Dear sisters and brothers, I am most grateful to each of you for your aspiring presence here this evening. I am most grateful to each of you for the opportunity you have given me to be of dedicated service to your Inner Pilot, the Supreme within you. Today I wish to give a talk on bliss.
Bliss is the peerless experience of the aspiring body, vital, mind and heart. When bliss descends, the insecurity of the heart, the frustration of the mind, the depression of the vital and the limitation of the body disappear. This experience of bliss we have in our soul-consciousness, which is the Reality-Light of God.
An unaspiring human being consciously or unconsciously carries two undivine weapons with him: self-love and world-hatred. But a seeker, an aspiring soul, carries with him two divine weapons: God-love and world-embrace. When we love God from the very depth of our hearts, we feel that our inner existence is inundated with bliss. And when we embrace the world as a divine manifestation of God, again our inner being is inundated with bliss.
Bliss has a dear brother, a most affectionate brother, peace. Peace paves the way, and then bliss walks along the way and enters into us. The difference between peace and bliss is this: when we have an experience of peace, we feel that we are satisfied. We do not want to go an inch farther, higher or deeper, precisely because we are satisfied with the peace that is reigning supreme in our life. When we have an experience of bliss, we are also fully satisfied; yet we have an inner urge or inner hunger to receive still more bliss, ever more. This hunger is not due to dissatisfaction with what we have already achieved. No! It is just that we feel a continuous hunger for satisfaction in an ever-increasing measure.
When we experience peace, we usually feel it in the heart centre. Then from the heart chakra, peace may enter into our other spiritual centres. But when we experience bliss, we feel it all over our body, from the soles of our feet to the crown of our head. When we pray and meditate soulfully, we are bound to attain peace. But there is a specific kind of meditation that is the easiest way to acquire peace. If a seeker can meditate on the setting sun, then it is easy for him to feel the presence of peace. And if the same seeker meditates on the rising sun, then it is easy for him to achieve bliss. We have to know that in the spiritual life it is always advisable to meditate on the thing that embodies the reality that we want to achieve. The setting sun embodies peace, and it offers peace to the world at large. The rising sun embodies bliss and offers bliss to the world at large. And the seeker receives bliss and peace from the rising and setting sun according to his capacity and receptivity.
Bliss is freedom: freedom from the past, freedom from the future and freedom from the present. The tenebrous influence of the past does not allow us to move forward. But our philosophy says the past is dust. Why? Because it has not given us what we actually need: salvation, liberation and realisation. True, we have had a few sweet experiences. But these experiences are buried in oblivion. When we think of the past as a whole, we feel a sea of failure, a sea of frustration, a sea of dissatisfaction within us.
Now, we also have to be free from the future, the future that wants to enter into us with its theoretical thoughts and imaginary ideas. When we try to enter into the heart of the future, we see that it is all wild imagination, with no reality there. It is only castles in the air, not founded upon solid, concrete reality. So, just as we have to be totally free from the past, we should not allow the future to enter into us, either.
Then again, we have to be free from attachment to the present as well. The present is nothing but insecurity, constant insecurity. No matter what we have achieved, no matter how much power we have, there is always a sense of insecurity in us. No human being on earth can say that he is always secure. This moment he may be secure, but the next moment fear, doubt, anxiety, worry, darkness, ignorance and bondage can shatter his security-wall to pieces.
When we free ourselves from the darkness and ignorance of the past, we see God smiling at us. When we free ourselves from the imaginary hopes of the future, we see and feel God embracing us with His effulgent Light. And when we free ourselves from the insecurity of the present, we hear God promising us that He will make us another God, an exact prototype of His eternal and immortal existence.
The Vedic seers of the hoary past offered us a sublime message, a soul-stirring mantra or incantation:
Anandadd hy eva khalv imani bhutani jayante...
From Delight we came into existence.
In Delight we grow.
At the end of our journey's close, into Delight we retire.
There is a subtle difference between bliss and delight. We experience bliss all over the body. It is something intense but, at the same time, static. In delight, we feel a constant flow of bliss. The dynamic aspect of bliss is called delight. Delight is like a river flowing or a deer running at topmost speed. Bliss is stationed in the heart or anywhere throughout the being. There is no dynamic flow, but tremendous intensity is there. In delight, there is intensity plus velocity.
Bliss is the creation of life and bliss is the life of creation. The creation of life is the Silence-God. The life of silence is the Sound-God. Creation enters into inconscience and then gradually comes back to its Source, and regains its Source. When it enters into inconscience, into the lowest chasm of reality, we call this involution. And when from that lowest chasm creation again climbs up high, higher, highest, we call this evolution. The Silence-God has another name: Spirit; and the Sound-God has another name: matter. Progress requires involution of spirit and evolution of matter.
Bliss enters into inconscience because it wants to offer its light and delight, its very reality, to the dark side of existence. Then, from the darkness and inconscience of matter, bliss comes back again to its Source. But on its way back, when it reaches the human level — which is still half-animal — its promise to the Absolute Supreme becomes vivid and real. When bliss enters into inconscience, it does so with the solemn promise that there, too, it will offer light. In God's creation there will be no place where Light will be missing. When bliss evolves from the mineral, plant and animal life to the human level, it becomes conscious of its original promise to the Absolute Supreme.
Human life, which is half-animal, will be conquered on the strength of our inner cry. From the human life, the divine life wants to grow. So we practice concentration, meditation and contemplation, which carry us into the domain of aspiration.
We are all seekers, and we want to achieve bliss or taste it consciously. At times it happens that non-seekers may feel bliss for a fleeting second, either in a dream or during their waking hours. But this unexpected bliss does not last. Unexpectedly it comes and, in spite of their desire that it stay, it soon disappears. Why? Because their body, their physical consciousness, is not fully dedicated to the service of the Supreme, because their vital is not sufficiently expanded, because their mind is not totally silenced and their heart is not implicitly purified. Only in the body's freedom from limitation, the vital's freedom from depression, the mind's freedom from frustration and the heart's freedom from insecurity can bliss permanently abide.
If bliss enters into a seeker's aspiring consciousness, he is not astonished. He has been expecting bliss because he has prayed and meditated. And bliss enters into him precisely because he is fully prepared. Now, when this bliss enters into a seeker who is well-prepared, it lasts for good.
A seeker's inner preparation is called his capacity and receptivity. He who has capacity is ready to choose God as his very own. He feels that there is nothing on earth that he can call his own except God, so therefore he chooses God. But he who has receptivity is chosen by God Himself; he is chosen by God as God's very own. Inside his receptivity, God is constantly playing His cosmic Game. So we can safely say that capacity is the first giant step toward God-realisation and receptivity is the second and last giant step toward God-realisation. When a seeker is on the verge of illumination, he achieves boundless bliss. At that time, bliss is not a vague idea but a living reality. Either when he is on the verge of illumination, or right after his illumination takes place, the seeker will be inundated with infinite bliss in his entire being.
We use three most significant terms in our spiritual life, in our life of aspiration: salvation, liberation and realisation. We can call them three giant realities. When we have salvation we grow into bliss. When we have liberation we grow into bliss. When we have realisation we grow into bliss. When we achieve salvation, we feel that the sin-consciousness has totally left us. Sin, as a reality, has no place in our existence. When we achieve liberation, we feel that the limitations of the world have totally disappeared from us. At that time there can be no such thing as limitation in our life. When we achieve realisation, when we discover ourselves, at that time we feel that the finite has at last reached the Infinite. The tiny drop has merged into the Infinite ocean and become the ocean itself.
We can have bliss in our life of salvation, in our life of liberation and in our life of realisation. When a seeker achieves salvation, God gives him the promise that he will have liberation and that, after his liberation, realisation will dawn. Salvation, liberation and realisation are like three brothers. First you please one brother, then you go to the second brother and then you go to the third brother. These brothers are constantly playing with the Supreme in His cosmic Lila. When a seeker achieves salvation, liberation and realisation, he becomes a conscious representative of God and helps to illumine the unlit humanity.
On the practical level, we can get bliss every day when we do not expect anything from anyone — from others, from God, or even from ourselves. We can get bliss on the physical plane when we offer something unconditionally either to our conscious being or to others. Then again, we can have bliss in our multifarious day-today activities if we pray and meditate sincerely and soulfully. But if we expect something from God because of our soulful prayer and profound meditation, then we shall not achieve real bliss.
Real bliss is self-giving without any expectation. We have to give what we have and what we are, freely, soulfully and devotedly, to God. What we have is sincere aspiration and what we are is a sea of ignorance. If we can give to God unconditionally what we have and what we are, then God also will give us what He has and what He is. What He has is Love, and what He is is Bliss. When we give our little possessions cheerfully, devotedly and unconditionally, He gives us His infinite possessions: Infinite Bliss and His transcendental universal Reality.
The Christ said, "Let Thy Will be done." This is the highest form of prayer. Only in this kind of selfless prayer can we get supreme Bliss.
MMT 13. Guelph University, Arts Building, Guelph, Ontario, 25 March 1974↩