What is peace? Is it a magic word? Is it something that will always remain a far cry? Is it a reality that will always be beyond our grasp? Is peace something that will never be permanently in the inmost recesses of our heart? Is it some heavenly treasured thing, a blessingful gift from above, which we do not have here on earth?
What is peace? Peace is a reality which is at once self-revealing and self-fulfilling. When can we have peace of mind? We can have peace of mind only when we surrender our ignorance-night to the Wisdom-Light and Compassion-Height of our Beloved Supreme.
We can say that we are very clever. We offer our Beloved Supreme our ignorance-night and, in exchange, we invoke His Compassion-Light and His Satisfaction-Delight. We give our ignorance-night and, in return, out of His infinite Bounty, He gives us His infinite Light, Peace, Wisdom and Compassion. But again, we see that quite often our Beloved Supreme surrenders to our ignorance-night. We are like a child asking for something unhealthy. Because of the child’s constant insistence, the parents at times give in to him. But when the child realises that it is something harmful, then he stops asking and the parents stop giving. Again, our ultimate, absolute Father knows that it is He who is experiencing this unhealthy thing in and through us.
If we do not breathe in, we cannot live. Similarly, without peace we do not and cannot live like true human beings. We cry for peace — peace within, peace without. So how is it that we do not get peace, which is so important in our life? We do not get peace because of our hunger for possession. We want to possess the world, but as we increase our material possessions, we come to realise that we are still veritable beggars. No matter what we acquire, when we look around we see that there is someone else who has more material wealth. Each time we increase something in our life, we look around and see that somebody else has that very thing in greater measure, and we lose our peace of mind. We become a victim to worry, anxiety and depression; we become frustrated, and frustration is always followed by destruction.
As soon as we come to realise that possession is not the answer, that possession will not give us peace of mind, we go to the other extreme. The other extreme is renunciation. We try to renounce. But when we try to renounce, we come to know how stupid we are. What are we going to renounce? Is there anything on earth which we can claim as our own, very own? Our body does not listen to us, our vital does not listen to us, our mind does not listen to us. Instead, they try to control us.
We want our body to be active, but our body wants to wallow in the pleasures of lethargy. We want our vital to be dynamic, but instead of being dynamic, our vital becomes aggressive and tries to destroy others. We want our mind to be inundated with faith. Instead, our mind always doubts and suspects. It is inundated with doubt at every moment. It not only doubts others, but it also doubts its own capacities, its own achievements, its own realities, its own realisations. This moment our mind will say that you are a very good person, the next moment the same mind will say that you are very bad. And then the following moment the mind will wonder, “Am I right in doubting that person?” First we say he is nice, then we say he is bad. Then we start doubting our mind’s own capacities. And once we start doubting the reality and the authenticity of our mind, destruction starts. When we doubt someone else, we don’t really lose something very significant. But when we start doubting ourselves, then our reality-life comes to an end.
We consider something to be our possession only when we have the last word, only if whatever we say goes. But even the members of our own reality-existence — our body, vital and mind — don’t listen to us and are not within our control, so how can we say they are ours? Even though they are unruly, we want to keep them permanently. Alas, death comes and snatches them away. If they are our own possessions, then how can they be taken away without our permission? If we can’t control our own body, our own vital or our own mind, then how do we dare to say that these are ours?
We can renounce only the things that we possess. The things that we cannot keep permanently, we cannot claim as our own possessions. So what right do we have to renounce them? Renunciation is ridiculous when we do not have a thing to renounce. If we dive deep within, we see that we are veritable beggars. How can a beggar renounce anything?
So possession brings frustration, and renunciation is fruitless. What then can give us peace of mind? Only acceptance — acceptance of God’s Will can give us true peace of mind. By accepting God’s Will as our own, very own, we can get peace. Then only is our life normal. In God’s Eye there is no such thing as possession and renunciation. In God’s Eye there is only one thing: acceptance. In our heart, in our life, there is only one truth, one prayer, which is the ultimate prayer that the Saviour Christ has taught us: “Let Thy Will be done.” Millions and billions and trillions of prayers have been written from time immemorial, but no prayer can equal this one: “Let Thy Will be done.” When we accept God’s Will as our own, at every moment peace looms large in our life of wisdom, in our life of aspiration, in our life of dedication.
How do we know if something is God’s Will or is not God’s Will? We can easily know. When we do something that is God’s Will, we feel a kind of inner joy or satisfaction before we even do it. And while doing or completing the thing, we also get joy. Then comes the paramount question whether we can be equally happy if our action is fruitful or fruitless. In the ordinary life we are happy only when success dawns. When we see victory at the end of our journey, only then are we happy and delighted. But if we can have the same kind of happiness, joy and satisfaction whether we succeed or fail, and if we can cheerfully offer the result of our actions at the Feet of our Beloved Supreme, then only can we know that what we have done is God’s Will. Otherwise, when there is success we feel that what we did was God’s Will, and when there is failure we say that what we did was the will of a hostile force. Or when we succeed we say it is because of our will, and when we fail we say it is because God does not care for us.
We can blame our Lord at our sweet will. We can misunderstand our Lord at our sweet will. When we fail, we can blame God and when we succeed, we can try, to get the glory for ourselves. But if we are sincere seekers, and if we want real abiding happiness, then we shall do the things that we feel are good and right, but the results we shall offer to the Supreme. Success and failure are two experiences. These two experiences we have to unify, and whichever experience we get at the end of our journey, at the end of our performance, we have to offer with tremendous joy. If we can place the result at the Feet of our Beloved Supreme soulfully, cheerfully, unreservedly and unconditionally, then without doubt we will have true peace of mind. At that time peace of mind will come and knock at our heart’s door, our life’s door. We will not have to wait for peace of mind; it will be waiting for us.
We have to surrender our earth-bound will to the Heaven-free Will of our Beloved Supreme. We have to cheerfully, soulfully, devotedly, unreservedly and unconditionally surrender our limited human reality to the Universal or Transcendental Reality. This surrender is not the surrender of a slave to its master. This surrender is the wisdom-light that recognises a difference between our highest height and our lowest depth. Right now, even as seekers, we are often embodying the lowest depth of consciousness, whereas the highest height of consciousness is represented by our Beloved Supreme. Both the highest and the lowest belong to us. What happens when we surrender is that we offer our lowest part to our highest part, for the Supreme is none other than our own highest Self. When we surrender our lowest self, which we now represent or embody, to our high, higher, highest Self, we get peace of mind and inundate our entire being with joy, light and delight.
We are like the tiny drop, and the Supreme is our Source, the ocean. When the drop enters into the ocean, it loses its little individuality and personality and becomes the ocean itself. But as a matter of fact, it does not lose anything at all; it only increases its existence-light unimaginably. If the drop maintains its own reality and personality, it will always be assailed by fear, doubt and all the negative and destructive qualities. But when it enters into the Source, which is all Light and Delight, at that time it acquires all the divine qualities and capacities of the Source.
Honolulu, Hawaii, 17 March 1980↩