Friday, June 06, 2008

Chari's Speech to Preceptors (Mar, 10, 2008)

Taken from Elodie's blog in France: Pour Que Vive le Sahaj Marg

(Highlights are 4d-don's)

We Work for Ourselves

A talk given by Shri Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari at the Karnataka Prefects' Meeting on 10th March, 2008 at CREST, Bangalore, India

[I would like to thank] the Director of CREST who has allowed us to have this seminar here, with thanks and with a welcome to all of you from Karnataka and other states.

I wish to state that this is probably the second serious preceptors’ conference. We have had hundreds of them, literally, from when I joined the Mission in 1964. Lot of talk—directionless, purposeless, orientation-less. In the North, punctuated with samosas and tea, elsewhere with vadai and coffee, and you know, such—I won’t say flippancies because the attitude was not flippant, but neither the conveners nor the participants nor the delegates knew what it was all about.

So there were these soul-killing routine talks about cleaning, about constant remembrance, about meditation, often creating a lot of confusion, and very often when Babuji heard about it he said, “All these talks are useless. I want people to work. I am telling you, work teaches.” And there the meetings concluded. Sarnadji was often present, and he would say, “Enu maadodu? [What to do?]” He was genuinely puzzled what to do. Brother Raghavendra Rao used to say, “Forget it. We have come and now we go.” Mr. Vittal Rao used to dutifully follow as number three, because in those days, they represented the chief power group.

Babuji said, “Voh log chale gaye? [Have those people left?]” He said, “Now I am free.” [Chuckles] You see. “Voh log chale gaye, now I am free.” I said, “Babuji, what to do with these meetings?” He said, “I have tried a lot—humne bahut koshish ki hei. Nothing has come out of it. Now, you are the Secretary, you do something.” I said, “I have been doing, but nothing is happening.” He said, “Until you can bring enthusiasm into the heart of your listeners, until you can awaken them from the sleep into which they are fallen…” He said, “Sleep is not only in bed.” When that famous Vedic phrase, you know is repeated and it was printed in our magazine, Uttishtatha, jaagratha, you know—wake up, it is implied that we are all asleep even though we are notionally awake; which means that we are walking around, talking around, sleeping around like robots, according to a pre-set plan developed by our samskaras.

In the old days, the Japanese toys used to be wound because of a spring. We are wound by the samskaras, and as that spring mechanism unwinds, we all go about our lives on our separate ways, thinking that we are leading purposeful existences, which is a total lie, which is a total negation of truth. The unfortunate tragedy is, we ourselves don’t know that we are programmed machines living according to a program, with no choice whatever, no ability whatsoever to change that direction.

You people here must first of all recognize this—that you are all no more than machines, even in your preceptors’ work. That is a new item added into the program, let us say, by a programmer in Sahaj Marg. A little patch added to your program. So you sit [imitates sitting posture with closed eyes]—the sitting is really a sitting and nothing more; nothing happens in most sittings. Babuji said, “Preceptors are the arteries of the Mission.” Like, you know, if you imagine the heart as the central, shall we say, computer, the main, from that everything has to go like circulation through the arteries. And if there is a block in an artery, we need a bypass or a stent. And the only person who can do that is again the Master. So Babuji said, “I have made preceptors, and the more preceptors I have made, the more work I have created for myself.” Babuji repeated this to me so many times. One great truth you must all note in your diaries: Babuji Maharaj said, “The more preceptors I have made, the more work I have created for myself.” And the second great truth: he said, “Wherever I have more than one preceptor, I have created problems for that centre.” Because there are two power groups, there are ego problems, ego fights, ego quarrels, and occasionally centres have been split into two, into three.

We have seen that in a very emphasized state, exaggerated state, damaging state here in Bangalore, where one of our preceptors left us to start this stupid thing called Pyramid Meditation; where two groups have been created, one for and one against. Where one of our ashrams was forcibly occupied illegally and registered in the name of a fictitious organization which subsequently, with police and legal help, we were able to get back into Shri Ram Chandra Mission. It was illegal, it was criminal and it was done by very highly developed so-called preceptors of the Mission. I don’t need to name them because they are household words in Karnataka. Household names, much revered even today, even by many of you who are here.

So this is the way Sahaj Marg is going, you see. When senior preceptors supposed to be in the Central Region can violate the principles of honesty, decency, and embrace criminality and illegality, and transfer a Mission asset into another organization, what is the Mission coming to? This has not happened anywhere else. Because too much power was given by Babuji Maharaj out of, shall we say, necessity. I asked him, “Did you trust these people?” long ago. He said, “I had to start work,” and I don’t mind repeating his words in Hindi: he said, “Jo bhi latt mil gaya, humne usko khada kar diya. [Anyone I could find, I gave him the responsibility.]”

So you see, the first generation of prefects, preceptors, whatever you want to call them, were largely like these posts we put up for centering when we are putting up a roof—there for twenty-two days for the concrete to set, then taken away and burnt. There are many here who have opposed Babuji’s will right from the beginning, who have seen, I hope, the light, and their presence here is a testimony to Babuji’s influence on their hearts to bring back their services into the right channel. Blood must flow through the arteries designed for it, not seep out of the artery, and not flow in a reverse way into the veins. That is disastrous. You know, it is like power flowing in the wrong way. You have a short circuit; you have a breakdown of current.

So preceptors’ work must be channelised, must go in the right way, in the right direction, with the right principles, with right motives, the objective being only to assist the Master by cleaning the abhyasis, preparing them for the Master to do whatever He wants with them. It is like a Hindu marriage where a girl is prepared, dressed, bathed, beautified, sanctified and handed over to the husband to do what he wants; not like marriages elsewhere where everything is done with the bride before she is handed over to the husband. Please don’t take it amiss. I don’t mean to criticize, but I am only comparing situations. When an artery is blocked, it is useless. If a bypass is to be created, often a section, the blocked section, is cut and a loop is given.

We have had unfortunately too many preceptors in the recent past whom we have had to remove. Just last week, three preceptors from Thrissur [were removed] for their indiscipline, opposing authority, trying to create separatism. Unfortunately in Sahaj Marg, there is no word such as ‘punishment’, because Sahaj Marg does not recognize the existences of opposites such as vice and virtue, good and bad. It only recognizes one who works and one who does not work, and if there is a preceptor who, having voluntarily accepted the responsibility of work does not do work, he is put back with the classification called ‘non-workers, abhyasis’.

Sometimes I think it as a shame, because some punitive measures would have done a great thing for this Mission. Often, you know, I believe there is a great deal of wisdom in this saama daana bheda danda of the Hindu philosophy. But Sahaj Marg and its great progenitors, Lalaji Maharaj and my Master, Babuji Maharaj, have said no to this principle—no punishment, no reward. Your preceptor’s reward is the same as any ordinary abhyasi’s reward, a beggar’s reward, a millionaire’s reward, a saint’s reward—spiritual growth to the highest possible limit. The only thing that we preceptors have enjoyed in the past, some of us at least, was Babuji telling us, “You don’t have to do your own personal sadhana any more, because this work is your responsibility, and through this work only you can grow.” I don’t know whether it was a liberation or whether it was an enhanced bondage, because instead of my being able to develop by my own sadhana, by my own devotion, by my bhakti, now the only way I can grow is by my devotion to my work, on which depends my spiritual evolution. I do not know how many of you have known this, or having known it, appreciated its seriousness and its relevance to your own spiritual growth, emancipation and liberation. Every one of you is subject to this law, that unless you work, you will remain what you are. Preceptor—yes. Nothing more.

So, you see, I don’t believe in having to talk to you and activate you. You are not an electric circuit where I have to put on a switch and the light will burn. You are all, shall we say, self-sustaining circuits, where your work must make you more and more conscious of your responsibility to yourself. I work initially in obedience to my Master’s wishes. Just along the way, I realize that I work on the abhyasis for the Master. Further down the way, I realize this work that I am doing is what He is doing through me, I am no more working, that He is. It’s all His work; I am just an observer who sees work going through him and the result, too, flowing back through him to the Master. And subsequently, God willing, if you co-operate fully with your heart, one day you will have a brilliant illumination and say, “For heaven’s sake, I am doing this for myself, and here I have been writing false reports claiming false travelling allowances”—I mean, what we do in business, you know. “And my ego is thinking that I am helping the great Master. Who am I to help the great Master? Do I have the capacity? Do I have the
willingness? Do I have the heart?” If you are honest, you will say, “No” to all three. I never had the willingness. I accepted it, because He gave me a certificate I could hang on the wall and people respected me and did pranam [greeted respectfully].

Many preceptors there have been who insisted on abhyasis falling at their feet—to their doom, personal doom. Every time somebody falls at your feet, you have to fall even less than he has fallen—remember this. ‘To whom the glory justly due, to those who hate and pride subdue’. It is in Reality at Dawn, where Babuji has written this as an offering to Pandit Rameshwar Prasad, his gurubhai to whom that book was dedicated. ‘To whom the glory justly due.’ To whom is it due? All salutations, all respect, all love belongs only to Them—nothing to us. We are like the man who builds a house, you know. One man handing a brick to the other and it goes on and on. I did nothing but hand over the bricks. The bricks were not mine, the house is not mine; the labour was mine for which I was paid. “Houdu saar [Yes Sir], but in Sahaj Marg…?” We get Nothing, with a capital ‘N’. Please remember that. It is that nothingness for which we have come here, for which we are taking off everything, layer by layer, which the ego stoutly opposes through every single stage of that process, so much so that we become our own war field, on which we fight ourselves, with our own ego, often losing the battle. And, therefore, you have this famous Kshetragnya, you know Kshetra and Kshetragnya—chapter two, I believe in the Bhagavad Gita: I am the war field, I am the warrior, I am my own enemy fighting myself. Either I will fall dead on that war field which is me, myself, or I will rise victorious and be reborn as my Self which is now reborn, and I have achieved what I have to achieve, having come victorious over myself. I have no other enemy to fight, I have no problems to confront other than those created by my lower self for my higher Self. If I am to be victorious, I must allow my higher Self to prevail, and that I can only do by the higher Self being made the karta [doer], which is what we mean
by surrender.

Even in your preceptor’s work, if you do this and say, “Master, I am here. Do what you wish. I am but your instrument.” But if like some of the preceptors of old, you sit down and say, “Today I am going to liberate you,” maybe that abhyasi will have to liberate you in a future life.

So you see this is a very serious thing that we have undertaken, not out of responsibility to the Mission or the Master or the method—these are all fallacies. I make bold to say, “I am not working for my Master.” I have never worked for my Master. If I say I have been working for Him, I am uttering a lie. The truth is, I am working for myself.

I remember once Babuji Maharaj gave me a sitting and said, “Today I have given you powers which no human being has ever had.” I said, “Babuji, don’t give me such powers.” He said, “Why?” I said, “I am an angry man, you know. You have the ability to wait patiently for atom by atom to change.” Laughing, he asked me, “Tum kya karoge?” I said, “I will destroy everything and re-create at one stroke.” He said, “When you start the work, you will find you are not able to do it. Not because it is impossible, but because your heart will not permit.”

Are we listening to our hearts at all? Are we saying, my heart has said, “Stop!” Are we saying to ourselves, my heart says today, I must call such and such a person for individual sitting, or are we going by calendar? Have we ever responded to a need of another felt as a need in myself, that “Today this has got to be done.” Can any one of you say “Yes” to this?

Then what are we doing? We are walking like blind people on a road where no road exists, where there are chasms, and you know, fires and forests, stumbling along and saying “Master! Master! Master!” This is constant remembrance as we know it. Because every step we take is a step of ignorance, in blindness, and we have perforce to call upon the Master, and that we mistake as constant remembrance. “No, no, Sir, I am always thinking of Master.”

Constant remembrance has nothing to do with your work as a prefect. It is an inner state which you must arrive at, and as Babuji said, if you do it for seven days continuously, you cannot stop it. It is there. That is part of your evolutionary process—nothing to do with prefects. Your appeal to the Master as a prefect in your work when you stumble upon some problem that you cannot solve, some cleaning that you cannot achieve, where your transmission is blocked—in such circumstances, you say, “Master, this is beyond me.” And He comes. Follow?

So you see, being a prefect is not a joke; certificates have no meaning. In fact, when I came into the Mission, there were no certificates, because there was a total of twelve prefects, preceptors as they were called, and the working committee of all the preceptors numbered twelve. Two years later when I was made the Secretary of the Mission, I think I became the fourteenth or the fifteenth Working Committee member, and when it reached twenty-two, twenty-four, twenty-six, I told Babuji, “Now it is no more possible to call every prefect or preceptor, a working committee member. We have to define a working committee member, create a working committee member.”

So you see, as it develops—and when there were twelve, and I attended my first Basant Panchami in 1965, including Babuji we were forty-two persons in Shahjahanpur. That is how the Mission began. It must have been in 1957, when people like Raghavendra Rao joined the Mission.
One man in Gulbarga, one man in Trichy—South India had no Mission to talk of. There was a time when Babuji used to call Gulbarga a branch, because in his memory I must say, I must testify to the fact that my brother, elder brother Sarnadji was a sincere, honest, truthful man, who really followed the principles of Sahaj Marg and was loyal to Babuji Maharaj—and he was in Gulbarga and Gulbarga was a branch.

So you see, what earns spiritual value, spiritual grace, and the spiritual evolution that we can accept without having to do anything about it? Sincerity, honesty, loyalty. Or, as Babuji put them: obedience to the Master, love for the Master and satsangh with the Master—three things.

Now people may say, “Sir, but I never meet the Master, once in a year, once in five years, how is satsangh with the Master possible?” It is possible only and if you can sit in meditation, and with your heart feel that the Master is sitting before you every time that you meditate. You understand that? Whenever you sit in meditation, wherever you sit in meditation, he is in front of me, looking after me. If you are able to do this, satsangh with the Master is a permanent truth, a verity. If he is always there with me, constant remembrance is established without any effort. And if he is always with me and I feel his presence, obedience loses its meaning because now he is there, I follow him. He says, “Come,” I come. He says, “Wait,” I wait. He says, “Sit,” I sit. Obedience is not something which requires the interpolation of an intellectual apparatus to define it, refine it and then do what we wish or what we think should be done. “No, no, Babuji Maharaj said, but I think this is what He meant.” You understand? When I am with him, he gets up, I get up. He walks, I walk; if he looks around and says, “Sit,” I sit. “Wait,” I wait. I am like a dog.

Now Europeans don’t like this sort of comparison. They say, but I wasn’t born to be a dog. Of course I was not born to be a dog. But when we praise a dog for its obedience, for its loyalty, for its love of its master, should a human being be less? Are we not figuring in a very low way when we are compared to dogs? Should we not be ashamed when Babuji praises a dog when we are all sitting before him? “But, Babuji, why are you praising dogs? Are we not here?” I have not heard anybody saying. Not the great, not the humble. “No, no, Babuji Maharaj helidaare [has said], you know: D-O-G dog, G-O-D God.” That’s all we understood? Did anyone of us think why he is always talking of dogs when I am here? Should he not say at least I have two people who are better than dogs? They are more loyal, they are more steadfast, they are more truthful, they are more loving—and more obedient. You can put food in front of a well trained dog and say, “Sit,” and it will sit. Until the master says, “Eat,” it will not touch it.

There is a beautiful story (I think it was by one of these Americans), what is his name? London, Jack London. About a dog who was trained, and when he needed money, he went to a gambling place and he bet that you could cut off its paw for ten dollars and it will not make a noise. And like that he cut off all the paws. That is a dog. We are not to sniff or sneer at dogs. It is not only Dattatreya who had dogs. We should at least say, “My Master also had dogs.” We are dogs in human form whereas Babuji said, you know, we are humans in dog forms—untrained, disobedient, running around. So please don’t look down on dogs. They can be trained. Babuji said, “You know you can train a lion to keep its mouth open while its trainer puts his head into it and it will not bite. But to train a human being, even a lifetime may not be enough.”

And we preceptors, prefects, who are supposed to contribute to the Master’s health, his peace of mind by cleaning the abhyasis, removing their tendencies, if we fail in our jobs, are we being loyal to the Master, are we being faithful, do we have any concern for his health, for his sleep? “No, no, Sir, I pray.” What is your prayer worth if what you have been told to do, you cannot do.

I remember before Babuji and I went abroad, we were in Delhi. I was with Babuji in his room with some few others. Sister Kasturi was in the next room. Babuji said, “Kasturi kya kar rahi hai, dekho. [See what Kasturi is doing.]” I said, “She is giving a satsangh.” She gave a sitting for one hour and later on she said, “I was praying for your health, Babuji Maharaj, so that you should have a safe journey and safe return home.” And Babuji laughed and said, “I did not feel the prayer.” So remember that even your prayers he feels. And if you are lying.... You know, like going to a temple and watching the tamasha [spectacle] there and waiting for the coconut and whatever it is—balehannu [banana]. That’s what all of us have done in temples. I don’t know who has prayed at the temple.

Here the God does not know because there is no God except what is nominally there in every atom of created things, and He doesn’t care whether you pray or not. Even that recognizes that you are only praying for yourself. Which of us has prayed that our father should be long lived without selfishness for our own being. “Ayyo [Alas], if father dies what will I do?” Husband says, if my wife dies what will I do? Wife says, if my husband dies what should I do? I, I, I, I. There has never been any sincerity in our prayers, whether for our relatives or our Masters or gods. It is all notional—politeness perhaps, convention, mockery of every power that is there above us. When shall we pray sincerely? Do we know even to pray for myself, ourselves?

There is a famous Welsh prayer I think, where it says, “God give me the wisdom to see myself as the others see me.” Because each one of us thinks we are perfect. “No, no, Sir, I have only done good. I have never harmed anybody, never told lies.” And inside, my heart it is saying, “Is that so? Is that so? Dub, dub. Is that so, dub, dub, is that so?” And over time we create more and more cardiologists, because the heart gives up. It says, “No, no. I can’t do anything. I am the monitor, and he has shut me off and I am now only a pump. I refuse to be a pump any more.”
Cardiac arrest, cardiologists, five thousand rupees bill, man dead, cremation.

“Never tell lies to yourself,” Babuji said. He said, “I am telling you, telling a lie is not wrong. But don’t ever lie to yourself, because soon you will begin to believe your own lies that they are the truth.” Cardiology will disappear from the face of the earth when we stop telling lies to ourselves—you understand?—when we do our work. I remember my respected centre-in–charge preceptor had a heart problem and he stopped giving sittings. So somebody told Babuji. He said, “I am surprised. What is more holy, what is more spiritual than dying while doing the Master’s work?” You know when we die on the field in battle, honours are conferred upon us—Veer Chakra, Paramveer Chakra—posthumous. A man died six years back and the widow or the child receives the award. Mere physical death in defending a country which needs no defence, against enemies whom we have created ourselves, and for which our name is made glorious. Babuji said, “How could you have a better death than this, that I am giving a sitting and I go. Where else can you go but to where that sitting is coming from, from Divinity itself?”

So you see, so many lessons we have to learn, not by repeating like a tota [parrot] you know: “Cleaning means…, sitting means…, transmission means...” Observe! Observe your own condition when you give a sitting, without thinking of anything or anybody else except that.

Observe yourself. The freshness that you feel, the peace that you feel, and if you could feel that and hold on to it, you look for the next piece of work, not run away from it. You will be invited to come. “Shall I come?” “Banni, banni, banni, bega banni [come, come, come, come fast.]”

Once Babuji told me that a preceptor who refuses to give a sitting for any reason whatsoever, he is endangering his life. There is a story about an acharya [teacher] living in Srirangam to whom a disciple went after sunset with a big moral problem, whatever it was. He said, “Guruji, I am in despair. I must have your assistance.” He said, “After sunset I am forbidden to do anything. Come back tomorrow morning after suryodaya [sunrise].” On the way back home, the disciple died. All his samskaras were transferred to the guru.

You see this is a very easy, effortless way of securing His grace and securing our liberation—our work. It is also fraught with biggest dangers should we prove unfaithful. People used to say, “I have no time.” Babuji Maharaj said, “What time do you wake up?” He said, “Babuji, sometimes seven o’ clock.” He said, “Get up at six, you will have time to give one sitting.” Time cannot expand but you can put more and more into time.

Babuji Maharaj was once in Mr. Vira Raghvan’s house in Madras—small house, you know, which was a total area of about four hundred square feet. The hall was twelve by twelve; seven people were sleeping in it and Babuji was one of them. Somebody knocked on the door. Everybody was asleep; Babuji opened the door. It was Mr. S.K. Ramaswamy and two others from Trichy who had come by road at midnight. And at midnight in that crowd of seven sleeping people, Babuji gave them a sitting. I asked Babuji, “Was it necessary to do it at twelve without sleep?” He said, “I am telling you, Lalaji Maharaj said, don’t waste a minute of your life. When there is work, if you don’t do it, that is a waste of time.”

When there is no work—if you have read some of the letters Babuji has written to me, I complained sometimes that there was no work, you know, and my company is paying me good salary. He said, that is not your problem. To give you work is your boss’s responsibility. When he gives you work, don’t be tardy, don’t delay in doing it. When the work is finished and there is no more work, sit and meditate.

We have the perfect system. We have the most perfect Master ever in nature, in creation, who created that system. When needed he gives us time, when needed he makes all possibilities possible. And yet we say I have no time, I have no money, I have no patience. “I gave him a twenty-minute sitting but he was not responding. I sent him back home.” “No, no, no, he is a mental patient. I won’t accept.” All imagination.

So when are we going to become honest with ourselves; use our time usefully for ourselves; work
honestly with dedication, sense of purpose—the reward for ourselves, forgetting that old lie that we are working for Him? I repeat, nobody has ever worked for Him.

When he was almost on the point of death, I think it was in Delhi, we had a small meditation place— shamiyana [large tent] put up near Safdarjung. I took Babuji there. He was there only for seven minutes and he said, “I have worked single- handedly, all alone and the result is before you to see.” That’s all.

So I recommend to you all, you see, a reappraisal of yourself, of your goals, of what you have to do to conduce to the achievement of those goals and start doing it, knowing that I am working for myself, with myself and everything else in Sahaj Marg is only a means for my evolution. And when abhyasis come to me, they are sent to me for my evolution. When I do his cleaning thoroughly, I am cleaning myself, for my evolution. When I transmit, if I transmit with vafadari [fidelity] as Babuji used to say, the channel is kept clean, there is no blockage of the artery, there is no bypass, there is no stent, there is no cardiologist. Therefore, QED, everything that I do for the Master is for myself.

May He live forever.

Thank you.

Comments on Elodie's Blog in Europe: Pour Que Vive le Sahaj Marg...

To sum up!

Chari said he works for himself, not for his master. We suspected that a little…

Otherwise, the bulk of his speech concerns preceptors, their roles and drifts.

They will appreciate from the outset the fact that this conference is only the second really serious (what about all the others?), And he does not even mention what was the first.

If you believe in the authenticity of the quote from Babuji made by Chari, it means that Babuji had already noticed the ego conflicts between preceptors, which traces the problems of power within the SRCM to over 25 years . Again, we suspected this a little, the novelty is that it's Chari who now says it…

According to Chari, such a division in the SRCM occurred only once. One can doubt that today, one can also regret that what seems to disturb him the most is the diversion of "goods" by the SRCM, and not that of "souls". But one can also question him on the lack of honesty of senior preceptors one is expected to find in the "central region".

Unlike Kasturi, Chari makes no difference between prefects and preceptors.

They will also appreciate the role that Babuji (dixit Chari) attributes to them: docile servants yes-men, and disposable after use. Like Chari!

It is easy to see that in these conditions, why they can sometimes be unruly, why they oppose the authority and want to create separatism. Especially when Chari says that he works for himself, why should they not do the same after all?

According to Chari, there was one case of division (schism)... too many preceptors eliminated. The record is probably more important. The SRCM is gangreen-ed by problems of power and he acknowledges it.

Here is what he said in "He, the Hookah and I" (Discipline 17):

"(…) And more important than anything - no politics in the Mission. I do not speak of the Congress or the Hindu Sabha, or things like that. I am talking about actions taken for political reasons within the Mission to oust someone from power or to unfairly blame someone, to say ill of someone who is not bad, for someone who is praised, being a cretin and a rascal. It is this, politics in its worst form: murder of personality. Unless preceptors do not overcome these temptations to " achieve progress by walking on the body of someone they have destroyed - the Mission will not survive, and it will be just another name on some empty buildings. I hope that the Shri Ram Chandra Mission will never come to that, because, after all, there is a benevolent hierarchy, which guides us and which will assure the future of the Mission, its welfare, its ability to help humanity and to encourage more and more over time. "

The SRCM thus has not survived these problems of power, it will become a name on empty buildings.

Why this sudden honesty? Is this a sign of senility? cynicism? ...


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