Vidura once asked Krishna, “How did you take part in the killing of lakhs of soldiers in the Kurukshetra battle? You could have avoided all that massacre and saved yourselves a lot of bother by simply changing the mental attitudes of the chief participants on the Kaurava side, Duryodhana, Dussasana, Shakuni, and Karna.”
Krishna answered: “My dear man, I have given everyone a sum of qualities and powers. I have also awarded each a certain amount of freedom to utilise them as they feel best. It is by functioning in this manner that each one can learn better. By toddling a few steps, the child’s step becomes more certain and firm. Experience is the best, though the hardest, school. However much you may say that fire burns, unless you actually burn your fingers, you will not believe or know what a burn is.”
So, you have some freedom of action. A cow tied by rope to a tree can roam around that length as radius and eat the grass growing in that space. Even a question paper given at the examination asks you to answer, “Any six questions!”
You very often say, “Oh, everything is Baba’s will.” Then why do you come and ask for this or that or even wish or plan? You must use the intelligence and imagination you have been allotted to the best purpose; then the giver will be pleased to give more. On the other hand, if you misuse the intelligence and turn the imagination against your master, the giver will naturally get incensed and will punish you in order to teach you a lesson.
Prema is essential in all forms of devotion
I have been repeating every time the same advice to you, and sometimes you may even get the feeling that I have only a few things to say! Well, a mother has to repeat the same directions to the child again and again until the child learns and behaves accordingly. The Mothers of the Vedas and Gita repeat the same truths again and again, in different contexts and imageries. That is the sign of all mothers — an overwhelming desire to reform the children and to direct them along the path of progress.
Tirumulachar read the section on the yoga of devotion today, and he spoke of the nine forms of devotion, which I generally talk about: hearing, singing, remembering the Lord’s Name, prostration, salutation, servitude, friendship, and Self-offering. In all these forms, love (prema) is the essential component; it is prema that thrills and fills the mind with joy and hope. Pothana, Nandanar, Jayadeva, Gouranga, Thukaram, Meera, Purandaradhasa, Thyagaraja, and others were thrilled so much at the very thought of the Lord because they had prema in such a pure and overpowering form.
Some people may laugh at all this devotional singing (bhajans) and call it mere show and exhibition and recommend instead quiet meditation in the silent recess of the shrine room. But coming out in company and doing bhajans like this helps remove egoism. One is not afraid of jeering nor ashamed to call out the Name of the Lord. One gets inspired by the devotion of others; the company of men with kindred sentiments helps to foster the tiny seedling from being scorched by the heat of derision. A person will sweep the floor of their room with a broom when nobody is looking; but to do the same act, considered infra dig, when people are looking on requires some mastery over the ego.
Do acts that are full of prema toward all
Prema is filial piety when directed toward the parents, companionship when it flows toward friends, love when it is felt toward the partner, respect when it moves one toward elders, and affection when it is drawn toward children. Devotion affects your acts in three forms: you do some acts consciously in order to demonstrate your love or give vent to the prema that animates you; you do acts as dedicated offerings to enhance the glory of the Lord, in a spirit of worshipful humility, as if you are laying at His feet all that you are and all that you are capable of, and you do acts that are full of prema toward all as part of your mere existence, automatically, without any tinge of self or whiff of violence upsetting the perfume of the act. The dedicated act leads on to all activity being dedication. The Bliss (Ananda) makes you feel that your effort has been worthwhile. That is the end, the aim, the inspiration.
How do you give Me Ananda? By taking to heart what I say and putting it into daily practice. Deciding to move high but attracted by the low, you betray yourself. Improve your character and conduct; when your feelings become cleansed and your impulses pure, you can see My Form in its Reality. I shall tell you the thing in a nutshell: Make the intelligence that has to understand Me free from crookedness; let it become straight and sharp.
Our relationship is Atmic, not secular
I have now fallen into your grasp, the very Treasure that you have been searching for, because our relationship is Atmic, not secular or trained. In all other places, you are fleeced, for the relationship is based on the purse. In some places, it is based on caste or scholarship or some other incidental trait; here, it is the attachment that Narayana (God) has for nara (human), the Ocean for the stream, the Universal for the particular. Here, everyone must become unlimited, escaping from bonds that limit him.
All can become He; no one is outside the Love of the Lord.
The eighteen-year-old boy is asked by the mother to go into the kitchen and place a plate before himself, serve himself rice and curry, and eat. The mother is not callous or unkind; she knows the capacity of the boy and treats him as he ought to be treated. She accompanies another son to the kitchen and sits by his side and serves him food. She seats a third son on her lap and feeds with many a song in order to make the process pleasant for him. Do not think that the mother is partial. No, she is only making use of her knowledge of the capacity of her children to make them progress. That is the nature of maternal love.
Some gurus hunt for moneyed disciples
Some gurus have so much love, even toward their pupils. When aspirants go to them asking for guidance, they praise them to the skies, exaggerate their attainments, and grant them titles(!), which are paraded by the unfortunate victims. In this way, the disciples are burdened by additional handicaps to spiritual advance. The gurus want money for various purposes, so they always have an eye on the purses of the disciples. They try to draw out the money by grants of titles or by public praise or by promise of public recognition — all worldly baits, which are derogatory to the principle of non-attachment that they teach and stand for.
Let the gurus condemn accumulation of wealth and blame them for the misuse they are making of it; let them be unsparing in their condemnation; that is the sign of the guru who knows his mission. On the other hand, such gurus ignore and tolerate evil in the would-be donors because they are afraid any condemnation will dry up their source of income. Thus, they ruin the disciples by desisting from giving them the drastic drug they need, urgently, for their spiritual health. It has become a tragicomedy, this hunt for moneyed disciples who can be fleeced. It has been developed by some ascetics into a fine art.
The time has come to expose and punish such noble souls, and that will be one task in the establishment of righteousness for which I have come. The brokers that these gurus have scattered over the country have also to be broken.
Books, pamphlets, meetings, speeches, talks — all these are no good. Everyone desirous to know Me has to be asked to approach Me and experience Me. In order to get an idea of a mountain, it is not enough if you show a stone and say, “The mountain is a million times the size of this.” You will have to see an actual mountain, at least from a distance. The “beyond” is very incomprehensible.
Science is like the letter C, always with a gap in the middle, with a gap that is unfilled. Religion alone has filled that gap, for it knows the Reality that persists in the three stages, in the three tenses, and in the three worlds. So, religion is the three O’s — a full circle, which may enlarge as you know more and more of the glory of the Lord but which is ever full and complete. At the end of it all, we are at the beginning again.
The miracle is but the natural behaviour of the miraculous. That is why I favour you with the experience now and then, so that you may get a glimpse of the Glory. I will be in this mortal human form for 59 years more, and I shall certainly achieve the purpose of this Avatar; do not doubt it. I will take My own time to carry out My Plan, as far as you are concerned. I cannot hurry because you are hurrying.
I may sometimes wait until I can achieve ten things at one stroke, just as an engine is not used to haul one coach, but awaits until sufficient haulage in proportion to its capacity is ready. But My Word will never fail; it must happen as I will.