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The Spiritual Way into the Higher Life
19th January 2009, Chittoor, India
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I will speak in English because there are several hundred people here who don’t know Tamil or Telugu or Hindi.
I could follow something of what my brother Raghavan was speaking: “What do we get, when we get something?” I am reminded of a phrase from the Christian tradition: what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world but lose his own soul? What shall it profit? So we are going on acquiring, acquiring, acquiring; fighting — fighting each other, brother riding over brother, brother killing brother often, brother hating brother. I think that is the reason why my Master, Babuji Maharaj, wanted us to have a brotherhood. It is very easy to be friends. I have known people from diverse social levels being friends, religions being friends, but are we brothers? It is very easy to say in different languages, “What, bhaiya? — What, brother?” and so on, but does it come from your heart? Are we not still ruled by caste, especially in India?
In other countries of the world you see people living harmoniously without talking of religion, of caste, of community. We have seen India going down progressively because, even in our elections, it is caste which rules, not fitness of people who are to be elected; but Reddys want a Reddy, Kammas want a Kamma, Chettis want a Chetti. So in our newspapers you find: “He has got the Muslim vote; so-and-so will have the Christian vote,” and so on, you see, and they start predicting who will win the election — all because of caste.
You know we perform marriages in the Mission — very successful marriages. After all, all are human beings. Whether you are this or that community, what does it matter? But I find people coming to me, “Sir, I have a daughter. Please, will you find a bridegroom?” And then, rather shamefacedly, they tell me, “It would be better if it is this caste.” When this question comes, I say, “You find your own. Don’t come to me.” We are still [like this], you know… And what is the safety that you get, except that the wife is beaten by the husband of the same caste and community?
I don’t know what it is today, but twenty years back Andhra Pradesh was famous for wives being beaten up by their husbands. It was a shameful reputation, or should I call it notoriety. Maximum wife beating, as a daily sport you know — Andhra Pradesh. If it is still there, you should all be ashamed of it. A wife is not to be beaten, she is to be loved. “No, no, sir, I love her.” What is the proof? “I have seven children.” That is not proof of love; that is proof of lust. Ishta kaamyaartha phala siddhyartham [for the fructification of the results of desired acts] — they say in temple, you know. So they are phala [fruit] of your kama [desire], not prema [love].
Raghavan was talking of prematho, prematho, prematho [with love, with love, with love]. But if there is no prema in kama, are we not animals? Please think over this. People blame it on the lot of chillies that you people eat in Andhra Pradesh. It brings you more and more of a quality you should not have: aavesham, kopam, rage. People get easily angry. “Yemaiyya? [What, sir?]” You see this also in Telugu movies. Guntur district it starts, I believe, and from there it spreads like a virus. So these are not things of which you should be proud, you see.
I have frequently said, repeatedly said, in all places, at all times — India has been destroyed only by religion. Religion means not the religion that has come down, but as we practice it. “No, no, sir, I want a temple only for this community,” or that community or the third community. I am talking of humanity as a whole. So, we have temples where one god is worshipped, and it is said he is the only god and there is no other god. In parallel, somebody else is shouting, as you can hear now, saying, “This is the true God, and those who are not here will go to hell!” What is all this?
One God, and so many temples, so many communities, so many castes? Where is prema [love]? Where is bhakti [devotion]? Where is shraddha [faith]? Because if you say this is God and not that, are you not insulting God himself? Are you not partitioning God among yourselves, and saying this is my god, that is your god, and they are not the same. Even children know — when there are six children in a house, they know — my father is your father, otherwise we would not be brothers. My mother is your mother. We are born of the same parents, therefore we are brother and sister. Now who is the parent here in our wonderful brotherhood which we call Sahaj Marg? Who is the parent? Master, as the representative of the true parent; and the true parent is our Creator.
In Sanskrit it is said, ekam sat, vipraahaa bahudhaa vadanti — the truth is one and, unfortunately it says, the wise people speak of it differently. But I don’t think they are wise people who speak of it differently. They may be considered wise in their own lands, by their own people, by those who avow the same faith as they do. But they are not really wise, you know. Wisdom comes from knowing that the source is one. We are all descended from that. Therefore, we are all equal; in His eyes of course, but we must be equal among ourselves. There is no difference. Money — a fool has for tonight, tomorrow night; day after tomorrow he is a beggar. Another beggar gets a lottery and overnight he buys a house for forty-six lakhs. You have seen all this happening. And in today’s world situation, economic meltdown as they call it, there are people who are earning crores of rupees. You have seen in Andhra Pradesh a great man going to jail, and his company was called Satyam (the truth). What a shameful thing that the boss, the owner of a company called Satyam, has to go to jail! Isn’t it?
“No, no, sir, how can you tell us all these things, coming from Tamilnadu? Leave Telugu to us, leave Andhra Pradesh to us.” This is what has brought on what I would call the criminal division of India by language. Today, we are divided not only by religion but by language also. We have added, and the man who did it is a hero in your country, in your land, in your pradesh [land]. Isn’t it? He is honoured, he is revered; and now you are splitting up this wonderful, single Telugu desam [land] into hundred tukdaas [pieces]. Today, you want Telangana, tomorrow you want Kammam — I don’t know what you all want. And although I am using Andhra Pradesh as an example because I am here in Andhra Pradesh, it applies to all of India — whether you are in the Punjab or Tamilnadu or in the mountains — same story. Unless we stop this corruption, this division artificially created among us by our gods — (one God never did it; because we have too many gods, we are divided) — and by our language, linguistic chauvinism, we will never be real Sahaj Margis.
Take it from me, you may come here, you may take sittings, you can talk of brindaavanam, nanda kumaranam [Lord Krishna of Brindavan], you know… Where is Brindavan? Where is Nandakumar? (I know one Nandakumar is here.) But where is the real Nandakumar? Where is the true Brindavan? Having some nice trees and a wonderful ambience, which people from the West love and adore, you know; are we to be fooled by these things? Suppose tomorrow all these trees were cut down, what would you do? Would it not still be Brindavan? Would there not still be Nandakumar here? There will be, provided He is in your heart. But we don’t have a heart. “No, no, sir, my heart is weak.” Who said so? “My cardiologist. I have valve problem, sir. I have palpitation.” We are not talking of that heart. We are talking of that heart which we call a human heart, that which can pulse with love, throb with love, and from which nothing comes out except love.
There is no such thing as a loving heart. There is only a heart which has been transformed into love, so that anything that comes out from it is love. We all speak of matru prema [mother’s love], but we know also that the hand which rocks the cradle can also punish the child when necessary. Prema does not go with indulgence. Prema means also discipline. That we forget. “No, no, sir, I went for a sitting. That fellow looked at me like this. No courtesy, sir. What is this fellow you all call Master or whatever? He has no courtesy. I said good evening. He didn’t even reply.” I hear this so often. Do you want courtesy or do you want service?
I know people who keep drivers, who are excellent drivers, but they don’t tell their boss good morning and open their doors like you see in the President of America’s car. And if you say, why do you keep this man? he says, “Sir, rude, chaala [very] rude, but best driver, sir.” When you go to a barber, you want a good haircut. When you go to buy vegetables, you want good vegetables. You don’t look for a beautiful vegetable seller. Are you going to marry him, or are you going to buy tomatoes and brinjals?
So, you must know what to expect when you go to a place, what to seek there, what to come back with. If you are just coming back with a good impression, it is useless. If you are coming back changed, something in your heart has changed, you begin to think of yourself… like a man who goes to a pond and bathes and comes back, his clothes must be wet. Water is able to do it. Fire is able to burn. But the divine soul in your inside, inside your heart, you are not able to make him respond and do some change for you from inside. So what are you all doing here in this tamasha [spectacle]? Is it the fault of Him who is inside you? “No, no, sir, I cannot say that, but…” What is this ‘but’?
So please, when you go back from satsangh, as Babuji Maharaj said: examine yourself. We waste more time looking for our chappals or rushing to the dining room so that we get good sambar and hot idlis. But here [the heart], nobody looks. And then we complain, or at least you don’t complain but your wife complains, your children complain: “Sir, he has been an abhyasi for twenty years — no change. He still uses bad words at home. He still goes and drinks. He beats my mother.” Children complain. And of course, if the father hears this, he will beat up the child, having beaten up the mother.
So where is the change? What are we doing? Are we interested in changing or not? This is not an upanyaasam, this is not a kathakaalakshepam [scriptural discourse] that we are going to recite Vemana and Pothana and all these great people. We are not interested. We are not here to hear erudite words full of quotations and wonderful, grandiose, dramatic phrases in various languages. We are here to permit ourselves to be changed, at one shot if possible, otherwise little by little, but it must be there.
I suggest that all of you should look at yourselves, see whether there is any change. If not, complain and say, “What is it? I have come twenty years to you for satsangh and my wife says I have not changed, my son says I have not changed.” Then it is the business of the guru to look. Not otherwise. “Sir, I have lost my job.” Wonderful! “Sir, my toothache?” Wonderful! Are these the things we go to a guru for? There are dentists, there are cardiologists. I mean, any ‘ism’ you want, you have nowadays. This is the only place where you get free service for the highest service that is available to human beings. And this we don’t want. We are just rejecting it casually, saying, “We will see tomorrow, day after tomorrow. After all, life is before us.”
I just got a mail (email) about a family from Pune. Husband, wife, two daughters and one son went on a holiday, and they were about to return to Pune but tragedy struck. The elder daughter was found dead in the bathroom. How long does it take to convert happiness to sorrow? How long does it take to make a living man dead? It is not necessary to be in a hospital for eight months and ten months. It is an instant. You can just [gestures], and the man is gone. “Ayyo, he was [just] now alive!” Ante? [If you say that?] Of course, he was [just] now alive. But now he is dead.
So don’t play with life. Wise people know that Babuji gave advice [on] how to conduct life: Live as if you are going to die the next moment. If you know you are going to die the next moment, what would you do? You would not go and drink a glass of wine or go to the cinema. You would at least then sit and meditate and say, “While meditating let me go.” After all, that is called the way of the rishis [seers] and tapasvis [ascetics]. It is the way of the rishis and tapasvis that in meditation they go. That is the highest. But I know many people who are afraid of meditating because they are afraid to die. They open their eyes, “Am I still alive?” I have seen abhyasis — three minutes meditation and they open their eyes: “No, no, sir, I cannot do it.” Why? “I am afraid of death.”
I have told a story often to all of you (you must all have heard, you must have read) of a man who went to his emperor early in the morning and said, “Majesty, I want to take your fastest horse.” He said, “Why? Where are you going?” He said, “No, no, I saw a tall black figure in my garden and it looked at me and smiled in a funny way. I am afraid. So please, give me your fastest horse.” The king was very fond of him. He said, “Take it. Where are you going?” He said “I am going to the next town, Tirupati.” The king was surprised. So he went into the garden and saw the figure. It was death, Yama. He said, “What’s wrong? Why did you frighten my man?” He said, “I didn’t frighten him. I was surprised to see him.” He said, “Why are you surprised to see him in his own home?” He said, “Because this evening I have an appointment with him in Tirupati.”
Remember, when you try to run away from death, you are always running towards death. Put this on your mirrors, in your notebooks, in your diaries: when you try to run away from death, you can only run towards death. It is absolute; there is no exception. What can we do to escape what is this conventional death? Meditate. Babuji said, “Saints do not know death. They don’t die. They just leave their bodies and the soul marches on.” That is not the aim of Sahaj Marg, but that is the aim of all life. At least when we die, I should be There. Sahaj Marg says, don’t leave it till then. Do it today when you are strong, when you are healthy, when you are young.
We all want to enjoy pleasures because we are young, we are strong, we are healthy. We all want to amass wealth because we are strong, we are young, we are healthy. “Let me do it now, sir.” Where are you going? “I am going to eat.” What? “My favourite dish.” Why? “Because today I can enjoy. I can’t enjoy when I am sixty.” Why don’t you do this? — knowing that if you are sixty and seventy and eighty, your mind will not cooperate, your body will not cooperate, nothing will cooperate.
The only way of going out of this life into the higher life with dignity, with your guru guiding you, is through the spiritual way. Otherwise, like every fool in creation, four people will be carrying you.