Aspiration and realisation

Dear sisters and brothers, I wish to give a short talk on aspiration and realisation. Slowly, steadily and unerringly. Slowly the seeker enters the spiritual life. Steadily he makes progress. Unerringly he comes to his journey's close and realises God.

At every moment of our journey, aspiration is necessary. But this aspiration again has to be genuine; it has to come from the very depths of our heart. Real aspiration doesn't know how to pull or push. Restlessness and aspiration can never go together. Very often when beginners aspire they try to be very dynamic. This is good, but unfortunately they confuse dynamism and determination with restlessness. They want to realise God tomorrow. But this kind of restless demand is not aspiration.

There is always a time span between the planting of the seed and the harvest. The planting is aspiration and the harvest is realisation. Is aspiration something that we already had or is it something that we are going to have? It is both. If we say that we always had aspiration, this is true, because we live in Eternal Time. But if we say that we are trying or crying to bring the inner urge of the heart to the fore, here also we are correct. When we sit at the feet of Eternity, we realise that aspiration is bound to be followed by realisation; and when we make friends with Eternal Time, we come to realise that realisation was hidden all along in aspiration.

In the outer world, we see that the tree is a symbol of aspiration. Here on earth it remains, but its aim is to reach the highest. We human beings are afraid of staying on earth. We feel that if we stay on earth, then we cannot reach the highest, we cannot look upward. But the tree makes us feel that this is absurd. The root of the tree is under the ground, but the topmost branch is aspiring towards the highest.

In the Upanishads we come across a tree named the ashwathva tree. Unlike earthly trees, this tree has its root above the ground facing the sky and its branches down below. This tree has two types of branches. One type enters into the meshes of ignorance and starts struggling and fighting to come out again into the effulgence of light. The other type of branch always tries to remain up; its movement is upward, its aspiration is upward. Even though its branches face downward, this type of branch always looks upward. So let us think of this tree and aspire most sincerely and powerfully.

Today's aspiration is the realisation of tomorrow and the manifestation of the day after tomorrow. At the dawn of our journey we start with aspiration and at the end of our journey's close there is salvation, liberation and illumination. When illumination takes place, it is undoubtedly, unmistakably, infallibly the transcendental Victory's Crown.

Ours is the aspiring soul. Ours is the destined Goal, decreed here and now in the immediacy of today.

Town Hall Sydney, Australia 5 March 1976