Excerpts from a lecture given on October 3, 1996 in Espanola, NM
There was once a time when a man asked a sage, "My lord, I am not very happy."
The sage replied, "It is just karma."
He said, "My lord, what is karma?"
The sage said, "You are not happy, that's karma."
The man looked around and he said, "Perhaps you have not understood my question."
The sage said, "But what is your question?"
He said, "I am not happy."
The sage said, "I replied to you, it's a karma."
He said, "How I can get rid of karma?"
He said, "Go somewhere and get dharma."
The man said, "My lord, I have not understood what is dharma."
He said, "Dharma is when you answer your inner calling."
He said, "Where is my inner calling?"
The sage said, "It's a very subtle thing, it's called consciousness."
The man said, "That's right, there is a very meek, beautiful little thing in me which tells me, but it's too weak. I don't want to hear it. My consciousness speaks, but I always ignore it.""
The sage said, "That's ego. Because ego, my son, is only for local time and space. But you are not time and space. You are Atman, you are not born and you do not die. You come from the Infinite, from the Unknown. You pass through the known to merge into the Unknown. And if you want to merge into the Unknown, you have to have dharma."
He said, "My lord, I have heard that there is a consciousness and I have to hear it. But is there any way that I can understand it in my language?"
The sage said, "My son, there is a thing called Calling. There is no moment in life when God cannot speak through anything—a stone, a tree, a person, a bird. That is God. And if you can understand that when anything calls on you, answer it with strength and grace, that is dharma."
The man went home and his wife said, "Where were you?"
He said, "I went to see a saint."
She said, "Why you went to see a saint?"
He said, "I had a calling that I should go and see some man of God, so I went."
And she said, "You forgot I am your wife? I have a calling, too, that work is not done."
He said, "That is true, but I had to go."
She said, "Do you understand my calling?"
Then the son said, "You promised me that you would go with me. You didn't show up. What kind of father have I got?"
So everything started asking him to answer, asking him questions, asking him to do things. He dealt with it and went to the man of God again and he said, "Lord, I don't know which calling is which calling. You said there is a calling. There was an inner calling of me and I came here. And now there is an inner calling to run. But I have come here again because everybody is calling on me and I do not know what to do."
The sage said, "When people call, answer them with a smile. Raise their consciousness. It will in turn raise your consciousness many times."
He came home again and his wife said, "You were missing again."
He said, "Oh my dear, it was such a lofty situation. I went there to see when I can bring you there, too."
She said, "What was it like?"
He said, "I had an experience." He put the whole fantasy into it.
She said, "Let us go now."
He said, "No, no, no. I have to do something for my son, let me do that."
The son said, "Why so late?"
The man said, "I had such a fancy feeling. I met a man and I was uplifted, I was appreciated. You don't understand, my son."
The son said, "Papa, can I go too?"
So a few days later he took all his family. The sage smiled. He said, "This is called sadh sangat. This is called congregation. You have all come and you will find there is something better of you, higher of you and good of you. And that is redemption; that is resurrection."
Water has to resurrect from the very chest of the ocean to the sky, and then it has to travel back and kiss the gold peaks of the mountains to become rain. It must shower and flow through the heart of the land to reach its goal; cover the distance into destiny.
That's the process of life—for every human being, loftiness, exaltedness, self-confidence, appreciation to be grateful that we are alive at this moment and we are alive together. It's as stars are in the sky on the same night. Some are big, some are small, some are shining, some come late, some come earlier, but in the brim of night, it is all lit at their axle, at their orbit, they exist. That is the condition of every human.
To learn, to grow, and to be is dharma. To compete, compare and be confused is a low grade karma. There are a lot of people who are rich; there are a lot of people who are wise; there are a lot of people who are powerful. There are a lot of people who are greatly unique. Are they fulfilled? Can they extend themselves?
If a human cannot extend himself or herself, that person cannot be redeemed. It is the light which must redeem itself by emitting and being radiant and reaching out--when you carry your goodness, your grace, your brightness, your light, your bounty, your beauty, and carry it on and carry it on and carry it on.
And in this Age of Aquarius, the dharma of a person shall be to reach out. Reach out to help, reach out to share smiles, reach out to hear each other, reach out for every reason without judgment. It should be a quantum leap in the consciousness where a person will honor himself. It is the personal honor that I am a saint. It's the personal grace that I am a sage. It is the personal victory that I am a human. It's the personal joy that I am grateful and fulfilled.
Everything is personal. Everything is shared and every person will try one's best. You who are born in this time, at this moment, in this space have a purpose of life. If you have a purpose of life and you don't have a projection of life, you are losing something big. It is dharma that you, through karma yoga, will serve anybody and everybody without discrimination. Thus, you will cleanse yourself of the karma and you will be enlightened in your grace and happiness of accomplishment.
None of us has features like each other; we are different in size and weight and shape and caliber. Even in consciousness and in development, we have come from different backgrounds, we have different experiences, we have different ideas. With all that, we are one. Because we are here, we are now. And this is the moment. If you want to honor yourself, you shall honor the teachings.
A life which does not have purpose and projection is a useless life. The purpose of life is to be beautiful, to be bountiful, to be blissful, to be graceful and grateful. What a wonderful English word it is, grateful. If one is great and full, one is God. And whenever a smallness faces you, you should be great; full of that greatness.
Some of you might be thinking, what to do. Why we have to do it, why we are here, why we are not somewhere else. Judge not my friends, you shall be judged. Isolate not yourself, you will be desolate. Don't go away, you will be gone. Self-discipline to honor oneself is to honor the ideal of oneself.
For thousands of years we have been taught that everything is ours, everything is our action, everything is our control, this is my property, this is my son, this is my daughter, this is my religion, this is my God. Isn't it the same God?
This life of yours is meant to be a life of all within you and all existing in you. God is omnipresent and omnipotent; so are you. And whenever you say, “I am not this, I am not that, I am not here, I am not there,” who you are talking to? Every lie you ever have spoken has been understood by another man later. What has to be understood later, why start it? Why start a sequence for which you are not willing to face the consequences?
You have a responsibility: if honor is bestowed on you, carry that honor and honor everybody. That honor is no good which cannot honor others. That grace is no good which cannot shower grace. That power is no good which cannot uplift others. That knowledge is no good which cannot comfort and give the heavens to others. You are a human; it is your dharma to show the light and path to all. It is your day; it has dawned on you. It is your gift; you must carry your dharma, your duty. Let your memory ever be that you will uplift everything.
Blessed is my soul, and blessed is my service and survival and existence and identity. Blessed is my dignity and blessed is myself, in my royalty I worship Thee. In Thou I dwell in peace and tranquility. May this day uplift, resurrect and elevate my soul into the brightness and the beauty and the bounty of God's will. In my gratitude for the breath of life you gave to me, may I serve all in Thy name and may I surrender and exalt into Thy existence to create the time and space in Thy honor; and in the purity and piety of my mind, may I always excel unto Thee, Oh Lord, my love, my master, my being, myself. Sat Nam.
© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan