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Material Life is the Vehicle to Spirituality
Garden of Hearts, 25 September 2011, Chennai, India
[…] I think it is a recognition of the fact that I was a former resident of this Garden of Hearts long ago! I am happy to see a happy group of people around me, a lot of children. I hope you are training them properly because what we have as the first generation of abhyasis was not quite well disciplined because, of course, they were the ragtag of a population which had no discipline at all, and Babuji made what he could out of them. But at least in one function they have not disappointed us, in that they have produced a lot of children who we hope will be the second generation, if not the third generation of abhyasis.
You know, in a good building we have a sound foundation, but the foundation is never seen after it is has been built because it goes into the ground and it has to hold up the structure. So what we see is the beauty of the structure; we never see the foundation, which is as it should be.
I would like to emphasise the need to train your children properly, especially mothers, because I see many of them in the ashram instigating their children to run around, to shout, to come to me when I am on my walk. That is not the way to train children. Children should be trained to be disciplined, to be seen and not heard, to study well. Because all of you who are parents know, these are your children but more especially my Master's children. They belong to the Mission. You have been in the Mission. The Mission has helped you to grow, to exist happily, comfortably, in protected surroundings like this, so that you have a responsibility to the parampara of Sahaj Marg, the hierarchy, to feed future generations of Sahaj Marg with well-prepared, well-conceived children into this, I don't know, twenty-seven thousandth generation if that is the plan of divinity.
So, first of all, to train your children you must train yourself. Indisciplined parents can never have disciplined children. Yathaa raajaa, tathaa prajaa [As is the king, so are the subjects] – you can also say, yathaa maata pitaa, tathaa putra pautra [as are the parents, so are the son and grandson]. So don't forget, you are here to train yourself, to equip yourself to get into the Brighter World when your turn comes, when your time comes – may it be long in the future, but your greater responsibility is to the Mission. Lord Krishna is supposed to have held up the Govardhan [mountain] and protected the people of Brindavan. You are all in a sense to lift up your own small parvataa [mountain], you see, your samskaras, your destiny, your hope, and give your children adequate grounding so that they can lead a material life just enough comfortably to be able to practise meditation very well.
The material life, like the foundation of a house, should not be very visible – I mean it is there because we are in the body, but its main purpose is to help it to liberate the soul from inside. So the material life we must construe, we must think of as a vehicle in which the soul has come into this world only to get out of it when it reaches its destination. Like you take a bus or your car or your aircraft and you get out of it when you reach the destination. And that is all the care that should be given to it – to make it capable of taking me from here to there. You understand?
A luxurious life, I believe, we should not aspire for, because wherever there is luxury there is laziness, there are temptations, there are corruptions, and inevitably some degree of fall. And then we have not only to get out of the car but to change cars into another life, which should not be your goal in this life. Remember your prayer always: Thou art the real goal of human life. Here, I need just enough to be able to bring up my family in reasonable comfort, but with health, with strength of body, mind, with education enough for them to earn their living when their time comes to liberate themselves. You know, when a worm becomes a chrysalis and it finally emerges out of it as a moth, a beautiful moth, it does not look back at the chrysalis. In fact, it does not know that it was a worm before and now I am a moth; it does not know. So please do not worry about your material lives.
Babuji Maharaj told me, when I went to his divine feet in 1964, that Lord Krishna had made him a promise. Listen to it carefully. Lord Krishna said, "No sincere abhyasi of this Mission will ever lack for food and shelter." I said, listen carefully. I hope you have listened carefully. The one operative word, which you should be very careful about, is sincere. No sincere abhyasi will ever lack for food or shelter. That is yuga purusha's promise to us. But of course, if you want luxury, if you want to drive in a Mercedes car, that sort of thing, then you have to put in extra effort, which means you are taking time away from your spiritual practice to merely go in a vehicle which you could have had with, for instance, a Santro. So please, cut down your ambitions, your desires, knowing that the spirit of the prayer says: Our desires are putting bar to our advancement. You understand?
Today's dinner is not so much for the excellent items that you are eating. I believe all this luxury food has been ordered by the organisers just to tempt you here. Otherwise you may be somewhere listening to some music or going to some seven-star restaurant to host a ten thousand dollar dinner, or just driving around enjoying your luxury. Remember, every luxury is a temptation. But if you turn your head away from it, you see the Master standing there, and he says, "Good! You have made proper use of this temptation into which you need not have fallen at all, but even then there is some sense in you which has turned your head away from it towards the goal."
So, please use every opportunity you can to remind yourself that I am in this world not for some stupid liberation or things like that. We are not escapees; we are not escapists. I am not in Sahaj Marg to escape some horrid prison of my life. I may boldly say that I was quite happy as a non-abhyasi; I had nothing to regret. I did not want to escape into anything else. But something here [in my heart] made me look for, seek without knowing what I am seeking, looking for something I don't know what I am looking for, not knowing where to go – yet finding it. That is His grace.
So when this urge is here in your heart, however feeble it may be – believe me, in every human heart it is there. It cannot be not there, because it is me in my real essence, like every child looks for its mother. So, the divine in me, the soul, is inevitably looking, looking, looking, I don't know through how many lives in the past. Yet it is His mercy, the Lord's grace, that eventually brings us together into some place like this where we can share our experiences, have sittings in the comfort of an ashram, in the luxury of an ashram, in the protection provided by an ashram, in an environment that is charged by his grace with his transmission. Things are made so easy for us that we often tend to forget that Sahaj Marg is not only meant for places like Garden of Hearts built by some good-hearted abhyasis, but it is like a nest which a bird builds so that there are eggs in which the chicks can grow, burst out of the egg and fly.
So I pray that all of you will have the sense, the determination and the continuing effort that it requires for you to break out of your shell. Believe me, the strength is there. If a mere chicken can break an eggshell from inside – you know nature has designed that egg so beautifully that it cannot break, yet the chicken – what gives it the sense, what gives it the determination to break out of it? You know, everything in nature is doing it. Unfortunately they have no desire, they have only purpose. We humans are trapped, we have purposeless desire.
So I would like not to talk too much. You all know what you are here for. You all know what we are here for. You all know what the ashram is here for. And blessed are they who are so close to it that they are just opposite the place of bliss, our Manapakkam ashram, Babuji Memorial Ashram.
I pray for you all. Thank you for having me here, and giving me a good meal!