Be Simple and in Tune with Nature
by Chariji, December 29, 2004, Chennai, India.
A talk given to participants of the Sahaj Marg Spirituality Foundation scholarship programme
Dear sisters and brothers from all over the world: many cultures, many languages-some ancient, some very modern-some European, some Asian, some African. Why are we all here together? I mean, have you thought why we are all here together? What brings us together? This is a small but significant proof that the goal is one for all human beings-notre but [our goal] is the same for all of us.
Religions divide us. Spirituality says, "Come together, forgetting your nationality, your culture, your language, because they are all dividing us." And today religion is the biggest problem all over the world, as you know. You can see it in the newspapers, you can see it on the television, you hear it on the radio. Isn't it? And it is surprising, or perhaps not so surprising, that brothers fight more than enemies. That is why in the system of Sahaj Marg, love is the main topic, perhaps the only topic, and very certainly the only thing that we have to cultivate within ourselves-that is spirituality. Spirituality does not talk of God. Spirituality speaks only of breaking down of all barriers, not just of sex and profession and race; but more essentially of culture and religion. You know, we are very addicted to our cultures; in some countries the cuisine is very important-and these set us apart.
I said brothers often fight each other more bitterly than political enemies, because we are familiar with the fact that political enemies of today can become political friends of tomorrow. There is no permanent friendship, no permanent enmity in politics. It is according to convenience-power equations as they call them. But if you look at religion, where the Jew, the Christian and the Mohammedan are all the branches of one tree, how they fight. Starting from the War of the Crusades, as they used to call it, Coeur de Lion [Richard I, known as Lion Heart], the Christian fighting the Muslim. Then you have Spain, Portugal-the Islamic invasion, and they fight again, all over again. And within Islam you have the quarrels between the Shias and the Sunnis, and so it goes on.
Everybody says, "My God is the only God," but all religions say there is only one God. But we are not willing to sit down together and say, "Which is this one God?" The Christian says, "Mine." The Jew says, "Mine." Fortunately the Hindu has no quarrels because we have literally thousands of gods. So we are very broad-minded. That is why in India you find we have been able to absorb people of other religions and live in harmony with them over so many centuries. Now spirituality says, "Learn to love others, forgetting everything that can create a difference between you." In the Christian religion, these principles are all spoken about but not followed. Therefore, in Christian churches you find only Christians. But in our Sahaj Marg ashrams all over the world, you find all people of all religions, of all colours, of all cultures, of many tongues.
I may make bold to say that Sahaj Marg today represents a Tower of Babel without the problems of the Tower of Babel-no dissonance, no anger, no inability to communicate, but a harmony bred from the heart, because the hearts are united together. Whereas other peoples have sought to bring unity through the tongue. "Learn French!" says the Frenchman. "Learn Japanese!" say the Japanese. "Learn English!"-of course that is the current business cry. Everybody has to learn English. Because you want money, you learn English, not because you love English. But here we don't speak any language except the language of the heart, which if used properly, only gives love. Like a river gives water; it does not give nitric acid or sulphuric acid. Therefore, our system is the quintessence of all Indian culture, but it is not Indian.
Many people say, "Oh, but it is an Indian system!" I beg to differ. Sahaj Marg is no more Indian than it is German or French or Spanish. It is a universal system precisely because here we do not recognize any differences of any nature which set apart human beings. Now you can see how easy and simple it is to be simple. All poor people all over the world are simple-therefore they are all the same, whatever the language they speak. Poor people understand poor people. Rich people don't understand rich people. Rich people cannot understand the poor people. Rich nations do not understand poor nations. They have no sympathy, they have no compassion, they have no empathy. They only lord it-even the United Nations. It is by the rich, for the rich.
The EEC [European Economic Community] is again to protect the rich Europeans from infringement, invasion by the poorer nations of the world. Of course they are compelled to take in more and more nations which are not so rich, which are not so cultured, whose roads are not very good-like the East European countries, Yugoslavia, Turkey now. Because if you are a rich man and you have a huge electrified fence, still there are the poor people surrounding your house whom you have to look after, to form a barrier between you and the even more poor. This is the law. A big warlord has poor people surrounding him whom he feeds so that they are a protective fence between him and the others. This is what is happening in Europe, whether you recognise it or not, whether you accept it or not. It is not the wonderful generosity of the Western races that they take in Turkey, and maybe tomorrow they will take in Afghanistan. We are not like that. We have no borders; we have no frontiers; we have no requirements.
My Master Babuji Maharaj said, "Be simple and in tune with nature," because it needs no money to be simple. Even the poorest can be simple, but when they think they are forcefully simple, they feel their poverty, they compare themselves to the rich, they run after the rich, they become slaves of the rich, and this is the way slavery has been born. If only you could hold your head up and say, "I am simple; I'm not poor." As my Master said, "If you need one dollar, and you have one dollar and one cent, you are a rich man." We are rich if we have more than we need, even if it is only by one franc. We are poor when we need five francs and we have only one.
So richness or poverty is depending on what I need, on what every one of you needs. Babuji Maharaj said, "Reduce your needs to the bare minimum." You need food, you need clothing, you need shelter, but you don't need to go to a very expensive five-star hotel for food. You don't need clothes from the best couturier in Paris. Nor do you need palaces. So when we reduce our needs we find automatically that we are able to live on less and less because my needs are less and less. And then we come from the top and merge with the bulk of humanity who are at that level; now all barriers are destroyed.
Therefore, if you look to the lives of the great saints of this world from any time in history, you find they were simple, they had little or no education, but they were wise. They were simple, but they lived a healthy, happy life. They were not rich, but they were comfortable in their huts or maybe in a cave in the mountains, because they learned not only to be simple, but to be in tune with nature.
So, you see, Sahaj Marg principles are not to be treated as something Indian, something crazy, something spoken by a man who had no money, who had no education, but it is a profound teaching arising out of the personal experience of saints and sages and mystics all over the world, through all the periods of history that you can find.
I am therefore happy to see all of you here. I hope we will see more and more of you here, shedding all your inhibitions, your notions of richness, your notions of the intellect, your notions of education-because wisdom does not need education, and education rarely gives you wisdom. Please remember that. I pray for all of you.
Thank you very much.