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Address to abhyasis at inauguration of Perth ashram
(by Shri P.Rajagopalachari, October 8, 2003, Perth, Australia)
Good morning fellow voyagers. It's blowing a bit today so I thought I would get this ship on even keel sort of. You know we have just elected into existence a new committee yesterday for the Australian mission. I thought I should say hello to them and sort of give some guidelines for your future work. One of which is to pull together. The first and most important is to pull together. I hope you know what pulling together means. So that you maintain direction. You know you have two sets of rowers, one on the left and one on the right, and if you're at cross-purposes the ship will go this way [moving hand left to right] like a snake , whereas if you pull in unison, it goes straight and fast. So all of you are new committee members. And of course, we don't have training courses for committee members in the ashram or in the Mission. But, as I told Babuji Maharaj when I became a committee member, I said I have no experience. He said, "Get it." [laughter] So that's the only way to get experience you see, get it. So I want all of you to cooperate and get this Mission going on it's straight course, no deviation from purpose, no deviations in its teaching, and no other deviations. Number two is that the committee should concern itself with the growth of the Perth Mission, which must be established first. I don't believe in starting, you know, laying foundations all over the place, one in Melbourne, one in Adelaide, one in Sydney, and then watch the foundations there with tents all over them. That's not the way things should grow. Each project must be completed before the next project is undertaken. I don't want to dampen the spirit of the Sydneyans, but this is a mission, and like you know, you must grow in a unified fashion. So Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, whatever you have, you know, Alice Springs, eventually, because that's one of my favorite places. [laughter] They are all part of Australia and for me they're part of the world, and for Babuji Maharaj, they're part of the universe. So, there is no favoritism, no working at cross-purposes, but each project must receive its due attention and must be completed. And all of Australia and New Zealand should cooperate in building this ashram up first because as Tapan pointed out yesterday, we have an obligation to retain this land. That obligation is to ourselves. Of course, he might have tried to pressurize me into building this very fast because he did tell me that the council can take back the land and all that sort of thing, but I don't think he believes so. Nevertheless, what we start, we must finish, soon and well and properly. So that is a commitment that you people have undertaken here, in Australia. When I say you people, I mean all Australians. And please get on with the job of doing this as well as possible as soon as possible. Brother Michael Karassowitsch is here from Austria, he is an architect, he is involved with the planning of this ashram and eventually its execution. So I am thankful to him for having come all the way here to help us. And I believe he and Krishna and Tapan and the others concerned will have a meeting today later on after the satsangh, and plan for the future. Like we cannot have six boats with one oarsman each, but one boat with six oarsmen will go faster. Similarly, here we have one Mission, and each center is only a limb of that Mission. So don't think of Sydney people contributing for the Sydney ashram and, you know, Kalgoorlie for Kalgoorlie ashram and things like that, but Oceania contributing towards the first ashram in Oceania. Being sure that as the need develops, future ashrams will be developed elsewhere too. Number three is to keep this system of Sahaj Marg simple and pure. Babuji Maharaj has been always emphasizing the need to maintain its simplicity and its purity, both go side by side. No deviations, no dilutions, nothing added to make it more attractive to local population, nothing subtracted to make it, you know, more acceptable to the occidentals, nothing added to make it more acceptable to Indians like pooja and a little karpoora aarthi or things like that. Plain and simple meditation as we are practicing it today, forever. There is no need to beautify the system or to, you know, make it attractive. Those who want it will take it, those who don't want it, well I'm sorry, but that's all. It's like food, if you don't want it, you don't eat it. So please retain the simplicity and the purity of Sahaj Marg at all costs, under all circumstances, and don't fall into the temptation of changing it, modifying it, embellishing it to suit the whims and fancies of local populations. It will be what it will be. If there is only one abhyasi, it doesn't matter, but that must be a good abhyasi, a true abhyasi, an abhyasi with a purpose, that is spiritual evolution. Not somebody who comes here for a pastime, or some company, or even to get married. So these are some simple appeals that I wanted to make to you. And preceptors have to, you know, play their part, abhyasis have to play their part, and of course, the physical assets of the Mission has to play its part. He is providing a safe, a secure, and a spiritual atmosphere for our growth. So, that is the third purpose that we maintain our ashrams clean, impeccably clean, and pure in spirit, dedicated only to the purpose for which they are created, that is for meditation. So I hope all of you have understood what I am trying to say and will kindly honor your commitment to yourself, because this is a commitment each one to yourself that you make when you commit yourself to the Mission and its purpose. Because, after all, we are here for our spiritual evolution, and that can only happen if these parameters are followed, obeyed, and implicitly kept in mind for the future. Thank you.