Action and liberationGeorge Washington University; Washington, D.C., USA
22 April 1969
George Washington, first to embody America’s hope,
First in inspiration, first in confidence, first in war,
First in victory,
First in conquering the heart of his Nation,
First to envisage a federation of states,
Single, powerful, united, whole.
A spiritual person has found his work. His work is selfless service. His work is dedicated action. Indeed, he has no need of any other blessedness. His action is the divine acceptance of earthly existence. And for this he needs a perfect body, a strong mind, a soulful heart and a supremely inspired life of inner receptivity and outer capacity.
Action is entering into the battlefield of life. Action is conquering life’s untold miseries and teeming limitations. Action is transforming life’s devouring imperfection into glowing perfection. Action is something infinitely deeper and higher than the mere survival of physical existence. Action is the secret supreme, which enables us to enter into the Life Eternal.
He who has not consciously accepted the spiritual life may consider action a necessary evil and the mother of bitter frustration. But to a spiritual person, action is a divine blessing. It is the matchless victory over bondage and ignorance. It is at once God’s soulful Vision in Heaven and God’s fruitful Mission on earth. God says that a man of divine action is the ideal hero. This ideal hero divine manifests God here on earth. To him, God-realisation is not enough. His is the heart that cries for God’s all-fulfilling manifestation.
An unaspiring person dies and his role is over. An aspiring person dies and his role just begins. A spiritual Master leaves his body, and his mission starts bearing fruit.
Man is blind. He does not know what to do. When he wants to do something, he does not know how to go about it; and so, instead of getting joy from work, he immediately enters into difficulty.
T. H. Huxley pointedly remarks, “A man’s worst difficulties begin when he is able to do as he likes.” But if a man listens to the dictates of his soul and is able to do what his soul wants him to do, then his life will be transformed into golden opportunities and the greatest success will knock at his heart’s door.
There is a saying that, “The thumb takes the responsibility; the index finger, the initiative.” Similarly, man’s aspiration takes the initiative, but it is God’s Concern that takes the responsibility.
And someone has said, “The idealist walks on tiptoe, the materialist on his heels.” Similarly, the divine hero-worker walks on the fire of self-illumination; the worker undivine, unaspiring and uninspired, who is full of ego, vanity and pride, walks on the fire of self-destruction.
According to some people, human life is just a cruel, meaningless and hopeless four-letter word: work. I wish to say they are mistaken. They like work; what they hate is the sense of labour, the burden of labour. Labour and favour perfectly rhyme. After all, whose favour is it? God’s favour. Indeed, he is God’s chosen child, and he alone is God’s favourite, who works to please God. And, in pleasing God, he realises and fulfils himself. Then he tells the world that human life is a divinely meaningful three-letter word: joy.
Liberation. Liberation speaks: “We are not nature’s slaves.” Liberation teaches. It teaches us that our every heartbeat offers us a unique opportunity to achieve liberation. Liberation sings within us: “Arise, awake! Yours is the ideal Goal, the Goal of Goals.”
Liberation is man’s practical wisdom. Liberation is not a compromise with the world. Liberation is the end of man’s competition with nature’s temptation. Liberation elevates the earth-consciousness into the skies of the Beyond.
Which is more difficult: to cry for liberation or, after having been liberated, to cry for the illumination and transformation of the ignorance-loving, darkness- embracing world? Undoubtedly, the latter.
The poor liberated man — strange, indeed, is his fate. He constantly thinks of those who hardly ever think of him. When he stands before the world, the world acts either like a frightened child or a hostile child. A liberated man tells the world that God is not only knowable, but more than knowable. He also tells the world that it is easier to know God than to know the world, because when he wants to know the world he has to know it through God and from God.
Sri Krishna is Illumination Incarnate. The Buddha is Liberation Incarnate. The Christ is Salvation Incarnate.
The world is offering its darkness to Sri Krishna. The world is offering its suffering to the Buddha. The world is offering its sin to the Christ.
The fallen consciousness of the world is flying towards the highest Beyond to be touched by Christ, the Saviour. The broken consciousness of the world is diving into the deepest Beyond to be embraced by Lord Buddha, the Liberator. The molten consciousness of the world is marching towards the farthest Beyond to be blessed by Sri Krishna, the Illuminator.