Darshan On Living In An Ashram
July 04, 1977 pm
[Bapuji chants Twameva matasha dhun]
I will first speak in English.
Someone has asked a question: What is the importance of living in an ashram and at what time in one’s life should he or she come to live in an ashram?
“According to old Indian tradition, the living in the ashram begins from the child’s age of 8 or 9.”
The reason for that is that the new generation do not get impressed upon by the old habits of the older generation.
It is much better that the new generation be raised in the woods, in the spiritual surroundings of the yogis.
The individual from whom they receive the training and samskara, they must be of a very high caliber.
[Saavidya ya vi muktayay] means one that gives liberation gives true education.
That is the definition of ancient India for the education.
The impressions that take us below or into the subhuman stage of consciousness, they are the bad impressions or bad samskaras and samskaras are the impressions that bring us to the level of human being and the higher states of consciousness are called good samskaras, good impressions.
So, here those who have been raised from the very childhood under the wrong influences of the society from the very childhood, don’t you see that they have the need to live in the ashram?
So one should go in such a place where one can be liberated or become free from the wrong impressions that one has grown into.
When one becomes hungry, they naturally approach the food automatically, so also when you have hunger for growth and peace, you naturally run toward the ashram.
When you don’t have the desire to go toward the ashram, then just believe that you are all right wherever you are.
Just as when we have dirty clothes and we do not like them, and we go to the river to wash them, and here maybe to the washing machine, Bapuji says.
And so same way, ashram is like a river where you come to wash the impurities of your mind.
If you like to keep on the dirty clothes, then it is not necessary to come to the ashram.
So, if you go to the ashram, then the pious and uplifting atmosphere of the ashram purifies us and inspires us and helps us in our growth.
The second part of the question says at what time should one go to live in the ashram, Bapuji says any time of life.
In ancient India, a child was raised in the ashram from age 8 to 25, all this time in the ashram.
And then after that, receiving permission from the guru, that child would go and take part in worldly life.
Then he would spend the next 25 years in householder’s life.
As soon as he is 51, then he would again go back to ashram.
And there, there was special arrangement that after 51 you could go into the ashram with your wife.
But at that time, after 51, his relationship with his wife would be more like a friend than a wife.
They would both be friends to each other and practice religion or practice higher spiritual teachings and life.
So they will live together after 51 in order to help each other grow spiritually.
So if that person is more highly evolved spiritually, which is brahmin, then at the age of 75 or 76, he enters into another stage, and a higher stage of life where he will give up all relationship with his wife and he will become swami.
In that stage if you are raised from the very beginning in that manner then you go to ashram at the age of 51.
At the age of 51 if you go to any ashram, it will work.
But if that ashram is a real ashram, you will find that it is very difficult to enter into that ashram, [Gurudev: same thing I was telling you.] Because you would hesitate to go there.
Those who love cleanliness as they wash clothes every day, some after a week, some after a month.
If you wash it on the 51st year that will be okay, he says.
It will be all right if you go in ashram on 51st year.
Or if you feel that your clothes need washing, then go to the ashram, to be more clear, I think.
You see one must give up wife, family and child to follow guru, that seems difficult, no wonder.
For a young person, definitely.
Impossible for me who love my wife and children so very much.
I want to follow guru, but this price it seems must also be paid by my family, what do you mean when you say we must give up family and follow the spiritual life?
I want you to understand what I mean to say with a little more detail.
One little child wants to study up to Ph.D.
Do you feel that we can just pick him up and put him into the Ph.D. class?
He will have to pass each and every grade and after passing, gradually he will have to reach up to the Ph.D. class.
To no young man, or anybody should anyone ever say that you give up your wife, you give up your children, give up your home, give up everything.
It can never be said to anybody.
Then what is the meaning of what I said yesterday?
Its meaning is on a wider basis.
It is mainly for some very special individual.
I think Bapuji clarified that also.
That is only for the one that really desires the highest moksha path.
There are two paths that Bapuji describes and he did clarify.
So that person should follow this path.
But the one who has not gradually progressed to this stage, they do not try to jump to that stage.
So stay where you are and do the best you can where you are.
Don’t forget that religion, the path that I teach is called Sanatana Dharma.
Sanatan means the indestructible religion which is forever and ever true.
Its main principle is the entire universe is my family [vasudaiva kutumbakam].
So if the whole world is a family so this is just expanding smaller family to a larger family.
So we have to spread our love and spread our right actions.
Individual is not free.
Individual is also responsible for the family.
Or we can say that individual belongs to a family also.
He also belongs to society.
And he also belongs to the country.
He is also the citizen of this world.
So the great master’s actions are always in reference to the whole world is my family and all his actions are geared in that direction.
Do not think that you will have to leave your wife and children and family and everything.
All you have to do is hold it with love when you are holding it.
If you hold it with love, it will happen automatically, that is what he says.
So love them with pure love, and if you love Gurudev, keep him in your heart.
There is one interesting sentence in the scripture, that either Mohammed comes to the mountain or mountain goes to Mohammed So if you can’t go to the guru, then keep guru in your heart, then he’s already with you.
If you can make your home the home of austerities, purity and more suitable for your sadhana then you don’t have to go anywhere.
Many years ago, Amrit had asked me one question.
At that time, there was no ashram that was born from either one of this.
Then I had asked is it necessary that one must live for sadhana, in India?
I said “No, my son, it may be America or whatever country if you can create the surrounding, spiritual surrounding like Indian, you can do sadhana there also.”
When I saw the surrounding and the atmosphere I felt that why can’t anyone practice sadhana in America.
You can just sit under a tree and you can meditate.
It is so beautiful.
You have such beautiful surroundings.
How can you do not do sadhana?
To such an extent that you don’t have to go looking for a tree very far.
It’s right in front of your homes.
So many trees here.
You don’t have to go looking for a mountain either.
Everywhere you see there are mountains here.
Beautiful surroundings here.
I get lost as soon as I see it.
So my children do sadhana wherever you are and you have my blessings from my heart.
[Question: I am practicing Brahmacharya in my house outside of this ashram.
It is bringing out deep emotion of not being loved and a painful loneliness that nothing can relieve.
Will you speak on this please?]
In this case, it is very difficult to change basic attitudes but at least you can change your thoughts.
Any condition that arises in our life, it doesn’t come automatically.
We create it.
Then we should find the reasons how we bring it about.
If we really look for the reasons that bring about this difficulty, then we will definitely find it.
If we keep aloof from others then do you think anybody will come around us?
That is not possible.
If we love others they will also love us.
Our happiness is in other’s heart and other’s happiness is in our heart.
When we give happiness to others happiness will come to us.
Give love and you will receive love.
When you don’t give love and you desire to receive love, is that proper?
So why do we feel loneliness?
I am a sannyasi.
Sannyasi leaves his home, family, everything.
Now again I have so many children, and grandchildren, such a big number, no problem about love.
Then, my children, we should learn to love others.
What did I give you after coming here?
That you love him so much, that is what he mean.
You came kneeling down, walk on knees and came for bowing down, what did you see here?
My children, you gave me and I took it, and I gave you and you received it.
When you bowed down, I blessed you.
This way we expressed our love toward each other.
So if you want to follow brahmacharya in householder’s life you must get the permission of your wife.
As long as she doesn’t give the consent, you should not go in that direction, otherwise you will have a fight every day in the house.
So lovingly bring her also in the ashram, guru’s ashram.
One day, one disciple heard the discourse from his guru and all the beautiful things about brahmacharya.
He was greatly pleased listening about brahmacharya.
And there he decided for a year and a quarter to observe brahmacharya.
Then he arrived home.
In his talk, he expressed to his wife that today Gurudev gave such a beautiful discourse on brahmacharya, I was very pleased.
And I have taken a vow for a year and a quarter.
At the same time two cannons started.
At that time did you forget that you are married?
No, no, I remembered that.
Then why did you take a vow?
He was a very good man.
He felt that he did not talk about it at a right time.
He said no, no, no, only if you agree I will go through with the vow.
Next day he approached to Gurudev.
Guruji, I only took vow yesterday and I am in big difficulty.
Guruji said, “Yesterday you just bowed down to me and you quickly left and you didn’t even wait to listen to me further, that’s why I didn’t tell you anything.”
Many children come to me, the couples come to me, and some say that they will take a vow for 5 years of brahmacharya.
And I say make it one month, not 5 years.
Because they do not know what will be the result in future.
They do not know the toughness of this path.
Those who have not explained this properly, after a while they come back to me.
‘Guruji, I had taken the vow, but nothing worked out properly.’
When you have this kind of desire, both husbands and wives should consider this together.
Are there other words in the English for wife, other than wife, spouse, another word is spouse? Mate.
In India there are bundles of words for one name.
There is one beautiful word for wife. Sahadharmacharini.
Means one who is cooperative in practicing of the spiritual life with the husband.
That is the name of the wife that defines, explains her duties.
So, if you find that the wife is not familiar with it, then bring wife to the guru and so that both of you may understand better.
Yes, be sure that only if she has a good feeling towards guru, then only take her there, otherwise she will start her cannons towards the guru, too.
We’ll take care of the guru too.
So don’t be disappointed.
Think little bit, be more understanding of wife’s side also.
It is not possible that the wife will not consent in some good work that you are doing.
When she’s happy you should just discuss what are the benefits of brahmacharya.
Then gradually those thoughts will be more convincing to her, then she may give support.
Suppose you are observing brahmacharya, if you have the love from all the other members of the family, you won’t suffer from loneliness.
Whenever you take any vow, it is related to the family.
So you should take vow in such a way that the family will be happy.
Or make the family happy and then take the vow.
It’s tough, isn’t it?
[reel to reel ends here]
It is true of reverse [?] Will you repeat the question so everyone can hear it?
Reverse is the same thing.
In car there is reverse?
Bapuji must have heard about the reverse gear or something.
Dear Bapuji: I often feel very loving and good, but there are other times when as thick as lightening, I feel jealous, angry and unloved.
Then I sink so low inside, life seems like an enemy.
What can I do?
The birth place of this question is in one’s own nature, habit pattern.
Our love should be such that it creates the love in the hearts of others.
Also create the faith in the hearts of others.
Sometimes it so happens that you may be loving others, truly loving others, and yet they may not accept your love.
Suppose I have a stone in my hand and I want to throw it hundred feet, and if Ihave that much strength in my hand I can do so.
But if somebody is in India and wants to throw the stone at a person in America, do you think he can do so?
No, it can’t be done.
A stone can’t go that far.
But if your love is so short, it goes only so little, we have to have little more patience, too.
So have patience, creating the trust and faith in others heart we can accomplish the answer to question.
First of all, one must have the love toward family members.
Then ask your brother, your wife, your sister and say where are the problems in my nature and they will show you the right place of your weaknesses.
If you want to get the correct list of what are your good qualities and bad qualities, you will have to ask the people, those who surround you.
If you ask them, they will have you the right guidance.
There is no room for being disappointed.
Don’t be ever disappointed, rather.
That is what Bapuji says.
It doesn’t look appropriate that I tell American principle to Americans.
They say that in their dictionary there is no such thing as impossible.
So, in such a time of prosperity [?] where such words are spoken, how could there be disappointment?
Do not be disappointed, just simply try to see your own faults and try to remove them and pray to the Lord and it will begin to happen.
Today you sow the seed in the morning and then in the afternoon you go for taking the fruit out, would it work?
No, it can’t work that way.
Have patience, the love asks for a message.
In love you have to just simply give your love without expecting anything.
You are not just waiting for him to give love so that you may give love in return.
That is not pure love.
There are no conditions in love.
[Krishnapriya sings Guru’s Grace]