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Remember Him, Emulate Him
Babuji Maharaj’s Birth Anniversary Celebration, 30 April 2012, Chennai, India
Dear brothers and sisters,
To break the profound inner silence of meditation with even the wisest of sayings is an intrusion on our spiritual life. So I would like to, or I will try to, keep this short by referring to a series of messages from my Master where he speaks to us about the necessity to celebrate such occasions with the fervour of love and faith – fervour! He says the sole purpose is to remember the great personality, and not to honour him or try to ennoble him, or to publicise him. The only purpose is that we may remember, and in remembering him, remember his life as if he were present with us today, which is constant remembrance. It must not be a memory of the past but it must be a memory yet living in the present, and that is why constant remembrance is so difficult, because perhaps even the word ‘remembrance’ makes us think of the past. We must be living with that personality at least during this meditation, so that we can prolong that when we go out of here. That is true of all meditation sittings, but this is very especially true, significantly and importantly true, for our spiritual life.
Remembering him does not mean just remembering him but his life, as I said, the way he lived, his simplicity. When I first went to Shahjahanpur in 1965 (I think for Basant), in my imagination while on the travel to Shahjahanpur, between Delhi and Shahjahanpur by road (an eight or nine-hour journey in those days), I had imagined a big ashram – a huge square structure, ground plus three floors with an inner square courtyard; all the floors full of beautiful rooms; comfortable in a modern sense, and only one gate like an elephant gate through which we would enter. Of course, you can imagine how I must have felt when I faced the actuality of my Master’s home! A big iron gate, and a smaller iron gate through which I entered; a huge muddy courtyard with a small part of it paved with bricks laid edgewise in a herringbone pattern; roughly laid, no level surface, no cement floor. And the house – old furniture, old dhurries [mats] on the floor, and a master sitting in a dhoti and a banian [vest] even though it was cold. Later on, of course, he went in and had his bath and put on his sweater. Simplicity!
Simplicity means not to exceed from the sphere of need to the sphere of want, to the sphere of covet and possess – utterly simple: a need. The food was simple – but the meditations cannot be described. I have written about some of these things, so it would be redundant to speak of them again and again, but simplicity was one of the factors to which he gave great importance. “Sahaj Marg is simple,” he said, “the ways of reaching God must be simple, therefore the teaching must be simple, the practice must be simple.” We don’t need anything except ourselves to sit and meditate. We don’t need puja vessels, an idol to worship, what we call the saamagri [articles] of prayer – nothing is necessary. The one thing that is important, without which meditation lacks meaning, lacks purpose, is the heart. Is your heart with you when you meditate? That is the most important question.
Once I remember I asked Babuji Maharaj, “Why do you say, ‘The heart must be with you when we come here’?” He said, “Parthasarathi, we are only fifteen or twenty people here in this room, but I can see at least three people whose heart is where they came from; only the body is here. Even when they are meditating, they are meditating on their families, on their work, and not on divine light in the heart.” So, without simplicity, this intense concentration on the heart within the heart becomes impossible. We are thinking of so many things: “My car is out on the street. I don’t know who is doing what to it.” “My children – I don’t know what is happening to them.” So, you see – bare necessities.
Do we remember him and try to emulate him? With my own poor vision, I can also see abhyasis here whose thought is about breakfast. It is delicious, mouths begin to water, and we begin to plan on how quickly we can get there. “I hope he does not start speaking today. I am hungry.” Or women who think their children will be weeping. Things like that, which, though we are meditating or we are supposed to be meditating, prevent us from meditating. So, to remember the Master does not mean just to say, “Ah, I remembered Babuji Maharaj.” In remembering him did you feel his presence? Did you feel the effect of his life upon yours? Has his life touched yours so that eventually, like two circles merging, we start from the edge and then slowly merge until there is only one circle? Is it happening to us? Forget all this talk of God and so many values of life: “We should be comfortable to meditate.”
I just spoke to you about the brick-paved small courtyard of about three, four hundred square feet. In my first Basant we were just forty-two people there, including Babuji Maharaj, sitting under the main arch. We were also very eager to start off as close to him as possible, even with forty people around him. So, we were there very early. Meditation used to start at 6.30; many of us were there bathed and clean by 5.30. And of course these bricks were not level – up and down, and you had several of them poking into your backside. And by the time he started, some abhyasis were in a state of torture, physical torture – things poking into you from below, the cold coming in from under the sides of the tent, sometimes water dripping from the roof of the tent if it had been raining. And yet when he started the sitting, we were lost. It is wrong to say we were lost – why? – because the circumstances, the physical circumstances surrounding us just faded away and we each one became the true Self that we were – whatever we were.
There were occasions when the sitting went on for an hour and a quarter. Some people got up and left at say half an hour, because they just could not sit; they just could not go deep enough to forget that the world is outside them. It is like going deeper and deeper into a well. If you go very deep into a well, you can see stars in the sky which you cannot see when you come out to the daylight.
So remembrance means the actualisation of a state of being in which I am with him, I feel him. It is futile to say, “I love my Master,” and not to live like him, live his life of sacrifice. What sacrifice do we make? “No, no, I did not go to work today. I had an important meeting. I was to sign a contract for two hundred crores. Don’t you think it is a sacrifice?” Of course, it was – for you it was a sacrifice. For the Master? He smiled with compassion because you were getting deeper and deeper into that – what some literature calls the ‘mire of despond’, sinking deeper and deeper into what Hindi calls a daldal [quicksand] – watching a mirage without looking where you are going and sinking deeper and deeper into that quicksand from which there is no recovery.
Remember, you are not making any sacrifice when you sit down to meditate. If you think it is a sacrifice, you are already… part of the way is lost. Meditation is the only thing you do for yourself, and you do it for yourself so that when you develop to a state of being, not having… People who have, don’t give; they want more and more. So having is a sickness. “I must have more and more.” What for? “Because I want security for my future.” God is forgotten, spirituality is forgotten! My faith is now in share certificates, bonds, property, two flats, three flats – which I don’t give at all, because it is for my security. But when we are, when we achieve the state of being, we may or not consciously give but our existence is a state of giving, nothing else. Like a lamp gives light, like trees give fruit – they don’t ask you whether you want. Like the birds sing, nature is full of giving. It is said that man is the only animal that takes and takes and takes with an insatiable appetite for more taking, and in this way has destroyed the world around itself.
So, you see all talk of conservation of nature and all this is nonsense unless the taker stops taking. As long as human beings continue to take, there will be what literature calls the ‘rape of nature’: forests cut, countries destroyed, people not thought of, allowed to die of starvation, of hunger, of sickness. And why does this exist even today with all the knowledge of all these things that society, education… some sense somewhere of morality we’ve got? Because the organisations which run these things have no heart behind them, only the head.
So the heart is the thing which I must have, without which I daresay we are not even human, though the form is human. Therefore you can think of robots which have everything but no heart. It is a brain with a human form – I mean as near as possible – humanoid concepts. So when I remember the Master, I must remember that he was ever-giving, never asked for anything. With his very, very frugal life – because he had an income which you would laugh at today, because some of you probably earn it in one minute of your work – with that frugal income he welcomed abhyasis, fed them. They were sleeping in his house.
In my first Basant, I was sleeping in his house. I did not take a bed because I was flying and, as I told you, in my imagination what an ashram was – I thought everything would be provided. So I slept on this cold floor which was covered with straw to provide some insulation from the cold, with old torn, cotton dhurries spread over them. By six o’clock it was bitterly cold because Basant Panchami was around the fifteenth of January – in Shahjahanpur, not in Madras. Fortunately, I had my newspaper which I had carried from the flight and I used it to cover [myself] because I had nothing to cover myself with. And, it is a wonder, or a miracle or what – it is a sign of Babuji’s love that he has come around at 10.30 p.m. and seen me lying with newspapers and covered me with a blanket. Nowadays the culture is, you take your neighbour’s blanket and say, “I am sure you are safe. I know you can stand the cold.”
So, remembering him means remembering his simple life, remembering his… I won’t say charity; it was his nature. His nature was to give. As I have written, right here in Madras when he was staying with brother Vira Raghavan, they were sleeping at night in a room which was probably, I don’t know, 180 square feet, seven of them. Somebody knocked at midnight. Everybody was asleep. Babuji opened the door. There were three people who had come by car all the way from Tiruchi. One of them desperately wanted a sitting. Right then, right there, Babuji gave him a sitting.
Are our preceptors, our prefects, soldiers of Sahaj Marg – are they capable of emulating this? Are they willing to emulate it? And if at all one among you does it, do you curse yourself for having become a prefect? “For heaven’s sake, I wish I had never been a prefect.” I am sure there are many. Perhaps the majority of our prefects today are like that. “Come tomorrow.” “Come day after tomorrow.” Babuji said you have no right to say, “Come tomorrow,” because only God knows whether you will be here tomorrow and whether the man who comes to you for a sitting will be there tomorrow.
And he told me the story of one such instance where a man, where a young man, went to his prefect – not in Sahaj Marg, in general. It was sunset. He fell at his guru’s feet, wept, and said, “I need the solace of your attention on me.” And the guru said, “My son, after sunset I cannot do these things. Come back tomorrow.” On the way home the young man was killed in an accident. All this is mundane; what happened thereafter is what is significant for every one of us. The boy died, and because the guru had refused his attention when he came for it, all the boy’s samskaras were transferred to the guru. This is not meant to frighten our prefects. If they are frightened, well, it is just too bad; you can give up your prefect-ship, it is easy. It only means you must be as loyal to your function as he [Babuji] was; he is today also, because he is still transmitting to us. Isn’t it?
So when we become prefects, we must remember him. We must remember even more the way he conducted his life. Feeding the abhyasis is okay; anybody can do it. Even if you have no money, if you are like Christ, all that you need is two loaves and five fishes to feed a multitude. They can feed you with nothing in the basket – forget it! – [but with] something deeper. Those baskets need to be full if you have to feed them; even Christ needed two loaves and five fishes. Krishna could feed with just one grain of rice.
But Babuji said, “Do you have the heart?” The heart is eternally full. You give and you give and you give, it remains full – what the Sanskrit says, “Poornam adah poornam idam poornaat poornam udachyate.” (It is infinite, that is infinite, take away infinity from infinity and the infinity still remains.) Only the heart is capable of being such a vessel which can never be emptied. Therefore, in spirituality we give from the heart. Our transmission is from the heart and we are expected to give, give, give; not retain. Give when it is needed. Continue to give when you don’t know who needs it and what needs it and where it is needed. If you are up to that level of spiritual elevation where you have forgotten yourself and your comfort and your personal needs, you transmit with or without your knowledge and it goes on and on. Everything in nature has a time and a season. You cannot have rice all the year around. You cannot have oranges out of season. But this has no season, no time, occupies no space. Therefore, in a sense, it is emulating the divine state, not controlled by kaala [time], not controlled by the presence, where, when, how, why, what; nothing controls it. All that can control it is your own love or the lack of it. If you lack it, this [heart] is dead.
So, one who lacks a heart which can give and give and give is really a dead person. He may have the world, but as Christ says, “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?” Because the soul is the heart; it is not something in the heart. When you say, “Get me a cup of tea,” it is not an empty cup that you want. Isn’t it? “Yes, boss, here is the cup of tea.” “Yes, but where is the tea?” “You asked for a cup, I brought you a cup.” Perhaps some day we will have to answer our Maker, you see. “I gave you a heart. What did you do with it? I agree you used your hands, your legs, your everything wonderfully. You made yourself rich. You acquired things which you never needed, you kept to yourself things which others needed – all that I can forgive. But what about your heart?”
So we cannot afford to be heartless or to die heartless. That is why we must begin meditation as soon as possible when we are eighteen, because it takes a lifetime to cultivate. Of course, Babuji has said, “Turn your head from here to here and everything is done.” That was for him, because he says when he first met his Master, his journey was over. It is not so with us poor souls struggling here with all the temptations of modern life, with all the glitter and glamour of society, with all the powers that one can aspire to.
In our old days, in our simple village life, we had nothing of these things, nothing to be hunted for, killed for, acquired. All the villagers lived the same life. They ate the same thing, they had the same problems; therefore, there was a community. Now we are too rich, too comfortable, and too healthy to conform to the three requirements for saintliness: illat, killat, zillat – health just below good health, money a little less than what we need and permanent criticism from others. We lack these things.
Today we are all praising everybody: “Our politicians are great. Our country is wonderful – Bharat mera mahaan.” And yet when we see the newspapers, are any of you ashamed to see that in cleanliness we are somewhere way down in the list, in morality we are even lower? We are the great democracy, with great traditions, great heritage of the past, and yet when we look at facts which we try to deny – “Neti, neti,” [not this, not this] – we only deny as far as these things are concerned. Are we ashamed? India is a shameless country and we are a shameless people. What did Babuji want? Not self-respect, but respect others. Not a narcissistic love for yourself which everybody has, but a love for everything else outside you: plants, animals, human beings, anything – love. It has no stated purpose, no stated target. “I don’t love. I am love.” That is what Babuji said. From being able to love we must become love. Does it take time? It may, it may not. Most of us may not make it in this life. Therefore, punarjanma [rebirth].
Why do we have to come again and again? Not because there is a God who is waiting to judge you and send you back, but because our incapacity to go to the next class keeps us back in the same class, life after life. How many? Until you evolve in fitness for the next life. Your teachers don’t decide. They only see what you can do. You know what you can do. You know what you have not done. You know why you cannot go to the next class and yet you expect a miracle. Miracles don’t happen. The only miracle is, as Babuji said, human transformation. This is the greatest miracle, because unfortunately, it is the most difficult. We can transform animals; we can transform society; we can transform nature. Where there were small huts in small villages on dusty roads we have now huge complexes of flats – modern (you can see the advertisements) and yet we have not transformed ourselves. The same crude, acquisitive, hate- filled human being inhabits those palaces.
Today in society human beings are recognised by what they have. Our society should change into something which will recognise only what he is, not what he has. This is something for which we should not only pray (because we are happy to pray) but for which we should each one of us work for himself, to be such a being.
Announcement: Revered Master will be releasing Whispers from the Brighter World, the Fourth Revelation now. We will now be playing an mp3 audio. Please listen to it carefully and find out who it is, what it is and where it is.
We appreciate your love for our Mission, as well as for its Masters. This day is special, it is good to remember; these moments unite our associates of the same spirit in a state of grace. Our Mission has taken off, with a new boom that will lead it to its higher place, already all set. Remember that your divine guide, Babuji, as you call him, is the greatest of us all. His true place, in the eyes of men, will be given to him in the future when his very special greatness will be recognised. On this day, particularly, let’s associate my dear son to this remembrance of the past, which is a milestone on the path of our Mission.
We do not want to abuse your strength; we bless you all, you who keep in mind the memory of this day.
To you, my dear son,
You chose to come back on Earth, to serve this Mission thereon. Choices are made before being incarnated that prove to be fraught with consequences. This space of time is only a passage.
While serving humanity, a Master of your level, also progresses in his own evolution; in this domain, there is an infinite spread of degrees. To serve for love’s sake is the most beautiful achievement. The goal is attained; what remains to be done is that you perfect your work.
We surround you in this accomplishment. We cannot conquer all obstacles on your behalf, but quite often, we try to make you bypass them. Difficulties partake of the challenge. Your character doesn’t incline you towards renouncing. You are an action man and your divine nature deals with the rest.
What more can be said? It is necessary to go to the end. You should recall the struggle and efforts that I had to go through to fulfil my contract. We do not doubt your capabilities. You have always managed to retrieve strength within yourself that permits you to proceed and succeed.
My dear son,
Protect yourself more. Abhyasis do not imagine the responsibilities you are loaded down with. Your role should largely be focussed on spiritual work. You do not have to deal with their personal matters, which they must themselves manage supported by their sadhana.
Be firm on this point. Your health is more precious than everything that moves around questions related to our candidates’ material life. They must grow and come to terms with themselves. Our method must make them strong, in all aspects of their life. Organize your own life in such a way that you do not overexert yourself. You must be able to continue your work in all areas of the globe where it is necessary.
My dear son, your mission is heavy but glorious. Your footsteps illuminate the Earth where you walk. You are great and you accomplish what you came for. Do not lose heart. Even if you don’t realize the greatness of your mission, it is of an extreme importance. All your undertakings are judicious; they are part of a plan scheduled well in advance.
Some unforeseen difficulties cause delays, but they do not matter. Everything that must be, will be. Take heart and have confidence in you and us.
What did you hear? Those were messages from the Masters. Did you recognise them? How many of you recognise them? It shows you don’t read Whispers, which is very unfortunate because they are messages from the greatest: from Lalaji Maharaj, from Babuji Maharaj, from a personality called The Venerable.
If it has been imprinted on your heart, these messages, you would have immediately recognised [them]. So today, you have a bonus of receiving the messages of my Masters so that you can listen to them. There is a disk, mp3 disk, with ninety-three messages from Whispers which has been produced as a surprise venture, which has been made possible by today’s technological progresses, so that we can not only read Whispers, we can actually hear them – not whispered into our heart, but for those who are not able to do that (patently there are so many of you), at least you can hear some of them.
So, I have pleasure in releasing this very special product. We have tried to have them spoken by persons who have a voice as close to these personalities as possible; that is very difficult. Of course, we cannot have an audio version of all the messages in Whispers, because even the messages themselves say there are more than ten thousand of them. This is not only a sample but the product itself. So please avail of this opportunity to listen.
We have also released yesterday Babuji’s speeches in his own voice, which has been released before and which will continue to be released as long as there are abhyasis willing to listen to them.
So, please avail of all these possibilities: shravana, manana, nididhyaasana [listening, reflecting upon, meditating] and get to your goal fast.