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Maharaji on the Ashram

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'Well, you see, when somebody drives a convertible with the top down and it starts raining, he finds out what the purpose of the top on there is. Ashram premies are people, who want shelter - who want Divine Shelter. (Maharaji - January 22, 1975)

There are a lot of premies who are very confused about the ashram situation. Really, I tell you, that's where your mind comes in. Listen. You have to first understand the definition of an ashram (read the
Ashram Code, as written by Maharaji). Understand the definition of an ashram, and if it applies to you, go ahead, go and move in; if it doesn't apply to you, get out of there - what are you - doing there ? You know ?

And the definition of an ashram is that it is a place for a person who really wants to understand this Knowledge. It is for that premie who wants to really understand this Knowledge and be in an environment which will boost that realisation, who wants - in other words - shelter from this world into something which is more applicable to him.

It's like, the sun is beautiful, and the desert is beautiful, but only when you are looking at it from your air-conditioned room's window. When you get out there it is not so beautiful, because it gets too hot. And it's like, at that point you need a shade, you need something that's applicable to you.

You will reap what you have sown, everybody knows that. If you sow mangoes, you won't reap berries. You will reap mangoes. If you build an ashram, many people will come and take knowledge and they will bless your soul. It will be a wonderful thing! (Maharaji - September 17, 1974)

Q: For whom do you recommend ashram life ?

Ans: For whom ? Everybody, of course. For human beings, not chimpanzees. But first they must have no obligations. And they must want to dedicate their whole life.

Q: I get confused about which service I should be doing as a devotee.

Ans: Common sense is uncommon. Now, just what do you think is appropriate for you to do ? Now, if you want to drive a plane, and you don't know how to drive a plane, then that won't be useful service for you. You must know what to do. If you know how to work as a housemother in an ashram, then work as a housemother. If you don't want to stay in an ashram, then do Satsang. Right ? Common sense is uncommon. Yes ?

Q: Guru Maharaj Ji, I had a lot of doubts and a lot of people I know still have the same doubts about the strictness of the ashram. I would like to know what to say to them about why this has to be. They feel you're on a control trip ?

Ans: Now you see, God is the controller, it is His control trip. Why, do you see with your mouth or with your nose ? Why only with eyes ? You talk about it being a control trip, then why do you only see with your eyes and not with your mouth ? Why ? Because that's the way things are, and that's the way things are going to be. Understand ?

A man who sees through his mouth, you are not going to call him a man. You are going to call him a monster ! A man must see through his eyes, that's the way it must be.

ASHRAM has to be ashram, and an ashram is not a motel. An ashram is an ashram and an ashram has got something of a soul in it. You don't go into a church and just start sleeping there and drinking your coffee there. You don't do that, do you ? A church is a church, a temple is a temple. You are strict about doing certain things there. Understand ?

You go to a church, you pray, you meditation, read something, you understand something, and you become more spiritual, right ?

Why should there be so much strictness? Because, we are the children of God and this is the house of God, that's why there should be so much strictness. That's the way it has to be, that's why.

Q: What is confusing, though, is that some of the ashram people say, 'the whole world should be like the ashram.'

Ans: If the whole world can be like that, it will be fantastic ! There is so much desperation around the world. I read advertisements encouraging people to smoke. And there is an ashram regulation saying, "Do not smoke", so if that happens all the way round the world, it will be fantastic. No drugs nothing like that. Everyone neat and clean and active. It will be fantastic THING is that a person has to realize how much he needs an ashram.

Ashram is a shelter.

You know, and a certain way has been set up, a certain life has been set up, so that there is not a big a mess in an ashram. I mean, can you imagine if there was just nothing ? (Maharaji - September, 1972)

THING is, a student can learn English and everything he wants to learn out of school, he can learn it by himself, but it will take him centuries to do that, while the school is something he can go to, you know, and do it much more quickly, you know ?

Do you understand what I mean ? It's like, if you want to do it outside, you can do it, but it's like that when you're outside, it's like the mind itself just takes you around a little bit - because you are giving it freedom of its own. You understand ?

But when you are in an ashram, it's really hard for it to work, you know, because premies that are really, don't want to be in an ashram, you know, it's simply because of their mind, you know. And that is what, that's just really troubling them. But if you want to do it outside the ashram you can do it, but it will probably take centuries and ages. (Maharaji - December 27, 1973 - Telephone Conversation)

You can meditate on the Knowledge and you will get high, but there's a certain amount of personal involvement that makes a lot of difference in the time it takes you to elevate. Of course, you can be elevated to the same point where you are living not in the ashram, because you don't have to live in the ashram. But it's better to live in the ashram because twenty four hour a day you have got a complete environment, you know, feeling the vibrations you are getting, meditating properly. ... (Maharaji - July, 1972 - Denver)

I am not going to push a premie into an ashram. It's totally up to them. And as soon as they pass their standards to move into the ashram, we will see. It's not their choice to make. Besides the point that they make the choice to move into an ashram, there is also our choice to make if he passes our standards, who will let him move into an ashram. If you think you are ready for it, just apply for it. If you don't think you are ready, then don't apply for it. There is no question.

Q: How closely should the ashrams be run by the book ?

Ans: It's not the question how close they should stick to the book. The question is, 'Who wrote the good book' ?

Q: You did.

Ans: There is your answer. I dictated it and I sanctioned it, and if you are really a premie and a devotee who is dedicated and who is going to obey Agya, then you are going to follow the good book (read
the Ashram Code). Otherwise you are not. (Maharaji - 1975 - Orlando Conference)

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