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Sahaj Marg - The Need of the Hour
A talk given by Shri Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari
Dear brothers and sisters,
I am very happy to have visited this, what I called a remote village this morning, but these girls took objection; they said 'town'. This centre was unknown some years back, and I am happy to say that young students have worked here and created a Shri Ram Chandra Mission Centre, and I believe there are about eighty abhyasis today. More will come. As my Guruji Babuji Maharaj used to say, the seed is the important thing. One seed - one tree, one tree - many fruit, many fruit - hundreds and thousands of seeds. The difficult thing is to find that perfect seed.
I am sure the young people of this centre will co-operate and make this centre grow, because, what the world needs today is not material prosperity, it is spiritual health, spiritual growth and spiritual goals. Because material goals lead human beings astray; they make human beings selfish, self-centred. They give them killer instinct. They make one man become big at the cost of another man, one man rich at the cost of another person. They say 'Dog eats not dog' in philosophy. But where human beings are concerned, I think all materialistic oriented people are, to some extent, cannibalistic. They don't mind what damage they do. It is material civilization that drags down humans values, erodes the real values of life, makes, perhaps, people successful, powerful, rich, but denies them health, happiness and peace of mind. That is why today India is full of mental hospitals, psychiatric clinics, so many drugs for sleeping - Calmpose etc., and so many gurus. Because, if you say you can give them peace of mind, you can charge them thousand rupees a day. So gurus become rich and powerful and I don't suppose they have peace of mind either. So you see, this has become a business. Peace of mind has become a business. Yoga has become a business.
In the ancient tradition, yoga meant union with the Ultimate. Now yoga means so many things. It means in women - beauty; it means perfect body. In men it means health; it means the ability to concentrate - mental concentration. Nowhere do the modern gurus talk of union with God. One has to be very careful even when speaking about yoga, and even more careful when hearing about yoga - exactly what is this man supposed to say, what is he saying, what is he offering to us? And remember what Babuji Maharaj said, that spirituality can never be sold. Happiness cannot be sold; pleasure can be sold, not happiness. When you go out and eat chaat, bhel puri, you may be thinking you are buying pleasure, but you are buying also possibly illness, upset stomach, future problems of gastroenterology. When you smoke and drink, momentarily it seems to be a pleasure and you are very happy.
This afternoon one of my sisters here did a mono-act of a drunken lady. It shows how drunk a woman can be without even drinking anything. And it is true, because today modern human beings are drunk with their prosperity, with their success, with their cars, with their buildings, with their land. They are literally drunk, they are tipsy, they are intoxicated. My Guruji warned us, beware of such intoxication. Because when you are intoxicated, remember what Lord Krishna says in the Gita: smriti bhramsaat buddhinasah buddhinaasaat pranasyatai - an intoxicated person cannot think, when he cannot think his action goes haywire, and he destroys himself and others.
Yoga talks of a clear mind like a mirror. Darshan means to see. To see what? Not what I imagine I am seeing, but what is the reality in what I am seeing - not to be carried away by so many things that we see in this world, which is the superfluous attitude, but the ability to go behind. When you see a wealthy woman on the street or a cinema actress, are you able to see the misery in her heart? What all she has to do to rise up the ladder of success? Have you seen it? Have you seen politicians, powerful politicians - how many guards they have? How many gunmen they have? Why do they need them? You remember the story of that famous fellow who put a snake round the rishi's neck? - Parikshit. He was cursed that he would be bitten by a snake and then die. No protection. So you see, the only thing that can protect you is your dharma. Dharma means right action, right conduct, right thought. These are available only to one who is spiritually minded. You cannot look for money and power and position and have right action and right thought and right goals. Any man who is too rich, he should look himself into his own heart, examine his conscience and find out how much was really earned. You know, even in income tax, they call it earned income and un-earned income. It's a very funny way of dividing income.
So you see, happiness comes only from a clear conscience. Clear conscience comes only from right thought, right action, right result - not from dharma (as in giving charity). See, a rich man may give so many lakhs of rupees to dharma - build choultries, build temples. It doesn't give a clear conscience, because in his heart, he knows God is not easily fooled, God cannot be bribed, God does not need my temples. I need temples perhaps; why does God need temples? Isn't it? So please remember, morality is nothing but right action, culture is nothing but following right values, civilization is the combination of the two. We talk of everything as a civilization, but everything is not a civilization. It is like saying, "A sick man is also healthy, sir, but only thing, he is sick. A poor man is also rich, but only thing, he is poor." This is what governments are doing today. You know, there are no more peons; there are only Class IV officers. You cannot say 'sick people' in America; they are health-challenged. There are no more mental patients. They are intellectually-challenged, mentally-challenged. What are we challenged with? Look into yourself and see what are the challenges you have to face.
The challenges we face are our temptations - for beauty, for power, for money, for wealth, for position, and as long as these temptations are there, there is a very real danger of fall. Temptations are not outside. It is easy for a father to say, "My son was spoilt by a boy in his class who made him smoke." Nobody is spoilt by another person. I have known people who married for love, and the father says, "That woman came and ruined my son." It is your son who ruined himself, if at all he ruined himself. Temptation lies here -inside, not outside. So never blame anybody else for temptation. "No, no, sir, my wife was sick, my bank account was empty. I needed thousand rupees. The contractor said, 'Please take it, you are my friend,' and I was caught." A bribe is a bribe, whether your wife is sick or not, whether your mother is sick or not, whether you are sick or not. Whenever you have to justify anything that you have done to yourself, you are culpable. "No, no, Sir, everybody does it. Who is not doing it today? If I don't do it, I will have to sweep." Well, there are people who are sweeping the floor. They sleep well, they sleep outside, they enjoy the sunshine, the wind, the rain. They don't spend five hundred rupees a month on an electricity bill for air-conditioning. They are happy. They are healthy. So we have to re-align our goals of life.
That is what Sahaj Marg is trying to do through the young people, you know. We work on young people very much today because they are the future citizens of this country - future mothers, future fathers, future citizens. If they work well, if they have the right goals in their mind, the right character in their heart, the right aspiration, our future is bright. The future of a country, of a civilization, does not lie in education, in Indian Institutes of Management and things like that.
Today our governments are cheating us by building cyber cafes, cyber cities, thousands of crores, golden quadrangles. Our governments have learnt how to fool people - Rajotsava. This state is very famous for Rajostava. So, one day it is here, they give you some balloons to fly out, some cheap fireworks here and there, and, "Oh! We are wonderful, we are happy." In the Jungle Book, all the bandarlog' as we say for the monkeys, they all say, "We all say so, so it must be true." That is democracy. We all say so, so it is true. "India shines." What is shining in India? Tell me. Just because you have good roads which you should have had a century ago? Why our politicians did not do all this twenty years ago? Because today people are aware and they are demanding it, which means, unless you demand you don't get. In Tamil we say, the crying baby gets the milk. You have to demand from your governments, not be cheated by your governments and, you know, punished by your governments. You have to demand good government from your governors, service from people who are supposed to serve you, like postmen, policemen, civil servants. They are here to serve us, not to boss over us. We have been too long subservient - "Huzur" [Sir].
Swami Vivekananda used that famous Vedic saying: "Stand up - uthishtatha, awake - jaagratha, then prapya varaan nibodhata [having approached the Chosen One, realize your goal]." But we are silly; we have been too long careless, ideal-less, energy-less. India has been sleeping in every way. The rishis of the past went to the mountains. They may have become great rishis, great saints, that is not what I am talking about. What did they do for this country? Today we have rich people - crore-pathis. What are they doing for your country? They are mostly tax evaders. Income tax departments are growing. Where, in a Circle, there was one Chief Commissioner, I am told in Bombay there are twenty-six Chief Commissioners, sixty or seventy Commissioners, two hundred and fifty income tax officers. Huge bungalows like your Vidhan Sowdha in Bangalore for income tax officers. There are more and more policemen but less and less of security - more and more robberies. More and more hospitals - multi-specialty hospitals, more and more of sickness, more and more expensive sickness, more and more expensive death. Today to live is expensive; to die is even more expensive. But if you read Indian history, and if you go back to that story of Harishchandra, the chakravarthy [emperor] who was only telling the truth. [Inaudible] For his own son's cremation, he could not provide.
So this sickness has been borne sickness in India from time immemorial. Nothing new. Only thing, today it's more open, more brash, and people say, "Oh, to hell with it. What is corruption, sir? If I am prosperous, does it mean I am corrupt? You are poor because you are stupid, you are a fool, and you don't know how to get on with life." Isn't it?
Sahaj Marg stands for progress in the field of human values. Sahaj Marg does not talk of golden quadrangles and aeroplanes and ships. Sahaj Marg talks of human heart - ability to love, ability to be compassionate, ability to be brothers and sisters in life together and to share what we have with each other. So I hope you will all embrace Sahaj Marg because that is today, the need of the hour, whether you realize it or not. Of course, most of you will say, this fellow will only say these things. But then a crow will only crow, and a cock will only say cock-a-doodle-doo, and I can only say what I can say. At least what I am saying is natural, from inside. It has no aims; it has nothing to do with you. We don't come and ask you for money; we only try to tell you what is love, how to love, how to spread love.
I hope you learn these lessons. Bring happiness and light into your lives. Make you children happy, so they glow with happiness, not barter your children for wealth and power and position. Don't make your daughters objects of slavery, because today marriage is nothing more than enslavement. In so many satsanghs, I have asked women to raise their hands who are really happy in marriage. Their honesty does not allow them to raise their hands. Because they are mere chattel, they are objects of pleasure, of service - "Wash clothes, sweep the floor, cook my food, have my children, and be in bed when I want." This is marriage, and it is called love. And the poor women, they are so dependent that they want their husbands to live - Karva chauth. I don't think any real woman would want her husband to live if he is the husband of today. In the heart of their hearts they must be saying, "Devuda [O Lord], when are you going to relieve me of this rakshasa [demon]? But I am dependent on him. I am socially dependant. If I am thali-cut, society will look down upon me. I have no recourse. My children will not keep me." That is what has made women long to have their husbands alive. Not love. Let us reverse this. Even I think Satyavaan and Savithri, you know that famous story. I don't know what made her run after Yama. This question of pativrata dharma [conduct of wife's chastity], and, what do they call it - sumangali [woman whose husband is alive].
So you see religion has put us down, kept the down-trodden down. Priests prey upon us, religion preys upon us, governments prey upon us and we prey upon each other. If India is to be blessed, if it is to be really a Bharat maata [mother India] and Bharatvarsha, and if there is to be a real, real, real, Rajostava, that should be a spiritual Rajotsava, not a political Rajotsava, not a linguistic Rajotsava, and such a day I hope, by divine plan will come and you, I hope, will participate in this, cooperate in this and enjoy the bliss of this.