Problems1Dear seekers of the Transcendental Truth, I wish to give a talk on the subject of problems.
Problems within, problems without, problems everywhere. True, we do have some problems; but unfortunately we multiply them into countless problems. How do we multiply our problems? There are two ways. First, we invite the past and the future to come and stay with us in the heart of today. And second, we try to solve all our problems in the twinkling of an eye.
Let us consider the past — the unfulfilled past, the sad past, the past that has not given us what we actually wanted — an enemy or a useless friend. And let us take the unmanifested future as a perfect stranger. If we know that somebody is useless, that he has not encouraged, inspired or liberated us, then let us not invite that particular friend to stay with us. Again, let us not invite a stranger, either. A stranger may not please us. He may do something harmful and hurtful. Let us not have faith in a stranger; let us have all faith only in today. Today is our friend, our only friend. Let us take morning as a dream-boat and evening as the reality-shore. Right now we are all in the sea of aspiration. Once we cross the sea, we will reach our destined Goal.
Each human being, from a child to an octogenarian, has problems. A child has a problem when he wants to learn the alphabet. But he studies, and there comes a time when he not only learns the alphabet, but can easily read any book he wants. Similarly, a beginner in the spiritual life finds it extremely difficult to get even an iota of Peace, Light and Bliss no matter how bitterly he cries for it. But this beginner does not remain always a beginner. After a while he becomes an advanced seeker and finally, at God’s choice Hour, he realises the ultimate Truth. At that time, his inner being becomes flooded with Light and Delight. But this cannot take place overnight. If we try to pull down God’s Hour prematurely, we will only be frustrated.
We have the body, the vital, the mind, the heart and the soul. The problem of the body is impurity. The problem of the vital is aggression. The problem of the mind is doubt. The problem of the heart is insecurity. And the problem of the soul is that it has not yet manifested its inner divinity here on earth.
The body’s problem can be solved only when purity dawns. The vital’s problem can be solved only when dynamism enters into the vital and energises it. The mind’s problem is solved when the mind is illumined by divine faith. The heart’s problem is solved when the heart becomes flooded with the light of love. And the soul’s problem is solved when the soul becomes the breath of supreme confidence.
In order to achieve purity, dynamism, faith, security and confidence, we must listen constantly to the dictates of the Inner Pilot, and consciously surrender to the Will of the Supreme. Now what is the Will of the Supreme? The Will of the Supreme is our conscious acceptance of the divine Light within us and our acceptance of earth as the field for the divine manifestation. We have to bring to the fore our inner Light in order to offer it to the world at large for its salvation and illumination. And we have to accept earth for the manifestation of God’s Divinity.
In each individual there are two beings. One being wants material success; the other wants the life of inner solitude. Now, when the individual achieves material success, he feels that something is lacking, something is missing. His life is still filled with problems. What is he missing? He is missing peace and tranquillity. The material life has not given him Peace, Light and Bliss. He feels that if he can achieve Peace, Light and Bliss, then all his problems will be over, and he will be able to rest for good. The other being within him wants only the life of inner peace. Only the inner life is real for that being. The outer life it discards or negates; it feels the outer life is of no use. Then the individual goes deep within and realises Peace, Light and Bliss. But when this Peace, Light and Bliss remain unmanifested, the individual again feels miserable. He feels that the things that he has or has grown into must be manifested in the outer life, the outer world.
The first being cried for material wealth, but material wealth did not satisfy it because inner realisation was lacking. And the second being had inner realisation, but the outer manifestation was missing. So the second also had a problem.
Before we realise God, our problem is ignorance; we ourselves are the problem. After we realise God, our problem is manifestation. It is like earth’s problem and Heaven’s problem. Earth’s problem is realisation; Heaven’s problem is manifestation. Even God has problems. God’s problem is to make us feel that we are His children, His chosen children, that we are of Him and for Him. His problem is to make us feel that He is the root and we are the branches of the self-same tree.
How do we solve our problems? We solve our problems by going deep within. The Christ said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” The Kingdom of Heaven means the Kingdom of Light and Bliss. Only if we go deep within, will we see the face of the Kingdom of Heaven. And once we have free access to the Kingdom of Heaven, all our problems are solved once and for all.
There are two types of people: desiring people and aspiring people. A desiring man takes a problem as a shattering experience, but an aspiring man considers a problem a strengthening experience. Whenever a problem arises, a desiring man feels that this problem is going to shatter his hopes. Then he is doomed to disappointment. This disappointment gives birth to frustration, and in frustration looms large his destruction. But an aspiring man sees a problem as a foundation stone. He accepts the problem as a challenge. He seeks to get a firm footing on the problem and use it as an opportunity to progress. In each experience, the Compassion of the Highest, the Beyond, is there to guide us and help us first to surmount the problem and then to transform it into a radiant opportunity to grow into the very image of our Lord Supreme.
There is a Zen saying that before one studies Zen, mountains are mountains. But after one enters into Zen practice, mountains no longer remain mountains. And finally, when one gets illumination, mountains become mountains again. We can say that mountains are the difficulties that we encounter when we enter into the spiritual life. After a while, we see that these mountains of difficulties can easily be surmounted. They are like passing clouds, and the inner sun is bound to reappear. Finally, when we realise the Highest, we see that the mountains of difficulties that we previously encountered have been transformed into mountains of opportunities — opportunities for progress, achievement and greater awakening in the ever-transcending experience of the highest Reality. The difficulties have become opportunities carrying us to the ever-transcending Beyond.
The motto of the State of West Virginia is “Mountaineers are always free.” This is a significant motto from the inner point of view, because mountaineers are climbers. We aspirants, too, are all climbers, trying to climb up to the highest Height, the Pinnacle, on the strength of our inner cry. The higher we go, the more freedom we enjoy. The higher we go, the more the freedom of the Absolute is bound to inundate our existence, inner and outer. This freedom is the freedom of the Divinity within us, the freedom of the Infinity that belongs to us, the freedom of the Immortality of which we are made.
FFB 81. The Chapel, Wheeling College, Wheeling, West Virginia, 28 February 1974 — 1:30 pm.↩