A rupee or hundred paise?

PICHAYYA Shaasthry of Nellore spoke so feelingly of his ardour and anxiety to meet Me, an ardour he has had had for many years, he also spoke of the joy he now has at the realisation of his desire. Of course, for every desire to come true, the time, the cause and the circumstances have to coincide. It is just today that, in his case, these three combined to give him this satisfaction. I have known him all these years and I was aware of his yearning to come to Me, especially during the last four years, and I called him today to have his wish fulfilled.

Remilla Suuryaprkasha Shaasthry spoke on the Apaurusheyathwa (not having a person as their author) of the Vedhas and Vaaranaasi Subrahmanya Shaasthry on Dharma as reflected in the actions of Raama as depicted in the Vaalmeeki Raamaayana. These are subjects of great interest to all of you. But, I must chide you for not paying them the attention they and the subjects deserved; you were restless and worried and not concentrating on the teaching. This is a part of the atmosphere that you carry about with you, wherever you go, nowadays. There is lack of earnestness, of single-pointed attention.

The trouble is, you are moving in the wrong direction, away from the desirable destination. You have come into the world to realise yourselves, fully equipped with all the instruments needed for that endeavour — viveka, vairaagya and vichakshana — (discrimination, non-attachment and ability), the urge to enlarge your love, to enrich your emotions, to ennoble your actions. But, you have lost your way; you are caught in a morass; you are confused by mirages and dreams which you take as real; you run after false colours and cheap substitutes.

Vedha is the source of Dharma

Subrahmanya Shaasthry, using his erudite scholarship, selected from the Raamaayana fine incidents to show that Raama is the perfect embodiment of Dharma and proclaiming Dharma to the world. In his arguments with the dying Vali, he declared that all beings, endowed with discrimination, are bound by righteousness and shall meet punishment if they should ignore it. He was aware of all the various applications of Dharma in the various fields of human activity.

Now, the Vedha is the source of Dharma, Vedha which Suuryaprakasha Shaasthry declared was revealed to the Yogic Consciousness of sages. And Raama is the Personification of that Dharma. So Raamaayana partakes of the excellence of the Vedhas. The Mahaabhaaratha is generally known as the Fifth Vedha. And the Bhaagavatha describes the Glow and the Grace of the Lord and His splendour as the Indweller in All. So, that too is as efficacious as the Vedhas to elevate man and to release him from the bondage to the mean and the sordid.

It is the Vedhaswaruupam (essence of the Vedhas) that is enshrined in these three works, thus making them equally effective as drugs to cure you of ignorance. But, why do you promote clamour and discord by accusing these Brahmins of exclusiveness and monopolistic greed? Even they, in spite of all their faith and sacrifice, are finding it difficult to follow the regimen recommended by the Vedhas. They have generations of practice and encouragement behind them.

Develop the Divinity in you

The study of the Vedhic lore has been with them and their families for centuries; but, yet, they are finding it hard to live up to Vedhic standards of Brahminhood. How then can you take it?

Four persons have a rupee coin each; if each changes the coin into naya paise and keeping 25 for himself, gives 25 each to the other three, no one loses. Each of them has a hundred paise, instead of a single coin, but, there has been no diminution of the purchasing power each had at the beginning. The Raamaayana, the Mahaabhaaratha and the Bhaagavatha are 100 paise; the Vedha is the rupee. That is all the difference. Why then lose yourself in this campaign of hatred? Why try to can’ a burden which is beyond the capacity of your shoulders? Look at all the time-tables, the restrictions and regulations, the ceremonies and rites that the Brahmins have burdened themselves with. Their purpose is not merely to ensure security and solace to themselves but, even more, to ensure the orderly working of the forces of nature for the benefit of all mankind, of all beings in all the worlds. That is the high ideal for which they have imposed on themselves all the toil and tribulation.

Your duty is to concentrate on the development of the Divinity latent in you; once you do that, all hate and all pride will disappear; you will become humble fellow-pilgrims with the Brahmins, to the same goal, though along parallel paths. Remember these things cannot be decided by the counting of votes or measuring popular support. You cannot judge fish as more precious than diamonds, merely because there are more crowds in the fish-market, and only a handful of customers in the shops selling diamonds.

Aanandha has to be earned the hard way

The cottage and the castle are both built on the earth: so too, all faiths and religions, all disciplines have the Vedha as the basis. The special feature of Indian culture is that here the dress and demeanour, the language and literature, the manner and mode of living, the ideals and institutions are all attuned to the spiritual progress of man, emphasising as they do the superiority of the spirit over the body, the subtle over the gross. Everything is subordinated to that supreme task. The body should be fed and kept free from disease. Why? So that it may be fit for spiritual discipline. Spiritual discipline for what? For the realisation of the truth about oneself. The subtle is the basis for the gross; the Divine is the basis for the Human. Indian Culture turns your eye to the basis, not to what is built upon it.

This outlook was, for long, the natural outlook for every Indian; it was automatic, even. It was imbibed at the mother’s lap, from the father in the field, the teacher at school, from neighbour and friends and relatives, from the old and the young, from whatever was done or written or spoken by those around. It is because that attitude is fast disappearing and is in danger of being completely thrown overboard that this Prashaanthi Vidwanmahaasabha has been started by Me to remind you once again of the duty of cultivating it.

You will all doubtless agree when I say the Divine Bliss is your greatest need. But, you cannot order it from any shop. It has to be earned the hard way: doing good deeds, moving in good company, desisting from evil, keeping the mind attached to the Glory of God. Good and bad cannot be kept together in the same vessel; then, the good also will turn bad. Night and light cannot coexist. The Sun was proud that he had no enemies left. But, some one told him that he had one enemy left, viz., Darkness. Then, he sent his rays, the emissaries, to seek out the foe, but, wherever they went, they saw only light, the darkness was nowhere to be found. They returned and reported · “There was no such thing as Darkness upon the earth; we made the most rigorous search!”

Make intellect Master of your mind

Suuryaprakaasha Shaasthry said that the worlds this side of Suuryaloka are all inhabited by beings that are subject to life and death, to the processes of involution and evolution and that the world on the other side are inhabited by beings that are free from these aspects of change. He also asked, who can give us the secret of transcending the barrier that divides the region of death from the region of immortality? Of course, the Lord has often sent Messengers to tell humanity about it and He has Himself come down in human form to communicate it and save mankind from perdition. It is because the task of guiding man has gone on so consistently that today in India there is at least this quantum of earnestness to achieve it and to escape from the cycle of birth and death.

You can gain that victory only by rigorous Saadhana. Spiritual discipline is more arduous than physical discipline; imagine the tremendous amount of effort undergone by the lady who runs along a wire stretched across the ring, underneath the circus tent. After all, the gain is just a few rupees. The same steadfastness and systematic effort aimed at a higher reward can endow you with mental balance and you can maintain your equilibrium under the most adverse or the most intoxicating circumstances. The Jnaanendhriyas (organs of perception) are more important for this type of saadhana than the Karmendhriyas (sense organs), the intellect more important than all the rest of the inner instruments given to man. Make the intellect the Master of your mind and you will not fail; you will fail only when the senses establish mastery over the mind.

Clarify intellect by spiritual discipline

A lame man and a blind man became friends and they moved from place to place, the lame man riding on the shoulders of the blind. One day, while passing through some fields, the lame man saw hundreds of what are called Dosakaayis (an edible variety of gourd) in a field and he suggested to the blind man that they pluck a few and eat their full. The blind man had greater sense and so he did not welcome the idea immediately he heard about it. He asked, “Brother! Have they fenced the crop?” The lame man said, “No.” Then, the blind man said, “Let us go our way. The Dosakaayis must be bitter; that is why they are left unguarded.” You know there are sweet as well as bitter Dosakaayis and the blind man, by his intellect, was able to discover that they were bitter, even without tasting them. His intelligence perceived the truth faster and clearer.

Clarify the intellect by spiritual discipline so that you get a vision of the Lord who dwells within; that is the Suudarshana (Discus, a weapon of Vishnu) which saved Gajendra, the wild elephant (man) that was caught by the alligator (egoism) while rollicking in the lake of Samsaara (the objective world). Look upon joy and grief as teachers of hardihood and balance. Grief is a friendly reminder, a good taskmaster, even a better teacher than joy. The Lord grants both protection and punishment; for, how can He be the Lord, if He does not insist on strict accounting and strict obedience?

You are as distant from the Lord as you think you are, as near Him as you feel you are. Well, let Me tell you this. The distance from Me to you is the same as the distance from you to Me, is it not? But, you complain that I am far, far from you, though you are approaching nearer and nearer. How can that be? I am as near you as you are near Me.

You are a prisoner under sentence

That nearness is won by Devotion, which cannot be steady except after getting rid of “I” and “Mine”. When a prisoner is taken from place to place, he is accompanied by two constables, is it not? When man who is a prisoner in this jail moves from one place to another, he too is accompanied by Ahamkaaram and Mamaakaaram: Egoism and Attachment. When he moves about without these two, you can be sure he is a free man, liberated from prison.

Now that I have referred to jail and jail life, let Me tell you something more. You are all under sentence of imprisonment and are in this jail. There is no use hoping for reward when you work in jail; you have to work because you are ordered to; and you must work well too. You cannot argue that rewards are not distributed justly and you are not entitled to desist from your allotted task. If you do so, your sentence will be extended or you will be transferred to another jail. On the other hand, if you quietly accept the sentence and go about your work without clamouring or murmuring, your term is reduced, and you are sent out with a certificate that ensures a happy life, unpestered by constables. This is the attitude that the jeevi (individual) must adopt, if he is aware of his sentence and if he is earnest about freeing himself.

Remember, Freedom is your birthright. Concentrate on that and practise the means of attaining it.