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Full text of "Sri Sai Baba`S:Charters And Sayings"

NINTH TALK              l73

the non-essential may be separated. Here your
Catholic friends say Masses for their dead; go over
to India and you will find our Hindu brothers
performing what is called the Shraddha ceremony for
the dead. Widely different as they are, yet they are
both ceremonies intended to help the departed, and
they both do help the departed, there is no shadow of
doubt about that. Now the Catholic would cling to
the form of his Mass, but in clinging to these forms
he would be clinging to superstition. There is no
superstition in doing that which helps the dead ; that
is a real and a beneficent act. The act itself is the
essential thing, with the goodwill and the earnestness
put into it and the love poured out towards the de-
parted. These are the real things, and these produce
the result, but the mere outer garment is unimportant.
The garment of the Mass in black and silver, or the
offerings of the balls of rice, these do not matter, they
are only the outward forms. Clinging to them would
be superstition, but the ceremony itself, the truth that
that lies behind it, that is a fact in nature, not a super-
stition. It may not be a bad thing to examine your
own minds, even you who are Theosophists, and
see how much of your mental furniture you can
definitely .claim as belonging to yourselves—how much
you believe because a great many other people
believe it, how much you believe because it is written
in some sacred book, how much you believe merely
ancestrally without ever having thought about it.