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The Sahaj Marg Way of Life

by Chariji, March 15, 2009, Pune, India.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I have been requested to speak and, not having much to say about Sahaj Marg itself, I would like to speak more about what an abhyasi's relationship toSahaj Marg must be.

I have been associated with this marg[path] now for more than forty-five years, and I know how deep the ocean is, how superficial swimming can be, and how difficult diving deep is. I know that out of personal experience, and I know that those who are either lazy or indolent or afraid will resist all attempts to go deeper. I see it all around me. After all, one doesn't exist for forty-five years on the river bank or beside the ocean without observing what people do with that water body.

It is a matter of concern to me, personally, because of my own evolution which is at stake unless I dive deep enough. It is also a matter of concern for me that most of you are either ignorant or unconcerned, who treat Sahaj Marg as a very nice, sociable sort of cultural-cum-spiritual. Not spiritual-cum-social - social-cum-spiritual. And I am afraid that our ashrams are becoming, more and more, venues for such gatherings where we have congenial company, companionship, opportunity to sit and talk, gossip - and minimum of time devoted to Sahaj Marg itself, either in its practice or in its theory.

I get proposals for enlargement of ashrams to include libraries. Libraries must contain books which are read. Now every time I tell somebody to read, there is a (what should I say) stock answer, a default answer, "Sir, I get it every morning on my computer screen. One message from Whispers[from the Brighter World] comes every morning on the computer screen, and something else - I don't know what it is." How long do you take to read it? Most of the messages are very short, three lines, four lines. It is like the BBC important news which flashes on the screen. If you want to go more into it, press 7, or press 8, or press 9. Unfortunately, our messages don't have anything to press.

The message says it is important to celebrate such occasions, referring of course to the great days, the holy days, the auspicious days, the birthdays of Lalaji Maharaj and Babuji Maharaj. But they have become even greater social occasions. Joy - of course we must be joyful, but we forget that many messages of the Master say that an abhyasi must be cheerful at all times, not just during occasions, not just during brief interludes when you feel happy because you have Panshet Lake in front of you and you can see the setting sun. Brilliant! We are nature lovers in the true sense that we must love the inner nature that is in our hearts, of which the external nature is only a reflection, or can only be a reflection if it is inside.

You know if you are covered by gloom by some family circumstance - a husband and wife quarrel perchance, or a father chastising a son, or fear of losing a job, meltdown, et cetera, et cetera - that gloom will not permit you to even see the lake in front of you or the sunshine. I know many people who go to great places. You know, there are features on the TV which say 'Great Places on Earth', 'Greatest Places on Earth', and you just go through sixty-four slides, all over the world, and then you want to go there. And when you spend several lakhs of rupees and go there, all that happens is you come back cursing yourself for a fool for wasting money, loss of time, holidays spent unwisely, and perhaps sick, stomach upset. Wife says, "Why did you take me there?"

So, you see, we are unfit to either enjoy or to suffer. We do not know how to enjoy, because there is always this element of guilt in the heart. Am I supposed to enjoy this? Has nature created this for my enjoyment, or has nature created this to show me that, dear friend, look inside, you will find much better beauties, visions, inside than you will ever find outside. This is a temporal sun - sometimes hot, sometimes cold. Wait another month and you'll sweat here. Two months back you were cold here. But this Panshet which is inside, na tatra bhaasate suryo, that's what the Veda says: There neither the sun shines nor the moon and yet it is beautiful. These are conditioned beauties according to your perception - conditioned because if the sun is not there, you are unhappy. If you come to see a moon rise and the moon doesn't rise, you are unhappy. If you hope to see the moon set and there are clouds, as happened day before yesterday, you say, "What is this? I come here once in a year and no moon, no moon set."

Sahaj Marg is supposed to teach you by, first of all, turning your vision towards your heart. But I don't see many people doing it. They say, "Yes, yes, of course, I know I have a heart. Do you mean to say I can live without a heart? Can we live without a heart? Then what are you talking about, you spiritual fellows? You were never meant to enjoy; you don't know what you are. You never had a sister, you never had... mother died at five, and you went into spirituality too early. So what are you capable of enjoying?" I have been asked this question, even here in Pune, by people who think they are superior in the art of enjoyment and pleasure, who if they could just peep into my heart with me… would be ashamed.

Please try it. Don't just flip through Whispers. "No, no, something like this he said last year. Only three sentences." Satyam vada[Speak the truth] - one sentence in the Vedas. "Haan, yaar. Bahut sun chuke.[Yes, yes. We have heard enough.] It is carved in every stone on your government buildings. My father told me, my great-grandfather told me, but in this world… Of course I am trying, don't mistake me. I don't mean that I am ignoring it completely, but can anybody tell the truth nowadays?" Dharmam chara[Be righteous]. "Yes, my dharma I am doing." The Sikh says, "I am doing Sikh dharma." The Hindu says, "I am doing Hindu dharma," and so on and so forth. But dharma is only one. There is no Sikh dharma, there is no Hindu dharma. The tenets of dharma, if you could compare in all religions, they are the same. But we don't want to compare, because then we would become unified. The world will have only God and no religion. Now we have a lot of religions and no God.

Babuji Maharaj said, religions have no God, God has no religion. Tell me, what is God's religion? What is God's language? Are we not ashamed to go on talking, talking, talking? We are like parrots in a cage: "Arise before morning, at dawn. Mitthoo!" [imitating a parrot]. "Nahin [No], but it is so difficult, yaar. Last night I came from Karad, or Amravati, Me zhoplo, ata kai karu? [I slept. What should I do?]" All right, what happened the day before yesterday? "Nahin, nahin, sir, you know, once in a way I have to take the family to a movie." Was it a good movie? "No, no, it was all rubbish." So why did you go? "Family. Two nights before that, I had to oblige some friends. They said, 'Let us go to Panshet and enjoy the moonlight.'"

Please examine your lives. Don't just become, you know, like things on a stage: that you are something at home, something in the office, something here, nothing complete. No single personality - you are scattered into twenty-five different personalities. "I am a wife, I am also a sister, I am also a daughter, I am also a mother, but yet I am only one woman." Isn't it? All the world is but a stage, says Shakespeare, and we are merely players. Not in spirituality!Shakespeare was a playwright, of course, a very great playwright, a philosopher, a profound thinker, but when he interpreted the inner philosophical thoughts which would appeal to local people, ordinary people, it became profaned. And we interpret it from that level, not from this level.

We have published one volume of Whispers. I believe there are seven hundred messages there. By accident it conforms to the Gita which also has seven hundred slokas[verses], or perhaps by design, divine design - I don't know, I don't care. Youshould care about it. Babuji himself says, "I have to repeat." Good things bear repeating, must be repeated. We are happy to hear a baby gurgle all day long on your lap. "Kitee chhaan aahe. [How wonderful she is.]" It says nothing, it means nothing. Your maternal foolishness, your attachment to the child makes you think gurgle, gurgle- "Oh, wonderful!" You take photographs, record the sound, and throw them away. We have got into the habit, more and more, of recording things here [the recorder], here [the microphone] and in cameras, and nothing here [points to the heart]. I know many of you will go out of here and say: "Arre tyanni kai saangitle?" "Bore, bore jhaala.""Kashaala?" ["Hey, what did he say?" "I was bored." "Why?"] "Same thing he told last time."

If you don't change, you will hear the same thing again and again. Look out of your window; you will see the same thing, again and again. Isn't it? Can you see a different thing from your window every day? But this window [the heart], if you open, there is nothing to see, and everything to see. There is an unchanging perspective which is visible from the heart, and yet there is an eternally changing perspective also from here, and the beauty of the two… the ways things change without changing (what Babuji called unchanging change), and also that change is the only eternal thing and, more important, without change there is no progress. Then you will understand that if you hear the same things, see the same thing, you're in the same place, in the same condition all the time.

So please learn to believein what you are doing. "No, no, sir, I believe. Otherwise I would not be here." I wonder why you arehere if you are not able to believe. Belief has become something intellectual - not something with the heart. You know, it's a technical thing, intellectual thing. "I believe that the sun exists. I believe that there is God. I believe He sees everything, knows everything." Satyam vada? "Yes, but, sir, if God could come today on earth, He would understand why satyam vada is impossible. I cannot tell my boss he is a fool. I'll lose my job." But you don't have to praise him slavishly. "I cannot tell my wife that today's usal or misal [snacks] was not well made." Nobody asked you to do it. Tell the truth to yourself. Are we doing it? "No, no, no, my culture is the best. My land is the best." Have you seen anything else to compare?

I was told of people who have gone to seventeen different sansthas[spiritual organizations] in their life, and when they come here, do they compare, do they contrast? Or are they just here, to be here and absorb what is here, and that makes them not move out of here? If they are here by comparison, well, they will find something else to compare with. If they are here by conviction, conviction can change. If they are here because their experiencehere is such that it will not permit them to move, they are permanent. You understand?

So just don't flip through these things. Try to make it yours, become part of the Sahaj Marg life, way of life - not just satsanghis who come here once a week or once a day. "No, no, I take sittings from Mr. Ashok Narayan." When? Where? And, most importantly, why? Why do you take sittings if you don't permit them to change you? And you remain what you are, and you prefer to remain what you are. What will the change do to you? What will the sitting do to you? Are you willing to change?If yes, your behaviour would be different, your approach to Sahaj Marg would be different, your practice of Sahaj Marg would be different, your involvement in Sahaj Marg would be very deep. For all the years that I have seen some of you here… I don't want to say the rest.

So I don't think I have to say anything more. I don't come to harangue people, you know. I come to awaken you, if it is possible. And in awakening you, awaken myself. Sometimes I tend to follow you all and say, "Chhod yaar, dekha jaayega.[Leave it. We will see about it later.]" Many people ask, "Brighter World kutthe? [Where is the Brighter World?]" "Who knows whether there is a Brighter World or not? Who knows whether there is a life after this or not? So far I've been a fool, I've tried yoga, I've tried this, I've tried that. Let me now enjoylife." Isn't it? So like when you get into water, it will wet you; when I get into company, there is always this risk that I will become what you are rather than you becoming what you should be. You know, very great musicians, they don't take disciples from the sa-re-ga-mastage [the beginners' stage]. You have to be advanced. Otherwise they will become fools. And abasur [discordant notes] will come. They only take advanced students. You can't go to Bhimsen Joshi [renowned musician], you see, with your five-year-old daughter and say, please teach her music. But in Sahaj Marg we start with anything that comes before us.

I am proud of the fact that in our society which I call Sahaj Marg, our abhyas, our assemblies, we have all professions, all levels of education or lack of it, from beggars to kings. That shows the universality of this system. We are not like some circles, you know, study circles, where only very literate, very qualified, very intellectual people analyze so-called profound thoughts of great thinkers who wrote one sentence in a chapter. In my books of Sahaj Marg, what Babuji wrote, often a book is one sentence. But that sentence has to be opened, analyzed, gone into, day after day, and then you will find that it is really a book. Please try it. Thank you.