The sun at your doorstep

A man in great distress clamoured for a ticket at the booking office of the railway station, but the clerk within was helpless, because the man did not know where he wanted to go. He was anxious only to get away; he had had enough of the place. All men, sooner or later, behave like this; even if one lives a hundred years, he has no desire to continue, for he finds all his kith and kin, his near and dear, have dropped on the roadside and he has been deserted, by death. Life is no unmixed good. No one is happy if he is immersed in worldly life. Man is tossed about on the waves of joy and grief, he is buffeted by fortune, good or bad; he is the target of brickbats or bouquets; the evil around him affects his peace; anxiety robs him of sleep and quiet. It is as if one attempted to sleep on a bug-infested cot. Therefore, man tries to escape from all this, into something, somewhere; he is not sure, which or where!

The spiritual teacher (guru) can guide you where to go, which place to seek; but he cannot make you reach it. You have to trudge along the road yourself. The teacher might take special classes and give special coaching; but, learning has to be accomplished by the pupil himself. There are two kinds of accomplishments: apraaptha praapthi and praaptha praapthi. The acquisition of something which you did not have is apraaptha praapthi; if you do not have a mike, you go and purchase one or hire one. It is praaptha praapthi if you become aware of a thing that you had with you, but imagined that you did not have. A friend comes and asks a loan of ten rupees from you, you are sorry that you have not got the tenner and that you are not able to come to his rescue when he is in dire need. An hour later, when you sit down and open the pages of the Geetha, you discover a ten rupee note that you had placed between the leaves long ago and forgotten, how happy you are at this! The ten rupees are so good as newly earned. The Guru asks you to search between the leaves of the book of your heart, and, lo, the treasure is there ready to render you rich beyond compare. Purpose of human effort

Krishna did not remove the delusion of Arjuna by His resolve, in a trice, as He doubtless could have done; He made him go through all the steps of hearing, reflection and concentration himself. The patient must take the medicine, not the doctor; the doctor only prescribes and persuades. One thing too must be said. The aspiring disciple must have an inkling already of the Truth; or else, he cannot master the secret. The telegram is sent in the Morse Code; so, the man who sends as well as the man who receives must be aware of the code.

The doctor spoke of people who come to Me with various aims; yes; but when some of them do not get exactly what they want, they blame Me and not themselves for wanting things that are not conducive to their progress or for not deserving to get them from Me. Why blame the Sun that he does not illumine your room? Open the doors and the Sun, who has been waiting at the doorstep for just that moment, floods the room with light. You must use your intelligence to deserve the Grace of God. That is the purpose of human effort.

The disciple washed the clothes of the guru and they were hung for drying on a line in the hermitage. The guru wanted them dried quickly, but the disciple could not avoid delay! He had hung them folded into four; human intelligence must have inspired him to hand them in single fold, so that they would have dried quicker. Likewise, one should use his intelligence in the spiritual field and carry on his spiritual practice unimpaired. After all, the quickest way to dry clothes, the best way to prepare a tasty dish, these are secondary skills; the primary one is the skill to overcome the temptations of the senses, to journey inward into the region of the impulses and give them a higher purpose. Of what use is it to cleanse and polish the exterior of a drinkingcup? Cleanse the interior, instead.

Use the stick of intelligence

Remembrance of the Lord’s Name is the best detergent for the mind. It is the means of crossing the sea. The Name is the raft that will take you safely across. The Name will remove the veil of illusion, that now hides the Universal from the Individual. When that veil fades out, man finds Himself before himself; he beholds the Universe that he is.

Man has infinite power and infinite potentiality, for he is a wave of the Ocean of Infinity. You can be aware of this, if you only dare reason a bit. The fruit won’t drop if you mumble manthras (sacred formulae) under the mango tree; you will have to take a heavy stick and throw it at the bunch. Use the stick of intelligence and throw it at the problem of “you and the world”; that will yield fruit.

That is why I insist on your seeking, and remaining, in good company, the association with the holy. Being in the midst of such spiritual heroes, you can fight against evil with greater chance of success. Once when Garuda (the celestial bird of Lord Vishnu), the sworn enemy of snakes, went to kailasa (Abode of Lord Shiva), he saw the snakes that Shiva wore round His neck, His arms, His waist and Feet; the snakes were safe now and they hissed with their puffed hoods at the celestial bird which could not do them any harm, since they were in such Divine Company. Garuda said, “Well! Glide down from that Body and I shall kill every one of you!” That is the value of being in good company, for the spiritual practitioner. For the one who has reached success also, holy company is valuable, for it is like keeping a pot of water inside a tank of water; there will not be any loss through evaporation. If the spiritually advanced person (yogi) lives among worldly men, the chances of his yoga (union with God) evaporating into bhoga (enjoyment) are very great.

Value of good company

Being in company of the holy is like the bit and bridle for the wanton steed, the anicut and canals for the raging flood. The value of holy places, consists in just this; kindred spirits congregate there and contribute to the deepening of spiritual yearning. You can take sweet and sustaining counsel together in such places and strengthen your faith and devotion. If in any place, you do not find such an atmosphere, avoid it and move on, until you secure it.

You must be careful about the food you take; for, the jihva (tongue) and the guhya (organ of generation) are the two great foes of man; the cravings of hunger and sex drag you into perdition. Desist from catering to the tongue and its greed; do not be a victim of lust or taste. Have pure food and eat it in company of the pure. Be moderate in food and keep the senses strictly under control.

Also, have an eye on the number and volume of your desires. Discriminate and discard superfluous attachments and acquisitions. A fakir (holy man) is one who has no fikr, (worry). What is the root of worry? Wants; and the efforts to fulfil them; and the fear of not succeeding to the extent desired. Reduce wants and you reduce worry. You congregate here in the Nilayam verandah, seeking personal interview with Me, with a load of wishes in your heart, wishes that you want Me to fulfil. Why carry all the load? Carry only one load, the desire to win the Grace of God; He will confer what is best for you. Leave the rest to Him.

You have to choose between God and Nature

There was a grandchild once who sat on the lap of his grandfather and asked him the very plain query, “Grandpa, do you love me?” and the old man immediately replied, “I do”. The child asked next, “Do you love God?” for which too the old man said, “Yes.” Then, the child retorted, “If you love God also, then, you cannot be loving me; if you love me, you cannot be loving God at the same time, or to the same extent.” That is true. You have to choose. Love Nature and you have to ignore God; love God and you will realise that Nature is but His Raiment.

Perform action, but do not hanker after the fruit. Do not complain that you did not get public recognition for the donations you gave to some Trust. Fruits, whether good or bad, you yourself have to consume; so the best means of liberating yourself from the consequences is to ignore the fruit and do perform action, for the sake of action only. You will not be burdened with either sin or merit if you act so. If you crave for the profit, you will have to be prepared to accept the loss also. If you construct a well where four roads meet expecting to get merit for slaking thirst of men and cattle, you cannot shirk the demerit you will be credited with, when someone falls into it and gets drowned.

If you fan a person out of love, you can leave off when you must; but a servant accepting wages for fanning his master has to continue whether he likes or not. Give up the desire for remuneration and you are free; accept it or ask for it and you get bound. That is the secret of “renunciation of the fruit of action” (karmaphala-thyaaga).

Life is unreal as a dream

Above all get convinced that life is as unreal as a dream; do not get attached to it beyond reasonable limits. A man once suddenly gave up hearth and home and went out of the village, because he was too poor to maintain his wife and children. On his leaving, conditions became even worse and the poor woman had to witness the death of their little child, due to starvation. The next day, the husband happened to come back and when the wife reported the sad news and wept; he said, “Woman! Last night, I slept in a choultry and I had a dream. I was a very rich man, with a fine bungalow and a happy family of six buxom children; I had fine swings and posh chairs in the garden, plenty of servants to order about. When I woke up, I lost all of them. For whom am I to weep now? For the six children I lost in the morning or the child that was lost yesterday? Those six will never play again; this one too cannot run about. When I dreamt, the child was nonexistent; when I awoke those six are non-existent. What exists is only the perceiver of both the dream and the waking state the “I.”

Know that ‘I’, know that ‘I’ is the same as “HE”. You can know it only by intense spiritual discipline that is not marred by anger, envy and greed — vices that sprout from the ego. When you get angry, you act as if you are possessed by an evil spirit; your face becomes ugly and frightful. As a matter of fact, like the red bulb winking when danger is approaching, the eyes and face become red as a warning. Heed that signal and betake yourself to a quiet lonely spot; do not give free vent to wicked vocabulary. Envy and greed also emanate from the ego and have to be carefully watched and controlled. Like the tadpole’s tail, the ego will fall away when one grows in wisdom. It must fall away; if it is cut, the poor tadpole will die. So, don’t worry about the ego; develop wisdom, discriminate, know the ephemeral nature of all objective things; then, the tail will no longer be evident.