Imperience - Centre for Research and Training in P.A.M

"The way of life should be pregnant with high morals" (Easiest Way, Showers of Divine Grace, page 65, 2006 Edition)

Sri. K.C.Narayana


1.       The statement of Master above is no different from the advice all religions have given and there appears to be prima-facie no reason to repeat what appears to be fundamentals. However when we examine it closely we find that the statement leads to the more fundamental question of what is morality and how it is to be practiced and what is the goal of such moral life. Morality is generally understood as a system of principles that guides us to survive and thrive as individuals. Balanced life is the primary goal or value that morality achieves, with all other values subservient to that. Revered Babuji in fact keeps this to be the goal all human beings should have to arrive at. We have had occasions to discuss the topic of balanced existence.


2.       The topic of our seminar today deals with the assertion Rev. Babuji made that our life should be pregnant with high morals. In his commentary on Ten Commandments he devotes five commandments 4,5,6,7 and 8 exclusively to highlight the importance of high moral behaviour. In fact it is in these commandments he explains his philosophy and also gives keys to understand the Natural Path by which we can mould ourselves as excellences of His creation. We see in his exposition not just a system of ethical values to be practiced for the good of the individual in and for the society but means to the development of the individual’s conscious unfolding as a holistic part of the cosmic consciousness that is all pervading. The main theme is to integrate the individual with the cosmic consciousness. Rajayoga aims at not so much at the individual liberation as the integration of the human mind with the cosmic so that a world of happiness and universal good evolves.


3.       At the outset in proclaiming his moral philosophy he states that we should be “Be plain and simple to be identical with Nature.” The first and foremost expression of morality thus is Plainness and Simplicity. He puts it straight saying that ‘simplicity is the very essence of Nature. It is the reflection of that which existed in the Absolute in a latent state. It promotes growth. It can be aptly described as the quintessence of the Ultimate.’ To be plain and simple means that we have to adopt the same posture as that of the Ultimate condition. This fundamental principle of morality for the practicants of the system of Rajayoga of Rev. Babuji is a categorical imperative and not a social requirement. “Yad bhavam tad bhavati’- ‘as you think so you become.’ Those who seek the ultimate goal of life have to follow the commandments and lapses in this regard would naturally affect our objective. Those who would like to take a lenient view of these taking shelter under the promise of the Master that “if we move one step towards the Master, Master would be coming towards us three steps” would be committing a great mistake as we do not know the number of steps between us and the Divine. Simplicity and plainness in all aspects of our life have to be followed- in our dress, in our eating, in our talk, walk and demeanour. Since our ultimate condition and the goal we strive for is simple and plain so shall we think and act in order to become simple and plain.


4.       But for that we have to be truthful. Rev. Babuji said that truth is the refuse of reality. While ‘Om’ is primarily the auditory aspect and ‘tat’ is the existential aspect, ‘Sat’ or ‘truth’ is a relative aspect. When we say something as true we are simultaneously stating something else is not true. In the mantra ‘ Om tat sat’   ‘Confining to the aspect of being truthful deferring from the commandment of taking miseries as divine blessings we find the Master stating that truthfulness really implies the sense of presenting ones’ own self in its true colours. The commandment of the Master deals with this aspect in a spiritual manner. Since we are concerned with life with high morals it is necessary to delve into how we live like that. An article on how to play cricket well, that I read long back contained a bit of advice that I value most. He conveyed a universal truth when he wrote that if we promise to bowl certain number of overs, say 8, at a stretch in a game of cricket even if that is only practice we should bowl so many overs and should not drop off in the middle. He wrote if we are not feeling well to bowl 8 overs at a stretch then we should commit to bowl less number of overs in the beginning itself.  His logic we can see is simple. When we are developing habits while training ourselves we should develop the habits of perseverance and not quitting in the middle. Further he is asking us to develop a rule namely ‘always do what we say’. Or we should be "Be impeccable with our word." It is obvious to see the link here to truthfulness. Truth of any kind is a commitment to the Universe and shall always be protected. Our every word, every thought, every utterance is a commitment to the universe.


5.       In a sense we may see that the universe is conspiring to make every one of our pronouncements come true. It is interesting to remember that the ‘tadaastu devatas’ are always roaming all the time saying ‘tadaastu’ or ‘be it so’. We are forbidden to use foul and bad language lest it happens. Why should we ever want to turn ourself into a "liar" by not following through on our own pronouncement? It is poor morality to promise something and then not deliver. This can be devastating in all aspects of our life like business, career, family life etc.; After all, our reputation is built on our ability to keep commitments. For example, say we tell our young child that we will read him a bedtime story; but then get engrossed in some movie or some program on TV and brush aside the child when it reminds us on the promise. We have just announced that our words mean nothing - to both the child and the universe – we get counted as one who does not keep the promises. In all cases of truthfulness we should be beware of the ego.


6.       Whether it is greed, pride, the desire to be liked or some other "ego-driven" reason, we may be tempted to "inflate our importance" by promising something we cannot deliver. This is the ego in action. We might have every intention of delivering it when we make our commitment, but then we realize it might be time-consuming, costly, or inconvenient, so we drop it. Worse, when confronted, we may try to justify our position, by reframing our original promise: "I did not really mean it," or "I meant that only if such and such happened," or we blame some third party. Abhyasis should realise this fact as very important because we know that we make promises to practice as prescribed by the Master and give enough number of excuses and explanations for not following sadhana as prescribed though it is the simplest of all yoga practices. When we say we shall meditate for one hour we should and when we commit to purify ourselves we should do so rather than excusing that we were stuck up in work or on transit etc. In my initial stages of sadhana when I was trying to give explanations to my trainer for not doing sadhana regularly, he advised me "Never let your mind act as an attorney for your ego."


7.       Truthfulness demands to act immediately on the commitment and not postpone action. When we make a commitment we must follow through and not wait for completion of formalities by others. For we owe to ourselves the benefit of keeping the commitments and naturally we do not like to slow down our own progress while we wait for others to ‘catch up’. I have many associates who complain that their spouse do not keep up the commitments to the commandments of the Master, I sometimes pointed out their own lapse and sometimes prayed for both. Waiting for others to keep up commitment to implement the commandments cannot be a reason for us to put on holds our commitments and duty. I would like these persons to understand the extent of power that they have placed in the hands of others. It should be remembered that every time we say we are going to do something and do not do we are announcing loudly to the universe that honouring our commitments is not important for us; that is being truthful is not our intention. Surely that is not the way to high morals.


8.       If however it is a misfortune of someone not to keep to commitments it is going to be tough for him to practice sadhana. If one has already built up a track record of making announcements that never come to pass because he has been out of integrity with his words and actions, then, when he wants to practice something important, it is going to be difficult. After all, based on his past performance, he has little reason to believe anything will happen. He would hardly practice the meditation, cleaning or prayer with confidence and faith. We owe it to ourselves to strive for greatness by expressing our true inner essence and that is hard work and commitment.


9.       Truthfulness is directly linked to integrity. Our objective is to have our thoughts, words and deeds in perfect synchrony; that is what we may denote by the word integrity. When we do not lie in thought, words and deeds we act with integrity. This means more than just being honest and moral. Integrity also means being whole and undivided: that is, all our kosas vibrate in a similar fashion when we make a promise or perform a deed. It is a step toward merging with the Oneness, which represents our ultimate goal - enlightenment. When we cultivate the habit of truthfulness so that all our actions and dealings are in consonance with the state of plainness and simplicity just as it is in Nature we start developing true devotion. Then we start thinking of serving the Master and remembrance of the Master gets enshrined in the mind. Difficulties and painful experiences are natural to life and a devoted person because of the emotional trend underlying in the psyche converts such states as states of gratitude. Thus we find truthfulness leading steadily to acquisition of the noblest character namely forbearance and fortitude. This leads to the condition of staying in the sphere of devotion, happiness and joy. After sufficient practice it becomes our second nature and its glamour and consciousness drops. The power generated by the habit of forbearance helps us a good deal in our pursuit, and we enter the nearmost regions of the centre. But this does not happen easily. Dr. K.C.V. puts it “He (Master) loves us so much that every opportunity is provided for us to grow. When we ask for strength, He provides us difficulties to make us strong, when we ask for prosperity, He gives us the brain and bran to work; when we ask for courage He causes danger to overcome, when we ask for love, He sends us troubled people to help, when we ask for wisdom, He gives us problems to solve. The way of instruction of the Lord is difficult to understand but when we understand, the joy of His love has no bounds. The lesson of truth that we learn is very great and what a loving teacher we have!”


10.   Truthfulness impregnated with devotion leads us to the regions nearer the centre. When this condition is matured we get into integral oneness with the Master. This condition further matures into the awareness that all things descend from the Origin and deserve to be treated as such. This is the foundation of the mystic assertion that all creation is a great fraternity. Much has been said and written on the virtue of fraternity. But Master throws much mystic light on this subject while he states “Everything emerged by the effect of motion around the Centre and all work together unitedly. All are connected with the same Reality.” There is no real separation. Separation is an illusion and unity is the Reality. When we realise our oneness with all that is in creation, naturally we start loving all beings sentient and non sentient. The negative thoughts of enmity, hatred etc., find no place for recognition. Himsa or injury of any type becomes impossible. Ahimsa gets naturally established in our psyche and the foundations for peace and genuine love get laid. The word Love like God is a much misused and abused one. Real love never arises till the illusion of separation is gone. This does not happen until we start loving and living in the One who loves all.


11.   While the philosophical understanding and also the experiences during meditation of oneness is there, yet situations in life are such where conflict of interests of persons is there leading to hatred and even enmity. To accept all situations with equanimity understanding the nature of Love that is always abiding requires considerable practice of remembrance of the Master. I am reminded of a Taoist story. “In ancient China a farmer horse ran away. That evening the neighbours gathered to commiserate with him since this was such bad luck. He said, "We shall see." The next day the horse returned, but brought with it six wild horses and the neighbours came exclaiming at his good fortune. He said, "We shall see." And then, the following day, his son tried to saddle and ride one of the wild horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. Again the neighbours came to offer their sympathy for the misfortune. He said,” We shall see." The day after that, conscription officers came to the village to seize young men for the army, but because of the broken leg the farmer's son was rejected. When the neighbours came to say how fortunately everything had turned out, he said, "We shall see." We are to understand that the yin-yang view of the world is serenely cyclic. Fortune and misfortune, life and death, whether on small scale or vast, come and go everlastingly without beginning or end, and the whole system is protected from monotony by the fact that, in just the same way, remembering alternates with forgetting. This is the Good of good-and-bad.


12.   Master while agreeing with opinion of “Almost all religions unanimously agree that whatever happens is the result of our actions” gives us a deeper understanding of this law. He explains “When we do something by applying our head and heart we form impressions thereof at the base, which remain there in seed-form till they are washed off by the effect of Bhogam (the process of undergoing the effects). The Bhogam is thus essential and indispensable. As a rule, Nature wants to keep everything pure and crystal clear just as it had originally come down in the beginning. Even the slightest coating veils its lustre. This in itself, being a power, assumes a kind of life which we relate with our own Karmas (actions). It is because we pose ourselves as the doers.” If we act with the awareness everything in the universe is His and enjoy that which is justly due to us without in anyway affecting others no impressions are formed. This we find is the most important message of the Isa Upanishad. When doership enters our actions and feelings sufferings commence. Rev. Babuji while giving an account of the process of arousal of sufferings does not illustrate the same. He says that “The circumstances for the process of Bhogam, which may be from internal causes or external, are thus created. The external help comes in the form of suffering caused by the wrongs done by others, against which the people generally poison their thought on account of their own ignorance. This is very improper because this action, having helped the process of purification, has in fact put you under a sense of obligation. When this is the case, the work done through an external agency, it may be any, has in other words rendered the function of a true friend. This may seem to be an uncommon approach since this basic philosophy was never taken into account before, for the reason that it came out simply in the form of an advice to take everything as coming from the Lord, so that the feelings of resentment may not arise and one may not lose nobility of character. Thus it is now quite evident that anything that comes to us is for our ultimate good, may it be from any medium fills our heart with delight and promotes in us a sense of gratitude.” The philosophy of our Master has for its base the centre and God is central to our being. In a lighter vein I may quote a wit who said that “Without God, our week would be: Sinday, Mournday, Tearsday, Wasteday, Thirstday, Fightday and Shatterday.


13.   With the Master or God as central to our being we always live happily and that is one of the great virtues. We need to clarify for ourselves whether it is necessary to believe in God so that we are moral. Morality speaks of a system of behaviour with regard to standards of right or wrong behaviour. The word carries the concepts of: (1) moral standards, with regard to behaviour; (2) moral responsibility, referring to our conscience; and (3) a moral identity, or one who is capable of right or wrong action. Morality has become a complicated issue in the multi-cultural world we live in today: and we need to explore what it really is and how it affects our behaviour, our conscience and our ultimate goal of life.


14.   Morality describes the principles that govern our behaviour. Without these principles in place, societies cannot survive for long. In today's world, morality is frequently thought of as belonging to a particular religious point of view, but by definition, we see that this is not the case. Everyone adheres to a moral doctrine of some kind. Morality as it relates to our behaviour is important on three levels (1) to ensure fair play and harmony between individuals; (2) to help make us good people in order to have a good society; and (3) to keep us in a good relationship with the power that created us. It is obvious that these principles are based the fundamental truth of Fraternity that subsists among all that is. Based on this definition, it is clear that our beliefs are critical to our moral behaviour. However there is a current notion "I am not hurting anyone but myself," frequently used to excuse bad personal choices. How can we be the good people we need to be if we persist in making these choices, and how will that result not affect the rest of our society? It is obvious that bad personal choices do hurt others as in the case of smoking cigarettes of varieties and drinking alcohol. Recent studies state "The most significant predictor of a person's moral behaviour may be religious commitment. People who consider themselves very religious were least likely to report deceiving their friends, having extramarital affairs, cheating on their expenses accounts, or even parking illegally."


15.   Without belief in a God, the only option that seems to be left is to adhere to moral standards we make up for ourselves. Unless we live in a dictatorial society, we are free to choose our own personal moral code. But where does that freedom come from? The view of many who do not adhere to spiritual values is that morality is a creation of humanity, designed to meet the need of stable societies. All kinds of life are in a process of deciding between life and death, choosing what to do with power and authority and this ultimately leads to a system of virtues and values. The question is: what happens when our choices conflict with each other? What if something I believe I need in order for my life to continue results in death for you? If we do not have an absolute standard of truth, chaos and conflict will result as we are all left to our own devices and desires. Morality impacts our everyday decisions, and those choices are directed by our conscience. Again, we must decide for ourselves where the conscience originates. Many people hold to the idea that the conscience is a matter of our hearts, that concepts of right, wrong, and fairness are "programmed" in each of us. Again, those who do not believe in God are left with the only possible conclusion they can come to - that our decisions are based solely on our need to survive. What we call our conscience, then, would be based on learned behaviour. That would be most undesirable position we can opt for. Though Rev. Babuji has not spelt out the ethical code we have to follow has given us the Ten Commandments which are fundamentals of spiritual life. He has no rituals to offer but provides reason for every injunction of the tradition. For him conscience is not mind, buddhi or intellect or chit or consciousness but it is the inner essence of being that is beyond all these categories.


16.   As has been said above “Morality is generally understood as a system of principles that guides us to survive and thrive as individuals.” In order to survive we have necessarily to eat and drink. The misfortune of human life is that even though we are provided with enough we fight amongst ourselves. If the Hindu principle of ‘enough is enough’ is followed there is no conflict and war. Master used to say we have been provided enough according to our need and not according to greed.  Master in his commandments lays much stress on food earned through pious and honest means. The philosophy involved in this injunction Master states “starts from materiality and ends in the final state we all have to arrive at. A happy disposition is a state which percolates its effect upon the lower layers and purifies them. This is a state which may aptly be taken as that next to the Divine. Fixing our thought on it means taking into account that which is our final goal. In other words, we begin from the point beyond which remains but That alone. This is the warp and woof which has been interwoven by Nature herself.” “Now we fix it up in our thought at the time of taking our food, so the effect filters down on the substance which is there. When we eat it, the effect taken in by it enters our body and begins to spread all through our veins and arteries. In other words we have utilised to our best purpose the thing which we take in from outside. The particles and atoms of the body begin to get purified. The impulse of thought created thereby combines with the food, and helps to promote our physical and spiritual health. The power of Prana being all pervasive, nothing is free from its influence. It is inside the food as well as outside it.”


17.   Master says “The thing got from Nature is very pure because its basis is purity. The thing earned by man can also remain in a pure state when that is got through pure and pious means. The influence thereof will affect the nearest layers and help to purify this human web. This is the reason why sages have laid so much stress upon honest and pious earnings.”


18.   The Grand Master, Rev. Lalaji Maharaj in his article on ‘our food’ gives his version on the importance of pure food. He gives a link to morals to eating in a very polite manner. “Stomach is a palace for food. The power of dhyan will improve, if the food is purchased with legitimate earnings and remembrance of God will be hidden, if it is eaten in a sorrowful state. If the food is purchased with unlawful earnings, dishonesty and crimes will increase. Food is digested in the stomach and then it goes to liver for becoming blood and then it travels throughout the body and it assumes the essence of animal. If the food is purchased with hard earned and legitimate earnings, Sattvic qualities and devotion to God will improve. If it is eaten in a sorrowful state, the straight path is closed so that discrimination for Sat and Asat and right and wrong is lost and there will be no knowledge of which work is good and which is bad; which has to be done and which is not to be done. By eating the food which is impure and prohibited by the dharma sastras, dishonesty and crimes will increase.” He gives us an anecdote of how persons with impious food behave. “One day an elderly person was slapped by another person, while going on the road. When the elderly person turned round and looked at that person, he said that the Sufi should know that he slapped him with the order of God. Elderly person said that he knew that it is from God, but God has selected you for this hard hearted and untimely work, therefore He got this work done through you. The person, who slapped with the order of God, was also a Sufi and a special devotee and an obedient person, but the work which was entrusted to him was very bad. This special work was entrusted to him because he was a Sufi, but his heart was impure as he had eaten bad and doubtful food; because of that such service was taken by him. Was not Ravan a devotee of Lord Shiva? But his mind was not pure as his food was earned by oppression and he has done what kind of works. This shows that the fire wood, water and utensils also to be purchased from well gotten money and the cook should be a devotee and remembering God and offer the food to Him. The food must be eaten with respect and care. This is the foundation for manners and morals and contamination.”


19.   A very important moral characteristic is to share and sharing food is considered a very pious act. Food should be prepared with pious thoughts, offered to Master and the Prasad has to be partaken in the company of pious persons. If there were to be a person calling on us at the time of partaking food he should be respectfully invited to share the food with us. The practice of Athidhi is to be fully understood and practiced: verily he is God. It should be remembered that food not offered to Master and partaken alone is considered as impious food and poison to spiritual life.


20.   Master says that “The background of spirituality is the Moral Courage which rises when one is moral. My revered master used to say How so ever advanced a person may seem to be, if his moral character is doubtful, I would say that he has not got even a breath of spirituality. And what is morally in the True Sense? It is that all the faculties may come in harmony for proper use. How does this happen? When a man begins to be away from the Self, it begins to develop.” (SDG-45) “The basis of Yoga has always been the right morals and proper behaviour. That is why; my Master Samarth Guru Mahatma Ramchandraji Maharaj of Fatehgarh (U.P.) had laid very great stress on this point. He always emphasized on cultivating principled character. The way of life should be pregnant with high morals. If it is not there a person is not capable of having the fine type of spirituality, which is beyond everything and is worth having. (SDG-55)


21.   We as followers of the finest type of spirituality should strive hard to live in such a manner that we are personifications of the Ten Commandments of the Master. May this be the truth.


Om! Shantih Shantih Shantih.