The house of the Lord

I HAVE been coming off and on to Trichinopoly since fifteen years but this is the first time I am imparting Aanandha to such a large number of the citizens. The Grihapravesham (entering the new house ceremonially), for which A.K.C. Nataraajan is glad I have come, is just an excuse; giving you all this happiness was the primary purpose of My coming over. Your joy is My joy. Today A.K.C. entered the new house that he built for himself; I want that you should all build new houses for happy living, and install the Lord therein. I do not mean houses of brick and mortar, but houses of good thoughts, good words, good deeds and good company, where you could live calm and collected. Invite Me for the Grihapravesham of such houses and I shall most readily agree. In fact, then, the house is Mine already and I do not need even an invitation to come and enter it. These houses are for worldly comfort; that house is for spiritual joy. And My Place of Residence is the pure, aspiring heart.

‘Deho devaalaya’: the body is the temple, it is said. That is the real house of A.K.C. and of each one of you. You are going about with a temple, where God is in the innermost shrine. The body is not a mass of flesh and bone; it is a medium for manthras (sacred words or formulae) which save when they are meditated upon. It is a sacred instrument earned after long ages of struggle, equipped with reason and emotion, capable of being used for deliverance from grief and evil. Honour it as such; keep it in good condition, so that it might serve that high purpose; maintain it even more carefully than these brick houses; and, always preserve the conviction that it is an instrument and nothing more. Use it for just the purpose for which it has been designed and given.

Feel strong with faith and devotion

Above all, at this moment, it is urgent that every one should inquire into the true, the pure and the permanent. For, there is at present a delusion about values. Even the leaders of people are hugging the false hypothesis that happiness can be got by means of wealth or health, or housing, or clothing, or the cultivation of skills in handicraft and manufacture! The bird sits upon the bough that sways in the storm, confident of its wings, not confident of the bough whereon it sits! So, you too should feel strong because of the bough of the objective world, whereon you have perched.

You know from the experience of the Cauvery river floods that nothing can save a man from drowning in the floods, neither status, nor caste, nor wealth nor even health, unless he knows the simple art of swimming. Need I say that crossing the ocean of worldly life, reaching the other shore of the sea of Birth-Death, is similarly possible only for those who know the art of spiritual discipline? Those, who are trying to build the human community on a foundation of wealth (dhana), are building on sand; those are who seek to build it on the rock of righteousness (dharma) are the wise.

Practise a fraction of what you preach

Dharma moolam idham jagath: Righteousness is the root of this world. Obey it and you are happy. The evil man is a coward, haunted by fear. He has no peace within him. Respect for the parents who started you in life and brought you into this world, to gather the vast and varied treasure of experience, is the first lesson that Dharma teaches. Gratitude is the spring which feeds that respect. It is a quality that is fast disappearing in the world today. Respect for the teacher, for the elders, for the wise — all these are on the decline. That is why righteousness is fast disappearing and losing its hold.

People talk loud and long from all kinds of platforms about right conduct, divine love, peace, compassion, truth (dharma, prema, shaanthi, dhaya, sathya), etc.; this gets published in the newspaper next day and there their purpose ends. The paper of today is waste paper tomorrow! It is used for packing, thrown into the dust-heap, and burnt as refuse. That is the story of all platform professions. Put into practice a fraction of what you preach.

Just as the body is the house you live in, the world is the body of God. An ant biting the little finger of your foot is able to draw your attention to the spot, and you react to the pain, making an effort to remove the tiny enemy. You must similarly feel the pain, misery, or joy or elation, wherever it is evinced in the entire land; you must make an effort to protect the land from the enemy, however remote may be the place where the enemy has presented himself. Be kind with all your kin. Expand your sympathies, serve others who stand in need to the extent of your skill and resources. Do not fritter away your talents in profitless channels.

Every person consumes quantifies of food, but does not stop to calculate what he does in return to the society that helped him to live; the food must be transformed into service, either of one’s best interest, or of the interests of others. You should not be a burden on others or an enemy of yourself. Mere care of the body is profitless, for the body is only a container, a despised container, when the spark of Divinity which it contains goes out. No one will take in a corpse, if rain interrupts the funeral; a wayside shop may permit you to keep your shoes for a while, while you go into the nearby temple; but the corpse never! That is something disgusting, whose sight has to be avoided.

Start the first step with Naamasmarana

Turn the key in the lock to the right, it opens; turn the same key to the left, it is locked. So too, turn your mind towards the objective world, it is locked, caught, entangled. Turn it to the right, away from the objects of the senses, the lock is loosened, you are free, deliverance is at hand. How to turn it right? Well, begin with remembering the Lord’s holy name (Naamasmarana), as the first step. All journeys start with the first step. That will itself take you through the second and the third, to the very goal.

I have to tell you one other point. I find that certain devotees have announced that I will be going from here to their places and even arranged processions and public meetings, without My permission. You have seen here itself how the Municipality had to present their Welcome Address to Me, at the Pandal here; I was not consulted about this programme before, nor had I agreed to it. Tens of thousands had gathered at the Municipal Hall. At Salem and a number of places between this town and Bangalore, people have organised such functions. When I have given My word, I keep up to it. That is why I came all the way from Thirupathi, starting at 11 a.m. and motoring till 10 in the night. I knew that A.K.C. had announced here that I would reach by 10.30 p.m. and so I stopped for about an hour some miles away on the road, so that his guess might prove true. A.K.C. was wondering when I came, how I came exactly at 10.30 as per his announcement over the mike a few hours previously. Perhaps he forgot that I could hear his announcement miles and miles away. And who prompted him to make it, may I ask? When I say that I am coming, I do come; but, these over-enthusiastic devotees at Salem and elsewhere are causing great hardship to the thousands whom they mislead. Please hereafter do not be led away by all kinds of rumours that I am visiting this place or that, on My way to this place or that. Test the authenticity of each such piece of news before you believe.