A Light in the Darkness
by Chariji, March 10, 2007, Chennai, India.
An excerpt from Master’s introduction to the special publication titled He, the Hookah and I
Abhyasi: Master, you have been investing a lot of time in making these recordings. I thought it would be helpful for abhyasis if you could give an introduction to this, nearly, twenty-hour set that we have recorded.
Master: Like every delivery has a long period of gestation, my deliveries too have been preceded by long periods of gestation, if I may say so. Because, nearing the… I won’t say the end, but nearing the end of my faculties to convey what I have learned from my Master, from my own experiences, meagre as they may have been, I was desirous of leaving something for others to learn from. And even though I have spoken over the last twenty-five years, I have found that when we speak, often what we say falls on deaf ears—most of them at least. And some few fall on ears which are willing to hear but don’t understand, you see. And if at all there is one or two who have heard, understood and digested, that would surely be the recompense for a long life, in which I have set myself to convey the teachings of my Master, the experiences he gave me. So that was perhaps the primary reason.
The motivation was always there, but the need to do it… before I became unable to say anything. You know, in the human condition we often lose our enthusiasm when what we say falls on deaf ears. So I didn’t want to speak—I did want to speak while my enthusiasm was still alive, and there was a spark of it for others to light their lamps from.
So it is, in a sense, a desire to share the riches that I have earned, and that I have enjoyed, and that I have received, with all those who are willing to listen to these talks. I must be excused because I never thought I was so voluble, and that it would go into twenty hours of recording! Part of it is because of the garrulousness of an old man, and part of it is the need to repeat. Because most of you must have read in the message of my Master, published in Whispers [from the Brighter World]; Babuji speaks again and again of the need to repeat. He admonishes the person who received the messages who, I presume, said, “You are repeating yourself,” to Babuji Maharaj. He said, “Good things need to be repeated.” What he left unsaid was, what he said to me many years back in Shahjahanpur (you see a picture of that here), when he said, “Bad things must never be repeated.” Now human life, human purposefulness, human endeavour, is all apparently bent upon repeating that which must not be repeated, and forgetting that which must be repeated again and again.
So these talks for which we claim no merit or any depth of substance, perhaps if heard again and again, will make some impact on the hearts of abhyasis, because the minds have no depth. The mind is like the surface of a pond which is ruffled temporarily by a passing wind, and then it is calm again like a mill pond. That is not to be trusted. It leaves no impression. Whereas if you see some of the geological specimens called fossils from old times, millennia ago, one can still see the waves of the ocean on limestone, sandstone deposits, because what man cannot fix in his mind with all the best will in the world, nature can fix. And therefore we have the vestiges of past civilizations, past existences, from which we can deduce the history of life on earth, the lives of saints, the species that have lived here on earth, their effect on our surroundings, and from which we can garner that size alone was not enough.
Nature has tried every possible combination. Good brains in enormous bodies like the dinosaur, the mastodon, you see, where a message from the end of a limb took time to reach the brain, and took equal time if not more to be able to convey the activity necessary. So that species died out. Nature continues to play with all that it can possibly play. And sometimes in one of my humbler moods, I thought perhaps even human beings are merely an experiment. “Let us try this.” And because we think it is the last of a series of experiments, we make the mistake of thinking that we are at the cutting edge of that evolution, and that the human is all. From that arises our arrogance, our pride in being merely human beings, because unless the human being shows the potential that is entrapped within him, or should I say, encapsulated within him, and brings it out in his actions, in his thoughts, in such a way that the past has no more any existence for him and the future is all, perhaps there will be another experiment with a modified form of a human being or a better, improved form of a human being. And who knows, but we may all be there, too, to watch that happen, not knowing that we were part of it in an earlier scenario. So Babuji says, “Up till now we are the highest.” There is no doubt about that, you see. But we cannot be sure that we are at the top of the class always. So he says, “Endeavour to be at the cutting edge always, and however long the spear may extend, you are the tip of the spear.” Or to put it in another way, like Einstein, the great scientist, used to imagine, “If you are sitting in the front of a light wave, what would you see? What would you be?”
So ours is a spiritual endeavour with the same purpose that Einstein imagined. His was related to the intellect, the magnificence of which was known even in his time, or even before that, as we see in the lives of people, giants like Leonardo da Vinci, Einstein himself, and greater minds which have not been named specifically in our Indian Vedas, the lives of saints, the thrust being eternally the same—the conquest of the self. Because the self is what impedes our progress, when the self refers to this corporeal self, forgetting that the self, true self, the Self of which the yogas and the Upanishads speak is the inner self, the atman, the soul, you know, awaiting liberation from an entrapment, who knows when it began. But that urge to get oneself released from that entrapment, in any condition, whether it was animal condition, insect condition, reptile condition, and now a human condition, that urge has remained. And Babuji Maharaj used to say, put in modern parlance, “Thank heavens it is still there.” It is what has brought all of you here. Without that you wouldn’t be here. You would be leading a bohemian life, thinking that you are enjoying yourself when you are destroying yourself, thinking you are happy when you are just being miserable, and trying to hide that miserable condition in something external to yourself. Because all happiness, all felicity, all contentment has to come from within, not from outside. That’s why he used to repeat, you know, “Look within, look within, look within.” Outside everything you see may appear beautiful. Sometimes it may appear horrible. Sometimes it may be death; sometimes it may be life. But all is ephemeral—there for you to see as long as you’re alive, not there when you are not.
So, that is the way in which, you know, I was brought to this series of talks. I can’t say I felt like speaking; it happened, you see, out of inexpressible inner need to say something from my conviction after a forty-year life of spiritual practice and endeavour under the umbrella of my Master—my Master and His teachings and His grace and His love and His protection, to sort of reassure people that these will always be with you.
So these talks are sort of set there before you, to remind you, you know. In a moment of need somebody may be tempted or impelled to take out one of the disks and play it, and something may come from that which may reactivate. Because, you know, teachings are like the matches in a matchbox. Nothing comes first, nothing comes last. The last one is there because you have exhausted the other ones; not because it was meant to be the last. It could have been the first if you had, by accident, taken that particular matchstick. So people sometimes ask, “Where do your teachings begin and where will they end?” Some people have said, “They begin now and they will end when you are liberated.” That is in a spiritual sense a verity, a truth. But for me the truth of the matter is that when you need you pick out, and it is not an accident that you always pick out that which you needed at that moment.
So I wish all my sisters and brothers that they will keep these as a set of matches. You know, even in modern five-star hotels, even in America where power-failure is almost unknown, you generally find a candle and a match box in a drawer of the dressing table; perchance there will be darkness, and you will need light.
So I think that is all that I have to say about this question.