Letters From Ramanashram – APPROPRIATE TEACHING

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Letters From Ramanashram – APPROPRIATE TEACHING Back

APPROPRIATE TEACHING

29th July, 1948

As Bhagavan was going out this morning at a quarter to ten, his body faltered a little. The attendants hesitated to touch him to enable him to steady himself as they knew he would not like it. An old devotee who was walking by his side at the time tried to hold him up. Warning him against that, Bhagavan coolly said, “You all try to hold me from falling down but actually throw me down. Enough of it. Please take care that you don’t fall down yourself.” These words are pregnant with great meaning. Though it would appear that Bhagavan was saying something commonplace, there was a great truth in those words and I therefore made a note of them then and there.

In the meantime, Bhagavan returned and sat down in his usual place. Even before that, a young man had come there in a huff into the Hall. After some attempts he said, “Swami, I have got a question in my mind. Can you tell what that question is? Or do you want me to ask it?” Bhagavan said, “Oho! That is what is the matter, is it? Sorry. I do not have such powers. Being a capable person you may be able to read other’s thoughts. How can I get such powers?” That young man was about to say, “What is then your greatness if you cannot do that much?” but others who were there prevented him from saying that. Seeing that, I came and sat nearer Bhagavan. Looking at me Bhagavan said, “Look. This young man asks me whether I can know what question he has in his mind! No one has asked such a thing so far. So it means that he is testing me. The purpose of a person in coming here is known even as he comes in. The manner in which he sits itself reveals the purpose of his visit. Instead of trying to test me, why does not he test himself and find out who he is? Would that not be much better?”

A gentleman, who happened to be sitting by the side of the young man, took up the thread of the conversation and said, “Swami, You say that finding out the self is the greatest thing in life. But for finding it out, is the Nama Japa (repeating the name of the Lord) good? Can we attain Moksha in that way?” Bhagavan said, “Yes, it is good. That itself will take you in due course to the Goal. The repeating of the Name is to remove all extraneous things. Then everything extraneous disappears and what remains is the Name alone. That which remains is the Self or God or the Supreme Being. Nama Japa means we give a name to God and call HIM by that name. You give Him that name which you like most.”

That devotee asked, “Will Iswara manifest Himself if you give him some name and pray to Him to appear in a particular form?”

Bhagavan: “Yes. He will answer your call by whatever name you call Him and will appear in whatever form you worship Him. As soon as He manifests Himself you ask something; he grants the boon and disappears but you remain where you were.”

I said, “I suppose Bhagavan also will do likewise, if we ask him for some material benefits.” Without taking any heed of what I had said, and by way of avoiding the question, Bhagavan said, “That is why God is afraid of manifesting Himself. If He comes, the devotees will ask Him to give away all His Powers and retire. Not only will they say, ‘Give everything to us’, but they will also say, ‘Do not give them to any one else.’ That is the fear. That is why God delays in coming to His devotees.”

Another devotee: “Is it the same thing with Mahatmas?”

Bhagavan: “There is no doubt about it. If any lenience is shown to people, they begin to exercise authority on Mahatmas. They will say, ‘You should do as you are asked to.’ They will also say, ‘No one else should come here.’ And so on”.

Devotee: “It is said that the Mahatma looks upon all with the same kindness. Why then do they tenderly receive some, reply to some and not to others, when asked, shout at some and show indifference towards others?”

Bhagavan: “Yes. All the children are the same for the father. He wishes them all well. Hence he treats them with love and anger according to their propensities, and thus gives them training. Children who are gentle, remain aloof with fear and do not ask for anything; they should be cajoled with love and tenderness and given whatever they want. Those who are bold, ask for and take whatever they want. Those who are vagrant should be reprimanded and kept in their proper places. Those who are stupid should be neglected and left to fend for themselves. In the same manner Mahatmas have to be loving or harsh according to the merits of the devotees.”

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