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How Different are Human Beings from Each Other— If at All?
A talk given by Shri P. Rajagopalachari on 25th May 2006, at Vrads Sande, Denmark
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This theme is for everybody to speak about. I did not expect to have to speak about it this morning, and when I asked Malene how many more people were going to speak, she said, “Nobody.” But please feel free to give your names and you can express your views and opinions from your heart over the next three days, so that we know what we are talking about, what we are here to do and where lies the future for human beings.
I have not given any thought to this because it is not a thing about which I need to think. For me human beings are one, like all the cows in the world are one, all the mango trees are one, all the trees are one, all vegetation is one. All animals have four legs. Some we call elephants, some we call cows, some we call horses, some we call giraffes, but they are all animals—reptiles, whales, fish. Science classifies, analyzes, differentiates. Fortunately or unfortunately, the Western world is a world dependent on science and technology. So essentially the Western world is a divisive world. Here we have identities which separate us.
God created human beings. He did not create Irishmen and French and Indian and Chinese. He created human beings. “Man, woman did He create” says the Bible, so that the race may continue. Man and woman have been created for a biological purpose, not to differentiate two sexes. So you see, science divides. The more scientific we are, the more specialized we are, the more divided we are.
In my father’s days, let us say in the 1920’s, there was only one degree in college—Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts—B.A., M.A. [After B.A.] slowly came Master of Arts, Master of Science. Today we have I don’t know how many degrees. We probably need a computer to find out how many degrees we have, in everything. Sanitary engineering…. The only thing I have not yet heard is love engineering! I mean a day might come when the physical aspect of love will be defined by pressure in terms of pounds per square inch or kilograms per square centimetre, kisses in terms of pressure of the lips upon lips—I mean it’s a matter of time.
Why I am saying this is not to laugh at science but to show that science is dehumanizing even love. When you can select your mate over a computer, whether it is for a brief liaison or for a liaison over a weekend, you are leaving something to a computer, which is an unthinking, inhuman brain, something your heart should be doing. Isn’t it? “No, no, Chariji, it is a perfect world, you know. We no longer leave it to human foolishness. Love is after all a foolish thing. See how many of us are suffering because we love!” That is the Western attitude: love is a dangerous thing.
On one side we have Love is a Many-Splendored Thing, an old movie, coming out of a book by an Easterner, I think she was Chinese or Japanese or somebody—Han Suyin. The movie was made here, but the emanation of the emotion and the thing which it represented was from the East.
So the less we depend on science and technology and linguistics, we will be happy. That is one aspect of Babuji’s teaching, “Be simple and in tune with Nature.” If you go to a farmers’ meeting whether it is in Ohio or in Shanghai or in New Delhi, they are all similar. They are all simple people, working with the earth, ploughing the field. They know the weather; they can look at the sky and fairly efficiently predict whether it will rain tomorrow, how the season will be, how the crops will be. We don’t have to look at barometers and thermometers. At the lowest level (lowest I mean in terms of professions working with the earth, by the earth, living by the earth) we are all the same. The farmers are the same. They all depend on cow dung, whether it is used as cow dung fresh from the cow, or highly technologically blended into water and minerals and vitamins and sprayed over fields. And Western noses pretend that cow dung doesn’t smell any more. It does! I have driven through Germany, through France, through Switzerland, and in the season after the harvest, when fields are being prepared for fresh crops, the smell of cow dung is everywhere. I mean you can dehumanize a human being, but you cannot desensitize a cow dung—thank heavens!—otherwise you wouldn’t have any more crops.
We are made of the five bhootas as we call them in Sanskrit, the five principles—earth, water, fire, air, whatever it is. It is in cow dung, it is in human bodies, it is in eggs, it is in the bodies of saints, sinners everything. Where there is material, these five bhootas must be there. This combination will produce smells, and after all in your perfumery industries you are only trying to synthesize, that means separate and re-blend things, to give us different smells. Like you filter light through canvas [in this tent], you get something there resembling these beautiful stained glass windows in cathedrals. Look there. That’s as beautiful as a church. Look! What is wrong with this stained glass window? It’s not a window, it’s not glass, and it’s not stained, but it’s beautiful.
So the human mind divides, because after all science comes from the mind and not from the heart. So when you come to think of what is the theme of this seminar, the heart says all human beings are the same. That is why you can have an Indian marrying an Irish woman, a French man marrying a Gujarati, another Gujarati girl marrying a Danish boy. You know today’s world, in one sense, is going towards colossal ruin through science; and happily, it is also going to unification of the human because the heart is craving for love, and because political, geographical and other boundaries and frontiers are collapsing, breaking down. It is giving way to more and more humanization, that we choose human beings for our wives or husbands, and not our own religion, our own caste, our own community.
One good aspect of this European Union is we see more and more people marrying here: people from the south of France marrying in Sweden, Russians marrying Danes. I’ve been watching this in the last twenty years, you know. If you think upon it, political frontiers breaking down lead to more humanization of the human being. Russia (Cold War), Deutschland—bitter enemies from the past; France and England—bitter enemies. Where is that enmity today? Because politics has removed the barrier which it created, the frontiers it created, so that today, even an Indian like myself can go through Europe without being stopped. How much freedom! This is what God created—one world, no frontiers. Man created Germany and Holland and, I don’t know, Brussels, North and South America, the nations of South America.
God did not create religion; man created religion. There was one Christianity. One British king, who wanted freedom to marry, split Christianity into two. It was not God who created Protestantism and Catholicity; it was a man, who was brave enough or, let us say, lustful enough, or heartful enough—whichever way you turn it, it doesn’t matter. He was able to create a church of his own. God did not create Hindus and Muslims. In India, unfortunately, our own people don’t understand what Hinduism is. It is not Hinduism; it is Sanatana Dharma [the original name for Hinduism, literally means the religion without a beginning], the eternal way of going to God.
So you see the theme of this seminar is a very important one, provided you don’t think about it—just sit and meditate, and say if horses from Arabia can be mated with horses from an American state which is famous for horses, or Andalusia in Spain, why not human beings mate? They are mating, sometimes surreptitiously, sometimes openly, in marriage, most often out of wedlock, but it is happening. So-called morality, conventional morality, Christian morality, a celibate religion, a religion which talks of sex as something shameful, original sin. A religion in which so-called prophets have to be born, not through the natural means which God created, but through some hocus-pocus magical way.
We should question, you see. We should question our mind, we should question our heart, we should question our religion—three things. Mind is most suspect. Money separates people into several strata of society: the super rich, the very rich, the rich, the moderately rich, the just-about-to-be-rich, the poor, the very poor, and the starving—seven ages of man. Beauty separates women into the super beautiful, the very beautiful, the beautiful, the almost beautiful, and then of course the rest of the lot you know. God did not create beauty—we think we are beautiful.
Every white girl in her heart wants a man who is not so white. More and more of us are getting married to more and more white people. More and more white people are getting married in India. Colour difference is breaking down; caste differences are breaking down. Unfortunately, when the freedom is taken too far, it has its own consequences.
So you see, every humanly created barrier has to go, whether it is of race, religion, geography, language, anything. Sahaj Marg claims to be universal, because we don’t give any thought to these things. Therefore I am in Denmark. I am bold enough to be in Denmark. I am bolder when I am in France, because there we have a certain amount of looking down the nose. You see, across the frontier of France, are all the ‘unnecessary’ people, unwanted people of Africa. It’s amazing how many French people have been born in Morocco and in Northern African states, and yet they think they are superior to the Black African. It’s amazing. Most of the French people I know in our Mission are from the North African states. What is wrong with them? In Italy most of them are olive skinned, but they are Europeans. So you see the combination of olive skin born in Europe is different from olive skin born in India or in Greece, or the black of Africa or the yellow of China. Why? Because Europe must be white! “No, no, no, Chariji, I am not black. I was in the south of France and I did a lot of sun tanning. Donc je suis comme ca! [Therefore, I am like this.]”
And yet when it is just a matter of just a man and a woman, colour makes no bar. Lust takes over most often. Lust does not know anything, except desire. That is bad. It leads to rape very often, or unwanted relationships. I remember the case of a fellow who had some unwanted sex like that. I don’t want to name names. They had a baby and in court he was ordered to pay twenty-six million dollars or something to the girl; twenty-five thousand dollars a year to the child until it became twenty. And in court he said, “For heaven’s sake, it lasted only a few minutes.” That is lust. We have nothing to do with it. That is animal passion.
But when it comes to the heart, what makes sex in a marriage holy, acceptable, legal, moral, everything else? It is love; patently it is love, you see. Marriage needs love. Even if you are married and if there is no love, it is a loveless marriage. And such marriages are often kept together only by companionship in bed. Physical union is supposed to be able to cement two hearts together. But all the romantic stories, poems, plays of Shakespeare, you know the love lasts almost forever, there is no possibility of being together physically, and they have become the great stories of the world. That is true love. This is moderately truthful love—with a little desire, and a lot of love. Rape is only desire, no love—animal.
So you see how much difference the heart makes to any situation. A mother gives love to her child, though it may be in the form of her milk, or clothes, or a blanket covering the baby when it is sleeping. It is her love which shows. If a nurse comes and does it, there is no love in it; there is only efficiency, for which you pay. No baby ever paid its mother for the care which she bestowed upon it over the years she brought it up. But it loves its mother because it knows the mother loved it. The father clothes his children with love in a different way—with discipline, with care, with education.
So you see, love is behind everything. “Oh, she is a wonderful mother, you know. She doesn’t let the baby out of her sight.” That’s not very loving. Like your dog must go out for walks, either taken out or sent out, you must give your child also freedom. Freedom within limits is the real freedom. Unlimited freedom is excess, is license; and generally unlimited freedom means you don’t care what happens to your children. “Oh no, I love my child,” you know.
And this Western habit, or philosophy or way of life, where parents think their children must learn from their own experience. “No, no, Chariji, he must learn for himself, by himself.” And you see the tragedy that is Europe, and the worse tragedy that is the U.S. Drugs in schools, prostitution in schools, so-called love. Drugs for prostitution; prostitution to make money to have drugs. Because we let our children run wild. We try to let them learn for themselves, not because we really believe in it but because the adults are too busy with their own love lives to bother about the lives of their children.
Don’t you think it is shameful that science should produce things like Viagra to activate so-called powers within the human body, when nature made them become latent, inoperative? It is like feeding our cows (I’m told this is done in the West) with minced meat offal so they will yield better milk. A vegetarian turned into a non-vegetarian to yield vegetarian food. The wonders of Western intellectual thought! I don’t know what other horrors they are up to in their laboratories—biological, physical, chemical, atomic.
Everyday we hear warnings, “Beware, the Doomsday is at hand.” But we laugh it off. One tsunami and we go scuttling like a dog with its tail between its legs—one single tsunami. So we need disasters to awaken the heart. Unfortunately, we do. Prosperity breeds intolerance, selfishness, self-centredness, acquisitiveness, and a “let the neighbour go to hell” sort of attitude—prosperity.
I’ve often referred to a small story by James Allen, a little-known English philosopher, whose observation was that in winter, you put a few crumbs of bread on your window sill, all the sparrows will come and eat it cooperatively. In spring and summer, when there is plenty, you put one loaf of bread, and one sparrow will sit on it and prevent everybody else from coming near it. Humans are no better; I hope they are no worse. At least we can say sparrows have no heart. But they have this gregarious tendency of being together when it is a difficult time, you know. Everybody lives and lets everybody else live—live and let live.
In London during the Second World War, how people lived in Undergrounds when German bombing was going on, it is well known. We need calamity, we need disorder, we need mass sickness, mass trouble, to make human beings come together, share. Misery makes us share; prosperity makes us cheat, rob, acquire. Again the heart, we need the human hearts to come together in times of prosperity, in times of health, in times of well-being.
Fortunately for us, there are institutions like this where a thousand people, two thousand people, fifty thousand people, can come together without differences of caste, colour, language, religion, sit and listen patiently, meditate together. In some fashion we have all been attracted to this unity of one consciousness, which says, “Brothers and sisters, we are one. Let us remain one. Let us always be one. Let our hearts decide what is good for us.” That is why Babuji said, “Even if you have to cut away your head and throw it, spirituality is cheap.”