Captain Parveen Singh Tung and his wife Kanwaljit Kaur came to Maharaj to present him a copy of the book One-Straw Revolution by the visionary Japanese farmer, Masanobu Fukuoka. Captain Tung was passionate about organic farming, and was involved with reforestation by aerial seeding from helicopters. Maharaj agreed with his views about chemical agriculture but went so deep into this topic to speak from his mystical realization of God’s presence:
We use medicines to increase our energy and get rid of diseases, but they have their side effects as well, giving birth to new health problems. Agricultural chemicals used to develop the land work the same way. Fifty years ago nobody put chemical fertilizers in the fields or irrigated them, but the crops used to grow. The yield was not great but the crops used to grow. Those crops used to be pure and natural. Now there are diseases everywhere. Why? We have sprayed poisons on them and put poisonous chemicals on the seeds as well. We have concentrated only on how to maximize the length of human life and how to maximize the crops. But the chemicals affect the environment, our lives, and our thinking as well.
People who became saints went into the natural environment, and so did some scientists and philosophers. But whatever we create will have poison hidden in it, as will become known to us after some time.
All the great saints sat under trees. They were not scientists; they did not know what the tree is exhaling. But they had the feeling that it is giving us something natural. This is an ancient thing that we have forgotten. Whether a person is rich or poor, strong or weak, the tree has an effect on his mind.
Everyone’s mind is weak. People do not have patience as they used to because of those things that are now in the air, including fertilizers and sprays. Whatever we say also goes into the air, worry goes into the air, and happiness also goes into the air.
Nature has no end. The whole world has put energy into how to make human beings natural. If you go into Delhi, many things will enter you as you breathe. That is why people’s thoughts are of pressure and worry; big ideas have become weak. The natural things are decreasing because humans are not living naturally.
Look carefully at sprays, at fertilizers, and at the things we eat. If we study them, we will not be able to sleep, for there is poison in everything. Look at [agricultural] spray: It is so toxic that it has an immediate effect. If it goes inside us, it will definitely affect us, but we do not know much becaue little has been said about this issue. To avoid scaring people, books are not written on this. If you gather 100 people, you may not find even a single person whose body is functioning well. There is some kind of effect on each body. Why? Because poisons have harmed one part or another of the body. It is 100% true that there are negative effects. There is no question about that.
Now insecticides are sprayed in sugarcane fields. If they are sprayed in the evening, the next morning you will find that all the insects, snakes, and animals there are dead in the field. What happened? Sugarcane is not made of stone. Spray will go inside it. Sugar and jaggery [a raw form of sugar] are made from it, and the poison will be in them also. That poison will also affect us once it goes inside us. If we think about all these things, we will not be able to sleep. We will become sick.
We are told not to harvest or sell vegetables before 15 days after applying chemical sprays. Farmers say, “Okay, we won’t eat them for 15 days,” but they sell the vegetables in the market, whence they are sold immediately to people. [Those poisons] will affect the people who buy them.
These things only come to an end if compassion arises in humans—if they feel God inside and think, “If others lose, what will be my gain? If others’ feelings are hurt, what is my benefit? If others are annoyed, what is my benefit?” If this feeling comes, then the human will be purified and the crops we grow will also be purified. At present humans are not purified. The human says, “Only I should benefit. If others lose, it hardly matters to me.”
Therefore, that which we call dharma, God, and Love will affect us only when we do not give to others that which disturbs us. Dharma stands there and says, “Do not deceive anybody.” When someone deceives you, you feel bad. You think, “Why has he done this to me?” When someone hurts you, you think, “Why did he hurt me?” The foundation of dharma is this: Do not give to others that which you do not want.
This is my thinking: There is no animal, no human being, no tree, no plant, no flower on this earth that does not want love. If you give hate, hatred will come back to you. So do not give others anything that you do not like.
There is no compassion left within humans. Throughout the day a person gives hatred, but when He says, “It hurts people’s feelings,” he does not know what will happen when the same comes back to him. Therefore compassion and love have moved out of the human being, and God’s blessings have also moved out. That is why a person is hurting everyone’s feelings and then sitting happily after doing so. But he also knows that somebody will hurt him back. What will he do then?
Many times we have seen that there are some officers who are very strict and unjust. But when injustice happens to such an officer, he does not stop crying. Then other people say to him, “Now you know that injustice is bad.” The officer tells me, “Maharaj ji, that person has done this to me,” but he has also done the same to others. [I could tell him] “This has happened to you only once, but you have done a lot of injustice to others.”
Therefore if people understand this, we all will become happy. Let us all enjoy, live, and laugh together. May we live like brothers and sisters.
All religions are saying the same thing: think good about others, have compassion for others, have love for others, think how to serve others. Then where will there be conflict? We will all meet each other like brothers and sisters. Whenever we meet, we will laugh and enjoy. If we hurt each other, we cannot enjoy.
Thus not only do we need natural crops; we need natural human beings, too. Humans are also not in natural condition. You see, whatever we say throughout the day is caught by the air. All our thoughts move through the air. Words of anger, words of worry are very poisonous. They are spread through the air. Even the air is not clean. Humans’ thoughts are quite poisonous. So we should take care of this.
What is natural is priceless. Keep your environment and your crops natural. When you look at Nature’s garden, you will feel good. When you go up a mountain, you will feel, where is He who created it? When you see flowers around, you also feel, where is the Gardener? We put all our energy into “Who will take care of the flowers?” But who is there to take care of them [in the natural environment]? Look how He has designed the mountains. He has designed them well. Human beings can never create them. Where is He? We cannot see Him. Therefore seeds fall by themselves. The atmosphere there is good. Nature is very powerful.
Sometimes snow falls. A person thinks, “If snow keeps falling for 5 or 6 hours, it will cover my car. Snow is heavy.” But God says, “I won’t let snow cover your car.” After several hours, a rainstorm comes and removes the snow. Always remember that Nature helps us a lot. One day I had gone to some place and snow started falling. I thought, “If its level reaches 3 or 4 feet, what will happen?” But then I realized, “God will also have thought about it. He will not kill many people at one time.” Immediately a heavy rainstorm came and washed the snow down. Then God said, “You carry on.” Nature is so powerful, but human beings are a bit crazy.
In Japan they do not grow many flowers. We asked them why. They said, “We think that flowers do not make us happy. When a flower is fresh it looks beautiful; when it becomes old, its petals fall. We do not want to look at it because we have seen its beauty. So we think, ‘Why raise flowers when they make us unhappy? Why bring them near ourselves?’” That is why they grow other plants and have far fewer flowers in Japan. They want to keep their minds free.
Once when we were in Japan we went to a factory. A big hammer was lying there. We asked, “Why have you kept this hammer?” The person replied, “Sometimes we become angry. We ask the angry person to just pick up the hammer and throw it three times. Anger goes away. Throwing the hammer makes us tired, and when we are tired, anger vanishes.” You are using your brain, but sometimes you worry, sometimes you hurt others’ feelings. Just think: “Who are you looking at?” We are looking at people, but they are not stable. We look at flowers, and they also make us feel sad. They have a life span. Flowers laugh today, but slowly they start wilting and their petals start falling. It is a continuous vicious cycle. Sometimes your thoughts make you a king, sometimes you become full of willpower, sometimes you bow your head and become sad. If somebody asks you, “What happened today?” you will say, “I don’t know. I’m unhappy today.” If you make friends with that person, he will definitely let you down. He himself is demoralized; how will he lift your head up? That is why Maharaj says in Gurbani, “Maanas ki tek birthi sab jaan deven ko eke bhagwaan” (Do not expect anything from a human being. It is God who is the Giver). Maharaj says, “Do not think you will stay happy by looking at that person. He himself is demoralized. His karmas keep disturbing him. He will definitely disturb you one day.”
In our homes one person speaks loudly and the other person feels bad. Then he says, “Sorry—I was under pressure.” After a few days, he repeats the same thing; again he says, “Sorry.” We get so tired of listening to his “Sorry.” We feel, “Leave your habit. Why do you disturb us?” This is the karma that Guru Nanak refers to. Your karma revolves around you throughout the day. When will this karma burn? It will burn up when you love God. God never becomes sad; neither will you. He will never use harsh words, and you will never become angry. He loves.
Look at history. Human beings have always disappointed each other because they themselves are disappointed. You make friends, but when your friend speaks angrily, your friendship ends. Then you may realize, he and I were the same, but his karma was very strong. It made him blind; he could not see anything.
That is why Guru Gobind Singh Ji called this world “Mrit Lok” (mortal world). Mrit Lok means that nothing here is immortal. All things come and go. They always go. Then why do we become sad? “Why has this thing gone? Why has that thing gone?” Everything has to return to the place from which it has come. Remember one thing: All of us are travelers. Why not travel happily? What is the point of crying? Enjoy travelling, enjoy playing. What’s the matter?
The saint says, “It is Your drama.” Another person says, “A very bad thing has happened. It is God’s curse.” God never curses anybody. So what kind of curse are you talking about? He always blesses, but you are considering His blessing as a curse.
Therefore always remember that humans will always disappoint you. Long ago I visited a place. I heard the whole family crying loudly. I asked them, “What has happened?” They replied, “We had a cow. The whole family loved her. She has died, so everybody is crying,” I said, “You should know that one day she had to die.” It is the nature of human beings that they think someone will not die. Everything will have to die one day. Age is fixed. Everyone has to go one day; don’t you cry. Love them as long as they are with you.
Nothing is stable. Even your thoughts are not stable. One day you decide that you will not become angry any more, but the very next day you become angry. Your friend is not with you. Your body is also your friend; it leaves you from time to time.
Living naturally is God’s blessing. Eating naturally is God’s blessing. Now they are emphasizing natural crops because they have power. Trees and earth have strong will power. The human thinks, “I will make this design, or that design,” but God has designed everything beautifully.
Think: “I will not speak loudly; I will speak nicely.”
Love is the main thing. Love is very difficult. Love never dies. Someone’s body is cut into pieces; someone’s head is cut off. Mansoor’s* skin and arms were cut off. But he [still] said, “Ana l’ Haqq!” (I am the Truth!”). Love has no end. Love is very powerful. Love is something which crosses rough ways. Love is a very great thing. When you have love, you say, “God is everywhere. God is in the trees, in the earth, in the flowers.” Love is so powerful that it enlightens from within. But love is also a dangerous thing; you cannot do it. As the Fifth Guru said, “Give me that longing that even if I want to tear it, it does not get torn; even if I want to leave, it does not leave me.” There is no revolt in Your love; a human being cannot leave after loving You. But it is so very strange: No one could explain love. How could they explain it? It can never be spoken. Whosoever loved Him said “Neti, neti” (Beyond this, beyond this). Even I cannot tell you.
*Mansoor is the great Sufi saint, Al-Hallaj, who was tortured and killed as a heretic because of expressing his union with the Beloved, saying “I am the Truth.” He said, “I am He whom I love and He whom I love is I.”