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Closing Talk given by Rev. Master at the second CREST seminar on
I am always happy when things come to an end. Why? Because everything, you know, has phases of development, p-h-a-s-e-s, and when we end something which we have begun we are now at the next beginning. As Babuji once told me, nothing really ends. Everything is leading to a new beginning over and over again. So I hope, with the ending of this session of this seminar—this is the second seminar—for me it has been a step in the progress, in the direction which the Mission must take to communicate. To communicate what? The Master’s teachings, his messages to future generations.
I don’t know if Raja mentioned that communication is not only in the present. Much of our communication is meant for the future. I mean, if we had only to communicate here and now it would be very easy. But it is implicit, and it should be implicit in any communication that is made by us (verbal, non-verbal, anything), that the bulk of it is meant to go beyond the recipient of that message here. And the purpose of this seminar is for you all to realize that.
I have been saying very often that Babuji permits us to develop, not for ourselves, but for the sake of Nature’s purpose, Nature with a capital ‘N’ meaning Him. He has a purpose. You see, when a railway line is laid between, say, Bangkok and Australia, Sydney—it may be possible sometime—it is not laid for the sake of the track itself. It is made so that trains can run upon it. And trains are not run for their own sake, but to carry people. And people don’t go in trains only for themselves, but for some other purpose, as carriers of information perhaps, of goods, services. And that is not meant for themselves alone.
You see, it is like that cock’s comb in the picture. If you look beyond and more beyond and more beyond, we see what all life is about. In the Hindu tradition, of course, it is well known that when a couple are married it is part of their duty, not pleasure, to have a child. I think I have spoken about this many times before. Children are not meant for the pleasure of the parents. They are not meant to consummate the marriage. And the parents are not expected to have a choice in whether that child shall appear or not. It is your duty, to Nature, to this world, to our Creator, to propagate the species, which is a communication again, you see.
When you have a child, you communicate something, push it into the future. Maybe just the gene pool, but it is there. Without that, something is lost. So when we do that, when we have the baby, we have in a very real sense fulfilled our duty to Nature through the happiness that we have felt in being married, in having a companion, in becoming a parent. People who deny this, who will not participate in this duty are, in a sense, going against Nature itself. I see this very much today when people, I mean couples, do not want children for one reason or the other. They say, “Next year, next year, next year. Let us have a car, let us have a yacht, let us go for a holiday to Inca land, Maya country,” and before they know where they are, the lady is forty, no child, now impossible to conceive. I’ve had literally hundreds and hundreds of our abhyasi women come to me, weeping their heart out. But it’s no use, it’s too late, you see.
So duty must be fulfilled in time. I see a man on the street dying, and I will say I’ll attend to him tomorrow. The next day I go there, they say the body has been removed by the corporation. And we feel guilty. I could have done something yesterday. I did pass this way and see, but either I was too busy or not inclined to involve myself in somebody else’s affairs, or to even notice him because then I become responsible to myself. It is an important part of communication to understand that we disregard communication deliberately; because when we receive a message it casts upon us a responsibility to act on that. If I see somebody on the street who says, “Do you know so-and-so?” “Yes.” “Will you please tell him that somebody just fell out of the car?” We ignore. Later on we hear that the child was abducted, taken away, murdered, ransom demands. But feeling guilty is not going to help us. We could have done something. We didn’t do it. That is guilt again, you see.
So communication is not very easy, for the simple reason that we don’t want to hear. “Ye have ears but ye hear not.” “Yes. But, Lord, you don’t understand. I did not want to hear, therefore I heard not.” “But why didst thou not want to hear, my son?” “Because, Lord, hearing would have cast upon me a responsibility for which I am not ready, which I am not willing to execute, which I am not willing to take cognizance of. Therefore I did not hear.” And progressively when we disregard these messages we lose the ability to receive communication. Physically, we can become deaf. Mentally, we can become something which does not understand even its own language. Spiritually, we are dead, even though we are alive here.
Babuji Maharaj said to me, talking about intercommunication with Lalaji Saheb, that often he would wait for the communication to be repeated. That is okay. I heard Raja say, “Come again?” It is because I have not heard. Or having heard, I have not understood. Or having understood, I am afraid of what I understood and I want it to be repeated. So Lalaji Saheb used to give Babuji all sorts of instructions. And if he had not heard properly, or if he was afraid of what he had heard, he would wait until Lalaji Maharaj repeated the communication. He would wait for it for a third time, but after that he could not wait.
Having heard, you have to act. Human beings have no individual responsibility or choice of deciding what is their responsibility. If you would but remember that all communication is received only for you to act upon. No communication is given to you which you don’t need to act upon. But when you are receiving it, and have received it, you must understand that it is a communication meant for me, not just to hear and file, but to hear and act upon. That is wisdom. That is duty. That is freedom. That is ultimately liberation. Because having done what I can, what I could have, I am freed of that responsibility. If I don’t, Nature says, “Well, you know, I sent him message after message. He disregarded, I’ll find another avenue,” for Nature’s resources are infinite.
You are chosen because at that moment you are fit. But by disregarding, you have become unfit. By ignoring, you have become culpable. By not acting, you have become disobedient. Nature does not tolerate these things. Nature says, “Remove him from the line of evolution.” That is hell, to my understanding. There is no such thing as hell and heaven, you see. Either you hear, listen, understand and obey; or you hear, ignore, and walk on. One leads to heaven, if there is one. One leads to hell, if there is one. But it is all within us. So Babuji said, “Beware of communication.”
You know in American streets, especially in certain places, it’s very dangerous to walk; and most dangerous to walk alone, especially if you are a woman. The first advice given is, “Avoid eye contact,” because the moment you make eye contact it is a sign that there is already a contact established between the two, of any sort. How to avoid eye contact? Well, you have to learn how to do it. But we teach here, you know, you are in constant remembrance, there is no eye contact. Even if my eye meets another eye there is nothing behind it, it’s like glass. So constant remembrance helps even there, you see.
Because Babuji Maharaj used to receive frequently, as you just saw, messages from ‘Him’ (as he used to say). And he had to accept. There was no question of, “Will you do this?” We are not servants, you know. Being a servant is easy. You are paid, and you can always say, “Well, for the pittance that you give me I don’t have to obey,” and you walk out. Any service where you can walk out is to be preferred to service here, to the Master, where by no means under any circumstance under any law can you walk out. If you do, he’s not going to punish you, you see; but as Babuji said, nature will punish. Now this nature is different from the first Nature. That is God. God does not punish. Neither does God reward. But nature with the miniscule ‘n’, the small ‘n’, will punish. Therefore all these defects of blindness, of our inability to speak, of being deaf, they come inexorably upon people who have not heard, not seen, not felt, and continue to disobey out of mere selfishness, out of fear of being involved, and out of possibly selfishness that, “What do I care about that guy,” you see.
So, sisters and brothers, let us remember that the five senses are given to us only for communication. What else do we need them for? We need to see so that we know where to go, how to go, and upon what to go, upon what not to step. There are positive and negative information sources. You see, I don’t know, a cockroach. It is not shown to you to step upon, but to avoid stepping upon it. The first tendency of those who are afraid is to kill it, stamp upon it viciously many times. You see a snake, you look for a laathi [stick]. You see a human being—you want to avoid, you don’t like to meet him, especially if they come towards you with a look of happiness, expectation on their faces. We know all about body language, language of the face, emotion, et cetera, et cetera. We know all of it, it’s inbuilt. The tragedy is we ignore—“Oh, he’s coming with a look of expectation, he wants something from me. What does he want from me? Will I be able to do it? Do I want to give? No.” You just ignore him and walk on. He feels hurt. He came as a friend. You have lost a friend, perhaps much more than that.
All our misunderstanding, unwillingness to contact, to communicate, is wilful. There is no ignorance behind refusing to contact. There is only selfishness, fear of what he will communicate to me, fear of what I will have to listen to, fear of what I will have to do. You understand?
So communication is not that simple, you know, that we just listen and see the gestures and look at the face. Every animal knows these things. And I am sure we know it much better than all the animals put together. Even though in biology, zoology, they say eagles have better eyesight than we have. Dogs hear much better than we can ever hear. Bees have wings which flutter at a thousand times a second, sometimes a minute. Birds fly across oceans in their migration. But we have something which goes beyond all this, you see, because like when you put some dahi [curd] in milk the whole thing becomes dahi. We don’t need precision or perfection in any particular faculty that we have got, because the sum and substance of these five things, if put together, gives us all knowledge. That is what has made the human being ascend to the top of the ladder of, shall we say, Creation, so far. Ignore it, and you ignore it at your peril. “I see not, I hear not, I feel not.” “Thus shall you stay,” says nature. “I gave. You did not understand, you did not use.” The parable of the talents. It’s not just using money wisely or knowledge wisely. It’s about accepting everything that I hear, I see, I smell, I speak about, I touch. When you touch a dog, do you communicate hatred and fear to it? You will know by its reaction. Grrrr—if it does that, you back off. It is sensitive; you are not.
So, what God gave to animals was perfection in one direction each. What God gave to human beings is a sum total of that perfection—balanced. A diamond of one-tenth of a carat can be perfect. It is not size that determines perfection. It is balance. So we have balance of our eyesight with our acoustics without verbalization, all this sort of thing. And for a purpose. God has not given me the sense of touch to admire some velvet or some polished stone. He has not given me eyesight only to see what is beautiful according to my understanding of what is beauty. I have to look at the ugly, too, sympathize, admire. If it needs setting right, set it right. My eyes are not there only to see the big limousines that presidents of United States use. I have to see a cart, a bullock cart, a ghoda cart, you know, horse-driven cart, use them when necessary with the same grace, with the same gratitude that I feel when I am in a limo. I am not only to see and admire the rich and aspire to become like them, I am to see the poor, the suffering, the sick, the diseased, and open my heart to them. Here I open my purse; here I open my heart. I get much more by opening my heart than by opening my purse. Because when I open my purse I get a few pennies if at all.
When I open my heart, I receive infinite knowledge of the whole spectrum of human existence: what is pleasure about, what is pain about, what is transitory, what is useful. And then we understand Babuji’s lesson that pain is what helps us to progress spiritually, not pleasure. Not fun. That is why sages, rishis, saints, aspirants choose the way of—what? [Abhyasis suggest answers.] No, it is not pain, it is not suffering. The way of progress. Like, I know that this is the only way that will lead to progress. I see something as pain. You know, you go on the softest, smoothest of roads in India and an American can say, “Oh, what a bumpy ride.” We don’t feel the bumps. It’s a matter of what you have been trained to accept as soft, and not.
Your soft music is loud music to us, irritates our ears, causes dissonance in the family, somebody wanting three hundred decibels. That’s why today’s music systems are sold by decibels, not in pounds or rupees or dollars. One thousand decibels of noise. You heard some of it in Raja’s presentation. How that can communicate anything but anger, frustration; I can’t understand. Passion—today’s Western music is all about passion, physical passion, to excite your passions, erotic. And they dance for hours and then go to bed; not alone, not to sleep. That’s another sort of communication. “Chika-chika-chika-chika-chika-chika-chika-chika,” you know, and “chika-chika” goes all over your body.
So you see how we use communication. And you can also cheat in communication, you know. You can tell a man the truth and say—he says, “How do I look, doctor?” And he says, “Well, not very good,” and the patient is deflated, afraid. So now if you tell, “Oh, you look fine,” is it a lie? Lies are not always lies, truth is not always truth. So what to say? Say everything to make a person happy. Because we cannot say that a man who looks as if he is dying will die. You cannot bluntly tell him, “Mr. So-and-so, you are going to die. You know, you better be careful about it.” What can he do if he is going to die? What care can he take, except to lie down in his bed so that he doesn’t have to be carried in from his car or from the road?
Communication is the art of giving rest to the soul. We only give rest to the body. We smoothen the brow of somebody sick, put wet cloth, say sweet words which mean nothing. “Honey, I am here. Why are you afraid?” And the sick fellow laughs within himself, “‘I am here.’ Who are you to be here? What are you going to do for me if I am faced with the ultimate dilemma of life or death? Are you here really, with your heart for me? If it is, I should feel it.”
Communication should be felt, not seen and understood. It should be felt. When a mother tells her child, “I love you,” the child feels it. When a father says, “Yeah, I love you.” “Oh yeah, I love you.” You see this in American telephone conversations. “I love you.” “Me, too. I, too,” you know. I don’t know what anybody gets in that communication. It’s just a waste of thirty seconds of time—insincere, automatic response because you are expected to say it. If you didn’t say it, “Oh I said ‘I love you, darling’ but you didn’t say yes.” “Oh but, honey, I do.” “But then why didn’t you say so?” America. USA incorporated. This sort of insincerity is carried on too much. And we become insincere ourselves.
We tell lies all the time. “How was the soup?” You know, I understand that it really asks for my opinion and I say, “Well, no different from anything else I’ve eaten,” and they get upset. Or you say, “Oh, great, great.” They are happy; that’s what they want to hear. They don’t know how it was great, why it was great, why I felt it to be great, a foreigner; they are not interested. They just want sensory satisfaction that we have responded with a good response.
So communication has been cheapened, belittled. We have been taught to lie, to hide our emotions, to hide our feelings. “How do you like my new hairdo?” “Oh, wow.” I don’t know what that ‘wow’ really means, because it is said for everything. “How was the coffee?” “Wow, it was great.” “How do you like my baby?” “Oh, wow,” and in your heart you think, “What a production.” You know. “Who directed it? Who produced?”
So you see, it’s a very vast subject. And in Sahaj Marg, I have found the difficulty of communicating because of a concatenation of factors. People don’t want to hear—the truth. People don’t want to feel—the real. People don’t want to see—what is reality. They don’t want to face reality, about themselves, about this world. Therefore communication in Sahaj Marg is very difficult. You tell them this and that, you know, what they should do. “Oh, wonderful, wow.” Therefore that episode in Chicago where a young man wanted to give money to Babuji and Babuji said, “I can’t take money for spirituality.” And that American boy said, “How can you give liberation for free?” You have to pay for it; this is the modern, you know, ethos, psyche that, “If I don’t pay for it, I ain’t got nothing.” If you get it for free, you throw it away because you are suspicious.
So you see, love is something to suspect. You don’t think that he could have given you something for nothing because he loved you from his soul; not from his mind, not from his other things, you see, which is all that you understand nowadays. So we have to learn to accept the truth about ourselves. Meditation helps because when I look into myself, I don’t know what you all see but I have seen what I have seen and it has helped me to grow.
If I look into my purse and find that I have no money, it would be a wise man who goes back home without shopping. But the fool goes around with his credit card. And you have the case of abhyasis who have run up fifteen thousand dollars of credit card debts, twenty thousand dollars. I know one lady who lost seventy thousand dollars. How anybody can run up seventy thousand dollars debt on credit cards? She said, “But my husband gave me a dozen.” Blame. Blame whom? The dear husband who loved her so much that he gave her—like playing cards, you know—a pack.
So until we learn to accept the truth about ourselves, and to understand that what I see is what I see in my inside, there is nothing outside which I can see, unless it is inside me. I cannot see beauty outside, unless it is inside me. I cannot see love outside, if it’s not inside me. So the art of communication must begin with communication with myself. They see best, they hear best, they speak best, they feel best, they touch best who have touched themselves with their own sense organs, you know, all crystallized into one faculty of introspection. If you have done that, sympathy is automatic. I have seen suffering inside me; I see suffering outside, I sympathize.
So suffering is very useful as a tool of communication. And that is why major yoga streams, developmental schemes, they suggest suffering. Because suffering brings you to the baseline, bottom line of humanity. There is nobody who has not suffered. There are few who have enjoyed. And their enjoyment has been largely illusory. They think they have enjoyed because they are expected to enjoy.
How can you go into the Copacabana or some such place and not enjoy the filth that they dish out at a hundred dollars a dish? You can’t possibly insult your friend and say, “Oh, that was a lousy dinner.” He’ll say, “This fellow must be a jhakkad [crazy person] somewhere, from a Gujarat village somewhere. He doesn’t enjoy Copacabana and Maxim’s? Oh wow, he lacks education, I’m telling you. He doesn’t know good coffee from bad.” “Well, he never had coffee in his life. If you are such a wonderful host why didn’t you give him something he is used to which he would like, in which he can differentiate the good from the better and the worst? Like rice and sambar.” “Oh, but I thought, you know, he would like caviar and cheese toast. A cut of prime beef.” I don’t know what prime beef is, but all beef stinks.
So you see, we are adding hypocrisy to hypocrisy by adding lies to lies, often in an endeavour to please the other, but more in an endeavour to please myself. How can I go for a hundred dollar or two hundred dollar dinner and come away with the feeling that I have been a fool? My ego will not accept. So I tell my friend, “Oh, what a lovely dinner, Bill or Tom,” or whatever. And I go and tell my wife, “Wow, you should have been there.” But she knows me better than I do. She looks at my face and says, “I don’t see it. Where is that enjoyment, where is that pleasure on your face?” Then you feel lousy, see, because you have been lying to yourself. Forget lying to others.
Babuji Maharaj said—I’m repeating it with a little trepidation because I don’t know how you will understand it—Babuji Maharaj said there is no harm in telling lies to others; never lie to yourself. Every time a couple comes back from the U.S. longing to be in their home, but having only seven days leave, and five of those days given over to the auditor to pay their accounts, pay their taxes, tote up their balances, register their new purchases in India. I ask them, “Why do you come to India to buy property in India when you are never going to come back to India? Why?” It’s silly, it’s stupid, it’s ridiculous. More than anything else, it upsets the Americans when you make the wealth and you keep buying houses here which you are never going to use, and develop this illusion that you have a home to come back to, when you know you are not going to come back to a home you have here. The biggest lie of all, our brothers and sisters in the U.S. And when they do want to come back, they have relatives who have been poaching on their resources, you see, who give good gifts, who occasionally get a cheque for a hundred dollars, which is a lot of money in India, and they say, “No, no, please don’t come back. What has India to offer?” What has India to offer? What an insult to a country in which you have been born. What a shame that such speech should be used by Indians who should respect their lineage, their heritage, the richness of which we are talking about every day. And then when it comes to your moving back you say, “What is there in India for me? Dirty latrines?” Well, if your consciousness has developed only to the extent that you smell latrines wherever you go, you are a damn poor specimen of humanity, Indian or anything else. It shows you have the vision of a pig which is always looking down. I believe in some of the Upanishads or Puranic stories, the pig is the lowest because it never lifts its head; it’s always looking at offal and things like that to eat. And that is what our brothers abroad do. Pizza which stinks is wonderful food. “Ihaan pizza nathi? [Is there no pizza here?]” First question. “No, no, sir, Navsari…” but even Navsari has today Pizza Huts and what not. Fresh made dhokla? “No, no, no, I hate dhokla. I hate, you know, roti.” Pizza is nothing but a roti with a lot of cheese put upon it which turns smelly when you heat it, which is impossible to digest unless you are eighteen to twenty-five, and which we admire and which we foist upon our children. And then say, “No, no, my children love it.”
So, communication. Where is the communication? Where is the truth? “Satyam vada [speak the truth],” Kannan was saying. Not conditional. Satyam vada at 8 a.m., satyam vada when you go to bed, satyam vada—always. Dharmam chara [act righteously]—always. But the most important communication is what we convey by our own lives. If people don’t see you doing things which you tell others to do... “This above all, to thine own self be true” means ‘be outside what you are inside.’ And if the outside stinks, it means your inside stinks. Teach unto others what you are willing to be taught yourself or what you have been taught. Behave in such a way that you mean what you say and say what you mean: the fundamental tenets of Sahaj Marg, edicts of Sahaj Marg, wisdom of Sahaj Marg. Don’t have something in your heart and something [else] in your mouth. You’ll be surely found out. You know, criminals are not discovered. Criminals are waiting to be discovered. That’s why they are perpetually afraid.
So let us not distort the faculties that Nature has blessed us with, upon which our Masters have conveyed their blessings by their transmission which we are all talking of as love. Well, if we get so much love from Him why don’t we give some love to others when we meet them? Why are preceptors afraid of giving sittings? Why do they take refuge under the excuse, “I have no time”? Why does a centre with five preceptors and six abhyasis ask for one more preceptor? Why does a preceptor say, “I want to be relieved”? “Because, you know, I have a family, Chari.” So what do I have? Not a family? What do our preceptors in India have? No families? We have children. We have old parents, sick parents, poor parents. We have more children than you have ever seen or felt. And we fulfil all our responsibilities and still manage to do what we have to do for our spiritual growth, and to help others to grow because, I repeat what I started by saying, we are not given anything unless we are willing to share it with others. Whether it is health, whether it is knowledge, whether it is money.
So please remember all this and put it into use. We are too easily lured into places where we hear things which we forget when we put on our shoes as we go outside. “Yes, yes, yes, …but don’t you think we should think about it?” “Yeah, yeah, if you think about it, you know, it’s all ridiculous—satyam vada. Is it possible in modern life?” And they go to the extreme, you know. Will you tell your boss that he’s a fool? Well, truth doesn’t mean you have to go tell your boss, “You are a fool.” If he asks you, you can always say yes, with a smile. Or avoid altogether and if you are talented enough, you can change the direction in which the talk is going. Or as the Sanskrit says priyam bruyaat, tell the truth lovingly. “Not always, boss, but you know, being human beings we all tend to be foolish at times.” The Sanskrit says, satyam bruyaat, priyam bruyaat. Tell the truth, but tell it lovingly, in a fashion in which it will be accepted. Don’t say, “Yes, you have always been a damn fool. I wanted to tell it to you from day one, boss, you know, but I would have lost my job.” He says, “Well, you have, now.” You understand?
Don’t tell a lie. It’s worse than telling a truth badly. Your boss says, “Don’t you think I am an honest boss?” “There can be nobody more honest than you, boss.” And you get fifteen rupees increment where he thought he would give you a hundred. He says, “He is already happy with me, why should I give him more?” Isn’t it?
So let us develop a devotion to the Self. ‘Master’ means Self inside. Let us do our duty by the Self, again capital ‘S’. Let us listen to the Self. Let us understand what the Self is saying. Let us obey the Self. Conscience is nothing but this.
So thank you for listening and I think we’ll have a sitting before we disperse.