The Master takes us to his Tapobhoomi

Beautiful 3 days spent in the land of Rajasthan with the Master.  Every nook and corner we travelled in Lalsot had posters of the shivir at every locations including taxis and markets. One thing i was surprised with was the heights of hospitality in a world where one thinks of so many excuses or shrinks away to even offer someone a glass of water or tea and here are the Rajasthanis, who go beyond anything to serve their guests. All the while i was thinking that the home next to the venue, where we ate food, was a place arranged by people for us as done in other locations we travel to. To my surprise while we sat on the ground and ate our food in the huge compound of this home, i saw many new people walking into this compound inside which sat ladies of the house making rotis. When people walked in, they were asked to sit, paper plates were laid and food was served immediately. The lady making rotis asked all those seated continuously whether they wanted rotis. If it was a yes, she would

I am impure. . . Will it take ages to purify?

Today morning was speaking to one sadhak, whom I noticed was saying (subconsciously) “I am impure… it might take ages to purify…” I precisely pointed out this point as something that was causing him confusions and helplessness. I come up with these things often during contemplations and have realized how important it is to not hold guilt or a feeling of self-disgust, because that complicates everything, according to my Master. While religion told me all my life that I was a sinner and I need to believe that, I found how badly it impacted my life and the lives of so many. Self-condemnation is the worst sin actually, and even this sin need not be held on to. Everything changed when I met my Master who had a different approach altogether. For anyone’s sin, he would say, “So what?” I was confused. How could a saint take a sin so lightly, for I had taken my sins very seriously, I hoped that he nail it further deep into me, like what my superiors in life had already done. Do you get what nonsense is created into people’s lives? How on earth will they even more forward from sin. And who hasn’t sinned? Deep in my heart I knew something was wrong and I wouldn’t accept that teaching of “I am a sinner” from wherever it came from, for I knew that my Beloved Jesus, never said that you are a sinner, so sit and brood over it.

Once Jesus had just returned from the Mount of Olives and had sat down at the temple, when an angry crowd brought woman to him. She was a sinner and people had taken up stones in their hands to stone her to death. Jesus wanted to know why they were ready to stone her and one of them said that she had committed adultery, and hence a sinner. So, she needed to be stoned as a punishment. This is what happens when mere mortals try to act like God. They want to hunt down the sinner and punish them. Not necessary stone them but they can be stoned by words, emotions and actions. When someone we know does not align with what we have to do, how many times have we stoned them through various acts, body language, spite, yellings, or even a softer stone called neglect or ignore? My master always says, ‘You are the child of a Creator and not the child of a Judge – to judge and punish others. Who has given you the authority to do that?’ 

And so, Jesus watched the crowd mad in anger at a woman standing there helpless and weeping, for she probably herself must have believed that she must be stoned as she was a sinner. That is what the whole system can do to you. Jesus was calm and bent down and wrote with his finger something in the sand and then raising up he said, “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone.” and continued writing on the sand. Suddenly there was silence. One by one the stones dropped and one by one each left, beginning with the eldest ones. After a while when Jesus lifted up his head there was no one but the woman standing there, in tears or repentance and gratitude. Jesus stood up and asked, “Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?” She replied, “No one, Master.” Jesus replied, “Neither do I. Go your way and sin no more.”

When I heard my Master (Avdhoot Shivanand) talking on TV many years back the teachings of Christ in a simple beautiful way, I fell in love with him. There are very few who talk and mean exactly what the great Masters who once walked the earth. I said to myself, “Here is someone who is religion-less, boundary-less, and talks the Ultimate Truth For me practicality mattered, not the preachings. .” I followed him. I still am pathless and will always keep it that way. Christinatiy is mine, Hinduism is mine, Islam is mine, Sikhism is mine, and all the countless names, for these are mere names – the true content within them is what is the voice of God.

My Master always said, “Never hold on to guilt!” At the same time, I saw many ‘sinners’ come and go on the path that my Master laid for things to be simplified for people. Every time a sinner appeared, everybody was all out to punish and play god. The Master would be stern with the sinner, not because he sinned but because he should realize the sin. So, often the Master’s ignore towards the person seemed a deemed punishment to others, who rejoiced the befitting judgment for the sinner.. But soon the Master would be smiling and ‘back in good terms’ with the sinner and everyone would be confused and feel it was unjustified. I have watched in amusement all the years the same thing happening and not a soul understanding what is it all about. It is this that I speak here. All self-realized Masters condemn the sin but not the sinner.  Mahatma Gandhi used to say, “Hate the sin but love the sinner.” Lord Dattatreya, the highest Master in the lineage of Avdhoots and Siddhas, followed this principle ~ “The essential quality of the teacher is compassion, Dakshinya. He is compassionate towards the beings, never judgmental. He knows that those around him hold on to different states of awareness and compassionately guides them towards their goal. A true teacher never believes in punishing, for him every being is a being of light, a divine being and hence he cannot but be friendly and compassionate towards their ignorance.”

So when this used to happen around me, I would see a Jesus in front of me and a crowd with stones in their hands, sorry, hearts or minds. I could always accurately forecast the outcome of every such situation. Be it the stoner or the so-called victim itself. It is said, “every saint has a past and every sinner has a future” meaning that even the most purified person once went through it all – that is what sadhna is all about. From a sinner only one transforms into a saint. That is what the whole existence is about. So, what to hold guilt on? I interact often with many who feel they are “dirty” and many times during sadhna itself many dirty or unwanted or foul thoughts, feelings and emotions can come up. They are surfacing. “Dristha Bhaav!” says the Master, meaning just to witness everything without jumping into the muck.” He would say, “With holding guilt, you only intensify that negative karma.”

And then, let me close this with the words of the Master from a very recent shivir.
“So, have no doubts that if you have a wrong thought, it is a sin! Anyways, the cloth is dirty only. When the cloth itself is dirty and while cleaning it with soap and water, what sin if you see a little of that dirt getting washed away. When the dirt is leaving, let it go!” then he continued, “By running away from good things is not a solution. Persistence is the path for those who want to attain self-realization. Persistence is the path for those who want to master their destiny. So, be persistent in your life. Don’t find a reason to give up. Carry on and move on!“


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