Web Content Display
A talk given by Shri Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
You have watched the foundation stone ceremonial this morning, and perhaps in a year’s time your new meditation hall will be ready.
I was thinking that in India we have a funny concept: that if a person, in his own judgement, thinks he has done nothing wrong, has not harmed anybody, he doesn’t need to meditate. Many people don’t come because they say, “Sir, I have not done anything wrong. I have done no harm to anybody. I have lived a quiet, good life. So why do I need meditation?” So all the good people remain, while all those who don’t think they are very good, those who have something to be ashamed of, who have cheated, harmed people, they come for meditation and go up. This seems to indicate that the ladder of spiritual life is more for the negative people than for the positive. And in many languages we have proverbs, like you know in Tamil we say, “Dharmam thalai kaakum”—dharma will protect you. It’s not enough. Just because you have not harmed anybody, you don’t qualify to be elevated to the status of liberation even.
Human beings are not expected to harm people, they are not expected to be cruel, they are not expected to be thieves. They are expected to be humans. That is why Babuji Maharaj says, “From animal man to human is the first step in spirituality.” And then you have so many other steps, you see, from human to divine, things like that. So when you talk to people, you must emphasise this point that when you buy butter you expect it to be good, when you buy potatoes you expect them to be good. We don’t expect to buy rotten potatoes, or rancid butter, or curdled milk. So we are expected to be good human beings, honest, charitable, compassionate, loving; that, in fact, is the base from which we can evolve. Below that, if you are going to come from animal type of man to human man, that is only correctional. It is like a person in jail being brought out after serving his term; the correctional part of his life is over, now he can start life all over again.
So good people, as Babuji said, will keep coming back [reincarnate], you see. As Babuji said, if you have really lived a good dharmic [righteous] life you will come back in a better way as a human being. We were talking about Brahma and all those people this morning—how Brahma will live to 432 crore (which is one day for him). Like that, [he ‘lives’ for a] hundred years. But the Gita says he will come back too. You see how by virtue of having led a meritorious life, he has condemned himself to a hundred kalpas, as they say, of ‘life’ [kalpa = a day in Brahma’s life]. He has to wait for all that time to pass before he will come back to bhoomi, bhooloka [earth], which we call karma bhoomi, and start evolving towards liberation again. He must be cursing himself for having done so much good that he is elevated to the post of Brahma. He would be shouting, “Aiyo aiyo. Emi chesinanu [What did I do], sir? Why don’t you release me from there?”
You know many politicians—they get their post, they become chief ministers, prime ministers. Many of them must be thinking, “Why did I stand for election? I was happy. I was happy in Nalkonda, or Peddapuram or Rawalpindi, you see. I was doing business, I had good income. Now I have to spend to be elected. After election my life is in danger. People are criticizing me, cursing me.” We also do the same thing—“God is blind.” Isn’t it? Who has not said God is blind, God has no kindness, God favours the few—critical.
So spirituality says, being good is not enough, you are expected to be good. Suppose your son came and said, “Papa, papa, I did not fail in class.” Is it enough? Or your daughter marries a beggar and says, “I love him.” So, certain things are expected of human beings. And to bring that expectation into being is the first step of spiritual life. Because according to Babuji Maharaj, there few human beings who qualify to be human beings today. They all have so-called animal tendencies. They are lustful, avaricious, greedy, climbing on other people’s shoulders, killing them first.
So, these ashrams are to help you: first, to become a real human being. I won’t say good human being, because every human being has to be good, has to be kind, has to compassionate, loving, merciful. So I hope these ashrams that we are going on building and this one particularly here in Thumukunta, it will hold this lesson for human beings that to be a good human being, my dear brother or sister, is not enough. You have to be a divinised human being, therefore mlechcha or brahmana [of low-caste or high-caste], good or bad, criminal or just, everyone has to go through this school of spirituality. Remember what the Gita says: from god Brahma himself, everybody has to come back here to earn liberation, not merit. Merit gives rewards. Spirituality gives liberation (first step), then realisation, then merger—not available to the meritorious. Meritorious means, like in the police they have police medals, the army has decorations: Visishta Veer Chakra, Param Veer Chakra, you know. What is the use after they retire? They have to sell it sometimes to buy bread.
So let us remember that merit is not a qualification, and if you want to look at the disqualification it can confer, think of Brahma Devudu [Lord], that he has been cursed with long life, that he has been cursed with the job of going on creating. It is like a man who is oversexed, and God says, “Live thousand years and go on having children.” What would he do? How would he feel? He would curse himself.
So please remember: we are not living life to earn merit. We are living life to become human, better and better (in the sense of quality)— that is, compassion, mercy, charity, love, to divinisation. And I hope these ashrams will serve you well. Use them well, and become what you have to become.