2nd Sept. 2013, Nirvana Divas (Barsi) of Swami Dev Puri Ji Maharaj, Kila Raipur: Maharaj Ji arrived in Kila Raipur on the evening of 31st August. Each year, Swami Shankar Puri Ji of nearby Ramgarh Sardara organizes a satsanga sabha on the eve of Kambli Wale’s Barsi and Maharaj Ji pays a visit there, every year, on this occasion. A preliminary satsanga and a session of Agni Kriya were organized on the 1st of September.
In the gathering of 2nd September, the day of Barsi, after various melodies from Gurbani Keertan, Bhajans and Qawalis had gripped, soothed and involved the sangat, Sadhvi Yoganjali Chaitanya Ji took center-stage. In the midst of her discourse, she narrated an incident from the life of Kambli Wale when he had once stood on an ants’ nest in obedience to Guru Mewapuri Ji’s hukum (command), being later admonished by Gurudeva for not even having the sense to stand apart from the insects’ nest. Only after such numerous trials, did Gurudeva accept him as a disciple and impart him the Mahavakya (the grand sentence or the Gurumantra).
This example, cited by Sadhviji became the central hub of Maharaj Ji’s discourse that followed. He elaborated on this incident, raising and answering such questions of the way that would we also have to imitate the heroics of Kambli Wale to attain Knowledge? Which is the ant-nest on which we would have to stand? What is the way to stand there? And more. The answers are in the discourse, the English transcription of which has been presented below, for the benefit of all aspirants.
English translation of the discourse:
We are celebrating the 71st Barsi of Shri Kambli Wale. We are sitting here out of love. We think that some people have been sitting here from the very beginning (of the sabha) and have not moved, haven’t got up. Yes, this is the power of love. If there is love within, so much power takes birth that a being can perform the greatest of works. As you have just heard in the example cited that Kambli Wale remained standing on insects’ nest, in obedience to Guru’s command, because there was love for the Guru in him.
Many people will begin by saying that this could have been true of him, he could have remained standing (bearing the painful insect bites without flinching); but it should be remembered that we are celebrating this Barsi only to cement this fact in our hearts that he is still present with us, in the form of the Naam or the Mahavakya. The stream of power is flowing within us also, the issue is only about yoking our minds to it. It is not that we will also have to stand on the ant-nests to succeed; in fact few of them are left today. However, if we believe ourselves to be his disciples then we must atleast sit for an hour or two, morning or evening or at both times (and do the practice as handed down by the tradition). We must also stand on an insect-nest, but which insect-nest is that? Our mind is that insect-nest; lust, anger, greed, attachment are the insects which wriggle inside our hearts. Let us establish ourselves over them, standing on the twin feet of devotion and love. In a stable posture, let us remain standing firm, on the command of the Guru, which is but the Guru Shabad. So there is no cause to worry. In this way we will also get connected to the tradition, and remain connected to it.
We should not have this in our mind that we would also do the same as him (Kambli Wale) i.e. imitate him. (Sadhvi) Yoganjali narrated a story from his life. The purpose of that is to assimilate the meaning of the command of the Guru (for me). Swami Suryendu Puri Ji cleared it further by saying, “Guru ki karni kahe dhave, guru keha so kaar kamave”. So, what is the Guru’s command for me, if I consider myself to be the disciple of the Guru?
When I surrendered myself, my ego, at the feet of the Guru, which was the most important command (hukum) that I got? It is the hukum of the Naam. The Naam that we have got is that hukum under which the entire creation is functioning. If only we can bring the thoughts and wishes of our mind under its command! But this ant-nest that exists within, one is to patrol it for the entire lifetime. And it is to remind ourselves of these facts that we are sitting here.
There would be very few people who practice regularly. Many people tell us that they practice regularly. But if all that practice doesn’t lead to any transformation in our minds, if the snakes and insects of lust, greed, anger, attachment etc. keep on biting us, then we haven’t found success yet. (In the example cited) Guru Mewapuri Ji had come and said that now he (Kambli Wale) needn’t remain standing any further. He should move away. Now, he had become a true disciple of his. He gave him the initiation of the Naam and the meaning of the Naam manifested in Kambli Wale’s heart.
Now, we have obtained the Naam as well. Now, though we try to stand on the ants-nest of inner impurities but have not still obtained the second hukum – the hukum of the Mahavakya when the Naam having manifested in the heart, in the Dasham Dvara in its true form, leads the disciple above all confines to the supreme state. But why is it that we have not attained this second hukum?
We are standing indeed, we practice simran (remembrance of the Lord’s Name) also. Yes, there are some who do not practice. Well, those who don’t, start doing it; with love and involvement. Atleast remain seated, with closed eyes, for an hour and keep on doing simran. And the second thing is this. We do practice. The mind remains afflicted by lust, anger, greed etc. The insects bite us. But what do we do? It is an astonishing thing. We can say it is the great work of Avidya Shakti: those bites do not pain us. In fact, we start digging the nest deeper, inviting more insects to bite us. The afflictions of lust, anger, greed, attachment do not even worry us, we remain standing at the same spot and want to remain standing there, and not only this, we go on expanding the extent of the insects’ colony. So why (/how) would we receive the next hukum?
Even when we practice bhajan, the Naam is left far, far behind. We do remain sitting but give immeasurable scope to thoughts concerned with raag-dvesha (‘he did this to me’, ‘because of him I failed’, ‘he is cause of my misery’ and so on and so forth) to come and have their play and in this way go on increasing the extent of the nest. And what has been the result of all this? Our skin has become so thick and insensitive, just like that of a buffalo or a pig, remaining undeterred by the pain caused by their surroundings, and over and above this we say that we are practicing simran.
The real fruit of practicing simran is that the insect-nest over which we are standing, and standing by our own will, we feel the need to rise above this situation. But that does not happen. We were in Ramgarh Sardara recently. Swamiji had started this topic and we too had taken it further. The thing is that we do not even feel ashamed that this insect of anger is wriggling inside me. I do not feel ashamed that I am stuck in greed. I do not feel ashamed of that fact that I derive pleasure from chit-chatting behind others’ back. In this way the skin of our mind has become fat and thick like that of animals.
On one hand we have heard the saying, “O mind, your nature is divine, light”. But far from enlightening our mind to reveal its true nature we go on enveloping it in more and more layers of darkness. And above it, we say that we are doing naam-simran. The meaning of naam-simran is that I may come to know of the shortcomings in me. As long as we see the shortcomings of others, as long as we can see the insects wriggling in their hearts, we will miss to see the insects’ nest over which we ourselves, are standing .
We say it many times that doing bhajan is a very easy thing. The nature of mind is Light itself, what is there to purify in it! The Paramatma resides in me in His totality; how many journeys are we to do to meet him, He is nearer that the nearest, within me! The thing is only this. While living in the world, only if we can love everyone! If we will see shortcomings outside, the same will go on increasing inside us as well. We should be very happy to see someone willing to walk on this path, we should be devoted to help him, serve him.
Doing bhajan is very easy, but along with this it is important that our treatment of everyone is right and pure. But we leave behind our behavior in a remote corner; our behavior is just aimed at getting more and more wealth, more and more praise, that ‘what I may say should be accepted’. And before oneself, there is no concern for anyone. The bhajan done with such a mind will only add fuel to the fire of ego within. The nest will spread farther, the thorns and bushes will sprout, and the thing of regret and astonishment is that I will not come to know how many insects, snakes and scorpions are residing within me.
We are giving a sutra. This will help us understand how our behavior should be. It is an old event. At that time this ashram had just been built. Kambli Wale had come here from Nanduana. There were also many detached mahatmans living here. Many others used to come here as well. Maharaj Swami Dayalu Puri Ji and his elder brother who were known by the name of Swami Rameshwar Puri Ji had also come here. Maharaj Ji’s age was about ten plus then and he had just come here. He had great interest in doing seva (service). Whichever seva he would find, he would do it from the front ranks and run to find more service when he was done with one. Whether that was brooming the floor or digging the earth – even in that small age, whether service in the langar, he was always in the front. It was once the time for the evening meal. The sangat was seated to partake the food. Kambli Wale were also there, sitting on the chair, overlooking the proceedings. Maharaj Ji picked up as many plates as he could and was moving about briskly distributing them to the sangat when all of a sudden his feet caught a rough patch on the floor beneath and in the jerk, the plates he was carrying, fell down. A rattling sound ripped the air. Everyone was hit by the sound and the whispers of criticism rose in the air – “Such a small child should not be doing this seva“. “He will break the plates”. “The peace of the atmosphere should not be disturbed”. “What if we are hurt by the plates” etc. At that time Kambli Wale rose both the hands up, signaling for quiet and said, “Let all the plates break, but someone’s heart should not break.” This is the sutra. But it is not so simple to understand. There is a need of some elaboration as well and it is this.
If someone is doing seva, wants to progress on path of spirituality and is moving ahead, then do not worry if a brick is placed here or there. If someone is doing seva, simran, then do not admonish him for some lack that may have remained in his worldly affairs. Let us clarify this again. Take the case of the dera. There are services of the langar. Someone is doing seva in the langar. If his motives are pure, and then if he happens to commit some mistake then do not admonish him, “You fool! What did you do?” But mistakes do happen. So does that mean that we should not correct anyone? No, we are not saying this. If someone is does something wrong on purpose, then he is no sevak. If he is purposefully burning the rotis, then that is no seva. If he is brooming the floor and hides the dirt in some corner, then what kind of seva is that? And then if we think, “Let us not say anything to him. He might feel bad”. But in this way, though we may not be paining his heart, but are allowing him full freedom to follow his wayward wishes. So what are we to do?
We will have to find the middle path between these two extremes. There should be immense love in the heart for everyone, a spirit of oneness with everyone that we may even correct someone. But correction not coming from the concern that some work was spoiled, but just for the reason that if he/she kept on following his same habits they will falter from the path of spirituality, of seva. Indeed, this is a little subtle.
Usually, what happens is this. Either we are involved in something to the brink of monomania (‘why was this not cooked today’, ‘why was that brick not placed here’, ‘why was this wall not built here’ etc.) – all this is totally wrong, or we give in totally to seclusion (to a kind of pseudo-detachment – ‘let things happen as they would, but let us do only our practice’). Both of them are wrong.
That someone’s heart may not be pained means this – that travelling on this path of seva, he may not go astray, his pride may not envelop him. And what is to be done for this? For this, there is the same lesson. The Guru’s hukum, the practice of Naam-Simran should be done with great love and devotion; along with this, the practitioner must remain aware of the insects that are present within, those insects should be pulled out and simultaneously one must not invite more insects to enter within. We should do seva also. Simran also. We talked about the dera. But this is the truth of many many homes. What should happen is this. The fraternal love between brothers should never cease to be. The love between the bride and the mother-in-law, between the father and the son should not cease at the mere dislocation of some wall by a few inches? Notice, where quarrels arise. They arise because of boundaries. Yes, at some places it is also over such trivial issues as ‘in my food there are less ingredients, in his more’. ‘He was given paranthas, I a poor, dry chappati’. Bitter quarrels arise over such things. Yes, the females in the audience agree with this <responding to the vigorous approval of the females in the audience at this comment>. If there are altercations over such trivialities then how can our behavior be called pure! What kind of simran can be practiced there?
We may have been practicing since many years, for an hour each day, but no transformation has happened. It may have happened that the few insects that were within, we pulled them out, but in the process of taking out one of them we ended up inviting ten more.
So, this Barsi of Shri Kambli Wale that we are celebrating is an example before us, a big thing that inspires us to go on expanding our circle wherever we are while staying where we are; and in the process cleaning the filth and waste of inside as much as we can. Let us repeat it again.
It is very easy to do bhajan but only if we purify our behavior. And the way to purify our behavior is just this: keeping wealth, objects and subjects of outside on one side, go on increasing mutual love and service more and more. Now, are these things so difficult to do? How difficult can they be? If we eat good meals then let us also provide the same meals to others, at home. What is the difficulty in doing just this! Yes, ‘by the same’ we mean that food which is appropriate for the diseased, the old and the young. If we can just improve this little things then we would say we are in the tradition of those Mahapurushas, those who have done such great tapas.
The subject today has turned into this direction. We are saying this because in every home such things take place. These issues manifest especially when the going is tough. If we are alert in such times, then we will cross over. Let us go on purifying our behavior and along with this there is satsanga etc. Along with this keep this belief inside that I am connected to the Guru. My Guru is so great, and I too am his part. They reside within me. The time when the Guru leave their body or when they enter into a body, there is not much difference in them. On one hand they come into the body, which is called Avatar Diwas. Their sadhana had reached such high realms in their previous birth that the little that was to be done, they did it in this body. And while living in the body and even when they leave the body, they did not die. They do leave their bodies, but they are always present in the hearts of their disciples in the form of the Naam.
When an ordinary being leaves his body, his wealth, property, work is left behind and the inheritors divide that amongst themselves. The property is halved, quartered etc. But when the Mahapurushas leave, their gift which they leave behind cannot be divided. And the more we share it, the more it goes on increasing. The more we share worldly goods, the lesser can one use it for oneself. But the more we share what the Mahapurushas have given us, the more it will increase. Our treasures will also increase and the one with whom we share them would also become happy, blissful and drunk in it. And the way to distribute and share this is what we have said: go on purifying your behavior. None of our work should be such which creates an obstacle on the path of spirituality of the other. None of our work should be such which causes anyone to go astray from this path and motivate him to travel on the contrary path.
We are thinking that this much is sufficient. The issue is just this. Weighing our own minds, let us go on moving forwards.