The inner call1The inner call is not everything, but on the basis of the inner call we make a choice. Sometimes the inner call is a tempting one. Sometimes the inner call is an illumining one. For those who are not sincere, the inner call is temptation. But for those who are sincere, the inner call is always illumination.
When we get the inner call, very often we notice a few conflicting forces. These forces are from the desire life and from the aspiration life. The forces of the desire life tell us that we are under obligation to remain with them, since for many, many years they have fed us, nourished us and fulfilled us according to their capacity. But the forces of aspiration tell us that only a new life, a new nourishment, can give us happiness and satisfaction. If we properly accept the call of aspiration, then we begin walking along the path of illumination. But if we do not properly accept the call of aspiration, we feel that the forces of aspiration are nothing but temptation forces. We feel that we are being invited by the unknown and that we may be totally swallowed by the unknown.
As I said before, based on the inner call we make a choice. Sometimes we make a choice to become good. Then we have to decide how far we want to go with the call. In order to become good, we have to give up quite a few things, and we have to accept and adopt quite a few things. But we have to know that the things that we are giving up are not worth having. At the same time, anything that is worth keeping from our previous life — from our life of desire — anything that can be transformed, illumined and perfected, that we shall not give up.
The day after tomorrow we shall observe the fourth of July, a day which is most significant in the firmament not only of America but also of the entire world. What do we notice here? We notice that two hundred years ago there was a significant call that came directly from the Absolute Supreme. This call reached a considerable height, and the inner beauty, the inner light and the inner perfection from that height were received by awakened Americans and by the world at large.
Always there will be a call, and the call will come to each individual on a different plane. It can come on the political plane, on the spiritual plane, or on any other plane. When we hear that call we have to know how far we should go with it on the physical plane, on the vital plane, on the mental plane, on the psychic plane. Each plane is limitless, and it is we who have to decide how far to go according to our capacity and receptivity. Some people want only to start their journey, while others want to walk a considerable distance and still others want to reach the destination. Again, there will be a few who will not be satisfied even when they reach the destination. They want to come back to the starting point again to teach others how to walk properly and how to reach the goal.
Seekers who follow the inner call ultimately reach God. Some do so on the strength of a mutual agreement with this inner call. They feel that they will give what they can give, and they will get from the call, from the choice, from God, what God can give. Again, there are some higher seekers who reach God on the strength of their conscious, constant surrender to their inner call. They tell God that they will do everything unconditionally right from the beginning to the end. These seekers God is extremely pleased with, both in Heaven and on earth. But sometimes they break their unconditional surrender to God's Will. Some of them fail to keep their promise on earth. And some of them, while they are on earth, do become unconditionally surrendered to God's Will; but then, when they go to Heaven, they may not keep their promise, keep their surrender to God's Will. In spite of being fully illumined, they make an emotional demand of God. It is not a human emotional demand, but it is a kind of charming, illumined emotional demand. Those seekers tell the Absolute Supreme, "Look how much we have suffered on earth. We saw that people were hungry and we wanted to help and serve them. But almost all of them misunderstood us and kicked us. Why go back again, when we see that earth is unwilling to accept light? Now that we are in Heaven, please allow us to remain in perfect peace. On earth we helped according to our capacity, our aspiration. Here we wish to acquire another capacity, the capacity to stay in peace and watch. Watching is also a capacity."
In some cases, the Absolute Supreme grants their request. "My children, you have worked so hard. If you don't want to go back, since you feel there is no hope, then you can stay. I never lose hope, but if you want to take an indefinite rest, I will allow you. But if you don't go back to earth, it will make Me sad." When God says this, some of the seekers and Masters in the soul's world feel sad. They immediately change their attitude; they become brave, and they do come back. And when they come back, they feel inwardly that this time they will have a better environment, they will have better students, they will have a better spiritual Master. It may happen, however, that they get a worse environment, worse students, a worse spiritual Master. But if they are really brave, even then they struggle to the end. They may win or lose, but they take everything as an experience, and they keep coming back.
No matter which plane the inner call comes on, whether it is on the physical plane, the vital plane, the mental plane or the psychic plane, once we start our journey, we should not go back. If we want to go back, then we may be on the physical plane, but our consciousness will be on the inconscient plane, at the stone level, the plant level or animal level.
Even those who are very bad students in the aspiration world are far better than those who are still living in the desire world. If we totally give up the world of aspiration and go back to the ordinary world, to the desire life, then we are going back to the plane where there is no satisfaction. Just because the inner plane is not giving us satisfaction in our own way, we cannot go back to the plane where we have seen that there is no satisfaction at all. We have to continue from where we are. Today I am not getting anything to drink. Shall I then drink filthy, dirty water? Since my goal is to drink Nectar, I shall not go back and be satisfied with dirty, filthy water, even if I cannot drink Nectar today. No, I will go on, go on.
It is not that no one has ever drunk Nectar. There are people who have drunk Nectar. Sri Krishna, Lord Buddha, the Christ, Sri Ramakrishna and others have drunk Nectar. And they started their journey like us.
Take the Buddha, for example. The Buddha received a call. The Buddha had everything; he was the prince. He had a most beautiful wife, a child, a kingdom. He had money-power, he had world-enjoyment, everything. But he gave all this up when he got the inner call.
In the Buddha's case, the world of desire was all around him. When the call came, he gave up everything. But in Sri Ramakrishna's case, he did not enter into the desire world at all.
For Sri Aurobindo, the call came when he was serving as a professor. And from that call he entered into politics. Then another call came, and he gave up politics and entered into seclusion for God-realisation and manifestation.
In Vivekananda's case, in spite of being well-educated according to Western standards, when the call came he went and fell at the feet of someone who did not care for earthly knowledge or education at all. In order to fulfil the call, he just placed himself at the feet of someone who could nourish him spiritually. Again, there was considerable conflict in his life. When he was going through conflict, at times he would go back to the ordinary life. But his inner call was so powerful that in spite of this conflict, he was able to maintain the intensity of his inner call.
When we get an inner call, no matter where we are, we have to go forward. Even if we are standing at the head of the line, we have to go forward. When we go forward because of an inner call, it means a special blessing has descended upon us. But if we do not avail ourselves of this opportunity, it may take a number of years, a whole lifetime, or quite a few incarnations before we get another call.
To receive a call is not like receiving an earthly meal. If we have missed a meal, then in a few hours' time we will be able to eat again. If we have missed lunch, we know we will get supper in three or four hours. But once we miss an inner call, we may have to wait for centuries before we can get inner nourishment again. An earthly meal lasts two or three hours. But the meal that we get from the inner call may last for centuries. We can live for Eternity on the inner meal which we get when we listen to the inner call.
Once we accept the spiritual life, the inner life, and listen to the inner call, we totally change the course of our development. Here we are all seekers. True, we have all kinds of weaknesses and defects, but from the strict spiritual point of view, we are not human beings. God tells us that once we accept the spiritual life we should never think of ourselves as human beings. The moment we start aspiring, we become divine beings. Again, there are grades of divinity. In the world of divinity, somebody can be more divine than somebody else. There will be some who do not yet take God seriously, who do not take Truth seriously, who do not take Light seriously. And there will be others who do take God seriously, but their seriousness does not always last. When we are in the spiritual life, we have to take ourselves seriously and we have to take God seriously at every moment. When we take God seriously, we do everything for God. At first we say, "I am doing this because I want to see God." Then we see that it is not we, but God Himself who is doing everything in and through us. God will do everything for us, but before He does something, since God is a Gentleman, in silence He asks us, "Can I do this for you?" If we say "Yes, I would be very happy if You would," then He will do it.
Each individual has God inside him; each individual has Divinity, Truth and Light. When he has realised the Highest, each individual will realise that God's Vision is nothing but Wisdom-Light. God created the world with His inner Vision and this Vision is all Wisdom. Wisdom is not mere talk, Wisdom is not cleverness; Wisdom is something else. Believe it or not, Wisdom is Compassion. God's Wisdom and God's Compassion are the same thing. Because of His Compassion, today God is using His Wisdom for us. And because of His Wisdom, today God is using His Compassion for us. When we listen to the inner call, we receive God's Compassion and grow into God's Wisdom.
Here we are all at the United Nations. The United Nations is the offspring of the League of Nations, President Wilson got an inner call, and from his inner call he tried and cried, cried and tried to have world union, union of the world forces. Now this League of Nations has become a world body. We call it the United Nations. The United Nations also has a call, an inner call. The outer call we see when something happens. The United Nations gets a call from a suffering country, from a country that needs help, or a call from the strong countries that want to be of help in creating a peaceful world.
But the inner call the UN has already got. That inner call is from the soul and not from the body. It does not come from the geography of the world or the history of the world; it comes from the cry, the inner cry of the world. The geography of the world will say one thing about the UN, history will say something else about the UN and the inner cry will say something else. The living inner cry says that the role of the UN is to serve, not men as such, not the world as such, but the cry that is inside the world, the cry that is inside each human being, inside each individual on earth.
An inner call comes to awaken us, to illumine us. It tells us that just because God the infinite Truth and God the infinite Light is inside us, for that reason we are trying and crying and hoping to become inseparably one with God. We use the term "hoping" because we do not know how much faith we have: faith not only in Peace, Light and Bliss, but also faith in ourselves. When we have sincere faith in ourselves, we come to see the Source of that faith. We see that faith comes from the Supreme, from the highest Absolute. If we know that we have a Source which has boundless Peace, Light and Bliss for us, then we can go forward always. But we have to have faith that we can and shall move forward, precisely because we have a Source that is more than willing to lead us forward to the ever-transcending Vision-World and Reality-World.
If it is from the inner call that we make a choice, then it is from the inner call that we move forward, and it is from the inner call that we eventually realise the Highest. Then after we realise the Highest, we feel that if anything remains unillumined anywhere on earth, then the main purpose of realisation, which is satisfaction, we can never achieve. Everything must be illumined and perfected. Only then can we have real satisfaction. So we go from call to choice, from choice to destination and from the destination to more inner aspiration for the ever-transcending Goal. And this happens only when we do not turn back. The road is a one way road.
Again and again, I wish to tell you that here we are all seekers. A seeker is not a human being who is half animal. He is more than that. A seeker is one who has glimpsed the light. Otherwise, he could not have become a seeker. This light is more than eager to expand itself into boundless, infinite Light provided we follow the inner call. If we don't follow it, if we don't have faith in it, then our inner light gets hidden or extinguished by the desire forces, the suspicion forces, the doubt forces, the temptation forces, the frustration forces and all the other negative forces.
RD 22. Dag Hammarskjold Lecture Series, Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, 2 July 1976.↩