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Spiritual Teachings


Continued from the previous issue

Spiritual Ideal

Our ideal is so high that the more we advance, the more we find that there is still so much further ground to be covered to reach the highest goal. This naturally makes us feel dejected at times. But let this very depressed mood encourage us to struggle harder and harder and move closer and closer to that blissful state which transcends all relative elation and dejection and is the Infinite Existence-Knowledge-Bliss itself. We reject the Infinite and busy ourselves with the finite which gives us a drop of joy, but brings also a mass of misery. Always remember that the real Ananda is attained only in the realization of the Infinite.

The ideal is very high and we cannot reach it simply by wishing. And yet we should hold it before us, and try to move towards it slowly and steadily, naturally passing through many ups and downs.

Our ideal is so high that the more we proceed towards it, the more we find that there is yet so much to achieve. This is good because it keeps us going and enables us to have a little taste of the divine joy as we continue to do our prayers and meditation.

Divine Love

By trying to see Sri Ramakrishna in all men and the Holy Mother in all women, the spiritual seekers can transmute all animal impulses and passions into Divine Love. It is this Divine Love that, mixed up with human and animal elements, becomes human love and animal love. Dedication is an efficient means for purifying the personality and transmuting personal love into Divine Love. Our love is mixed up with selfishness. Do you know the story of fifty-fifty? In Germany, there was a hotel, famous for sausages of rabbit-meat. Once a customer found the taste had changed. On enquiry, he was told by the hotel manager, 'Sir, what can I do? Rabbit-flesh has become rare. So, I added a little of horse-meat.' 'In what proportion?' enquired the customer. The manager replied, 'Fifty-fifty.' He meant one rabbit to one horse!

Our so-called love for others is of the weight of a rabbit and our self-love is of the weight of a horse; fifty-fifty indeed!

A drop of the Divine Mother's love comes through the father, mother, guru, children, students and others. Having cut themselves off from the cosmic source, human beings turn to a personality, get a drop of love and along with it a mass of misery also. If one person fails to satisfy them, then they try another person, get another drop of love and again a mass of misery as before. This goes on time and again.

In spiritual life we want to turn to the Infinite Spirit who is all love, worship Him, pray to Him, meditate on Him, have our hearts filled with a little of Divine Love and share this love with our fellow beings without expecting any returns.

In spiritual life, although we cut off personal relations with others to a great extent, we come to have a wider love and sympathy for all. It is through the medium of the Divine.

Value a personality because of the principle and not for its own sake. This is the only way to real peace and happiness.

Dependence on the outside agencies is a bondage and a source of misery. Dependence on the indwelling Atman, the Paramatman, is freedom and a source of joy.

On Japa and Meditation

Are you doing japa regularly? How is the japa mala? Is it complete? Or is it broken? (Laughing) Some people do japa so vigorously that they break the mala. Then they come and ask for a new one. Without stressing the number, stress the quality of japa and meditation. It is this that will help you in your spiritual progress.

You know the parable of Sri Ramakrishna, about a parrot repeating 'Rama, Rama.' But when a cat catches it, the cry is quite different, because the name did not go deep enough. During the Mutiny some sepoys shot a sadhu. Even to the last breath the sadhu repeated 'Shivoham, Shivoham.'

A lady in Holland asked me, 'Why should I repeat the Lord's name so many times?' I asked her, how many times she remembered her body? She replied, 'Oh, almost the whole day.' Then I asked her, 'Then how many times should you forget the body to counteract that?'

We have to repeat the name with great devotion.

Without any harmony of body and mind, no proper japa or meditation can be done--head is aching, heart is palpitating. There is a girl in Delhi; she said to me, 'Swamiji, I have no time to do japa so I practice sahasranama, repeat the name for a thousand times and so on.' I said to her, 'If I ask God how many times did you listen to her, He will say, "Not even once!" If you do not listen to what you repeat, why should God listen?'

Whatever form one takes up, one must have clear conception of that deity and think of the good qualities. Ultimately it should take you from form to formlessness, from speech to speechlessness.

When I was in Madras I was very much taken up by the sea shore. I spoke about this to Swami Shivanandaji Maharaj. He said, 'My boy, akasha is a better symbol. It is unlimited. You can get it everywhere; even the sea is limited.' When I actually did so, I found it (sky) was not as we generally see, but it was full of light--wide and unlimited. When one gets absorbed in that, one thinks we are rays of that intense light. When one meditates on such a formless entity, then one thinks that his soul is part of the Infinite Soul and he is not the body. When that consciousness of light comes one sees divine light everywhere.

Surrender to God

Grow in vairagya, grow in wisdom, only then Mother will accept you. Pray to Mother, 'Mother! Wherever you send me, come with me'. Surrender hundred percent to Mother. If you try to handle any situation, it becomes narrow and may slip down, but if you leave it to the Mother, it expands and you find tremendous good results. Learn to leave the things to the Lord. He will do them in the right way and let them occur at the right time. Only then are the results the best. Bow down to Her will; you will feel better. Wherever you go, think that you live in Mother and Mother lives in you. Life is full of adjustments; every minute we must adjust--no question of liking or hating the work. There are various temperaments. With every patient you have to adjust. This helps in the purification of the mind.

One cannot have a blue print of life. There is always the possibility of rise and fall. Ideal is work and worship--karma and upasana. Play the drama of life as well as you can. Never expect a thing to happen and don't feel dejected either when you don't get it. Always remember--asha hi paramam duhkham, nairashyam paramam sukham. (Hope is the greatest misery. Greatest happiness lies in giving up all hope). Learn to depend on the Lord and not on any human being. Surrender comes only after the utmost effort is put in. Then there is no cheating God nor the self. Only when you have tried your best can you surrender as you have done.


Without calculating how much one gets, one should ascertain how much one can give to the Lord in the form of service, prayer and meditation.

You live in a unique institution. Try to render as much service as you can. Think how much you can give and act accordingly. This is the way to get more.

Each one of you should develop your potentialities without trying to imitate anyone else.

Learn to think for yourself, deeply and clearly, so that your mind may be enriched in every way. Always pray to Sri Guru Maharaj and Holy Mother to make you more and more humble and better fitted to do their service.

Control your emotions a little, be they spiritual or otherwise. Don't show off your spiritual moods. Control spiritual emotions. Do not express; otherwise everything gets exhausted.

One moonlit night, some drunken men took it into their heads to go on a boat ride. They went to the ghat, hired a boat, sat at the oars and started rowing. They rowed and rowed the whole night. Early in the morning, when the effect of drink had gone, they found to their surprise that they had not moved an inch. `What was the matter?' they asked one another. They had forgotten to raise the anchor!

So, as the anchored boat did not move, the mind that is attached to the worldly desires cannot proceed in the spiritual path...One should have single-minded devotion towards God.

People tell me to go to Bombay for collection of funds, but I tell them, 'I want human materials and not building materials.'

Your suggestion about bargaining (that I take the responsibility of your spiritual disciplines and you take the responsibility of collecting all the funds needed for the temple construction) reminds me of a story. Once a new clergyman came to a little town. A doctor went to see him and made this proposal to him, 'Sir, you please keep me out of hell and I will keep you out of heaven!' What the doctor meant was that being a sinner, he would naturally go to hell, so he wanted to be saved by the clergyman. The latter being a pious man would naturally go to heaven after his death, so the doctor proposed to keep him in good health and prolong his life on earth! ...Don't worry, you collect as much as you can; I don't want you to be a money making machine.

The line of my service is purely spiritual. I am incompetent to advise people on their family affairs, which is really outside my scope. I know only one way of finding peace and that is through spiritual practice, prayer and meditation, and that is what I can suggest to every one of you.

When I was in Holland, I saw a man who used to attend our lecture, and had read all the scriptures etc. But he never spoke to anybody and always remained absorbed in himself. One day I asked him to come and see me. He agreed and I asked him, 'What is the matter with you? Why are you so distracted?' He had a wife, children, money and all worldly comforts. He replied, 'Swamiji, it pains me every day morning and I feel, 'Am I to begin the day as before?' Of course I gave him some spiritual instructions and this was the turning point of in his spiritual life. It is really a great fortune for one to turn to spiritual life.


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