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The Need for Change

Message given by Revered Master Shri Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari on the 86th Birth Anniversary of Babuji Maharaj, 30th April 1985
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
I have been emphasising the aspect of change in all my last three or four speeches on such occasions. I think I can profitably add a few more thoughts in that direction today also.
In my last talk on the subject, I had suggested that change is progress, and that without change there can be no progress. I think except for the grossest individuals most people accept this. To our senses we find the only things that don't change are mineral things of the earth. Any life higher than that is subject to continuous change. And even in the non-material world we find things changing, like the planets moving, the sun rising and setting, all of which assists us in our life. So in one sense change is life, and without change life cannot exist.
Now, we accept all these things intellectually, but few people are able to accept with the heart. We all want change in our circumstances, in our existence, but we don't want to change. In other words, we want everything around us to change, but we don't want to change ourselves. Spirituality says, nothing can change without you yourself changing. Spirituality says further, that when you change, the universe changes with you. We know that each one of us is the centre of his or her own universe, so there is not just one universe, there are as many universes as there are people in this world.
So when we talk of changing the universe—what we really mean is to change all these universes, which is impossible. There is the possibility that each one of us can change his own individual universe. All change starts from the centre, so we have to start changing our universe from the centre of that universe, which is our own heart. That is the main reason why Sahaj Marg teaches meditation on the heart. That is also the reason why Master did not value much education or intellectual changes, because they are at the periphery of our universe, and change there makes no sense.
The same thing applies to all the other facets of our existence like material aspects, physical aspects, social aspects. So what I am trying to suggest is that while we are all prepared for change in all these other aspects—in fact we welcome change in them—they are useless. My personal universe cannot change one atom whether I become richer or poorer, whether I become more educated or less educated, whether I become stronger or weaker physically. But every time I have a change of heart in my heart, my universe changes to that extent. And the change is from the core outwards, so that it permeates every structure of that universe. This is the reason why we have to accept the need for change with our hearts, accept it in our hearts, and without that, progress is impossible. That is why, in English, commonly they say that there should be a "change of heart."
We have a very beautiful example in Indian philosophy: a perfect man is supposed to be like a coconut. The outside remains the same, but the inner coconut has dried and shrunk and is free of the surroundings. You can hear it rattling inside. That is, the real coconut has become dry, desiccated, quality-less, and exists like a ball inside the shell, which is only a covering. There is a saying that it exists in its own universe, but there is no contact with that universe at all.
Similarly a spiritually perfect man—his heart is in the body but not of the body. It should not have any attachment with the body. In the normal human being, everything we do with the body affects the heart. In the spiritual person, the body must reflect what is going on in the heart. Instead of the life of the body regulating the heart, the life of the heart must now regulate the body and the whole universe itself. This is the highest application of the principle of invertendo.
So spiritual practice must begin with the heart. The qualities of the heart must be changed. The ability of the heart to affect must be changed, that is, instead of affecting me, myself, it must affect everybody in this universe, the whole universe itself. And all this is made possible only when we accept the need for changing from our inside and not from our outside. The easiest way, dear sisters and brothers, is to receive the Master of the universe in your hearts and let him rule the universe from inside you rather than from outside you.
This is the message I have to give you on my Master's most auspicious birthday today. Thank you.