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The Three Factors of Spiritual Elevation

Prańipátena pariprashnena sevayá.
[By surrender, spiritual questioning, and servicefulness.]

Agragati [here, spiritual progress] depends on three factors – prańipáta, pariprashna and sevá.

Prańipáta means complete surrender to the Eternal Entity, Parama Puruśa. The mental attitude that “whatever is, is from Parama Puruśa and nothing is mine” is prańipáta. One who has ego, one who thinks that one’s intellect, wealth and other things are one’s own, is the greatest fool.

A person boasts of learning, intellect and fortune. But nothing is eternal. Therefore one who boasts of anything of this world is a fool. The worst psychic knot is the false vanity of intellect. Whatever is, is of Parama Puruśa; nothing is yours. Hence there should be complete surrender to Parama Puruśa. This is the first indispensable factor for mental development. If you really want to serve the world, complete surrender at the feet of Parama Puruśa is a must.

That is, submission to the Eternal Entity, to Parama Puruśa, is prańipáta. The possessor of this creation is that very Parama Puruśa. All these works belong to Him. We are only His media. If I don’t do the works entrusted to me, he will get them done by others. Before doing any work, I must think that Parama Puruśa is doing this work through me.

In his lifetime, the bull that you see anywhere cries ham – that is, “me”. But after his death, only the sound Tuṋ, Tuṋ, Tuṋ – You, only You – comes from the dhunurii [apparatus used for combing cotton] which is made of the fibre of his skin.

For this, it is to be remembered always that I am not doing anything, Parama Puruśa is Himself doing all these things. While doing all these things, the individual entity should not get entangled in the trap of Máyá. One should not be proud of his or her post, position, beauty, wealth, honour or knowledge. All belong to the Divine Entity, Parama Puruśa; nothing is mine.

Pariprashna means those questions which are responsible for our spiritual elevation. The exhibition of pedanticism and questions of such kind are causes for the waste of time and energy. These things are all useless. There should be no questions other than pariprashna. Outside of this, there is waste of one’s own time and that of others.

Sevá means “selfless service”. Service is there where there is no desire to get anything in return. When there is a desire to take while giving, it is not service, but business. Any kind of business is attached to give-and-take. In many newspapers one comes across many advertisements of business establishments – “In your service since such-and-such year.” No, it is not service, it is business, because the person does not give anything without taking something. So in service there is only giving and no question of taking. Even if somebody gives in return, the mental attitude should be not to take anything – this alone is service.

There is a word which is generally used by devotees – prapatti. It means “full self-submission”. Everything is done by Paramátman, by the Divine Entity. Aprapatti, on the other hand, means the mental attitude that all is done by individuals and not by Parama Puruśa.

With these three factors, you will get spiritual elevation. Except for these, nothing else will benefit you in any way. You have come for a very short span of time. Therefore utilize the time to the maximum. Serve the world with the feeling of service. Render service in all the spheres of life – physical, psychic and spiritual.

10 August 1978, Patna

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