The permanent and the impermanent1What is permanent? What is impermanent?
What is permanent is reality.
What is impermanent is non-reality.
Reality is the existence of light, in light and for light.
Non-reality is the existence of night, in night and for night.
Reality's parents are divinity and immortality.
Non-reality's parents are bondage and ignorance.
When we see the Divine Light we feel happy. When we feel the Divine Light we become strong; and when we grow into the Divine Light our life becomes fruitful.
When we see the undivine night, we become weak, impotent. When we feel the undivine night, we feel sorry, we feel miserable; and when we grow into the undivine night, our life becomes meaningless, fruitless.
Now, illumining light and illumined light; darkening night and darkened night. Illumining light is the light that is within us. Illumined light is the light that is without us. Darkening night is the night that is before us. Darkened night is the night that is around us.
That which is real is permanent, and what is permanent is spiritual. What is spiritual? The life of the ever-transcending Beyond is spiritual. But this life of the ever-transcending Beyond has to be manifested here on earth. This life is real, reality itself.
What is unspiritual? Let us use the term 'material'. Material is something which is the wealth of the fleeting time.
Divine wealth and material wealth. Divine wealth is our inner aspiration. This aspiration is the song of Infinity, Eternity, and Immortality within us. Material wealth is desire. It is the cry for immediate and constant possession. When we try to possess, unfortunately we feel that we are already possessed. When we try to see someone with our soul's light, we feel that we are already liberated, and he too is already liberated.
A thing permanent is divine. A thing impermanent is undivine. When divine wisdom dawns on earth, we will realise that an impermanent thing is useless.
Divinity and immortality are within us. Immortality tells us what to do and divinity tells us how to do it. Immortality tells us to listen to the dictates of our soul, which is a spark of the Supreme Light. It tells us to be conscious of the Inner Pilot constantly. Divinity tells us how we can do it. We can do it through a self-disciplined life, through dedication to a higher cause, through purification of our outer nature, and through undying and unreserved love for God.
Bondage and ignorance are the parents of night. Ignorance tells us what to do and bondage tells us how to do it. Ignorance tells us to destroy the world and bondage tells us how to do it — through cruelty and brutality, through unfair means.
A spiritual seeker tries to enter into the inmost recesses of his heart, and from there he tries to bring light to the fore. With the help of this light, he wants to grow into the breath of the permanent. Now, to grow into the breath of the permanent, what we need is inner wisdom. What is this inner wisdom?
Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita, the Song Celestial, says to Arjuna, his divine instrument, "O Arjuna, a wise man is he who has the mastery over the senses." That is to say, when we conquer the senses, we enter into the realm of wisdom, where reality grows and divinity flows.
Now, to enter into the world of wisdom we need constant love — love for the truth, love for light. But right now we are fond of fleeting truth, fleeting light, fleeting possession. The fleeting wealth that we have or we cherish is terribly afraid of truth. It doubts truth and it fears God. But our divine wealth, aspiration, invokes truth and adores God. Each day we are seeing with our own eyes and feeling with our own heart the impermanence of the man-made world. That is to say, the things that we create with our thoughts and ideas do not last. This moment I have a thought and soon that thought is gone. Perhaps it gives me a result; this result lasts for, again, another fleeting second.
But there is something else we call will-power — soul's will, adamantine will of the soul. If we can exercise an iota of this will-power, then we will see that not only the action but also the result is an everlasting reality. In order to develop the will-power of the soul, we have to enter into the life of the Spirit. We have to have a self-disciplined life. Self-disciplined life does not mean the mortification of life or a conscious torture to the human life. Self-disciplined life means a life that needs the Light and wants to be guided by the Light, moulded and shaped by the Light. And when the life is disciplined, we shall not act like animals. When the life is disciplined enough, the real divinity will grow. At that time we can say that God-realisation or self-discovery is our birthright, and in God-realisation we acquire the wisdom of the everlasting Truth.
It is not that one individual or some individuals are chosen to realise the highest Truth. No, far from it. Each individual is an instrument of God; but he has to be conscious. Right now he is not; he is unconscious. But when he prays, when he meditates, he automatically becomes a constant, conscious instrument of God. And he who becomes a conscious instrument of God hears in the very heart of the finite the message of the Infinite, and feels in the fleeting the Breath of the Eternal.
To think of God, to meditate on God constantly, is to live in God unreservedly. When we live in God constantly, soulfully, and unreservedly, God unconditionally does everything for us. In infinite measure He offers His Light, Peace, and Bliss, and we grow into His very Image.
Here on earth the message of the permanent Truth, the transcendental Truth has to be fulfilled, for God has chosen earth as His field for Manifestation. The eternal Light has to be manifested here on earth, and we, all of us, have to become conscious instruments of God. We can be so if we have the inner cry, and this inner cry has to be the cry of a child. The child cries for his mother. The mother comes running towards the child, no matter where the mother is. The child may be in the living room or he may be in the kitchen, but the mother comes running to feed the child.
Similarly, when we have the inner cry, spontaneous cry for Light and Truth, God out of His Infinite Bounty will show us the Light, and in that Light we will grow.
We shall fulfil God. While fulfilling God, we shall fulfil ourselves, and our only prayer to God is:
Lead us from the unreal to the real.
Lead us from darkness to light.
Lead us from death to Immortality,
O Lord Supreme!
MRP 13. University of Bristol, Monday, November 30th, 1970↩