Finally the teacher, whose name was Ramdas, said, ‘There is only one person left in the ashram who has not been consulted: Kalyan, that man who cleans out the cowshed. Call that man and see if he knows the correct order.’
One of the disciples said, ‘It’s a waste of time calling him. He never attends the satsangs. He is illiterate, and he spends all day carrying cow dung. How can he remember what has been happening here if he has not even been in the room?’
Ramdas replied, ‘He is the only person left who has not been asked. Bring him in and see what he has to say.’
Kalyan was brought in and the situation was explained to him.
Much to everyone’s surprise Kalyan said, ‘Yes, I can help you. I know the exact order of all the pages. I will dictate the whole book to you.’
It was no idle boast. He began at the beginning of page one and recited the whole book from beginning to end. As he was speaking, the pandits sorted out the papers and put them in the proper order. Everyone was astonished. They all wanted to know how an illiterate man who had not attended a single satsang could recite the whole book from beginning to end. Kalyan told them the secret.
‘I cannot attend satsang because of my duties in the cowshed, but I can hear his words by keeping my ears close to his Heart. I don’t need to be near him for this to happen. Whenever a word comes from his lips, by his grace it directly enters my Heart and stays there. All his teachings are stored there because I listen to them with my Heart.’
This is the correct way to attend satsang. This is the correct way to listen to the Guru’s words. Sitting close to the teacher is not good enough. You have to listen in such a way that his words enter your Heart and become your own reality. This is called ‘attending with the Heart’.
David: A couple of months ago a boy came up to you in satsang to tell you about an experience of emptiness he had had when he was ten years old. The experience later wore off. Later that morning, as you were reading the Panchadasi, you read out a verse that stated that one should do sravana, manana and nididhyasana if one wanted to become stabilised in the truth.
You stopped and said to the boy, ‘You should have done this when you were ten. If you had done this, the experience would not have left you.’
Papaji: When you get this kind of experience, you should not reactivate the mind by thinking about the truth. If you want it to stick, you should go to a true teacher who has established himself in the truth. Such a teacher will not tell you to do anything else or anything new.
He will tell you, ‘You don’t have to hear anything from anyone else. There is nothing more you need to do. Stay where you are and be as you are.’
This boy didn’t know what the experience was, nor did he have a competent teacher who could evaluate it for him. The same thing happened to me when I was six years old. I had a direct experience, but no one there was able to tell me, ‘This is the truth. You don’t need anything else.’
Instead, everyone told me, ‘The peace you enjoyed in that state came because of Krishna. If you start worshipping him, he will appear before you and make you happy.’
I was already happy but somehow, these uninformed people made me do sadhana because they thought that I needed new experiences. Because I had no one who could say with authority, ‘You need nothing else. Stay as you are,’ I ended up spending years looking for external gods.
There has been no change in my understanding, my experience and my conviction since I was six years old. From the age of six till now, when I am over eighty years old, there has been no change, but this truth, this understanding, was not fully revealed to me till I met the Maharshi. That is the role of the true teacher: to show you and tell you that you are already That, and to do it in such an authoritative way that you never doubt his words. Over the last few months I have been reading out books by some of the great teachers of the past. Again and again they say, ‘You are That. You are Brahman. This alone is the truth.’
All the teachers are saying this because they want their students to have the firm conviction that this is the truth, that this is who they truly are. This is the function of the true teacher: to remove your doubt that you are not Brahman and by doing so to allow you to see who you really are.