THE GIVE-AND-TAKE OF IMPRESSIONS
The feet are potent for receiving the bad sanskaras of other people, while the forehead is potent for giving them. Hence devotees lay their foreheads on the feet (especially the toes which are most potent) of the Sadguru and he takes up consciously some of their sanskaras. But the same process will happen with you if you allow others to touch your feet. Hence never permit it, but if it has occurred, immediately put your own forehead on the feet of this other person and he will have to take some of your bad sanskaras in exchange
Influence of motive in catching impressions
The give-and-take of Sanskaras or impressions is constantly going on in the play of life. Where there is mutuality, there is this give-and-take, but it is not a mechanical process. The same action can create different impressions, according to the motive, which inspires that action. A man, who out of the motive of doing good to another person, gives him food or clothes, at once catches his good impressions. The man who slanders another person with an evil motive or steals his things, at once catches his evil impressions. Killing an animal for sport or pleasure or food means catching all its bad impressions since the motive is selfish. But no such bad impressions are caught from snakes and germs and the like which are a danger to humanity, when they are killed out of philanthropic motives and only when absolutely necessary. Such killing, where it is not a duty, will certainly create binding impressions.
Exchange of impressions
Conversations, cinema, books, radio, meetings, travels, crowds and so on are various mediums through which there is give-and-take of diverse types of impressions on a stupendous scale. In short, the cycle of impressions is interminable except when the aspirant slowly and patiently takes to the uphill emancipatory spiritual path under the guidance of a Truth-realized Master and with his blessing.
Latency of impressions in sleep
The impressions in the ego-minds of all whether gross, subtle or mental are largely similar. But their colours are different and of innumerable variety according to the spiritual position of different individuals. Consciousness gets committed to some illusion or another owing to these mental impressions, which are ever active, in spite of the daily respite of dream and sleep. The gross consciousness of the physical body gets dissolved in the dream-State of the subtle body; and the dream-state, in its turn, gets dissolved in the Sleep- state of the mental body. Butthis daily dissolution of illusion is temporary. After some time, the impressions again begin to prick and clamour; “Spend us! Spend us!" Thus, unconsciousness is again brought back to its gross illusion.
If the whole world were to go to sleep, it would be the great dissolution of the entire world. All the individuals would recede into their mental bodies and be absorbed in utter oblivion for some time until they re-enter the panorama of the three-fold world in a new cycle of existence. The impressions of the unrealized individuals remain exactly the same even during this universal dissolution, which takes place by the Divine Will. And in the new cycle they take up their evolution where they had left it. Universal dissolution is not without some purpose. The usual theories of evolution, advanced by scientists are based only on intellectual data. They never do justice to God's hand in the game.
When the world is put to sleep in respect to all its current ideas, theories, beliefs, ideals and models of individual and collective life, it is easier for the world to change its direction of search and fulfillment in the next cycle of creation. It has to start where it left off, but it can have reorientation in a new direction from the place where things had previously stopped. This means that in the new cycle of existence, the ideas, theories, beliefs, ideals and modes of individual and collective life begin to develop entirely on new lines according to what has been planned by the Truth-realized Masters. The old modes disappear yielding place to those new ones. The Masters plan not only for humanity in general, but also for the New-Circle-To-Be, for which the seeds are sown hundreds of years before the time when they actually manifest themselves.
Process of physical incarnation
The physical body is nothing but the gross form of impressions. The mental impression in the mind of the male parent first takes a subtle form, which then is released in the gross form of mating. The mass of sanskaras or impressions thus released ultimately reaches the mind of the female parent ; and it is from the mind of the female parent that the process of physical incarnation starts. The soul, which is awaiting reincarnation in the gross body, can descend only if, during the process of sanskaric or impressional exchange between the male and the female, their minds have come as near to stopping as possible. The physical body is produced by the working of many impressions and is the result of their very embodiment. It is, therefore, no wonder that it has a tendency to bind the soul which inhabits it. Love for the physical body is only a form of deep ignorance. The swine take delight in the refuse-so do the ignorant ones take delight in the body.
Use of the body
From the spiritual point of view, there is nothing more pitiable than slavish submission to the desires and demands of the physical body. Because of its incessant claims to the attention of the mind, the physical body often becomes a hindrance to real life; it is something like a cage to the soul. But the soul cannot find its real freedom by putting an end to the physical body. The physical body itself has to be intelligently used and made to subserve spiritual ends. What is the use of a body which resists the dictates of the mind? It is no use clinging to the comforts of the body which one day must be given up. It is only an instrument; and one should take maximum work from it.
Contagion of impressions
Impressions are contagious. Eating meat is prohibited in many spiritual disciplines because therein the person catches the impressions of the animal, thus rendering himself more susceptible to lust and anger. Sometimes, innumerable strong impressions are transmitted through the mere touch of the physical body of another person. A gross body, even a corpse, can quickly impart numberless impressions to the person who touches it.
Impressions—binding and emancipatory
Sex-contact outside wedlock is the worst form of exposure to heavy and binding impressions of lust. In wedlock, the impressions exchanged are much lighter and less binding. But just as bad and binding impressions can be caught from others, good and emancipatory impressions can also be caught from others. Food or eatables, prepared or given by others, bring their sanskaras with them. The 'Prasad' (some sweet or fruit or drink), given as a vehicle of grace distributed by saints and Masters, gives to the recipient spiritual and emancipatory impressions. The custom of touching the feet of the Master with the head is based upon the fact that the spiritual and emancipatory impressions from the Master thereby go to the very mind-heart of the recipient in a fraction of a second.
Dynamic impression of faith and love
The Truth-Realized Master transmits dynamic impressions of faith and love for God through appropriate spiritual experience. Faith of any kind is, in a way, ultimately based upon intellect. There can be no faith without some form of intellectual conviction, which again is founded in experience. Many people say that they believe in God or that they have faith in Him; but though they say this out of conventional fear of God, what they say is far from being true. If they really believe in God, their actions would be different from what they are. They fear God as something unknown, a power which they have been taught to respect and obey through tradition and mythology. They fear Him as one who is supposed to give due rewards to the virtuous and punishments to the wicked. But neither their fear nor their beliefs are deep-rooted or sincere.
Expulsion of fear
If their belief in God were sincere, they would forthwith start in right earnest to find out what God is. They would want to have God and realize Him, and all their actions would be entirely different,
And, if they were really to take God seriously and want to know what He is, their very first glimpse of divinity would disarm them of all their unjustified fear. It would reveal to them that God is Love and that His plan for all including themselves, is to raise them to the highest pinnacle of perfection and bliss, of which the earthly pleasures and even the happiness and joys of the subtle and mental worlds are but faint and poor shadows.
The very first descent of divinity into the heart awakens love for God. And when love for God comes, fear for God disappears. Love for God removes all fear and prepares the aspirant to be lost in Him. The intensity of the love of the aspirants unites them with God. They thus eventually get the supreme 'I-Am-God-State'. Those, who persist till the end, get there. Those who get there are however, very few, though many, without getting there feel tempted to claim that they are God. To be an honest atheist is no fraud. But to claim that one is God before attaining real unity with Him, is definitely a
There are two who do not have any use for religion: the materialist and the one who is Self-realized. There are two who are indifferent to money: the brute and the one who is Self-realized: There are two who are free from lust: the child and the one who has attained Truth. Though the Truth-realized person is, in the above respects, like the materialist, the brute and the child, he stands completely apart from all these, he has attained unity with the infinite existence of God, while the others have not.
Incommunicability of the vast consciousness
The Master at will enjoys the Madhur Bhava, i.e., the sweet mood of Love, where duality is illumined by the realization of the immensity of the One in the duality, or the Maha Bhava or the vast consciousness of unlimited oneness, which has no room at all for any apprehension of manyness. Maha Bhava or the vast consciousness of unlimited oneness is much rarer than Madhur Bhava. But the Master can enjoy it even when He is engaged in acts like eating, talking and so on. Madhur Bhava can be communicated by imparting suitable spiritual impressions to the disciple. But Maha Bhava which is essentially beyond all impressions, is incommunicable. In the ripeness of time, it dawns from within.
"I veil Myself from man by his own curtain of ignorance, and manifest My Glory to a few. My present Avataric Form is the last Incarnation of this cycle of time, hence My Manifestation will be the greatest. When I break My Silence, the impact of My Love will be universal and all life in creation will know, feel and receive of it."
-- Avatar Meher Baba