"This series of dialogues with Baba, published in the magazine
originally in Telugu, unravels the mysteries of spiritual truth and
lovingly removes the mist that hides the vision of aspirants. Perused
with care and faith, these dialogues are bound to clarify, reinforce and
convince. May the perusal lead you nearer and nearer the goal." N. Kasturi,
Dialogue I >>Next
Bhaktha: Swami, can we ask you
freely about any topic concerning the spiritual path, which we do not
Swami: Certainly. What is the objection? Why this doubt? What am
I here for? Is it not for explaining to you things you do not know? You
can ask me without any fear or hesitation. I am always ready to answer;
only, I want earnest inquiry with a desire to know.
Bhaktha: But some elders say it
is wrong to vex the Guru with questions. Are they right, Swami?
Swami: That is not correct. Whom else can the disciple approach?
Since the Guru is everything to him, it is best that he consults him in
all matters and then acts.
Bhaktha: Some say that we should
reverentially carry out whatever the elders ask us to do without raising
any objections. Is that your command also?
Swami: Until you develop full faith in them and know that their
words are valid, it will be difficult for you to carry out their orders
reverentially. So, until then, it won't be wrong to ask them the
significance and the validity of their orders, so that you may be
Bhaktha: Swami, whom are we to
believe, whom are we to discard? The world is so full of deceit. When
those, whom we believed are good, themselves turn out to be bad, how can
Swami: Well, My boy! Where is the need for you in this world or
any world to grow faith in others? Believe in yourself, first. Then
believe in the Lord, Paramatma. When you have faith in these two,
neither the good nor the bad will affect you.
Bhaktha: Swami, faith in the
Lord too diminishes sometimes. What is the reason for that?
Swami: When one is deluded by the mere external world and when
one does not attain success in such external desires, faith in the Lord
diminishes. So, give up such desires. Desire only for the spiritual
relationship; then you won't become the target of doubts and
difficulties. The important thing for this is faith in the Lord; without
that, you start doubting everything, big and small.
Bhaktha: Until we understand the
reality of Paramatma, it is important, they say, to be in the company of
the great and the good and also to have a Guru. Are these necessary?
Swami: Of course, the company of the great and the good is
necessary. To make that reality known to you, a Guru too is important.
But, in this matter, you should be very careful. Genuine Gurus are
scarce these days. Cheats have multiplied and teachers have retreated
into solitude, in order to realise themselves undisturbed. There are
many genuine Gurus but they cannot be secured easily. Even if you get
them, you must thank your destiny if they vouchsafe to you more that one
single Sadvakya; they won't spend time telling you all kinds of stories!
There should be no hurry in the search for a Guru.
Bhaktha: Then, what in the world
is the path?
Swami: Why, it is just for this that we have the Veda, Sastra,
Purana and Ithihasa. Study them; adhere to the path they teach and
gather the experience; understand their meaning and the trend of their
message from Pundits; follow them in practice; meditate on the Paramatma
as the Guru and as God; then, those books themselves will help you as
your Guru. For, what is a Guru? The Guru is that through which your mind
gets fixed on God. If you consider Paramatma as the Guru and do Sadhana
with unshakable love, the Lord Himself will appear before you and give
Upadesa just as a Guru. Or, He may so bless you that as a result of the
Sadhana, you may meet a Sadguru.
Bhaktha: But, nowadays, some
great big persons are granting Upadesa to all who ask; are these not
Swami: I won't say they are or they are not. I declare only this:
It is not the sign of a Sadguru to grant Upadesa to any and every person
who comes to him with praise, without considering the past and the
future, without discovering the qualifications of the pupil and testing
whether he is fit.
Bhaktha: Then Swami, I have
committed a blunder! When one great person arrived at our village, and
when all were receiving Upadesa from him, I too went and prostrated
before him and asked him for it. He granted me a good Upadesa; I
repeated the Manthra for some time, but, soon, I came to know that the
great person was a cheat. Since that day, I lost faith in the name he
gave me; I gave up Manthra. Was this wrong? Or, am I right?
Swami: Do you doubt the right and wrong of this? It is very
wrong. Just as the Guru, as I told you now, examines the qualifications
of the disciple, the disciple too has to critically examine the
credentials of the Guru before receiving Upadesa. Your first mistake was
that you did not pay attention to this but hastily accepted Upadesa.
Well, even if the Guru gave it without the necessary qualification, why
did you break your vow and stop repeating the name? That is the second
mistake: casting the fault of another on the sacred name of God. Before
receiving Upadesa, you should have taken time and known his genuineness
and enveloped faith in him. Then, when the desire to accept him as Guru
emerged, you should have received the Upadesa. But, once you accept, you
must repeat it, whatever the difficulty; you should not give it up.
Otherwise, you commit the wrong of accepting without deliberation and
rejecting without deliberation. That wrong will be on your head. You
should accept a name when you are still afflicted by doubt or a name
which you do not prefer. Having accepted, you should not give it up.
Bhaktha: What happens when it is
Swami: Well, my boy. Disloyalty to the Guru and discarding the
name of God - on account of these, your one-pointed endeavour and
concentration will wither away. As the saying goes, The diseased
seedling can never grow into a tree .
Bhaktha: But if the Guru grants
the Manthra though we lack the merit?
Swami: Such a Guru is no Guru. The result of his wrong act won't
fall on you. The evil of that wrong will devolve on him only.
Bhaktha: If the disciple acts
according to the promise made to the Guru, irrespective of what the Guru
may turn out to be, and honours him as before, can he realise the goal?
Swami: Certainly, what doubt is there? Don't you know the story
of Ekalavya? Though Dronacharya did not accept him as his disciple, he
installed an image and took it as Dronacharya himself; revering as such,
he learnt archery and achieved mastery of all arts. Finally, when the
Guru, blinded by injustice, asked for his right thumb as his fees, he
offered if gladly. Did Ekalavya take to heart the injury done by the
Bhaktha: Of what avail was that
offer? His education was all a waste, that was all. What was the net
result of his achievement?
Swami: Though Ekalavya lost all chance of using his skill, the
character that he earned by that training was never lost. Is not the
fame he acquired by his sacrifice enough compensation?
Bhaktha: Well, what is past is
past. Hereafter at least I shall hold fast and try not to discard the
name. Please grant me Upadesa yourself.
Swami: Your attitude is just like that of the person who, after
having witnessed the Ramayana being enacted throughout the night, asked
some one at daybreak how Rama was related to Sita! I was telling you
that the Guru and the Upadesa will come when your qualifications ripen.
It will come by itself. There is no need for you to ask! Really
speaking, the disciple should not ask for Upadesa on his own. He cannot
be aware of his being ripe for it. The Guru will be watching for the
proper moment and he will himself bless and help. You should not get
Upadesa more than once. It is not repeatable. If you give up one Upadesa
and take up another, whenever you feel like it, you will be like a
married woman gone astray.
Bhaktha: So, what is my fate
now? Is there no way to save myself?
Swami: Repent for the mistake committed, but continue meditating
on the name you received. For Namasmarana, apart from Japa, you can use
as many names as you like. For Dhyana, the name got by Upadesa alone
should be used, remember. Don't change that sacred name; transform
yourself by persistent yearning and effort and proceed.
Bhaktha: Swami! Today is indeed
a great day; for all doubts have disappeared by the message you gave. As
you said, Upadesa created the doubt; Your Sandesha dispelled it. If
permitted, I will return now to my place and when I come again, I will
bring some new doubts to be cast away in Your presence in exchange for
peace and joy. If you so command, I shall come next month.
Swami: Very good. That is exactly what I want - that persons like
you should rid themselves of doubts, should grasp the real significance
of life and welcoming the Sandesha with faith and steadfastness; dwell
in constant remembrance of the name of the Lord. Whenever you come,
whatever comes, learn from Me the method and means of ridding yourself
of grief and doubt and worry. Never suffer from grief; for with that
pain inside you, you will not be able to do any Sadhana. Whatever
Sadhana you do will be like rose water poured on ash. Very well, go now
and come later.
continued (SBOI - Group Post)
Dialogue I >>Next
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