The question is of the unfoldment of sanskaras


Question: Why did Tukaram renounce everything?
Answer: He became disgusted with the world because of continual losses and failures in business. Having renounced the world, there was created in him the love of God. After this he had to pass through further untold sufferings.

Merely becoming aloof from the world because of worldly disappointments, or committing suicide to escape from them, or going mad on their account—all these are quite different from the renunciation we have been talking about. True renunciation is actual death. After that, if a man is fortunate enough to find a Guru, well and good; otherwise, he is doomed—with untold difficulties thrown upon his head as further severe testing.

In a nutshell, then, all these talks with their questions and answers hinge on the question of the unfoldment of sanskaras. That is the essence! If those sanskaras get wiped off that accrue from karma attaching to the pure (shuddh) Paramatma Itself, then all is well. Otherwise, if they remain there accumulated on the pure Paramatma, they comprise just that much more burden which one has to pick up and carry, with that much more stress and strain upon the self.

Sant Tukaram, as we have said, undertook renunciation (tyag) after experiencing disappointment and disgust with the world. Then the love of God was created in him, and this led in turn to the meeting and darshan of a Guru. But all these developments in his life resulted from previous sanskaras and a tremendous self-preparation that cannot even be imagined. Unthinkable difficulties, acute stress and strain, and all manner of hardships created and prepared such powerful sanskaras that circumstances in due course afforded him opportunities for renunciation, the appearance of the Guru, and the incurring of the Guru’s grace all within a single lifetime, indeed, within the scope of just a few years.

Altogether different from this is the experience of circle members but that’s another matter.

– “Meher Baba’s Tiffin lectures”, p252
21-September-1926; Meherabad

Keeping Company–Satsang – Part 2/2

Now those who practice satsang can be divided into three types:

  1. He who gives, takes not, and stays
  2. He who gives not, takes not, but stays
  3. He who gives not, takes, but stays

All this business of “give and take” pertains to the domain of material things. The first two types in this list (that is, those who “take not”) rank more highly: the first can rightly be called “heroes”  and the second, the ‘best’. Those of the third category (who “take”) number among the “ordinary”. But all three derive great advantage, for the essential point is that, after renunciation, they remain in satsang, with the business of “giving,” “not giving,” and “taking” all depending upon their sanskaras descending from –the past. All three stand far above the so-called sanyasis of the world—not just first two types (who “take not”) but even the third (who “takes” but remains ri the sahavas or company of the Guru). But these ordinary sanyasis of the world who have renounced everything are in a way better than the ordinary people of the world, who still remain in the clutches and entanglements of Maya and materialism.

To abide in satsang means to obey the Guru’s orders.

– “Meher Baba’s Tiffin lectures”, p250
21-September-1926; Meherabad

Keeping Company–Satsang – Part 1/2

You people think that renunciation is much easier than materialism that hating and giving up materialism comes more easily than love, liking and attachment to it. But this is not so. Renunciation is most difficult, to such an extent that only those prepared to risk and lose their very lives may dare venture upon it. To quote a line in Persian:

Ke ishq asan nomud avval vali aftad moshketha

That is, “Love at first seemed easy, but as time went on, innumerable difficulties arose.”

But even after everything external has been renounced, desires  and ambitions have still to be given up. But if one does not succeed in achieving internal renunciation, external renunciation brings advantage nonetheless. External renunciation is good, even if desires arise in the course of it.

But to succeed in internal renunciation, satsang—the company of and residence with a sage—offers the best expedient and remedy. Doubtless they do well who, remaining in the world, observe and practice renunciation; but the case is quite different for those who renounce and then live in the company of a sage after renunciation.

– “Meher Baba’s Tiffin lectures”, p250
21-September-1926; Meherabad

On Renunciation: Tyag, Sanyas, and Vairag – Part 3/3

For real renunciation demands the courage to give up the worldly Maya, which these cowards cannot do, bound and attached to it as they are. Moreover, in the affairs of worldly people (duniyadari) all bears the stamp of incompleteness and imperfection irrespective of the ability, boldness, and nerves which one brings to the task of facing up to and managing the difficulties and critical situations that arise. Even the people who do this—who brave the world and its difficulties—labor under the burden of such sanskaras that inevitably thjey make mistakes for which they must suffer.’ For everything is due to and .dependent  on sanskaras. In many cases it happens that, for one reason or mother, people fail in what they venture and experience severe disappointment. A sufficient number of these disappointments renders a man desperate to such an extent that he feels only disgust with everything; and this disappointment and disgust drives him eventually to decide to renounce everything—the world and all its attachments—and to undertake vairag.

There are some who experience a natural fear of sexual connection and sexual intercourse. These fears, and indeed the fear of any kind of sin, are due to the formation of previous sanskaras.

He who is a coward in materialism becomes either the greatest sinner or a Master in the spiritual line. Those who have been the greatest Masters in their times have been the greatest cowards in materialism (diniyadari). But these “cowards” were heroes (mardan-e-khuda) in the spiritual world

– “Meher Baba’s Tiffin lectures”, p247
21-September-1926; Meherabad

On Renunciation: Tyag, Sanyas, and Vairag – Part 2/3

Otherwise, these so-called “sadhus” and “sanyasis” of the present day are generally mere idlers (dhongi, haramkhor) who wander here and there with no higher aim than obtaining food and clothing for free, without strife or strain on the body, without labor or exertion. Worse still, they are continually engrossed and engaged in talk about “wine and women”—which above all should be avoided. Worldly people (sansari loko) are far better than these hypocrites.-these sham sadhus and sanyasis.

Nonetheless, the fact remains that the world and its environments and surroundings are like chains and bindings (janjir, bandhan) in every connection and every way—whether the actions in question are good or bad. For all actions, whatever they be, are apt to the production of sanskaras. Now he who, having renounced everything, remains in the company and sahavas of a Sadguru, is far better and abides on a loftier level than these hypocritical sadhus and sanyasis. Yet higher still is he who, renouncing everything and keeping the company of the Sadguru, performs karma in the form of the duties entrusted to him by his Guru. This constitutes service to the world indeed.

By contrast, what is called service to the country, service to relatives and friends, even “service to the world” through acts of charity and the like—all of these embroil one in the bindings of sanskaras. For all actions, good and bad, are liable to the creation of sanskaras. There is no remedy to this other than complete renunciation. Hence the saying “Let go thy hold, sanyasi bold”: that is, keep your hands open so as to allow actions to escape; in other words, avoid actions, do nothing. “Eat, drink, and lie at rest”: in other words, remain at ease and free from anxiety in the company of the Sadguru, for this constitutes real karma yoga. Don’t mind if worldly people call you cowards and eunuchs incapable and afraid of facing the difficulties that the world presents. Care not for their taunts and insults; for they know not what they say.

– “Meher Baba’s Tiffin lectures”, p247
21-September-1926; Meherabad

On Renunciation: Tyag, Sanyas, and Vairag – Part 1/3

For the ordinary people of the world, for the great mass of human beings, the best remedy for spiritual ignorance and the best course and pathway to ishvar prapti—the acquisition of spiritual knowledge and Godliness—is renunciation, termed sanyas, and tyag in Gujarati.

Now, this renunciation, this tyag, comes about in one of two ways. It may result  from some unpleasant experience or, to put it more properly, from one’s getting tired and disgusted with the world, in which case it bears the name vaira . Then again, it may arise from a desire and longing to see God, which is called talab, “longing” or “thirst.” What all this means, one way or another, is that renunciation—tyag—must eventually come, whatever may be the rhyme or reason for it. It constitutes the true requisite, the first essential precondition to the attainment of spiritual knowledge, acquaintance with godly things or persons, or anything else in this line.

Renunciation, according to Vivekananda in his poem on sanyas, means to eat and drink anything offered by anyone, to sleep anywhere, to wander without home, to keep oneself aloof and disconnected from karma, and most especially, to remain free from entanglement with women and wealth. By thus renouncing everything and maintaining oneself in this state, all past sanskaras become dead and destroyed and new, deep ones never get formed. “Eat whatever is given to until karma’s powers are spent”: thus counsels Vivekananda.

But even such renunciation or tyag, though providing the best path for the generality of mankind, brings many attendant difficulties. If a sadhu persists in this life of wandering here and there, however, accepting and eating only such food as is sufficient to satisfy his hunger, and keeping himself out of the clutches of greed and passion (lobh and kam), then he is said to have achieved a station far higher than that of a family man in the world (sansario). The state and condition of a true faqir is splendidly depicted in a couplet by Kabir:

Pet samana anna mage, tan samana chir,
 adhik hi sangrah na kare, taka nam fakir

He who fills the stomach with food, covers the body with clothing, and keeps nothing more than that: such a one can be named a faqir.

That is: the one who desires for food sufficient to satisfy his appetite, who wants clothes sufficient to cover and keep his body protected from atmospheric effects (such as heat and cold), and who entertains no other desire of accumulating anything— he alone deserves to be called a real faqir.

– “Meher Baba’s Tiffin lectures”, p247
21-September-1926; Meherabad

Baba’s response to questions regarding the union and the circle – Part 2/2

Question: Then if this prize is sure of attainment for everyone, why strive for it? It will come of itself.

Answer: Your striving and struggle are what bring you nearer and nearer to the Goal of Truth. Even though you fail ninety-nine times, if at last the hundredth effort brings to you the realized Jnani Guru, all your labor is amply repaid.  For from that moment when you find the Guru, you will be pushed continuously towards the Goal of Truth though your Guru’s secret working and hidden powers. Hence it is said, “Strive on and on.

Take, as an analogy, these sun rays falling in the center of Makan (Makan-e-khas, the staff quarters of the men mandali), which have penetrated through some opening in the wall. Compared to the greater space of the Makan which still lies in darkness, that portion illumined by the light of the rays is small, and the rays themselves are few.

Such is the condition of the people in this universe: the huge mass of humanity remains in the dark, ignorant of any real knowledge. Only a few can he counted among the knowers of inner knowledge (antar jnani), having, gleaned light from a Realized Person. These who possess inner knowledge can he compared to the rays (kiran) just mentioned -few in number, but even so, rays merely and not the Sun itself, which remains far, far above this earthly domain and altogether out of reach.

Real knowledge means journeying towards and becoming one with the Sun. From there, having attained That, one throws light. By comparison, to be like a sun ray is nothing. They are only rays, after all.

– “Meher Baba’s Tiffin lectures”, p187
16-July-1926; Meherabad

Baba’s response to questions regarding the union and the circle – Part 1/2

Every Master, who was formerly the Chargeman of the Master who preceded him,  has in turn to prepare his own circle, whose members have a long, ancient past connection with him and who in a queer way, flock around him in the age in which he is to give them Realization. There are just a few such persons—eleven` only—who get the real juice (which is Knowledge or Jnan); and only one out of crores and crores actually becomes an Acharya! (Perfect Master)

Question: Then why should one even try, when the chance is so remote and success so rare and difficult of attainment? It’s like buying lottery tickets in hopes of winning the jackpot, which never delivers the wanted result!

Answer: But here, unlike in the lottery, the result is sure, though it comes slowly. You do eventually get what you strive for—which is Truth. In sooth, to find this Truth is the ultimate aim and object of one and all.

– “Meher Baba’s Tiffin lectures”, p187
16-July-1926; Meherabad

Why is the number of the outer circle fifty-six only?

Question: Why is the number of the outer circle fifty-six only, neither more nor less?

Answer: Because this number seems perfect (purna) to those who manage, the world’s workings from a spiritual and various other points of view. One person alone cannot manage the whole affair single-handed. He does require assistance, and the number of assistants is fixed at fifty-six. These Supreme Beings  who have attained to the realization of Self have been obliged to assume human form for the performance of the duties entrusted to them. They must discharge the responsibility of uplifting those persons, those deserving ones, who have brought about the needed preparations in themselves and thus have made The Highest Point of the Circle themselves worthy of this good fortune.

NOW each of these circle members is entrusted with a certain specific duty—this duty only and no other. Just as the nose cannot can out the task of seeing (which is the duty’ of the eyes), so these workers in the domain spirituality cannot perform any duty other than that with which they have been entrusted. The number of these spiritual workers, fixed at fifty-six, corresponds to the number of parts of the body (including the the avayavs or limbs and parts, indriyas or organs of sense, and so forth). Each man has two eyes, one nose, five fingers per hand, thirty -two teeth, and so on.  Just as these numbers have been fixed and the respective duties of each assigned, so are the numbers and roles of the spiritual workers: but the total number is set at fifty-six exactly.

Apart from the fifty-six, there are others without human form who have no duty to perform, since they have, indeed, no consciousness of the existence of the world at all. Rather, they are immersed in the One Infinite Existence—Infinite Light. Infinite Anand, and so forth.

This grand affair of managing the whole universe can be compared to running a toddy shop. While a varied assortment of business partners and shop workers take part in the toddy shop operation, each has his own particular duty. One of them mixes the toddy, a second pours it into cups, a third attends on the customers, another takes cash in payment, and so forth. But all of them are there present in the shop—assuming that the shop exists in the first place. But in the absence of a shop, what use do all these people serve? In the same way, when there is no universe (as in the case of those, like the Majzubs, who have realized God but retained no creation consciousness), no work presents itself.

But in the case of those Realized Ones for whom the universe still exists, the number that plays a role in the affairs of creation’s “shop” has been permanently established at fifty-six, since a lesser number cannot successfully carry out all the work and perform all the varied duties. Suppose a man has lost one of his eyes. He can still see by means of the other eye, though he does so with difficulty. To enable him to see perfectly, to help him to carry out this work of “seeing” properly and unimpaired, each human being has been given the assistance of two servants, that is to say, two eyes. Similarly, each person has been endowed with two ears, a single nose, two hands and two feet with five fingers or five toes on each, etc. And thus nature goes on working according to the rules and regulations and principles laid down by the experienced (which is to say, Realized) Sages. Nothing is haphazard.

– “Meher Baba’s Tiffin lectures”, p118
28-June-1926; Meherabad

Real compassion by refusing darshan

The conversation stemmed from the recent episode concerning a Hindu gentleman, a genuine bhakta (devotee), who had visited Shri Baba several times previously. Always in the past Baba had freely given him interviews and discussed the various points he raised with regard to the yogas, tap-jap, and so forth. But it so happened today that Shri did not allow the gentleman to approach him in the usual manner—and this, despite the fact that he had been here at Meherabad since the night before and waited for him all day long. Conjecturing on the cause of Shri’s special attitude towards him on this particular occasion, the man finally opened his heart to Kakaji, explaining that today he came with the intention of speaking to Shri on money matters and certain difficulties he was facing. But (as the man now realized) Shri knew all of this beforehand and did not permit him even to come into his presence. This so impressed the gentleman, convincing him of Shri’s greatness, power, and lilas that, having narrated all of this to Kakaji, he quietly walked off without uttering a word more.

When this little drama came up for discussion later, Shri explained that, when the gentleman first came him, Shri had asked him what he desired, God or what the world sees as “good.” The man replied that he preferred God to the world. So when he came today with the desire to speak about matters other than God, he was shirking his promise. Shri saved him from actually breaking his word by refusing to allow him to come before him and broach worldly matters; he had to content himself simply with remaining nearby in Shri’s proximity. The Hindu visitor was indeed a good man, Shri commented, sincere at heart, a premi (lover), who had observed so much tap-jap-vrat (penance and austerities) and other such practices. But with reference to the gentleman’s inability to stick to his original intention, Shri went on to give the mandali the following good piece of advice (upadesh):

“This is how the world changes. It’s all on account of Maya, which you have to renounce before you can hope to aspire for spiritual advancement. The greatest weapons of Maya are ‘woman and wealth’ (kam-kanchan). Any so-called saint (sant) who keeps talking about these subjects is not really a saint at all. Maya and all its paraphernalia have to go, Maya has to be destroyed, before one can attain Realization: and this is the only real qualification for sainthood.”

– “Meher Baba’s Tiffin lectures”, p88
28-June-1926; Meherabad