Sri. Vidyadhar Joshi
Dear Brothers and Sisters on the path,
I feel happy to share my thoughts on the above sentence taken from the message given by the Master at the Birth Centenary of Pujya Lalaji Maharaj on 24-02-1973 at Madras. The message has aptly been named “Master who leads to Realization” which can be taken as the theme of the message.
The message starts with "We have assembled here on a very auspicious occasion to celebrate the Birth Centenary of our Great Master Samartha Guru Sri Ram Chandraji Maharaj of Fatehgarh (U.P.). We should utilize this occasion in getting into the Master and Master alone, which will act as food and tonic for spiritual elevation. Remembrance should be in a way that we feel the thought of remembrance oozing out from the objects everywhere. It is the real remembrance which mortals can have. It is a play for our good."
"Now a new chapter opens in the web of life. The effect of our deep devotion begins to resound in a way, that we feel the Ultimate is remembering us. That is the justice of Divinity. When you have played your part fully well, the Ultimate cannot fall short in playing His part. That is only a beginning of the higher sort of spirituality. As a result of it, our senses become summarised to have their own share in the Being. This is my experience."
We all have our experiences that corroborates with above as to how the remembrance of Master and absorbing in His thought does make us feel internally that He is reciprocating. This is felt as calmness, peace, tranquility, balance and sometimes simple awareness. We find that it is easy and quite natural during Bhandaras to adopt this practice as the whole environment is charged with Master’s thought. In this process, the mind is not consciously put to work, rather whatever happens, happens spontaneously with no strain on the mind. We can safely say that the mind is silenced by the “Silencer”.
He further elaborates "When they are summarised, they become a new force for our regeneration. Now, this is another instrument for our help. When this thing is attained, we have formed a base for our further approaches. It begins to modify itself when the effect of Divinity starts to percolate. The base becomes a sort of force and begins to reinforce the substance required for our elevation. When the base is formed within us, the charging with its contents, is also there affecting the entire fibre of our being. These contents are the ingredients of real life which we can safely call "Life in Life"."
I understand the “base” as an ability to remember and feel Master in all situations and circumstances not as something distant and far off we will reach, but here in the present, quite close and within oneself. The first step towards this regeneration is that the senses should become regulated.
We know that after we have had exalted state in meditation, it is very easy and natural to feel the nearness of Master in the core of the heart immediately afterwards. However when we are out of the meditation environment, the feeling fades as we start to remember other things and get back to our daily chores. Sometimes, we are even amused at the disturbing states of mind we are in at other times. The contrast between our own states of mind at different times is a play that does happen quite often. We quickly become hapless spectators of the monkeyish play of our own mind.
It is then that the Master states, "The main difficulty we find is that all our actions are directed unwisely. Actions are results of thoughts and thoughts are our own actions. Truly speaking, we give wrong suggestions to the mind. People can object to it. How do we give such suggestions? The environment creates the circumstances to have such ideas. We move in that sort of environment."
The environment here is the cosmos which has been sufficiently polluted with non-godly thoughts. It does have a significant impact on our thinking, or our inner environment. The inner environment is the conglomerate of manas, chit, buddhi and ahankar which is also in an impure state because of our past actions and thoughts. We have created several channels of thinking within us. These resonate with the external environment and get fructified as our actions. The results of the actions are enjoyed or regretted causing further impressions. The bewildering cycle of actions, thoughts and their fruition continues. How do we ever break from this vicious cycle so as to give right suggestions to the mind?
In a characteristic simple style, Master has explained in commandment 4, how actions took a contrary turn in us and led to our degradation. He gives the example of a man who is tempted to act in different directions and gets infatuated by women named Jamila. He mentions, "Similar incidents added further to the intricacies of the network, giving greater strength to it by the effect of his thought, which fomented them all the more. The grossness went on increasing. Its resultant effects led to the development of further evils like passion, anger, lust, etc. In short, a complete conglomerate was formed. The retracing from it can now be effected only by the process of casting away all that he had taken in previously, and by removing perversion of thought by fixing it firmly in the right direction. Now since this diversion of thought is beyond the capacity of a common man, he should attach himself to some great personality who is himself firmly established in the highest plane beyond all possibilities of fall.”(Imperience Beckons, First Revised Edition, page 37)
So we see that it is our perversion of thought that leads to actions that are directed unwisely. Perversion of thought can simply be thought of as thinking that is not oriented towards Divinity or the Goal. Unless our thought is set firmly towards the Goal, our thinking will always tend to be in the wrong direction. We must appreciate the support of Master we get here through Pranahuti that gives us a refreshing diversion from the downward trend of our thought process. This we feel as an aspiration towards Divine fomented in us by the master.
The fire of aspiration kindled by the silence we imperience, has to be kept alive by determination to reach the Goal. This is the function of the higher mind. Lower tendencies that we succumb to should be kept at bay by trying to keep company with our higher self, than engaging with the lower tendencies to tame them. There is an interesting one liner I heard, “Never argue with fools. They first drag you down to their level and then beat you by experience”. I find this apt that though we get dragged in lower thought we can never tame the lower tendencies by confronting it. Better would be to keep us absorbed in higher thought.
In the same message, He states, "People can ask "How to get such a master?". As an answer to it, I can safely say, "How can one get such a disciple who may follow what is said above?". I must say, for entering into the vast ocean, swimmers and swimming, both are needed. So Swimming is the part of swimmer and to teach swimming is the part of master. We can get such a master as can lead us to the extent of his approach, if we follow him earnestly. But really speaking, such a master is required as may be able to foment us by his divine power. There are stages in the cosmic regions which we have to cross and indeed we proceed to a certain length. Afterwards the power of the abhyasi fails to get at the subtle force. It is very difficult to cross it unless and until a push is given to the next step and that is the Master's work." He cryptically implies that if one is sincerely willing to be taught, he will certainly get a master. However that is not enough. The methods suggested have to be followed and all efforts conducive to shatter the network of thoughts should be made.
Master has though mentioned that we give wrong suggestions to the mind, no where in this message he directly mentions what are the right suggestions and how do we go about giving them. In the same message further, He states, "If a man wants to work out the problems of his life easily, he should give right suggestions to the mind. It is the condition which comes by practice and proper moulding of one's self. It is very easy to remain in one's own condition which is divine. It is the sure process for evolution. A little inclination towards the attainment of the Reality, will start weaving the future."
It is an important point to note that the right suggestions would come only with practice and proper moulding of the self and that starts with a little inclination towards Reality. As a first step towards this we take up meditation on Divine Light. This is the subtlest suggestion that is absorbed seamlessly by the mind. This is the antidote to correct the tendencies of mind which has been marred by the actions and thinking of the past. Explaining the efficacy of meditation on Divine Light, He writes, "We are now gathering ourselves at one point so that our individual mind may leave its habit of wandering about, which it has formed. By this practice we set our individual mind on the right path because it is now metamorphosing its habit. When this is done our thoughts naturally do not go astray." (Introduction to PAM, Third edition, pg 81)
Master states, “The thought for creation stirred up near about the Centre and energy began to flow out. What was that? That the First Mind - pure and simple, and that has woven all our frame and structure. It brought purity with it which is still maintained. So when we begin to give wrong suggestions, the mind which is absolutely pure, expels them in order to maintain its eternal purity. That is the cause of thoughts.”
This is not theory for us, practicing sadhakas. Even in our current state, we find that we get glimpses of that pure state. While we experience this more profoundly and deeply during Bhandaras, it is felt verily at other times also. Practically speaking, what we need is the ability to convert the imperience gained in meditation into right suggestions at other times. The first step towards our regeneration towards the Goal is to make a firm determination to reach it. A determination, in form of a will is something we all are capable of making. It is a first correct suggestion to start with and it will work out its course in our pursuit. This much confidence we must have in ourselves that we are capable of willing for our betterment. Such a subtle suggestion enables us to persevere in sadhana even in face of our own lapses and frailties at different times and remain steadfast. This is a part we have to play and then He adds that Divinity can never fall short of playing its part.
As stated before, environment plays a big part in our actions. In the hope to avoid this influence all together, our ancestors ran to the forests where perhaps what they have to deal with is only the inner environment.
Our actions should be such that we create congenial vibrations. Our ancestors may have perhaps discovered that actions are directed unwisely and in the hope to correct it would have thought it fit to avoid it all together by running to the forests. Fortunately, we don’t have to forsake action that we are bound to do with respect to our duty. This is Pujya Sri Ramchandraji Maharaj’s greatest boon to humanity to have given a practice where in the midst of action, we can pursue God. In the message “Divine Pursuit” He writes, “Our ancestors had sought their ways of realisation in the forests, away from the life of action, forsaking all ties of worldly connections with their fellow beings and others. We under the Sahaj Marg system try to create such an atmosphere around us in our homes so that they serve the purpose of forests. What we do is to attach ourselves more and more to God, and the result is that non-attachment follows automatically as a corollary. We thus come to the state of Vairagya in a natural way without any effort on our part.” (SDG, page 118, second edition).
We are exhorted to convert each action we do to worship, so that we develop devotion to the Highest. For this he suggests in the message “Way to Perfection”, “Whatever act you do, do it in the thought “It is the Divine’s command and therefore it is my duty to do so”, so that the state of remembrance should continue steadfast and one special benefit that accrues is that the creation of samskars (Impression) ceases. Retaining the remembrance of God at all times, engenders in us a deep attachment to the Divine and leads to the state in which love for Him develops and overflows. Gradually through this, devotion attains its full form. It is therefore very essential to adopt this procedure.”
We see that this is an excellent suggestion to the mind to perform any action. However action has to be a due action as our duty and responsibility demands. It cannot be all and sundry activities that one wants to do, that can be converted to worship by this method, this all discerning sadhakas know that it is not possible to do also even if one tries. Some actions have to be simply given up. That is the wisest way to treat them. In commandment 4, He states, “One must go on reducing the activities, shaking off all superfluities that have entered into his being, for the purpose of shattering his individual network and assuming the purest state one has finally to acquire. This is possible only when he associates himself with one who, having shattered his own network, has had enough swimming in the Infinite.” (Imperience Beckons, First revised edition, page 38)
The simplicity of our feeling Him in our heart, communicated many times as calmness, simplicity, happiness, bliss, tranquility and sometime plain simple awareness which requires no one’s verification is verily felt by the sadhaka. These are all simple feelings that get appreciated by the heart more and more as the inner environment becomes purer.
We must be in tune with our true nature so much that the influence of external environment though might be felt, will be discerned and will not be acted upon.
Master writes in “Ways and Means”, “Mental struggle to keep off the unwanted ideas often proves unsuccessful for it causes a strong reaction which is often impossible for a man of ordinary capabilities to overcome and which is sometimes likely to result in serious mental disturbance or even insanity. It may be possible for those who by leading a life of celibacy have gained sufficient Ojas (lustre) to cope successfully with the flow of thoughts and to withstand the effect of their reaction but for ordinary man it is almost an impossibility. If instead of struggling to keep off ideas we only remain unmindful of them, very soon they will lose their effect and cease troubling us. They will then be only like dogs barking after a caravan which goes forward without paying any heed to them. (DR-35)
When we meditate, we are mindful at a subconscious level of the Divine Light and we are asked to ignore thoughts which we become conscious about. At leisure hours we can be mindful of Master to remain pure thus avoiding the influence of wrong suggestions that arise. Of course this also requires practice. When we are doing some action as part of our duty, He has given a simple way to engender remembrance by thinking that it is the Divine command and hence one’s duty to do. The ability to follow the methods of Natural Path improves as we purify ourselves and are simultaneously helped by a fellow brother in the purification process.
The purification method in our system is unique and we must follow it assiduously. Master at the end warns that any attempt to seek guidance from inner conscience unless the inner environment is purified, will lead to an incorrect result. An incorrect result could be anything but the original condition. A single pointed orientation towards the Master alone will create the yearning in us for which He prays that we all return to our original condition and see the difference between the earthly and heavenly life.