We are all seekers—seekers of Truth. For us there can be nothing more valuable or significant than realisation.
There are three kinds of realisation: I can, I have and I am. I can see the face of Truth, the Transcendental Truth. I have deep within me Eternity, Infinity and Immortality. I am God. These are the main realisations that each individual will eventually achieve.
In order to achieve realisation, aspiration is of supreme importance. Eternity’s two immortal friends are aspiration and realisation. The goal of aspiration is to ascend. The goal of realisation is to transcend.
Inspiration is also of paramount importance. Our inspiration carries us from the foot of the life-tree to the topmost branch of the life-tree. Our aspiration takes us from the world of suffering to the world of light and delight. Our realisation transforms our Eternity’s cry into our Infinity’s smile. Our Eternity’s cry is what we now have. Our Infinity’s smile is what we shall one day become.
Each individual seeker has an inner cry, which we call aspiration. Again, each individual seeker has an inner message: dedication. Our dedication makes us feel that God the Creator and God the Creation are inseparably one. Therefore, while serving God the Creation, we are becoming one with God the Creator.
Aspiration teaches us the necessity of realisation, and realisation teaches us the necessity of self-transcendence. Why? Because our Source, our Beloved Supreme Himself, at every moment is transcending His own Vision-Reality and His own Reality-Vision.
Dedication is part and parcel of God-manifestation. Since God is ever-transcending, there is no end to our God-manifestation. Therefore, manifestation also makes us feel the necessity of self-transcendence. Our self-transcendence takes place in and through our God-manifestation here on earth. Each time we transcend ourselves we see that God is being manifested in and through us in a most special and significant way.
Our dedication and realisation tell us that we always have to go beyond, beyond, beyond. Today’s goal is only the starting point for tomorrow’s journey. Today’s perfection marks the very beginning of tomorrow’s new creation. Today’s satisfaction is the harbinger of an even greater hunger for more purity, more beauty and more closeness and oneness with God.
Realisation is beauty’s flower and duty’s fruit. Beauty’s flower is our heart, and duty’s fruit is our life. Beauty is our self-giving; duty is our God-becoming. Beauty reveals the Infinite in the finite; duty manifests the Immortal in the mortal. Beauty tells the God-seeker that his Source is in God. Duty tells the God-seeker that his life is for God and God alone.
Indian philosophy, Indian religion and Indian spirituality from time immemorial have had only one message—the message of realisation, or “Know thyself.” When a seeker knows himself, he declares, “/Aham Brahmasmi/ — I am Brahman, the One without a second.” This same message was offered here in the West when the Saviour declared, “I and my Father are one.” This is the loftiest realisation of the soul.
In order to have the experience of God-realisation, each individual has to develop some inner discipline. Again, inside this inner discipline, the easiest way to approach the highest Reality is through love, devotion and surrender.
I am speaking here of divine love, which is altogether different from human love. Human love tries to possess and be possessed. Therefore, human love always fails to satisfy us. But divine love at each moment wants to expand and, while expanding, it liberates.
Human devotion is nothing short of attachment. In human devotion, the devotee and the object of his devotion are like two blind beggars with no goal or destination. But divine devotion only intensifies our inner cry for higher light and delight. Divine devotion intensifies our heart’s purity at every moment, and this is of paramount importance in realising the Absolute Reality.
Last comes surrender. In human life we surrender to our superiors. Like slaves we surrender to those who have power over us. But this kind of surrender is a far cry from spiritual surrender. When a human being surrenders to a superior, there is no guarantee that this so-called superior possesses more light.
In divine surrender we surrender to our Source, so that we can consciously become part and parcel of that Source. In the spiritual life we surrender cheerfully, soulfully and unconditionally to our higher Self in order to become one with our Highest. The tiny drop knows that its reality is the ocean. When it consciously merges with the ocean, it loses its individual identity and becomes the ocean itself.
We want to achieve quite a few things in life. In order to accomplish our outer goals, we try to influence others by every possible means. Sometimes we adopt foul means or try to deceive others; others also try to deceive us. But if our goal is God-realisation, we cannot hope to deceive God or influence God through foul means. In fact, this is not at all necessary. God’s dearest wish is for us to realise Him.
God says to us, “My children, I have countless ways for you to realise Me. If one particular way does not suit your nature, then there are many, many other ways. I shall present Myself before you in countless ways in order that you may realise Me. At every moment I shall knock at your heart’s door and, if you sincerely want to receive Me, you will open the door.”
EHWM 107. Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University; Cambridge, MA, USA, 19 April 1983↩