These quotes have been taken from Satsangs (discourses) given by our teacher Professor Ojaswi Sharma. He himself was never interested in writing anything but his students felt the need to preserve his wisdom. They taped his talks, transcribed them and sorted out into several Topics. Because the full discourses were very long, shorter passages were chosen on each Topic and presented here.
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The spiritual science is that the more receptive you become, the more you become ego-less, and the more you phase out your own personality and preferences, the greater you are ready to receive grace. Grace is not received merely by physical presence. It happens at once, as soon as the ego disappears, because spiritual energy is everywhere.
Truth exists. You have to do nothing except direct yourself fully towards that.
When the motive is self-realisation, one need not go to a mosque, temple or church at all. Self-realisation is inner work.
It is an interesting fact that nobody can catch the present moment with the mind. Nobody. As soon as you try to establish that 'this is the present,' it is gone. It is a continuous process of change - never stopping - and spirituality is nothing but the effort to be in the present. The more you are in the present, the more you are spiritual, and the more you are happy.
Remember one thing. This faculty of differentiating right from wrong, moral from immoral, truth from untruth - this faculty of discrimination is not the product of the intellect. There are very intelligent people in the world who do not have this discriminative faculty. Thieves, smugglers and swindlers are not less intelligent people, but they lack discrimination.
One should keep one's door open for knowledge to enter from any direction. I believe that you should not close your doors to new knowledge, but you should also keep your discriminative faculties open and alert to discover what may be useful for you. What may be useful for you may not be useful for others. The sorts of guidance and instruments that are required for evolution vary from individual to individual.
Someone may say: "I don't find peace in myself." Somebody else may say: "I feel an excessive craving for sexual activity". Somebody may say: "I am very greedy" or "I am very jealous" or "I am angry most of the time" or "I am very irritated" or "I am very fearful." These are all statements of the inner states of the individuals. After this stage is reached, the journey can start. This is the crux of the matter: to discover yourself as you are, and to begin from there.
What happens if we do not analyse ourselves? What if we do not have the capacity of introspection? What if we do not see the truth as it exists in our nature? This habit of becoming angry and irritated becomes so strong and such a part of our very existence, we remain in a state of anger almost all the time. I have seen such people. They are angry the whole time. They are constantly looking for someone to pick a fight with. They are seeking a pretext to show their anger. I have seen such people actually aggravate a situation: "Unless we find somebody during the day to quarrel with, we will not have good digestion!" They say their food gets properly digested only after they have had a good quarrel. Afterwards everything is fine. Why? It is because their accumulated anger gets an outlet, and they then feel at peace.
As inner insight and a deeper understanding of the purpose of life develops, one discovers that all human beings are imperfect. The purpose of life is to keep removing If the imperfections and become more and more perfect.
To remain in the present is to be spiritual. We should exist in the present because the past is nothing but a memory. It has gone away and is finished. So, remembering the past has no meaning. It has gone, it is just a waste of time and energy. And the future is nothing except expectation and desire. What else?
If the attitude of remaining in the present develops, problems will be solved, because it is always the present that in reality you deal with. Whenever a situation comes, it comes in the present. The past and the future are only mental creations.
Whatever struggles we have, they are all for our betterment and evolution. In this way, life in the world is a training for the realisation of Divinity. This world is a training ground.
If we have caused hurt to somebody else - insulted him or her, or done something wrong to a person - we do not know how long it will be before that person will become normal. Therefore, we should try not to hurt others. Even then, in many situations one is unable to control one's emotions, passions, anger, etc. Then, if this happens, as it often happens, the way for advancement on the spiritual path is to go to the person and sincerely apologise: "Well, I am sorry! It happened because of me. I feel it should not have happened. Please excuse me." This is the best method.
Some people say that this path of spirituality is very difficult to follow. But this is the only path for permanent happiness. Therefore, those who are following it are the only fortunate people in the whole world, whatever difficulties there may be.
This world is just like a prison. To get out of the prison there is only one door. If there were two or three doors then you could have an option.
The problem is that there is only one door - the door to the spiritual journey. You have to go through it if you want salvation and happiness.
There is no option, so do not be discouraged. You are trying and God will help you.
When this inner journey starts, one has to make adjustments outside also. One is required to re-organise the pattern of one's life in the world outside. That re-organisation of one's external life will be based on seeing the difference between need and desires.
The life of a seeker is to be different from the life of those who are running after sensual pleasures. Step by step, the seeker has to decide which things can be cut out from his life. For example, many social engagements and visits from friends and various other activities may be given up.
Many people have the idea that if they start living in a certain way, people will think they are crazy and not normal. Such ideas are based on ignorance. People everywhere are too busy with their own affairs. Nobody has the time to worry about you. You are on a spiritual journey. So why are you caring about people, whose opinions, in the general run of life, are worth nothing more than the chirping of birds or the barking of dogs. For whom are you concerned so much? The reality is that your ego is creating the problem for you.
Another point is that, if a seeker develops the habit of listening more and speaking less, he will be happier. Listen more and speak less! There is no need to speak so much. Speak only when somebody asks you a question. Many troubles are avoided if a person learns to keep silence more. When you listen, you should have the capacity to reject what does not appeal to your judgment. But you need not express your opinion about what you have heard. You may not accept it mentally but you need not reject it verbally.
Try to remain most of the time with your own self - in your own self - busy in your own affairs, committed to your duty, and remembrance of God. A time comes when you start feeling you are in the world, but not of the world. In other words, detachment starts happening, you become more at peace with your own self, more competent in performing your duty, and more in harmony with the world around you.
A realised person does not ignore society. Our spirituality is not the spirituality of withdrawing from society and running away into the forest! No! Living here in the society, and doing whatever comes to our share, even before enlightenment and also after enlightenment.
Do not be deceived by the waves of peace and happiness that start appearing gradually in a seekers life, even when they stay for some time, for some days or weeks even. Do not think that you have reached perfection. Agitation can occur again because the inner layers are in a way countless, and nobody can say how long the practice might go on.
What should be done when inner peace is felt? Do not allow the ego to grow, but thank God and the guru.
For inner peace all credit goes to God, and if anything wrong happens, all responsibility for the wrong things should be taken by you. You are responsible for the mistake, not God, because bad things may happen in life when we find ourselves out of control. You are yourself responsible for not having self-control and discipline.
What I am trying to tell you is that, from the outer to the inner, going deeper inside, we reach a stage when there are no thoughts, but we are still there. You cannot be absent in any situation, and you are not the thoughts. You are there - the consciousness is there - the awareness is there - without thoughts. Is that not a state of complete silence? Only thoughts break the silence. What else?
One of the important differences between physical science and spiritual science is that, in physical science, there is somebody who makes the experiment and there is something else upon which the experiment is made. There is a division between the subject and the object. But in the field of spiritual science, the experimenter experiments upon himself or herself. He is both the subject and the object.
There are two types of ages for human beings. One is the wordly age, when somebody is at the age of eighty, twenty or fifty years. The other more important age is the age of experience of the soul - to what extent the soul inside the body has matured through these long journeys of experience. That is a different type of age.
The real spiritual person works till the end of his life for the happiness of others.
Interpretation of the teaching will always be made according to the capacity of those who are listening. A spiritual person is not concerned about who listens or who does not. In this respect he is like a flower giving out a fragrance without caring whether someone smells it or not.
A person might have completed a very long journey, and from inside, the person may be ready for flowering. If such a person meets a great saint only once or twice, he may realise the self. Another person may sit for twenty years and still not understand.
On the spiritual journey, we should never compare ourselves with others. We should never make a comparison. Seekers often try to compare. This is wrong. Do not compare yourself with anybody else. Compare yourself with yourself. This is the right method.
The answer to this question 'Who am I?' will get revealed by following more and more a certain pattern of life. That pattern of life, besides other things, includes increased self-control, discipline, observation of one's own faults, praying to God for the removal of one's faults, and adopting an attitude of service to others. Without service towards the world around us, we can never experience divinity hidden in others and in us.
The path of Karma yoga is the path of selfless service. Jnana yoga is the path of understanding or knowledge. Bhakti yoga is the path of devotion or love for God. These are the three paths. One should understand that these paths are not exclusive to each other. Everybody has activity in his life; everybody has a mind for analysis and understanding; also everybody has emotions. It means that in everybody's life, all these three element are present. There is no one in the whole world whose life does not contain all of them. Selfless activity, knowledge and love are in everybody's life. But then, as one proceeds step by step towards the goal, a time comes when one of the three develops more than the other two. It happens by itself, according to the nature of the individual. It depends upon his background - the mental, emotional and physical equipment that he has. Even though one of the three starts to predominate over the other two, traces of the two still remain.
When one realises that one is an inseparable part of the totality, real love develops inside. When one finds that there is no difference between oneself and others, one realises that serving others is nothing but serving oneself. On the other hand one also realises that one's situation is due to the grace of totality and one must accept one's situation in life, one's family and one's work circumstances. Because one always remains what one is and one does not change spiritually, it makes no difference where one is, what work one is doing or in what situation one is. Therefore, wisdom lies in taking life happily as it comes, and doing whatever work has been given to one.
Many people have the notion that a spiritual life has no connection with a normal daily working life. What I always try to explain is that this is a false conception. This is not the case; in fact it is the exact opposite. A real spiritual man is more competent and effective in practical work than most other people. Those who run away from their worldly duties can never be spiritual.
Spirituality is a simple, straight path.
When I say we should solve our own problems, it is not selfishness. Only one who has solved one's own problems, can solve the problems of others.
The simple path is to see your own self truthfully. If you have lust, speak untruth, do violent things, are greedy or jealous, then these things should be given up. When they are out of your life, your problems will be solved. It is simple!
Everyone was born alone and will die alone. The period between birth and death is only an opportunity for self-improvement and self-realisation.
It is the person's attitude towards life that makes or mars his life. It either makes his life happy and better or makes it worse.
The life you lead in the present is more important than academic discussions or even reading books on spirituality. What you are doing today is more important. Are you doing your duty? That is more important.
It is a misfortune that spirituality, which is a science, has been made a matter of magic and special powers. On the contrary, spirituality is a straight path of life. How can anyone be spiritual, if that person is not truthful, dutiful and considerate to others? Here is a secret and few people will tell you, because they themselves have not gone on the path.
True spirituality means the capacity to serve others - to be humble - to recognise our own faults - to be tolerant and respectful to those who have a different opinion - that is the sign of spirituality - and never to quarrel in matters of religious opinion. People fighting in the name of religion can never be spiritual. How can they be? No religion teaches hatred or cruelty.
Human evolution is related to the practical life you lead today, and to try to lead a practical life is a hard test. It is easier to sit in meditation for one hour or to read the Bhagavad Gita or the Bible, or to go to a religious service. Life is a harder test because self-interest is involved. It is hard to act in the right way if it goes against self-interest.
The one who lives spontaneously, here and now, is the happiest on Earth. He is like a flower which blossoms here and now and sends out its fragrance.
If we analyse our existence we can detect four dimensions in it: the physical, the mental, the emotional and the spiritual. At present, as we exist, the physical dominates the other three.
When the spiritual, the primary state of existence, comes to the forefront, then the physical is there, the mental is there and the emotional is there, but they behave properly. They have their place and role in life, there is no conflict. This is in a nutshell the wisdom of spirituality of all religious schools. In every school throughout the world and in all religions, this is the essence of their teaching, and there is a definite science to it. It can be achieved and it is achieved. It must be achieved. Unless it is realised, life remains chaos, grief and misery.
To many people, spirituality is often just like a hobby. It is superficial and there is no sincerity. When the real need arises inside then spirituality starts happening. It ceases to be a hobby and becomes the only aim of existence.
There is no necessity of going to a monastery, temple or ashram. No! Let your houses become ashrams. When your attitude changes to one of service and love, your house will become an ashram.
Be in the world, but do not let the world be in you. The boat has to be in the water, but take care that the water does not enter the boat. If the water enters the boat, the boat sinks. If there is too much world inside you, you also sink into the world.
This whole spiritual journey is a matter of inner purification. It is not a question of changing your outward life. It is a question of the inner quality of your existence. For this inner change there are several methods, techniques, or paths, but one of the most effective and direct paths is that of selfless service. Those people who try to withdraw from the world of activity and only meditate and do spiritual practices, do not progress so fast as those who try to serve others without any desire for the results.
To grow into Divinity is nothing but to expand. When we are concerned only with our own personal needs, we are small. When we start to think about the needs of others, then we expand.
One of the great principles for evolution in this path is this: to try to see faults in yourself and virtues in others. When you do this you will definitely evolve and make progress.
You must clearly understand that by 'spiritual path' we do not mean some sort of magic, mystical powers or conjuring tricks which many people practise. By 'spiritual path' we mean becoming our own masters and having a readjustment or reorientation between our body, our thoughts, our emotions and our spirit.
Take it from me, there is nothing wrong in the world. Whatever is wrong is in you. Hurry up and correct it because death may come any time any day.
The measure of perfection or even of growth, is not your inner experience. The sign of development in spirituality is your relationship in the world.
Most people get their information about spirituality only through books. But true spirituality in life comes by practice and, finally, by experience of the otman - self-realisation. However much a person may read, many things will remain unknown to him until he achieves the experience.
Worldly life is nothing ultimately but a question of relationships. Worldly life is judged not by how much money you earn but how happy you are. One may earn millions and yet remain unhappy and such a life is useless. One may not be rich but if one is happy, one's life is successful.
When a close friend praises you, you are very happy. But he may tell somebody else that you are a fool. If you can remain calm in that situation, that is real evolution!
You cannot stop the world from having an opinion about you. Some may think you are a good and noble man but there may be others who think of you as stupid and a scoundrel. We should try to understand that when we feel exhilarated and happy by praise, or we get angry by criticism, we start behaving like toys in other's hands. That also shows that we are not spiritually evolved.
The spirituality that cuts you off from your wife, your children, your husband and your friends is useless. Useful spirituality means that you are useful for yourself as well as for your family and the rest of humanity.
For the spiritual person this life ultimately becomes a great playground. In the playground one plays without caring about the result. Sometimes you may lose the game, sometimes you may win, but the main point is the exercise, the game and your enjoyment of the game. If you played the game well, enjoyed the game and you were happy, then everything was fine. Such becomes the purpose of a spiritual person's life and I think that every wise man or woman must be interested in achieving it.
Through following the spiritual way of life, you understand your relationship with the world. The truth is that when you get disturbed or angry, you think that someone has made you angry, but this is not the case. The truth is that you have the seeds of anger in you and the other person presented the opportunity for the seeds to germinate. The remedy is now to get rid of those seeds or impressions.
You should not do anything worldly before your sleep. If you think about God and pray before you fall asleep, it will bring you benefit. The last thought in your waking state before sleeping goes into your subconscious and is very effective. In the same way, as soon as you get up in the morning, remember the Divine again.
Gradually a time comes when a man is dissatisfied with duality. He becomes dissatisfied with duality because his inner disturbance becomes very great and he cannot stand life without peace. The start of this search for peace and harmony with the outside world is also the start of the journey towards ending this duality. Gradually, step by step, one starts analysing one's own existence and after many experiences one comes to know that the world is not as bad as one thought it was. It is possible that there are also some faults on your side! When this knowledge comes one's spiritual journey begins.
If you can remain in harmony with others you are spiritually developed. If somebody abuses you and you can keep calm, you are spiritually developed. That is the test.
When a person engaged in worldly activity does not react violently to what happens around him, he will be more successful and peaceful in practical life. Nobody can stop what happens around him or control the activities of other people but he can control his inner reactions. A person can discipline himself so that he does not react, or if he does, he does not react violently.
There are many people who have their backs against the sun and complain that the sun is not shining on their faces. It is not the fault of the sun. If they turned towards the sun they would feel the rays. In the same way the guru radiates his love towards the whole world. Those who are facing towards him start receiving his love.
Keep the windows of your mind open for anything to happen at any time. The Divine is already around you all the time and events are happening. The only question is whether you are ready to learn from the events or not.
In the field of spirituality, you reach a stage when you are free of all doubts. All questions have gone and you feel that you are realised and know. That is, one finds no place for unhappiness and has no problems at all - nothing but peace and calmness.
One who is realised was once a seeker. Those who are seekers today will be realised one day. This is the trend of the journey on the spiritual path.
How can one know whether somebody is developing in spirituality or not? The answer is that the indications of development are not the inner experiences - for how long you sit or what happens inside you. The indication of spiritual development is your outward life in the world. One who has a good relationship with home and with work is more spiritually developed. Therefore, we must understand that we need not cut ourselves off from normal life. It is a mistake often made in ashrams that people cut themselves off from worldly life. They spend all their time in the ashram, meditating for a long time, and they think they are very highly spiritual men. Some of them are but some are not.
Spirituality is not a religion. It is beyond religion but it is not in conflict with religion. So-called traditional religions are not useless. They have their own value and importance but a stage comes when they reach the limit of their usefulness and after that spirituality begins.
Keep the window of your mind open for truth to enter from any side. Do not abandon your own judgment whatever person or religion you are dealing with. Experience of the truth is not within the power of reasoning but it is not against reasoning either. Experience is not against reasoning but it is beyond reasoning. Therefore, exhaust your reasoning before having the experience. A time will come when from the last point of reasoning you will dive into the domain of experience.
Spirituality is the science of the evolution of the inner quality of mankind which is applicable to all people of all religions in the world. It is applicable to those who believe in God and also to those who do not believe in God. There may be an argument as to whether God exists or not but there cannot be an argument as to whether true spirituality should exist in life or not.
They have great good fortune who start following the path of spirituality during their lifetime. It is an interesting fact that this is nothing new. It is as old as mankind itself. Its application, representation and form change but the essence was always there.
Spirituality is the effort to go beyond the elements of animosity. Spirituality is about this conflict and how there can be a balance between reason and the emotions and between the body, the emotions and the intellect. By having a balance between these three, one should find the real essence, the spirit, the hidden Divinity within us. When somebody has that experience which is known as enlightenment, the conflict is over for all time.
In every one of us, there is a combination of two elements. One is the part of nature that constantly changes, and the other is the part known as the spirit, or the living, sentient element, which never changes. With the help of the changing part we should try to experience that which is eternal in us.
The highest path is the simplest. Speak truth, do good to others, be honest, have mercy, kindness and love, and be moderate in your food, sleep and sex habits. These are the disciplines needed for the real path. When you realise the value of these disciplines you should bring them into your own life as soon as possible. If you go on following them you will evolve.
The person who lives spontaneously and without planning, always has happiness and for him there remains no conflict. It means the same thing as living here and now in the present, neither having memories from the past, nor making plans for the future. Everybody has the opportunity to live here and now.
Death can come to anybody at any time. All plans are then of no avail. This is nothing but the mind deceiving you. This is ignorance. Living spontaneously means living in the present. By that I do not mean that you should not plan ahead at all and have no system of planning in your life, but that the anxiety element in planning should be avoided. A disciplined, systematic and planned life is better than a life without any discipline or system.
You should know that famous saying: "Every saint had a past, and every sinner has a future!" He who is a saint today, might have, in the process of evolution, done certain things that were not saintly. But then that phase is over.
The reason why this path of devotion is considered by many saints to be the highest path, is that in no other path can it be said that a person becomes virtuous so speedily.
Why is the path of devotion said to be more effective than the others? I will tell to you an inner secret. In both the other two paths - the path of selfless service and the path of knowledge - one depends upon one's own strength and effort. That means ego is working there. But one's own power is always limited, and the ego is still present. However, when one relies totally on God, it is Divine Power that starts working in the individual.
Whatever progress is made on the path is permanently credited to your account. The Lord said that whoever strives for self-redemption (ie God realisation) never meets with evil destiny. ( Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6 Verse 40) May you all progress on this path of eternal happiness. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.