This particular interview with Muktananda was conducted in the summer of 1979 at Muktananda's Catskill Mountain ashram. It has been acknowledged by the Muktananda community to be the best interview with Baba during his Western tour. The interview was aired on In the Spirit in October. 1979. Approximately 25,000 persons heard this interview. It was, in a real sense, a cultural phenomenon. In keeping with that sense, Re-Vision has excerpted some of the radio commentary by Lex Hixon, made after the playing of his interview. For additional information about this interview and others which Lex Hixon has done, write to: In the Spirit Foundation, P.O. Box 279, Riverdale, NY 10471.
The Dance of Consciousness and the Supreme Truth:
An Interview with Swami Muktananda
Hixon: We are reminded again and again that life is impermanent. I would like to know what people should do when they eventually leave their bodies.
Baba: Life is not completely impermanent; we can make it permanent. Life itself is beautiful, so bewitching, so attractive. It can be anything that we want it to be. God gave birth to this creation from His own being, and it is not different from Him. God is very disciplined, very regular. He makes every second come at the right time. Why aren't we like that? We should think about this very carefully.
Hixon: When a person dies the impermanent parts of his being must disappear, leaving something permanent. What is it that remains after physical death?
Baba: That is the Truth. the Self, God. That is Consciousness or Shakti, energy. Through That we are able to perform all actions. The supreme Truth never changes; it always remains the same. It is not tainted by impurity or by purity or by anything else. Because of that Consciousness, we are able to perform actions.
We always say, "1, 1, 1,” but we are not aware of the true nature of that "I". Do we call the parts of this body "I"? The prana helps this body to function. Do we call that prana "I"? The Self of the universe, God, exists inside this body and makes the universe work. Do we call that “?”. Are we aware which "I" is "I"?
Hixon: So that "I" is not really a personal being. That "I" is not either Lex or Baba Muktananda.
Baba: That "I" is the supreme Truth. That "I" is neither Muktananda nor Carter nor the Pope. That "I" is the supreme Truth, Consciousness, and it is, in fact, everything. From this "I" many worlds arise and subside, arise and subside. From one seed comes a tree; from one tree come many seeds; from many seeds come many trees. Even if the trees do not exist, the seed is still there. From that seed come many more trees. So the seed is the "I," Supreme Truth. Consciousness, and it is the same for everybody. It belongs equally to all. That Consciousness exists within itself and, in the same measure, it also exists in us and in everyone - in Nityananda, my Guru, and also in Jesus.
Hixon: So when this form of Muktananda passes away, that same supreme "I" will remain exactly as it is now?
Baba: Yes, it will remain the same. Even if the body leaves, That does not leave. The body comes and goes, but That always remains. I can explain this to you in simple words. Just as the inner space of this room remains whether or not the walls remain standing, so regardless of the body's impermanence, That is permanent. It is the truth. Some people call it God. Whether you call it God or Rama or Allah, that truth remains the same.
Hixon: But there seems to be a special manifestation, for instance, through Baba. The supreme "I" is not as clearly manifest through other people, What is that particular stream of manifestation that we call Baba Muktananda?
Baba: The inner Truth that exists inside me also exists inside you and everybody else. There isn't the slightest difference. The only difference is that I have turned within and perceived it. I have made That reveal itself to me. However, you don't turn within and see it because you always want to be focused outside, If you also turn within, then the same stream that flows out of my body will flow out of yours. Truly speaking, in God's creation there is no disparity: there is only equality. In one factory the same objects are manufactured. They are all identical. Similarly, everything is the same in the Lord's factory.
Hixon: Still, there appears to be some difference because people find their spiritual consciousness being awakened in the presence of Baba but not in the presence of others – even other spiritual teachers.
Baba: There may be such a difference now, but if everybody were to become like me then the difference would vanish.
Hixon: What would be left?
Baba: Only the supreme Truth.
Hixon: Still manifesting as the world or formless?
Baba: Even in the form of the world the Truth exists. The world is not different from the Truth. Water becomes ice, and ice becomes water again. In the same way, the world comes out of the supreme Truth. That Truth exists in the world, and the world belongs to it. Because the world comes out of the supreme Truth, Shaivism says, "The world is the play of Consciousness." The first aphorism of Shaivism is, "The Self is Consciousness." The world is Consciousness.
Hixon: Baba, you have opened a door into pure Consciousness for those who love you. Will that door stay open through you for the next 100 or 200 years?
Baba: It will always remain open, because this lineage will never be broken. Baba Nityananda, my Guru, gave me his work to do. Similarly, when I leave this world, I will have to make somebody else responsible for the work. When Nixon left, Ford came, and when Ford left, Carter came.
Hixon: Do you have anyone in mind for this heavy burden?
Baba: Somebody will pop up from somewhere.
Hixon: Do you think it will be focused in one person or in several people?
Baba: There will be one main person; however, he will need many other people's help. Look at me. I do a lot of work; however, I have many people to help me. Does President Carter do all his work by himself? No. He has many aides. However, there is only one President.
Hixon: It seems that people who have been close to you have received your grace to the point where they can transmit it to some extent to other people. I wanted to say that we are very grateful that thousands upon thousands of these people have popped up in this country.
Baba: Yes, many people are working in the same line. The shakti is working in all of them. Many will also do this work in the future. This mission will continue to increase. Many will do the work.
Hixon: In your autobiography we read your marvelous experiences where you feel that your true being is permeating everything on all planes. I assume that some day when this form of Baba Muktananda disappears, your special presence will always be felt on all planes of being.
Baba: Yes, that will remain in all planes, continuing to do the work. My Baba, my Guru, -is still doing the work. Even if you put his photo somewhere, his photo also works. People should not feel strange about this. What place exists without Consciousness? So that Consciousness exists in the photo, too.
Hixon: When you say your Guru, Baba Nityananda, do you mean anything other than the supreme "I"? Is there something particular about him?
Baba: It's the same thing, the supreme Truth, Nityananda. In Nityananda, too, the same supreme Truth existed, and the same supreme Truth became Nityananda.
Hixon: Can we ask the same question about Jesus and Rama and other great beings? Are they really nothing more than the supreme Truth or are there different lineages extending from these different beings?
Baba: The Self is the same in all of them. However, their mission may be different. Take, for example, Krishna. People who lived in his time said that he was the incarnation of the supreme Truth. He was never defeated by wicked people- A great being or the supreme Truth is That which is never defeated by anybody, That which never falls. From the viewpoint of the Self, everyone is the same.
Hixon: You spoke about the fact that different teachers could have different missions. Baba, can you say something about what your mission is in this life.
Baba: My mission is not any particular religion. It is a spiritual revolution. My teaching is "Look within. Understand your own Self. Perceive your own Self. Attain your own ‘Self.' To learn this, I teach that you don't have to depend an external things. I don't say that somebody lives up there that one day he will come down to help you. I don't deny the existence of somebody up there, but I say He is in you, too, in the same measure. So look within and attain Him right inside yourself. I don't give much importance to class or caste or particular religions or anything of that kind. It does not matter whether you are black or white, yellow red. All colors and all classes have come from God. I don't like to make any distinctions. My purpose is to say, ‘The supreme Truth exists inside everybody, so look within, perceive That, and attain That.'
Hixon: But just by looking within, no one will achieve anything if he doesn't have your grace.
Baba: It is true that you need grace also. When I tell you to look within, to enter inside, grace follows with those words.
Hixon: It's not like the ordinary words, 'look within’. Somehow when Baba says to look within, it contains the actual Shakti, the energy that makes it possible.
Baba: You are absolutely right. Both the grace and the shakti follow those words. The Shakti, the energy of the Self, is so great.
Hixon: There may be thousands of people reading this -iterview, Baba. Please tell them to look within and transmit the Shakti right now.
Baba: Not only thousands - I want to tell the entire world. Give up your notions of different castes, different classes, different sects, different religions. Stop moving on the outside. Enter within, and see what you perceive inside. The reason you perceive differences from one society to another, from one caste to another, from one country to another, is that you are only looking outside. If you turn within and attain the inner Self, then you will see the same inner Self in all countries, in all individuals. and in all places. You will see and experience the same divine bliss everywhere. If everyone were to look within and perceive the inner Self, then weapons would become unnecessary. Nations wouldn't have to have hatred and hostility toward one another, wouldn't bomb one another and plot each other's destruction. God has created this world for His own pleasure. He has created wealth for His own joy. We use this wealth not for our own good, or for our own pleasure, but to make poisonous ammunitions.
Hixon: Even the ignorance of human beings, even their tendency to look outside, must also be a part of God's play.
Baba: It is the result of forgetting God.
Hixon: But if everything is the play of Consciousness how can one forget? How can Consciousness forget itself?
Baba: It's not that Consciousness has forgotten itself. We ourselves have kept Consciousness other than ourselves. A king who is sleeping dreams that he has become a beggar and he weeps and wails; however, when the king wakes up, he laughs at himself because he thought that he had become a beggar. We are in the same predicament.
Hixon: But the king has certain samskaras or tendencies and that's why he would have the dream of being a beggar.
But there are no tendencies or samskaras in pure Consciousness, so how can it have this dream of being limited persons?
Baba: There is no limitation in Consciousness. It is our own samskaras from the past which make us feel that we are contracted. Due to these samskaras we become contracted. Once we have right understanding, we again expand. Therefore, a person should expand himself.
Hixon: Doesn't some of the highest Vedantic teaching imply that there is ultimately no expansion or contraction?
Baba: It is very true. Once you attain that ultimate understanding then there is nothing. Then you will know that everything is the expansion or the pervasion of Consciousness. Therefore, Shaivism says, "The world is the sport of Consciousness."
Hixon: So when you, Baba, look at the seekers of truth who come here, and you see them expanding and contracting in their own eyes, you really ultimately don't see anything except the play of Consciousness - no expansion and no contraction?
Baba: From my point of view, they are not contracted. But they think they are contracted. When you take ornaments to the goldsmith he looks only at the gold; he does not look at the ornaments in different shapes and sizes. However, if the customer goes there he looks at the outward forms. He does not look only at the gold.
Hixon: Baba, thank you for sharing our limited dreams and nightmares with us even though you remain beyond the dream state.
Baba: It isn't that for me. From your viewpoint you are dreaming but from my viewpoint you are not. You are the Truth. You watch your own dream, but I don't watch your dream; I see you as my own Self.
Hixon: From Baba's point of view there really are no dreams? There are no limitations? There are no individuals apart from pure Consciousness?
Baba: Yes, only the play of Consciousness. Only the drama, only the dance of Consciousness. For example, take the ordinary drama. There is a producer. How does he look at the drama? Isn't it a mere play for him?
Hixon: You always mention the play of Consciousness and the dance of Consciousness. Why does it play? Why doesn't it remain entirely still?
Baba: Even while it is playing its stillness is not disturbed. In the ocean so many waves leap up and down, up and down. Although that happens, the ocean's profundity is not disturbed.
Hixon: So Shakti is the playful aspect and Shiva is the absolutely still aspect?
Baba: Yes, supreme Shiva always remains supremely serene, quiet, and still. The Shakti that vibrates from Him does all the play.
Hixon: Then the communion of Shiva and Shakti means that the play and the stillness exist exactly at the same time and are actually synonymous?
Baba: Even when the play takes place the stillness is not disturbed. For example, now, I am moving my hands, making gestures, but that inner stillness is not disturbed. In the same way, while the play goes on the total stillness of the supreme Truth is not disturbed. It's a matter of understanding.
Hixon: Are some people more drawn to the supreme stillness and others drawn to the play?
Baba: Most people are drawn to the play. The reason for this is that they don't have any understanding of the Truth.
Hixon: Baba, please bless us that we can be drawn to the stillness and grant us Shivapat as well as Shaktipat (the descent of Shiva as well as the descent of Shakti).
Baba: From all your questions I understand and I believe that you do have the understanding of Shiva to a certain extent.
Hixon: Please bless us that it may increase and deepen.
Baba: It will keep increasing and increasing and increasing. It will keep increasing to the state of Shiva. Once you reach that state it will rest. Even if people were to hear this much it would be enough for them. I give this message to everybody, not to a particular society or caste. My message is, 'meditate on your own Self, understand your own Self, attain your own Self; the supreme Truth dwells within you as you.' In infinite forms He pervades everywhere; however, He is One. However we categorize Him, there is no division in Him. We should stop categorizing Him, and should see Him as one. Whatever role you have taken upon yourself to play, play it very well and with great responsibility. Take care of your family life with great respect. With love, take care of your children. No matter what work you are doing, keep God and standards of morality before you at all times. Don't think that you, your actions, and God are separate. See Him in the entire universe. Although He is infinite and manifold, He is One. Attain this awareness.
I am very pleased with your interview, because you asked the exact questions that should be asked in an exact interview. Many reporters and television interviewers have come to me bringing lists of questions. You have asked questions without notes, so you are the right person to interview a saddhu, a holy man.
Hixon: Baba, the questions as well as the answers come from you.
Baba: They all come from the same place. In my entire tour, you are the only one who has come to me and has asked questions without a list of notes. And they are the right questions that you have asked. Otherwise, people ask questions about politics or Jim Jones or robbing banks. They don't ask the questions they should ask. They ask about the poverty of other countries, but they forget about their own poverty.
Hixon: Thank you, Baba.
Excerpts from Lex Hixon's Radio Commentary
I am extremely grateful to have had this time with as great a god-realized sage as Muktananda. It is very rare, particularly in an interview, to be able to capture something like this mind-to-mind and heart-to-heart contact, this mutuality between a realized person and a seeker of realization. Muktananda's discussion of stillness revealed something very deep to me, as if it solved a certain koan that's been tugging at me for a long time. He said, roughly, that the play of consciousness, the drama of the universe goes on without interrupting in the slightest the perfect stillness of the ultimate Truth. In fact, that play is not separate from that stillness. He gave the example of the ocean and its waves, the surface and the depth of which are not separate. The ocean is continuous, from the very stillness of its depths to the playfulness of its surface. And Muktananda has told us that we are the whole thing. We are ourselves as much the undisturbed depth as we are the surface in play. But there are definite tragedies and disasters in the surface play, and the Godrealized person has an intensified sense of compassion to help people to awaken from the idea that they are just on the surface and not also the undisturbed and peaceful depths.
This stillness is not really an experience, for all experience is part of the play. It is not a matter of some sort of energy, but of understanding of the whole. And I felt some sense of this understanding dawning in me through the grace of the contact with Muktananda, who insists again and again that there is nothing different in him from what is in the rest of us. He is simply turned entirely to That, whereas we are turning to all sorts of other places and imaginations. I think that Muktananda is one of the few people on the planet today who has achieved a universalness of mind and heart and spirit. Of course his ashram is run like an Indian ashram. Of course there is chanting, and he wears a burnished colored dhoti. Of course he uses imagery drawn from his tradition. But you can't have a piece of wood without some sort Of grain in it. It would be foolish to say that you're looking for a universal tree that, when you cut the wood, has no grain. What we're looking for are people who have been able to transcend all the structures and limits, both personal and cultural, while operating in them. And I think that Baba Muktananda is someone like that.
The supreme understanding that he speaks of is very precious. As this understanding itself dawns, it will have a powerful effect on creating the kind of planeft" situation that we all long for, one of harmony and peace. Baba implies that this isn't fust for a few advanced seekers studying sanskrit in the Himalayas. It is for everyone. He feels that everyone is capable to one degree or another of understanding and developing. From this ultimate understanding flows tremendous amounts of compassionate activity and creative energy. And from this ultimate understanding we each have this supreme "I," which is not the limited "I." We each share the same Self. It is on the basis of That that we can do anything creative or compassionate in the world.
There are so many more things that I could say, but I think that the main thing to do at this point, is to thank not Baba Muktananda, but to take him at his word and thank the Supreme Truth itself.
from : http://www.lexhixon.org/