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Cultivate Goodness of the Heart

Speech given by Rev. Master on 9th November 2008 at Bangalore, India

PR: Dear Brothers and Sisters,

What letter was emailed?

Q: ...on discipline and character formation.

PR: About character formation.

Q: And also values.

PR: Character means values. Do you have any questions? If somebody has a question, I can consider.

Q: What is a perfect character, Master? What is the definition of character?

PR: Well, Babuji said in two sentences. Be inside what you are outside. If you think you are a good man and you never tell lies and you are happy, be inside the same. That is the same ‘must’: inside and outside, no difference. Second, say what you mean, mean what you say. Arthamaaytha? Gotthaytha? [Do you understand?] Because if you say what you mean and mean what you say, that is the utter truthfulness of a human being. We are all telling a lot of lies. Many lies we say intentionally. Many lies are forced upon us by society. “Good morning,” we say, you know, when we hate that morning. Yes, for instance, I woke up this morning and I said, “Why one more morning?” (She can bear testimony to this.) I was addressing my Master. I said, “Why I have to see one more morning? Haven’t I had enough?” No answer. No answer because he said, “You have created your mornings and your evenings, and your health and your ill health. You are responsible, not He.” ‘He’ means God.

If you believe that God made everything and that He made it good - you know, in the Bible it is said God created everything and He found it was good. Good does not mean beautiful or ugly, it does not mean happy or healthy. Good. Is this apple good? Yes. Is it tasty? It’s a different value. Is it red? It’s a different value. Is it small? It’s another value. Is it good? Yes, it is good. A small apple can be good, a big apple can be good, a green apple can be good, a red apple can be good. We have now forgotten this idea of goodness and we are looking to the other values which are descriptive. “Sir, Kashmir apples are very beautiful—beautiful red.” We are not describing a girl; we are describing an apple. Are all beautiful girls good? Cheppandi. [Tell me.] Are all good girls beautiful? No, to both questions, because a good girl can be anything. She can be beautiful, tall, long nose, fair, pretty. Or she can be short, dark, well-educated, but this [pointing to the heart] is good, the heart is good. Now we want beautiful girls. Get married, then you find, “Sir, she does not want me to go for meditation.” Big problem. Almost ninety-nine percent of couples in the Mission have this problem. Either the husband does not want the wife to go for satsangh or the wife does not want the husband to go for satsangh. Why? Because they have forgotten that meditation is good. “Bahala trasu saar. [Very difficult, sir.] Every Sunday morning she goes away. No coffee, no uppittu [Indian breakfast dish]. We have to go to the hotel.” If you knew that meditation is good… and not, say, for man or for woman, it is good even for dogs. You understand? So we have lost the idea of what is good.

Now, what is a good man? A Telugu Brahmin can be a good man. An adivasi [tribal] can be a good man. You know? Even Deve Gowda, if such a person exists, can be a good man. But we have converted our goodness because we want power, position and wealth. So we are selling our goodness for these evil acquisitions that we always want so that our picture can be in the newspaper, and when we die our obituaries can be full page, though we are not going to see it. You know, we are happy with values which we will never know. Your son will still call you appa or daddy or whatever. Prime minister’s son will not call prime minister ‘Mr. Prime Minister.’ He will only call him baba or appa or nanagaru [father]. So you see, we must recapture our original idea, our original wealth, our idea of true wealth, that in this is the goodness of a thing, that character exists. If an apple is good, it has a good character. It needs nothing else.

So all of us, we have to strive to recover that goodness of being a human being. If you think like that, now you’ll come to the next step: what is a good human being? Nice flesh and bones? No. Even a blind man can be a good man. A lame man can be a good man. Isn’t it? A dumb man can be a good man. So these, what we call vaasanaas, senses, they have no meaning as far as our goodness is concerned. “He’s a good speaker, sir.” But a good speaker need not be a good man. He can be a liar, you know. (Or as in Uttar Pradesh they say ‘laiyer.’ “All lawyers [mispronounced as ‘laiyers’] are liars.” For lawyer they say ‘laiyer.’ I once asked a man, “What type? Civil or criminal?” He said, “I’m a criminal ‘laiyer’, sir.” I said, “Wonderful, the best variety of liar,” you know.)

So you see, you should not judge a man by his sight, by his talk, how he looks. They are irrelevant to the issue. Is he good? Yes. Then it doesn’t matter if he’s deaf, dumb and blind. But today all girls want Amitabh Bachchan. It used to be that long-nosed fellow in Karnataka, what’s his name?

Q: Rajkumar.

PR: Rajkumar! [laughs] I know I am surely offending some kattar [conservative] Karnataka people but he is, he is beyond my criticism so... [laughs] So when we look at a good man, you know, his goodness must radiate. When I see a good apple, I know it is a good apple; I don’t ask for a red apple, or a big apple. Now if you go to America, the bigger and bigger, the better; Californian oranges are the biggest; Nevada melons are the biggest; things like that, you see. But we don’t believe in that. We believe in the goodness. Goodness has no size. You cannot say big goodness and small goodness: “Devuda [God], please give me some small goodness so that the rest of me can indulge in all things,” you know. Not possible. Goodness is goodness. If you want goodness, all other associated or disassociated tendencies, characteristics, you cannot have. You cannot be a good man and a liar. You cannot be a good man and a cheat—dhokebaaz. No? You cannot be a good man and try to climb over the shoulders of other people in your career. So people don’t want to be good. “Sir, in the modern world how to be truthful?”—first question. “If we don’t tell lies in business, we don’t get business. If we don’t cheat, we don’t get business. If we don’t adulterate, we don’t get business.” Well, then if you have to be a good man, give up business, do something else. “What, sir?” Meditate first. Become good. Then from inside you will know what to do. Isn’t it? There are people who sell coconuts under trees and they make several hundred rupees a day.

(You see that Vedic chant?

Q: Yes, excellent.)

PR: So, goodness is what we want to recapture when we talk of character building. Character building per se has no meaning. Character is—to me [with] Sahaj Marg understanding, spiritual understanding—is a good man.

Babuji used to criticize Durvasa. He said, great saint, but he was cursing everybody. Now how can a great saint curse everybody to such an extent that people are afraid of him? You cannot curse everybody. And if you see the Ramayana, Mahabharata, these serials, Lord Krishna criticizes—who is that sage, Ahalya’s husband?—Gautam. He said, “How can you condemn her to be a stone all her life for no fault of hers?” That is anger, you see. When you become angry you lose your sense of right and wrong, of justice, of balance. You know, in the Gita it says, when you have desire, kaamaat krodho abhijaayate—from unfulfilled desire comes anger. You know? And when you are angry, smriti vibhramah—your sense of thinking, of right and wrong, vanishes. Smriti-bhramshaat buddhinaashah—when my sense of thinking what is right or wrong goes, buddhi nashabuddhi [intellect] is gone. Buddhi-naashaat pranashyati—such a person is destroyed, destroys himself. So from desire springs all this consequence. From fulfilled desire—because Krishna talks only of unfulfilled desire—from fulfilled desire what happens? Sickness; loss of money; loss of name, fame, integrity.

Kabir has sung beautifully about this, you know, how in our childhood we waste our time in play—baalavastha khel gavaayo. Isn’t it? Baalavastha [childhood] does not mean child of three or four. When a man plays, he’s a child; and behaving like a child at forty is foolishness. “Sir, we play for fun.” “Time pass,” this girl was saying this morning. Taash [playing cards]. “No, no, are you having money?” “Only ten paise points, sir.” It can lead to murder.

So you see, there is no time pass in this world. Character means time utilization. And when you say utilization, it must produce good. You cannot put a handful of salt in your sambar and say, “I’m utilizing salt. Guruji heliddare [guru has told], you know, utilize.” Utilize means appropriately to the necessary extent, what Babuji said always: dosage. Even in spirituality, even in tavajju, transmission, Babuji said correct dosage. You must not transmit too much. It must not be too little. Adequate, exact.

So what time to give to which activity? That also is important. They have made time management a big science in the management schools, you know. It is not a science at all. It is a well-known spiritual activity. Babuji has said one hour for meditation, no more at one time. “No, no, sir, I love meditation.” We are not supposed to love meditation. We are supposed to do meditation, precisely for the period prescribed. Then if you want to do after four hours and you have some more time, meditate. So in Tamil, you know, we have this famous proverb, alavukku minjinaal amritamum visham—in excess, even amrit [nectar] becomes poison.

So time is the only factor in our life, it is the only value in our life, it is the only asset in our life which you cannot recover. Time lost is lost forever. Every minute you waste is gone. You cannot recapture. Another saying says: Health lost can be restored, money lost can be recovered, but time lost cannot be recovered. So, not to waste time either in inactivity or in activity is the correct order. How can we waste time in inaction when apparently when we meditate we are not active? When you do too much you are again wasting your time. Isn’t it? So you know, this mechanism of ours must be controlled from here. This is enough. “How long should I eat?” Sometimes you sit at the dining table and it is three hours. Go on chatting, another cup of coffee. Are we supposed to sit at lunch for four hours, three hours? Is our food not to be measured in how much we need, not what we want? What we need is not the same as what we want. “Chiroti [a sweet], sir. Second, togoli [take another one].” Chiroti half or quarter is good. “But, sir, Telugu desham lo chaala bagundi, saar. Inka okoti teesukovali. [Within the land of Telugu speaking people this sweet is good. You should take one more.]”

So you see, when precision governs our utilization of time, no second wasted. Especially for prefects this is important. When you have nothing to do, sit down and meditate. Or find somebody and give a sitting. “No, no, sir, but nobody comes to me.” You go! If you want milk you go to the booth. If you want bread you go to the baker. Why, when you want liberation, you can’t go for an abhyasi?

Our prefects, I’m sorry to say, they have no sense of shame. Forget loyalty, forget commitment to the Master, forget their promises. Human beings write their promises on water—it flows. What about your commitment to yourself? That is the most important, most sacred point in character: my commitment to myself. I am answerable to nobody except myself. Am I true to myself? ‘And this above all, to thine own Self be true.’ I can lie to the world, but can I lie to myself? I can tell my Master I have given twenty-three sittings without telling him that it was over a period of ten years, and Babuji is impressed. “Arre vaah! Teyis sitting diye hain. [Great! He has given twenty-three sittings.]” Then somebody like, you know, one of my old friends will come and whisper in his ear, “In ten years, sir.” Babuji, poor man, will say, “Theek hai, bhai, diye to hein. [Okay, brother, at least he has given.]” And he will tell somebody else, “Pata nahin inhone kitna diya hai. [I don’t know how many this man has given.]” I mean, I’ve had cases right here like this.

So we have to be true to ourselves. I am in Sahaj Marg not to please my parents; very often we displease our parents. I am not in Sahaj Marg to please my religion or my community; almost always we displease. Lingayat says, “Why are you going there?” Isn’t it? Brahmins say, “What are you doing there?” Christians say, “Are you not going to church?” Sikhs say, “What is it that you get there that you don’t get in a gurudwara [Sikh temple]?” And within the family the wife says, “Why do you have to go there? Are you not happy here?” Happiness means what? In Tamil we have distinction between, you know, marital happiness, fraternal happiness, companionship, friendship. You know? Which of these are you referring to? What sort of happiness is this that you get when you go to a satsangh and sit in meditation? And you don’t want to leave that place. What is it? It is something you don’t know but you have experienced. It is the companionship of your own inner Self, the Supreme, the eternal Divine Self which gives you only bliss, bliss and bliss. But we are not able to identify because this Self is unknown, unseen, not visible, cannot speak. And then we go to material things; “Sir, I enjoy banana,” or “I enjoy watermelon.” “I enjoy theme park.” And modern craze, “I enjoy pizza.” “I love pizza.”

So you see how far we have deviated from this inner affair with my Self, capital ‘S.’ Me and my Self, there is no combination that can beat that. But me, without my Self, that is what is happening all over the world. Schoolboy sitting, looking at the cows, teacher saying something, “Where are you, Guttu Krishna?” “No, teacher, I am here.” “No, you’re not here. You are with the cows.” Babuji Maharaj said once of some people from somewhere in Bellary, or somewhere, they were sitting in front of him and they were not attentive, obviously. He noted it. “Look here,” he said, “It is better you are in Bellary and think of me, than sit here and think of Bellary.” You understand?

So me and my Self together can conquer this world, we can conquer this universe. But me, I can do nothing. Therefore we pray, we go to temples, we go to astrologers, we go everywhere in the world. We end up in, I don’t know, drugs, liquor shops. “Sir, I have lost my Self.” Look for it! Is it in a bottle? No. Is it in a body? No. Where is it? It is nowhere outside yourself. Look inside. How? Close your eyes and see.

So you see, meditation is the only way of building your character, which is only trying to make goodness in yourself, restore human values of friendship, brotherhood, companionship, love, compassion, forgivingness. And the first need is to forget everything that can make you different from others. Everything that points to you as something different in society must be dropped. I have spoken of this and you know what I am referring to: caste names, communal names. And then in marriages, looking for the same—you know, in animals they don’t do inbreeding because it will finish in three, four generations. But we are inbreeding like crazy. Chetty marrying Chetty, Gowda marrying Gowda, Iyer marrying Iyer. How long is this going to last? That is why we produce specimens, I don’t know how many millions of them, all over India. Weak in mind, weak in body, no spunk in their hearts, gutless, spineless, useless—to themselves, to society, to the world. Strong words. Of course. You can say, “Sir, but I am Chairman of Infosys.” God damn you, you see. What have you done for the world? Your bank account, yes. “I employ five thousand, five hundred people.” Yes. For what? To make your money. When a small shock comes in the world like today, three thousand three hundred are sacked overnight. Big man, you know. You employ and you sack for your convenience. You in turn employ your subordinate for your convenience. You marry for your convenience. You grow up and make your children grow like you for your convenience, for your ego. “Sir, your son looks exactly like...” [Pretending to laugh humbly.] Pretended humility. Isn’t it?

So you are not Kannadigas, you are useless to yourself; you are not useful to Karnataka, you are useless to Karnataka. Because if you are Kannadigas of that type which other people want here, politicians, you are destroying your state, your language. Nobody can read what is written in Bangalore. People will go away, you see, they will come and go away. If you claim to be cosmopolitan, human, you must look at a way of putting your signpost like in airports: arrow, toilet. For me, you know, a disabled toilet, for wheelchair. Things anybody can understand, Africans, Timbuktu, South Americans, educated, non-educated, you look and you know what it is. Inside we must be the same, a look and you must know what it is. Now we have to ask for bio-data, clinical data, genetic data. No? A day will come when in marriage you will be weighed against gold. “Sir, for my son I want fifty-two kilograms of gold.” Why? “My son is fifty-two kilograms in weight.” A fifty-two kilogram weight boy, is he worth marrying?

So we have lost character; not in the sense that we are sexually chaste, you know, because in India that is the only character that is recognized. You are free to add lime to sugar, stones in rice, colour to chillies, cheat like hell. “Why did you cheat, sir?” “I have a big family.” So not only are you a cheat, your family is trained to be a cheat. You will call your son, “Arre Ramaiyya, how much have you added?” “Seven per cent, daddy.” “Idiot. Make it eleven and a half.”

So we are cheats, we have trained our families to be cheats, our grandchildren to be cheats. So in India today is there an honest man? It is doubtful. Is there a man of character? Perhaps. Are there selfish liars, cheats, daakus [dacoits], unfriendly, willing to kill for profit and pleasure? Yes. Every Indian is potentially that. If they see a profit they are willing to give up everything for it. Today in the newspaper there is an article of two people who kidnapped a boy of nine or ten years old, took him to a hospital in Cuddapah or somewhere, changed his sex, and are using him for prostitution—just now I read in the newspaper. To what extent, you see, this lust for profit will take you. Every so often, once in three, four months we read of a human sacrifice in Madhya Pradesh, a man killing his own son because, according to the astrologers, this is the only way in which he can prosper. Human sacrifice!

We have not risen at all. Just because we wear posh dresses and neckties, shoes, and earn a lot of money, we are not human beings. We are only cheats and crooks, well dressed, able to speak the language well enough to cheat others. That is why Babuji said, “I like simple people.” Their mind is not so creatively intelligent that they can cook up the worst lies that you can think of, the worst products that you can dream of, and make money on it. They are simple. They live simply. And towards that simplicity we have to go back again. One of your maxims says, “Be simple and in tune with nature.” Reduce your needs and you don’t bother about your income. But are we flexible enough to reduce our needs? Or are we going to try to increase our income by any other means that is possible? That is what most of the population will do. The wise man, the honest man will say, “Reduce your needs.” Wow!

So you see, character is many things. Character is all things, but reduced to the least common multiple, LCM in mathematics, it is goodness of the human being, goodness of the heart. This is what Sahaj Marg wants you to cultivate. It happens in a slow way when you meditate. Very slow. But if you can also add your own efforts, conscious efforts to building character, which is what Babuji meant when he said, “Inner values I give, character building is your duty to yourself,” then we will achieve it quickly.

Thank you.