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Role of The Divine Life Branches and Spiritual Aspirants

My message to individual spiritual aspirants and to the Branches of the Divine Life Society is as follows:

"You have come to this earth to attain spiritual perfection. You have come here to attain supreme and unalloyed Bliss. The purpose of human birth is the achievement of Divine Consciousness. The Goal of life is Self-realisation. Man is not a sensual animal. Man, in his essential nature, is an ever free, ever pure, ever perfect, immortal, spiritual being. Feel that you are the Immortal Self. You are Satchidananda. Remember 'Ajo nityah sasvatoyam puranah,'-you are unborn, eternal, imperishable and ancient. To live in this exalted Consciousness is to experience indescribable joy every moment of your life, to experience a limitless freedom in the Spirit. This is your birthright. This is the aim of your life. This is the goal. To realise this through a life of truth, purity, service and devotion is the chief purpose of the Divine Life Movement.

"Fear dominates in this era of nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Hatred rules the policies of vast sections of the so-called enlightened and civilised mankind. This age of advancement has been exposed to be in reality an age of degeneracy in the views and values, the ideals and morals of the greater masses of mankind. At this juncture, cultured men and women all over the world look to the sacred land, India, for light and knowledge. It is your noble task to spread this light of spiritual knowledge and spiritual Idealism to all corners of the globe."

ONENESS OF HUMANITY

"The Upanishads say: 'All this is verily the Atman. The One, blissful Self indwells all beings.' The spiritual oneness of all humanity is a great lesson man needs today. Whatever has been and whatever will be in the future, all this is verily the one, eternal Being alone. The Message of Divine Life is: 'See God in all faces. Serve all. Love all. Be kind to all. Be compassionate. Feel everyone to be your own. Serve your fellow beings in the spirit of worship offered to the Divine which indwells them. Service of man is truly the worship of God.' Let this message ring freedom from end to end in every land. Let this message enter into every home and into the heart of everyone.

"All great religions of the world do verily declare this divine message of the spiritual basis of man's life. They do verily declare the universal brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of the Almighty Lord. Know well that the heart of the Vedas, the heart of the Bible, the holy Koran, the sacred Gathas and all the world scriptures are in truth one and sing in unison the sweet message of love and concord, goodness and kindness, service and worship. Discard the barriers of name and form. Seek the oneness at the heart of all beings. Include within your spiritual embrace entire humanity. Live for peace. Live for universal love. Live in the Life Divine."

THE CLARION CALL OF DIVINE LIFE

"A Divine Life Branch is a great blessing to man in the present age. It is a veritable boon from the Divine. It is a field of dynamic Yoga, a field of practical Vedanta. Spread of Divine Life is the hope of mankind. Through Divine Life shall man free himself from ignorance, pain and suffering and go beyond sorrow into the realms of peace and bliss now and here, in this very life. Divine Life brings peace and brotherhood to mankind. It purifies man, ennobles his nature and unfolds his glorious, hidden, divine personality. Divine Life is the gift of India to the world at large.

"Let the clarion call of the Upanishads ring through every village, town and city. Let the glorious chant of divine Name fill all quarters. Let virtue be implanted in every heart and Dharma and the good life be seen in every walk of life. Divine Life must be practical. Ideals of Divine Life must shoot up into practical realisation. Divine Life must be made vigorously manifest in the lives of the people. This is important. Be sincere. Work with concord. Be adaptable. Adjust, adapt and accommodate. Remember always that work is the important thing, not personal views and individual opinions. Therefore dissolve all differences and work together for the cause of a pure life and spiritual perfection.

"Perfection of the individual leads to the perfection of mankind ultimately. Spread the doctrine of selfless service. Inspire all to follow the path of Yoga and attain the Goal of life, fine health and long life." It is not through rules and regulations and restrictions that I tried to help the seekers after Truth. Stage by stage, I gave instructions through letters, periodicals and valuable publications to all the students for creating some spiritual vibrations through collective prayers, common meditation, Bhajans and Kirtans. For spiritual progress, it is not number that counts. Even a single sincere student can move the world and bring light and knowledge to the world.

The following letters written to my students between 1936 and 1940 will clearly explain how I started a dynamic campaign all over the world and established over 300 Branches of the Divine Life Society.

(1) IMPORTANCE OF COLLECTIVE SADHANA

"Evolution is quicker through collective Sadhana, mass prayers and common meditation. The purpose of Divine Life Branches is not amassing wealth, name or fame. It is just to bring peace and harmony to the world by creating spiritual vibrations at various centres. Organise weekly meetings. Invite friends who are spiritually-inclined. Clear the doubts of the devotees. You can have a library with philosophical books. Invite learned men of your place to give discourses. Occasionally print my "Twenty Important Spiritual Instructions" and other leaflets for free distribution. Thus you can lay the seed for a Divine Mission. It will grow slowly and bring spiritual good to the world. This will contribute a lot to your own evolution and to the uplift of mankind as well."

(2) HOW TO START A BRANCH OF THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY

'Well begun is half-done.' I am not interested in gigantic plans and programmes. If there is a good beginning and if the workers have sincerity, faith and devotion, success is assured. I wrote to sincere students:-

"You have made a wonderful start and a good beginning. It will strike root and bear blossoms soon. You can have the Yoga Class in a house, in a room. Make a signboard also. Hold meetings once a week. Collect some books from your friends and develop a library. I shall send you all my publications. To meet the ordinary expenses you can collect a small subscription from members. Have the following aims and objects:-

To have Self-realisation through Yoga.
To regenerate youths through Yoga Asanas, Pranayama and ethical training.
To disseminate the Knowledge of Rishis and Yogins far and near.
To develop universal brotherhood, cosmic divine love.

"Never be disheartened or diffident. There are many who have started a Branch of the Divine Life Society in their own homes. The members of the family join together in the morning and evening for common prayers and conduct Bhajans and Kirtans. The spiritual vibrations thus created bring peace and prosperity to the entire family. Do something among your own selected friends, even with two members."

I am ever ready to give detailed instructions to enthusiastic aspirants who are desirous of spreading the divine knowledge:-

"Collect a few members. Read some pages of my books. Clear the doubts of the aspirants. Make them do some Japa, Kirtan, meditation, study of the Gita. Ask them to maintain a spiritual diary and Likhita Japa notebook. You have got rare things and knowledge and capacities in which you have not sufficient confidence or of which you are not even aware. Express your hidden faculties. Give whatever you possess. The world will be benefited. Form a Group in your own place and start similar activities in different parts of the city. Do not waver. Be hopeful. You can do wonders. Radiate joy and peace. Have a definite line of work. Work a little. This will suffice. You can spend the time nicely, usefully. Let the flower blossom. The bees will come by themselves. Much effort is not needed. No effort is necessary. Simply press the switch; it will flow. I wish you success, freedom and perfection.

"Have meditation in the open air with select friends. Arrange group demonstration of Yoga Asanas. Have Trataka practice on OM or any of the Lord's pictures for 5 minutes. Introduce fasting or Phalahara on Ekadasi days. Give lessons on the various Chakras.

"Prepare the lessons daily at night, the previous day. Concentrate and collect ideas. Register and record them on a piece of paper or in a notebook. Read a paper if you cannot deliver a lecture. Speak slowly. Recharge yourself with mild Kumbhakas and Japa. Take good nutritious food and fruits.

"If you cannot give a fine speech, write an essay and read the paper with emphasis and great force from the bottom of your heart. Slowly you will gain the power of oration. When you meet good thirsty souls, give them good ideas and ask them to form such groups in their own places. That will facilitate your future work. Ask every man with whom you come in contact to read a few Slokas daily from the Gita and repeat the Gayatri Mantra. Initiate many. Eulogise the usefulness of Mantra and Japa. Introduce Malas for Japa."

(3) SPIRITUAL CURRENT MUST BE KEPT ALIVE

I carefully watch over the activities of the Branches and continue to inspire and encourage them every now and then. I send able and advanced aspirants to keep alive the current and spur them onward in their activities. Here are my instructions to one of them:

"How is the Centre now? Dead or gasping or full of life? Approach all Headmasters of High Schools and arrange for a magic-lantern Show of Yoga Asanas. Do not fail to do this work. I did this work in all schools of Punjab and the U.P. during my travels. Kindly send me a report of your activities now and then. Never make false excuses. Do not be diffident. Do not become a Zanana Vedantin. Through the work you do in schools and colleges spiritual Samskaras become imbedded in thousands of minds. That will burst forth when the time comes.

"Be bold. Even M.A's, Judges and Surgeons are worldly. You will be an Avatar before passionate people. Be bold and talk with nobility, humility and sincerity. You can electrify and spell-bind the audience. Assume a different strong personality on the platform. Throw fire, zeal and enthusiasm into your utterances. Do not lose any opportunity. Whatever you are doing now is sufficient to elevate the world. Do not wait to become a great Pundit to do this work.

"I am receiving several letters from the Branches you have visited and exhibited the Movie Films in Countless appreciations. No one has done such a work before. It is unprecedented. When the work taxes you, hide yourself in your own room or go to a solitary place for a change. Recharge the battery through silent meditation in seclusion and come out with redoubled energy. Regulate your energy. Do not pour all in at once. Take sufficient rest. Learn to relax. Hide yourself."

(4) SERVICE IS GREATER THAN MEDITATION

"The present work you do is a greater Yoga than the important, so-called meditation (sleep and building air-castles combined) done by Vedantins of the present day. It is a great Yajna. Work like a lion. Roar like a lion. Congratulations on your noble work done in various Centres. It is all His Grace. Feel this. It is His Will that worked through your mind, intellect and body. Be grateful to Him always. Pray for His Blessings and Mercy. If anything is offered to you by devotees and admirers, do not refuse it under a false sense of Vairagya. Money is needed for work, medicine for the sick and publication work. Become a Maha Tyagi and Maha Bhogi. Take rest. Do not overwork. Regulate your energy. Drink, inhale much ozone. Do not mix with people. Talk a little on vital points only. As you are working hard, take great care of your health. Take plenty of milk, fruits, almonds. Take rest for a week. Rest means change of work and not sleeping and wasting time with useless friends or in aimless wanderings.

"Serve people whole-heartedly, willingly, untiringly, without grumbling, without showing even an occasional Sunday castor-oil face. This is rather difficult. Try your utmost. Then it will become pure Yoga. You need not meditate. You need not do Japa. You need not close the nostrils for Pranayama. Convert every motion, every breath, every movement of the body into pure Yoga as above described. It is service of the Lord. You work, live and breathe for Him alone. Entertain this Bhav. You will have cosmic consciousness soon. Remember this point: Work is worship. Work is meditation. Do not forget this. You will have to evolve through work and meditation. Scavenging is Yoga when done in the right spirit. The first duty before you is to place your head at the feet of all elders, Swamis and everyone in the Ashram, be he a scavenger or a Zamindar. Feel oneness. Be cheerful. Adjust. Bear injury and insults. Train the mind to be even in all circumstances and places. Then only can you be really strong."

(5) INTEGRAL YOGA

I do not encourage lop-sided development, but urge my disciples to combine the important branches of Yoga with emphasis on dynamic selfless service and cultivation of virtues, while yet giving the full scope of individual discretion to the aspirant:

"I do not press you to remain in cities. Your health and spiritual progress are very important. See how you have turned out solid work in such a short period. If you are still energetic and if you think that you can get on with the work with perfect ease, you can remain there for some more time. Or you can say 'Goodbye' to the city life. It is in your hands.

"You can come by the end of this month. Do not stay in cities longer. It will be detrimental to your interests and progress. You need seclusion now. Spend a long period in study also. Your present knowledge is shallow. Your inner nature also is not regenerated. Sadhana is needed. Now you need rest, a quiet life, in the Himalayan-Gangetic atmosphere for recharging the battery, for doing dynamic work with redoubled energy and vigour. Long stay in cities must be followed by a frequent change to secluded places. That will be beneficial to you. Kindly do come and stay here for a long period. Mere flying visits will not be of much benefit.

"Thou art blessed. God exists. God indwells everything. God is the Inner Ruler. God is to be realised. Dharma leads to God-vision. Goodness leads to God. Love leads to God. Meditate on the Eternal, thy innermost Self or the Atman. Persevere in Sadhana. Plunge in Sadhana and meditation. Enter the silence. Become a flame of God. Attain eternal bliss through the Life Divine. He who lives for the service of others is very happy. He is blessed. He attains God-realisation. Service purifies the heart and brings the divine Light. Be rooted in the Atman. This is real Sadhana. Claim thy birthright amidst typewriting, editing books, writing articles. This is better than a cave-life. This is dynamic, integral Yoga. Though you are in the city, feel that you are in the Ashram here in the Himalayas. This is Yoga. This the test put by Janaka to Sri Suka."

(6) ALL-ROUND APPLICATION TO THE TASK

I want my disciples to be like myself in applying themselves in an all-round manner to the propagation of the message of the Lord and developing the divine qualities in themselves and inculcating them in others.

"Wherever you go, give, distribute, disseminate, your ideas, mottoes, ideals. Broadcast your spiritual feelings. Share with others. Always give, give, give. Give all. Ask nothing. Your usual routine for meditation and study must be kept up. Brahman alone is real. Minus Indriyas, you are Brahman "Tat Tvam Asi". I am not tired of repeating again and again these three ideas. They must enter your very nerves, cells, blood, bone. Hammer these ideas on the minds of all, along with Bhakti and Nishkama Karma. Carry these three ideas in your pocket, Chitta. This world, body, is shallow, Jalam, Svapna.

"Teach Asanas to thousands. Read my Brahmacharya article in all schools and colleges with demonstration of Asanas and Pranayamas. After silent meditation for 5 or 10 minutes, have Kirtan and OM chanting. Explain the Yogic and Vedantic terms to the members. The whole city will be charged with spiritual vibrations. Mere study of my writings with a little explanation of the Yogic terms will nicely constitute your Yoga Class. I have to remind you of:-

Initiation into Mantra of as many thousands of students as possible.

Introduction of Japa Mala.

Kirtan and Bhajan at night.

Study of the Gita, Atma-Bodha, Viveka-Chudamani, the Upanishads, etc.

Printing some leaflets for free distribution.

"On Ekadasi day, arrange for a mass Hari Kirtan in a big Hall or Temple. Have a programme for short lectures by great men. Distribute Prasad at the end. Make necessary preparations seven days in advance. Thrill the world. This is an important and sacred work, wherever you go. This is a Divine Life Conference in small scale. You can do this, I know.

"You are doing wonderful work indeed. It is a beautiful beginning. This kind of combination of Japa, Kirtan, Yoga Asanas, study and lecture is the thing needed. Keep a memorandum book in your pocket. Note down all the points you have to attend to. By such work you can improve yourself. You will develop thinking. You will know Nature, Her ways. You will be more concentrated also when the mind is fully occupied. Thousands will be inspired to do some kind of religious performance. It is all purification of heart and Yoga for you.

"You can do real, silent, solid work through individual talks. It is a field for preparation and enlightenment for you. Work in various localities of the city must be taken up. It is not blind work. It is not business. It is His work done through your body and mind. In the course of five years you will excel many of the professors and renowned religious leaders, if you are sincere and do steady dynamic work."


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