Baba’s Advice on ‘How to Live in This World’
“Alright, now I will tell you what the true happiness and sorrow are. Mukti (Emancipation, salvation) is true happiness. To take birth and die is true sorrow. Any other happiness or sorrow but for these, is a result of mere delusion. Now I will tell you how to live in this world. Listen to me with diligent care. We should happily experience whatever has been our lot as the result of the prarabdha karma.
We should not be envious of others who are in a better state (due to their prarabdha karma) and hanker after their riches etc. Oh Nana, as the tree heavily laden with fruit is bent as if in humility so should one, who is heavily laden with wealth, be humble. But humility does not work with the wicked. Because there is the danger that the wicked will misuse the humility of the rich. One should behave ruthlessly with the wicked. The rich should be humble and be respectful towards the sadhu’s and good people. The rich are like the cool shade trees in the burning mid-noon sun. The rich, intoxicated by their prosperity, should not cause any harm to anyone. They should give alms and give to charity in accordance with their station in life. They should not take loans and make unnecessary expenditures. Even though this world is delusion, prarabdha is true. Money is essential to journey through this life. As the gall bladder is essential to life so is wealth essential in this world. One should not totally involve himself in making money. One should not be miserly but give to charity generously. Too much generosity is also dangerous. If our hard earned money is spent and exhausted no one will come to our rescue. It is a portent of disaster if a man is generous and a spend thrift too. One should see the qualities and qualification of the person before giving in charity. One should give handsomely to the physically handicapped, those in ill health, to the orphans and where it is useful to the public. One may spend money to take care of the scholars and for the childbirth expenses of women who have none to look after their welfare. Annadanam (the feeding of people) is of three kinds-Visesha karanam (for special reason), Nitya karanam (daily) and Karya karanam (occasional causes). When circumstances go one’s way and one gets a windfall profit, he may do such Visesha Annadanam. One may feed even a thousand people.
One should not stop to see the high, low, good, or bad when one is doing annadanam. All are qualified to receive annadanam. One should do annadanam in the choultries too.
However, one should never take money on loan to do annadanam. I will now tell you who are qualified to receive nitya annadanam. The wayfarer, the person engaged in penance, the sanyasi and the hungry are all qualified to receive nitya annadanam. One should do nitya annadanam even to those who do not accept cooked rice or those who study; eating at different houses every day of the week. The karya annadan is done on occasions such as marriage, the thread ceremony and other such ceremonial occasions. On such occasion, one should liberally feed friends, well wishers, relatives, and those of ones gotra. I have now explained to you the various annadanams and who are qualified to revive it. The regulations regarding vastra dan (the gift of apparel) are the same. Do not forget these regulations. One should try to ameliorate the sorrow of others. One should not misuse one’s power or the wealth one has. One should not accept graft when one is in the seat of justice and do wrong. One should complete any given task in an excellent manner. One should not dress ostentatiously but only as much as demanded by modesty. One should not wear excess make up or go for excessive decoration of one’s person. Do not insult any one. Recognise the wicked, keep them in mind and be wary of them. The wife, children, the servants have all come to us by prarabdha. Be courteous and loving towards them. Never assume for a moment that they are your people. That will had to further entanglement, further prarabdha karma and more births and deaths. We should try to experience and finish the prarabdha in this life only. We should try not to have anything left over to take with us when we die. Whatever we get is a result of prarabdha. The friends, relatives, wife and children all are limited only to this particular life. Each person and his relationship to you are limited only to this life. Who knows who will be entangled with you in your forthcoming birth? It is our vasanas (proclivities) which keep us entangled forever without letting go of us.”
“It is the vasanas which are the seed bed of the next birth. That is why, if one does not increase his infatuation with the own karma; one would gain immeasurably in the hereafter.
One stays for a day or two in one choultry and then moves on towards his destination without forming my association or infatuation with it. In the same manner, one should look upon this world as a choultry and not form any attachments. Thus, one should continue to do one’s duty and recognize and revere the almighty that is the form of satchidananda (existence, knowledge and bliss). He is the one who causes one’s son and another’s son to be born. But the responsibility of looking after one’s son is one’s own. It is necessary to earn money and keep it for the sake of looking after one’s own. But one should never have the feeling, ‘I am saving money, I am keeping it for them, I am looking after them’. One should do one’s duty and present the result as well as the feeling of being the doer to the almighty and be untouched by it all. One should use ones knowledge to seek to know the good and bad about everything. One should be able to accept the good and leave the bad. Try to do good works and complete them ably with determination. One should live in such a manner that one’s fame lives on in this world even after one’s death. One should perform one’s duty without harboring the feeling ‘I am the doer. This is purushartha. How much more can I tell you of this? The ego felt by the feeling ‘I am the doer’ should be offered to God. When one gets just reward for one’s labours one should be humble. As long as one is alive, one should take care of the body. But it is a waste of time to think of or worry about death. This body is on loan to you from the panchabhutas (sky, wind, fire, water and earth). As life leaves it the body returns to panchabhutas. The air joins air. The energy joins the energy. The panchabhutas go where they came from.
The body is a part of the earth. It is futile to cry for it when it dies. In the same manner, it is futile to feel happy at birth. One should be content thinking that it is but the law of nature. The earth shelters the seed. The clouds rain water. The plants are born by sun’s light. Does the earth, clouds, or sun dance with joy at the sight of the plants sprouting? Let the plant become a great tree or let it die as a sapling, the earth or clouds or the sun neither express happiness nor sadness. In the same way, the wise are beyond these feeling of happiness or sadness. We should also be like that. Where then, is the scope for happiness or sorrow? Oh, scion of the Chandorkar family! It is mukti or liberation to have equally neutral feelings about happiness or sorrow. I will tell you the rest of the story later. Now you continue to do your duty.”
Nanasaheb Chandorkar heard the words of wisdom which fell pearl like from the lips of Baba. He prostrated at his feet and embraced them eagerly as the child does his mother. His eyes filled with tears, his body hair stood on end showing extreme passion of devotion. He said “Oh perfect one! You have saved me. By the rain of your teaching you have rid me of the dust of ignorance completely. How can I forget this good turn you have done me?”
Nanasaheb Nimonkar was also by and enjoyed being immersed in the bliss of Baba’s teaching. They both paid obeisance to Baba and returned home.
The devotees who daily read these sentences with devotion and faith will not suffer from the troubles of this world. The teachings contained in “Bhakta Leelamrit” are verily a rain of Sadguru’s teachings. It is Das Ganu’s desire that all of you are drenched fully in that rain and gain full benefit from it.
Here completes the 32nd chapter of ‘Bhakta leelamrit’ written by Das Ganu Maharaj.
(SRI SAIGURUCHARITRA – by devotee Ganpatrao Dattatreya Sahasra-buddhebetter known as Das Ganu Maharaj)