But his disciples didn’t listen to him. They thought that the Master would be pleased with them only if they gave him everything they had, without accepting or even expecting anything from him. They thought, “Master does not work. We have to feed him. To take money or any material help from him is impossible. Should the Master work for us even physically? No, that can’t be. He is divine. He is spiritual.” In every way they wanted to feel that they would only give to the Master. They thought that they could not expect even a smile from their Master.
Some of the Master’s disciples lived very far away from him. They had all kinds of problems with others, especially with members of their own families. The Master used to ask them, “Why are you suffering so much? Why do you have to depend on your friends’ appreciation and admiration? Why do you have to depend on the wisdom of the members of your family? You want to depend on others’ appreciation and admiration. You want to depend on the others’ help, financial and otherwise. But you don’t want to depend on me for anything. You came into the spiritual life to be dependent on what, on whom?”
Their immediate answer would be, “To depend on the Master — on God.” But in their day-to-day activities they always wanted the Master to be dependent on them in every way and they did not want themselves to be dependent on him at all. For every thing the Master needed done they expected him to call on them for help, but they did not give their Master the joy of having them depend on him. This way it went on for many years.
One day the Master had to scold his disciples. He said, “Look here. If you feel that it is impossible for you to accept help from your Master in the physical world, then how do you expect spiritual help from your Master — peace, light and bliss?”
The disciples said, “Well, peace, light and power — these things we can expect from you, Master. But other help, material help, help in the physical world, we cannot expect.”
Then the Master said, “Then why should I take help from you? Why should I be indebted to you? You give me money, you bring me fruits, you offer me a few earthly objects. Do you not feel that in this way you are consciously or unconsciously, directly or indirectly, binding me? If you feel that by giving you my earthly assistance and concern I am binding you, then I can also say that you people are binding me with your material help. But this is totally wrong. What I have to give, I will give. What you have to give, you must give.”
Still they didn't listen to him. One day the Master invited thirteen of his most dedicated, devoted disciples and said to them, “I will now tell you something most private and important.”
The disciples were delighted that their Master had something to tell them. Then he started pointing them out, one by one. “You are so nice, so kind, so divine. That is why you have so many friends, so many admirers. The whole world will one day appreciate you because you are so divine. The whole world wants you and needs you.” In this way he appreciated eleven more of his disciples, saying that they were very great in every way. He told them that they had wonderful magnanimous hearts and that their souls were extremely developed. All kinds of appreciation he offered to twelve of his disciples. The disciples were all bloated with pride.
But the Master did not at all appreciate the thirteenth one, the last one. This disciple said inwardly, "I am sure that there is a special purpose why the Master is not saying anything about me. I know that even if he ignores me deliberately, it is all for my good. My Master never makes any mistake.”
Finally the Master said to the twelve disciples, "There are hundreds of people on earth to appreciate you, and naturally you will be happy to hear it. I have appreciated you for your good qualities. Now I wish to say that this thirteenth disciple of mine has nobody but me. He knows this truth; he feels this truth; he lives this truth. You have the world; you have everything. Today, if I leave you, you will continue your life because you have many helpers, many admirers and many flatterers. With their help, appreciation and admiration you will be able to live on earth. But this disciple has nobody but me. If I die, then he is dead all at once. Now, according to me, the one who is entirely dependent on the Master is by far the best. He also has good qualities, but one good quality surpasses all his other good qualities. He feels that I am his own and that for everything he has to be dependent on me. You have many, and many have you. He needs nobody but me. That is why he is my very own. Without me he is helpless and hopeless in every way. You people are not helpless without me. You can go on with your lives without me, but he can’t. His whole consciousness is focused only on me. Without me he does not exist.“If a disciple depends entirely on the Master for everything on earth and in heaven, then the Master claims that disciple as his very own. Others may get peace, light and bliss through their own meditation, their own spiritual life. They may be admired, appreciated, and even adored by many people. But they won’t be able to have the deepest intimacy with the Master. This kind of disciple who has nothing and nobody on earth or in heaven but his Master is really the peerless jewel in the Master’s heart. He constantly aspires — aspires in every way — only to depend on the Master’s smile, the Master’s grace, the Master’s concern, the Master’s compassion. He can never be useless and lazy. Far from it. When one aspires constantly with a burning inner flame, one will grow into ceaseless love, dedication, devotion and surrender. Then he will feel that he is getting everything from the Master: physical help, vital help, mental help and spiritual help. If a disciple is blessed with that kind of awareness, then the Master can be truly pleased with him. The Master feels, “He needs me at every step. He is doing his best, aspiring. What more can I expect from him? In his constant aspiration he knows that I am the Source; it is from me that he receives and will receive everything. He most devotedly claims me as his very own. And I proudly claim him as my very own.”
His Master gave this disciple much affection. The disciple was extremely devoted to his Master and he used to meditate hours and hours every day. He was in his most fruitful years. He used to write about his Master and the Master used to encourage him and appreciate his writings highly. He wrote hundreds of poems and many articles about his experiences. The Master encouraged him, inspired him and also deeply appreciated his experiences.
One day, the Master wrote to him in answer to some of his questions. “In this incarnation, you will realise God. There is every possibility that your physical consciousness will merge into the Transcendental Delight. The force that created Vivekananda has a spiritual connection with you and I want you to be like a banyan tree under which many people will get shelter.”
The disciple was so happy and delighted that he was going to be so great. Vivekananda came to America, he became world renowned. He knew that Vivekananda had a turban, so immediately he started wearing clothes like Vivekananda and put on a turban because he would be going to America to conquer America, as Vivekananda had done. He continued praying, meditating and getting high experiences. The Master was very pleased with him. He continued in this way for twenty-five years. One day, on his birthday, he said to his Master, “Master, please do not forget about your promise that I would realise God in this incarnation and that my physical consciousness would merge into the Transcendental Delight and also do not forget about your promise that I will grow into a banyan tree.”
The Master immediately wrote down on a sheet of paper: “There is no hope of liberation for the idle.” The Master gave it to him. When he read the message he practically fainted. “O Master, I have been meditating for years and years, every day for six, seven, eight hours. Am I idle? O God, are you not aware how hard I have been working and meditating?”
Outwardly he could not bring himself to tell his friends that the Master had said to him: “There is no hope of liberation for the idle.” He was utterly miserable for months and years. He said to himself, “The Master made promises and now the Master changes his mind.” He was about to lose all faith in the Master.
One night he had a dream. In this dream he saw his Master. He thought, “In the physical plane I cannot argue with the Master, but, in the dream (and after all, a dream is only a dream) I can easily do so."
“Master, how is it that you have changed your mind? You told me that I would have liberation and my body would be transformed and I would be like a banyan tree and shelter many people. You said my soul has a connection with Vivekananda’s soul. I have been meditating for hours and hours daily. How is it that after twenty-five years you are saying there is no hope of liberation for the idle? How do you justify your first promise and then rebuke me?”
Now, he could talk this way because it was after all, only a dream. Physically he would never have dared to argue that way with his Master. In the dream, the Master replied, “My child, you are such a fool. When I told you many years ago about your future, about your liberation, about the transformation of your body, about divinisation, did I give any date? I said, ‘in the future’. Are you not still on earth?”
He said, “Yes.”
“Has your life ended?”
“Then, still there is every possibility. With regard to the rebuke that there is no hope of liberation for the idle, did I say ‘for the idle like you’?”
He said, “No.”
“I completed the sentence ‘for the idle’. There is no hope of liberation for the idle. After ‘idle’ — period. Did I say ‘like you’?”
He said, “No.”
“Then why did you interpret it that way? I said that for the idle there is no hope of liberation. What does it mean? It means that he who is idle will never have liberation. You have worked very hard, you are still working very hard, but you misinterpreted my message. It is your fault and you have been suffering for that. You will have all kinds of disciples in the future, so I am cautioning you. You will have to tell your disciples that there is no hope of liberation for the idle.”
“Already you have quite a few admirers, friends and well-wishers. These admirers live here in my Ashram. I am their Guru. Now, how can they accept you as their Guru? When I leave the body there will be quite a few, even from the admirers, who will be your disciples. There are many others who will be your disciples. As I told you, 'like a banyan tree, many will grow under your protection’.”“Now, when I told you that there will be no hope of liberation for the idle, you should have known that it is not you who are idle, but the idle ones are those who are not trying to realise God in this incarnation. Whenever a Master says something you have to see it from his viewpoint. When you see things in his own light, through his eyes, you will be happy. The Master will never consciously hurt you. He will only perfect your nature or give you more and more wisdom. The Master gives messages to the disciples and they very often misinterpret them. The Master will say things to you to give more wisdom, more light, more illumination, but you do not understand the Master in his own way. You immediately give your own interpretations, your own judgment and then you create problems for the Master and for yourself. So from now on, whenever the Master says something, try to feel that it is something that you need. Everything that the Master says is for your wisdom. He will never hurt you, he will only widen your knowledge. When your inner knowledge has bloomed totally, when your inner sun is fully awakened and starts offering its light to the world at large, you will know that you are ready for outer fulfilment. You will realise that your liberation has already taken place. So, from now on, when I say something, always try to get light from it and do not feel that I am insulting or criticising you, or finding fault with you. The Masters do not do that. The real Masters only correct you and perfect you so that the disciples can become choice instruments of the Supreme.”
Through my heart never still
Thou with thy mighty Will.
Thou for my freedom vast.
now cease, now cease.
Who, if not Thou, will speak of Thee?
Frees all aspiring souls from night’s dumb call.
Of the lowest chasm and spanless height.
In Thee all beings move and wave and wing.
To see Thy all-transcending mystic Form
Thou art the Noon of all our days,
The Vedas represent the cow. The Upanishads represent milk. We need the cow to give us milk and we need milk to nourish us.
The Upanishads are also called the Vedanta. The literary meaning of Vedanta is “the end of the Vedas’’, “anta” means “end”. But the spiritual meaning of Vedanta is “the cream of the Vedas, the pick of the inner lore, the aim and the goal of the inner life”. Muktikopanishad tells us something quite significant. “Tileshu tailavat vede vedantah suspratishthithah.” “Like oil in the sesamum seed, Vedanta is established essentially in every part of the Veda.”
The Upanishads tell us that there are two types of knowledge: a Higher Knowledge and a lower knowledge. Paravidya is the Higher Knowledge and Aparavidya is the lower knowledge. The Higher Knowledge is the discovery of the soul. The lower knowledge is the fulfilment of the body’s countless demands.
According to our Indian tradition, there are 1,180 Upanishads. Each comes from one branch, shakha, of the Vedas. Out of these, two hundred Upanishads made their proper appearance and out of these two hundred, one hundred and eight Upanishads are right now traceable. If a seeker wants to get some glimpse of truth, light, peace and bliss, then he must assiduously study these one hundred and eight Upanishads. If a real seeker, a genuine seeker, wants to get abundant light from the Upanishads, then he has to study thirteen principal Upanishads. If he studies the principal Upanishads and at the same time wants to live the truth that these Upanishads embody, then he will be able to see the face of Divinity and the heart of Reality.
The thirteen principal Upanishads are: Isha, Katha, Kena, Prasna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Chandogya, Brihadaranyaka, Taittiriya, Aitareya, Svetasvatara, Kaivalya and Muktikopanishad.
“Tad eyati...”. “That moves and that moves not. That is far and the same is near. That is within all this, that is also without all this. ”
The Isha Upanishad has this special message for us. To the desiring mind, this message is vapid, nebulous, puzzling and confusing. To the aspiring heart, this message is inspiring and illumining. To the revealing soul, this message is fulfilling and immortalising. Brahman, God, in His absolute aspect is immutable; but in His conditioned aspect He is ever-changing, ever-transforming, ever-evolving, ever-revealing, ever-manifesting and ever-fulfilling.
Again, the Isha Upanishad reconciles the work and knowledge, the One and the Many, the impersonal God and the personal God, in a striking manner. Work done detached is real knowledge. When we consciously try to see God in everything, in everybody, we soulfully offer ourselves to dedicated action. This knowledge is action. The One and the Many: we need the One for our self-realisation; we need the Many for our self-manifestation. The impersonal God and the persona] God: when we live in the impersonal God, we see Truth in its illumining Vision; and when we live in the personal God, we see Truth in its revealing Reality.
The Son of God declared, “I and my Father are one.” The Chandogya Upanishad makes a bold statement, to some extent more daring and at the same time more convincing. “Tat twam asi.” “That thou art.” What does it mean? It means you are no other than God. Who else is God if not you?
A God-lover knocked at God’s Heart-door. God, from within, said, “Who is it?”
The God-lover said, “It is I.” The door remained locked. The man knocked and knocked. Finally he went away.
After an hour he came back again. He knocked at God’s Heart-door. God, from within, said, “Who is it?”
The God-lover said, “It is I.” The door remained locked. The man knocked and knocked at the door in vain. Finally he left.
After another hour, again he came back and knocked at God’s Heart-door. From within, God said, “Who is it?”
The God-lover said, “My eternal Beloved, it is Thou.” God immediately opened His Heart-door.
When a seeker feels this kind of intimate and inseparable oneness with God, God opens His Heart-door to him and offers him His very Throne.
The Upanishadic seers did not feel the necessity to go to any spiritual centre, no necessity to go to a temple, no, not even to hear a talk, not to speak of a sermon, no, not even to study books. God was their only outer book and God was their only inner Teacher. God-Realisation was their only necessity and God-Manifestation was their only reality.
The great German philosopher Schopenhauer voiced forth, “In the whole world there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanishads. It has been the solace of my life, it will be the solace of my death. They are the products of the highest wisdom. They are destined sooner or later to become the faith of the people.”
The Upanishads offer us three lessons and no more. The first lesson is Brahman. The second lesson is atman. The third lesson is jagat. Brahman is God, atman is the soul and jagat is the world. Meditate on Brahman. When we meditate on Brahman, our life grows into immortalising bliss; and when we do not forget the soul, our life becomes a conscious and speedy evolution; when we do not neglect the world, our life becomes fulfilling manifestation.
If you study the Upanishads not in a cursory or perfunctory manner, but with the mind’s clarity, then you will see that Brahman, God and you, you and God, are eternal. And if you study the Upanishads with your heart’s receptivity, you will see that God and yourself are equal. And finally, when you study the Upanishads with your soul’s light, you will come to realise that there in heaven you are the realised and esoteric God and here on earth you are the manifested and exoteric God.
“Nayamatma Vala Hinena Lavya.” “This soul cannot be won by the weakling.” The inner strength dethrones the idol which has been installed by fear and doubt. When your inner strength comes to the fore the poltroon, the doubter, will be changed, transformed into the soul’s effulgent light.
The Upanishads are the obverse of the coin of which the reverse is consciousness. Now there are three states of consciousness: jagriti, swapna and sushupti. Jagriti is the waking state, swapna is the dreaming state, sushupti is the state of deep sleep. Now there is also another state of consciousness which is called turiya, the pure consciousness of the Transcendental Beyond, turiya. Mandukyopanishad offers us a most significant gift. It tells us about the Universal Soul. The Universal Soul has two aspects: vaisvanara and virat. The microcosmic aspect is called vaisvanara, the macrocosmic aspect of the Universal Soul is called virat. Jagriti, the waking state, vaisvanara (the physical condition), the letter “a” from “aum”, the sound symbol of Prakriti, the primal energy, form the first part of Reality. Swapna, the dreaming state, taijasa, the brilliant intellectual impressions, “u” from “aum”, form the second part of Reality. Sushupti, the state of deep sleep, prajña, the intuitive knowledge, “m” from “aum”, form the third part of Reality. Now the fourth part, turiya: turiya at once embodies these three states and transcends these three states of consciousness. On the one hand, it is one part of the four parts; on the other hand, it is the culminating whole, the end, the Goal itself. Turiya is the Reality eternal, beyond all phenomena, turiya is the Transcendental Brahman, turiya is satchidananda, existence, consciousness and delight.
It is here, in the turiya, that a highly advanced seeker in the spiritual life or a spiritual Master can actually hear the soundless sound “Aum”, the supreme secret of the Creator.
The supreme wealth of the Upanishads is the Self. “Yato vacho nivartante aprapya manasa saha.” “Whence the words, the power of speech, come back with the mind baffled, the Goal unattained." This Self cannot be won by the mental brilliance. It can be won only with an aspiring heart and a dedicated life.
Again, this Transcendental Self is covered here in the world of relativity by five distinct sheaths: annamaya kosha, the gross physical sheath, pranamaya kosha, the sheath of the vital force, manomaya kosha, the mental sheath, vijnanamaya kosha, the sheath of the advanced and developed knowledge, finally, anandamaya kosha, the sheath of bliss. Now there are three types of bodies corresponding to these five sheaths. These bodies are called sthula sharira, sukshma sharira and karana sharira. Sthula means gross physical, sharira means body, sukshma the subtle, karana means causal. The physical body, the subtle body and the causal body. The physical body, sthula sharira, comprises annamaya kosha, the material substance; sukshma sharira, the subtle body, comprises pranamaya kosha, manomaya kosha and vijnanamaya kosha. Karana sharira the causal body, comprises anandamaya kosha, the sheath of bliss.On a dark and tenebrous night the glow-worms appear. They offer their light and they feel that it is they who have chased the darkness away. After a while, the stars start shining and the glow-worms realise their insufficient capacity. Their pride pales into insignificance. After some time the moon appears. When the moon appears, the stars see and feel how dim and insignificant their light is in comparison to the light of the moon. In a few hours the sun appears. When the sun appears, the joy and pride of the moon again is smashed. The sunlight chases away all darkness and the light of the glow-worms, stars and the moon, pales into insignificance. Now this is the planet sun. Each of us has an inner sun. This sun is infinitely more powerful, more beautiful, more illumining than the planet. When this sun dawns and shines, it destroys the darkness of millennia. This sun shines through Eternity. This inner sun is called the Self, the Transcendental Self.
AUM 772. Lecture No.1 Princeton Univ. 22 October 1971↩
From:Sri Chinmoy,AUM — Vol. 7, No. 4, 27 Nov. 1971, AUM Centre Press, 1971
Sourced from https://srichinmoylibrary.com/aum_60