Arthur Osborne wrote in The Incredible Sai Baba that Baba used to say:
“I give people what they want in the hope that they will begin to want what I want to give them.”
There is a familiar Sanskrit stanza which says, “Tell me not about the sacred rivers or the idols of gods in famous temples; they may cleanse our minds and hearts after many visits in this or future births, but the look of a realized saint purifies at sight.”
I have also heard Bhagavan say: “… I have at this moment twenty different bodies working in twenty different lokas, so if one of them suffers am I to grieve? ….. ”. On a different occasion we put the same question to Bhagavan, asking how he could exist in a number of lokas at the same time and he said that one could have as many bodies as one wished if one had the necessary power of yoga, adding: “Have you not read that at the time of ras leela Sri Krishna assumed 16,000 bodies at the same time?”
Such statements by Bhagavan affirm the existence of a number of lokas or planes of existence of which he was aware but we are not.
……. a group of disciples ……. asked him whether Siva and the other Gods and their heavens really existed. “Do you exist?” he retorted. They replied that they did, and he said, “Then in the same way they do too.”
…… Major Chadwick …..asked Bhagavan once whether eating onions was not an impediment to spiritual progress, and Bhagavan agreed that it was.
“Ah, for shaving you use a mirror, don’t you? …….. you don’t save the image in the mirror. Similarly all the scriptures are meant only to show you the way to Realization. They are meant for practice and attainment. Mere book learning and discussions are comparable to a man shaving the image in the mirror.”
….. he told me later that doubting, self-distrust and self-depreciation are some of the greatest hindrances to the realization of Reality.
[Ramana Maharshi said] Food affects the mind. Certain kinds make it more sattvic – alive, vibrant. For the practice of any kind of yoga, vegetarianism is absolutely necessary. But on my asking if one could experience spiritual illumination whilst normally eating flesh foods, the answer was ‘yes’, qualified by the injunction to leave them off and gradually accustom the body to the purer types of food. “But in any case,” went on the Maharshi, “once you have attained Illumination, it will make little difference what you eat. It is the early stages that are important. On a great fire it is immaterial what fuel is heaped.”
“What are the hindrances to the realization of the true Self?”
“Memory chiefly, habits of thought, accumulated tendencies.”
“How does one get rid of these hindrances?”
“Seek for the Self through meditation in this manner: Trace every thought back to it's origin, which is only the mind. Never allow thought to run on. If you do, it will be unending. Take it back to it's starting place – the mind – again and again, and it and the mind will both die of inaction. The mind only exists by reason of thought. Stop that and there is no mind. As each doubt and depression arises, ask yourself, ‘Who is it that doubts? What is it that is depressed? Go back constantly to the question, “Who is the ‘I’? Where is it?” Tear everything away until there is nothing but the Source of all left. And then – live always in the present and only in it. There is no past or future, save in the mind’.”
The Maharshi did not heal, in the accepted term of the word. …….. I asked him if one could use spiritual power for healing. He remarked, “Yes, if you think it worthwhile,” but added that it required a great deal of force, which might be used more profitably in other directions.