1. Can you talk about the importance of the murli?
is the link of the soul with Supreme Soul. Murli gives us an
understanding of God’s reality. Not just an understanding, but a real
experience of it. However, merely listening to the words alone, trying
to find a stimulus for the intellect, will not create an experience. We
have to do something very specific with those words to change them into
an experience. We have to use them as a springboard into a different
state of consciousness.
How to use murli for our spiritual progress?
By practising concentration and acceptance.
What do you mean by ‘concentration’?
It means no other thoughts allowed, except for those you want to have. No distractions. It means to become absorbed. To make the connection. If you say, ‘I am a soul,’ with understanding, concentration and acceptance, a whole new world opens to you.
So often, students take points from Baba’s murli and simply repeat them in their minds, mechanically. This makes it like bhakti. Go deep into the experience of, ‘I am a soul’, and just see – no matter how many times you say it – there will always be something new. There will be genuine refreshment.
How can we make that shift? It sounds like you are talking about going from a left to a right brain approach. How to do that?
It is right to say that the intellect has to understand. That’s an important first step. However, next, there has to be a surrendering of the intellect to that understanding, which only happens through love.
So the next step, really, is love. Dadi speaks about ‘bhavna’, which means very deep, pure feelings of love for God. These turn the points into a reality, an experience, because feelings give us something to dive into. If we only remain on the level of understanding then it will be hard to come into an experience.
Bhavna means feelings of acceptance. Bhavna means feelings of love – for the One giving me all this, for the Truth itself. Without such feelings, the intellect might be attracted, but it will quickly fall into routine. There will be routine listening, churning, and explaining.
This is why some students have the feeling that Baba says the same things everyday. This happens because they’ve not lived what He is saying. This is very important. They’ve not lived it because they’ve not loved it. This is not to say that they have never loved it, it’s just that they keep forgetting that every relationship – especially with God – has to be cultivated. We have to give it time.
A really key word for Brahmins is, ‘cultivate’. It is better, even, than ‘training’, because ‘cultivating’ implies, ‘over a long period of time’. We have to give time to God, if we want the relationship to go deeper.
Just as drinking water is an on-going requirement, no matter how much we have already drunk, so it is with our relationship with God. We have to give it our attention and time in an on-going way. However, this we forget to do. Not purposefully, of course. Every Brahmin would only want to be cultivating their relationship with God. However, it is as if ‘being ordinary’ still has a greater pull and so we lapse into ordinariness again and again. This is why Baba says, ‘Don’t be ordinary.’ He says, ‘Always see the wonder of what is happening to you.. keep seeing this on a daily basis.’ Afterall, it is the Confluence Age. It is blessed time...
I imagine that some of us listen ‘mechanically’ because we’ve been living life mechanically for so long. ‘Love’, which would be the antidote to this, is usually not an option because there’s been too much emotional pain from too many broken relationships. On an unconscious, deep level, many of us might no longer dare to reach for love. They don’t trust it anymore. How to get beyond that and come into those safe, eternal, spiritual feelings of God’s love, more?
We have to keep it as an aim. ‘I want to come close to the Father. I want to come closer to the self... I want to experience something deeper.’ We need to keep that aim. Often, we don’t start with this. Yet whenever you aim very clearly for something, then it is easy to see what is needed to fulfill that aim. In this case it is attention and time.
Integration is another factor. Having a heartfelt aim won’t be enough. That aim has to follow you into your daily life. Even while listening to murli or sitting in yoga, there needs to be an awareness of how these points are also for making you into the best person you can be. The whole idea of murli is about integration... how all these points connect to the way you are living your life.
How to integrate it?
Note down points – either in a notebook or in the mind. This way you can keep referring back to them during the day. For example, once I’d noted this point: ‘Every cycle you become the Father’s children.’ So I thought about that, all day...’Every cycle, throughout all eternity, I directly connect with God.... And He connects with me...’. That thought, as I held it throughout the day, grew into a very deep feeling of belonging, of being very much loved. Ultimately, it led to an even greater feeling: to be so loved and to have such feelings of belonging is my destiny...
This is a new kind of creativity, that we need to explore. It is not creativity based on skills or technique. Rather, its applying the creative process onto this knowledge and onto your inner, personal effort.
Take a point, hold it, ask it relevant, pertinent questions. Put the points through a creative workout. For example, ‘I am a soul.’ Take a whole day –if not more – to explore that and ask questions, such as, ‘What does it feel like to be a soul? What would a soul conscious person think, feel, act like, right now, in this situation? This is called giving murli points your attention.. giving them time.
How to sit in murli class and get that experience?
Firstly, keep reminding yourself that this knowledge is for experiencing. It is not knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Secondly, it is not good to try too hard at this. We’ve got to learn how to stay light, and easy with it. Easy and open. Surrender. Do we understand this word? It means to be willing, open. And also, attentive to what I want to experience. Only I can make this shift, myself. No one else can do it for me.
Another condition for deepening the experience and having it become a more permanent part of my reality, is this : I have to let go of whatever else I’m still using as a support. You can’t really expect to have Baba – that is, to experience Baba in all His fullness – whilst you are still not present, fully, in front of Him. Whilst there are other, false, supports, how deep, how rich, can be the on-going experience of God? This will only be in proportion to how much you have ‘died alive’.
Many times, the reason that our experience of God is stopped at a certain level and is not as deep as we wish is because we try to keep the best of both worlds. However, to go into the heart of God, it is quite an absolute. It is an absolute aim, and an absolute experience. At some point, there needs to be recognition of this and a greater degree of letting go. Otherwise, it’s simply yet one more ‘technique’: how to listen properly, how to ask the right questions, etc. Together with ‘techniques’, I have to be willing to let go – of old personality habits, old supports – especially to my attachment to old supports. The necessary subtlety is not there. So then there is misinterpretation of the points, and even inner, silent arguing.
2. Usually, knowledge is 'studied'. Why do the BKs speak of 'churning' this knowledge? What are the implications of, 'churning'?The BK's speak of churning knowledge because it is the process of going deeper into the knowledge and getting insights and wisdom from the murli. The murli is not just information. It is more like research, which is related to ourselves and our own inner lives. Other kinds of research and facts may not be connected to the self.
Churning is also the process of contemplation and reflection. The churning of milk is to bring out the richness in the form of butter. The churning of knowledge is to bring out the richness in the form of experiences and relationships with Baba. Churning knowledge brings new revelations and richness.
3. People usually 'pray' to God, or 'worship' Him. Why do the BKs say to 'remember' God? What is the significance of this word?The concept of ‘remembering’ God is for underlining our personal relationship with God. A relationship is always about remembrance. One does not worship or pray to one's father, mother or a friend. The aspect of ‘remembering’ comes when we can be in these eternal relations of the soul to God, the Supreme Soul.
God has all powers and virtues. Our aim is to inherit these qualities of God. Remembrance is the experience of 'inheriting', or absorbing, those qualities. It is a form of connection that helps us erase our impurities, and this is something that can actually be felt.
However, this ‘inheriting’ can only happen when we come into the awareness of God's virtues. Thus, remembrance also means awareness. In this, love is a very important factor.
4. Usually, one ‘develops’ virtues. Why, in the BKs, is the word 'imbibe' used?The BK's use the word ‘imbibe’ more than ‘develop’ because imbibe implies a receiving and/or experiencing.
For example, love. We imbibe God’s love; we do not develop it. When we have God's love, we become it and then, according to our practice, it is strengthened. In the same way, we ‘imbibe’ the qualities of God and then, through our actions and practice, they are made our own.
God enables us to imbibe these qualities, first. This makes it easy.
5. Why can't we read murli at home? Why do we need to come to a centre?I think it is always beneficial to listen to murli rather than read it. Listening through a teacher is important. That makes a difference. And then, when you come to a center, you are listening in the right atmosphere, where everyone is soul conscious. I give this example, “Why do you send your children to school?" Nowadays you can just buy the books, do homeschooling and show up at school only for the exams. But in my life I found that actually going to a school had a lot of advantages. You learn so many of the really important things in life, like making friends, becoming responsible in relationships, communication. The energy of student life is much more than just reading books and getting a degree. So I always say to people, becoming part of a university happens only when you become a student who shows up.
6. What is soul consciousness? What are its practical results?Soul consciousness is to be naturally and constantly in tune with your spiritual identity. It is the experience of your eternity and individuality within this eternal Drama. It makes you free of influences and dependencies. Soul consciousness is the ‘I am’ consciousness: I don’t look outside for love, peace or freedom, because I am these. Going inwards, again and again, to touch this experience, brings realization. Without this, it is not possible to practically feel the reality of this consciousness. With practice, we can remember, ‘Who am I?’ and be connected to our immortal blueprint, in a second.
This creates a new and different way of living. It is like looking at an iceberg and being aware
of the part that is totally submerged. In other words, you see the iceberg as a whole. This frees you from being totally vulnerable to the visible side of the iceberg, because of your added awareness of the invisible side of it.
This extra perimeter makes a big difference in our relationships with people. We start considering the invisible (eternal) as well as the visible side of the person and a soul to soul connection begins.
7. Practically speaking, what is the essential difference between body consciousness and soul consciousness?
In body consciousness, we are in relationship with the negative side of people, life, ourselves. Our attention goes there, and so negativity is strengthened.
In soul consciousness, we are in relationship, firstly, with God, who is the Seed of truth and beauty. With this as our foundation, we come into relationship with the potential in ourselves and others, and seeds of truth and beauty are nurtured.
8. Why is God referred to in the masculine gender?Every soul has both the eternal masculine and the eternal feminine, within, as has God. But God‘s first action is to create and He creates through Brahma. Because His first action is the expression of the eternal Masculine, he is referred to as the Father. But He is also the One who sustains and this is why He can also be referred to as the Mother.
9. Getting the Most from Listening to Murli – Best Practises
The following are tips for getting the most out of listening to murli. They come from interviews with senior bks from around the globe. Experiment with them and you will surely have some new experiences!
- 'When I listen to murli, my aim is to stay, as much as possible, in this awareness: 'I am a Godly student. God is talking to me.’ This way there is the feeling of a personal meeting – even though I'm with others or in a big class. Then, it feels like Baba is saying everything to me, personally. This is a wonderful feeling, because it touches the heart. By the time murli finishes I really feel refreshed....'
- 'I never read the murli beforehand, because that takes away the sense of relevance and intimacy. I like to nurture this feeling: ‘I wonder what He is going to say to me today?’
- 'I never read from the murli packet while the teacher is reading the murli outloud. To do this is really not to understand at all how murli works, how there is magic in listening because that triggers the right brain which opens us to feelings and our inner knowing. Baba system is for us to listen to murli; to read it while listening is to disrespect His system..'
- There is no need to churn while listening. Drink in the murli like you would a glass of milk.. Just absorb it, as it is..'
- Flow with the waves of the Ocean. Murli is not a lecture on a topic… Baba moves through many currents, often going from one extreme to another…
- 'There is no need to write
each and every point or word. Listen to it, absorb and understand it.
Then, just jot down a few notes..'
'Keep the eyes open and look at the person reading the
murli. It is a sign of communication to look into the eyes of one
someone who is speaking. To close the eyes is disrespectful...'
- ''Baba speaks to us in
different forms – the surgeon, boatman, laundryman, etc. Go to class
with a specific aim in mind – I want a specific medicine ; I want to be
made pure; I need a friend; I need some yukhtis for service… Think,
‘What do I need to get from Him today?’ Keep that in the back of your
awareness while listening. Then, some subtle touching will come, or the
one reading the murli will say something….'
- 'Murli is food
for the soul. Am I aware of this as I sit in class? If I want to keep
moving forward in my BK life, I need to be a good student. Feeing
drowsy or tired will not allow me to enjoy the murli very much. Go to
bed on time, don’t eat too late. No need for a ‘2a.m Amrit Vela’ if it
comprises attentiveness in murli. Keep a healthy balance !'
- 'Sometimes, after
listening to murli, I write down 10 points and read them 10 times a
day, for 10 weeks. It is stimulating, and brings a deeper awareness of
what Baba is saying to me…'
- 'After murli, I spend a few minutes just holding onto that feeling of intoxication. Then it is there for me, as I go through my day. Otherwise, it just washes off…'
10. Reading Murli to Students -- Best Practices
The following are tips for reading murli to students in the most effective and successful way. They come from interviews with BK senior teachers from around the globe. Choose one or two to experiment with each week. They are sure to bring newness to this particular activity of ours.
- Murli is the life
giving herb. Therefore, when I’m reading murli outloud, I check this in
my stage: Is it ‘life giving’ or taking? My stage is the syringe
through which the medicine of the murli passes. If the syringe is not
clean, what will be the effectiveness of the medicine?
- The most important thing is my state of consciousness. ‘I am an instrument for Baba; I allow Baba to come and do the job. ’ Do I stay in this awareness? The wrong tone or attitude can trigger unwanted reactions.
- Be careful not to underline certain aspects in
order to point out something to someone. It never works, anyway, and
souls are made uncomfortable at the least, offended at the most.
- Read it as Baba’s murli… don’t use your own words or phrases.
- I never feel I’m reading Baba’s murli. I also feel that I’m
listening to it, along with the students. I find that this creates
inclusiveness rather than a ‘me vs. them’ atmosphere.
shouldn’t be a lot of comments during the murli. This creates confusion
– is Baba saying this? Or the teacher? On the other hand, there is no
need to read it straight. A few simple additions, when they are
appropriate and short, offer good support.
- Murli means flute, so there is a musical tone, or feeling, to
the murli. I pay attention to that. After all, it is a conversation
between the soul and the Supreme Soul…
- The teacher should enjoy reading the murli very much.
- How you prepare the space, physically, is also very
important. It is Baba’s home, but it is also a school and that should
be the impression when others walk in.
- If you are the
one to read murli, but your stage is not good: Remain polite. Have the
humility to say, ‘I am still learning.’ Finish the last traces of, ‘I
am the teacher’. Ask yourself, ‘Why did I accept this role?’
- If enthusiasm has temporarily reduced, drop any feelings of insecurity. There will always be rough patches. Baba’s remembrance and protection is like a canopy that will always enable us to pull through. Just keep working on your stage…
- I read the murli 2 times – once at night before taking rest, and the other after amrit vela.
- I make sure that I understand the murli from beginning to
end so that if any questions are asked, my answers reflect what is in
- I go very thoroughly into the content, even if I
have to read it 3 – 4 times. What exactly does Baba want to say, here?
What does Baba want to say to me, here…?
- I make sure that I’ve done whatever homework Baba gave in the
murli the day before. This creates a special enthusiasm which also
- The teacher has to be at least 1 step ahead of the students in all 4 subjects. She should have something new to give them everyday, so that they can be inspired. For this, practice and experience are required.