Dedicate Yourself to Sahaj Marg
A talk given by Shri Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari
New Year’s Day, 2006
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
May Master bless all of us as we enter this New Year, 2006. In Sahaj Marg we have to begin each day properly, not each year. Because with the sunrise, just before sunrise as the Shastras say, panchapancha ushatkaale, they say in Sanskrit. It is the right time to commence a day—appropriately, propitiously, with a heart filled with love for the Divine, in an atmosphere of purity, sacredness, and joy.
In our religious scene joy has been largely absent, although the Upanishad says, Aanandam brahmeti vyajaanaat [He realised Brahman to be bliss]. Our particular Hindu religion seems to be overly emphasizing suffering, self-immolation, all sorts of funny things, like fasting, rolling on the ground in temples, keeping vratas [vows], karuva chauth [fasting for husband’s long life], so many things, most of which is hypocritical in practice. God did not design this world for us to feel oppressed, suppressed, repressed. We put ourselves into situations from which suffering arises. You see the Ramayana, you see the Mahabharata, you read the charitras [history] of the great people. It is our own actions and thoughts which lead us into the by-ways of a purposeless life, filled with suffering and remorse. Otherwise we should be happy, not in an ebullient, joyful way, you know, laughing like the mad man, but with a sense of contentment, a look of peace on the face, purpose in our step, and a sense of gratitude to our Maker, that each day we are living in His remembrance, going on the way to our goal, guided by the Guru, without any fear, without any sense of frustration.
My Master, revered Babuji Maharaj, always emphasized that each individual exists by himself, for himself, as far the spiritual life is concerned. Religion cannot guarantee this because religion only gives you the opportunity to worship an externally created deity, at the hands of a sculptor, consecrated by a priest, supposedly imbued with divinity which does not exist. If it existed in an idol, so does it exist in this pillar, as was clearly pointed out in the Narasimha Avatar. It exists in a fish, as was exemplified in the Matsya Avatar; in a tortoise—the Kurma Avatar; in a man-lion, in the Narasimha Avatar. It exists everywhere, in everything, at all times. That is a definition of the Ultimate: formless, nameless, attribute-less. Nevertheless, a form is assumed, as the Lord himself says, “Yadaa yadaahi dharmasya glaanir bhavati bhaarata | abhyutthaanam adharmasya tadaatmaanam srujaamyaham” — I take unto myself a form, so that I can appear where it is necessary in this mrityuloka [mortal world], as the Shastras call it, in the karma bhoomi [the land of karma] as it is called optimistically, so that evil can be eradicated, the evil-doer can be destroyed, the good can be protected, and dharma re-established. This is the ancient message of the Avatar, this is the purpose of the Avatar, and that is its only purpose. I say this because we have fallen into the habit of worshipping Avatar purushas [incarnated being]—whether it is Rama or whether it is Narsimha, it does not matter. They came with a specific purpose.
As my Master Babuji Maharaj emphasized, Rama came for Ravana, Krishna came for Kamsa. There is a well known story that Krishna, when he is going back to Dwaraka after the Mahabharata war, he meets Uddhava on the way, and he tells Uddhava, you see, “My gopis love me madly, but there is no sense of purpose in their love. You go and be the teacher.” Uddhava asks, “Lord, were you not good enough for them?” He says, “Uddhava, I am not a teacher. You have to be the teacher.” So you see, the Divine is there, the absolute, formless, nameless, attribute-less; when it assumes a form, it is like any one of us. We can see this in the life of Lord Shri Ramachandra of Ayodhya. His life of course was called [that of] the maryada purusha [respectable person], or whatever it is, you see, and we worship him in all forms. In Tirupati, the famous morning waking-up call for the Lord begins with: Kausalyaa suprajaa raama purvaa sandhyaa pravartate| utthishtha narashaardula kartavyam daivamaahnikam — O Lord, O great son of Kausalya, the sun is rising in the East. [Wake up. The day’s spiritual work has to be done.] That is a message to the Lord, you see. Now don’t you think it’s rather strange that we have to wake the Lord up, when He should be waking us up at four o’clock in the morning?
So there are so many perversions, inversions, creations of the human mind. All worship, all forms of God, all representations of God, if you look at it from primitive times to today, are nothing but human creations, creations of human imagination—may be an imagination looking for the Divine in the heart of everything—nevertheless, creations. Pictures, sculptures, are all representations created by artists. Nobody has ever seen Rama in the flesh, or Krishna in the flesh. My Master said it is impossible for a normal human being to be able to see God. In Sahaj Marg, my Masters Lalaji Maharaj and Babuji Maharaj have said that we cannot touch, we cannot feel, we cannot see, but we can experience God in our hearts, within our selves, because that is where the Divine is always established. “In the heart of every created being I exist,” says Lord Krishna in the Gita. If you want to look for God, look in to the heart of anything you look at. And therefore Lord Krishna says: I am there in an elephant, in the heart of a woman, in a dog. Wherever you look you can find me. But you must look for me with love, with bhakti — devotion.
There is the story of Narada, you know—very appropriate. In his wanderings he comes upon an aged couple almost dying, and a young beautiful girl standing near them, bewailing her fate because she cannot do anything for this couple. Narada comes there and asks this pretty girl, “What is wrong?” She says, “This couple, you see—they are there and I am unable to help. Only Lord Krishna can help.” He says “Why don’t you pray?” She says, “I have done everything but, you know, I have done something which has made the Lord not available to me now.” So Narada, says, “Don’t worry, I am always close to Lord Krishna. I have access to him at any time.” Little arrogance, you see! And then he looks for Krishna, and he cannot find him. He goes here, he goes there, you know, because he is a triloka sanchaari [one who travels in all the three worlds] as they say, but he is unable to find Lord Krishna. Then he starts weeping and beating his breast: “Lord, what has happened?” Then a voice answers, Lord Krishna says, “My son, your arrogance has clouded your vision. I was never away from you. Now look!” And there is Lord Krishna in front. So you see, when we attract God proudly, arrogantly, and say “Come here!” which is what the Tantriks do, the Mantriks [occult practitioners] do, they destroy themselves. In every picture, every movie that you see, where there is a mantravaadi [occultist] or a raakshasha [demon], the Lord may appear, but He destroys. That was the fate of Ravana, Kumbhakarna, Kamsa, Sishupaala—all these. So the approach to God has to be one of love, with humility, a sense of surrender—the three most important things that Sahaj Marg teaches. Love must bring humility, not arrogance. It is said that Lord Krishna’s two wives, you know, one was very arrogant, very proud, very angry all the time, and the other was very calm. Yagnavalkya had two wives; one was very material, the other was highly spiritual. When the material wife held his hand, it was over a shawl on his hand. The spiritual lady could hold his hand, flesh to flesh.
So it is humility, forbearance, compassion, love, which gives us access to the divinity even within ourselves. If you walk around saying, “I have the Lord within me, nothing can happen to me,” the Lord is silent. He remains invisible, He remains powerless. He remains incapable of doing anything for us. But when we surrender, we become nothing and He becomes everything, then the Lord presides over our existence, the Lord becomes our protector, the Lord becomes the governor of our lives— governor in the true sense, that He governs every moment of my existence, He guides my actions for the purpose for which they originate in my mind, which is from the cosmic Source. I receive instructions from above, I obey them, He shows me the way. Therefore the Lord is the maargadarshi, as we say—one who shows us the way. And therefore in meditation we become silent, we close our eyes, our ears. Because normally the human body, you know, it cannot be achala [without movement]. It is for activity—for activity of the mind, of the heart, of the brain. But as Babuji Maharaj said, “Silence is the language of God.” And to listen to Him we have to be silent, withdrawn from this world, withdrawn totally into the place that we call the heart, which is the cave within which He resides. This is exemplified again and again by the most famous slokas [verses] of the Vedas, which people recite without knowing their meaning, which people recite without following the golden rule: Go within—at least for an hour every day.
So Sahaj Marg comes into this world after many centuries of having been forgotten and lost, as Babuji Maharaj said. It was re-discovered by Lalaji Maharaj, our great grand-Master, and given to us by Babuji Maharaj. It is good to see more and more people following it in this world. But it is but a drop in the ocean. As He says in his messages, there will be a future time when Sahaj Marg will spread over the whole globe, but it depends on each one of us, not just the grand-Master or his successor Babuji Maharaj, or anybody. It depends on all of us. We should not depend on anything else. Religion has failed us, governments have failed us, successive governments have continued to fail us. Because we have not the faith and trust in the Divine who orders this universe, who wants it to be run in a particular way. Therefore, you know, we have corruption in every phase of our life, and therefore our governments are corrupt, our people are corrupt, our police are corrupt, our judiciary is corrupt, our temples are corrupt. There is nothing which is not corrupt today. And to depend on these institutions is worse than futile, it is more foolishness than any foolishness can be described. Until we become pure of heart, purposeful, divinely oriented, we will never have a government that we deserve. There is this famous British principle, I think, that, “A people get a government that they deserve.” More than anywhere else in this world, it is true of our country. When I read the speeches of Swami Vivekananda I can sense the pain that he felt when he repeats, “My poor Mother, my poor India.” When we see the old movies about Ramayana and Mahabharata, we see the corruption there. At the dawn of the Kaliyuga [present aeon]—Mahabharata: Shakuni with his ploys, Dhritarashtra, with his human weakness, his ,putra moha [attachment to his son] as they say. So the human being has not changed very much in all these centuries that Indian spiritual history records.
So we have to be alert to what we should establish within ourselves, what we should follow, the call which we have to obey, the divine voice to which we must give our ear in silence, in total withdrawal. Sahaj Marg is not something for half an hour in the morning, half an hour in the evening. Either it is a total pursuit, a twenty-four hour dedication to your personal evolution toward Him, or it becomes a mere matter like playing tennis, or going for a workout in the gymnasium. If I have any message today, it is only to say: Dedicate yourself to Sahaj Marg. Money comes and goes, power comes and goes, governors have terms, political parties have terms, people have terms, which is their life; nations have terms! There was the famous all-powerful Roman empire; before that there were the Assyrians, there were the Greeks, you see. And all that exists today is marble, tombstones, sculpture, grand edifices fallen into disuse. What survives are the great people, the Buddha, the Christ, Lord Krishna, people like them, you know, who established truth again and again, who sacrificed their lives. But we are not able to get the right message from these sacrifices, except that we praise them, we put up their pictures, we garland them, and we think that is reverence. It is not reverence, it is a sham—an outward display of something which we do not have inside, just so that people can see publicly. Our temples are shams, so are our political institutions; even our hospitals, I am sorry to say, where today they only take away all the money that you go in with, and if you are lucky, send out your dead body, because otherwise even that is cut up, so that the police can investigate.
So you see, we are living in times of great problems. We have no reliable hospitals, police stations are corrupt; I need not repeat what our government does not do for us. They do every thing they should not, and do nothing they should, more or less! Every election is to assure themselves of continuation in office, although big promises are made before the elections. It is we who have to change these institutions, by bringing change into our heart. Not by hating them, not by throwing stones at them, but by saying, “I am responsible for this, O Lord. If this hospital is full of corrupt physicians and surgeons, I am responsible, because in my heart is the same corruption that they have. I have not had the opportunity to put this corruption into practice.” There is a dictum which says, “A man without money is a man who has not had an opportunity to rob his neighbour.” Or who has been afraid! Fear drives us into conformity with laws, not obedience, not respect. Spirituality says, out of love must come obedience: I love my land, therefore I must keep it clean; I love my parents therefore I must look after them—not because of slogans which say, ‘Look after the aged people.’ No slogan will change a human being. Satyam vada, dharmam chara [Speak the truth, do dharma], we have been shouting for centuries. Where are they? Where is satyam? Where is dharmam? Today’s satya [truth] is yesterday’s lie, day before yesterday’s lie, continuing into the future in an existence of sham, saying “I go to the temple, therefore I am pious. I am a judge, therefore I must be absolutely loyal and obedient to the law. I am a physician, therefore I must be saving lives.” Yes, but what about the crores that were found in the recent raids of doctors and hospitals in Madras and elsewhere? —crores of rupees!
So you see, if there is corruption here [pointing to the heart], there is corruption outside. And the collective corruption is the corruption of the individuals put together. You may say, “I don’t take a bribe.” See, but it’s not that you take a bribe—corruption is in the very thought, not in the deed, because the deed follows the thought. Thought, deed, result—this is the inexorable formula for earthly existence. So this is where purity must be [pointing to the head], you see, and that must begin here [pointing to the heart], because this is the voice of the Divine, it is what we call the conscience. We can access it, you know, like we say ‘access’ in computer language, only if you know the password. And the password is: Silence.
The more and more we still our mind, free it from its swings of emotion, of anticipation, of fear, of expectation, the more we will succeed in gaining this access to the inner voice, and the more society will get peace—not through legislation, not through international agreements, not through disarmament, but through a peace that transcends all human efforts, as has been demonstrated throughout history. Berlin fell, the walls of Berlin broke. There was no agreement, they were there one day, they were not there the next morning. So you see, every individual human being has the power not only to vote, but to decide the future destiny of your race, of your world, and if you don’t realize this, your essay to spirituality will only be a purposeless club-going like enterprise, and that is of no use. To save the world, you must first save yourself; to change the world, you must first change yourself; to guide the world, you must first accept the guidance from your inner self.
On this day of a new beginning, conventionally adopted for resolutions, may I pray that all of you will decide, once and for all, to seek the inner voice, to listen to it, to obey it, and be guided to your spiritual destiny, which is all the destiny that we can ever have. Thank you.