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Allow Your Light to Show
14 March 2011, Hyderabad, India
Dear brothers and sisters,
It is always a joy for me to come to Hyderabad. I find here a lot of enthusiasm, devotion and growth in numbers. But all of you should also think whether this is matched by inner growth in your heart, each one of you. It is nice to see more ashrams coming up, larger groups of abhyasis. You have this place, you have the old Domalguda ashram, and now in Kaanha there is a huge development in the offing. All that is very good to see, but in the spiritual life, what we see is not enough.
In one way growth in numbers is good, if it is matched by change in behaviour, in attitude, in the softening of the character, in the softening in ways of speech, mutual relationships, which can indicate that love is pervasive, love is now ruling in our hearts, and therefore conditioning our every expression in our life. But if there is inner change (which of course we do not earn), which is given to us, and if our external behaviour patterns do not reflect any change in our character, then we are like people who have a lot of gold given to us buried deep in the farms or in our ground, and yet we die paupers. That would be a very sad state of affairs: to be wealthy and die a pauper, because as Babuji Maharaj said again and again, “Inner change must reflect in outer change.”
He gives us the inner change. It is his blessing, it is his gift. It is a sign of his love for us, which like any good parent we give to our children. No parents decide about what their children deserve. They go on giving, hoping that someday the child will become deserving of what he has already received. If that is an expression of human parenthood and parental love, how much more it should be that of the guru, the Divine. Do we ever think about this? Do we ever appreciate this? Do we ever realise what we are inside and what we are outside and, in general, the enormous difference between the two?
It is not enough to look in the mirror and see the face and the form. That is only showing the outer. I am not very happy to say this, but it would appear that we keep the light of spirituality hidden in our hearts without even knowing what we are hiding, and we are not willing to give it expression in our outer life. I have requested so often, in this assembly here, right here in this Thumukunta, that inner change must produce outer change. How many are responding? I don’t know – few. If there is a response, it is probably (I don’t know) five in ten lakhs of people. That is the percentage. Very, very, very minute, you know.
Should we not regret that we are hearing this so often and yet we are not responding in any sensible way, in any perceptible way? We come in, we meditate and we go out as we came in, unfortunately not even conscious, not even aware of what we have received during this hour or two here. It is very sad. When there is no change, we are what we are. Every time we come in and go out, it is the same. In the Bible there is the example of a bucket which goes again and again into the well and comes out empty, which means the bucket has a hole in it; nothing comes out [from the well]. It is not only for the day or for one single satsangh; over the years we have seen this.
More and more people come, more and more join us. You see this immense hall here – the largest hall in the Mission so far in this world. It is a little more than twice the size of the hall in Manapakkam. By this, it would appear that we have evidence of growth; we have evidence of Sahaj Marg in action. This is not Sahaj Marg in action. This is money in action – your money. You have given donations which make all these things possible. What the Mission spends is what the Mission receives from loving abhyasis who contribute their hard-earned money. Even they, are they happy with what they see? Are the donors, small or big, are they happy that their money is producing some result? If you are putting money into the Mission and treating it as an investment, what is the return – merely an ashram? Or the people in it? You know, we can have paper bags containing fruit, seeds, fertilizer, anything. What is it that this ashram is now giving to you all? Is it a fair return on your investment? You, as abhyasis, you come here, spending money to come from wherever you have come, investing your health, your time. Have you ever thought of what you are taking back? What is the investment you have made in terms of money and time and effort, and what is the return that you have got? Have you ever thought over this?
I know people of Andhra Pradesh. I call this the bangaaru [golden] state. It is a very rich state. But it is like the bangaaru vaakili [golden entrance] in the temple of Lord Venkateswara – opening, closing; opening, closing; opening, closing. We are proud of the bangaaru vaakili. We use more gold to adorn the temple itself, on the gopuram [temple tower]. But what is the use of all that? If you see the newspaper the last two days, the enormous earthquake off the northeast coast of Japan, the damage, fortunately by God’s grace, not very big, but yet devastation was there. We think of the world, the earth as Bhoomadevi, the Mother, and it is as if she is unhappy. “What is this I am carrying? Bigger and bigger loads – population, more and more structures – the weight. And what for?”
So I would request each one of you to think why you come here. What for? And the money that you give, is it well spent not merely here but here [in the heart]? When you feed a child, you expect the child to grow. When you educate the child, you expect the child to become more and more knowledgeable, more and more master of the facts that it learns, more and more achieving, not only the intellect but wisdom. Education without wisdom is only a degree hanging on the wall, a bit of paper. Wisdom without education is much better than education without wisdom. Isn’t it? Do we have at least the intelligence to know why we have come, and what we are taking back when we go away? Or are we like the pandits [priests] who go to temples and take the pongal, or whatever is given as prasad, fill their belly and are happy?
You know there is a tradition that temple pujaris [priests] will be reborn as dogs because they do so many wrong things within the temple: they cheat, they lie, they steal. Are we doing the same thing here? Trying to cheat God, which is not bad at all, but yourselves, which is worse. If I am cheating myself, I am the worst enemy of myself. Nobody can do anything to me worse than what I am doing to myself. I am harming myself. If I kill myself physically, that is what is called suicide (atmahatya). We are putting so much in the newspapers about farmers committing suicide – so much news. I wonder whether in the brighter world there is a newspaper reflecting our activity on earth. Because, if you come here and don’t evolve – your spirituality does not grow, your character does not change, your behaviour remains as it was or sometimes even worse – it is spiritual suicide.
Is there a spiritual newspaper up there where all this is shown? Increasing spiritual suicides and asking Babuji or Lalaji Maharaj there seated, “What is going on in earth? What is your Mission doing?” Do we understand the responsibility that we owe to our prefects, to our families, to our gurus, when they spend so much time on us? Pranahuti is the life force itself being given to you from the heart of the guru to the heart of the disciple – pranasya prana. When the mother gives her life for the baby, we appreciate it so much – maatru prem, maatru devo bhava [mother’s love, consider your mother as God]. If a mere mother is capable or deserves to be worshipped, how much more these people who have brought us up, who are serving us, who are loving us, who are compassionate, who are merciful, and who are willing to go on working without limit, hoping that somewhere, sometime, there will be an uprising – not political, not violence, but spiritual. They have no hopes or expectations, but they have an investment in us, the return for which is given to us back – you grow, you continue to grow with what you have got.
This is like a company which gives you shares. The shares are yours, the returns are yours. It keeps nothing for itself. That is because there is infinity there but very much limitation here. “Purnam adah purnam idam purnaat purnam udachyate,” that is what the old Veda says. It was always full. Take away fullness from fullness, yet fullness remains. That is a definition of the Infinity. And only love can be infinite. It gives, goes on giving, giving, giving. Hatred you cannot give forever. You destroy the enemy, you destroy yourself – hatred is over. Love goes on giving infinitely, patiently forever, timelessly. Do we appreciate it?
So you see there is no need for introspection, nor time for introspection – they don’t count. Are you aware of what you are here, so that you change to be what this [the heart] is? If you get an increment in your office, you buy new shirts, you buy saris for your wife, you go to a bigger house. These are manifestations of the improvement in your material life. Car where you had a motorcycle, motorcycle where you had a bicycle, bicycle where you used to walk, and everybody can see that you have improved. “He has taken a motorcycle, sir.” “Avunu, avunu, [Yes, yes], you see he has got an increment, a promotion.”
What happened to this promotion going on here every day, every sitting? Should you not be able to show it? Somebody should say, “Look, he seems to have spiritually evolved. He shines with love.” It is not a question of politeness or losing one’s roughness of speech – derogatory, demeaning everybody, denigrating everything. It is a question of light shining and removing darkness. Don’t you want to be like that, at least some of you? Hopefully, all of you. Is it enough to call Andhra, Vishaal Andhra [Magnificent Andhra] and all this rubbish? Should not Andhra be shown by the people as their spiritual life and when you look at the map at night, should Andhra not grow and glow?
You have a big responsibility, brothers and sisters, to yourselves, to your families, to your nation, to your guru, but most importantly to yourselves – because it is like having a lamp which does not burn. You know sometimes when it is raining, when it is stormy weather, when it is very dark, and you light the lamp and there is no kerosene in it. Here it is the reverse. There is kerosene in it, there is electricity, but we don’t know it. We say there is no lamp, andhakaaram [darkness].
So I only hope that you will all look into the mirror of yourself, which is what we are supposed to do when we close our eyes and meditate. We can never know ourselves; that is a fact. But others can know what we are. Like you know the famous statement in philosophy that this eye can see the whole universe but it cannot see itself. We are also in a similar darkness. I know everybody but I don’t know myself. But if you are having that light of love within you, if it is growing, people must say, “Choodandi – look at that man. There goes a man who is out of this world. Truly speaking, he does not belong here.”
It is like a light put into the darkness where it belongs. What will light do with light? Therefore these gurus come to us, teach us, spend time with us, love us, anguish over us, so that somewhere the light will begin. You can light a million candles from one candle; that is very easy, like the divyasparsha [the divine touch]. But here, the divyasparsha is there but we are not removing the covering that is hiding that light inside. In the Bible it is said, you do not hide your lamp under a bushel (the vessel in which they measure grain). If you light a lamp and cover it with a vessel, what is the use? This vessel, this kaaya of ours, is the problem. Not in a physical sense, but in the sense that we don’t want to allow the lightness that is inside, the light that is inside, to shine through this.
I pray that you will all give serious thought not merely to becoming, but to allow what you have become to show, to light the way for others. My prayers are with you. Thank you.