International and clippings are sent to:
PO Box 41877, 1009 DB Amsterdam, Holland. Copyright (c) 2003 Share International. All rights reserved.


Master's article:

The forward path

by the Master —, through Benjamin Creme

Preparatory to every shift in human consciousness there is a pause, a moment of stillness, in which the achievements of the past are reappraised and, if found wanting, discarded. Thus it is today as man assesses what is relevant and needful to preserve for future use, and what is dispensable in the light of his growing awareness and insight. Left to himself, this period for man would be long indeed. Many are the experiments which he would require to make, and many are the possibilities of error which could occur, ere the right path was found and the right steps taken.
From now on, man can avail himself, if he so chooses, of the help and experience of Us, his Elder Brothers, Who stand ready to aid and inspire when called upon to do so.
Thus is this a time without precedent, when the Helpers are at hand in every situation, careful to maintain man’s divine free will, but eagerly willing to give of Their age-long wisdom and hard-fought-for experience and knowledge.

Much that today seems important will pass away, to be replaced by simpler and more natural ways of living and relationship. Gone, you may be sure, will be the blasphemy of millions dying needlessly of want in the midst of overflowing plenty. Gone, too, will be the intolerance which so disfigures the human spirit today. Gone, for ever, the urge to dominate, subdue and exploit the resources and territory of smaller and weaker nations. In their place will grow a new realism, an understanding of the inter-connectedness of all men and of their mutual rights and obligations. Men and nations will seek to live by the rule of law and the requirements of peace and security for all men.

New thought
Soon, the beginning of such a process will make its appearance. Already, the men whose eyes are attuned to the future are making known their insights and gaining attention. More and more, many will turn to them for assurance and guidance, and in this way the new thought will take root. Gradually, a transformation will take place in human thinking and, inevitably, the old will give way to a new and saner approach to the problems of life.
Thus, in a fiery cauldron, the shape of the future is being fashioned now. The outlines, as yet, are dim and indistinct, yet sufficiently clear, to those whose eyes are keen, to give assurance and hope that man is awakening to his true identity and purpose, and, despite the vicissitudes of the time, well set on his forward path.

(Read more articles by the Master)

Questions & Answers:

Q. (1) How many people have heard the information about Maitreya? (2) Out of those, how many are open to the possibility of it? (3) How many people actually believe it?
A. (1) 30 million. (2) 20 million. (3) 2 million.

Q. (1) Could you please say how many civilians have been killed in Iraq since the beginning of the war? (2) How many Iraqis have been severely injured or permanently maimed? (3) How many Iraqi children have been killed? (4) How many permanently maimed? How many (5) US and (6) British military and/or support personnel have been killed?
A. (1) Around 25,000. (2) 350,000 approximately. (3) 846. (4) 3,500. (5) 850 so far. (6) 260 so far. [As of 28 June 2004]

Q. Saddam Hussein has just sent a message via the Red Cross to his 'daughters' saying that he is "still in good spirits". Readers of Share International will have read that the real Saddam Hussein is dead. Could you say why the stand-in is still pretending?
A. He is still obeying instructions to keep up the pretence as long as possible for the sake of loyal Ba'athist Iraqis. Sooner or later, his identity will be questioned and the truth will be revealed.

Q. (1) Can this show-trial taking place with the Saddam Hussein impostor be viewed as another desperate attempt taken by the US administration to win over public opinion as the November Presidential elections approach? (2) Was there much discussion or even dissent in the administration about putting this impostor on trial? (3) I cannot imagine the impostor voluntarily accepting a sentence, whether death or prison, for Saddam Hussein's crimes. (4) Perhaps they have made some sort of an agreement with him? Or (5) perhaps they have considered having him silenced in some fashion? (6) Surely, elements of the world media must now be questioning the authenticity of this man's claim, but do you believe they will do so publicly, and what holds them back?
A. (1) Yes. (2) Yes. (3) That is what he is doing. (4) No. (5) Yes. (6) Doubt. Lack of proof. They find it hard to believe that the US Administration would go so far.

Q. How many international treaties, international laws or resolutions are being contravened in (1) the Guantanamo Bay detention centre; (2) by the USA in Iraq; and (3) in the Middle East in general? (4) How many by the British forces in Iraq? (5) How many UN resolutions, international laws and treaties are being contravened by Israel and (6) by the Palestinians?
A. (1) 14. (2) 14. (3) 14. (4) 14. (5) 63. (6) 5.

Q. I am concerned by the political stance of the messages in Share International. Specifically, the continual insistence that the man captured is not Saddam Hussein and that a radical arm of ETA, and not an Al-Qaida wing, carried out the Madrid bombings. Neither of these assertions has any basis in reality. Indeed, strong physical evidence has shown that in both cases the opposite is true - and it's not just the US government making those claims, but the entire world. I'd like to know what answer you have for me and others who may have these same questions.
A. With respect, the entire world is not making these claims but merely taking the assertions of the US Administration without challenge. I have answered questions at length in previous editions of Share International [May 2003, Jan/Feb and May 2004] on the so-called capture of 'Saddam Hussein ' and given my reasons for doubting the authenticity of his capture, and, likewise, my information, as given by Hierarchy, on the Madrid train bombing [SI May 2004]. If the questioner cannot accept my information, then so be it. I cannot be expected to change it for her comfort. By the way, my information that the Madrid train bombing was the work of a radical fringe group of ETA referred only to the train bombing, not to the subsequent attacks.

Q. In Benjamin Creme's first book, The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom, he writes: "the Day of Declaration ... will be about 18 months from now, May 1982." Here it is 22 years later and nothing. How can you make such irresponsible claims?
A. The original plan of Hierarchy was that Maitreya would reveal Himself by the end of May 1982 if the world's media would go through a token, symbolic, act of looking for Him and inviting Him forward. To make this possible, I was asked to hold a press conference, reveal where Maitreya was living, and invite the media to make this symbolic act on behalf of humanity in general. I held the press conference in Los Angeles on 14 May 1982. All the main American media were present plus the BBC from London. Over 90 media representatives heard me present my information and reveal that Maitreya lived in the Asian community of London. I challenged them to send journalists to London, make the symbolic search and Maitreya would come forward to them. The media, unfortunately, did nothing, and the long, long way of emergence had to be undertaken by Maitreya so that humanity's free will was not infringed.
No doubt Maitreya could have done better in choosing His messenger but the fact is that He did not. Perhaps no one else would have stuck to the task this long! The interesting thing is that infinitely more people are aware of the need for change in the world along the lines of Maitreya's ideas, and more expectant to see and work for Him, than in 1982. Audiences at my lectures are very many times greater than they were then. Perhaps humanity was just not ready for Maitreya in 1982.

Q. (1) Can visualizing or thinking of the photo of Maitreya's 'Hand' invoke His energy if a copy is not readily available, or (2) is an actual physical copy necessary?
A. (1) Yes. (2) No.

Q. Maitreya is quoted as having said that "when this principle" (namely sharing) "is accepted, I will declare myself". That's very different from your own predictions about the television interview and the pending market crash, etc. So who's right, you or Maitreya?
A. Of course, Maitreya is right - and so am I. His declaration of Who and What He is will not take place until humanity has accepted the principle of sharing. This will lead to His appearance before the whole world on Declaration Day. The television interviews and market crash will precede that day.

(More questions and answers)

Letters to the editor:

Over a number of years, some of the Masters, in particular Maitreya and the Master Jesus, have appeared, in different guises, to large numbers of people around the world. They also appear at Benjamin Creme's lectures and meditations, giving people in the audience the opportunity to intuitively recognise Them. Some people recount their experiences to Share International magazine. If the encounters are authenticated by Benjamin Creme's Master, the letters are published. These experiences are given to inspire, to guide or teach, often to heal and uplift. Very often, too, the Masters draw attention to, or comment on, in an amusing way, some fixed intolerance (for example against smoking or drinking). Many times They act as saving 'angels' in accidents, during wartime, earthquakes and other disasters. The following letters, previously published in Share International magazine, are examples of this means of communication by the Masters.

Healing hand

Dear Editor,
My son has had tuberculosis and stomach problems and at 40 years of age is asking himself: “Why me?” I showed him the ‘hand of Maitreya’ and after sitting quietly with his hand placed on the image, he sat in his usual place at the kitchen table. After he returned home to his family, there was an image of a ‘hand’ on his wooden chair. Was this a blessing from Maitreya, as he has shown such courage over the last two years?
LL, Brighouse, Yorkshire, UK.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘handprint’ was manifested by Maitreya.)

There’s the rub

Dear Editor,
On Saturday 22 May 2004 I was cleaning up the formica-topped table after lunch when I noticed a left hand print left on the table. I thought immediately it looked like Maitreya’s ‘hand’. I tried to wipe it away but it remained. I rubbed it hard and it seemed to get stronger the more I wiped it. I placed my hand on it and it was a lot bigger than my hand. My husband placed his hand on it, but the print was bigger and there was no way it could be his. He also thought it looked like Maitreya’s ‘handprint’. As the day went on, I kept wiping it and every time it would reappear, just as strong as before. My husband even tried.
Later in the evening I showed it to a very sceptical friend, and she was convinced it looked like the ‘handprint’ I got off the [Share International] website. Her friend started rubbing the top two fingerprints real hard to remove it, and the whole hand disappeared.
I was wondering if Maitreya had anything to do with the handprint?
AK, Kettering, Ohio, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘handprint’ was manifested by Maitreya.)

Flower plant

Dear Editor,
On Sunday 16 November 2003, the Voorheesville New York (USA) Transmission Meditation group sponsored a table at the Mind, Body, Spirit Expo in Brattleboro, Vermont.
The day before, co-worker Boris bought seven pink and white roses. They were beautiful and added softness to our display spread upon two adjacent tables. However, 19 days later the six roses were still in bloom.
What was most striking is that two pink and two white roses had green shoots, growing out of the prickly buds upon the stems. One white rose, in particular, grew a 2-inch-high shoot that had leaves. And two other roses looked as though they too were going to grow those same shoots. The original leaves had all fallen away.
Could this be a blessing or sign from Maitreya?
BS, JS, IB, & JF, USA.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that Maitreya blessed the flowers. He was also present at the Expo.)

Divine feat

Dear Editor,
On 18 May 2004 I was on my way to a peace concert. I had some reservations about going on my own, and sitting on a train platform was making up a ditty: “Just when things weren’t going so well, a miracle happened to me.” It was 5.30pm and the platform was busy. I noticed a beautiful young Indian woman with deep brown eyes and long hair, rocking a pram. Her small son was delightful: he was hurling himself backwards in the pram, his legs flying into the air together. He squealed and chortled to himself, he was a joy to watch. I walked over to them and she smiled at me — she was warm and open and didn’t mind when I started talking to the boy. He was two years old. We played a hide-and-peek game with our hands covering our eyes. He laughed easily. He had bare feet so I bent down and tickled his toes gently. Then, very gracefully, he raised his left foot, presented it to me for tickling, lowered it down and raised the other foot to me. Then in a strange and rhythmic pattern he raised one foot after the other about 12 times! It was done so precisely and daintily that I was amazed.
Then we all got on the train. She stood with the pram near the door and I sat down and listened to my walkman. I looked up and she was watching me — her look took me by surprise, I felt a pang in my heart and turned away holding back tears, taking a deep breath. I wondered if she and the boy might be Maitreya and the Master Jesus — something about her face reminded me of Maitreya’s Nairobi appearance. Then her mobile phone rang and the situation seemed normal again.
She moved to a seat on my left. A young brawny man sat next to me, between us. He began to tickle the boy’s feet, rather roughly. The boy did not react but held his gaze on him, unflinching. In a while the man lost interest and turned away. I couldn’t keep my eyes off the boy: in a serene, poised movement he raised his hand to the man in a deliberate gesture of greeting. “There you go,” I said to the man, who then looked pleased. He got off at the next station.
The boy cried to come out of his pram so his mother unbuckled him and he ran over the seat to look out of the window. Their relationship seemed to have a free quality about it.
As we came into a station she suddenly wondered if she was on the wrong train. I checked and they needed to get off straightaway. I scooped up the boy, helped her with the pram and said goodbye quickly.
I felt uplifted by this encounter and enjoyed the concert — all my reservations drifting away. Were the mother and child I met Maitreya and the Master Jesus?
Gill Fry, London, UK.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘woman’ was Maitreya and the ‘boy’ was the Master Jesus.)

Two letters from the same person:

Wake-up call

Dear Editor,
(1) For the summer 1992, I could not make up my mind about a choice of training courses. It was either discovering the esoteric tradition of Egypt or attending a course on the Bach flower remedies. As I was waiting for a patient, I started to fill in the form for the esoteric tradition of Egypt to be sent to Marseilles. As the patient had still not arrived, I decided to fill in the other form for the Bach flowers. In the evening, I sealed the two envelopes ready to be sent the following morning, thinking advice would come during the night.
The next day, half awake, I was suddenly projected out of bed, knowing I had to post the envelope bearing the Marseilles address. Later that morning, I called the patient who had not turned up. She told me she had phoned me the day before to apologize for not being able to come and said that a young lady with a voice sounding almost like mine had informed her that I had gone to Marseilles. My patient was quite surprised that I had already returned from Marseilles. I was also extremely surprised myself — the day before, my phone had not rung at all!
Could you please tell me the origin of the force which projected me out of bed and who spoke to the patient on my behalf?
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that it was the Master Jesus who propelled her out of bed and also spoke to the patient.)

Right answer

(2) In the last term of 1999, as I was picking up my son from the school playground, feeling a little worried about his adaptation to a new environment without his parents, an old lady walking past told me that the ladies looking after the children were kind and caring. She had answered my question without my asking her. Despite her old age, she surprised me by her stamina, her sparkling blue eyes, and the fact she was had a big young dog full of life on a lead. I wondered how she could find the strength to control the dog.
Was this lady a Master?
SG, Paris, France.
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms that the ‘old lady’ was the Master Jesus.)


Miracle oil on Madonna portrait

Hundreds of visitors have travelled to see a portrait of the Madonna in Chico, California, USA, which has been miraculously exuding oil since 8 June 2004.
The 14-inch by 18-inch portrait shows the Madonna holding the young Jesus with both hands, her head tilted down to her left and an angel floating on each side of her face. It is mounted on a piece of carved wood, and is coated in lacquer. Drops of yellowish-green oil form on its glossy surface.
The portrait is in the home of Eimad Abdulaziz. The phenomenon began when Eimad went into a trance and told his wife he was seeing a bright light and knew that their portrait of the Madonna downstairs was dripping oil. His wife went down and found the wall and carpet soaked in colourless oil. She marked a cross with the oil on her forehead and on her husband’s, whereupon he came out of his trance. He remembered nothing of what had happened.
The couple called members of their church (Saint Elias Orthodox Church), and many came that morning to pray. Since then, every time people begin to pray, more drops form.
The phenomenon has been declared a miracle by Archbishop Clemis Eugene Kaplan of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch. The local priest, Father George Durghali, believes the miracle is a message, but he does not ask why: “We just thank him all the time for whatever comes from above,” he said, adding: “There is no way in the world it could be faked. There’s no way liquid can go through it. It is coated.” (Source: Paradise Post, USA)
(Benjamin Creme’s Master confirms this as a miracle manifested by the Master Who was the Madonna.)

Light blessings

Share International regularly prints photographs showing 'light blessings'. Typically, a column or swirl of light is discovered on the photograph after development. These patterns of light are not caused by film faults or accidents in the developing process and are only seen on the exposure in question, not the whole film. Benjamin Creme's Master confirms that they are blessings manifested by Maitreya or the Master Jesus. The following is a very small selection of light-blessing photographs as published in this month's issue and chosen from the many sent to Share International.

Click for bigger picture

Click for bigger picture

Desmond Tutu — God Has a Dream
Book review by Jos Kuyl

Desmond TutuFormer Archbishop of Cape Town Desmond Tutu (see picture), recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, writes with infectious good humour and solid belief in God and humanity. In God Has a Dream, his most soul-searching book, published on the 10th anniversary of South Africa’s democracy and the fall of apartheid, Tutu presents a vision of hope for our time. “All over this magnificent world God calls us to extend His Kingdom of peace and wholeness — of justice, of goodness, of compassion, of caring, of sharing, of laughter, of joy, and of reconciliation. God is transfiguring this world right at this very moment — through us, because God believes in us and because God loves us. What can separate us from God? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. And as we share God’s love with our brothers and sisters, God’s other children, there is no tyrant that can resist us, no oppression that cannot be ended, no hunger that cannot be fed, no wound that cannot be healed, no hatred that cannot be turned to love, no dream that cannot be fulfilled.”
He describes the non-violent transformation of the country into a multiracial democracy as miraculous, and the elections as a religious experience, a transfiguration experience; nobody could ever have dreamt that South Africa would become a beacon of hope.
Tutu shares his vision based on the Bible and his own observations and experiences — as both a man of God and the chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up by Nelson Mandela to prevent violence and revenge from derailing the transformation of South Africa.
Tutu’s convincing examples of transformation include Nelson Mandela: in his 27 years in prison he developed the wisdom to choose reconciliation instead of revenge. His suffering for the sake of others was crucial in making him a moral and political leader respected by all.
The individualistic West, with its emphasis on achievement, can learn much from African ideas, says Tutu, especially ubuntu, a concept which recognizes that we are part of a larger group of humanity. Ubuntu is about compassion, hospitality and the capacity for sharing. The way to make the world a better place, he says, is to consider ourselves as equals, a family: active work on healing instead of seeking separation is the path he recommends to world leaders.
The full participation of women in every aspect of society is needed, Tutu believes; unleashing the power of women has the potential to transform our world in extraordinary and many, as yet unimagined, ways.
He also calls us to take action in the name of transformation, beginning by looking at ourselves and the people around us in a new way — which Tutu calls with ‘the eyes of the heart’— so that we are able to see the inner light shining through their outer forms and that will transform us all.

(Desmond Tutu, God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time. Doubleday, 2004.)

Revealing the "natural aspect of being" (2)

Swami NirliptanandaSwami Nirliptananda (see picture) is a senior swami in one of the temples of the Asian community in London, deeply acquainted with the teachings of Maitreya.
In Part One of this interview (see Share International July/Aug 2004) Swami Nirliptananda explained the importance of meditation as a means to achieving detachment and increased self-awareness. Part One ended with Swami giving a sense of the unifying effect the mantram OM can have when used correctly. In Part Two he expands on this topic and brings together the many apparently disparate aspects of our lives into one whole, in a broad synthesizing sweep.

Swami Nirliptananda: When we chant the OM mantram we can do it in two ways: first we can chant it aloud but if we do it properly, that is, by listening to the sound — just concentrating on that sound of the OM — then you can’t repeat it all the time. You repeat it for a while, then it just stops automatically — outwardly, but inwardly it will go on constantly. When that happens and you’re aware of that sound going on, even if you’re working or doing something else, you can still hear the sound of the OM — you are still conscious of it. In other words, then your mind is connected with that sound. And since the mind is connected with it and is nourished and integrated by that sound, so nothing else can have any effect on the mind.
Our basic problem is that we are not self-conscious; we are conscious of everything else but ourselves. So we need to try to develop that self-consciousness and be aware of our inner vibrations — divine vibrations that are functioning within us all the time. The OM mantram helps us to become more self-conscious and as that increases, the mantram is going on within us all the time; in the inner world the mind is connected.

Share International: You were saying that we had lost our sense of self — that we are not conscious of the self. Do you mean the ordinary ‘everyday self’? I think perhaps you mean the higher self or soul?
SN: No, not really; not the ‘higher self’, because what I am talking about is the way or the means through which we are moving towards the higher self-realization. The idea is to move towards self-knowledge. Self-knowledge comes first through self-awareness, which means you are aware of the impact that this world makes on you. Ordinarily, people are not aware of that. They are not consciously aware of it [the impact] because the mind is only attached to the world. But as the mind, through the chanting of the mantram, becomes detached from the world we become self-conscious of what is happening to us — and more aware of ourselves.
When we talk about knowledge and self-knowledge it doesn’t mean anything occult but simply that we are more aware of the impact of the world on us. We see what transformations are taking place within us.

SI: What sort of transformation?
SN: With greater awareness and detachment we become more relaxed, we feel freer, more elated, happier — these are the kind of changes that happen, the kinds of characteristics which develop. It is from this point of awareness that we grow ultimately to what is called self-realization.

SI: So let me see if I understand: from the awareness of how life impacts on us we can move towards self-realization?
SN: Yes, these are steps towards that goal. It is more than the study of books. All these things that we study must have some direct influence on us to start the journey proper, because it is ultimately we who will have to walk that path. The map is there, it is shown to us. There have been people who have reached that state of self-realization ahead of us and they’re talking to us — not only about the higher experience, but how they started and how they reached that stage.
The impact of the world on us is great and our responsibilities and cares keep us so busy, attentive, that we hardly have time to sit down calmly, peacefully for a minute or two; really, the experience comes in silence. Although we start by chanting a mantram aloud the real objective is to make the mind detached from the world. The mantram takes us to a particular state and it stops there.

Seeing that this point needed further elucidation Swami Nirliptananda used the metaphor of a man with a lame leg. He goes to the doctor, who gives him the necessary medical care and attention and then gives him a crutch to use. But there comes a time when the man gets better. “But if he still carries a crutch and he doesn’t need it any more…. You see, at one point the crutch was carrying him, now he’s carrying the crutch.” He said that we have to know, be alert to, or sense the moment when this occurs.

SN: We have to know and understand it is something that happens if we do the mantram correctly. It happens at a particular stage. Some days you say the mantram only once and you cannot say it any more — you get straight into the state of meditation.
Ordinarily, the mind functions at a very superficial level of consciousness and at that level there are changes going on all the time. At the same time, we want various experiences, we are always seeking pleasure or happiness and we think that this thing or that thing is going to make us happy. We don’t really know what happiness is. We get hooked into, and on, various things, like a person who drinks and becomes an alcoholic. This is what can happen with the pursuit of pleasure — we become a slave to that pleasure.
The objective of meditation is to become free to be your natural self because only in your natural state can you be happy. The other pleasures are a diversion from your natural state. In the Gita it is said that the pursuit of pleasure in the beginning is like nectar, but in the end, it is like poison. Why? Because, what is really happening is that the person is becoming enslaved. It is bondage to material things because our senses are fed constantly by them and so we develop a habit for these types of things. In so doing we become a bunch of habits. We become slaves to them.

SI: And to break those habits we have meditation? Any other spiritual practices?
SN: Yes, meditation, of course. We consist of mind, body and spirit and our body or senses tell us that we like something — some habit or other. What we can use, apart from meditation, is what we call samyam [control of the senses]. Samyam is the means through which we can break a habit. In fact samyam is the basis of spiritual balance.
For instance, fasting is samyam. Say we have a habit of eating too much of one type of food. Well, in this case, we can use samyam to overcome that habit. Another example might be that we are constantly sleeping at a particular time. So we tell ourselves: “Right, I’m not going to sleep at that time, I’m going to sleep at a different time, or not at all.” So, what we are doing is going against the habit and the tendency.

SI: Samyam is the replacing of a habit by building in precisely the opposite; or is it disciplining oneself?
SN: No, not replacing a habit with another. No, samyam is the deconditioning of ourselves from our tendencies or habits. So we become free. That is what we want.
We do not go after what the senses tell us, we go after what the intellect tells us. The intellect helps us discriminate between what is good for us and what is not. Yet despite the intellect telling us, we continue in whatever habit we have. This is because of our nature — our nature has been conditioned.
We have to get rid of this conditioning, inbuilt habits. Samyam is the means. In order to apply it, we need, first of all, to know why it is that we are behaving in a certain way; if we don’t know then we are trapped. If we don’t know then those habits are part and parcel of what we think of as ourselves. We think it is natural. But gradually it begins to make us unhappy and we begin to see we need to change. We know there is a means but we have to apply it, and it is not easy controlling the senses, or the mind. But by applying something else little-by-little, control is gained over the senses and the mind.
Subtler than the body are the senses, and subtler than the senses is the mind; and still subtler than that is the intellect. We cannot control the mind if we cannot control the body. To the extent that we can control the body we can control the senses. They are interconnected.
In meditation, sitting in peaceful stillness of body, and being aware of it, is the first step. Then, gradually, you will find you have a little more control over the decisions you are making.

SI: Is the initial frame of mind in which we start meditating important?
SN: It is important in meditation to have a serene mind, and an inner cheerfulness. Never start to meditate thinking any depressing thoughts; think of something positive. So if you sit down to meditate with a cheerful mind, calm and quiet, you will find the body itself will respond to that — the inner consciousness will respond to it and that little cheerfulness is going to develop on its own.
At first you can sit for 20 minutes but if all is in place you will be able to sit for hours and hours, so much so that you won’t want to get up, because you are enjoying the meditation, not in the physical or ordinary sense but in an extraordinary way in that you are part of that process.
When you are in that state of meditation, then you understand what it really is; it is not a boring or tiring thing. It is a means through which the whole system becomes energized, replenished. For the ordinary man there is not a proper flow of energy; because the consciousness is fragmented there is no proper connection between one part of the body and another and that causes a lot of problems. But through meditation a total awareness, a complete consciousness develops and the whole body is linked together, in a line. What happens is that if one part of the body was defective it becomes energized by the rest of the body. In a subtle state of being, the subtle energy can flow to all parts of the body.

SI: In the case of pain what happens?
SN: Basically, what happens with pain is that because the senses are attached to the pain you feel pain. But in this case you go beyond pain and suffering; in that state the positive, spiritual energy is flowing over and through the whole body, the brain and so on, and you are in fact having a spiritual bath. And when you come out of that spiritual bath you are different.

What Swami Nirliptananda said next was reminiscent of Maitreya’s teaching about detachment. It evoked directly, too, the biblical precept of ‘being in the world, but not of it’. He talked of the results of ‘spiritual bathing’: although in the world, working and participating, nevertheless, one is not affected by it. “You’re not like a sponge, absorbing everything. You remain who you are.”
And then he made a statement which echoed very closely a theme which Benjamin Creme and his Master often address — that of fear and its overcoming, and of harmlessness:

SN: This is why meditation, religion, a spiritual life is necessary because a spiritual life transforms the man in such a way that no one fears him and he fears no one. The spiritual person will cause no fear. The true spiritual nature of the individual manifests itself and when that happens all the hankering for material things ends.
It is our hankering for material things that is the cause of our problems. When the mind is empty of all desire for those things and is saturated with spiritual consciousness then there is contentment — absolute contentment.
And at that stage the person creates harmony in the world. It is important to know that we have drifted away from that consciouness and awareness, which is why there is so much conflict in the world. We constantly think of “others” or “another” — the “other” this, the “other” that…

SI: When you say “other” do you mean that we do not see that we are connected, that we are One?
SN: Yes, that’s right; so we hate another or rob another.

SI: We make a separation, we focus on other as separate from ourselves.
SN: Right. I steal something from you, but don’t see the connection. The idea of interdependence is missing; the result of that ignorance is ‘possessiveness’ [greed and materialism]. People are not satisified with what they have, they experience emptiness and so greed grows. This ignorance of connection as well as emptiness is the basis of the threat we are to one another in the world.
What we are seeing today is that precisely because of the sense of ‘possessiveness’ no one trusts anyone. We are reaching a point in what we call our ‘civilization’ where we live not in love but in hate. Each hates the other because there is no trust, which is why there is so much depression, fear and anxiety. We are living in a world where man fears man — in other words, we fear ourselves. We are destroying each other, which means we are destroying ourselves. It is insanity, and it shows to what extent we have gone away from our true selves.
And it gives an idea of how much education is needed, how much work there is to be done to make man aware of his true self.

Swami talked of the need to educate children to spiritual values. Money spent on children’s education is wisely spent.

SN: Our teaching is different: we say the wiser you are, the fewer your needs. Ignorance makes you think you want this or that or need it; but if you can develop the wisdom and knowledge to understand that you do not need these things that are pushed on to you from all sides, you just search for the good — that which is good for you — then all these big businesses will be forced to close down. It is not to their advantage. Their goal is to try to make people want more and more and more.
What we are talking about is simple living. Was it the guru of Alexander the Great, Diogenes, who walked around in the daylight with his lamp lit? When asked why, he replied that he was looking for an honest man, a simple man. You see, there is no honesty. In the Hindu religion we have a saying: “Truth triumphs.”
Truth is the foundation of life, the foundation of knowledge, that which stabilizes. Where there is truth you get law and order, you get harmony. If there is no truth, there is no justice — like in a law court. Truth is the basis of stability.
We divide the history of the world into four periods: sathyam, tretha, dwapara, kali yuga. Sathya yuga — the age of truth — was a time of total truth — when, as we say, ‘the cow stood on four legs’; then the following age on three legs, in other words there was a loss of 25 per cent of truth; the following period was a time of only 50 per cent truth; and now, in this period of kali yuga ‘the cow is standing on one leg’ — 75 per cent falsehood.* It is an indication and an image to show the condition of the world at the present time. We must try to get back to that state of truth or sathyam. Only when there is truth can we trust. If there is no truth there cannot be trust.
Only through truth and the spirit of sharing, together with spiritual practices, can man be brought back to himself, make him more sane. Otherwise we will allow our desires to drive us more and more mad and ultimately man will become man’s own worst enemy and we will destroy ourselves.
We have to get back to simple living and the ancient teachings to discover the truth. We have to come back to the ancient teachings where we learn to sacrifice for the sake of spreading the knowledge and wisdom in the world for the good of humanity. We have to return to the ancient teachings where we live not as neighbours but as brothers, knowing that the world is one, that we are one family. We are all one. We have to see the sanctity of life, the sacredness of things that exist in this world; respect the characteristics of others and think about the role of everything in life; be tolerant, and look at things from different angles. We have to appreciate the diversities that are there, respect them and create harmony so that mankind can experience peace and happiness. What is the purpose? In the Gita there is a verse which says: “Without peace is there any happiness?”
We need more organizations working together for the purpose of re-establishing the value of truth and the value of co-existence and co-operation, living together, respect for life, sharing what we have with one another, one family — those are the things which will preserve the world.

*Sathya Yuga: the Age of Truth; Tretha Yuga: the era when the Divine elements were on one side and the demonic on the other; Dwapara Yuga: the era in which the Divine and demonic elements were in the same kingdom; Kali Yuga: the Age of Iron; the age of all-round moral decline, when the Divine and demonic forces are battling in each human being.
(From: Sanskrit-English Dictionary, [compiled from Sai Baba’s discourses], Prasanthi Nilayam, India, 2000.)

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First published April 1999,