With the grace of my Master, my tour to the United States and Europe has been successful, with the loving cooperation and sacrifice of all over there, for whom I have great appreciation in my mind.
On my return from the tour, it has come to my notice that there exist misapprehensions, which if not guarded against or checked might prove harmful to many interested in the path. These are mostly concerned with the outer aspects of life. It is, therefore, considered advisable to clarify the position in this respect.
Spirituality - A Creed of Loving Faith: The subject of the spirit is the most ancient and the most authentic of all subjects. Its history is coeval with that of man. It is based on two cardinal principles of love and service, or in other words selfless service. "By love, serve one another," has been the slogan of all sages through the ages.
God is love and He loves those who love His creatures.
Again, it is said, "He prayeth well, who loveth well/ Both man and bird and beast."
We may take any scripture we like, we find an exhortation in most emphatic terms on love. "Verily, verily, I say unto thee that God manifests Himself to one who knows how to love.'
IMPORTANCE OF LOVE: Loving and selfless service to humanity is the cornerstone of all religious philosophies and no man can make any progress on the spiritual path without cultivating love within him. The seed of spirituality that the Master so lovingly sows in the arid soil of our hearts, has to be nurtured with the waters of love, if quick results are desired. We must so mold our life and conduct that all our acts bespeak His love. We must transform the desert of our heart into a veritable garden of love full of lovely blossoms and luscious fruits. From our heart should spring an eternal fountain of love, so that whosoever comes in contact with it is drenched with love to the very core of his heart.
SPIRITUALITY---A DIVINE CAUSE: The cause of the Master is the cause of God. It is no religion in the commonly accepted sense of the word and yet it is the highest religion based on love alone. We cannot keep the illimitable God in watertight limited compartments. God Himself has declared, "I neither live on the high heavens nor on the earth below, yet the wonder of wonders is that I live in the heart of a Momin or Godman."
Again, spiritual teaching and training is a living and practical subject, quite different from secular and sectarian dogmas and so many creeds that we have today. Life, light and love coming from a living Master well out spontaneously from the heart and not from any books on theology. No doubt everything has its own value, but in a world of relativity, the values are all relative. A positive contact with the live principles of living God is something unique. It stands on a footing which is entirely different.
SPIRITUALITY AND THE COMMON MAN: In this vast creation, everyone is gifted with an individual perception. The heredity, the environment and the teachings inculcated, all combine to make one what he is. We cannot blame anyone for thinking differently in his own way. Everyone has his own temperament and his own way of thinking. They must differ and they do differ vehemently. There is no help for it. It is, on the other hand, the sign of sentient life. We must not therefore, on that account, cross swords with them. Even if in their ignorance they, at times, may talk ill of the spiritual teachings and use harsh words, they cannot help it. But that should not disturb the true seekers after Truth. We must be polite and gentle and even humble in our conduct. Bandying of words does not help. We may try to remove misunderstandings if any, sweetly and gently, but not in an antagonistic spirit. It is advised that individual persons (including representatives, group leaders and other old and new initiates) should not enter into any sort of discussions or disputes with any religious bodies, circles, faiths or sects, etc. If any such bodies do enter into such things, they may be directed to refer to the Master for an appropriate reply. It would be better to turn aside rather than to break your own head in an attempt and injure the great cause for which we stand. God knows His purpose well and has diverse ways to fulfill the same, without you and me. So it will not pay to quarrel with our neighbors. It is said that those who try to live by the sword, perish by the sword. The entire Christian philosophy is summed up in two memorable precepts of Jesus Christ. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind"; and "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." (Matthew 22:37, 40). And, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and persecute you, that you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: . . . Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:44-45, 48), and so said all other Masters who came in the past. If we live up to these teachings, there could be no trouble at all. The royal monk, Ashoka, in one of his rock edicts tells us: "He who reveres his own sect but disparages the sects of others, does great injury to his own for he lacks the essentials of a religion."
SPIRIT OF SERVICE--INTER SE: The above remarks apply equally in your dealings with one another. You are all knit together by the loving grace of the Master in bonds of common fellowship. Honest differences of opinion may arise and at times do arise; but these must be resolved happily by friendly exchange of thought and mutual discussion free from bitterness and rancor. If in spite of this, these persist, a timely reference to the Master would be a welcome resort rather than to indulge in widening the gulf between ourselves, by encouraging fissiparous tendencies.
HARVEST IS MUCH! LABORERS ARE WANTED: All those who help in the Master's cause in whatsoever way are the chosen ones. Whenever a Master spirit comes into the world, He brings His own staff with Him. Whoever puts in a stone in His edifice, does service to Him. It therefore behooves all the more that such selfless workers should present a true model of common brotherhood rather than to add another discord where there is already so much.
Again, service is service and must be rendered in a true spirit of service. Service must come before self. All thoughts of self must be sacrificed at the altar of service. That service alone is acceptable to the Master as is voluntary, free and untarnished by even the least traces of self. It must not be rendered in an animal spirit, a fighting mood, just as a matter of right or routine, all of which tend to lower the true spirit and dignity of service. There is one more point that may not be lost sight of, in respect of service. Nobody can render service or even think of rendering it, unless he is so actuated by the Master Power, permeating in the very fibers of his being. So one should never think, with all that he does, that he has done any service. It is therefore said that one living in the house of the Master, and carrying out His behests, should never feel that he has done anything. And this in fact is the veritable truth, because all credit goes to the Motor Power or the Great Dynamo, working in and through each individual. One must, therefore, feel and see the Master Hand working behind the scene. All such service is glorious indeed, as it is free from all taints of the self.
The Master Power works regardless of all limitations of time, space and causation. Even when acting through certain authorized persons in distant lands, the sole responsibility remains with the Master. The agents are just mere instruments to arrange preliminaries, to fill in applications of persons desirous of initiation, to convey the instructions of the Master, and after due approval to arrange sittings and meetings, etc. The transmission of the life impulse, the coupling process and the like, all come from the Master directly and nobody has any hand in them. None can, therefore, claim any superiority over his colleagues, because of this. All from the highest to the lowest get their inspiration from the Master, and owe the good fortune of being helpful in one way or another. We must, therefore, work in a team spirit of brotherly love with no thoughts of high and low, for all service is one--the divine service, of which we all are the members. The arrangements, however, exist for the sake of discipline and maintaining order in the smooth running of the spiritual work. But as said above, none should feel elated or entertain feelings of superiority over others. All of us have to work shoulder to shoulder under the guiding inspiration of the Master. The persons selected as representatives are the elders and more experienced and should be respected. In case of any difference of opinion, the matter may be referred to the Master, and until then no one should go on strike or over-rule them but work in close cooperation with them. Such selected ones (representatives) should be in complete harmony with others working in that capacity as they are selected to carry on the work of the Master. When opportunity is afforded they should meet each other for consultation of any important points. This will ensure uniformity and inculcate love in others and afford variety of talks to the groups situated in the various, areas. The representatives should submit quarterly (April, July, October and January) a regular report on the working of the Master's Mission in their areas, with constructive suggestions, if any, touching all important points with names of group assistants carrying on work in different centers. I would also be glad to hear from those in charge of the various centers at regular intervals about any important events occurring at those places. I have a loving appreciation of all the work done by them.
SELF REFORMATION: Purity of life in thought, word and deed is of prime importance in the service of the Master. A divine cause can flourish and fructify in abundance on a pure soil. We must all learn to look within and not without. It is far easier to see a mote in another's eye than to see a beam in one's own. We must try to inculcate the habit of self-introspection, so as to weed out all infirmities one by one. The importance of maintaining and submitting of a diary by all for this purpose cannot be overemphasized. All initiates should devote regular time to the spiritual practices with due regard to ethical life and abstinence of all meat, fish, fowl or eggs, and maintain their diaries for submission to the Master after every three months. They should guard against the five deadly sins of desire, anger, greed, infatuation and vanity, and develop instead the virtues of truth, chastity, non-injury, universal love, and selfless service.
FINANCIAL CONTROL: The work of spiritual regeneration is carried on only with voluntary contributions from the sangat or the brotherhood. There are no hard and fast rules in this behalf. Everybody is free to contribute whatever he can easily do for the service of the sacred cause. There is no question of imposition or taxation in the matter. No financial aid from persons outside the brotherhood is accepted and there is a reason for this. We want funds from the earnings of those honest souls who earn their living by honest means and are touched by the love of God. It must be noted that Master does not accept any gifts or offering from his disciples. All his personal needs he meets from his own pocket. All voluntary contributions are collected only for the work of the sangat. It is therefore necessary that proper account should be kept of all income and out-go, on regular scientific lines so as to eliminate all chances of misapplication of the funds and to ensure its full utility on economic and efficient lines. It is necessary that suitable arrangements be made for periodical checking of the same, and every effort must be made to minimize the expenses to the bare needs and requirements of the time and occasion. All such things can be arranged by mutual consultation in a spirit of friendly good will. Selfless or honorary service with love in preference to paid work is advised except in rare cases where a sincere worker needs help which may be in the form of honorarium.
CORRESPONDENCE: The Master personally attends to the work of correspondence both foreign and local, in spite of heavy demands on his time, and has to sit till late hours in the night. Satisfactory arrangements are made to safeguard against any loss of correspondence received in the Ashram. At times he goes out of the station in answer to pressing calls from different places; then too letters are issued on his personal instance in each case and the replies are delayed on account of absence on tour. To save heavy postage on account of the abnormal receipt of letters (over one thousand from India and abroad monthly) it has been started as trial measure to send off replies in closed covers weekly or so (except in urgent cases) to a central station where they could be sent by post, duly stamped, to different stations in foreign countries.
TOUR PROGRAM: All invitations for spiritual discourses from foreign or local places are most welcome to the Master. But the sponsors of such meetings have to make suitable arrangements for temporary stay, halls or open spaces for meetings or talks and for visitors coming from long distances so that nobody is inconvenienced in any way. The Master while appreciating the loving warmth of his disciples, does not like fanfares and display of material show at such meetings.
GENERAL: The Master is a Master for all humanity. All are equally entitled to the spiritual heritage of God like all the gifts of nature: light, air, water, etc. He distributes freely amongst all. For him there is no East and no West.
The dictum of Rudyard Kipling, "O East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet," no longer stands with him. In fact all points of the compass converge in the Master and equally draw their inspiration from him. The different countries of the world are but so many rooms in the mansion of His Father. All nationalities, all religions, all creeds, and all philosophies are His, and they all end at the highest sensory plane from where the spiritual path just begins. His is an unwritten law and unspoken language and the eloquent silence that guides from plane to plane.
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