The poet sang:
“I slept and dreamed that life was Beauty. I woke and found that life was Duty."
Duty and Beauty are like two poles, north pole and south pole.
What is Beauty? Beauty is the oneness of the finite and the Infinite. Beauty is the expression of the Infinite through man the finite. Beauty is man’s embodiment of God, the Infinite. In the material world, in the physical world, it is through Beauty that God reveals Himself.
It is the Beauty of the soul which is Beauty unparalleled in the physical world. This Beauty inspires the outer world and fulfils the inner world. This Beauty makes us one with God, God the Infinite. This Beauty makes us one with God’s Soul, the light Infinite. This Beauty makes us one with God’s Body, the Universe. When we live in the world of aspiration, we come to realise that the transcendental Duty and the universal Beauty are the perfect expressions of one and the same Reality.
Duty. In our day-to-day life, duty is something unpleasant, demanding and discouraging. When we are reminded of our duty, we lose all our inner, spontaneous joy. We feel miserable. We feel that we could have used our life-energy for a better purpose. Only a man devoid of common sense can say that he does not know what his duty is. Each man knows his duty well, too well. It is up to him whether or not to perform it.
Today I am supposed to speak on Duty Supreme. An aspirant’s is the life that has to perform the Duty Supreme. His first and foremost Duty is to realise God. There can be no other Duty save and except this Duty, — God-Realisation — in his life, here on earth. An aspirant, when he saw the light of day, was inspired by God Himself, with this message:
“Realise Me on earth.
Reveal Me on earth.
Fulfil Me on earth.”
Time is fleeting. Time does not wait for us. We shall have to be wise. Each moment we can utilise for a divine purpose. Each moment we can utilise in performing our soulful Duty.
Duty is painful, tedious and monotonous simply because we do it with our ego, pride and vanity. Duty is pleasant, encouraging and inspiring when we do it for God’s sake. What we need is just to change our attitude towards Duty. If we work for the sake of God, then there is no Duty. It is all Joy. It is all Beauty. Each action has to be done and offered at the Feet of God. Duty for God’s sake is the Duty Supreme. No right have we to undertake any other duty before we work out our own spiritual salvation for did God not entrust us with this wonderful task at the time of our very birth? The Supreme Duty is to constantly strive for God-Realisation. Time is short, but our souls’ mission on earth is lofty. How can we waste time? Why should we spend time in the pleasures of the senses?
Now we often say that we are under no obligation to others because we have not accepted anything from them. They have not given us anything. True, we are under no obligation, but there is a word called “expectation.” I may not have taken anything from you, but that does not mean that you cannot expect anything from me. At times your expectation may be legitimate. Expect, you certainly can, but there is one thing that you cannot do. You cannot claim. You can expect and it is up to me to give you what you want, but claim you must not. Only God can claim, nobody else. God and God alone can claim me my entire life. Each individual has to feel that God has the absolute right to claim him forever, here on earth, there in heaven.
Love your family much. This is your great duty. Love mankind more. This is your greater duty. Love God most. This is your greatest duty, the Duty Supreme.
There are two things. One is remembrance. The other is forgetfulness. All of us know that it is our duty to collect our salary. Indeed it is our duty. And we always remember it. But there is another duty. We have to work. That duty we forget. In order to get our salary, we have to work. Somehow we manage to forget this. In the spiritual world also, there is a duty. This duty is to enjoy the fruit of God-Realisation. We all know it and we are extremely eager to perform this duty. But unfortunately we forget the other duty; Meditation. One duty is to enjoy the fruits; the other duty is to acquire the fruit. But we are clever enough to cry for the fruits of realisation long before we have entered into the field of Meditation. No meditation; no realisation. Without meditation, God-Realisation is nothing but self-deception.
An aspirant has a most significant duty and that duty is to have perfect faith in his divine possibilities. If he has faith in himself plus faith in the living Guru, then he can easily perform the Supreme Duty, the duty of self-discovery, God-Realisation.
AUM 486. This talk was given at the Boston University, Boston, on March 24, 1969.↩