The sun of faith

Speech given by Shri Aghoreshwar at Paraw ashram during Novaratri’s period

Dear Mothers and brothers, I feel like bowing in front of those of you who during this feast which lasts nine days are devoutly engaged in a regular contemplation. We listened to many stories from the sacred texts, we considered every possible teaching and we practiced different ways looking for God. But we don’t know when the wall of our sufferings will be broken down. How many sacred rivers we must have been bathing in, how many temples we must have been going in and what an infinity of books, all the books we could spread on our hands, we must have been reading, and in the end, in spite of all these things, we have not been able to catch something real.

Everyone, in front of faith, bows and becomes humble. When faith appears, how sweet is the fruit she bears. Then the fruit of faith can be tasted by the others. But the pleasantness the fruit gives first of all to his owner is invaluable, it is indescribable. When we live such an existence, we’re given real life. We know all this very well, anyway we chance it like fools. Tied to the strong chain of wishes and desires, we feel worst than slaves. A worker really engaged in his tiring job is much better than us. A worker really busy in his work has neither time nor way to think about anything else. Instead our job is to despise, to criticize and to weigh up the others every moment. We are engaged in these activities insistently even if we don’t have the right ability to judge the others.

I feel an indefinable joy when I see that, sitting peacefully with your eyes open or closed, you try to keep under control or to clean the mind lying in the sphere of the heart. In the world there are thousand people who don’t have the time to devote themselves to the practices you make to find relaxation. These people waste their existence burning in the pyre of agitation.

Dear brothers, we should get to the point where all that happens inside us becomes something familiar, this is what the Goddess Mother or that Great Unknown are teaching us, thanks to this nine days feast made of sacrifices and rituals. Even if we know very well what is happening inside of us, we pretend nothing happened as if it is something we absolutely don’t know.

The way we feel is faith, the way we feel is a sacred treatise which contains positive qualities and is also the humanity of a person. And this humanity contains the virtue of seeing the divine in everybody. A person capable of seeing the divine lying in everyone is a great being. The conduct and behaviour of such a being are of much help for everyone. This kind of person is settled in a completely separate world, dissociated and detached from every kind of suffering, envy, hate and enmity. This person extirpates sufferings at the roots.

Everyone knows well that the very “name” (of God) contains everything. In spite of this, we wander here and there irresponsibly, because of the chaos generated by our submission. Inside of us we have anger, hesitation and so many mean thoughts that don’t allow us to be on intimate terms with ourselves. Though what we wish is to be absorbed inwardly, our submission (to the senses that control us) doesn’t allow us to be absorbed in this condition. For this reason we invoke again and again the name of that Great Unknown and we ask for help. The silence of our contemplation takes us to that place (to the divine’s shelter) thanks to the wind and the light or even without any mentionable means.

Brothers we know well that lion doesn’t live in a flock. Lion moves into the forest in solitude. Sheep lives in a flock. Whatever a sheep does or whatever a shepherd orders, it is followed and copied by the rest. I think human beings are exactly in the same condition. Bridled to the reins of uncontainable longing, men jump here and there like a tamed little monkey following the rhythm that the drum dictates as an absolute monarch.

Brothers, you are contemplative men lying on the banks of the Ganges. The silence of solitude is worth of your respect. It gives you the divine beauty. You are in a place where conflicts, rivalries, malevolence and hard feelings are completely absent. Your practice of solitude and silence is something great ascetics seek. In symbiosis with this exercise of solitude, you look like sacred icons of faith.

If you develop even a little confidence and enthusiasm, it will arise inside of you a faith so big that will allow you to reach many propitious places. It creates a condition that allows you to meet righteous and benevolent souls, wise people that can be compared to decorative elements that adorn this earth. During the period these saint beings remain on this earth, they give happiness, wellbeing and prosperity to many people. Being a source of positive qualities, they relieve human beings from the choking of their  physical, divine and material afflictions. They are different from people that contaminate and poison this earth with their actions.

Our life is going very fast toward the old age. We are terrified of it. Although we see, know and understand the meanness of this life, we are like the owl for whom the light of the sun during the day is of no use. Though the owl has eyes and the light is there, it doesn’t want to see. It’s not we need eyes; we are aware of it. In spite of this we are not able to use properly the light we get from our silence, the light we get from our contemplation, from our meditation and that light we get from our prayers.

Peace is not something attainable only with a word. Just saying “Peace! Peace!”  doesn’t create any relaxation nor it has any real connection with that. Doing that we cannot reach any stage of relaxation or peace. When you isolate yourself and you are alone and absorbed in yourselves, you are able to feel what is peace. You will feel good. You will empty out of all those thoughts that plunge your mind into chaos and that take you toward weaknesses. This is what we mean by penance, meditation and concentration.

Sitting comfortably in an appropriate position, this way you are able to focus your attention on all those things happening inside of yourselves. The day you catch this, you’ll be able to understand Saptchandi’s mystery, that is that even the mind is a divine Mother’s creation. If you dirty your mind with poisonous thoughts, it deteriorates and you will take a road that will lead you toward a poor existence. Forced to live an unsubstantial life, amongst the people of your age that will  leave this world a little bit sooner or a little bit later than you, you’ll keep gaining fleeting praise. Surely they won’t be here telling your story. But if your life is exemplary, it will be told in popular legends for the future days, people will sing these legends getting inspiration from them, as we do when we tell and listen to the stories of the lives of the great ones of the past, that we never met, to control our restless mind.

Therefore, the purpose of this nine days celebration, the way I look at it, is not to gather in some place to talk. We don’t keep our mind engaged with gossip to inform the others about something. If we indeed start saying something, only good words full of love will come out from our mouth. We’ll be careful to sit amongst good people and we’ll make reflections centered around the teachings and the lives of those beings who elevated themselves. We will observe attentively how carefully the devotees of this place dedicate themselves to their activities and their services not to let their faith, their intimacy and their silence slip. May they remain constantly absorbed into the attainment of their goal. This is to be called meditation.

We come from sages and saints. It is shameful if we avail ourselves of the same values that mean people resort. In this way we will be valued like cheap vegetables that we can easily find in the markets. Will such a point of reference remain in our lives? Oh yes! We should do everything possible to become a person of great value, our value should be immense, just like a thing of immeasurable value that for this reason indeed is inestimable.

We should be like that philosopher’s stone that doesn’t make a distinction between the iron blade of a slaughterhouse and the iron blade of a worshipping place (she turns them both into gold). We should be like holy river Ganges, that doesn’t make a distinction between the pure water of Himalaya and the water of drains and little streams, he is made up of them both. We use this water to worship, with this water we wash our hands stained with the blood of the innocent.

Our values are not those of people with an evil behaviour. We are detached from their values. Sadhu’s path consists in knowing and practicing this. The one who understand this simple thing and puts it into practice, lives the life of an ascetic. Gods (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) must satisfy the wishes of such an ascetic. I believe you read this in your sacred texts and you had a chance to listen to this. This happens and it will happen again.

When you start to put yourselves in that state of silence, avoiding discussions and rivalries, shunning to criticize the others and taking even your hearing away from these, you’ll become like that ascetic. I pay my homage to such an ascetic, not only with my words but with my feeling too. And I hope you put the utmost attention in what you decided to undertake. The sun of your faith rose in front of you. You are not like that owl which doesn’t want to take advantage of the light of the sun. Which other definition can we give to all this but a misfortune of that poor bird?

I bow and pay my respect to that Unknown lying inside of you in the shape of faith, and I greet you.