Contemplation in action1

Each individual is a seeker. He cannot be otherwise. He is either a seeker of the infinite and absolute Truth or a seeker of earthly riches.

Each individual seeker has three intimate friends in the spiritual life. These friends are concentration, meditation and contemplation. Again, each seeker has quite a few enemies. To his wide surprise, right now his own mind is his worst enemy. It is the mind which is impure, insecure, jealous, mean and earth-bound.

Concentration, the seeker's dear friend, comes to his rescue. Concentration chases away the uncomely thoughts that assail his mind. Then the seeker is blessed with divine thoughts—pure, healthy, prosperous, illumining and fulfilling thoughts.

Next the seeker's meditation-friend comes to help him. His meditation-friend grants him a calm and quiet mind so that he can have peace in abundant measure even in the beginning of his spiritual journey. And, eventually, meditation gives the seeker peace in infinite measure.

Finally, the seeker's contemplation-friend comes and offers him light and delight. First it makes the mind an absolutely fit and perfect instrument of his Inner Pilot. It perfects the mind to such an extent that the mind can feel, at every moment, the divine nectar flowing in and through it. Contemplation grants the seeker nectar-delight in infinite measure.

When a seeker starts concentrating, meditating and contemplating, he comes to realise that he needs a clear and perceptive mind, a receptive heart and an intuitive capacity. He needs a clear perception of reality within and without. He needs receptivity in boundless measure. He needs an intuitive faculty that can read the book of the past, present and future. On the strength of his powerful concentration, the seeker becomes divinely perceptive. On the strength of his soulful meditation, the seeker becomes supremely receptive. And, on the strength of his fruitful contemplation, the seeker finally becomes perfectly intuitive. Then, sooner than at once, he can read the past, present and future.

When a seeker concentrates, meditates and contemplates, he is sincere, genuine and pure; he does not care for world acclaim. But since it does not want to remain indebted to him, the world plays its role. When the seeker concentrates, the world admires his powerful eyes. When the seeker meditates, the world adores his soulful heart. And when the seeker contemplates, the entire humanity loves his fruitful soul.

There are two realities. One is the earth-bound reality. The other is the Heaven-free Reality. The earth-bound reality deals with the finite —- with fleeting moments. The Heaven-free Reality deals with Eternity. In contemplation the seeker unites the earth-bound reality with the Heaven-free Reality. In contemplation the seeker becomes his own journey's birth, his own journey's everlasting march and his own journey's ever-transcending Goal.

Concentration, meditation and contemplation are of paramount importance in the seeker's life of action. What is action? In the ordinary sense, action is possession. Again, action can be renunciation. Action can also be transformation.

When action is possession, we feel miserable. When we finally gain possession of something, we discover that that very thing has already gained possession of us. We see that we are now at the mercy of the very thing we wanted to possess.

Then there comes a time when possession no longer gives us joy, and we try to renounce everything. We feel that if we can renounce everything, only then will we be happy. But renunciation is not the proper answer either. If we renounce everything, then how are we going to manifest the divinity within us? If we renounce the body because the body is inactive, if we renounce the vital because it is aggressive, if we renounce the mind because it is impure, if we renounce the heart because it is useless and helpless—if we renounce everything that we have and everything that we are—then how are we going to bring to the fore our inner divinity?

Possession is not the answer and renunciation is not the answer, either. Acceptance does not satisfy us either, because the world is far from perfect.

Finally, we come to realise that the only answer is transformation—the transformation of reality. We will accept the body, vital, mind and heart, but then we have to transform them. The inactive body we have to make active. The aggressive vital we have to make dynamic. The impure mind we have to purify. The insecure heart we have to make secure and confident. The transformation of our nature is of paramount importance. If we can transform our nature, our earthly existence, then only will we be perfect instruments, supremely chosen instruments, of our Beloved Supreme. Then only will we be able to please Him and satisfy Him in His own Way. It is in and through our powerful concentration, soulful meditation and fruitful contemplation that our nature's perfection will come.

Possession will always bind us. Renunciation will impoverish us. If we are bound, how can we offer freedom to the world at large? If we are poverty-stricken, how can we offer our inner wealth to the rest of the world? But if we are transformed, our transformation, in silence, will be able to transform the entire world.

When the seeker acts foolishly and tries to possess the world, God feels sad. Again, He feels sad when the seeker does not act because he is afraid that each action will bind him more and more. The seeker does not realise that if he can offer the results of his action soulfully, cheerfully and unconditionally to his Inner Pilot, then he will become perfect. He should renounce not the action but the results of the action. This is true self-offering. When the seeker offers God the results of his action, then he becomes inwardly and outwardly perfect.

We know how to act soulfully and devotedly. But how is it possible to contemplate in action —- amidst the hustle and bustle of life —- when we are engaged in multifarious activities? We can contemplate during our action provided we have implicit faith in the God-Vision, implicit faith that God is operating sleeplessly and compassionately in and through us. We can contemplate during action if we can convince our doubtful mind that the Heart of the Supreme is sleeplessly guiding us, shaping us and moulding us into the image of its own Transcendental Reality. We can contemplate during action if we can imagine the Compassion-Eye of our Beloved Supreme, if we can imagine the Forgiveness-Heart of our Beloved Supreme and if we can imagine the Perfection-Vision of our Beloved Supreme —- which are always operating in and through us for the Supreme's Perfection-Manifestation here on earth.


  1. EHWM 97. Wellesley College; Wellesley, MA, USA, 21 April 1981