The Master was giving a Satsang. For those of you in `Rio Linda` a Satsang by definition means listening to spiritual discourses from learned and holy people. This is Satsang.
The Master was chuckling as he gave an analogy. “In old India donkeys are used for carrying laundry. In seeing a puddle of mud the donkey balks and rears up and the clean laundry goes flying into the puddle. The donkeys master beats him severely with all his strength, and puts the laundry back onto the donkey. Away they went. The donkey was completely passive and obedient for a while. In time they came to a new mud puddle and down went the entire bundle of laundry again! Beatings were repeated over and over but it did not fortify the memory of the dumb donkey.
As it is with the sensual man. Although brutally beaten with disgust, fatigue, remorse and all the evils that arrive from overindulgence in sexual activity though thoroughly disgusted with himself and promising not to waste his energy and health again so stupidly as the next sexual opportunity came his way, he once more behaved like the donkey and the faint memory of his former beatings now gradually dimmed must now be revived by new ones.
There is a power little known in our world and that is self-control. It is a remarkable thing having so much power over yourself where your mind has complete control over sexual desire so it means nothing. Few people have real self-control. Physical pleasure is the result of an extended and continuous psychological habit and is accompanied by sensations from the body but is not caused from these sensations. The link between your bodily desires and you is simply mental. If you become tough within you will develop more strength of mind. When you understand what control means you will no longer be a victim of life but a victor.
A student asked, “Could your lessons on controlling our emotions be dangerous? I hear suppressing them is a cause of mental disorders.” The Master replied, “Suppression is never good that is holding onto thoughts that you desire something but do nothing to attain them. Willpower or self-control means guiding the thought and energy away from incorrect or base longings and applying them to correct actions and thoughts. Dwelling on wrong thoughts is self-destructive but putting them out of your mind by dwelling on worthy thoughts will spare yourself unimaginable misery and suffering.
The student pondered for a while and asked, do you gain this power through meditation? The Master said, “Even though God is invisible and silent to the majority of people, still, as we meditate if we ceaselessly knock on the gates of heaven, we will increasingly convince His silence to penetrate the haze of our unknowing. Become strong in your prayer demands for His response in bestowing on you the flood of His grace and then you will learn the true virtue of won’t power.”
Unfortunately most people follow their impulses and submit to what is instantly pleasant, instead of saying no to what is for their highest good. But in reality the greatest of all men and women are full of no’s. In the lives of the great ones they have said “no” more times than yes in their lives. Discrimination sets them apart from all others. It is easier said than done to exercise will-power but it is not hard to learn and develop won’t power. To say no doesn’t cost anything.
As I mentioned discrimination should constantly guide are conduct. Think first before you act. Rationalization is not the answer, for you will always justify your reasons for the things you want to do. Supply your mind with reasons for good things to do and reasons to avoid the bad things. This is exercising the mind with the wisdom of pure discrimination. This is the way to protect your mind from the bad influences of automatic habits and impulses and the attraction to the excitement of temptation. Won’t power and discrimination must work together. If you have won’t power without discrimination to apply it you will find yourself never succeeding in life. When you say no you must mean no so the bad habits lose their power to influence you.
Master, how many temptations are we subject to? Desire arouses our bad habits and according to the masters of India. Desire covers a lot of area, attachment, anger, greed, avarice, egotism and on and on. You can do great harm to your children in granting every one of their desires. Real love teaches us not to cater to what they want but what is good for them. All desires are not bad unless they hurt us or someone else but some desires can give when fulfilled lasting happiness.
Pointing out an error to his disciple the Master said, “Do not feel sensitive when I correct you but you do not understand the value of these books you are reading. Books are only meant to inspire and encourage you to a greater passion for God and spiritual growth. The error comes when one reads dead pages with out inspiration for God. Over reading, over studying and not practicing the right things from books produces false satisfaction and vanity giving intellectual indigestion.”
After meeting with some of these scholarly intellectual students, they are like spiritual recorders, not knowing the lectures they hear or the sermons they sing. As the recorder does not know what it is playing.” Superficial reading of the scriptures gives only theoretical knowledge of the truth, reaping the harvest of self-sufficiency, pride, argumentativeness and scorn, never true self-realization. And it is the ego in their hearts that stops them from reading and listening carefully with profound attention to the wisdom of the sages and prevents them from transforming their lives.
This is why I always tell all of you to meditate more and read less. A great inner equilibrium is gained from meditation and because of the great inner peace all the beautiful data and everything you need to know in your daily life will begin to place itself in front of you, you will not gain the answers to great intellectual questions, for this you need to read the book “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda, a spiritual classic that will answer your spiritual questions.
Reflect on this, “meditation is the missing link between self-realization and religion.” Intelligence is like a sharp knife and not knowing how to use it you can cut your own throat, or somebody else’s or lance a blister of ignorance.
During a discussion the Master said, “Why would God give Himself to you? when you spend so much time working for money and very little time for Him. The sages and saints tell us that if you continuously pray for God for three nights and three days or even one night and one day, He will come to you in a tangible way. However He will not come if you allow your duties to get in the way. If you pray to God in the dead of night and every night for one hour with devotion and sincerity, He will come to you in time.”
The Master was asked, “What about just getting a response from God?” God is infinite and formless and since God is spirit He will not usually talk in words but he will manifest His awareness as divine perceptions within understandable vibratory sounds and realized only by disciples with heightened intuition during deep meditation.
The Master was asked “how are prayers answered?” by knowing the value of devotion-filled intense prayer. Silently watch yourself with a keen eye on the truant child of your thoughts and attention. Heart made prayers are better then book made ones because dry prayers from a book are like imitation flowers with lack-luster devotion, cold formality, indifference and absent mindedness and get little response. To get His attention do not offer Him the dry prayers of others imitation flowers but your own real heart felt ones that blossom in the garden of your heart. Repeating or parroting up prayers is nothing but a meager physical practice without any real thought about Him and it is no different then teaching a parrot to repeat the name of God.
Another disciple asked, “what is the very best prayer?” The Master replied positively, “There is a true shortcut approach in prayer and that is pray with devotion and when praying, say to the Lord, “Please tell me Thy will.” Do not say, “I want this or that.” Ask Him what He wants just for you. You will find out you get much more when He chooses for you.
A student inquired to the Master, “does God punish or do anything to those who blaspheme his name?” The Master emphatically replied, “God is neither moved by praise or insincere prayers nor by moronic outbursts of atheistical denial. His answers such are only through law. Hit your fist against a stone wall, eat poison and His laws answer. Breaking God’s law of life then suffering from punishment comes. Behave and think rightly and you reap the reward of inner peace and harmony.”
The student groaned back to the Master and said “it doesn’t seem fair that we have to have to suffer for unintentional mistakes.” The Master pointedly answered, “always remember ignorance has no effect on God’s laws. If you bump your head against a stone wall, even if it was accidental, you still get hurt. The stone wall doesn’t want to hurt you; it is the law of the universe. We have to know these laws, follow them and be careful.”
A visitor asked the Master, “Is it alright to believe blindly?” The Master said, “There are two types of uncertainty, constructive and destructive. Constructive doubt is intelligent questioning. On the other hand destructive doubt is perpetual chronic skepticism. It is never right to have haphazard disbelief without investigating.”
Master wanted to cure a devotee of all of his attachments except for God. We are all guests of the world but you have made yourself an unsuitable guest by possessing a tiny chunk of it as you very own. This is my wife, my husband, my children, my home and on and on. But the moment your body drops, everything disappears, your house, your money, your family! To be attached to anything only deepens your delusion. One day you will be rudely awakened to find out that nothing really belongs to you. Silly isn’t it, when you are attached to things that never belonged to you in the first place. Your way of thinking should be that you were taking care of these things only for a time, like a loyal devoted housekeeper who lives in her employer’s home but knows that her real home is somewhere else. Why wait? Learn that lesson about attachment before death.
A young man approached the Master with a question, “I’m contemplating on entering the ashram and the spiritual path but I know it will be hard for me to give up pleasures and things I enjoy in the world.” The Master said, “Little children have fun and love to play with mud pies but when the little child starts to grow older the mud pies don’t satisfy him any longer. In growing up spiritually the fake pleasures of the world will no longer be missed.”