The Mother Divine
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The 22nd verse in the ninth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita says:

Ananyas chintayanto mam
ye janah paryupasate
teshaam nityabhiyuktanam
yoga-kshemam vahaamy aham

There are those who always think of Me and engage in exclusive devotion to Me. To them, whose minds are always absorbed in Me, I provide what they lack and preserve what they already possess.
This is among the most celebrated verses of the Gita, especially so because it promises things, it assures, it offers a boon of making good our lacking and providing us with security.
But before we are gladdened at what is being offered, we must understand what is expected of us in return –ananyas chintayanto mam. We are expected to think of God, remember God, single-mindedly, exclusively. This is where the challenge lies. How to remember God all the time when we can’t even stay with the thought of the Divine even for ten minutes? Well, this seems to be a real problem and unless we find a way, a proper tool, we may never succeed in this enterprise.
What is preventing the thought of God?
Why are we unable to stay in Ishvara-consciousness?
When we analyse this, we find that there are two problems. First, we cannot take our thoughts away from our own selves. And second, we cannot take our thoughts away from  objects, things, people, and even thoughts that we are bound to, continuously.
Vijnana Bhairava Tantra has provided an answer.
When you have breathed in or out completely, when the breath movement stops on its own, in this universal lull, the thought of “me” disappears.
This is one of the most powerful techniques in Vijnana Bhairava Tantra. It’s a fundamental technique, a gift of Kashmir Shaivism. I call this the “pause meditation” or “gap meditation.”

We find ourselves constantly committed to things. We are never free to commit ourselves to the thought of God. We try to commit to God on top of pre-existent commitments, we try to put the thought of God over the thought that is already there, we try to create a God-feeling on top of some mortal feeling. This doesn’t work. Things don’t seem to over-write. We all know God-thinking is not sticking to us. Looks like God thought can only be written on a clean slate! But we never have our slates clean. Problem? Well, the tantra is telling us it’s not a problem. In fact, we don’t have to renounce the pre-existent web of thoughts, feelings and other vibrations to inculcate God-consciousness. There is a hole in every stream of our life which we must penetrate.

The tantra tells us to first free ourselves, just for a moment. We are asked to pause just for a moment. If we can be aware of the pause that lies between every cycle of inhalation and exhalation, we can touch something fundamental. There are two main types of kumbhaka: antar kumbhaka, which is the cessation of breath when the inhalation is complete and the lungs are filled up; and bahya kumbhaka, which is the cessation of breath when the exhalation is complete. This cessation point is remarkable. It is a splendid pause.

We can observe that what seems like a continuous motion, is not entirely continuous. There are gaps between words, thoughts and actions just as there is a gap between breaths. That is a place of stillness, the real ground of existence, the well that leads to the God-stream. If we just stop between things, at the place where there is an end of one cycle and the beginning of another, be it a cycle of breath, thought or action – we can dip into the God-stream beneath which is the actual subterranean thing that binds the entire universe.

God is essentially a still principle. He manifests as motion. We are still too, but constantly manifesting as movement. The moment we stop at the natural stop that lies within the world of motion, we can connect with God and we can carry that God-principle into our movements. That’s how we can build continuous remembrance of God in our lives.
Sometime back I saw a video by the spiritual writer, Eckhart Tolle. He  wrote that he had not seen a soccer game in 20 years, but had heard that research had shown that when shooting penalty kicks, under the eyes of a whole nation, players who would shoot immediately after the referee had blown the whistle, were less successful than those who would pause for a moment, collect their thoughts, and then shoot without hesitation. “What happens in that moment of waiting is the player goes within,” Tolle writes, “it’s a rudimentary expression of the creative process. It’s deep, intensely alive stillness.”
This is exactly what Vijnana Bhairava Tantra is telling us. To pause to reflect every now and then. This is an extremely important thing. In fact, the wise man who told us to “think before we leap”, did not actually mean that we should think, he just meant that we should stop for a moment. In that stop he perhaps envisaged what Tolle did: the intensely alive stillness.
A sadhaka who was trying ananyas chintayanto mam wrote to The Mother, “I kept a small photograph of my Guru just at the bottom of my display in office and tried surrendering my actions to him. However, my observation is that once I get engrossed with new subject that’s starting I forget Guru and God... consistency is not maintained. What can be done not to forget Him in every new activity?”

The present discussion is indeed an answer to this query. Not being able to remember God is linked to the basic matrix of our usual existence. There is a natural tendency in our lives for one action to blend into another, without a pause. Therefore, the day does not seem like many actions, but one rounded whole. Unless the pause is both afforded and cultivated, remembrance is not possible.

No pause, no remembrance! Awareness of the beginning of actions and their end, and then that of pause is to be cultivated. The pause and the gap mentioned in the tantra which lies between two breaths is very instructive. Our true opening is not in actions, but in the stillness between actions. That’s our God-remembrance moment!

All movement seems real because we perceive vibrational reality more readily than stillness. We are unable to free ourselves of the rut because we are identified with the dynamism, the movement, the flux of life. We are not identified with pause, rest and stillness.

In the empty space which separates two instants of awareness, radiant spatiality is revealed.

If we can change our life pattern, from action-action-action or thought-thought-thought to action-pause-action-pause-action or thought-pause-thought-pause-thought, then we could start becoming aware of the “pause” or “intermittent blank”, and we can fill it with God/Guru. From there we may be able to carry that God-consciousness into everything that’s moving.

Raj Supe (Kinkar Vishwashreyananda)