26th June, 2011: In today’s satsanga, the following was asked of Maharaj Ji: If we believe that everything happens according to the Divine Will; that if not even a leaf rustles without his command, then doesn’t that imply that ‘I will be able to transform myself only when He wills my transformation’?
Read below Maharaj Ji’s electrifying reply to this query and also various other queries that were raised by devotees.
“Many questions have been asked today, we shall go on answering them as we go along. Though questions were asked by specific people, the answer that shall be given will be common for all.
We start with what is a widespread question; wherever one goes this question springs up in one form or another. They mention that it is written by saints that everything happens according to the Divine Will; so much so that even a leaf rustles only if commanded by God to do so. This much we normally say. But then we yoke to this something of our minds and that is what which spoils the question. We add from our own minds, the query: Would then I will be able to walk the path to God, only when God wills so?
Now, the first part of the query can be termed as correct. But, the second part that has originated from our minds, which says, “What is the need to practice by ourselves” – now this has not been written in any scripture. Nowhere has any saint mentioned that since everything works under the Divine Will, so, one need not worry about practicing or making self-effort, as that too is being controlled by God. Now we ask you: If we are prepared to believe the scriptures when they say that everything happens as per the Divine Will, then why shouldn’t we believe the scriptures when they clearly say, not once, twice or thrice but a zillion time over, to practice, to do positive actions and so on! There may be one or two lines in a scripture which allude to the omnipotence of the Lord, but then there a countless lines that call out to man to practice good actions and host of other things! Why don’t we lend our ears to this clarion call? Not being attentive to this, we merely listen that part which says that all happens as God wills, and so what is the need for us to make self-effort in meditation! Why are we mixing sugar with sand? Who knows why have we acquired this habit?
These words may sound harsh. But our situation is that we are not eating the sweet honey of the truths mentioned in the scriptures in their pure, pristine form. Instead we mix the sand, the dung of our own muddled mental thoughts to it. There is also a positive second part to this query asked today: Are we free in doing our actions?
Now, about knowing whether we are free in doing our actions, why don’t we again listen to the scriptures themselves. How resoundingly they utter forth, “Karmaṇyevā‘ dhikāraste”; not merely free to act; instead to act is our right. And you are asked to act justly, rightly and nobly. If it is written so clearly then from where does the question “that when He would will it, then alone it would happen, what is the use of me troubling myself” arises? It is almost stupidity to have such beliefs. We are emphasizing on this because these questions are so widespread that they follow you wherever you go. But why do these questions arise? What makes us mix sugar and sand together? We now answer that.
There is a child who goes to study in a school. Who will pass the child? Of course, it is the teacher who will do so. But if the child comes to foolishly think, “After all, it is the teacher who will or will not pass me; so what is the need for me to study?” Can anyone think like this? None can. Then why do we imagine such foolish things on the path of the Divine? It is so, because we are like the foolish child who does not takes interest in his studies; who on the pretext of going to school goes to cinemas as an mode of enjoyment – and hence he comes to think, “To pass me is only in the hands of the teacher”.
We remember an incident. A child was being tutored but he kept of failing all the time. After trying his best for two years, finally, one day, the teacher gave up. Crestfallen, he remarked to the child’s parents, “Well, I have come to know that I cannot teach your child.” At this, the child uttered, “Well, I had known that all along.” <all laugh>
Well, very similar is our condition. Our mind meanders in all the activities; we go on running throughout the day chasing after one thing or the other. But, to those who talk about Divine Will should question themselves: do we direct our activities as per the Divine Will – our eating, sleeping, struggle to earn money, shopping, entertainment etc. – are these guided by the Divine Will? Do we ever say, “O when the Divine Wills, then only I will watch a movie…?” No, we are inspired from within and we go chasing a particular object. Obstacles there may be, but we are not deterred by them. We use all our understanding and efforts to rise above the obstacles that meet us in our external realm of work, but the moment it comes to the inner path we tend to lose our heart at the earliest opportunity. A little difficulty comes, and we say, “Well, leave it! It is all in the hands of the Divine. If He wishes, he would help, he would make me meditate; otherwise, what is there in my hands!”
Just like a teacher teaches a child, gives him homework, checks that, tests him and if the lesson has been learnt, also passes the child. Those children who shall not study will fail and repeatedly fail until they learn their lesson. Similarly, this world is a huge school and the beings are repeatedly sent to it until they pass their tests. The sayings of saints, writings in the scriptures are all giving us lessons. If he does not learns it, then as he acts, accordingly the Divine gives him the fruits. When we act in a wrong way, the fruits that come our way are also bitter. And yet, the Divine gives us fruits in a manner that we are also able to live-out the fruits and alongside get inspiration to walk on the right path. Misery comes to us as a result of our bad actions, but along with that the Divine also gives us some measure of happiness. Each time we act bad, the Divine only helps us to rise higher by simultaneously giving us the fruits of our actions and also the power to live-out those fruits. And yet, we often blame God, “There is so much misery for me. I do not know for which bad actions are you punishing me for?”
Now, we do not remember what we were thinking the previous instant, what we were doing a week ago. So do we remember all those actions that we performed in our previous lives – the fruit of which is our present predicament? And, how easily we say, “I did not perform any bad action and yet I am having this misery.” Rather than complaining like this, we should ask ourselves, “What good works have I done?” You may not have done negative works, but then what positive works have you done? You spent your entire lives looking after your family only, but what work did you do for others? You acted out of attachment, out of greed, out of your ego – which good work did you do that could be termed as a “selfless act”? What time have you truly devoted to the sadhana of the Divine? And still we say, “Dunno! What bad I had done, that I am facing this.” How ridiculous!
All this flawed thinking exists because we have not understood what God really is – What truly is His will? Please keep the two things in mind: God is not separate from me. He is present within me. God does not pass orders upon us as if we were machines. Humans are not machines. His orders come to us in the form of inner inspiration, power, energy and guidance – for God is our own being, and not a dictator sitting in the sky. As much we shall ask of Him, we shall go on getting. And the meaning of his will implies the Divine rules or plans: As you sow, so shall you reap. The command of God, his will is not to be confused with the command of a dictator. It refers to those rules and principles that guide the motion of the cosmos. The will of the Lord is: If you shall do bad works, similar would also be the fruits that you’d get and vice versa. This is what is meant by the will of God. The will/command of God is that in a human body, the being is free, independent to act. God is certainly not like a harsh dictator who would chain our motions, bidding us to follow his dictates. God is extremely kind, he is extremely compassionate.
Yes, in the case of plants, animals etc. where the intellectual will is not developed like in man, they move as per Lord’s grace only. But humans can think freely, act according to their believes, their intellect is developed – the ability to think, reason and act is coming from God himself with a purpose that man can channel these into good works. If we do not devote ourselves to good works then that implies that we’re going against His will. And if we go against his will, then what else shall we get but misery for sure! But this misery is also given so that someday we would understand. If the store of bad actions is too great, then as per the rules, there are hell etc. where there ain’t as much misery.
The arena to outlive your karmas is the human body. So, those who believe in the scriptures should understand that given the human body, it is required that we utilize all our abilities in doing good. This is what is God’s will. The case of those saints who have totally risen above their egos is different though. They are justified to declare that all that is happening, as the handiwork of the Divine. But we should not blindly imitate them. Such an understanding requires a complete annihilation of the ego – when one does not see anything but Divine everywhere. In such a state, no misery or suffering can touch that sage. But until the ‘I’ in us is strong until then we invariably end up doing bad too. However, by doing good, when our egos would be thinned, then we too would begin to see the handiwork of the Divine everywhere (in the rustling of leaves, in the voice of people, in all the happenings around us). And then, there is no misery, suffering, fear, attachment – there is only the play of the Divine everywhere. But until there is ‘I’ in us, until then it is no use to imitate the experiences of those selfless sages. It is best to believe that doing good actions is what the Divine will entails.
Working good this way, the first milestone that is reached is that the being comes to know where he stands i.e. he comes to know all that goes on within him. When this is known then that implies he will be able to take another step on the path to the Divine. The problem that arises is this: Owing to our own actions we are standing at a particular level on the ladder of evolution. The people around us may be standing at rungs below us or higher. And despite this, we end up competing against them. So the first milestone that is reached is the understanding of where I truly stand: to know that “I still have anger within me; I still have greed within me etc. And I will only rise above when I will remove all this from within me. And the moment I do that, I would reach to the level where the others, those higher than me, are standing today.”
Earlier, we openly used to tell all about Khechari Mudra. But except a very few people, the others got stuck at the starting point itself. That was because their level was like that. Now we have changed that way of teaching. Now, whosoever would advance forwards we’ll give him new lessons; to those still behind, we would give lessons, required for that level. The problem is that without knowing our true standing, we begin to compete against others. This implies that our face is towards the world and not towards the Guru. It isn’t that the grace of the Guru hadn’t dawned before, it was always there; the thing is about our receptivity.
<the remaining part of the discourse would be updated soon>