Philosophy, spirituality and yogaPhilosophy is God-speculation. Spirituality is God-expectation. Yoga is God-union. God-speculation, God-expectation and God-union.
Philosophy most of the time operates on the mental plane. Spirituality most of the time operates in the outer being. Yoga operates in the oneness-heart and in the perfection-life.
Philosophy has come to the conclusion that God is stupendous. Spirituality has come to the conclusion that God is glorious. Yoga has come to the conclusion that God is gracious, loving, compassionate, illumining and fulfilling.
God says to philosophy, "My child, you have known Me as someone stupendous. I shall make you stupendous." God says to spirituality, "My child, you have known Me as someone glorious. I shall grant you all My Glory." To Yoga God says, "My child, you have known Me as someone gracious. Of all My qualities, My most treasured quality is Grace. You are also aware of My Love. Nothing is equal to My Love. Because you are aware of My Compassion and Illumination, I shall bestow My choicest, blessingful Compassion and Illumination on you in infinite measure. And not only that, but also I shall eventually fulfil you by making you another God."
A student of philosophy studies in the mind-school. He wants to measure God's Infinity. A student of spirituality studies in the body-school, vital-school and mind-school. He wants to reach God's Eternity. A student of Yoga studies in the heart-school and in the soul-school. In the heart-school he studies for liberation from ignorance-night and in the soul-school he studies for the perfect perfection of life here on earth.
Who can measure God's Infinity? It is absurd to think of trying. Who can catch God's Eternity? Nobody. But who can try to become liberated? Who can try to become perfect? Everybody. You, he, I everybody. Everybody in God's creation can make a soulful attempt to become free from the meshes of ignorance and to be perfect. In the heart-school and the soul-school, the student of Yoga learns something else: he learns how to become an unconditional instrument of God. He learns to live on earth only to please God in God's own way.
The student of philosophy is puzzled. The student of spirituality is astonished. The student of Yoga is awakened, totally awakened. The student of philosophy wants to address the world assembly. He wants to prove that God exists. The student of spirituality wants to carry God's Light throughout the length and breadth of the world. The student of Yoga has been commissioned by God Himself, out of His infinite Bounty, to embody, reveal and manifest God in God's own way.
Philosophy and spirituality belong to the domain of knowledge, whereas Yoga belongs to the domain of wisdom. I am extremely happy to learn that the motto of this august university is "Seek Wisdom." When a seeker practises true Yoga, he comes to realise that there can be nothing more important in his life than wisdom-light. He discovers that there is a vast difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is nothing more than the accumulation of world-facts and information. These facts and pieces of information do not and cannot illumine his aspiring consciousness. But wisdom-light can and does illumine his entire being — his earthly life and his earthbound reality. What is proper wisdom? Proper wisdom is the realisation that God is at once one and many, the Creator and the creation. In the inner world He is Silence and in the outer world He is Sound. The seeker with wisdom-light also realises that God needs him as much as he needs God.
Each individual has to launch into the path of the spirit. He can start as a philosophy student. Then he can become a spirituality student. Then he can become a student of Yoga. The most important thing for each human being is to start the journey. There is no end to our journey. There is no end to our goal. One should consciously start, even if he starts only out of curiosity. If he has even a little thirst for God-discovery, let him start with curiosity. Naturally, there comes a time when mere curiosity does not satisfy him. So he tries to go deeper. Then he resorts to imagination. He tries to imagine God in whatever way he wants to. But soon there comes a time when he is no longer satisfied with imagination. Then he goes one step ahead: he knocks at the door of inspiration. Then he continues his journey with inspiration for some time.
But eventually there comes a time when the seeker realises that imagination and inspiration cannot carry him far enough. Then he tries to go deep within to discover if there is anything else he needs for his inner journey. He discovers that he is missing something, and that thing is aspiration. Once he has discovered aspiration in the inmost recesses of his heart, all his problems are solved. All past, present and future problems put together are helpless in the face of aspiration, for aspiration is the burning, glowing flame within. It is a birthless and endless flame that mounts high, higher, highest and purifies the things that have to be purified in our unlit, obscure, impure nature. While illumining the unlit, obscure, impure qualities in us, it immortalises the divine qualities in us: faith in God, love of God and unconditional surrender, which says to God, "Let Thy Will be done."
Winthrop Hall University of Western Australia Perth, Australia 3 March 1976