30th March, Malke Ashram: Bhagat Jagat Singh Ji was the one responsible for this new establishment (Shabad Surat Sangam Ashram) in Malke village. He was an ardent devotee of Prabhu Kambli Wale. While living a householder’s life, he performed all the saintly acts. He had set a good example of devotion through his own life which inspired many people from nearby villages towards this path of ultimate truth. When his time was about to end, he requested Shri Maharaj Ji to keep on watering the seeds he had sown in the hearts of young aspirants of Malke and nearby villages. Ultimately Shabad Surat Sangam Ashram came into being on a land of wilderness overrun with serpents. Every year 30th day of March, devotees from all the nearby villages gather at Ashram to pay tribute to this saintly person. A grand satsang is organized at this occassion followed by langar.
Highlights from Maharaj Ji’s inspired discourse follow (Click here to listen to audio):
- To realize the importance of the human body or the human birth. We carry a huge treasure within us, but are unaware of it. To use this precious instrument only for the sake of external welfare in terms of better food, sleep, sex and self-preservation is to live like an animal, and can even be considered sinful. Our condition may be likened to that farmer who had a farm on the banks of a river. Every night animals from the nearby jungle used to spoil his crops. So he set up a stage (hidden high in a tree) from where he used to shoot mud bullets to scare them off every night. One night, his bullets ran out. Looking for something that would last him through the night, he came across something that felt like a pot and which contained some very hard stones in it. He thought he would use these stones tonight to scare off the animals. So all night he sat and kept throwing those stones until they were all but finished. When he woke up in the morning, he was amazed to see the last remaining stone, glistening gold in the morning sun. And immediately, extreme repentance took hold of him, for in the darkness of the night, he had mistaken precious gems for ordinary stones. Maharaj Ji urged us not to do the same with the treasure that each of us has within ourselves. The outer activities must be to increase and connect to the resource we all have within, rather than to dissipate the force of breath, intellect etc. outside. Otherwise, at last, during our death, only repentance will come our way.
- Furthermore, it was emphasized that the people who are receptive to the inner path should not compare themselves with people who are not even aware of it. Often practitioners may feel that there are so many people who make merry in the world. So why shouldn’t they do the same? But Maharaj Ji said that these people who are receptive to the inner, are also the ones who have the ability to walk with great force and speed in the field of life, but then, they also have a greater chance of being led off, if they start walking in the wrong direction. On the other hand, people who are not even aware of the inner path are like toddlers who make very little progress in either direction (good or bad). So those who want to walk the inner path must not go behind those who are not on this path, for them sorrows of treading that path would also be greater. They should instead follow the ones who are diligently walking the inner path.
- Maharaj Ji concluded by giving a sutra from Bhagat Ji’s life: If a positive action or thought inspires you, carry it out then and there. When something negative conspires within you, wait. Soon, it will pass by. Bhagat Ji was a farmer, but whenever he used to feel like meeting Kambli Wale (his Master) he would instantly leave his work and start for the ashram. If he didn’t get any vehicle, he would just go on walking.
- Maharaj Ji’s further message was to people who wish/believe in practising while living in grihastha (household life). A householder’s life is a constant test. With every breath one’s equanimity of the mind is tested. Once, Bhagat Ji’s (who also was a householder) close aid died. While all were moaning, Bhagat Ji was ecstatic. People asked him the reason. He said, that he was happy for himself for he had passed the test that Lord had sent him. He could see that his mind remained tranquil even in this great loss, that he could see the Lord’s will even in this act. So he was happy that he had passed that test. Those who can emulate this standard of living can achieve Lord’s bhakti amidst all household activities and duties. Otherwise, household life becomes just a means of satisfying the mind’s mundane desires, while the flower of bhakti never actually blossoms.
- And since Maharaj Ji was basically addressing a gathering of household-farmers, he said that on the path of sadhana everyone is a farmer. The body is the field in which one has to sow the seeds of Naam (Lord’s name) and good karma.