Monday, May 24, 2010

Acceptance of Our Relationship with Shree Krishna

A devotee who has understood his Divine relationship with Shree Krishna, says, “O Shyamsundar (Krishna)! Now I understand…” This implies that there is something being understood now which was not understood earlier. What is that? It is the only thing that needs to be understood, and that is, “You are mine and I am Yours.” There is no need to acquire a lot of other knowledge. This is all we need to know, and yet it has taken us countless lifetimes to accept that Shyamsundar is ours and we are Shyamsundar’s. If we had understood this or if we ever manage to understand this in the future, then there will be nothing further to be known or attained.
This means, we must accept in our heart and mind that Shyamsundar is ours. Even in the world, we accept people as ours in order to fulfill our selfish desires. A boy comes from one place and a
girl from another. They circle the sacred fire seven times and become husband and wife. They had not known each other previously but now feel intimately related. A deep attachment develops simply by accepting one another. You know how far such attachments can go. We read love-stories of Laila-Majnu and Sheeri-Farhad. Their intense love was the consequence of mental acceptance of their relationship. It was not as if Laila and Majnu were born with deep love for one another. No, their love developed over time. And it developed because they accepted a deep relationship with one another.
All of us have attachments in the world. We are no less than Laila and Majnu. We love our mother, father, child, husband and wife. So long as the object of our love is a worldly person, our attach
ment is material. Now we should accept the unanimous verdict of Saints and scriptures that God alone is ours. When we accept this, our love for God will develop and we will reach our goal.
In infinite lifetimes, we saw innumerable Saints and descensions of God, yet our intellect refused to accept Shyamsundar as ours. Instead, we firmly held on to the conviction that worldly relatives are ours. Consequently, we are revolving in 8.4 million forms of life. As long as our intellect refuses to accept that Shyamsundar alone is ours, we will continue to suffer. Our worldly relationships are imaginary. In countless past lifetimes, our father has been our son; our wife has been our husband; our daughter has been our mother. This has happened not just ten, a hundred or a thousand times, but infinite times. So, what is our actual relationship with them? The one who is our son in this life could be our father in the next. All these relationships are transient and limited to a single lifetime. In contrast, our relationship with Shyamsundar is genuine and permanent, and yet we do not accept it. How astonishing this is!

हरिर्देह भृतामात्मा स्वयं प्रकृतिरीश्वरः ।
तत्वादमूलं शरणं यतः क्षेमो नृणामिह ॥
हरिर्हिसाक्शाद्भगवाआछरीनिआमात्मा झषामिवतोयमीिप्सतम् । (Bhagwatam)

Our Vedas and Shastras boldly proclaim that the individual soul is the body of the Supreme Soul. The Supreme Soul, Paramatma, is the Soul of the soul. That is how close our relationship with Shree Krishna is.

We are two: body and soul. We are not the body; we have a body. Similarly, we possess senses, mind and intellect. These are our faculties, but we are separate from them. We make the statement, “My intellect could not comprehend the subject.” This statement implies that we are not the intellect; rather we have an intellect. We also say, “My mind was confused.” Thus, we are not the mind either. All of these: body, senses, mind, and intellect, belong to us, and they are jointly referred to as the body. But we are the soul, which is distinct from the body. This body is made from the material energy maya. On the other hand, the soul is Divine, and is an eternal part of Krishna.

That the soul is distinct from the body is accepted even in communist countries like Russia and China. When their Prime Minister or President dies, hundreds of thousands go to pay their final respects to the body and say that he has gone. By making such a statement they tacitly accept that the person who left the world was not the body. If they were truly following the tenets of Marx and Lenin, they should not have made a distinction between the body and the soul. As long as they have not buried the body, they should not say that he has left the world. Yet they speak in exactly the same manner as those who believe in the existence of the soul.

So the body and the owner of the body, the soul, are separate. Just as wealth and the wealthy man are separate. The body, inclusive of senses, mind and intellect, is a product of maya, an insentient energy. Here, a question arises. How does the body, made of the insentient power maya, display the symptoms of consciousness, and work as if it is sentient? Is this not astonishing? The mind travels faster than the wind. Seeing that the mind is made from the insentient power maya, how is this possible? Actually, this can be explained easily. Look at this towel in my hand. It is insentient, yet it is moving. You may say that my hand is causing it to move. But the hand is also insentient; it is being moved by the mind. The mind is insentient as well; it is working due to the power of the intellect. And the intellect is receiving its power from the soul, which is sentient. Thus, the presence of the soul is making the senses, mind and intellect function as if they are sentient. When the soul makes its departure - we call this phenomenon death - the body and the sense-organs still exist, but they do not function any longer. The eyes are intact, but they do not see. We must clearly understand this distinction between the body and the soul. The ignorant ones consider themselves to be the body, while the wise look upon themselves as the soul. From this, we may conclude that those who have not attained God are the ones who think they are the body, and who have been consequently living in ignorance since eternity.

The simple truth that we are the soul and not the body is so easy to comprehend, yet in unlimited lifetimes we have failed to understand it. Even those who think they comprehend this truth are mistaken. If we had truly understood that we are the soul, then how could we remain attached to the world? Why would we persist in running after the objects of the senses? As Divine souls, our subject cannot be the world of matter. For example, the subject of the eye is form. Eyes cannot perceive taste or smell. Furthermore, eyes can only perceive material form and not the Divine form of God. So if God were to stand before us, we would not see Him, since He is Divine. Our eyes are made of the five material elements. As such, they only grasp objects made of the same five elements. Thus, if we had accepted ourselves to be the soul, why would we desire to see, hear, taste, touch and smell the world? Our worldly desires would have vanished. But, this has not happened and we are still entangled in the world of maya. If I give instructions in the kitchen not to put salt in the food for three days, there will be immediate objections. “There has been no salt in the food for the last three days.” This is not a calamity, after all. But you people will say, “I am leaving Mangarh. I cannot do sadhana like this. As it is, the food does not have chillies or spices to my liking. And now, no salt! I’d rather stay away from such austerity and such a guru and such a God.” This attachment to taste is of our own creation. Does a little child ever say, “Put salt in my food, else I cannot eat it.” No, the child is perfectly satisfied with the plain taste of mother’s milk. It is the parents who encourage the child to develop the habit of salt, tea and so on. Slowly his habits deteriorate. Now as an adult, he wants all possible varieties in his food. If he is given something salty, he says, “Bring something sweet as well.” And if he is given only sweets, he says, “Bring me something salty too.” “You asked for sweets, so why don’t you have your fill, now that they are being served?” “I get bored with one flavor.” “But when you were born you didn’t get bored even with the plain flavor of your mother’s milk. You don’t remember that time any more. The fact is that you did not have the bad influence of your family when you were a baby, but later, you developed a liking for tasty dishes.” As babies we were content and had no special demands. We drank our mother’s milk and slept. We made joyful gurgling sounds, and were completely free of the wants and desires we have today. Now we object if we have to eat the same lentils and the same potatoes every day. This desire for taste is of our own making. Our only consideration should be the usefulness of food for the maintenance of the body. If variety and change are so essential to us, then why don’t we eat with our nose one day and with our ears the next? Even a millionaire cannot eat with his nose, or see with his ears. This incessant desire for change is a disease we have created ourselves. We have accepted ourselves to be the body, and all this is the consequence of that decision.

Thus, since beginningless time we have not understood the simple truth that we are the spirit soul, and that we have always belonged to Shyamsundar. Thinking of ourselves as the body, we have learnt to consider the relations of the body as our true relations. Adults point out to a child again and again, “This is your Mommy.” The infant has no concept of “Mommy” or “Daddy.” These words are forced upon him 24 hours a day. “This is your Mommy.” “This is your Daddy.” Finally, the poor child thinks, “She must be my Mommy.” Mind you, he does not have an inkling of what a “Mommy” is.

So, we souls are the body of the Supreme Soul. He is the Soul of our soul. Since eternity we have considered ourselves to be the body. Our intellect tells us that we have to satisfy the demands of the senses. Consequently, we have been running after the material world. As long as we are in this bodily conception, we are incapable of thinking that it is the soul’s hunger that has to be appeased. When we accept that we are the soul and a part of God, we will understand that our fulfillment will come only through God.
ममैवांशो जीवलोके जीवभूतः सनातनः (Geeta)
“The soul is an eternal part of God.” This is not something imaginary; it is the eternal truth. It is not as if we became His parts one day. Ever since God has existed, this relationship has existed. So, we just have to accept the fact that He alone is ours.

You people do accept your relationship with Krishna to a certain extent, and you are somewhat detached from the world as well. This is evident from the fact that you have left the comforts of your home in favor of the strict discipline imposed here. However, even you do not have the conviction that you must be exclusive in your devotion. What does this mean? It means that you think ‘Krishna also is mine,’ but you do not think “Krishn alone is mine.” When you go to the temple you utter the words :

त्वमेव माता च पिता त्वमेव
What is the meaning of this verse? It means, “Only You are my mother, only You are my father.” The word ‘eva’ meaning ‘only’ has been used. This is the condition in the path of devotion. You will have to be exclusive. Because you love both God and the world, you utilize the word ‘also’ in your relationship with Him. You say to Him, “You are mine, and the world is also mine.” And the condition laid down by God is:

मामेकं शरणं व्रज (Geeta)
“I will assume your full responsibility when you accept only Me as yours.”

योगक्षेम वहाम्यहम्
तेषामहं समुद्धता
अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शूचः (Geeta)
The promises that He makes – to safeguard what we possess, to bestow what we lack, and to absolve us of sins – are only for those who surrender to Him exclusively. These promises are not made to those who are not exclusive in their devotion. We see this even in worldly relationships. What would happen if a woman were to tell her husband, “You are also my husband?” What if she uses the word ‘also’ and not ‘only’? He would ask, “What do you mean ‘also’?” “Well, you see, I have another husband also.” Her husband would say, “I see. Now get out of my house.” But you don’t do this in the world. Even in human-made relationships – a man and a woman become husband and wife after circling the fire seven times - we do not dare to use the word ‘also.’ But with God we do. The reason is that if we use the word ‘only’ with Him, we will have to stop loving the world. This is something we do not wish to do. People ask me, “Maharaj Ji! Please bestow mercy on me so that I may attain God and simultaneously keep my world intact.” “What do you mean by ‘keeping the world intact’? It is not as if your world will fly away some place just because you are practicing devotion. It will remain right here.” “No, what I mean is that I want to keep my worldly attachments intact and at the same time attain Shyamsundar.” How can this be? You will attain that to which you are surrendered. If the mind is surrendered to the world, you will attain the world. If the mind is surrendered to Shyamsundar, you will attain Shyamsundar. This is clearly stated in the Geeta:

यान्ति देवव्रता देवान् (Geeta)
“After death you will attain the one to whom you were attached.”

Three sisters married three brothers, who were all college graduates. One brother became a senior government officer. The second one became his brother’s clerk. The third became an alcoholic and a gambler. He did not get a job and took to begging instead. What about the three sisters? What titles did they get? One is called Mem Sahib, since she is the wife of a senior officer. One is known as a Babuaine, since her husband is a babu, a clerk. The third sister is called a bhikharin, since her husband is a bhikhari, a beggar. All three sisters were born of the same parents, but there is such a great difference amongst them. You can say that our mind is like these girls. If we attach it to a tamasic person or object, we will go to the nether worlds after death. if we attach it to a rajasic person or object, we will return to this earth, and if we attach it to a sattvic personality or object, we will go to heaven, a temporary attainment. And if we attach it to the Supreme Power, we will attain liberation and Divine bliss. It is so clear cut. But the condition is that we must utilize the word ‘only.’ Whether it takes one lifetime, two lifetimes or a thousand lifetimes to do so, will be decided by our efforts. We will have to practice being exclusive in the Godly realm. And it is not as if we are not accustomed to being exclusive. We have been exclusive countless times in this selfish world, where everyone is competing to see who can deceive whom more. The wife is trying all the time to be clever and fulfill her selfish motive through her husband, while the husband is also trying the same trick. The son is fooling the father, and the father is trying to outwit the son. The clerk is trying to pull the wool over his officer’s eyes. Everyone is trying to fool everyone else twenty-four hours a day. The one who is shrewder succeeds. But what does this success really mean? It does not result in peace and happiness. Even if one acquires the wealth of countless universes, there is no still no question of attaining peace and happiness.

Thus, so far we have not understood that we are the soul and that we are related only to the Supreme Soul. त्वमेव सर्वम् This world is provided to us for the maintenance of the body, not for getting our mind attached to it. Simple food and clothing are all that we need. We should not desire more than this, and out of six billion people in the world today, at least five billion have these basic necessities. Yet they are unhappy. And the millionaires of this world are the most troubled. You can see many Americans under the influence of drugs, searching for peace and happiness in India. They roam the streets here, for they have heard that peace is sold in India. These are millionaires and billionaires, mind you. Yet they are so distressed that they cannot even sleep. Thirty percent of Americans take sleeping pills. This is the pitiable condition of wealthy people. “And you want to be wealthy also?” “Yes.” “Then the same will happen to you.” “No, no, if I become a millionaire, I will sleep peacefully.” This is your ignorance speaking. The more you have, the more you want. The more you want, the unhappier you become. You people may not be familiar with the extremely wealthy people. How miserable they are! If you were to enter their hearts and see their inner condition, you would immediately change your mind and will no longer desire to be a millionaire. You would think, “I am much better than this man. At least I move around freely, whether it is day or night.” A millionaire does not have this freedom. He has two body-guards with revolvers wherever he goes. He is afraid someone may shoot him. What kind of life is this! Besides this constant threat to life, these people have many other problems. Even the superpowers, Russia and America, are afraid. In fact they are more afraid than any other nation in the world. You read and hear about these countries making neutron bombs, this bomb and that bomb. Why? Out of fear. They claim to be making these bombs to scare the other, but in fact they are making them to destroy their own fear.

What we have to do is to fully understand that the soul is related only to the Supreme Soul. What does it mean to understand? To understand means to realize. Let us say you are eating and someone whispers in your ear that the food is poisoned. You believe this person immediately, even though you have not eaten for four days. You refuse to eat. Why? “Did you see someone mixing poison in the food?” “No.” “Then how can you believe there is poison in it?” “Because that person says so.” “Oh! You believe that person so easily, and yet have such a difficult time believing the scriptures that have been telling you since time immemorial that only Shyamsundar is yours.” We refuse to accept the truth, but believe lies so easily. A man runs through the streets, screaming that there is a riot taking place. It is not true, but people start running. One man says, “Twenty-five people have been killed.” The mayor becomes anxious, the police start running. “What happened?” “Nothing. It was just a rumor.” Just a rumor, but everyone believed it. We believe wild rumors so easily, then why not the words of God? If we accept the scriptural truth just once, we will attain freedom. But no. When it comes to accepting God’s words, we start using our intellect. “I am a double M.A. I am a Ph.D. I am a D.Lit. How can I blindly accept the scriptures?” When it comes to God, we argue, we disagree, we doubt. When it comes to the world, we believe everything blindly. We hear the news that some world-leader is dead, and we believe it. Then we hear that he is not dead after all. Again we believe. We accept everything in the world, but have such trouble accepting the eternal truth of the scriptures.

So you have to accept only one fact: “Shyamsundar alone is mine, because I am the soul, not the body.” This is the simple truth. What leaves upon death? The soul. What remains? That which belongs to the soul; that which you call the dead body. This means that the soul is different from the body. The body is material, while the soul is Divine. Being Divine it cannot be perceived even by great scientists using the most sophisticated techniques. Scientists have gone to the extent of enclosing a dying man in a sealed glass box. They wanted to see the soul, but did not succeed, because the soul, being Divine, is imperceptible.

Moreover, since the soul is a part and parcel of God, it is only upon attaining God that the soul can attain peace and happiness which it has been eternally craving. Even in unlimited lifetimes we have never experienced that perfect happiness. Once we attain it, the soul will tell us so. Otherwise, we attain so many joys every single day, through wife, husband, father, children, position, degree and chocolate. Yet we are still suffering. Everyone is suffering. The Member of Parliament is unhappy because he is not a Minister. The Minister is unhappy because he is not the Chief Minister, and the Chief Minister is unhappy because he is not the Prime Minister. People come and tell me their troubles. In Mussoorie, a D.I.G. officer came to me and said, “Maharaj Ji, I am going to Delhi.” I said, “All right, go ahead.” “Maharaj Ji, I want to ask you whether I will be successful in Delhi.” I said, “How would I know your business? You have to go to an astrologer and ask this question.” If you ask a sub-inspector whether there is something missing in being a D.I.G., he will tell you that he would be ecstatic with even the post of an S.P., what to speak of a D.I.G.! And being a D.I.G., you are thinking that you would be happy only when you become an I.G. If you were to become an I.G., you will immediately say that there is still a higher seat that you desire. Where will this end? Even Indra, the king of heaven, covets the seat of Brahma. Even he is miserable, dissatisfied and unfulfilled. By satisfying the desire, we do not cure the disease of desire, we aggravate it further. Adding fuel only intensifies the fire.

So a person who has understood this philosophy is saying, “You alone are mine, and I am Yours.” Now separate from both God and us is the entity maya. The world is created by maya. Our body is also created by maya, and so the world is necessary for the sake of the body. But since we are the soul, we belong to God, and He alone belongs to us. The moment we comprehend this, we will immediately start loving Him. Knowledge leads to Acceptance, and Acceptance leads to Love.

Let us say there is a butler. One day a beggar approached him and offered him a paras (philosopher’s stone) in exchange for some food. The butler had never seen the paras, nor did he know what it could do, but he had heard that it is something very valuable. So he thought to himself, “I will feed this beggar and I will give the paras to my employer. He will be happy and my job will be secure.” The employer came home in the evening, and saw the paras on the table. He inquired about it. “Sir, this is a paras.” “What?” “Sir, a beggar gave it to me in exchange for some food.” “You fool! Use your brain! If he had a paras in his possession, would he be begging from you? Where is your common sense?” The man threw the stone away. The stone hit the iron latch on the door, and the latch immediately turned to gold. The man could not believe his eyes. He touched the second latch with the stone, and then the third. All turned to gold. He became ecstatic. He thought, “I don’t need to work any more. Now I can have as much gold as I want, whenever I want.” So you see, as long as this man thought the stone to be ordinary, he had no love for it. As soon as he knew it to be a paras, he accepted it to be the paras, and put it away in a safe place. Now he is ecstatic. In other words, he immediately became attached. Knowledge, Acceptance and Love occured simultaneously.

One sees this happening everywhere in the world. A girl is walking down the street. A boy comes over on a bicycle and places his hand on her shoulder. The girl shoots him an angry look and reaches for her sandal. The boy goes away and stands at a distance. The girl’s friend says to her, “What are you doing? Your parents have arranged for you to be married to this boy. He will become your husband on the 15th of this month.” “Really?” Now the girl steals glances and tries to look at the boy. Why the sudden change in attitude? What was wrong with the boy earlier that she was about to throw her sandal at him? And what is so good about him now, that she is feeling happy stealing glances at him? It is because she has now accepted the boy to be hers. Wherever there is fulfillment of selfishness, there is love.

जाते कछु निज स्वारथ होई तापर ममता करै सब कोई (Ramayan)
“It is a law of nature that all attachments are based on fulfillment of self-interest.” Once we realize that our self-interest lies with God, we will not need to practice loving Him. We will fall in love with Him immediately. What is causing the delay in falling in love with God? We have practiced thinking the world to be ours for so long that it is difficult to erase this feeling. We try accepting Shyamsundar as our own, but our mind turns around and tells us that the world is ours, and that we should not renounce it. The habit of accepting the world as ours is a very old habit. Someone who has developed a habit of smoking cigarettes or drinking tea finds it difficult to sit through even a one-hour lecture. He waits anxiously for the lecture to finish so that he may smoke. Just a while ago I caught a gentleman smoking. He had a huge moustache, and he was sitting there, puffing away. Even after joining satsang, you people cannot make small sacrifices. Just think! An insentient object has made you its slave. If you had fallen in love with Shyamsundar, you would have tasted Divine bliss. Shyamsundar’s nectar is much greater than the nectar of countless cigarettes. Once you taste that Divine nectar, there would be no question of even thinking of the world. But because we are so deeply attached to the world, we need to make great efforts to divert the mind from it. This is why our Vedic scriptures have provided us with many methods of diverting the mind.

Unlike worldly relationships, our relationship with Shree Krishna is not an imaginary one. Since it is a genuine relationship, there is no scope for doubt. If you have to doubt, doubt the authenticity of worldly relationships. How absurd it is that we believe where we should doubt and doubt where we should have faith.

Our relationship with Shyamsundar is irrefutable. We have forgotten, but He has not. How do we know He has not forgotten? The Vedas say:
साक्षी चेता केवलो निर्गुणश्च
“He is seated within the heart, taking note of each and every action of each and every moment.” He, the Father, is doing His duty, without expecting any payment. We did not have to submit an application to Him, nor did we have to remind Him to do so. He is so merciful that He performs this duty for all His children. He says, “Good or bad, you are my child. I will keep account of your actions without your having to say it.” Even in the world when you employ an ordinary accountant, you pay him a salary. And God is keeping account of every thought of every moment. Never renouncing us, He is always standing right behind us, waiting for us to do a right turn, a left turn or an about turn and surrender to Him, so that He may bestow Supreme Bliss and grant us liberation from maya. But in order for this to happen, we will have to become exclusive in our love. What is the method of becoming exclusive in our love for Shyamsundar? And how can we practice that love? These questions will be addressed tomorrow.
बोलिए वृन्दावन बिहारी लाल की जय
All glories to The Lord of Vrindaban!

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