Ruzbeh N. Bharucha
This is one fundamental difference between a yogi (one who operates from detachment) and a bhogi (one who operates from desires and senses). The yogi will do everything that s(h)e has to do giving hundred percent dedication and is not interested in the fruits or the applause. S(h)e lives in the world but isn’t attached to the world or the ramifications. If the fruits do come forth, then s(h)e will enjoy them, if not then s(h)e will live continue doing his or her duty with a calm mind. The bhogi wants gratification. Instant gratification would be more appreciated. The yogi does nothing for gratification.
One is seeking indulgence and one wants to give each moment his or her best in the most centered and humble manner. When we reach that realm of thought, whether we are giving a holy bath to a Deity or cleaning the street corner, and we do it with the same love and devotion then we reach the state of being a yogi. Because for a yogi the Goddess, God, Guru lives in both the Temple and the street corner and to give his or her best is one’s duty and dharma. S(h)e doesn’t need to prove a point to anyone. S(h)e wants to do justice to the responsibility at hand.
That person has moved beyond the five elements and even Karma. The difference between a yogi and a bhogi is only this.
But we are so interested in the results and the gains that we have begun to even follow that Goddess, God, Guru who answers one’s prayers and proves His or Her self by performing miracles. So many people have told me that they used to follow another Goddess, God, Guru, but now they follow someone else as S(H)e answers their prayers and solves their issues. They have forgotten their family Deity or religion or Guru and now follow another Goddess, God or Guru because their issues are being taken care of. So we have business relationships even in spirituality.
That is why there is so much of abuse even in the realm of faith. Spiritual powers (siddhis) have got nothing to do with spiritual purity. There is a world of difference between shudhi (purity) and siddhi (powers). In earlier times devotees and the common man gravitated towards purity. In the present time one gravitates towards those who have spiritual power and that is why so many people have experienced advantage being taken of them and abused and deceived. The bhogis fall into such traps the fastest. They seek the external. They seek results. They seek instant gratification. The yogi loves The One. S(h)e is not into miracles or quick results or miracles. The yogi seeks union. Seeks to be dissolved into The Ocean. No matter how long or arduous the journey or the swim.
Thus even in spirituality and those who have reached heights, even there the depth of a yogi and a bhogi is visible, even though both may be evolved and powerful. The yogi will strive to bring His or Her clan out of darkness into Divine Light and let the child go through his or her Karma as that is the way forward, blessing the child with strength and wisdom to go through the journey as calmly as possible. But there are many who though aware that when one has purity (shudhi), powers (siddhis) come running after you and when you only focus on siddhis, all that which is innocent and pure slowly fade into the background, but they too want a following and seek some sort of gratification as those who operate from siddhis only, they too run after some fulfillment…be it fame, power, money whatever. But those who operate from purity have only The One in heart, mind and breath. That is the difference between a Master who is a yogi and one who is a bhogi, as it is eventually the quantum of detachment to the external that creates a difference even in the realm of spirituality.
The day you make your life as a yogi you can enjoy the stuff of the bhogi without getting attached to it. Nobody has said don’t enjoy the material if it is a part of the plan. But don’t make gratification your ‘be all and end all’ of existence.
When we say AapkoAapkaarpankyalagaymera (i offer to You everything as all belongs to You only and nothing is mine), how many of us truly mean this. All this sounds good when one is singing a devotional song but how many of us truly mean it. When we say AapkoAapkaarpan what it truly means is that everything is Yours and You do as You wish. That is the meaning of AapkoAapkaarpan. But most often all these fancy words we use in our prayers, we don’t mean jack. Even God must be wondering that ‘this chap everyday tells Me, everything belongs to Me and to do as I want, but the moment I do what I think is best for this bugger, s(h)e goes all ballistic and whines and often even questions My mental health and intentions. A little discomfort and s(h)e starts to doubt My existence and yet every day sings AapkoAapkaarpan’. The yogi may not chant this prayer but s(h)e lives this prayer. A bhogi prays but does not live the prayer.
Do we really understand the gravity of what we pray? Why do elders teach prayers without living them? We elders begin to live their prayers each child will live as a yogi.
Do one’s duty and then let God do as S(H)e deems fit, is the only true way forward. We all know this but none of us truly abide by this simple philosophy. Just as we all know we are going to drop this body. That is our greatest reality that we are going to leave this body but look at the way we go about living our lives as though we are here forever or we are going to take with us all that we have amassed or there is nothing like Karma and life after death and reincarnation. We live most of the times with such amazing shallowness that God must be perpetually on the IV drip, pumping His Divine body with a cocktail of medicines just to survive mankind.
The yogi understands what is wanted of him or her by Providence. The yogi has found his or her place under the Sun and is content with what is at hand. A yogi is part of the world but does not belong to this external world. His prayers seek forgiveness, strength, wisdom, and lots and lots of humour to survive mankind.
We all know that the only true reason we should be praying is to thank The One, seek forgiveness, and ask for wisdom and strength to go through life with dignity, compassion and centeredness. Seek wellbeing for oneself, one’s lot and all of Creation. That is how a yogi I assume prays and then lives this prayer. The yogi makes life a prayer.
A bhogi prays for all this but there are conditions that apply, fine print which even God has to put on His spectacles to read and then decipher and there are loopholes so subtly inserted in the prayers that if God is not careful S(H)e is going to certainly get into a tight spot. A bhogi trades with God to eventually learn that God sucks at business. God help you if you start trading with God and then S(H)e begins to trade with you; you had it.
A yogi will never judge as the yogi knows that to judge means to come not from compassion but to come forth from prejudice. Also the yogi knows that if s(h)e begins to judge then God is going to begin judging too and God help that individual if God begins to judge that person. But a bhogi only judges and most often the judging is based on what suits us at that particular point of time. If an individual can help us or further our cause, we will suddenly not judge that individual. But if the individual is of no use to us then our judgmental bilge will overflow.
The yogi knows that if he or she begins to judge, with what face is s(h)e going to seek forgiveness as being judgmental is harshness exhibited by an individual over somebody else’s flaws, weakness, but mainly circumstances created by Karma. The yogi knows if one is judgmental and condescending, how can he or she seek forgiveness of one’s own flaws, weakness, mess ups caused by circumstances or weakness. But the main reason a yogi never judges is the realisation that one can never really know why things happen, why people behave the way they do, as something could have begun many lifetimes prior and concluded in this lifetime and to judge without knowing the entire history of the situation would mean to come from prejudice and lack of wisdom and compassion. So the yogi knows that if he or she doesn’t want to be judged and wants to be forgiven then he or she has no right to judge and come forth from prejudice. The yogis philosophy is simple. I have no knowledge of why of the Karmic history of an incident or behaviour and as I do not want to be judged by The One, I shall never make the mistake of judging somebody else. If one wants to be forgiven, one needs to begin to forgive. If you want grace then come forth from grace yourself. If you want peace, spread peace yourself.
If you think you are spotless and you don’t mind being judged by The One then maybe one could over look your tendency to judge. You can take a punch as hard as you can give it. If you don’t want forgiveness from The One then maybe you have a right not to forgive. If your philosophy is I will not forgive and I don’t want forgiveness, then however messed up your philosophy at least you hold some ground. But you want forgiveness, and you don’t want to forgive anyone else, that is ridiculous and dangerous.
‘Forgive us for our sins and trespasses as we forgive those who sin and trespass against us’. This is a profound prayer. Not only prayed by the millions of Christians but by school children all over the world and by people from other religions saying it a bit differently but meaning the same. What this prayer means is, ‘please God look at me kindly and with compassion and forgive me as I too have lived a life where I have forgiven those who have hurt me and trespassed against me’.
Maybe I have forgiven those damn idiots who have hurt me just so that God too will cut me some slack. Or maybe I truly believe that the best way forward is to forgive as the burden of hate is too heavy for my mangled shoulders. Of course it would be great if I were to forgive as that is the right thing to do. Whatever the reason may be, I think only those who forgive have a right to say this prayer. Otherwise God must be wondering, ‘funny chap, most judgmental and unforgiving but everyday sits with the rosary and chews my brains seeking for forgiveness’.
The prayer chanted by millions in various languages and to various Goddess and Gods, ‘that forgive us as we forgive those who hurt us’, I wonder how many of us live the true meaning of this prayer. None of us pray ‘forgive me Lord and hell to everybody else (bhadmeinjayay sab log)’. We pray, ‘forgive us as we too forgive those who sin against us’. A yogi lives this prayer. A bhogi just chants it.
When you live this prayer, we have opened a channel to forgiveness. When we don’t judge, I am certain our Guides and Masters and The One, judges us less severely and with more compassion. The yogi knows this, and has realised that for God to be merciful one needs to be merciful too. For God to forgive us one needs to forgive too. For God not to judge us one needs to stop judging others. Do not judge lest thou be judged. You want God to go easy on you then you go easy on others.
The Yogi may or may not know all this but certainly lives all this. The only saving grace is that in every bhogi resides a yogi; bh(y)ogi waiting to be set free.
Be blessed always.
Ruzbeh N. Bharucha