Be Empty

The Teachings of Sri Tirtha Lal Mahanandhar

Teachings of TL      Part Six

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This page:       Desire      Ahimsa/Non-violence       Smoke       Rama       Bhakti Yoga (The Yoga of Devotion)       Samsara       Habit       Imagination & Concentration     

The Teachings of Sri Tirtha Lal Mahanandhar

Part six


Craving for something is known as desire. The function of the mind (desire) can be divided into two groups:

1. The desire for liberation.
2. The desire for creation.

The cycle of birth and rebirth will have no end until the desire for the transitory worldly objects ceases completely and forever. If the mind will be longing for any type of object in this creation, it must enter into the cycle of death and rebirth again and again until it becomes fed up with pleasure and pain – which are the cause and effect of this illusory and impermanent world.

This mirage is so vast that no-one can ever find its depth. Scientists have flown into space to understand the reality of ether, which is real for their eyes, but in fact none of the objects hanging in space nor their research is real – because their mind itself is not real. Thus the desire which is objective is undoubtedly transitory and there is no end to this type of ignorance. We should not waste our time in the search for dreamy objects which has no end.

Oh, good extroverted one, stop where you are now! Change the course of your mind. Get in, and you will get peace - the peace which is everywhere, all-pervading, omniscient - which is inside and outside your cells. The peace through which the construction of this physical, subtle and causal body is being made, and without which nothing can exist. That everlasting, unchangeable peace, which can exist without anything is hidden within you. Move towards this and get in. Tranquillity is within your grasp. The only effort you have to make is to change your habit of mind.

You should not be lazy to introvert your mind. Instead of looking outside, develop the habit to look within, with the help of a proper guide. When this habit is matured properly your mortality will turn into immortality. This is how you will be liberated. This is the end of all the creatures' unsolved problems which will have their final solution and thus the chain of the cycle of rebirth and death will be over forever.

This is the life for which we are all here. If you think not and believe not my words, then as long as the sun and moon are there you will find no solution. Whatever life you may have in future, there is no end for your trouble. You will find no peace until you hear this minutely and follow accordingly. O my good friends, what I am saying is for your benefit. I have no other interest.

Ahimsa / Non-violence

What is HIMSA (doing harm)? The worst harm one can do is to kill someone – to separate him from the Atman - but whilst we do not know our own Atman, we are separate from it, and thus in reality we are committing the greatest crime by not realizing ourselves!

In this physical world people may practice different austerities, eating vegetarian food, living on leaves, water and milk - sometimes they exist with the help of air alone. Such people may be reading a lot of holy books, visiting different temples and donating their belongings to charity, but in fact these sorts of activities are not sufficient to prove that they are AHIMSAK (non- violent). Outwardly this may appear as plenty to show, but if the mind, which is the main thing to be observed minutely, is not introverted at all, but always looking and craving for worldly objects, then in that case they are no less than a butcher, murderer or criminal.

As long as one is separated from the Truth, the One without a second, the pure Atman, whatever one does in this world has no meaning at all. This is the greatest disadvantage of ignorance that one is doing without understanding Him. Ignorance is the cause of death and therefore it is the greatest HIMSA (harm). So long as one feels the pain of death we shouldn’t say that one is AHIMSAK (non-violent one).

AHIMSA in its real sense means liberation. The AHIMSAK will understand the Reality. In him there is no birth and death. Physically he may be practising all sorts of HIMSAK activities in the eyes of the world. He may eat human flesh and this kind of food - what of that – his mind is definitely pure. He may not visit temples, may not be reading any holy books, but if one will analyse his mind, one will see his death. Thus he proves himself to be AHIMSAK, when he sees there is nothing else which is separate from or beyond him. He alone is everything. He is that which he is not, and beyond everything - One Real Truth.

Thus such persons are beyond their physical consciousness even though they are seen in a body. This is the right understanding about AHIMSA.

This is the life for the aspirant

March 1976

Wherever you are, in whatever condition or situation, don’t forget you are within the reach of your deity. Impose not that you are something - in fact you are nothing at all. Remember all the time your surrender to Him. Move as a puppet without any egoistic feeling. This is how all the realized persons practiced, and leading such a practical life, at the end they enjoyed the unchangeable enjoyment. Whatever such a person does, he does it for the sake of good.

All the time keep this in mind and move in this world according to the time and place and without any hesitation. This is the life for the aspirant. If you want to aim right at the ‘bull’, pay attention to my words.




Dictated - 13 September 1976 

What is this life? It is nothing more than hanging cigarette smoke. You puff it out and for a short time it is visible, then again it disappears. A chain of puffs is going on, one after another, and the cycle of smoke appearing and disappearing successively as the cigarette turns into ash and the ashes also disappear.

This is the go of all the life in this creation. In fact, nothing comes out or disappears, yet we feel something is happening, and this is what we call illusion, a mirage - a tricky game of mind which has no existence. Rise to this height of light, which appears to be void from this angle, but in fact is not. This is the crystal clear Self. That thou art - which all the scriptures praise, and of which the world sings its glory.

This is He, the most mysterious one among all the mysteries of creation. Ignorant people say “I am doing”, even the clairvoyants, if something happens, or we say it is done by somebody, but except He, none has done anything. Again, we say something is being done, but nothing is being done - it is only illusion.

Wake up, my friend! Come along with me up to this height. This is where you are and I am – One alone without a second. The moment you touch Me, you will be One – Me alone. This is the end of everything and the beginning of everything. The One Infinite alone - no time, place or object except You, the Truth.

Bhakti Yoga (The Yoga of Devotion)

Here begins quite an intense period of quite remarkable teachings which were recorded for about a month following the occasion of Shivaratri on 16 February 1977 

17 February 1977 – tape transcript

One man I met yesterday, he was waiting, look. He went in search of us but one man also was with him, his friend, and he said ‘Oh let’s not go to this place’, he said, ‘they have not gone there (where we were actually), I know it is sure they are not in this place, don’t go there’. This is what he said. Because of that he couldn’t come while we were there where he wanted to come.

So he was waiting, then in the evening he saw me. Then I had a talk with him, “Do you read the Jnaneshwari (Gyaneshwari) Gita as I have prescribed?” And he said, “Yes, Baba also used to say it was better if anybody was to read this book”. So, Shivapuri Baba (a famous teacher/guru of Kathmandu) used to prescribe the same book. And I said, “Look, don’t do lots of things, don’t bother for this and that, you know - short and simple things – be simple. Then it will be easy for you to reach. The easiest route is this. First you concentrate, as much as you can - that’s all, nothing doing. Be simple, have faith, firm determination, and surrender – with this intention, that ‘I want You – nothing else. My Lord, I am unto Thy Lotus Feet’. Cry! And don’t tell this thing to anyone – this is the secrecy which you have to keep. Never (tell)! Not even to your wife. Keep this secret, have this much faith and be dedicated.

“If you cannot sit (for meditation), I mean, if you cannot control your mind when sitting, then what you do, you better start doing this japa (repetition of the deity’s name). Go on doing japa. Even if your mind is tired of doing this, then read some book. After this, because we are householders – you do your duty, what you have to do for the whole day, but morning and evening at least you make the time, and sit!

“Have a private room for your sitting, nicely decorated, with the image of your deity plus flowers and things. Must be nice, must be neat and clean so that the mind will be easy to concentrate. And yourself, - also be fresh. Fresh in this sense – don’t have all the things that you have in your mind – at that time, at least, you know, you shouldn’t bring worldly things in your mind.

“Give up! Give up the idea of the world as you put off your shoes outside the room. Say ‘Alright, what I had to do I have done today - now, mind! – you shut up! Now I am going to think of my deity. I am here to do my practice. So thus you come and think of God alone. Nothing doing. Don’t think of anything. Complete surrender. This is the best way. Read that Gyaneshwari Gita thoroughly and everything you will get there.”

This is what I said, then at the end I told him, “There is one thing mentioned in this Gyaneshwari Gita, in Chapter 9 (Ch.9, v.26)*, I think, and in that Gyaneshwar has said: ‘I want devotion’ - God (Krishna) has said, translated by Gyaneshwar, “I want devotion – I don’t want anything, any object. The object is a means. In fact what I want is devotion. How far is that object which someone may be offering to Me mixed up with devotion? If it is full of devotion, these objects are nothing - I am not hankering after objects - I am hankering for his love, his devotion, his sincerity. If he is offering something full of devotion, even a leaf is more than anything else. In fact I have nothing to do with these objects’.

* "Whosoever offers to Me with love a leaf, a flower, a fruit or even water, I appear in person before that disinterested devotee of purified intellect, and delightfully partake of that article offered by him with love". Bhagavad-Gita IX.26

At the end, what he has said in this verse is this: ‘Devotion is the main thing which I really like, and he who is devoted to Me, I really appreciate him. He is My dearest. Therefore, O Arjuna, (Krishna said to Arjuna) I will tell you the easiest way, the easiest means, for the practice of this yoga, Bhakti Yoga.The easiest way for this devotional yoga is, from your mind don’t let Me go out. All the time you remember Me. Don’t forget Me forever! Whether you are sitting, morning and evening as usual for this practice, or you are doing some worldly job - just before and after the job you do or perform any worldly duty, and your practice too - every time, as much as you can, you just remember Me. I am glad. For Me it is sufficient. If you do this full of devotion and with sincerity, it is sufficient. This is what I want, and this is the real way of performing this devotional yoga, and with this you will come to Me.’

And that man said, “Oh yes - a very nice thing you have said to me. The same thing I am doing but I was a bit confused whether I was correct or not, but you added, you told me in such a way, the same thing I am doing, the same thing you have said. I am really grateful and glad to hear from you."

I said, “That is all God’s wish”. So we had a talk and after that it was dark, so we had some fruit, a cup of tea, cigarette, you know, then we left by car. This is what it happened.

So this is the main thing. This is the right way.....  from your mind, never forget Me! With full devotion, always remember Me. Then he said, ‘Alright, I will go and read this book. I have not opened it as yet. I will definitely read and mark that place’. I said, ‘Is that book here with you now? I will mark that verse........'



(Tapescript continued – word for word, except for the odd grammatical corrections)

.....Ha, that flow which came, came, has gone. I have given him (Patrick) duty - whatever I say you will note down that – whether I will play or, or say anything. It will be helpful for you people in future in my absence. Not only to you people, to the world, I tell you. The whole world one day has to agree about what I have said to you, that, yes, this man has really said something – and his each word has got millions of rupees’ value.

This world has to agree with me, although I am an ordinary man, the very ordinary man. But I will definitely say, if you will keep this thing in record, the world one day has to say, yes, he is one of the real men in the world, but sorry, now he is not in this body, he left. This world has to say.

You note down this thing – whatever I am saying. Not a single thing I have said wrong. Everything I am saying correct and that is my experience I am telling you. Not of the book – nothing of that sort. You know, I myself am a book of the world - why should I have to read other books? This I truly say, because you are a friend of mine...

So, Samsara – what is samsara, this samsara, this creation where we are, in this world? This is troublesome for us, this is what we have thought, and this is why you, my good friends, are here to hear something from me. You want the remedy to get rid of this disease. So to get rid of this disease there is only one way – the moment your mind is existing, samsara is there. If your mind will not be there, then this world, this samsara, this creation will be off.

So with this we have to understand that mind is the cause of creation and dissolution. When there is mind, there is creation. When there is no mind there is dissolution, or it ceases, whatever you say. So the remedy is to get rid of this disease, because we have mind – because of that mind we are seeing this world. As we are seeing this world, so we have been affected with the world – means we have been dis-eased with the world.

So to get out of this dis-ease, what we have to do is finish our mind. If there will be no mind, there is no reason why this world should come - to whom? To whom this world will come and give that disease? Who is suffering? You? What is that ‘you’? It is mind. Therefore mind is the thing which this disease is affecting. If you will root out this mind, then there is no chance for the coming of this disease. Even if it comes, where will it come? Who will it affect? Who is going to suffer? Because there is no mind.

Therefore mind is the real cause of the problem. So finish it. To finish this mind there are two ways – according to Yoga Vasishtha, which was told by Vasishtha to his disciple Rama. Vasishtha said, “My good boy, Rama, Listen! There are two ways. What are these two ways? One is control of breath, and second – eliminate latent desire. Whatever desire will come up in your mind - chop off its head completely, you know, crush it. As the desire comes up, cross it off.

This mind is surviving because of this desire. You are surviving – you means we, the creatures are surviving because of the breath. Similarly, this mind is surviving because of the desire. The moment there is no desire in you, mind cannot exist. If you will not have food, what happens? Your body will die. If the blood will be taken out, your body will die. If you do not breathe, if you suffocate, you are dead, isn’t it so? Like that, this mind, if it will not have desire, its food – the food for the mind is desire - if there will be no food/desire for the mind, what happens is the mind will not be existing, the mind has to finish, has to die. That is one way of finishing the mind.

And what is the second way of killing the mind? The practice you are doing. With the help of that practice, go ahead, and after a certain period the whole system of your breathing will be stopped. The moment the breathing is stopped, is controlled, the mind will finish. The moment the mind is not there, there is no desire. It is one and the same, you know, if you will control desire, the mind will not be able to exist because as the desire is off, the mind has to stop its breathing, and the mind is off and the mind will be killed.

Similarly when you will do your practice, accordingly, when this breathing is controlled, what happens – there will be no desire. So, breathing helps desire and desire helps breathing. And this is how the mind is alive. If you will root out one of these two, then the mind will not be existing. Either you do this way or you do that way, but do one way. It is not necessary that you have to do both at the same time, no, not necessary, do either of these, do one, that’s all.

The moment you will do your practice and come to that phase, you will develop so high that when you come to that stage that, oh, when you are practising you are not breathing. The moment your breathing will stop, the whole desire will be stopped, will be finished. As the desire is finished, then only the breathing will be stopped. As the breathing is stopped, your mind is also gone. This is how to root out the mind, ok?

Practice we must, therefore any of these two – either somebody likes to follow number one or somebody likes to do number two. Well, it is up to the person, but both lead you to the mind where there is no mind. Both are the means of killing the mind.

Once we develop this thing, then we are free. Because this mind is the cause of creation, the moment the mind is there, samsara is there, and you are diseased, and as long as samsara is there you will never be free of disease. So if you really want that you should not be affected with any disease, what do you have to do? If you want to be really healthy, what you have to do, you have to finish this samsara, because this is the disease. Samsara is nothing but disease alone. Since time unknown this disease has been with us.

By His grace, you know, by the grace of the Supreme Lord in this life – we don’t know how many lives we have passed - but in this life, by His grace, I am with you people. Your Sattwic samskaras (latent impressions) have developed so much that you are in a position to understand at least, “Oh, this is this”. You understand? What have you understood? So from time unknown you have understood this – what have you understood? – “I am suffering with the disease”. But you don’t know, you had not understood as yet, about the disease - how it has been caused and what is the remedy.

Now you know, you have understood, as we have been talking, with this you have understood, you are in this stage of understanding that oh, this is how the disease comes and this is how we should treat it and this is the right way of controlling this disease. This is the right remedy for this. At last you have come, in this life, at this time, you have understood at present, you have understood – oh yes, it is like this.

Now you have to use that medicine, isn’t it so? Medicine, the moment you will use that medicine, what will happen, the disease will be off. So your disease has been diagnosed.  You are suffering with this disease and this is the treatment for it, this you have understood.

So mind is the cause of disease. If you will root out this mind, then there is no more disease. So long as this world is there, disease is there. So, as long as you are extroverted - means you are looking towards the world - you will never be cured. Therefore Lord Buddha has said: “Dukham, dukham” – this samsara is full of pain, full of disease. So, my good friends, get out of this disease – means, don’t think about your body, rise above this bodily consciousness (the body is existing because of the mind). Like this, you know, as we have said, which I have explained – I am telling you, unless you will come out of this bodily consciousness, my good friends - body here means samsara – it has got relation – so get out of this body consciousness if you really want to enjoy, and if you want to be free from this disease.


(Tapescript continued...)

Don’t think of the world. The moment you think of the world. The moment you think of the world you are again diseased. You are washing your cloth, and on the other hand you are dipping it in the dirt – when will your cloth be clean? When? You are washing – in one hand you are using your soap and you are washing your cloth, but on the other hand, what you are doing, you are dipping that again in the dirt, mud, that dirt.

This is how it is. If you think about the world as well as you meditate, this is exactly the same. You want to be clean here, and again you are dipping yourself inside the world. Then how will you get free of this? But it is not possible for you people to do at a time - if you can do, well and good, but if you cannot, what I have said is – minimize your worldly duties, (let the water be still and let the dirt in it be precipitated until it is clear), and maximize your practice gradually. From one second to minutes and hours and days and months and years together – like that you develop your practice slowly, one step after another. At the same time, the worldly activities what you have or were having before, gradually diminish in every step. So this will be diminishing and this will be increasing. So develop this habit. You are habituated of thinking of the world – not thinking of the Supreme. That is why you are diseased, that is why you are in trouble, that is why you are suffering now. If you want to get rid of this disease, if you want to be healthy, what do you have to do? Increase this medicine, this remedy – means practice.

Of the Supreme, always think of the Supreme as much as you can, and decrease your thinking of the world. Develop your habit this way. So one day it will happen, you know, that the whole world, on which you were thinking – you will not desire to think about it. But on the other hand, the God, which you were not interested to think, now – 24 hours, days together, you will like to think of – this is how you have to develop.

This is all habit, you know. So, habit helps a lot. Once we do this sort of practice. Why I have told you people – do this, not this – why? Just to develop the habit. Once you will be habituated doing this thing, when your mind which is now out of control, running from one thing to another like an intoxicated monkey – if you will give habit to your mind – instead of going to the objects, if you give your mind to turn inside, or if you will be introverted, and if you will start thinking of God, slowly, when you will develop this habit, one day it will so happen you will see the whole world, the whole creation, including yourself, is nothing else but the Supreme alone. And you will understand this, that oh, I alone am existing and everything is myself. And everything within myself also is I am. And whatever I see here, these are all nothing but myself alone. So I am in this form, both. So I alone is existing.

So here is nothing to praise and nothing to blame. You are equally equal – evenly balanced. To that state of mind – well, I am telling you ‘mind’ but it is not mind – where there is no mind, what should I say? I have to say that state - That – that is why in Veda it is said – Thou art That – you will know. I am This. That is as He is – there is no past, future and present. There is no time - there is no ‘Kala’, nothing of that sort. You alone is there. Whether this sort of any hundreds or billions of worlds will be created or will be existing or will be destroyed, dissolving - which takes place in you, you have nothing to do. Nothing. Neither you are losing anything, nor you will be gaining anything. You are as you are. That you are. 

And that is our target, - here we have to reach.

To reach that point, which is so vast, you have to be very vast. So this sort of narrow-mindedness that ‘I am this body’ – you have to forget. This is your narrow thinking. With this narrowness, you cannot reach to that vastness. In the same way you have to be so clean – because He is the cleanest. He is the purest pure. So you must be pure as much as possible, and developing the practice this way – you have to be the highest pure, you know, developing yourself so much this cleanliness in you, that you have to be crystal clear.

See this ether, this sky – nobody knows how far it is – as yet they have not understood – just this sky, which is gross, is so vast. Now, He who is controlling this sky, and this type of sky and creation – hundreds of thousands of universes are existing in Him, innumerable, I mean - hundreds and thousands means not that I am pointing, well there are so many - no, innumerable. So when innumerable universes are there, how many worlds will be there? And how many pieces of sky will be there – which are vast like this, isn’t it so - to Him who the whole thing is controlling, how vast He is? And to reach to that point, how vast you should be!

Ok, ‘Thik chha’.  - Habit. - Ok. Thank you.


Dictated - 22 February 1977 

Hanuman said to Ravana, “O Ravana, return Sita to Rama and ask forgiveness - and He will forgive you”. Ravana replied, “I am the emperor of the world! Rama is just an ordinary man dressed as a Sadhu – a human being – why should I bow to him? Human beings are my food!” To which Hanuman replied, “You fool, He looks like an ordinary man, but He is everything. Don’t be deceived by His look”.

So, who is Ravana? That ten-headed one (5 good heads, 5 bad heads) is none other than yourself! So go! Bow to your deity and return what really belongs to Him.

Nothing exists at all except your deity. Now see how far you have to go. This should be your state – where everything is only the deity. When this stage comes, know that you are very far – that is, very near to Him.

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