The Only Reality

A talk given by Richard Scotti in 1973 on his return from India

   It’s a blessing to share the experience of being with Master in India. I say blessing because the very sharing is a lesson in love. When we remember him in our meditations and during the day, and especially in India where it's so easy, our love is flared up; he gives us something. If we let that flow through by giving love to everybody and into every action, he gives more. If we try to keep everything for our own self to be special and above the rest, then he takes it back, like the Biblical story of the sons and the talents. This is the path of love, the way back to God; and if we're not feeling love we must be wandering off, concerned with the little self.

   You see, he really didn't say anything new; he said the same words (with all the love behind them) that we have been hearing, reading, and repeating all along. But when you are physically near to Master, it's like being exposed to radioactive material: your consciousness is affected, awareness is increased, and his words become alive. Everything is so significant and clear; the conviction of seeing is there. No doubt all of us have had this experience of waking up to the way things really are, by His Grace; well, it's like that.

   The Master does not live in India only, you see. His physical body may be there, but He's right here in each of us. Of course it's easier to find Him in us there; but that seeing, that vision He gives must be kept as much as possible while doing our work in the world. He is all consciousness and all love and can give whatever He wants to. We set up barriers when we lock Him up in India, in meditation sittings, or with other satsangis, and forget that God is in every heart. So some are called over there for a while; that doesn't mean that the others are not being blessed or receiving--"all feasible grace, help and protection is being extended." Master showed us in so many ways that he dragged us there. Still, our prayer--my companion's and mine--is that all might have this blessed experience, even for a short visit as ours was.

   The plane trip is not easy, partly because of the time and schedule changes, and more because it is difficult to meditate; at least it was for us. We arrived in India feeling very tired and unreceptive, maybe like trees in the winter even with the sun shining, and were soon ushered by loving brothers and sisters right up against Master's couch--about two feet from being on his lap. He came in so jolly, so alive, and I kept thinking, "Oh, wake up, mind! Please warm up, heart! That's God manifesting." Master soon looked down and spoke directly to me. At one point he asked, "Did you come for something special?" Wen, that just knocked me out, you see, because for some months before I had reasoned and prayed that if only I had more love for and devotion to Him, then, whatever He allows would always be beautiful. If only I could remain contented and grateful for what He sends without all this asking! Then at Satsang once a group leader said that if Master ever asks you what you want, take it as a special blessing. So here I am at his feet, and he's asking! Looking up into the Life in his eyes, I said, "Love and devotion, Master. "

   Well, how to tell it? From that moment--even today (but not quite so strong)--He showed me the world as a classroom, everyone who comes as a messenger, every situation as a manifestation of love . . . and the lessons are of love and devotion. I mean, all initiates are graced with the eyes to see His not-so-hidden hand working in our lives; but this was different. It was more seeing Him manifesting and His words coming to life all around. Further, He showed (at some level) that there is nothing, nothing in this vast creation but the Master and the disciple. That's all there is! This place is a training ground where He teaches the lesson of how to see only Him. So what's there to be afraid of? What to avoid? Except perhaps prolonging this separation and carrying around this selfish little self any longer than is absolutely necessary. This is the path of love; that love comes from Him.

   Master teaches at all levels simultaneously. In his physical presence, for example, he speaks some words to a group; some hear one thing, some hear other things, some hear little at all, and some are given inner awakening that could not have come from the words he spoke. So when he says to protect yourself--"Don't look into the eyes of others," "Don't touch others," "Don't accept presents,"--these rules are according to the law, "As you sow so shall you reap." This is true, of course, because he says so; but the highest law is love, and "Love knows no law." If we are loving, well, we cannot even see the bad radiation or karma. Love knows nothing of these things; it only knows and sees Him. Love knows giving even in receiving. How can we see and love the God in all others if we're afraid of the bad, unspiritual radiation? How can we serve and love the God in all others if we're always thinking about our own selves? For the sake of protecting ourselves, the principal commandments of loving all others and not offending a human heart are often broken; like being penny wise and pound foolish, as they say. But love, the very path that makes everything so easy and beautiful, comes only from Him.

   We spent about half of our visit up at Manav Kendra. If ever there was a Shangri-La, that's it: indescribably beautiful--especially the hearts of our brothers and sisters. Master is the manifestation of God, and those we lived with and shared love with for awhile are surely very pure manifestations of His love--living examples, I would say. There loving service flows from hearts that don't seem to know anything about self interest. I mean people there seem to be going around always giving their lives away to love, but not for any reward; rather because that's what those lives are for. Looking into their eyes, the secret is there: they see only Him! No question of surrendering; they are felt to be constantly surrendering, like water over a falls. We tasted the truth of these words there. you see, because the radiation is so strong that the same love was stirred up in us and our heads too were offered for awhile. Such a wonderful thing.

   By His grace I went to India with a pretty good understanding of my own incompetency. I could see that I really can not do the path, keep the commandments, keep the diary and weed out, and do the spiritual practices accurately. All my efforts great and small only seemed to lead eventually down some tunnel and out into the cold again. The harder I tried the more mechanical life became and the less love there was. Many things were running through my head during our first few days there and I kept trying to put the confusion into a sensible question or two. Our gracious Master would come to us twice a day for Darshans--such happy times! And I really wanted to see Him--I mean there was a great thirst in me to see beyond the man. I looked very carefully and vcry long at that beautiful face and those eyes--each view was more beautiful than the last. You can never grow tired. The mind reached out too, but still, there was no depth of satisfaction. Finally I thought, "I want to see You but I can't," and then He showed me something of Himself. A brother who was leaving the next day asked Master at a Darshan at Manav Kendra to please bless some small photos for his home satsang. Master shuff led through them and looked them over. In laughing, jolly tones he asked, "Who is this? Do you know?" The answer came back, "Why, that's you, Master." Then he grew quite serious and strong, and everything became very very still. I tell you truly, Nature came to attention. Powerful vibrating words came out of that moment of stillness: "This is my physical body. Such things are meant only for sweet remembrance." The life and authority in those words completely filled the air. That was an unforgettable experience with which He graced me when I realized my own incompetency.

   He showed me in so many ways that as long as we think we can do anything without Him by changing this or that or doing one thing instead of another we must remain all alone and lost. “If you can do it yourself, you’re welcome.” And then, “If not, seek the company of one who can help.” I used to think that these words referred only to the initial experience; but truth is always true. All of our crutches and acting and posing instead of love for Him--all our attachments to anything except Him--stand as subtle giants between each one of us and our Master. If only the significance, the truth, of this one fact could be conveyed.

   One day he told us a little story: “A rat was making a pilgrimage to Mecca, a long way off. Running along the ground he saw a pigeon flying overhead. (You know pigeons can fly 70 miles per hour.) So the rat called to the pigeon, ‘Where are you going?’ ‘To Mecca,’ he replied. ‘Will you take me?’ asked the rat. Out of compassion the pigeon replied, ‘Yes, most gladly,’ picked up the rat with his claws and carried him off to Mecca in no time.” It’s all His mercy and grace, you see, which comes in as we wake up to our miserable state and utter helplessness to change it, and we sincerely ask for help from the Master, the Competent One.

   Another time the Beloved Master was answering a question at Darshan and it sounded like he was saying, you must do this and you must do that. And my own incompetency, my own helplessness, was pressing down very heavily and as Master was talking, I was bleeding, really hurting inside. I cannot remember feeling so low and helpless before. So my arm went up and when he nodded and smiled, out of me came the question, "Master, I'm very confused ... " (he smiled and noddcd again). "The gift that you have to give to us is of pure love and grace; how can it be earned or merited in any way?" With that out my attention flashed back to his shining eyes; there was nothing else. I was very very down low, but Dear God! when I looked into his eyes--it was overwhelming--he was much lower than me! So gently, so lovingly, so pleadingly, he said, "Look here: keep my commandments. Remember me." Those words, that love, pierced my heart, and everything was so so clear. I understood that the commandments, the diary, the spiritual practices, are divine devices for drawing in and focusing our attention on Him. He, the Master, is the beginning, the middle, and the end of the Path to God, as well as our true home itself. Conscious contact with Him is all that is real. Everything was reduced to this one point which is truth and love. This is the path of remembrance; but remembrance too is His. Everything is His.

   As I understand what the Master taught me, helplessness alone is ours. It is the mercy and grace of the God-in-man that awakens us to this fact and plants within each of us a spark of His own life, a speck of yearning, that we lose again and again. That doesn't mean to suggest that we should be down in self pity and do nothing but wait for Him to come. We must carry on with both our worldly and spiritual work as best we can, trying to live up to what He says; but recognize that alI strength and progress come only through conscious contact with the Godman, our Blessed Master. We should pray for that help, and when it comes, get onto the real path: the path of love. Seek Him, serve Him, love Him, in every action. If we struggle to take one step this way, He promises to come down a million. But the struggle, the one step, the seeking His help through prayer and remembrance--these things are there too. The path is so simple! There are no special circumstances required; no acting and posing will help. It doesn't matter where we are or what we have to do in the world; He is there. AlI that matters is where our devotion is as we go through the duties which come as a result of the destiny karmas. The true relationship is a spiritual one and has only to do with where our faith is, where our hearts are attached; and nothing to do with the good or bad karmas we must go through. Very natural, very simple, very truthful: we have only to respond to His love by turning to Him each moment. Remembrance comes from yearning. Love comes from remembrance. Everything follows love. God has promised to give everything to the truly helpless who fall at His feet for mercy. Nothing more is required; anything more is too much. God only knows how many more times these lessons will have to be learned before we surrender to the truth.

   When Master was told that we had to leave the next morning, he said, "That's all right. Go jolly; God will help you." The custom at the ashram is that those who are leaving have a "special" Darshan--whatever that means; all Darshan is special, blessed, priceless! We wanted to thank him in words too for the blessings we are having and especially for the grace in the form of such overwhelming lessons of love and devotion. He was so alive, very warm and personal with us, and he laughed one of his total laughs. When our Godman laughs, all creation seems to come into that laughter and everyone around is floated On a wavy ocean of happiness. He said, "Thank God. We may grow tired of receiving but He never grows tired of giving." And then: "God bless you." He sent us back into the world for a while to find Him within ourselves and within all of creation, and to payoff our give and take cheerfully, gratefully and lovingly. The last few minutes he gave us were so powerful and love-filled. Like a good teacher, he summarized the important lessons. Like a loving father or dear friend, he gave out his best advice. Like God Himself he graciously and lovingly pointed once more to the homeward path. He said, "REMAIN IN CONTACT."