The title of this book, ‘The Friend’, suggested itself quite naturally, and is a reflection of Sri M’s own personality as well as his approach. He says, ‘I have to make friends with someone before I can guide them.
The book is structured in such a way so as to create a natural progression from Sri M’s personal reflections on his own beloved guru to his teachings on more wide-ranging topics such as love, sex, power, wealth, marriage, women’s equality, friendship, food, children, breath, death, yoga, liberation, aspects of ancient wisdom, the spiritual path, the Upanishads, the pandemic, the youth, the spinning wheel of existence that propels us into the future. No subject was off limits.
This book of Sri M’s teachings is for all those who seek to go beyond the deadening march of humdrum days, the endless demands of the wallet, the prison of the mind, and the chains that bind us to relationships, to our own expectations, and to society. It is a map to the nugget of pure gold within us, and the map can as easily be followed by a novice as by more seasoned travelers on the path.
Sri M assures us that liberation is available to all, and is not only for the select few, but to attain it we must do our homework. He urges us to embark on the journey now, without delay, in order to reclaim the free and joyous beings that we truly are.
Q: The heart seems to be beyond our ken. Hearts get broken, are given away in love, dance with joy, jump into the mouth with fear, hearts speak to us, and we can become heartsick with grief. Sometimes hearts even fail. So, what is it?
How do we define the heart? The Upanishads declare it is that which cannot be described in words. It is not a physical entity. It is the core of one’s consciousness. Of course, there is the physical heart that pumps blood.
The undefinable characteristics of the heart go back to ancient teachings. When you clean-up the commanding self that keeps dictating to you then what remains is the heart. It comes with love. You cannot invoke it through intellectual means or scholarship. It happens when someone purely loves. The ultimate love of merging with the Supreme is one thing. But even ordinary love, like when you walk down the street and see a little child crying, and you pick up the child and hold it close to your heart, even there the real heart begins to function. If that heart-full-ness is not there, if you don’t reach that, then all our theories, all our teachings are of no use.
We must ask ourselves, Who am I?’
My master Maheshwarnath Babaji used to say, ‘When you take off your shoes, leave your ego also there and come in. When we approach sacred spots, we remove our shoes before going in.
When Moses walked up the mountain, he took off his shoes because he was stepping on sacred ground. And what did he see? A burning bush. There was a light behind the bush. Moses asked the question which is important for all of us, Who are you?’ The answer was, I am That I am.’ or I will Be what I will Be. Thus encompassing the past, present and future.
When a human being purifies himself through love and through discipline, then the heart opens up. You begin to have an understanding of the unfathomable Something that is full of bliss.
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