Institute of Noetic Sciences: Welcome to the Intention Download Series. I’m Angela Murphy, Program Director for the Institute of Noetic Sciences Shift in Action Program. Today I am delighted to introduce our guest: Babaji, founder of the Sonoma Ashram in California and the Bal Ashram in India which is home for orphaned boys. He is also a teacher at the Nine Gates Mystery School.
Babaji: Thank you Angela, nice to be here.
IONS: We’re very honored and looking forward to what you have to say today about intention. So I’ll get started with our first question: what is your most significant personal experience of the power of intention?
B: Well, intention is such a widely used word today. I hear people talk about holding intention for this and holding intention for that. But for me, if I look at the word intention, it sounds like: in tension – being in a state of tension.
IONS: That’s a good definition – it’s an interesting one!
B: If we are in a state of tension with what is, then we want it to be different, we want to change it. In my opinion it’s necessary – a bow needs tension in order to launch the arrow. Wherever there is tension, things are bound to change; something happens. But as I look at my own life, my own journey… I had come to the States for higher education, I had a business, I had everything I needed to be happy – at least, what I thought I needed to be happy. But still I felt a tension, as if something was missing.
During my visits to India when I would go to visit my parents, once my brother took me to visit his guru. The guru looked at me and smiled and asked, “What are you looking for?” I said, “Baba, I have everything I need to be happy but I am still not happy – I feel this tension in me.” He smiled at me and he said, “as long as you are living for yourself you are not going to find that wholeness, that happiness.” Then I said, “But what is the purpose of this life?” He said, “the only purpose of this life is to find your union with the whole – you are whole, you are complete, and identify with it.”
Not that I had not heard this before – I had heard it many times, but it was coming from a source that was living it. It was not just a concept for that person, he was living it in the wholeness and things were manifesting all around him all the time. But the way it appeared, [that] he wasn’t intending to do anything, it was just happening around him – it was very touching for me to see. It inspired me to be in his presence. As I began to spend a little more time with him, every time I went to India, I was just inspired. I began to bring his teachings into my life. I began to look at myself: what was I identifying with? And the more I identify with my wholeness – that I am whole, I’m complete, I am able to accept, I am able to give, I am able to receive. It really made a difference in my life, to the point that the more I began to identify with the wholeness I was led to really leave that life behind and dedicate my life to [being] a life of service because that’s what happens when you identify with the wholeness, the fullness. The overflow becomes service and you don’t have an intention, really. You begin to live it.
This is what I have experienced in my life: that I identify with the wholeness, things happen. Nowadays the way the word intention is used – like as if you want something then you hold that thought in your mind and you wait for its manifestation. But I take the other; I go from the other side. Live from a place of wholeness. When you are living in the wholeness, in the union with a greater wholeness, all the energy rallies behind you and appropriate things manifest.
Does that make any sense?
IONS: It does – that’s very good. In fact, I heard a talk that you gave where you described, you gave an analogy, of that wholeness as being a house by the lake. Can you elaborate on that a little bit?
B: They say living in the world, we always live in this duality – that’s what happens. Sometimes people have higher intentions; they say “oh, I had that intention, but…” So it happens – we are human beings. The reality is that every individual has – [it’s] like two homes: one home is where we live everyday and the other house is the house by the lake in the forest where I go to be in seclusion. As we begin to identify more and more with the wholeness – that’s like living in the house by the lake. A practitioner, a yogi, who brings this wholeness in his life, begins to spend more and more time in that house.
IONS: So are you saying in that analogy then, in the context of intention, if we are spending more time in that house by the lake in the wholeness then we don’t have a need to set intentions?
B: Exactly, exactly. All the energy from their wholeness rallies around you and manifests by itself without it being a wishful thinking.
IONS: What if there are specific things in our lives that we want to see happen? Then how would we make those happen if we’re not setting an intention for it?
B: If you are in a state of alignment with the wholeness, those things do happen. And the tension… when we are in a state of tension, we are already creating a vibration that is not going to help in manifesting what we need to manifest. That’s why sometimes there is a practice that— if you are in that wholeness, you see things as if they already exist.
IONS: So is that a form of setting intention: to see things as they already exist, when you are in the house by the lake (or that place of wholeness)?
B: When you are in wholeness, when you are aligning with that, when you are in acceptance, you almost… don’t see it lacking. You set intention only if you see things lacking.
IONS: Hmm, ok that’s a good point: that we’re setting intentions if we think we need something that we don’t already have.
B: Exactly, and it’s already here if we see it – if we are aligning ourselves with the wholeness, [rather] than where the lack is coming from?
IONS: That’s a good point. There isn’t any lack if we are already whole.
B: And we are in acceptance of… whatever is happening, there is plenty of fear, violence, greed, lust, anger, jealously – it all exists in the world – the violence, but we really have to take it as a part of the wholeness. And it doesn’t mean that I just sit in my cave with my eyes closed and don’t act, but before I act I have to really make sure that I’m not coming from a place of tension. When I’m established in the wholeness, my body emanates very special kind of vibration. That goes to your second question, really…
IONS: What scientific experiments or viewpoints have most affected your own view of intention?
B: Because what science is proving today has already been proven time and time again by the Rishis and the great yogis. Rishis were the scientists of their time. The only difference between the scientists of today and the Rishis is that Rishis did experiments on themselves and observed the result with utmost unbiased clarity. Quantum physics has barely begun to touch the tip of the iceberg that the Rishis talked about and the yogis already know. Creation appears to be a certain way, but in reality it’s all about vibration. Aligning our individual vibration with the vibration of the wholeness is the work that we all need to do… and is my work – that’s what I really constantly am working at.
IONS: Is there some place that the Rishis’ work can be read?
B: It’s all in the Vedas and the knowledge is already out there – people who look into it, it’s already there. There is a science called Spandan. Spandan means vibration: the world exists in the form of vibration. There is a text from Kashmir Shaivism that is out and it’s all about Spandan. Spandan means vibration.
IONS: Is there something you can tell us about that?
B: Yes. Look at this: our own body, for example, is constantly putting out vibration… constantly, no matter where you are. You’re happy; vibrations of happiness are coming through your being. A person doesn’t need to talk to you or look at you or touch you to feel that, a person just feels it. Even your pets feel it. When you enter the house from outside and you are angry, the pet feels that. When you are happy, the pet feels that. So no matter where we are, we are constantly putting out vibration… and we keep affecting the world around us.
IONS: Is there a way to consciously change our vibration?
B: Yes, that is the practice. And practice is no matter where you are, no matter what direction you are flowing in. Just stop… take a step back, take a nice deep breath, and just pay attention to ‘what am I putting out at this given moment?’ The mere fact that we stop and take a nice deep breath, we become aware of our wholeness.
IONS: That leads right to our third question: what practices do you see as being most effective for cultivating our intention at the highest level, or our vibration – our correct vibration?
B: The only practice that I see is looking at our wholeness honestly, making sure that I’m aligning with the wholeness. So what this requires is: just having an intention or wish to see the world a peaceful place is not enough… is not enough. We have to have, as a conscious individual who is thinking about this, to do something very concrete daily. Take out some time; carve out a little time in the name of that wholeness. Doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do something very concrete, daily. Whether you sit and meditate, or recite prayers, or stand on one leg and stare at the sun, or beat a drum and dance in circles… doesn’t really matter as long as you know that ‘this is what I am doing to connect with my wholeness.’
IONS: Can you talk a little bit about your own personal practice and the lineage that you come from?
B: Well, my lineage is very ancient mystical tradition of Aghor, from India. The basic teaching of that is: you are whole, you are complete, you are not separate from the great wholeness… and that’s what I have been really talking about from the very beginning. When we are not established in our wholeness we experience separation, and because of separation we feel fear, anger, greed, lust, jealousy, hatred. All those things come in our life when we are in that state of separation. What happens when you just look at yourself – [if] you are angry at someone, the very moment you are in anger you have separated yourself from the wholeness and you begin to invest a tremendous amount of energy in that state of being. You are jealous of someone or you are afraid of someone – see how much energy we invest in that limitation. So the very work of our lineage, our teaching is to always, always align and identify with that wholeness.
Whenever you feel being limited, stop… take a step back, take a nice deep breath, and see – how can you free yourself from this limitation? When we are able to free ourselves from that limitation we release all that energy that we have invested in that limitation, and that energy is directed towards the greater good for mankind. So this is our practice, really: living daily life, constantly remembering our wholeness, looking at our limits, limitations, and seeing ‘how can I free myself from that?’
IONS: And how can you free yourself from those limitations?
B: Well, can you think of a moment when you are angry at someone and all of a sudden a thought rises in you and you are able to rise above it?
IONS: It’s not always an easy thing to do though!
B: [laughter] It’s not an easy thing, but the more we begin to look at ourselves, we all experience it; we are able to rise above our limitations – if not a hundred times, at least five times. And then look at those five times very clearly: what happened, how did you do that. Then you’ll see when you are established in yourself, when you are established in your wholeness, that things naturally happen. So this is the work. The more and more we begin to identify with our wholeness, we take time for it, it happens.
IONS: I understand part of the Aghor tradition is also service, giving service – is that correct?
B: Service? It naturally happens. As you begin to identify with wholeness you begin to experience that fullness within and when there is fullness, it overflows and that overflow becomes the service; the overflow becomes the Seva. That is the true definition of Seva really: service – it’s coming from a place of fullness. Mostly lots of times people engage in service from a place of emptiness: ‘I’m feeling I need to do something’ or ‘I’m feeling guilty’ so I go and do some work somewhere. But the true definition of Seva is that it has to come from a place of fullness.
So yes, this is an integral part of our practice and it is called Sadhana. Sadhana means that which we do to acknowledge our fullness, to own our fullness. That’s our inner work. And when that inner fullness is experienced, it overflows in the world and that becomes Seva: selfless service. So Sadhana, the spritiual practice, personal spiritual practice that one has, is for aligning with the wholeness and experiencing and living that wholeness, and in the world it becomes Seva, selfless service.
IONS: That’s an interesting distinction, because I know that’s come up a lot in some of our teleseminar calls: that people are either focused on mediating and insulated from the world, or feel like they should go out and do something. We’ve talked a lot about: how do we integrate those two things? So what you just said, of doing the meditation until you reach that wholeness and feeling the fullness and then taking that to service is really a wonderful concept.
B: That’s the only way, really. That’s the highest kind of Seva. That’s the highest kind of service. And it works both ways: once you are full you do service and once you do service that also fills you, because when you are doing service, you are not really doing good to somebody else, you are not doing a favor to somebody else; you are really doing a favor to yourself. You are acknowledging your wholeness. You are acknowledging your divinity.
IONS: That’s wonderful. Thank you for that, and that brings us to our last question: if you could focus all or our collective intention or focus – or vibration, as you described it – to one thing, what would that be?
B: Well, Angela, I think our collective intention should be focused on alignment with the wholeness for each individual so we can see peace prevailing on our planet. So I really want to specify, make it very clear that just wishing is not enough. If we really want to see peace in the world, harmony in the world, love in the world, we have to live it. Let’s aspire for each individual living on the Earth to be established in their fullness, their wholeness, and when that happens, the peace, harmony, love permeates the earth. And it begins with individuals.
IONS: I can imagine if everyone was aligned in the wholeness how synchronicity, I would think, would flow much more easily.
B: You know, it can happen, Angela, I am a very firm believer in it. As we look in the world today there is violence, there is grief, there is anger, there is darkness all around. But a room can be filled with darkness. All it takes is you strike a match and the darkness is dispelled and light fills the room. Every action that comes out from an individual, from a state of being in fullness, works like that matchstick. So let’s not underestimate our own power. We are very powerful, we are connected to the wholeness, we are wholeness. And coming from that place, any action that we take has a tremendous ripple effect in shaping the world. So we have this intention, we hold this intention to have a peaceful world. But just holding is not enough. We have to make sacrifice in our daily lives.
IONS: What is the sacrifice?
B: Well, when you are living in your big house – in your daily life, in your comfort zone – you want things to be a certain way, you want... And someone steps on your toes, you are ready to react, or get even with, or let them know... Stop, take a step back, take a nice deep breath, connect with your wholeness. Avoid that friction that is going to happen. That is the sacrifice. Sometimes just letting things pass by, you just smile and let it be. Avoid friction, avoid the vibrations of friction. And the more we connect with our wholeness we are able to make that kind of sacrifice – then it’s not really even a sacrifice, it’s just a way of being.
IONS: Right, it’s a good kind of thing to sacrifice – releasing conflict or any kind of challenging vibration. That’s a good thought. Well thank you so much, this has been really wonderful talking with you. Do you have any last worlds of wisdom you would like to share with our listeners?
B: Just the only wisdom that I can share is really, please, take a moment no matter where you are – even in your bedroom just before you are going to bed – just be totally still and just say to yourself: “I am whole. I am complete. I am very grateful for what I have. I already have enough.” I think this is needed in the world today, that each conscious and blessed individual has to take a moment and just say it – not through the words, but through the vibrations of her heart, that “I have enough, I am very blessed.” Vibrations coming out of her being in that moment counteract the vibrations of greed and violence, and it’s a much needed vibration that the world needs today.
IONS: Absolutely. Those are wonderful words of wisdom to leave us with. Thank you so much.
B: Thank you, Angela, thank you.
IONS: Alright. Take care, bye-bye.