Factors necessary for Progress
This talk was given on 12 October, 1972, in New York City
During these days here we have had four or five talks on the different aspects of Spirituality. Our purpose is to progress on the Way. To progress on the Way, there are certain things which are very essential. If they are not there, progress won’t be there.
First of all is regularity. As you take food daily for your body, twice or three times a day, similarly you are here for the main purpose of giving food to the soul. Bread of Life, Water of Life, the capital of which each one of you have had. So the first thing is regularity. Regularity will only give you better food if you maintain the diary for self-introspection accurately. Generally we don’t care about the maintenance of the diary with respect to self-introspection. The result is not good progress on the Path: Sometimes we progress, sometimes we recede. For that, you know, I have prescribed in the diary to have no ill will for anybody, even in thought, word, and deed. Thoughts are very potent. You say, ‘Somebody will say something against me, what should I do?’ Blood cannot be washed away by blood, the Water of Life is required to wash it away. If anybody thinks ill of you, just for a while consider calmly whether what he thinks – is there any truth in it? Examine your own self. If there is anything, be thankful for it. You see either an enemy will tell you something which is not right in you, or sometimes a close friend will tell you, as a matter of counsel and advice, because you have full love with that particular friend. If that is not so, then – Father, forgive them for they know not what they do – pray for them. That’s the only way, otherwise this thought is rankling in your mind throughout. You’ll have no rest. Whenever you sit that thing will creep up.
The second is truthfulness. You know? No acting, posing – your heart, your speech, your brain should be in unison. Only that is true, when these three things agree. Sometimes we say something for outer show, while the heart is thinking something else, and the brain is thinking something else. These are the things to be watched very carefully. Nobody can watch you properly, as you can yourself; you know better. If we do anything – untrue –, first we deceive our own selves. Not only do we deceive our own selves, but the God in us. He is there watching our every action. He knows even the very tendencies of our going. So this is further counsel.
Then comes the chastity of life. Chastity is life, sexuality is death. The more chaste you become, the better. That will pay. You will have blessedness in you. When there is anything wrong – lies, or we have been acting and posing to show something which we are not – the result is you’ll feel a big wall between you and the God within you. That curtain thickens. So always be true to your own self. Don’t spare yourself. If we want to progress on the Spiritual Way these things are most necessary.
Further still this thing comes up: we are all of the same essence as that of God. We are drops in the Ocean of All-Consciousness; we are all brothers and sisters in God. No high, no low. According to the reaction of the past, we have our own positions in life; some have difficulties in life, that’s another thing. All the same, God has given us equal privileges, as physical body, as soul, as worshippers of the same Power which controls all creation and which controls us in the body. So man is one who lives for others. If our hearts are true – Truth is above all, and True Living is still above Truth. If there is light in the bulb, and the bulb is besmeared with black dots, how much light will be there? Light is within you: Take heed that the Light within you is not darkness. This you have to watch. Nobody else can watch it for you. And if anything might come to somebody’s notice and they point it out to you, out of enmity to defame you, or out of hearty love for Him, so that your brother may not be misled. So these are the things most necessary. When money is lost, nothing is lost. If health is lost, something is lost. And if character is lost, everything is lost. As I told you, regularity first, but these are the helping factors to have success in the Spiritual Way.
These are no new things which I am putting before you. If you are one-eyed you will know better. If you have to give a talk, I think you will speak more creditably, more vehemently, with bombastic words, and with all the force at your command. But the only thing is, we should be true to our own self. If a man has a lamp in his hand, and falls in the pit – what to do? So we want progress. That Power is within you; God is watching your every action. Be true to Him, that’s all. That’s the only farewell talk I can give to you. It should stand forever. If you take one step that way, a hundred steps you’ll come up. Otherwise, our failures in life – after how long will you consider them? If you’ll not consider the ones in you, you see, He puts a thick curtain between you and Him. So that is why this prayer has come:
Oh God, we are thankful to You that you have kept this secret from the worldly wise, and given it to the babes.
What does it mean? To the innocent. Innocent men. The innocent man has none of these failures in his life. So I wish you all progress, you see. That God-Power, Christ-Power, Guru-Power is within you. It sometimes speaks through the Human Pole to guide you. Because we do not listen to the dictates given by Him inside – He gives once, twice, thrice – if you don’t listen, He will stop. That you might call the Voice of Conscience. If you are true to your own self, you are not to be afraid of even God, I would say. You are true to your God within you. God does not reside in the heavens. He is permeating all creation, controlling all creation, and controlling you in the body. He is nearer to you than your hands and feet. Keep your diary, strictly. Don’t spare yourself. If anything comes to eliminate, weed out please.
Otherwise, suppose you have a pain in your stomach, how far will you be acting and posing? If you have caught on fire, how far will you keep quiet and act and pose? You will cry. This is the most necessary factor which will go to help your progress on the Way. God within you is watching every action. He is watching the very tendency that our mind is going.
So in few words, perhaps you know, each of you, better than what I have told to you. These are no new things which I am telling you. But the only thing is: we are not true to our own self, that’s all.
Mouth should speak what is in our heart. Brain should think what we have got in our heart. We have progressed in head, I would say, not with the heart. That’s the whole trouble. Brain thinks, you see, and becomes selfish. Haughty. Narrow-minded. It becomes the boss, wants to control everybody. He would even like to surpass everybody, at the sacrifice of all others. This is a fact you will find in all the troubles going on in the world today. They have no heart with them, you see. If your brain thinks, and your heart – does it agree with you? I don’t think so. If you think to kill somebody, would your heart say, ‘Yes. Do it’? No!
So heart is the seat of the soul of God within you. Progress by head, but let the heart be with you, then you will be saved from many things. All atrocities, all these things coming before you in the world today, they will be re-ranked. All these things have come up, why? Because we have progressed only in head, not by head and heart. If those two had gone together, do you think the shooting would go on?
So whenever you are true to your own self, you see, remain where you are; these are schools of thought. The basic teachings of all are the same. God has created you with equal privileges. You have got body, soul and controlling Power. All are equal. So we have joined different schools of thought just to realise that Unity which already exists. We are stuck to the (boundary). This was meant to give us development, progress. You have not come up to understand the principles for which God made man, and also for which all these schools of thought came into being. Then there’s conflict. There’s cleverness, so many things.
So that Power is with you always, watching your every action. If you are true to Him, you are true to God. Be regular. This is the Bread of Life, the Water of Life. If your soul becomes strong – if a horse is strong, it will be able to carry the broken carriage. The difficulty is the body has become intellectually strong and spiritually weak. It is very feeble, very frail.
This is all I can place before you. To the best as it has come to me now; I have not thought over this before talking. But this is what we need. Be regular in your meditations. That is the Bread of Life. You should develop all around: physically, intellectually, and we should also develop spiritually. Twice blessed is man. Remain in contact, physically too. Through correspondence and that will be when you send your diaries – True Diaries. What do I mean to say by True Diaries? That which truly interprets what you are thinking in mind, word, and deed. ‘What have I been thinking in my head?’ In thought, word, and deed. Sometimes, the diaries are almost blank, and the result is given: ‘I am putting in two hours,’ such and such, ‘and no progress.’ What should I believe? You can deceive outside people but not the One within you Who is always watching you. If your diary is all right and you put in regular time, accurately, there is no reason why you should not progress. The Master-Power works. That is the Holy Ghost; it works from time to time to guide you back. Listen to His voice. And remain in contact, that’s all.
We’ve been having a meditation hour, and I hope that each one of you must have gotten better. If you go on like that, with due respect to your self-introspection and weeding out all failures, under these heads that I have put before you, which you already have in your diaries, God will help you more from day to day.
So as I told you, in my talks, every Saint has His past and every sinner a future. There’s hope for everybody. Don’t be disheartened. You have some Power to help you, over your head, those who have been initiated on the Way especially. You are not all alone. Listen to His words within you and, so long as you are not in conscious contact with that Power, remain in contact outside physically. I think what I am telling you, must be appealing to each one of you. I am just talking from the level of man, as a man to man.
So simple life and high thinking is what we want. A loving heart. No high, no low. He is most beautiful who has got the Light of God refulgent within him. That house looks very beautiful in which electric bulbs are giving light. If there are no bulbs there, even the most magnificent house looks all dark. So this is what is required. I think you should take these things to heart and live up to them. And God will help you.
My wishes will always be with you, here, there, anywhere. Because the actual form of the Master is with you always. As I told you, until you contact Him consciously face to face, within you, guidance from outside from that Human Pole is necessary. I think this is the gist of all these directions.
So the minimum time is given as two hours: this is binding. If you can do more, you will earn His pleasure. In 1912 I knew a Mohammedan professor. You see, men of the same views will love. He would meet me; I also used to meet him. This was in 1912, sixty years back. He had put a sign: ‘No Admission without Permission’ on his house. I was free to go to him. Sometimes I went and he was saying prayers in his own Mohammedan way. In their prayers, five times they sit, bow down, and then stand. That is the general rule. When I went there, he used to say prayers for hours. One hour, two hours, three. I was simply watching.
I once asked him,
Well, dear friend, prayers have only five sittings, and you go on for hours?
Five sittings are binding to a Mohammedan, and this I do to earn His will and pleasure.
You see? So to put in two hours, that is a tithe; this is binding on each one of you. And if you do more, it will earn His pleasure.
This is your work; you have to do it. And then less is bad, of course. Suppose a man is a thief. He wants any chance to grab money, day or night. You are really after your Spiritual Progress. Snatch away time, any time you can. The pity is – where there is a will there is a way – we have no will. That is why we are not able to give full justice to the work. Man-body is the highest in all creation, and this is the golden opportunity we have got. If we can’t do this, nobody else will do it for you. And even you have to go.
Last night I was telling people, how in lectures, in this and that thing, I have been talking to you on death alone. The five talks main purpose was – this is a golden opportunity – make the best use of it. What is meditation? What is Spirituality? What is a Master? … You see? Where is God? How can we find Him? All these things went on, from the commencement to the end, we were talking on the word death, the name of which we do not like to hear. But with all that we have to pass through it. Death is no bugbear; we have to leave the body. And generally you’ll find anyone, they don’t give a talk on that.
So my best wishes are with you. That’s all I can say. That Power is within you, watching you, your every tendency, every thought. And It is extending all feasible help and protection without asking for it. So it is a great blessing to have Somebody living on earth like us to guide (us). You are all dear to me. Why? Because you have been put on the Path, as such we are all brothers and sisters, Real Relatives, this is such a relation which cannot be broken after death. How fortunate you are! If you do care, (pause) so that’s all right. This is the sum total of all teachings in these few words. If you will live by them, you will progress even more than me. I pray that you all become ambassadors. But we should be sincere in word, thought and deed.
Now I am going today – to the next stop on the Tour. All of you who have come from outside, you should have your own way back. Those who would like to go further, if they can well afford it, their circumstance they know, I have no objection. But perhaps you will have to make your own arrangements. Whatever possible those people also will do, but don’t go totally dependent on them.
You follow my point now? Be regular in your meditations. No ill will for anybody. Be truthful, be chaste in thought, and Love for all. You are not born to live for your own selves. You are man: man is one who lives for others, not for his own self only. And be regular in devoting your time to come in contact with All-Consciousness within you, which is controlling all creation, and permeating all creation. Remain in any social body you like, that makes no difference. The purpose of all that is to reach God. The purpose of marriage is also to have a companion to help each other to know God. That will give you permanent joy and peace. With these words I think we should end. This is the best of the meditations, you see. Consider these points which I have placed before you. Five minutes, ten minutes. Take it to heart, and live up to them. Your faces will be shining gloriously if you live up to them. Your eyes will be open, bright.