Character is Pure Love
by Chariji, November 23, 2008, Manapakkam, India .
Dear brothers and sisters,
Some thoughts have been going around in my head about this topic of love, about which everybody is speaking all the time, but nobody seems to know what it is. It seems to be a profoundly important subject: much spoken about, least understood. Most of us confuse it with family love; you know, love of the male for the female and vice versa, love for children. You can call love in so many ways: filial love, fraternal love, conjugal love, parental love, and you know, love for animals, love for birds, love for fish, love for ice cream, love for pizza. In fact love for almost anything, but really love for nothing.
I am more and more saddened by the fact that we speak so much about it, preach so much about it, write so much about it, read Babuji's messages about love, how love is spirituality, and yet we are all here practicing spiritual life without love. I am sorry if I seem to be making a sweeping statement, because I am sure to receive a lot of mails and letters saying, "Don't you think I love?" I would be tempted to reply, "Love what?"
What is it that you really love? When sisters and brothers in our own assemblies are unable to love each other, when we talk of brotherhood, when we all claim to love the Master, without obeying him, without following his principles, his teaching, his practice,what is this love that we all claim we are able to have? For what? It is sad.
You know many thousands of years ago in one of the Upanishads, you find a sage telling his wife, "Not for the sake of the wife is the wife dear to the husband, my dear, it's for the sake of the self." But I had hoped that from the times of those rishis many thousands of years ago, we have evolved from a so-called rishi-hood or a rishi-dom or a status of a rishi [seer], talking about the Brahmic [Divine] consciousness and aham brahmaasmi [I am Brahman] and all that, to the level of human beings capable of love without distinction.
Sahaj Marg says this is a universal method. It is universally applicable. We must shed, throw away, cast-off everything that differentiates one person from another. Are we even trying to do it? I am inclined to suspect whether we are trying or we think we are trying. There is a big difference. Am I trying or am I just thinking that I am trying, and then complaining that I am unable to do anything? Because it seems that the closer we come to the centre, the more our grossness manifests itself?our egos become more and more visible, active, aggressive,perhaps only to be removed. But it is there, you see. It is like the bunch of bananas you buy in the shop. But when you come home, you see there is mud here, and this here, and you have to clean it. Why closeness brings out the worst in human beings? Those at a distance seem to be,at least even if they are retaining what they are, their characteristics, their weaknesses they don't affect, shall we say, the good name of the Mission.
I have been giving some importance to character building, which Babuji Maharaj has emphasized is the individual responsibility of each abhyasi. I have said time and again that in India, in our context, Indian subcontinent context, character is very restricted to merely the sex life of the individual, which is a very narrow way of looking at it, very limited?almost I would say useless as a manifestation of character. You know the word 'adulteration' comes from adultery which means mixing. Our religious literature, yogic literature speaks of purity. Are the concepts of purity and love self-opposing? Do they contradict each other? Does it mean if you have one, you cannot have the other? Because I find that this concept of purity, whether in language, whether in culture, whether in human relationships, race, is exclusive of everything else. It breeds pride, arrogance.
I have seen clean Brahmins, you know, coming out of their bath, intolerant of everybody else,you cannot touch them, you cannot look at them because they are clean? Do we want this cleanliness, so-called, to isolate us from the rest of humanity because of our pride and our arrogance and our superiority, our feeling of superiority? There's no one worse than a Brahmin in this regard. Should my cleanliness remove me from human beings, from the capacity to love, from brotherhood? 'Thou shalt not touch me. You shall not look at me when I am eating my food.' it has been that. And it is not only the Brahmin, it is everywhere in our society. What the highest calls the lowest caste, they are as proud, as arrogant of themselves, their caste, their community. So that we are all, you know, living in small pockets of pride, arrogance, and it is as if, you know, we are repelling each other, so that society today is a lot of nuclei of hate, self containment, pride, arrogance and each one talks of 'my' God. You may be God's, but God has not been yours. Please remember this. God is not something to put in your pocket and say, 'Look at my God.'
So what are we to do in this situation? And when we come to Sahaj Marg, and we are still what we were before we came here, except that by the mercy of my Master, we are growing inside. But as Babuji said, "Inside is what I give you; you have not earned it. I give it to you because you are here. I feed my dog. I don't go out and feed stray dogs on the road, because this is mine." So Babuji says, "I give you, as a matter of charity, you know. In one word he made us all beggars. Not seekers,beggars. Babuji said, "I give you because it is charity to give to somebody who comes to me." And then he told me in private, "I would like to give, because they are my children,"a step higher. Are we his children? We all, you know, praise him and flatter him shamelessly, but do we feel in our heart that he is the father? "No! He is Master! He is Babuji Maharaj." Have you obeyed even your natural father?
Today with all the prosperity dividing the elder generation from the younger generation, children have less and less respect for their parents, less and less love. I have seen people in America sending their parents, old parents, a hundred dollars and saying, "I support my dad." If that is not arrogance, I don't know what is arrogance. Is it duty? I don't think they send out of duty. Is it love? I don't think so at all. What is it? It is a sop to their own conscience that, "I must do something for these old guys at home, you know. So we are five brothers, we each send a hundred dollars, and you know five hundred dollars is a lot of money," they say to themselves. "And today with the exchange rate being what it is, twenty five thousand rupees; my dad retired on eight hundred rupees. He's rich." Is this character? Forget love! So what is character? You have to think a lot about that.
Character is nothing other than pure love. Character is not celibacy, not caste purity, not racial purity, not cultural purity, not linguistic purity. These are all human values which divide us, segment us into smaller and smaller segments. 'Divided we fall'. Today you see where the world is.
This morning I woke up rather late. I think it was already half past six, when I woke up. And I woke up with some sort of, you know, negative feeling for this world,what is going to happen. Then my grandson Bhargav came into my bedroom and then my granddaughter Madhuri came in, and I was wondering what sort of world are they entering? Because he is going to be twenty-one next March, and she is going to be eighteen,adults, full of hope for the future, for their future. What sort of world have we created for them?
Looking at today's scenario full of hatred, full of fear, full of uncertaintyquo vadis,where are you going? And what is the cause of this sudden fall from enormous prosperity, growth, to an almost desperate situation of poverty facing the strongest of nations, but not stopping there. Going to other countries, going in a spiral, and we here in our own country, we are also afraid that we shall not remain unaffected by this global despair, plunge into poverty, joblessness.
Where are we? Where are we going? How did this happen? Because the rich wanted everything, the poor got nothing. The rich destroyed food to keep up prices, maintained high prices so that the weaker parts of the world should not have, so that the division between the haves and the haves-not became wider and wider, and they are paying the price for it. It is easy to say that we will not suffer so much because we never really had anything to lose. But suffering is not only physical, it is moral, it is emotional, it is mental. And when the elder generation behaves like that,irresponsibly,it only shows a total lack of concern for the future, not merely of their own but of their progeny, of our humanity. The selfishness in this world has become so much that, "After me, the deluge!" What is at the base of this? Lack of character,total lack of character. No concern for the rest. Me, my wealth, my possessions, and so on and so forth. If character had been there, there would have been love, there would have been compassion, there would have been sympathy.
My brothers are suffering in Africa. My brothers are fighting each other in the lands of Arabia and Israel. They are two brothers divided by a river, fighting for square metres of sand in a desert, killing each other,not today, not yesterday, but for the past so many years. Same thing is happening all over the world. We are like dogs fighting for territory. Dogs, lions, animals in general, you know especially these carnivores, they mark off their territory by urination. Human beings mark off their territory by documents, by religion. And the more you have of this, the less you have of character, no concern for the other. Today a hundred people lost here, tomorrow a car bomb there, two hundred people killed. Today's newspaper is nothing but reports of disaster, of violence, terrorism,lack of character. Because if we could think of each other as our brothers: America thinks everybody else is their brother and sister, 'We are the most prosperous (or they were). We should look after the others like in a family. We are a family,a human family. Did we look after anybody else? No. We made it more and more impossible for others to live. Let them die off; more for us. >
You have seen some of these movies where they rob a bank,six hundred and twenty million dollars of gold. They are coming away with the gold. One man shoots three of them and goes away with the gold, then he gets killed. So we are doing that all over the world: the richest killing the rich, the rich killing the poor, the poor killing the poorest. For survival we don't need to kill anybody. The world has enough, not only for today's population, for populations double, triple this. Everybody knows this. But selfishness breeds fear, because selfishness says,"mine," love says "ours."
So what shall we do, abhyasi brothers and sisters? That is why I am today speaking here in front of all of you, so that even if you don?t listen to my words, you will listen to the feeling in my voice?which is enough. That is what is crucial to understanding. Not understanding intellectually, but feeling with the heart. Do you feel these things? Or are you just afraid because your neighbour is afraid, because the newspaper says you must be afraid? If you feel, there will be no fear. If you just think, you are going to be afraid, more and more. It's like children who are afraid of the dark. They start feeling fear from noon, because already the day is declining. Four o?clock, they are more afraid; six o'clock when the sun sets, they run to the mother.
You see when you talk of loving the Master, when you talk of love, love cannot be personalized. "I love him", "I love her": it is not correct. In the field of consciousness of the lover there can be only one beloved. If he is there, there is nothing else, no one else, no where else. It is here and now. One cannot claim to love the Master and hate others.
Babuji gave the slogan, "Love Him who loves all." Good! It is for me like a statement from the Vedas, God's statement,"Love Him who loves all." "Yes," we say, "I love Master. I am loving him who loves all." What about loving the others? "Oh, that is not my business. It is for him to love all. For me I reserve to myself my birthright to be prejudiced, to hate, to admonish, to be vulgar with/to others. It's my birthright. Babuji never said, "Don't hate others." Babuji said, "Love Him who loves all".
In my own small way I tried to give another slogan which says, "Love all whom He loves." In our families, you know as long as the mother is alive, the children at least have a semblance of loving each other. Ramu loving his sister and his brothers, all of them loving each other, because the central figure is there. Remember the atom with the nucleus and with the surrounding, whatever it is, orbiting them; so many circles, so many orbits,powerful. Destroy the nucleus, and everything is shattered. Mother dead, children scattered. They write once a month, then it becomes once a year. Then occasionally they meet somewhere and talk of the past. Then they have mutual jealousies,one brother very prosperous, another brother not so prosperous. In the time of the mother, all were equal. Now they are all unequal.
Has the Master been like that in your lives: that the moment he disappeared, we are scattered? Is the spiritual base still there? Is the spiritual centre still able to pull all of us together? I don't know. The only evidence I see is the physical evidence that we are able to sit together, meditate for an hour. And then our problems start all over again.
Have we been able to respond to the call, "Love Him who loves all"? Do we really love him? If I love him, can I hate anybody else? Because that love is a love which is of a magnitude which is almost divine. Only the Divine can love the Divine. If you are able to really love the Master, you are already, shall we say, advanced on the path of divinization to a level where you love. Dogs love dogs; cows love cows; only God can love God. The more you are like God, the more you will love Him, and the more everything else is there, but not there also. It is as if the world is there, but is none of my concern. I see him and nothing else. Babuji Maharaj has written, "After I saw my Master, I saw nothing else,"Lalaji Maharaj.
I don't object to our abhyasis going to different gurus. It is their privilege, it is their birthright. Babuji Maharaj says in his messages, "A human being's right cannot be taken away, even by God." But has He given us that right only to destroy ourselves? It would appear so. Because the more we are sensitive, cognizant of, aware of, proud of this strength that I have, this immense strength of total self-responsibility which even God cannot touch, I can end up a Ravana, any raakhshasa [demon] you can think of, who destroy themselves.
We have to beware of powers because every power can be used in two ways: construction, destruction. But we forget that every time we destroy something outside, we destroy it inside. Ecologists, nature-lovers are warning us that once the lions are killed away, once the whales are killed away, our life will be poorer. We cannot imagine. So is killing a sin? Is wilful killing a sin? You have to decide. But we are talking of love, not of killing. Love never kills; love nurtures, love cherishes, love protects. Therefore in all the manifestations of God we call Him merciful, we call Him the protector, we call Him the giver of all that we have, but for ourselves (we human beings who are said to be made in the image of God), we are everything that is opposite. We don't give, we take. We don't protect, we destroy. We don't cherish. How many of you can say you cherish something?
It is a sad state of affairs that this question of character building is coming up again and again; that lovers have to be told, you are not lovers, you are selfish to the core, that selfishness manifesting as love. You need [so as] to protect your selfishness. "A friend in need is a friend indeed. I need for my sake, not for his sake. My wife, I need for my sake, not for her sake (quoting again Yajnavalkya). The world I need for my sake, not for its sake." Unless we understand that when we say we love, it is from the heart, where there is no distinction; when a moment you say, I love, for instance a pariah [member of a low caste] or a panchama [outcaste],a Dalit, as they say today,you are not loving, you are differentiating, you are separating, you are excluding.
Only yesterday, or this morning, I asked an abhyasi who wanted to be a preceptor, I said, "Are you able to write or will you be able to write a report and say, "I gave a sitting to an abhyasi," instead of saying, "I gave a sitting today to a black abhyasi from the Congo"?" There are no black abhyasis or white abhyasis or yellow abhyasis. There are abhyasis; an abhyasi being one who does abhyas, meaning he practices. Every corrupt fellow says, "Sir, I am truthful," and that is the first lie. "I have never done harm to anybody,"second lie. "I meditate every day,"third lie. "I do my cleaning,"fourth lie.
We are telling lie after lie after lie, all our lives, and claim we are abhyasis. And therefore we have a desperate hope; it's not a real hope, not a truthful hope, not the hope of courage, of conviction. A hope of despair that being all this, yet I hope He will have mercy on me and take me up. Because God said, "I give out of charity to all those who come to me." Beggars; we are not abhyasis, we are beggars. And like beggars we have a desperate hope that, ?They will put something in my, you know whatever I am having in my hand, I will not go home empty. Today will somehow pass; tomorrow perhaps my begging will be even more successful." And so we live from desperate hope to desperate hope to desperate hope, without any backing, like modern currencies where there is no backing,no gold, all paper.
So our lives are what we make of them. If you have a foundation of true love for your Master, you won't obey him,there is no need for obedience. His nature will become yours. Transformation means total transformation. What Lalaji said of Babuji, "Today I can say that I have become you and you have become me, and none can say anymore that there is any difference between us." Will we ever become like this? Do we want to become like this? Are we not all wanting to perpetrate, perpetuate our hatreds, our religious animosities? "No, no, no, I can never make a friend of that fella." You cannot, or you will not? Better say, "I will not." I grant you your freedom. You say you cannot,you are a liar. If you wish to, you can. Every arrogant abhyasi who says, "I cannot tolerate this chap. I will not. No, no, no, I can never be with him." Many of them, I am sad to say (as many abhyasis write to me), my 'inner circle' as they call it, every single one of them is of this category,all loving the Master, all serving him, but unable to tolerate. It is like these pillars, "We cannot stand together. You put me alone, I will do?" What? What will you do? Lift a roof? Will one pillar stand this roof? It will fall and crush all of us. The larger the roof, the more the pillars, the stronger the pillars. The pillar does nothing except support the roof. The roof is what protects. The pillar must not think, "I am protecting. I am the roof."
Let our character formation start at least now,not in being sexually pure or not telling lies. Tell lies to your heart's content, it doesn't matter, but don't lie to yourself. Don't tell yourself, "I am pure, I am truthful. I have never harmed anybody." You have; you have told lies all your life. You have hated people all your life; you have destroyed people all your life. Only thing is you are unable to accept it, therefore you are always pointing a finger at others, like that [pointing a finger].
I had hoped not to have to talk here of character formation, but when I find these forces of prejudice and intolerance in my inner circle, maybe for me too it is a cry of despair. Because now I am finding myself longing to be away from everything somewhere, I don?t know where. But does such a place exist? Because those who are closest to me are like this, what can I expect of others? If my own dog bites me?
As long as we found banks in America failing, we were happy. Collapse in England, we were a little concerned. Collapse in China, Europe, we are more concerned. Now it is coming nearer home. Our people are losing jobs?top jobs. Every day we are seeing sixty thousand laid off here, eighty thousand laid off there, two hundred thousand laid off there. And we begin to be more and more afraid: What is going to happen? Why are we afraid? Because we can trust nobody. But we have six brothers who are all okay. ?But, sir, you know what brothers are?? what a sad thing to hear when somebody says, ?You know what brothers are!?
Unless you bring back true love without stipulations, without conditions? If I am a true lover of the Self, I see the Self everywhere; I cannot hate the Self because it is also my Self. Let us cast aside all wrong notions of love and cheat ourselves, lie to ourselves by saying, ?I am a lover, I love everybody.? How do you say that? ?Because I don?t hate anybody.? It?s not enough.
It is in your interest to have this love which is pure love, love which does not obey but which becomes. A true lover of the Master must become like the Master, have his inner qualities of spiritual life. Not purity, but love. I dare say that given the choice of purity and love, love is to be accepted, not purity. If purity is going to destroy, create hatred, isolate?shun that purity. I do not know how many of you will be able to accept, because today everybody considers [himself] pure. Whether he is a Naidu or a Chettiar or an Iyengar??I am pure.?
Remember that no racial purity exists. During the millennia of human life on earth, it has been mixed and mixed and mixed and mixed, again and again, because nature wants not purity but genes. And a gene by itself is neither pure nor impure, it is what it is. It is like God. He is what He is. But what about us? We have to be what He is.
Please take this seriously, because the future, not only of ours but our children and their children, depends on what we will be, what we shall leave behind. Is it going to be a legacy of hatred, of acquisitiveness, selfishness, prejudices, splitting us further and further and further? Or are we going to try to bring in an era of love, unifying? depends on us.