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Readjust Our Lifestyle
(by revered Kamlesh D. Patel, February 2, 2016, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India)
I am really very happy to be here at Kurnool Ashram on the occasion of Pujya Lalaji Maharaj’s birthday, as per the English calendar on the 2nd of February. We are very fortunate to be assembled on this occasion here. His blessings are incessant, his love is profound and his message is very profound.
During the meditation, some words kept repeating about obedience to karmaphalas1. Our life is guided in a kind of infinite way through this burden of karmaphalas, this obedience to our destiny. This is what we are all caught up with. Sahaj Marg would like us to take a pause and break this chain of cause and effect, which is creating more and more samskaras, more and more samskara karmaphalas. In Sahaj Marg we can prevent this incessant never-ending cycle. How to achieve that?
Our Elders have given us the ways and methods: morning meditation and evening cleaning. Please don’t take this very lightly, as these methods are very profound when done with all sincerity and love. If you want to break this incessant cycle of having to remain obedient to karmaphalas, not just in this life cycle but for the entire existential life cycle of the soul, then you will also have to practise the methods incessantly, without any break. It is better to practise like never before, for ten years, fifteen years at the most, because Sahaj Marg doesn’t advocate such the practice for your whole life. We must practise in such a way that we can stop our practice after some time. How is this possible? When meditation, cleaning and prayer become a twenty-four hour business, so that then there is a constant meditative state.
We have been entertaining this idea of how meditation itself can create a bondage, even though it sounds ridiculous. There are all kinds of worship, be it puja, ritualistic worship, mantra or meditation. All pujas and rituals will lead us to experience something, and we often either like or dislike each of these experiences. The moment we get caught up in liking and disliking, we form a bondage. Every time we have a great experience during meditation we want it to be repeated, we want it to be intensified and we want it to last for a longer period. Is this not attachment to our own experience, created by meditation? So we have to follow our practice very wisely.
Meditation has to be understood properly. It is a process to create a meditative state. Once this meditative state is achieved, where there is serenity, calmness and peace, we can do many things with that.
Babuji Maharaj said in one of his conversations with our Master, “One abhyasi came and I had to remove the solidity from his heart, because he was practising certain kinds of ritualistic worship; he created such grossness.” And I am bold enough to say today that even our meditation, if not understood properly, can be a bondage. Meditation has to be understood properly. It is a process to create a meditative state. Once this meditative state is achieved, where there is serenity, calmness and peace, we can do many things with that.
A few days back we met a few young abhyasis who recently joined through a Heartfulness programme in a school. I asked them a question: “Why do we meditate?” The children did not know, and I don’t blame them, so a very enthusiastic abhyasi raised her hand and was restless to answer. “It is to regulate the mind,” she said.
I didn’t want to probe further, but the next question would be: Why do we need to regulate the mind? Then: What shall we do with a regulated mind? What shall we do with the peace of mind, stillness and calmness that exist within us at this very moment? Can we fight one another with such a condition in the heart? With such a condition, when we read a book, we will understand it better. When we interact with family members or co-workers or anyone else with such a calm state of mind, we will be more understanding in nature.
So the reason for calmness, peace and stillness is to bring these great human qualities into the open and make them more dynamic. Thus we will be able to bring about unity and peace in this world. There is no point meditating and feeling peaceful, like a selfish dog that has just eaten a bone and is relishing it. We are no better: “I enjoyed my meditation. Oh, it was such a lovely meditation at Kurnool Ashram.” But what do you do with it? So please think over what sort of a business we are in.
Lalaji Maharaj gave so much importance to interpersonal relationships, how we interact with each other, akhlaaq. It should be from the highest level, not the lowest. We must respect the other person, as if we are interacting with our own Murshid [Master] or our own Elders. He would say that the greatness of the soul is displayed in the behaviour of the person. If there is no discrimination in a person, there is also no wisdom. When I say, “I have no choice because I’m obeying my destiny, or I’m obeying my samskaras,” then I have to be very discriminative about what is the result of my samskaras. When I am walking on the street and I am tempted to do a certain act or think in a certain direction, is that action or that thought a cause or an effect of my samskaras? The things that I am doing in my daily life, are they the effect of my past samskaras, or am I causing them to happen and making more samskaras in the process? Are we discriminative enough to distinguish between the two?
The greatness of the soul is displayed in the behaviour of the person. If there is no discrimination in a person, there is also no wisdom.
So, with stillness, calmness and peace in the heart, we can easily distinguish what is good for us, what is helping to us to evolve, what is the cause and what is the effect. And based on this, we can screen our future actions by properly adjusting our heart’s tendencies. So I wish you to reassure yourselves that, “I am on this path of Sahaj Marg to evolve; this evolution is possible only through change; I must allow my Masters to make this change happen through cooperation.” How can I receive the messages of the inspiration of the Masters when I am too busy with myself, I am too busy with my ideas, and I am too busy with my desires and thoughts?
So on this very auspicious day of Pujya Lalaji Maharaj’s birthday, let us introspect and readjust our lifestyle, so that we can become more and more peaceful in the heart, contented in the heart, and carry on with our evolution at a personal level.
1. The results of our actions