“Among the things our leaders seem to be missing is a comprehension of the staggering speed at which these change epidemics occur: one bank fails, then fifty; one country develops an atom bomb, a dozen try to follow; one computer or one child comes down with a virus, and the speed of its spread is incomprehensible.” (Ramo, 2009, p. 10)
“We are entering a revolutionary age. And we are doing so with ideas, leaders, and institutions that are better suited for a world now several centuries behind us.” (Ramo, 2009, p.8)
“What we face isn’t one single shift or revolution, like the end of World War 2 or the collapse of the Soviet Union or a financial crisis, so much as an avalanche of ceaseless change.” (Ramo, 2009, p. 8)
Joshua Ramo is accurately describing the challenges we are facing in our daily lives in a time of rapidly accelerating change and uncertainty. Our present leaders are as disoriented and confused as we are and not able to identify the problems now facing us, let alone solve them. We need to find our own way to survive, and thrive, through the chaos.
Fortunately, there is a surprisingly simple solution. Sahaja Yoga is uniquely suited to giving us the ability to cope and even find peace of mind and enjoyment during these difficult times. Sahaja Yoga is a meditation practice developed in 1970 and described by its founder, Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, as the final step in the evolution of human beings. It allows us to be still like the hub of a wheel while the outside spins and whirls dizzyingly around us.
Practising Sahaja Yoga meditation helps us to see the true situation clearly by getting rid of our biases and prejudices and allowing us to make an accurate assessment of the situation as it is. Unless we see the truth, we will not be able to develop an effective action plan, both personally and as a society.
Until now, too much emphasis has been placed on details and logical thinking and rationality – all activities of the left hemisphere of the brain – in making decisions, to the exclusion of the input of the right hemisphere. Better, more livable solutions are more likely to come from the right hemisphere: the emotional, the personal, the particular, the natural world, the vision of the whole, and intuition and inspiration. Sahaja Yoga meditation brings the left and right hemispheres of the brain into balance so that they interact effectively in decision-making in individual and collective issues.
Creativity is essential for finding workable solutions to the new and unprecedented challenges of our present age. Some of our old solutions may be able to be combined in new and creative ways to solve present problems. It is often in meditation that inspiration comes to us. Being in a state of silence, without thoughts, allows the inspiration to flow through.
Resilience is important in allowing us to cope well with whatever adversity comes our way. If we live a life that is grounded, well-adjusted and emotionally stable and we lead a healthy lifestyle, we are setting the groundwork to be able to withstand many upheavals. If we are flexible, adaptable and not attached to particular ways of doing things, and can live without whatever we don’t have, our chances of surviving various crises are much enhanced. In addition to helping us to achieve the above, Sahaja Yoga meditation gives us hope and quiet optimism and an acceptance that whatever happens is for the best.
So often, when stress in society becomes too great, the rule of law breaks down, and morals and decency disappear. Practising Sahaja Yoga meditation automatically makes you a moral person. During meditation you find out for yourself how you should behave. You don’t need anyone to tell you, and you know it so clearly, so thoroughly, so deeply within your own being that you don’t want to go against it. The meditation also gives you the strength to act only for the right, to be a moral person even when there is enormous pressure to act otherwise.
Sahaja Yoga is the ideal adaptation to an environment of constant change now prevalent in our society. It is a living process; it is not static. It is not based on a set of rules, but is fluid and intuitive and flexible, and gives us the opportunity to adapt to whatever circumstances are prevailing, always within a totally moral framework. It is not a break from the moral precepts of the past, but a progression towards their logical conclusion. It is not in competition with the institutions of the past, merely the next step in their evolution to a higher, more complete and integrated manifestation. Sahaja Yoga meditation is all you will ever need to survive and thrive in “the age of the unthinkable”.
Ramo, JC. The Age of the Unthinkable, Little, Brown and Co, 2009.
You are the lovers of truth and you have been seeking in these modern times. It is a special category of human beings who are seeking, beyond materialism, beyond power, beyond emotional enterprises, because the times are such that we have reached the epitome of our evolution and the breakthrough has to be found. But the way we understand breakthrough in modern times is through our mental understanding because today the human beings are more mental. It analyses, reflects and tries to understand the truth. But we do not realise that mental projections are always linear. They move on one line up to a point and then they recoil back upon us, like science has evolved to create hydrogen bombs.
Everything ends up in self-destruction or in collective destruction. Even on political level when we talk of democracy we find it has become demonocracy and when we talk of communism it has become autocracy. So where did we go with all this? We have to reflect again to understand that there must have been some mistake.
The truth that is known through our reading or through our thinking is a partial truth, because partial truth is more dangerous than ignorance. Like you see a land and you think that is the road and when you walk on that little land, you fall into a big ditch. So this is when you see darkness, you don’t want to go there – that’s why say “ignorance is bliss”, in a way. So we can say all this knowledge which is extrovert knowledge through our mental understanding and emotional attachments has been the knowledge of the tree. And the tree has grown too big. It has grown so big that it has now to face the truth that it has lost its roots. If the tree becomes so big that the roots are not nourishing it – it has no knowledge of the roots ─ then the tree will be destroyed. That is the reason why people have turned round to seek what is the truth, the knowledge of the roots. The roots are our nerves. Whatever we know through our nervous system is the truth to us on a very gross level. If I know that this is cold then it is cold. And for everyone it will be cold unless and until he is mad.
Now the knowledge of the roots has to be such that you get new enrichment to the nerves. In your evolution also you must get your enrichment to your nervous system. Like human beings can understand the beauty. If you want to take an animal through a dirty lane it’s very easy, but to take a human being it’s very difficult.
But what is the difference then we have to see that we have developed a new awareness within us about filth and dirt … What did you gain out of it is the problem. If it is awareness you must exactly know what you are doing and what you’ve got. So the people who are of this special category whom I call as seekers, are the epitome of evolutionary process, are attacked, are absolutely under attack by other marketing people! Nowadays God is for sale and the more expensive it is, the better it sells. So in the modern times when a person has become mental, he wants everything new. It doesn’t want to concern itself with any tradition… doesn’t want to concern itself to any tradition nor does he want to know about anything that has happened before!
We must have discretion to know there is tradition and convention and when we find anything wrong in the tradition it has to be dropped – I agree there. Supposing you are climbing on a staircase and you are moving fast and suddenly you find that your progress is stopped, then you want to remove the hurdle. But if you jump down all the staircase, avoiding everything, saying tradition is all wrong, and think your progressing downward is a progress, then you are in for destruction.
So it has little to relate to our traditional ideas of truth also. We have to go to our scriptures which are maybe very ancient or may not be that ancient. And then we find it is everywhere described that you are to be born again. But today the life is so artificial that people certify themselves born again and walk about, “I am born again,” certifying! Like in lunatic asylum they certify that you are a real mad. In the same way there are organisations which certify that you are born again. But what has happened to you that you think you are born again? Supposing somebody gives you a piece of ordinary glass and say this is diamond. You go on proclaiming, “I have got the diamond.” Who is going to believe you? What is the value of that? That is what you have to evaluate when you find that this is the truth – that is the truth – evaluate.
Shri Mataji, Strasbourg, France, 9 October, 1985
This all-pervading power is the power of divine love. It thinks, it organises, it plans, it loves. It is the one which is the subtle of the ether, you can call it. It is the subtle of the matter. It is the subtle of your emotions. It is the subtle of your mental power. It is the subtle of your evolutionary power. But all integrated and coordinated in complete synchronisation. So efficient it is that you are amazed how it works.
Now you see these flowers, how beautiful they are. And they appear on the trees or on the shrubs where they are supposed to be… At the right time these flowers become the fruits. A mango tree will give you a mango; an apple tree gives you an apple. Who does this choice? Is this great power which is all-pervading.
But we have never felt its existence. We have taken it for granted that it exists and we don’t want to know about it. We don’t want to know why we have become human beings from amoeba. What is the purpose of this life? Why nature has taken so much trouble to make us human beings? There must be some purpose for it. We never think of the purpose and we lead a purposeless life. We are not here to just live like animals.
But we have to do something much more because why should we have this human body and this human awareness? This human awareness, when it reaches a state where it starts thinking why are we here, that time you become a seeker. But you have to know that you have to become the Spirit, which is a collective being within ourselves.
Shri Mataji, 11 June 1985, Founex, Switzerland
Freedom and Liberation is the title of an inspiring new film about the life of Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi. Having premiered in Germany in 2007, the film will shortly be shown in many countries of the world to celebrate the 85th Birthday of Shri Mataji, on 21 March 2008.
Freedom and Liberation traces the life of Shri Mataji from her very early years growing up in India as Nirmala Salve, the daughter of Prasadrao and Cornelia Salve. While the family was wealthy, having descended from the Indian Shalivahan dynasty, all that was to change with the coming of Mahatma Gandhi’s Independence movement, working to free India from many centuries of British rule. Shri Mataji had already met Gandhi and stayed at his ashram on many occasions. Gandhi was very fond of Nirmala, and recognised that there was something very special about her.
As Shri Mataji’s parents were very active in the Independence movement, helping to organise protests against British rule, they went to gaol many times. As a small child, she was often left to look after the family. From living in large, expensive homes, the family came to live in huts. However, the children knew how important their parents’ fight was.
With the coming of freedom in India, Shri Mataji was able to turn her attention to her vision, the liberation of human beings from the chains of ego, greed, hatred and conditionings. She knew that she had a special task to undertake, but it was many years before she started her spiritual work. In the meantime, she married, became a mother and then a grandmother. As her husband, Sir CP Srivastava, was a distinguished diplomat and later Secretary-General of the United Nations Shipping Corporation, she moved in very high-level circles.
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One day, however, Shri Mataji realised that she had to do something to save humanity from the fraudulent “gurus” who were robbing, misguiding and ruining people in the name of spirituality. She meditated deeply for a long time, and on the night of 5 May 1970 she opened the Sahasrara of the world, an event that symbolised the next great step in the evolution of humankind.
From this time, her real work began. Starting with small groups in India, she developed a unique method for giving realisation to people. Then she developed a method for giving realisation en masse, to many thousands of people at a time. She called this method Sahaja Yoga.
After moving to London because of her husband’s work, Shri Mataji gave realisation to groups of people in England. From this time, she began to travel tirelessly , first to Europe and then further afield, talking to people and giving realisation. Her message spread throughout the world, and today Sahaja Yoga is practised in over 100 countries.
The film is unique in that it shows recent interviews, not previously seen, of Shri Mataji and her family. It provides insights into the tremendous love, compassion and humility of Shri Mataji that drove her to undertake this enormous work.
The film was made in Germany, directed by Carolin Dassel and produced by devifilm GbR (Carolin Dassel and Joseph Reidinger). If you want to find out more about the film, follow the link: www.freemeditation.com/freedom
During March 2008, the film is being shown all over the world. If you want to have details of screening sessions in Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and Romania, follow the link: www.freemeditation.com/freedom
Film session times for Australia are shown below:
Australian Capital Territory
Friday 14 March, 7.00pm
Belconnen Theatre, Belconnen Community Centre, Chandler Street, Belconnen
New South Wales
Sydney: Contact (02) 9037 5837
Saturday 15 March, 7.30pm to 10.00pm
Strathfield Town Hall, Cnr Homebush Rd and Redmyre Rd, Strathfield
Monday 17 March, 6.30pm to 9.00pm
Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, 380 Military Rd, Cremorne
Tuesday 18 March, 6.30pm to 9.00pm
Chauvel Cinema, Paddington Town Hall, Cnr Oxford St & Oatley Rd, Paddington (entrance on Oatley Rd)
Sunday 16 March, 3 pm
Edge Cinema, Katoomba
Saturday 15 March, 2.00pm
Avoca Beach Picture Theatre, Avoca Drive, Avoca
Friday 28 March, 7.30pm to 9.30pm.
Meeting Room, Cairns City Council Library, Abbott St, Cairns
University of Adelaide
Saturday 15 March, 4.30pm to 7.00pm
Napier Lecture Theatre, University of Adelaide
Saturday 15 March, 4.30pm to 7.00pm
Goodwood Community Centre, 32-34 Rosa Street, Goodwood
Contact: (03) 6245 1476 or 0416 435 278
Tuesday 18 March, 7pm
Community Centre, Cooper St, Glenorchy
Wednesday 19 March, 7.00pm
Health Centre, Jones St, Burnie
Thursday 20 March, 12.00 noon
Library, 21 Oldaker Street, Devonport
Thursday 20 March, 7.00pm
Community Centre McHugh St, Kings Meadows
Contact: 1300 742 242
Friday 14 March, 7.30pm to 9.30pm
Saturday 15 March, 7.30pm to 9.30pm
Treasury Theatre, Treasury Place, Melbourne