Constant Remembrance and Obedience
by Chariji, December 28, 2005, Coimbatore, India.
Abhyasi: I would just like to speak about constant remembrance, to see if it is possible to speak with you, Master, about the best way to develop it, because I suffer for the moment because of sensitivity. That’s it.
Master: She wants to know how to practice constant remembrance and the best way for it. My impression is there is only one way, but I am not an expert on constant remembrance because I don’t know if I am in constant remembrance at all. But Babuji Maharaj said, “Suppose you are a mother and you are working, and the baby is not well at home. You are working, but all the time you are remembering your baby, isn’t it?” Why do you remember? Because it’s your baby. Isn’t it? So even when you work, you remember your baby, because you love your baby.
Babuji said to create love, practice remembrance—inversion. You understand? [Abhyasi: Inaudible] Well, you have to do, you know. You see, if it is physical, I can show you like this: this is what you do. But when it is from the heart, you have to do until you… because Babuji said, if you have done constant remembrance for seven days, then you cannot stop it—no way. So those seven days are important. He said begin by when you wake up, think of Him. And when you go to sleep, think of Him. Start like that. Then everything you do, think of Him as if He is doing it. You start to write a letter, think He is writing it; you start to eat, think He is eating. So if you do that, it becomes a habit, and little by little you are thinking of Him all the time. You may not be conscious, but it is there as the bed of the river. You understand? Think over it; we will discuss again later.
[Abhyasi gives a talk on service as a means to develop remembrance.]
This young man is, of course, correct. Service is one way. When you serve—you know, I have seen in families, let us say, a maid who comes to look after the baby and she grows with the family until they have six babies, and the eldest is forty years. So she has been in the house for forty years. Then she is so much with the family that she will tell the mother, “You are neglecting this child; you are not giving it vitamin.” You know, they become more interested than even the mother. It is true. But are we always remembering the Master when we work?
Babuji told us, and I have seen this in my experience, that there are three types of abhyasis. One type of abhyasi is attached to the Mission. He doesn’t care for abhyasis and Masters and things like that. He is faithful to the Mission. He will clean; he will do all that work, but he does not progress. The other type of abhyasi is one who is attached to the meditation. He doesn’t care about the Mission; he doesn’t care about the Master. He only thinks of the method. And even when the Master is conducting satsangh there, he will be doing his meditation here. He thinks it is all the same; “After all he is giving sitting; I am also doing meditation.” The third one is the one who is attached to the Master. They look after the Master. They are surrounding him all the time, but they don’t meditate; they don’t think of the Mission—like I have so many people here, you see.
Now, the best one—of course the one who serves the Master is the best, because you are always close; you learn something. Meditation is best next. And Mission—after all, what is a Mission? It’s an organisation. So we have to be equally devoted. First, love the Master. Then meditate, do cleaning, because he says you should do it. I don’t personally believe that meditation can lead us to the goal because, according to the spiritual history of India, there have been people who have meditated thousands of years and they didn’t make it. I asked Babuji. He said, “Yes you are right.” I said, “Then why do you prescribe meditation, cleaning, you know—all of these things?” He said, “Obedience. To create obedience in people.”
So love must be there; obedience must be there. And this obedience comes not because of fear but because of love. That is the secret of love in spirituality, you see. Love because of love, not because of fear. And because of that love, you obey. When Master says, “Sit,” you sit. When he says, “Get up. You go and look after the kitchen. I am going to give satsangh,” you should not say, “Oh, I came for satsangh; He is sending me to the kitchen. I did not come from Europe to help in the kitchen.” Obedience!
You know in one of those famous poems in English there is a saying, “They also serve who stand and wait.” Like the watchman at the gate, if he is an abhyasi; like the driver of the car who brought you here—they have their duty. For them, sadhana is duty. For you, sadhana is meditation. But in all cases, through love. Now this love has to be there, because without love, there is nothing. You may go up to the first étage [stage]—no more beyond that. That’s the limit. So love has to be created willy-nilly. How to do it? You decide. Listen to his voice; sit with your eyes closed and picture. Or like a baby—I told this lady now, when you love someone, you are always remembering. Now when you remember, you love. It sounds easy, but it is neither easy nor difficult, if you put your mind to it.
Then there is the different example, in which constant remembrance is very easy. You know we have these great epics in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, where the enemies of God (like Ravana) are liberated. They actually fight God, you know. Major, big war—Mahabharata. I asked Babuji, “What is the secret?” He said, “Because they have such a hatred, they are remembering Him all the time.” So, I said, “Should I hate?” He said, “If you can hate like he did, every second of the day, then it works. It works very fast.” But unfortunately we are neither capable of sustained love nor sustained hate. So we are caught between the two, you see.
And it is not so easy to hate somebody. Even when you think you are hating, you are only disliking. “I hate ice cream,” you say. How can you hate ice cream? Or, “I hate mayonnaise.” Or, like me, “I hate blue cheese, it stinks!” Now, of course Europeans will not be happy—Camembert is the famous French cheese. Once I had the misfortune to touch a packet on a plane (it was there on my lunch plate), and my finger was stinking for three days! But the French eat it happily, you see. I don’t know what they wash their mouth with afterwards! [Laughs]
So hatred is very potent. In love you have this complacency, you see. “Don’t I love? I love my Master; I work for him.” But is it that fiery type of love which should burn you up? You see, as it is written in Babuji’s book, “Every moth can immolate itself in a living flame”— parwaane, for the Iranians. It can immolate in a living flame, but rare is the moth which can burn itself in a flame which does not exist, and that is the fire of love. So it means consuming yourself with that love like a candle. The beauty of the candle is it is burning itself up to give us light. A lover must burn himself or herself up to illuminate.
But that kind of love is not there. Nowadays it is all romance more than love. This is the tradition, and all this mohabbat and ishq [romantic love]—it is all a little flirting in the garden, having flowers, perfume, dinner in the moonlight. This is not love. It is romance, it is flirtation. It is a mating dance, you may call it. You know animals, birds—they all have a mating dance. You can see it in movies. You can see it in special films taken for this purpose—animal behaviour, bird behaviour, even fish. That is only for the purpose of nature, for procreation. It is not love. It is desire at best. At worst, it is lust. That doesn’t take you to God. That can take you to bed, and that’s about it, you see. Of course you sleep nicely.
In the Western world, sleep is a great thing: “Oh I have to go to sleep.” You see I am always wondering how a European can sleep for two days before an air travel, so that he is not uncomfortable afterwards! I have asked many Europeans, “Do you have a sleep bank, that you are going to fly on Monday night, and from Saturday evening you are sleeping?” But they also come here tired, they have coughs, they have bleary eyes, “Chariji, jet lag!” So sleeping before has no meaning. Suppose I am going to the desert for three weeks; can I drink enough water for three weeks? I cannot.
So love has to go on and on, you see. Like in a steam engine, the fireman is taking coal and putting it into the boiler. They have to move eight tons of coal in eight hours. That is love. Love is expressed in work; love is expressed in rest. It is expressed all the time. It is like the breath of the body, going in and out all the time. When the breathing stops, we are dead. When love stops, the lover is dead.
So that is the miracle of love. It sustains the universe, as Babuji said. Therefore we hear that Godis love. He doesn’t love; He islove. Like honey is honey, therefore it is sweet. You don’t put sugar in honey, mix it, and then say, “Ah! Honey is sweet.” You can put it in coffee or tea.
So when a person goes to that level of spirituality when he has become love, whoever sees him or goes near him or sits near him feels love. Because, like if you sit before a fan, you feel the breeze; you sit in the sun you feel the heat; you sit by the side of a block of ice, you feel cool. Isn’t it? So when you sit before or near a Master who is love, you feel love all the time. And then you come out and you say, “Oh, he loves me.” He doesn’t love. He is.
So really the goal of transformation in spirituality is to become something which cannot love (but can only hate perhaps), to something which can love, to something which does love, to something which has become love.