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Only Love is Eternally at Balance
A talk given by Shri Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari
There are certain philosophies where it is said that, in our embodied existence on earth, we bring with us our samskaras which only reflect themselves as quotas - quota for happiness, quota for sorrow, quota for sickness, quota for health. Everything is quantified by these samskaras, in a sense. Love alone suffers no quantification, because God is infinite, eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, God is love, therefore love is eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent. All the rest, I repeat, are subject to quotas.
When we come into this existence we bring with us our own ration cards, created by ourselves, that is, in this world into which I am now descending for the purpose of finishing with the embodied existence once and for all, I have to undergo - listen carefully to the word undergo - so much of pleasure, so much of pain, so much of sickness, so much of health etc. We have pre-determined this, and the wise man uses this quota like you use petrol during rationing, wisely, little by little when necessary. The fool uses all one month's quota of petrol in one day, and not only can he not travel anymore, but his car also becomes rusty from disuse.
So there has to be a wisdom in dealing with pleasure, for example. If you use up your quota, let us say, in your youth, the rest of your life is going to be not available for use. That is why saints have said, Suffer as much as possible, because when you have finished with suffering, there is only joy. Suffer as much as possible when you are young, because if you enjoy as much as possible when you are young, there is only pain and sorrow in later life. Young people must understand this very carefully, must accept the truth and must live by that truth. Don't drink of the glass of joy too lustily, because then the future is certain to be empty glasses.
So I often feel, you see, that people who live very fast when they are young - I have seen it happen that when they are even in their thirties, their quota seems to have worked out, they are facing a bleak future, they don't know how to cope with a life of say, sixty, seventy years more, with no joy in it, no pleasure in it, and often it results in the extreme methods adopted to terminate life, not remembering that life cannot be terminated, that only bodies can be terminated. If you have seen these movies Terminator 1, Terminator 2, how ardently the machine age wants to finish off with the human-being, by killing him before he was born etc. etc. you see. But that spirit will not be terminated, because it has a purpose; it has a purpose and an existence.
Existence is for a purpose. We are all here to fulfill purposes in life, and anybody who thinks his purpose in life is very simple or very insignificant is a fool, because in nature there is nothing which is insignificant. The smallest thorn is as powerful as the biggest atom bomb. There have been people who have stepped on a thorn, it has gone into the foot, and that person has died. The smallest worm is as potent as the biggest snake ever created. Viruses which you cannot see cause havoc, ravage populations, and in their own way I suppose, fulfill the purpose of balance of existence, in keeping all life in a certain balance. The human being is trying very hard to finish off everything else and to remain "the monarch of all I survey." How far he can go in this endeavour is a very questionable state, because nature wants balance. It is not as if the elephant is going to destroy you, or the virus is going to destroy you or that the dinosaurs will come back. It is a question of whether the Creator, Nature, wants such a great imbalance, that there should be only one species' existence on earth and the rest have to be killed off.
Ecology is nothing but the acceptance of a wisdom that everything in life has a place in life, and if you destroy that, you destroy a part of yourself. Every tree you cut down, you are destroying something within yourself. Every animal you kill, you are destroying something in yourself. Everyone who you consider an enemy and you destroy, you are destroying something in your life, in your self. In the political arena, in the world balance, we can see this, that with the collapse of the communist empire in the U.S.S.R., perhaps a bigger enemy is arising further to the West. Without balance there can only be chaos. Every power in life has to be balanced - health with sickness, sickness with health.
Again we come to this mysterious equation, that only love has no balancing factor because it is eternally at balance, being the Creator Himself. Therefore spirituality speaks of love; religion speaks of iham [this world], param [higher world], nenu [I], Avaru [He], tvameva maataa cha [Only you are the mother], anantam [infinite], all these funny opposites are created by religion - He is the giver, I am the receiver, He is the Lord, I am the devotee. But when you come to this mysterious factor of love, as Lord Krishna tells Arjuna, "I am you and you are I," - exactly what Lalaji told Babuji Maharaj, "I have become you and you have become me, and none can say anymore that there is any difference between the two of us." Difference of form - yes. Milk in a round glass and milk in a square glass and milk in a conical glass - they are all milk - only the glasses are different. So when we bring this love into play, especially vis-à-vis our Lord and Master, our prabhu, 'Hey Nath' [O Lord], there may be this notional distinction that He is the Lord and I am his sevak [one who serves], but in the inner self, in the essence, there is now only divinity which pervades. It is that divinity serving divinity, divinity being served by divinity, and divinity enjoying service from divinity, and divinity being blessed by the ability to serve divinity.
You see this tamasha [spectacle] going on when Lord Shiva bows to Lord Vishnu and says, "You are the Almighty." Then Vishnu bows down to Shiva and says, "You are the Almighty." And Radha asks Krishna, "What is this funny thing going on?" And Krishna bows to both and says, "Priye [beloved], this is the mystery of the universe, that I too am bound to them. I am their bhakta [devotee]." And when Radha asks, "But are you not the greatest? Are you not the Lord?" He says, "No, He is." So you see, there is no equality, there is no distinction, there is no high and low, yet eternally it seems that to fulfill the purposes of (break in tape).
So we come to this mystery of the universe you see, that everything is equal but nothing is equal. All is one and one is all but there is no all, there is no one. Even to say that only one is existing is wrong because if you say one, there is two. So we come to this mystery of spiritual life, that there neither is, nor is not - the famous Naasadiya Sukta which Babuji loved so much to quote. You cannot say of God that He is, because then you are separating God from yourself, and we are suffering the consequences of that separation, physically, mentally, spiritually. You cannot say that He is not because then you are plunged into the depths of atheism, communism and all these negative philosophies of life which are damaging, corrupting, destructive. In between somewhere is the truth. So our business in spiritual life is to find out that truth. And like every mother knows her child because she loves it and understands because she loves, we have also to understand the mystery of the universe only through love of the universe. And that is why spirituality talks of nothing but love. There is no such thing as bhakthi [devotion] and shraddhaa [faith] - that is all in the process. Like when you climb a mountain, you are going to sweat a bit, you are going to feel cold in the higher levels, you are going to feel thirsty, but the purpose is to go there.
Therefore in Sahaj Marg we must essentially try to create love - love all whom He loves. If your mother loves your brother, you are bound to love your brother because you don't want to make your mother unhappy. You don't care whether your brother is happy or not. That is not the immediate concern. Your concern is, my mother should be happy. I cannot hurt my brother because my mother will be hurt. I cannot hurt my sister because my mother will be hurt. I cannot hurt you because my Master will be hurt. Therefore this need to love all whom He loves. All are His children, black and white, abhyasi and non-abhyasi, communist, capitalist, American, Indian - it doesn't matter.
As Babuji said, you may hate what a man does but you must not hate the man himself, because inside the heart, everyone is the same. They are all reflections of the divine presence. Therefore we must learn to dislike what people do, but not dislike the person. You may not like the idli that your wife made, but that doesn't mean that your wife is a dirty woman, or a poor woman, or this or that you know, because we generally curse, "Stupid woman! She doesn't even know how to cook." Well, you are even more stupid, because you earn five lakhs of rupees a month as a computer specialist and you don't even know how to eat a bad idli. You are all the time handling computer viruses, getting more and more increments, getting better and better promotion, but you can't handle a little defect in an idli one morning. So what sort of a man are you? You can only handle viruses which don't exist except in imagination. They are electronic viruses, not even those which damage your health.
Tolerance means this that I must not expect of others what I cannot expect from myself. If I am angry, I must not be angry with others who are angry, because I am yet imperfect. If I tell lies, I must not tell somebody else, "You are a liar," because I am still a liar myself. Therefore this ultimate humility is, "Lord, all that exists bad in this universe is in me. I am the embodiment of all the evil, of all the negative forces in this universe. Let me get rid of all of this." Therefore as Babuji Maharaj said, if there is one saint of caliber in a country it is enough, because he acts as the divine vacuum cleaner, cleaning out the whole world. We are not able to even clean ourselves. Which husband can take a broom and sweep the floor in his house? Few, if any. So you see, cleaning is important in our spiritual life. Why? Not to become pure, but to remove impurity. There is no such thing as becoming pure. Purity is. Like love, purity is eternal. All that you do is to remove the imperfection, and the perfection is there. Remove the hatred, love is there. Remove the humanness, divinity is there.
So in a sense, Sahaj Marg consists of nothing more than removing, removing, removing. What? Everything. Everything in the sense that, all that is material, all that is mental - what they call constructs in modern English - they are our constructs, they are our creation. Therefore Babuji put it very simply - he said, "Remove your creation and his creation exists." It is not as if God is going to come and create something. He has already created. He created purity, love, wisdom, eternal life. Eternal life must be very pure. It is impurity, it is disease, which are our creations, which cause even this bodily life to be impermanent. Therefore there has been the dream of certain classes of philosophers, occultists, who said they could prolong bodily life eternally. Of course that is a dream, because the body ipso facto is doomed to destruction. Anything material must go. Anything mental must go.
Fear is a mental condition. It only besets us, fortunately, occasionally. Thank heavens! There are some unfortunate souls who are eternally in a state of fear, and they end up in mental asylums. So fear is easily removed, because what is temporary, what is our creation we must remove. Therefore Babuji said, "Cleaning is your job. Filling you with spirituality is my job." Here comes the co-operation between the Guru and the disciple; you do your part, He does his part. Babuji said, "You take one step towards him; he shall not fail in taking one step towards you." But your step is probably eighteen inches, his step is from one end of eternity to the other end of eternity. Therefore brothers and sisters, by this little act of co-operation that we go on cleaning ourselves, doing what he has asked us to do, which can be put in one word, obedience, we can achieve our goal very simply, because there is nothing to achieve. By obedience I remove everything that is mine, starting with my physical activities, my mental convolutions and my egoistic reactions. The three cardinal problems of spiritual existence: I and mine, third one being 'Why'. "Why should I give up?"
"Babuji was after all a simple Hindu. I am a wonderful American. Why should I give up?" Babuji says, "I am telling you, pizza is not good for you. This cheese, which is cooked, congeals into a ball of rock like thing in your stomach and you cannot digest it." "No, no, Babuji, I have been eating three pizzas a day for the last six years. Babuji says, "You know better." What Babuji perhaps is implying is, I hope you know better when the time comes. And when will that time come? When you have to go to a gastroenterologist and he tells you fatty foods are bad for the colon, eventually they produce cancer of the colon. "Yes, but doctor, I didn't eat any fatty food, but my son wants this cooked cheese." So you see, it is wisdom to obey when you have still time to obey, and obedience makes sense. "Don't drive your car rashly." There is no use telling somebody after he has had his accident and almost killed himself. Nor is there any wisdom in him saying, "In future, I won't." He has lost one leg, one ear and part of one eye, he is not going to drive any more. And his saying, "No, no. I will not drive rashly any more," is stupid. When you cannot drive, there is no possibility of driving rashly or otherwise.
So obedience is when you can, and you must not. You don't tell a baby, Don't drink. It is the adult who has to be told, who can drink but who must not drink, who can tell lies but must not tell lies, who can hate but must not hate, who can avoid satsangh but must not, who can disobey but must not. So you see, spiritual life can be condensed into a very beautiful single word, single activity, obey and everything is over. How to obey? Well try it. Your ten usools, ten maxims are there to train you in that. Try the first one first. Try the meditation. "No, no sir, I cannot meditate." Try to give up your ego. "No, no, why should I give up my ego?"
One young American asked me, "What is so great about Babuji? I see nothing wonderful about him. He is saying do this, do this, and do this. Every stupid saint in history has said it. Why, if he is such a wonderful person, he cannot give me everything without my having to obey him?" Initially I was unwilling to answer. Later I told him, by one act of obedience when you surrender, all the good in this universe comes to you. By that single act of disobedience, all the evil in this universe comes to us. Proof? We all know, we all see it before our eyes. We don't need proof. What we need is a will to accept, the will to give up our will, and let His will rule in its place.