October 19, 1939
The room was full in the morning. Kestoda from Chandan Nagar said, “why is mourning observed after somebody expires ? What is the reason for different mourning periods for different classes ?” Sri Sri Thakur : “Usually one feels extremely depressed after the death of dear one. Mourning is observed for this reason. The duration of the mourning has been fixed according to the time needed by persons of different classes for the recovery of their minds.” Kestoda asked, “Why is the head shaved ?” Thakur : “Shaving has a physiological effect. Perhaps the brain is better able to absorb ultraviolet rays thereby.” Kestoda ; “What is the utility of penance ?” Thakur : “Penance is a physio-psychical treatment. One has to eat specified foods having a medicinal effect. The nerves that have been impaired get invigorated.” Jatinda : “what is that significance of `mundan’— shaving the head ?” Thakur : “The Sanskrit word `mundan’ means surrender, surrender of the being.” In the course of conversation Thakur said, “We are struck dumb by the achievements of Japan and Russia, but there was a time when people from other countries were struck dumb at our achievement. The Bipros used to carry on research ; month after month new models of machines would come out. They would invent a great many things in their laboratories. They would act as the dynamic moving men of their society. After them the Kshatriyas would work in a somewhat grosser way. They would save the society from wounds. The Baishyas would look after the material needs of the people. The Brahmins made a habit of the hygienic rules. Hygienic rules are those which uphold existence. As, for example, washing after urination, not putting one’s fingers in one’s mouth, washing hands after blowing the nose, etc. From a hygienic standpoint these things are absolutely essential.” Concerning the sacred thread ceremony Thakur said, “The meaning of induction is `to be led into.’ One is led neat the Guru. The ceremony is an acceptance of our heritage. Without this ceremony we might totally forget that we have a connection with the great seers and souls of the past. For the most part we live like foreigners in our own land. The Muslims get a recess for their prayers, but we Hindus ? Nothing ! And it is our own entire fault. If someone requests leave for prayer, someone else will say, `No, I will continue working.’ What a fall is there ! We can not unite. “God puts such interesting instance before my eyes. I was coming from Narayangunj once. There a Muslim girl’s shawl came in contact with the body of constable. What a beating they gave the constable ! From twenty to twenty-five people used him as a football practically kicked him to death. It was the full-fledged British regime then. The Indian ministry, as now constituted, did not exist. Against this instance, the next morning I saw, while getting of the steamer at Goalundo, a sub-deputy traveling with his wife. Somebody in the crowd squeezed her breast, whereupon everyone said, “Serves him right—going about with his wife dressed to kill !’ I thought, `If somebody commits a mistake should he not be pardoned ? Is it necessary to humiliate him in this fashion ?’ Walking behind the gentleman, I heard him say to his wife when they were out of earshot, `Why did not you shout in that crowd ? Why shout ?’ Such in the condition we are in ! “On another occasion I saw a woman in Poradah Station enter the lavatory when a man followed her. He was about to corner her and take advantage of her. But he was chased and fled away into the fields. The lady trembled for half an hour afterwards. But later in the same day I saw in Bindel a woman wearing a saree in the south Indian fashion. This lady, who might have been a Maharastrian, was thrashing a man with her sandals. The man ran away. Nobody could understand the reason behind it all. The fault might have been splashing water on her while washing. This Maratha set once upon a time were like us, Shivaji came and built them up.” In the evening Sri Sri Thakur said, “There is a type of man who likes girl very much but doesn’t have the courage to approach her. He is afraid ; nevertheless he feels need for her and cannot give up longing for her. Such a man wants to eliminate his want through someone else. He poses as though he loves one whom he does not love and likes that which he does not like. This type of man lives in a world of contradictions. He meets with frustration in one place, so goes to another, starts loving someone there as mother or sister, gets intimate, but in the bottom of his heart there lies a crocked ness. In this way his libido gets all fouled up, like a bunch of threads, and becomes distorted, People of this kind understand everything upside down, If someone says, `Don’t jump from there’, they are not able to take the statement at face value. They will take it as an insult. They may come to like something a lot, but will maintain that they dislike it and oppose it vigorously. It is difficult to reform people with such characteristics. They are very mild and act sophisticated. But they are full of insincerity. It is difficult for these people to recuperate. There is another type, the damaged type ; Bilwamangal and Girish Ghosh for example. They go absolutely wild over something and forget everything else. They lead a debauched life. But a boat with a hole in it, once the hole is plugged up, becomes as good as new and carries a load of 500 maunds. That is the way it is with them. If one is able to plug up that single hole and get him attached to a superior person, he turns out normal. A person damaged is really much better than a distorted one. “When a man talks about his inability to cope with the burden of his family, talks about wants, ailments, sufferings, insubordination in his children, etc., one can understand that he has some underlying obsession. That is why he is not able to adjust things. This is called Maya. Maya limits us, drags our life into a narrow enclosure. It is the play of the complexes. We call them complexes because they are dead-end streets for us. When a man is within one, he does not get the way forward. In reality there is no sorrow but senility and death. Everything else in the world seems to say, `Here ! Accept us ! Nourish yourself through us.’ Everything comes to serve us if we have a principle. All becomes food. We need not get upset come what may. We can utilize all for our life and growth!”
One of the brothers raised the question of service to country and environment. Sri Sri Thakur said, “Good or evil, whatever we may do, nothing gets integrated without a principle. When C.R. Das turned out to be leader, another eminent leader of Bengal felt hurt. He came to me and said, `The country does not want me. I have done such a lot for the country too.’ I replied, “This is bound to be. After all, you did not do these things to fulfill anybody.” He could not understand at first, but he did so before he died. If we make a move to do somebody a good turn and expect something in return, the person with whom we are dealing becomes rigid and thinks, `You give me three pice with the expectation of getting back five. That cat is not going to jump.’ It will always turn out this way as long as one works for self-interest and self-establishment. If, however, it is all done for the interest and establishment of your Ideal, people get attached to your Ideal and to you as well. You are likely then to say, “Dear brother, I give you whatever I can and I don’t want anything back from you. I was once in the condition that you are in now. I am now able to see all by His mercy. I have tasted pay dirt.’ A man automatically becomes grateful by this kind of service. If he does not become good by this means right off, he eventually becomes so by repeated service and help towards Ideal. Things are a bit different with those who are born ungrateful but they too yield in time. It is nature’s law. You may be helping your wife with the cooking, in looking after the children, etc., and yet not have manliness and principle. Then your wife will get the upper hand. She will play with you, not worry about you at all and not listen to what you say. But if, on the other hand, you say, `There are dozens like you. If you don’t try to make my parents happy and don’t serve them, you are nothing to me’, you will see she will in no time go on the right path of her own accord. If one is served according to the complexes, they both are ruined. But if the services are done to fulfill someone, all are able to acquire good.” Jatinda asked, “How can I decide on seeing a man whether or not he is fit to by my guide ? How can faith come ?” Thakur said, “Is it possible to understand at first sight ? There are very few who can. But one can understand if one keeps company with due attention. By association grows respect. From respect comes clarity of vision. Clarity of vision leads to faith. Faith results in unjudging acceptance. From this grows love and from love self-surrender. Association leads one to regard ; by regard the tendency to see defects goes away. The temptation to see good and evil disappears. As a matter of fact one can’t see evil. Belief and faith come. With faith we become question less, and our heart is filled with happiness. Out of this is born love and attachment. Love develops into total surrender where we don’t understand anything but our object of love.” About adherence Thakur remarked, “The best is passion-pervading attachment. The complex that does not fulfill my Ideal means nothing to me then, and about that which fulfills my Ideal in some form or other I have no question or scruple. I must achieve it somehow. There is another type : Passion Compromising. `I follow my Ideal insofar as he falls in line with my complexes.’ The worst type is the passionate. Here we sacrifice the interest of our Ideal and want to utilize him for the fulfillment of our complexes. We say, `Oh, Lord ! I respect you so and I hail you and I weep for you night and day. Lord, if you will just arrange my marriage with girl, then you are Lord indeed ! Then I shall make many offerings’ !” After this Kestoda, Bholanathda and others arrived from Calcutta. Thakur had been inquiring about Kestoda all day long. How jubilant he was to see him ! He said in an endearing tone, “I thought you must have got lost.” At this he, Kestoda and others present burst out laughing. Bholanathda spoke of the pain in his foot. Sri Sri Thakur said in a tumult of joy. What you have been able to do with your lame foot is superhuman. I could not dream of it !” All the pain that Bholanathda had seemed to get washed off in a flush. His eyes shone in an abundance of joy. Such is the magic of Thakur’s touch.