More from our series “Wisdom of Sri Gajanana Maharaj of Nashik”
Kinds of samadhi/saints
Samadhi is of two kinds. A mumukshu who had made some preparation of mind in his previous life, gets internal vision, and his mind is then merged in the light which is seen internally. This is one kind of samadhi. There are others who are quite unconscious of their body. They see no visions, so that they are not conscious of anything either outside or inside. They are always merged in the Supreme Being, and entirely unconscious of their surroundings. This is the second kind of samadhi. Both of these kinds of saints are of very little use to the world.
There are, however, other saints like Sri Jnaneshwar, Tukaram, or Eknath who, while conscious of this world and its implications, are always enjoying the bliss of the Self. They are in what is known as sahajawastha. They see unity in diversity, deal with worldly matters in a worldly way, and still inwardly are immersed in the bliss of Self-realization. Such saints alone are useful to the world, and they alone can lead others to the supreme goal by a method which people can easily follow.
Hence I say that everyone should repeat Soham. It surely and certainly leads to the knowledge of the Self, and the attainment of everlasting peace one’s actions then in the worldly life are automatically done, and one is absolutely detached from them, just as a lotus leaf is from water.
Three kinds of great men in the world
In my opinion, there are three kinds of great men in the world. I do not say that there are no real saints at present. Some perform miracles by making use of their siddhis. People take them to be great saints and bow before them. These saints obtain some powers by the practice of hatha yoga and perform miracles. As ordinary people in the world want the fulfillment of some desires, or the averting of some calamities, they naturally go to such saints and become their followers. These great men, if they are at all great, are of the lowest order of the three kinds mentioned above. Just as in a village where all other people are illiterate, a person who has learnt to read and write is considered wise and learned, similarly these saints are respected by worldly people who themselves know nothing about real spiritual matters. The happiness obtained through such siddhis is transitory. These siddhis merely create a false show of happiness for a time, and then disappear leaving the saint completely bankrupt.
The second kind of great men are those who being filled with the desire to serve mankind, shine as great leaders of men and patriots. Their ambition is to make all their fellow beings or fellow-countrymen prosperous and happy. They sacrifice their personal comfort, and sometimes even their lives, in trying to achieve the good of their fellowmen. They try to weld all their countrymen into one homogenous whole, preach to the people the good which is derived from unity, arouse the consciousness of their rights as subjects, and make them worthy of putting up a fight for their rights and for the redress of their wrongs. Their lives serve as an ideal for ordinary people to follow, and they represent in their lives the sum total of the good qualities of the world. These great men at least do not mislead people by exhibiting miracles by means of siddhis. But these great men are of no use to a human soul striving to attain Self-realization. It does not lie in their power to grace human beings and to lead them to the path of realizing the highest bliss.
The great men who can do this are different. They are the great saints who take pity on all troubled souls who are floundering in the mire of worldly pains and pleasures, and who are at a loss to find a way out. They call such persons their own. They do not lead them to the search of worldly happiness which is illusory, but show them the path which will ultimately take them to the source of all happiness, the path which will clearly show to them the real nature of their Self, and illumine their whole being with the all-pervading light of Self-knowledge. They say to the human soul: “The source of happiness is within you. The treasure is hidden within you. Only you have forgotten the place where it is hidden,” and they point out that place, and show the way to reach it. Such great men are the real mahatmas, and they are the best of all great men. Sometimes miracles happen at the hands of such mahatmas also, but they happen naturally. They themselves are not conscious of having wrought them. They are always immersed in the atmic bliss, and whatever actions happen at their hands are natural and automatic.
For unknown words, see A Brief Sanskrit Glossary on our website.
You can also read Soham Yoga on our website here.