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AN EARNEST APPEAL TO THE SATSANGIS

Discourse by Dadaji Maharaj to commemorate the Centenary Bhandara of PPPD Hazur Maharaj

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Dadaji Maharaj This year is very important for the followers of the Radhasoami faith. The Centenary Bhandara of Param Purush Puran Dhani Hazur Maharaj is being celebrated on a large scale at Radhasoami Satsang, Hazuri Bhawan and extensive arrangements for holding special satsang meetings and Bhandara are being made. Yet it is not an occasion merely for celebrations. It is also a time for introspection for each satsangi to reflect as to how far he could abide by the teachings and edicts of Hazur Maharaj. Hazur Maharaj has graciously unleashed the floodgates of love and devotion, but one has to assess whether he could obtain even a drop out of it. The other point to consider is why, how and to what extent the followers of the Radhasoami faith have deviated from this path of love?

In the life time of Hazur Maharaj, seekers of true love were many and hypocrites a few. The situation is diametrically opposite now. Therefore, not only should the satsangis seriously ponder over this issue, but they also should earnestly pray to Hazur Maharaj that their lifestyles be revolutionized to shape them in accordance with the teachings and edicts of Hazur Maharaj. One should never forget that the Hazur's mercy is ever with us. The moment we take a step forward in the direction the Hazur has enjoined us to move, He would help and protect us and shower love in abundance.

A deep perusal of the biography and teachings of Hazur Maharaj makes it very clear that there is an imperative need for satsangis to rectify their conduct and lifestyles. In present times, tension is mounting high in the life of every person. There is a degradation of values of life. Self-centredness is growing apace. The financial crisis is the order of the day. Extremism is cast all over and chaotic conditions are surfacing. Spirituality has grown weak due to the onslaught of Kalyug. Torment and torture have assumed titanic proportions. These circumstances have also affected satsangis. The thoughts, teachings and edicts of Hazur Maharaj have gained greater relevance today.

Hazur Maharaj has adopted the middle path -- neither does he enjoin us to leave the household to become ascetics nor does he approve a family life so engrossed in the world that any inclination for our salvation is effaced. He has enjoined us to do our spiritual practice regularly, to exchange our views on Parmarth and to sing the praise of Merciful Radhasoami. This has also been ordained that an undercurrent of devotion should permeate our daily behaviour, i.e. we should always depend upon Merciful Radhasoami and keep Him ever overhead. Whatever we do should be done adhering to His shelter, help and mercy.

Hazur Maharaj ordains that for a satsangi, discharging his duties and liabilities is more important than fighting for his rights. One should not embroil himself in discussions, but should also not compromise on principles. It is not forbidden to have dealings with worldly people, but one should be conscious to discharge his duties and leave the result to the Will of the Supreme Father. Hazur Maharaj has advocated action, not inaction. Leaving result to the Supreme Will would save us from frustration. Frustration begets tension and tension leads to imbalance. Hazur Maharaj, therefore, specifically stresses to keep balance in all our endeavours.

Such a lifestyle is possible only when spiritual practice is adhered to with interest and for that a satsangi should be humble and cast off his ego. Moreover, when an initiate would always remember the Supreme Being and yearn for His darshan, his spirit would catch the sound current and then the worldly bondages in a natural course would loosen their grip. The effect of evil tendencies would gradually diminish. Benevolence would come forth and continence and forgiveness would become his natural attribute.

It is often seen that though the satsangis appear to be doing their spiritual practice regularly, reciting hymns, and praising Hazur also, yet their behaviour is not satsangi-like. Sometimes they cross the limits, sink down to the plane of envy and burst into anger or sticking to their guns, do not listen to what others have to say, or still worse, one satsangi attempts to downgrade another satsangi. This behaviour is in utter disregard of Hazur Maharaj's edicts. Singing praises of Hazur Maharaj overtly and simultaneously harping on such evil strings, is a seeming paradox.

Such dissensions among satsangis were discernible even in the time of Hazur Maharaj. For example, if one satsangi had the allotted service of offering water to Hazur Maharaj for ablution and another satsangi intervened and took the water and the towels, etc. and got Hazur's hand washed, the first one would be irritated. Observing this, Hazur Maharaj pronounced that there is no competition in the service of the Guru. Whatever service one gets by chance should be considered enough. One should not encroach upon the service being rendered by someone else, instead he should commence any other service. Educating the first satsangi, Hazur Maharaj told him that if somebody, out of spirit and enthusiasm, takes away his service, it should be a cause for increased love for him and not for grouse and envy. The Supreme Father accepts only that service which is selflessly performed. Arrogance in service, display of bossism, or behaving rudely with others who are serving, is absolutely against the edicts of Hazur Maharaj.

Competitions have emerged in matters such as who would offer the garland first or receive parshad first, as also about who would sit in front of the Guru and who behind. On this, Hazur Maharaj remarked that the discourses are for the deserving ones. So competition with a Premi Abhyasi (devotee) is not proper. One should not show unwarranted zeal in the matter of sitting in front of the Guru, unless he has the capacity to fully absorb the spiritual current flowing through a discourse. The practitioners of shabd yoga are advised not only to show natural respect towards one who is more advanced in devotion, but also to offer prayers to the Guru through him.

There is no competition among lovers. They all are dear to their beloved Guru and love of the Beloved is unbounded and cannot be chained. A satsangi may aspire to emulate the good behaviour of another earnest satsangi, but he should never intend to compete with him. The Beloved is ever cognisant of the internal and external conditions of his lovers. If one is really desirous to have His darshan, He creates such circumstances as may fulfill his desire. A lover should express his desire, submitting to His mercy and will alone. Humility, decency and modesty manifest in the behaviour of a satsangi not only when he has completely surrendered himself before the Merciful Radhasoami and sought His shelter, but also the awe of Him has taken deep roots in his heart. When he feels that whatever he is doing is being watched by Hazur Maharaj, whatever he is saying is being heard by Hazur Maharaj and all his weaknesses are known to Him, then he would really repent for erroneous behaviour. He would feel shy and would beg excuse from one he has offended. Only then the Supreme Father will be pleased.

The Supreme Father does not like hypocrisy. It does not behove a devotee to project himself differently than what he really is. It is to be seen by each satsangi that he does not commit an act which incurs displeasure of the Merciful Radhasoami, Hazur Maharaj or the Guru of the time. Hazur Maharaj himself has said that if one seeks approbation of the Supreme Being, he should not care what the worldly people say. If a satsangi also behaves like a worldly person, how can he be called better than him? It is clearly ordained that whatever should be learnt should also be practised.

These days people do not cultivate experience and learn the texts of the Radhasoami faith in the same manner as the bookworms who read Vedas, Shastras, Smritis, Upanishads, Brahmanas, Sutras or Puranas (Hindu scriptures), but behave like unwise worldly people. The reason is that none of them have associated themselves with an experienced adept doing some spiritual practice. This bookish knowledge is a great hurdle, and it is sad that the followers of the Radhasoami faith are increasingly getting inclined towards acquiring mere bookish knowledge. The sayings of Soamiji Maharaj and Hazur Maharaj are words of Supreme wisdom based on intuition and can not be properly understood without gaining some inner experience. The result is that the tendency among followers of different sects of the Radhasoami faith to comment, criticize and downgrade each other has gained momentum. Signs of arrogance are also discernible in the behaviour of the followers of the Radhasoami faith, love is drying up, envy on the increase, jealousy rampant, and it is also perceived that a satsangi would talk with a worldly person quite affectionately but with another satsangi, only with a sense of contempt.

Many of the followers of the Radhasoami faith consider followers of other faiths as lesser and unfortunate beings, even though their own lifestyles are not in accordance with the precepts laid down in the Radhasoami faith and they are mere sophists devoid of any spiritual experience. They should understand that if their own lifestyles are merely mundane, they can not claim themselves to be superior than devotees of other faiths who are sincerely pursuing their spiritual practices prescribed in their faiths. Mere intellectual discussions, notions of false superiority, exhibitionism or learning by rote the texts of Radhasoami faith, does not entitle them to be called real Parmarthis. Though they may get a human form in the next birth as they have recited the name Radhasoami, progress on the path of salvation would not be assured unless having taken shelter of Merciful Radhasoami, they pursue Guru Bhakti and practise Surat-Shabd-Yog with all humility and sincerity.

Satsangis, generally these days, are merely for namesake. Hardly do they display qualities of love and humility, but assertiveness and arrogance of being a Satsangi abounds. Their articulation and behaviour are poles apart. They display hypocrisy and sometimes sink down to the lowliest planes of baser instincts. Hazur Maharaj was Merciful Radhasoami. He knew fully well that such perversion of behaviour may ensue. He has therefore, in his writings and discourses, invoked the satsangis to rectify their moral conduct, warned them against possible pitfalls and furnished ample guidance and ordainments to keep them on the right track.

The purpose of this article, on the one hand, is to remind the satsangis of the benevolence and benefaction of Hazur Maharaj showered on all the jivas, i.e. His will to liberate the entire creation, His revelation of the first resonant name, Radhasoami, His abundant mercy and grace on the jivas without caring about their sins, His restoring back on the track of progress the destroyed lot of the jivas and His charitable dispensation of the qualities of continence, forgiveness, humility and love to the jivas. The other purpose is to tell the satsangis what their lifestyles should be in the context of Hazur's edicts, i.e. how they should behave with highly advanced devotees, what their behaviour towards a Premi Satsangi should be, towards satsangis in general and how to deal with the common jivas. In his worldly dealings also, a satsangi is recognized by his humble and decent behaviour and courtesy in dealing with worldly people. Anger and passion are no embellishments for a satsangi.

Often it has been witnessed that some people surreptitiously take away used articles of the past Gurus or the Guru of the time without his permission. They should clearly understand that it is nothing but theft and they shall therefore be counted among thieves. Such persons are rightly liable for punishment and they cannot derive any Parmarthi benefit from such a theft. On the contrary, they shall remain deprived of mercy and grace of the Supreme Being, because in such cases the spiritual current from those sanctified objects is withdrawn and it no longer remains a sanctified object for them.

The philosophy of Hazur is based on love. For a satsangi, his beloved (Merciful Radhasoami and Guru) should be very dear to him. He alone should be considered as the true friend and companion. The attraction for Him should be similar to that of a moth for the flame, a fish for the water or of a lotus for the sun. One has not only to surrender totally before the Beloved, but also has to efface his ego altogether. Hazur Maharaj, in the beginning of his devotional phase, had kept the notion of duality but gradually effaced his identity altogether and became one with His Beloved. The ego and the Guru are incompatible and in True love, only one remains at last. This is the form of devotional love. Love is a gift from the Supreme Being and it is that natural attraction which the spirit has for the eternal sound while devotion is that current which joins the lover with the Supreme Being. One who has humility can alone withstand the velocity of this current of devotion. Such a lover would love every utterance, every movement of his Beloved. What's more, he would love even His momentary annoyance.

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