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This Author: Swami Amar Jyoti
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God's Presence on Our Path by Swami Amar Jyoti

God's Presence on Our Path

by Swami Amar Jyoti


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Audio Original
Running Time
1 Hr. 10 Mins.
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FROM THE SATSANG

There’s a question here. Boy! The question is - I have to start a new retreat! I’ll read it and see if you catch it. The first part is, of course, American: “I have been wondering about the relationship between a number of terms: witnessing, practicing the Presence, being awake, using the consciousness. We have to reach the ultimate Consciousness and the term, I think, the feeling of bhava and the love for the Guru…” Let’s have another retreat! I’ll see if I can tie it all together. It’s quite a challenge to me!

Let’s go from the last sentence first: the feeling of bhava or love for the Guru. Bhava is a Hindi or Sanskrit word. As you know, many Indian terms are hard to translate into English. The overall translation is “feeling,” but bhava is more than that. Bhava comes from bhavar, the grammatical root, which means, “to be.” Let’s say I feel for you, but if I have bhava for you, it is as if I am in your image, in a way - more together rather than feeling for you. There are many kinds of bhavas, meaning different levels and stages. You could have bhava for the Guru, for God, or it could be for someone. The term bhava is used more on the path of devotion, bhakti. Lord Chaitanya had bhava for Krishna, assuming himself to be Radha. So that is called Radha-bhava. As we touched last night, without devotion nothing is possible.

Now, witnessing and practicing the Presence: these have a very subtle difference. Practicing the Presence is to be aware mentally of what you do, what you say, what you relate to, what you see, what you observe. You are there. This part is not the same as knowing; you are simply present with it. You are consciously doing it, not instinctively or habitually doing things. That is called presence of mind. When you think or do things habitually, instinctively having done the same way a million times repetitively, that is an unconscious way of doing things. But when you are with it and aware, you are seeing and your presence of mind is there. If you are reading a book, your mind is there. You could otherwise read without being there, habitually. If you are watching a kind of scene, you could watch unconsciously or you could be very conscious, with presence of mind. This presence of mind is not being fully conscious though. It means your attention is there; you are with it mentally. That is practicing the Presence. But witnessing is farther or higher than that. Witnessing is when you are observant and present, but you are not identified with it.

In bhava you are identified, but in witnessing you are not. You are holding onto yourself without being carried away passionately, impetuously or emotionally. You are simply observant without being identified. So you are not the reaper of any fruit thereof - good or bad, pleasure or pain. That is witnessing. Now the highest of all among these is being Awake, using the consciousness. We have to reach the ultimate Consciousness. That is when the ego dissolves. In witnessing, part of the ego is still there but it is not being pulled or pushed or carried away, not identified. In bhava there is a very subtle ego but it is purified. In witnessing, we do not say you are pure or impure, you are simply not identifying. In bhava your ego is purified; otherwise you could not have bhava, the feeling, the love, the devotion, and so on. But in awakening to Consciousness, ego dissolves. In that, you are Consciousness Itself. You are Conscious Being. That Being is no longer ego but Cosmic Being. So these are stages.

Witnessing is a practicing step. It is simply to come out of your mire, your swamp of attachments and stickiness so that you can stand apart. It is not the last stage. It is a saving device, so that you can attach upward or higher to your God, your Spirit. Bhava helps purify the heart and ego so that you are a fit instrument of the Lord.


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  • Published: December 2014
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: G078772
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