ADDITONAL REQUISTIES FOR RAPID PROGRESS
We must remain in touch with the idea of God in all phases of our mental and physical activities.
Constant remembrance of God is, of course, a special feature in spirituality. The method for cultivating constant remembrance is to think with firm conviction during your leisure hours, whether in office or at home, in the street or in the market, that God is pervading all over and everywhere, and that you are thinking of Him. Try to remain in the same thought as long as you can.
The minds of people are absorbed every moment in thinking about the various problems of their material life, and their attention is seldom diverted towards God except when they are in deep distress and misery. The reason is that they attach primary importance to their worldly interest alone which constantly remain in their view. Thus, they remain entangled within Maya without ever thinking of getting out of it at any stage.
Frequent remembrance of God, though greatly helpful, is not at all that we need for our final success in Realisation. We generally begin an important thing in the name of God and it is customary almost in every religion to do so. But that is only a matter of formality and has no significance. We never dedicate the thing to God in the real sense, and at heart we are, in fact, quite away from the idea of God. Remembrance of God, thus, is of no avail. The real significance of the custom is that we must remain in touch with the idea of God in all phases of our mental and physical activities. We must feel ourselves connected with the Supreme Power every moment with an unbroken chain of thought during all our activities. It can be easily accomplished if we treat all our actions and work to be part of Divine Duty, entrusted to us by the Great Master whom we are to serve as best as we can. Some people think that constant remembrance, or even frequent remembrance, of God is not practicable when a man in life is surrounded by numerous worries and anxieties caused by worldly attachments and responsibilities. But practice and experience will prove to them that it is a very easy process, and can be followed by any and every one in spite of all worries and engagements if only they learn to divert their attention towards God in the real sense.
The idea of Guru as the Supreme Divine force is very helpful in spiritual pursuit, if the Guru himself happens to be merged in the Ultimate State of Realisation. You depend upon his guidance thinking him to be a superhuman being. If you go on with your busy routine of life dedicating everything to your Master, imagine what good it will bring to you in the long run. While doing a thing think that you are not doing it for yourself but for your Master; rather think that Master himself is doing it for himself. While at the breakfast table, you must think that your Master is breaking his fast. When you go to the office, think that your Master is doing it all. While returning from the office, suppose you see an attractive dance on the way. Your eyes are caught by the charming appearance of the dancer. Then also think that your Master, and not you, is seeing the dance. You will at once lose curiosity for it because your Master’s power will begin to flow in to relieve you of the temptation. When you come back from office, your children rejoice to see you after so many hours. You, too, enjoy the merriment and it is but natural. Your attention is diverted towards them, for a while, and you feel a bit away from the sacred thought. What you are to do then is to think that your Master within is himself enjoying, and you shall be in touch with the same sacred thought again. If you are chatting with your friend, think that your Master, not you, is talking to him. While walking, think that your Master himself is walking. Even during your meditation, if you entertain the idea that not you but your Master himself is meditating on his own form, it shall bring about excellent results. Similarly, you can adjust yourself in all your routine of work. If you cultivate this feeling and maintain the outlook that your Master is doing everything in your place, you shall not only be in constant remembrance all the while, but your actions will cause no impression whatsoever, and so you will cease making further Samskaras.
Constant remembrance acquires efficiency when the Abhyasi
Has become devoted to the object of meditation or Constant remembrance.
Constant remembrance, in fact, is a natural development of meditational practice, and it acquires efficiency when the Abhyasi has become devoted to the object of meditation or constant remembrance. It then ceases to be dry Abhyas and becomes a luscious all absorbing engagement. The fire of love and devotion alone burns down trivial trash, and wins the gold from the dross. The burning of love may, however, have three stages. The first is the suppressed smoldering giving out thick smoke. The second has occasional sparks in it; and the last one gives the bright burning flame capable of reducing everything to ashes in a moment’s time. The first two states are subject to their exposure to the combustible matter in the air. When the solidity which hampers combustion is removed by the effect of inner heating, the final action starts with full force. But, then, there is the electric fire as well which bypasses the first two stages, and appears only in the final state, free from smoke and vapour. If you can light up such a fire within you, your progress shall be by leaps and bounds.
Devotion and love, of course, remain so easy and yet so difficult of achievement at once. Real devotion has no tinge of affection in it, and goes hand in glove with enlightenment. In the initial stages, the devotee may be conscious of his feelings towards the object of his love; but at higher stages the foam and fury is dimmed to the extent of an almost total loss of its awareness at the Ultimate Stage. The superfine level of devotion may be spoken of as total self-surrender, from which the awareness of surrender has been entirely withdrawn by the grace of the Supreme Master Himself.
The problem of practising devotion, surrender, etcetera in a natural way is there. For this purpose, it is said that one can love another person of his own species best. So the Guru is taken into account as the personification of the Supreme. In my case, my Master was the only object of my love. I was not a lover of Freedom or peace or perfection anything, but only of Him and Him alone. My Master was no doubt was worthy of it, being the fittest man to be meditated upon and be devoted to. He was altogether free from egoistic feelings, desires and worldly entanglements, and devoted wholly to his ‘own self’. This phrase refers to a spiritual state of a high order not commonly bestowed upon man. That was the reason why I love him as best as I could. I tried heart and soul to get myself merged in Him in toto, and this had been the life pursuit for me. It was because I got a Master who was unparalleled and matchless. For the results achieved therefrom, I have no words to express. In a word, He is the infinite ocean of Grace in which we have all to merge. May it be accessible to all earnest seekers!
Self-surrender has great importance for an Abhyasi in his pursuit.
The easiest and surest means to achieve the goal is to surrender yourself to the great Master and become a ‘Living Dead’ yourself. This feeling of surrender, if cultivated by forced or mechanical means, seldom proves to be genuine. It must develop automatically within you without the least strain or pressure upon the mind. If the knowledge of self is retained, it is not true surrender. What remains to be done when you have surrendered yourself in the true sense? Nothing. I believe that in this state an Abhyasi will be in close touch with Reality all the time, and the current of Divine effulgence will continue its flow to him without any break. In this way, you can solve your problem of life in the easiest and most efficacious way in the shortest possible time. Therefore if one can give away his heart, i.e., make a gift of it to the Divine Master, hardly anything more remains to be done. This shall, naturally bring him to the state of absorption in Absolute Reality. The adoption of this simple and easy technique makes the very beginning to be the end of it. What except of a tiny heart can be the fittest offering for the achievement of the dearest object of life?
One thing more. To effect the surrender of heart in the easiest way, only an act of will is required. Besides, the lighter and finer the will, the more effective shall be its working. The adoption of this method is sure to bring in an attitude of renunciation from the very first day. A courageous start is all that is needed for the purpose.
Self-surrender is nothing but a state of complete resignation to the will of the Master, with total disregard of self. A permanent stay in this condition leads to the beginning of the state of negation. When we surrender ourselves to the great Master we begin to attract a constant flow of highest Divine Force from Him. In this state a man thinks or does only that which his Master’s will ordains. He feels nothing in the world to be his belonging, but feels everything as a sacred trust from the Master, and he does everything thinking it to be his Master bidding. His will becomes completely subservient to the will of the Master. Surrender is not an ordinary thing to be achieved easily. It begins after complete negation of all senses and faculties for which we proceed by elementary rules of devotion. We submit to our Master, thinking Him to be a superhuman being. We love Him with devotion and faith and reverence, trying by all means to attract His attention and favour.
Sages have classified disciples under two main heads: the Manmat and the Gurumat. The former are those who approach the Guru with some particular worldly end in view such as relief from misery, desire for wealth, etcetera. They submit to him only so long as they are hopeful of satisfaction of their desires. When they meet disappointment in this respect they are off. For such disciples the question of obedience or submission does not arise, what to say of surrender. Gurumat disciples are those who obey the commands of the Master in all matters and try to submit to his will in all possible ways. Submission begins with obedience. When we are deeply impressed by the great powers of a Master of higher attainments in spirituality we feel inwardly inclined to follow his biddings.
A beautiful example of surrender is presented to us by Bharata, the son of Dasaratha, when he went to the forest along with the people of Ayodhya to induce his brother Rama to return. In reply to the entreaties of the people, Rama gravely replied that he would be quite willing to return to the capital provided Bharata asked him to do so. All eyes were turned towards Bharata, who was himself there to induce him to return. But he calmly replied, “It is not for me to command but only to follow”. Therefore, self-surrender has great importance for an Abhyasi in his pursuit.