(Excerpts from the satsang of Pujya Sant Shri Asharamji Bapu)
The power of thought is greater than the power of automobiles, ships or even atom bombs. Atom bombs are exploded, diffused, discovered and invented by thoughts. Hence thoughts play a significant role. The thoughts of seeking refuge in God or attaining God are more conducive to happiness. Hatred leads oneself as well as others to ruin. Attachment makes oneself as well as others sensualist. Thoughts oriented towards divine love neutralize attachment and hatred.
One thought leads to amity while another leads to enmity and strife. One thought relegates a person from a spiritual aspirant to a worldly man, while another makes a worldly man self-controlled and leads him to divinity. One good thought of Siddharth made him self-controlled and led him to divinity. Hence, whenever a good thought arises in the mind, one should stick to it.
One wretched idea becomes a problem for crores of people. See how one lowly idea of Ravana caused problems for the whole of Lanka and for the apes. Similarly, one wretched idea of Alexander and Hitler killed many people and brought destruction all around.
The British Professors of Britain’s world famous Cambridge University planted in the mind of a student called Abdul Latif the devious idea of dividing India to create Pakistan. He started sending posters and booklets with maps of Pakistan to India. Initially, this didn’t evoke any response. Even Mr. Jinnah termed it fanatic. It was not at all possible! However, those who encouraged this evil idea became instrumental in dividing India and creating Pakistan, the evil consequences of which are victimizing us even today. Noble citizens are being terrorized. Extra military forces, missiles and fighter planes… two parts of India are fighting against each other wasting their own energy and resources. Billions and trillions of rupees have been wasted due to one evil idea! One devious idea that arose at that time, rendered crores of people homeless, claimed lakhs of innocent lives, outraged the modesty of thousands of women and killed thousands of children. One noble idea of my Gurudev, His aspiration for God, is leading millions of people towards God-realization and towards a noble and pious life. People are greatly benefitted.
One gets noble thoughts through satsang and evil ideas from instigators. ‘Islam is in danger… kill the infidels!’ – This is an evil idea. However, Bakhtu Bibi (according to some scholars Marium Bibi) told her son, “Child! Do not let yourself be influenced by this evil idea. The same Allah abides in Hindus. Mussalmans too have the same Rama abiding in them. ‘Ishwar and Allah are both Your names. May good sense prevail upon all, O Lord.’
Due to the noble teachings of Bakhtu Bibi, her son Farid went on to become Baba Farid. I have respect and goodwill for Bakhtu Bibi and Baba Farid even now. Mahatma Gandhi watched a play on the life of King Harishchandra and resolved that he would never lie and would work for the welfare of others. The divine ideas of Self-knowledge imparted by Sage Sanaka and his brothers inspired Narada to compose Srimad Bhagawata. Sri Shukadeva related the Bhagawata to King Parikshit for his Supreme good. His ideas have benefited crores of people. Abdul’s evil thoughts brought ruin while the teachings of Shukadeva and Vyasa brought good to crores of people. Sant Tulsidasa’s noble thoughts have blessed crores of people with peace and bliss through the nectar of Ramayana. Ramananda Sagar’s noble idea helped us view the Ramayana sitting at home. Thoughts play a very important role. We see only vices in one whom we hate and virtues in the one whom we love; but we see God in the object of our faith. Namdeva saw God even in a ghost. What kind of a mentality is it, which cannot behold God even in a Guru?
Abdul Latif’s evil idea of creating Pakistan is a burning problem even today. Hence those who come up with evil ideas cause trouble for themselves as well as for others. Those who sowed the seeds of dissension are dead and gone, but the society continues to be tormented and terrorized as a consequence of their evil designs. ‘From the same light emanated the entire universe, whom then shall I call good, whom bad?’
All have emanated from the One Consciousness Absolute Lord. God knows what hell the instigators go to but ultimately it is the people that are exploited. Those who spread noble ideas attain God and the people too are benefited by them.
Satsang (association with the wise) is where one gets noble ideas and that which spreads evil ideas is called ‘Kusang’ (bad company). A considerate person seeks satsang. He loves and enjoys the company of saints. Eklavya was a considerate man. He excelled in archery by concentrating on his Guru’s image! Dhruva had discriminative insight and became great in the company of Narada. Mirabai had discriminative insight and she could assimilate the grace of her Guru Ravidas.
Deceit, fraud and trickery make one evil-minded and lead to ruin. One who is free from these three vices will become a saint. Other than God, what is there in this world that will stay with us forever? Look with the eye of reflection. Why should we be deceitful? Why should we sin? Why should we cast allegations on anybody? All live according to their fate and natural disposition. ‘May good be to all’ – such goodwill brings happiness. Those with a caviling attitude kill themselves with their own thoughts. Do not be pessimistic. Nurture such elevating thoughts as would intensify your hunger for God. Evil thoughts bring ruin. Thoughts of pessimism, hatred, fighting and instigating others to fight lead to depreciation. Pessimistic thoughts lead to despondency, and wretchedness. A pessimist person himself breaks down; an optimist person automatically gets elevated within. ‘May the wicked become noble and the noble attain peace. May the peaceful become liberated souls. May the liberated ones, the Self-realized saints, out of compassion come and live among the worldly people to elevate them, lest they should be degenerated to the state of animals.’ Everyone worships God according to his or her own fancy. People toil throughout their life, become old and then die a miserable death. So, who has trampled on sorrows to become great? - Deliberate thus, and seek refuge in such a liberated Guru. Be loyal to Him. Loyalty will come though righteous thought. Disloyalty comes through lack of inquiry. Hatred comes through lack of discrimination; equanimity comes through enquiry.
Vasishthaji says in the ‘Sri Yogavasishtha’, “O Rama! The Jiva, by virtue of self-enquiry attains to the eternal, pure, and infinite state of Supreme Bliss. Having once attained that one doesn’t feel like renouncing it. With the attainment of Self-enquiry, the illusion called the world is dispelled. It is better to be a frog in mud or an insect in excreta or a serpent in a dark cave than to be a man without enquiry.” An ignorant person, lost and corrupted by lack of enquiry grieves and troubles himself or herself by quarelling, slandering and talking nonsense. A person afflicted by a terrible disease and calamities does not grieve like this.
Vasishtaji says, “One who hankers indiscriminately after pleasures is a dog”. How dogs bark without sense! No sooner does one dog bark than the other too follows suit and then two to three groups keep barking throughout the night for no reason at all. To act motivated by attachment and hatred, to embellish the ego is the mark of one without enquiry. To seek a way for dissolving our ego in God is the right enquiry.
Reflect, ‘Who am I? What is this world? Who experiences sorrow and happiness? What is the cause of transmigration and how can I transcend it? God is my Real Self, yet I have not attained Him. How can I attain God?’ One should stick to such lofty thoughts and live life accordingly. The wretched stick to wretched thoughts and live life accordingly but the elevated ones take up some lofty thought and then become thoughtless. They do not give importance to it!
The loftiest of all lofty thoughts is that of attaining God. There is no idea loftier than that. One should aim to attain God and practice the sadhana according to his or her capability. Practicing the sadhana according to one’s capability leads one to the Supreme goal of Self-realization, but how will we know our capability? The Lord says that for this we should approach the enlightened ones.
Know that by long prostration, by question and by service, the wise who have realised the Truth will instruct you in (that) knowledge.
(The Gita: 4.34) ------------------------------------------------------- ------