God's new Philosophy

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God's new Philosophy

There was once a spiritual Master of a very high calibre, who was usually quite happy and cheerful. He always asked his disciples to be like children, telling them that if they were happy they would be able to make fast progress. But this happiness had to be in the entire being. He often warned his disciples not to fool themselves and others with false happiness.

“You must pray and meditate to acquire inner happiness,” he would say. “This happiness cannot be bought or sold. Inner happiness increases only through constant self-offering to God’s Will and soulful gratitude for God’s Compassion.”

Some of the Master’s disciples were successful in acquiring true inner happiness, while others were unsuccessful. Among the unsuccessful ones there were many who tried to fool themselves and others by displaying false happiness. And even among those who had acquired happiness, most found it difficult to maintain their happiness because of doubts, anxieties, jealousy and insecurity.

The spiritual Master used to tell his disciples that he was a garbage can. He said he was more than ready, more than eager to accept all their inner impurities and imperfections. These he would empty into the universal Consciousness as soon as possible, and then he would immediately fill his inner vessel with Light and Delight from his Inner Pilot so that he could also remain happy.

Now, it happened that on a certain occasion, after he had received the teeming worries, doubts, and other undivine qualities from his disciples, the Master deliberately kept them inside himself in order to see what would happen.

In two days' time the Master found that he had become as undivine as his disciples were. Their imperfections had become part and parcel of his life, and these imperfections had become so powerful that he was compelled to doubt even the existence of God. He became depressed, destructive and doomed to disappointment because of his tremendous failure in the spiritual life.

When God finally came to him and blessed him with His infinite Love and Concern, the Master was so sad and angry that he said to God, "God, I have been fooled by You, and I have been fooled by my disciples. You promised me that You would help me manifest You here on earth, but now it seems that You have totally forgotten Your promise. And You are not the only culprit. My disciples have also promised to help me in every way to manifest You. Now, either they have totally forgotten to help me, or they are deliberately avoiding me and evading their responsibility.

"I am now helpless. Both Heaven and earth are against me. What is worse, I am always being fooled by the world's flattery and cleverness. My disciples stand before me with folded hands. They prostrate themselves before me and take the very dust of my feet. In every way they demonstrate outwardly how spiritual they are, how humble, how devoted and totally surrendered they are. But God, You and I know their insincerity.

"It is said that the disciples have to surrender to the Will of the Supreme inside their Master. But, in my case, I see that I have practically completely surrendered to the ignorant demands of my disciples. Now I am totally surrendered to their ignorance and completely bound by it.

"Lord, you have repeatedly asked me to make my disciples happy, and I thought I could add to their happiness by pleasing them. I have tried in every possible way, but it is so difficult to please them in their outer life. At every moment they make demands on my life consciously or unconsciously, and all these demands I literally kill myself trying to fulfil.

"Yet whenever something good happens in their lives, they feel that it is because of their own hard work or sincere aspiration. They feel it is they themselves who are responsible for their successes. But when anything goes wrong, immediately they blame me. They feel that my inner or outer guidance was not correct, and that it came, not from you, not even from my own soul, but from my vital being or ego-personality. They never think that perhaps they themselves have not followed my directions, or that their ideas of success and failure are not necessarily Yours. Lord, You know I always execute Your Will. It is You who give success or failure, and it is You who enjoy this so-called success or failure as an experience. But my disciples never see you in me. They only see me with their earthly human eyes. Sometimes outwardly they speak ill of me; inwardly they curse me. Always I am mercilessly caught by them. I am torn to pieces by their frustration.

"Before I realised You, Lord, I had only one possession, and that was You. Now that I have realised You, You have blessed or cursed me with many possessions in the persons of my disciples. Before I realised You, Lord, I had more freedom. I used to think of You only, as the tree, the main trunk, the root. Now that I have realised You, You have asked me to pay attention to all the branches, leaves, fruits and flowers. But these branches, leaves, fruits and flowers misunderstand my self-offering constantly. I am totally helpless. Your Compassion is saving my life, but I feel that I am the worst possible fool on earth. I am always at the mercy of my disciples.

"You asked me to inspire my disciples and illumine them by advising unconditional surrender. I have executed Your express wish and loving demand for them. Now I wish to say that it is I who have made unconditional surrender — both to You and to the ignorance-king inside my disciples. Why? Just for one reason: because You have asked me to make them happy. Unfortunately, even this tremendous sacrifice of mine has not made all my disciples happy. So You see, Lord, how love-power and compassion-power can be mercilessly exploited."

"Son, better late than never I have come to tell you that force is also a manifestation of true love. If you really love humanity, then if force is required to do what is best for humanity, you will use it. From now on, your philosophy will explain love in more detail. Divine love is the most powerful force, and divine force is also the most powerful love.

"Human love and human force are the precursors of destruction. But divine love and divine force are the precursors of perfection. Divine love is inner will. Divine perfection is the perfection of one's entire being, of one's larger part, one's extended self. This self is illumined and perfected through My justice-light as well as through My compassion-height.

"My son, until now you have used only My compassion-height in accordance with My Will. But from now on I want you to use My justice-light as well. From now on I want My justice-light and My compassion-height to act in you like two complementary souls. My compassion-height will awaken the sleeping souls, and My justice-light will illumine the aspiring souls. I now entrust you with a new responsibility, a new capacity and a new opportunity to manifest Me perfectly on earth.”

"Lord, since You want me to play the role of Your eternal server in Your cosmic Game, I am more than ready to be of totally dedicated service to You."

"Son, you are infinitely more than a server to Me. You are a real partner, in whom I can have perfect faith. Together you and I shall challenge the pride of ignorance-night, conquer ignorance-night, illumine it and make it inseparably one with My ever-transcending light.

"Son, give Me the joy of feeling that you are My partner and My server. When you are My partner, we share our experiences equally. But when one of us becomes the Master and the other one becomes the server, the experience cannot be on the same plane. So, son of My heart and soul, son of My silence-height and sound-might, you are My eternal partner as well as My server. Do you agree with My philosophy?"

"Father, the human being in me agrees with Your philosophy with all the love and gratitude it can offer You. The divine in me is praying to You to grant me something infinitely more divine than gratitude to offer You. I feel that my gratitude is not the answer to Your Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. I need something infinitely more meaningful, fruitful and significant to offer at Your lotus-feet."

"Son, it seems you will never understand My philosophy. Who will praise what at whose feet? Once and for all I am telling you that you and I are one. We are eternally equal. We are immortally partners."

"Lord, I wanted consolation from You. You have consoled me. Now I wish to spell the word 'consolation' for You. Please tell me if I am correct. I-L-L-U-M-I-N-A-T-I-O-N. Am I correct, Father?"

"Yes, My son, you are."

15 July, 1974

The Master's dearest disciple

"Master, Master, you need material wealth for God-manifestation and I need spiritual wealth for God-realisation. I shall give you all my material wealth and place all the members of my family at your feet. I have four sons, three daughters and a devoted wife. We shall all be at your feet. But Master, please do me a favour. Make me your best disciple, your dearest disciple. I know it will take me a very long time to realise God. I am not ready for that. You and God know when I will be ready or whether I shall ever be ready. Right now God-realisation is sheer imagination for me. I want something else from you, which is nowhere near God-realisation. I just want to be your dearest disciple.

"Your dearest and best disciple right now is Rakhal. You have no idea how jealous I am of him and how I hate him. I do not drink even a glass of water without thinking of him — without feeling jealous of him and cursing him and all his forefathers. Master, you advise us that we have to conquer jealousy. I have now discovered a supreme secret: If, out of your infinite bounty, you make me dearer to you than Rakhal, then all my jealousies will vanish. You want my nature's perfection. I assure you, Master, that once I am closer to you than Rakhal, I shall be absolutely perfect and please you in every way, far more than he is doing now. Just give me a chance."

"Rohin, you think that by becoming closer to me than Rakhal you will be able to conquer your jealousy. You think that once you are at the top of the tree, you will not be jealous of others who are at the foot of the tree. But I tell you, this is not true. Jealousy has an inseparable friend named insecurity. If I make you my dearest disciple, you will all the time be thinking of the ones who are at the foot of the tree. You will be constantly plagued by the fear that at any moment they will climb up the tree and stand beside you. Then naturally your glory will disappear, and you will again be plagued by jealousy. Anyway, I wish to tell you that unless you deserve to be closest and dearest to me, I will not be able to make you closest, because you will fail me in the life-examination."

"Master, if you make me your dearest disciple, I assure you that I will not fail you. You must promise to make me your dearest disciple, and I will be ready to sit at any examination.”

"Then tomorrow I shall make you my dearest disciple under the condition that you pass my examination."

"Master, I am ready."

"All right. Tomorrow, if you can touch the feet of Rakhal in front of all my disciples, I shall immediately make you my absolutely dearest disciple."

"Master, how can I do that? He is just an ordinary human being like me. He is also full of imperfections. Even though you love him most, nobody even thinks that he is perfect. So why do you want me to touch the feet of an imperfect and ignorant person? I can touch your feet twenty-four hours a day, kiss the dust of your feet, but not his. If you change your request and ask me to bless Rakhal, that I can easily do — but never will I be able to touch his feet."

The Master said, "Tomorrow you come here with your servant. This is my express wish.”

The following day Rohin went to the Master with his servant. There were many disciples gathered together, and the Master said to his dearest disciple, "Go and touch the feet of Rohin's servant."

Rakhal immediately followed the Master's command.

Then the Master said, "Pray to Rohin's servant as you pray to me, with a devoted heart." Most soulfully Rakhal prayed to Rohin's servant.

Rohin was completely bewildered, and the admirers of Rakhal felt miserable, but they could not say anything because he was following the Master's express order. "The Master knows what is best for Rakhal and for everybody," they said to themselves.

The Master then asked Rakhal how it was possible for him to touch the feet of Rohin's servant and to pray to him.

Rakhal replied, "When I look at a person, I enter into that person and see you in him, you alone; therefore, it is so easy for me to pray to him, for I know it is you who will receive my prayer. My only desire is that one day you will grant me a boon."

"What boon is that?"

"Master, that when I look at any person on earth, I shall see only you, and not only on the inside but on the outside as well. For me I wish there to be only you and nobody else on earth — you in infinite forms. I would like to see all human beings as the manifestation of your infinite forms."

The Master gave Rakhal a soulful smile and said, "Your prayer is granted, my child." Then he turned to Rohin and said, "Rohin, you have so far been playing the role of a seeker. Today I wish you to play the role of a judge. I have fulfilled Rakhal's desire. I could not fulfil your desire, but I want to please you at least in one way. So play the role of an impartial judge and not a seeker, and then see if what I have done is right.”

15 July, 1974

Why the Master won't speak about other Masters

There was once a well-known spiritual Master who had a few thousand disciples whom he was extremely fond of and who were also very proud of him. The Master had given talks at various places and had answered thousands of questions after his talks.

Many times the disciples of other Masters came to listen to his talks. At times they showed him tremendous respect, but at other times they created problems for him. Frequently they would deface this Master's picture or posters announcing his talk, or paste posters of their own Master right on top of his. A few times, before his talk began, they distributed pamphlets about their own Masters at the entrance. Sometimes they distributed pamphlets attacking this Master at his own talks. At times they asked him questions about their own Master, but he was wise enough to avoid such questions. He always told them that they knew more about their own Master than he did.

At one particular meeting a disciple of another Master asked this Master, What is your opinion about Master X?"

The Master replied, "I see you are wearing his picture. That means you are a member of his family; you are his son. Won't a son know more about his father than a stranger does? I am like a stranger to your family, so how can you expect me to know about its members? I do not know what you have in your house. I know only what I have in my house. Since I have not been to your house, naturally whatever I say about it will be wrong. And even if I had visited your house once or twice, my description of it still would probably be all wrong. I am the wrong person to tell you anything about your Master. You can and will have every right to challenge my knowledge of your spiritual Father."

The young seeker said to the Master, "Then why do you claim to be a God-realised soul?"

The Master asked, "When did I say I was God-realised?"

"All right," said the seeker, "you have not told anybody that you are God-realised, but all your disciples without exception claim that you are a God-realised soul of the highest order. But if you are really a God-realised soul, then you are bound to know everything about my Master — how great he is, how kind he is, how earth treasures him and how much pride Heaven has in him. All this you are bound to know if you are a real spiritual Master. If you are a fake, naturally you will not know anything about my spiritual Master, who has no equal either in Heaven or on earth."

With a broad smile, the Master said to the seeker, "I don't deny that your Master is by far the best Master on earth. I am glad that you have found such a great Master as your own. At the same time, I am very glad that you are not a disciple of mine. If I had accepted you as one of my disciples, by this time my boat would have sunk."

The young man said, "Now that you have insulted me, I wish you to be totally sincere and say that my Master is by far the best."

The Master replied, "I have no objection to saying that your Master is by far the best, and I have already done so. Why are you not satisfied?"

The seeker said, "I don't feel any conviction in your words."

The Master said, "Do you want me to act like a wise man or like a fool?"

"Since you are a spiritual Master, I do expect you to act like a wise man and not like a fool," replied the seeker.

"In that case, you must be satisfied with my answer," said the Master. "I am acting like a real wise man. You asked me about your Master, and my answer was that I do not know. If my answer had been different, if I had said that I knew all about your Master but would not tell, you would have created problems for me and for yourself. You would have immediately said to yourself, 'He does not want to tell me anything about my Master either because he knows my Master is unrealised or because he knows my Master is great and he is jealous of him.' But in either case you would have been disappointed. Doubt, suspicion and other undivine qualities would have entered into you with regard to your own Master. However, if I say I do not know about your Master, you are apt to forgive my ignorance; therefore, it is always safer and wiser for both of us if I say I do not know about your Master. In this case, ignorance is real bliss. 'I do not know' is by far the best answer."

15 July, 1974

The Master's hundredth birthday

There once lived a spiritual Master who was very, very old. On his hundredth birthday God came to bless him for his many long years of service. While he was receiving God's blessing the Master said to God, "Father, are You blessing me or cursing me?"

"Son, what is the matter? What is wrong with you?" asked God.

"Father, I am afraid of what You are doing now.”

"Why are you afraid of Me?"

"I am not afraid of You, but I am afraid of Your request and loving demand. I am afraid that You will ask me to stay on earth for another hundred years. At the age of twenty I realised You. You asked me to reveal You, manifest You and help You establish perfection on earth. Perhaps You do not know, Father, what kind of suffering I have been going through. Your earth is blind to my soul's light. Your Heaven is deaf to my inner cry. Had I known that God-manifestation is infinitely more difficult than God-realisation, I would not have cared for God-manifestation at all. You want me to illumine humanity, but the power that is required to illumine humanity either You have not given me or, if You have given it to me, I do not know how to utilise it. In any case, whether I have the power or do not have the power, all my efforts are useless unless and until the power takes effect on earth. Do You agree with me, Father?"

"To some extent I do agree with you. But I wish to tell you that it is not your fault that the world is not accepting you and listening to you. It is earth's lack of receptivity that is responsible."

"Then tell me, Father, who is responsible for earth's lack of receptivity?"

"Son, it is I who am responsible not only for earth's lack of receptivity, but also for all earth's weaknesses, imperfections and limitations. It is My Dream-boat and My Reality-shore that are responsible. My Dream-boat does not sail as fast as I want it to, and My Reality-shore does not satisfy My Dream-boat as soon as it reaches the shore; therefore, neither My Reality-shore nor My Dream-boat is happy with the other or with itself. I try to keep the Boat and the Shore together. I try to feed them together, please them together and fulfil them together. But very often when earth plays the role of the Reality-shore and Heaven plays the role of the Dream-boat, earth's achievements, possessions and treasures are so limited and insignificant that when the Dream-boat reaches earth's shore it is frustrated. And when earth becomes the Dream-boat and reaches Heaven, the Reality-shore, Heaven's superiority complex, indifferent attitude and reluctance to share its plenitude, and the bewilderment created for earth by the magnificence of Heaven's treasure, disappoint the Dream-boat badly. Anyway, I do not blame you, my son; I do not blame My Dream-boat or My Reality-shore; I blame Myself."

"Father, I do not want to blame You, but I wish to make a suggestion if I may."

"Son, let me hear your suggestion."

"Father, Your game should be played by four separate persons. As in a relay race four runners are required to complete the race, even so in this divine race we can have four runners. The first runner will realise You, the second will reveal You, the third will manifest You and the fourth will complete the race and establish perfection on earth. Since You are by far the fastest runner, the fourth one will be Yourself.”

"Son, there are some runners who will get the most happiness only if they alone complete the race. There are some students who, instead of covering a certain distance and leaving it to others to complete the course of study, want to go straight through from kindergarten to university. They feel that if they go to the end of their course, then alone will they be satisfied. Of course, I must say, My son, that there are some children of Mine who make most sincere promises that they will manifest Me after they have realised Me. I give them realisation on that condition, but once they get their realisation they cry and cry for their Heavenly existence. They don't want to stay on this ignorant and imperfect earth. There are also some really clever children of Mine who tell the world before they die that they will come back again. They tell their disciples and the world that they will come back again and again to illumine mankind until all human beings have realised Me. Of course, there are some who really mean what they say, and they do try to keep their promise for earth's transformation by coming back to earth again. But unfortunately, most of them do not. Also, there are some to whom I give rest because they have worked very hard. I know that if I wanted to send them into the world to work for Me again, they would gladly go, not only once, but as many times as I wanted them to. Naturally, those children of Mine are closest to Me. But because they have pleased Me to such an extent on earth, I feel obliged to please them in Heaven, and I do.

"Now, son, let me change the subject. Tell Me, is there any special reason why today, on your birthday, you are so sad and depressed?"

"My sadness has been a daily experience since I began to accept disciples. Needless to say, I accepted disciples at Your express command. Father, I tell You a supreme secret: to accept disciples is to lose one's inner freedom."

"Son, why do you say that?"

"Father, You take human incarnation and see if You can keep Your inner freedom if You accept disciples."

"Son, please explain to Me in detail what you mean by losing your inner freedom."

"It is very simple, Father. I have thousands and thousands of disciples. Now You know it is You who asked me to take certain close disciples in whom You had faith to work for Your manifestation on earth. But You do not realise that those in whom You do not have much faith feel miserable. They feel that I do not care for them personally, and that is why they are not close to me. They feel that they can do much better than those who are close to me. They feel that it is sheer blind partiality that makes me keep these other disciples closer to me. Their sufferings, not to speak of their jealousy, anger and other undivine qualities, take away all my joy. Also, there are some disciples whom You wanted to be close to me for Your own reasons, which I do not myself understand. I keep them close to me only to please You, but they have disappointed me hundreds and thousands of times. When they disappoint me, all the joy goes out of my life. And You never listen to me. I tell You that everybody should be given an equal chance. As they fail me, all those who are close should be thrown aside, and others should get the opportunity to please me. They are also Your children.

"I could keep all the work on a day-to-day basis and have new disciples do the jobs each day so that nobody will feel that he is important, not to speak of indispensable. But You tell me that each seeker is like a plant that has to grow slowly and steadily into a huge tree. If I move the plant to a new place every day, it will not develop properly. In fact, it may totally die. But You expect much from Your children, especially from Your selected children, and the frustration I go through when I see that the plants I am caring for so lovingly are not growing at all satisfactorily is beyond measure. Through my disciples, You teach me the lesson of detachment most powerfully.

"You made me the spiritual leader of thousands of people. When You ask me to tell them to do something, I do tell them. And when I see that they are not doing what they are supposed to, I feel miserable because either I have not conveyed Your message to them clearly, or they do not love You in me enough to do the things You have told me to tell them. And I also feel miserable that I fail to please You because they are such imperfect instruments. Why I cannot make them more perfect I do not know. Perhaps I do not have enough concern for them."

God felt very sorry for the poor Master. He said, "You do have concern for them. It is their own ingratitude that prevents them from giving importance to your advice at every moment, and thus becoming perfect. When you ask your dear ones to do something in front of others, they get a lion's strength. They get such joy and pride that out of thousands of people you have chosen them to do a special thing for you. But inwardly they are behaving in a very undivine way. And when you ask them to do the same thing privately, they feel that nobody is there to appreciate and admire them and see how great they are. Then they feel that it can be delayed, and even if it is not done at all, nothing will happen, for you will forgive them. Son, I now also feel that you should not keep anybody permanently close to you unless and until that person consciously, devotedly and unconditionally tries to please you at every moment. Use your occult and spiritual power in the inner world and see whether they are really trying in their everyday activities to please you in your own way, which is My own Way.

"Those who are one step behind can easily come forward if they develop real love, devotion and surrender to Me in you. You have to give them the assurance that they need not always lag behind. Equal opportunity is given to everyone. The journey starts at the same point, but some walk fast and pass their fellows. Alas, those fast walkers may become tired. They may become proud. Pride is one thing that makes disciples weak so that they do not work well or divinely any more. Another thing is insecurity. Although others are far behind them in spiritual progress, they become afraid that at any moment these people will catch up with them and surpass them, and they will lose all their glory and their position. This feeling of insecurity also weakens disciples considerably. Because they think constantly of others, they cannot walk any farther. So, son, make it clear to all your spiritual children that their love, devotion and surrender to Me inside you have to be replenished not only every day, but every hour, every minute and every second if somebody wants to be your best and most perfect instrument, your closest and most beloved child."

"Father, I am really grateful to You for granting me the inner and outer freedom to accept and reject, to show concern and indifference according to each disciple's merit. Let everyone get You in me according to his or her aspiration and dedication at every second, and not be like old men and women who have served the government faithfully and now receive a pension, although they no longer do their jobs. There is no pension in the spiritual life. Love, devotion and surrender can and must increase every second. Divinity can manifest more perfectly and completely every second."

"Son, I fully agree with your philosophy."

"Father, this is Your philosophy, and today I am telling You outwardly so that You can hear whether I have learnt it correctly.”

15 July, 1974

The disobedient disciple

"Master, today you are in a cheerful frame of mind. May I ask you a few spiritual questions?"

"You may."

"Did I accept you first, Master, or did you accept me first?"

"In the inner world I accepted you first; in the outer world you accepted me first."

"Are they equally important?"

"No, they are not equally important. If the inner acceptance was not made, then the outer acceptance would not have taken place. But when the inner acceptance and the outer acceptance have played their respective roles, then the relationship between the Master and disciple becomes perfect.”

"Master, what about those people who leave you? Do you leave them first or do they leave you first?"

'My child, this is a complicated question. Very often a disciple will stay with me and see me every day on the physical plane, but inwardly he has cut off all connection. He waits only for the opportunity to offer a legitimate excuse to leave me. But again, if a disciple disappoints me repeatedly, and if the Supreme in me finds that he is a hopeless case, that he is just wasting my time and unduly exercising my patience, at that time, if it is the Will of the Supreme, I will cut off my connection with the disciple in the inner world. Without having roots, the disciple cannot live, so eventually he leaves me."

"But what about those, Master, who once upon a time were very close to you and have now left you? I am sure you have not rejected them. Your heart of love and compassion would not reject them. It was they who rejected you and you just accepted the fact. Am I correct Master?"

"My son, there is no hard and fast rule. A close disciple can become a victim to jealousy, self-doubt and other wrong forces. Naturally, those forces can create tremendous problems both for the Master and the disciple."

"Master, how can a close disciple have self-doubt or be jealous of others?"

The Master said, "A close disciple, out of fear, very often doubts himself. He knows his limitations and weaknesses, and he thinks that I am keeping him close only until a better disciple comes along. He feels that as soon as that particular disciple comes, I will replace him. He thinks that I am not going to use my precious time for the undoubtedly difficult task of changing and perfecting his nature. He feels that if I get a superior instrument, an already better if not totally perfect soul, then there is no reason why I should not accept the new disciple and reject the old one. This is how the self-doubt starts.

"Now, about jealousy. Jealousy is not to be found only in inferior disciples. It is found in superior ones as well. The close disciples, in spite of getting constant attention from me, may become jealous if they fail to get me twenty-four hours a day for themselves. If I offer some of my attention to other disciples when all are gathered in a group, when I do not fulfil their desire for possession, the close disciples may be inwardly tormented by a kind of fear of those who are a step behind them, which eventually turns into jealousy. They fear that at any moment the ones who are lagging behind today will surpass them. This fear is strengthened by the feeling that, since they do not deserve my constant attention, concern and love, then there is every possibility that they may lose it, and that I may try to find other disciples who will be worthy of my constant concern and love. Since there is no way they can prevent me from bringing other disciples close to me, the close disciples allow jealousy to enter into them. They feel that their jealousy has tremendous force, and that this force may destroy all the present and future possibilities of those who are just one step behind."

"Master, I am grateful to you for illumining my mind. Now Master, tell me please what is the best thing you see in me? Do I have any good qualities? Master, please do not misunderstand me. I am in no way asking you for praise. But sometimes I really feel that I do not have any good qualities."

"You do have a few good qualities, my child. I can count them on my fingertips. Your main good quality is your regularity. You are always regular in your meditation. You are always regular at meetings. You are always regular whenever there is any necessity for dedicated service."

"Master, I know that I have so many bad qualities. I pray to you to tell me my worst quality."

"Your worst quality is your disobedience."

"Master, when do I disobey you?"

"You have disobeyed me hundreds of times. Only I pray to God that you will not disobey me any more."

"Master, you pray to God and let me pray to you to grant me the one boon that I will never disobey you any more. But Master, please continue. Please let me know when and why I have disobeyed you."

"My son, you are extremely close to my heart and soul. I have asked you repeatedly to mix with my other disciples wholeheartedly, but you do not listen to me. You feel that if you mix, you may lose some of your good qualities. Further, you feel that if you lose your good qualities, I shall not keep you as close, as intimate as you are now; therefore, you do not listen to me. When I am with others you always try to maintain your sense of separativity, which unconsciously borders on superiority. You want to have me all to yourself or not at all.

"You also disobey me in another field of your life. I have told you repeatedly that the maxim 'Familiarity breeds contempt' is meant only for ordinary human beings. It is not meant for the spiritual Master and his disciples, not to speak of the Master's closest disciple. When you are with an ordinary human being, everything is limited. In a few days you get tired of him because there is no newness in him to inspire you or to elevate your life. But when you mix with a spiritual Master, no matter how many months or years you have been with him, at every moment he is bringing down new inspiration and new aspiration for you. He has the capacity to become one with an ever-flowing inspiration and aspiration and bring them into you. But, in your case, you are inclined not to believe it or not to feel it, so when you stay with your Master for a number of hours your physical becomes tired of him. Your physical body becomes tired of his presence, and if you see that he is going somewhere to see some of his other disciples you don't feel like accompanying him in spite of his requests. You give him the legitimate outer excuses that you are tired or have work to do. When you are in a bad mood, you say that you have had enough. You feel that you have had a feast of spiritual food while you were alone with your Master, and that if you are with others you will get only a morsel of additional food. You feel that you don't need this morsel. But I feel extremely sorry at that point. I feel sorry for two reasons. The first reason is that you do not want to eat the entire quantity of food that I want to offer to you. The second reason is that you are not seeing the divine or the spiritual in me. You are ignoring the spiritual in me, which is the ever-energising, ever-illumining, ever-fulfilling Divinity's Reality."

"Master, Master, the physical in me is unable to bear your naked frankness, but the spiritual in me shall eternally remain grateful to you. From today, I shall consider your requests not only as the way to my salvation but as my salvation itself. Master, you have shown me what infinite patience is. You have shown me what infinite compassion is. You have shown me what infinite forgiveness is. In return, with my tearful heart, I wish to offer to you my supreme discovery: you, and you alone, are my Eternity's All."

16 July, 1974

The not-too-clever astrologer

Two hundred years ago in an Indian village there lived a great spiritual Master. He had thousands of disciples, including ten or twelve village astrologers and palmists. Some of them were genuine astrologers and palmists while others were real rogues. They used to cast horoscopes for the children of rich people in order to make money, and they became prosperous. The sincere ones did not care for money, but only for people who were interested in their past and future lives. For these people, they cast horoscopes as a favour, without expecting anything in return.

Among the rogues, the one who topped the list was a real character. He would cast horoscopes and read palms for the children of wealthy parents and for young, beautiful women. He had become very rich with the money he had received from the wealthy parents, and he spent this money lavishly on the beautiful women, presenting them with all kinds of expensive gifts. He used to tell all these women that they had been great queens, great princesses or great spiritual figures in their past lives. He would tell them exactly when and for how long they had been on earth and how many subjects or disciples they had had. He did everything in an apparently strict mathematical way, and it was most fascinating and convincing. When the women learned that they had been great spiritual figures or great queens or princesses in their previous incarnations they were deeply moved and became all gratitude to him.

But alas, the poor astrologer was not clever enough. He told all the women that they had been queens, princesses and spiritual leaders at exactly the same period in time, and he told each one that he had been her husband or spiritual consort. This meant that he had been the husband of seven reigning queens and five princesses, and the consort of nine spiritual figures — all at the same time. He told each of the women this information in strict confidence, warning them that nobody else should be told about their past connection with him because others would become jealous, and this jealousy would drag them down. Then, in their next incarnation they would not be able to become prominent in any way.

Unfortunately, the astrologer's vital life was not of the purest. In the course of time he started mixing freely with these women, who were all very fond of him and very proud of their past connection with him. Soon jealousy started playing its role most vehemently. Some of the women felt that he was paying more attention to others than to them so they became furious. They cut off their connection with him and arranged a private meeting among themselves to decide how they could harass and embarrass him. Previously they had never discussed their previous incarnations, since he had forbidden this. But now that all the losers in his love-life had become close friends, they unveiled the mysteries of their past incarnations to one another, and the extent of this astrologer's deception soon became evident.

One woman said he had told her that she had been the Queen of England in the middle of the sixteenth century. Another said that she had been an Egyptian princess in the middle of the sixteenth century. A third had been an Indian spiritual Master in the same period. Naturally the astrologer had been the husband or consort of each of the three. And the rest of the women in the group found that he had practised the same deception on them.

They were all totally disgusted, and decided to lodge a serious complaint against him to their Master. So they nominated one of their number as a representative, and this woman went to the Master and told him all their fascinating stories. The Master felt extremely sorry and extremely angry. He said to her, "I feel very sorry for your innocent stupidity, and I am extremely displeased with him for his unthinkable deception. I shall send for him and scold him mercilessly. But you must not allow him to come to your homes any more, and needless to say, you must not go to his house.”

The woman said, "Never, never, never! Forgive me, Master, forgive my friends, and please forgive those who are still being exploited by him."

The Master replied, "I shall definitely forgive you, you fools, but if he ever approaches you again just treat him to a taste of your broomstick. Thrash him as soundly as you like! If he asks you the reason for this beating, tell him that since he has taken such trouble and pain to fathom your past incarnation, in return you would like to help him purify his vital life by thrashing him soundly for a few minutes. Tell him that he needs and deserves this favour from you."

A short time later, after having been scolded by the Master for his emotional-vital life and for his exploitation of so many young women, the astrologer went to the woman who had accused him to defend himself and challenge her. As soon as she saw him at her door, she grabbed a broomstick and began to thrash him mercilessly, while delivering the Master's message in her own words.

Soon many neighbours gathered at the spot to enjoy or deplore the plight of the astrologer. A report of the scene reached the Master, who then ordered the astrologer and all his wives from his miraculous previous incarnation to come to him. Most of the women buried their heads in their hands in utter shame when they came into the Master's presence. The Master asked each woman to repeat the name that the astrologer had said was hers in her previous incarnation. As the women did so, the Master ordered the astrologer to write the names on a long piece of paper. When all the names had been written down, the Master folded the paper into a garland, placed it around the astrologer's neck, blessed him and ordered him to leave the ashram immediately.

The story does not end here. Among these women, the one who was closest to the astrologer secretly followed him when he left the ashram. She felt extremely sorry for him and said to herself, "Granted, he is a real rogue or a real fool, but his discoveries did give me immense joy. In this world, who does not want to be flattered, even if the flattery is not at all based on truth? Even wise people secretly or openly enjoy being told wonderful things about themselves. They feel real strength and inspiration when they are flattered, so why shouldn't an undeveloped, uneducated, weak human being like me get joy? He has given me immense joy for the past ten years, so I feel that it is now my bounden duty to give him some joy by following him and being faithful to him and serving him for the rest of his life.”

16 July, 1974

The Master's advice on choosing a path

There was once a spiritual Master who wanted to give each spiritual child of his special attention, concern, blessings and guidance, in spite of the fact that he had hundreds and hundreds of disciples. He conducted many meetings a week, sometimes two in one day, so that each class could be kept small and intimate, no matter how many new seekers he welcomed into his spiritual family.

On one or two days a week the Master allowed visitors to come and participate in the meetings, and some of them later decided to follow his path. One day four visitors — three boys and a girl — came up to the Master after a meeting. One of the boys bowed down to the Master and said, "Master, will you accept me as your disciple? I have been coming here each week for the last month, and I have finally decided that this is my path."

The Master asked the seeker his name and a few things about his outer life, and then in silence concentrated on his soul. Finally he said, "Certainly I shall accept you as my disciple. You have my wholehearted acceptance. Please come to our meetings regularly and devotedly. I can clearly see that this is your path."

The new disciple was extremely happy and grateful to be accepted by the Master.

Then one of the other two boys said, "Master, I too have been coming for the last month, but I have just found out that we can come only four or five times before we have to make up our minds about becoming a disciple. I feel that this may be my path, but I don't want to become a disciple right away since I wouldn't want to have any inner conflicts or be half-hearted in my commitment. I want to be absolutely sure."

The Master replied, "I deeply admire your sincerity. Unfortunately, we do have this rule here at the ashram, but you are most welcome to come to the meetings held on Wednesday nights outside the ashram instead. Many people have been coming to those meetings for eight or nine months or even a year, but they have not yet made a commitment and, on our part, we have not forced them to make any commitment. Of course, I am the same person, the same spiritual Master, whether I am in my ashram or outside it, so you will still have the same opportunity to decide if I am your Master."

"Master, I am happy to hear that I will be able to attend your Wednesday meetings, and I will certainly continue coming to meditate with you. But why do you have this rigid regulation to begin with? Forgive my asking, but why should one's inner life have these outer limitations?"

The Master explained, "My son, if we have some rules and regulations like this one, we can harmonise more effectively as a group. Every organisation needs rules and regulations so it can run smoothly. Also, it is easier to discipline the lives of the disciples in a spiritual community if there are some rules.

"There is also a spiritual reason, my son. I have seen clearly that if you want to select a path, four visits to one Master are more than enough for you to decide whether or not his path is the one for you. After seeing me that many times, if I am supposed to be your Master, you are bound to feel something in me. I am not saying that just because I am a spiritual Master you have to feel something in me; but if I am meant to be your Master you will definitely feel something in me which will encourage and inspire you to become my disciple. If you say, however, that in your case it is taking more time because you want to be very careful and cautious to avoid making a mistake, then once again I would like to invite you to come indefinitely to that other meeting. Take your own time. After six months or so, if you feel that this is not the path for you, you can try other paths. It is quite immaterial to me whether you accept my path or somebody else's path.

"I am your older spiritual brother, let us say. Because I am a little more advanced than you in the spiritual life, my role is to take you to our common Father, but I myself am not the Goal. If there is somebody else who is also a little bit more spiritually advanced than you, then naturally he, too, will be in a position to take you to the Father. We spiritual Masters are like messenger boys; we just carry the seekers to the Father. You will have the same opportunity to realise God whether you accept this path or another path. If you want to take your time, then please do so, but don't feel sad or disturbed. At that meeting and at all my meetings — indeed, everywhere — my heart's door is wide open."

The second seeker bowed to the Master. "Master, I am deeply moved by your heart's magnanimity and your deep wisdom. I shall certainly continue to come to your meetings. Thank you."

Now the third boy approached the Master. "Master, I find that my life is in a state of confusion. How can I judge my own sincerity? Master, please give me some advice."

The Master said, "It seems to me that you have two questions, not one. One has to do with your confusion, another with your sincerity. Why are you confused? What makes you feel that you are confused? Acceptance of our path is one thing, but confusion in your own life, inside your own mind, is a totally different matter. Ask yourself if you will be happy if you do not accept our path. If you feel that you will be happy, and if you say that you are not confused in regard to rejecting or accepting our path, then your confusion is totally separate from whether or not you should accept the spiritual life. It is up to you either to accept us or to reject us. This path is one way of seeing the truth. Your sincerity will tell you if it is for you."

"But Master," the disciple interrupted, "how can I judge my own sincerity?"

The Master replied, "You can easily judge your own sincerity. Your sincerity depends entirely upon your heart's wideness or magnanimity. You don't have to become a spiritual person in order to be sincere. Think of yourself as two persons. Think of your vital, mind and physical as someone drowning in the sea of ignorance, and think of your heart and soul as another person, swimming across the sea of ignorance. Separate your mind, vital and body from your heart and soul. Feel that while your mind, vital and body are drowning, your heart and soul have the capacity to save them. What should you do now? If you separate yourself from the drowning person, if you remain with the heart and soul, immediately the heart's wideness and the soul's vision of the future will come to save the drowning man inside you. But you have to decide whether or not you are willing to follow the path of the heart and the soul in order to save the physical, vital and mind. If you feel that the physical is giving you the right message, the vital is giving you the right message, the mind is giving you the right message, then you will not feel a real need for the spiritual life. But if you do feel that your mind, for example, is drowning, then you should turn to the heart, because the heart is in a position to offer illumination to the mind. When you enter into the spiritual life, your intellectual mind will be only an unfortunate obstacle. The mind, as such, is not bad, but the mind has to be illumined by the light of the heart. And the light of the heart comes from the soul itself."

The third seeker said, "Master, I will follow your advice, and I am sure that my confusion problem and my sincerity problem will soon be solved. I will try to identify myself with my heart and soul."

Now the last visitor, the girl, said to the Master, "Although I have been meditating and leading an inner life for many years, this is the first time I have ever tried to find a Master. I feel a strong affinity with you, but is it too soon for me to make a decision?"

The Master said, "My daughter, enter into your heart and soul, and then if you feel that this is the path for you, certainly you should come here. If you feel that this is not your path, then go to some other place. But this is my only request to you and to everyone who has not accepted any spiritual Master: find your Master as soon as possible. Just because you are sincere, I am requesting you not to delay. You may say that you have to wait for God's Hour, but I say that the hour has already struck. That is why you have come here and you are thinking of going to some other places as well. Some people are very fussy. Although they see an object that they like in the first store they go to, they think that perhaps they will get something better in another shop. They go to twenty other shops, hoping to find a particular thing, and after looking and looking, they often end up coming back again to the first shop.

"But if people are wise, if they are really hungry and they find the fruit that will satisfy their hunger in the first shop, then they just eat it there and don't bother going from store to store. Of course, if they don't like the food offered there, they have every right to go to some other place. But some people exercise what they call human wisdom, which has no validity from the spiritual point of view. Their very nature is to say, 'Let us go and look at other things.' But the difficulty is that time is very precious. If I have to look around in many stores and browse through everything, while I am wasting my time somebody may come and buy the fruit that I originally wanted. Also, the shopkeeper does not keep his door open twenty-four hours a day. If I browse in his shop for a long time without buying the thing that I need, he may decide that it is time for him to close his shop and ask me to go look somewhere else. At that time, it is I who will remain unsatisfied and unfulfilled.

"So, after going deep within, if your heart and soul tell you this is not your path, be very brave and look for some other Master. But if you feel that this is your path, then don't allow the mind to come forward and bring in doubts.

"You may think that the mind is being sincerely cautious in questioning the heart, but the mind is only showing its insecurity. The mind is helplessly insecure, and that is why it always creates confusion. Have faith only in your heart and soul. If the soul conveys the message to you through your heart that this is your path, accept this path and stick to it.

"What I am saying is that it is best always to be alert and not to waste time. We have to study three subjects. The first subject is God-realisation, the second is God-revelation and the third is God-manifestation. We have hardly even begun to study the first subject, but we have to complete all three courses. Each course takes such a long time. God knows how many centuries, how many incarnations, each will take. So the sooner we start, the better for us."

The fourth seeker bowed and said, "Master, I shall not waste a second. I shall go deep within and find the path for me. Master, you are our true spiritual brother whose only concern is our progress. We are deeply moved by your unconditional guidance. We shall do what you have said." The four seekers bowed gratefully to the Master before leaving for home.

20 July, 1974

The mala beads

One day a spiritual Master went to visit one of his ashrams in another country. The disciples there welcomed him with excitement and devotion, and one of the boys presented him with a set of japa or mala beads that he had painstakingly made by hand for the Master. The Master blessed the boy and then blessed the other disciples who had come to greet him. After they had all meditated together for a while the Master spoke to the disciple who had given him the mala beads.

"My son, I thank you deeply for your dedicated service. From now on, however, I ask you to let me know about your projects in advance so that I can sanction them. I cannot sanction your making this kind of beads in the future, for it would be going against my own philosophy. Also, people will bring me hundreds of malas to bless. I have blessed some in the past, but I have done so with inner reluctance. My philosophy does not advocate the use of malas, because they encourage one to use the mind while counting. It is better to say 'Supreme' seven times soulfully while you breathe in rather than to say it many times counting mechanically. Great Masters like Buddha, Krishna, Ramakrishna and others did not do japa but used will-power and aspiration to realise the Highest. In my case also, although I have done japa three times in my life, I have not done it very seriously.

"In India I knew of a Yogi who had realised God through japa. Some of his disciples did not believe in his realisation, so the Yogi told them that whoever did not believe in his realisation would go to hell. Of course, my children, if someone does not believe in my realisation, I will offer that person at the feet of the Supreme for illumination rather than threaten him in this way. If that does not work, however, I will just give the responsibility for that person's realisation to the Supreme."

One disciple raised his hand and said, "Master, in a recent talk of yours you spoke about mala beads. You said that each mala had one hundred and eight beads, and you said that the number dated back to Krishna's time. You suggested that one way to achieve purity is to say 'Supreme' five hundred times one day, six hundred the next and then continue increasing the number by one hundred a day until we reach twelve hundred at the end of one week. Then you said we should decrease the number by one hundred each day until we reach five hundred again in another week. You said that this practice is good for discipline, will-power and purity. But is this not japa, Master?"

The Master replied, "Yes, that is true. But japa must be done with utmost sincerity. Two disciples of mine who have since left me used to wear their beads all the time merely to show off, but the kind of emotional and mental life they were leading was very impure. If you must wear beads, you should keep them inside your clothing.

"Musicians, for example, in some ways have a very hard job. Although music, the soul's music, is the language of God, the public likes to hear lower vital music, so it is difficult for most musicians to lead a pure life. One famous musician in India used to wear, not one, but seven malas outside his shirt to show how pure he was. Unfortunately, he nonetheless lived a most unbearable vital life.

"Three years ago, an ex-disciple of mine presented me with a mala. While I was in Europe this year, that particular person let it be known that he wished to have his mala back. Since the mala in question was locked in my room, that ex-disciple had to await my return. Upon my arrival, I offered the mala back to that person, but he had reconsidered and decided to let me keep it. Although I tried to give it back, he would not take it. Later I could not help comparing myself with a bank, for I felt that since he had given me his mala to hold for three years, it should at least have acquired interest by this time. The Supreme always listens to a spiritual Master's innocent request, and here is the proof. Now I have not one, but two malas for him."

The disciple who had made the japa beads bowed and said, "Master, now that I understand your philosophy, I can see that I will not need japa beads any more. From now on, I shall try to progress with your loving inspiration and my soulful aspiration, with your soul's concern and my heart's sincere cry."

20 July, 1974

Human expectation and divine fulfilment

One day a close disciple of a great spiritual Master came to the Master and said, "Master, you have been telling me not to expect anything from my life, but to expect everything only from God. I do have faith in God, but unless and until I have seen Him face to face, how can I expect anything from Him? If I see a person, I may expect something from him, but if I don't see him, what can I expect from him? I see my hands, and I expect something from my hands. I see my limbs and just because I see them, I feel that I can ask them for a favour. But in the case of God, since I do not see Him, how can I expect anything from Him?"

The Master said, "My child, it is true that you have not seen God, but I wish to tell you that there are many things that you get which do not actually come from an action of your hands, or eyes, or any part of your body. There are many things you don't expect, either from yourself or from anybody else, but these things do occur, even though you do not see any outer cause or any outer endeavour made by a person known to you. They come in God's own Way, which is far beyond your imagination."

"Master, that is true. But I must say that very often when I expect something from God, my expectations are not fulfilled."

The Master said, "When you expect something from yourself, do your expectations meet with fulfilment all the time?"

"No, Master."

"If you cannot satisfy all that you expect of yourself, why do you expect God to satisfy all that you expect of Him? Someone expects something because he has set a goal for himself, and he expects the goal to come and reach him or he wants to go and reach the goal. Because one has some destination in mind, either he pulls that destination into himself or he pushes himself to his destination. But one's own efforts are not always enough to give him success. No! There is a higher force, which is called Grace, the Compassion of God. When that Compassion descends from Above, there is nothing you cannot expect from your life. When divine Compassion descends, if you have a divine expectation it is certain to be fulfilled.

"Again, in the beginning of his journey, a seeker may aim at a lower goal because he is not yet aware of his higher capacity, or because he is not freed from his desires. If the individual does not have real, sincere aspiration, if he is not a genuine seeker, then God will just give him what he consciously wants and expects. But if he prays and meditates soulfully, because God sees his sincerity and potentiality, God will not want him to reach the lesser goal. God is keeping an infinitely higher goal ready for him.

"In the beginning your expectation may be an iota of light, but God is preparing you so that He can give you an infinite expanse of Light. In the beginning you may try to get just a drop of nectar; you may feel that that is enough. But God wants to feed you a very large quantity of nectar. So when you are totally sincere in your spiritual life, if you have a lesser goal, God may deny you your lesser goal because He has kept the highest Goal for you. But because you do not see the highest Goal, you feel that God is unkind to you and does not care for you."

"What is a lower or a lesser goal?" the disciple asked.

"Let me give you an example," replied the Master. "I used to want to become a ticket checker on a train. When I was a child and the ticket checker came by on the train and asked for the tickets, I was so fascinated by his movements and his gestures that I wanted to become just like him. Now, look! I have become a spiritual Master. To be a spiritual Master is an infinitely greater achievement than to be a ticket checker on a train. So God did not allow me to achieve this lesser goal.

"I also once wanted to become a great athlete, a very fast runner, but God wanted something else. He wanted me to become a very fast runner, not in the outer life, but in the inner life. The name, fame and achievement of the athlete who is a champion runner in the outer life last only for a few years. He inspires young people, true; but the inspiration he offers is nothing when compared with the inspiration that the inner champion, the spiritual Master, offers. When a Master inspires someone, that person's consciousness is elevated, and the person goes one step further towards the highest Goal. The ultimate Goal can eventually be reached with the help of a Master's inspiration and aspiration."

The disciple said, "But Master, even when I expect the highest Goal from God — Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure — even then my expectations are not fulfilled."

"My son, when you expect Peace, Light and Bliss from God, that means you have set yourself a very high goal. If you expect something from your friends, or your relatives, or your neighbours, or your acquaintances, if they don't want to give it, then they just won't do so. And as soon as you don't get it, you are unhappy because you feel that although you deserved it, you didn't get it; or you feel that others didn't want to give it to you because of their jealousy and fear that they wouldn't be able to show their supremacy if you got that thing.

"But in the case of God, if He does not give you something, it is not because He is jealous of you, or because He thinks that if He gives you His Infinity, then He will not be able to keep His Supremacy. No! You may feel that what you have received is only a tiny drop, while the thing that you are still expecting is an infinite ocean; but when God gives you only a drop, it is because He feels that even this tiny drop may be too much for you. But gradually God increases your capacity, and there will come a time when you will be able to receive a big drop. And finally you will be able to receive the ocean itself.

"If you expect something from God, but do not get it, rest assured that God has a very good and legitimate reason for not giving it to you. It is because He will give you something far better in the future. Also, He will tell you the reason why He is denying you. If He does not fulfil your expectation, He offers you Light. Through that Light, He makes it clear to you why He is not giving you what you expect. Again, if He gives you what you want immediately, then also He will tell you the reason you are getting it now. So, my child, if you really want to expect something, expect not from yourself, not from anybody else, but only from God.

"The fulfilment of expectation is at once a human necessity and a divine satisfaction. When we say we are satisfied, that is the fulfilment of our expectation. But this fulfilment of expectation takes place in a divine way only when we surrender our will to God's Will.

"Otherwise, we shall pray to God, meditate on God, worship God and try to please God with the wrong kind of expectation. Because we have prayed for eight hours, we shall expect God to give us a smile. But how do we know that by getting a smile from God our life will be immortalised, or that by getting something else that we wanted our life will be fulfilled?

"If we expect from God in a divine way, Reality will loom large in us; and, with this Reality, we will be able to go to our Immortality, our highest transcendental Goal."

23 July, 1974

The Master's best poems

One day a spiritual Master discovered two of his disciples who had a literary bent sitting in his garden, surrounded by all his poetry books, looking very confused and sad.

"What is the matter, my daughters?" he asked. "Why do you look so perplexed?"

One of the girls said, "Master, last week you asked us to select some of your poems for an anthology. But last night you told us that all of your poems are of a high standard, no matter what level of consciousness they express. Doesn't this mean that none of the poems are really better than the others?"

The Master said, "Let me use an analogy to answer this question. If you go to a store where they sell ladies' purses, some of these purses are very beautiful. Some are gold, some are full of ornamentation, and so forth. The price range will vary widely — the purses can cost anywhere from two dollars to twenty dollars or more. Now, if somebody does not have much money and cannot afford to buy the bag which costs twenty dollars, then what will she do? She has to be satisfied with the one she can buy. To some extent, you can say this one is inferior. One who has the capacity to buy something for twenty dollars will naturally call the two-dollar bag inferior. But you have to know that for the woman who has the money to buy only the two-dollar bag, the one she buys will be the most expensive and most beautiful bag because that is the one within her capacity.

"So we have to see an individual's standard. If an individual does not have a very elevated consciousness, there will be certain poems which will come up to his standard and which will satisfy him. And if somebody has a high, elevated consciousness, then there will be some other poems to satisfy him. The consciousness of the person who reads the poems is an important factor. If somebody is not able to meditate well, he will be satisfied with the kind of poem I write that says that my body is this and my vital is that. But if somebody has a very high consciousness, he will like poems expressing my loftiest philosophy. The spiritual height of the words will really satisfy him."

At this point the other girl said, "Master, you have made it much clearer to us. But since you have asked us to make a selection of your poetry, what criteria should we apply?"

The Master explained further. "In considering what criteria to apply, we have to make quite a few categories. In one category the poems will be judged according to their absolute spiritual height. Of course, spiritual people will have to judge the spiritual height. If a poem expresses divine longing, for example, that kind of poem will be on the spiritual side. In another category the poems will have to be judged from the modern stylistic approach. For example, let us say that I have exercised considerable freedom — not like a mad elephant, of course — but I have written with tremendous confidence. Then there will be other categories for poems which are spiritually illumined or mentally illumined, and for those which express earth-aspiration or Heaven-illumination.

"You will need at least ten categories. Only in that way can you judge my poetry properly or make a wise selection. Since I have written a few thousand poems, you can easily have ten categories. There cannot be any one, single, satisfactory point of view. If you judge only on the basis of spiritual height, for example, the selection will not satisfy everyone. Even my poems that express the highest realisation and revelation — my most outstanding poems — are not liked by everyone. Many people prefer the ones that tell of the frustration and emptiness of life. Now look at the difference between these two kinds of poems. One expresses the height of my realisation, when I am one with the Supreme. In the others I am totally identified with the tremendous frustration and destruction of the earthbound consciousness. But many times these poems have been quoted, and I have heard that many people like these poems more than those in the other category. So you see, each one likes and judges a poem according to his own immediate necessity."

The first girl smiled and said, "Before you came, Master, we were both more in the world of frustration than in the world of spirituality. I wonder what our selection would have been like at that time."

The Master blessed both the girls affectionately and said, "True. Why do we even need to speak of different individuals liking different types of poems? Let us take just one person. At every moment his consciousness, his standard, is changing. After his morning meditation he will read one particular poem and feel that this is one of my best poems. Then during the day he may read another poem and feel that he likes this one the most because it is answering his needs at the time. In the evening, if he has met with disappointment and other problems during the day, he will like and identify with a poem which expresses his feelings of frustration. He will not care at all for the poem that he liked in the morning. So it is necessary to choose a great variety of poems which express many moods and needs, human and divine."

26 July, 1974

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