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God is Everything
Talk given by Shri P. Rajagopalachari at the USA Annual General Meeting
at the Molena Ashram, USA on August 23, 2003
No official motions and voting and all that? Nothing? Oh! I'm always disappointed when there is no raising of hands (abhyasis raise hands). Okay! It's wonderful to see all that enthusiasm. Enthusiasm means to put God into you; comes from theos; en-theos - to put God into you. That's what we do here. Every transmission is putting God into your hearts, because transmission is the essence of Divinity. And when it manifests itself in our work, in the glitter in our eyes, in the tears when we part, in the longing for being re-united again - all that is an expression of the Divine in us. Because there is no divinity without feeling.
The world has not taught us what love really means. Love is feeling, not emotion. Emotion is smoke. Love is feeling and that is fire. And as all fires, it must burn. It must consume us. So, a love which does not consume is not love, it's tinsel. Fraud. So that is what we wish to see, you see. And when we love we want to work for them; we want to serve people whom we love, don't we? We love our children; we serve them, though not in the sense in which we use the word service, because today the word service means paisa, dollars, money. "I serve Microsoft" - that means I'm earning my money there, doesn't mean anything more. And when I sell my shares and make a lot of money, I'm serving myself. That is self-service. Either you go and pick up your pizza in the restaurant, you know - that's self-service, too, or you punch a button and get out a bar of chocolate - self-service. Register yourself by punching a button - self-service. But the true self-service is where you serve the Self within: your essential Self. That is spiritual life.
So the three levels of work is where you serve your material self which you have to do. You have to look after the body, you have to feed it, you have to keep it healthy so that it'll carry you through this life's voyage, that you began in your mother's womb, and end up in the Brighter World. This should be our journey. Not from here to Tokyo or to Timbuktu. From the moment of conception when you are born into this material world, to the moment of liberation when you are in the Brighter World - that is the true journey of our life. That's why we say, "Thou art the real goal of human life." Our temporal goals ... today some people will go to Detroit, some will go to Dallas, some will go to San Jose. For me it will never end because I'm always going from somewhere to somewhere until it ends. So the first level of work is this work which we do to keep ourselves happy, healthy, and hopefully, wise.
That wisdom must lead us to the second level of work - the spiritual work upon ourselves; that I must know that I'm here for a spiritual purpose, and not for a menial purpose. You know all material purposes are menial purposes. If I work for money, I'm selling myself, and there's no use in compromising and saying, "But I need the money." That's why noble work doesn't take money in return. The true doctor doesn't demand fees; the true teacher doesn't accept fees. It used to be the tradition that the teacher taught and the students brought - you know, somebody brought some cornflakes; somebody who had cows brought some milk; somebody whose father was a millionaire brought some sugar and they all sat down and ate it together. No giving and taking - participating, partaking, and enjoying together a mutuality of existence where everybody shared, each one contributing what he could: the teacher contributing his knowledge, his wisdom; and the disciples, the students, contributing what they could. First, by their presence - if there are no students, there is no teacher. Please remember you cannot be a professor without students, you cannot be a Guru without disciples, and you cannot be God without devotees.
There is a philosophy, which says, "If there are no devotees, there is no God." Until human beings came on this planet, there was no God. I mean animals, and birds and beasts and insects - they don't know what God is. It's like a person who's never married saying, "I'm waiting for my wife." You can't have a wife; there are billions of women all over the world, but you have a wife only when you're married. Similarly, you have a God only when you recognise His presence in your life. Not as some fictitious presence somewhere in some godforsaken heaven which doesn't exist.
I don't believe that heaven is God's abode. A heaven in which I am not and in which my God is not with me, is no heaven. If He is with me, this is heaven too. Therefore, I say, "All this and heaven too," because all of you are with me. I'm in heaven, and my Master is with me. Wonderful! We are all together in one divine existence, in one divine abode - which is here and now. Religion offers us fictitious goals. Where, where is heaven? 'God in heaven' - yes, but what is He doing up there? If He is in heaven He should be concerned with me, not with my mundane welfare that "Oh, today I don't have chocolates," the child says. "Today I have cornflakes but no milk," the husband says. "Today I have a wallet, but no money in it," says the man. "I have a car but no gas," says the frustrated student. That is not God's purpose. If God is with me, I have everything. If God is with me where I am, having nothing, I have everything, because God is everything.
This is the secret philosophy - it's supposed to be esoteric and all this blah, blah of, you know, hidden knowledge, hidden wealth, hidden wisdom. Why hidden? Nothing is hidden. Everything is open. But we are told, "Do not see because thou shalt be blinded." Well, my eyes have not been blinded, I have seen. What blinds me, you know, is the flash of the cameras, which don't show me myself. So remember, there's no light which can blind me if it is Divine. There is no form which can frighten me if it is Divine. God is not a ghost that He will appear and I should be frightened to see Him. I will see only the Beloved.
So we must learn to get out of these clutches and, what should I say, the lies that have been forced upon us through religious teachings. All religions all over the world - they are teaching us the same thing. God is not here, please pray on your knees, humble yourself. I mean a mere father doesn't want his son coming grovelling to him on his knees and say, "Daddy can I have a couple of bucks." He would say, "Who the hell are you! Are you my son? Come on, get up, stand up on your two damn feet, man?" Wouldn't you say it? I would not like my son grovelling before me in the dust and beating his chest, with ashes on his forehead. Would you do it? So how do you think God will like your grovelling in the dust and beating your breast, and wailing? He wants us coming erect with our head held up and saying, "I am your son. Whatever I am, I am that."
A son has this place in this home; this home is mine because it is my father's. I don't have to grovel and have doors opened to me by priests whom I have to bribe. I don't have to buy a lot in some graveyard to be buried in. What for? If I have no dignity in my soul, my body has no dignity whatsoever. It is what religion says: dust and ashes. All bodies are dust and ashes, whether it is Christian or Hindu or Muslim or Buddhist or whatever. The body has no place in our existence except as a vehicle to transport me, as I said, from conception to liberation. If it does not fulfil that purpose - like a car in which we commute everyday to Atlanta to go and earn our bread, we keep riding in it again and again, and that is the misery of life.
So let us make sure, dear sisters and brothers, and all the future of our hopes - our children, that we shall make this journey only once, and remember the old thing which I cannot quote, because I have forgotten it myself: "I shall pass this way but once. Any good that I can do, or any charity that I can bestow, or anything that I can share - let me do it now, for I may never pass this way again."