Thorough understanding of the Truth (I)

by Florica Steva

After the Christmas and New Year celebrations of 2003 passed, during which I had taken a little vacation, I returned to my normal SADHANA. 

Now, other than the TAPAS which included the watch exercise of the revelation of the Self made for 15 minutes daily, ASANA-s and PRANAYAMA, I began practicing meditations evoking the exemplifications received in Bucharest during the selection process for the Self revelation camp. These meditations had as a subject “the truth, light, bliss and peace inside me”. Results gradually began to occur, as well as the inherent trials or tests. As much as the results were better, the tests, the periods of “desert”, the doubts, the confusion – of course, all temporary, were in their right even greater.

The first meditation in which I connected to the light inside me was caused by an invocation of the Great Cosmic Power BAGALAMUKHI, which I fervently implored to defend our Spiritual Guide from the actions of the evil forces. In that meditation I felt BAGALAMUKHI stronger and more terrifying than ever, I fully felt her greatness and huge, immeasurable force. I was standing before her, feeling like a grain of sand, ready to be shattered at any time by that extraordinary power. It was overwhelming. And then I said: “I stand before you, me – as a grain of sand. But there is divine light in me too, just as it is in you. The existing divine light in me gives me the strength to stand before you and to pray for you to defend Grieg from these evil forces.”

She was relentless in the splendor of her terrifying power. I realized that she was aware of me, but she took absolutely no action. She was motionless, but extremely vivid and present there. I did not know how I had the courage to stand in front of her, to look at her and to ask her for something. After about twenty minutes I felt that she had finally accepted me. She accepted to listen to me. That she accepted me and my request. Trusting the divine light inside me, I continued to watch her, although she seemed crushing. And then I felt the love for her springing in my soul. I loved her in her terrifying splendor. 

There followed other meditations in which I pursued to center myself and to bring the truth in my heart. Sometimes there was a gradual process of resorption, of transcendence of the physical body, of my usual thoughts and emotions, then I would instantly and finely have the feeling that appears when we transcend our ego, that is the feeling that I “disappeared”. Through my “disappearance” I would get into an infinite space, without form, without limit, the light would appear in me, growing and encompassing me, until when, merging with it, only the light would remain. Other times – for example, when practicing PRANAYAMA – I would enter a state of deep introspection. My mind would become silent, and I was diving into the void as into something that had consistency and a depth I had an intuition on. The perceptions were not well defined, the states were very subtle. I felt like I was by a little edge, I felt like I was going in and out, passing that edge and coming back, as if I entered something mysterious inside myself. Sometimes I felt that there I was “home”, that I was entering inside myself. Gradually, the feelings started to become clearer, I started to have unusual experiences never felt before until then.

Through research and introspection I perceived our ultimate nature as being “something” – very hard to define. I called that “something” – void, because I did not know another name for it. It was as if I was learning about the truth inside us. I was puzzled at first. I said that if this “something” was the truth inside us, it went far beyond any imagination. That “something” I perceived as our ultimate nature was beyond any sublime state I experienced in the meditations for the revelation of the Self, beyond total freedom and of bliss. 

There was no state in that immutable “something”, it was beyond any state or world that would be “seen” in a meditation. There was no world there, there was no life, no movement; silence there was so different from our silences and so deep, that I shuddered, it disturbed me; that silence emanated from the lack of sound. 

There was no sound there, there were no Shiva and Shakti – even if they were united – they were not two, but one. That “something” in which there was only “nothing” was so absorbing, so unusual, that seemed, at first, frightening. I was wondering if that “something” is our ultimate nature and if this “nothing” creates us and all there is. It took me courage to repeat this meditation and when I resumed I worked first with the Great Cosmic Power CHINNAMASTA, asking her to give me courage, and only after that I did the meditation itself. I experienced the same scary feeling, until I said to myself  “You have nothing to fear of. If this is the ultimate nature of everything, and if we came from here, then this is it and you will accept it as such because this “nature” was yours forever, but you, until now, have not been aware of it. Rejoice that you have found it, seek to deepen these experiences and have new revelations, at least intuitive, because the mind cannot penetrate “there”.”

So I remained firm in meditation. Then, I do not know when or how, imperceptibly, that mysterious “presence” of an infinite power appeared in me, which was a perception of our Self Atman. 
Amazingly, after a while this started to melt into that “something” that was our ultimate nature, the Supreme Absolute, until they became one. A mysterious phenomenon occurred beyond the ability of my mind to analyze. It was simply happening; all my mind could do was to become aware of it. 
When my Self Atman became one with the Supreme Absolute, I felt a complete and perfect fulfillment and an unusual bliss that I exclaimed: “Ah! That is it.”

After the meditation I was wondering how, by what mysterious magical phenomenon, the Self – which I perceive as life, glory and infinite power –  melts and becomes one with that Supreme Absolute, where there is no world, no life, where there is only “nothing” in which – paradoxically – everything flows? How can we spring from that supreme absolute, where there is nothing? What mystery, what magic happens? It is miraculous and incredible, it is inexplicable and yet … it is true! 
After these two meditations in which I had the first perceptions of the Supreme Transcendence Void, I went through a period of confusion, the loss of the known things. In the evening, when I wanted to pray to my dear Heavenly Father, I could no longer find the one I used to know. I could not find that aspect of God that I usually prayed to. Until then I had prayed to a God-Love, but up there, where there is our last essence and where we come from there was only “nothing” and certainly no love. 

I could not pray, it seemed that everything I had thought until then no longer fitted; I could not find anything, anywhere. However, I continued to pray. I would say: ”Lord, I know that You exist, although right now I cannot find you. I humbly beg you, help me through this time of difficulty and give me understanding, because now I am confused and do not understand what is happening.”

I prayed like this for a few nights in a row. Then one evening I received a reply and an understanding. I was reading the Bhagavad Gita commented on by Sri Aurobindo and had reached the 8th book – “Yoga of the eternal and immutable Brahman.” To my astonishment, I found that Sri Aurobindo was speaking about the Supreme Absolute – God almost with my words, almost the way I perceived him myself. 

In short, he said something like: “Brahman the immutable is the eternal Reality, the original, eternal and supreme condition, he is truth inside us. He is beyond time, beyond the “manifested” and even the “unmanifested”, he is the supreme spirit and the absolute condition … BHAKTI – love – seems inapplicable to the Absolute, however, although this Supreme PURUSHA is supercosmic and eternally transcendent, he must be conquered by love … Knowing and loving as one and as everything, through the union of our whole being with Him, we attain the ultimate realization.”

I was amazed that my perceptions were so similar, sometimes identical in expression with Sri Aurobindo’s description.
It amazed me that Aurobindo even mentioned this apparent mismatch between love and the Supreme Absolute which I referred to and which disconcerted me. I finally understood that I had no reasons to be confused and that my landmarks were “lost” only apparently. So GOD helped me regain them, and along with this, to accept the understanding of the truth. In this way God helps us all when we need His help. 

You may also read here the second part of the article

Excerpt taken from the book The Road to Divine Light by Florica Steva, published by Shambala and printed by Ganesha Publishing House 


November 14, 2013



Also available in: Română

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