On Keeping the Diary — Q&A 1973

This darshan session took place at Sawan Ashram, Nov. 1, 1973, to a group of about 30 Western disciples, including five group leaders from various countries who asked most of the questions.
Published in the October 1974 issue of Sat Sandesh
Read more about the Spiritual Diary, in circular letters “Instructions for Seekers after Truth” and “On Keeping the Diary

Question: Master, could you clarify something for me, please? It is my understanding that the group leaders, when they go over the diaries with the members of their Satsang, are not to discuss the inner experiences with them at any time.

Master: No, no, no. The orders are very clear. Most of the diaries received here were incomplete. Either they did not put in any time for meditation, or their columns were incomplete or wrongly entered. The group leaders should see that the diaries are completed correctly, and that is all. No spiritual guidance is required to be given to anyone. The group leader should see what the initiates write in the diaries. They may say “You don’t put in enough time — put in more time, please”; or “Your columns are all right, quite clear; even then you don’t see anything?” So about seventy percent of the diaries received were incomplete. We had to return them: “Please complete this part; please complete that part.” All that can now be done by group leaders over there. That is not spiritual guidance. In event of your putting in regular time, you see the results yourself. If there is advance, that’s all right. If you don’t get any better your diaries should be shown to the group leaders. They should see that they are correct, point out that this column is complete or incomplete.

Question: Many initiates seem to have a misunderstanding about the chastity column in deed. Many put down failure in deed when they overeat.

Master: I think they should read Seven Paths (to Perfection). It’s very clear. They should read the literature, then take care that each entry is complete, clarified, and passed through with care.

Question: in Seven Paths it says that overindulgences in eating is similar to lack of chastity.

Master: That is not part of chastity. The part on chastity means only sex, nothing more. That should be clarified if you are a group leader.

Question: Master, I brought my diary sheets for the last four months with me and I haven’t given them to You yet because You are always so busy. May I give them to You tonight?

Master: Look here! Diaries are meant to find out if you’re progressing or not. If not, why not. Guidance is found there. Forget the past, have the present. Are you improving in your meditation? Or having any difficulty? Tell me and finish off.

Question: So I don’t have to give them to You? You don’t want to see them?

Master: They are for your benefit. Keep them for yourself, for your own guidance, that’s all… Anyone else? Yes, please?

Question: Master, in my diary under chastity in deed, I put in another — I have two columns — one under sexual. and one for being affected in other ways, my attention affected, my overall chastity affected, or even purity affected. Is that all right, to have two columns?

Master: That column is meant only for sex in thought, word, and deed; that’s all. Overeating and these things have nothing to do with that. These things you are keeping — group leaders should train you, tell you your very ABCs, how to complete the diary. You have been there for years and years, for so long, and you do not know how to complete the diary? If you do not know, let the group leaders teach you. If you put in full time and keep your diaries, you will progress. Twice when I sent out questionnaires, I asked each group leader questions: “Have you read all my books and circulars?” They said, “Yes.”“Are you improving?” They said, “Yes.” And still I find in some diaries they don’t see anything. Some of them who said “Yes” to everything and don’t see anything — then? Are they true? This is what I mean. It is very necessary to complete your diaries very literally, you see. Weed out all faults; you will have progress; you will have transvision.

Question: I find it difficult, with some of them, to make them keep a diary at all.

Master: Keeping the diary means: if you criticize yourself as you criticize others, you will become a saint.

Question: Yes, Master, I explain that to them and then they always say, “Oh, I have so many faults I can’t write them in” and then they don’t do anything.

Master: I tell you, they’re not sincere. Suppose I say, “I am sinful, I am sinful” all the time. I then become sinful. As you think so you become. Take note, then weed out. Saying, “I am sinful” alone won’t do. When you have sinned, do no more — this is what is required. Excuse me, are you not being childish? Sins stand in the way of your meditations. How many columns are there in the diary? Even if you take one column — concentrate for one week on one column — in a month you’ll be all right. Make it a point this month that you won’t think ill of anybody. Go on like that, watch everything, weed out. Take the second column — no lies, no untruthfulness, nothing of this sort. Take one week, four, even five weeks. We simply say, “I have done this, I have done that, I am very sinful.” Well, that alone won’t do. Once there was a lady who liked to live with somebody other than her husband. They brought her to Christ. They said, “She has committed adultery.”“What is the punishment for that?” He asked. They answered, “Moses said to be stoned to death.”“All right, let her stand there. That man should throw a stone who has not committed that sin himself.” Nobody dared. Then He said, “All right, go, but do no more.”

That is what is meant by the diary. In this way you would save gone up to the fourth or fifth plane. How many columns are here? All right, you told lies today. Don’t tell lies tomorrow, that’s all. It’s very simple — it is you people who have made it so hard to understand… Yes? Come up.

Question: Master, I think there is one question which is still sometimes unclear. Some of the satsangis, on their own, come to the group leaders and show their diaries. Others will never do that.

Master: They should be shown for completion, not for guidance.

Question: Yes, for completion. But some others will not do it. Now…

Master: They’ve not progressed.

Question: But, you see, the thing that sometimes perplexes, that puzzles the group leaders is, is it or is it not the group leader’s business to go up to satsangis who do not show their diaries and tell them, “Show me the diary”? Most feel that this is not our business to do so.

Master: Group leaders are now charged with the duty of seeing that these things are completed correctly. I have now charged them to do this.

Question: So we should go after those who do not show the diaries and ask them… ?

Master: Tell them, “All right, if you are filling in your diaries, are they complete? If not, you may consult us for completion.” That way you reach and really meet whoever comes. You can do that.

Question: Master, in Vancouver we have a Wednesday night meditation and diary class; because there are so many satsangis in Vancouver, it’s difficult to meet every single one all the time.

Master: What is the diary? One talk will do. Explain Seven Paths. They have to do it themselves. For example, “don’t tell lies” — then don’t tell lies! What is there to understand? “Don’t deceive anybody” — well, don’t deceive anybody! Are there any more meanings to that? There is the example of Yuddhisthra, one of the five Pandava brothers. Their guru told them, “Take truthfulness; go; remember — be truthful.” Next day only four came back; the fifth did not come. They explained, “He’s still learning, memorizing the lesson.” Two days, three days, four days, five days went by; he did not turn up. After a week he came. He said to the Master, “I have now learned how to be truthful.” And he never told a lie throughout this life. The other four brothers were sent to Hell.

This is what is meant by learning to keep the diaries. Be thankful you have been given something to start with. You have all been given something to start with, but you must practice. If you put in more time in your meditations, all virtues will come; they will replace all vices. Have you read the literature? Why have I written all that? In Jap Ji it is given, “If you hear the Sound Current, all virtues will find abode in you and replace all vices.” Only by hearing! When you sit by fire, you don’t need warm clothing or a blanket or anything. By only saying “fire,” what good is that?

This diary is very sacred. What is more simple? Non-violence: no evil for anybody in thought, word, or deed. Thoughts are very potent. If you think evil of anybody, then that poisons you and reacts on the other man. That’s the law of nature. If you don’t think evil of anybody, how calm you are! First thoughts come, then they find their way to the mouth. It’s given, “Out of the abundance of heart a man speaks.” So be truthful, then all other things will go. With the truth you will get other virtues. Don’t tell lies. Always speak the truth. If you’re a liar, you must have a good memory. Surely! You tell one story to one man, then another to another man, and so on. A liar must have a very good, strong memory, you see. If you only stick to the diary, you’ll have transvision. I started a diary as a student.

So take one column, stick to it. If for a week or for a month, you don’t put down any failure under that column, it will become a good habit. You won’t be able to do otherwise, and it will not stand in the way of your meditation.

Question: if we quickly turn to our Master after we have a thought which we don’t really want, but it comes through just the same, then if we come to You inside and ask You to forgive us, You will forgive us and then we will do Simran and it will disappear. Is that right?

Master: All things are forgotten when they are done no more. Then what is left? Now rake up any other questions you’ve got…

Question: I still don’t understand about overindulgence, Master.

Master: Overindulgence in what? Eating? Or you mean in sex? In the diary, this is for sex: loss of semen, whether by self-abuse, by night pollution, or any way.

Question: is night pollution a deed?

Master: Yes, surely. That is a result of a desire. It is the result of your own action of thought, reaction of thought. Thoughts come because we see something; we dream of it. It is you who have sown the seed. A man can become very honest, really righteous, if he only sticks to the diary. You have been keeping the diary for months, years — still the same thing recurs day by day, day by day. Why? There are only five outgoing faculties — one is seeing, one is hearing, one is smelling, one is tasting, and one is touching. Take them one by one and weed out all faults. All sins come through these five senses. All these dacoits attack you through deeds. And why do they affect you? Because your attention is there. If you rise above them, you cannot be affected. So Spirituality is not difficult.

Keep your diaries complete and fifty percent of your burdens are over. If cloth is very clean, a little color will beautify it. If it is already black with filth, how to color it? Change it. — Yes?

Question: Sir, in which column should we put attachment in thought — idle deeds, dreaming, idle thoughts, thinking of the past, thinking . . . ?

Master: Decide your aim in life, what is your aim, finish off. Then everything will be all right. If you are aimlessly adrift, you simply waste your time, most of the time. If your mind is all calm, no ripples, very steady, very limpid, you can see your face. You can see the future and the past. Spirituality is a matter of self-analysis, rising above body-consciousness. That will help you, by rising above, because then you will have no attachments, no bad thoughts. You will have love for all.

Question: Master, thoughts are potent; when we feel or think we feel them coming from someone else, whether positive or negative, how to differentiate whether they’re our own or whether they’re someone else’s? Is there a difference, and what to do?

Master: How to save yourself from the effect of others’ thoughts coming to you — this is the problem you mean? Very easy. There is water flowing, and a wave of that water strikes the shore. Where there is only mud or sand, the water will thrust into it. If there is a rock, that will strike it and go back with double force. You follow? If you have no ill will for anybody else, if any evil thought comes from someone else, then it will go back. That’s the only way You remain in your closet, you see. Love is first. You are spiritual, I’d say. You are spiritual, are you not? Then why be smeared with all this filth?

Question: I’ve experienced that with someone who is not initiated and is not on the spiritual path, that these bad thoughts have gone back and that person has suffered for it. I see that more and more things go wrong with her as she does this. I’ve tried to send prayers. Sometimes I ’m strong enough to pray for her and sometimes I’m not. What to do when thoughts come?

Master: Mind your own business.

Question: I try to but she doesn’t let me.

Master: Pray for her at the most if you like, all right; but mind your own business. Don’t be the contractor for all the world over, you see. You’re responsible for your own actions. Sometimes some people used to bring me their diaries all clean for two, three, or four months. I told them, “My dear friend, with this diary, you should have gone to the third plane.” This is the very mirror of your life. But it should be filled in truly.

We spare ourselves always. We are not true. Criticize yourself as you criticize others, and weed out. Many people are deceived; they say, “Sins are harmless — why must we write all these things down?”

So do you now follow what the diary is? Do you? All of you? Start from today, please. In this week how many columns will you clear?

Now how to save yourself from these things, that’s the main thing, if the diary is not kept up? All these things strike you when your attention is there. Reserve your whole attention for such a goal. Your ears work when you hear — your attention is there. Your eyes work when you see — your attention is there. If somebody comes and talks to you, you hear only when your attention is there. When you sit by your sister, there is nothing wrong — no lusty thoughts develop. Why do you feel otherwise for anybody else?

What is a sin? It requires secretiveness. “Deeds of darkness are committed in the dark.” When anybody wants you to do anything, and somebody else asks what is it, and you tell a lie, that’s also a sin. These are criteria. You must be able to complete the diary, if you only tackle one column a month! Even then, it won’t take more than a few months. How many months will that take? One month, one column, that’s all.

There’s too much of a load on your attention. Reduce it, then all your meditations will become easier. I think it’s the Master Who makes you the master of your house. You’re not the owner of your house now. He makes you the master of your own house only when He tells you how to stay in there continuously. All these outgoing faculties should serve you; now you are led away by them. Try to understand something and live up to it.

These things are given in the books, you see, right there, written very plainly . But we only have a “bird’s-eye view.” Stop! We can clear all this up.

Question: I’m sorry, Master, I still don’t understand about overindulgence in eating.

Master: That is not part of the diary. A temperate life, a life of self-control, is wanted. If you eat too much, you’ll feel drowsy, you will not be active, you will be slothful. Naturally, you will affect everybody. Eat a little less than you have eaten before. You’ll still feel hungry; leave the table a little hungry, that’s all. Eat to live, not live to eat. But we think otherwise — “Eat, drink, and be merry!” I hope you will become very wise from today. I’ve explained all these things before, but you have not taken them to heart.

Question: If one could cut off any fantasies of thought by just quickly saying Simran until it’s all gone, that would be wonderful.

Master: For that, keep your attention occupied with something. No foreign thoughts will invade you.

Question: Love for the self — selfishness — should we mark that as a failure under love for all, because we’re not loving others, we are loving ourselves?

Master: Love for all means hatred for none. Sometimes we hate others because we are rich, we belong to a high family. Sometimes we think we are very much learned. Some have achieved a high position in life: this man is standing by the chair serving, the other is sitting in the chair being served. All have got equal privileges from God. Why is it? No hatred for anybody means love.

Question: So, things like vanity would be a failure ? Vanity would be a failure because we are thinking proudly of ourselves and do not love all.

Master: What does vanity mean? You’re thinking yourself superior. That comes up when you think you are more learned, more wise, more wealthy than others: vanity of arrogance, vanity of money, vanity of possessions, vanity of knowledge.

Question: I understand, thank you.

Master: I have submitted these five columns in the diaries and you people do not realize the value of them. Diaries mean, find out failures within you. Like a hard taskmaster, don’t spare yourself — and then weed out.

What is the difference between a Saint and an average man? The Saint never thinks ill of others; He sees things in the right perspective. Even with all that — seeing the true state of everyone — He has love for all.

So keep your attention occupied, here or there or anywhere — don’t be given up to the senses of the body. Sweet love of God should be permeating you, all around you, above you, underneath you. I don’t think you really want to weed out your faults.

If you’re really strong and you want to do it, where there’s a will there’s a way. If you don’t want to do it, that’s another thing. That is why I say you must decide your aim — what you want. Don’t forget what I told you. From this moment on, keep your attention occupied. Not on others. If you are thinking about eating, then you’ll enjoy eating. If you talk to somebody, then you’ll enjoy his company. But if the company is God, then you’ll enjoy Him.

All right. God bless you.

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