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Change - and the World Changes for You
Address to abhyasis from Sri Lanka, 30 November 2010, Chennai, India
About thirty, forty years back one lady used to come, she was a sannyasin. She came to our house two, three times in a period of five years and she had an ashram there. Unfortunately, you know, I did not take her address at all. She wanted to offer it to us to be used as a Sahaj Marg ashram. I do not know, my father is no more so I cannot find out, unless I have written somewhere in my old diary; I will look for it. She was very anxious to give her ashram. But those days, you know, whether it was legally possible, all those problems were there, and frankly we thought it would be very difficult to . . .
Then we had this G.L. Saravanamuthu from FAO. He came from Jaffna. He is no more but his sons are there, his daughter is there in Canada. What I am saying is, ties with Sri Lanka, you see. He saw this naadi joshyam [a form of Hindu astrology] and there nobody knows who he is, only from a thumbprint, it said, “Your father’s name is Gunasingam, your name is Saravanamuthu, you are born in Inuvil (Inuvill il pirappu).” And he did not know where Inuvil was, and later on we found it is a place. And that was the second contact with Sri Lanka. But earlier contact when I was in Benaras, there was a bhikhu (Buddhist), Bhikhu Sangaratna. He was learning religion or Buddhism or something. I used to meet him every week and we were very great friends. I was about twenty and he was about twenty-five, and from him I learnt a few words of this ‘nama mokadha, ayubowan [What is your name? Greetings]’, all these things. That is where this contact starts, you see. Because when you look back historically, every good contact has meaning. It is like when you start climbing a mountain, you see nothing. You do not even see the road. You just follow the road. But when you are on the top, you see that coming there and, you know . . .
So you have to be very patient, with faith, and then you know how it all happened without your knowing. And it can happen only when you are progressing, when you keep going on the road; not saying, “Nahi, nahi [No, no], it is enough now. I have nowhere to go. Where will this road go? I don’t know. Will I have food there? I don’t know. Will I be able to sleep? I don’t know. Wild animals? I don’t know.”
So faith is the idea of confronting all these ‘I don’t knows’ with a positive approach, and we get there and we know what we will find. That is why I say let us wait prayerfully for what is going to happen. “Where the ashram will be, I don’t know, but there will be an ashram.” See, yesterday you heard Malaysians donating an ashram. And Babuji Maharaj had visited that home in 1977. And two houses away we had lunch in another sister’s home, identical home. And at that time Babuji said, “I hope someday we will have an ashram here.” Now ‘77 to ‘10 is thirty-three years. In the life of a human being it may appear a long time but in the life of an organization, of a spiritual movement, it is nothing.
When we read that Gautama the Buddha, he has been alive for three thousand years! I mean, not in the physical sense, but in the hearts. People go to Kandy to worship his tooth: The Temple of the Tooth. He is known all over the East. He is worshipped in most places. Thanks to one man — you know who it was? A Buddhist saint called Bodhidharma who spread [his message] singly throughout, from Tibet to all the Far East. So we don’t need armies to spread spirituality, but we need at least one dedicated person. You understand? Then the others come. It is like for sheep there is the big male with the bell, he is called a bellwether; all the others follow him. But the leader has to be there. He has to be brave. And the leader must lead, not come at the back and say, “You all go, I am coming behind you.” That means he must expose himself, he must create the road, he must be fearless.
So everything depends on you people. Which one of you is going to do this, even you don’t know. When I joined Shri Ram Chandra Mission, for me it was a joke. I have been interested in a spiritual life from, I am told, the age of six because even when I did not know English or anything, my grandfather told me I used to blabber about going to Almora. I did not know whether Almora is a place or a person or a thing. But somewhere it has been, and eventually Babuji found me. I did not know I was going to end up like this. If I had known, I would have run away — honestly.
So you see things happen without our intention when you let them happen; when we plan, very little works. I mean every human being has the same plan: to be healthy, to be long-lived, to marry a nice woman, to be successful in life, to be rich, more or less. And what does every woman want? A tall, handsome, black man who will treat her well, look after her children, be long-lived, and if possible let her die before he dies, after ninety years. Same thing, no?
So humanity on the material plane has only the same aims everywhere, whether you are Sri Lankan or American or Negro, it does not matter. But the spiritual aim is different. It is also the same for all of us, but we don’t understand because we divide ourselves into Buddhists, into Hindus, Muslims, Christians, what not. And we think each one has his own God when there can be only one God. If every religion says there is only one God, how can your God be different from my God? But religion has divided people. As Babuji said, “Religion divides; spirituality unites.” If I were to talk of Buddhism and Taoism and all these, you would not be here.
We talk of nobody. We talk of spirituality, we talk of the goal, we talk of divinisation; not of becoming Buddha, or Vishnu or Christ or anything. So, this we must preserve always, and remember what Babuji said, “Religion has no God; God has no religion.” To which religion does God belong? Everybody says ‘my religion’. Christianity says, “I am the light and the way and the Truth and none shall attain the Father but through me.” That ‘but through me’ is offensive. Perhaps in his time he was the only way, but today there are so many ways. And when you go through that, you may find Christ, you may find Allah, you may find Buddha, but you will find He is the same person — or the same presence, not the same person.
So we have to root out these deeply embedded prejudices. For instance, I believe recently there has been an Islamic edict that you can use the word Khuda but you cannot say Allah. Now, what is the difference? It is like somebody saying you can call Sundaram but not Murthy. So these prejudices about religion are mainly because we are afraid.
I used to go to a big church in Milan where I used to stay for two, three weeks at a time sometimes on my company’s work. When I was feeling lonely, upset, some problems, I used to go to sit in church and meditate. How is it different? And I got transmission there. The transmission does not say you must sit only in a temple. It does not tell the Christian, you must sit only in a church. Isn’t it? Wherever you sit grace comes to you, like sunlight comes. Suppose I go to Canada and want to warm myself because it is cold and sit in the sun, will it say, “No, no, go back to India. I will shine on you only there”? If a sun, mere planet, you know . . . whether powerful or not, is not our concern. The sun shines on us. The moon shines on us. The wind blows on us. The rains come to us. So, if these are only mere functionaries of nature and they all come to us — death comes to all of us. I don’t know whether death has a different name in different religions.
So we are the creators of our own separation and of the consequent problems of enmity, of war, of so many things, all deplorable, all unintended by shall we say, our Creator who said: Be one. We are all human beings. You cannot be a Sri Lankan without being a human being. Monkeys do not call themselves Sri Lankans; or cows or elephants. Why human beings should call them Sri Lankans, or Indians or Malays? In Malay they have this orangutan, which means ‘old man’ in Malay language, because it looks like an old man, wizened old fellow. Now whether the monkey is being insulted or the old man, I do not know! It depends on who is doing the thinking.
So first of all you have to decide with your heart that it is an accident of nature, probably part of my previous samskara which has taken me to Sri Lanka; nothing else. Sri Lanka is part of this world. Otherwise we become like a family with a large house. There was a movie long ago by Shantaram. Four rooms, four sons, four brides; it became four families. Each couple locked themselves up in their own room and were conspiring how to do this, how to do that. We all know these families, they exist everywhere. If a house can be divided by the members of the family, each one fighting for himself, of course, the world can be divided into millions more.
So if you want peace on earth and goodwill to all men, you have to create it here in yourself, first. You cannot say let Sundaramurthy be like this, let she be like this; no. I am a part of this world. I am a part of humans. In me, I have no dvesha [malice], no raga [desire]. For me all are one. In fact, animals are in me, angels are in me, God Himself is in my heart. Then how can I distinguish between one and the other?
So this is the small message I have to give you on this auspicious occasion of the first ever Annual General Body Meeting of Sri Lanka SRCM, and bless you all so that you may live by these principles of Master. You see, just meditating and doing cleaning, of course they will have some effect, but they will not take you to the top. As Babuji said, “Spirituality is the science of the ultimate charity, divine charity; anybody who comes, gets. We do not even send beggars away from our door without giving them something; that much anybody who comes here will get.” Babuji Maharaj said. Do not mistake. I am not saying; Babuji Maharaj said. But he said, “To become more, to become a son of the house, he has to love his father and the father must love him.” And he said, “If you knock on the door of the heart of the Master and he opens the door to see who is there, your job is done.” You understand?
So, you cannot expect love without loving. Now in the modern world, it is very commonly used, “Darling, love me.” What does it mean? It generally refers to sex. It is only said in bed. But sex is not love. Love may be sex, but sex by itself is not love. You find it in the bazaars of any city or town or village. It goes by the name of love. And without love, if it is done, they still call it love-making. How can you make love? You can love but you cannot make love. So don’t be shy that I am speaking in front of ladies because you are all grown up, you all know what I am speaking about. It is possible to have ultimate sex through all your lives without ever having loved even your husband. Ditto for the males, who can do it probably much more, without ever loving their wives. And when this sacred bond between a husband and wife is misused like this, what to speak of the public? What to speak of morality?
Without love, true morality is impossible. Because then, like many people of the West, you just say, “Honey, it is just another hunger.” You are thirsty. You are hungry for food. You are hungry for sex. When skin touches skin there is no sin, and when two are agreed on it, it is allowed. Consensual sex, it is called you know, and everybody finds out; that is why sex is growing in such an enormous proportion. Everybody finds out that sex without love produces no result. Therefore you go on looking for it again and again in repetitive, sinful acts, it takes you nowhere. It is mere indulgence without any satisfaction, any emotional value. And as Chakrapani said in his morning’s speech, you become more and more hateful to yourself, and because you cannot hate yourself and harm yourself, you lash out at society. You become a criminal, you become a terrorist. “If I cannot kill myself, let me kill a hundred of them.”
So you see, remember, when your forefinger points at somebody, three fingers are pointing at yourself. You cannot avoid it. The black box, Chakrapani said, is your conscience. And that is why we are unable . . . You know, I had an uncle (mama) , he wanted to start meditation. He resisted for a long time. My father one day persuaded him and he sat. He was six or seven years my senior. And I was about twenty-eight when this happened, he was thirty-five. He sat in front of my father, and my father began, “Please begin,” and in five minutes this fellow jumped on my father’s lap, and said, “Athimber, I cannot do any more.” (Athimber means sister’s husband.) So my father said, “What happened?” He said, “I thought I was falling in a well, bottomless well, going on and on into the dark.”
That is the problem, you know. When you cross a certain barrier, you cannot look at yourself. You cannot look at the mirror and see yourself. You are afraid of what you will see. As I was telling the other group yesterday evening, there is a beautiful book called The Picture of Dorian Gray, where Dorian Gray is a very nice handsome man, young, and he is corrupted by an elder fellow who is a cynic. And he goes from corruption to corruption to corruption; strangely his picture changes, reflecting his corruption. He remains youthful, young, even though he becomes forty-five, fifty, whatever, you see. And then he has to hide the picture and see it occasionally to see how it has become. And once he commits a murder and there is blood in the hand of the picture — Dorian Gray. He hates it, and he stabs it and he falls dead. Then the picture changes into what it was originally and he becomes what the picture was, all reflecting all the corruption, the criminality.
So, that is a great story, how in the secret of your own heart, your picture of yourself is changing, changing, changing, and many such people one day commit suicide. In this book by Oscar Wilde, of course, he stabs the picture, which is the same thing, you see. You know, when you are angry, you smash everything around you. If a woman does not like what she sees in the mirror, suppose she smashes the mirror, it does not change her face. So remember, until you change this [heart], you will not see any change outside here. The mirror will not show change, people will not show change. If you want to see change outside, you start changing here; it changes for you. That is why even the world will change for you, when you are changed in your heart.
So I will stop there for today.