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Give Your Whole Heart
Annual General Meeting, North American Seminar, 21 February 2012, Chennai, India
Dear sisters and brothers, friends, associates on the spiritual path – some of you with me for the last forty years, companions on the troubled way, often, and also companions on much of the way which has been joyful, happy, progress-filled and full of enthusiasm always – I welcome you all to this formality of an annual general meeting here in India, in Manapakkam, in this lovely meditation hall, and I thank you all for gracing it with your presence.
I did not expect so many of you, to be frank. These are difficult times, economically, and I know many of you have made, perhaps all of you have made, great sacrifices in coming here. I appreciate that, and thank you. If I should take this as an indication of your interest in the spiritual journey that you have undertaken, then it is a big step forward, because in keeping with my master’s teaching, it is the effort that matters. In Sahaj Marg we are judged by our effort, not by what we are able to achieve. Knowing that, in this very difficult path, achievement is given by Him, not sort of earned by us. It is our effort to which He responds. So, I pray to my Master that he will respond with a hearty bonus to all assembled here for this seminar of the North American abhyasis, both from Canada and the U.S., and I hope this large assembly only sort of foreshadows much larger assemblies in the coming years.
You all appreciate that I will possibly no longer be able to visit you all in your country. So, I could say, willy-nilly, “You have to come here.” Not at all! But if you wish to see me, you have to come here. I think this is a situation where, if Mohammed will not go to the mountain, the mountain must go to Mohammed! I cannot envisage another situation in which this statement can be applied. So, this particular ‘Mohammed’ of yours seated before you, is now practically derelict, to be used as a training ship. It is not yet decommissioned, but it is there. So, you all must support me in helping me to help you, to whatever extent I can.
So, today is one such occasion when I can see all of you, though my eyesight is quite poor, as you could have seen when I signed this paper. And the only concern that I have is your growth to as high a level as possible in your lifetime and in my lifetime – and that is not the only thing. The other concern is growth of more and more in your countries, more and more persons, more and more – because this is something which is vital. I am not trying to proselytise. You are not carrying a message across the sands of time. We do not claim any exclusivity as you would have seen from the messages of the Master already published in three volumes of Whispers. But, to my knowledge, this is the only way which seems to be available openly, publicly, candidly, and free of cost. I mean your people deserve to have it, and it behoves all of you to make it available to your people.
All this concern for what they call the ‘meltdown’, the financial crisis, et cetera, et cetera: houses selling for half their prices; houses in Dubai abandoned, keys left in the door; loans unpaid – this seems to cause much more concern than all that we carry inside us. If we could but see what we owe to nature, if we could but see what we owe to our compatriots of today and yesterday and yesteryears, we would be aghast. But, much more, if we could but see what we owe to ourselves, the damage that we have done to ourselves, by both doing and not doing…. There are things which we should have done which we never did, which have caused us harm. But there is much more that we did which have caused us harm, which we should not have done. So, in our Vedic prayer we have a phrase which says, “Pardon me for all the things which I did which I should not have done, and pardon me even more for all those things which I should have done, but I did not do.”
It is a very common experience that when we lose a dear one, for a few hours perhaps, or to be more generous for a few days, we torture ourselves with the thought that had we been a little kinder we could have done so much more. It happens in the case of everybody. I mean, if you are human, you feel it. Why cannot we, at least with the next person who deserves this kindness, show it – even freely offer it without reservation, without prejudice? It takes nothing. If you want to give a glass of water, well, it does cost you some effort, some cost, however miniscule it may be. To give love, it does not cost anything. But that is the thing which we hold back, lock it up, as if it is the most sacred and profound and most valuable treasure on earth. Of course it is, but it is a treasure to be distributed, not to be kept. And it is a treasure which, if you had only the courage and the love of humanity to distribute, you will find it grows. The more you give, the more it grows, and eventually you wonder how you are going to give it all away.
People have told me their experience that when they start giving with a generous heart, it comes. Babuji himself told me that as he started his work, it was first originally a single [tube] like one of these oxygen tubes – the tube for transmission became a pipe, it became a big pipe, until it was so big that it threatened to sort of burst out beyond control. Instead of there being a conduit through him, he himself became the conduit. Everything went through him, right through him. He was no more there. He was transparent in the real sense of the word; everything passed through him. But we have to experience this to see how generosity ennobles, how generosity replenishes, how generosity brings more and more gifts. And don’t delay it, because, like The Gift Of The Magi – if you have read that lovely story, most wonderful story: two lovers – a loving couple. You know the story, so I will not repeat it here. So, please try to create that heart.
This is a funny situation created by modern societies that you do not love anybody – not even your mother and father; even less, your husband and your wife. Physical love is all right, but that is not love; that is not love at all. It is a way in which love between couples is expressed when they want to have a child. Of course I know most of you will protest, coming from the occidental world. You will claim that God gave it to you for pleasure. God gave us nothing for pleasure. None of the five senses are to be used for pleasure. The five senses are there to guide us through life: like a locomotive has a high beam so that it can see what is in front of it as it goes on pulling a big train behind it; like the brake is there to stop in a car; the steering wheel is to steer.
You hear of teenagers taking cars out and having accidents because they play with the steering wheel. It is not meant to be played with. None of our five senses are there to be played with. They are to be used with wisdom, with a consciousness that they are instruments given to me for my well-being, for my progress through life, for my safe conduct, for me to see what is good and what is bad. And if I misuse them, I might be denied...
Love is the only thing that is to be given, given and given – no question of colour, no question of race, no question of language, no question of sex. This is the message of Sahaj Marg which we have been hearing time and again ever since we became abhyasis. But many tend to say, “Oh, wow!” and go for the nearest pleasure outlet. We know this is true. And when we act otherwise and say, “I am American,” or “I am Canadian,” we are just cheating ourselves, lying to ourselves. I wonder how many of you will accept having felt guilty after every such bout of pleasure. In my experience over the last thirty years in Sahaj Marg, I find that women are willing to confess. I do not know what is the experience of the priests in church, in the confessionals, especially in the Catholic Church; do they have more women or more men? But I have more women confessing to me – not confessing [but] weeping their hearts out. Why do something which makes you weep?
Whenever people ask me a question about wisdom, I say, “A fool sees after the act; an intelligent man sees during the act; a wise man sees before the act.” That is all there is to it. And we should now become wise, and when we become wise and when we stop these pleasure-outlets from becoming active and ruining us (because we are self-centred, we are acquisitive, we are possessive, we are frightened) – when that single thing goes, the heart opens. No pleasure – open heart. [If you] look for pleasure, you are only looking for yourself: ‘mine, mine, mine’ all the time.
Of course, these are not topics usually included in a president’s address in an annual general meeting, but our organisation is of a different sort. All that we have to decide about finance and construction and membership and all I leave to others who are more competent to speak. This is something which comes from my heart. I do not need this [head] at all. To speak from the heart, you do not need the head. And why do we say that? Because, to say, “I love you,” or “I give you love,” does not need this [head]. In fact if you use this [head], this [heart] is closed. If you use this [heart], this [head] must be closed. These are like valves in the body. When one opens, the other must close, otherwise there is regurgitation; nature has provided such safeguards.
Nature did not know that human beings would be so foolish that even for love we would require a safeguard. Nature said God is love. We are people of God; we say we are children of God. Should we not be God-like? Not that we like God, but we should be God-like. If God is love, should we also not be love? Does an elephant have a rabbit for a child, or a lion? A rabbit! Why does God have such children? Can we blame God for it? I know many of you would be tempted to say, “Why did God make us like this?” God is not responsible. God gave us the instruments to guide us through life, I repeat again and again: the five senses. But we have converted them into organs of pleasure-seeking, achieving pleasure, gloating over our pleasure, and wanting to repeat those pleasures, again and again and again, ad nauseam.
I suppose that is why in meditation we have to close our eyes; we have to shut our ears to all extraneous noise and focus on this [heart] and say, “Now please tell me.” Initially, it does not say anything. But if you persist, if you insist that it tell you with love, it begins to. Then you have to listen. If you do not listen, it stops. Then one lifetime is lost. If it opens up and starts speaking to you in a very feeble voice, let it speak more and more; obey it in every small thing. Then it becomes a divine voice. But at the first sign of disobedience, it says, “That is enough.” And I tell you, very seriously, another lifetime is lost. Of course Nature is generous, forgiving, and it is said that when you begin the next life, you will start from where you left off. But that is not a consolation. I mean, who wants to live another life and start where we were before?
So, sisters and brothers, please take to this seriously. And the more you let it go out of you, spread it out… You know the secret? I am sure Bill Gates does not know how to get rid of his money. But there is a way – write one cheque [for] eighty-five million dollars; be finished with it, instead of giving three million there, six million there. There is a story in the Vedas about two Vedic characters, Puranic characters: one, who was always giving, the other was a warrior. Now the Lord was always praising the giver. The other fellow one day got angry with the Lord and said, “You keep on praising him. It’s no big deal giving away things. Why don’t you try me?” So, the Lord created three mountains of gold and said, “Please give this away.” So there he sat, giving away nuggets of gold to people passing, to passers-by.
A thousand years later, the Lord came and said, “What happened?” He said, “You are a cheat. You are a guy, you are not God. Nobody can do this. I have been giving away nugget after nugget to everybody – a thousand years, and it has not made a dent on these mountains.” So, the Lord said, “So you cannot do it?” “No, I have told you, it is not possible. It is not a question of my not doing it; nobody can do it.” So the Lord smiled and called the other man (the giver), and said, “You sit and give these mountains away.” Three people came; he called them and said, “One mountain I give to each of you”, and walked off!
So, in this way, you must give your heart – not bits and pieces of it. Something to Tom, something to Jacky, something here, so that I get a mail saying, “I have had three boyfriends,” or what is worse, three men with twenty-seven affairs! We have a Hindi song about a guy who spoilt his life [with] too many loves in his life. And at the end, he mourns, he sings a song. He says, “One heart I broke into so many pieces – a thousand pieces I broke it into. Some fell here, some fell there.” So that is why, in every language we say, “My heart broke.” Nothing else breaks.
So, spirituality helps you to keep your heart unbroken. If it is already broken, it is made whole again, but it must be used to be given whole to everybody. So that is all that I have to say. I thank you all once again for coming, and hope that you will all keep coming.