State University of New York at Stony Brook
March 11, 1970
Lead me from the unreal in the Real. Lead me from darkness to Light. Lead me from death to Immortality.
— From the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
Willpower. What is willpower? Willpower is man's conscious inner urge to enter into the very heart of Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. To live a devoted life is to be a conscious child of God's Will. In the life of aspiration two things are of paramount importance: willpower and prayer.
Prayer is feminine. Willpower is masculine. But both prayer and willpower are most effective, and both can bring about the same result.
Willpower is an ever-progressive and self-manifesting reality in the universe. At times we mortals find it difficult to separate our willing from our wishing. We want to achieve our goal with determined personal efforts, supported and guided by God's loving Grace. Whenever we will to achieve something, we pay the price; whereas when we wish to achieve something, very often we do not pay the price: we just wish. Here there is no effort, no conscious effort; and so we can hardly expect any success.
Human willpower and divine Willpower. Human willpower is like a rope of sand. At any moment it can break. Divine Willpower is the aspiring humanity within us evolving into the all-fulfilling Beyond.
Victory's crown. Where is the greatest victory? The greatest victory lies in self-discovery. Atmanam viddhi: Know thyself. There can be no greater victory than to know oneself. To conquer a nation is a human victory. This victory is limited. When Caesar said, "Veni, vidi, vici" — "I came, I saw, I conquered" — he was referring to a human victory. Again, when the Son of God says, "Father, let Thy Will being done," here human aspiration has entered into the infinite Wisdom-Light of the Supreme. The real victory is achieved only when one has established a conscious, inseparable oneness with one's Inner Pilot.
God's Smile is man's victory's crown. And eternal aspiration is the pride of eternal victory. No aspiration, no realisation. No realisation, no revelation. No revelation, no manifestation of the divine Truth on earth.
You want to live on earth because you have countless desires. You feel there are many things on earth you have to accomplish. But these desires need not be fulfilled, cannot be fulfilled and will not be fulfilled without God.
When you try to discover yourself, when you want to know what you truly are, God's infinite Bounty dawns on you. With your self-discovery, you can reveal God's Omniscience, Omnipotence and Omnipresence here on earth. It is here on earth and nowhere else that God-Realisation and God-Manifestation can and will take place.
In order to be surcharged with willpower we need concentration, meditation and contemplation. We have to know how to concentrate. When our concentration is perfect, we then must enter into meditation. When our meditation is perfect, we have to enter into contemplation.
How can we learn how to concentrate? Just by reading books? No, impossible. Books will give us inspiration, nothing more. In order to learn the secret of concentration, one has to go to a spiritual Teacher. You have to come to the university to learn, to cultivate knowledge. Similarly, the inner knowledge also has to be learned from someone. True, the treasure is within you. But somebody has to show you where your treasure is and where your key lies. You come to school to learn, and for each subject you have a different teacher. But in the spiritual life there is only one subject, and that subject is self-realisation. And one real Teacher is more than enough to teach you, guide you, illumine you and fulfil you.
Meditation. Meditation also has to be taught, especially in the beginning. At your journey's dawn, meditation has to be taught. Now you are coming to the university. But when you get your degree you don't continue coming. When you yourself have realised God, or when you are far advanced in your meditation, you do not need a Teacher. But only then, not before.
Then comes contemplation, which is the last rung of the spiritual ladder. You can contemplate on the personal God or the impersonal God. It is always easier, safer and more fulfilling to go to the personal God first and to go to the impersonal God through Him.
Willpower and victory's crown. The spiritual life needs only one thing: aspiration. It is our heart's constant aspiration that gives birth to willpower and victory's crown.
Let us all aspire. Ours is the aspiring soul, ours is the fulfilling Goal — here and now, in the immediacy of today.