The wheels: outer and inner

It is a happy sign that so many thousands of you who are caught up in the noisy waves of worldly pursuits in this city, teeming with distractions and amusements that cater to the senses, have come here today, to listen to the deliberations of this Prashaanthi Vidwanmahaasabha. This is a sea of eager faces that I see before Me. You are eager to spot the lighthouse that will show you where the harbour lies, to take refuge from the stormy sea. That light is the Aathmajyothi (light of self) which the sages proclaim as existing in everyone. Some deep visual defect has hidden that light from men and so they struggle in the darkness.

It is not enough if one has the human form or even the basic human equipment — physical, mental and emotional. With the help of the discriminating intellect, one must bring it to perfection, as a sculptor does, after the stone is brought to crude shape. Man must be aware of his kinship with God, of the Divinity latent in him, of his immense potentiality. This he can know by the exercise of his viveka and vairaagya, (discrimination and dispassion). Only he among all the animals is capable of this.

The royal road to this awareness is shown by the Guru; not every one of the five lakhs of saadhus claiming this status are entitled to it. For, the word Gu-ru means, he who has no darkness in him. (Gu-darkness; ru-without). Most of the Gurus now answer only to the other meaning of the word, which implies weight, heaviness. Most of them, by their weight, are a burden to the earth; that is all the effect they produce by their existence. They are a burden upon their disciples too, for they continuously extend their palms for cash and they have no illumination with which to lighten the burden of others. Leave these gurus to themselves and concentrate on the task of uplifting yourself. When you are earnest about it, the Lord Himself will guide you, either from within or from without, through someone He will send or through illumination from within. Do not despair; march bravely on. Try to fill every moment with thoughts of God, in some form or other.

Place the mind completely at God’s service

Repeat Soham (I am He), with every breath: ‘So’ when you take in and ‘ham’, when you exhale, ‘So’ means He and ‘ham,’ means I and when you complete the inhalation and exhalations, feel that ‘So’ namely, the Lord, and ‘ham’, namely, ‘I’ i.e., (you) are One. Later, after long practice, the idea of He and I as two separate entities will disappear and there will be no more So and ham. Those sounds will be reduced to O and M, that is to say, it will be Om or the Pranava. Repeat that sound afterwards with every breath and that will save you from bondage to birth and death, for it is the Pranavopaasana (contemplation on Pranava) recommended in the Vedhas. This Soham-recitation is a good means of restraining the mind from running away with you. Let the mind be ever attached to the Lord; then, it will not flee, as it fancies, towards all directions. That is the meaning of the exhortation of Krishna: “Sharvadharmaan parithyajya maam ekam sharanam vraja” — “Giving up all other activities, surrender fully to me.” Place the mind completely at His service. Then, He will save you from falling.

Be master of your feelings and impulses

Do not pay more attention to the outside world than necessary; but, concentrate more on the inner springs of joy. In a car, the wheels that are underneath are the outer wheels; pay more attention to the wheel inside; the wheel that guides and turns the outer wheels! The driver of the car is inside; you, too, must care more for the inner motivator. If you are master of your feelings and impulses, you can be anywhere, engaged in any profession. You will have peace. Someone visited Kabir in his home and asked him whether the householder’s life promoted spiritual development. Kabir did not answer. He called out to his wife and asked her to bring a lamp so that he may fix a broken piece of yarn. It was about midday and the room was well lit. But, the wife did not question or doubt or disobey. She brought the lamp well lit, and held it for Kabir to repair the yarn. Then, he asked her to leave. Kabir then turned his questioner and said, “When you have a wife like this woman, adhering strictly to her dharma, the householder’s life will be the best training ground for spiritual development.”

There was a man who had a wife and a son both of whom did not see eye to eye with his charitable and hospitable character. One day when he brought a guest and was preparing to feed him, the wife and son thought of a strategem. When the master went out to the shop at the corner of the street to get a leaf-plate for him, the wife put the guest into great terror saying, “What a pity, you of all people fell into his trap today! My husband is daily bringing some poor fellow as if for lunch, but, what he does is to give each one a sound thrashing with a stick, just when they prepare to eat the meal served by me. He believes this will be compensation for some injustice done to him in past births by someone”. The guest thought that it was best he ran away from his fate; even while he was fleeing around the corner of the street, the man came home with the leaf plate. The wife told him that the guest was a very peculiar man, for he wanted a stick to go to the well for washing his feet and before she could bring it to him, he lost his temper and went out in a huff. So, the master took hold of a stick and with that in his hand, he pursued the guest and called out to him “Stop, Stop.” This confirmed the impression of the guest that he was to be beaten and so he ran faster and faster and was soon out of sight. Women today do not appreciate the goodness of their partners or encourage them in the good life. They prove as obstacles rather than helpmates. They should promote Vaasudeva dhyaanam (meditation on Lord Vaasudeva) in the family; and, discourage Vasudeva dhyaanam (meditation on Vasu — wealth).

The mind binds and liberates

The Minister was telling you to attend the discourse on Geetha but there is no good in that, if you lean on to a pillar of the Hall and doze off. It is not the sound but it is the meaning that matters; it is not the ear but it is the heart that must drink in the Geetha. He wanted you to seek: and enjoy Sathsangam (good company); along with that sangam, there must be self-examination also, how much you have succeeded in escaping from the senses and nearing the Lord. Mana eva manushyaanaam kaaranam bandha mokshayoh — “the mind binds and the mind liberates”. So, train the mind and win. It is a wild elephant, which can be tamed with the goad of Soham. Do not feed it with conceit, hate, envy and greed. Let the name of the Lord echo ever in the ear and it will be tamed.

When this meeting started and for some time later, there was imminent fear of rain, which came threatening up to this very place. But, let Me tell you, prayers and Grace combined to drive it off. Tomorrow, also, I shall give you the food that will sustain and save.

Editor’s Note. This discourse took place on Malleswaram. Malleswaram is one of the most visited and oldest localities of Bangalore, and was named after the Kadu Malleswara temple.