Spirituality and satisfactionUniversity of Toronto; Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Medical Science Auditorium
24 March 1974
Dear brothers and sisters, dear seekers of the Transcendental Truth, I wish to give a talk on spirituality. Spirituality is a very vast subject, as you all know. We can speak on this subject for hours and hours, for days and months, but even then we will not get real satisfaction. But if we can meditate devotedly and soulfully for even five fleeting minutes, we will get tremendous satisfaction in the inmost recesses of our hearts.
If you want me to define spirituality, I can define it by using only one word: satisfaction. Spirituality is nothing more and nothing less than satisfaction. Now, what is satisfaction? Satisfaction is the manifestation of oneness. Manifestation is the song of permanence, and oneness is the crown of evolution. And what is evolution? Evolution is our heart's ascending cry for the Highest, for the Absolute. This cry needs only one thing: God's descending Smile. When our heart's ascending cry and God's descending Smile meet together, we fly in the sky of infinite freedom.
Some enter into the spiritual life because the world has disappointed them. Others enter into the spiritual life out of sheer curiosity, because they feel it may offer something worth achieving. Still others feel that no matter how much they give to the world at large and no matter how much they receive from the world, they will never be able to see the face of satisfaction. They feel that only by leading a spiritual life will their inner satisfaction loom large. They feel that satisfaction lies in self-giving, self-giving to the root of the life-tree: God.
Those who enter into the spiritual life because the world has disappointed them or because they have disappointed the world may be tempted to go back to the life of the ordinary world. But those who accept the spiritual life for real and abiding satisfaction will eventually succeed.
A real spiritual life is a life of inner acceptance. Inner acceptance means allowing oneself to be shaped by the Will of God. When we pray and meditate, we try to become consciously one with the Will of God. We know that it is only the Will of God that can ultimately fulfil us and our near and dear ones. No matter how hard we try to please others, we shall fail. No matter how sincerely and genuinely others want to please us, they will sadly fail. But if we invoke the Will of God to please mankind in Divinity's own Way, then and then only, will the world be satisfied.
A spiritual man is he who does first things first. For an ordinary human being who does not pray and meditate early in the morning, the first thing in his life is his breakfast. He feels that if he eats, he will be energised so that he will be able to perform his daily activities. But a spiritual person feels that there is someone inside his heart whom he has to feed first: a little child, a divine child. This little child is the soul, which is the direct representative of God. A spiritual person feels that he must feed his inner existence first, and then only will he be fulfilled in his outer life. He feels that he has to come outward from within, and not the other way around. Early in the morning, therefore, he prays and meditates. When he prays most soulfully, his inner cry immediately knocks at God's Door and God listens to his cry. His prayer is his speech. He starts conversing with God and God listens. Then, a few minutes later, he meditates. When he meditates, he becomes the listener and God becomes the talker. In a conversation, one talks and the other listens, and then it is reversed. Similarly, when a seeker prays, he talks and God listens; and when a seeker meditates, God talks and the seeker listens, by silencing his mind and by opening his heart.
Here we are all spiritual people. According to me, a spiritual person is he who is constantly serving God in humanity. A life of selfless service is his only credential. A spiritual person is he who does not and cannot separate his being from his doing, or his doing from his becoming. For him there can be no yawning chasm between being and doing, or between doing and becoming.
Very often people who do not follow the spiritual life think that spiritual people are deliberately negating society. But I wish to say that spiritual people are not negating anything. They are only trying to do the first thing first. The essence, the quintessence, of society is God. So spiritual people try to enter into the essence first.
They want to enter into the root, for then only can they climb up to the topmost bough of the life-tree and become one with its millions and billions of leaves and hundreds and thousands of fruits and flowers.
A sincere seeker has to accept the world, but he has to accept the world from within. His heart of love offers love, peace and bliss through silence. He feels that if he can inspire someone inwardly, silently, then that person can really get some benefit from his dedicated service.
There are some seekers who think that they will be able to realise God sooner if they enter into the Himalayan caves. But I feel that the days of withdrawal from the world are buried in oblivion. If we enter into the Himalayan caves with a view to realising God, then God is likely to tell us, "My child, I am not going to appear there. In that cave I will be suffocated." Then again, there are people who wallow in the pleasures of ignorance and feel that they will be able to realise God in the superfluous luxury of a palace. But God tells them that He is not going to appear there, either. To them He says, "That place is too vast for Me." The life of idleness and comfort cannot associate with the life of divine oneness.
Then what is the place that a seeker must choose in order to receive his Supreme Beloved? The place is his heart. If we meditate on the heart and in the heart, then we will bring to the fore our inner light, which constantly tries to be of service to aspiring mankind.
A spiritual person feels that God is very simple. He wants to simplify his life, for the moment complexity enters into his mind, God-realisation becomes a far cry. When he remains in the heart, when he is a child, he feels that God is nearer than the nearest, dearer than the dearest.
We have a physical mind, and at every moment this mind wants to be convinced. Therefore we talk and listen, just to convince our physical mind. But real spirituality, real meditation, real yoga, is all inside the heart. In the heart is our ceaseless cry, our ever-mounting flame that reaches up to the Supreme's Transcendental Smile and then comes down to offer its inner wealth to aspiring humanity and to the world at large.
Right now the physical mind is the leader of our family. Whatever the physical mind commands us to do, we do—either willingly or unwillingly. But once we begin to pray and meditate, we feel that there is a higher member of our inner family, one which is superior to the mind, and that is the heart. When we remain in the heart, we feel that we have established a free access to the soul, which is flooded with light and delight. A genuine seeker knows that he needs God not because God is omniscient and omnipotent, but because God is all Love.
As in the ordinary human world, in the spiritual world also somebody may be very strong and powerful, but his power or strength does not conquer our heart. Somebody may be an authority on every walk of life, but still that particular person does not conquer our heart. But if somebody is all love, then that person is bound to conquer our heart, for the heart is oneness, universal oneness.