The First Speech

This chapter is compiled from the lectures of Master Shoko Asahara in the AUM intensive semmar in May 1987 and his special writings for this book. For the definitions of technical terms, please see glossary at the end of each speech.

The Purpose and Process of Practice, and Perfection

Process towards Sufferings

Today, I'd like to talk about three points: the purpose of practice, the process of practice, and perfection. Frankly speaking, those who think that this world is pleasurable are not suited for our practice. For they have not yet come to a deadlock in their lives, which becomes a motive of spiritual practice. Only after they come to feel sufferings, they are ready to start the practice.
To understand this point, you need to understand the process through which our True Selves miss their true state. One's True Self, though it is hard to describe, means what constitutes the root of oneself. If it is added with a will and images, it becomes what we call a soul. This might be easier for you to understand.
One's True Self is influenced by three Gunas', namely Sattva (virtue), Tamas (vice), and Rajas (action). Because of the influence of the three Gunas, one's True Self misunderstands his true state. One who is on the process of misunderstanding his true state is not ready to start practice. He thinks this world is pleasurable. He also thinks this world is absolute. Is that understood?
However, when he reaches the end of this process, that is, when he reaches the point where one cannot satisfy himself with experiences of pleasure, he starts to feel sufferings. He comes to clearly feel sufferings and emptiness of being born in this world. Thus after a lot of experiences, his True Self realizes this.

Experience: the First Step of Practice

For example, here is an orange. Suppose that a man eats it for the first time and thinks, "Oh' how delicious an orange is'."
Although he may think it delicious at first, what if he eats five, ten or twenty oranges a day? What if he does so every day? He will surely get tired of them, won't he?
By the same token he gets tired of any kind of experience sooner or later. This is true of love, status, honor, money, etc. The more he experiences this world, the earlier he tires of it. This is because he can not satisfy his subconscious any more. As a result he thinks that this world is full of sufferings and is nothing but a hallucination. At this point he wishes to leave this world, the world of sufferings.
Next he thinks about how to get out of this painful world and wishes the emancipation of his soul through spiritual practice. This is how one starts walking the path of the practice.

Get Rid of Illusions

Now, when we wish the emancipation of our souls, the next problem is to find the method. To emancipate our souls, we need to feel that the soul is different from the body, and we need to understand that the soul is different from the world of dreams and the Astral World; at last you need to recognize that the soul is different from the mind.
There are two ways to recognize this: "logical recognition" and "experiential recognition." We need to recognize it in both ways. The recognition through experiences is "emancipation."
The recognition through logic is enlightenment." How can we attain emancipation and enlightenment. Let us think about this from now.
Suppose there are a foolish man and a wise man. Suppose the foolish man buys an orange, and eats and tastes it. The next day he buys two, and then three, and then four, and he eats them until he gets fed up with them. Oranges become no longer tasty. Next he tries an apple. He eats it until he gets tired of it.
Next comes a banana. He does the same with a banana. I am afraid that one who repeats this without learning anything takes a long time to attain enlightenment and emancipation.
Then how does a wise man do it? When he gets tired of an orange, he thinks, "Why did I get tired of an orange?" and "I am now feeling that I want to eat an apple, but I might get tired of it, too." So he decides, "I will objectively observe how the mind changes when I eat an apple." After that he comes to understand changes in his mind as he eats apples, increasing the number every time.
As a result, he gains enough experiences to get tired of fruits through eating only apples and oranges. So he does not go to a banana. He does not need to.
The same is true of a car as an orange and apple. I don't know very much about cars, but let's think about Rolls Royce, Mersedez Benz, and Toyota Celica for example. First you drive Toyota Celica. If you get sick of it, you go to Mersedez Benz, and then Rolls Royce. This is the same process of going to an orange, and then to a apple, and then to a banana. The same is true of love. The process of loving Miss A, and then Miss B, and then Miss C is exactly the same.

Enlightenment: the Paradise

If we understand the workings of our minds with oranges, we will not be deluded by a car or the opposite sex. Enlightenment comes naturally at this point.
You might be surprised that I mentioned the word "enlightenment" suddenly. You might not think that an orange and a car match with the term of enlightenment well. However, enlightenment is the state that you can objectively observe and understand the workings of your mind, or the way your True Self falls into the dark. O.K.? This is how enlightenment is.
To attain enlightenment you need to practice Jnana Yoga which is also called yoga of analysis or yoga of philosophy.
If you become enlightened, you will be able to understand what to do now and what this liFe means. As a result, you will lose your interest in money. Of course you will need some amount of money to live on, but. it will no longer affect your life so much. Even if someone wears a $2,000 suit and you wear just a $30 training uniform, you won't care. Even if someone has a high-quality car like a Rolls Royce and you drive Toyota Celica, it will not be a problem any longer. Even if someone is walking with a beautiful girl and you are walking with not so beautiful a girl, it won't be a problem.
This is because you will realize more important things. How to live a fulfilling life every day, and how to live in search of absolute freedom, absolute happiness and absolute joy which your True Self really wants. You come to focus your attention on these points little by little, and start the practice for emancipation.

The Enlightened Are Sure to Attain Emancipation

Now I would like to touch upon emancipation in relation to enlightenment. I said that one would practice for emancipation after attaining enlightenment. It means that the real practice for emancipation can start only after enlightenment, because he can absorb himself in the practice. An enlightened person never fails in emancipation. He ignores everything but the practice and can certainly achieve emancipation.
This is the very reason that I think much of Jnana Yoga. I want you to become enlightened with Jnana Yoga as soon as you can.
Otherwise, there is a possibility that you may fall and quit the practice. AUM also has examples of such failures. In fact, some disciples have already dropped out.
The worst case happened when I was not in Japan and on a trip to India. There was one disciple named R. His Kundalini was already awakened when he came to me for the first time. He had been with Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh before that.
He was influenced by the teachings of his former master: "no fixed ideas which means that one shouldn't have any fixed ideas. As a result, he had fixed ideas that one shouldn't have any fixed ideas.
AUM staffers (disciples of Master Asahara) must practice selfless service and meditation. They must also observe strict commandments. There had not been a single sex-related problem until then, though men and women lived together.
However, R insisted, "It is nothing but a fixed idea to prohibit a man and woman from taking a bath together." I knew that sufferings would arise if a man and woman who were not emancipated took a bath together. That is why I prohibited it.
R abused the fixed idea of "no fixed ideas." He wanted to satisfy his sexual desire with the idea. He involved two girls and two boys. As a result two couples had sexual relationships.
Only two persons are back on the right track at last. I expelled R who was indulging in sex, and his partner, and the other man for another reason.

The Gate of Emancipation: Faith

Thus, even AUM staffers can drop out easily if they are not enlightened. As for the two persons who were involved in the activity and recovered themselves, I believe that they have strong faith in me, which helped them solve the problem.
Since you are not enlightened yet, hearing his story, I think you are worried that you may also drop out. So, Keep your faith in the Guru and God (Lord Shiva) . Believe in me. If you do so, I will always watch you and can help you.

Jnana Yoga Is the Sign of the Truth

I have to tell you another terrible story. You should attain enlightenment through Jnana Yoga and then attain emancipation through Kundalini Yoga. There is another reason for practicing Jnana Yoga for attaining emancipation. That is, you may go mad in the course of Kundalini Yoga if you can not attain emancipation. The other day I heard that an instructor of a certain yoga ashram went mad and killed himself. Energy of Kundalini is so strong. However, if you are enlightened through Jnana Yoga, since you can use Kundalini energy in the right way, there is no chance that you may go mad.
Another merit of Jnana Yoga is that you can understand your condition and overcome your problems. Suppose there are people who think, "I am suffering from a disease," "I am suffering an economic problem," or "I'm worried about a certain love affair." I will say to them, "Through Jnana Yoga you can gain good health, settle economically and have a happy marriage."
In fact, what gives direct effects on health, economy, and love affairs is not Jnana Yoga but Raja Yoga and Kundalini Yoga. However, if there is not a mental basis cultivated through the practice of Jnana Yoga, a practitioner yields to worldly desires and makes bad karma.

The Practice of AUM

The practice of AUM is very effective and powerful. For example, if you can maintain kumbhaka (the retention of a breath) for two or three minutes through pranayama, you can control others freely and can get whatever you want. So, if you don't have a mental basis through Jnana Yoga, you can go bad and create bad karma.
Then what should we do? The answer is that since this world is a tentative place to live in, you should take just what you need and give the rest back. If you do so, you can not only get over sufferings which you have now, but also can go to a better world in the next life. On top of that, I believe that you can lead a calm and peaceful life.

The Process of Emancipation

Let me move to the process of emancipation. Emancipation is the process of clearing away your adherence physically. For example, when you are hungry, where in your body do you feel hunger? You feel it in your stomach. Where do you feel sexual desire? You feel it in the Swadhisthana Chakra (the subtle center situated a little above one's reproductive organ). Anger is heat that goes up from the Muladhara Chakra (situated at the bottom of one's spine). Hunger, sexual desire and anger can be considered to be energies of stress.
Unfortunately ordinary people do not have an outlet for these energies. So, when they feel hungry, they have to eat until they relieve their hunger. When they have sexual desire, they have to leak energy (through ejaculation or orgasm) or lose a mental balance. A feeling of anger is totally out of control. This is how ordinary people are.
However, if the channel for these energies of stress is opened, things are different. The Sushumna channel, if opened, works as a channel for energies of stress. For example, when you feel sexual desire, sexual desire goes up through the Sushumna channel and reaches the crown. The same is true of appetite and anger. Do you understand? The first thing you should do is to open your Sushumna channel which goes through the spine.
The Position of the Seven Chakras
After that the rising energy breaks the Sahasrara Chakra and causes Chundali.
Because of Chundali, the energy that has risen to the crown starts to fall down. This time it doesn't pass through the same channel, but falls along the central line of the trunk. At this point many kinds of divine power or psychic power are developed. Then our appetite, sexual desires, and anger come to circulate in our bodies. Thus as soon as sexual desire arises, the energy is transformed into energy of Chundali. In this way you are freed from stress completely.
Not only that, but appetite, sexual desire and anger vibrate your cerebrum in various ways. The vibration excites and pleases you. You can always steep yourself in a very pleasant feeling without doing anything.
This is the state of emancipation. As I told, because of worldly desires we were born in this world. Because of our desires and adherence we can not get out of the cycle of reincarnation. Then if we are freed from worldly desires, we will never be born in this world of sufferings. We can go to a happy world in higher dimension. This is emancipation.
To sum up, if we pursue happiness logically, we attain enlightenment. If we pursue happiness physically, we attain emancipation. When you attain both and combine them, you are in the supreme condition.

The Guru Is Great

Let me add one thing. That is about the case that the Sahasrara Chakra is not broken down in the process of emancipation. What if it is not broken down? It is terrible, because energies of stress only moves from lower Chakras to higher Chakras. This is, as I told you before, when you can go mad.
For example, a glutton of sexual desire will satisfy his sexual desire in the Astral World. A person full of anger or fight in the Astral World. In fact T was this type. Again, eater and an ignorant person will always sleep. However, if you have a perfect guru, he will help you break down the Sahasrara Chakra, because he can control any dangerous state. As I said before, it's of course bet-ter to step into the process of emancipation after at-taining enlightenment. This is the conclusion of today's lecture.


1. Gunas: three kinds of dynamic energies which make up the universe. (See the body text for details)
2. Astral World: the world in another dimension made up of Five subtle Elements.
3. Jnana Yoga: analytical yoga. A school of yoga which is to analyze the process of one's thinking and understand one's worldly desires in order to remove them.
4. Awakening of Kunduiini: Kundaiini is cosmic energy which is usually inactive at the bottom of your spine. The awakening of it means that the energy rises up through the s{}ine and reaches the top Chakra, the Sahas-rara.
5. Selfless service practice: one of practices to accumulate good deeds. Jn ad-dition, selfless service for a guru can strengthen the tie between a guru and a disciple.
6. Guru: a master who can lead a practitioner to the supreme stage of spiritual practices.
7. Lord Shiva: the purest True Self who is the Guru of all saviours.
8. Kundatini Yoga: a school of yoga which utilizes Kundaiini to experience higher worlds, etc.
9. Raja Yoga: a school of yoga which requires a strong will and enables one to see objects in higher worlds.
10. Karma: the. concept that any action and conduct cause some effects without fail. For example, your good deeds and bad deeds in the past rebound on you.
11. Pranayama: a kind of yoga technique to control one's life force.
12. Chakras: subtle centers which connect one with higher world

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