The inner hunger

There is a subtle difference between the desire for material wealth and the desire for inner wealth. When it is an inner hunger, we use the term aspiration. It is like this. In our material life we have one car, but we would like to have two cars, three cars, four cars. We only want to add, add, add to our possessions. This is our life of desire. But in the spiritual life, if we have one thing, on the strength of our oneness with others we will feel we have everything that they have.

The life of desire eventually ends in frustration. No matter how many cars we have, no matter how much material wealth we have, we do not get satisfaction. But the life of aspiration is always fulfilling, even if we get only an iota of light. While we are meditating, if all of a sudden we see a streak of light, for months we can treasure it, for we have seen something which is solid. The life of aspiration will give us the sense of Divinity.

When we aspire, we try to enter into something vast, something infinite. When we aspire during our meditation, we feel that the vast sky belongs to us; the vast ocean we feel inside our heart. And it is not our imagination; it is reality.

Desire is our constant eagerness to bind ourselves and to bind others, whereas aspiration is an immediate expansion of our reality. With our aspiration we try always to liberate ourselves and to liberate others. When we aspire, we immediately try to expand ourselves; and those who are near and dear to us we try to liberate. Aspiration makes us feel that our real achievement is in the enlargement of our consciousness, whereas desire makes us feel that to possess and be possessed is the real achievement. In aspiration we are expanding ourselves, enlarging ourselves, divinising ourselves, immortalising ourselves.

Our aspiration depends on the Will of God and also on our own sense of dedication to the spiritual life. They go together. It is like this. In the beginning we have to participate in the game. We have to get up early in the morning at six o'clock or seven o'clock to meditate. But there comes a time when we feel it is His Will acting in and through us. In the beginning we feel it is half and half, but when we go deep within we see it is ninety per cent God's Will. Then afterwards we come to realise that it is all God's Will. But in the beginning we have to be good students; we have to get up and study.

Let us take the inner flame of aspiration as hunger. One day we are pinched with hunger. Another day we are not hungry at all, but we do eat. Early in the morning when it is breakfast time, we may not have real hunger, but still we eat something. It is a daily routine, a habit we have formed. It is necessary for our health that we should every day eat food whether we are really hungry or not. If we eat every day regularly, every day our whole body is nourished. Similarly, one day if the inner flame is not burning very intensely, let us say, we have to meditate anyway; otherwise, in the inner world we shall become weak.

When we eat, we don't get most delicious food every day. It is not possible. Even the world's best cook cannot make most delicious food every day. In the spiritual life also we cannot expect the highest type of meditation every day. Again, the height of the meditation depends on the seeker's own spiritual attainment and achievement. If the seeker is on the verge of spiritual realisation or if he has realised God, it is different. In my case, if I want to do the highest meditation, I can easily do it at any time. But that is not possible for the beginner-seekers.