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The Universe is Love

(World-Wide Live Webcast, 26 October 2014, Chennai, India)

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Dear sisters and brothers,

I hear that what I am going to say is going to be heard by most abhyasis, especially all over India, in the U.S. and in the Far-East where the times are favourable to listening. In between it is, of course, darkness.

I wonder whether this is not a case of ‘much ado about nothing', because I have been speaking to you for almost fifty years now in one capacity or the other, and I really don't know whether I have anything new to say. There is nothing new in spirituality. But I must tell you of some developments in my personal life, begging first your forgiveness for being autobiographical.

For the last few years I have lost awareness of where I am, what I am. It used to cause me some distress, but now I accept it as something natural to a spiritual aspirant. It deepened during my health crisis of 2012, when I was occupying a room here, and for months I did not know where I was. Sometimes I found myself in Detroit, sometimes in Dubai, sometimes in Malaysia. And even when I was not conscious, I was calling to my friend and helper Satbir Bakshi to tell me where I was and to send me the tickets for the onward journey. And he told me, "This is not for today, it's for tomorrow." Even this morning, when I woke up, I did not know precisely where I was – I mean, in a broad way. Of course, I knew that I was somewhere.

This has influenced my spiritual work, both on myself and on others, in a large way because – what is time, what is space, what is geography, what is location? We are where we are. When I used to read about rishis [saints] in the past who lived several yugas [eons] – who went into deep meditation in one yuga and got up in another – I used to mentally write it off as some sort of escalation of possibilities of extended time. But now I believe that it is our body-consciousness which makes us think that ‘we are here', ‘we are here now', ‘this is my grandson', ‘this is my granddaughter.' It's all the problem of bodily identification with myself by my soul that causes these affiliations, temporary affiliations, which are not going to be permanent in any case.

I have never felt that I am the Master – you may or may not believe it. It is something I have never felt. I know I am a disciple of my Master and that, for me, is very happy, very satisfactory. I am very grateful to my Master that he has taken me as his disciple. My role has been only as the disciple of my Master. ‘President of the Mission' is something administrative – to approve plans, to approve construction, to sign cheques for money. This has been going on for thirty-two years, almost, now. And I am sometimes amused because what I did not do when I was in service in my company, I am doing now to such an extent that my boss, had he been alive, would probably think: "What is this world coming to that this fellow has so much power to sign so many cheques for such values?"

So these are all passing, ephemeral – here today, not here tomorrow. For instance, this girl who is my granddaughter was another abhyasi in Babuji's time. I know this very perfectly. I know this to be a fact; it is not speculation. And I am very grateful to Babuji that he has entrusted her to me in this family to move her on in her spiritual evolution. I mean that can be the only purpose of this relationship. I know that my son Krishna has been with me in several lives in past – it's foolish to say centuries – past eons of time. I know that I was myself once a slave of the Roman Empire, perhaps under Spartacus, in chains, crucified, because I have these pains in the body – in the ankles, where I was probably chained, crucified. And these have been revealed to me. I know that I was Rishi Patanjali's disciple, which Babuji Maharaj himself confirmed.

So the question of ‘who am I' has no meaning. And to place so much importance in the fact that "I am so-and-so in this life; I am a very powerful man" is ridiculous. It must bring to us a sense of humility when we think of what we have been, how much we have been – perhaps slaves, perhaps beggars. In another lifetime after Jesus Christ, I was a wanderer in the desert – I don't want to reveal the name. Because when I was travelling from one place to another to Eilat, halfway through the journey I had tears in my eyes. Suddenly, I was overpowered by a great emotion because something had happened, very significantly, in that spot. And all these have been revealed to me during meditation. Past lives often come to us during meditation, during dreams, and nowadays during regression. I have not gone for regression, but I have – in meditation.

So I know how close, for instance, Bhargav has been to me. This family of mine has been almost like an atom surrounded by its – whatever you call it – electrons. Inside the nucleus there are these strong forces holding us together age after age, until an electron flies off in a chosen direction for its evolution. So to put everything we have into our identity in the present life and to boast about ourselves… All this knowledge has been revealed to me as a result of my inability to access my memory about where I am, where I was, what I am, during the last two years of my illnesses, especially, as I repeat, even this morning.

I must repeat to you again and again that I was never conscious in my life that I was a Master. Had I been conscious, I would have been useless, I would have been unworthy to be a Master. I am a disciple of my Babuji Maharaj, doing his work according to his work, according to his instructions, whether given in his lifetime or now.

So I would urge upon prefects to try to similarly forget that they are prefects – they are workers. We are like worker bees collecting honey and putting it into the comb, sort of. They are not conscious of why, where, when. And one grand day, the queen takes off and the whole swarm goes behind her, and you know the rest – another colony is formed. Things multiply that way. So a prefect must not know that he is a prefect, must not remember that he is a prefect. He is a brother helping another abhyasi. We are all in the same boat together, and that is what Babuji meant by saying that we are brothers and sisters.

I find that after fifty years in Sahaj Marg, if you will permit me to say so, this brotherhood is not getting cemented at all. Friendships yes, but we are not here for friendship. If A comes for satsang, B comes with him, C comes with him. If A doesn't come, B and C don't come. A little rain, they don't come. A little difficulty in transport, they don't come. The coming is important. To be here is important. Satsang means being together. "No, no, sir, I had a headache." Okay. "My wife said, ‘Don't go today.'" Okay – which is worse! So all sorts of excuses are manufactured by those who are not yet deeply committed to their own spiritual evolution. You must not forget, you must never forget that you are working for yourself – you are not working for anybody else.

When you meditate, you are meditating for yourself. When you come for satsang, you are doing it for yourself, – not to oblige your prefect or the so-called guru. They can't care less. It's for your own spiritual evolution, like a child goes to school for its own education, not to please the teacher. I don't know when our abhyasis will become conscious of this, instead of wasting their time on stupid speculations about who is who and what is what. I hear this sort of a thing very often: "He is not the true person." What is the ‘true person', what is the ‘real person', who knows? The lower can never judge the higher. The guru is the guru and the disciple is always the disciple. He can never transcend his guru. That is one of the spiritual laws. So to think that you have become superior to your guru is – I won't say it is a sin, because in Sahaj Marg we have only one sin: that is of ingratitude – it is the first step to your downfall.

To think that you are greater than your guru is the first step to your downfall, and it must be avoided. You can never be greater than him. He may be a very humble schoolmaster, a clerk like Babuji was, and you may be an IAS Officer, you might be the president of India, but you are not greater than him. Because in a sense, these great spiritual leaders govern this universe in a way in which we don't know, hiding in their simplicity, which is a cloak. Because Babuji Maharaj has said, "My simplicity is what hides me." There was no patatope [pomp] about him. There was no grandiose exposition of himself. He never spoke in public.

So, ‘to be simple and in tune with nature' means emulate the Master. Whatever you are in public life, be simple and in tune with nature. Don't put on airs. Remember that when you leave your office and come home, you are another human being. You retire and suddenly you find that your telephone is cut off, your peons are removed and nobody comes to see you, and you wonder: "Why? Until yesterday everybody was coming to see me, peons were coming to see me, there was always a crowd around my house, and today nobody is coming to see me. They don't even answer the telephone if I call somebody. They pretend they are not at home." Yes, because your importance was not attached to you, but to what you did.

In spirituality too, unless you do what you have to do, there is no importance. You are a prefect; you are not given a special uniform. Of course, you have a badge and things like that, but they are not for advertisement. You gain the love of abhyasis by the work that you do. Love is the recompense, is the reward that one gets, both from the Master and from the work. Here you remember, you must remember that I have a reward from two sources: from my Master above and from the abhyasi below, whereas in public life, it's only one source, if at all. The more I work for the Master, the more he is pleased by my work and he says in his own way: "Sabaash [Bravo], Parthasarathi!" And that one sabaash is worth I don't know how many millions! To earn that sabaash from him I would work a century, if necessary.

Abhyasis may say, "Thank you, sir" and go off, or they may learn to love you because you are working for them. You must love the abhyasis sufficiently to work for them with love, not just as a duty: "Haan [Yes], they have come. Let them sit in front," [while you] finish whatever you have to finish in half an hour and send them home. I have heard many prefects saying that they can take only one abhyasi a day, no more. The better ones say, "Two sittings per day." You cannot limit it. Like you cannot limit the flow of air – you may feel it or you may not feel it – but it's there all the time. Without it you wouldn't exist.

So you have to be available, you have to make sacrifices, personal sacrifices. You may have booked cinema tickets, you are about to get into your car and an abhyasi comes, "Well, there goes my movie." You go inside, back home, and give the abhyasi a sitting, because we don't know under what circumstances he has come to us for a sitting. Abhyasis come mostly when they feel the need for it, not according to your fifteen-day schedule. But there are times when they have an inner agony, an inner search, an inner need, and then they don't look at the time; they come. And if you don't respond… You know that story about that cow which pulled at the [bell] rope and the emperor came out to see what was happening – that sort of response we must have. Abhyasi comes: everything stops until the sitting is over. That sort of response Babuji Maharaj appreciates.

I may remind you that he sees everything. It's not an old man sitting in Shahjahanpur who doesn't know what is going on. As they say in the Bible, ‘Not a leaf shall fall but that He shall know it.' So he knows. I remember once a prefect who went from South India to Shahjahanpur with his group, all the time boasting about what Babuji would say to him, how he would hug him, how he would welcome him and praise him. And they sat in front of Babuji Maharaj like you are sitting before me and Master never looked at him once. And on the third day he said, "Who are you?" I mean, what more deflation can there be? The man was devastated. The Master knows us not by our name and from where we come and whether we are Madrasis or Gujaratis or whatever, but by the work that we do.

In some way, mysterious, he can see what work we are doing and recognise the souls that are doing his best work or the work that he has given them to the best extent, irrespective of all the worldly difficulties that we face. And the more we do it, the better for him (I mean the prefect), until you become dear to the Master. Closeness (samipyata) develops that way and then he says, when he sees you at the gate: "Come, come. Welcome." Otherwise he couldn't care less. This is the work of Nature which cannot stop, and those who contribute in any small way, in every small way, to the continuation of that work are dear to him who has taken on a big load of that work, a big chunk of the work. We don't know, we cannot ever estimate what sort of load Babuji is carrying, whether in the body or out of the body – we don't know.

We called him Master but we didn't know what it was. It was a convention; everybody called him Master, touched his feet, they didn't know why. What is a Master? Babuji said that one who has gained mastery over his own self is a true Master – self-mastery. That means you have followed the ten maxims of Sahaj Marg, you have perfected your inner condition and your external life; you have no enemies, no friends. Remember, no enemies means also no friends. You have only people with whom you associate for your work and with whom you work, and, when asked to do so, upon whom you work for their evolution.

So this Sahaj Marg is only about spiritual evolution to, what we blatantly say, ‘to the highest', and we don't know what that ‘highest' is. Where is it going to end? We don't know. I receive messages from the Master; he says, "The time for you to join me has not yet come because you have work to do. But when you come you will be received in such a way, and then we shall go on to other worlds…". And I am – I don't know whether I should be happy or sad! There is no end. If there is an end to work, there is no life, whether in the body or out of the body. It's like a man who has grown in his job to the top of his limit, and one day he retires and suddenly he is nothing. No work, no man, no person. Nothing to hang your coat on.

So remember, life means work, whether here or there or wherever. The only thing I have understood is that when we are out of the body, back where we belong, there will be no pain and pleasure. There will be no desires because they are all part of the bodily existence. The body needs, the body wants, the body desires. That is why we have to overcome these, so that when we are ready, we have given up most of these things and our liberation from this life, at least, comes – which will be very satisfying when it comes.

So spirituality is not something to be accepted as a game, as a pastime, or as something to which you go because your friends are going. As Babuji once said, "Friends are your greatest enemies. You know what an enemy is, who an enemy is, what he can do or not. But a friend, you never know what he can do. So beware of friends." That was one of the first teachings of my Master to me. And if I had friends in my life, perhaps I had three, in my whole lifetime – three friends in a whole lifetime! My father did more for me than anybody else. It is because after my mother died, he was both father and mother. My son and my grandchildren and my daughter-in-law, they have done more for me than anybody else. Today when I am not very well, when I am in bed most of the time, they spoon-feed me – I don't mean in some sort of a literary fashion, but in real life – they spoon-feed me. To that I am humbly grateful that Babuji Maharaj has blessed me by putting them under my care to promote their spiritual evolution. And if I don't do this I will fail in my job, and it will be a disaster for me in my future.

Similarly, these are not the only souls for which I am responsible. Today in this world if there are, I don't know, a hundred thousand abhyasis, I am responsible for every one of them who comes to me, who takes his first two or three sittings. It is a responsibility we take when we accept this job. It is not something for pleasure or for self-aggrandisement; it is a responsibility. I am a prefect; I am now responsible for so-and-so, so-and-so, so-and-so, so-and-so. I am accountable to my Master for their progress. My Master must not ask me, "What have you done with these abhyasis that I entrusted to you?" It is very much like a shepherd. The Master can give you a hundred sheep to take for grazing, and when you come back, you cannot come back with ninety-nine and say, "I am ninety-nine percent successful, Babuji. I have lost only one sheep." Hundred percent! This is a case of all or nothing.

The heart cannot be put into pieces. You cannot have ten abhyasis and give one-tenth of your heart to each one of them. This is not like that old love song: "Mere dil ke tukde hazaar hue, koi yahaan gira, koi wahaan gira (My heart was broken into a thousand pieces, and some fell here and some fell there)"; this is not the case. The whole heart, every time – and that's the miracle of spirituality that you'll find, you give your heart wholly to some abhyasi and the heart is still there. It is infinity, a manifestation of infinity, that this heart is totally present all the time. It can never cease to be.

However much love I give, there is more, more. As Babuji Maharaj said, as he grew in transmission, originally what was a pipe became a bigger pipe, became a bigger pipe, until it became so big it threatened to take him with it! Nature wants conduits for its work and when it finds a conduit which is – what shall we say – good, willing, available, that conduit is widened and widened until who knows to what extent.

So by loving more and more, you don't lose love; you only get more and more love because as this goes, more comes. From where? Infinity! Because the universe is love. It is not particles and planets and galaxies; they are physical manifestations. There is only love. So learn to love. Learn to love your work; learn to love the abhyasis who come to you. Take part in their life to the extent possible without becoming involved in it. Help them grow. And like every tree that you plant and that grows, you may not eat the fruit. I remember there was a small story in my English textbook about children who were walking back from the school to the house. They found an old man digging holes and planting mango saplings, and they said, "Grandfather, grandfather, why are planting these saplings, because you are never going to eat the fruits?" And the old man smiled and said, "My dear, I know, but somebody will."

So we are working for that somebody. We are trying to make everything that is here ours in the sense that they are Babuji's. They are not our abhyasis; they are Babuji's abhyasis. It is not my work; it is Babuji's work. I am the medium through which this work is going, and the more I am conscious of this and the less I am conscious of who I am and what I am, the better our work will grow.

Finally, I will have to say there has been unnecessary speculation in recent times about a few messages that have come from above concerning the fourth Master. In French, the word ‘dernier' does not only mean the last, it means the latest also. I have been assured of this by people who know. So the correct translation is ‘the fourth and latest Master will appear'. And he has appeared, even in my lifetime – for which we should be grateful and stop all speculation and have no fears for the future. Because many of his Whispers messages talk of this Sahaj Marg going into the future over a long period of time – beyond historical time, perhaps. It might change, it will change, he has said. He has made a prediction that at some stage it will change. What will be the change, we don't know, we need not know. Why should we know?

How do we know what the human being of the future will be? The human being may even change his form! After all, if you look at the physical evolution, from things which were in the bottom of the ocean we have come – it's called the primeval ooze – from the amoeba proteus; then we have the amphibians, then we have the land-based animals, and then we have those with a backbone, of which we are supposed to be the utmost summation, the culmination. But we are not the end of evolution.

So, to suit the times, to suit the place, to suit the work, there will be Masters one after the other to continue this tradition of Sahaj Marg into the future. We may or may not be remembered, we may or may not even be thought of; it does not matter. We are not here to be remembered. We are not Gandhis for whom statues will be built. Our work will be remembered.

So I pray for you all. Don't forget this: the less you remember of yourself, who you are, where you are, why you are… like it's happening to me, even this morning. I was in my bedroom when I woke up, and I didn't know where I was. It's a very real condition, but what does it matter where I am? It's a geographical location, and it's okay to talk of GPS and all these things – very erudite things, very technological things. Okay, I too was fond of the GPS. I carried one with me wherever I went. I have statistics on my computer. But when your orbit… it's like a small pebble dropped into a pond, and the disturbance that it creates goes on and on. Where does it end? There is no end to it. In that sense, science is wrong.

What we say and, more importantly, what we do goes on and on; there is no end to it. It may be just sittings given to a few abhyasis, somewhere, sometime. It may be sittings given to many abhyasis most of the time. No difference. One you call a master, one you call an abhyasi, one you call a non-abhyasi. And Babuji said, never think of him as a non-abhyasi, because you are creating a barrier between yourself and himself. All are abhyasis. Some are within, some are outside. Like lions in the jungle – some are inside, some are outside. Those who are outside have to be brought inside with love, by taming them. Then you are a good tamer of lions.

Our Dr Varadachari used to say that he was a ‘tamed lion of God'. So we need tamed lions of God who have lost their fierceness, their unnecessary violence, biting at everything, killing everything – though it must be remembered that animals in the wild kill only to eat, whereas the human being kills for pleasure, for fun, for profit and has robbed large parts of this world of wonderful wildlife.

I was seeing a movie yesterday about some African republic which had only two hundred and fifty thousand elephants just a few years ago and today there are only fifty thousand, thanks to poachers who have mercilessly hunted them down for their ivory. Similarly, the rhinos for their horn. They are human beings and they don't care about what is happening in the environment, how it should be preserved, what is ecology. Profit, profit, profit! And what will they do with the money when they die?

So, my dear brothers and sisters, I think I have come to the end of my ranting, if you'll permit me to say so! Think of your immediate family first as your spiritual responsibility. Don't let them run wild. And then think of abhyasis also as your extended family. It's like a ripple from a stone: my family grows as I grow and it will eventually envelop, I hope, the universe.

Thank you.