Purity: divinity's little sister

The power of purity

Purity is the light of our soul expressing its divinity through the body, the vital and the mind. When we are pure we gain everything. If we can retain our purity, we will never lose anything worth keeping. Today we may have great thoughts or great inner power, but tomorrow we are bound to lose them if we are not pure. Purity is the Breath of the Supreme. When purity leaves us, the Breath of the Supreme also leaves. Then we are left with only our human breath.

Purity means following the dictates of our Inner Pilot without allowing undivine forces to enter into us. Wherever there is a lack of purity there is obscurity, which is the pioneer of death. What we call obscurity today is death for us tomorrow. Purity is the only thing that can sustain our divinity. If there is no purity, there is no certainty. If there is no purity, there is no spontaneity. If there is no purity, there is no constant flow of divinity inside us.

In purity there is divine magic. If we can hold one single pure thought during our meditation, then for hours we will derive benefit from that pure thought. During that time our worst weaknesses are transformed into real strengths. We all know that quantity and quality are not the same. We all care for quality and not for quantity. But the more we develop divine purity, the greater becomes our inner strength. With purity, quality and quantity go together. Purity is like a divine magnet. It pulls all divine qualities into us. When we have purity, the world is filled with pride in us. If Mother Earth houses a single pure soul, her joy knows no bounds. She says, "Here, at least, is a soul I can rely upon."

We should have purity in our thoughts, in our ideas, in our feelings, in our conversation, in all that we say, all that we do, all that we feel and all that we are. We can make our entire life like a flower in a garden. If we identify our consciousness with the flower, we can never have impure feelings. But even if we remain inside the garden, if we don't consciously identify with a flower or with the garden itself, then we will remain impure.

Purity must be established in our entire existence. The body should also have the purity of the soul. For that, cleanliness and good health are required. Purity is something we must have inside us all the time, not something we can get from somewhere else when we need it. Purity is something to be lived. It is an integral state of divine consciousness.

Once purity is established, especially in the vital, much is accomplished in one's inner life and outer life. In human purity abides God's highest Divinity. Man's purity is God's Breath. Purity is tremendous power. We can accomplish anything with purity. But if we lose our purity, although we may have power, wealth or influence, we will crumble, we can easily fall.

All spiritual aspirants, without exception, have seen and felt the necessity of purity. Today they climb the inner Mount Everest on the strength of their highest purity, but tomorrow they fall down into the lowest abyss. Purity lost, everything is lost; God Himself is lost. Purity won, the world is won, the entire universe is won.

Inner purification

A seeker cannot achieve inner purification all at once. It is a gradual process. Inner purification begins with our conscious meditation; then it has to be achieved during our waking hours; then it has to be achieved during our sleep. After all these it can be done in the dream state. We have to start at the beginning and work in sequence. That is to say, during meditation we have to purify ourselves constantly. It is useless to attempt meditation without purification, and it is useless to expect purification without meditation. If somebody is trying to meditate without bothering to invoke even a little purity, he is just bolting his heart's door more and more tightly. If impure thoughts come at the time of meditation, they are infinitely stronger than the impure thoughts that we get when we are not in meditation. Why? Because at the time of meditation everything is intense, sharp, one-pointed. If any impure idea comes in, that impure idea gets strength from the intensity of our meditation. But if our meditation begins with purity, then the strength of purity can easily devour any impure thoughts that attack us. Peace, light, bliss, power and other divine qualities can never stay in us permanently if we are wanting in purity. Thousands fall from the spiritual life just because they do not bother to establish purity in their lives. They aspire for two months, three months, six months, five years, ten years. Then all of a sudden they fall, just because they do not have purity.

Most spiritual aspirants become vegetarians. This is wonderful. But if we eat only vegetables with the idea that we will be able to conquer our lower vital movements, that is a foolish idea. Merely by eating vegetables one can never conquer the lower vital. Being a vegetarian does help in our spiritual life, and I do appreciate it if you can be a vegetarian. But the real purity comes from the inner aspiration from the soul, not from food. If we have some spiritual purity, then the physical purity that we get from not eating meat will be most effective. If we do not have purity, no matter how carefully we abstain from eating meat or fish, purity will not come to us.

Those who give all importance to food in order to achieve purity in the mind, heart and soul are making a mistake. If we really want purity, it is good not to eat meat; but we have to know that it is aspiration and meditation which are of paramount importance for developing purity. If we can bring the soul's purity to the fore, then with that purity we can enter into the heart, the mind, the vital and finally the physical. When the divine purity has inundated all parts of our being, then we can be sure that it will last forever in us. We have to know how much we can expect from eating vegetables. Remember that it is aspiration, the aspiration of the entire body, vital, mind, heart and soul that can give us purity. When we combine our inner purity with our outer purity, we strengthen them both. But inner purity must get first importance. Inner purity needs constant aspiration, the mounting flame. If we have this, only then will we really achieve something eternal.

Once we can purify our consciousness during meditation, we can think of achieving purity during all our waking hours, and so on. Purification of the dream-consciousness is a very advanced state.

In order to invoke purity during your meditation, whenever you meditate at home, please try to burn incense and candles and have flowers and the picture of your Guru, if you have one. These things will help to establish purity in the atmosphere. Then when you begin your meditation, try to breathe in and out for three to five minutes while imagining that you are breathing in and out with your Master. Consciously offer your life-breath to your Master; feel that you are breathing together with him. Then you will receive inner purity from your Master and you can enter into your meditation with tremendous purity.

Emotion, human and divine

There are two types of emotion — divine and undivine. Emotion by itself is not bad, but when we misuse it, it is undivine emotion. When it is properly used, it is divine emotion and is absolutely necessary. Undivine emotion is restricted to the gross physical, the vital and the obscure mind. This kind of emotion is the result of unfulfilled, unsatisfied and dissatisfied desires. It constantly tries to possess either an object or an individual or the whole world. It binds and limits us and finally drains our physical, vital and mental energy. This possessive emotion makes us think of everything in terms of 'I, my, mine'.

When we use human emotion it tries to destroy everything. Gradually, emotion becomes limited only to one's own body; then to one particular portion of our body. Undivine emotion negates and negates. Emotion in the physical and vital, which are impure, will naturally try to destroy our divine possessions and qualities. With negative emotion we increase our conscious aggressiveness.

The emotion that binds us to our own limited physical consciousness has to be thrown aside. We have to try ultimately to illumine and transform both desire and emotion, rather than to control or discipline them. When we take shelter in divine emotion, we can illumine and transform the human emotion that wants to possess the world and bind us.

Emotion in its source is absolutely pure. Divine emotion expands our consciousness and is always welcome. When it comes from our soul, it tells us, "I came from God, who is Infinity, Eternity and Immortality." This kind of emotional thrill helps us to enter into our highest and deepest. Divine emotion is the expression of the inner aspiration. It lifts us up into the inner sky. It makes us feel that we are all valiant divine soldiers.

When we care for the inner freedom, when we feel that we are all-pervading, when we feel that humanity is part and parcel of our consciousness, then we have divine emotion. When something goes wrong in the world, we are affected because we truly feel our own existence in the heart of humanity. If we want to transform our lower emotion, then we must start feeding our divine emotion. We can consciously feed our divine emotion by feeling that each individual is God's child and humanity's embodied hope. Then we will have the inner urge to fulfil the divinity in humanity.

A most significant expression of divine emotion is spiritual detachment. Detachment has to be seen in its proper light. If we know the true seat of responsibility, then automatically we will know the meaning of detachment. Who is responsible? Not you or I, not the human person or the outer body, but the divine in us. If we can offer our responsibilities sincerely, genuinely and devotedly to the Supreme within us, then automatically genuine detachment will enter into us.

True detachment does not come to us when we think, "Oh, I do not belong to him; he does not belong to me. He is somebody else's; let us have no connection." True spiritual detachment comes only when we feel that we have given to the Supreme what we have and what we are. We have friends, children, relatives. We exist with body, vital, mind, heart and soul. If we can offer what we have and what we are at the Feet of the Supreme and sincerely feel that He is responsible, that it is He who has to and will look after us, only then can we learn detachment. Just by negating or separating ourselves from the consciousness of others, we cannot attain detachment. Detachment can be attained only when we feel that the Divine within us is totally responsible for us and for others.

Once we have attained this inner detachment, our sincere aspiration will tell us how far to go and where to stop in our emotional relationships with others. The Supreme speaks through our sincere aspiration constantly. Aspiration is bound to tell us where the limit of detachment is. When we have a child, we have to take care of the child. We have to bring him up, give him all the necessary things and feel that the divine is acting in and through us to help him in every possible way, to give him every possible opportunity. But we will not try to bind him to us. Even when he is young and when he grows into a youth we will not try to interfere with his personal life. We will allow him to enter into life's experiences in his own way. At the end of childhood he has to make direct contact with the Divine and lead his own life.

In the inner life it is not at all difficult to be detached from our environment. Once we separate our existence from ignorance, we will see that there is nothing more to be detached from. God's entire creation will be an experience of wisdom and light for us. The real detachment, the difficult detachment, is detachment from ignorance, not detachment from a particular person or thing.

Pure emotion expands our consciousness, sweetens our existence and fulfils not only our life but also the lives of those around us. We should pay utmost attention to the divine emotion in us, which is all-pervading. If we pay all attention to the divine emotion, we will see that the unlit, impure, earthbound emotion will automatically be transformed. It will be thrown into the sea of divine emotion, where everything is purified.

Obstacles on the spiritual path

When we have entered into the life of aspiration and spirituality, the Supreme will not bring extra desires and impurities into our mind or life. It is He who has given us aspiration, so why should He give us desire, which is directly opposite to aspiration? No. He will not deliberately impede our progress in this way. These desires seem suddenly to appear, but they are not really new to us. They existed before in our life, but we did not notice them so much because our life was totally enveloped in a myriad of desires.

When we become conscious of the divine inner life, when we begin praying and meditating, we realise that desire is a tiger, a ferocious animal which we have been feeding and feeding, and we realise that we must not feed it anymore. Then our desires become enraged at us. They say, "All this time you were feeding us and we are most grateful, but now you have started starving us." Then all the frustrated desires form a league and attack us in every possible way, causing troubles with the family, friends, jobs, emotional relationships and so on.

While we are in the ordinary life there is no intensity. Today we have one desire, tomorrow four and the next day ten or twenty. But we are rarely intense even in trying to achieve and fulfil our own desires. Our desires are mere wishes. We do not have the capacity or the willingness to work to fulfil them. We want to be rich or famous or great or brilliant or beautiful, but far from working to achieve these desires, we will not even pray sincerely for their fulfilment.

When a seeker enters into the spiritual path, if he has not wholeheartedly accepted it, or if he is not far advanced, then during his meditation the same desires may come forward. He will begin to think, "This person is very rich, this person is very beautiful, this person has some good qualities which I do not have." While he is praying for Peace, Light and Bliss, one part of his being may be consciously and deliberately cherishing the desire to become a multimillionaire. At that time, the intensity of the seeker's meditation meets with these earthly desires. Then what happens? The intensity enters into the desires and makes them much stronger than they previously were.

Unconsciously or consciously we allow thoughts to come into us and the intensity of our meditation increases or strengthens them. But the Supreme has not given us these obstacles. He has given us the aspiration to pray for Peace, Light and Bliss. We have associated with desires for many, many years. When we want to break off the connection, these old friends of ours say, "Where are you going? Why should we allow you to go into another room? Are you not satisfied with us? Even if you are not satisfied with us, you have eaten at our table. Now you have to pay the fee. We will not allow you to go." They will fight with all their strength to bring us back to their domain. With great difficulty we came out of their room and entered into the aspiration-room. Then these desires come and flatter us. They make us feel that we do not need these aspiring qualities, that Peace is unreal, Light is unreal, Bliss is unreal. They say, "Don't stay there. Come back to us, where everything is real. We shall fulfil you and you shall fulfil us."

It is through the unillumined mind that desires try to approach us even after we have entered into the life of aspiration. The best thing we can do is never to allow any impurity in the form of desire, doubt, anxiety, jealousy or any unaspiring thoughts to enter our minds during meditation. If a desire comes to us while we are not meditating, it is not good to cherish it; but it is infinitely worse to cherish it during meditation. If we cherish desire or any impure thought during meditation, then we are simply strengthening the power of the negative forces and making our own spiritual journey more difficult.

To all seekers I wish to say, at the time of your meditation please be very careful. If you cannot remain in your highest, purest, deepest meditation for more than five minutes, no harm. When the mind begins roaming you can silently recite spiritual poems or chants or sing spiritual songs. But do not allow the mind to enter into desire-land. It is better to build castles in the air where there is only sweetness and imagination, for if you begin cherishing desires, then you will fall.

But when desires come into our life of aspiration, we must not be afraid of them. We must take them as hurdles. It is true that if there are no obstacles or impediments in our way we will run faster. But if there are impediments each time we cross one hurdle we get additional strength and encouragement to try to cross another one. If we have no hurdles we are fortunate. But if we do have some because of our long association with ignorance, we should feel confident that we will be able to transcend them because we have aspiration, the inner impetus to pass all obstacles and reach the Goal.

If we go deep within, we can see each difficulty as a boon. Formerly we were alone with our difficulties. Now we have become conscious aspirants, so God's Grace has entered into our lives. God's Grace is constantly helping the seeker. It stands between the difficulty and the seeker. If one sees millions of difficulties when he sincerely enters into the spiritual life, then he can see them also as millions of blessings, because God's Grace is in them, illumining them. The sooner difficulties appear before us, the better, because we can surmount them right away. We should not be ungrateful to God, nor should we curse our fate when difficulties appear. We should be grateful that God has brought out all our impurities to be illumined and transcended as soon as possible. We have to face and conquer our enemies either today or tomorrow. By making ourselves worthy of God's Compassion and Grace, we will easily be able to overcome our difficulties. If we find fault with the Supreme's Law or His way of operating, we are making a mistake. We have to feel that we are lucky, that we have entered into the spiritual life. Those who have not launched into the sea of spirituality, who are still wallowing in the pleasures of desire, do not even see the difficulties which surround them. They are totally satisfied with pleasure, which is always followed by frustration. They do not know that there is something else that they need, which is God's inner Freedom, inner Light, inner Bliss. Those who are awakened should be pleased that they at least have the ability to see the goal ahead of them. If there are obstacles in their way, these obstacles cannot prevent them from running toward the Goal.

Cleanliness and purity

Each seeker should feel that purity and cleanliness are next to godliness. Among all divine qualities, purity is unparalleled. There is no other quality that can maintain and sustain our divinity. If we have received Light, Peace and Bliss from above and want to sustain it, purity is the only thing that will enable us to do this. If there is no purity, like a bird, all that we have received will fly away. Once it flies away, it is very hard to bring it back into the cage.

Cleanliness is an outer form of purity. Every day we should take a shower. If we come to see a spiritual Master without properly showering, it will be an insult to his soul. We must take it as our bounden duty to have a clean body and clean clothes. We have to be responsible for two things: our aspiration and our regularity. It will help our aspiration if taking a shower becomes part of our regular, daily spiritual discipline.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Cleanliness is purity of the outer physical life. In the spiritual life there is another kind of purity. This purity is the conscious feeling of oneness with the Highest. If we can feel our conscious oneness with the Highest, then we can rest assured that our inner existence is absolutely pure.

The soul always remains pure, no matter what goes on around it. But purity has to be established in the physical, in the vital, in the mind and in the heart. How can we have purity in the heart? We can have purity in the heart through constant sacrifice to God within us and around us. We can have purity in the mind by widening our thought. If a thought comes and wants to bind us, immediately we will try to expand it. Whenever we are able to expand the thought we will see that we are entering into a boundless space where only purity exists. We can have purity in the vital if we feel at every moment that we are a divine warrior. As a divine warrior we have to use our dynamic power to fight against fear, doubt, worry and other negative movements. If we can achieve victory over these forces, then our vital will become pure. We can have purity in the physical if we start with cleanliness. Also, during the day we have to offer our breath to God consciously at least twenty times. In this way we can become pure in all aspects of our being.

Purity has to be established in every part of the aspirant's being. If physical purity is lacking in the aspirant, then psychic purity, mental purity and vital purity cannot remain in him for long. Physical purity is of paramount importance. We must conquer the physical which is binding us and leading us constantly toward the undivine impulses which are nothing short of death in the spiritual world. Once physical purity is established, then purity in other spheres can remain in us and create a shrine within us for the Divine to live in permanently.

When we consciously offer our life-breath it should be with our purest love and dedication. As we breathe in we should feel that the purity of the whole universe is entering into us and purifying our entire existence. Then the Will of the Supreme and our will become one and the entire universe becomes ours. When we breathe in consciously, we should try to feel purity in the mind, purity in the vital and purity in the physical. Let us feel only purity, nothing else. Spiritual purity will enter into our system and purify everything, even the physical organs. Then we will be worthy, to some extent, to offer our life-breath, which is our whole existence, to the Will of the Supreme.

When we have offered our life-breath we are as pure as a flower. Then only does our will become one with the Will of the Supreme. Otherwise, if we try to invoke peace or any other divine quality, it will be at our own sweet will, which may not function the way the Supreme wants it to. Not only when we invoke peace, but whenever we start our meditation, it is better to offer our life-breath to the Supreme a few times even if it is impure. If it is impure it will not work efficiently, but it will be effective to some extent. But if we can offer our pure breath to the Supreme, then our human will becomes immediately one with the infinite Will of the Supreme. Then we will receive everything, we will achieve everything and we will become everything in accordance with God's Will. The entire world and the world beyond will be ours.

Celibacy

In order to have Self-realisation, celibacy is absolutely necessary. But we are not going to get Self-realisation in the twinkling of an eye. It takes time; it takes aspiration and meditation. A student does not get his Master's degree in a day or a month, and God-realisation is not only a study, but also a most difficult subject. It takes many years and many incarnations to complete. It is a very long road. If you tell the beginner that he has to give up all his lower vital life immediately, he will say, "Oh, that is impossible! The spiritual life is a far cry for me." If he has to give up all his lower vital propensities the moment he enters into the spiritual life, then he will never enter. But if the seeker gradually abandons his lower vital life, the time will eventually come, after he has practised the spiritual life for many years, when he will be able to be fully celibate.

Each individual has his own level of aspiration. If somebody aspires for a minute, meditates for a minute and remains in the animal consciousness in the outer world for the rest of the day, do you think that on the following day he will realise God? No! When one is a beginner, ready to be satisfied with a little joy, a little light, then he must not try to give up the sex life altogether. For the beginner I say, "Slow and steady wins the race." As he advances, as he makes progress in the spiritual life, automatically the necessity for lower vital activity diminishes. Until then one should do his best to lead a pure, sincere life according to his own standard.

Once the aspirant reaches the point where he can say, "I want infinite Light, infinite Joy, infinite Bliss, infinite Peace: I want to go far, farther, farthest," then he must pay all attention to purifying his vital life. If his aim is God-realisation, the Infinite, the Eternal, the Immortal, then he has to aspire wholeheartedly: physically, vitally, mentally, psychically, with all his existence, with all that he has and all that he is. At that point he has to become totally celibate not only physically but also mentally. He has to feel that the sex life binds him to the lowest level of earth-consciousness, whereas what he wants is the highest God-consciousness. God is inside earth and inside man. But man will be able to function divinely only after he has surrendered all his ties to earth and man and realised his oneness with God.

Celibacy can be achieved only through the proper method. If you enter into the spiritual life and say, "Today I am going to conquer all my lower vital propensities," then you are a fool. Tomorrow your mind will doubt the necessity of this self-denial and your vital will torture you in every way. If your vital is not ready, if it is not pure enough, it will revolt under this harsh discipline and destroy your aspiration, or your body will resist and break down. If you suppress your vital needs without having sufficient purity, then after two or three years or even after a few months they will come forward again most vehemently. If you control the lower vital by force with utmost difficulty, if it is not something spontaneous and satisfying, then one day you will be tempted beyond your capacity. Your vital will come up like a volcano and you will become practically insane. At that time human beings act like animals. This has happened to many, many aspirants in India after five or six years of vital suppression without proper purification. If a seeker is still tempted by the vital life but continually suppresses his desires, he will never achieve anything. Only through the spontaneous inner awareness that sex life is unnecessary for him can he transcend it.

We observe that a child sometimes eats mud, dirt, rocks and all kinds of things. To him that is most delicious food. But when he grows up he takes only proper food. Similarly, when one is not fully mature in the spiritual life, one indulges in undivine things. But when he grows up he sees that what he used to eat was all dirt and impurity and he loses his taste for these things. When an aspirant begins to get significant, fulfilling inner experiences, his entire being is flooded with light and delight. At that time he can clearly see and feel the difference between physical pleasure and spiritual joy; between mud and real food.

Unfortunately, unaspiring people are making a Himalayan mistake when they think that pleasure is a form of joy. Pleasure is always followed by frustration and frustration is always followed be destruction. But joy is followed by more joy. From joy we get real fulfilment. If a seeker wants to be inundated with boundless Peace, Light and Bliss, then he has to purify his nature. Otherwise, the transcendental Peace, Light and Bliss will remain a far cry. God-realisation and sex life are like the combination of sugar and salt. If we try to put them together we cannot taste either. If we want to have the taste of sugar we have to take sugar only. If we want salt, then we must take salt alone. If we mix the two we will taste nothing; we will make no progress.

By beating or forcing our vital desires we can never get joy. Only by pouring illumination into them can we get real joy. When our aspiration is absolutely intense we need God alone — nothing else and nobody else. When we want Him most intensely we gladly give up the life of pleasure. We know the difference between pleasure and supreme Joy of oneness. That absolute Joy of oneness we can have only with God, and with no human being.

How can we acquire celibacy in the proper way? We have to gain control gradually and naturally. Vital indulgence is just like drinking or smoking cigarettes. If we have a drink or smoke a cigarette seven times a day, then we must diminish gradually; we must make it six, four, three, two, one, then none. Why? Because these things cause misery; they are like slow poison, weakening our inner life and delaying our realisation. If we gradually diminish our desire to drink or smoke we will be successful and will not damage our health.

The lower vital, the sex life, has to be conquered and transcended in this way. But if one is a beginner, he must go slowly, steadily and unerringly. If he tries to run very fast but does not have the capacity or the necessary preparation, then he will soon be exhausted and will have to give up the race. Perhaps he will fall down so severely that he will break his legs.

We do not get our Master's degree while we are in kindergarten. We get it gradually after many years of study. Similarly, the beginner in the spiritual life cannot expect this significant attainment immediately. He must gradually transcend the vital life through years of serious aspiration and meditation, the inner study. If the aspirant really feels that he needs God desperately, that God is the only object of his life, then this aspirant has the capacity to run very fast and I will say that he has to be absolutely celibate.

We cannot drink milk and smoke cigarettes at the same time. Milk is like immortal nectar, while cigarette-smoking is like inner death. If we accept the nectar of Immortality, naturally there can be no death in our existence. But if we accept limitation and death, then how can we have Immortality at the same time? Immortality and death do not go together. Similarly, God-realisation and sex life do not go together.

Millions of people are still asleep and are not consciously aspiring for God-realisation. They can do whatever they want with their lives. Those who have just awakened should try to purify their lives slowly. Those who are a little advanced must be very careful and give all attention to their spiritual life. Those who are really advanced find that lower vital necessity does not enter into them. For them the life of pleasure is replaced by the life of real joy. And naturally, once realisation takes place, temptation can never assail them.

We have to know how seriously we take the spiritual life. Celibacy is not for the so-called aspirant who meditates once a week and then has nothing to do with God for the rest of the week. I would not advise that person even to try to be celibate. Unfortunately, on the one hand it will take him thousands and thousands of years to realise God and many years even to get an iota of satisfaction from his spiritual life. On the other hand, the little pleasure that he would get from his vital life will be denied him if he attempts to be celibate. But one does not have to go to the other extreme and live an animal life just because he is not ready to be absolutely celibate. To indulge in sex every day means to enter into the very jaws of a devouring tiger every day. Try to minimise.

We must live a normal human life; a controlled, regulated life. We have to bring our vital life at least to the human level before we can really make spiritual progress. But there are many human beings on earth who are actually living on the animal level of consciousness in this respect. Also we must realise that vital impurity or sexual indulgence can take place not only in the body but also in the mind and in the heart. If we enjoy impure thoughts in the mental plane they are as damaging to our spiritual life as the actual physical act.

The real aspirant cries for the highest and the deepest in every part of his being. If he has successfully covered some distance in his journey toward self-discovery, then gradually he will overcome the lower vital forces in his nature and purity will become solid and permanent in his consciousness. He knows that in the sex life Infinity is suffocated, whereas in God-realisation Infinity and Eternity are playing the game of ecstasy within him. The ultimate Truth, the ultimate Goal, the realisation of the Highest, demands the total purification and total transformation of the lower vital.

Desire and aspiration

Desire includes everything that is finite. Whether it is pleasure or passion that we see in the finite world it belongs to the realm of desire. Until the vital is completely purified, the human consciousness feels that pleasure is something very sweet. It is what we call 'comfort'. Comfort and pleasure go together. There are two Indian words: aram, meaning 'comfort', and haram, meaning 'very dangerous and destructive'. Our late Prime Minister Nehru used to say, " Aram is haram. " Comfort seems like something mild, but it is basically the same thing as pleasure in the form of passion and is inevitably followed by destruction.

When we enter into the world of aspiration, we deal with Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. When we live in the world of desire we see that passion abides there. Desire ultimately ends in the lower vital where passion is located. When we can purify desire through our aspiration, we see that automatically passion is transformed into intense aspiration. In order to purify desire we must have inner aspiration, and this aspiration comes when we are awakened within. If our aspiration is constant, then the burning flame inside us is climbing steadily upward. But when the flame is not burning, the downward pull of the vital becomes very strong. There is no other way to conquer passion or to illumine passion than through aspiration.

Some human beings progress very, very slowly in their spiritual life because they have no aspiration. But there are people who not only have no aspiration but also have no desire either for themselves, for humanity or for God. Those people are in the most deplorable situation. God says to them, "Something is better than nothing. It is better for you to have some desires and to get some temporary satisfaction from the life of desire than to live in the stone-consciousness, wallowing in the pleasures of idleness and making no progress at all." Then, when you see that you get nothing but frustration from the fulfilment of desire, you will begin to aspire.

There are elderly people who are like this — they have practically no desire but, at the same time, they have no aspiration either. They know that they are approaching death, but that does not inspire them either to cry for the fulfilment of their desires or to pray to God or meditate on God. They do not even have any particular desire to live.

But there are also highly spiritual people who don't have any desires because they have transcended them. They serve God in humanity with the utmost dedication and unconditional love. This form of desirelessness is the only satisfactory one.

If one has desire but no aspiration, that is better than having neither desire nor aspiration. He will have many necessary experiences and eventually he will see that there is no fulfilment in desire. Then he will jump into the sea of aspiration. But if one enters again into the realm of desire after having entered into the world of aspiration, that is a real catastrophe. If one does not aspire, we can say that he is just an ignorant fellow; he does not know that there is something called inner peace, inner bliss, inner light. If someone has not seen the light and he stays in a dark room, God will not blame him because he is not aware that there is a room full of light. But after having had inner experiences, if one wants to go back to the ordinary world, then he will be a victim to frustration and inner destruction. Once one has seen the effulgence of light in the illumined room, if the vital pulls him back again to the dark room, his inner psychic pain will be most excruciating. When he saw the light, the joy that he received had intensity. In the dark room there also is intensity, but this intensity is like a sharp knife. In the light room there was somebody to show him how to use the knife properly. But in the dark room he does not know how to use it and he just stabs himself.

Once you enter into the spiritual life, never, never go back to the ordinary life. If you go back to the ordinary life you will be an object of ridicule in the outer world and an object of distrust in the inner world. People will say, "This fellow failed, that is why he has given up and come back to us." The divine forces in the cosmos will say, "Oh, he does not care for us. He cares more for the life of ignorance," and they will not try to help you any more. Also, you will always make a conscious or unconscious comparison between the divine life you have left and the life you have returned to. This comparison will always be unfavourable to the ordinary life. Your soul, the divine spark within you, will make you feel that you have given up something most fruitful. Then frustration will loom large in your ordinary life. If you cannot be sincere and jump into the sea of spirituality wholeheartedly, then it is better to remain on the shore with your desires until you are really ready to accept the spiritual life permanently.

The goal of transcendence

God created the lower vital life to propagate the human species when man had just emerged from the animal kingdom and was still governed largely by his animal propensities. But God expected and fully intended that as man evolved he would purify and divinise his lower vital life. By the time every human being on earth has become so divine that all lower vital activity has ceased, mankind will have evolved a totally new system of reproduction; but this will not happen for thousands of years.

Meanwhile, if a seeker leads a pure, strict spiritual life, God's creation will not suffer. If he is a celibate of the highest order, the world will not suffer from lack of population, because everybody is not accepting the spiritual life right now. In the same family it often happens that a seeker's brothers and sisters do not care for the spiritual life. Let the world's population depend on those who are not leading a spiritual life. An aspirant thinks of God-realisation first and foremost. There are more than enough people on earth to take care of the population problem while every aspirant takes care of his God-realisation problem.

Forty years ago a spiritual Master was asked a question about the effect of a pure spiritual life on the world's population. He became furious. He said to his disciples, "If you have to think about that instead of about God, then why do you stay in my ashram? Ask me questions that will help you with your immediate spiritual life. You have come here to become God's children, not to create children of your own."

Spiritual aspirants, as well as those who have not accepted the spiritual life, must remember that each child that a person brings into the world is a tremendous responsibility. Each soul is a spark of the divine Light. When parents bring a child into the world, God gives them the responsibility to take care of it in a divine way. If they do not fulfil this responsibility, then not only are they harming the child, but also, because they are not fulfilling God's Will, they are harming themselves karmically. So it is better for those who still feel the need to indulge in lower vital activity but who do not want to accept the responsibility of caring for children to use some method of birth control. The world population will not fall dangerously low because of this. All the souls that want and need to reincarnate will always have the opportunity.

In the spiritual life it is essential that a seeker learn to control his emotions, but this cannot be done through coercion. The divine purity within purifies slowly and steadily. He cannot purify his emotions by hook or by crook. He has to follow a systematic spiritual method and for that aspiration is necessary. When the seeker aspires, when the flame of aspiration climbs upward, it will illumine his inner and outer nature. Automatically he will have a self-disciplined life. But if he tries to have a disciplined life by force, he will damage his physical and mental health.

If the aspirant wants to reach or realise the highest Truth overnight, he will be making a mistake. This is, after all, inner knowledge. To get outer knowledge, which is comparatively easy, a student spends twenty years or even more in school. To attain spiritual knowledge the inner student must devote many years more than that to his inner study. If somebody feels that he can control his emotions in the twinkling of an eye or that he can realise God in a few hours, he is only fooling himself. There are certain methods that one must follow. There are no substitutes or short cuts. If one can meditate early in the morning, between three or four o'clock, he will get tremendous inspiration and he will be able to run very fast. But this does not mean that if he meditates at that time every day he will realise God in a week's time. That is impossible.

Regular, sincere and soulful meditation is the only way to have a truly disciplined life. But before meditation one should practice concentration. When one concentrates, he becomes a divine hero. He enters into the battlefield of life and light where there can be no doubt, no fear. Fear and doubt are conquered by concentration. Then when he enters into deep meditation, he will get confidence, inner confidence and assurance. Finally, when he contemplates he will enter into the goal and grow into the goal. He will become the goal itself. This is God-realisation. Here the finite merges with the Infinite and becomes one with the Infinite. Here the divine lover and the Supreme Beloved become one, inseparable.

Sincerity, purity and surety

Let us be sincere. The Supreme will bless us.

Let us be pure. The Supreme will love us.

Let us be sure of our Goal. The Supreme will embrace us.

"Let us be sincere. The Supreme will bless us." An aspirant has to be sincere, not only in his inner life but also in his outer life, until he breathes his last. Sincerity is the fertile ground in the aspirant's heart. His sincerity is God's matchless Smile. His sincerity is God's peerless Pride.

Sincerity can be developed. It can be developed like a muscle. There are some people who are naturally sincere and others who are naturally insincere. Those who are sincere from the dawn of their lives are blessed. But those who are insincere from their very birth need not and must not curse themselves. They can be sincere if they want to. The moment they truly want to be sincere, God in His infinite Compassion will help them. With His deepest Joy, Pride and Concern He will help them.

Spirituality needs and demands sincerity from the beginning to the end. Spirituality and sincerity can never be separated. If one really cares for the spiritual life, if one feels that spirituality is the only answer, then I wish to say that sincerity is the key that opens the door of spirituality: There is no other key; there can be no other key.

"Let us be pure. The Supreme will love us." If there is no purity in the aspirant's inner or outer life, then the aspirant is no better than an animal. Without purity he cannot retain any of the spiritual gifts he receives. Everything will disappear and everything will disappoint the seeker if he is wanting in purity. But if he is flooded with purity, the divine qualities will all eventually enter into him. They will sing in him, dance in him and make him the happiest person on earth. And by making him happy, these divine qualities will find their own true fulfilment.

Purity in the physical is of paramount importance. This does not mean that we have to bathe ten times a day. No, purity is not that. Purity does demand that you have a clean body, but true physical purity lies inside the heart. You have to establish an inner shrine within your heart. This shrine is the constant remembrance of the Supreme Pilot inside you. When you constantly and spontaneously think of the Supreme Pilot seated inside you, in the inmost recesses of your heart, you will realise that this is the highest purity. If purity is lacking in the physical, complete success, the full manifestation of God, cannot be accomplished. You may get partial spiritual success, but even this partial success in life will disappoint you badly if purity is not established in your nature. You have to establish purity in the physical, in the vital, in the mind — everywhere in the outer nature. Then whatever you do, whatever you are, whatever you possess will be filled with purity. Purity is not something weak or negative; it is something soulful and dynamic. It is something that is fed constantly by the infinite Energy and the indomitable, adamantine Will of the Supreme.

The very utterance of the word 'purity' can help to change the aspirant's outer life as well as his inner life. Repeat the word 'purity' one hundred and eight times daily, placing your right hand on your navel as you say it. Then you will see that abundant purity will enter into you and flow through you. When you are pure, you will see the world with a different eye. You will see purity dawning fast in the world. You will see beauty blooming fast in the world. You will see perfection growing fast in the world.

Sweet, sweeter, sweetest is purity. When you see purity inside you, you are pure. When you feel purity inside and around you, you are purer. When you become purity within and without, you are purest. You actually kill your inner being when you lead an impure life. But when you lead a pure life, you expedite the journey of your soul. Your soul and your outer life get their greatest opportunity when purity is totally established in your life.

"Let us be sure of our Goal. The Supreme will embrace us." The difference between an ordinary man and an aspirant is that an ordinary man has no goal whereas an aspirant does. An ordinary man is satisfied with what he has, or considers the idea of entering into the Beyond as totally unimaginable, or feels that there is no Beyond. He is caught by what he sees around him. An aspirant, however, feels and believes that this world of ours is not the final goal. He feels that there must be a goal somewhere and he knows that either this goal will come to him or he will have to go to it. The goal may be God-realisation or it may be something else. If it is God-realisation and if his aspiration is sincere, he should know that this goal is something absolutely important and sacred. It is not a plaything.

An aspirant has to be sure of his goal. He may want God or some attribute of God. Some aspirants cry to God for Power, for Love, for Peace. They do not cry to God for God Himself. They do not want God in His Infinity and Eternity. They want only a portion of Him. They are satisfied if they can get Peace from God, or Light, or Love. When they receive what they cry for, they end their soul's journey. But there are some aspirants who do not want anything from God except God Himself. They feel that if they get God, they get everything. They are like hungry children in a garden where there is a tree laden with the most delicious mangoes. They know that if they can please the owner of the tree they will get all the mangoes on the tree. Here God is the owner and, at the same time, He is the tree. When we please Him, He satisfies our hunger for the infinite Light, Peace and Bliss. If the aspirants are wise, they know that the moment they please God they get everything from Him.

On the strength of his sincere aspiration, a true seeker says, "O God, if You feel that I should have Your Vision, if You feel that You want to fulfil Yourself in me and through me, if You feel that You can utilise me as Your instrument, I am at Your service. If You want me to stand before You, I shall come and stand. If You want to stand before me, I shall be equally happy. If You do not want either, but want somebody else to stand before You, I shall still be happy." This is what we call surrender. This is the ultimate surrender.

An aspirant has to know his goal. If his goal is God-realisation, he can start with that in mind. But the ultimate Goal is unconditional surrender to God's Will. When God sees that His child, His most devoted child, has made this unconditional surrender not for a second, not for a day or a year, but for a whole lifetime, for all incarnations to come, for all eternity, then alone God embraces His dearest, His sweetest, His most devoted child. And when that embrace takes place, man changes into God Himself. We are all, without exception, given the opportunity to fulfil God here on earth. If we try, we are bound to succeed. We can fulfil God, and in fulfilling Him we shall see that we are already fulfilled.

From: Sri Chinmoy, Purity: divinity's little sister - , Agni Press, 1974
Sourced from http://www.srichinmoylibrary.com/pd