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Service — the Easiest Way to His Heart
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26th July, 2010, Lucknow, India
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Everything comes to an end. Everything that begins must end. We feel sad when good things come to an end, but if they did not, bad things also would not end. And as Babuji Maharaj used to say, only one thing has no end — the spiritual life, because the soul being an amsha or a spark of the Divine is also immortal and everlasting. It partakes also of existence, which means no beginning, no end (anaadi anantam). We are embarked on that journey; I mean we have been, without any conscious participation, ever since the beginning of time, creation, and we shall continue this now consciously, which is all the difference.
It is said that below the human level everything evolves automatically, naturally, level to level, like water rising in a tank when new water flows in. At our level we have to do it consciously. Above our level, again you know it is automatic, natural, infinite.
I spoke to you yesterday something about this Sahaj Marg way of life, because when something is part of us, it cannot be called something separate. And to treat it separately is to make the mistake of abandoning it, of shortening it, forgetting it, not following the discipline, et cetera, et cetera. But when you know that, that is the real life, that which is alive, that which is eternal is what is inside me, and the body is what is temporal — it begins, it ends, it suffers, it enjoys, it is healthy, it falls sick, it is young, it grows old. So all these dualities apply only to the body. But as Babuji Maharaj said, in the evolutionary progress a time comes when a human life becomes necessary so that a human being can choose to follow the spiritual way.
As Babuji Maharaj used to say, sometimes smilingly, sometimes with some sorrow, God gave the human being will (will power) and intelligence: one to choose rightly, the will power to enable us to do it. Here comes the problem of the human existence, that while we all know what is right, we don't always choose what is right. Even some simple things like food, drinks, to the very highest things. Should I meditate or go to the movies? Should I listen to my guru or to my family? You know, you all know what I am talking about.
Now it is said that love is the shortest and easiest way to Him. Babuji Maharaj said mamta (the love of a mother) is the purest in human life. It is unthinking, un-judgemental, undemanding, and ever-present. A mother doesn't think of, "Should I love my child?" or, "Should I love him when he's grown up?" Even old men of ninety, if they are still fortunate to have their mother alive, go to the mother for solace, comfort, some words of strength. It's well known. Those who have experienced it are lucky. So Babuji used to praise mother-love so much that he said, "Accept your guru as your mother," because if you give him any other form there is always this latent fear of communication, of being treated well or unwell, of even punishment. So, to develop that sort of love is not easy, is not natural. Because Babuji also said love is only for God, and amongst ourselves here is only affection, friendship, mutual dependence, all these things.
Now then, how to progress through love? If I may use myself as an example, if you permit it, I would say it is impossible. I have found it, you know somehow in my life it has evolved, that I have been able to see that through service it is much simpler to reach Him than through love. Love is subject to deviation, diversion, change, so many things; whereas through service… as Babuji Maharaj said, even a maidservant when she is at home, by serving the family she will love the family. And after twenty years, thirty years, she seems to exert an authority and a power over the family which one often wonders how it has been given to her.
I have seen in Babuji's house, there used to be a young woman when I joined the Mission. Babuji later told me she came into their home at the age of six and died probably when she was seventy-four — all the time in this house. She used to be able to fight with Babuji Maharaj. People before him, others, would quail; she would fight. And Babuji said, "You see, this is the privilege that one has when one serves." She could say, "What are you doing? Why are you not looking after your children? Satsangh, satsangh, satsangh all the time," or some things like that, you see.
So the love that comes through service is much easier than trying to love the Master. For one, he is a man, you know, and a man is not easily loveable. Don't trust what women say. No man is loveable because of their ego, their flaunting of their power, their possessiveness, their arrogance, pride, all these things.
Now, if you have to do through service — and all of us cannot be mothers — I would suggest that abhyasis consider how best to get There by serving. As I said yesterday, we are not given high levels of spiritual existence and evolution for our sake. As Babuji said, "Why do you think somebody should give you all this for your sake? If you want it for your sake you will get what you deserve." Like, you know, money; you may earn twenty-five lakhs a year, it is still beggary. All these high-ranking fellows who draw crores of rupees, lakhs of rupees, they are still beggars, because when you hold out your hand and receive money for your service, you are a beggar per se. I am sorry if I hurt some egos, but that is the fact of the matter. And that is why even high paid people still look for higher paid jobs, more promotion, more powerful situations, forgetting that this is also begging.
We don't want to beg like that saint who went to Akbar. You know, when Akbar was praying they refused him attendance. They had refused him entrance into the palace. They said Shahenshah is doing puja. He said, "I am also a sannyasi, let me go and sit with him." He wanted to ask for some help in building an ashram. But he heard Shahenshah Akbar praying for more power, more victories, more territorial gain, and he got up and walked away. Akbar said, "Wait, wait, I am just finishing." He said, "Majesty, I came to you to ask for something but you are yourself a beggar. Let me beg from Him from whom you are begging." A very powerful story, not to be laughed at.
So when we serve without anticipating, without expecting anything in return, that is pure service. If you are a prefect and you expect some promotion and some elevation in spiritual life, then we are converting the spiritual field also into the field of begging. Babuji was bold enough to say, "Prayer itself is begging." Here we don't beg. We serve, faithfully, hoping to develop love. That's why Babuji Maharaj often emphasized, "Remember, you are not serving them , you are serving Him." Then service becomes something very acceptable, very pleasant, very enjoyable, and in time it becomes our life - our life becomes a life of service, progress. What progress? As the gopis said, "He is what is important, not we."
So please try to develop this attitude of selfless service. The word ‘selfless' is very important. No expectation of anything, not even courtesy, not even politeness. I remember once one prefect from south India went all the way to Shahjahanpur with a small group of fourteen, fifteen people, and on the way he had been boasting that when I enter the house, Babuji will come and hug me and ask after my welfare because I am doing good work, et cetera, et cetera. Two days, two and a half days of boasting. They reached Shahjahanpur; they sat in front of Master. For two days Master did not look at that man and on the third day he said, "Where are you from and what's your name?" You can imagine how that person's ego could have collapsed.
We are not here to be recognized, praised, rewarded. We are here to be accepted by him and taken by him with him wherever he goes. That is the taatparya [significance] of the dwaarapaalaas in heaven; when the Lord descended they wanted to accompany Him. They were doorkeepers. They said, "My Lord, what about us?" He said, "Dwaarapaalaas, you know, you are the doorkeepers." They said, "Lord, how can we be away from you for so long?" He said, "All right, you can come with me but remember, if you are my bhaktas [devotees] you will have to be for ten lives outside. If you are my enemies you can do it in three lives." And they said, "So be it, we will be your enemies for three lives." And that is how the story of Ravana and Kumbhakarna, Kamsa and Shishupala, they all came, they came as enemies.
And once I had some trouble with this idea and I asked Babuji Maharaj, "How is it possible?" He said, "Because when you are an enemy you are constantly thinking of your enemy. In love you don't constantly think of the person you love, you only think of yourself." My love, my suffering, et cetera. So I said, "Babuji, then it's better to be your enemy rather than your servant." He laughed and said, "Parthasarathi, only if you can have that hatred which they had." It becomes constant remembrance. So you see, service — constant remembrance. We are also not capable of constant remembrance. As one boy told Babuji in the U.S., he said, "Master, I practice constant remembrance frequently."
So, not to make this too long (because I know all of you have flights to catch, trains to catch), please think over this: that service is the easiest way to his heart. I have seen even in our households where there are five children and one tiny girl is helping the mother always, giving her a spoon, bringing her the salt, even from the age of four or five she is helping the mother — not with the consciousness that "I am helping." The mother doesn't need it. Similarly, the Master does not need our service. But if it is a natural thing that like a child helping its mother because of, what shall I say, being one with the mother, eventually it does become one with the mother.
So let us not think of very high-flown possibilities of loving the Master, claiming that we love the Master, et cetera, et cetera. Let us serve. As I said yesterday, Nature needs; and as I have said in that Sanskrit phrase from the Vedas, God works through the human being. If you are prepared for that, your evolution to the highest is possible here and now.