INDULAL SHAH informed you about the resolutions adopted by the various sub-committees, suggesting modifications and additions to the rules already current, so far as the organisation is concerned. The main purpose running through all these regulations is known to you; it is the establishment of Sathsang (Company of the pious), which will help the Realisation of the Reality, Atma-Sakshathkara. It is to recover, in and through this agitated world, the peace that is your birthright, and utilise that peace for the illumination of the heart, which will reveal the splendour of the Atma which you really are. So long as Arjuna believed that he was the doer and the enjoyer of the rewards for the deed, he was miserable. But, when the Lord taught him and demonstrated to him that he was but an instrument, that his duty was only to surrender to the Will of the Lord, that those whom he sought to kill had already been killed by the Lord, he was freed from grief; he was filled with unspeakable peace. This is the teaching of all religions, a teaching that flows like a subterranean spring feeding all the external rites and ceremonies laid down in each religion according to the climate, geographic and demographic, of each region. These may be different from each other, but the basic lesson each religion teaches is to surrender to the sovereign Will of God, and leave the consequence of deeds well done, to the Lord Himself. It is His Will, and your only duty is to shape yourself into a fit instrument. To suppress the assertive ego, disciplines have been laid down in every religion, by every compiler of moral codes, by every educator and reformer of human morals. But the oldest, and most effective, and the most successfully practised system is the body of directives laid down in the Vedas and Shasthras of India.
Develop Probing Into The Idea Of 'I'
In a household, when the wife is a shrew, there can be no joy or peace. Or, if the husband is a drunkard and a cruel tyrant, the atmosphere is charged with hatred and grief. So too, in the body, when the mind is a shrew or when the intelligence is a tyrant, there can be no peace. The master of the household is the Atma who is seldom recognised or identified as such. When the Atma is discovered as the master, and recognised as such, joy reigns undisturbed in the home. Now, there is a certain T used in speech and thought as possessing the body and the limbs, the senses and the mind and the reasoning faculty, but there is no attempt to probe into the idea of the T and no keenness to spot out its whereabouts and characteristics. This is what is calledAtma-vichara (deliberation on the Self); every unit must encourage its member to develop this Atma-vichara and not be content with the conventional items of club activity, like the unveiling of portraits. This search for the Atma will be facilitated by a study of the Upanishadhs and the Bhagavadgeetha, which is but the essence of Upanishadhic teachings. Or, it is enough if Prema is cultivated, the Prema that knows no distinction between oneself and another, because all are but limbs of the One Corpus of God Almighty. Through Love alone can the Embodiment of Love be gained. Here, no scholarship is needed; in fact, scholarship will be an impediment, for it caters to egoism and it breeds doubts and the desire for disputation and laurel of victory over others preening themselves as learned! When this Love is established, no member of the Organisation will compete with another, or look down on another. The bond of love will knit all into a rare type of family, which knows only one Will and one direction. Malice extraordinary may persuade some low minds to resort to the courts of law, for paying off private scores, but no member of the Organisation will ever do so, in the administration of the units, who values the Dharmasthana (abode of virtue) that is available in this Form and Name.
Do Not Fall A Prey To The Temptation Of Office
Since the Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Secretaries are the only persons invited for these Conferences, I find that each Unit is breaking up into two, so that some individuals who claim prominence can come. The person who went to court for an injunction against some one else attending this Conference had this in view! He wanted to deprive another of what he thought was a unique honour. I ascribe this to the perversion of mind due to greed for prestige. I do not ration Grace on these silly principles; a person may not hold any office, but he is entitled to Grace, provided he is sincere in the faith and steady in Love. Do not fall a prey to the temptation of office and position of authority in these Samithis and Mandalis. Hold the offices in rotation, so that all may get the opportunity of leading in service. There are some Mandalis and Samithis which select office-bearers by lot. The members feel that any one who is allotted the post is as good as the others.
Guidelines For Conducting Nagarasankeerthan
About this Nagarasankeerthan: Do not start too early or too late; you must go through the streets slowly, singing aloud the Names of all manifestations, just when the people of the locality are awaiting and preparing to meet the new day that is dawning. Do not carry any photo or picture with you, demonstrating your loyalty to any particular Form or Name. Walk along, in well arranged groups, men and women separately; do not plan Nagarasankeerthan in buses, tractors, cycles or carts. Do not compote with each other in singing Namavalis and cultivate envy or hatred. Let those with a good voice and musical talent lead; the Keerthan must be pleasant, it should not jar on the oar. If your voice is grating or out of tune, do not disturb the melody, but, repeat the Namavali in your mind. Sing so that the full significance of each Name is evident to the hearers. Do not repeat each line more than twice; let there be time during the journey for a variety of Namavalis (compilation of divine names) dealing with many Forms and manifestations of God. Do not plan to go through distances too long for the party. Maintain the sacred atmosphere from the first step to the last.
Devotion Must Confer Peace And Joy
Gather in a temple or some holy place, repeat the Pranava (the sound of OM) and Suprabhatha (early morning serenade) and then, move on for Nagarasankeerthan. Repeat the Om slowly, contemplating its vast potentialities. The A emerges from the throat, the U rolls over the tongue and M ends on the lips; that is to say, Om which is a composite of A U and M is the sum and substance of all the words that can emanate from the human tongue. It is the primordial, fundamental sound, symbolic of the Universal Absolute. After the M there must be the unheard resonance, which represents the attributeless, formless, Abstract, the Nirakara Parabrahman. The ascending voice of the Pranava or Om must take a curve at M and descend as slowly as it rose, taking as much time as when it ascended, disappearing in the silence, which echoes in the inner consciousness.
Devotion must confer peace and joy; do not therefore use the Mandalis and Sathsangs of which you are members to disturb your peace or the peace of others. If you remember that the one goal you must place before you is Atma-sakshathkara, and if you enter upon Sadhana, then, such tendencies will not develop in you. It is because your aims are worldly, your ideals, material success, fame and authority over others, that you breed discord and doubt among the members. Change your attitudes and outlook. Make your lives worth while. Render the units more useful for all.
Some people have their minds and senses like cotton balls and a spark of jnana will set them ablaze and they achieve victory! Some others have them like dried faggots; they take longer time, but, victory is certain. Most have minds and senses like green fuel and even the raging fire of jnana may be put out by the onslaught of the moisture contained in them. Make your mind and senses like clean finely ginned cotton.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba