There Is One Tool in Akram, That of the Charan Vidhi
Questioner: Dada, now when we do all these aartis (the ritual of waving lamps in front of an idol or deity while singing a hymn) and vidhis (prayers that increase awareness as the Self), then all the other people around us say, “You are calling [your spiritual path] Akram (stepless), yet you do vidhi, you do aarti, you recite the Namaskaar Vidhi (the Vidhi of Salutations), so isn’t all of that step-by-step ( kram)? Isn’t it the same as the Kramik path (the traditional step-by-step, spiritual path of penance and austerities)?
Dadashri: These are the tools of Akram. One should, at the very least, maintain the tool of doing aarti at home, shouldn’t he? ‘We’ have neither said to read the scriptures, nor to observe fasts or do penance. But there should at least be some kind of a tool, shouldn’t there? As far as kram [the Kramik path] goes, one has to gradually move forward by exhausting everything.
Questioner: Yes, when such discussions ensue, we tell them this, but they are not ready to listen. They say, “So you are doing the same things that we do.”
Dadashri: But they cannot understand this, can they! Whether it is these vidhis you are doing or the food and drinks you are consuming right now, and everything else you are doing, I am saying that these are not considered to be kram.
Kram means further study; wherever one is currently standing, wherever one is stuck, to progress from that point step-by-step. So one first becomes aware of the knowledge, and then he develops faith in it, and later it manifests in his conduct. Once the faith is established, it happens step-by-step in this way until one eventually reaches the state of ‘I am pure Soul’; that is Kramik.
That is how it applies to them on the Kramik path. Whereas this Akram is something that cannot be attained in even a million lifetimes.
The one who wants to attain moksha does not need rituals. The one who wants to attain a life-form in the celestial realm, the one who wants worldly pleasures, has a need for rituals. The one who wants to attain moksha needs only these two: the Knowledge of the Self ( Gnan) and the Agnas of the Gnani.