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The Power of Love
An informal talk given by Shri Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari In London, U.K. On 3rd November, 2005.
Question: Master, everyone is so worried about your health, and some are upset that you’re being put to such a stress coming here. But you seem to do what you want to do.
Master: Well, you know, you either do what you want to do, or you do what others want to do. And there are so many others, you know. So it’s better to do what you want to do. You know, I have only to contend with myself. If I have to look to the others—there are a hundred and fifty people here—then what should I do?
Question: Yes, Master, but so many love you and they’re so concerned that you’ve been out so long.
Master: Their concern is what brought me here. Because if it is a reflection of their love for me, it brings me here. If it’s a reflection of a desire to say, “Oh, he’s not so well tonight, he’s not coming”… But Babuji Maharaj said, my Guruji, he said if there is one true lover it was enough to bring him there. The hate of a hundred people doesn’t work against the real love of one person. That’s the power of love. As Babuji said, one personality on earth is enough to contend with all the evil, the degradation, the corruption in this world. We talk so much of corruption but we don’t look at the spiritual beauty of the people who are here. After all, in a whole pond one lotus is enough. If there were too many they would choke each other. We have many of them here. I suppose that’s what brought me here now. Thank you, all of you.
Question: We are just a few abhyasis from the States here. I don’t know if I can be so bold [she asks a question about coming to the U.S.]
Master: If I decide to come, I don’t need an invitation. An invitation doesn’t mean I will come. But as Babuji said, you should invite, just to make him feel that he is wanted. Isn’t it? Otherwise it’s like an empty table, and the hostess asking the guests, “Would you like to eat something? Would you like to eat something? But I know you won’t eat anything here. [inaudible] You will not eat in my house.” You know, real love does not look to what it is giving to the Beloved. It may be just a plum, that’s enough.
I remember once I was going with Babuji from Delhi to Shahjahanpur—heat, you know, of mid-summer—May, it might have been. We were all sweating and one lady brought a paper bag full of grapes, it must have been about a kilo. He put it on his lap and went through the bag like a child, one by one—normally he would have offered. So I said, “Babuji, what is happening today? You have not given even a single grape to anyone, we are twelve of us.” He said, “You know, this is so full of love I cannot share it.” And he never ate grapes—because he had dentures, and the grapes would stick to them and he had to go to the bathroom and wash them—he never ate, but he finished one kilo.
So that is love, how it is manifested, you see. Unfortunately in many cultures love has been replaced by good manners, courtesy, etiquette, good cutlery, good napery—poor substitute at best. There is a story of the avatar Rama, you know Lord Rama. He had to go to a feast with the rishis. And they had prepared very meticulously; after the ritualistic bath and puja and prayer, they were waiting. There was his devotee, one old lady, and she was collecting plums. She bit through each one. What was sweet she kept for him and the others she spit out. And when he came he went straight to her and ate that what we call unclean fruit, bitten by another person. And the rishis were languishing there with all their prayers, their bath in the Ganga and all, you see. Again, the power of love.
So we have to cultivate that, you see. That’s what Sahaj Marg is all about. It’s not about meditation. It’s not about cleaning. All that is of course by the way, you know, like you buy a ticket when you go to the rail station and you buy a box of sandwiches, but that’s not the journey. Those are only necessities for the journey. The journey itself is something different. And here, in our onward journey, if you don’t develop love it’s going to be a very laborious, time-consuming, tiresome journey to the goal, which could take aeons of time. And if there is love, it could be just, as Babuji said, “Move your head from here to here and you are there.”
I don’t know how much our prefects speak to you about the need to develop love to such an extent that your heart throbs, pulsates—every moment of your life pulsates with that love. But here, you know, we say, “Oh yeah, I love him.” It’s so easy to fool ourselves, cheat ourselves, lie to ourselves by saying, “I love him.” We do it all the time in our temporal lives, our material lives, and we carry that farce from the beginning to the end, leading to heartbreak—as is happening all the time in your culture here, you know, Western culture. Unfortunately, they don’t know what is love. We have to teach them afresh.
People in Sahaj Marg should take this work up and tell them this is not love—this is only friendship, mutual need, companionship, putting away loneliness by resorting to somebody else to keep you company, et cetera, et cetera. It’s not love at all. So it’s a hard lesson to learn because it’s so satisfying for the moment to have somebody with you, and both pretending that they love each other. That’s why people stick so physically to each other. You know, in the Western people, children cling to the mother like a monkey’s baby (you don’t see that in the East), because the child is insecure. Why insecure? It feels the mother is insecure.
You know in our culture we say even an unborn baby knows what’s going on with the mother, and every time the husband kicks her around or beats her, you know, the baby suffers. And that you see today in babies which are born, you know, they hate the father from the beginning. Whereas the father should sit with his childbearing wife, soothe her, be gentle to her, love her. I have an abhyasi out in Europe somewhere, she used to smoke heavily, drink often, and she became pregnant. I said, “Now you have to stop both.” She said, “But I can’t do it.” I said, “If you can’t do it your child will hate you when it comes out because it’s living in a poisoned state inside you.” She agreed. She said, “What else?” I said, “Daily, afternoon after lunch, you just place your hands gently on your belly and talk to your child.” “What should I talk?” I said, “For heaven’s sake, you are going to be a mother, you know, just tell it that, ‘Oh darling, how I am going to welcome you. You are going to be the light of my life.’ Anything, you know. The child will understand. You don’t even have to say a word, just think it.” And she had a most wonderful child. (Normally it should have been a deformed child, you know, for all the drugs she had taken, the drinking she had done, the smoking she had done. Normally she should have had a deformed baby.) Beautiful child, and today she is a beautiful woman, that child. So even before the child is born we must love the child. Even before conception we must love what we are going to conceive.
But these things are not taught here. Here, the moment the girl is pregnant the boy leaves her. And it’s almost a certainty, you know, that if she becomes pregnant, there he goes with the suitcase. I have heard time and again in Europe, husbands telling me, “Oh, I have my suitcase packed, Chari, because if I go home in the evening I don’t know whether she will be there to receive me.” And women say the same thing about the men because it’s a mutual suspicion, lack of trust, because there is no love.
So we try to teach the need for love in Sahaj Marg. We are always talking about a brotherhood, but I don’t see much of a brotherhood developing; that after the satsangh we part and sometimes you don’t even call up each other. We should become a tightly knit community, knit with love, because love doesn’t know any barriers. There are no English, no Indians, no Scots, no Irish—in love, only human beings. In fact, if it is not developed in our small, miniscule societies which are growing up here and there all over the world, really my Master would be pained because he gave his life for it. When we talk of Jesus and say, for his love he gave us his life, he sacrificed so that people will not suffer till the end of time, we believe it, or at least we pretend to believe it. And there is the image of that poor fellow crucified. Wherever you turn your head you see him, that doleful look; he does not even lift up his head to see what’s going on.
I have told many of my very serious orthodox Christian friends, if Jesus were to suddenly come alive here, what would he think? I ask them a second question: would you be here if he comes, or would you run away? They said of course we’ll run away, we’ll think he’s an apparition. And I asked the same question in Israel when I was there. I said this in Jerusalem: “Suppose Jesus suddenly stepped out of the cross, you know, in that famous church where he was crucified, would you welcome him or would you run away? Or just shoot him down because he’s …[inaudible].” And yet we say holy ghost. Because we don’t love what we profess as the all-time saviour of humanity. We only hope he will save us, and we only hope he will save us because he has so much to save us from, you see. One who has not sinned and who doesn’t care a damn about life or hell or heaven, he doesn’t care whether Jesus exists or not. For him, he is his own saviour. And we expect that out of every abhyasi in Sahaj Marg that they don’t wait for a saviour to come; because the saviour is right here in your heart and we contact him every time we meditate. All that we have to do is to remain silent, hear his voice and then follow what he says.
We are so expert at listening to outside advice, outside commands, which we obey meticulously: one light turning from green to red and all cars stop. And when Jesus said, “Thou shalt not kill,” there was no red light unfortunately. And we continued to merrily kill, merrily. Individually—individual hatred. Collectively—caste or religious hatred. Politically—national hatred. I mean, I don’t have to talk about this. You all know what’s going on. Every day you see newspaper reports about explosions, and all that you can do is to tighten your security. And that security is colour conscious. Everybody who is not white is screened separately, insulted, humiliated; as if there are no white terrorists, there are no white murderers, there are no white rapists. And you people control these things. When Blair wants more security, there is no voice raised. It’s the same all over the world. Bush is tightening security like you are tightening a nut, he is tightening a nut, which is, I mean, international security advisor, national security advisor, they’re all nuts, and easily tightened. And for them it’s more and more power, more and more prestige, more laws are passed. And yet in today’s newspaper I read that Bush said even now there is risk of attack. So what is security worth? Love is the only security because there is no suspicion, there is no negative attraction. What you have here is broadcast infinitely and everybody feels it, you can have no enemies, they come to you. “Suffer them to come unto me” you don’t have to say like Christ—they come.
So please remember what Sahaj Marg is dedicated to. It is dedicated to serve you. Not to achieve your goal, that’s your business. But to first of all make of you a human being. I mean, everybody has read the books. And then to make you something more than human, superhuman, divine human, where there is no fear. As Jesus said, “Perfect love casteth out fear.” Why are we so afraid? Because there is no perfect love. There is not even imperfect love. There is only the physical need for companionship, to shut away loneliness, mutually console each other on how this world has been so perverted that we are afraid to live alone, so any casual liaison is good enough so far as we can pass the night and wake up in the morning and say, “Well, one damn night has gone, what shall I do tonight?” You see, that is the state in which we pitiable human beings are. We huddle together. We huddle together because we need to huddle together, not because we love each other. And then we forget our races, our colour, everything, et cetera. But the moment we become confident, it’s over. What was that guy doing here last night? Isn’t it?
There’s a beautiful story I will tell you to end this talk, I mean impromptu affair, I don’t need to talk. There was a central point in a jungle, forest, where several paths crisscrossed and there was a shrine there, an old tumbledown shrine under a peepul tree. And travellers used to sit there, have their lunch, picnic, and go their separate ways. One day there was a big crowd there, they were all gathered there because the clouds were gathering, black rain-bearing clouds. And they all went into the shrine when it started to rain. There was an astrologer there who said, “One amongst us is going to cause disaster, for lightning will strike this shrine because of him and we shall all die.” So they all looked around, all the well-dressed people, the perfumed people, the people with nice haircuts. In one corner, with nothing to even shelter his body, was a man like Babuji Maharaj. They said, “This must be the guy. Throw him out.” And they pushed him out. He quietly sidled away. It started raining. He stood under a distant tree, and when he reached that tree lightning struck. I am sure you understand the moral of the story. The guy whom they threw out was the man who was protecting them. But he didn’t conform to society’s ideas of what a saint should look like. Should he wear an Armani suit? Should he wear these beautiful Swiss shoes, Bailly? Should he have a top hat on, a cravat around his neck? They excluded all of them because they looked so nice, so innocent of anything. And this poor fellow who was already huddling in the cold because he had only one towel around him; they had pushed him out—ta-dang.
The moral is, please don’t judge by external appearances. A black visage can hide a tender heart. And if you have read The Picture of Dorian Gray, you know what that was? You know the story, The Picture of Dorian Gray. There was a very handsome young man, beautiful beyond compare, and he went on falling in love with people, killing them, murdering them, you know. There was a picture of him painted when he was the most handsome person. And strangely, as he became more and more corrupt, more and more sinful, the picture started changing. And he remained as he was. It became so horrible that he had to lock it up in his cellar so that nobody would see it, and covered it with a sort of cloth. At the end he was almost fifty but he still looked eighteen or nineteen and girls were still falling for him, he was still breaking hearts, killing people, murdering people. One day he was so fed up with himself, he went in to see what the picture looked like. And it was horrible. It was like a pockmarked face, it was unrecognizable, it looked infinitely old. And in his hatred he took out his dagger and stabbed the picture. He fell dead and the picture became the original.
So that is us, you see, every one of us. What we are inside is the real Dorian Gray. What we show outside is our beautiful, lovely faces, unthinking, unloving, inconsiderate, lustful, avaricious—we are all that. I mean nobody can deny it today. They say, “But how to make both ends meet, Chari?” I said, “Which two ends do you want to meet?” And they have no answer. It’s become such a trite saying: “We have to make both ends meet.” And they really don’t know what they are talking about. Where are the two ends?
So I would like to stop now because we have to have the meditation after all.