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The Possibility of Instant Realisation
A talk given by Shri Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari
Dear brothers and sisters, I have already given a message which is printed in the souvenir, and I don't therefore know what to say. One thing is, of course, we must realise why we are here. Is it a celebration of an event? Is it a celebration of an opportunity? Is it a celebration of advancement already achieved? Or are we celebrating what we hope to achieve in the future? Babuji Maharaj, my great Divine Master, always emphasised that when we gather in assemblies, there is a sort of a group effort, which is far, far beyond just the multiplication. Hundred individuals does not mean hundred times the effect but could be a million times the effect, and today I believe we are about twenty- two thousand abhyasis here. If all of us put our minds and hearts together in one endeavour, I dare say that the goal would be achieved even today. [Applause] But it all depends upon us.
The Divine will is always wanting souls which have descended from above and are going around this universe in various life forms. The Divine will only wants one thing: like a mother wants her children to come home, the Divine will wants all these myriad forms of life, uncountable souls, to get back to their original home as early as possible. Divine will not is lacking. Where there is a will, there is a way. And Divinity has provided that way to us also. Sahaj Marg is at least one of those ways, if not the only way. So we have the Divine will pulling us up, we have the divine way offered to us to make it possible for us to easily, without much difficulty, without much suffering, get back to our beloved up above. The third factor is what we wish, what we will. 'There lies the rub', as Shakespeare would have put it. That is what is lacking.
So I make bold to say that the Divine has hardly any part to play. That is why long ago, some years ago, I gave a series of talks in Europe which was printed in one book, The Role of the Master in Human Evolution. Because the Divine will being there, the divine way being there, what must prod us on and on, on this, shall we say, inescapable journey of life back to its source? I very deliberately say inescapable because whether you will or not, whether you wish to or not, someday you have to come onto this path and go back. All that we do, in our human foolishness, stupidity, can only delay that progress, can only delay that journey to that ultimate destination of our original home, and that does not work in our favour as we realise when life after life, we struggle, we mistake enjoyment for pleasure, we mistake pleasure for happiness, we mistake happiness for the goal. But one day something happens - the fire is lit, and after that there is no stop. These bhandaras, these gatherings of spiritual devotees sitting together, meditating together with one goal, one aspiration, one marg [path] are meant to foster the flame of that longing, make it into a divine conflagration which should consume everything that we are, and push us up there where He is waiting for us. Therefore of course there is a celebration, there is the aspect of happiness, there is the aspect of joy, being together. But that longing for our eternal life in the Original Home, that longing must be fanned, and if these gatherings contribute to that, they are blessed gatherings.
Human beings have this proverb that 'Man shall not live by bread alone.' It is given to us by the Christian religion. We know it. You see, when we are poor and we do not have enough bread to put into our bellies, we long for bread. Then we long for butter, then we long for cheese, apricot jam, salads. And then one day when you have too much and all that too much-ness of food, of comfort, of pleasure, of happiness are not enough to satisfy something in our hearts which we feel is lacking, then comes the miraculous turn towards spiritual life. I think in the Christian Bible, it is said, "Even a camel may pass through the eye of a needle, but a rich shall never enter the doors of Heaven." I don't think that is quite true in modern life. That may have been true in the past when there were few rich people, but today we have more and more rich people, more and more affluence, more and more comfort, more and more happiness, pleasure, joy and more and more abhyasis from the affluent classes. Because they find, you see, that all this is emptiness. As the Bible again says, "Dust and ashes in the mouth." It is as if you put a jalebee [a sweet] in your mouth and it tastes like ash, and then you say, "What is this tamasha [illusion] of life?"
So the poor can come because they need God, they experience the need for God, God alone can help feed them, to give them the rain they need for their harvest; God alone can give them the happiness which modern conveniences and luxuries cannot give them, because they don't have them. Therefore they come in billions and billions. The rich come because all too soon they find out, they realise, they experience in their lives that this is not enough.
Therefore Sahaj Marg has made this miracle possible that everybody in society - rich and poor, educated and uneducated, powerful and powerless, the meek, the humble, the mighty, the strong, the arrogant, they are all here among us. Because I believe Sahaj Marg has shown to us that where the spirit is languishing, where it is not deriving its sustenance, which is what Sahaj Marg is offering in its pranahuti, the major, the greater, and in fact the vital part of me is not alive. One part of me, the bodily part, the sensory part is very much alive. But in fulfilling the sensory pleasures, and the desires and the needs of the body, we discover that, alas! That is but the tiny tip of the iceberg; the rest is all plunged in misery, whereas it should be floating in the ocean of bliss. This is the miracle of Sahaj Marg. This is what my great Master Babuji Maharaj and our great Adi Guru, Lalaji Maharaj have made possible for us to realise - not to teach. Teaching goes in through one ear and out the other ear. But when a system, when a marga, when a practice, when a padhati makes it possible for us to experience in our lives, often in just one sitting: where am I, what am I doing here, where should I be, how do I get there, we realise what a child which has lost its way coming back from school realises. There is a moment of panic, of despair: how will I get back home? Until that moment knocks in our heart, on our heart, within our heart, we are lost to spirituality and we are lost even to our material life, because in material life there is no fulfillment of any sort.
Therefore sisters and brothers, Sahaj Marg is a unique way. Because if you come here, you can realise perhaps in one sitting if you are lucky, in a few sittings definitely, that what is vital to you is missing. It is like a bundle of firewood lying there and raw rice lying here and no cooking because there is no fire in the firewood. There is no fire in us. The fire of the soul, the fire of the spirit, the fire of the eternal life, the tejas of God - the divine effulgence, that which must shine and bring more and more towards you, that is lacking. We are like a flashlight in the dark which has no battery. Battery is there - dead. It has to be charged. So again I say Sahaj Marg is a miraculous system, but without your cooperation it can do nothing for you.
Babuji Maharaj used to say that when it rains, the farmer who has ploughed his field, tilled it, made it ready it for agriculture, he makes the best use of that rain. The other man who says, "When it rains I shall see " well, may be he will utilize ten percent of that rain. The third fellow who comes after the rain has stopped, he will get nothing. Rain does not decide what we are going to produce. It is how we are prepared. Babuji Maharaj said, "The fool realises after the event, the intelligent realises during the event, the wise realise before the event." The fool realises that after he has been drunk, he is drunk and he is in the ditch, the laughing stock of everybody, perhaps has to go to the doctor. The intelligent man realises that even while he is drinking, he is doing the wrong thing and he stops. The wise man says, "Neti, Neti - not this, not this." In my opinion, this Vedic slogan of Neti Neti applies to everything that we do in life. Progressively we realise, not this, not this, not this, not this, goes on all our life until one day we come to a blessed marga like our marga with a great Master to bless us, to help us, to aid us, and we say, "Yes! This I have to do."
So if there is one thing worth doing, it is the spiritual practice. If there is one effective way that is useful for us in our life to take us back, it is our spiritual practice. If there is one person who should be our guide and our friend, he is the Master, who has only our good, our welfare and our destination in His mind, always, eternally. My Master never thought of anything in life. He was always worried, he was always concerned, he was always occupied with abhyasis. How should I do this? What can I do to help that person? Somebody's prayer coming into his consciousness, a pulse of transmission sent, some blessing to that, shall we say, suffering soul, which was felt immediately by that soul. It is not as if you know, you just say something and hope it gets there. This is what happens with temple worship. This is what happens when we pray to God. We pray with a sense of predestined despair that this may or may not happen, this prayer may or may not be answered, with the added doubt whether there is somebody at the other end of this, receiving the prayer, who will help us, who can help us. And generally our heart says "No!" because there is no contact between Him and me.
The Master, the spiritual guide, the Master of the age, He is there precisely to create this link through himself, with what we call the Ultimate. There can be no direct link with God. This must be clearly understood. Whatever be your religious belief, it does not matter. The truth is beyond all religions. Religions generally do not speak the truth. As Babuji Maharaj said, "God has no religion, religions have no God." These are bold statements which Sahaj Marg makes with, shall we say, a certain amount of fearlessness, impunity, courage, having all these attributes because it is the truth, the only truth and nothing but the truth. Without someone to establish a link between this and that, between the temporal and eternal, between the jeevatma [temporal being] and the paramatma [the Ultimate], to say that this is an amsha [essential part] of that... Yes, it is true. But what is the amsha doing here? It is like one of a flock of a sheep which has gone astray and is at the mercy of the wolves. It will not survive. It has to come back to the flock where the shepherd is. That is why the Christian prayer says, "The Lord is my shepherd and I shall not want. His rod and his staff, they comfort me." His rod and his staff are not to beat you with, but to keep the wolves away.
So you see, brothers and sisters of all religions, (we have many of them here from many religions,) whatever your religion may say, what ever your holy books may speak about, you must understand that without somebody who can connect you with Him, spiritual life is not possible. That is why we have in our ancient Puranas, you know the great rishis of the past, some of them (as it is said) meditated twenty five thousand years. We don't have twenty five thousand days in our life, perhaps not even twenty five thousand hours. So within this span of life available to each one of us, can we do this divine journey in one step? Babuji said, "If you take one step, you advance twenty-one inches. When He takes one step, He can advance from one end of eternity to you." Therefore this divine miracle of instant liberation is possible, instant realisation is possible, if we are willing to take that one step. Sahaj Marg offers us that possibility.
Sahaj Marg makes the probable a possible, and the possible an achievable, and the achievable an achieved object, in this lifetime. Because Babuji said, if you do not achieve in this life, what is the guarantee of another life? Some religions say there is another life, most religions don't. In any case, whatever religion may say, does it exist or not, we don't know. Sahaj Marg does not require any belief in a future life or in a past life. Sahaj Marg requires that you believe in this life, its possibilities, its potentials, its growth orientation and the definiteness of your ability to achieve it, provided you have a guide, you have a method, and you have an organisation - the three 'M's of Sahaj Marg: the Master, the Mission and the Method.
So brothers and sisters, these are all available to us; let us make wise use of them, let us convert it into the modern miracle of instant coffee, instant tea. Let us make this instant spirituality! I pray for all of you. May He bless you.