Attention – Quality, Place, Status, Definition
(excerpt from a Talk on Attention, on 27/01/1977 during an International Sahaja Yoga Seminar, in Bordi — India)
Where is the Attention placed ?
“The quality of attention changes according to the state of your condition. So where is the attention placed in the human being ? It is not a fixed point! We can say attention is the surface or the edge of awareness; wherever we are made aware the attention gets diverted to that point. You can see from this analogy: All the filings of iron have got a power to be attracted towards the magnet. Where is that power, you cannot locate. It is all over. Wherever the magnet is placed the filings are attracted. Our attention is also like that; that wherever we are attracted our attention goes there. It is existing in the whole body, in the sense that it can be diverted anywhere outside the body. Also inside the body in case there is any pain or any trouble. It floats over the nerves, it floats over the whole nervous system; but there is a controlling centre in the brain. If it is hit then we can remain conscious-but without any attention. Also if somebody is hit on the Vishuddhi Chakra it can happen. It can happen even in the lower Chakras, if somebody is hit, that portion will lose its attention because you cannot feel in that part. The difference is this that you can pay attention to those points if you want to, even if they are numbed; for example, if any hand is numb I can pay attention to that; means I can look at it, I can think of it. But there is a point in our being; if that is hit, then we cannot even think. We are just lying unconscious, they say, but eyes are open, hands are moving, legs are moving. That point is at the point of Vishuddhi chakra. If you can draw a fine from here to the point where is the (pitha) of Vishuddhi chakra is inside the brain, along that line if you are hit anywhere you become attentionless, you cannot pay attention anywhere. This line also passes through Agnya chakra because when this point is connected with Vishuddhi chakra at the back if here, and at the pitha inside, a kind of triangle is formed and all this line on this area can affect your attention. Your heart is moving, Your limbs are moving but you can not pay attention anywhere.
So when you pay attention to something; actually you pay attention normally, when you are not realized, through your brain centres. After realization you can pay attention through your other centres also, you do pay. This is a very big difference between a person who is realised and who is not realized or you can say that you can become effective through your other centres by paying attention to them, You can feet the centres which are obstructed in your body which you never felt before. Not only that, you can feel the centres of other people, that means your central nervous system is being blessed by a new awareness by which it can convey to you, communicate to you the Attention paid by your centres, and also it can take your Attention in a subtler way into the centres of others. So first thing that happens to you is that your Attention becomes subtler. Attention becoming subtler means you start understanding deeper things. For example a bird can see a flower but cannot feel the beauty of a flower and a unrealized person can see the beauty of a flower but cannot see the vibrations of a flower. So you become subtler. Your Attention becomes subtler. You definitely are at a higher evolutionary stage than the other people are.
Now, we have to see how we use our Attention. You have seen even when you were not realized that supposing you start developing an art in your hand from your very childhood, then you develop the depth of that particular Art, because a kind of a Milinge grows on the nerves. In the same way when you are Realized, I would say ‘when you are a newly born person’, if you start respecting your Attention, then gradually you develop a depth-ness for Sahaja Yoga. But so many people when they get realized they hardly come second time, even if they come again they do not develop the feeling of vibrations more. They still go on being busy with their day to day work wasting their Attention on things which do not give you the subtler feelings. So the subtleness, the depth of the Art of Sahaja does not develop. For example a person who is over-read; as soon as he gets his realization, he starts tallying it with what he has read. This makes his attention again wasted. As it is, his attention has been fixed by these conventional ideas, some of them are correct, some incorrect, some of them are absolutely false, some are useless, some are only because they wanted to make money, they have published some trash. As soon as you get Realization you go back to your own gross awareness and start tallying this subtle with the gross. You start again losing the vibrations. Actually after getting Realization I’ve seen with small children they sleep for very long hours. They become little inactive for some time, but if an elder gets it he’ll immediately go to the book-stall, buy one book on Kundalini and start reading about it. Then some of you, not understanding that you’ve become somebody else, take it for granted, already, “Mataji has been very kind She says I am Paar (realized soul), but how am I to believe.” As if by believing it they are going to give some money to me or I don’t know what they are going to give. “I can see the vibrations coming, but what is the use of getting the vibrations, why did She give us Vibrations ?” Again come back to the gross idea of utility because that is human nature has been so far—to make everything into utility. Everything must be utilized. Man thinks no end of himself so he starts putting his realization into utility. “What utility it has? How many people are going to get it? What is to happen? What is the schedule? What is this? What is that?”
You’ve been given this subtleness to enjoy, like if we enjoy the beauty of a flower, we just enjoy. Do we go to the books and find out what should we do about this enjoyment of ours, how to enjoy this flower and then what to do and who has described about the flower so that we can see if this is fitting into that. But it is done very commonly and I really don’t know how to say, because it’s a foolish thing and I am only afraid that sometimes if I say they will feel hurt. And as human beings are, they get hurt for nothing at all, that’s very foolish. Children are very sensible that way. Once they get it they start enjoying it, they just enjoy, they just sleep off, they are not bothered. They think that something that is to be enjoyed, let us enjoy it.
So, at the very outset, it happens like that and a man doesn’t know that how he has made himself even much more gross than he was ever in this Kali Yuga-in these modern times. By organizing things according to his own ideas and conceptions, he has become so unnatural, so foolish that discrimination between joy and ugliness he does not have. He is so confused. So first of all it is not only one reason but there are many reasons and as I described to you inherently it is the human gross activation before Realization. If he understands the disease from where it has come sometimes it is easier to correct it. You cannot just correct the disease without understanding the history behind it. If you are a student of History you will know how human beings have behaved. You just start wondering what’s wrong with these people, God created one world. Just think of a person like me coming on this earth; suddenly you will find there are so many countries being created. Alright separate countries you can have if you cannot manage the whole world together, but then the fighting goes on, killing each other. All kinds of problems for nothing at all. I mean it is such a mad house. So historically if you see how man has made himself mad, it is not easy to compile all that in one lecture. You will have to write volumes. I think there are already written volumes. So there is historical back-ground which has spoiled your attention. Physically those who come for physical handicap or physical trouble or something like that, because they are, sick are sometimes little better than people who do not have this, because definitely they get the relief part of the joy. If they get the relief there is a little shadow of joy that they feel and then they start understanding that it is to be enjoyed. But I would say they too, once they get their relief they just disappear, not understanding that there is something greater than this to be tasted and enjoyed,
And the physical enjoyment in Sahaja Yoga itself is sufficient to keep your attention subtle. You do not have to fix your attention but you have to get subtler and subtler in your attention. Fixing up of your attention as you know is a very wrong method. That was done by some Yogis and you know what is the result of that: their chakras were broken and finished.
When they fixed their attention onto Agnya Chakra you’ve seen that Agnya chakra is broken. You have not to fix any attention but you have to make your attention subtler and subtler. As I told that a magnet when brought near the stones nothing happens to the stones, they are just there, you move the magnet anyway you like but when you take it to the iron filings only the filling are attracted towards the magnet. In the same way the attention of a Sahaja Yogi should be so subtle that he should feel the vibrations, he should think of vibrations, he should eat vibrations, drink vibrations and enjoy them. On the physical side many people tell me that he went to their house and, “they offered me laddoos (Indian sweets) and I had to eat, what can I do Mataji ?” Actually they felt attracted towards the shape of the laddoos. They ate it. But they don’t see the vibrations of those laddoos. They just ate it off and they had a stomach trouble. When they had stomach trouble then they said that, “Mataji we’ve lost our vibrations now what to do, we ate the laddoos.” But if you have seen that there are no vibrations in those laddoos you should have said that “today, I am not supposed to eat anything” or something like that and you should not have eaten. If you see a born realized child, he will never eat. Even if the mother beats the child, it says “alright beat me but I am not going to eat.” Because they are not going to eat the filth. Such children are supposed to be obstinate, they think they are obstinate because they know that there are no vibrations so why should we eat because we are not going to enjoy it.
So, on the physical side there are so many such mistakes you are committing. If you take to now say, habits you have. Supposing you have a habit of say, pulling your hair. There was one lady who had a habit of pulling her hair and she used to become bald here and bold here, then the hair used to grow this side and she used to have a bald head here and would pull her hair here; such a person. So she came to me for treatment. Imagine ! So, I told her why do you do like this ? She says, “Now, my attention is like that, it always starts pulling my hair.” What to do, such an attention you have got. So her elder sister used to beat here on her hand any time she put her hand. She says that you must beat me, if you don’t beat me, I’ll beat you. But the beating was on and everybody, used to look at them what are they doing to each other and still she could not stop it. All habits are like this monkey business. All of them are like that, because the matter is trying to sit on top of our attention all the time and so we form habits. Certain habits are alright convenient and convenience like that. Some people, to break habits, you know, they say “we’ll not sit on the ground nor sit on the chair.” So where will you sit ? “We’ll sit in a sitting pose and we’ll practice that sort of a thing.” You need not be such a non-sense. I am meaning that certain things are alright, don’t go to extremes. But certain habits which we acquire are mostly because of fashions for example, if somebody is smoking he forces you, you say “Alright”. And one bad habit we’ve got is not to say “No” to anyone. “How to say no, you see, they were all drinking and they offered us drinks and we said no, but they were just forcing us, then it looks very bad you know, not to drink and they gave one glass of drink to me and I said alright, I’ll have very little sip you know. One day and I had it like that and then my relations, you see, they came and they invited us for dinner and we had to go and then they started the cabaret dance you know and we had to see after all, it would look very bad not to see naked woman.” We are very innocent people so we goon explaining “what to do now, this is the society, this is the fashion, this is the style,” this is how it is.
But a Sahaja Yogi is a special one. He is a chosen one. Because you haven’t got your own value, you have not valued yourself as I have valued you. This is a fact which very few realise really, that “to get realisation like this there must be something tremendous that Mataji must have done. She must have put in a lot of labour to work this out Herself. She must have done tremendous Tapasyas in all Her lives and even in this life. She must have worked very hard day in and day out, and here we are when we got it how commonplace the whole thing, how we are about it. I thought by giving realisation you will immediately see your value and you will think that you are something great and that you’ve got this realisation and the Sakshatkar. But it is not so and you start compromising with gross things in life. There is a huge populace which is to be led by ‘ one ‘ of you. One of you can lead all of them. Leaders do not compromise, leaders do not solve the problems of the people when they lead them, but they give them problems to be solved. They stand above them. They are much above them. They do not compromise. They do not bend, others bend before them. If the light starts failing and faltering on the roads what’ll the person do who is carrying the light in the hand. You all are like the torches and what kind of a life you should have and a personality you should have, it is for you to decide. Does the attention get the priority, when you understand how your physical being presents, this body of yours has to be cleansed, has to be beautiful, has to be soft, kind, elegant, dignified. I’ve seen people in groups when we are sitting down behaving in a manner even an ordinary educated person won’t behave. The reason is you have not yet realised that you are the leaders and people are watching you. There should be a kind of a ‘Masti’ in you, ‘Masti’ (~) as they call it, should be satisfied with yourself. So on the physical aspect what you eat, what you see, what you like, whole priorities must change. What should be most important is Sahaja, in every circumstance, in every method a habit -Sahaja.
Sahaja means “It’s born with you.” Sahaja -doesn’t mean easy. Many people confuse. .-You have now got your right… that one was born with you.. so now, for you it is necessary..to know that you are a Sahaja and that you are not going to accept any thing that is Asahaja (non-sahaj/against sahaja). Sahaja means that you take the light of Sahaja above everything else over the darkness and not to accept darkness which is Asahaja. So how can you have habits which give you sympathetic bondage ? Sahaja means you have a special subtle awareness. A king doesn’t clean the streets. On the physical side your attention is lost like that because you indulge into all Asahaja methods that you had before, that others have, you get lost into the Asahaja system of life. You have to change the complete system of the whole world in which people become Sahaja and not Asahaja, then only the whole thing will become Sahaja for you. it is a big misunderstanding about Sahaja-Yogis. They think “Oh when it will come Sahaja then we will do this work, then we’ll go round and talk to people-it should come Sahaja.” Nothing doing I This is a very wrong attitude. Sahaja means that you have got the light of Sahaja within you and how can you tolerate anything else. Means you must know how to dress up, how to talk, where to go, whom to meet. Who are your mothers, who are your sisters, who are your sons and who are your parents. That is how our attention is lost. Then your gross habits, your old life that was there that has to be chiseled out, is to be finished. And you cannot go on, for if you go on, you’ll catch up here, you’ll catch up there, you’ll break your neck, then you’ll come to me-“Mother! I’ve broken my back, this has happened that has happened. It’s paining, I am getting hot I am getting headache, I am doing this.” Till you become Sahaja it’ll go on working on you. But why not become yourself ? For example a human being cannot sleep like a dog, if he starts sleeping like a dog because there are all dogs around then he is going to get the pain. In the same way if you are going to be Asahaja, because all are Asahajas you are going to get into trouble; because the dog doesn’t feel, though he might be getting pain but he doesn’t feel it. You definitely feel it. The person who is not yet reborn doesn’t feel, he gets the problem but he doesn’t feel; you can feel it and you jolly well have to give it up; sooner the better. If you don’t give it up then you are again going back to the same darkness and this new darkness may be hellish, can be terrible. It’s better to die as human being because then you can go on being born again as animals, this and that. But to be born again and knowing you go on back again to your former habits, it can be very dangerous. That’s how I fix your attention by a little fear into your mind to your subtler being, the subtler being can only enjoy. In the morning you did enjoy the meditation, you had become subtler, I pushed down there. But you have to keep yourself subtler by remembering what has happened, how physically you felt nice.
One of the worst habits that human beings have is to see the watch. It’s so painful to me when I am talking people see the watch. I just can’t bear it. Because now you are beyond time, beyond space, what are you going to do by saving time ? What have you done so far ? That shows your priorities. Our priorities must change and you can change them easily once you start enjoying, once you have tasted the nectar of Divine Love (Amrit,) then you are not going to drink dirty water. But you first of all remember that the joy that you enjoy. That is one way of fixing -so called fixing-your subtleties. It’s the attention that gets covered by the gross things of life, even in the emotional side of it for example you have relationships. We have seen some Sahaja Yogis being lost like that. They had some very gross relationships with people, even Gurus and some of them were friends and some other dirty relationships you can say and they couldn’t give up and they are lost. So you have to sit down and find out “Why am I not enjoying myself ? I am the loser, because of those things, if they were joy giving I would not have run towards them from one to another. They never satisfied me fully, so why to go back to them again ?”
The emotional enjoyment; whom you regard as something very important are also to be weighed in the new dimension of your attention and the subtleties. You consider somebody as very near and dear and you have a business relationship or some sort of a-I don’t know what sorts of relations people have. You must know that it is very superficial and you cannot have any joy out of it, like you drink water from a cup. Now the cup itself is superficial, the water is superficial, the most important thing is your tongue which can feel the water. If the tongue cannot feel the water and if the water feels like stones, what’s the use of taking water ? So the most important thing is the taste in the tongue in the essence. In the same way the essence of our enjoyment is the joy and the joy is in feeling the vibrations; so wherever you get the joy you should have it. But this new awareness is not so much gone into your being, that’s why this is the problem, otherwise for human beings, it is not difficult to tell him that “this is nice you drink.” He takes it and he knows it is nice. He won’t eat something that is bitter. If you have to give him something horrible-tasting, you’ll have to give him chocolate first and chocolate later. But human beings when they become evolved, I’ve seen that they are more prone towards these horrible things, because of their previous attractions. So put your attention fully towards Divine, pull it out completely towards it so that there is no attention left towards the gross sides. Even now I find people coming and asking me “Mataji I have a problem, I want a job, what should I do ? This is to be done, that is to be done.” Of course, that is by the way, is alright but if that attracts your attention means you have lost sense of your understanding that you are a Sahaja Yogi and that your joy is in the subtler form and you can enjoy it. So these gross things are never going to give you joy so why not ask for something which will give you that subtle joy, which you can enjoy-only you can enjoy. So this is what happens to our attention, we get lost because of our previous ideas and our emotional bindings and we can also say that our spiritual bindings-so called. We are Hindus, Muslims, Christians. We are vegetarians, Non-Vegetarians. We are Brahmins, Non-Brahmins and ail kinds of things we are, but we are not what we ‘ are ‘; and all these things also come back to you that we are Jains so we are very great people ! You get me any Jain from any where-or anyone from anywhere-does he have the sense of vibrations ? Then how is it that person becomes your Guru or that person can teach you about these things ? You are now a master. Does the headmaster come and learn from the boys who are admitted in the schools ? I’ve seen even a newcomer, who comes in and if he has a badha (negative blockage) he can entice away at least 5 percent of Sahaja Yogis easily. He will talk big, he will show off and he will bring some Guru inside and 5 per cent will run after that- minimum. How do you explain this? Only thing is that you should not be one of them. Everyone should think for oneself and not for others. You should think that this you are capable of or not ? So in spiritual bindings also your attention is lost like that and all these dimensions are outside.
Now, in description of Gokul of Vrindavan, you must have read that when Krishna used to play His flute all the women who were working, the Gopis in the household would leave every work-everything, the milk would be boiling and the work was half done or full done, they were eating their food or in whatever pose they were sitting they would just get up and run towards that Murali (Flute); and when they would go there they would stand just like a picture-no movement in the body, nothing-just standing and listening with full attention, what was so ? He was not even speaking-just a Murali being played and all of them just listening like a picture. What was it ? The enjoyment that they were feeling enjoyment they were enjoying within themselves, the joy that was pouring into them with that Murali, just standing and listening, that’s all. What is that ? That is the subtleness of that enjoyment just like meditation, they would stand. In the same way your attention and mind should be on Sahaja, on your being with God. You are one with God, put your centrifugal force towards God completely. Put yourself in connection all the time with God and the rest of the work is done just like instruments. The whole thing will start working.
The human mind is used to do things in a ritual way, that they think that if you have to raise this house you have to dig first the foundation then the piling up and then YOU have those pillars and then you have to have the roof and that is how one after another they plan out things. But in God’s own Kingdom, there is no planning. You sit down and just enjoy. If your attention is there all the work is done, full attention; and then he take out work and give full priority to that, do not compromise your way through. You have to help others also to come up and so you must remember for that also your attention should be on your Atma, on your Spirit, on God, completely one with Him in that joy . The whole heart is there-and with your both hands and your both feet, with all your attention you can pull out people because your attention is all the time fed, nurtured and looked after, then you will enjoy also the lifting of the people.
Nothing can be alright unless and until you develop the subtleties of your attention; and they develop by receding your attention from all that is gross. Recede your attention whenever it goes too much into a thought, like that-‘Oh, forget it’. But into vibrations you pay full attention, seeing vibrations you pay full attention, seeing your own vibrations pay full attention, other things you need not worry they will be all looked after.
That is how your attention is subtler in the kingdom of God (means in yoga state, when our Kundalini energy reaches to the Crown Chakra and connects us to the macro-cosmos).
When the lotus is in the mud and it has to come out it finds its way through many crevices and many holes in that mud but when it is out in the open-absolutely liberated free then it does not go on dashing here and there but just opens out and receives the beautiful dew, and the dew melts the fragrance in the lotus. Automatically the fragrance starts flowing. It’s a different method, it’s a different way of life that is being Sahaja.”
–says Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi – the founder of Sahaja Yoga Meditation-, during an amazing Talk on Attention, on 27/01/1977 at an International Sahaja Yoga Seminar, in Bordi, India –
This Post Has 10 Comments
This is the key – we do her job honestly & sincerely & HH takes care of all our responsibilities.
even if we distract ,she reminds us gently .
She is Sandrakaruna – just have a pure desire ,rest is taken care of.
An interesting play on words! Perhaps mine is a question about the comment… though I consider the honesty and sincerity behind it to BE with “attention and with the intent of the Divine”.!
Being honest and sincere are “responsibilities”…
So when we do these… with the intent of Love and from Love… then no one needs to take care of us… for we have already taken on the responsibility…
Being responsible is about taking responsibility for that which we wish to experience and create…
I cannot take responsibility for what person A does… nor an person A take responsibility for what I do…
Shri Mataji reminds us to simply “enjoy”… the joy of experiencing JOY is in the taking of responsibility for that desire!
Shri Mataji is very clever in the way she creates a story… in order to get us to realize what we already know… it is about giving “attention” to the subtleties of the Subtle system where we will find the “clues” to help us to realize how to find that “chocolate”! We seek the “chocolate”… from a lecture by Dr Harobar at U of T.
I understand what you say Ashok… I thought I would just add my own “twist”!
What Is that,
Is that a question or an answer?
Who is that,
Is that a question or an answer?
Can we differentiate between the…
What and the Who!
Are we able to create a marriage between the TWO!
Do we then have “Intention”!
Perhaps Attention is not separate from Intention!
Creating clarity… your own, and then collectively.
Thank you very very muh for this very hepful and introspective compilation…
But please may you tell us the date and occasion…
Best Divine Wishes
Dear Hala: 27/01/1977, “Talk on Attention” — Bordi,India. Thank you for visiting our Halton-Niagara website 🙂
Very nice words on attention, need to start watching my own attention now! 🙂
Very subtle talk, it takes time to understand it all. Thank you for this interesting extract.
From a Sahaja Yogini from far far away, she is a passionate reader of our compilation articles but does not know how to comment here so she sent the comment to the article on What’s up:
“Every blog that you do is so amazing … love reading them and putting Mothers advice into practice .. Thank you..”
Very helpful advice. Thank you
Mataji explained a very important aspect – Attention and guidelines to make it subtle.
It guides to introspect again and again and focus on improvement on this core element to be better Yogis. Needs to be read many times and work diligently to subtle our attention.. Jai shree mataji