“A Little I Will Say”
Sri Swami Sivananda
Everything has been already said to the students of the Yoga-Vedanta Forest university. A little I will say, of all the virtues which are necessary for spiritual Realisation:
amanitvam adambhitvam ahimsa
Humility, absence of pride, non-injury, peacefulness, straight-forwardness, fearlessness, purity of heart.) Abhayam comes first. It is courage we want. Courage is necessary for success.
It is these virtuous qualities that constitute God. These are the ingredients. If you want to make Halva, you need a little pista, a little suji, a little ghee. Likewise these virtuous qualities are the ingredients that make divinity. God is not a big buffalo with a hundred horns and legs. He is virtues.
If you are humble, you are divine, you are God. Humility is very necessary. Humility comes through the grace, of the Lord. It is not an easy thing. To have wealth, to have property, to have name and prestige, and to be humble, it is the grace of God. Otherwise wealth or position is an intoxicant like champagne, like cannabis. So, the more you possess anything, the more intoxication comes. And with all these things, if you are humble, really humble not a pretended hypocrisy like. “Aiye, Aiye, Aiye Maharaj” (Welcome, Welcome, Welcome Maharaj) but real humility that is artless, cunningless, inborn, not for five days or five minutes, but inborn traits, then remember, you have got the grace of the Lord.
People say, ‘What is the grace of the Lord? How to get the grace of the Lord?’ If you perform meritorious services and if God is pleased, you get His grace. And what is His grace? It takes the form of humility. Otherwise, when your name become famous and you get applause and your name appears in newspapers, you will get puffed up. You must introspect and watch yourself and study how much percentage of humility is there. If you have it, that is grace. Grace is more precious than crores of wealth and dollars. With this only you can go up. The whole wealth of the world and the eight Siddhis are as nothing, are as a straw, to he who has grace, because he possesses the divine aishvarya (powers).
I am telling you all these things so that those who have not these virtues will be able to develop them. Even if you hear millions of times, you forget. So, I am reminding you. Humility you must have. If you don’t have, you must try to possess it. If you are proud, you must think about the wisdom of humility and the disastrous effects of pride. Again and again, think about how much humility you have got. Meditate on the virtue of humility, on the benefits of getting humility.
Humility is not killing egoism. You are not going to lose your property, you see. It is a virtue to become one with the world, to become one with the Lord. So, you do not lose anything by annihilating pride and developing humility. You become the Lord and possess all the divine aishvaryas (powers), so too with all these virtues.
Spirit of selfless service. A spirit of selfless service is very necessary. Social service is worship of the Lord. Service of humanity is worship of the Lord. To live to serve others is to live in the eternal. Like a municipal Councillor who works day and night for children, running here and there, forgetting food, with perspiration and inspiration and all these things. A genius is one who has 99% inspiration and 1% perspiration! Ninety-nine percent inspiration through God, through humility and service and–you must make people laugh and be cheerful! You’ll do wonderful good to this world. You don’t have to go to Cornell and Michigan University to study Social Science. Develop humour and make other people cheerful, and remain yourself cheerful. That is the best spirituality. I like humour, not the critical, vilifying humour, but educative humour. Humour is the greatest gift of God. A man of humour is always cheerful. It is a tonic without multivitamins! Cheerfulness greatly helps spiritual progress.
Have you seen a man having a Sabbath face or castor oil face, what is this! Someone meditates for eight hours in his room and when he comes out, he is wearing the same castor oil face! Because he is serious in communion with the Lord! Have You seen many saints like this? You will see many! You must find cheerfulness always, otherwise ignore them! Cheerfulness is the barometer. Though he may speak about Sahaja Samadhi, or visions, or forecast that Nehru will go tomorrow to America and Australia, don’t believe him! If he is cheerful, if he is humble, these are all the virtues that are necessary.
If you are not cheerful, be cheerful! If you make other people cheerful, you are doing wonderful good. It is the greatest charity you can do, the highest charity. If you do any japa, meditation or dhyana, see your face! You should be able to radiate joy. Yesterday Chaman Sahib spoke in Dehra Dun and all people were cheerful. That is a sign of spiritual progress. Be cheerful. Radiate joy and cheerfulness.
We must share what we have with others, that is the thing. But what do we do? Close the door and eat what is the best. You may not be giving the best fruits to your servants. I think most of the people will be behaving like that. You may think this is not a topic of spirituality, but it is a wonderful topic. Don’t be selfish. Don’t close the door and take anything. When the basket of fruit is there, at once distribute, ‘My servant, come along and take’, and rejoice that he is also eating as much good fruit as you do. Rejoice!
So you must not close the door. But you make a nice drink, a first class coffee for yourself, second class for friends and relatives, and third class for servants. “Kalloo chai pio.” (Come Kalloo, have a cup of tea.) Many do! They dilute the tea with water and give to Kalloo. In Gujarat they have apni chaa (your own tea), Everybody’s doing this. But we should not do. That is the thing.
From small illustrations I am coming to the solid, absolute Vedantic philosophy. You may think these are all little things. If you are careful in avoiding all these little things, (which constrict our heart, which make us selfish, which make us only little people, ribald, little little people) how much joy you will get! Share, share what you have with others. Expand, give whatever you have to other people, milk to poor people. You starve yourself that day and give. How much joy you will get! How much expansion of heart. That is the thing.
How many qualities have we developed? Am I cheerful Am I humble. Do I share what I have with others? Equal vision. Balanced mind. These are the virtues we have to develop. Then alone we will grow. All these things we have to do. Expansion of heart. Cultivation of virtues. Then Ramanam will give you pucca fruit!
So, you have taken this birth. Try to expand really, not intellectually. A little qualification and education are not enough. Heart expansion is more difficult than intellectual achievement. For five years, six years, you go to Glasgow, sit in the rotunda Hospital, and pay extra fees for courses in cardiogram and this and that, and come out and put up a special board, and think, ‘what fees shall I fix? Thirty rupees visiting fee, etc.’ Look at this, such a small man! God has given the knowledge. Share what you have and give freely, have a freeclinic, free examination. How wonderfully you will expand and grow and become one with the Lord.
God has given you a little intellect, share what you have: Your wisdom, your knowledge, your heart, your devotion, your kirtan, your medical talents and tactics, all these things. God has given these to you to share and utilise with other children of His who are less talented, and who will also give after some time, later on. A sinner is a saint of the future. Every man has got his past and has got his future. So these virtues are very difficult, very difficult. But through the grace of the Lord, when you earnestly aspire to possess these qualities, He will develop all these faculties in you.
Even children should be taught these things. Child, you must stand on your own legs in these days. Very difficult. Income tax, sales tax, expenditure tax, what-all tax, bathroom tax also! Only once, twice, thrice, otherwise taxes you’ll have to pay! All sorts of taxes have come. Wealth comes and goes. Stand on your own legs. Become a good citizen, remove broken glass when you walk on the road, develop virtues, earn yourself. Though you have several cars, ask the children to go by foot or bicycle. Don’t think the car will accompany you always. Go barefoot, walk, earn by the sweat of the brow. Don’t depend upon maternal or paternal properties. You must earn yourself. Become a good citizen. Develop virtuous qualities and serve. Keep up the prestige of the family. Don’t depend upon other people’s income. In this way train the children.
And another point. One must have self-reliance. If you have a small room here at the Ashram, you yourself can clean everything, sweep with a broom and all that, don’t say, ‘Servant will do.’ Our Major-general Ragunath Singh when he comes here, he himself carries his own things. He himself carries water. He always says ‘don’t give me any preferential treatment.’ And he was the military secretary to our Rajendra Prasad Maharaj. Once our Swami Dayananda, manager of the press, thinking that Ragunath Singh must be some small military man, asked him ‘what is your salary?’ Three thousand plus allowance! Swami Dayananda fainted, next word he didn’t talk! That is the man, Major-general Ragunath Singh, he comes and sits crossed legged at 10-00 at the Ganges Bank. He carries all things. That must be. But when your salary is increased from 250 to 300, you cannot carry a thing. Like the story about the famous Vidya Sagar of Calcutta. One student who went to Calcutta to hear his lectures mistook Vidya Sagar for a Coolie and ordered him to carry his bag. We very often quote this.
Humility, self-reliance, self-independence, cheerfulness, charity. Don’t forget: don’t close the door and eat anything, drink anything. Share what you have with others, with poor people, sick people. If there is a tumbler of milk and you see a sick man, run and give that milk and you yourself don’t take milk that day. Your heart must melt like butter when you see the suffering of others. Ask yourself whether your heart has reached this melting point! Otherwise do some more service, some more charity. Share what you have. If it is like granite, like reinforced concrete, then do more charity, more generosity.
Equal vision, balanced mind, simple dress. What is balanced mind? Keep your mind balanced in pleasure and pain. But generally the mind runs to extremes. We have got raga , intense attachment and intense hatred. These two things only we know. But keep balanced, neither attached nor non-attached. Simple dress and good dress also you can wear, but it must be balanced. Try to observe mauna, and then you can talk also. When you retire to your room and don’t come out for two or three days, then when you come out talk and serve. Simple dress. Balanced mind. One day take halva, one day fast, always try to keep balanced in talk, in thinking, in speech, in dress and acting. That is wisdom. Balanced mind is wisdom. Balanced mind is Vedantic Realisation. So, if you have all of these things, you will prosper gloriously in the spiritual path and attain the goal. Rama means He is Parabrahman. He is all-pervading consciousness. He is not only Dasarathas child, but the all-pervading intelligence that dwells in the chambers of your heart:
Jyotisham api taj jyotis tamasah param uchyate
Jnanam jneyam jnanagamyam hridi sarvasya visthitam
I like this mantra very much. You might have heard it a thousand times from me: the Light of Lights that dwells in the chambers of your heart, beyond darkness, beyond all inertia, beyond the three gunas, it is knowledge, it is wisdom, to be reached by wisdom, the one reached by discrimination, to be attained through shravana, manana, dhyana, nidhidhyasana (hearing, reflection, meditation, contemplation). And then comes Atma-sakshatkara, Self Realisation, thy goal, thy refuge, thy solace, thy centre, thy ideal in life.
So remember, a wise person utilises his talents and property for the service of others, expands heart, and becomes one with the Lord. So be careful, be cautious, wake up! Whatever talents, whatever property God has given you, you are only a trustee for the time being, for two days, for three days or ten days. Utilise whatever you have, share whatever you have. The secret of abundance is give, give, give. If you teach Manipuri dance to thousands of people, or if you teach weaving or any thing to other people, you’ll get more knowledge. Prakriti has given you a talent, share what you have. The more you give, the more you grow. The secret of abundance is give, give, give–not take, take. Always give whatever you have. Share what you have, moral, physical, intellectual. Don’t be a miser. Be generous and attain unity here. Cultivation of virtues is Divinity. Humility, charity, cheerfulness, generosity, tolerance, liberality, beneficence, magnanimity. All these things constitute divinity.
May the Lord bless all those who are present here with health, long life, peace, prosperity, vidya, tushti, pushti (wisdom, satisfaction, abundance). Through the grace of the Lord you can attain communion now, here, this very second. But let us be sincere. Let us be earnest. You can attain communion this very second if you have a thirst for Realisation, mumukshutva, a burning yearning aspiration.
With this I close my mixed-up speech of Kitcheri and dahl and all these things put together. A little curry there, a little humour here, all these things.