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Sahaj Marg — a Complete System
25th March 2009, Vishakapatnam, India
In the volume of Whispers from the Brighter World which was published a few years ago, one message is put on the web every day, and it should be a good idea for those who have computers to read the message once or twice every morning. The second volume is about to be released on the 30th April, on the occasion of my revered Master's birth anniversary (his 111th birthday). I am sure all of you know about it.
Why I am referring to the messages is, there is one important message there which is repeated — not very frequently, but it is there. That is, Sahaj Marg is a complete system in itself and it does not need anything added on to it, or anything removed from it, or any modifications. Babuji is very clear on that. Sahaj Marg is complete in itself — not when it was given to him, not when it was given to us, but for all time. There should be no tampering with the method, with the maxims, with the teaching, with the practice. No tampering at all. It is not allowed, it will never be allowed, for as long as Sahaj Marg lasts — hopefully for the next ten thousand years.
Nobody would think of tampering with the Vedas, revealed knowledge given from above (sruti). Sahaj Marg is no less a Veda. It is also a sruti. Nobody has sat down at his computer and written it. It was received direct from above, and all that was done was to note down exactly, precisely, what was said. In fact it should be called Sahaj Marg Veda, volume 1; now coming out, volume 2. And I am sure there will be up to five volumes.
So you see, one does not interfere with Vedic knowledge; one accepts, one works on it, understands it, and one acts. It is very important to understand this in India where few people are yet able to liberate themselves from other practices — I am talking about abhyasis, senior abhyasis, preceptors, anybody — few, I don't know if I can count half a dozen. They are still, in moments of stress or even otherwise under family pressure or occasionally even from their own inner feelings, worshipping at temples, praying to gods, doing all sorts of peculiar things which they have been doing for generations and generations, without, as you know, any visible benefit.
The human beings are still what they were. Our animal past is still with us. Many still eat meat, many still drink, tell lies and do so many other things associated with what you call an enjoyable human existence — saying, "Sir, everybody does it." If you do what everybody does, it is like going on the same train where everybody is going, and that means your destination is the same. You will not go by yourself to your chosen destination. You will go where they are all going — and that you know where you are going, you see!
And, you have this famous song, tholi chesina puja phalamo [result of worship in the past]. [In] Sahaj Marg it is not valid at all. It has brought you to be a human being. It has brought you to your guru's feet. It has given you a wonderful, practical, simple system. That is ‘tholi chesina puja phalam' — that you are here in Sahaj Marg with a guru like Babuji Maharaj and his guru, with the simplest possible system and his guidance, and what is more, his love. I mean, I don't think even the rishis of the past had such an opportunity, when you see that Vishwamitra or Vashishta — they meditated or they did tapasya [penance] for thousands of years. In our own lifetime — how much are you asked to do? How much? Something in the morning, something in the evening, something at night; and this we are not able to do sincerely, honestly as he taught us.
"Did you do your cleaning yesterday?"
"No, Sir, I was very tired."
"When did you do your meditation last?"
"Little every day, Sir."
"Do you know the ten maxims?"
"I read about it in school."
"But this was not taught in school. Do you read the messages?"
"I like Vivekananda's letters."
We are talking about Whispers from the Brighter World — not Vivekananda, not Vashishta, not Vishwamitra, not your Andhra gods. There are no Andhra gods; there are gods. There is only one God. If you are worshipping Him, He is your God, and if you are worshipping Him properly, He is yours. And, what is the proper way of worshipping Him? Install Him in your heart where He already is, meditate on His presence, seek His guidance and thereafter be led by Him.
Are we doing it? Are we not still talking to our neighbours, to our friends? Are we not talking to so many people asking advice? — "What should I do?" Are we sitting and praying when we are in trouble? And how to pray? Do you know how to pray? Do your prefects know? Do they tell you what to do — what prayer means? Do they tell you again and again that prayer is not begging? Do they tell you this? And do you accept it? Or are you saying "No, Sir, I have to beg. I am a beggar. What to do? My praarabdha karma [result of past deeds] has made me a beggar." Your praarabdha karma may have given you birth as a beggar, but you are no longer a beggar. Here you are a sadhaka, an abhyasi, by dint of practice, by dint of obedience.
Please remember that in Sahaj Marg, obedience is the most important. You must practice in obedience to Babuji's instructions. You must practice it properly in obedience to the principles he has given. You must speak about it intelligently in obedience to Babuji's precept: "Don't change my teaching." Are you doing this? Or are you bringing in your own ideas, abhipraayams [opinions] and saying "No, no, Sir, this is Sahaj Marg as I understand it." Nobody asks for your understanding, except for you to understand Sahaj Marg properly. Nobody asks for your help in changing it. The only thing you are asked to change is yourself. And, what else? Do not bring change into the system — bring it into yourself.
So, this is the most important thing I have to say. I don't think I need to say anything more. This is not like making avakkai [pickle] you know — sometimes from mango, sometimes from fish. It is not like that. "Yoga, Sir, yogaabhyaasam [the practice of yoga], it is the same." No! When you say I eat, when your neighbour says we eat and somebody in Europe says we eat, the ‘eat' may be common, but what they eat is not common. Are you eating according to the niyama [discipline]? Are you eating properly, in time, regularly, in constant remembrance? Babuji has often said ... I was with him when he was in a daavat [feast], as they say, invitation, he saw people eating and he said, "They are eating like pigs. Their attention is only on food. They have forgotten Him who gave the food, who made it possible for them to eat, and who must make it possible for them to digest and continue to exist."
Remember, everything we do must be done in constant remembrance —even eating, even drinking. Are we doing constant remembrance at all? Or are we like some abhyasis: "I do it very often." You cannot do constant remembrance ‘very often'. Constant remembrance means, not broken — atoot smaran, nirantara smaran. There is no ‘often' or ‘frequently' in that. Other things, yes; remembrance, no. Because as Babuji Maharaj said, you start with meditation, and when you are able to perfect that, you go into constant remembrance. It is a state which must come into you. "No, no, Sir, I try to remember but I only remember, you know, Sashikala," or whatever it is.
So this is a sad state, you see, in which our abhyasis [are], everywhere, all over the world, but especially in India and very especially in Andhra Pradesh. This is the land of moodha bhakti [blind faith]. "Pothana said," "Vemana said" — let them say what they have to say. Remember what Babuji said. The times of Pothana and Vemana and all those people — [they] may have been great saints, but we don't know what they really achieved; how much they rose, whether they are even liberated. So what is the use of following it? It is like sitting in one of these old railway coaches by the side of the railway track, put on stone pillars. Children can sit there and pretend they are going to Gudiwada or Vijayawada, you see. If you see an adult sitting there, what will you say? Will you not say it? We are doing the same. Bus number fourteen — Pothana; bus number seventy-two — Vemana; bus number seventy-two — somebody else.
Babuji said the only saint of calibre who, outside Sahaj Marg, was the highest, was saint Kabir — nobody else; not Shankara, not Ramanuja, not your Andhra saints, not any saints. I said, "What about the rishis? You are not naming them." He said, "Well, if they were worth mentioning I would have mentioned it." Isn't it? Otherwise we are arguing like we argue in a bus stand — "What did you think of Bhanumathi?" What am I to think of Bhanumathi?
We are not here to think. We are here to do and achieve. No paaraayanam [recitation of scriptures] — useless. Parrots can be taught to say a phrase from Ramayana every morning and every evening. They exist all over Uttar Pradesh. They let the parrots speak! In South India we have people in whose house Venkatesha Suprabhaatam is going on — Kausalyaa suprajaa raama purvaa sandhyaa pravartate. [O Rama, son of Kausalya, the twilight has set in the east.] You can hear it in every house. It is a shaving aid! And you believe that while that is going on if you shave, you have also said your prayers, you have remembered God, and, "Venkatachalapathi will bless me." "Auna?" [Yes?] Say yes! — because that is the paristhiti [situation] here.
Don't be angry that I talk like this. I talk what you need to hear. I have been speaking about this, like this, for so many years. Fortunately for you, I don't come here very often. This is only my third visit I think — or maybe fourth. My last visit was seven years ago. I am happy because I would have said the same thing again and again; you would have been angry, again and again; and you would not have done anything, again and again.
In the Gita in the phalasruti [benefit of listening/reading], (there are seven hundred slokas [verses], eighteen chapters), it is said that anyone who reads the Gita every day once will get such and such a phalam [fruit]. Anyone who reads half the Gita everyday will get the same phalam; who reads one adhyaaya [chapter] will get the same; who reads one sloka will still get the same — even one akshara [syllable]. Because, it is said, when you don't even read one sloka, what is the use of talking to you about eighteen chapters and seven hundred slokas? "Sir, I am not able to say, ‘Aham Brahmasmi' [I am Brahman]." "Aham [I], I know; who is this Brahma?" This is our condition, our state.
So we also have problems in Sahaj Marg. Who is the Master? "You know, Sir, sometimes, you know, Ragavendra Rao comes. He comes in my dreams. Kasturi behenji [sister] comes." The women are very fond of Kasturi behen — even today — when she has left us and is following her own way, recruiting her own disciples. Are you loyal to your guru when you even don't know who is your guru? Babuji said there is one Master, one Mission, one method. Are you following it?
"No, no. Sir, I go to Ramakrishna Mission just to listen to some lectures, appudappudu [occasionally] — not always, appudappudu."
"When do you go to temple?"
"Sir, sometimes, you know, there is vedana [sadness] in the heart. Meditation, I am not able to do. Remembrance, I am not able to do. So I just go to the temple hoping …"
Hoping for what? What you cannot get here, you are not going to get there, you never got there — and still we are believing in that.
So you see, you have to become clean abhyasis. Not clean [as] in — "I am doing my bath, and my oil," and all that. Cleaning yourself regularly with determination that every time I open my eyes after half an hour of cleaning, I have changed me inside myself. This change is of no use [pointing to the body]. This change must happen [pointing to the heart]. Because this heart, which has become encrusted with beliefs, with prejudices, with desires, all sorts of what Babuji used to call mael, you know maela, dirt — they are so thick, encrustation is like steel. They have to be slowly chipped away, sitting after sitting, cleaning after cleaning. Do you go to your preceptors at least once a month for individual sitting?
So you see, it is necessary to think of the fundamentals of Sahaj Marg, instead of like a man who is putting a mango seed in the ground, asking somebody going on the street, "Sir, when will I be able to eat the fruit?" If you have sown the seed properly, it will still take twenty years for you to eat the fruit. If you have not sown it properly, if you don't water it, if you don't cultivate — you know, cultivate (krishi) — if you don't do it, you will never eat its fruit.
For us Babuji Maharaj has sown the seed when he gave us the sitting. First sitting, second sitting, third sitting, fourth, fifth if necessary — the seed is put. Am I watering it with love, with devotion? Or am I looking every day and saying, "No phalam [fruit], no mamidikai [mango]. Endira idi [What is this] nonsense? Every day watering! Visagapatnamlu, [in Vizag] water difficulty. Eppudo eravai samvatsarala tharuvatha dorukutundani cheppinaru [They said that I will get it after twenty years]; naaku ippudu kavali [I want it now]." Isn't it? You are not mantravaadi [magician] to put it and take off the towel and there is a mango there. And that you cannot eat. That is humbug. That is fraud.
Nature takes time, and the time depends on how it is done. The seed must be pure, properly planted. The water must be given to it every day. As it becomes a seedling, you must protect it, and when it grows up, more protection. Don't be in a hurry; when the fruit is ready, it will call you. Are we having patience? Without faith, patience is impossible. Faith must not depend on daily looking at the seed. Then you will be like the boy who brings out the seed and sees what is happening. He has destroyed it. Isn't it? So once the seed has been planted, have faith that He planted the seed; you have to water it with your daily meditation. You have to keep it clean and pure by your daily cleaning, day after day after day, until one day you find [it] here [points to the heart].
So all that I have to say to you, my sisters and brothers — read, it is necessary. But reading is not enough. Read, assimilate, meditate, you know, shravana, manana, nididhyaasana [hearing, reflecting upon, meditating]. The three steps of yoga enunciated thousands of years ago are the only three possible steps. Hear, understand and meditate and make it part of yourself. I pray for you all.