MEHER BABA ON SPIRITUALITY
Q. What is real spirituality?
Baba: Spirituality is a thing to be experienced and lived. It makes you firm like a rock. Neither worldly sorrows nor pleasures upset you. You attain the state where no desires remain, and you want nothing. When you do not want anything, you have everything.
Look at this mast, Chatti Baba. He is so innocent, so loving, so happy always, for the simple reason that he wants nothing. And strange as it may sound, he has everything – happiness, contentment, and eternal peace of mind.
The state of desirelessness, or of wanting nothing, is a faculty that is latent in everyone. It is within you and you must discover it. I have found it and continually experience it. I know that this faculty is in everyone, but being latent, it has to be found and experienced. The difference between you and me is, although both of us have this faculty, I actually experience and feel it, while you have yet to do so. I see myself in you all, as you see all these material things with your eyes. It is a fact for me.
With your Gross eyes, you see everything external. Behind this external aspect, there is not merely a spaceless void, but also pure nothingness. When you experience this pure nothingness, you will see how it has come out of the Everything – and this Everything is within you. When this experience is gained, the faculty of wanting nothing is developed, and you begin to experience it.
Remember that the first step in spirituality is not to speak ill of others. All human beings have weaknesses and faults. Yet they are all God in their being. Until they become Realised, they have their imperfections. Therefore, before trying to find faults in others and speaking ill of them, try to find your own weaknesses, and correct those.
27 January 1940, Bangalore, LM7 p2506
What is spirituality? It is the undoing of what you have been doing since ages. You always thought of selfish motives of eating, preserving your life, and for that every need, attending to it with zeal. All these lives you have made a habit of looking to yourself. If the slightest thing goes against your habit you are upset.
Now, to undo all these selfish bindings, you have to do what you have not been doing, or not to do what you have been doing. What you have been doing always is thinking of yourself; so now you must not think of yourself but think of others. This is what is called love. But it needs character, poise, perseverance.
Poise — what is poise? That state of mind where nothing excites you, nothing upsets you; then only can you help others, then only can you make others happy. That means love. Thinking not of yourself but of others.
If you are in the Sahara and for four days you have no water to drink, and all of a sudden one bottle of water appears, how do you react? If you have poise, you will let your companion drink and not mind dying and letting her live. But, if you fight and grab for it, you lack poise and spirituality.
It is this poise that makes you sacrifice and makes others happy. For example, I always say: make the most of everything. Here you have food, swimming, boating. Make the most of it and feel happy. Do not say it is not spiritual to enjoy innocent pleasures. But when we are driving on tour and there is dust and we feel hunger, thirst, and feel sick, then feel as happy as you do now. This is poise. If you do not feel happy — it is not easy to feel happy then (under these conditions) — you are not spiritual in enjoying this swimming, boating etc. — is this clear? I do not mean making a show of being happy, but to really feel happy.
For you, my Circle, it is all right. You live with me, leave all to me, so you are serving the universe. But for those who are not living here near me, this poise is 100% essential for spirituality.
Again, what is spirituality? Poise, perfect poise. Make the most of every situation.
April 1940, Karwar, LA p285-286
Another version (re-edited): LM7 p2544
… From the spiritual point of view, the only important thing is to realise the divine life, and help others to realise it, by manifesting it in the everyday happenings.
To penetrate into the essence of all being and significance, and to release the fragrance of that inner attainment for the guidance and benefit of others, by expressing, in the world of forms, truth, love, purity and beauty – this is the sole game which has any intrinsic and absolute worth. All other happenings, incidents and attainments can, in themselves, have no lasting importance.
c.1940, Di v3 p34
Another version: Di (7th ed.) p200, IS p113
What is wrong with the world today, and with India in particular?
Such and allied questions are bound to arise in thinking minds. But the answers are not altogether honest and straight. The diagnosis given and the remedies adopted have all been biased and one-sided. The whole situation stands hopelessly vague and undetermined.
The crux of the situation lies in the correct understanding and reinterpreting of the ancient word ‘religion.’
The West has very little of religion, and whenever we hear of it, it is subservient to politics, or at best a handmaid of material life. The East is suffering from an overdose of religion, and consequently it is desperately hankering for a material antidote thereto. Religion in the West is synonymous with scientific progress, which is destructive in its manifestation. In the East, and particularly in India, religion, instead of establishing the kingdom of God on Earth, has gone underground in the guise of crude ceremonies, rude rituals, and dead dogmas.
Instead of engendering the seeds of peace and plenty, the under-driven religion tries to shoot out communalism, fanaticism, nationalism and patriotism, which have become bywords for leadership and greatness, suffering and sanctity. In short, religion, as a living force, has become obsolete. The urgent need of today, to rescuscitate religion, is to dig it out of its narrow and dark hidings and coverings, and let the spirit of man shine out once again in its pristine glory.
The most practical thing to do in the world is to be spiritually-minded. It needs no special time, place or circumstances. It is not necessarily concerned with anything out of the way of anyone’s daily life and day-to-day routine. It is never too late or too early to be spiritual. It is just a simple question of having a right attitude of mind toward lasting values, changing circumstances, avoidable eventualities, and a sense of the inevitable.
Spirituality is neither restricted to, nor can it be restricted by, anyone or anything, anywhere, at any time. It covers all life for all time. Yet it can very easily be achieved with selfless service and pure love that know no bondage and seek no boundaries. A mighty surge of this spirituality is about to sweep over the world. My blessings to you all.
3 April 1947, Madras, LM9 p3159