“Behold God within you and then behold Him everywhere, as all the manifested worlds. Don’t adhere to the lower planes and seek satisfaction there”. (p. 6)
“An institution is the garden where every facility for the cultivation of the soul might ultimately transcend the institution for the higher, true and complete vision of life – just as the tree outgrows its fence and spreads its branches freely in the air, or as the pupil outgrows the school life for that of the world.”
Spiritual aspirants join Ashrams, Monasteries and such other institutions solely to deepen their spiritual quest and hasten the inner exploration. It is quite possible that in many cases, as time passes, other priorities are likely to crop up unawares, and the goal is, unwittingly, lost sight of. This can naturally be detrimental to the spiritual progress, crushing the inner evolution of a novice.
So, while living in such institutions, we should always be on guard and be alert of the purpose for which we have joined the commune. All our involvements should be fully directed towards the final goal of realizing God. In other words, our aim should be to remain firm and steadfast in our spiritual pursuit – in delight and joy, in all places, in and out of Ashrams or institutions – in the best as well as the worst. (p. 17)
“God does not need an intermediary for carrying out His commands. If you think that God can speak through Ramdas, He can speak through you as well, because you cannot accuse God of partiality. Switch on your wire for a direct communication within. Why do you deny Him in your own heart?”
God is present in equal measure in every being and thing, however small or big, however great or insignificant; His majesty and splendour are reflected in their entirety and perfection everywhere. Whether we know Him or not, adore Him or not, ignore Him or not, He is ever with us and within us. Why not we therefore look within to discover His Eternal Presence?
Though Saints and Sages are ever ready to guide us towards that Divine Destination, we need to discover it by dint of our own steadfast, diligent and devout Sadhana.
However, to understand that there is no need for an intermediary, we require a spiritual mentor whom we call as Guru. A map no doubt will give us lot of valuable guidance on our journey. But it won’t transport us to the destination. One has to gather all the guidance and help needed and tread the path spiritual oneself towards the Goal Supreme. (p. 20)
No one is an island by himself; everyone is part of the whole, hence interdependent and interconnected, and in fact intimately related to each other, in every way – physically, physiologically, psychologically and ultimately in our spiritual essence – the Atman or the Pure Being. An aspirant cannot therefore isolate himself from the rest of the creation. So, whatever spiritual discipline we are engaged in should enable us to harmonise with the rest of creation by contributing in any manner, for the betterment of one and all, near and far. Gradually we should be able to transform all our actions into an ardent worship of the Lord of the Universe, by way of our unconditional love and service to all His creations. (p. 21)
“Be dynamic, imbued with the power and glory of God. In the name of religion do not aim permanently to live the life of the recluse and say all activities are wrong.”
Papa never encouraged anybody to take to contemplative life as an excuse for evading the duties and responsibilities of the day-to-day life.
One must also serve one’s fellow-beings in a selfless spirit. “Love thy neighbour as thyself” does not mean that love should only be felt in the heart. It must also be shown in action, in the form of relieving distress and rendering help to one and all, in all possible ways. To serve man is to serve God. Only when the work is done in the spirit of Karma Yoga – as worship, does it give joy. It should be done as perfectly as possible, with great care and love, never in a careless, clumsy, irregular, or half-hearted way. Our inner divine qualities must be made to manifest in all our outer conduct. (p. 24)