Imperience - Centre for Research and Training in P.A.M
Imperience Day 2006 : Paper - "A few are so born who confuse dhal for boiled rice and take great pleasure in this confusion" - Dr. S.V. Raghavan

‘A few are so born who confuse dhal with boiled rice and take great pleasure in this confusion’

-- Dr. S.V. Raghavan

The above sentence forms part of a very poignant and at the same time a very significant Message of our beloved Master entitled, ‘They have lost the Ocean’. We feel intimately the great anguish of the Master when He observes on more than one occasion, ‘such is my fortune, my lot’ while commenting about the lack of readiness and capacity of the abhyasis to accept and absorb the spirituality in larger and larger ladlefuls which He is so keen to pour into them and sensing that hardly one or two persons could be found capable of drinking it up all. Again when He finds some of the trainers buried in their selfishness and egoism unmindful of the burden it casts on the Master who in His infinite compassion and love, tries to separate them from their self-created and developed ego and also to progress their advance towards spiritual welfare, He is forced to make a similar observation. He asks, ‘Is this the reward I get for all my labour’. The message holds great lessons for all abhyasis and trainers telling them clearly what ought not to be done if they are aspiring not only to get the Ocean by the grace of the Sadguru but also retain it.

The topic mentions confusing between dhal and boiled rice. I made some efforts to verify whether this is an idiom in Hindi language but apparently it is not one at least in the common usage. Taking the sentence then somewhat at face value, we can say that rice is taken normally to be the staple food and dhal as its accompaniment or in other words the difference is between what is essential and what plays the role of an adjunct in the diet. Dhal is a nutritive supplement. One can survive without dhal but not without rice, we presume.

There are several kinds of confusion mentioned in the message. The first mention occurs when the Master traces the genesis of this system of yoga, which was kept in close preserve in the ancient times by the Rishis who imparted it only to a few of their own disciples. There were also those who could not so impart it. The method got lost in course of time as changing times and conditions had their effect. Truth vanished and untruth had sway. Ideas of differences of greatness and smallness were born and people ‘began to be satisfied with microscopic successes believing them to be complete’. This is the confusion between microscopic success (dhal) or minor spiritual attainments and complete success or attaining the Goal (rice).

The second illustration of the confusion is between the ‘lake’ and the ‘Ocean’.
‘All saw the lake and became so much attracted to it that none had a single thought for the Ocean’.
The result was they got themselves limited and soon concern for the body and concern for the concern began to assume tremendous importance and proportions as the grosser aspects of the condition surfaced. While discussing the above the Master mentions the ‘boat had sunk to hide itself in the lake and even to the onlookers it seemed that this was all’. We may interpret the ‘boat’ as the sadhaka and also his condition and the sinking of the boat in the lake can be taken to indicate that the sadhana got terminated after some good but very limited attainment (lake) paling in comparison with the swimming in the vast Infinite Ocean which could have been his lot if only he had determined to carry on with his sadhana till the goal is achieved and he had the grace, assistance and support of a Master of caliber who had traveled the entire distance. Lack of goal clarity is responsible for the shortfall in attainments. Even when the goal is clear and a competent Master’s support is available, the aspirant may fall still short of the mark. This is primarily due to the state of complacency developing in such an aspirant after he has moved some good distance on the path as he comes to regard his experiences in meditation and the changes observed in himself as satisfactory. There may be several oases which we come across during our long journey through the desert but they shall not become our resting places. That is why the Master exhorts us, ‘rest not till the goal is achieved’ and also asks us to fix the goal as the highest or the Ultimate so that we may not stop at the penultimate. As remarked by Rev. KCN in (IB p97), ‘there is an advantage for the abhyasis practicing PAM, because the influx of Pranahuti is a matter of abiding experience of the aspirants, and this propels them not to take rest till the experience matures into a state of being with the Lord. By saying that we will not rest the ideal is achieved we are firming up our will to be with the Master till the goal is achieved and thereafter abide in His consciousness’.

The onlookers also did not have proper idea regarding the final state to be attained and the method by which it could be so attained. This could be due to the effects of the changing conditions and the times which had caused the entire science of real yoga to fade away, as the Master observes. Hence the confusion in their minds believing that the condition referred to metaphorically by ‘lake’ was the very ultimate condition which could be attained. We may note here for instance that the goal of moksha or cessation of the cycle of births and deaths held up as the highest in popular religion could be taken to represent the ‘lake’ and the highest approach reserved for the human being as described in SRRY as corresponding to the ‘Ocean’ for which no one ordinarily gives a thought unless he has been introduced to the system.

The Master has reiterated in so many places that even the most advanced sages remained short so far of the mark, namely, Tam, the last resting place of the yogi. One obvious reason is simply that such states were never opened up in the past for human beings to attain them and it is only after the advent of Rev. Lalaji Maharaj such a state has been revealed to mankind entirely by virtue of His prayers to the Almighty. He also charted the way up to that state so that it may be accessible to all. The Great Master in addition has rendered the greatest possible service to humanity out of His infinite mercy and love by structuring our Great Master Sri Ramchandraji Maharaj who could establish Himself in that supreme state and also help others following Him in unshakable faith and with true love and devotion in attaining a similar state. We can see the burning desire of the Master and His restless impatience in this regard as a result of His unbounded love for His associates in the following words in the same message, ‘Whatever service I am able to render to them, all that does not give me satisfaction. My heart is ever intent and keen to ensure that the largest part of them should at least achieve my own spiritual condition in the shortest possible time.’ In order to expedite the fulfillment of His heart’s most ardent desire and to ensure the message reaching the largest number quickly and in good measure, He appointed a large number of preceptors whose ‘job it was (and still is) to awaken the public so that their work can be done, and their character, conduct and behaviour could be remodeled and straitened out’. We can see here the principal reason behind the institution of preceptors, a very unique thing in the spiritual history of mankind and indeed in the history of spiritual training. The role of the preceptors and the nature of their work have been comprehensively dealt with by the Master in His message, ‘Method of Training’ to which one may turn for a greater appreciation.

Another important point to note is the great concern the Master has for character development; in fact the message opens with the statement, ‘In the sphere of spirituality, character development has a special place which is in no way less than that of spiritual welfare’ after which we find the Master quoting Rev. Lalaji Maharaj on the subject. The Master goes on to say that He also desires that there should be no weakness of character among the abhyasis of the Natural Path. Then we find Him identifying the most glaring defect among the abhyasis, namely, lacking in the feeling of oneness with all. Ideas of greatness and smallness and in general separateness which erect walls between the people are found to persist despite the teachings, exhortations and painstaking labour on the part of the Master causing Him great anguish and acute distress.

We have seen earlier the manifestation of the grosser aspects of the idea of limitation by thinking that the ‘lake’ was all there was to see, in concern for the body and the concern for the concern. The Master now refers to the arising of the bondage of egoism and its firm establishment in the people who started thinking highly of themselves though they were not so in truth. As has been well discussed in the article Pretence (BP V4), ego is basically a falsehood, a lie. The Master has stated that ego is stating something ‘not true’ as ‘true’ with respect to oneself. The most astonishing thing is how we have allowed this lie to a take a stranglehold on our pristine nature, went on building our own network with it as the base only to be caught ultimately in the intricacies of our own self created web. We may note that God has been compared in the tradition to a spider who weaves his web that is creation (Prakriti) but just like the spider He is not caught in His own web. Master says clearly that ego is an impediment in realizing God (Sruti p273) and ‘there may have been elevated souls who might have gone beyond the sphere of Maya, but hardly one who would have shattered all the eleven coverings of the ego’ (Sruti p271) while talking about the difficulties in extricating oneself from the bondage of egoism. Again we find Him warning about the great damage the nurturing the thought of egoism and allowing it to build can do to the sadhaka in, ‘If we consider ourselves great we put up a wall to the Greatness where we have to arrive. We create a bondage, so to say, that becomes an obstruction on the path.—when we assume greatness we start considering others as low (insignificant). Now that path, we have to trudge also gets closed; we are totally lost to all intents and purposes’ (Sruti p277). We can see that as the ego builds up the affected person becomes even oblivious to the problem caused by it and starts living in a world of delusion of his own making which finally leads to the neglect of the Master. The Master’s voice is scarcely heard; His warnings and cautions fall on deaf ears. The person feels that he can carry on himself and that he knows all there is to be known. This leads to a curvature on the path with serious consequences to the real progress of the person on the path.

The Master refers to the state of some of the preceptors in whom ideas of superiority began to take hold and the ‘disease’ as He calls it, was spreading instead of dying down. He goes on to describe the deleterious effects of falling a prey to selfishness and egotistic feelings. It was becoming risky to endow them with power, which exists solely for achieving the Divine and for benefiting others. But when given to persons afflicted with egoism it started inducing intentions of selfish profit in them. Not only they forgot they were abhyasis first, but also started debating their own practice and injecting their own personal ideas into the detailed rules and methods of meditation practice decided and laid down originally.
They began to teach the considerably altered methods of their own practice disregarding the fact that in the very subtle rules of practice even the slightest variations can have dire consequences. They desired to use the power which was given to them buried as they were in their selfishness and egoism and also became insensitive to the burden cast on the Master by their wrong doing.

Now the Master talks about the confusion in their minds which is their belief that their faith in their ego is their power forgetting that the power they found in themselves was in fact the Master’s infused in them by Him for the express purpose of advancing the cause of spiritual welfare of the abhyasis entrusted to their care. They just learned the word ‘power’ but did not, nor did they make any effort to understand what Power is and how it should be used to help others. They became so immersed in their condition of entanglement (in the ego) that any effort to free them from it would have been akin to making pulse grains out of steel. They thus strayed from the path of duty which simply consists in total and unconditional cooperation with the Master in His cause of transformation of Man in a true spirit of surrender letting themselves to be only instruments in His hands to be used by Him as He deems fit. The Master further underlines the fact that it is almost impossible even for Him to bring such persons who have strayed from the path of dharma back to the path. The Master states unequivocally that all the centers of spiritual training belong to the Great Master and not any particular person’s and all are working according to His instructions. This supreme truth should be borne by the trainers in their minds all the time so that possessive and selfish ideas do not find a place in them and vitiate the cooperative spirit which should be maintained as duty bound towards the Great Master in discharging the spiritual duties in His cause. We see and are truly overwhelmed by the great qualities of unconditional love, mercy, sympathy and divine forgiveness shown by Him towards His erring associates when He states. ‘If even now these persons do not change themselves and do not extend their cooperation despite my concerted efforts to help them, it will have to be said of them that by the grace of the Master they did get the Ocean, but by their ignorance they lost the Ocean.’
When we think of the ways in which the recurrence of such problems in rendering spiritual service can be prevented, it readily comes to our minds that it can come about if every abhyasi (trainer is automatically included) exerts himself to understand properly and unambiguously the very nature of the process of Pranahuti, how it is offered, what is the purpose of Pranahuti, how one is equipped to become a servant of the Master, the role played by the trainer in spiritual training and how he is to do what is expected of him by the Great Master whose permission has been sought for him to serve the Master.
Fortunately there is a vast literature in the form of writings, explanations and clarifications on the subject in the ISRC publications and most importantly, personal and practical guidance is available to all those who may be in need of the same from our Rev Guide KCN.

The most important point to be remembered by the trainer is that he is nobody without the Master, it is only His consciousness that is working though him and he must be in a state of total orientation and surrender to the Master, meaning in effect orientation and dedication to His ideas, aspirations and expectations from humanity and us, the abhyasis in particular. Without surrender and its twin sister cooperation to achieve the Master’s mission it will not be possible for him to work with the required efficiency. The other important point to be noted in this connection is that the trainer should be committed to ensure the spiritual progress of the aspirant and discharge his duty with love, cooperation, compassion and understanding the needs of the aspirant. He should understand that the progress the abhyasi, entrusted by the Master to his care, makes is the guru dakshina he offers to the Rev. Master. (Extract from Introduction, Trainer’s manual, ISRC 2002 Edition). He should deem the abhyasi to be the Master veiled, show reverence and be grateful for the opportunity presented to him for serving the Master. The more he negates his self in the Master the better he will be able to express the Master in him, the Real Goal of human life and automatically be in a position to render the best possible service.

In the end truly we can say, ‘How can we get such a Master and more pointedly, how can we be deserving of a Master such as He?’ It is only our great good fortune and by the grace of God that we have become connected to Him and are abhyasis of the Natural Path under His loving care. All of us ought to learn the valuable lessons from the above message, vow to adhere to the path in letter and spirit, having no other thought than dedicating ourselves heart, mind and soul to His cause of divinization of man participating in it in a manner as He wills each one of us to.