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The Real Purpose of Bhandaras
A talk given by Shri Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari on 24th July, 2006, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India.
Dear brothers and sisters,
I am happy to remind you all about a Message that Babuji Maharaj has given us, which has been printed in Whispers [ from the Brighter World ]. He says these celebrations are meant to focus our total attentionbody, mind and soulon the remembrance of the Master, our great Masters. They are not meant as a festival, even though there is an element of celebration. They are not meant for enjoyment. But there is the permission to enjoy the inner state that should be created on such occasions, such wonderful spiritually grace-filled occasionswhich, in short, means that we must use these occasions for spiritual upliftment, each one for himself or herself being in total remembrance of the great Master, for whatever time we have to spend here together.
Diversion from this objective, this goal, this aim, will only mean that we are wasting our resources of time, frittering it away flippantly in unwanted pursuits. Even I like samosa, but we should not crowd the canteen even while lectures are going on because we are afraid that the samosa will be over. I am told there is a great rush on our canteen. That is certainly a tribute to the quality of the food that the Mission offers, but it is certainly not a tribute to your attention. Because during the course of your meditation and the rapt attention that is necessary here (when you are listening to lectures, listening to the wonderful music that our brother and sisters have provided) our souls should dance, not our bodies. A bhajan [devotional song] is meant to evoke within us certain feelings of love, devotion, and have the ability to bring down the grace on us even as we sit in rapt attention.
I do hope that the words, the meaning of these words, will enthuse you all to treat these celebrations, these occasions, these bhandaras [spiritual gatherings] with a certain solemnity of atmosphere, even though there must be a pervasive undercurrent of joy and happiness. In another Message, Babuji Maharaj says that when there is no joy, there is no spirituality. But joy must not be manifest; it must be in the heartinner joy, inner bubbling of the spiritwhich must transport us into an unknown, unseen world which we call the Brighter World, even though it may be only temporary.
So, dear brothers and sisters, I urge you to use these occasions, not merely wisely, not merely attentively, but to bring your entire soul, your body, your mind, everything together into one focus on the great Master who is guiding us out of this existence into another existence which we cannot describe, but which we can feel in every sitting in meditation if you are bent on finding it. I have numerous abhyasis who ask questions: What do you feel? Well, I say, that question can be asked only by somebody who has felt nothing. And to one who has felt nothing over the years, it is impossible to describe what you can feel, and what you cannot feel. It depends on you! Sahaj Marg offers, you take. Sahaj Marg guides, you move towards the destination. The Guru leads, you follow. If these three things are there, the Goal will surely be reached in this lifetime.
May my Master bless you all with it. Thank you.