Love, Compassion and Mercy
by Chariji, February 1, 2009, Satkhol, India.
I was going to talk about three things: love, compassion and mercy — the things for which the Christian religion is famous. Love, compassion and mercy.
Now people talk of the saint [who] loved all his disciples, he loved sinners, talking of Jesus Christ I mean, and how it is a religion of pure love, et cetera, and how Christ was always compassionate and merciful. I have been thinking quite a lot about these three things and based on my experience, personal experience with Babuji Maharaj during twenty years, and how I saw him in my experience — he didn’t change, because he was what he was when I met him first time, and he was the same at the end. Because it was like a fruit which had ripened, you know. We change. That is why Babuji Maharaj said, “I am like a mirror. You see yourself when you look at it.” So the angry man looks and sees, “Oh, but Babuji gets angry!” Babuji was compassionate when somebody else saw him. Babuji was merciful when somebody else saw him. And Babuji was very kind when most people saw him.
So we see in the mirror, ourselves, and our description of Babuji Maharaj was really a description of our own self. It is not a projection because it is a reflection of my reality, of what was my reality at that time, from the mirror that was eternally a mirror. You understand? So, where is this thing? We also see the same thing with God when you talk of God in religion: that God is great; God is merciful; God is kind; God punishes; God crucifies — all sorts of funny things. About God, descriptions are infinite. The only thing on which everybody seems to agree is, God is God! And as Babuji said, “What can God be but God? He cannot be anything else.”
So thinking over this matter, I came to the conclusion, which I have told you so often, that Master, my Master, had become love. He did not love or hate or all that, you know. All this at the human level, he manifested whatever you think he manifested. But that was a projection of ours. But when everybody in the world today, even those who have not seen Babuji, who have joined the Mission years after Babuji had attained mahasamadhi, when they say, “Babuji loves me,” how do they get to that conclusion? Part of it is hearsay, part of it is, I suppose, their experience whenever they have meditated on Babuji Maharaj or appealed to him or prayed to him, because like a ripe fruit which tastes the same to everybody, this human being who had perfected himself to become love... I don’t believe any more in saintliness and all that old terminology of describing spiritually highly evolved people. These are terms used by the ignorant to describe something they don’t know, and therefore they cannot really talk about.
In another sense Babuji Maharaj said, “He who knows cannot speak, he who speaks does not know.” So, ipso facto, when all the people of the world in all the religions are talking about God, writing volumes about God, it means they have not known. See, it is amazing how we can write so much about something we have not known, and how we are unable to write anything about something with which we are totally familiar! Don’t you think it is amazing, surprising? What can you say — mango is sweet? Whereas Babuji said when somebody asked him, “What is God?” he said, “What else can be God? He is God.”
Now how to describe God? Various religions have attempted it in their scriptures. Our scriptures of India say, He is larger than the largest, smaller than the smallest. Everything we talk of, you know. Most religions say He is great. Only Hinduism says He is greater than the greatest, and smaller than the smallest also — anoraniyaan, mahatomahiyaan. In some person who has meditated, this knowledge must have dawned that God is ultimate big, and if He can reside in my heart, after knowing it by experience, after experiencing that reality, He must be smaller than the smallest.
So only where we have experience is a description of God possible, or the Master possible. Where we have only knowledge, we are only repeating what other people have said, written, whether it be Kabir or whether it be, I don’t know, St. John or Mohammed the Prophet — it doesn’t matter. Therefore, when I questioned so many abhyasis who said, “Babuji loves me,” and “Babuji loves me,” and “Babuji loves me”, I was wondering how he can love, you see. Is it possible for one human being to love all? Now I don’t want to appear to be blaspheming, you know, because many people could think that. I came to the conclusion that Babuji loves not at all! But we feel love or loved because when we stand before him, we stand before love, not Babuji. We stand before love, which has assumed the form of Babuji, and therefore we say, “Babuji loves me.” You understand?
So spiritual progress, to my mind, is the unripe mango ripening to its perfect mango-like qualities, when it is the same to everybody. Now if twenty people eat a mango (I mean I am not allowing for imperfection in the fruit because we are talking of something which is not imperfect — the divine sweetness), and the one feels that it is hated, surely the mistake is with the person who feels he is hated, who feels “God is angry with me,” and who like this Rodin, he goes like this [covers his face with his hands] — mea culpa. So from what we speak of Master, it is possible to evaluate every abhyasi’s condition. Because you are speaking of something which is unchanging, eternal. And if three people say the same thing about that unchanging, eternal — what shall I say? — presence, then they are all the same. But if they are different and they say, like the famous example of the elephant: that elephant is like a wall, or elephant is like pillars, or elephant is like a rope, they are only partially perceiving parts of the reality.
So until we come to a level where human beings are all evolved to the same level, the highest level, there can be no description of God. Because one who has experience says, “I am telling you, what can we say about God?” I don’t think Babuji ever said much about God, at least not in my hearing. He is what He is. You cannot say He is this or that. Therefore in philosophy they say, God cannot be known either by contrast or by comparison. You cannot say He is bigger than this man, so He is big. You cannot say He is kinder than this man, therefore He is kind, more kind. With what will you contrast? With whom will you compare? And to say He is incomparable, is also silly, because there is no ‘He’. Love can become personified, but love is never a person. You understand?
So in Sahaj Marg the goal is shown as Divine light in the heart on which we meditate, and through this process we evolve until one day we find that what was in my heart — light, has become love, because light and love are synonymous, identical, and then we find that such a person has evolved. He has no hatred for anybody, no anger against anybody, no special friendship for anybody. And as Babuji says what we should have done — obedience to the Master, satsangh with the Master, (and what is the third?), love for the Master — all here in me.
So such a person who has been able to reach a stage where now light without luminosity manifests as love without quality, without object, it is not directed towards anybody. Love is here, anybody who comes before that person, feels love. Love has to be compassionate. It cannot be judging. It cannot have joy at somebody else’s suffering. “I am glad he is suffering,” love cannot say. That is why mothers when they see babies suffering, whoever the baby may be, they suffer. But men will suffer only when something of theirs suffers. That is why in India especially, in our Hindu tradition, mother’s love is praised as something higher than anything else. Mamta, they call it in Hindi. And such a love is all-forgiving, is always compassionate, and because of that all-forgiving means it is merciful. It doesn’t know it is merciful. Because this love cannot know, it can only be.
So any presence which can be said to be, cannot know. If that is true of the Master, how much more true it must be of God, where Babuji has said, “God cannot know that He is God.” Love cannot know that it is love, because with what will it contrast itself to say, “I am love, this is not love”? There is nothing to contrast, nothing to compare. Therefore in all religions we say God is love. I make bold to say Master is love, if he is perfect. That we have to add, you know. If from the moment he becomes a disciple, or an abhyasi to a disciple, to this, that and the other, he culminates in a stage where everybody feels that he loves, that he is non-judgemental, that he does not want to punish anybody — he doesn’t even know what is punishment. As Babuji used to say when somebody used to suggest, you know, “Why not punish?” he would say, “How can I punish him more than he punishes himself?” Nobody can punish anybody in Sahaj Marg more than the abhyasi punishing himself or herself. If we remember this, we will always go the Master and say, “Please prevent me from punishing myself.”
The first step is to say, it is in the past. What has been in the past I cannot change. That is one reason for me to forget. If I forget, there is no need to forgive myself. So, in English we say forget and forgive. In my experience, it is easy to forgive, but almost impossible to forget. Forgiving is from here [the head], real forgetting is here [the heart]. I may forgive — my intentions are to forgive, my thoughts are to forgive. In fact I have forgiven, but if I carry that hurt in my heart… Because you must understand that we carry our wealth, our treasure, only in the heart. There is nothing here [the head] for us to carry except a program, like a computer program. From here [the heart] if you have to remove it, only Master can do the cleaning, and say, “Out!”
You know if you see The Lord of the Rings, where Théoden King has been obsessed in a sense, possessed by Saruman, and Gandalf comes, and he says, “Now, today I will remove this fellow!” and he removes Saruman, you see. And then how the face of Théoden changes — aaah, it was like that, and suddenly it becomes flowering, you see.
So what we cannot do by ourselves, we have to request the Master to do for us. But that needs faith, that needs patience, and that needs tolerance. He has love, compassion and mercy. In today’s world, love has become lust, compassion has become a mockery. We mock people who need compassion. We say, “He deserved it. He did this and this and this, and therefore he is like this.” And mercy has turned into vengeance. “I wish I could kill that fellow,” things like that, you see. So, love becomes lust, compassion has become mockery, mercifulness has become vengeance. So we are afraid. That is why even in the Christian tradition, in the Catholics, you have the confessional — secret and sacred. What you dare not tell everybody, you tell in the confessional. And you saw it in a beautiful movie, I Confess, I think, where a man who has committed a murder tells the priest, and the priest is unable to talk about it though he is the accused person himself. But here there is no question of secrecy, there is no question of being ridiculed, there is nothing, you see. Because even though abhyasis are at different levels, being and becoming, from being to becoming is the process that Sahaj Marg undertakes. In the process, hatred must turn to love, lust must turn to love, mockery must turn to — what? — compassion, and forgivingness must become what was, you know, vengeance, vengeance-ful attitude.
Be not revengeful, says the Christian tradition; vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord. Here, even the Lord has no vengeance. And Babuji Maharaj repeats again and again, you are who is to work upon yourself. The process has been given: Sahaj Marg meditation, cleaning, constant remembrance. There is nothing wonderful about it, as he says in one message. He says, “We are not calling for big sacrifices.” We are only requesting change of behaviour in a human being who is not completely a human being, but only a human being in form. We want him to change into a human being in content. That this heart becomes a human heart, and progressively that which is inside it, you hand over your life piecemeal or at one stroke, if it is possible, and you find what was here as hatred, violence, lustful behaviour, acquisitiveness, voila!, as you people say, it has changed into love, compassion and mercy. It is a transformation. It can be instant, it may never happen.
And as Babuji repeats, it depends on you. He says, “I bless.” The process has been given. It is a simple process. It doesn’t require tapasya [penance] for twenty-four hours in the jungle. It doesn’t ask you to give up your family. It asks for no major sacrifices. It only asks for modification in your outlook towards the rest of humanity. And he says repeatedly, “This should not be difficult.” So, what have we to change? “Oh, but I cannot change…” Then be what you are. There are only two alternatives: be what you are, or become what you have to become. In between there is nothing.
And don’t be afraid of punishment. Master says again and again, “There is no judgement in Sahaj Marg. We do not judge.” In other traditions, other religions, they say God judges. Here, no judgement. Nothing to forgive, because it is you who punish yourself, you who have to forgive yourself and come — to grow. There is no reward because it is you are giving the reward to yourself. So, in Sahaj Marg, you are the experiment, you are the experimenter, and when the experiment is complete, maybe in a day, maybe in a hundred years, you are the result of your own experiment on yourself.
So, in fact, in reality, I start as a human being full of all the animal tendencies. I have to have compassion on myself, not to rationalize and say everybody does it, so what’s wrong? — not like that. I must realize what I am, have compassion on myself for what I am, and say, “I must now grow. Let me seek the way I can grow. Let me find the man who can help me.” And as Babuji said, having handed over yourself to him once, forget everything else.
This is spirituality, and I hope we can all understand the very beautiful system that we are in: the simplest, the easiest, and that which can give you results almost instantly. As Babuji said, “Turn your head from here to Here, and you are there.” Here there is no ‘there’, there is no ‘here’, there is no ‘was’, ‘there will be’ — no. All past, future and present are human creations. Animals don’t know of a yesterday or a tomorrow. They live in the present. If we could also live in the present, this present would be eternal, there would be no past, no future — “I am.” No question of what were you — I don’t know. Because in the process of becoming, there is no memory. When a fruit ripens, does a ripe mango look at a green mango and say, “You are a fool, you’re green.”? It doesn’t exist. Only in human beings — “You are this, you are that, you are...”
So as human beings when we have our humanness beginning to develop, most of the battle is already won. If He does not judge, I have no business to judge. Isn’t it? If I continue to be judgemental — “This fellow is rotten, that fellow is useless” — I am only betraying my weakness, my lack of growth, and my inability to have anything from my Master.
So I think that is all I have to say, and I hope all of you will feel blessed — not loved by Master or this and that — be blessed to see before us a presence which is love. You stand before the sun, whether you are sinner or saint you feel the warmth of the sun. You stand in the rain, whether you are sinner or saint you get wet. That is why Babuji Maharaj said that ‘a saint will never get wet, or fire will not burn him at all’, he said these are lies created by religion to make you reverence saints who are not saints. Saints don’t interfere with nature, because in a sense when they have achieved the perfect state, they are part of nature. So how can they say, “Rain, don’t wet me, but wet Alberto”? Or “Shine on him but not on me”? It is not possible.
So any saint who says he is a saint — and in India we have thousands, and tens of thousands of them. “He never eats, nobody has seen him eating for five years. Even better, that man, you know, he never goes to the toilet!” We have saints like that who don’t go to the toilet at all! This is all humbug, lies. We must have the courage and the conviction to disbelieve stories of saints doing unnatural things. By ‘unnatural’ I mean, not getting wet when water is thrown on them, not being burnt by fire, not getting an electric shock. They may live, but they must have a shock.
So what Babuji says is, human level suffering is for everybody. Once you have a body, it must react with nature and its surroundings like everybody else. Like everybody else you can also protect yourself: wear a jacket, light a fire, et cetera, you see. “Oh, he is a saint. How can he…?” you know, people ask. One boy saw Babuji smoking and said, “How can a saint smoke?” and left the Mission. Another boy in Denmark heard that Babuji had five children, and he said, “Babuji — five children? No saint!” Things like that. That is how we have been taught by religion to judge.
Now religion has taught us two wrong things. First, that you should judge at all is a wrong teaching. Second, what to judge is a mess of wrong teachings. So when Babuji says spirituality begins where religion ends, I don’t have to become something else. I only have to forget my religion, forget what I have been taught by religion. I no longer belong to religion. My gods are not the gods of religion, remembering that Babuji said: God has no religion, religion has no God — one of the most profound four-word statement, or six-word statement. God has no religion, religion has no God. So I pray for you all. Thank you.
So let us not forget, you know, that love, compassion and mercy are not three different things. They are the same thing, like a diamond which manifests different faces. Love in action is mercy and compassion. Love within itself is a presence which offers itself, not knowingly but by the fact of its presence, to anything that is around it. So that is and that should be our aim, our goal in life. Not some funny idea of perfection and central region and liberation. What will we do when liberated? Sit quietly in an easy-chair looking at Infinity? I cannot sit for two hours like that!
So, you see all these long understandings, wrong understandings, misunderstandings, in understandings which unfortunately we permit, each one of us, our own previous religious background to influence. No? Because we are all slaves of the religion, whether we have given it up or not. They continue to haunt us. And we still use those terms, and those, what shall I say? — not phrases — descriptions, and we corrupt what should be the truth at the reality by bringing all those contraptions of religion, those phrases, those formalities into spirituality, and saying, “Master is great. Master loves me.” But then we suddenly say, “But, yes, but yesterday Master was angry.”
You know in Shahjahanpur, when Babuji sometimes used to be angry with Malin [maid servant], people used to say, “How can he be angry? No, no, no, this is not Babuji.” It is like saying, nature is not benevolent because it is raining when I want to have a picnic. So this is stable, this is eternal — Love. Everything around it can change. But if they change only to become what this is, everything is going in the right direction. And as Babuji says in his message, “When all will be perfect.”
Thank you again.