God's School1We here are all seekers, seekers of the Infinite Truth. Although we do not belong to the same class, although our standard may not be the same, we are all studying in the same school. Some are in kindergarten, some are in primary school, some in high school, some in the university. But the name of the school is God’s School, and God is our only teacher. He teaches us two important things: how to illumine our inner life and how to sacrifice our outer life on the strength of our feeling of oneness with the world at large.
In this school, as in other schools, there are quite a few steps. We get six degrees or diplomas. The first diploma is the purification of our nature, the purification of our outer being. The second is salvation, salvation from the world of miseries and tribulations. The third is liberation from the snares of ignorance. The fourth is the realisation of our transcendental Self. The fifth is our revelation of the Absolute. The last and highest degree is our manifestation of the Absolute Supreme. These are the degrees we get in God’s School.
No seekers who want them will be denied these degrees. In the course of time, in the process of our inner evolution, we are bound to get at least the first three degrees. Each seeker, if he is sincere, has to feel that at every moment his life needs discipline — physical discipline, vital discipline, mental discipline, psychic discipline. If there is no discipline, then the individual will make little or no progress. But if there is discipline or self-control, then he can run very fast towards his goal.
Life has to be taken seriously. But if it is taken too seriously, then we will be pulling the Truth or pushing the Truth. By pulling or pushing we cannot achieve the Truth the way the Supreme within us wants us to achieve it. If we take life too seriously, immediately we expect something grand, great and momentous from life; and if we do not get what we want, immediately we feel frustrated. We feel that we are in a prison of futility. Life is fruitless, work is fruitless, everything is fruitless. We have to take life seriously, but if we take it too seriously, then we demand from life something which it is unable to give us immediately. Slow and steady is the answer here. Slowly, steadily, unerringly, we have to carry life towards its destination. We carry life with our aspiration; life carries us with its patience and perseverance in the journey towards the destined goal.
Some people take life very lightly, however. They think that life has nothing to give, so they wallow in the pleasures of ignorance, either consciously and deliberately or unconsciously. We have to know that these people have made friends with absurdity. Each life has come directly from the Highest Absolute. We cannot squander life. We have to feel that each life has a serious meaning of its own. The individual life will eventually be merged in the Cosmic Life. The finite, the light of the finite, the life of the finite, will be merged in the Infinite. We came from the Infinite. Here on earth we play our roles for fifty, sixty or seventy years, and then we depart. Then after a while with a new message, with a higher light, with a stronger power, we once again enter into the world to fulfil the Universal Life which abides in the individual life on earth. If we take life too lightly, if we do not pay enough attention to life, then we are unconsciously or consciously negating our inner possibilities and destroying our inner potentialities.
There is another way of accepting life, a human way. We can feel that we are, after all, human beings and thus are allowed to do certain things. We can feel that the experiences we get from life will eventually lead us to our destination, but since we are human beings, we may remain in the sea of ignorance for as long as we like. We can constantly err and still expect forgiveness from God. This is the human way of accepting life, or taking part in the human drama. But this attitude is also a deplorable mistake. We should feel that we have to come out of ignorance as soon as possible — not by violence, but on the strength of our aspiration. With our inner strength, inner urge, inner life, we must come out of the sea of ignorance.
There is a fourth way. We can take life divinely. Each moment we can feel that there is something called Divinity that is trying to loom large in our life. Every second Divinity wants to come to the fore. But consciously or unconsciously, we are not allowing it to do so. But if we pray and meditate, Divinity gets ample chance to come forward. That is why a sincere seeker, a seeker of the Absolute Truth, meditates daily. He feels the necessity of bringing his own Divinity forward, for in Divinity he feels a real sense of satisfaction.
Each individual seeker is crying for satisfaction. A child gets satisfaction from a piece of candy. A man of desire becomes satisfied when he gets a million dollars. A seeker who has just launched into the spiritual life is satisfied when he gets an iota of Light and Peace. We are all running after satisfaction. But real satisfaction, complete satisfaction, is still a far cry. Complete satisfaction will dawn only when God-manifestation in its highest aspect has taken place on earth. Right now, God-manifestation is taking place in a veiled and unenlightened way. Many, many people have realised God. Many of them have revealed God. But very few have been able to manifest God because they are surrounded by the unenlightened and unaspiring earth-consciousness. Unless and until the full manifestation of the Supreme takes place on earth, no seeker can be completely satisfied.
Realisation is one thing and manifestation is something else. Until manifestation has taken place, perfect Perfection cannot dawn. To climb up the mango tree is realisation. To climb down again with the mangoes and distribute them to those who do not have is revelation. And after the distribution, to make them feel that this mango is Nectar and Immortality, and that it is from each human being’s Immortality that the earth-consciousness will eventually be divinised and fully immortalised — this is manifestation. To climb up the mango tree is great, but it is not enough. We have to climb down again to distribute the mangoes and to make the world aware of their significance. Until we do this, our role is not complete and God will not be satisfied and fulfilled.
Every seeker is playing a significant role. At the very beginning of his journey, he should feel that he is a chosen child of God. If he thinks he is a chosen child of God, then many undivine attributes will automatically drop from his nature. If he can say, “I am a chosen child of God,” immediately he will have the inner courage to vehemently fight and chase away doubt, fear and temptation. Doubt will not be able to tell him that God-realisation is something absurd, or that he does not have the capacity to realise the highest Truth. Fear will leave him at once, because he will feel his oneness with God. The Christ used his Realisation-power to say, “I and my Father are one.” If an aspirant starts saying, “I and my Father are one,” it will be on the strength of his imagination-power. But what today we call imagination will be transformed into reality tomorrow. A scientist imagines the result of an experiment, then he performs it and discovers the reality. Today’s dream is tomorrow’s reality.
We have to start our spiritual journey with imagination. Inside imagination we have to feel our inner cry, which is aspiration, constantly trying to climb high, higher, highest in a never-ending upward journey. We all have this aspiration, so we are bound to realise the highest Truth.
God-realisation is not the sole monopoly of an individual. Many have realised God and many more will realise God, until a day comes when all will have realised the Highest. But there is something called God’s Hour. God’s Hour is the hour chosen by God. Today God is pleased with me. Tomorrow God will be pleased with you. The day after tomorrow He will be pleased with somebody else. The moment He is totally pleased with us, He grants us the boon of boons: God-realisation, God-discovery.
There are some seekers who are weak in their aspiration. I wish to tell them that if their aspiration is weak today, they will not always be doomed to disappointment. Carry on slowly, steadily. If you feel that you are weak, then immediately pray to the Lord, to the Inner Pilot, to offer you shelter. He is bound to give it. The cry of the weak seeker is for shelter and protection, and he can expect to get these from his meditation.
There are some seekers here who are strong, who meditate regularly, devotedly and soulfully. To them I wish to say that what they can and should expect from their meditation is joy, inner joy — the joy that conquers limitations, imperfections, bondage and death. Once one has conquered limitations, imperfections and bondage, one’s inner being will be flooded with immeasurable joy.
When the seeker is cheerful, when he is flooded with inner joy, inner light and inner delight, he must offer something to the Inner Pilot in order to fulfil and manifest Him. That offering is gratitude. He knows that it is the Inner Pilot who has surcharged his inner being with this Peace, Light and Delight in boundless measure. He now wants to manifest the Inner Pilot, the Supreme, on earth, and he does it through gratitude, soulful gratitude, constant gratitude. When he offers gratitude, the power, the quantity, even the quality of his Joy, Light and Delight automatically increase. How can he offer gratitude? He can offer gratitude easily and, at the same time, effectively through constant and conscious surrender of his will to the Will of the Supreme. He has to make himself feel that he is nothing other than an unconditional instrument at the Feet of the Lord Supreme. When he becomes an unconditional instrument of the Lord Supreme, the manifestation of Divinity, the manifestation of Reality, the manifestation of Immortality can and will take place here on earth.
Today we are thinking of God, meditating on God, contemplating on God, with the idea that one day we shall see God face to face. When we finally do see God face to face, we will not be satisfied. At that time we will try to have God as our very own. When we get God as our very own, we will then feel the need of consciously and constantly trying to become God. But it is not we who try; it is God within us who aspires. Today’s man is God unrealised. Tomorrow’s man will be God fully realised.
There is no end to a seeker’s journey. Every day we are surpassing our past achievements and transcending our previous goals. If we pray, if we concentrate, if we meditate, we will feel deep within us that we are constantly transcending ourselves. It is not a barrier that we are transcending, but an achievement. Yesterday’s goal was to see something. Today’s goal is to feel something. Tomorrow’s goal will be to become something. We have seen during our meditation that Reality, Divinity and Immortality do exist. We now feel that these are a part of our lives. It is only a matter of time before we grow into these realities and embody them in our lives.
MRP 20. Catholic Chaplaincy, Glasgow, Scotland, 16 June 1973.↩