New Year’s eve Puja: Indian Culture

Kalwa (India)


New Year’s eve Puja (English part). Kalve (India), 31 December 1998.

Firstly I will speak in English language as we have many Sahaja Yogis from abroad. They have asked me to talk about Indian culture today because Bombay is the place where Indian culture is disappearing, that’s what they say. But I don’t think so, because the roots are so deep that we cannot give up that culture so fast.

Now as it is for the people who are coming from other countries, they have to realize that this country had no religion as such, because there was not one book, they didn’t follow one person, they didn’t have any organizations as we have for other religions, we never had a higher priesthood or all those appointed people, it was all done very spontaneously. The whole thing worked out very spontaneously.

But behind all that was, as I told you before, the attitude of Indians or our style was, not to challenge or to question what these great saints have given us. Because we accepted their status as saints, as higher personalities in a way – in a sense they were higher than us. So we didn’t want to challenge them, and whatever they said we accepted. As a result that became sort of, you can call it, a way of conduct or way of life.

But as a religion we had nothing, except that later on the caste system developed. Before that there was no caste system because non-Brahmins wrote about Shri Rama or wrote about Shri Krishna. It’s very surprising how we accepted all that, never challenged whether it was written by a Brahmin or not.

Brahmin was that who knew about Brahma principle, the principle of all-pervading Divine Love. Everybody was not a Brahmin, but later on they made it like this, whosoever is born in a Brahmin family was a Brahmin, whosoever was born in another caste belonged to that. But because of the father’s heritance, you can say inherited, they also had the profession that they were following. So according to the professions, the religions, or you can say the castes were established; no religion, but caste.

And that is how we had different, different caste systems in India according to the professions. It is very interesting. Recently, I discovered there is a caste called Ghadani, among Marathas, which you may not be knowing. They only believe in the art. They do music, or they have paintings, they make statues, they make temples; that’s a caste, that’s a profession. And they marry among themselves because it is easier to marry in the same profession and to have the same ideas and styles about life and the profession especially. Now later on, apart from being a profession, it started becoming a very consolidated nonsense. And then they used, I mean I think, it is the British who used it very much to separate us from one to another.

Now the schedule caste and all that was not also like a religious thing. We have got saints like Chokha Mela and all that, who were also greatly respected and regarded. Also Ekanath, Namdev, they all tried to be one with all the castes, and especially the schedule caste. So this saintliness was regarded as a another caste you can say, which did not believe in any caste whatsoever. They had no caste, they were a caste-less people without any religion, without any caste.

So the ultimate aim of every caste was to get to Self Realization. So they enter into the clan, you can call it, into the system of saints. And all the saints, whether Muslims, or Hindus or Jains or anything, they all were put together as saints, as you can say they were Sufis. Sufis from the Muslim heritage they came. Then we had also among Jains, Tirthankaras and all that. The main point was that they were the people who believed in the ethical life, ethics, believed in the higher life, spiritual life and lived like that.

Now as you are all Sahaja Yogis, you have lost your religion, lost your caste, you have lost your heritage. You are Sahaja Yogis. Yogis, means you are the people who are believing into the ethical side of life. In this country all this was used and was exploited also, for politics, for all kinds of segregation of people. And that has really gone into such rigid ideas about every one, every caste, that first thing they used to ask, not now, before, ‘What is your caste?’ Now that’s over, they don’t ask, at least thank God, that much sense is there, that they don’t ask for the caste, but they used to ask religion and caste formerly when we were entering into any examination or any kind of competition.

Now gradually it’s vanishing, but the politicians wants to use caste as a method of working out the opposition and the majority part of it. This democracy I don’t think is very helpful to us because in democracy anybody can start an organization, can say that, “We belong to this caste and that caste.” And when the constitution was made also in this country, it’s very surprising, Ambedkar was one of them who wanted that there should be a privilege for the schedule caste for forty years. My father was there. He said, ‘No, you can have only two types, ones who have and those who don’t have.’ And that kind of thing if you have: those who have and don’t have, it would make such a difference. Then in other countries they have the same type, so that the needs of the people who haven’t got the minimum necessities for a good life will be helped instead of creating a caste.

Now there’s one fellow called Mandal who created a great problem in our country. He as a student had a car of his own, used to live very lavishly, and he was fighting for some people who were supposed to be downtrodden. And so many bad things have been done because of his report that he gave. Now if he had made that kind of a proper, sensible, ethical division in this country, things would have been much better.

But now because of this problem of creating artificial caste, this country is suffering a lot and the castes of the gurus, the castes, we can say, of the Sufis, other castes of the saints is very much polluted and we had many people in our country who started becoming gurus and this and that.

But the main thing is the ethics, which was the culture of this country, was the ethics of dharma. Without that they thought human beings were worse than animals. Ethics was very important to every caste, to every person. Even when I was young we had the same thing. But now it has become such a mixture and such a problem, that unless and until Sahaja Yoga really spreads in a real way I don’t think we can improve the condition of this country.

Now the essence of it is that once your attention is only towards ethics and Aadhyatama (MEANS spirituality -ed), then you start discovering all the inner deeper meanings of your life. You work it out in a different way. In a very different way you work it out. If it is material gain, then one can become like America. If it is some sort of a very low level hankerings, then also you cannot be an Indian.

The principles of Indian life were embedded in spirituality, in morality. An immoral person was regarded as a very low level person. Such a person could not get married, he had no place in the society, he had no place even in the homes, their own homes. That such a restriction on people, just to see that the society is kept clean, and such a person was thrown out of the society.

Anybody who even drank wine or anything, was regarded as a person who is not dharmic, he is adharmic. Can you believe it? Drinking was regarded as adharmic. I think very few people must have seen drunkards, only on the streets.

When I went to Russia they asked Me, “What do you say for ‘cheers’?” The Russians say ‘cheerio’, they don’t say ‘cheers’. I said, “What? Cheers for what?” For drinking. When you are on the table, what do you say? I said, “We never drink on the dinner table, that’s not done in India. At least, I don’t know if somebody does it, but it is a very, very western style of life that openly you sit down at the dinner table before your children and start drinking, and say ‘cheers’. Cheers for what? For becoming unconscious? For becoming stupid? For getting into troubles?

But it became like a practice there. Whether somebody dies in the family, they will drink, can you imagine! If somebody is born in the family they will drink. So this culture, the whole culture was so bad, even among the worst in this country they wouldn’t do that. Secretly some people used to drink, and they would go on the street. Then the Islamic influence came. And surprisingly when it is prohibited, absolutely prohibited, in the Islam, to drink, they all started drinking as a reaction, but only those Nawabs and all that. And because of them, because they were in authority, others also took to drink.

But still, it is not yet a custom to drink, to celebrate something. I mean supposing, even in the church they give drinks and they make also some sort of a Benedictine, in the church organization. Imagine! This is such a perversion of religion. In India also, in the temples and all that they started all kinds of nonsensical things, no doubt. But Indian philosophy is such that it gives you complete freedom and you can do what you like. But not in the name of religion, you can’t do it, not in the name of God, not in the temple. And if they do it, people will throw them away, they bring a court case, do this do that and, I mean, just remove it completely. So it is kept pure.

We had a horrible incidence of horrible things people were doing, adharmic, but all that had to be cancelled completely. Why? Because the people wouldn’t have it. People wouldn’t like it. I was told that at Ganapatipule they are secretly offering some sort of a beer. But if the government comes to know about it, it will be banned. I mean, whatever is pure must be kept pure.

Christ, also, He took one hunter in his hand and started hitting people who were selling things in the temple. So the purity of that church or the purity of that religious place have to be kept. So the first thing I think was purity.

Here now I have seen, the other day, there was a boy, was for marriage, and it’s very surprising, they were all very well off, very rich, everything was there. But they found out that he had a girlfriend before. And the brother of the girlfriend tried to stab him. Finished. Now for him to get married is an impossibility in this country. He might get somebody from abroad, I don’t know what they will do. But if he had a girlfriend like that, openly, he is finished.

So the restrictions came from the society, a society which was built up on ethics. And all these ethical values are penetrating up to the lowest level, up to everywhere. But unfortunately, unfortunately now the other cultures are coming and people think we are rather rigid, very rigid people. We should really relax a little bit and take to other things. But I have to tell you that if you go out of the line of ethics, in any direction, the only saving is Sahaja Yoga to come back to normalcy, there is no other way out.

And once you come to Sahaja Yoga you cannot deviate from the path of dharma. If you try to do that you go out of Sahaja Yoga. It is as simple as that. It is not that, ‘All right, doesn’t matter, Mother should forgive.’ and these things. I forgive, all right, I forgive, because you have got some still human weaknesses left in you, I forgive.

But in Sahaja Yoga you cannot. Sahaja Yoga has to maintain its purity. If you allow all such people to enter into Sahaja Yoga, then there will be no purity of Sahaja Yoga and then everybody will start doing this or that just to say that, ‘After all, you see, we are also Sahaja Yogis, they are also Sahaja Yogis, if they have done it, why not we?’

What is very surprising to Me is the western people who have taken to Sahaja Yoga are scrupulously following Sahaja Yoga. Scrupulously. I am not such a strict Guru, as you know. But they understand one thing, that this is for our betterment, this is for our growth, this is a very, very important part of our lives, that is ethics. That has to be there. And once they understand it, I tell you, I am surprised how these western people who have seen their parents drinking, and also other people doing all kinds of things, even their friends and all that, they just give up, completely. I am very proud of them.

For us Indians, it is natural, because we are brought up that way. All the time we have seen people being corrected and, I mean of course drinking and all that was of course not out of question but even if somebody looks at a girl, you know, the father would say, ‘I will pierce through your eyes!’ And that’s why the eyes remain steady, and I don’t know how but we don’t do all that. Normally. I mean if somebody has been abroad and all that and thinks that they are very free people and why not we can do, that’s a very different thing. But normally we don’t, we don’t believe in that.

Of course in India we do have some elite societies, so called; they are the people who believe in all kinds of elite behavior. I don’t know what is that supposed to be. Maybe some of them have started some nonsense, especially in Bombay. Now it is spreading out also to Poona. And in Poona there are girls who are behaving funnily. I mean I can’t believe it. They drink, they smoke, they would become call-girls. All this has happened because they don’t know what is their idea about life. Or maybe it’s an actress or something they follow, but what is the life of that actress?

Unethical behavior, when you compromise with your value system, ultimately, where do you end? It’s showing results. We have AIDS, we have so many diseases coming from this kind of irrelevant, unethical life. It is happening everywhere to suggest that we should take to very normal life, to very good family life of obedience and understanding. But because you are very free in the West it is difficult for you to accept, but once they come to Sahaja Yoga I am really surprised, I am really surprised, how they have accepted Sahaja Yoga so beautifully.

They had the freedom, complete freedom to do what they liked. In India we don’t have such freedom for children. They can go wherever they like, they can do whatever they like, the teacher cannot correct them. Because of that freedom that they had, there’s one thing good that has happened. So many are lost, all right, but those who are saved are rare people.

Because of that growth of freedom within them I think they learn our Indian music in five months, four months. No Indians can do it because they are restricted all the time, they are controlled all the time, they are kept on the path of religion. So ultimately the freedom that some of you had and enjoyed has given you a special personality. That you pick up very difficult things without any effort. Now whether you should have that freedom or not is your own lookout. But too much restrictions on children, I think, is not a good thing.

Now in music, I know, Ravi Shankar when he was young, his guru had broken a tanpura on his head because he put a wrong note. Can you imagine? They used to beat them, tie them upside down, put them in the well, I mean all kinds of things they did and the disciples listened to all that discipline. Can you imagine? But I think that curbed their capacity to absorb something difficult. This is one of the reasons why I see this has happened, that people have picked up this difficult music in four months, three months, it’s a miracle we think. Why not this happens with Indians? You put them to anything, they pick it up so fast. With Sahaja Yoga, born with Sahaja Yoga, those who are, should be given full freedom I think. Such children should be given full freedom for they will not do anything wrong. And you will see they will pick up things very fast.

Not that westerners are more intelligent or alert, but the way they are given freedom, their growth, their personality. Sometimes they are like a vagabond, I think. Sometimes just like a tomboy. Sometimes to me they look like very vulgar, but once with that wealth of freedom they come to reality, they shine. So I would request also Indians, not to suppress their children too much. We enjoy the children very much in India, no doubt, but we suppress also them, very much. ‘Why are you standing? Why don’t you sit down?’ And children don’t mind because it is accepted, this pattern is accepted in India.

So too much restriction on children also curbs their personality, this is what I have discovered. But the western people go through such hell first of all, develop such problems to begin with and ultimately what happens is this, that they can be discarded as bad, bad, bad people. But if they come as good, good, good they are marvelous. All the freedom they have enjoyed before is showing results, otherwise how can this miracle happen to western people. There is no justification.

Now the problem is to give freedom or not. We have a proper sense now, after Realization, that a child is a born realized. In the beginning he won’t understand, he won’t understand. But gradually such a child will show results, maximum capacity to absorb and to express.

So today I am telling you about this freedom, which is the freedom of the Spirit. We should have understanding of such children who have that spirituality in them. They have dharma in them. And we should not try to constrict them or to trouble them. Let them do what they like. They’ll never do anything wrong because they are born realized.

So I am talking about the future Indians. Some of them I have seen, eight year old children, six year old children, they are geniuses, I tell you. They sing as if we feel that these old musicians are reborn or what. It is very surprising how they show their talent. There was a programme I saw on the television of children below eight years and a three year old girl singing just like Hirabai Badodekar. I was amazed. They are born realized but also they have the talents from their past life. They have got it from the past life.

So we should not try to control and check our children too much, that’s a part of our Sahaja culture. It doesn’t fit into Indian culture, I must say, but it should fit into Sahaja culture, to understand the value of our children who are realized souls. I enjoy their company, they speak so sweetly of all the things, of all the persons, and they describe about everyone so sweetly. Just allow them the freedom to talk and they’ll tell you all kinds of things.

Now I have praised you a lot I think. The outsiders we can call them, non-Indians, and it is a fact, the way they have taken to Sahaja Yoga is remarkable. But the way they are taking to this Indian music and to Indian art I can’t believe it, really I can’t believe it. I can’t understand it.

So you have freedom, but now use this freedom for expression of whatever you have achieved in Sahaja Yoga. Because you are already grown up with your freedom and if you do not utilize that personality full of freedom in expressing Sahaja Yoga in your own languages, you won’t help your people. You have to help them because your percentage is very low, your quality is high. But in your own country your percentage is low. So you have to go all out to get them into Sahaja Yoga and to let them know what they can achieve and what they are. You are duty bound, I think.