Here and Now
Lalaji Maharaj's Birthday Celebrations, 2 February 2014, Chennai, India
Dear brothers and sisters here in Manapakkam and all of you in Tiruppur,
On this auspicious day of our Grand-Master's birth anniversary, we have just heard the message received from Babuji Maharaj, reemphasising the need to celebrate the birth anniversaries of our Masters, in homage, with love, and in remembrance. These are the three components that are always to be carried in our hearts as instruments of spirituality for our ascent up to the goal, should we be so blessed, remembering that the efforts of the abhyasis count, not a little.
We have been listening to these messages, we have been having these bhandaras over so many years, but do abhyasis really take to their hearts the messages that we receive on these sacred and holy occasions? I hope so, because everything depends on how we hear these messages, how we understand them, and how we act on them.
It is not enough to make resolutions, resolutions must be carried out. Is the spirit of brotherhood growing amongst us? Is there love between all of us? Have we been able to cast away all prejudice and judgemental attitudes, at least between the brotherhood? These are important questions to be asked, and for each one of you to ask of yourself, because I find there are still unfortunately instances of hatred, mudslinging. So much effort has been done to speak to abhyasis personally, individually. Are they responding? If they are not responding, it only means that they are not acting on the principles of Sahaj Marg. Perhaps they are not even doing their cleaning daily, properly. Maybe they are not even meditating properly.
Such abhyasis should examine their hearts and see whether they are true to themselves. Remember the old saying: ‘This above all to thine own self be true.' You can deceive your prefects, you can deceive your Master. I mean you can deceive anybody you want, but if you deceive yourself, that is the greatest and most tragic deception that exists in your life.
Self-deception is the greatest deception. To live one way and to think that you are living in another way, honourable way, good way, Sahaj Marg way, is the greatest deception, and if you deceive yourself, I am afraid it will be difficult to help such abhyasis. It will be truly difficult. Therefore we find abhyasis who take sittings after sittings, individual, group, and while they think they are progressing, we see that they are where they were or perhaps even a little lower, which is very tragic.
Babuji Maharaj has been emphasising repeatedly in his Whispers messages that human life is short; even if you live two hundred years it is still short. When are we going to realise that life will not go along as we expect it to do? Every day we hear of loved ones departing – even at birth and from then on at any age that you want to specify for yourself: six years, twelve years, fourteen years, eighteen years, twenty-five years, thirty years, forty years, people suddenly coming to an end, and people suffering for months or years and then passing away.
There is no point in the last part of your life when you have nothing, you have no teeth, you have no eyes, as Shakespeare says, and you try to mumble some prayer, unable to understand its meaning and try to meditate without much success.
Don't put off till tomorrow what must be done today. Now! ‘Here and now' must be your slogan for yourself. Nobody can predict when anybody's end will come. We must always be prepared to meet that – a definite possibility in every individual's life. Everybody born has to die. We can know perhaps when the child is going to be born – within a few hours or days – but nobody can know when somebody is going to die.
I am not trying to be morbid. I am not trying to put the fear of God into you or anything like that. I am only telling you the reality of human life, what it holds for us in terms of longevity, and what we have to do within the time available to us in this life. This is a very serious matter.
Life can be enjoyed without hurting our spirituality and that enjoyment is permitted, but it must not interfere with our spiritual life. We have a duty to our families – Sahaj Marg insists on that; therefore we have to go around, do our jobs, earn money to satisfy the needs of our families. But not give more time, become addicted to our work and, with the modern computer age, go on browsing all night pretending you have all the time in the world, spending twelve hours, fourteen hours, eighteen hours on your computers but not one hour on your meditation.
In a sense those who live like that are digging their own spiritual graves. I am sorry to use such language but just in case you don't read Whispers – I am sure many of you are there who are very casual about it. "While it is there on the computer I can read it day after tomorrow, on Friday, Saturday, the weekend." Just in case you don't read Whispers, I am trying to condense for you the contents of several volumes of Whispers which just says these things, where Babuji Maharaj keeps on reiterating these truths, these essential values of life.
To be a human is an enormous gift of Nature which perhaps we have earned through the merits of past existences. To have come to the feet of a guru in that life is an even greater gift of our past and of our destiny, and now to waste both these great gifts – to be born as a human being and to have been able to contact a guru and to follow the practice prescribed by him – and not follow it precisely as prescribed, with integrity, with devotion and love in your heart and with the conviction that this practice of meditating on the heart, doing our cleaning, doing our prayer is a sure way of spiritual evolution to the goal, if possible in this life, if not at least taking several jumps into the future…
As Babuji Maharaj says, "Everything is possible." In this life we must achieve that goal of at least liberation which frees us from any future mortal existence, all the pains of physical existence. Forget the pleasures; even animals have them. This is the pain of physical existence that you will feel, everyone of you will feel, at some time or other. Rest assured it is not only for the sick, it is not only for the old; it seems to affect even the newborn babies today. Sickness begins at birth.
There is a great truth we don't understand that while sickness may begin at birth, it is death that begins at birth. When we are born we begin to die; tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, we are going towards death. Every second that passes is ticking off a second in our lives.
So, remember, the clock is not ticking off for holidays or for pleasurable events or for wasting time saying, "I have enough time." It is foolish to imagine, for anyone to imagine, that he or she has enough time. How do you know how much time you have? If you hear the clock ticking, you must say, "For heaven's sake, one more second gone, two more seconds gone. Let me be about my spiritual work." That must be the attitude of a true aspirant who expects to reach the final goal in this life itself.
Babuji Maharaj has said that such a chance may not occur again. Who knows if we are unfortunately condemned to be reborn, whether we will find our guru; even if we are born as human beings whether we will find a guru. It is in that sense that he says that we may not find a guru, we may not find such a guru for a thousand years.
So don't take Babuji's writings lightly. They are very simple to read. The language is very simple. Today, human beings are wanting to read complicated stuff, convoluted stuff, difficult to understand because they like to tease their brains. But Babuji's literature, Sahaj Marg literature, is all very simple and because of their simplicity they are deceptive.
Babuji Maharaj said, "My simplicity deceives." His literature is deceptive. Too simple. You are inclined to think, "What is there in Reality at Dawn? What is there in the Ten Maxims? Arise at dawn – wonderful! What great truth has he revealed?" Isn't it? I am sure many of you have felt like that. Don't make that mistake. Read again, and again, and again, because every time you read, you find a new meaning in them. What you find in them reflects your growth.
As you grow, you find the beauty, the splendour and the truths that are revealed in these writings. It is like somebody walking through a garden and saying, "Ah, roses! Ah, jasmine!" things like that. But a lover of the garden knows and stops at every flower, savours their perfume, looks at their beauty. It is like that. You must be a lover to understand what you are looking at, what you are feeling, and both of these things enter into our literature.
We are looking at and reading; we are feeling with our hearts the great truths that are revealed to us which most of us cannot understand at the first reading. Repeat again and again. Don't waste your time on japa malas [prayer beads] which have no meaning. Many have been doing them through I don't know how many lives, how many years; thinking of something and just rotating the beads in the hand.
So what more should I tell you all? I don't know. I often think what are our abhyasis doing because, as you know nowadays, I don't see much of you. Only on auspicious occasions I try to be with you all, and it is by Master's grace that he permits me to be here with you all today to give you a sitting and to address you.
So remember, time is short, the way is long – towards infinity. That is where; that is the length of the voyage we have to undertake; and the time given to us varies according to each one's lifetime, of which we know nothing, of which we can never know anything.
So when I once asked Babuji Maharaj what is wisdom, he said, "Live as if you are going to die the next moment." Not tomorrow or the day after – the next moment. Then will we be doing foolish things, useless things? Then we'd be meditating.
I can only hope and pray that all those who are listening to this message will listen to it again with their hearts because, I repeat, there are still too many abhyasis who still carry hatred in their hearts, who still (I don't know how to put it) meet each other with hatred, suspicion, and they still claim to be brothers; they still want attention as abhyasis. It is like transmitting to stone when they come. And I am saying these words particularly to such abhyasis. As Babuji said, "To those who know, we don't need to say much. To those who know and who will not listen and act upon them, you have to say a lot. And to those who know but deliberately ignore what they hear, they are only to be pitied."
I hope their numbers will get fewer every day and a day will come when every abhyasi present before us will be of the first category. He who knows, and knows what he has to do, and does what he has to do will be the wisest. I pray for you all on this auspicious occasion.
(Thank you, Kamlesh, and all of you at Tiruppur. I am sorry that I am unable to be with you all.)