Web Content Display
Manapakkam - Oct. 25, 2003
A talk given by Shri P. Rajagopalachari
I wanted to point out that everything simple is not necessarily easy, and Sahaj Marg is certainly not easy. I remember, I once spoke here on Basant Panchami day, about how even a sincere seeker can be assailed by doubts, which Sahaj Marg does not answer. I pointed out how the Gita itself, and the Gitacharya himself, can only give a solution, saying at the same time that, "It is your responsibility, Arjuna, to do this or not." And when Arjuna says, "But Krishna, this is not right," Lord Krishna only says, "You are either here to fight a war or not. In this war, if you are going to win, you have to do this. If you want to moralise, you must leave the war." He doesn't say it, but it is implied. You see this again and again, when, for instance, Bhishma has to be brought down, Drona has to be brought down, when even Karna has to be brought down. Adharma is the way of winning worldly wars. That is very absolute, very clear. The Gita and the Gitacharya have no advice to offer, no ways to offer. If you are fighting a worldly war, victory is only possible through Adharma.
This is absolute. I mean, I have no doubt about it. I have gone through the Gita a few hundred times, and the problem arises when we want to fight our spiritual war in terms of worldly wars, and adopt similar means. Is it right to do in the spiritual way what we are compelled to do in a worldly way? Can we, for instance, kill an enemy in spirituality and get away with it? And say, "No, no, I am only bringing dharma." The Gita is very clear, that is the avatara's purpose, that is God's , or the incarnate God's purpose, no body else's purpose, no body else's work, thank heavens. It is not the duty of any body else to reestablish dharma, it is only that of the incarnate deity, if you believe in one. It is the work of God, if you believe in Him, if you think there is one. It is certainly not man's duty to reestablish dharma. We have a right only to do our own work, establish dharma within ourselves. I think the Gita is also clear on that - the so called Kshetradharma, where your inner self is the battle field, and your lower self, you can say, is the Kaurava, and your higher self is Lord Krishna, trying to tell you,"Don't fight battles for victory, for countries, for thrones, for empires. Try to evolve."
And here comes the problem. Because today, in India you know, India is certainly a very morally depraved country, there can be no doubt about it. In the 55 odd years of freedom that we have enjoyed, we are seeing more and more statistics of growth, economic growth, material growth. No body talks of evolution, because the two don't go together. Spiritual evolution, spiritual growth cannot be shown in graphs or by comparative charts or, you know, measured in terms of progressive percentages. So we are fooled, we are lulled into a sense of security by having economic growth charts thrown at us, economists talking to us all the time of how wonderful India is - look at our roads, look at our buildings, look at our cars. Look at our gross national product. Look at individual prosperity, and what does a little moral sacrifice matter so long as you are happy? Of course, there is the other side of the coin that, as we are increasingly prosperous, increasingly well to do, those who are increasingly prosperous and well to do find they are in mental turmoil, moral turmoil, do not know what to do, how to do it, they don't have the courage to give up. They want, you know, like that famous story of the South Indian devotee in Srirangam temple or somewhere, who had his two arms around the pillar because of the big crowd, and when hot chakkaraipongal was served as the prasadam, he had the chakkaraippongal in his two hands around the pillar. If he withdrew the hands, the chakkaraipongal would fall, if he did not withdraw his hands, the chakkaraipongal would burn his hands. It is also the story of the child which does not know what to do, when its toy is broken, weeping away its heart, the parent not knowing how to console the broken child with the broken toy, the mother weeping in frustration, the father angry in frustration, etc, etc. It is all too common a scenario to need definition and delineation.
So you see, the growth and evolution, can they parallel? Are they like two pairs of rails on which a train can travel? Is it really possible to fly on two wings, two wings of the bird? Is there really a spiritual wing and a material wing? I am not trying to throw doubts into the hearts of the devotees, because the devotee has no doubt. He knows that spiritual success depends on slowly, progressively, methodically, systematically giving up material values one by one in his personal, spiritual appreciation, approaches, ever increasing heights of spiritual, what shall we say, flights. He knows it in his heart. We don't need to be taught that renunciation is necessary for spiritual success, for spiritual growth, for spiritual evolution, to reach that realm from which we don't return. Life itself has to be given up. There is no such thing as 'koondil kailasam'. Everybody knows this. It is the fool who believes that some saint went to heaven with his body. No wise man ever believed it, whatever religion may say, whatever another guru might have said about it. I repeat, it is only the fool who believes this. Or it is the absolute fool who wishes he could go to heaven with his body and enjoy the pleasures of his body there too. No sensible man, no wise man, ever believed such nonsense. You know that you cannot go to heaven with your senses and your body intact. Without the body, you don't need your senses.
So, we have all these problems of morality, you know, marriage, life without marriage, pleasure without marriage, pleasure within marriage, are they lawful, are they legal, are they moral? Today's society, we find what I can only call aberrant groups following aberrant ways of life, increasing perhaps in their vehemence, in their growth number-wise, becoming powerful enough to even sway legal circles, legal powers, to give legal sanction to many things which should not have legal sanction. I don't have to spell it out. Read your newspaper, you'll find that many things, which were illegal, are today legal. And I am not only talking of income tax laws. We are always trying, in our, shall we say, lust and avarice, to legalise situations so that we can be happy with what we do. No man, who is really happy with what he does, really requires legal sanction. This applies more to moral sanction. Values like marriage, values like doing out of marriage what should only be done within marriage. Nobody who is, say, morally satisfied with the way he is living life needs to change religion and say this must be moral too. If God created two sexes, it is obvious that he needed two sexes. So certain relationships are, shall we say, permissible even in the eyes of God, certain are not. And if churches and temples were to sit in judgment and say "This is from today permitted," it is only permitting permissiveness, and not really giving moral sanction to something which cannot be sanctioned at all by any moral authority.
So, you see, we are living in a world totally confused, because money power is growing, physical power is growing, terrorism power is growing, governmental power is of course almost absolute, they can do anything today. Every citizen is a slave of his government, there is no privacy, there is no sacredness, there is no secrecy. In very advanced countries, your lack of privacy, your lack of anything is total. In countries like ours, which are less developed, thank heavens, we still have some privacy, some secrecy etc. left. So, we seem to be exchanging goodness and a moral life for so called, what shall I say, happy life, well fed, well motored, well roaded, you know, good roads, good cars, good aeroplanes, more and more apparent prosperity. We seem to be exchanging simple, moral, lives for complicated, I won't say immoral, but, questionably moral lives, where the questioner is your self.
Each person is at night assailed by doubts. Is it right, what I have done today? Am I doing right, should I look to guidance, should I seek guidance, does it exist in Sahaj Marg? Unfortunately not!
Babuji Maharaj was like Lord Krishna. He himself told the story of how he had once received an order from above, as he said, to do certain things, which no person could have done, should not have done. But, in implicit obedience to his Guru, he did it, and he said he was punished by having to fast three days. I said, "But how can you be punished by obeying your Guru?" He said, "You know, obedience to the Guru is obedience to the Guru. It is rewarded, because in a higher purpose this was necessary. But in the laws of the land, in the ways in which you should look, as a human being, this was not a correct thing to do. And Nature decrees a punishment for it too. Obedience at the cost of punishment, and I accepted the punishment, and I did it. The only consolation for me was, I did it in response to my Guru's orders. I did not do it out of my own free will or out of, personal, shall we say, need to do it." Of course, if you say how can Babuji say such a thing, you can have the famous story of , I think, Parasurama, who had to kill his mother to prove his obedience.
So, you see, it is not that our religious and our puranic stories do not teach us. They teach us that, in certain ways, life has to be lived at considerable peril to ourselves, and the only moral guidance you can really have is not from religion, not from society, not from civil law, but from within yourself. And if, to seek that, you wish to do it, there is only one way, and that is to go the source of this, shall we say, guidance, which is the God within, the human, the person within, the Self, and that is why we meditate.
As we meditate and meditate and meditate, we do hear the inner voice responding to our calls, waiting to answer our questions. But then we are again having a doubt whether this is real. Am I really hearing a real voice, or am I afraid of doing what I want to do? very much desire to do? and therefore I think my inner voice says, "No." Then you go to your preceptor or to your so-called Master and say, "Is it right, what I am hearing?" And he says, "It is your voice which is speaking, why don't you listen to it?" "No, no, but Sir, how can it say, when everybody is doing it and they are right and they get away with it, how can it be wrong only in my case?" So, you see, we ignore the inner voice also.
And then as a society becomes powerful, parties become powerful, and, you know, what is wrong in one religion becomes right in another religion, which has always said it is wrong, we can see this happening today in our country. We used to condemn one person for breaking down a temple, now we also break down other temples of other religions, and it is right! Why is it right? Because, we say so. So, you see, how easy it is to pervert religion, religious laws, religious sanctity, and pretend that what you are doing is right because you are doing that to the other man which he did to you, going back to the old Hebraic law - of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. He killed me, therefore I can kill him, isn't it?
So, you see, society is a big danger for us. Governments are big dangers, religion is the biggest danger. Because today,religion, even Hinduism, I say even Hinduism, because Hinduism has hitherto been pure, but today's Hinduism is not. Today's Hinduism has become as fundamentalist as other religions, preaching death, preaching destruction. And so, where will you turn to now for help? You can't go to a temple and ask a priest. You cannot look in to your religious leaders. The only guidance is from within. Therefore, you see, Sahaj Marg says, "Seek, for everything, seek for happiness, seek blessedness, seek growth, seek evolution, and seek advice on your journey, step by step, foot by foot, step after step, foot after foot, from this source within. If you look to the outside world, there is no guidance.
So, this is my conclusion, you know, after having studied the Gita for, I don't know, almost, should I say, sixty years. Lord Krishna is no guide. Religion is no guide, Sahaj Marg is no guide. Sahaj Marg gives us a teaching, but the responsibility for living by that teaching is entirely yours. Sahaj Marg has given you a set of maxims, ten maxims. "Babuji, can I get up a little late tomorrow?" He will say, " If you feel tired, what can I do?" "Babuji, when I am sitting in meditation I am feeling sleepy." "Eat 2 rotis less!"
"But I am hungry!" "What can I do?"
So, you see, the poor old man can only say "What can I do?" You know what to do. It is one of my, I won't say research, because it is too lofty and pedantic a term, but it is my finding, after 45 years of Sahaj Marg, that all our questions are based upon our desires. You go to your Guru and say, "Sir, can I occasionally smoke a cigarette?" it is because you want to smoke. "No. No, are you a smoker? Babuji says. "No, no Babuji I am not a smoker, but, is it permitted, for example?" So, Babuji says, "Why does this young man ask, if he doesn't do it? Obviously because he wants to do it, and he wants sanction! You see." So, it is against your conscience. All outside sanction we seek only to salve the voice of our inner conscience, to subdue it. But, this voice cannot be subdued even by God. There is no Master of any calibre who can salve your conscience and say, "Shut up! I say it is right." It will not work.
Therefore, the famous confessional of the Christian church fails. The Church can say, " In the name of the father, and the Son and the Holy Ghost, I absolve you of your sin." The man doesn't believe it. The doubt comes, "Who is this fellow to forgive me? Does HE forgive?" This voice says," My son, I cannot forgive." "No, no, but I am asking, does HE forgive?" The voice says, " I AM HE!"
So remember, you know, if you want God's permission, God's advice, God's guidance, it is He who is HERE, who can give it to you. Don't look to moral laws, don't look to spiritual laws, don't look to civil laws, don't look to religion, no father, no mother, nobody can assist you. It is only you yourself who have to guide yourself. Therefore, it is said in one of the famous songs I remember from my childhood in Calcutta, " Close all the senses of the body, and open the window of the Soul, of the Heart. Let the Beacon shine from here. That shall be the light which shall guide you!" Thank you.