The New Year Message
by Chariji, January 1, 2014, Chennai, India
Dear sisters and brothers,
Brother Prakash has just been telling you that in another month I will complete fifty years in Sahaj Marg. It shows how little is fifty years in a man's life for purposes of sadhana, spiritual practice. I used to wonder when I heard or read of rishis [sages] in the past meditating for 20,000 years – some from one yuga [eon] to another. And what was that time in comparison to ours? From Treta Yuga to Dwapara Yuga, things like that – millennia, hundreds of thousands of years! They just sat in meditation, and when they opened their eyes they were in another yuga actually. That was how long it took in those excellent yugas full of peace, tranquillity, virtues, character, morality.
In those days it took so long – millennia, I repeat. And now in our life, in Kali Yuga, full of its corruption, immorality, lack of peace, violence, avarice, with all these negative qualities, our Masters have made it so easy that Babuji Maharaj could say with conviction that if we practise Sahaj Marg properly, every day systematically as prescribed, it is possible to achieve a goal even higher than what the rishis achieved, in this lifetime.
You see how the practice of meditation has been modified age after age, even from Lalaji Maharaj's time to Babuji's time. Because, if you have all read the literature of the Mission properly, Lalaji Maharaj gave practice according to the person who sat before him. To some he prescribed mantras, to some he prescribed puja, things like that. But Babuji Maharaj refined it, until today we have just to sit like this for an hour – I hope really meditating, because if we sit for an hour and not meditate, it's of no use. You have to meditate, which means, imagine divine light in the heart and stay fixed on it for the duration of that meditation.
So is this not a wonder – a wonderful transformation in the yogic practice, which is one of the things for which India is famous, which is our birthright? From millennia of meditation to a mere twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years of meditation if properly done, we go to the goal. And yet – I have to say ‘and yet' – unfortunately, many don't appreciate what we have got, the gift that we have got.
The time has been compressed into such a short span of a human life. Even to say ‘human life' is too long, because the first eighteen years we are not allowed to meditate; maybe the last ten years, we are not able to meditate. So, if you take what is an available span – even in a long life of a human being, probably sixty years of really active, systematic, dedicated meditation – what the sages of old could not achieve in thousands of years, we achieve, we can achieve in a mere sixty years. Even less, because Babuji Maharaj said, "You have only to turn your head from here to here and you are There, where you have to be." But, like all foolishness, when we have wealth in our hands, whether it is physical or mental or spiritual, we waste it.
We waste our time, we waste our energies in foolish pursuits. I mean, it is common knowledge that the human being possesses an intellect and a willpower which are supposed to take him on the path of evolution, but we seem to use both in the wrong ways. Even though we know what is right, we do wrong things. Isn't it? We willingly do wrong things. It is not that we are coerced or compelled into doing wrong things. We willingly participate in foolish activities, shall we say immoral activities, criminal activities. And then, what happens? We have lost another chance; one human life has been wasted.
The willpower is used in the wrong channel and there goes another life, much to the sorrow of the Master. Because I am sure the Masters are very sorry, unhappy, over what is happening on earth here. We see in Babuji's messages, repeated again and again, that a human life is nothing compared to infinity, and if we want to evolve, we have to use this correctly, systematically, dedicatedly, devotedly, following the maxims of Sahaj Marg. But most importantly, throw away all prejudice. No anger towards anybody; no prejudice, no hatred. Only love must be in our heart for other human beings – abhyasis or not, it doesn't matter.
A human being is worth even worshipping, because the human life is so difficult to achieve. It takes so many – I don't know how many – eons of time, of evolution, before we become a human being. So by the very nature of his being a human being, he or she is deserving of worship. When we see a human being, this is why we do this namaskar in India – "I bow before you." But if it is only the hands and here in the heart there is hatred, there is anger, there is annoyance, that is just hypocritical behaviour. This is the most important thing in Sahaj Marg.
When you do this namaskar, there must be respect for the other person and, most importantly, love for the person we greet. It has become just a system – politicians do it, criminals do it, policemen do it, everybody does it. It has become meaningless in the Indian context. Though we have the highest, the most easy, the simplest method of spiritual evolution, degradation has been going up and our human evolution has been going down until today India is – you know what India is, I don't want to say it. I am ashamed to say.
So, at least now you should wake up. Throw away all this hatred from your heart, rejection of other human beings, judgement of other human beings. Look in the mirror and see what you are, like the queen in Snow White. For her, the hatred increased and she wanted to destroy Snow White. But for us, the more we see ourselves in the mirror with truthful eyes, with the need to know what I see, I will become capable of first assessing myself, then correcting myself to move step by step on the ladder of evolution. Otherwise it becomes meaningless.
It's a great tragedy that we are bestowed with diamonds and throw them, and we pick up stones and treasure them. The Christians say, "Throw not pearls before swine" – meaning pigs. If you throw pearls before swine what will they do with it? They will just go away and go to what they prefer. Should human beings behave like that? Are we meant to behave like that? Are we here to behave like that? Have we been given an intellect and a willpower to behave like that?
Every time we know what we have to do, we just say, "Okay, I will do that from tomorrow," and that tomorrow never comes. If you cannot put into effect your will today to do what you have to do today, now, it will never be done. Because procrastination is the thief of time – that's an old proverb. Procrastination means putting off what has to be done today to tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. And by the time the time comes, we are totally unprepared, undeserving, unworthy, and therefore we remain where we are, if enough grace is with us; or we go down the scale.
So it is not the number of years that we give to meditation that matters; it is how deeply we meditate. The deeper the meditation the more we advance; otherwise fifty years is nothing. What is fifty years? Tortoises live for a hundred years, two hundred years. There are many organisms, organic matter, which are living for long; the trees in California which have lived for 4000 years – they don't go to heaven or whatever it is.
The human being's life should not be measured in years, but, if it is possible, by how many steps in the ladder of evolution has been climbed during a particular time. In the first year of meditation, five steps; perhaps second year of meditation, twenty steps; third year of meditation, a hundred steps. That is an accelerated pace of evolution. Otherwise, at least these five steps of meditation year by year. But if it is five steps, four steps, three steps, two steps, we have to ask "Quo vadis?" – where are you going? Whither goest thou?
So, the number of years has no meaning. From the moment we start meditation, our evolution must have begun. The very first sitting that we take, our evolution must have begun. When a rocket is fired, it keeps going until it goes out of the gravitational pull of the earth. Then it is on its way unimpeded; nothing can hold it back. Like that, we have also a gravitational margin which is created by our desires. These desires interfere with our intellect and power our willpower, unfortunately, and in that situation we don't grow. Power, wrongly applied. It is like a motor car going in the reverse gear instead of in the forward gear. It has to be put into the forward gear and then the accelerator pressed, so that it will not only go forward, but go with increasing speed.
All this talk of fifty years and forty years has no meaning. Again and again I say, it is like a child's growth. You have a baby, born today. After one year still a baby, after ten years still a baby. What will you think of that baby? You will be running from doctor to doctor, weeping your heart out, and praying to all the gods that you can think of, consulting astrologers: "My baby is like this." "Yes, madam, how old is this baby? It looks to be ten days old." "No, no, doctor, ten years old." "Ten years?!" And then the doctor doesn't know what to do.
Our spiritual life should not be like that. Is your character improving, changing? Are you now only loving everybody, all human beings – friends, foes, everybody? (Foes means enemies.) No more distinction between friends and foes. No more distinction between abhyasis and non-abhyasis. No more distinction between ‘I like' and ‘I don't like'. If this is not achieved, all the years have been spent in making a mockery of our spiritual practice. I say again, it is a mockery of our spiritual practice.
I have no profound message to give. This is the message that is more important. What are you doing with your life? I know I am happy to see so many thousand people here, but that is not the true measure of spirituality. Once, Babuji and I were together in Shahjahanpur. I was then the general secretary in the Mission. He told me, "Parthasarathi, you must be very strict." I said, "Babuji Maharaj, when I am strict, so many bad things are happening, people are leaving. If I am very strict, there will be very few people left in this Mission." He told me, "It does not matter if only you are left in this Mission; it's enough." I was wondering what is the meaning of this. Then I realised that a tree must give at least one seed from which another tree can grow; otherwise that variety is lost, that species is lost. If there is at least one pair of something, they can mate and produce a few cubs and if they are given protection, maybe in a few years instead of just two lions there will be a hundred lions. But if that female is killed, it's finished, forever and ever.
So it's most important to keep this little tiny flame here permanently there, growing and growing and growing, until, if you believe me, it will illuminate the universe – not with visible light, but with what Babuji used to call ‘light without luminosity'. Even in material light, if there is no object to reflect light, you cannot see light. That is why it is the nearest to spiritual light. And Babuji Maharaj says, "This light will illuminate the universe" – light without luminosity. Do we have it, or are we more and more making it less luminous?
Spiritual practice is simple. It takes very little time; a maximum of two hours a day: one hour in the morning for meditation, say half an hour for the evening cleaning and night prayer. If you have more time in-between, you can meditate for another hour, another hour, like that – but breaking in-between; you don't meditate continuously.
Messages in spirituality are even short. This is not like long lectures given by the gurus on stages. These are practical, shall we say, teachings. If I speak to you for half an hour, Babuji speaks in three sentences in the Messages. One line is enough: ‘Don't waste time' – three words. What more is necessary? A person with intelligence understands. ‘Don't waste time.' It is good for the student, it is good for the mother in the kitchen, it is good for the person in his office; it is good for the person who is doing spiritual practice. Don't waste time. Is it not enough?
We don't need wonderful sayings in Sanskrit drawn from the Vedas: asato maa satgamaya [lead me from non-reality to reality]. That's all right for scholars. For scholarly people, asato maa satgamaya is necessary, but is it enough to say asato maa satgamaya, tamaso maa jyotir gamaya [lead me from darkness to light], mrityor maa amritam gamaya? Most people don't know even the meaning. Mrityor maa amritam gamaya is the most important – lead me from death to immortality. Well, Sahaj Marg is there to do it.
They repeat it like what we say in the U.P. – like a tota, like a parrot: "Ram kaho, Ram kaho, Ram kaho. [Say ‘Ram']" These parrots if they were to be rewarded for the number of ‘Rams' that they repeat during their lifetime, they should be in the Central Region in their next life! So if you want asato maa satgamaya, tamaso maa jyotir gamaya…
Tamas – that is the behaviour that governs our life in every aspect: hatred of this, hatred of that, hatred of him, hatred of her, prejudice. "He is a fool, he is an ass, he is this, he is that, he is a Hindu, he is a Christian, she is from Russia, they are from the United States." What is this?
I am not speaking of political unity, I am speaking of a spiritual harmony where we are all brothers and sisters in one world, which may be divided into political units for governance, for ease of governance – like we have three pockets in a shirt, but the shirt is one. Everything is prejudice; only love is not prejudice.
So I have only two messages – ‘Love Him who loves all' which is very easy. At least everybody claims that they love Babuji Maharaj. I don't know whether it is from the heart or from the lips, but let me assume it is from the heart. But ‘love all whom He loves' – has anybody understood its meaning or tried to put it into practice? So my message has two items today: "Don't waste time," and "Love all whom He loves."
My blessings to all of you.