Web Content Display
Perceive Him in the Present
A talk given by Shri Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari
Today we are celebrating the auspicious, holy, divine occasion of Lalaji's descent. Babuji Maharaj has said, "He came in response to the need of the time." It is an answer that Nature with a capital 'N' provided, what Babuji used to call, struggling humanity, to raise it from the morass of ignorance into the transmutable world where nothing prevails, and that nothing is what must prevail. From the world of everything to the world of nothingness is the journey of spirituality.
Previous speakers have said that it is the emptiness between the walls, it is the space in the clay that defines the pot, and Babuji Maharaj has said that the heart should not be cluttered up with all the acquisitions that this world provides. So, the heart has to be emptied first, and we find that on such occasions when we celebrate the birth anniversary of our Great Masters, they are here with us. In a very real sense, if people are willing to try it, they will experience that when you think of Him, He is with you. It is the only thing that is with you when you think. The presence of the Master is the only thing that can come when you think of Him. Rest of the world - it doesn't happen like that. You think of your wife, but she is not there. You think of happiness, it is not there. In fact, it is only when they are not there that you think of them. Isn't it? We never think of what we have. We always think of what we don't have. When we have lost the happiness, we think of happiness. When we have lost our job, we think of jobs. So we are always thinking, in a sense, of the absent.
In constant remembrance, we are thinking of the present. That which can be, that which is, which always is, that is nothing but the divine, undefined, unlimited presence of The Great. But, I can experience it only when I think of it. It is useless to say, but God is everywhere. Have you ever felt it? Otherwise, if you have felt that God is everywhere, why do you go to churches, to temples, to mosques, to your mandir [temple], wherever? It becomes a sham and a lie to go somewhere to feel His presence. Because if you cannot feel it where you are, you are not going to feel it anywhere else. This is an absolute truth which you have to experience, whatever colour you may be, whatever religion you may belong to - doesn't matter.
People are always thinking intellectually, you see, "Oh, but then why did they build temples?" They built it for those who don't have access to the spiritual ability to perceive Him in the present who has always been there. We don't bring anything from anywhere. That which is infinite, that which is eternal, must be there whenever you are there. Whether it is this life or the past life, or the next life, it doesn't matter. If it is not there when I am there, it is not, in a very absolute sense. So, if anybody can say, "But God is not there when I want Him," for him there is no God. Because God is eternal, God is omnipotent, God is omnipresent. It is I who am too blind, I who have sort of encapsulated myself in this clay pot of my body, where the consciousness of the body alone prevails. And I believe in only that which I can feel, as I say, with my touch, or as the yogic sciences say, with the five senses -shabda, sparsha, rasa, roopa, gandha. [Hearing, touch, taste, sight, smell.] "What I cannot perceive with this cannot exist for me," so says the materialist, the philosopher. "I believe in what I see," says the modern intellectual. "I believe in what can be proven," says the scientist. The next scientist says, "Proof means that which can be repeated." If I can feel what you feel, then it exists. Isn't it? But then, you have three people in a room - one is happy, one is miserable and one wants to commit suicide. What is the truth? They are intellectuals. One wants to commit suicide because he didn't get the Nobel Prize. The second one is miserable because his girlfriend has left him. So do you believe in happiness? Do you believe in suicide? You should not, because you don't feel it - altogether the same thing.
We always have problems with intellectuals, not that the intellect is bad, but because the intellect is being misused to prove things which the intellect cannot even appreciate the existence of. I can appreciate gold when I see it, but, I don't know what it is that makes gold, gold. Babuji said, "Remove the salt-ness of the salt and where is the salt?" But what do you do to remove the salt-ness of the salt? And do we have the capacity? We don't. Remove the happiness from the human being and we have a miserable fellow, you know. Where is he? He isn't there. Happiness has gone, misery has come. It is a vessel from which you have removed vinegar and put wine or removed wine, put vinegar; the vessel is the same. So, that which goes and comes, that vessel which is a house or a home for something temporary, is itself temporary. It has no existence except to allow transient things to pass through. It is like a railway station where trains come and go, passengers come and go. What is there? Nothing.
So, to call yourself an eternal presence, you must have that eternal presence permanently in you and this, you have to do. "No, no sir, but just now you said God is omnipotent, omnipresent. Is He not in my heart?" I did not say He is not, but you have not felt it, you have not recognized it. You are like a child that is weeping because, it say, "Mummy! Mummy! Mummy is not here. I am alone." And mummy is in the kitchen and says, "Honey, I am here. Why are you weeping?" There you have the physical presence of the mother to offer some temporary happiness to the child by saying, "I am here." But here, God has no physical presence. You see, this is the proof that God has no physical presence; He has no qualities, He has no name, He has no attributes, because if He had, He would say, "Fool! I am here," or "Wise man! I am here. Where are you looking for me?" You know that famous statement by Kabir: "Where are you searching for me? I am here with you." "Why are you searching for me?" as Babuji said. You search only for lost things. But, God is not lost. I am lost. When I am searching for home, my home is not lost. I have lost my home. I have lost the direction and I say, "Where is this address?"
They say, "But it is your home."
You say, "But, you know, on my way here, I went to sleep. I was in the car. I don't know where I am."
If I don't know where I am, how can I go back there? You know, even this modern invention of the GPS, it can only tell me where I am, and then I have to lay a course to where I have to go. And for that you need so many satellites. Suppose, I am coming to your house and I have lost the way, and I say, "Please, how do I get to your house?"
The first question you would ask is, "Where are you?"
"No but I don't know. I want to come. You tell me."
"But, for heaven sake, how can I tell you how to come, if I don't know where you are. If you are north of me I can say, 'Come south'. If you are east of me I can say, 'Come west'. But if I don't know where you are, how can I tell you how to come to me?"
Fortunately for us, God does not ask such silly questions, because He is everywhere, He knows where we are. It is we who don't know where He is. Then we go to temples and churches and hear sermons and they say - "Have faith." But if I had faith, I would not be a human being. I would be an angel perhaps. One of the very high angels of God, where there is no question of faith. He is. I am. That's all. And if you go higher to those who have reached the goal, as Babuji said, "None can say whether you are me or I am you." Are we together? Are we separate? Are we one? Are we two? It is like looking at the lake and seeing the sun reflected, and saying, "There are two suns."
Even Lord Ramachandra of Ayodhya, when he was a child refusing to take his laayi, you know, milk and rice, he wanted the moon. The full moon was shining on the balcony. So he wanted the moon. The story goes that his mother took a big vessel of water, put it there and said, "Look, the moon is here." A Divine person, you know, an avatar, the babyhood, the childhood, has its own maya. Youth has its own maya. Adult life has its own maya. Everything is maya. The content of the maya changes - at one time it is education, at one time it is a love affair, at one time it is power, wealth and position. Finally you say, this maya is that I have been got caught in all this maya; that is itself a maya.
The thought that I am in a prison is what makes me a prisoner. There is no prison. As Babuji said, "If you are a prisoner in the prison, and the superintendent and the wardens are also in the prison, are they also not prisoners?" Why are they not prisoners? Because they think they are free. But they are inside with you. The doctor thinks he is healthy and the patients are sick. But both are in the same hospital. The mad man is in the lunatic asylum and his psychiatrist is also inside with him. And after a time, nobody knows who is sick and who is healthy. [Laughter] It is not a laughing matter, you see. There is something called transference in Psychology - when I become you, without wanting to become you - very dangerous.
Yesterday, we were talking of music, and how a good musician will not teach beginning students, because, in trying to teach you the notes, the 'do re me fa', he will have to come to your level. God comes to us at any level we may be. He says, I will descend into hell to take you back. If you are on Mount Olympus, I will come there to bring you. I am everywhere, my son. So, don't call me. I am not one who comes and goes. I am there wherever you are. You are the one who comes and goes. Stop your coming and going.
"Abide in me," as Jesus said, you see, "and I am with you always." This is the message that we get on these auspicious celebrations of the birth anniversaries of our great Masters. Why is so much emotion generated on these occasions? The role of the musician is to make us weep. But she weeps herself. Why? Because she is overpowered by the presence of Him whom we call our Master, and that presence brings some sort of nostalgia into our hearts. I feel Him, He is here. But I cannot see Him. I cannot love Him as I used to love Him in the physical presence. I have seen tears in Babuji's eyes when He spoke of Lalaji Maharaj. I said, "Babuji, you too?" He said, "Yes, because Lalaji's physical presence was such that even I weep when I miss."
So, there is a role the physical presence plays, and that role is to inform us, to convince us, that He is here with us, and then to cut that physical presence, to prove to us that he is still there, whether his physical presence is there or not. If we cannot transcend and overcome this barrier, that the physical presence is the only proof of His existence, then we are left here to eternally look for Him. If at that moment we can say, "I am with you, my Lord," we also lose our physical presence, and we are with Him in eternity.
I pray that this shall be the blessing that all of us will receive on such auspicious occasions, and go with Him wherever He goes. There is no wherever, there is no nowhere. There is only 'is'. As somebody said about the ancient saying, 'The past is history, the future is a mystery, the present is a gift; therefore it is called a present.' And, this gift that is a present must be used to overcome the fear of the past, the temptation of the future - the twin elements that are used by religions everywhere, all over the world, throughout the history of time. The fear of the past, the temptation of the future - both must go. Then we have the faith in the present that it shall always be present, and in this present, I am here and He is here with me. Thank you.