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Open your Heart
Malampuzha Ashram Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony,
Master: You want to stay one more day?
Abhyasi: Yes. You will stay one more day, Master?
Master: Oh no, no! We were supposed to stay, but you know… Babuji used to say, “Not too much enjoyment. Balance!”—what Brother Somakumar said just now, about contentment and happiness. Contentment is balance; happiness is overflow. [There should be] no overflow, no emotion. Contentment is a feeling, a state of mind, a state of heart. Happiness is an emotion. So, no emotion in Sahaj Marg. The secret of all this he forgot—now how does this Sahaj Marg succeed? You have been a prefect; how did you succeed in your work?
Abhyasi: As a prefect? By trying to allow the Master to work through me.
Master: Yes. But, in real fact, what a prefect should do is to win the heart of the abhyasi. We have a saying that ‘Love is God. God is love.’ If that is so, when you work on the heart where God is supposed to be, what are you doing? Suppose you have a coach and four horses, and you are harnessing them to the coach. And then the boss comes and says, “You drive him.” And he thanks you for taking him to wherever he wants to go. In reality, who is doing the driving? The horses. Why do they go? Because you love the horses. If you don’t love horses and you hate them—neighhhhhh [sounding like a recalcitrant horse]! So you pat them on the neck, you brush them, you kiss them, give them a cube of sugar, and then they will behave well. The feeling is important; the horse must look at you and recognize you.
So here also we do the same thing. You know, Kerala is a tough nut. But my first apprenticeship came because, when I was serving in my company, I had to do some work here to sell things. And I was very successful, because I got along with everybody. I never made friends. Even today I tell my son, Krishna: “I have no friends. I have only one friend; He is up.” But through Him, you know—it is like a waterfall is there, but water is also here, if you convey it properly, in a river or a stream.
So everything comes from there; not only Sahaj Marg. Love comes from there. God is love. So when you have God in your heart you are capable of loving properly. Not this sham business of lust mixed with opportunity. Do you understand? So in spirituality when you are able to harness the hearts of your people, they work as if they are not working for you, but for themselves—which is true.
Now these people may think, “What is this? Somebody comes from Madras and builds.” I’m not building for myself. I may come here or not, it doesn’t matter. But, this is for the people of Kerala. They are expected to use it more than anybody else. And why should they use it? Because they see that somebody has come who is interested in their welfare—interested enough to put money. As I said, it is going to cost half a million dollars. The land we got free, thanks to the generosity of people like Somakumar and Ravi. That is the first step, you see. You make a heart so nice, so tender, so loving that they are willing to give you anything. You follow? It should be like that in marriage also. Not something you ask and you get. You give, and all this bribery business—‘I give you a nice saree; you look after me’—not like that. This must work [pointing to the heart].
You know, Kerala began very late in Sahaj Marg. Tamilnadu developed. All over India it was developing. Gujarat was developing. Uttar Pradesh—you know, it’s a mad state. It is the state of Lord Krishna, and there is mad love, love without discipline. In Tamilnadu it is too much intellectual. So they want intellect in everything. They will say, “God has a brain, so why don’t we use our brain?” They don’t understand truly the love, the value of the heart. Even in music, you will find North Indian music is more beautiful to hear, melodious. South India Carnatic music is more grammar, percussion and technical. So, even though I studied Carnatic music for eight years and I played the flute, when I heard Maali (T.R. Mahalingam)—he was a Carnatic man, but he was totally unorthodox—I gave up my Carnatic tradition and went to the North Indian tradition. I had to play in my marriage with my guru, and he found that whatever he had taught, I was playing in a different way, you see, with him. So, after the concert, he said, “I think you have changed your style.” I said, “Yes, I’m sorry to say, but—I have not changed the music; I’ve only changed the style.” So like that, we go towards the heart means, it goes. In music especially, it is more and more of innovation from the heart. Whereas, if you innovate from the head—like you have a metronome, tick, tock, tick, tock—it’s not so good. People may admire it who are intellectual.
So what we have done here, thanks to Somakumar, Ravi, and some of our prefects… Some have been very ‘Kerala’ prefects. Even prefects—they have not worked. They say, “Why should I work?” They accept the prefect certificate, then they say, “Nokatte,”that means ‘let us see.’ “That fellow [referring to himself] has come to Pathanamthitta once. He will not come again,” they will say.
So that we have everywhere. We have Punjabi prefects who are totally Punjabi. We have Tamil prefects who are entirely Tamil—Tamil culture, Tamil music, Tamil language. And they will say, “Why doesn’t he speak in Tamil? This is Tamilnadu, you know.” But I must speak a language which everybody understands, and that is the language of the heart. When you tell a child ‘no’, it understands, but it is not yet French—it is too young. And, you say “Oui, oui, cheri. [Yes, yes, dear.]” and it understands. How does it understand? You tell your dog, it understands. You tell your cow, it understands. It is not words we really understand. It is the feeling and the emotion behind it that we understand. I can smile and say, “Oh, these French are stupid, you know,” but it will not fool the French. Isn’t it? So reality has a way of touching hearts, whether we know it or not.
So that is what we should convey. And this can be conveyed only when you become selfless yourself. Babuji told me a secret long ago. He said, “Remember, you are in this business of being a prefect for their good; and you are working for me. In between you have nothing to do.” But that ‘nothing to do’, many prefects say, “Oh, then I sit with my eyes closed. It’s a wonderful thing. And we get coffee and free food after that!” [Abhyasi: “In Kerala?”] Everywhere! So we are in between, like the pipe between the water and the consumer. Or like the electrical wire between the powerhouse and the consumer. It has to convey. So I asked Babuji, “What do I get out of it? I mean, you must give me something, damn it!” And Babuji said, “If you give food with your hand, your hand has the smell of food. That is yours. And if you distribute roses, it has the smell of roses. And if you distribute spirituality, you will have some spirituality left in you.” And he said even the best prefect retains twenty percent of the transmission in his own heart.
You know when you convey water through a canal, much of the water goes into the ground; that is its reward. Now in modern technology, because we get less and less water in most countries, we line it with plastic and make the water not go into the earth. One day the earth will rebel. So, Babuji used to say, “In this business you get twenty percent commission.” In no business transaction do you get twenty percent commission. But our prefects, some of them, they want to count the twenty percent and see if it is really twenty percent. That doesn’t happen. But when you have faith, like Somakumar said in his talk now, you find that you’re changing so much that sometimes you start weeping yourself. “How did I change so much?”
Now, those who have hard hearts, those who are in life only for business, for power, for supremacy, to dominate others, they don’t want their hearts to change. Recently I lost an abhyasi who stopped meditating. He was giving excuses that he is very busy, he is travelling abroad, this that and the other. But the real fact is, as reported to me by somebody else, that he is the financial controller of a big organisation, and he has to deal with money. And he felt his heart was becoming too soft so that he could not do his business effectively. And he stopped. What shall we do with such people? The world is full of such people. Sahaj Marg tries its best. We can break a mountain with a transmission, but what about the human heart? We are forbidden, also.
Babuji made it very clear that we can deal only with those who are willing to be transformed. We cannot compel. Many people have asked, “What about God, can He not change [people]?” He said, “Then what is the pleasure? There is no pleasure in changing somebody just like that. We have dogs, we have lions, we have cows. We can train them in a matter of a few months. But human beings—some will never change.” Babuji used those words, and I said, “Babuji, you said ‘never’?” He said, “Yes. I am sorry to say it. They will come here again and again and again and again, until big tragedies, big losses make their hearts slowly melt. It may take a hundred lives, five hundred lives, five thousand lives—only they can decide.” And then when these big tragedies happen, you know like a millionaire, one who has two thousand million dollars, and his wife is dying of cancer and he can do nothing. Then he begins to realise that his money is useless for the real things of life. It can buy you yachts; it can buy you Boeing 747s, private planes. It can buy you all the beautiful cinema actresses, and anybody else you want. But it cannot buy you health; it cannot buy you love. There may be a thousand women travelling with you on your yachts, but none of them love you. They are there for your money. That he finds out, you see. “I have spent millions. Thousands of them eat with me every day, you know, caviar and, I don’t know what else, brussel sprouts! I spend lavishly on them. Every day they consume hundred bottles of champagne. But not one of them loves me.” Then he begins to realise that money is a fraud. Everything money buys is a fraud. It is temporary; it has no permanence; it does not last. The only lasting thing is love. Then he thinks of his nurse who has been nursing him patiently through twenty-five years, and she is secretly in love with him. He marries her. But to come to that stage you have to go through a lot of illness, a lot of pain, a lot of suffering, a lot of betrayal. That’s a long way, you know. It can go on life after life.
So sometimes I have felt—why do we take so many lives? Suppose I am prone to anger, like Ravana. In one life I get over that. I become so angry, I shoot somebody. I am taken by the police. I go to jail. I live all my life in jail and die. At that time I decide—never more will I get angry. It’s a deathbed resolution. It goes with the soul. In my next life, I am very gentle. But I am arrogant about my service. “Without me, you cannot exist,” like a nurse. And I see that whenever I am arrogant, the patient is dying. Then at the end of that life, I say, “No more arrogance.” You see this girl who is simple, she has no education, and she is successful with the patients because she sits, loves them, kisses them. Whereas I am arrogant in my starched uniform and with my stethoscope. So, no more arrogance. So, anger gone; arrogance gone. Like this, one by one, we have to lose. So it takes so many lives. It is like a boy who fails at geography, therefore he fails. He says, “I must study geography.” Next time he is very good at geography but he has neglected mathematics.
So we have to get completely an integrated growth where all characteristics are balanced. Without balance, there is no spiritual progress. We must have money, we must have health, we must have power, we must have joy, but everything for the sake of others, not for yourself. This is the secret of life. When this happens, then whatever people may think of you, inside your motor is the best, like a Mercedes Benz: silent, noiseless, very powerful. This power nobody can see, therefore you don’t use it. It doesn’t have to be used, because from your heart everything comes. They recognize. Like you go to a cowshed and all your cows recognize you because you are feeding them every day. Mooo! They come. And you pat them on the neck, give them a banana and they are happy. So unless you are able to win hearts, there is no work which can succeed.
Of course today you see they are paid more and more, but that is in the nature of a bribe. Once upon a time, somebody used to get ten rupees, today they get a million rupees. Like Bill Gates has a wealth of about fifty-eight billion dollars. What will he do with it? He is a rich man. But if the share price falls by a dollar, he will be worth thirty-eight billion instead of fifty-eight billion. Somebody can commit suicide if his heart is not strong. Another says, “Well, this is only paper. Tomorrow, if it rises, I am again worth [more]. If it falls, I have nothing. So, I’m not rich. It depends on the rise and fall of the stock market.” You know, it’s like a ship. Its safety depends upon the rise and fall of the water. If it is violent, what happens to the commander? He will have to pray, and they do pray. The mast breaks, the engine runs down, and you are going like this and like this, and people are in danger.
A little wind and the sailor loses his ego. A little fire and the fireman loses his ego. Like that, to lose the ego, normally we have to lose something on which our ego is fixed. Therefore a rich man has to lose his money. A man who is very proud of his health has to lose his health. A man who is very proud of his power has to lose his position. “Oh, I have been president of America for two terms”—it is cut. And then he is building his own library—memoirs.
So please remember all of you, that the characteristic that you are most proud of, is the one you have to throw away first. “No, no I am very well-educated. Kerala is the land of education.” My friend Ravi said, “We are all literate.” What do you use your literacy for? What haveyou used it for? Until this Gulf money started coming to Kerala, it was a lousy state where people chewed tobacco and ate kaccha supari—paaku [betel nut]. Isn’t it? Now because money is coming, Western money, Gulf money, there is some sense of culture, some sense of dependence on other people that we are prosperous. Before we thought ‘Kerala for Keralites’. Evide poyi Kerala for Keralites? [Where has the idea of ‘Kerala for Keralites’ gone?]” We have to be beaten before we will recognize. “E Parashurama kshetram [This is the land of Parashurama].” O adheyo? Parashuraman evide poyi? Evide kaanunnilla. [Oh, is that so? Where has Parashurama gone? He is not here.] So you see, we are beaten with the stick of which we are possessive. “I am egoistic,” I say. Somebody takes that stick and hits me on the head. And we say, “Ayyoda! [Oh!] he took my stick and beat me with it.” God has no weapons; He uses your own weapons to kick you in the back, first.
So this we must understand, you see. My ego has to go by my having to lose that upon which I have totally depended for my life. [If] I am depending only on money, my money will have to go. Overnight, a billionaire is a pauper. He has to sell his yacht, he has to sell his girls away, he has to sell his caviar and his champagne—whole cellars of them. And then he comes. “Oh Roberto, what happened to you?” “C’est la vie. [Such is life.]” Then he becomes repentant because, now he has to go and ask people for something. You know the old tradition that monks, sannyasis had to beg for their food, was to kill their ego. The man will never ask somebody. ‘You say you are thirsty. Why didn’t you ask for a glass of water?’ ‘No, no, I don’t like to ask for water. I will go and buy. Sept franc. [Seven francs.]” Okay. ‘You really wanted to go to the toilet, when we were in that house for two hours.” ”No, no, I preferred not to go. Indian toilets are messy. I’ll go back to the hotel.” Ego, isn’t it? What is good for a human being is good for another human being. So sannyasis, monks, rishis, they have the tradition of having to go to do yaachaka (begging) as we call it. It’s not really begging. You only say, “Bhavati bhikshaam dehi”—I have come to ask; if you have, please give me. And this you collect and take to your ashram, cook and eat—all of you. So even the begging is a collective thing. It’s not for you yourself. And if still you have something left over, you give it to another ashram. Nothing is to be kept.
So you see, the old Christian tradition that before we go to bed, let me make my enemies my friends. I shall have nothing on my heart which will ruin my sleep, make me wake up worse than I went to bed and then I have more enmity: “Because of that fellow I did not sleep.” So the heart must be pure when we go to bed. So we have the evening cleaning. The heart must be purified in the morning totally again, and so we have the morning meditation. Before going to bed, we have the evening cleaning process that takes care of whatever is residual. That is the beauty of the Sahaj Marg system. It has been tailor-made in such a simple fashion that any stupid human being, whether he is an Eskimo in Lapland or a cart puller in the streets of Kerala or a pilot flying a Jumbo, anybody can do it very easily—no effort, no time, no money. And I’m surprised, you see—what keeps people away? It is their cultural arrogance, linguistic arrogance and their national arrogance. All making up one solid mass of ego, like cheese, when you cook it, for a pizza; you can’t digest it. And pizza is so popular! Manassilaayo? [Understood?]
So what are we to say? Every one of you should love in such a way that you have kavarchi, you know, aakarshana shakti [power of attraction]. And how will it come? When you are not there and only the other person is there. If you give a sitting just to put on record that today I gave seven sittings, that is for yourself, isn’t it? Babuji never said he has transformed so and so; he never said that. In fact once, one very senior officer of the government came. He said, “Babuji, can you show me two people whom you have liberated? Then I will join your Mission.” I was going to hit that fellow in the face, you see. It’s like telling an apple tree, “Show me an apple and then I will accept you are an apple tree”—and they are hanging from the tree! Isn’t it?
So we have fools. And fools—why are they fools? Because again arrogance will not allow them to say that, “I do not know.” “Oh yes, I know everything. Spirituality—chi chi! It’s a cult.” Like they have in Europe, the problem of the cult. Only fools talk about something they don’t know, with the vehemence of somebody who knows everything about it. “Oui, oui,” they say. So you see, talking about something about which you know nothing in a way that you know everything, is the first sign of arrogance and ego. Pride! And then when we ask you the first question, you say, “Do you know anything that you are asking me a question?” “No, no, brother. You said you are a scientist. Can you tell me the velocity of light?” “Look in a textbook. Who are you testing?” One who dare not be tested will refuse to be tested, as if he knows everything and you are insulting him by asking! You understand?
So these are the signs by which humanity can be easily understood. You can look at a man’s face and know what he is. Reading is no difficulty. But we don’t know what to expect when we read. Therefore we say, “I cannot read.” You understand? Most prefects have this problem. They say, “I am not able to read. I have been a prefect for fifteen years.” Because I think we expect something in writing, or some cinema-like pictures, whereas the reading is here [points to the heart]. So please remember that, all prefects, and try to put this [points to the heart] to use when you give a sitting—look at your heart. Suppose I am in an air-conditioned room with glass windows. And I see a tree swaying. I know there is a breeze blowing. If I want to feel it, I have to go outside. One is visual; one is from the heart.
Now we are looking for visual evidence in everything that we do. Babuji said “Always look only to the heart. Your eyes, your ears, your nose, they have nothing to do with it.” Can you touch somebody and say he is spiritual? Of course Master can, but can you? No. Can you look at somebody and say he is sick? No—unless he is a very good doctor who thinks of the patient. But modern doctors, they have to look at reports to see that the patient is sick. They don’t know that he is sick. They say, “Give me the blood report, pulse, scan, MRI,” you know. And after the patient spends twenty thousand rupees, they say, “You are not well.” “Mama mia!” you say, “I knew it when I came here.” That is today’s medicine. Today’s priest, he does not believe in what he is preaching. And if you ask him, “Father, do you believe?” He says “My son, my problem is the same as yours. I lack faith.” Very humanly, and very humbly, he says, “My son, my problem is the lack of faith like you have, but I depend on God Almighty to cure it.” And you think he is a very good man because he says it in a nice, mild manner. So this is the hypocrisy of medicine, of law, of churches, all over the world. I don’t mean only Christian—Hindu, everything. They are all churches.
So it is also good in a way because it puts humanity back on its own. We have to create a new sense of approach to the Almighty. We have to learn that I don’t have to go to church. I have it right here. I don’t have to depend on a priest. He is right here inside me. I do not have to look to books for behaviour, morality, ethics. They are all inside me. Why have they not shown? Because you did not want to listen. You kept the book closed. Open it. So we say, “Open your heart.” Then you find that God is there, the priest is there, the book is there, and you are there. And if you permit that to go on, you are progressively gone and He is progressively growing until the God that was in me but whom I have neglected, whom I have not listened to, whom I have ignored totally, is now me—and I have no problem.
So this is what we should achieve or try to achieve, and this is what I pray that all of you will be blessed with.