Our teacher wrote the book which is now called ‘The Heart of the Eastern Mystical Teachings’ and it was a biography of his teacher, Shri Dada, who, unlike our own teacher, was not a great scholar, was not a very famous man in India, China and Japan, who did not know so many of these oriental languages and translations but he gave incidences of the application of the yoga of meditation to daily life, what actually happens.
Now, for instance, a case of blackmail. In India it is a very old custom that if you have been wronged by some powerful man, and it goes back 2000 years at least, there is a custom called ‘sitting down’ and the wronged man sits in front of the gate of the rich man who has wronged him and starves. He is seen. People know and the rich man is shamed. He is being, in fact, blackmailed to do something, to put the matter right, and this can be abused. Now, a party of five renunciates, who had nothing, came to the town where Shri Dada was and they stayed in the garden of a very rich man, a big garden which he used to throw open to the public. Shri Dada and others gave them some food and helped them as they were making a long journey. Well, the anniversary of the death of their guru came round and these renunciates, decided that this ought to be celebrated, but it ought to be celebrated by a feast for the poor so they approached the owner of the garden, the rich man, but he said, ‘No. You’re not of the neighbourhood and I’ve never heard of your guru and I’m not interested in the matter’.
They did not take this calmly. They began this sitting down, starving. Shri Dada heard of it on the fourth day and he reasoned with them. They were wanting to give away somebody else’s money by blackmail but they would not give in and in the end what do you suppose he did? How was that resolved? If you give in to this sort of blackmail they will do it again, and they will do it again. In another case a man came to him and asked about anger.
Most people who have been interested in spiritual things have a pretty good idea of a lot of things one’s told about anger. The southern Buddhists say, ‘Observe, observe anger rising in the mind, notice ‘Now I am angry’, observe from a detached standpoint, but when this is actually tried the man thinks, ‘Yes, yes, I am angry and I have good reason’ and it does not have any effect on his anger or hardly. Or he is told you must, ‘Forgive, and forgive, and forgive, and forgive’, and he says, ‘What? These people trampling all over everybody and I’ve got to forgive them and then they’re trampling on other people. These are wrongun’s and they’ve got to be…’ The man asked Shri Dada (about anger). In this book (The Heart of the Eastern Mystical Teachings) the instructions are very terse, sometimes it is a single sentence, Shri Dada sometimes gives a single sentence, something which is completely unknown to our science of psychology, if it is a science, completely unknown in the West – it is given in one sentence. The man came to Shri Dada who was well up, this was the turn of the (nineteenth) century, in the materialism of the time and he said,’ I believe in the scientific outlook – nature and the laws of nature. That’s it. You don’t need a Controller God’. Well, Shri Dada answered him in three sentences.
A very important book, a big one, has just been published by Oxford University Press by two well-known physicists called ‘The Cosmic Anthropic Principle’ which is, in effect, a development of those ideas in those three sentences which Shri Dada gave, with the evidences that have now been collected from not only physics and astronomy but from biology. Shri Dada was not speaking speculatively. He was speaking from his own experience but now, after eighty-six years, this can be shown to be not contrary to the present day anthropic principle which is now being developed by scientists.
© Trevor Leggett
Titles in this series are:
Part 1: Meditation in Action
Part 2: The Lord is a companion
Part 4: The beginning of a new spring