Kaashi and Badhri

LIFE is only relatively real; until death, it appears to be real, that is all. For the procession of the bride and groom, the father of the bride had brought an elephant or rather the model of an elephant, correct to the minutest detail; the model was taken by all who saw it to be alive. Then, while all were admiring the wonderful work of art and arguing that it was alive, it exploded, shooting forth lovely little stars and snakes of light that gleamed through the sky. It was filled with fireworks and when it was lit, the entire stock filling the inside emerged, with a burst of noise and a brilliant riot of light and colour. Man is like that elephant, true, until the explosion!

Before that explosion happens, man must realise himself. The fireworks are desire, anger, delusion, pride and jealousy etc., and they now fill this artificial animal, useful only for the show. Man is saved from such calamity by Vedhaantha, which is like the roar of the lion; it gives Courage and Enterprise; it makes man a hero. It does not whine or howl or cry. It drives cowardice away; instils the highest types of self-confidence. It is the strongest armour against the arrows of fate. It acts like a waterproof against the hailstorms of sensual pleasure. It is a curtain keeping out the mosquitoes of worry, which would otherwise rob you of sleep. With Vedhaantha-saturated heart, you are a rock on the shore, unaffected by the waves of temptation. Vedhaantha challenges your spirit of adventure, your own reality. Get into the train of spiritual discipline now; station by station, you will reach the terminus, which is jnaana (realisation) of you and of all this. Go to Penukonda, purchase a ticket for Bangalore and sit in the train. Do not get down in the middle when some station attracts you. The stations are karma, upaasana (action, contemplation), etc. You have to pass through them, but remember they are not the termini. The terminus is Realisation.

Harmonious outlook essential

Man is now possessed by the ghost of Delusion; he is prating a language which is unbecoming, behaving like an animal moving in a zigzag manner, climbing and sliding. I have come to exercise the ghost; that is part of My work. This delusion, that the man who is possessed is really intelligent, has caused great harm. For example, Pandiths spend a good deal of time to argue that Raama is superior to Krishna or that Krishna is superior, whereas the truth is that each of them reveals a certain phase of Divinity. The comparison itself diminishes the integrity of the inquirer. If he has any reverence, he would not attempt an intellectual estimate; he would try to get an intuitive experience, as Raamakrishna Paramahamsa did; and, then he would realise that one is as sweet as the other. Saint Thyaagaraaja discovered this because he was a mystic, one who experienced, instead of arguing over it. He sang that Raama is composed of two sounds, ‘Raa’ taken from Naa-raa-ya-na and ‘Ma’ taken from Na-ma-sshi-va-ya; that Raama is the harmonisation of Vaishnavism and Shaivism (worship of God as Vishnu and worship of God as Shiva). Harmony is the test of any religious outlook; if it breeds hate or faction or pride, the outlook is definitely evil. Keep away from such, if you are interested in your spiritual practice.

Regulate love with virtue and service

I am not attracted by learning or scholarship, which does not lead anywhere except towards egoism and pride. I am drawn only by devotion. Bring to Me whatever troubles you have; I shall take them on and give you Aanandha. When I like My devotees, I like their faults too, though some here turn up their noses and laugh at the peculiar follies and foibles of people who come from all the various States. I am drawn by the Love which brings you here from long distances through great difficulties, which makes you happy in spite of the want of the comforts to which you are accustomed, which makes you put up with the life under the trees or in the open sheds.

I know that you do not go to the old mandhir (temple) in the village, for as you say, from there you cannot see Me whenever I happen to pass from this side of the building to the other! I am here since three hours and you are having sight of Me (darshan) so long; but, yet, as soon as I go up into My room, you rush to the Nilayam to get another darshan, as I come out into the verandah! What greater sign of devotion is needed than this yearning for darshan?

But, this love alone is not enough. In fact, it does not mean much at all. What is wanted is the regulation of that Love, in the form of virtue and service. If you achieve that, then there is none to equal you, in this age. As the seed, so the sapling; as the status, so the behaviour; as the teacher, so the students; as the food, so the belch. Here, renunciation and divine love from the atmosphere, and silence is the discipline. Do not criticise others; criticise yourselves rather. Have the name of the Lord on your tongue; the form of the Lord before your eye. If you shape yourself this way, the place where you stand will become Kaashi, the house which you inhabit will become Badhri. Let all your activities be directed towards the purification of your hearts. You have My Blessings in this endeavour.