I only do My Work

by Chariji, August 10, 2003, San Jose, USA

Many years back in Molena, brother William Waycott gave a lecture and then said, "I request the President - he was a bit familiar, he said - this fellow who comes shopping in a suit and comes to the General Assembly in jeans, I request him to deliver his address." So I went up and stood at the microphone and said, "P. Rajagopalachari, Gayathri, 19 North Street, Sri Ram Nagar, Madras 18." I wonder if he remembers it. So today Diana said, "A few words," so I said "a few words." Now, what do you want to hear?

Generally, people are afraid when I speak, because I rarely have anything good to say either about myself, naturally, or about all of you, you see. But I must say that I am happy to see all of you. I really didn't expect to come back to the USA again, because I was pretty depressed about the general situation. Not of the economy, not of the politics, not of the country, you know, but of the abhyasis of the Mission. Things didn't seem to be going in the right direction. I didn't find much enthusiasm for spirituality. I didn't find much craving for progress, if at all any. It had become something of a routine, you know, like everything else in life, including marriage. After some days, it's a routine. It loses - everything seems to lose its lustre, its freshness, its growth orientation, and we sink into some sort of lethargic continuity of existence. We don't really live. We proceed, you know, like a corpse floating on a river. You cannot say it's even floating on a river, it's the river which is doing the floating.

So I said, "What the hell, you know, I mean, if that is it, that is it." And my going or not going, either way, isn't going to make much difference. I am, they are, and well, He is and He will continue to be. And we will go our respective ways, hoping desperately for some sort of liberation, from what we don't know - talking of the Brighter World about which we know even less and continuing, as I said, to exist in some sort of lethargic semi-coma. So, you see, it was a pretty depressing scene. That was one reason why I wasn't travelling abroad for the last three years out of India. In India of course there is, I suppose it's an accident of history, the benevolence of Nature, and maybe the very special grace of my Master's, that India continues to have an ignorant people, a superstitious, ridiculously lazy set of people who nevertheless want to go on a spiritual enterprise. I'm not suggesting that we have to be lazy and ridiculously stupid and superstitious to be spiritual, but that is how it is. Given all these, what I would call impediments, the people of India yet come to spirituality.

So, like my old job in my company, where I was a marketing man - I had good markets, bad markets and markets which were okay. And my time was to be divided between them. And the temptation was always to go to the good market first, to the not so good markets [next] and then finally, reluctantly, with great trepidation, venture into those markets which were never mine. But then, you know, marketing management dictates that you should give more time to those markets which are not so profitable or productive, and not just go to the markets which are yielding money. So it's always a question of balancing your time and your energy between the three sets of markets. Reluctantly, to those which are useless as we think; happily, to those which we think are productive and yield; and routinely, to those which are okay.

So I have been concentrating on India for the last three years, and I am very happy to say that, if you think in terms of statistics, probably we've had three hundred percent growth in the last three years in India. We've had so many new ashrams coming up, big ashrams coming up, housing projects coming up, abhyasis coming in droves, you know, as if it's a wild herd of bison coming out of a burning forest. And it is good. But then, I won't say my conscience was pricking, because I don't have a conscience at all - it's a question of work. I don't judge myself, I only do my work and leave the result to him.

So I thought, how about it, though I'm old, feeble, not inclined to travel, getting crusty, getting testy as old people are expected to be - now even shopping has lost its glamour. I find I have more money to spend and less things to buy than the other time - it was the invertendo. I had more things to buy and less money to buy them with, and now it is the other way round. Yet, you see, with all these things, I have ventured out, like an old lion coming out of its cage, blinking its eyes in the sunshine to which it has not been used. And here I am. And may I say I'm happy I came, because perhaps like all old men I have been a little pessimistic, a little depressed - more because of my own self than because of all of you, which is good.

I hope, if there is a next time, I will see more and more of you, more and more enthusiasm. I'm really happy to see more native Americans this time in the Mission than I have ever seen before. It is no doubt the good work of the preceptors [prefects] and the organisation, but I think it is also the work of my Master that the seeding He did way back in 1972, when we first came to these shores, is beginning to take effect. And the local, you know, vegetation if you will, human population if you want to look at it that way, is beginning to respond, and more and more are coming into the Mission.

I hope it will continue to be that way, because one day I want to see an enormous audience of Americans here. I don't want to see less of Indians; I want to see more of Americans. More and more Indians, much more and more of Americans, and these halls should become too small for us. We should see them in the hundreds of thousands, not for my sake, but for the sake of your people here, because there are indications that America, notwithstanding all the indications to the contrary, will bloom spiritually. I hope, like the sleeping giants of our fables, it's a late riser, but when it rises it will overshadow the world, and not with its might, but with its wisdom, with its awakened soul, and with a new spiritual life that it will offer to the rest of this globe of ours.

This is my prayer, and I think America will respond, and my Master will bless it.

Thank you.