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Take One Step in His Direction
16 November 2009, Bhubaneshwar, India
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This land here in Jagannathpur, which has been so lovingly donated to Shri Ram Chandra Mission by the Behera family, has been dedicated lovingly on your behalf to my great Master, Babuji Maharaj, just now during satsangh. I pray that this place will soon have an ashram — the first in Orissa. Of course things take a little time and we understand that, but we shall do our best to expedite the building of one here. I pray that the Behera family, which has been so generous, will all reap the benefit of Sahaj Marg sadhana, bring change into their lives, appropriate for spiritual progress. And I would urge all of you to understand what Babuji Maharaj said about doubt (shanka)
Shanka is a poison of the soul. Inquiry (i-n-q-u-i-r-y) is a permissible necessity. Inquire into the nature of things; but doubt means — is it or is it not? There are some things about which doubt is not permitted, such as existence of God. And Babuji has made ample provision for abhyasis or prospective abhyasis when he says, examine the system, examine your future guru, and only when you are satisfied that you have found the right one, tie yourself to him with bonds of steel so that you cannot foolishly cut away again from him.
We are given time to judge, to the capacity that we are able to judge. Human beings cannot judge God. Human beings even do not know how to judge themselves; therefore this fallacy that every human being thinks he is kind, he is loving, he is generous, he is social, he has no prejudices, he does not hate anybody, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. All these fallacies are there to prevent ourselves from the extreme of self-destruction, because in today’s world were we to face ourselves and to know the truth about ourselves, I dare say few would be willing to continue to live here. Such is the corruption in this world of body, mind, soul, of everything else, you see. And it is perhaps because of this immense difficulty of knowing yourself, that one oracle said, “Know thyself.”
But Babuji Maharaj, in his great love for us, in his charity, in his compassion, in his merciful attitude, understood, you see, that were we to know ourselves, it would only lead to self-destruction. So he said it is no use knowing yourself, because even if you know yourself, you cannot correct yourself. You don’t have the ability to do it. If you had it, you would have done it long ago. First of all, you would not have become. Having become you would have corrected it. Nobody wants to remain what he is.
I am not talking of the poor not wanting to be poor, the sick not wanting to continue to be sick, the ignorant not wanting to continue to be ignorant. I am talking of a totality of existence — “I don’t want to be what I am.” So Babuji said, you can neither know yourself nor can you correct yourself. You cannot be your own guide. So forget yourself and remember Him, who is your only recourse, who is your only resource, who is the only one who loves you to such an extent, totally, that he will accept you as you are, and make of you what he wants you to become. Therefore the guru comes into the picture.
It is a very common question among (I don’t say ignorant but) unwise people: “Why do I need a guru or a system? I have never harmed anybody, I have only done good.” (I mean to the extent that they think they are doing good.) You know in our dharma here in India, you give ten paisa to a beggar and you are happy that you have done your duty for the day. You throw left-over food into the hands of another beggar and maalkin [the lady] is happy. This is not ‘doing good’.
Doing good means to be human, understanding that the human is a part of the Divine, is a spark of the Divine. We are not gods, but we are sparks from God. We are not the whole fire but we are sparks of the fire. It has every quality, or rather, it must have every quality that He has. And what are those qualities? God is love. First and foremost — without the need to say a second thing — God is love. Are we?
No, no sir, I love even my dog.” Yes, but do you love your parents, do you love your sasur [father-in-law] and saas [mother-in-law]? Do you love your neighbour? If I may make bold, do you even love your husbands? Same questions to men. They flaunt their love on their sleeves — “I love my parents.” “What do you do for them?” “Oh, you know in Ongole there is a new geriatric home for the aged — five thousand rupees a month, sir. It is not cheap to maintain old people nowadays.” I see, lovely charity, loving charity, kindness! You throw away your old people into some place, god-forsaken place, where they will be more miserable than lying at the front door of your house.
Today’s world is a heartless world, which means today’s people are heartless people. And we satisfy ourselves with these small karmas [acts] that we do, to keep ourselves alive in the consciousness that ‘I am good and loving.’ I need this tasalli [assurance] every morning. Otherwise none of us would be able to face a mirror, leave alone ourselves. So all these lies we tell ourselves, the sops that we give ourselves: “I am charitable, I have just given a donation. I am kind, I have opened a school. My wife gives every morning, you know, half a kilo of kheer [sweet] to Jagannath Puri.” Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. God does not need my kheer. We say Jagannath (the Lord of creation). In the South we have a saying, that during Ganesh Chaturthi [festival in celebration of Lord Ganesh], you make a Ganesh vigraha (moorti) [idol] of gud [jaggery] and usi soond se thoda todke [break off a little from its trunk] we offer it as our naivedyam (offering to God). We take from him to give to him and pride ourselves on the fact that, “I have given to Lord Jagannath.”
Lies, hypocrisy, self-delusion, what more should I say? — many more we can add to that. Spirituality is supposed to not make us desperate or suicidal or anything like that, but just to remind me and you that, my dear friend, I am here with whatever it is that describes me here. You are There; you need no description and my job is to go from here to There. Bas [that’s all]. I don’t have to castigate myself, hit myself, slap myself, make myself sick, fast, roll around on the dharti [ground]. I don’t need to do any of these things before my God. My God, my guru says, “You are my children, don’t grovel before me. Don’t come on your knees begging, with one peda [sweet] in your hand. Come to me proud, erect, with your head up, and say, ‘Father, forgive me.’” And father will say, “My son, what is there to forgive? You have strayed a little from the path. I am glad you have come back. This is where you belong. You have found it. Welcome.” And according to one story in the Bible, when the prodigal son returns, the fatted calf is slaughtered, cooked for him, special clothes are made for him. Love is lavished upon him.
You know every mother lavishes her love on a child which is not so well endowed. That is what mothers are known for in India. Little sick, little ignorant — the mother dotes on that child. Even if the father, stupid fellow says, “Kyon usko pyaar karte ho? Bekaar hai. [Why do you love him? He is useless.]” You say, “Jaa re jaa, mera baccha hai [Go, it is my child.]” She will chastise the husband: “What do you know of children? Love? Substitute another word for it. This is my baby. Leave it to me.” The more sick the child, the more she loves. Probably other children say, “Mummy, we are also here.” She says, “Tum to ho (You are there), I know, but he needs [me].”
Similarly God says, guru says, you need me. It is not a question of your accepting. You are ignorant and you don’t know that you need. You are arrogant and you think you don’t need. You think you are rich, you are powerful, you are healthy. When, until what time? Today’s millionaire is tomorrow’s beggar. Yesterday’s beggar is today’s millionaire. You see America, proudest nation on earth, grovelling — a whole nation. How soon do you think it will take India to become? We have always been a beggar nation. We are just raising our heads, to six feet above the ground and we already think we are on cloud nine.
Humility is necessary when we achieve. Humility is necessary when we become educated. Humility is required under all conditions and stages of human life and existence. The more we grow, the more we achieve, the more we acquire, more and more humility, more and more charity, more and more compassion. Because I must understand, as you all must understand, that the more I get, I get only to give. There is no use flexing my biceps and saying, “I am strong.” What for? To eat twenty eggs and half a chicken? You are strong to help the weak. “I am rich, sir. Every year my wealth grows by a couple of crores.” What for? You know, water kept in a pot for too long will stink. Your riches will stink. “No, no, but God made me rich.” What for? To make you give. You only need what you can eat. Do roti [two pieces of bread] and half a katori of daal [cup of lentils]. What more can you eat? Third roti? One jalebi [sweet]; two jalebis with dahi [yoghurt]; third you cannot.
So what are we acquiring for, saving for, denying others for? “No, no, I can’t love anyone. They are incapable of receiving love. They don’t deserve to be loved.” I see! Are you God to say such a thing, such a travesty of the truth, such a lie, such a word which is anti-natural, against nature, against God himself? Your heart is made to love, not to discriminate. ‘Judge not that ye be not judged.’ Who are you to judge when, if you were judged, what would be the result? Therefore the proverb says, ‘Judge not that ye be not judged.’ ‘Deny not so that thou shall not be denied.’
You are wise? Teach everybody. Don’t withhold your knowledge and claim that it is secret or sacrosanct. Rich? Give. Wise? Teach. Strong? Help. And such a man, you know, can have all these attributes without having anything (like Babuji Maharaj), which is the description of God. He has nothing but He can give everything. In Him there is no knowledge but He gives all knowledge. How come? It is like a pot which has no water, but you keep on drawing. The sign of greatness is to have nothing, in any of these fields, and yet to be able to go on giving like Krishna’s akshaya paatra [inexhaustible vessel of food].
So dear sisters and brothers, learn that spirituality is of course to become spiritual, which means to become progressively more and more divinised, progressively more and more human, as Babuji said: animal human being to become human, human being and thereafter to become divinised, remembering that divinisation means loving, giving, dying for others.
I pray that this short message will be accepted by all of you and will be acted upon by all of you, which I hope will not be such a futile hope as the Gita expresses. In the beginning of the Gita there is a whole set of slokas [verses], where it says, if you read the whole Gita what shall be the profit (phalashruti it is called). If you read only half the Gita (nine chapters), what you will get. If you read one chapter what you will get. If you read one sloka, what you will get. If you read but half a sloka, what you will get. And the fruit is always the same. And yet he adds, of billions of people who will read this, a hundred may accept. Of millions of people who will so accept, maybe ten will act upon it, and of millions who act upon it, maybe a few will achieve. That is according to Lord Krishna, Jagannath, your deity of Orissa.
My Babuji says, if you take one step in his direction, he will take one step from there to here for your sake. My god is not the god of Lord Krishna. My god is Babuji and his god, who will do anything to come to my help and succour if I but take one step in the right direction. That is all we ask. We don’t ask you to do pilgrimages and poojas [ritual worship], to go to temples and spend money, to do cheating exercises such as annadaan [giving away food], vastradaan [giving away clothes], bhoodaan [giving away land]. All this is not called for. One step and say, “My Lord, this is my step.”
And remember those three steps which Vamana asked. You know the chakravarthi [emperor] was arrogant when Vamana said, “I want land for my ashram.” He said, “Bas [that’s all]? For this you have come to me? Ask.” He says, “I want three steps of land.” “Are you insulting me that you ask for three steps? Ask for anything.” “No, no, three steps. First step, bhoolok [the earth], second step, antariksh [intermediate space between heaven and earth], everything,” and he says, “Now where shall I put the third?” Then the chakravarthi understands that he is facing the Lord. He bows down before him, goes on his knees and says, “Put it here [indicating his head].” And the Lord steps on him and pushes him to paataala [netherworld] and says, “Rule there. You don’t deserve to rule here.”
So remember you know, these steps are, what should I say, divinely inspired. But if you are afraid, it won’t work, because love knoweth no fear. Love and fear cannot co-exist. You cannot love Master and be afraid of Master. You cannot love human beings and be afraid of human beings. You cannot love charity and be afraid of doing charity. “No, no, sir, if I give they will ask for more.” Give, if you have it. Otherwise, sit with him and weep that I don’t have more to give you. You follow?
So this is what I recommend to all of you. May my Master bless you all and this future ashram here, and may it profit all of humanity.