THE LESSON OF RAVANA
Satsang of Shri Mata Ji to London premies,
22nd April 1972
I would like to tell you a very very beautiful story which inspires a true devotee how to serve his Master, how to please his Master, how to receive the blessings of the Perfect Master. In North India there was a great Master named Ram Das, who had a devotee, King Shivaji. He was so devoted to his Master, he was such an obedient and faithful devotee. Though he was king, yet he had no pride, no ego. He always appeared and submitted himself before his Master as a humble disciple. So naturally the Master loved him very much. But other disciples felt some jealousy, saying that Guru Maharaj Ji loves Shivaji because he is king. He possesses wealth, he possesses so many material things, but we don't have anything so Guru Maharaj Ji doesn't love us as much as He loves Shivaji the king. So they had this doubt in their mind, this confusion. But Guru Maharaj Ji loves all His disciples equally, because all belong to Him. And everyone receives Guru's Grace, Guru's blessings, according to his devotion, according to his love, according to his dedication. So one day Guru Maharaj wanted to demonstrate the devotion of the king.
Now some days He went to a mountain, to a camp where disciples could go to see Guru Maharaj Ji and to listen to His discourses, but one day Guru Maharaj Ji just began crying all of a sudden. And all the devotees were sitting there. They said, "Why, Guru Maharaj Ji, what happened, why are you crying?" He said, "Oh, I feel a great pain in my stomach, and I had no rest, I feel much pain." Then the devotees said, "Please tell us some medicine. If we are able to bring it we will bring that medicine." And Guru said, "Oh, once I had the same pain, but I got some medicine that made me well. This time I don't think you will be able to bring that medicine so don't ask me about it." They said, "No, please tell us what is the medicine." He said, "If you bring some fresh milk of a lioness then my pain will disappear."
When they heard about the milk of lioness they all became silent. No-one asked again about medicine because who can go into the mouth of death, who is willing to do such a thing? So they were sitting and thinking and talking, and then the king arrived and saw Guru Maharaj Ji crying, so he prostrated before Guru Maharaj Ji and said, "Guru Maharaj Ji please, why are you crying? What happened? Please tell me." Guru said, "Shiva, I have a great pain in my stomach, I have no rest.' "So what can I do for you, please tell me? I don't want to see you like this, Guru Maharaj Ji. Tell me, what is the medicine, because you know everything about yourself." Guru said "I have told them already that if anyone can bring fresh milk of a lioness it can cure my pain." At once Shivaji bowed before his Master and said, "It is not impossible if you will bless me. By your grace the lioness will be a goat or cow to me, and I am sure, I am fully confident that I will bring milk for you, but please give me your blessings." He had realized that everything is possible, everything becomes possible by Guru Maharaj Ji's grace. So Guru said, "How can I tell you to go into the mouth of death? You are my only devotee. When I see you I become so happy and pleased, so how can I allow you to go into the mouth of a lioness? No, no, no, Shiva, this pain will go away automatically." But he replied, "No, Guru Maharaj Ji, please give me your blessings. I must go and bring the milk."
So he bowed and received the blessings of Guru Maharaj Ji, and took a golden cup and went to the forest. Now it was the rainy season, clouds were wandering in the sky, and there was a very, very damp forest, and the king went, and began to search for a lioness. But in the darkness he could not see anything. So he began meditating, praying to Guru Maharaj Ji, "Please now help me. I can't see anything in such darkness, show me the path. Without your grace how can I find a lioness and get milk?" And he just closed his eyes and began remembering the Word and all of a sudden, you know, lightning arose, lightning appeared. And the whole forest was full of light, and the king saw a lioness feeding milk to her cub. So he requested the lioness from his heart, "As you are feeding your child I am also a loving child of my Guru Maharaj Ji. He loves me as you love your child. My Guru has pain in his stomach, please give me milk so that my Guru may get relief from His pain and suffering." So, at once, he felt that yes, the lioness was calling him. And he went to the lioness and took milk without any fear, any hesitation and when he took the milk he left that place and began walking. But in the darkness he had some fear that the lioness may attack him from behind. And at once lightning appeared and he saw that the lioness was going the other way with her cub. So he came to Guru Maharaj Ji with the milk. And he
said, "Guru Maharaj Ji, this is milk of the lioness. By your grace I got it. It was impossible for me to get it otherwise, but by your grace now here is the milk."
And when Guru Maharaj Ji saw the king standing with the milk in the golden cup, He began smiling. He said, "Shiva, oh my dear son, my dear disciple, my pain disappeared as soon as you went to the forest. I had no pain. I wanted to show all these, my devotees, your dedication and your willingness to sacrifice, I wanted to demonstrate to them your pure love and devotion. When a Guru finds a faithful disciple, a true disciple, His purpose becomes complete. He wants to find one, and now I have found one, a real devotee. Whatever Knowledge I possess will be transmitted to you. Whatever experience I have got about truth, I am going to transmit into you." And at once, Guru blessed
him and the king attained perfect enlightenment.
In olden days spiritual Knowledge was given to the disciples after they had rendered many, many years service to their spiritual master. But now, in this dark age, in this age of science, Guru Maharaj Ji is so compassionate, so kind. He knows that people have lost interest in spiritual knowledge., They have time for worldly pleasures, they have got a lot of time for material progress, but they have no time for the sake of enlightenment. They have no interest in discovering the changless reality. So Guru Maharaj Ji 'is giving this Knowledge very soon, after just a few days' satsang this Knowledge is given to you. Without any service, without any devotion or dedication, people come here and say, "Guru Maharaj Ji, please give us Knowledge", and He always says "Yes", because He knows the heart of human beings, the weakness of human beings. So He has made this Knowledge so easy to receive. But without meditation, without service and without satsang you will not grow spiritually.
There are four kinds of grace. First grace comes from God, who has given us this human frame. Though there are countless living beings, man is superior to all of them because he has got such a frame, such a body, in which he can attain perfect enlightenment. This body is priceless. There is no factory in this world where the human frame can be manufactured. This is a priceless gift.
The second grace comes from the teachings of great masters, from the scriptures. If you read the scriptures, you will learn about the greatness, the compassion, the mercy, the importance of Spiritual Master. Because every scripture praises the glory of the Perfect Master. The scriptures have not come from the sky or appeared from out of the earth. They .were written by Perfect Masters, by saints who served their Guru and who attained perfect enlightenment. So they all tell people to approach a Perfect Master if they wish to attain enlightenment. This is the second grace. It comes from the teachings or scriptures of great saints of the past.
Now, the third grace comes from a Living Master, a Perfect Master, a Guru. He who dispels the darkness of ignorance and reveals the inner self-effulgent light is called Satguru, is called True Master. And when a man or woman approaches or comes into contact with a True Master, a Perfect Master, the purpose of one's life is fulfilled, because he receives Knowledge. He receives correct guidance. He receives perfect shelter. And he becomes really fearless, because as long as there is ignorance there is fear, and from fear comes all troubles. But when one receives True Knowledge the darkness of ignorance is dispelled. So the third grace comes from the Spiritual Master who gives Knowledge of the Truth, who brings a disciple from ignorance to enlightenment.
And then the fourth grace comes from our own soul, that after receiving Knowledge we should do meditation regularly. Obey Guru Maharaj Ji's commandments sincerely, thoroughly and implicitly and serve your fellow beings by all means by Guru Maharaj Ji's grace. When a devotee serves his master he receives simplicity, his heart becomes so humble, and then he becomes able to serve the whole of humanity, without any pride and ego. So when you approach a Perfect Master come to him as an innocent child. There should not be any pride or ego in your heart. Whatever we may be in this world, you may be a great scientist, or wealthy person, or leader, but when you come to the Perfect Master, come as a humble disciple. Because the Spiritual Master is your spiritual father, your spiritual mother who feeds her children always with this divine milk of Knowledge. Suppose the prime minister, Mr. Heath, goes to see his mother. He is not Prime Minister at that time. Before her he is a son. Similarly, whatever you may be in this world, when you come to Guru Maharaj Ji, come as an innocent child, as a humble disciple. And then you will receive the grace of Guru Maharaj Ji. And just as water always flows downwards, not upwards, so the grace of the Perfect Master comes to those disciples who are humble and sincere.
And another thing is, don't leave any good work until tomorrow. Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today. If you have to do something good, do it now. Because no-one knows what will happen in the next moment. The future is always blind. There is a beautiful story about Lord Rama. How humble and sincere He was. Now people don't want to learn from each other. But even being the incarnation of God, still He sent His brother Laksmana to learn about politics from His enemy Ravana. Have you read about Lord Rama's life in the Ramayana? It tells that there was a King in Ceylon called Ravana who kidnapped Lord Rama's consort, Sita, and she was a chaste woman. When Ravana took her to his city he troubled her very much and tried to allure her mind, showing his golden palace and so many things. He wanted to make her his wife, and when she did not accept this, then he threatened her, saying, "If you don't want to accept my demands I will kill you." Then Sita said, "Oh Ravana, whom are you threatening? You cannot kill my soul, you can only kill this body. You cannot allure Sita's mind by showing this palace. I am the wife of Lord Rama. I have devoted my whole life
and you cannot touch my body. If you touch my body you will become dust." So Ravana did not touch her body, but still he wanted to make Sita his wife. And when Lord Rama discovered that Ravana had kidnapped his wife, He went to Ceylon with His devotees, Hanuman and his army of monkeys. And there was a great battle where all the demons, all the evil-doers were killed, and only Ravana the king was left. So when the king also fell half-unconscious on the battle-field, then Lord Rama sent His brother Laksmana to learn about politics from Ravana because he was a very learned man. He was learned, he was a very great scientist, but having all these qualities, his mind was sinful, his mind was impure. Because of this, he kidnapped Lord Rama's consort, and because of that, there was a great war.
So when Lord Rama sent His brother Laksmana to Ravana, he said, "Oh Ravan, tell me about politics. I am the brother of Lord Rama. I have come to learn politics from you." But Ravana did not open his eyes, he did not even answer. So Laksmana became angry, and he went back to his brother Ram and said, "Brother, why did you send me to that proud man, that egoist man? I went there, I asked him, but he did not speak to me." Then Lord Rama said, "Laksmana, how did you ask?" He said, "I went there, I stood before him and I said, 'Oh Ravan, tell me about politics. I have come to learn politics.' "
Lord Rama said, "This is not the way to learn from a master. If you want to learn from someone, learn as a disciple, as a student. Go and follow my advice and you will learn from Ravana!"
So he went there again and this time he bowed before Ravana and said, with hands together, "Oh, Ravan, please kindly teach me about politics. I have come to learn about politics." And at once Ravan opened his eyes, and said, "Laksmana, you know that l am now about to die. I have not got much time to explain to you about politics in detail, but I have got some experience in my lifetime so I will tell you about my experience. And that experience is that whenever you wish to do some good work, do it at once. Don't let it wait for tomorrow. But whenever you want to perform some evil actions, then let it wait for tomorrow. Because tomorrow is in the hands of death, while today, this present moment, is under your control. If you let good work wait for tomorrow, if you die then you will not be able to complete it. And if you want to perform some evil actions, if you let it wait until tomorrow and you die tonight, you will be freed from that evil action. When my sister told me about Sita, your brother's wife, at once I did that evil action, I kidnapped her without thinking about, without understanding the results that would follow that evil action. And the result of that action is that my whole family, all my friends, all my relatives, have been killed and I myself am also about to die. If I had left this action, this work, till tomorrow and just asked my friends for some good advice perhaps I would not have accomplished this deed. But I did not ask anyone, I did not receive any good advice. I heard, and at once I did that action. And the result of that action is that now I am about to die and my whole family is dead. So this is what I have learned: don't put good actions off until tomorrow.
And I had also a desire to accomplish some good purposes, some good actions, and what were they? They were to make the water of the oceans sweet, and to make a lift from this mortal world to heaven, so that everyone can go up and come down. And I wanted to remove smoke from fire, and to put fragrance or good smell into gold. So I had these four desires, to make the water of ocean sweet, to make fire smokeless, to build a lift from this earth to heaven and to make gold smell sweet. I had all great scientists under my control, so I could have done everything. But I thought, 'Oh, I will tell them tomorrow.' So all the time I left this work until tomorrow. And now I see tomorrow never came and I am going to die. So my good work has not been completed, and the bad work which I did complete, brought this result. So this is the experience of my life, this is the lesson I have learned. Whenever you want to perform some good actions, perform them at once, and whenever you want to perform some evil actions, let them wait for tomorrow. And think very, very carefully about the result of those bad actions. And my life is the witness of this lesson, Laksmana."
So like Rama learn good things even from your enemies. And if anyone gives you good advice, follow it now, not tomorrow. Don't leave it for tomorrow. Guru Maharaj ji has given you this Knowledge, so meditate. Guru Maharaj Ji has given this opportunity to serve your fellow beings through this Knowledge, so do service now. And give satsang, because you don't know when this tongue may be paralysed, so give satsang.
As you decorate a Christmas tree with beautiful lights, candles, and some other little coloured lights, so that it becomes so beautiful at that time, similarly there is one festival in India, it is called the Light Festival, or Dwali. All the houses at that time are decorated by small, small candles, and lamps full of light. So one day at the time of late Guru Maharaj Ji many disciples arrived in Dehra Dun and put many candles all around our house, thousands and thousands of candles. Now Guru Maharaj Ji said, "How will you kindle them all together?" So there were many
disciples and they said, "Guru Maharaj Ji please tell us the way to kindle them all together?" He said, "Each one should have a burning candle." So all took a burning candle and He said, "Now light one each." And He showed how, and at once a thousand devotees kindled all the unlit candles together, and the whole house at once became bathed in light. So, as they lighted a thousand unlit candles at once all together, similarly, those who have received Knowledge, now their candle of the heart is lighted. It is your duty to light other unlit candles: Tell the people about this Knowledge. If God had not given us this mouth, how could we speak? He has given us this tongue so use it to tell about His Knowledge, give satsang to your friends, make them interested and light their candle of the heart, so that they should not walk in darkness. Only a burning lamp will light other unlit lamps. Similarly, those who have received Knowledge can speak about Knowledge, and enlighten other people through Maharaj Jis grace. So this is your duty. To give satsang, to make your friends interested and bring them to Guru Maharaj Ji for Knowledge, so that they also may receive Knowledge and meditate on the Holy Word of God.
(Mataji sings a song)
The meaning of this song is this. Oh, Lord, none is dearer to you than your devotees. They love you sincerely, and that's why you also love them. When they cry for your sake, for your darshan, or for anything, you give it to them. You do not want to see them unhappy or crying. At once you come to help them. Though thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of people take refuge in you, you liberate only him who depends upon your mercy as an innocent child depends upon his mother. Though countless wicked persons have been liberated by your grace when they took your shelter, if I am not liberated from the bondage of birth and death, oh Lord, it will be a great sadness for me. I have only two desires, and I am confident that by your grace they will be fulfilled. One desire is to remember your Holy Word at all times, the second is to serve you by all means whole-heartedly.
So do you want to become such a devotee who brings God under his will, just as a child really compels his mother to do everything according to his desire. To do this, the disciple first merges his desire into His desire, makes his God in his own soul. So if you want to become such devotees then dedicate yourselves to Guru Maharaj Ji, meditate on this Knowledge and remember the Holy Word, give satsang and serve Guru Maharaj Ji by all means, then you will be a true devotee, as there have been many in the past. I give my blessings to you so you will be able to be such a perfect disciple.
And as Mahatma Ashokanand J i has told you, please do get the magazine every month and be a subscriber to this magazine. You will read Guru Maharaj Ji's holy teachings, the satsang of Holy Mother and Bal Bhagwan Ji, and some very good articles. Ah, you know, for the teachings of great saints now people discover their scriptures, old books. But if you keep these magazines, really you will read them and you will be benefitted much more, and many, many people in the future will read them and will get good experience. So in every house, in every room of a devotee, there must be this magazine, "Divine Light" magazine, and give it to your friends also. Ten! Ten! Buy ten magazines! Each premie must have ten magazines!! Read them and give to your friends and tell them when they've read them to give them to other people also. In one month those ten magazines should reach a hundred people. In India also the devotees do the same thing, that's why there are millions now.
Now, if you do not follow my instructions, my advice, then Arthur has come from America to take me there!! - As Bishwa Mitra came to take Lord Rama to the forest, so he has also come from the United States to take Holy Mother. So please do these simple things and quickly become a true disciple of Guru Maharaj Ji, for at that time you will be truly pleasing Him. And when He is pleased, then I am also pleased.
(Translation by Mahatma Guru Charnanand)