315. Satsang with Ma.

Q-What do you mean when you say, 'Ashram is a condition in which there is absence of strain or toil?'
Ma-Where restlessness, desire and trouble are, there is strain and toil. If the Ashram is lived in keeping with its innate rules, there will be none of these. The strenuous striving towards Self-realization is not felt as strain, it is tapasya. Strain implies the awareness of discomfort. Even if by tapasya the body is subjected to discomfort, mind and heart are full of enthusiasm and joy. To realize God means to realize one's Self. How can there be strain while engaging in the essential thing for oneself? The sadhana that is prescribed so that the Atma may be revealed will not be felt as strain or toil. To do tapasya is your self-expression; in order that this may become evident, the tapasya must be free from strain, must be easy and natural. If I work at the bidding of another, it may seem a drudgery to me, but if I do my own work, prompted by my own desire, how can this be wearisome? Self-realization, in other words, God-realization is one's own work, the endeavour to find one's Self is one's own natural endeavour. The states of a tapasvi, sadhaka or yogi are states of the effortless play of the Self.
Q-Can the action of the Sushumna be compared to pumping air into a tube?
Ma-You are referring to our talk about the tube the other day. According to the line along which a person practices sadhana will be his realization; by attending to the work of one's true nature one attains to eternal union. The man who becomes united with Him is styled a yogi. To prepare oneself for that Sublime Touch is the purpose of sadhana. By practicing or listening to the name of Hari or doing japa, the rhythm of one's breath is regulated, pranayama comes about spontaneously, there is repose, natural ease, no difficulty, no illness. The rhythm by which mundane work is achieved causes disease, sickness, worry; it does not bring about rest, ease and equilibrium. If you remain steeped in the current of worldly activity there will be physical creation, worldly knowledge and worldly interest. This is the current of constant wanting, not the current that leads to God-realization.