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We know it is Lord Krishna who brought in the role of devotion or Bhakti into the form of Raj yoga he introduced in the Bhagavad Gita. Our Master also has accepted this as a very useful means for attaining perfection through his system called Natural Path. We may also remember that Sage Patanjali did not bring in devotion as a step in his system of yoga. Bhakti as has been expounded in our hoary tradition as well as in all the religions is invariably linked with the concept of a God-Person. It is very difficult to have Bhakti or worship of a non person-God. Is God a person or not is a question that need not concern us if we are talking about moving towards the Infinity or Nothingness. Therefore one may be tempted to conclude that there is no need for us bring in the concept of worship or prayer into the practice and one may feel that the commandment Two of the Master is not necessary for the practice. This however is the approach of many new systems that are being propounded by pseudo masters who are growing in number like mushrooms.

As a matter of fact this is a very practical aspect of our sadhana where we find it difficult to articulate to ourselves as to whom we should worship and pray for our spiritual elevation. The form of prayer given to us reads "Thou are the real goal of human life" and also "Thou art the only God and Power to bring us to up to that stage". Three concepts namely God, Power and Master are brought into the prayer and we are told further that 'Prayer is the sign of devotion'. Master adds that 'It shows that we have established our relationship with the Holy Divine.' Thus we find we have got the fourth concept being introduced. Now it is pretty difficult to understand when we are told that 'when the idea of Divine Mastership is established our position turns into that of a serf' and that then, our only concern is service. Many aspirants like to bring in an amalgamation of all these four into one-our beloved Master Sri Ramchandraji Maharaj of Shahjahanpur. However this also poses problems as he is not available in the physical plane now and the concept of Master being Eternal has not got etched in many hearts though sincere efforts for the same cannot be denied.

Our tradition says that 'God is really all-pervading, above the mind, without features, imperishable, and infinite. How can such a one be worshipped? That is why, out of compassion for his creatures, He takes the form of the guru. The guru is the supreme God enclosed in human skin. He walks the earth, concealed, bestowing grace on his disciples.' Further our own Master has stated that he considered his Master as the only object worthy of worship and said he did not find God helpful in his pursuit except that He has given him such a Master. He expressed his feelings echoing the earlier saints who sang "He is the only adorable one to me: I have none other. My tongue has left off impure words; it sings His glory day and night: Whether I rise or sit down, I can never forget Him; for the rhythm of His music beats in my ears." All this makes us think that Rev. Ramchandraji Maharaj of Shahjahanpur is the Divine Master, God and Power who needs to be worshipped and devoted to. This position appears to be simple and straight forward but the difficulty is the form and person of that Master who lived and moved with us in the physical plane is not available to even those who saw and moved with him during his life time not to speak of those who never saw him. Condemned as we are to photographs which are two dimensional shadows of his, our worship and devotion ends with the attention we give to such pictures and portraits decorating the same with garlands and offering such prasad as we consider feasible. The days of making three dimensional idols for him may not be too far off as we observe such a trend in many persons who also are his disciples. We seem to get into the trap of idolatry unwittingly.

If this is not the position one tends to think that some one designated or claiming as a successor or nominee or spiritual representative dawns in the horizon as the living master whatever those words may mean and those who are satisfied with substitutes are happy and get along with their sadhana with such pace and direction as their wisdom warrants. Service to such a master also is considered as service and one is asked to worship and get devoted to him. Except that such a service is also a service to a fellow being there appears to be no other merit in the same. In such cases the problem of loyalty and service to the Institutions also claim our attention and the ills of the same are as many as the misfortune of the aspirant may permit. One needs to guard himself from the problems that emanate from Gurudom and institutional tyranny in the name of discipline and obedience. But in such situations we need to note that it is the actual experience that is the real teacher. However 'experience' is a hard teacher because she gives the test first and the lesson afterwards.

It is in this context we need to appreciate the efforts of the Institute of Sri Ramchandra Consciousness to project the concept of the Supreme Personality of the Master who is Supreme because he has no form and name and it is His consciousness which is Eternal and Sanatana. The need to understand this is of paramount importance if the sadhana has to go on smoothly particularly in the higher and rarer realms of consciousness. We are told by Master and all sciences are agreed on this fundamental concept: that out of Original Stir, call it by whatever name we choose to, the whole of creation and if we prefer the word evolution has come into being. All Existence owes its origin to that Original Stir. For the question from where did this Original Stir commence, the first person who put this question, the famous philosopher saint Gargi to Sage Yajnavalkya also gave the answer that it is self created or Svayambhu. Despite all the advancement in knowledge through science and otherwise, we are no wiser so far as this question is concerned.

It is now widely recognized by all well meaning thinkers that the Spirit-in-action that originally threw itself outward to create a vast morphogenetic field of wondrous possibilities is the same principle of love certain times called as Eros or Kshob or Stir or Shakti or Bhuma. What does it matter what name we call that original impulse- it is loving and all consuming. Without it nothing is. Out of itself, as life it began. Out of itself, as matter it continued. Out of itself, as mind it began to awaken. That is why Master states our Mind is of the same nature as the Kshob and urged us to respect it, honor it, utilize it and finally know our Origin. The same Spirit-in-action differentiated itself into modes of the good and the true and the beneficial and beautiful as it continued its evolutionary drama. And it is now the same Master that is finding itself moving into the realms of cooperative enterprise and integrative embrace of all in one. This is what our Master asserted in 1981 when he said "There is no question of separation. We are coming closer and closer. This is a message to all." And in 1982 he declared that "Co-operation is the life of coming events also ..." The same Spirit-in action is what I prefer to call the Master the Supreme Personality, is one with me and one with you and one with all. Without us that Spirit-in-action has no existence and without It or Him we are not.

It is the awareness of this Origin and our being a part of the creative process of the Spirit-in-action that brings in us the feeling of humility and the attitude of reverence to that One behind all manifestation. During Prayer this already existing inseparable link between us and the Spirit-in-action which we now we call our Master gets strengthened. Affinity breeds love and the more the aspirant advances towards this Unity the greater the closeness one gains with the all pervading Spirit-in-action or Master. Obviously the closeness that we develop has no limits and the embrace with It is continued till it becomes all consuming. Master has a revealing or should we call concealing method of conveying when he said "This relationship comes to us by inheritance." The concept of inheritance here is very heavily loaded and is pregnant with meaning when we contemplate. There we find the clue to our real Origin.

Once we are aware of the responsibility that is cast on us because of this inheritance we understand fully the need and urgency to participate in service. The role of the serf gains meaning in the cosmic context. Service would then mean keeping our self pure first so that it radiates the inherent and essential fragrance of the Spirit-in-action. Such an effort to radiate the fragrance of the Spirit from the core of ones' being alone is entitled to be called Divine. Divinity has meaning only in Service. One choosing not to serve has no possibility of growing into Divine status. Thinking good of others (Para hita) and granting comfort to others (para sukha) are the characteristic of the Divine is accepted by all traditions. The condition Prabhu where Master says that the aspirant feels his share in creation gets understood only when we view the matter from this perspective. Other ideas of such conditions are imaginary and most of the time illusory.

Master writing about service brings in the example of Prince Bharata of the great Epic Ramayana. He wrote that 'he never allowed his heart to be contaminated with anything but the esteem, regard and devoted worship of the Master. He added that "this example must be kept in view for maintaining the relationship which is the true form of devotion." He did not use the word 'may' instead he used the word 'must' in this connection. Bharata before starting his work as a deputy of Rama as per the Valmiki Ramayana said "This kingdom is Rama's. For the time being he has asked me to be in charge. In my brothers' place I have installed his sandals. Deriving my authority from them I shall do my work as King." According to the Hindu scriptures one should serve the world unselfishly and without attachment leaving the fruit of ones' work at the feet of the Master. This altruistic way of life of service is the best form of service to the Master. This is the same concept of working without un-due attachment that Master wanted us to practice.

According to tradition it is held that jnana and Bhakti will automatically grow by the contemplation on the personality of Bharata. Surely it requires reverential imagination to recreate the character of Bharata. We must remember that we bring with us into this world as our inborn gifts some wisdom and reverence. This gift is always in us and though sometimes obscured by prejudice or passion it keeps alive the divine in man which prevents him from reeling back into the beast. This double nature in us has been recognized by all yogis and Lord Krishna based his yoga on understanding this dual nature in us appealing that we should always endeavour to be wise subduing the lower nature. Such wisdom can make us follow the example of Bharata.

The spirit of Bharata's character can be understood when we remember that the great Epic starts with the poem "Maa Nishada". The sage Valmiki stops a hunter from killing a bird. This setting of the story indicates the approach of the Epic Dharma. It is co-operative existence not only in the realm of Earth but in the entire cosmos rather than the principle of Ahimsa that the Hindus believe in. We are one and the welfare of the other is my welfare is the basic philosophy that is sought to be taught through the ages. This awareness of the inherent coherence of all existence is the basis of any spirituality worth its name. Service then is no service to the other but service to our own Spirit-in-action. We need to keep the environment clean so that Spirit-in-action is clean and healthy to cover greater frontiers.

The Brahman is ever growing and is not a static being as many confuse. We should not injure others lest we injure ourselves is the lesson that is being taught down the ages. The hurry to pick up sticks to burn the hen that is taught in the children's rhymes is totally self centered not minding how it affects the other portion of our own self. By this we gain a capacity to resonate with all existence and then inter communion is a matter of our original nature. Inter communion is not between two separate entities but between our existence and the Prime cause of our existence. If we understand the nature of existence and it's inter connectedness we automatically gain inter connection and develop the capacity to intercommunicate with resonance. We need to tune in to the Original Impulse that created us along with all this existence. This is possible by being devoted and keeping reverential awareness of all that exists. That there is an order in all Existence which our tradition called Rtam and there is a law of getting rewarded according to our deeds (Law of Karma) needs to be understood. Then intercommunion with any being or existence is not any miraculous capacity but is our prime nature gets understood. This is the foundation on which empathy and sympathy stands. For all this to develop the primary requisite is purity of intention and purity in action. Then we find our Master not far off to be worshipped but close within our heart to be revered and honored.

In the scheme of things as we understand now, we all have a role to fulfil, a task to accomplish. We have a service to offer designed by the very nature of our existence. Since this work is the expression or outer manifestation of the innermost depth of our being we can become conscious of its definitive nature only when we become conscious of this depth within ourselves. That is the criteria to decide the development of true faith.

True faith in us is brought about within us by a whole series of efforts and inner attitudes. And one of the essential conditions if we want to achieve and maintain within ourselves these attitudes is to devote part of our time each day to impersonal action, every day we must do something useful to others. Until we know the essential thing we are intended to do, we must find a temporary field of action which will be the best possible manifestation of our present capacities and our good will. We should commit ourselves to such tasks knowing full well that they may be only stages in the direction of finding our real purpose of life. We thus gain a real understanding of our true nature and start losing the habit of referring everything to ourselves and learn more and more to give ourselves more completely and integrally with greater love to all existence and persons. We find thus our horizons widen and our duties become more numerous and clear. This is real service to the Master and our role as serf.

We find that the successive occupations or avocations we hold before we become conscious of the definite form of our action points always to the same type and method which is the spontaneous expression of our character, our true nature and our own vibration. This discovery of the tendency is a matter of self will beyond all outer selfish considerations. If however many reading their condition erroneously seek to serve the Master assuming the role of being the general manager of the Universe they are in the process sure to lose their peace of mind and also sense of direction. If however we have succeeded in abolishing our ego to a great extent losing the sense of being the doer, the Master or Spirit-in-action utilizes our capacities for its purposes of growth and development or expression according to its cosmic and pan cosmic plans. As soon as we have abolished within us all egoistic desires, all personal and selfish aims we surrender to the inner Spirit-in-action which enables us commune with the living progressive forces of Nature. We have no personal choice in the work and the work allotted is something that is particularly resonating with our inner nature and tendency or nature of vibration which has by now got totally cleansed and purified. The great participative enterprise started when we took our birth gains meaning and in a sense fulfillment. Master says such persons are utilized for Natures work with different statuses as is found necessary from time to time. The positions of service like Vasu, Dhruva, Dhruvadhipati and Parishad are some of the designations that he has chosen to reveal in his book Reality at Dawn.

When we keep in view spiritual elevation as the thing to be prayed for, the prayers for any selfish fulfillment of desires or wishes loses all meaning. Then Prayer is not asking for what we think we want, but asking to be changed in ways we cannot imagine. The spiritual elevation that we seek for then does not bind us to any person or group of persons or home or homes and it becomes the doorway for growing into our true nature. Our sustenance then is not in the company or home with which our petty self is worried but we find our true sustenance in service, and through it we reach the eternal Brahman. But those who do not seek to serve are without a home in this world and here after, even as the Lord stated in the Bhagavad Gita (4:31) It is real devotion to serve; in fact there is no other way to express our devotion to the Spirit-in-action. All poetry and songs are but different forms of flattery and we have found an excellent method of justifying such a flattery by saying the Spirit-in-action or Master loves flattery. The Lord Krishna said that by loving Him one comes to know Him truly; then such a one knows His glory and enters into His boundless being. Such a one performs all his actions as service to the Lord.

Our prayer then may take the form 'O Lord! Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in Thy service and give me the strength to surrender my strength to Thy will with love!' If we want to be a true worker for the divine or render service to the Master then our first aim must be to be totally free from all desire and self-regarding ego. All our life must be an offering and a sacrifice to the Supreme; our only object in action shall be to serve, to become a manifesting instrument of the Divine Master or the Spirit-in- action in his works. We must grow in the divine consciousness till there is no difference between our will and his, no motive except his impulsion in us, no action that is not his conscious action in us and through us. Then we will understand that every selfless act is born from the eternal Spirit-in-action or Master. We then understand that He is present in every act of service. All life turns on this law. This is what we may consider as following the cosmic order or Rtam and such of the persons who live in this type of consciousness can be considered as devoted.

Consequently whoever violates it, indulging in his senses for his own pleasure and ignoring the needs of others, can be considered as one who is squandering the gift of life. But those who realize the Master or the Spirit-in- action are always satisfied. Having found the source of joy and fulfillment, they no longer seek happiness from the external world. They have nothing to gain or lose by any action; neither people nor things can affect their security. They are free from the state of forming samskaras. Service then done by them is not a binding one but a liberating one. They are the ones who live in what I prefer to call Sri Ramchandra Consciousness or the consciousness of Spirit -in -action.

I have a great conviction that as disciples of Sri Ramchandraji Maharaj of Shahjahanpur we are the mighty brotherhood of Peace and progress. Emerging first through the great mind of the Spirit-in- action we are ever watchful and strive to dwell above man's surging tides of conflict. Discerning the activities of earth as currents and filaments of energy we seek to draw together, interweave into the sacred pattern we have been shown by the Master who guides us all, we strive ever for unity. Our task is to harmonize those discordant notes that emanate from all four corners of the world swelling the cacophonous voice of this sad world. Having our firm link with the Master we acting as intermediaries, draw into those ready to respond, the energies they need from out of our heart of wisdom. Seeking to lead fellow brethren to enlightenment in the Natural Path of the Eternal Master we seek that they may glimpse the pattern of the Plan of Divine Master dedicating every pore of our being in his service.

We give a call to all to join us in our work for peace and live the Life Divine. Silently through our intentional consciousness which is clearly in resonance with the Master's will we have the confidence that it is we who magnetize those centers where leaders of men gather to plan methods of international co-operation, to seek out paths of peace. With the Universal Prayer that we offer everyday there is a confidence that it is we who inspire the minds of the great men in the world for Universal harmony and peace. The message of the Master that love and harmony alone will lead us toward the perfect World which the leaders dream is sought to be spread by us as real service to humanity. Serving thus we ever seek to draw all men into our own brotherhood. We intend to reveal to them the foolishness of separation and all kinds of prejudice, and enable them to learn to live in bonds of harmony. All this is sought by us to be done not with any intellectual arguments but by Prayer at the appropriate time as prescribed in certain spiritual centres identified and located with love and wisdom by our great Master.

We are conscious that the Master is not limited to this holy land but to the entire world. Therefore we are striving to unite the spiritual wisdom of the East and the West through the universal power of Pranahuti which sustains the universe all through. Such a service surely is dear to the Master and that is the role of the serf that one understands in this Natural Path.