In de mid ’80’s I was often in Varanassi, Kashi to get some more interesting supplies for the shop in Herakhan. I had befriended 2 devotees from Varanassi, Kailash & Nirmal Sharma and I was invited in their home and a lovely relationship started.Kailash introduced me many of his interesting friends and we enjoyed daily outings together. Lacchu Maharaj was one of them. Kharku accompanied me several times on these wonderful trips and we got to see a side of the Holy city of Kashi like one seldom does. The Sharma family lived right opposite the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple as Mr Sharma was a pujari there for many years.
Amongst many things one thing impressed me in particular about their mother, Pramilla Devi Sharma. She was always involved in one puja or the other. On asking about these puja’s I always got a name of the day but the explanations went over my head. I learned there that the life of a pious brahman is practically a continuous puja covering the various aspects of the Divine leaving not much space for the ‘world’ and it’s Maya to enter. Such puja’s can be very simple but everything is very clean and fully focussed and calmly executed. Throughout the year so many different aspects of the Divine all get attention. Of course puja’s are also part Maya but provide a window to different aspects of the Divine, that is different aspects of life.
The cast system in India has some very harsh sides also but it was not always like that.
Long back people were not born into their cast. It was according to there nature or also their choice. The bright studying person would be a brahman, the strong valiant one would be a ( Ksatria ) soldier etc. This system created a just and balanced society. As human mind has corrupted tendencies people wanted their sons to be like them and upper and lower casts became more pronounced. Babaji wants to dissolve all cast and creed amongst humanity but that will still take some time as it seems now even if the cast system is actually outlawed in India but is deeply engrained at all levels of the system. The western mind is quick to judge this system but when you see how beautifully and faithfully Pramilla Sharma was performing her puja’s and like her probably millions in India, it becomes clear that this is not something you can imitate so easily, it is in her DNA.
With our lives being often, if not all the time distracted by Maya ( that what appears to be ) it is hard to be conscious all the time. To be aware that we are not really human beings having spiritual experiences, we are spiritual beings going through a human experience. The more we manage to direct our attention towards our Divine nature the more we will harmonise with the Divine. It is always everywhere, there is no path go follow, no distance to cover because the Divine is to be found in our own heart. The nature of our mind, our ego structure will fight for its survival to constantly distract us from that inner divine harmony and there for requires a continuous effort and attention until we are well anchored. The Buddha said, first you suffer, then you die and that is life for those lost in Maya. Maya is also dressed up in spiritual garbs and forms so a constant honest & Truthful contemplation is required. With our mind we have made it so complicated but it is in Simplicity that we harmonise with the divine nature and find the unconditional Love we are so deeply yearning for. It will certainly help to make it a happier New Year.