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We Have a Duty to Our World

24 July 2011, D.J Park, Tiruppur, India

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am somewhat overwhelmed by the large number here, and I really don’t know what to speak. But I remembered on one occasion when Babuji Maharaj was in the United States, there had been a lot of preparation at one centre where we were supposed to go in the evening at five o’clock (it was a university where we were to go) and the organisers, our abhyasis, said approximately a thousand people would be present. When we went there we were ten minutes early – there were two abhyasis. At five o’clock, there were five. At ten past five, there were exactly seven. So I told Babuji, “There are only seven people. What should we do?” He said, “Whether there are seven or seven thousand, what you have to say is the same. Why do you worry about how many there are? The koel [cuckoo] sings, not expecting an audience. Does it sing louder when more people are there? Do your job. Your job is to speak. Speak.”

So, if I remember right, I gave a long talk that evening and Babuji said it was very good. You see, with or without people we must be able to say what we have to say, and what we have to say must be the best that we can think of for that moment. The best that I can think of for today… You know today I am eighty-four and it has been a long life. Any life is the same – your life, my life, you know. All lives are the same, because the goal is the same. It does not matter whether you are a doctor or a carpenter or a musician or one working in a high-tech factory, or the modern equivalent of a high paid genius working in Microsoft or Infosys with a fat paycheque of a crore of rupees, two crores of rupees a year. It does not matter. A fat elephant, a lean elephant, a baby elephant, they are all elephants. What matters is what have you learnt. The longer you live, the more you are expected to have learnt. There is a general tradition, in India at least, that old age must be accompanied with wisdom. On the contrary, there is an English statement or saying, which says there is no fool like an old fool. Which are we going to be?

You see, umr badhta jaata hai [our age increases], you know. That unfortunately has nothing to do with us. We cannot claim any credit. Donkeys grow old, monkeys grow old, human beings grow old. That a man is old does not confer any special merit on him if he has not learnt the lesson of life. The musician just now sang, “With the guru’s grace, every moment is a new morning.” Are our mornings at least new mornings? Or are we moaning every morning? “Why am I waking up? What am I going to do today? I have not solved the problems of so many years, perhaps of so many lives. How is this morning going to be different? Again I have to sit and moan, and cry out to God, ‘Why have you put me here like this?’”

I always remember Babuji Maharaj when he said, “God has us as His children (human beings). No father likes to see his son come crawling on his knees, begging for mercy. He likes to see his son walking proud, chest spread out, head held high, and say, “Dad, I am here. I am your son.”

But, especially in this great peninsula of India, hoary with tradition, ancient tradition of spirituality, it has become so corrupt. Today’s old people are the most corrupt; the youth have hope. The younger the child, the more hope it has. It faces its destiny with courage, with strength, with anticipation; but the older people – they don’t know what to do with their life, because by and large it is a wasted life. The longer you have lived, the more you have earned, the more you have been corrupted, the more you have spoilt your society, dirtied your environment, and in general messed up the world – contrary to what Babuji Maharaj said, “When you leave, you must leave the world at least as good as you found it when you entered it, but try to do better and leave a better world.” Are we conscious of the world at all?

All this talk of environmental pollution, protection of forests, greening the cities – do they have any meaning? Do we attach any meaning? Do those who talk about them have any seriousness of purpose? Because the next morning you see another hundred acres being cleared for a new enterprise. And when you see in the newspapers that all the land taken over in Noida, which is near Delhi in Uttar Pradesh, has to be returned to the agriculturists (that is the order of the present chief minister), I was very happy that the chief minister is waking up to the fact of land grabbing, environmental pollution, dacoities, everything. But a friend from Delhi told me, “Saheb, this is all an election gimmick. Next year Uttar Pradesh has its legislature (MLAs) State Assembly elections, and this is to gain votes.”

So, you see, in this country everything is to gain votes. If Tiruppur is going to get some facilities for clean water and effluent treatment, it is not with your interest the government is going to do it; it is with their interest. But then who is to blame, because we are also doing the same thing. Which one of us here does anything for anybody else except for ourselves? Do we not still sweep our homes and throw the dust out onto the streets? Do we not still put our babies to clear their bowels out on the sidewalk? Do we not still throw cigarettes on the streets, wastepaper on the streets, spit on the streets – and so much of talk of green environment. Are we not cutting down trees? Are we not polluting our rivers?

You know the ancient Vedas – there are parts of the Vedas where they say that a good man must look after the environment, he must not cut trees, he must worship trees. Because without trees there would be no oxygen, there would be no cleaning of the atmosphere. Trees are not meant for firewood; trees are meant to clean the atmosphere, which we pollute by breathing out carbon dioxide every time we take in a breath and let it out. We are the pollutants, yet we talk big that the human being is at the shikhar [pinnacle] of evolution. He may be the shikaar [prey] of evolution, but not shikhar.

Yesterday I was watching a feature on lions and how they are facing extinction. They are in jeopardy; everything is against them. Wildlife is at great risk from poachers; and what do they do? They do not care if it is the last elephant on earth, so long as he can sell his tusks for a million dollars each. Where is social sense? Where is civic sense? And we are talking big of love…

 

I am sometimes… I shouldn’t say it because India is supposed to be great: ‘Bharat mera mahaan, Bharat maataa ki jai’ [India is great, Victory to Mother India], but when you read in the newspapers (several weeks back) that India is the fourth most dangerous country for women. What a record, you see – proud! And we have Ganga maataa, Bharat maataa. Is it a reputation that we should look for and cherish? Or should we not die of shame? But then you look at most households, how we treat the women. And then you read Swami Vivekananda’s talk about women of India – I mean they have been the most shamelessly used, corrupted, exploited things on earth, and yet Bharat is great, bharatis [Indians] are great.

 

What I wish to point out or pinpoint, draw your attention to is that each one of us is responsible for this state of affairs in what is supposed to be a noble land, a land where Ganga flows (jis desh mein Ganga behti hai) , the land from where the Vedas came, blah blah blah blah, you know. We claim so much. Are we at least keeping that tradition alive by doing something from our side to conform to those edicts, to those requirements of human life: compassion, mercy, love, sharing, not to exploit others, not to work only for yourself but to work for the sake of others. In fact, spirituality says, forget yourself. What you do for others will eventually come back to you, and the eventuality does not mean the next yuga [eon], because all ancient sciences, occultism, name it, they say that what you do, what you think, goes around the universe and comes back to you. You hate, and the hatred comes back to you. You love, and the love comes back to you. You give, and the given comes back to you. But what are we doing? Take, take, take.

I remember in my school days… There have always been scandals, bribes, but it was five hundred rupees, two hundred rupees, seven hundred rupees. Fifteen years back – a lakh of rupees, fifty thousand rupees, two lakhs of rupees. Five years back – a crore of rupees. Now – one lakh crores! Do you know how much that means, one lakh crores? All that we can immediately think of, most of us, is, “Oh, mamma mia, if I had it!”

I hope abhyasis will realise that they have a duty to themselves, they have a duty to their race (human beings); they have a duty to the world. We are not desha bhaktas [nationalistic], which is a very narrow and stupid sense. Forget all the songs that you sing on Republic Day and Independence Day. We are universe bhaktas [devoted to the universe]; we are responsible for the universe. You know, one problem in Japan – the tsunami, a problem with their atomic [power] generation and the whole world is shivering: which wind will blow what towards us? A flu somewhere, and everybody is sick; at all airports there are tests. Today, it is not your country or my country – it is my world. Anything happening anywhere can affect us. Bomb blasts in Mumbai, we are not only… “Oh, I am in Madras.” In Norway… Where next?

It all stems from the violence in the individual mind of every one of us here. We have violent thoughts. We have thoughts of acquisition, of greed, of power. Our politicians lead the country in this mad race towards destruction. We follow. They want votes based on religion, we are willing. “Who will vote for me?” So in the newspapers you find suddenly the Muslims are pampered, they are given special facilities – Muslim vote. In another area, it is the Christian vote. Nobody talks of the genuine vote, the legal vote, the moral vote – and we are prey to all of them. One cheap radio set, one thirty rupees sari for a woman, and we are falling over ourselves to vote for them. We create our rulers and then we suffer.

There is a saying that a stone is a stone; you can kick it, you can throw it, you can do what you like, but you put it in the temple and now you are its servant. Beware of where you put your stones, where you put your money, where you put your bhakti – beware. Because today’s world is bad enough, tomorrow’s world… what is it going to be five years hence? Your children are five years older, your grandchildren are five years older, babies have become youth, and you are now facing old age, and you cannot have the courage or the truth to say, “I created the world as it is today. My son, at least you don’t do it.” We don’t.

So, spirituality is a wasted thing on most of us here. We come for a holiday, we enjoy music, we enjoy good food. How many of us are serious aspirants? Babuji Maharaj used to say, “Do ya teen [two or three],” in an assembly of say five hundred people in those days. I cannot apply the same percentage and say, there must be at least five thousand here, can I? Should I? Will I ever be able to say that there must be at least ten percent of this assembly who are genuine abhyasis? Can you tell me that? I have not found it anywhere in the world, whether I am in Europe or in America, when I say put up your hands. At least that much honesty we still have to say, “Not me. I cannot claim. Please help me.”

So, every year we give messages, we have articles, we have books published, we have these release ceremonies, but what goes in here [the head], and much more important, what goes in here [the heart]? Do we hear all these lectures, just as these people said, to hear my voice? What is my voice worth if it does not go into your heart? What is it worth? Or what is your voice worth if what you tell your son, he does not agree; you tell your neighbour, he throws bricks at you; and you tell your government, they take away your pension and everything. Isn’t it happening? Land grabbing, this grabbing, that grabbing?

So beware, my sisters and brothers, how you use your ears and your eyes. The Veda says, let only noble thoughts come to me from everywhere in the universe (aa no bhadraah kratavo yantu vishvatah). Let my eyes see only good things. Let my ears listen to only that which is truthful. You know? At least if you can’t listen to the present, listen to the past, because not listening to the past has brought us to the present (which was then the future), and see where we have landed ourselves. And if today you are still going to continue on the same track…

Yesterday somebody told me a story about discipline (I think it was Chakrapani), about how in a certain country when they recruit the elite corps of troops, they are blindfolded, turned around so many times that they don’t know which direction they are facing, and then the order is given, “March forward.” And at one moment suddenly he says, “Halt,” and if you don’t halt, when you open your eyes, you are dead!

The simplest thing is obedience. Obey. Don’t use your head, because your head, as I tell some of my friends, is full of gobar – clay, cow dung, filth, which has been put there by generations of corruption through religion, through society, through families. “So what should we put there?” Well, it is too late to change. It is there. “But what can I do?” You can use your heart to say, “This thing is lying; this thing is corrupting; he is misguiding me. Let me follow my heart; now you lead.” It is as simple as that.

So you see, if you are all bhaktas, at least be a bhakta of your Self. Listen. You know the three steps according to the Vedic knowledge: shravana, manana and nididhyaasana (listen; meditate – ponder over what you have heard; and make the truth something of your own). Like when we eat food: we eat, we digest and we retain what we digest; the rest is all trash. Do we go through this process at all? Or are you all even now planning: My plane is at four o’clock. My train is at 2.20. This fellow is going on talking. He was only asked to say a few words of blessings. Look what we have got.

Babuji said, “There is no such thing as sweet medicine. You can have it sugar-coated, but the medicine itself is always kaduva (bitter). Truth is such a medicine. It is bitter, and we cannot sugar-coat it because it has no meaning, you know. So please be prepared for the most bitter truth which will come only from inside yourself.

When you do the cleaning in the evening, are you looking at yourself? When you go to bed and do the night-time prayer, are you thinking what Babuji said, “Be determined not to repeat the same mistakes.” Are we doing it? Or are we just, “O Master, thou art the real goal…” [drones sleepily] It is not a laughing matter though it looks like one. It is deadly serious.

When you watch the old Mahabharata and things like that, I was shocked when rishi Jamadagni, a great saint, was killed by the swords of the four sons of the reigning king. Spirituality does not guarantee freedom from pain, freedom from death, freedom from opposition, freedom from oppression from the government. It guarantees nothing of these. What does spirituality guarantee? Babuji Maharaj told me some twenty years ago, he said, “Dekho [Look], there is going to be destruction.” Even now, our Whispers messages that we are getting, there is always talk of destruction. I am waiting one day for at least some hopeful message – not as long as we don’t change.

So what did Babuji Maharaj say when I asked him, “What about destruction? You are always talking about destruction.” He said, “Yes.” And he was happy, he was laughing. He said, “Voh to hona hi hai. (It has to happen.)” I said, “Babuji, what about sincere abhyasis who are devoted to you?” He said, “Everybody will suffer when there is destruction.” I asked him, “What is the use then of being an abhyasi?” He said, “Itna sa farak hai, jo abhyasi hain, jo sincere hain, voh oopar jayenge, aur log neeche jaayenge.” He said, “Those who are sincere abhyasis, dedicated, devoted, truthful, they will have to go but they will go up. The rest will go down. This is the difference.”

So you may determine, you see, and know for certain that there will be destruction; nothing on earth can stop it. All the technological genius of the West and of Japan could not stop that tsunami. Don’t be fooled by what you read in the newspapers of an early warning system for tsunamis. It doesn’t exist. When the powers of nature are awakened, birds and bees and ants, they know – but we don’t know. We rely on seismographs, we rely on hot news on the television, most of them lies. Here, what is it here [the heart] that you are not looking to? Does this give you any disaster warning?

Always look here [the heart] whenever you are afraid, whenever you are going off track. Babuji Maharaj always said, “Don’t trust this [head]. It is only a thinking thing. It will give you information. It cannot tell you what is right or wrong. When you are in doubt, refer to the heart.”

I pray for His blessings on all of you today. Thank you.