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The Effects of Prejudice and Self-Judgement on Our Spiritual Life
January 1, 2013, Chennai, India
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We have been wishing everybody – saying, “Happy New Year.” That is a convention which has been going on for years. Of course we want a happy new year. Happiness has been the goal of human beings without understanding what happiness really means. Many years ago, I saw a movie called The Sound of Music, and a young lady in that movie tells us what makes her happy – so many things. “These are some of my favourite things” – that wonderful song – which clearly indicates that most human beings believe that their happiness is tied to external objects. “If I get a new dress I will be happy,” “If I get a job I will be happy,” and so on and so forth.
I said that we don’t understand what we are really saying because happiness is not the real goal of human life. The goal of human life is evolution – evolution through this life into a higher life, always. That is law, progress. If you are in school you go up level by level, level by level; you graduate; you go to college. You move up as your knowledge improves, your understanding improves, until you finally evolve out of the educational life, where most people think their education ends. Fortunately, for the few individuals who continue to educate themselves in a very real sense through the experiences that they garner in life, education is then understood to be a continuous process, ending only with our transition into the next life.
So we must all strive towards an understanding, true understanding, of what evolution means. We can evolve only when we use this life, what Babuji calls ‘incarnation’, this incarnation, as a rightful gift granted to us by our past evolution, where we have evolved up to the stage where we deserve a human life for our further evolution. This human life is not to be wasted in futile efforts like pleasure-seeking, happiness pursuit, even health pursuit, because this incarnation comes as a programmed event in our evolutionary life through which we have necessarily to pass. We have no choice.
The messages that we receive every day from Babuji Maharaj emphasise that we have no choice. We have to go through it, suffering whatever happens to us, even to the extent of understanding that happiness is a suffering. Because today’s happiness brings us sorrow tomorrow. Today’s sorrow brings us happiness tomorrow. Everything changes into its [opposite] as we move through this incarnation. Nothing is fixed. What is fixed is the real experience of life that we treasure in our heart – love.
Even this morning I received a message from my beloved Master, where he gives advice against prejudice, which means prejudging, which we have no right to do. No human being has a right to judge another human being. Even in the English language it is said, “Judge not that ye be not judged.” There is this great warning to us: If you judge, you will be judged. Of course we understand the common meaning that if I judge you, you will judge me or God will judge me. But I have pondered over this through the years and I have come to the conclusion that when I judge myself, I have condemned myself to my own judgement. This is what makes us feel guilty in a higher sense, sinful, which brings us desperation, sorrow, the futility of what we think to be a wasted life. All this is a result of our own self-judgement.
I would suggest that judging others is a very common thing but judging your own self, which we do quite unconsciously… because when I am afraid of something, when I am afraid of my examination, I am judging myself and my preparedness to face that examination. I know that I have not prepared myself, which is, I am judging myself. Then if my result comes out against me after the exams are over, I should not feel disappointed because I have known already in my own judgement, conscious or unconscious, that I have not prepared myself for what I have to do. Therefore, I must accept failure with the cheerfulness and joy with which I would have accepted success. When we are afraid of an interview, we know we are not ready.
So, fear of external things is something else, but the fear that we feel against events – whatever we have to do (we have to do), is nothing but prejudging my own self. People don’t understand that prejudice can be against one’s own self. Prejudice is not only against others, prejudging others (“He is a fool,” “She is an ass,” and so on and so forth), but we are all the time judging ourselves. Therefore, we are afraid – of events, of situations, of possibilities. So prejudice eventually turns out to be the fear of oneself. “I am never prepared.” “I am not ready.” “How will I face God?”
My son and I were discussing a certain Christian saint who wants to be scourged, who wants to be beaten, who wants to be punished. In Christianity, this is a common feature – lashing yourself, scourging yourself. We saw it in one of those two movies, beautiful movies – Demons and Angels – which is judging yourself. God does not judge.
To come back to Master’s message of this morning, Babuji Maharaj says human life is a frail thing. It is full of opportunities, which are missed, which are misused – two things. We miss opportunities, we misuse opportunities, thereby ruining the possibility of our evolution, condemning ourselves in a sense to go back to the same class until we do pass out of it, which we call rebirth, reincarnation.
Babuji Maharaj goes on to say, “I am not moralising.” You see what he says? Is it a sign of humility? Is it a sign of divinity? The Divine does not judge. You have been given an opportunity. In the way you handle it, you judge yourself. When you are passed you have passed yourself. That is why you say, “I have passed.” You don’t say, “The examiners have passed me.” “I have passed.”
So, everything that you say and do is subject to the law of judgement by the self, of the self. There is no external judge, not even God judges. Master is very clear: “I do not moralise.” Unfortunately, in our society, even our so-called advanced Sahaj Marg society, it is full of prejudices; it is full of lost opportunities; it is full of wasted opportunities – much to the sorrow of the Masters. You know they have emotion. It is like a father who has many children, who gives them every opportunity that he can possibly give and he sees them running wild: one man running wild, one girl running wild, one son studying and coming out very beautifully. He may be happy about the one son who has matured in his spiritual self to avoid wasting opportunities and to use them with the good sense to promote his evolution through this incarnation. He is sorry for the others. A gardener does not want one rose in his garden. He wants every bush to flower – flowers all over the place.
So Master says in his message: I wish to see you all developing in this life in such a way that this incarnation is fruitful, fulfils its purpose, shows that you have used it well so that you are in the next stage of life, whatever it may be.
So brothers and sisters, it is unfortunate that we remain, shall I say, wasteful, neglectful human beings instead of seizing every opportunity. There is no opportunity which is against us. An opportunity is, by a spiritual definition, something which will promote our evolution, even if you think it is against you. Even failure is an opportunity, because as they say in the English language, “Failure is the stepping-stone to success,” provided we use failure properly. We use that failure to help me to resolve that I shall do better; that therefore I shall shut my eyes and ears to the temptations of life, to the temptations of friendship, to the temptations of events which we think will titillate us and make us happy. My Master never talked of friendship. He said the only friend we have is the Master, because under all circumstances he is working towards our evolution – under all circumstances. He does not judge. As Babuji Maharaj said, “I do not moralise.”
It makes me feel very sad when people point to this person or that person and say, “I don’t want another like him.” It shows very poor judgement of human life. If I am a human being and I have the possibility of evolving out of this life, so has the other person. He may be a criminal, he may be a leper, he may be anything. When Jesus Christ kissed the lepers, did it show prejudice? He was great precisely because he did not differentiate. No good man, no bad man – human being. As a human being he is my brother, under all circumstances; whatever be his history, past and present. If we do not understand this and stand by it and live by it, believe me, we are condemning ourselves to a blighted future, not because God judges us but because we have committed ourselves to that punishment – self-inflicted punishment, by our thoughts, by our words, by our actions.
Now how do we avoid all this? That is why I have given the slogan. Babuji Maharaj said, “Love Him who loves all.” That is very easy. We all claim to love Babuji Maharaj. Babuji Maharaj once asked a very potent question. When somebody said, “I love God,” he asked, “Does He love you?” You know that old beautiful novel where that fellow who is driving a cart, he writes on the cart that he loves her or something like that – David Copperfield. But it is not enough my loving. I must be loved. And I cannot be loved unless I love continuously, effortlessly, endlessly, which means I don’t love persons, peoples, events – I love. And that love goes around the universe and comes back to me and I feel loved.
So everybody must remember this, from the lowest to the highest. Even a so-called master must remember this, because if he slips a little, he slips. When you are at a height of hundred feet and you hold on to something, if you just let go of it, you fall. Isn’t it? That wonderful, beautiful game that we have, Snakes and Ladders, shows the biggest danger is at ninety-nine. The biggest danger is not in the beginning of life; it is in the end of life. Therefore Babuji Maharaj said that in a spiritual pursuit, in a spiritual way, there can be no satisfaction, because if you are satisfied and sit back, your progress is stopped.
So, you see, we are not to be satisfied. You may be satisfied with the ice cream that you are eating or your train journey, but never satisfied inside with your spiritual voyage, which must under all circumstances be pushed by longing for more and more. Not avarice for more and more, longing for more and more. Like an engine is pushed by steam pressure, or like your car is moving by your foot on the accelerator, there must be an accelerator in my heart, which is the pressure of love which carries me forward. The pressure of prejudices, hatred – these are my foot on the brake, and my car stops.
Sisters and brothers, you have to take this very seriously, because even though we have been receiving a message a day from my Master ever since I fell ill, I do not know how many of you read it. Some of you, I am sure, say, “He says the same thing every day.” It's like a man who reads history and says, “What is this Napoleon? What is this Hitler? What is this Alexander? Same story. He was born, he fought, he conquered, he died – history.” And if you are satisfied with that understanding of history, you have not learnt the lessons of history.
So, every page you turn, every line you read, you must read carefully; do not skip through the book, because you will miss. What do you miss? You miss whatever there may be which can help you in your evolution. Similarly, in life we don’t skip over the events. I know people who go to the seaside [and say], “Same water, same breeze”, or who go to the Grand Canyon and say, “Same story: a river, a gorge.” They watch a lovely sunset, but for them it's not a lovely sunset. “The same old sun setting always in the west. What is so wonderful about it?”
We must have eyes like those of a child, innocent, looking at everything every time with a new understanding, with a new vision, adoring the Creator who is able to play so many scenarios with His sunsets and with His sunrises, each different from the other. It is a very good truism to say that no two leaves are alike among all the billions of leaves in this world. Similarly, no two humans are alike. So how can you judge? If they are all alike, you can judge. When there is no alikeness, you lack knowledge to judge, you lack understanding to judge. Every baby is different, every finger is different. Isn’t it?
The Western logic of codifying everything, classifying everything, is the big mistake into which we have also fallen here in the Orient. “Human beings are human beings.” “Women are women. They are all the same.” It is a common statement by all men. “Women are women everywhere; so are men.” Not at all. Every human life is a unique human life, if you but seek to probe and understand what makes it unique – not to show differences, but to show the uniqueness of each and every human life.
If you are not able to do this you must pray that you are bestowed this understanding, and then only you will pass through life seeing the uniqueness of everything, the beauty of everything, the transparency of everything. And then you will stop judging yourself because you yourself are unique in every way. And therefore, there is no common law for abhyasis. There is no one judgement for all of them. Each one has his own unique judgement of himself or herself. Please try to understand that prejudice is ultimately prejudging your own self, which you use to (so-called) judge others, which is but a reflection of what you are, projected on others.
So we are in this new year. I hope you will use Babuji’s messages wisely. Read them again and again – his messages, repeat what Babuji says that these messages will last into the future, where they will be respected, where it will benefit. It is almost as if he says the present-day humans will not benefit from this, because they will not understand. Why? Because they will not read. Why? Because they think, “The same old Master, the same old message. Do this, do that.”
The sameness of things are betraying us. When we think everything is same or similar, we are leading ourselves into betraying ourselves. With love we can see how everything is different – even amoebas under the microscopes, even planets, even stars. There are no two stars which are alike. They may be alike in the sense of the Western knowledge, astronomy, that they have mass, they have colour, they have gas, et cetera, et cetera. It is like a chemist who has gone through a chemistry course, and he is being interviewed, “What is the difference between hydrogen and oxygen?” If he says, “No difference; both are gases,” he wouldn’t get the job. “What is the difference between vegetable oils and mineral oils?” “Nothing, because they are both oils.”
So the sameness betrays us into a lack of understanding, the lack of ability to understand, and shows in us a lack of desire to understand. That again is prejudice.
So on this happy occasion of the New Year, I pray for you all. Please read Babuji’s messages carefully, where again and again there is insistence in, what I say is, obedience. If you obey, you don’t need anything else. Obedience of a human nature is something in which you have surrendered the need to understand, surrendered to everything, to the higher power. Therefore, it now acts through me, and it is always a step in the right direction leading to my evolution.
So thank you and Happy New Year again.