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Questions and Answers
Q and A session with Shri Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari
Master: A man can be foolish for seventy years and then suddenly become wise. We may not sleep for twenty days but one night’s sleep is enough. Anybody else?
Abhyasi: How to develop love for the Divine?
Master: I don’t know how to do it. [Chuckles] Perhaps because you can’t see—you know, we are used to loving only with our senses. And that is not love; it is only attraction, infatuation, lust. Real love is for the unseen, the unknown, the unknowable. You understand? So when we think we are loving is not really love; that is only attraction. My Master used to say that it is at best affection. Love is only for the Divine. At the lower plane it doesn’t exist.
Abhyasi: How to develop this love?
Master: Well, when you become, through meditation, less and less projected outside and more and more inside, you lose the attraction for the form and qualities, no? Then that becomes possible.
Abhyasi: I have many problems. My three-and-a-half year old son had a head injury. Afterwards, my husband had a heart attack. What is my duty—meditation or my personal…?
Master: When it is meditation time, it is time to meditate.
Abhyasi: But at that time I remember my domestic problems.
Master: That is because you are worrying during meditation which you should not be doing.
Abhyasi: First my duty is…?
Master: Don’t you bathe? You bathe, isn’t it? You eat. You sleep. So who looks after them at that time? He will look after that when you are meditating.
It is said that God is one who looks after us when we cannot look after ourselves. We think we can look after ourselves when we are awake. But that is ego and arrogance. You know if you are awake and you have an accident, how did it happen? Isn’t it? So, all the time He has to look after us. So we have to have dependence on God. Then you can sleep, you can eat, knowing He is looking after us. But if you think, “I’m looking after, I’m looking after,” then you can’t even sleep when you’re supposed to sleep. That is—not the problem—that is the weakness of human beings.
Who are from Bahrain? Only you or anybody else?
Oh?! Not bad. I thought Bahrain was a one-man army. [Laughs, laughter]
Abhyasi: [Inaudible] and somehow he didn’t…
Master: He did not come? For not coming there is no ‘somehow’. But for coming you can say, “Somehow he managed to come.” Isn’t it?
Abhyasi: [Speaking of some abhyasis] You prepared them in Bahrain and they are going back to India.
Master: No, no. That is all right. When we grow rice, we put seeds in a small plot, and then the seedlings are transplanted. So that is good.
Master: Anybody else? Any questions? Don’t give me a list.
Abhyasi: Have we to increase the time of cleaning to a minimum of forty minutes or ninety minutes?
Master: No, no. Don’t ask technical questions. It doesn’t depend on minutes. A man may study twenty-four hours a day and not know anything.
Master: People confuse unnecessarily. When you hear somebody say something, you ask me and I will confirm it.
Abhyasi: For the new abhyasi who has completed about a year, what is the right time to start constant remembrance. How to start?
Master: I don’t think there has been a schedule like that. Constant remembrance should start from day one. Whether you remember or not, He remembers you all the time, no? So when He remembers you, should you not remember Him?
Abhyasi: Master, what is the minimum we can do as human beings to prevent the occurrence of tsunami type of incidents? Is there anything we can do?
Master: My Master said, “Leave the world at least as good as you found it, if you cannot leave it better than you found it.”
Abhyasi: That is a great responsibility.
Master: You have a responsibility as a human being, to yourself and to your world. But we spoil it and leave it.
Master: Why are you bothered about that? When others tell you lies, do you accept it?
Master: I am asking you a straightforward question. When others tell you lies, do you like it? Do you like it?
Master: Then, why do you tell lies? Tell the truth whether they accept it or not. Truth is not a matter of acceptance. Truth is a matter of fact.
Master: If you earn more money, are you making the other man poor? Then you should give up your job and start begging on the streets. Not to upset anybody else, but these are not good questions. Bad questions! Does a beautiful girl try to look ugly because other girls look ugly?
Yes, anybody else?
Master: Don’t bother. Do your meditation. If you eat and you know you are digesting and you feel it, you are sick. In life you should not feel what is happening. Then that life is good. If you are sitting in a car and you feel the motion all the time, that driver is no good. If you are in Dubai and Dubai is shaking all the time, there is something wrong. So peace is fundamental to existence.
Abhyasi: It is so difficult to remove all our samskaras.
Master: Why do you worry about it? You do what is prescribed and then leave it to somebody else to judge it.
Abhyasi: But in one book you have written…
Master: Don’t quote me; I know what I have written.
Abhyasi: Master, how to balance the life?
Master: How to balance? You know how to balance. If you sleep too much, you lose your job. When you eat too much, you get sick. Don’t you balance it? You should not look for questions to ask just because you are here. I’m afraid most of you are doing that. If there are real questions, they have answers.
You know, everybody asks, “Does God exist?” Only a fool asks such questions. It is not a question of whether He exists or not; it is a question of whether you exist or not. How do you know you exist? We really know we exist only when we are sick, when we are in pain, when we are in suffering. So there is a philosophy which says that when we are suffering, we remember God, because we think we need God only when we are suffering. But if you don’t have God when you are well, you would not exist at all, even to be sick. So please learn to ask only questions that are really vital to you, and not technical questions and “forty minutes” and “thirty-five minutes.” This is not rice that you have to cook for fifteen minutes—or potatoes. Understand? So I think that is enough for today.
Thank you very much.