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"Ashram Speech"

This is a portion of a tape labeled "Ashram Tape" and was made by Athena Kouzan when she took Baba back to India. Date is unknown, either 1979 or 1980.

This talk was translated by Pradeep Mukherjea.

This a very auspicious day. We are sitting at the feet of Ma Anandamayi at her Ashram. Today we are going to discuss religion with Premamayi and other disciples.

Before we start the discussion we shall have to destroy the ego. We should try our best to forget about the self.

Thakur Ramakrishna used to say "Who the hell am I?"

The words are very harsh, but he meant that if one finds the root, the God within, then there is no need to believe in the ego.

When I say I am discussing religion or I am speaking, this is an illusion.

If I believe in the ego then I am on the path to destruction. If you cannot remove the ego, then doing puja, meditation or any kind of religious rite is just a waste of time. If one can forget the self, then one will know that only due to His divine blessings can we speak, act and go through daily life.

Only God is the root of everything.

So today with Ma Premamayi and other disciples we are spending an auspicious day. The day we talk about religion, God and the true inner self, that day is considered auspicious, and that discussion group is called Satsang.

By true Satsang the mind is purified and the intelligence is clear about the inner being. If intelligence is clear, then Divyagyan or God’s true self is revealed. By Divyaguan we can have darshan of God, who is within us all.

But remember that even though I keep saying that I am the one who is saying all this, it is an illusion.

If you want to have some coconut, first you have to remove the husk, then break through the hard shell to find the coconut. This illusion of self has been with us for a long time, so it is hard to break. But we all have to try very hard to do this. When the ego is removed, then in its place we will have devotion.

Devotion means deep love. This devotion is what we are looking for.

God is within, not outside. We do japa, yoga, chanting and puja to keep the mind peaceful and calm. When the mind is calm we get Divyagyan and then we do not need these religious rites.

Thakur Ramakrishna used to say again and again to his disciples, "With devotion, clear the mind and then with Divyagyan call Mother and She will appear."

Going to temples and other religious places and praying, these are customs. Through these customs the mind is purified and the intellect cleared.

But if in doing these one has selfish goals, then it is not worthwhile. If we do something to gain a result, then it fails.

If we call on God without any selfish motives, then He will certainly appear.
If we expect results and then do puja to gain them it will be worthless.

If we expect to gain moksha, or gain wealth or expect our future to be bright, and for these ends we do puja, hom or japa, then we will not gain anything.

Who is doing the japa?

If one says that I am the one who is doing the japa then all is lost. This illusion of the ego has to be destroyed. There are lots of mantras. Each of the Gods has their own mantra. But if one’s mind is not at peace then there is no use in repeating them.

It is true that there is sugar in the sugar cane, but one has to work very hard to get it. When one starts to strip the bark from the cane, one bleeds at first. But there are easier ways to get at the sugar. That is why it is said that when you get a Sat Guru he will tell you the secret of getting at the inner core.

Not everyone is a Sat Guru and they are not easy to find. It does not matter what religion you are, but at the root of all religion is the Sat Guru. Guru is the one who removes the darkness of ignorance and the dirt of illusion that we have accumulated over the years.

But following the path of a Guru is very hard. It takes absolute faith. If one believes with absolute faith that a piece of wood is the Guru then it will certainly become the Guru. One cannot buy this faith with money or get it by reading books! Pride in the self is what brings people down.

Today all the disciples are sitting around Ma Premamayi and we are going to discuss about God and other related subjects. Power of the Guru is a great power. Blessing of the Guru is even greater that God’s blessing. It is easy to get God’s blessing, but very hard to be blessed by the Guru. When one gets Guru’s blessing, then one can see the God within. One needs absolute faith and lots of patience to get God’s darshan.

If I talk too much about the Guru’s blessings, then disciples might think that I am boasting.

I am uneducated. I cannot read or write. It is my Guru within me who is speaking. Without the Guru’s blessing one cannot speak a word. As everyone knows:

Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu,
Guru Deva Maheshwara,
Guru Sakshat, Parabrahma,
Tasmai Sri Guruve Namah.

It says: Guru is himself the Parabrahma, or the absolute being.

If Brahma is lost from the body, then even though all the other parts of the body are present, it does not function. That is why the Guru is needed. We go to see the Guru, we take flowers, fruits or money, but these are all illusions.

The only real gift one can give to a Guru is love. Love, which everyone has, and which cannot be bought in a market.

Respect is also at the root of all relationships. Like a father loves and respects the mother, and the mother loves and respects the father.

Today there is no one as low and unlucky as myself because I have to keep saying the word "I". If I was selfless, then I would have become Parabrahma and one with God.

Premamayi took this small child in her lap to America, and again brought him back to India. This is not like taking a trip to Puri, or Dakshineswar! It is not within my power to go to America. One who cannot talk, cannot sign his own name, cannot write even Bengali and can read only a little. In my life I have never attended a school. If I ever had the wish to have some peace and happiness it was rarely fulfilled.

At first I had to go through lots of suffering. Suffering is the greatest friend a person can have. If one does not go through suffering, then happiness cannot be achieved.

That is why Sri Ramakrishna worked as a priest for Rani Rasmani for many years. His great power is known not only in India, but throughout the world. Yet we do not try to understand what he is teaching us, and just waste our time in arguing over useless subjects.

He went through lots of suffering, but he never lost his faith. To bear all sufferings and never lose patience is the quality of a great man. In my life I have also gone through lots of sufferings, but through the blessings of my Guru I have never lost faith in Him.

Since I was seven years old I have begged for food, shelter and clothing. I slept on the banks of the Ganges and ate on the sidewalks of Calcutta. Then my Guru blessed me and gave me the power to bear all this suffering. I cannot describe everything that my Guru has done for me. I do not have the words for it. But all the troubles that I went through, I do not consider them troubles, but that was my test of strength and patience.

I think I am suffering more now. Unless a person goes through sufferings he does not appreciate the human qualities.

We might have human forms, but we still have the bad qualities of animals, like jealousy, hatred, anger and lust, and we are under the control of our senses.

But if a person goes through suffering, then he understands the difference between the good and the bad qualities. I pray to God that all the disciples take God’s name with complete faith. Guru, with all faith and love, will take me to real America. Real America is where when you go there once, you have no need to come back to the physical world.

Today I have talked to Ma Premamayi in Bengali, but she will be able to translate for the others.

Just the way Rani Rasmani treated Thakur Ramakrishna, the same way Ma kept me in America.

Whenever I was in orb of Love I never felt that I was in this worldly America, but I felt as if I was in the temple of Ma Anandamayi in India.

The love, respect, and devotion that the disciples in America gave me I cannot forget and can never describe in a few words.

All this happened because of Divine Love.

Love is the main thing. You can do japa, chant mantras, or do hom, but if you do not have love than all these things are worthless. I ask Chinmayananda, Satchidananda Guru to give peace. I pray to my Guru that in the same way that I have received blessing from Him, all of you also have the power of Guru in you, that all the darkness of ignorance be removed and your hearts become pure and you see then inner being.

Om Shanti, Om Shanti, Om Shanti.

Hari Om Tat Sat, Hari Om Tat Sat, Hari Om Tat Sat.