Q: “Guruji, I wonder what goes on in the mind of a self-realized man? What do they think about? Are they in some other time-zone altogether?”
Guruji: “(laughs) nothing goes on in their mind. See, when alone, the mind is totally quiet. And during discussion, what comes out is more as a reaction to whom I’m speaking to.”
Q: “We’ve learned so many things in these discussions.”
Guruji: “A disciple should have at least this much information. Otherwise, what’s the point of being a guru?
“Till now, our discussions have mainly focused on matter – earthly matters. Slowly they reach Void. That could be an interesting discussion. Then we’ll talk about Time!
“What we’ve said is that Earth is like a queen in this whole creation. But the creation itself is so vast! What is its extent, what are its attributes? We are still to talk about that. But as they say, charity begins at home. Until we are Earth-conscious, we’ll not be creation-conscious. And until we are creation-conscious, what is beyond this creation we’ll not be able to grasp.
“Still, we’ve discussed a lot of things. Even Vimalananda wasn’t able to discuss all these (laughs)”
Q: “A lot of what I’ve read in his books I had already known from you. That’s why I thought he was authentic.“
Guruji: “Yeah, even though he wasn’t ultimately a yogi, he did a few tantra practices, and even those require practice of concentration. Concentration is required everywhere. Without that, how can you achieve anything in life? He must have had an interesting personality.”
Q: “Guruji, whose personality do you find most fascinating in our tradition?”
Guruji: “Matsyendra Nath. In my opinion, he is the greatest Guru of all time.
“There’s a complete chapter on Matsyendra Nath in Narada Purana, second chapter. He is called Siddha Nath in Narada Purana; that’s also one of his names. Shiva-ji is saying “Siddha Nath is my son”, which is then followed by his full description.”
Q: “Guruji, how is Matsyendra Nath-ji related to our tradition, kriya yoga?”
Guruji: “He was the first yogi guru after Shiva, in human form. Remember that verse from Hatha Yoga Pradipika: ‘Matsyendra and Goraksha knew this art. With their blessing, Swatmaram knows it now’.
“Whatever you are practicing was first taught by Matsyendra Nath, remember!“
Q: “In the current lineage, who have you found fascinating?”
Guruji: “In the current tradition no one has fascinated me so far, except Babaji. I’m not impressed with anybody’s personality. Babaji’s personality I’m a big fan of. Since we are in his lineage, in a way we are his disciples.
“All these traditions are somehow related to the Nath tradition. After all, they were the original yogis! The problems have arisen out of recent attempts to create groups or organizations around yoga teachings. That is not acceptable. It has compromised the gravity and beauty of this art.”
Q: “Guruji, in the olden times, was it not like a sect? It was still called Nath samapradaya?”
[‘samapradaya’ commonly means a group]
Guruji: “See, samapradaya means ‘to give equally’ –sama means ‘equal’, pradaya means ‘to give’. Basically to teach what we have learned ourselves. Now if you are teaching equally, you’d have to follow the strict discipline, along with all the pledges. These days it has nothing to do with teaching equally. Now it means a cult or a group.
“Now yoga traditions were the only true samapradaya, because if you don’t teach what you’ve practiced, how would anybody learn? It was never about creating followers, or have disciples lie at the feet of the guru, getting kicked around, in the hope that one day guru maharaja would wake up and with one blessing turn their life around.
“And the guru would know that if he told the disciple whatever little he knew himself – some mantra or something else – then the disciple wouldn’t give a damn about him anymore. So they’d continue to keep it a secret. This is exactly what has happened in most tantric traditions.
“There have been so many cults around Bhakti (devotion). Why do you think that the only display of power was done by people who started these cults, and not by their subsequent followers? That is because they used to practice something else and taught their followers something else.
“Only in yoga one teaches what one practices, and that is true samapradayikta, whatever be its definition today. Otherwise, the standards could not be maintained. This approach is nowhere else. Even Yogananda didn’t teach what he himself learned.
“The teachings should never be trifled with! Nobody is born such a genius that they could better the results arrived at by the old masters. After so many austerities and hard work they extracted the essence of these techniques and passed down that essence to their future generations. Why be a wise-ass and corrupt that knowledge? Only if you follow the instructions exactly as given you’ll get the results, not otherwise.
“That’s why there aren’t so many yoga traditions, only a couple. There are many meditation groups, but they are not becoming yogis. Only when you follow the yogic way of life with all its discipline, and then someone tells you the mysteries of these teachings, the awareness will develop.
“At least now you’ll never practice [the commonly misunderstood form of] Mahavedha from Hatha Yoga Pradipika (laughs). Still, I’m very proud that my disciples are making good progress.”
Q: “Guruji, do you think we’ll get to see these original founders of Yoga”?
Guruji: “Of course! If I’ve had their blessings, my disciples shall too.
But the blessing came only because of perseverance in the practice, otherwise why would it have come? Never accept the ordinary. Always try to do better than your capacity. That’s what matters.”
[20090802-2] Recorded: July 10, 2003