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Only God and Gurus Know Such Things
Doug: Ramji, am I right in thinking of chitta and the causal body really being the same thing, the heart where memory is stored and projected into the subtle body?
I decided to brush up on my meditation at a kriya yoga retreat recently. On the third day the swami tried to teach some verses from the Gita but it was painfully obvious he had no clue what the Gita meant. How sad to be a swami with years and years devoted to meditation and never really contemplate what he is experiencing. When people started asking good questions, he said only God and gurus know such things. They can’t accept that someone might understand truth unless they produce miracles, I guess. I’m not sure what other benchmark they have. I graciously kept my mouth shut.
Ramji: Good boy! Let not the wise unsettle the minds of the ignorant – Bhagavad Gita.
“Am I right in thinking of chitta and the causal body really being the same thing, the heart where memory is stored and projected into the subtle body?”
Ramji: Yes. Although I used to use the word chitta for the causal body, I stopped because it caused the yoga people a doubt, because they use the word “chitta” for intellectual memory. The causal body (karana sarira) is the “heart,” or essence, of the Creation, the manifest mithya “reality. It is Isvara’s memory. If you want to use “chitta,” you could capitalize it, I suppose, but even that isn’t good, because the Self is chit, consciousness, so it could be confusing. The jiva’s chitta (memory), however, is like Isvara’s but not identical with it. Isvara’s chitta projects, maintains and destroys the whole cosmos, whereas jiva’s chitta is only responsible for the momentary thoughts that make up jiva’s experience.
Doug: Yes, I ran into that. Yoga people include chitta, or memory, as they call it, with the mind, which seems incorrect. They also didn’t seem to realize that the “astral body,” as they call it, and the mind are really the same thing. They seem to confuse the astral body with prana, maybe because meditation is focused on the control of prana through breathing and the mind is thought of as the bad guy. Anyway, I’m just surprised that they spend so little time or energy to understand things.
Ramji: It’s a pity they are so experience-oriented and so averse to knowledge, because it is clear that they are ignorant. The don’t even know what prana actually means, only that it is “energy,” which is partially true because prana includes vitality and sattva, which is responsible for epiphanies, but actually means Maya insofar as the whole of the manifest creation is shakti, i.e. Maya. But pranashakti, which they love, causes ignorance because it obscures the Self. You can’t tell them anything. They are committed, fascinated doers. God bless ’em.
Doug: One revelation about these so-called different paths that came to me after the retreat: hatha yoga is for purification of the gross body; jnana yoga is for purification of the subtle body; meditation is for purification of the causal body.
Doug: Meditators want to skip knowledge and go directly for experience. But they have no concept of what realization actually is. They think it’s some sort of permanent experience for the jiva, which, I suppose, is the reason Isvara directed you to point all this out.
Ramji: Yes, indeed. Chapter II of both books, How to Attain Enlightenment and The Essence of Enlightenment, which explain the energy/experience problem, have had a big impact in the modern spiritual world.
Doug: Anyway, there is no need to tell you things you already know. I’m just tying things together in my mind. Meditation is good because it purifies thought patterns and makes it easier to overcome negative tendencies which cloud discrimination of the Self and the “not-Self.” It’s a beautiful circle.
Ramji: Yes, indeed.