Balancing spiritual & material life

Guru Sri Subramanium taught us to be realistic and unpretentious. He explains the benefit of raising a family and the secret to finding fulfilment and purpose in daily life.
Guru Sri Subramanium holding a young child

Surrendering yourself to God is one of the most difficult things for a human being because you are afraid of the unknown. On a day-to-day basis, you have to learn to offer your egocentric nature to God. Not ‘I and mine’, but ‘Thy Will be done’.

Now to come to that level is one of the most difficult things for people. You need discipline within to ask yourself, ‘What is it I want out of my life? Where am I going?’ Only then you can go to God and ask, ‘My Lord, what do you want for me?’

But if you do not know, then get married and make babies! [To someone in the audience] What are you laughing for? This fellow thinks it is funny – no it is not!

You want to see turmoil in the mind of a person? When someone comes to see me, the first thing I say to them is ‘Are you married?’, and he will say ‘Oh, no, not yet’, and I say: ‘Get married quickly!’ He says ‘But I want spirituality!’ I say: ‘Push that away, get married, settle down, make babies!’

"Babies will teach you patience,

they will teach you love"

- Guru Sri Subramanium

Can you imagine… when you are the father and when the babies start screeching throughout the night… and the wife says to you ‘Now, I got up last night, you better get up tonight.’ The fellow says ‘Oh my God, I have to go to work tomorrow morning!’ And here begins your training in how to master your lower nature.

No no, spirituality is not for you… a monk’s easy life of service to God is not for you! You need a hard way, and that hard way is for you to get married. Through the turmoil and stress and strain of fighting and being there, bringing up children, being a grandmother and grandfather and all…

That is what I want you to do. No yogi-bogey nonsense. You learn through your living how to master your lower nature. That is what you are here for. No yogi-bogey nonsense!

When you have done that, when you have made many mistakes and learnt how to cope with them, then there is somewhere down the line a place for God. If prematurely you want to follow a spiritual path, then you are in dead trouble because you will hate it.

On the other side… if you are ready and willing to surrender yourself at the lotus feet of the Lord, and you are willing to serve God without expecting a thank you… then you can put yourself at the mercy of a terrible Guru because the Guru will surprise your life, and make sure that you won’t have an easy time.

I have learned how to play the psychological game! I say ‘Don’t come. Just you stay there and wallow in self-pity, unhappy, screaming ‘God is terrible.’ Whatever I say you won’t do it, so I better tell you not to!

Nevermind. But you can improve the quality of your life, and associate, and learn to link with God.

How to bring spirituality into family life

1. Daily contemplation

Everybody born in this life makes mistakes. There is no getting away until you have come to terms with yourself, and learnt to contemplate every day.

To pray is one thing, but learning to change your nature, your manner, your conduct and improve upon your life and your workplace… to do that then you need to assess everything before you go to sleep.

You are the architect of both pain & pleasure. What happens is that you pile one thing up upon the other – you pile up activities that are unacceptable to you, you do not like it, and it becomes a problem for you.

You need to give time for yourself to find out about what sort of life you have been having each day – what your approach to life was – your interaction with humanity, what work you are doing, how you did it, the way you did it.

The purpose of it must be brought into the forefront of your mind.

Initially, you will find it a bore, going back on all you have done in the day. So you gloss over it and say ‘No, no that’s alright, I’ll pass it by.’

But, there in your mind’s eye are undigested thoughts. They are undigested because you have not given proper value to their existence.

You haven’t felt the quality of the way you have acted and spoken and thought. You haven’t noticed that there was no perfection in it, but you glossed over everything, and that causes aberrations in your work.

2. Perfect your work

Through contemplation, you will improve the quality of your work. You will excel and become perfect in every field. That is what Lord Krishna talked of – Yoga Perfection.

From one cycle of birth to another you have advanced to become the human being you are now. But that is not enough. There pulsating in you is your Paramatma, your Divinity, which urges you on to go and become integrated with God.

You need to advance. The purpose of this birth is for you to pay your karma – to advance and to perfect your activities… and keep striving for yet more perfection in your life.

It is important for you to find the right balance. Evolving from one cycle of birth to another, there is nothing you can change that has gone by. The past is beyond recovery, the present is at hand – so sanctify this present moment.

3. Be mindful of your thoughts, words & actions

The person who wants spirituality must set in motion a pattern of living that perfects and sanctifies his daily activities.

To master your lower nature and your senses takes many lifetimes of activity. And you can imagine the anger, the hatred, the viciousness, the attachment, the greed – all of these things you have to master. That requires you to understand them and give them proper value.

Remind yourself everyday ‘I am the master of my ship – I am the captain, and I am going to steer this ship the way I want – mindfully!’

You don’t want your mind to be in turmoil – not knowing what you want, not knowing what you are doing and saying. So become mindful of the interactions and relations with life and humanity and everything that surrounds you.

Contemplation enables you to be in control of yourself, and to know how you are going to present yourself in the life you live.

On a daily basis, sit down before you go to bed and go through all of your actions and the reactions that you set in motion. Understand and feel the purpose with which you really started your day, and see how successful you have been.

Then you can change your life the way you want, and make a success of your life. Learning is your job – learning about yourself and about your senses.

You have got five senses but you really have no idea what the actual functions of those senses are. You do not know the power of your eyes because they are used on a very superficial level.

4. Refine your senses

You do not know the value of your hearing. It is on a superficial level. You do not know the power of your breath, and your prana and your heart – the love. You do not know the extent of the power of your hands. Your way of life, and your energies… everything is on a superficial level.

Unfortunately, people do not use their senses properly. Once, when you were a primitive life-form, your survival depended upon your heightened sense activity. You’ve been tranquillised from birth, but in you, there are two people – there’s a duality. Right now you’re only interested in this lump of flesh and these five senses, and what demands they’re making of you.

You are sitting here in front of me, but you are etched in my brain. Because I have trained my senses, I can feel all your impulses in me. I feel how you feel, I feel what is required for you in your life, so in my discourse, I try to accommodate all the things you are thinking, and answer them as I go along.

You can learn to do this yourself. Heightened mindfulness enables you to clean your brain of all the impediments that exist today.

When you make a study of your five senses, then you can decide for yourself how you are going to use them, whether they are harmful to you. You are the judge. Not me.

That purification in itself enables you to invite God to come to you.

5. Learn to shine!

Of all the inheritances that you have, there is one that is foremost in yourself, and that is your Divinity. You may have different models of physical form, but embodied in you is your Divinity.

Never mind if you’ve just got one strand of hair going down the middle! Never mind if you regard yourself as an ugly duckling like me! Never mind, never mind – whatever it is… there embodied in you is the most important part.

Come and shine your Divinity with me. Ah! If you can only spend a little time looking inside you and bringing this Divinity out… let it shine to the world! Then that is really a new beginning.

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