FIND YOUR OWN WAY
JNANA-, KARMA- AND BHAKTI YOGA
Apart from the known religions, there have been many other unknown teachings. Man is entitled to form his philosophy. There is nothing wrong with that at all. Conviction, honesty and sincerity in what you believe are the most critical factors you must have. This can be achieved by studying various religions and philosophies; from there, you extract what you would find essential to you. Like a bee that goes from flower to flower, you would extract the nectar from all the different flowers. Man can live his life that way.
That is good for the thinking man, the jnana yogi. But then you have the person not endowed with that kind of intellect; then he would simply follow the path of karma yoga: do good, be reasonable. If there is a God or no God, who cares? He formulates no philosophy; his philosophy would be, let me live as a good person in this world.
Those who are devotionally inclined would choose a deity and surrender themself to that deity, and having total belief in that deity, they could select Krishna, Rama, Christ, or whatever.
So, on the one hand, we operate from the mental and intellectual level, examining the world’s philosophies. On the other hand, we exercise at the heart level, where you do not want to know but are just devoted. It is not the deity that is so important; your devotion is important.
For example, when the chelas of Sri Ramakrishna arrived, they usually touched his feet and put flowers on them, so he was asked by a chela do you allow this? So, Ramakrishna replied, “This is not for my sake. I do not need the devotion. But it is for the sake of the devotee. I allow him to develop his devotion.” And as devotion develops, love develops.
BELIEF – FAITH – KNOWINGNESS
Although they know all these philosophies, I have found professors of the world who are still very, very mixed up; they are confused. Therefore, how far can the mind go? You create your view after studying these various philosophies and picking out the nectar from every perspective. I always say, there are four thousand million people in this world; let there be four thousand million religions, if you would like to call it that. The definition of the word religion is to bind back, and it is you who wants to bind yourself back to the source that you have come from.
Therefore, you could start with belief. But do not stop there. You have many people just being stuck there on that level of belief. They believe this, and they believe that, but that belief must develop into faith, and the faith must develop into knowingness, where you just know without analysing anything at all. You just know. Then, all arguments would cease. You argue with no one, even if the other person’s belief is yours. Some might be a dualist, some might be a qualified non-dualist, and some would be a total non-dualist. You do not argue; you say you believe in that Unity Consciousness, and if someone else believes in duality, by all means, that duality is suitable for that person at that particular stage of his evolution. So, you just do not argue.
ANALYSE, FEEL, EXPERIENCE AND DECIDE FOR YOURSELF
This man wanted to find the secret of peace and tranquillity. His friend told him that in the Himalayas, you will find a guru who will give you the secret of peace and tranquillity. So, he went to the Himalayas, and for seven years, he roamed around, up and down, and then, sitting on a high peak, he found this glowing spiritual master. And he felt that, “Look, this must be the man I am looking for.” They started talking, and the would-be chela, this man who wanted to find the secret of peace and tranquillity, asked the guru, “Can you tell me the secret of peace and tranquillity?” So, the guru says, “Yes, you just do not argue with anyone. Whatever people say, you listen with a keen ear and an open mind and do not argue.” So, the chela replies, “That is not the secret of peace and tranquillity.” So, the guru says, “Okay, that is not the secret of peace and tranquillity.” So, you do not argue.
The approach of a chela must be one of search. Otherwise, you are not a seeker. A true seeker asks a question because it is burning in his Heart. He wants to find the answer for that peace and tranquillity, but he would not approach the guru with an adamant thought that he believes this is right, and he starts arguing. No. You take what you can get and then analyse it in your mind, feel it in your mind, experience it, and then decide.
I never tell my chelas to do this and do not do this. But as they meditate, I can see it on their faces; their faces glow with that inner Force, and I can see the progress. That is what I am interested in, not if they are sleeping on a double or single bed or if they eat breakfast or do not eat breakfast. I do not want to know that, as long as I can see greater integration in them, these little exterior things do not matter at all. You can wear the robes of a sadhu, a sannyasin, or a thousand-dollar suit; what counts as long as there is a sense of non-attachment in whatever you do? And when you have a sense of non-attachment, you do not argue with anything. All argument goes because you are not attached to anything. You become philosophy yourself, as far as it can take you, and as your understanding grows, you will find devotion growing. As your understanding grows, your awareness expands, and you will find greater and greater devotion welling up in your Heart. So here, the mind and the Heart start functioning in unison, in oneness, and that is what we want.
ONLY YOU CAN MAKE YOU SELF-REALISED
The Heart has become so separated from the mind, and we want to find the Heart permeating the mind and the mind permeating the Heart. You could become a vegetable if you do not allow the mind to permeate the Heart. What we need is understanding; with understanding, we also require devotional feeling, dedication, sincerity of purpose, and certain convictions. And not only that but they must also be portrayed; they must be lived practically because everything requires expression. The Heart requires expression, and the mind needs expression. Everything around you is expressing, expressing, expressing all the time in this process of evolution. So, with understanding and development of the deep quality of the Heart, you will find yourself expressing yourself in totality, and that expression does not even require verbalisation.
People commonly confuse that. They say that man expressed himself in such a way, and by that, it is given to understand that he verbalised it. You can express yourself without verbalising anything. As I have told you before, in the last stages of Buddha’s life, his Satsangs were in total silence. He would sit there with his eyes closed, half-closed, and meditate, and his chelas would sit around him, and after a while, when they left, certain of the problems in their minds were resolved by themselves. Because within the problem, the solution is always there. There can be no problem without its solution. The spiritual master, with his Spiritual Force, awakens that area of the situation in which the answer or the key is hidden, and that is what we call transforming oneself. That is what we call realisation. You start realising certain truths all the time, and the totality of those truths will bring you to the greatest truth, the total truth.
If a man is a genuine seeker, in the process of evolution, as he evolves nearer and nearer to Divinity, he will find that all the things that bother his mind become resolved. It is a gradual process. I think Vivekananda or Ramakrishna said that out of a hundred million people, only a few will reach there, will get that totality. I have never promised anyone that I will show you God. I have never promised anyone that I will make you self-realised. That you can only do yourself, and it cannot be done by anyone else. But the teacher shows the way, the path, and you walk the path, and of course, he helps you with the Spiritual Force.
MAN PROCEEDS FROM A LOWER TRUTH TO A HIGHER TRUTH
In our system, we believe in love and devotion, not surrender. You cannot start with surrender. Surrender is the culmination that comes far later when you are surrendered to your guru, which is surrendered to you. It is a two-way street. These guys sit on pedestals and platforms, and you have to prostrate yourself and get bopped with a bunch of feathers. Perhaps the peacock has more power than the guru. Maybe that spiritual Force might be coming from the feathers, not the guru. So, you reconcile things within yourself without changing your conviction. And never let anyone tell you you are wrong because there is no wrong.
Man proceeds from a lower to a higher truth; it is a matter of degrees and not a point of difference. When one has that attitude and that understanding, you cease all argumentations. If you want to go to Chicago from here, someone might prefer to use a donkey cart, someone might prefer using a small car, and someone might like using a Rolls Royce. How can we say the person using the donkey cart is wrong, the one using the small car is wrong, or the Rolls Royce is wrong? The aim is to reach Chicago. So, you take your way, and your vehicle, and the vehicle must comply with the convictions you have in yourself. There is nothing wrong with taking the donkey cart or taking a car to reach Chicago, but the aim is there: I want to get to Chicago.
Therefore, what would it help people of opposing philosophies to argue with each other? The aim is the same. But one likes to use one method of transport, while the other wants to use a different form of transportation. We have no right to say you are wrong by using a donkey cart, and that donkey cart user has no right to say you are wrong using a motor car.
MAN IN GENERAL HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE SAME
Therefore, all the problems in the world that have come about are because of religion. Vivekananda said that there is nothing that has done more harm in the world than religions, and he also said there is nothing that has done more good in the world than religions. If you study history, you check the Crusaders, for example, rivers of blood. You look at Islam; by the point of a sword, millions were killed, and in India, it is still going on, where Hindus and Muslims will kill each other. The Muslims would just beat up a cow, and a riot would begin over the Holy Cow.
It is a lack of understanding. It is that ignorance that prevails, that darkness that makes people behave that way. They act that way because they have not reached a particular stage of evolution, which will continue forever. The Baptist does not agree with the Fundamentalist, the Fundamentalist does not agree with the Roman Catholic, and the Roman Catholic does not agree with the Presbyterian, and this will continue. This world has been like this for thousands of years. During the time of Rama, who was supposed to have lived nine thousand years ago, or during the time of Krishna, during the time of Buddha, or during the time of Christ, the world was the same. Man has always been the same. You would have some evolving out of this sphere to a higher level, but others from a lower sphere would enter this sphere. There will always be this traffic in this vast continuum, those coming in and those going out to higher levels.
To find peace within ourselves, we do not even need to attempt to reconcile our beliefs with the philosophies of others. For example, the Fundamentalists say only Jesus saves. If you believe in Krishna, or if you believe in Buddha, you are an atheist; only Jesus saves. You find that with the Hindus, too. Some Hindus believe that only Krishna holds because the Gita says, “You come to me.” Christ says the same thing, “No one reaches the Father except through me.” Everyone will say that. But it depends upon your belief and your understanding of things. If Krishna says that, and Christ says the same thing, then perhaps they are the same consciousness born at different times. They say the same thing, so why must I have no respect for Jesus or no respect for Krishna or Buddha? I find them to be of the same consciousness that I am, and therefore, I could reconcile all of them, and the way is to reach their level of consciousness; then, it is all reconciled. But if we are on the lower rungs, where the consciousness is not fully expanded or has not gained the cognition of its universality, then people will go on fighting and fighting and fighting. It is a pity. It is a real pity.
FIND YOUR OWN WAY
I always say that every man has his way of life, which is what matters – the way of life, which we call dharma. You find your dharma, your way of life, that will bring peace and tranquillity to you. The other man will find his way of life that could bring peace and tranquillity to him. Or, as the old saying goes, “All rivers from different directions ultimately become one in the same ocean.”
We have nothing against any faith, religion or philosophy. Let them be, and let me be and let those that agree with my thoughts be. I do not see any evil in any person at all. These wrong things that he does, we regard it wrong because they are artificial laws. There are no God-made laws at all. Remember this revolutionary truth I am giving you. God has never made any law at all. God is a neutral energy, and you can put the neutral point into a refrigerator, you will have coldness, and you put it in a stove, and you will have heat. In the name of Divinity, in the name of this energy, man has created all these laws, and of course, there was a purpose for it: to preserve an equilibrium in society. That was the intention, but it has failed.
USE YOUR ORGANS WELL
I am a guru for householders, and I want people to live everyday lives. Do not go and mess around with other men or women in a way that would create harm, that will hurt. Do not do that. But use all the organs given to you well in moderation. If you have arms given to you, use those arms. Legs given to you; use them to walk. And if you do have a brain, use that also. In this manifestation, which we call the human being, all these organs exist for a purpose. People say, escape from your senses. Why flee from your senses when you will become a nullity? If you have eyes, use your eyes. But use your eyes to see good. If you have ears, use your ears to hear good words, and if you have a mouth, use it not to speak evil.
There is some truth that in the proper form of meditation, you withdraw yourself from the senses, and the reason for this is so that you do not get distracted. You remove yourself from the senses and get established in Self, and once you are established in Self, then act. The Bhagavad Gita says, “Be established in Self, and then act.” If you are established in Self, then you go beyond the gunas. The gunas will always be there: tamas will be there, inertia; sattva will be there, light; and rajas, the activating Force between the two, will always be there. They are turbulent within yourself. If you can find a balance between the three gunas, a beautiful balance within them, then you will know peace and tranquillity.
I TEACH OF FREEDOM, NOT OF BONDAGE
Why go and reconcile with things that do not give you peace and tranquillity? Can anyone tell me they have gained or achieved total peace and tranquillity? No. That is why you are seeking that, and we try to read as many books as possible by different authors and great writers, scriptures. Read the Bible, the Koran, the Gita, everything, the Vedas, the Upanishads, and everything. If you have speakers coming to your town of whatever denomination, go and listen. I know a good friend, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who does not even allow his people to listen to a speaker who teaches a different philosophy. I say no. Go.
I teach you of freedom, not of bondage. Many of these cults that have come about go into various kinds of feastings on Sundays, different types of dressings, multiple celebrations, and all sorts of things, where they form little communities; let them do it; why not? I know of one group where they have a principle of hiring a house, and then ten, twelve, or fifteen people live in the same place, and they develop friendships. The psychology behind it is that they could be kept in that belief or group. That is the psychology behind it. And, of course, the outer expression of it is that if you are together, you worship together, and you worship because you all believe in the same thing. I see nothing wrong with it. But in many movements, things are done with motives, and they all have their particular method of operating.
WE CONQUER WITH LOVE
Why do all these things? Give people good, uplifting teachings, and impart the Spiritual Force you have gained to them without expecting any return. These things are necessary. So, you let people go on with their beliefs and philosophies. But you can remind them of their injustices if they are doing some injustice. That you can do, nothing more. We do not conquer with a sword, for he who conquers with a sword perishes with a sword. We triumph with love. That is the most incredible sword that has to be used, and for that, we do our meditations and spiritual practices, which integrate us, and in that integration, the Heart opens up, the mind becomes more aware, and then you can love. And what other greater feeling can you experience than love?
Live everyday, ordinary human lives. Become more ordinary than ordinary, and then you become extraordinary. Then only will you find that beautiful humility. Then only will you find that compassion, that kindness, that joy that bubbles over, “my cup runneth over.” Let everything of yourself run over.
… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang US 1983 – 50