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Attach Yourself to the Heart
International Scholarship Training Program, 11 February 2012, Chennai, India
Dear sisters and brothers,
I will not say I am happy to see you here because it is time that we were all together. And it is something of a modern problem that we cannot be often together, and opportunities are denied economically, politically and [in] so many other ways for love to manifest in the right way. The vulgar manifestation of love of course is rampant. Once upon a time, it was only in animals and birds that we could see public displays of what we call love but which animals don’t understand as love. For animals, it is the instinct to propagate the species – nothing to do with love, lovemaking, and all that sort of nonsense. Unfortunately, in human beings it has become so vulgarised that sometimes it is difficult to speak about it in a mixed audience – by mixed, I mean not only men and women but so many cultures, so many traditions, so many religions, some of whom may take, shall we say, objection to what I say and most of whom may take objection because it is happening in their lives or in their cultures. But what is vulgar is vulgar, whether it is Spanish or Yugoslav or China or India.
Now, we are here – twenty-seven countries as brother Alberto said, and I am sure that there are six or seven languages out of these twenty-seven countries; yet we are all together in a crazy country called India. Why are we here? How are we here, we know; we have come by air, some may have walked sometimes, maybe bus travel, train travel. So the ‘how’ is not important; the ‘why’ is important. Why are we here together? What has brought us together? Surely it is not our religion, not our culture, not our language, not the colour of our skins, because these are the four things which divide human beings throughout the world: colour of the skin, the language, the culture, the religion. Which is the most important divisive force? Culture – not so much; colour of the skin, I don’t believe is so important – maybe under certain conditions; language, to a very little extent. In my mind, it is religion that divides people more than any other single force.
Now, “In religion,” my master used to say, “there is no God; for God there is no religion.” All religions claim that God is in their religion. And yet, if that is true and if God is the god of the Catholics, the Protestants, the Jews, the Chinese, the Indian, the Buddhist (of course, they don’t have a god), if he is the God who speaks to them, should we not all say our God is the same, worshipped differently in different countries? Then why do we fight about my god and your god? The wars of the Saracens, the Crusades, people killing each other over fifty, sixty years, millions of them from the westernmost part of Portugal to the Middle East. You remember those wars? [They were] supposed to be religious wars. Now religion says, “God is love.” How can there be religious wars? Because people never thought, you see. They were drunk with their religious fervour, [with] whatever their religious chief or their king said. So, religion has been politicalised, politicised, and we obeyed our political bosses, our rulers, whether it was Richard the Lionheart (Richard Cœur de Lion) or some other chief somewhere, and we killed ourselves needlessly, inhumanly, continuously.
So, we have to go to God maybe through religion in the first step – the very first step like the kindergarten in school, and then go beyond religion. That is what spirituality is all about. Spirituality does not ignore religion, does not negate religion, but says, “Go beyond religion,” remembering that what my master said is true: God has no religion, religions have no God. Religions have only dogmas, have popes, have priests, have whatever else you call them; they dictate to us.
When I was in Europe long ago for the first time (I think it was in 1984), I used to ask many of our brothers there, sisters there, why they don’t go to church – because [of] the Christian habit of going to church on Sundays – I found many people don’t go. They said, “Christianity makes us feel guilty.” You know what guilt is? It is a terrible thing. If you give poison to somebody else, you give it in a cup or in an injection or in a glass or smell it through a flower, but if you want to kill yourself, the poison is guilt. Culpabilité [guilt], the French say. “Mea culpa [I am culpable],” says the Christian religion. Any religion which makes you feel guilty is a poison to you, is a poison to your soul, and like we don’t take poison when we eat or drink, we should not allow our souls to be destroyed by this feeling of guilt which keeps separating us from God, which puts fear in us, guilt in us.
Spirituality says, you are what you are; you are the children of God, as you are. You can be what He wants you to be, without having to feel guilty, like a child who has been playing in the mud, goes to its mother and is cleaned up. God is one who loves us, God is love, and if He is love, He cannot do something to me against my interest, against my welfare, against my growth. You understand all this? It is not something foreign to your culture or to your religion. I see so many, for instance, statues of Jesus Christ, ‘Suffer them to come unto me.’ I interpret it as, ‘Permit them to come to me.’ Who is he telling, “Permit them to come to me”? Who? Obviously the church, the priest, who are keeping you away from your God. Isn’t it? That is why in Sahaj Marg we have no priest, we have no temple, we have no worship. Only my heart. In my heart is my God – every religion accepts this. This is the seat of divinity in the human body, in the human system. Therefore, why do we have to go anywhere to worship Him who is in my heart? So spirituality says, meditate. Meditate on Him who is in your heart, by closing your eyes. He needs no language. Silence is the language of God, says Sahaj Marg. Close your eyes, be silent, connect yourself with Him in that silence, with love. This is all that Sahaj Marg is, this is all that Sahaj Marg requires, and this is all that is possible to take you to Him who is inside you. So this I am speaking from my heart to you.
I was born in a religion (Hinduism); I no longer have a religion except the religion of my heart. The French pronounce it ‘art’ [chuckles] because they have the trouble with the ‘h’, you know. But the heart has its art, it is not a science. It is the soul, it is God. When we love each other from the heart, it is soul speaking to soul; it is soul trying to keep contact with another soul to establish a permanent relationship with that soul. Marriage is of the bodies; if the soul is there – wonderful! That marriage lasts, it is for all time. Otherwise, it is a cheap vulgar thing. Two bodies coming together without the heart is no better than two dogs on the street. You may or may not agree, but that is the truth. If I hurt any of your sentiment I will not apologise because I cannot apologise for telling you the truth. Isn’t it? Should I apologise to you for telling you the truth? Not at all. Therefore, I say, “Accept it, please,” because you know in your heart that that is what it is, though you don’t like to be told by somebody else that it is what it is.
So true love does not come from anywhere else in the body except the heart, and if a relationship between two bodies does not have the heart to bring them together, it is vulgar. It may give pleasure, it may give ecstasy, but so do drugs; so does alcohol. Therefore, they are linked together: drugs, alcohol and sex. If you read it in the reverse way, sex, alcohol and drugs – s-a-d (sad). Any of them that brings human beings together, any one of them is sad. What do you say for ‘sad’ in French? Tres triste [very sad]. Mauvaise [bad]. Coupable. Coupable pour qui? [Guilty. Guilty for what?] Pour la meme [chose] [for the same thing]. So this is what I have to say.
Try to rise above this through spiritual life. As you go and start meditation and get in touch with your heart, you will find that most of these things – they renounce you; you don’t have to renounce them. Religion says, renounce; spirituality says, it is not possible for you to renounce but if you are in contact with this [heart], all these things will go away from you. We are waiting to renounce; we don’t have the will power. Many of us don’t want to renounce because these are the things… I have heard many people who are on drugs and all these things, say, “But, Chariji, I love them. It is the only thing that gives me the ability to stay alive in this world.”
So if you are thinking of renouncing it, don’t. Just say, “I will attach myself to my heart, to the divinity inside me. This will enable me to attach myself to other hearts, forgetting their bodies.” This will overcome all barriers of religion, of language, of culture, of geography, of tradition. If that is so, human beings come together like we have come together here today. And for that I thank my master. I thank my master who is in my heart, who is my God.
I pray that you will all succeed in this. My blessings are with you. Thank you.