Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer, Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of conversations with spiritually Awakening people have done about 620 of them now. And if this is new to you, and you’d like to check out previous ones, please go to batgap.com Bat Gap and look under the past interviews menu, where you’ll see them all arranged in several different ways. This program is made possible through the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. So if you appreciate it and would like to help support it, there’s a PayPal button on every page of the website. And there’s also a page about alternatives to PayPal. My guest today is Babaji Bob Kindler. Welcome Babaji.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Thank you very much, Rick, great to be here. You’re doing such wonderful work.
Rick Archer: I’ve seen your name popping up. I think it’s been in our database system or something for a number of years. And I think Oh, Babaji Bob Kindler, don’t know anything about him. And somehow or other, at one point recently, we really focused on ‘what’s this guy all about?’, then, ‘oh, he looks kind of interesting’. And then I just spent the last week listening to many hours of your talks. And I kind of feel like, we could probably have a series of two hour conversations for the next couple of months and not run out of fresh material to talk about so. You know, let me read your bio here. Bob, you’re a huge wealth of wisdom, having devoted your life to what you have devoted it to, which we’ll discuss in a minute, but I thought before we get any further, why don’t you do one of those little Vedic chants that people often do at the beginning beginnings of satsangs
Babaji Bob Kindler: Certainly, Om adih sa samyoga nimitta hetuh parastrikaladakalopi drstah tam vishvarupam bhava bhutamidyam devam svachittasthamupasya purvam . Om shantih shantih shantih . Meditate upon the Lord as thine ownself seated in your heart, who appears to you as the universe and who is the ultimate source of all living beings perceive that one as the only witness to the changing phenomena of this universe and as the partless, divine entity, which transcends the three phases of time, past, present and future Ohm peace, peace, peace, be peace be unto us, may peace be unto all Om, Hari Om ,Hari Om ,Tat Sat .
Rick Archer: Thank you. So, let me read your bio. Babaji Bob Kindler is the spiritual director of the Sarada Ramakrishna Vivekananda SRV associations has been since 1993 with teaching centers on the Big Island of Hawaii and Portland, Oregon. Babaji teaches Vedanta, Yoga, Sankhya and other philosophical systems of truth, with an emphasis on learning to live a divine life and the attainment of direct spiritual experience. He holds a twin spiritual heritage via initiation into the Ramakrishna lineage Vedanta and Kagyu Tibetan Buddhism, editor of Nectar of Non-Dual Truth, which I have a copy of here. A journal of universal religious and philosophical teachings, is also the author of over a dozen books on spiritual topics, including Dissolving the Mind Stream, A Quintessential Yoga Vasishtha, 24 Aspects of Mother Kali, and Footfalls of the Indian Rishis – Charting the Timeless Wisdom of Mother India. I have a copy of this one here, and it is a honker of a book really impressive. In fact, not only is it impressive in terms of its weight, and its content, which just arrived yesterday and I’ve only had a chance to skim some of it, but it smells good. I think he must have you must store these in the same place where you store incense.
Babaji Bob Kindler: That’s heavy man.
Rick Archer: Anyway, you know, well, let me just finish up that so Babaji’s Spiritual discourses can be found on YouTube, Livestream and on the official SRV Association’s website as srv.org and I’ll be linking to those on his BatGap page. And, you know, one thing I that impressed impression or thought I kept getting, as I was perusing all these things that you’ve written is that all this is kind of evidence of a very focused, dedicated life. You know, I mean, I’ve heard you mentioned, I’ve heard other teachers mentioned that. And there’s even a verse in The Gita. You know, that verse, ‘For many branched and endlessly diverse are the intellects of the irresolute. But the resolute intellect is one pointed’ and there’s also yoga is skill in action. And it’s like, you couldn’t produce all this without a very focused mind. And a lot of a lot of great scientists have said similar things, people like Einstein, and Newton and others were famous for their ability to focus like a laser beam, and just go very, very deep into whatever they were doing, and really become quite oblivious to anything else that was going on while they were doing it. And it has been as its produces the kinds of results that we’re seeing in your life. Any thoughts on that?
Babaji Bob Kindler: I think concentration is the art of everything. I think through that you can get to samadhi you can get to, to transcendental awareness, non duality. Without it it’s just not possible except maybe in starts and spurts. It is also true with aparavid, or lower secular knowledge. If you can concentrate, you’ll be successful. And if not, it’s going to be very difficult to have ongoing success.
Rick Archer: Yeah, and I’ve seen, I mean, not only look at our culture, these days, everybody’s staring at their phone, and the phone is dinging every minute or two with something that distracts the attention. And there have been studies on what this does to productivity. You know, if people are constantly interrupted by emails, or phone messages or anything else, it takes a good while to refocus again, after such an interruption. You don’t just instantly snap back.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Yeah, you know, this is right and [ both speaking at once} this the amount of these are mudras, these are mudras. So, we have a kind of a joke nowadays here in SRV, that people are born in shapes, you know, that that follow their mudras, so, I think like, my brother’s a world-famous violinist, so came out of the womb like this. So all my father and mother had to do is just drop a bow and a violin there, and he could start playing, and he did at very early age. So I think the mudra of the future, if we’re not careful, it’s probably going to be something like this. You’ll see your baby come out of the womb, holding a cell phone as it were, in that samskara, we call that in, in Sanskrit.
Rick Archer: Some people have died as a result of their cell phone stepping in front of traffic or falling off the rim of the Grand Canyon, things like that, because they’re so absorbed in it.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Lord protect us.
Rick Archer: Okay. So your path is a blend of Advaita and Shaktism, which I presume is related to Kashmir Shaivism? Correct me if I’m wrong. And obviously very much related to Sri Ramakrishna. And you describe this as making it universal and inclusive of all religions. So please elaborate on all of that a little bit.
Babaji Bob Kindler: First, to say that Shaktism I think Divine Mother just she transcends and an inter-penetrates all boundaries, you’ll find her in Buddhism, like you just said that I had a Tibetan Buddhist initiation with Karmapa back here on Maui on these islands just a few 100 miles off to my right away from the Big Island. And so when I got that I got the mantras to Tara, white, Tara and green Tara when I was initiated. So that’s both Divine Mother forms. So I’d say Shaktism of course in Vedanta, you’ll find her as Brahman and Shakti and in Tantra, you’ll find her a Shiva and Shakti. And so it’s not just Kashmir Shaivism, that, that, although I have made study of that, where where she is, I like the blend of non dualism and Mother worship is called Shakta-advaita-vada. It’s a path, an actual path in India that we discovered when we were there. And so it’s a beautiful blend of non duality and Mother Wisdom.
Rick Archer: Now, I imagine some are devoted exclusively to non duality, and there are certain scriptures, such as the Mandukya Upanishad, and maybe the Ashtavakra Gita which seemed to just lean heavily on the notion that really nothing ever happened. And there’s very little concession with the relative creation, right? And but please elaborate, but as I understand it Shaktism would give greater credence or respect to the creation itself. Whereas, you know, again, some teachers would say, why are you doing that it’s all maya just use don’t even step in that direction. I think and I have certain problem with that personally, but maybe you do too, which is why you embrace Shaktism as well as Advaita, would it be fair to say?
Babaji Bob Kindler: I think it makes just 100% sense to, to, to be dedicated to the formless and form both. I think Shakti is an all pervasive Verity. And you know if you know anything about Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, you know that his ishtam was Mother Kali. And that’s a very profound, almost formless aspect of, of the Divine Mother that, but for instance, you just said, you know you’re talking about concentration, how important it is. So I think if, if, when one focuses on Brahman alone, as the Upanishads ask us to do, then that’s not just a mere Transcendentalism, you’re talking about where you go somewhere profound and never come back. As these great souls have come back. Difference between Videha Mukta, and a Jivan Mukta is one who will take one birth, and then see everything here and like Buddha, say, I’m gone and gone forever. Paragatham found the supreme goal showed it and left. So now he’s got emanations coming back. But maybe he isn’t. Maybe Christ will not come back either after his rough treatment here to 2000 years. But whatever the case may be, if you concentrate upon Brahman and Shakti as, as the two who are one, we like to say, then, of course, you’ll get the fruits, as you were just saying, if that, that means that you don’t just have a kind of sterile non duality that you’re following that may be discludes worship, or puja, or forms, or deities, but like with Tibetan Buddhism, they have both they have the Maha Mudra, which is the non dual teaching there. And they also have the worship of the deities. So that’s much much richer and much fuller, is my feeling, is my experience.
Rick Archer: Yeah ,one of the reasons I favor that approach is that I just have the sense in everything I, I perceive that there’s a kind of a miraculous intelligence or complexity functioning in it. Like if you watch one of those animated, you know, computer animated videos of the mechanics of a cell, for instance, it just, it’s jaw-dropping, I mean, the degree of complexity and intelligence is on display within a single cell, the cell biologists say that a cell is like as complex as the city of Tokyo. And yet you know, it can repair itself and replicate itself and all that and to just sort of brush that off as maya without due consideration of of the profundity of what you’re actually beholding seems to me to kind of sell short the the marvel of creation or the just dismissing creation as maya and then going on to the next topic or something kind of seems a little insulting or something to the, to the Divine from my perspective.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Well, that Sri Ramakrishna said that like the skin of a mango, yeah, that’s maya but it has a function in that it protects the flesh until the fruit is ripe but nobody eats the skin. It is I’ll give you a rash you know that very well. So he had lots of nice stories like that simple analogies about maya the necessity of maya not just it’s beware of Maya kind of aspect. Remember Divine Mother is Maha Maya. That’s one of her great names Maha Shakti Maha Maya so she’s, she’s the controller and overseer of all phenomena. She in if you blend that with non duality, then you’ll know the advantage of attaining formlessness through her through the port hole she she offers to us to get to a to Nirvikalpa Samadhi or Asamprajnata samadhi, or Santosh, you know, Satori, or any of the ways in which the traditions and beatific vision if you wish, or, or, or Fauna in Islam, I mean, she’ll offer you a way to get to that divine reality. We love, we love to say Ma, Ma Ma in our tradition reset, those are also the final words of Sri Ramakrishna. And so as I was often saying, Ma doesn’t mean just matter and activity, Ma means moksha and Atman too. So what it stands for Divine Mother reality is, is very profound, and all pervading this, there’s probably fewer better words in English than words like all pervading
Rick Archer: Just dwelling on this theme a little bit longer. You know, the way some people seem to frame it, it’s as though the creation were some kind of mistake that we fallen into. And the whole purpose of life is to get out of it as quickly as possible. But um, you know, I don’t think God would make this whole fuss as a mere mistake, there must be some evolutionary purpose to it, both for we as individuals, and so far as we actually exist as individuals, and perhaps for God Himself. Mother Teresa was it? no, Saint Teresa of Avila said, it appears that God Himself is on the journey.
Babaji Bob Kindler: I think as human beings, that’s true. As transcendental reality, God is “acreate,” Swami Vivekananda told us, creation is all happening from the mind, and the cosmic mind, to the collective mind to the individual mind those are called the three levels of mind in our tradition. So that’s all projectionism , Sankalpa they call it Krishna calls it in the Gita. So it’s a very high kind of sankalpa when it’s in the hands of the Trinity, like Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, but it becomes dumbed down, as it were, when it reaches the realms of the gods, the Asuras, is the ancestors, particularly, which we’re on a wheel with right now called samsara, and then down to the human mind. So these teachings of the Dharma go very deeply and help us understand this idea that as Vivekananda would often remind us that Brahman or what we’re calling God, does not move, does not incarnate. Where would be the time of the coming of the soul, when all of time is in the soul, where would be the space to which the soul would go when all of space is in the soul, which is why I started out with that Sanskrit chant,’ meditate upon the Lord as thine own self seated in your heart’, that fulfills every criterion, both with form and beyond form. And I think it’s only through that kind of deeper realization that you can, if you like, depart from the world, in full knowledge of yourself. Where as the risk, outside of Maha Maya, if you do, fall victim to Maya – ignorance, delusion, illusion, the way they use to describe it, or if you want – name, form, time, space and causation, or karma, those five things are the definition of Maya, by Swami Vivekananda. So if you fall victim to those, then you’ve got a problem with suffering, and so forth. Otherwise, you can you can be in sport here, you can take on a body and easily give it up like a child outgrows a set of clothes, Krishna says.
Rick Archer: Several thoughts on that. I mean, pretty much everyone falls victim to it, right? I mean, if they’re alive, if they’re born there. There’s very, very, you know, one to one a billion, perhaps who don’t fall victim to it, at least initially. And then the trick, the name of the game is to work your way out of it once you’re in it. Yeah.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Wake up from the dream. It’s all projection of the mind. And I think most souls, even if they’re not, obviously fully realized, can wake themselves up if they want to out of out of the nightmare. Sometimes it takes suffering to do that, but not always. Sometimes it can be done by studying the Dharma, which is what we’re trying to get people interested in and being in charge of your own spiritual life, like the subtitle of your show there you’re giving interviews with with people who are in the process of awakening. Well, I don’t think Buddha would probably agree with that, because he says he was asked once. you know, there is ‘there are two kinds of beings who taught you sleeping and the awakened or the ignorant and the enlightened. But isn’t there a third kind of being those who are in the process of awakening? ‘And he said, ‘no, no Ananda those who are in the process of awakening are already awakened’. Now, that’s an Advaitic statement. And that needs to be pondered. And that needs to be realized. Because it’s all this. Otherwise you’re, you’re keeping yourself in this dream. And you can awaken it anytime you wish, under your own auspice.
Rick Archer: Yeah,it’s a couple of ways I might add, to my understanding what Buddha said, means, I mean, I used to have a teacher who used to refer to us as the already enlightened people, we would scratch our heads like, because we realized, at least most of us that we we did have a long way to go, perhaps. But perhaps the way we can understand Buddha’s statement, and
Babaji Bob Kindler: Well, that’s how Vivekananda wrote that poem, ‘Angels Unaware’. So he came here and saw the Christian people, you know, their longing for heaven, and their idea of salvation, and their idea of the Savior, and so forth. In it. He was an Advitist, so he could understand it. But it wasn’t his perspective. So he would put that in a in a song or in a poem, ‘Angels Unware. And so he used to say that to us, don’t you know that ‘you’re just God walking around on two legs, the sooner you realize that it’ll be better for your culture’.
Rick Archer: So do you think Buddha’s statement is that, you know, the people who were sitting in front of him, even though they might, you know, not quite be as, obviously, as clear as he was, were, you know, kind of the as good as done considering the whole span of evolution that one can undergo. So he was being a little bit flattering and optimistic, based upon, you know, their ardour as spiritual aspirants,
Babaji Bob Kindler: For sure. And I certainly didn’t mean to cast any aspersions on the subtitle of your show. Because there’s there’s also the fact that he might have been speaking specifically to that one person who asked the question, and he needed to know that for himself, that he might not use that same answer for another level of.
Rick Archer: And, actually , we will use the subtitle of the show used to be i’nterviews with spiritually awakened people’. And then after a while, we began to realize that everybody’s a work in progress. Yeah. And so it just seemed too static and superlative, you know, so we changed it to awakening.
Babaji Bob Kindler: That opens up a whole possible can of worms about a non duality, but people are accepting us being perfect nowadays, there’s a lot of people that jump to the goal before they’re qualified for it. And we see the effects of that in spiritual life. In particularly in the West.
Rick Archer: Yeah, that’s one of the things I want to talk to you about, we might as well just launch right into it. You’ve probably heard the term Neo Advaita. And I’ve run into many of those people. And it just seems like it’s a syndrome of a sort where person sort of goes to some satsangs and read some books. And the teacher may say to them, you’re already enlightened, don’t bother doing any practices, because practices kind of imply that there’s a practicer there, and there really isn’t. And you’re just reinforcing the practicer or if you do practices and just accept that you’re enlightened, and you’re as good as done. And I avoid interviewing people who talk that way.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Exactly. I mean, that’s, that’s doing the Advaita an injustice, I think. In fact, my teachers, the ones I respect the most, and others that I revere very much, have said that, you must you must do sadhana every day, even if you are enlightened, for instance, Shankara would always talk about keeping the mirror of his mind wiped clean, you know, but that means he knows the difference between the Atman or Buddha nature and the mind, that they are are two different territories or two different things. So it really helps to discriminate separate the wheat from the chaff. And I think in India, the Dharma teachings and what we call Atma jnana knowledge of the self are directed expressly at that and would help you avoid such a way of thinking.
Rick Archer: I heard that the Buddha himself meditated regularly all of his life, too. I don’t, I’m no expert on the Buddha. But someone told me that and I think someone asked him why and it was kind of like what you said. It’s kind of like what Shankar said,
Babaji Bob Kindler: Right? It’s, I think he was asked that and Shankara said two things. So because I want to keep my vision of God perfect. now that I have it and the mind collects cosmic dust. Like you just said earlier, we’re works in progress, so the mind is never going to be pure. We hear about pure mind and buddha mind. But that doesn’t. That doesn’t mean that it probably means that when you transcend mind, then you understand what pure mind is. But the second reason Shankara gave was to be an example to others. So, always Krishna says,you know people who do sadhana are favored by the Lord, that is spiritual practice. Buddha said the same thing, he said, sloth is the rust of societies. Non recitation of wisdom scriptures is the rust of monasteries, non self effort is the rust of households. So be like, be like a noble guard at the gates of a great city, always on vigil. So that’s the sadhana that one does and keeps the Maya away. Otherwise, it tends to seep in.
Rick Archer: Insidiously, also incrementally. No. I mean, it seems to me that, yeah, I said, your whole series on the evolutes of Maya, and I think one of them was something along the lines of, I’m phrasing it in my own words, but something along the lines of the first thing Maya does is delude you to the fact that you’re deluded, and once that trick has been accomplished, then anything is? Yeah,
Babaji Bob Kindler: You think? Yeah. It’s like opening the gates to light but letting a bunch of other critters in too because the gates have been closed so long.
Rick Archer: Now I think if people hear this conversation, and they think, yeah, spiritual practice is such a chore, then I don’t blame them for not wanting to do it. But in my experience over all these years, it’s, I’ve always it’s been always been something I’ve looked forward to, it’s like the highlight of my day. And so even if I’m really tired, or something, maybe I’ll lie down, take a nap for a little while, then sit up and meditate. And it’s blissful. It’s, it’s enjoyable. It’s, it doesn’t take discipline. And believe me, I was not a disciplined person. When I learned to meditate, I dropped out of a couple of high schools and gotten arrested a couple of times, it just was kind of a mess. But, boy, as soon as I really learned to meditate, it was taken like a duck to water.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Yes, spiritual life, that could only mean that you have some Samskaras in a past birth, past birth, you know, for practice, because it doesn’t come to people easily. And I wouldn’t say I wouldn’t say I would blame them for not going towards it. But it is really the answer to all problems in relativity, is to take these teachings that have been forgotten and refresh them in your mind. Our founder, Lex Hixon, of SRV Associations and I used to agree on that explicitly, that dharma is really the answer to all problems in relativity. And that will lead you towards even beyond solutions, because problems with solutions also go on a lot in relativity. But you want to get beyond the iron chain and the gold chain Vivekananda says, and slough them both .
Rick Archer: Yeah, and you know, that Gita verse no effort is lost and no obstacle exists even a little this Dharma removes great fear. So that that should be an encouragement to everyone, you know, no effort is lost. If you do even a little of this practice, or whatever practice is effective for you. A little can go a long way. And a lot can go a lot, a lot real long way.
Babaji Bob Kindler: It destroys the great fear. He says in that sloka that’s, that’s people’s fear of death and according to Patanjali fear of death is the fifth and lowest hell you can fall into. That’s how far we’ve come away from knowledge of our eternal self is that we believe in death.
Rick Archer: That’s the reason I often interview people who have had near death experiences because people can go into a near death experience being a total atheist and figuring that this this body is all that I am and then they come out of the experience completely, with a completely new perspective, in a way actually looking forward to dying again, without being morbid about it. Just because they realize Whoa, there’s there’s so much more and you don’t die.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Yeah, I think it’s a win win. You can look at it that way, but maybe a little bit of splash of cold water in your face because Krishna says right near that same sloka you just cited that what what is sweet in the beginning turned sour in the end. And what is sour in the beginning will turn sweet in the end. Sour is practice. And it was the same in your work life. It was hard to go to school or to attain degrees it was sour. And it turned sweet later, so there’s no reason why spirituality shouldn’t be the same. You should put that kind of effort into it and wait and then receive the benefits of it.
Rick Archer: And if it is sour, or I mean, if it feels like Oh, I really don’t want to be sitting here. I mean, I’ve never had that problem, because I really enjoyed it from the start but I imagine when you sit to meditate, now, it’s not a chore, it’s not sour. It’s just like, Oh, I get to have this lovely bath and bliss for a while now.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Well, I’m beginning to take on, because we before we started this interview, you and I both admitted to each other that we’re over 70. So it’s starting to take on the ambiance of my teacher now, when I saw him live to 90. And, you know, his teacher had told him that Sri Sarada Devi, the Holy Mother told him that, does God exist only when eyes are closed and cease to exist when they’re open? I saw him in that state where he was just seeing his meditation was all the time, it wasn’t just an hour or two. So, you know, he achieved what we call Advaita non duality, and therefore was living in that non dual state and external and internal, as Shankara says, just became fused into one divine reality. And then he passed his time contentedly and he was free.
Rick Archer: I mean, isn’t that what we’re really talking about? When we talk about Enlightenment or awake, an awakened state is not just an intermittent thing that comes and goes, it should be 24/7, whether we are active or sleeping, meditating, eating or whatever, there’s just this continuous of pure awareness.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Yes, and I think that’s what Patanjali, because with my students, we’ve been taking retreats on the eight limbed, yoga, and looking into the different kinds of Samadhi. Because Patanjali, just like Kapila, came along and gave us the 24 Cosmic principles at an early time. And every system has used that even non Indian systems have used the 24 tattvas, as a basis for their philosophy. Tattvas mean insentient principles. They’re such like, earth, air, fire, water, and, ether, tasting, touching, hearing, smelling, seeing. And then those same 10 in your mind, the tanmatras they’re called. And the fourfold mind itself, the ego, the manas or mind, the intellect, the buddhi, and the thoughts of the mind Chitta. Those are called 24 Cosmic principles. And so just like Kapila stated those for our benefit, then we had great teachers come along later that also solved these problems for us and, and gave us a sort of, like, I was just speaking about Patanjali. When he came along, he used that 24 Cosmic system to form his sutras. And then in those sutras, he starts to tell you about what happens to you when you practice the earlier limbs, and how this turns into Samadhi of seeded kind, seeded samadhis, that is there’s a seed that something comes from, and then there’s one unseeded Samadhi. So you’ve got seeded Samadhis, there’s savichara, savitarka, nirvichara, nirvitarka. These are all kinds of samadhis people have. And I’m just bringing them up in response to what you said – is that, these are the Samadhis that come and go. So that we’re not always constant in, in our awareness, we go into them, we come out of them, maybe we even do it before we’re enlightened, unknowingly, that people are having these profound states come upon them, because it’s very good to study them by a master like Patanjali.
Rick Archer: I used to hear I guess is a traditional Indian analogy to describe this stuff. But when you when they used to dye cloth in ancient India, they would dip it in the colored dye and then bleach it in the sun, and then dip it again and bleach it in the sun. And so when it’s in the dye, it’s this pretty much the same color as it’s going to ultimately be once it’s fully dyed, but they have to keep fading it and dipping it in order for it to become colorfast. And so that analogy was used to relate to the idea of sort of going into samadhi in a temporary way in meditation and then getting back in activity, and the activity tends to fade it but at the same time it integrates it you know, neurophysiological changes take place so that eventually it can be sustained 24/7.
Babaji Bob Kindler: And it’s beautiful you mentioned that because Sri Ramakrishna used to tell the story of the dye master and people would come to him with our cloths, their white cloths, please dye this yellow, please dye this red, please try this ochre. And he would give it, he would give them, they would give him the cloths. He’d put them in a vat, bring it out, and it would be the color that they wanted. So one man was looking on he said,’ How’s he doing that with one vat, you know, whatever color they asked for it comes out of that same tub of dye?’ So he walked up to the dye master and said, please dye my cloth, the color of the dye in your tub, that’s nonduality, you see.
Rick Archer: So it’s a field of all possibilities that are all the different diversity comes out of it. That’s is that the the point of it.
Babaji Bob Kindler: The dye Master is that one who has mastered all levels of existence, and therefore he owns that one dye, it can color anything, any any color he wants for anyone. So that’s a great, great, that’s an Avatar, a great Soul.
Rick Archer: You know, just that I want to interject just one thing, which every time I talk to somebody argue or study Vedanta, which I do regularly or any of these other systems. I’m always impressed by the the sort of the intellectual sophistication of these systems. Just the depth and detail with which these ancient people have thought this stuff out, you know, it really makes Western philosophy pale by comparison, although that some of that is really voluminous, but the clarity and preciseness precision that the subtle realms are understood. And I mean, important thing is it’s not just understanding its experience. I mean, the people who say all this stuff aren’t just philosophizing in the abstract. They’re just basically describing stuff that they themselves have experienced. So in that sense, it’s it’s empirical, scientific,
Babaji Bob Kindler: Right, they did the practice that was advised to them by the people who had realized the truth. And then they too realized the truth, it’s really very simple, straightforward, but you have to give it time. And you have to take up a teacher, take one path. Both Kapila and Patanjali recommend that – study one path deeply until, you know, dig one deep well to get water, they say, and not a bunch of shallow wells. So this kind of, and that might even lead us on to another topic you might want to discuss. But this kind of, or that we’ve already mentioned is this kind of menu tasting that’s going on in the West, we’d look at say, you and I have been alive that long. So we saw the 60s. And, you know, we saw Zen Buddhism come and then we saw, you know, Tibetan Buddhism come, then we saw, Sufism, come, then we saw Dzogchen, come and you know, Zen Buddhism. So we’ve seen America’s love affair with each of these, like decade by decade. And it’s left some sort of positive effect on some people. But it’s the straw on fire problem that Vivekananda mentioned when he saw the Westeners. You see, they flare up, when they hear of a system like this, that then they burn out too quickly. So perseverance, persistence in the path, you know, working, working yourself to the goal, like Lord Buddha advised is, and not taking any wooden nickels not say not jumping to chase like, well, I heard it, I heard the truth. Now I’ve realized it and I’m enlightened, I’m there, but you haven’t even really taken the first step. I can say that the same time not depressing people by saying that all of those steps are within you. And you’ve taken them before. And yes, we’ve come to earth, you’ve taken on a body, you’ve gotten an embodiment, you’re attracted to matter, your your practice, you may be practical and work, you know, working out your Karmas, and all these things are, are happening and are possible for people. But at the same time, there’s always these risks too that are falling onto the wheel of samsara and, and they say, into the ocean of samsara, so that you’ve got these many births of, of suffering, that we don’t see that often. You know, people in the West, they don’t see that kind of suffering very often. And India saw that a lot over millennia. And is going through it even now and coming out of it. So all those things I think are worthy of note, when you talk about Enlightenment, practice, and ignorance,
Rick Archer: There are a number of points in there, which we can go into more deeply, you know, finding a teacher finding a practice, sticking with it, not skipping around, and this this notion of suffering. Okay, so, all those points, but then the last one you mentioned, I want to discuss them all but last one about suffering. And some people say, you know, well, the reason that in these ancient cultures, where when where the Buddha lived and others had so much emphasis on getting off the wheel is that life could be really tough. I mean, you could die of a toothache in those days, you know, because you didn’t have they didn’t have modern dentistry and and if if one is more comfortable in life, you know, maybe there won’t be such a burning desire to attain the kind of liberation, which, in which you no longer would incarnate. I have a follow up to that. But let me have you respond to that.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Well, I think that the reincarnation theory, if you want to call it that, I call it a relative truth, actually, it’s not an ultimate truth, because the soul never goes anywhere, it just dreams itself to different places, is the short of it. The long of it would then get you more into the karma that’s accumulated by people that’s bringing them back. And it’s it’s rather uncontestable, I think. Basically, people are coming back here and different conditions of mind with different talents, or lack thereof, different qualities, or lack thereof. There are people with evil propensities, and there are people with good propensities. And then there are people with transcendent propensities. So in this admixture of souls here, which we call the physical world, it would, it would behoove us put it, I was going to put it in a more negative way, but it would behoove everyone to accept finally, the doctrine of reincarnation, which the East, the Far East particularly, has been in knowledge for so long. In India, they just take it for granted. Now, I mean, it’s not something that you would argue about or contest, you know, it’s just, that’s, that makes sense out of all the what’s happening to me or to others, even to nations. There’s karma at a collective level. And so I would say that, that’s a that’s a missing piece right now, philosophically, and cosmologically.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I interviewed a guy named Jim Tucker at the University of Virginia who he and his predecessor Ian Stevenson, had interviewed and are still interviewing, he is literally well over 1000 kids who remember past lives in verifiable detail, you know, like the name of the battleship, the aircraft carrier that their plane took off from and World War Two and the name of their friends and, and the name of the type of plane they were flying. This is like a little kid is like four or five years old and hadn’t even studied any of this stuff.
Babaji Bob Kindler: I remember stories like that, yeah.
Rick Archer: And also Christianity, many argue that reincarnation used to be part of it, and it got edited out at the Council of Nicaea, or some such thing,
Babaji Bob Kindler: Along with karma, didn’t want to really give people control of their own destiny. They wanted to fill the coffers of the church, and it’s the same with religion, everywhere, really, it’s not just Christianity. But I could say this, and I’ve often taught this from a more Advaitic standpoint is that I think when you remember your past lives, as Krishna tells Arjuna in the Gita, “Oh, I’ve had many Arjuna; you’ve had many too, but I remember all mine.” I think when a great soul, like Sri Krishna or a great soul like that incarnates it’s not the details of the life that he’s remembering. It’s the essence of life. They always remember their Atman, or their Buddha nature, or their bussho, in Zen. That’s what makes everything else possible. That’s what makes the details able, you able to remember them, is that. So if I say people go to New Age parties or something, they’ve heard about it, you know, well, “I was Mary, Queen of Scots. Yes, well, I was such and such,” you know, so well, you must know how you must have some samskara for being beheaded. Let’s see if you fear this knife when I pick it up’. But whatever the case, those are just, nobody ever goes to a party and says, ‘Well, I was a street sweeper, you know, in my last lifetime,’ but how many lifetimes people have had, I think that’s a little bit shallow. To think sort of like deja vu the way we used to use it back in the 60s. ‘Oh, man, you know, I remember I’ve been here before.’ Yeah, probably 1000s of times. Well, it’s kind of an awakening. But it goes a lot deeper than that if you study the dharma. Karma and reincarnation are huge topics. And they have a lot to offer in their study. But I think if you study them accepting their, at least the possibility of them, then that would be good. If you’re, you know, and this probably leads us into another direction, but if you’re just scientifically oriented physics only, then you know, that’s not going to occur to you, going to be an option.
Rick Archer: It could though I don’t see any reason why quantum physicists couldn’t also appreciate reincarnation. There’s nothing in quantum physics that refutes it or anything like that. And, and this guy, Jim Tucker, I mentioned that he really does try to be scientific in his analysis of it. And, and like you said, it’s a huge topic. And I think it’s also huge in the sense of important, because if that’s the way life works, if that’s the way the universe works, it seems to me it makes a big difference whether you realize that or not. It makes a big difference in terms of the way you perceive your own life and feel about your eventual death. And your whole deep kind of sense of safety or security or contentment, or anything else would be different, one way or the other, depending on whether or not you get that point.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Yes, ‘this thirst for life forever quench drags from birth to death and death to birth, the soul,’ is how Vivekananda put that. And he talked about that being a lifetime of piling more gloom on gloom. So he wasn’t really kind to the fact that people would forget about reality, and not try to experience it. And at the same time, just allow the field of the mind to go fallow. And, and not not not keep current with where you’ve been. I remember speaking at a college, one of my students helped me speak at a college somewhere in Wyoming a few years back, and I remember walking into the classroom and telling people, ‘why, why are you still here?, you know, You’ve been going to school for lifetimes; you know everything here”. And the teachers would start sweating, you know, and kind of get this guy, get the cane, get this guy off the front of my class, because they won’t come and pay, try and get graduate degrees and pay money anymore. So, some revolutionary talk like that is really though, more towards the truth of relativity of rebirth, is that, you’re just regurgitating lifetime after lifetime, all this this stuff. And what what comes along with this is a lot of karmic baggage. Someone asked Vivekananda once, what do I do with all these negativities in my mind? He said, go search for them, gather them together, bundle them up and throw them in a river. Now, just live a positive life. And you’d be surprised how few people can manage that. They brood, brooding is one of the most difficult things to get out of. It’s, it’s akin to depression. So I mean, if we wanted to start talking on the level of duality, or even fundamentalism, or samsara, then you have to face off with those problems that are faced that are facing humanity. And you can’t, you know, I teacher you say, you can’t get to the infinite through the finite, you cannot reach the Lord within you the ultimate reality by following the track of the world, you’re going to have to transcend it. It can be used as steps, but your ancestors and you are just trading places all the time. How long do you want to do that? When there’s this freedom? Beyond that, and Vivekananda used to say, why give people dirty ditch water to drink, when the stream of eternal truth is flowing right next to them.
Rick Archer: And there’s several themes in there.
Babaji Bob Kindler: I see you’re good. You’re good at pulling out lots of little things from what’s being said, I can see that you’ve had a lot
Rick Archer: It’s tricky, because there’s usually three or four of them. And it’s like, which one do we go and then let’s try to get them out. But no, we go off on that on that track. They may not remember the other ones. But um, there’s a number of good ones in that. I was in a Vedanta class a couple of weeks ago, and the teacher was I think he was quoting Vivekananda as being fond of the word shenai, shenai, shenai, which means slowly, slowly. And what he did, he didn’t mean, take all the time in the world, you know about your spiritual development. He meant, you know, don’t try to don’t bust the gut trying to storm the gates overnight, there’s gonna be a maturation process. And it’s not going to happen overnight. You have to dedicate yourself, like it says in the Yoga Sutras to long practice in order to really, you know, get what you’re after. And I don’t know when to go ahead
Babaji Bob Kindler: And at another time he would say, if you follow this tradition with the teacher, and exert yourself, you can become a yogi in six months. So he wasn’t at all, you know, he is also speaking to people who are more qualified. So it’s really important, I think, you know, if a person is totally unqualified, and they say, ‘Well, I’m already enlightened’ you just have to kind of smile and and say,’well, let’s agree to disagree,’ but if you’re talking to a qualified person, then they are storming the gates. And you can show them that that stream of truth flowing next to them.
Rick Archer: The reason I laughed when you said that is that I once went on a six month course with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, we’re in the French Alps. And at the very beginning of the course he said, we have six months I want to try to make Yogi’s out of you. I don’t know how successful but then there’s the whole thing in Patanjali of mild, medium, intense, vehemently intense, and Yogi’s in terms of their sadhana. And, correspondingly how how quickly they they realize,
Babaji Bob Kindler: Yeah, the study of the Yoga Sutras. I’ve studied so many systems and quite deeply. I don’t think there’s a more complicated system than yoga. I mean, tantra for sure. But that was never systematized. It’s just too old and too wide. And there’s been no tantric single person that’s ever systematized that, like Patanali attempted to do with the eight limb yoga, about about 140 years after Jesus. So that yoga is very complex and deserves a good long study with a yogi, or Yogini to understand it.
Rick Archer: When you say complicated you mean like sophisticated, like really nuanced and detailed? And
Babaji Bob Kindler: yeah, I don’t mean complicated in the negative sense, necessarily, although some people might think so. But sloka or sutra by sutra, you go through it, and it just offers up so much all the time.
Rick Archer: I want to get back to that classroom and Wyoming. So, you know, he’s said, like, why are you doing “what are you doing here? You’ve already learned all this.” But two things. I mean, you know, let’s say they’re studying astrophysics or something like that? Well, they haven’t necessarily learned all that. And if there’s a value in learning that, then there’s a good reason for them to be in being in school. I’ll let you answer that one, before I pose the next one.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Well, I would say that any system of study is easily understandable and worthy of attempt. If you have that qualification, say, non duality first. If you put the one before the zeros as Sri Ramakrishna said, then the zeros add up to a lot. But most people are going about secular studies as if it’s new, but there’s nothing new under the sun, even Christianity will tell us that. So there’s some kind of alterations that need to be made the modern mind in order for secular studies to produce something worthwhile, rather than just money, objects, pleasure degrees, and fame, debate, and so forth. If you really want to get to the point of true understanding, or what you mentioned earlier about Intelligence with a capital “I,” well, that’s the first compound of Consciousness you’re talking about. Intelligence is the first thing out the gate from the Word. And if you have that, if you can keep it, as you take on a physical body, then of course, all those things are known to you. Any kind of physics is already known to you. That is, the essence of physics is known to you, maybe not the little details that you’re trying to dig into to get the grade. But the essence of how the physical universe works is known to you. That’s my answer.
Rick Archer: So you can call pure Consciousness or something, you could call it the home of all knowledge, perhaps. And you can get if you can get established there, then it’s like, there’s an old analogy of capturing the fort. Let’s say there’s this territory. And there’s different interesting things in the territory, there’s a diamond mine here and a goldmine there, and so on, you can go chasing after and trying to explore those mines, but it’s not your territory, you don’t own it, it would be better to capture the fort first that commands the whole territory, then having done that, then you can explore at your leisure. So relating that to gaining knowledge in various relative fields. If you could, if you could make Self Realization, your first priority, then then it gives you a center from which to explore in a in a wholly different way and integrates and unites all those disparate fields of knowledge.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Right, and you’re talking about the Patanjali’s , the first yamas and niyamas. He talks about aparigraha, and so forth, which is the the gathering of things to yourself, the making of money. And Buddha talked about that too 700 years prior to him in terms of the Eightfold Path, how to do right livelihood and all that. When it comes around to Patanjali’s time to talking about aparigraha. He says that the effects of that or let’s put it this way, the effects of not mastering aparigraha is that you’re routed toward money the minute you’re born. Your parents will route you toward making a living, towards getting a degree, towards getting secular education, and nothing about philosophy, dharma, or anything to prepare you for the risk of getting attached to the world of name and form in time and space – getting attached to Maya – without even knowing maya exists. Vivekananda said those people are like, fish, who after the fisherman throws his net, are at the bottom, sunk in the mud, thinking they’re free, that they’ve got the net in their mouth. So aparigraha I’m just saying this, you know ahimsa, so I’m giving a seminar seminar on nonviolence next week, next weekend. And aparigraha has another great study about money-making, and what it does to people and how it’s okay, it’s fine to do it and necessary in this world to do it, if you put in front of it first knowledge of the Self, just knowing who you are, it’s really quite simple teaching. But it’s also
Rick Archer: It’d be nice if society was structured such that the educational system provided a means for self realization, as it raised as it trained the kids and all the various other things that that they might learn. And then it would be a really balanced, you know, sort of development.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Swami Vivekananda has some writings on education, some small books that were put out, where he says that he would like to see the grade system abolished, and get people out of the classroom. And so because then the younger people would learn with the older people, the older people, older kids would know how to guide them. And the younger people would have ideals to look up to amongst their own amongst their own school. So there are some major changes to our educational system that he wanted to see. And getting people outside the classroom into nature, like the old rishis, you know, they learned a lot of things out sitting near the stream, under a tree interspersed with periods of quiet meditation, and then you learn something, then you meditate on it, then you learn something. That’s a way that learning can proceed in a much deeper way,
Rick Archer: I would suggest that all the problems we see in the world – environmental degradation and you know, economic inequities and crime and yes political m-ss – all that stuff is (political) Yeah. It’s all just kind of symptomatic of what we’re talking about here, which is that Self Realization is not even its very existence isn’t even known by most educators. And it’s just not part of the curriculum, anyplace. And if it were universally throughout the world, I think that most of these problems would just sort of collapse, you know, they are we would find solutions, even if it meant like, you know, building better solar panels or whatever, we’d have the, the creativity, to do it. And we would have the political will to implement it without all sorts of ulterior, financial, you know, motives and, you know, some oil company bribing us not to vote for it, and all that kind of stuff, it would all just sort itself out.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Yes. And the eternal moneymaking wouldn’t be at the foundation of it all knowledge of the Self would be, because matter, attachment to matter is always been one of the evolutions of Maya, as you heard in that CD, you listen to.
Rick Archer: I think that I’m going to say if we’re gonna say? Well, I’ll go back to a point that I do remember that I was going to ask you about, again, back to the classroom on Wyoming. I don’t you think that there’s a kind of a evolutionary journey that we’re on? And, you know, we go from lifetime to lifetime not arbitrarily. But you know, in order to gain certain knowledge or experiences that we need to have for our soul to kind of ascend the evolutionary ladder?
Babaji Bob Kindler: Well, I think if you truly ascend the evolutionary ladder, you have what’s called involution. And that’s missing in the West missing pretty much in the world right now. To go within Jesus said, The kingdoms of Heaven are within. So really the kingdoms of heaven are your dreams, because what’s in you is just some fleshy organs and some blood and various things flowing through veins and muscles and stuff. So what’s within is, what is that the atomic particles or something? Well, they’re not leading us anywhere. So, true “within” then would be your mind. And kingdoms of heaven are where you’re dreaming in your mind. And so you go to them every night. So with this kind of this philosophical basis of things, then you would have to say that people are just conducting themselves about their minds all the time. And they’re not getting beyond that. Their thoughts lead them. You know, their limited wills lead them. And they don’t have any higher guide or any stronger realization than what’s just in cut inside the dual mind, Manas, it’s called, the dual mind. It’s named that way on purpose because you’re going to have to try and make it non dual, if you want to understand truth or reality. And that’s a quite a large step, really.
Rick Archer: If we consider the five koshas model, don’t you think that Jesus was not referring just to the mind when he said the kingdom of heaven was within but the various levels which are more fundamental than mind and ultimately to the Atman?
Babaji Bob Kindler: Yes, mind, but also include Vijnanamaya kosha, and Anandamaya Kosha. To understand that, you’d probably want to look more at the three bodies. And the three worlds. The five Sheaths system is pretty much just a here’s how you silkwormed yourself, you know, this lifetime, covered yourself with five levels, like a coconut with five layers, with the kernel is inside, you know, rattling around in there free. So five koshas is a system that’s good for teaching that how false superimposition, how you took on these coverings when you were born. But if you wanted to know more, the answers to the question we were just talking about, then you’d probably want to go to the gross, subtle and causal levels of your being, which are waking, dreaming and deep sleep correlatives, which means A U M, which spells AUM, you’re going to have to go to the word for all those beautiful, transcendent triputis, they’re called in Sanskrit, triple teachings,
Rick Archer: there’s that that Gita verse: contact with Brahman is infinite joy. So infinite joy sounds a lot like the kingdom of heaven. And, you know, if, if Brahman is at least initially contacted by withdrawing the senses from their objects, as it says, in the Gita, kind of like the tortoise withdrawing its legs into its shell, then to me Kingdom of Heaven within is a sort of 180 degree turn, in which one sort of gets down to one’s essential nature, and finds it to be quite heavenly?
Babaji Bob Kindler: Yes, it depends on what you mean, when you say Kingdom of Heaven course, Jesus was talking to a fallen Judaism, talking to the Pharisees and Sadducees, he was there in the midst of the Romans, his students were tax collectors and fishermen. When you have that kind of situation around you, then you’re going to have to specify a little deeper, what kingdom of heaven really means. I think if he’s talking about Almighty Father, which doesn’t get much doesn’t get the attention that Brahman gets in Hinduism. But if you talk about the Almighty Father, then you’re talking about something beyond heaven, beyond Lands beyond realms. That’s non duality. But if you’re talking about the kingdom of heaven, that mean that you come back with your ancestors, that’s a lower heaven. And that should probably be defined for people outside of Christianity, maybe even inside of Christianity, because that’s not a goal. It says right in the Upanishads, we gave up to heaven seeking senses. That’s a direct quote. And we realized that all the gods were in us, we didn’t have to bow to them. They’re inside of us. So the Upanishads really express about that kind of direct teaching, and the levels of mind and how to how to live beyond them, and still utilize them.
Rick Archer: I guess the gods would have to be part of us if we if you know, Aham Brahmasmi if I am That and all That alone is, then if there are gods, they’ve kind of got to be within me.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Yes, when you realize Brahman, you’ll realize that that very auspicious day he says, the singer, then you’ll realize that all the gods and goddesses exist within you. That’s even in their songs. So this has been in the minds of the Rishis in the Indian race for millennia, and it’ll come back in cycles to and cycles come back; that knowledge will come back with
Rick Archer: one way I have… Oh, I’m sorry, go ahead.
Babaji Bob Kindler: That’s called that’s called Sanatana Dharma. Eternal Dharma. It’s not something that’s going to pass out of existence. Actually, nothing is going to pass out of existence. It’s just going to appear and disappear. Inside of seeds. Time is a seed, space as a seed, Karma is a seed; the human body comes from a seed, everything is seeds. So, the teaching of external nature prakriti, we don’t have internal nature in the West, we just have external nature. So we don’t know how to trace air, earth, fire, water and ether, to air, earth, fire, water and ether in our mind, where they came from. Prakriti can’t operate by itself has to have a source to come from. And these are those 24 Cosmic principles I mentioned. The name for them in Sanskrit is Adi Daiva Vidya. This is the Adi (original) daiva (divine) vidya (knowledge). This is the original divine knowledge by which the soul involute back to its source. Patanjali says it in the very last Sutra of his yoga sutras. “She takes the transmigrating soul and returns it to its origin. As she does so she strips name and form away so that it can realize its formless essence”, – last Sutra of the Yoga Sutras, if you were to study all the way to the end. So this is the Shakti back to full circle to where we’re coming from. This is her doing this is what she wants to take the transmigrating soul and return it to its origin again, she’ll have to strip nature away. In order for nature to be stripped away, the soul is going to have to know that it’s not just external nature, five elements in a body. But it’s internal nature to that’s called unmanifested prakriti. And we don’t know anything about that. Vivekananda came here and said, “You don’t know anything about prana.” Then the next thing he says, “Oh, I see you don’t know anything about tanmatras.” So he started going through the cosmic principles and saying, This is why, you know, your senses are seeking lower heaven with your ancestors is you don’t know that you can get beyond that. That you have come from a much purer and more divine space. If you’ve come, if you come at all — he wasn’t very kind to coming and going. He says all coming and going is nonsense. You just are that essence. That’s it. And that’s the Advaita. Of course, you’re going to say next, and a lot of people will, say so how do we work ourselves up to that through these processes in relativity? But we’re saying you cannot get to the infinite through the finite, you’re gonna have to put the infinite first and then realize that the finite is transitory. Isn’t that what they’re always saying? From Krishna, to Buddha to Ramakrishna, they’re all saying that.
Rick Archer: And I imagine that a lot of these teachers have tried. I mean, in traditional Hinduism, as I understand it, there’s a whole faction of people who, who aspire to heaven, I mean, the karma Kanda that’s what they want to do perform sacrifices and get to a high heaven and hang out there with the celestial apsarasas or something and enjoy, you know, but that only lasts so long, and then they have to come back. And so I think what people like Vivekananda, were trying to say, I guess is, you know, there’s more than that. And don’t settle for that.
Babaji Bob Kindler: I think if people want that, like Holy Mother used to say, if they want money, give it to them, you know, we can’t talk them out of it, they come to me and they ask, they know, I’m the wife of Sri Ramakrishna. So they, they asked for things that no one ever asked for pure devotion, or for pure love of God, where’s their devotion go to, they’re just asking me for things. You know, and gurus are like that, people will go to gurus. Acharyas gurus teachers, they will have people come to them. For various reasons. The teacher thinks maybe in naivety, that they’re coming there for Enlightenment, most of them aren’t. They’re coming there to get a wife or husband; they’re coming there to get money; they’re coming there to get some solution to their misery or suffering. That’s really what’s happening. So you’re talking about different levels of consciousness and people who are operating at them. So you have to kind of become, you know, a good scrutinizer of where people are coming from. And it doesn’t mean you can’t give them what you want what they want, but you’re always wanting something beyond that for them. Because they’re just coming back again next year. And that relationship didn’t wor. That money went away. And you know, you see this happening in cycles. Let’s just get that all over with and just know yourself, and then everything will come to you. All the gods are in you means that they’re not some deities hanging out in your body somewhere. Or some, you know, psychic disturbances going on or some channeling or something. This is that your very consciousness is made up of these powers. The gods are just powers. Yoga powers.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I think you’d call them maybe you can call them impulses of intelligence. And really, we are an infinite field of intelligence. We’re not just located, not just isolated into this body. And that field contains impulses. And I mean, there’s so many stories. Remember, there’s a story in the Bible about a Centurion soldier came to Jesus and he said, you know, my, who wasn’t my servant or my wife or somebody is having a big problem, and could you come to my house and and solve it? And Jesus said, No. No, I know what it was. Jesus said, Okay, I’ll come to your house and the centurion said, no, you don’t have to come because I know that you have sort of all the way he he didn’t phrase it this way. But you have this all pervading intelligence, if I if I want something done, I tell one of my men to go and do it. And I know it gets done. So you can just without going there, you can make it happen. You know, because he’s established in that state, which is already there at the house, and it can be taken care of, from afar. I didn’t express that very well.
Babaji Bob Kindler: That’s non duality, really. It’s being everywhere at once. It’s omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, the three Om-s I like to call that.
Rick Archer: Yeah. One thing we’ve touched upon in this conversation, but perhaps not quite so directly is there’s this debate these days between the progressive path and the direct path. And, you know, people arguing back and forth. And have you given any thoughts that you have any comments on that polarity?
Babaji Bob Kindler: I pretty much and very contentedly as ensconced in, in the non dual path. So progressive, to me sounds like growing, and growing is one of the six transformations. That doesn’t happen; you don’t grow, you just are. So that’s the non dual path. And so then the next thing you said would be the
Rick Archer: regressive or direct or progressive
Babaji Bob Kindler: …the other path. The direct path sounds a little bit more appealing to me, the quicker we can get out of this maya, and do away with our suffering, that is our unnecessary suffering, because our unnecessary, unnecessary suffering, I mean, because necessary suffering will happen to anyone here. That’s also one of the six transformations of the Buddha. So in the quickest way, we can return to our true nature, and be ourselves in this very lifetime. In Buddhism, you know, it takes three lifetimes usually to do that, one lifetime to recognize your folly, your karma, one lifetime to work on it, and one lifetime to be free. So if you live that one free lifetime, it means you died consciously at the end of your last lifetime. And your bodhisattva now, or, in our tradition, call it Jivanmukta. Now, so that’s what people are heading for who are heading for enlightenment. And, admittedly, so few are heading for enlightenment, they don’t know what it is, they don’t know it’s possible in this day and age, they don’t desire it, if they even imagine it to be possible. It’s like next week at my nonviolent seminar, I’m just going to have to admit to someone that my subtitle isn’t very good, bringing non violence into the world, it’s never going to happen, not this world. That’s a pipe dream. But at the same time, suffering is not real. So that’s the dichotomy that you’re gonna have to look at deeply. I mean, Sri Ramakrishna had cancer, his throat at the end of his life, for instance. And one person, right toward the end said, doesn’t that pain you? He said, only when I talk to you, when I come down and talk to you. When you go away, oh, my mind will go straight to the feet of Kali, and I won’t feel this anymore. So he obviously had transcended suffering of all kinds, and was living in a state free of suffering.
Rick Archer: I heard another story about that, where he was, you know, moaning or something, because there was a great deal of pain and, and, one of his disciples came to him and said, but, but Sir, I see that you were in bliss. And he said, Ah, the rascal has found me out.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Yeah, that’s a beautiful one. You have a little bit of the look of Ramakrishna about you, I must say
Rick Archer: I don’t know about that. You flatter me. Oh, yeah. I’ve heard this story before, and I heard you allude to it in one of your talks. But it says in Patanjali, someplace that in the vicinity of yoga, there is no violence or something like that, like a saint in the forest could be sitting there and maybe the animals don’t kill each other within a certain radius or people don’t fight with each other, or something like that. …So you just said we’re not going to get rid of violence in this world. But what if such people were to become relatively commonplace? What if we had them all over the place perhaps the whole world would become more peaceful due to their, the influence they radiate.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Not only true, but very beautiful. But then you’re talking probably about yugas. You to get into the concept of time in Hindu Dharma, the Maha yugas have four yuga thing, Sattya, Dvapara, Treta, and Kali, we’re supposed to be in the Kali Yuga right now. So we’re not seeing a lot of that. Those kinds of souls. But when you hear, when you read Yoga Vasishtha, or when you did any of the ancient seers, that taught Sri Ram, when that Avatar was present, who is before Sri Krishna, in the age before him, you hear them talking a lot about how this this Dharma is known by all peoples at that time, these truths are obvious facts to them, they haven’t forgotten them. And you know, Ignorance only obscures wisdom, Krishna says in the Gita, like smoke covers fire, it doesn’t do away with wisdom. So this is the forgetfulness of ignorance, and it increases over the ages. And again, since we don’t know manifested prakriti, and unmanifested prakriti, we don’t know that everything that apparently dies here goes into a seed form, in a formless of state, which isn’t the ultimate formlessness, by the way, Krishna explains in the Gita, but it was with the realm of prana, and so forth, everything returns to a seed like that ready to be watered again and come forth in the next cycle, if you know, that’s actually making a long story short, but if you know that kind of cyclic period of time, and you know that’s attended by evolution, and involution, both, then you become a knower of time, like Shiva. And then all these things make sense to you. Like why people are so pig ignorant about the Self in this day and age. They’re thick as a brick.
Rick Archer: That was a Jethro Tull album, I believe.
Babaji Bob Kindler: That’s right.
Rick Archer: There’s a couple other possibilities. One is like Yogananda, his master Sri Yukteswar, you had a different take on the yugas, he had a different mathematics kind of worked out. And I believe he thought that we could actually be, they wouldn’t call Kali Yuga wouldn’t last for 432,000 years, but that we might actually be coming to the end of it pretty soon. And I am not qualified to comment on that one way or the other. But aside from that, some people think that we might be on the verge of a kind of a blip. Even if we’re going to be into Kali yuga, for a while, that we might be into a blip, where there will be a kind of a mini Sat yoga, as there’s a kind of epidemic of spiritual awakening that sweeps the world. And who knows how long it would last? So I’m kind of hoping that will happen. But again, it’s just a hypothesis.
Babaji Bob Kindler: No, I think you’re talking about consciousness there, rather than talking about nature and time. I think it’s preposterous what that teacher said about changing the Kali yuga
Rick Archer: Sri Yukteswar?
Babaji Bob Kindler: Yeah, and I know that people have said the same thing who are very philosophically astute, but that aside, the idea of time being the four yugas, being a layer cake, rather than something linear, is where they teach it in Advaita. So, the the satya yuga is existing at the same time, the Kali yuga’s existing, this is what gives you non dual understanding is that Sri Ramakrishna can be standing there fully illumined in the Kali yuga, and a person who came to see him can be living completely in the Kali yuga, full of ignorance. So you’re talking about more levels of consciousness and understanding, then you are phases of time.
Rick Archer: Usually with the way the yugas are interpreted as you know, what everybody is going through. And even in terms of what you just said, I mean, you could say that somebody like Sri Ramakrishna was in Sat yuga from his perspective, you know, and, and but people around him were in one or another of the other yugas. So, in other words, knowledge is in the eye of the beholder something or
Babaji Bob Kindler: Well, the two, the two are going on simultaneously, one is a dream of billions of people who believe in evolution and who believe in growth and believe in transmigration. Maybe they don’t even know what transmigration really means. Because they don’t remember their last lifetimes. Okay, give them that. But there are people who are just living in that one presence and…. the Satyam is known 100% there in Satya Yuga by all who are in the body at that time. So it declines, it declines as, as time moves on, for those souls who believe in such things as change. This is the one thing that the Western philosophers, if we want to single them out like you did earlier, this the one thing they’re missing, they don’t know about aparinama. They don’t know that nothing changes. They are so into change that even their philosophy is based upon change. There is no change. That’s Maya and Maya doesn’t happen. Brahman is a aparinama – changeless. And that’s the truth. And that’s all there is. And that can be put in three words, you know, tat twam asi, Aham brahmasmi. Can be put in two words, can be put in one word sarvosmi. So, anyway, this is why our Western brethren, God bless them, you know, are missing, again, some of those essential components of of out how to put it, experiential philosophy.
Rick Archer: This is interesting stuff. I mean, there are several different ways I could pick that apart. I mean, you just kind of said that, that the yugas could be like, like a layer cake instead of linear.
Babaji Bob Kindler: No, I said, I said, they are like a layer cake,
Rick Archer: Or different dimensions, if you will.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Because, Because you heard Patanjali’s teaching about one eternal moment, the six gateways into one eternal moment, that eternal moment is what we’re talking about here. Time is an illusion.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it is,
Babaji Bob Kindler: and people buy into it.
Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s very convincing illusion.
Babaji Bob Kindler: And Buddha said, to get out of it, and sit on the banks, get out of the river of time sit on the banks as one of his last teachings.
Rick Archer: Now, I, I keep thinking of multi dimensionality now as you speak, because I think that one can be out of the river of time out of the field of activity, clearly, dwelling and in the sense that I am not the doer, and all that stuff. Whereas others might see one looking at one’s watch, because you have to catch a plane or acting and talking and doing things. But you know, that’s just kind of the crust or the surface of one’s life, there can one one sort of awareness can span a whole spectrum and be primarily established in that which doesn’t change, that which is beyond time, that which doesn’t act, and so on, while, superficially being engaged in the other stuff.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Yes, Sri Ramakrishna said to be spiritual is not to be a fool. It’s not naivete. So you’re talking about simultaneously existing things that spirituality and practicality can exist simultaneously. And when they do, that’s when Maya doesn’t exist. And when they don’t, that’s when Maya comes dancing back with its dance of Maya, and flummoxes the mind and people forget. So Brahman and Maya, they interchange depending on the intelligence, higher intelligence and consciousness that a person can hold. One will go away when the other is present. And that will come dancing back when that’s present. So that’s called negligence of Brahman by Shankara in the Vivekachudamani. So that’s very interesting, because it’s to this one eternal moment thing if you just learn to live in the One Eternal Moment, which I saw my teacher in, then that just puts to rest all these doubts and fears that you’ve been holding about and all your misunderstandings, bhrantidarshana, philosophical misunderstandings that Patanjali talks about.
Rick Archer: So are you saying that if one lives in the one eternal moment like your teacher did, are you saying that one can just sort of, one is no longer assaulted by Maya trying to come in and get you again?
Babaji Bob Kindler: Exactly. And it’s, it’s a truth, but it’s also true that some of those souls can take on the karma of others. And so it’s not like they’re going to be dancing, all dancing around in bliss and all happy and saying, haha, devil take the hindmost kind of thing.
Rick Archer: And they can get throat cancer, or whatever.
Babaji Bob Kindler: So I mean, there’s a magazine out there, used to be at least, called What is Enlightenment? Yeah, I wrote once said, quit asking the question. It’s already been stated in the Hindu Scriptures what it is: vedanta-siddhanta-niruktir esha brahmaiva jivah sakalam jagat cha: time, space, living beings, and the world – all these are Brahman. Living in constant recognition of this fact is what’s called enlightenment. So if you fall out recognition of that fact that all this is Brahman, the Maya is there; if you remain in it, the Maya isn’t. It’s that simple. So you have to practice the prescence of Brahmin as they say, not neglect it , that’s where sadhana comes in, in this, in the Kali yuga.
Rick Archer: Now, would you agree or not that eventually, like taking your teacher as an example, he didn’t have to sort of go throughout the day, reminding himself that he was Brahman or any such thing, it just became his natural mode of living is natural state or condition. And that, you know, thinking I am Brahman is about as effective, really as thinking about food, you know, in terms of having it nourish, you know, it won’t, you have to live it experientially. And the thought of food isn’t the same as eating it. The thought of Brahma isn’t the same as knowing yourself really experientially, as that.
Babaji Bob Kindler: If the thought gets deeper and more profound, and it’s not surface, then of course, that changes, then you reach the the first compound of consciousness that’s called intelligence. That’s what Divine Mother is, it’s pure intelligence to us. So we tend to hang out with her. You know, she’s who we keep on our mind, because Brahman sometimes is, you know, beyond mind, so how, how can you think about Brahman and do your work at the same time? Brahman will definitely have to go to the background, but some souls have the ability for it to go to the background without forgetting it. Other souls, if it goes to if they know it at all, it goes to background and gets forgotten and doesn’t come back. So these are some of the dynamics of, of constant concentration, like we were talking about, if you learn it and keep it. It’s like what I was about to say about my seminar coming up, you know, I’m going to have to convince people that Ahimsa is an eternal truth, that nothing dies, you can’t hurt anything, read the Gita, try and understand what Krishna is saying to Arjuna on the battlefield, because then you’ll know more about just the moral law of non violence, or the karmic law of non violence, because that’s there. And also the philosophical law of non violence, but you’ll know the eternal truth of non violence, and then you’ll live in it. And you’ll be the example here. I mean, Jesus made a beautiful statement about that, he said, I have not come to this world to bring peace, I’ve come to bring a sword. And with the sword, I’ll separate father from son, and mother from daughter. Now, the Christians are so big on family, you know, don’t mess with family kind of bumper stickers and stuff. But look what your Savior is telling you. If you’re a God lover, and your son’s not, then you should separate from them. There shouldn’t be any sentimentality about this, if you can’t bring him to the Lord, let him go his own way that’s called Maya to us. But if we know the path, we have to follow it, and they have to follow us by example. That’s what a guru is, if its a good guru. And we can share that one too.
Rick Archer: If Yeah, maybe later, I’m reminded of an old Bengali saying, if no one comes on your call, then go ahead alone. I would say in modern terms, that doesn’t mean you can’t go home, have Thanksgiving dinner with your family or something. Or you have to just renounce your parents and never see them again. But obviously, you know, you have to do your own thing and not like you were saying earlier, if your parents insist that you be a lawyer and you have higher aspirations, then you really have to follow your own calling and you’ll be miserable your life and I
Babaji Bob Kindler: If you know these dharmic teachings then you apply them situation to situation, person to person, that’s all given because when people do hear these Ultimate Truths, … they’re gonna want to know, well, you know, how does that work into my life, or that’s not going to work into my life, they might make that presumption. But you do have to take that, take that highest truth and bring it down, Vivekananda said, with without diluting it. Very difficult to take the four yogas is for instance, which he calls the new religion of this age, by the way, and bring them down into life without diluting them. Because you know, people are going to turn Raja Yoga into Hatha pretty soon people are thinking they can get enlightenment from positions or something, or that’s all they do. And Shankara says in the Vivekachudamani, you will never get Enlightenment through progeny through Asana, through breathing. Yet some of these might have to be done. You know, it’s not like, like you’re Xing everything out of the equation, but you have to know what really will give you Enlightenment, or what Enlightenment is. The knowledge that all this is Brahman and keeping current with that. If you fall out, it’s no one to blame but yourself. There is no god judging you. There’s no devil coming after you. It’s all your own doing.
Rick Archer: I want to loop back, I have a few questions that have come in that I want to ask. But it was I want to wrap up another thing we discussed a little earlier which I was asking you about direct versus progressive paths and and you said something like you, you prefer the direct because you know, you don’t sort of your orientation is not one of ongoing growth but more like I am, I am That now something okay? But um, if you look back at your relative life over the past decades, don’t you feel like there has been all kinds of growth in relative dimensions such as your, your knowledge, perhaps your your emotions or your heart, your degree of compassion, clarity of your intellect, you know, all kinds of things perhaps have grown or evolved over these years?
Babaji Bob Kindler: No way.
Rick Archer: Really?
Babaji Bob Kindler: No, it’s It’s all been unveiled. And that’s different than growth.
Rick Archer: Just just bingo done?
Babaji Bob Kindler: No, No on growth stages. It’s been revealed. It’s revelation. It’s what happens, has to happen when you take on a body- mind mechanism, because the light doesn’t get into flesh very well as the seers say to flesh is. What is that? Oh, it’s willing and something else is weak, you know,
Rick Archer: Mind is willing in the spirit of spirits willing weak or something?
Babaji Bob Kindler: Yeah. Yeah. So that’s, that’s a fact you have to take into account that you should never fall into the illusion that you’re growing, because you are the Atman. And that doesn’t
Rick Archer: I’m not alluding to the Atman, I’m talking about Babaji Bob Kindler, who also has a relative personality, as well as being the Atman. And who speaks and who thinks and who interacts with people. I mean, as an all of the spiritual life, you’ve lived enhanced all those facets of of your existence of your life.
Babaji Bob Kindler: I don’t think any of it would have been possible, I couldn’t have done what I have done, if I hadn’t found my teacher and my path and, and realized that I’m the Atman, the rest of it would have been a wasted life, to me, thoroughly wasted. I mean, if you have a child and you put them up against the wall, and you measure their growth, and you say, Oh, you grow, you know, six inches this year, or whatever, you know, you must say at the same time, remember, your Atman never grows. This is how non dual truth and and it just gets put aside, conveniently. So pretty soon, it doesn’t exist anymore. It’s like the moon changing shapes at night, and people used to believe that there was a demon up there eating it. No, that was a half moon so. So Rahu, the demon ate it, you know, I don’t know how it got back. Maybe he regurgitated it because it made him sick, you know. But people actually just think of this, as you know, because they thought that that was real, that’s how ignorance gets into the mind about being the body mind mechanism, and senses and objects and pleasures and various things. And they can’t be taken at face value; they have to be prefaced, the one has to be before the zeros. And that’s just a law of thumb of, of right thinking philosophy, right orientation, and proper religion, or else it will become irreligion. You see so much of it.
Rick Archer: I’m good with all that. I’m just thinking that I could probably cite examples from Patanjali. And you could take them better than I could about stages of growth that the yogi undergoes that, you know, you don’t just you’re not a fully blossom Saint on day one or some such thing that that, you know, and even once the Atman is realized, and I’ve heard other Vedanta teachers say this, there’s still plenty of room for refinement. And, you know,
Babaji Bob Kindler: The refinement is, is for the mind and intellect not for the Atman not saying this.
Rick Archer: I’m clear on that.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Yeah, OK. And I hope other people are too so, you know, they won’t get argument, argumentative intellect, remember one of those evolutes of of Maya, tarkika buddhi, but you argue about everything here, but you must know that that person you’re talking to about spirituality, if he or she is a non dualist is coming from that standpoint, only as the truth. Everything else has been put second to that.
Rick Archer: Yeah, I guess the reason I bring this up is that there have been so many examples of teachers who claim to have had some kind of spiritual awakening and the know the self and so on. And then they’re found behaving reprehensibly, you know, creates all kinds of doubt and confusion and harm among their students. And, and so I’m kind of big on the notion of ongoing purification and refinement in on the foundation of Self Realization,
Babaji Bob Kindler: Purification of the mind, intellect, senses, body, you know, all of those are, of course, part of sadhana. But, you know, if you just have the idea, that those are those are not the self. That’s all Vedanta is really asking. You know, nitya anitya vastu viveka. You just have that as your first premise and then get into relativity and life and all that. You have a huge advantage.
Rick Archer: Yeah, no, that’s good. We’re on the same page. Padmasambhava was quoted as saying, although my awareness is as vast as the sky, my attention to karma is as fine as a grain of barley flour.
Babaji Bob Kindler: That’s nice. Yeah.
Rick Archer: Good.
Babaji Bob Kindler: I’ll use that maybe
Rick Archer: Throw in a few questions here that came in. And if we want to talk, if there’s a particular topic that you want to be sure that we cover more than we have? Let me know. I mean, don’t just wait for me to ask the question. Like, if you want to talk more about the guru disciple relationship or anything else, we have about 20 minutes left little in that amount.
Babaji Bob Kindler: I’m fine stretching out has been nice. I could talk about this all day. I guarantee you. I wish I could find more souls like who want to. But that’s kind of the point of it, get them interested in larger amounts.
Rick Archer: Okay, so here’s a few questions and take as little or as much time as you like to answer these, each of these or even you can say, I don’t want to answer that one. Let’s go on to the next. So this one is from Emma Sampson, who is in Cornwall, UK. And I think she might be asking this because she might know that you are a musician, among other things. I don’t think I mentioned that in the intro. But her got her question is do you think music exists outside of our three dimensional world? I’m kinda reminded the celestial Gandharvins, when she asked, and if so do you think that some worldly music could be from other world realms channeled by human musicians?
Babaji Bob Kindler: Well, I was trained classically in both, first in Western classical music with a teacher who was a student of Pablo Casals. So I got really good guru, in music and in the Western. And then of course, I branched off into Indian raga, and so forth, and had a lot of exposure to that. And some of my CDs I put out are based in Indian raga. So I liked the traditional, I can see that first. So my answer might be come come, you know, closed and that I liked the traditional way of approaching music, both east and west, though. And there are differences. So I would say that Western classical music, all of the European composers, for instance, that came throughout the centuries, just, they just put forth amazing music, you know that, that I that I apprenticed and played in symphonies and so forth. And that was divine music to me. The people around me were doing it for a paycheck. I mean, when I was in Youth Symphonies, everyone was, you know, idealistic. We all were like, wow, this music is great. But then as soon as I got into professional music, and joined a symphony, and started getting a salary, that all went away, and I noticed the people around were not acting divine, they were not acting moral, some of them. They were there for ego purposes. And they were there to drink alcohol after concerts, and they were there to party. And I don’t know, probably people can relate to this. So, you know, I stayed with it as far as possible. And I started a recording studio to help people fashion their musical visions in there. And, you know, began to put out music that I had, how do I say, because I don’t really believe in creation, so I’d have to say this music just came to me from meditative moods. That’s the kind of channeling that happens to people who don’t become desensitized to music as the voice of the Goddess. And that’s probably the best way I could put it. She’s Saraswati is the goddess of music and wisdom. So, when I met people like Ali Akbar, Khan and Ravi Shankar, we played with him. And various people in both east and west, a lot of famous artists in the western categories. They, like they had these these ideals of, of the Goddess, the goddess of music is who they were playing to. And so I think if you become a vehicle of hers, then you just naturally begin to manifest music of that kind. And if I don’t know if the questioner, what she means by the three dimensions, or by worldly music, but I’ve heard worldly music that I’m not at all impressed with, I wish it never had been made. And it’s very gross, and the lyrics are bad. The music’s not put together well, so I’m kind of a purist, I, I admit. It has to have some intelligence behind it just like the philosophy to be divine music to me. That’s to me. So I don’t know if that answers any of that questions. But I think that the three dimensions if you’re talking about in Hindu terms, if you’re talking about the outer and the inner and the transcendent, that yes, this music can come from, like you were just mentioning from the Gandharvas, or from the Devas and Devis, who are also adept at, at divine sound. I think when a when a great teacher speaks, that’s music. And, you know, they used to sing the shlokas , by the way, you know, they would chant them, just like Gregorian, but Sanskrit, it was the same way they would have two tone or three tone kinds of ways of teaching this to their children in a kind of a melodic form. So that’s sacred sound to me, and it just kind of falls under one banner. But I feel like it has to have some qualification and criterion to make it sacred. Otherwise, I don’t feel it in other sounds, other collections of sounds I’ve heard
Rick Archer: What instrument did you play?
Babaji Bob Kindler: I was schooled in the cello. And then I branched out, taught myself guitar, and I use autoharp in place of the harmonium. And I sing bhajans, and stotrams in Sanskrit,
Rick Archer: it’s pretty good. I’ve heard it on some recordings. And that, that autoharp or whatever sounded nice too. just on her point, I heard that Mozart said that sometimes that often a symphony would come to him in a flash, like in its entirety, and then he would just have to take hours and hours to write it all down. But the whole thing was just there, you know. And Beethoven was actually, you know, at times quite depressed and suicidal. And he said, but I can’t end my life, because I feel like I’m sort of instrument through which this divine music has to come before I can, before my life ends.
Babaji Bob Kindler: I think all the arts are that way, not just music that the artists that are most tuned in to their craft, they pre think them or it comes to them, sort of like pre cognition kind of thing. And then they go and use the elements of nature to put them together. You know, some, a box with some catgut stretched over it with a horsehair with rosin from a tree on it, and you scratch at it, and try and make something beautiful.
Rick Archer: Here’s a question from Kiran Perez in San Francisco. You’re a lineage holder of both Vedanta, and Vajrayana Buddhism, I wonder if you could talk about the historical disagreements when it comes to differences in attainments between the two. Also the subtle differences about the ultimate end of contemplative practice.
Babaji Bob Kindler: The second half of that question, of course, is easy to talk about first. The first part means that I tend to focus on the the agreements of the traditions rather than the contentions. Because I think there will always be those contentions between thinkers. I mean, I used to be invited to these panels that were popular in the 80s and 90s, where you’d get people from different religions together to try and agree on something. You put a Roshi, and a Tulku, and a swami and a sheik, and a Christian priest and a Jewish rabbi in the same room, there’s no way you’re gonna get them to agree, let’s, let’s face it,
Rick Archer: herding cats
Babaji Bob Kindler: Sometimes, there can be some good positive things come out of that. And it’s, you know, it’s a good idea, in a sense. But I think each one of them have reached the divine by following their own path, if they have reached the goal yet, if they think they have, or they know they have. So in that way, then it’s very important to find what vibrates best with you as a path, take definitely take a teacher for it. In India, that’s just absolute. And Vivekananda said you could go from the Himalayas, to the Alps, to the Caucasus, to the Sahara desert, to the Gobi Desert, and to the bottom of the ocean, you’ll never get Enlightenment until you find a guru. So he was pretty adamant about that. And of course, he had the guru of gurus with Sri Ramakrishna Parmahansa. So, back more to the point of the question, I liked the agreements between religions, the correlations. There is overall and mentioning Swami Vivekananda, his statement saying that Vedanta and Buddhism are just the same. And he doesn’t, he doesn’t say that lightly about religions. He knows they all have differences and different practices and maybe even slightly different goals in some ways, heaven for one, you know, totally emancipation formlessness for another. So those are all apparent there. But I mean, I often say that Lord Buddha was a Hindu man. He was born in India. It’s sort of like thinking, Oh, well is Christ blue eyes and blond haired born born in Europe or America or something? No, these religions were all from the east, these main religions, and we ought to recognize that for one thing. But more along the line of the question, then, this 37 limbs of Enlightenment of Buddhism can be compared side by side with the many numbered systems of Vedanta, and see that the way that they’ve grappled with these problems and the way they’ve developed these beautiful Darshanas, as you know, it’s just been marvelous. And there are more correlations there than there are contentions. I think that contentions come around when people are influenced by debate, argumentation and superiority of their path. Sri Ramakrishna was not in that; he liked the universality first and foremost. All religions have the same essence in them, but they’re not the same. People used to come up to me and say, Oh, you’re a follower of Ramakrishna, he’s the one that said, all the reasons are the same. Please don’t say that. He didn’t say that at all, knew they were all different, and had different practices to realize the goal. But he did say the essence was the same. And the one reality is the same, indivisible reality, they call it, it can’t be divided into religions. So there’s, again back to
Rick Archer: Didn’t Ramakrishna also actually practice a bunch of different religions. Tell us about that,
Babaji Bob Kindler: Briefly, is that when he had his Ishtam, his Mother Kali, I said, and he adored her and sought her in a very intensive 12 year period of sadhana where he realized her finally. Totapuri came along and then and, … he studied non duality and got the fruits of that, and just a few days. It’s amazing what a quick study he was. So he did hold that ideal of practicing different religions. So he had visions of Christ, and Muhammad, and so forth. So … the thing was that then people needed to probably know about this is that it wasn’t just a hoodgpodge thrown together in a kind of menu tasting thing we talked about earlier. Basically, it was that when he studied, decided to study the Muslim religion, he ate in the Muslim quarters of the temple. And he put all the pictures of Kali out of his room, and focused just on Mohammedism, and realized the goal for that right away, so that he could then come back and take up his Ishtam again, or whatever darshana or religion he was particularly interested in and realize them individually from others so that when he put him together, at the end, there were like facets of a diamond. He used to say that a field doesn’t have just one color of flowers. You know, I have gathered many different colored flowers from the field of religion and put them together in one vase. And I’ve offered them to Mother Kali . So he does have his divine Ishtam as Mother Kali; that never changed – Divine Mother Reality – but all the religions he saw were in her. And he would offer them all to her after he finished realizing them.
Rick Archer: I don’t know, but maybe he did this not only for his own edification. But then having done that if a Muslim or Buddhist or Christian or somebody came to him, he could really be on their wavelength and, you know, teach them more effectively, maybe because he totally knew their path.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Very true. And he has had Christians come to him and say, Oh, I see, I’ve been searching for Christ all my life, I just found him, you know, looking at Sri Ramakrishna. Because you know, Advitically, they’re cut out of the same cloth, these great souls, they may have different times say, appear, they might have different features, they may have different colors of skin. But if they’re Advaitcally , realized which all these souls are, then they’re cut out of one cloth. So that’s the same being you’re looking at, with just few outer characteristics of change. You know,
Rick Archer: You refer to a few minutes go into these inter religious gatherings where representatives of all the religions get together. I think if you could get have a gathering like that, but it wasn’t just these modern day folks, but it was Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Mohammed, get them in a room together. I think it’d be a different scene. You know,
Babaji Bob Kindler: it would sure be interesting wouldn’t it for you and I we’d be on the edge of our seats.
Rick Archer: Audiences or something okay, here’s the pink elephant question. This is a little goofy sounding but I think you can make something out of it. This is Mark Allen in Rochester, New York. Um, sit and breathe. Don’t even don’t think about pink elephants. If I’m told not to think about pink elephants, all I’m gonna do is think about pink elephants. What is watching the pink elephants? What are the pink elephants?
Babaji Bob Kindler: Yeah, that’s witness consciousness or becoming the observer of phenomena. You know, that’s that’s a humorous way of of expressing it, but it comes I think it comes to the point there’s nothing wrong with that. To me, it’s just, It reminds me of Aum na’sato vidyate bhavo na’bhavo vidyate satah,satah, in the Gita, Krishna says, The Unreal never is, the real never ceases to be. The truth about both has been realized by the seers. So when you want to, if you realize there, you think that the Atman is the only reality then you should probably study the Anatman like the Buddhists would talk about, so that you you could set them off against one another, you know that the unreal, is never is never really exists. It’s a manufacture, from the real. From the mind of God comes all these worlds, but the mind of God is not, is not Brahman, and it’s not Atman, that’s beyond worlds. So, if you know the difference between Sat and asat, the real and the unreal, then it sounds a bit like knowing the difference between pink elephants and what’s beyond them. You should probably study the pink elephant. And if it’s a it’s a bubble pop it, to see that it has no substance in it, and then arrive at the real
Rick Archer: Good. I heard you make a statement in one of your talks. Dharma is a step beyond morality and ethics. And Atma jnana is a step beyond dharma. And that one kind of jumped out at me. Could you elaborate on that just a little?
Babaji Bob Kindler: Well, definitely morality, isn’t it, at least in this day and age and probably in all the religions is really not satisfying us. It’s not solving our problems. Anyone who believes that virtue and vice is real, does not know the truth. So it’s not just that vice is … unreal, virtue also is unreal. And if you think about Vice, than you’re going to have to think about virtue and if you think about virtue, you’re going to have to think about vice. This is called deluding pairs of opposites, that always take the mind in circles according to Krishna in the Gita. So, in that way, then, you rise above these dualities and, and settled in on the non dual truth finally – is a short answer.
Rick Archer: There was another question that Annapurna is sent in to me. Annapurna is your student and helper, about the ceaseless debate, does God exist? And then she said you would reply from the ancient seers, God is existence. Could we also parse that out a little bit and say that there’s kind of a impersonal aspect of God which might be brahman or pure existence, and then a personal aspect of God, which might be saguna Brahman, a little bit more manifest or lively aspect of Brahman?
Babaji Bob Kindler: Very definitely, that’s, that’s the advantage of studying the pre Vedantic period, Vedanta came along, you know, and it’s been there all along, but the Vedas were kind of a early period of that, Vedas broken into, you know, two basically and then four sections through time, the Upanishads being the fourth. So in the early times, before the Upanishads were fully evolved, as far as into scriptures that were, at first not recited, not even written down, and finally got written down. So you’re talking about to pre pre Vedantic period, there were people had this understanding that Brahman had form and it was beyond form as well. It, nirguna means free of attributes, free of Gunas, free of qualities. And Saguna means it’s with them. So it was a you know, as time went on, pretty soon, this idea of the real and the unreal came along, and the, the renunciation of the unreal, the monastic side of things monism, and so forth came along. And that was, I think, in correlation with these dimming down of intelligence over yugas. Pretty soon, it wouldn’t be enough just to walk away and say I see Brahman is with form and also without form and think that you knew that. But because of the increasing darkness of the of the evolution process into different yugas, the people who were taking bodies and coming in the wheel of their ancestors and so forth, with the animals and the plants – and the elementals in between the three worlds, they call that – because of that, then they started having to come up with these direct paths, the direct path again, right, which would be a sword that you could separate the wheat from the chaff with. I mean, that’s just that’s viveka in Jesus’s mind is how to separate the wheat from the chaff. And in Vedantic terms later, you know, Vedavyas, and so forth, came out to the discrimination between the real and the unreal, and that would clarify people’s minds. Patanjali’s version of that some 500 years earlier than Vedavyas probably was this eight limb yoga, by which you could transcend the ignorance of the mind. So these are all important steps in ways that we should probably should look at as a whole package of Indian dharma. And that’s where morality leaves off. And Dharma begins to attract. We saw this in 60s and 70s, with Tibetan Buddhism – it’s why I got attracted too. Wow, these are teachings, these are great, you know, this is different than what I heard coming from my culture, from my society, through my teens, and into my early 20s. This has some substance to it, and I was immediately attracted to it. And so were a lot of my friends, and … you could call him my older spiritual guide, Lex Hixon who was the founder of this SRV Association, sort of a mentor, spiritually speaking. So, when we heard of that, those teachings, that we were on the road of dharma, when we read the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna – this is a marvelous book, it’s like the Gita of this age, I think – then you find out the difference between Dharma and morality. Because Sri Ramakrishna the great master is surely showing you the difference between that – people setting their feet on the path of divine teachings that can immediately remove the ignorance from the minds so much more effectively than morality or ethics do, if they do at all. So I think we talked about purification, you can purify certain aspects of yourself with morality and ethics. But in India, I have found you know, that you come into your life with those already. You come with them. You don’t leave home without them, say. … I used to teach Vedanta in prisons. I never saw a Hindu in prison, you know, but when I did, they were ashamed. And their parents would talk with them anymore. You know, it’s like, you don’t do this, this is you don’t get caught in immorality. It’s just, it’s just not done. It’s not in you, you don’t arrive here on earth with evil, violence, and those kinds of tendencies. So I noticed a difference in soul quality that way, if you spend enough time amongst them, and I spent time amongst the Brahmacharis and the monks too, and that was even another level. That’s where you found out what Atma jnana was so enticing about Atma jnana as compared to dharma, because Krishna says in the Gita right? You know, Dharma, left unrealized – knowledge left on realized – can lead to harm. You don’t want to leave knowledge unrealized, you want to take it to truth. If knowledge doesn’t lead you to truth, then it will fall into negativity. I think that describes western knowledge right now. atom bombs, wars, weapons, hurting people. That’s not done. It’s just not done. It’s not acceptable.
Rick Archer: And of course, there are prisons in India and plenty of people in them. But, you know, I think when you when you speak of, you know, you don’t find Hindus in prison. I think maybe you’re referring to people who actually really live up to the spirit of Hinduism or what it’s supposed to be.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Yes. Well, you got me there. In the Kali Yuga a lot of things change. But there are some nice videos about Hindu prisons, where the guards and the Hindus are really friendly with each other. Like you don’t find that very much happening in American prisons. I can tell you.
Rick Archer: I’m trying to think of the name of this documentary About people meditating. No, I’m talking about in a Hindu Indian prison.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Yeah, that those two brothers or someone put it out I think. I would put it succinctly to end that part of the topic is that to recondition people and all that is the point if its a higher leaning, to punish them is the lower meaning.
Rick Archer: And you guys do some service work in prisons, don’t you?
Babaji Bob Kindler: Yeah, we did for some couple decades.
Rick Archer: There’s that verse in The Gita something even if you’re the greatest of all sinners, you would crossover all evil by the raft of knowledge alone.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Beautiful,
Rick Archer: Which actually is let’s, let’s make this our final point. Because our time is pretty much up, I didn’t mean to ask you because out time is pretty much up but I did mean to ask you about what is it about knowledge that is so purifying, there’s that verse knowledge is the greatest purifier. And I think we’re also we’re not just talking about sort of, you know, sitting and transcending, but we’re also talking about putting your attention on the kind of stuff that you talk about, you know, studying the Upanisads, or whatever, that has a purifying effect. What, why is that? What are the mechanics of that?
Babaji Bob Kindler: We can show the Jnana Matra, it’s this particle of wisdom, that is a beautiful chart that shows what’s just like, there’s a lot of things in an atom,
Rick Archer: actually if Annapurna could send that to me, and she may have already I will give it to the, the, to our video production editor, and she can pop it in there right now, if you want to describe it a little bit, but the people will be seeing,
Babaji Bob Kindler: Yeah, they can make a study of the outer cell, the outer wall of the cell of knowledge, the inner wall, and all the ingredients inside, that have some such things to do. The word AUM is vibrating at the very center of it. And what AUM means, like waking, dreaming, deep sleep and turiya is pervasive there. And things such as resistance to Maya, is a part of the cell wall of a knowledge, of a particle of intelligence. These are streaming particles of intelligence coming from, you might say, the, the infinite radiance of Brahman, coming through the Word, and then from the Word to the Trinity, and then from the Trinity down to all the worlds. Jesus said in the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God. That’s three things that you have to look at there. And so when the when the Word – which vibrates itself, by the way, the Tantras, say nobody strikes it, it’s an unstrucked sound – those vibrations start off, then everything starts to burgeon and effloresce down till the vibrations get weaker and weaker. And here you find yourself on Earth with everything in a gross state. If you reverse that process, you’d find out that, that the objects out there are just your thoughts made concretized. And then you can meditate them back into their origins, right? It’s evolution when you do that, sorry, that’s involution, when you do that. It’s evolved now; it was all a matter of my thoughts and my intelligence at different levels of vibration. Now I’m reversing the process inward in meditation, it’s called dissolving the mindstream. We have a book on that, too, that explains the process. And you know, you said shenai shenai a there’s … a beautiful meditation in Buddhism, I learned. It’s called the Shinai. It’s called the burning pillar. And it does the same thing. It starts with the centers, which we call chakras, in Kundalini. And it begins to take the energy up them and destroy all the passions there, with the different winds, they call it different vayus forms of vayu, to purify the chakras. Yeah, there are these systems that are very beautiful like that, which then will go towards purification of body, senses, and mind.
Rick Archer: Great. Well, as we’ve said earlier, we could probably do these every day and not run out of things to talk about, but an interview like this is kind of a it’s a sampling of who you are and what you have to teach and you have students you’ve been teaching for many years and you have ongoing courses of various kinds. I think you’ve got something coming up in a few days you mentioned I’ll just put a link on my your page on BatGap to that page where all the courses and things are listed. And so you know, some some people might catch the one that’s coming up this weekend. Somebody might be listening to this five years from now. And so they could just follow that link and see what’s available.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Come take a Vedanta retreat in Hawaii next month, if you like, here on the island. Thank you.
Rick Archer: You’re welcome. And thank you for your time. I’ve really enjoyed this whole week listening to your various talks and All that stuff is also available, I think on your website and on your YouTube channel. There’s all kinds of interesting things to listen to. And I really enjoyed our time together today.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Great, Rick, thank you so much. It’s been very beneficial. And I’ve learned a lot.
Rick Archer: Oh, really? He finally admits it. In a sense, yeah. In that aspect of which which can learn and grow.
Babaji Bob Kindler: It’s helped unveil things for me.
Rick Archer: Okay, so thanks, not only to you, but thanks to those who’ve been listening or watching. And this is an ongoing series. As you know, next week, I’ll be speaking with my old friend, Phil Goldberg. We’ve known each other for 50 years, and he wrote a book about him, he wrote a biography of Yogananda. So we’ll be talking about that and whatever other topics come up in the context of that, and we have an upcoming interviews page on BatGap which you can look at to see who’s scheduled and there’s a little calendar reminder thing that you can click on on the right hand side of each one where you can have it you know, sent a pop up reminder and Gmail or Outlook or whatever you use to be in case you’d like to tune in to the live ones. So yeah, all right. Thanks, Babaji.
Babaji Bob Kindler: Thanks. Don’t accept any pink elephants. And
Rick Archer: And thanks again to Annapurna for all her help. She’s a great great aid to your whole,
Babaji Bob Kindler: Very definitely. All right. Namaste Aloha.
Rick Archer: Namaste.