Spirituality: What it is and what it is not

University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica
January 10, 1968

Spirituality is man’s boundless freedom in his life-boat: the freedom of his life-journey, the freedom from his life-pangs and the freedom beyond his life-achievements.

In spirituality is man’s farthest Vision. In spirituality is man’s nearest reality. God has Compassion. Man has aspiration. Spirituality is the consciousness-light that unites man’s aspiration and God’s Compassion. Spirituality tells man that he is God veiled and that God is man revealed.

Spirituality is not an escape from the world of reality. Spirituality tells us what the true reality is and how we can discover it here on earth. Spirituality is not the denial of life, but the purest acceptance of life. Life is to be accepted unreservedly. Life is to be realised soulfully. Life is to be transformed totally. Life is to be lived eternally.

Spirituality is not the song of ignorance. It is the mother of concentration, meditation and realisation. Concentration takes me dynamically to God. Meditation silently brings God to me. Realisation neither takes me to God nor brings God to me. Realisation reveals to me that God is the Bluebird of Infinity’s Reality and I am the Golden Wings of Divinity’s Truth.

Spirituality has taught me the difference between my speech and my silence, between my mind and my heart. In speech I try to become. In silence I am. When I open my mouth, God closes my heart. When I close my mouth, God opens my heart. My mind says, “God needs me.” My heart says, “I need God.” My mind wants to possess God’s Creation while negating it. My heart wants to embrace God’s Creation while serving it. My mind says it does not know whether it thinks of God or of itself. At times my mind feels that since it does not think of God, neither does God think of it. My heart sees and feels that God thinks of it even if it does not care to think of God.

Spirituality has told me secretly what my supreme necessity is and how I can have it. What is my supreme necessity? God’s Blessing. How can I have it? By simply borrowing it from God’s Bank.

How can I pay off my debt? Easily! Just by borrowing once again from God’s Bank. But I must borrow wisdom and nothing else. Wisdom possessed, debt nullified. Verily, this wisdom is the breath of spirituality.

I am God’s experiment. He has given me my name: Science. I am God’s experience. He has given me my name: Spirituality. I am God’s Realisation. He has given me my name: Oneness — Oneness within, Oneness without.

God is my Reality.
Heaven is my Immortality.
Earth is my Divinity.

On earth I grow.
With heaven I become.
In God I am.

Fear of the inner life

University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica
January 12, 1968

Strange is this world of ours. Stranger is our human understanding. Strangest is our fear of the inner life.

Most of us do not know what the inner life is. What is the inner life? It is the life that lives to grow and grows to live. It grows in the unhorizoned vision of the soul. It lives in the sublimest plenitude of the soul. This inner life always acts in accordance with the transforming and fulfilling light of the soul. If you do not know your soul, then in the world of divine wisdom you will be accused of dire ignorance. When you know your soul, in no time you become acquainted with God.

Please do not be forgetful of your great promise to God. Before you came into the world, before you donned the human cloak, you told God, your sweet Lord, with all the sincerity at your command, that you would participate in His divine lila (Drama). He said to you, “My child, fulfil Me and fulfil yourself at the same time on earth.” You were divinely thrilled; your joy knew no bounds. You said, “Father, I shall. May my soulful promise be worthy of Your compassionate Command.”

As ill-luck would have it, you have now totally forgotten your promise. Here on earth you want to fulfil not God, but yourself. Your unlit mind prompts you to betray God. And you do it. You feel that God’s fulfilment must come only through your fulfilment. If it does not work out that way, you are not prepared to sacrifice one iota of your life-breath to fulfil God here on earth. Your divine promise sheds bitter tears of failure. Needless to say, to try to fulfil yourself before you have fulfilled God is to put the cart before the horse. It is the height of absurdity.

Perhaps by now you have come to learn what has made you fail in your most sincere promise to God. It is your fear. If I ask you how many enemies you have, you will jump up and say, “Quite a few.” But I have to say you are mistaken. You have just one enemy and that is all, even though, to your wide surprise, it seems like a host in itself. That single enemy of yours is fear, your unconsciously cherished fear.

You are afraid of the inner life. You feel that the moment you launch into the inner life you are lost, completely lost, like a babe in the woods. You may also think that in accepting the inner life, you are building castles in the air. Finally, you may feel that to accept the inner life is to throw your most precious life into the roaring mouth of a lion who will completely devour you and your outer life.

You have countless sweet dreams. You want to transform them into reality. All your dreams want to enjoy the world. You want to offer your momentous might to the world at large; but you feel that if you embark on the inner life, you will be deprived of all these invaluable achievements. So now it is time for fear to make its appearance, and naturally you start shying away from the inner life. Fear starts torturing you. It tries to limit and bind you.

Unfortunately, your life yields to this deplorable mistake. But if once, only once, with the help of your all-energising meditation, you could carry your long-cherished fear into the inner world, you would see that fear loses its very existence there. In the twinkling of an eye, it becomes one with the dynamic strength of your inner life.

If you want to truly possess the outer world, you have to possess the inner world first. Not the other way around. If you want to truly enjoy the outer world, you must enjoy the inner world first. Not vice versa. If your heart pines to serve humanity, you have to serve the inner divinity first. Infallible is this truth.

Know thyself

University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico
August 26, 1968

Atmanam viddhi — Know thyself. Each individual has to know himself. He has to know himself as the infinite, eternal and immortal Consciousness. The concept of Infinity, Eternity and Immortality is absolutely foreign to us. Why? The reason is quite simple. We live in the body, rather than in the soul. To us the body is everything. There is nothing and can be nothing beyond the body. The existence of the soul we consider sheer imagination. But I assure you that the soul is not imaginary. It is at once the life and the revelation of the Cosmic Reality. Most of us live in the body, in the earthbound physical consciousness. Our teacher is Darkness; our professor is Ignorance. But if ever we live in the soul, we shall see that our teacher is Vision and our professor is Illumination.

“Life is effort.” So says the body. “Life is blessing.” So says the soul. The human in man does not want to go beyond morality, society and humanity. The divine in man comes down from divinity into humanity, from unity into multiplicity.

Atmanam viddhi. Know thyself. The seers of the Upanishads not only discovered this Truth Transcendental but offered it to the suffering, crying and striving mankind. In order to know oneself, one has to discover oneself first. What is self discovery? Self-discovery is God-Realisation.

Without Yoga there is no self discovery. Yoga is not a religion. Yoga is the Universal Truth. It is the traditional truth of India. It is the most important experience of life. True Yoga and life go together. They cannot be separated. If you try to separate them, you will fail. Yoga and life are as inseparable as the Creator and the Creation.

Is Yoga another name for severe asceticism? Positively not. Is Yoga another name for self-discipline? Decisively yes. Does Yoga demand the rejection of the world and the starvation of the senses? No, never. Does Yoga demand the acceptance of the world and mastery over the senses? Yes, a mighty Yes. Is Yoga for everybody? Yes and no. Yes, because each human soul has come from God and inwardly aspires to return to Him. No, because some people, at their present stage of development, feel they can live without God.

Can learning and reasoning offer man self-realisation? No. Mere book knowledge ends in self deception. Why? Because a man of knowledge feels that he has achieved the infinite wisdom. Unfortunately, he does not know that the real Infinite Wisdom can come only from God, from God-Realisation. Mere mental reasoning ends in self-frustration.

Can dedication and aspiration offer man self-realisation? Yes. Man’s dedication is his heart-flower offered at the Feet of God. Man’s aspiration is his soul-fruit placed in the Lap of God.

For self-realisation, man needs freedom. God gives him freedom. What is freedom? Freedom is God’s sacrifice-power and man’s miracle-power. Sri Ramakrishna, the great spiritual Master of India, once remarked, “The wretch who constantly says, ‘I am bound, I am bound,’ only succeeds in being bound. He who says day and night, ‘I am a sinner, I am a sinner,’ verily becomes a sinner. One must have such burning faith in God that one can say, ‘What? I have repeated God’s name, so how can sin still cling to me? How can I be a sinner anymore?’”

We must cherish positive thoughts, positive ideas, positive ideals. Only then will our Goal no longer remain a far cry. Each man has to feel, “I am at the Feet of God, my own Master. I am in the Hands of God, my own Creator. I am in the Heart of God, my only Beloved.”

“Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.” I asked. My Lord bestowed His boundless Compassion on me. I sought. My Lord gave me His infinite Love. I knocked. To my utter surprise, the door was not bolted from inside. My sweet Lord was eagerly expecting my arrival. Lo, I am come!

The meaning of life

Inter-American University, San Juan, Puerto Rico
October 17, 1968

Life is God’s Transcendental Blessing to His Creation. What is more important than God’s Blessing? God’s Concern. What is more important than God’s Concern? The absolute Fulfilment of God’s Will.

Life is man’s experience of wisdom and faith. Wisdom without faith is the bondage of futility. Faith without wisdom is the smile of stupidity. Faith and wisdom can go together. Faith awakens us to see the Truth. Wisdom helps us to live the Truth.

The outer world is a play of conflict between the fleeting and destructive thoughts of man’s mind and the constructive and lasting will of man’s soul. The inner world is a play of harmony between the mind’s surrender and the soul’s acceptance.

Life is will. There is only one will that mediates between God and man. That will is at once the descending cry of concern and compassion and the ascending cry of love and helplessness.

Life is man’s conscious attempt to see God face to face.

First try. Then cry. If necessary.
First give. Then take. If necessary.
First run. Then stop. If necessary.
First be the doer. Then be the talker. If necessary.

Thought, human thought, rules the world. But mere thinking is of no avail.

When I think, God is my frustration.
When I cry, God is my consolation.
When I try, God is my salvation.
When I will, God is my illumination.

We must love God first if we really love life, for God is not only the Source but the very Breath of life. Love of God costs nothing, absolutely nothing, but is worth much. Our mind knows this truth. Our heart practises this truth. Our soul embodies this truth.

The ultimate aim of the human life is liberation. Liberation is the choice of man and the Grace of God. Liberation is man’s total freedom and God’s constant responsibility.

You cry because you have no plans to make your life meaningful and successful. He cries because all his plans have come to a lame conclusion. I cry because I do not want to have any plans. What I want is to be seated all the time at the Feet of the Supreme, who is at once the Vision and the Reality.

My life has three doctors: Dr. Love, Dr. Devotion and Dr. Surrender. Dr. Love cures my mind’s narrowness. Dr. Devotion cures my heart’s impurity. Dr. Surrender cures my life’s ignorance.

My life has three Gods: God the Existence, God the Consciousness and God the Bliss. God the Existence eternally lives in me. God the Consciousness constantly grows in me. God the Bliss immortally lives with me.

Man and his goal

State University of New York at Farmingdale
December 11, 1968

My dear friends, you are fortunate, you are special. A significant branch of the State University helps you to specialise here in horticulture and agriculture. Soon you are going to be at home in the science of plant life and soil cultivation. In a broader and purer sense, you are making a solemn promise to the world at large that you wish to be true children of Nature and Mother Earth.

I am sure you all know that it was an Indian scientist, Sir J. C. Bose, who discovered life in plants. He was born in Bengal. I am proud that I was born in the same province.

Your genuine love of nature enables and entitles you to receive special love, concern, favour and blessings from the Universe, the Universal Life and the Universal Mother.

A man said to the universe, “Sir, I exist!”

“However,” replied the universe, “the fact has not created in me a sense of obligation.”

Though it may be true for others, this striking pronouncement of Stephen Crane’s does not apply to you in the least. I wish to tell you that the Universe, the Universal Life and the Universal Mother will proudly bless your devoted heads and dedicated hearts, for you love Nature, you adore Nature. What is Nature? Nature is God the Mother. In His masculine aspect, God is Transcendental. In His feminine aspect, God is Universal. Let us invoke the presence of God the Universal Mother before we enter into “Man and His Goal.”

Man’s false goal is human love. Human love sadly fails. Man’s false goal is physical beauty. Physical beauty is only skin deep. Man’s false goal is money and material wealth. “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of Heaven.”

Man’s real goal is Truth. Truth awakens him from his ignorance-sleep. Man’s real goal is Peace. Peace feeds him, his life inner and outer. Man’s real goal is Bliss. Bliss immortalises him, his life-breath.

Self-realisation: this is what man needs from God. Love: this is what God needs from man. Faith: this is what God always has in man. But, alas, man has yet to develop faith in himself and faith in God.

Man unfalteringly says, “If I had time, I would love God. If I had time, I would worship God. If I had time, I would even cry for God.”

But poor God has time. He has time to forgive man’s unending stupidity. He has time to bless man’s shameless mind and grant him all his real necessities. He has time even to cry for man’s still unborn sincerity.

Man and God. Try to realise God. Both God and man will say to you, “Wonderful, go ahead.” Try to explain God. Man will immediately tell you, “Stop. Don’t belittle God, don’t torture God.” God will voice forth, “Stop. For My sake at least, don’t deceive men, don’t deceive My children.”

Let us not try to explain God. If we do that, our ignorance will be exposed. Let all of us strive to realise God. For that, what we need is meditation. Let us meditate, meditate on God.

Man has to walk far, very far. He has to reach the Shores of the Golden Beyond. Slowly, steadily and unerringly he has to walk. But he must walk forward, not backward. Lincoln welcomes man, his fellow traveller, to sing with him, “I am a slow walker, but I never walk backward.”

We believe in evolution. Man is not going back to the animal kingdom. Man is proceeding toward the kingdom of heaven, which perpetually breathes, grows and glows in the inmost recesses of his heart.

Friends, you are cultivating knowledge. We all do it. Each human being must own a bumper crop of knowledge.

Somebody said, “A college degree is often the receipt a young man gets for bills his father paid.”

I will be bold enough to say that I reject this eyeless idea outright. Your parents want you to learn how to swim in the sea of knowledge. Your professors, who are expert swimmers in the sea of knowledge, teach you successfully and gloriously how to swim. I deeply admire your zealous sincerity and your professors’ enormous capacity. But, alas, knowledge, book knowledge, is not enough. You all know it. I have not discovered something new or fantastic. Far from it. I am just reminding you of the soulful fact that there is another sea. This Sea is the Sea of Divine Light, Peace, Bliss and Power. This Sea gives you realisation and liberation. You will have the realisation of your conscious and indivisible oneness with God. You will have liberation from your bondage of millennia. This Sea gives you Fulfilment Infinite. Something more: this Sea makes you feel in a perfectly convincing manner that you are truly and unmistakably the God of tomorrow.

Who says that man is sleeping? This is not true. Man woke up with his teeming desires, but he was shamefully early. He discovered that God was not ready and would never be ready to receive him.

Man woke up with his flaming aspiration, but he was unpardonably late. Yet God was eager to receive him, embrace him and finally place him on His own Transcendental Throne.

How to live in two worlds

Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York
January 14, 1968

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

— Emily Dickinson

My dear sisters:

I have come here to serve you. Serve I must. If I can serve even one amongst you in her endeavour toward self-discovery, I shall not have lived in vain. Nay, my life on earth will have found its purposeful meaning. You have every right to be proud of being devoted students at this college unparalleled in the United States. And today God presents me with a matchless opportunity to discover in you an I aspiring heart.

Sarah Lawrence College is for women, as we all know. I wish to say a few words about Hindu women. I come from India, and I am sure you know by this time that I am a Hindu. A Hindu woman is the living embodiment of sanctity, devotion and faith. Purity is the hyphen between her life and her deeds. Intellectual education she does not care for. Her heart cries for the inner education, the education of the soul. This is no hyperbole. Her life of spontaneous and unending sacrifice is the soul of the Hindu race. In the hoary past, it was a Hindu woman, Maitreyi, who said to her husband, Yagnyavalkya, the peerless sage of the Upanishads, that nothing would satisfy her save Immortality.

When she said Immortality, she did not mean the prolongation of her physical existence for millions of years. She meant that she wanted to have the immortal consciousness, the consciousness of Immortality, within and without.

“After thirty years of research into the feminine soul, the great question which I haven’t been able to answer is: what does a woman want?" — Freud. On behalf of women all over the world, Maitreyi’s soul tells us what a woman wants.

There are two worlds: one is the world of Truth, the other is the world of Falsehood. What will decide when Truth and Falsehood disagree? Acceptance, their mutual acceptance. Truth will accept Falsehood to transform the life of Falsehood. Falsehood will accept Truth to manifest the breath of Truth.

Two worlds: one is known as Acceptance, the other as Rejection. I accept. I accept with my deepest gratitude what God has for me: Illumination. I reject with adamantine determination what the world has for me: Frustration.

Two worlds: Condition and Situation. Condition says, “God gives when you give.” Situation says, “You are helpless. God alone can give and does give.”

Unlike others, my God has two names: Delight and Compassion. In the inner world, I call Him by the name Delight. In the outer world, I call Him by the name Compassion. My God has two souls. The soul that He has in the inner world embodies His Dream. The soul that He has in the outer world reveals His Reality. My God has two bodies. His outer body is my Inspiration. His inner body is my Emancipation.

Heaven and hell represent two worlds in our consciousness. Heaven surprises hell with its boundless Joy. Hell surprises heaven with its ceaseless cry. Heaven says to hell, “I know how to dance and I can teach you if you want.” Hell says to heaven, ‘Wonderful, you know how to dance and you are ready to teach me how to dance. But I wish to tell you that I know how to break my legs and I can break your legs too, if I want to.”

Science and Spirituality are two different worlds. Science wants to shorten distances. Spirituality wants to unite distances. For me neither is enough. My vision wants to divinise and transform distance.

East and West: two worlds. We must unite them.

The awakened consciousness of man is visibly tending toward the Divine. This is a most hopeful streak of light amidst the surrounding obscurities of today. This is a moment, not merely of joining hands, but of joining minds, hearts and souls. Across all physical and mental barriers between East and West, high above national standards and individual standards, will fly the supreme banner of Divine Oneness. The outer world is a world of reasoning mind. The inner world is a world of experience. The outer world finds it hard to believe in the existence of God. But in the inner world the existence of God always looms large. Sri Aurobindo said, “They proved to me by convincing reasons that God does not exist, and I believed them. Afterward I saw God, for He came and embraced me. And now which am I to believe, the reasoning of others or my own experience?”

Can we live in two worlds? Certainly we can. If we have spontaneous inspiration we can successfully live in the outer world and achieve our outer goals. If we have soulful aspiration we can live in the inner world and achieve our inner Goal. The outer world is the body. The inner world is the soul.

If we stay in the body, then we constantly have to abide by the dictates of the soul so that the body, instead of being a blind tool of fate, becomes a perfect channel for the Supreme, for His divine Manifestation in the physical. And if we want to live in the soul, to experience infinite Light, Peace and Bliss, then we must not neglect the body, we must not destroy the body, for it is inside the body that the soul abides on earth.

Duty Supreme

Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
March 24, 1969

The poet sang:

I slept and dreamed that life was Beauty.
I woke and found that life was Duty.

Duty and Beauty are like the North Pole and the South Pole.

What is Beauty? Beauty is the oneness of the finite and the Infinite. Beauty is the expression of the Infinite through man the finite. Beauty is man’s embodiment of God, the Infinite. In the material world, in the physical world, it is through Beauty that God reveals Himself.

The Beauty of the soul is Beauty unparalleled in the physical world. This Beauty inspires the outer world and fulfils the inner world. This Beauty makes us one with God’s Soul, the Light Infinite. This Beauty makes us one with God’s Body, the Universe. When we live in the world of aspiration, we come to realise that the transcendental Duty and the universal Beauty are the perfect expressions of one and the same Reality.

Duty. In our day-today life, duty is something unpleasant, demanding and discouraging. When we are reminded of our duty, we lose all our inner, spontaneous joy. We feel miserable. We feel that we could have used our life-energy for a better purpose. Only a man devoid of common sense can say he does not know what his duty is. Each man knows his duty well, too well. It is up to him whether or not to perform it.

Today I am supposed to speak on Duty Supreme. An aspirant’s is the life that has to perform the Duty Supreme. His first and foremost Duty is to realise God. There can be no other Duty except this Duty, God-Realisation, in his life here on earth. An aspirant, when he saw the light of day, was inspired by God Himself with this message:

Realise Me on earth.
Reveal Me on earth.
Fulfil Me on earth.

Time is fleeting. Time does not wait for us. We shall have to be wise. We can utilise each moment for a divine purpose. We can utilise each moment in performing our soulful Duty.

Duty is painful, tedious and monotonous simply because we do it with our ego, pride and vanity. Duty is pleasant, encouraging and inspiring when we do it for God’s sake. What we need is to change our attitude toward Duty. If we work for the sake of God, then there is no Duty. All is Joy. All is Beauty. Each action has to be performed and offered at the Feet of God. Duty for God’s sake is the Duty Supreme. No right have we to undertake any other duty before we work out our own spiritual salvation. Did God not entrust us with this wonderful task at the time of our very birth? The Supreme Duty is to constantly strive for God-Realisation. Time is short, but our souls’ mission on earth is lofty. How can we waste time? Why should we spend time in the pleasures of the senses?

Now, we often say that we are under no obligation to others because we have not accepted anything from them. They have not given us anything. True, we are under no obligation, but there is a word called expectation. I may not have taken anything from you, but that does not mean that you cannot expect anything from me. At times your expectation may be legitimate. Expect you certainly can; but there is one thing that you cannot do. You cannot claim. You can expect, and it is up to me to give you what you want; but claim you must not. Only God can claim. God and God alone can claim from me my entire life. Each individual has to feel that God has the absolute right to claim him forever here on earth and there in heaven.

Love your family much. This is your great duty. Love mankind more. This is your greater duty. Love God most. This is your greatest duty, the Duty Supreme.

There are two things: one is remembrance, the other is forgetfulness. All of us know that it is our duty to collect our salary. Indeed, it is our duty. And we always remember it. But there is another duty. We have to work. That duty we forget. In order to get our salary, we have to work. Somehow we manage to forget this. In the spiritual world also, there is a duty. This duty is to enjoy the fruit of God-Realisation. We all know it and we are extremely eager to perform this duty. But unfortunately we forget the other duty: meditation. One duty is to enjoy the fruits; the other duty is to acquire the fruits.

But we are clever enough to cry for the fruits of realisation long before we have entered into the field of meditation. No meditation, no realisation. Without meditation, God-Realisation is nothing but self-deception.

An aspirant has a most significant duty, and that duty is to have perfect faith in his divine possibilities. If he has faith in himself and faith in the living Guru, then he can easily perform the Supreme Duty, the duty of Self-discovery, God-Realisation.

God and myself

Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts
March 26, 1969

Good evening. Sisters and brothers, let us know that good morning is God’s morning, and good evening is God’s evening. Good day is man’s day, and good night is man’s night. God’s morning and evening say to man, “We do nothing but think of you.” Man’s day and night say to God, ‘We can do nothing but pray to you.”

God and myself. God is my Father. God is my Mother. This is what I know. Also, I always know what to do.

When I say I know what to do, I am afraid you will misunderstand me. There is every possibility that you will doubt my sincerity.

Let me try to defend myself. Let me tell you my inmost secret: “I know what to do, precisely because God does it for me.” You may then ask me why God does everything for me and not for you. If such is the case, God is unmistakably partial. To be sure, God is not partial. He is anything but that.

I know what to do, for God does it for me. I know that I do nothing and can do nothing. God is the Doer. God is the Action. God is the Fruit thereof. My life is an Eternal Experience of God.

Unfortunately there is a slight difference between your approach to God and my approach to God. Do you remember what the Son of God said to humanity? He said, “I and my Father are one.” I believe in the Son of God. I try to live this truth. I also believe in our Vedic seers of the hoary past. They said, /“Brahmasmi"/ — "I am the Brahman. I am the One without a second.” I also have implicit faith in Sri Krishna’s teaching, which I have learned from his Gita, the Song Transcendental: “A man is made by his faith. Whatever his faith is, so is he.”

I know that God can be seen. I know that God can be felt. I know that God can be realised. I know that each human being, with no exception, will grow into God’s Transcendental Vision and His Reality Absolute.

You are apt to cherish a few striking ideas in the inmost recesses of your heart. First of all, you get joy in telling the world that there is no God. There can be no such thing as God. Even when you feel that there is a God, you tell your near and dear ones that God is for them and for others, but not for you. With all the ignorance at your command, you proclaim that God does not care for you. You feel that God is terribly angry with you, for ten years ago you told a fatal lie, or deceived someone in the street. Poor God, as if He has nothing else to do than to get angry with you and punish you mercilessly.

Believe it or not, I tell you that God has many, many significant things to do with your life. To you, your life is nothing, a perfect zero. To God, your life is everything — to be precise, His everything. You are His unparalleled Pride. You are His only Dream. You are His only Reality. With you He sings the Song of Immortality. In you He sees the embodiment of His Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. For you, only for you, He exists through Eternity. He molds you. He shapes you. He guides you. He transforms you into His very Image, His Life of the ever-transcending Beyond.

Dear students, dear professors, dear sisters and brothers, you are now in the same boat as I. Together let us sing: “I know what to do, for God does it for me.”

Let me sing one more song. And I do hope that you all will learn it soon. This song tells me what to say and what to aspire for:

Lead me from the unreal to the Real.
Lead me from darkness to Light.
Lead me from death to Immortality.

Desire and aspiration

New York University, New York, New York
March 29, 1969

America’s fond child is New York. New York’s fond child is New York University. This evening I wish to offer my sincere affection, true admiration and humble dedication to you, O fond children of New York University.

Desire is a wildfire that burns and burns and finally consumes us.

Aspiration is a glowing fire that secretly and sacredly uplifts our consciousness and finally liberates us.

Thirst for the Highest is aspiration. Thirst for the lowest is annihilation.

Desire is expectation. No expectation, no frustration. Desire killed, true happiness built. Aspiration is surrender, and surrender is man’s conscious oneness with God’s Will.

As war brings the commerce of a country to a standstill, even so our tremendous inclination toward the pleasures of ignorance brings all our inner spiritual movements to a standstill.

As things exist at present, our very birth compels us to be far away from God. Why wallow deliberately in the pleasures of the senses and move even farther away from God? Indeed, to satisfy the imagined necessities of our human life and cry for the fulfilment of our earthly pleasures can be nothing but self-torturing evil. But to satisfy God’s necessities, real and divine, in us and through us, is self-illumination.

Poor God, unillumined men always take You amiss. They think that You are merciless. Yet when You fulfil their lecherous desires, they think that nobody on earth can surpass You in stupidity.

Now, poor man, look at your most deplorable fate. In the apt words of George Bernard Shaw, “There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart’s desire; the other is to get it.”

Desire means anxiety. This anxiety finds satisfaction only when it is able to fulfil itself through solid attachment. Aspiration means calmness. This calmness finds satisfaction only when it is able to express itself through all-seeing and all-loving detachment. In desire and nowhere else abides human passion. Human passion has a dire foe called judgment, the judgment of the divine dispensation.

In aspiration and nowhere else dwells man’s salvation. Man’s salvation has an eternal friend called Grace, God’s all-fulfilling Grace.

Desire is temptation. Temptation nourished, true happiness starved. Aspiration is the soul’s awakening. The soul’s awakening is the birth of supernal delight.

A true seeker of the infinite Truth can never gain anything from Oscar Wilde’s discovery that “the only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.” The seeker has already discovered the truth that it is only through high, higher and highest aspiration that one can get rid of all temptations, seen and unseen, born and yet to be born.

Wilde says something else, and this is quite significant: “I can resist everything except temptation.” Needless to say, nobody blames him for that, for temptation is a universal disease. For a man without aspiration, temptation is unmistakably irresistible. But a true seeker feels and knows that he can resist temptation and what he cannot resist is transformation, the transformation of his physical nature, his entire consciousness, in the bosom of the sea of Time. Of course, the transformation of his physical nature, his entire earthly consciousness, is something he never did and never will resist. On the contrary, it is for this transformation that he lives on earth.

Look at the strength of a bubble of desire! It has the power to encage our entire life for its use alone. Look at the strength of an iota of aspiration! It has the power to make us feel that God the Infinite is absolutely ours. And something more: that God’s infinite Love, Peace, Joy and Power are for our constant use.

The objects of the senses and man’s attachment to them are inseparable. But the moment they see the smile of God, they deny their intimacy. What is more, they become perfect strangers.

Fulfil your body’s demands, and you lose your self-control. Fulfil your soul’s needs, and you gain your self-control.

Don’t embrace vice. In refraining, you will possess something more valuable: self-control. What is self-control? It is the power that tells you that you don’t have to run toward your goal. The goal has to come to you, and it shall.

The capital of the outer world is money, which very often changes itself into poisonous honey. The capital of the inner world is aspiration, which eventually transforms itself into self-realisation.

The acme of human desire is represented by Julius Caesar’s Veni, vidi, vici — "I came, I saw, I conquered.” The pinnacle of divine aspiration was voiced by the Son of God: “Father, let Thy Will be done.”

Passion’s slave is man. God’s child is likewise man. Which do you want to be, God’s child or passion’s slave? Choose. One selection leads you to utter destruction, the other to immediate salvation. Choose; you are given the golden and unconditional choice. Choose; choose you must. Here and now.

How to please God

University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, Connecticut
April 14,1969

How to please God? I can please God by offering Him what I have and what I am. What I have is gratitude. What I am is aspiration. If I want to please Him more, then I must never consider my life a sad failure, but rather a constant experience of His. If I want to please Him most, not only in one but in every aspect of life, then I must feel that, unlike me, He sees my life, inner and outer, as the Song of His own Life-Breath, the Song of His perfection, growing into His own perfect Perfection Absolute.

Do you know when you hurt God? You hurt God the moment you underestimate your inner capacity. You hurt God the moment you exaggerate your self-imposed outer responsibility. You hurt Him deeply when you cherish the futile idea that God-Realisation is not for you. To be sure, your God-Realisation is the mightiest affirmation, the greatest certainty at God’s choice Hour.

Unfortunately there are people in whose lives the very question of pleasing or hurting God does not arise at all. They do not believe God exists. True, they have not seen God, but that does not mean they are qualified to deny His existence. What about those who have seen Him, felt Him and realised Him, and are fulfilling Him in this world and other worlds? I tell the unbelievers and disbelievers that they are not only mercilessly deceiving themselves in the inner life of divinity, but also unendingly carrying themselves away, far away from the outer life of reality. There are people who deny the existence of God outright. The eager desire of Christ’s disciple Thomas to have proof is found the world over: “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” Let the message of the Son of God reverberate in the inmost recesses of each human heart, aspiring or unaspiring, inspired or uninspired. Today, faith is the harbinger of reality. Tomorrow, faith and reality will move together. The day after tomorrow, faith and reality will fulfil each other. Faith fulfils reality in its embodiment of reality. Reality fulfils faith by revealing itself through faith.

The feeling of gratitude makes a man truly happy, and God is pleased when a man is truly happy. Dostoevsky declares, “I believe the best definition of man is the ungrateful biped.” This may be true when a man swims in the sea of his body’s ignorance. But when a man lives and swims in the sea of his soul’s light, he is all gratitude. He is the constant expression and spontaneous revelation of God the Receiver and God the Achiever.

According to Paul Valéry, “the soul is the wife of the body. They do not have the same kind of pleasure, or at least they seldom enjoy it at the same time.” First of all, the spiritual world has already discovered for certain that the soul is neither masculine nor feminine. It is above and beyond these two dividing zones. Hence the soul can never be the wife of the body. The Upanishads have taught us that the body is the chariot and the soul is the master of the chariot. Valéry is absolutely right when he says that the body and the soul do not have the same kind of pleasure. We know that the body gets pleasure in ignorance and from ignorance. Slowly, gradually and unerringly we come to realise that the body’s pleasure is ignorance itself. In the case of the soul, instead of using the word “pleasure” we should use the word “delight.” The soul feels delight in and from Infinity and Eternity. The soul’s delight is the flowing Infinity; the soul’s delight is the glowing Eternity. When the aspirant’s meditation transforms the desire-pleasure of the body into aspiration-delight, the soul and the body not only will eat the same food, but will eat it at the same time. And their food is Truth. Truth at once awakens the body and pilots the soul.

The other day somebody said to me that God is pleased with him all the time, for one secret reason. He then volunteered to tell me his precious secret: “Although I have many things to say against God’s creation, even against God Himself, I just cleverly ignore His world of countless imperfections and mightily flatter Him in silence and in public. That is why God is so pleased with me all the time; and well He ought to be.”

I said to him, “My dear friend, there is a slight difference between you and me. Your sense of imperfection in God’s world is entirely different from mine. You feel that imperfection is something discouraging, disheartening, dirty and finally damaging. I take imperfection as something growing, something that has still to complete its journey. I take imperfection as an unavoidable rung in the ladder of gradual and ultimate perfection. I take imperfection as a significant experience God Himself is having in and through man’s life. And this same God will enjoy perfection, perfect Perfection, in and through each individual in the bosom of Eternity. Now, as regards your flattery of God, God needs no human flattery. You don’t have to flatter Him to gain His Love, Concern and Blessing. God neither expects nor demands flattery from you. God is not a beggar. He does not expect anything of you. God is not an autocrat. He does not demand anything from you. What God is, is Love. What God is, is Joy. If you can love yourself soulfully, if you can discover your true inner Joy, then you will see that God has already been pleased with you. Don’t try to please God by deceiving Him. We can’t deceive God. Never. We can’t even deceive any human being on earth. At most what we can do and what we in fact do, is to deceive ourselves. Emerson is perfectly right when he affirms, “It is impossible for a man to be cheated by anyone but himself.”'

To come back to our original question: how to please God? The easiest and most effective way to please God is by constant and unconditional self-offering. Let us try. We shall, without fail, succeed. Lo, God is standing right in front of us. He is pleased. God is really and truly pleased with us.

The secret of inner peace

University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut
April 19, 1969

Dear sisters and brothers, I shall show you how to acquire, here and now, inner peace. My help is not advice. Mine is not the way to advise people what to do or what not to do. It is true that everyone is unselfish and liberal when it comes to giving advice and, unfortunately, I am no exception. Yet I fully agree with Chesterfield, who says, “Advice is seldom welcome and those who need it the most, like it the least.”

This world of ours has everything except one thing: peace. Everybody wants and needs peace, whether he be a child or an octogenarian. But the idea of peace is not the same for each individual. It sadly differs. A child’s idea of peace is to beat a drum. Beating a drum brings him joy, and this joy is his peace. An old man’s idea of peace is to sit quietly with his eyes and ears closed, so that he can escape the fond embrace of the ugly and restless world. The general in Eisenhower spoke on peace: “We are going to have peace, even if we have to fight for it.”

The indomitable Napoleon voiced forth, “What a mess we are in now: peace has been declared.” The Son of God taught us, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall inherit the earth.”

Somebody has very aptly said, “The more we strive for peace on earth, the more it seems that the dove of peace is a bird of paradise.”

To be sure, peace is not the sole monopoly of heaven. Our earth is extremely fertile. Here on earth we can grow peace in measureless measure.

I am supposed to speak on the inner peace. I wish to confine my talk to the spiritual seeker in each of you. A genuine seeker after peace must needs be a seeker after love. Love has another name: sacrifice. When sacrifice is pure, love is sure. When love is divine, in sacrifice there can be no “mine,” no “thine.” Love is the secret of oneness. Sacrifice is the strength of oneness. Self-love is self-indulgence. Self-indulgence is self-annihilation. Love of God is the seeker’s greatest opportunity to realise God.

We sacrifice our precious time to make money. We sacrifice our hard-earned money to fight against time. In order to have something from the outer world, we have to sacrifice something of our own. Similarly, in the inner world we offer our aspiration in return for God-Realisation. The flame of our aspiration is kindled by God Himself. The fruit of our realisation, too, we get from God directly. God is the Inspirer in us. God is the Eternal Giver. God is the Eternal Receiver in us. God uses aspiration to take us to Himself. God uses realisation to bring Himself to us. God is sacrifice when we live in the world of aspiration. God is sacrifice when we live in the realm of realisation. But God says that there is no such thing as sacrifice. There is only one thing here on earth and there in heaven, and that thing is called oneness: the fulfilment in oneness and the fulfilment of oneness.

There are four kinds of seekers: lamentable, incapable, promising and fulfilling. The lamentable and the incapable have to be patient; they have to wait for the Hour of God. The promising and the fulfilling are already singing and dancing in the Hour of God. They are constantly meditating on God. This is their inner life of realisation. They are soulfully and spontaneously acting for God. This is their outer life of revelation.

To come back to the secret of inner peace, our questioning and doubting mind is always wanting in peace. Our loving and dedicated heart is always flooded with inner peace. If our mind has all the questions, then our heart has all the answers. The answers are perfect precisely because they come straight from the soul, which sees the Truth and lives in the Truth. And Truth, Truth alone, is the Goal of Goals.

If you want to have the inner peace, then you must follow the path of spirituality. Spirituality is the answer. There are three ages of man: under-age, over-age and average. To the under-age, spirituality is hocus-pocus. To the over-age, spirituality is something dry, uncertain and obscure. And to the average, spirituality is self-oblivion, self-negation and self-annihilation.

But a true seeker will say that spirituality is something normal, natural, spontaneous, fertile, clear, luminous, divinely self-conscious, self-affirmative and self-creating. If you have a spiritual teacher to help and guide you, then you are very lucky. Listen to him always, until you breathe your last. If you stop taking advice from him, then yours will be the loss and not his. Even in the ordinary human life one needs a teacher, a mentor. There is considerable truth in what Churchill says: “In those days he was wiser than he is now — he used, frequently, to take my advice.”

If you don’t have a spiritual Master and if you don’t care for one, then at every moment please listen to the dictates of your soul in absolute silence. Peace you want and need. To have peace, you must have free access to your soul. To have free access to your soul, you must have inner silence. To have inner silence, you need aspiration. To have aspiration, you need God’s Grace. To have God’s Grace, you must feel that you are God’s and God’s alone, always!

We are now in Connecticut. The motto of Connecticut is supremely significant. My heart of devotion and my soul of love are singing the matchless motto of Connecticut: Qui Transtulit Sustinet — "He who transplanted sustains.” God transplanted truth to earth, and He sustains this truth with love. In the combination of the two lies the secret of inner peace.

The quintessence of mysticism

American University, Washington, D.C.
April 21, 1969

There are three principal paths that lead to God-Realisation: the path of Selfless Service, the path of Love and Devotion and the path of Knowledge and Wisdom. Raja Yoga (Mysticism) is a significant aspect of the Yoga of Knowledge (Jnana Yoga). The Knowledge Supreme is something infinitely more than mere philosophical knowledge. Mysticism is experience, the direct and intimate experience of Truth. After covering a great distance in the path of knowledge, philosophy gets tired and takes rest. Mysticism begins when and where philosophy ends. The seers, after having personally experienced the knowledge of Truth, revealed it to the world at large.

The seers sing:

Him I have known, the Being Supreme,
Refulgent, luminous as the Sun beyond darkness,
Far beyond the embrace of devouring gloom.

The seers teach us that the Transcendental Reality and the All-Embodying Existence are one and the same.

A mystic takes unity and diversity as one. Further, he sees unity in diversity. He tells the world that the One and the Many are one. The One is Many in its universal form. The Many are One in their transcendental form. In our spiritual life, we come across two significant words: occultism and mysticism. Occultism is secrecy and cries for secrecy. It wants to house everything in top secrecy. Mysticism is not like that. Mysticism is ready to offer its achievement, transcendental Knowledge, to all who cry for it.

The difference between a philosopher and a mystic lies in the fact that a philosopher, with the greatest difficulty, sees from a distance, and rather imperfectly, the body of Truth, whereas a mystic enters into the very soul of Truth at his sweet will and can live there as long as he wants. And, also, he is permitted by the Supreme to bring to the fore the vast wealth of the soul and share it with the seekers of Truth. Mysticism affirms that the Knowledge of the Divine is universal.

Let us for a moment enter into the lore of the supernal mystery of the Vak in the Vedas. Vak is The Word. Vak at once embodies and reveals the Truth. In its embodiment of Truth, it receives creative inspiration in infinite measure from the Supreme. In its revelation of Truth, it offers to mankind the Supreme, the Liberator Supreme. Vak is the connecting link between two worlds: the world that has not yet realised and fulfilled itself and the world that has already realised and is fulfilling itself.

Mysticism has a language of its own. Its name is Intuition. In it, no mind or mental analysis can ever exist. A mystic sits on the wings of the Intuition-Bird and flies to the Ultimate Real. Intuition reveals the perfect oneness of the Transcendental Vision and Absolute Reality. A mystic is sincere enough to tell the Truth. He says that it is next to impossible for him to interpret his inner experience. No word or thought can do justice to his experience. At this point the Vedic seer cries out, “What shall I speak, what verily shall I think?” The poor mind and senses are no longer alive, having collapsed in their race toward the Unknown. Not for them the Ultimate Mystery of the Universe. Not for them the Knowledge of the Beyond. Mysticism emphasizes the unity of all souls in the Universal Soul. When we look at the Universe, we see it as the scene of conflict between good and evil, darkness and light, ignorance and knowledge. Needless to say, this struggle commenced long before the appearance of man and still continues. The light works in and through the aspiring soul; the darkness works in and through the unaspiring soul. The real transformation of human nature comes not through an austere, ascetic life or a complete withdrawal from the world, but through a gradual and total Illumination of life. And for that, one needs aspiration. Aspiration, and aspiration alone, is the precursor of this Illumination.

A mystical experience is the aspirant’s inner certitude of Truth. This certitude rests on revelation. Revelation is inner authority. Inner authority is final. And who has this authority? Not he who is a victim of merciless logic, but he who has had the experience and who has now grown into the experience itself. Logic is the reasoning and reasoned truth, which is the pride of the finite. Mysticism is the revealing and revealed Truth, which is the pride of the Infinite. If we believe in mysticism, then we must realise that the Ultimate Truth is not only above reason, but contrary to reason. If we believe something through reason, we enter onto the life-torturing path of plurality, the unconscious plurality of separateness. But when we believe something through our inner, mystic faith, we enter onto the life-giving and life-fulfilling path of unity’s Transcendental Reality.

Martin Luther vehemently distrusted the effectiveness of reason. Nor did he have any faith in ritual or in mere work as a means to salvation. In his mysticism, we see the smiling and convincing face of faith. Faith alone can bring about salvation. Faith alone has the key to salvation.

Existence and essence live together. They are one. In the thirteenth century, Meister Johannes Eckhart dynamically asserted this view. We have to realise that essence is singularly manifest in the divine qualities of the human soul, whereas existence is gloriously manifest in the human qualities of the divine soul. The end of the journey for the human soul is complete union with God. The end of the journey for the divine soul is the absolute manifestation of God.

Mysticism tells us that God-Realisation can be attained not by the practise of ideas, but by the constant feeling of oneness with Truth. An idea, at best, indicates the passive aspect of the sense-world because a mental formation is directly or indirectly caught by the sense-world. But the feeling of oneness with Truth easily transcends the sense-world and indicates and ascertains the active and dynamic aspect of life’s evolving process in the flowing stream of Eternity.

A mystic tells the world that God’s Body is Wisdom and God’s Soul is Love. A worldly man feels that his body and his physical activities fashion his soul. A mystic smilingly says that it is the soul that molds the body and transforms it into the unlimited consciousness-light of the soul.

According to Santayana, “Mysticism is not a religion, but a religious disease.” Santayana is perfectly right when he says that mysticism is not a religion. In my opinion, mysticism is the highest aspiration that religion embodies. But as for “religious disease,” I can never agree with Santayana in his profound realisation.

I want to say with all the spiritual confidence at my command that mysticism serves as a panacea; not only for those who cry to see their Beloved God’s Face, but also for those who are afraid of seeing God’s Face in His Omniscience and His Omnipotence; and even for those who are at once mercilessly and unpardonably unbelievers and disbelievers in the very existence of God.

Action and liberation

George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
April 22, 1969

George Washington, first to embody America’s hope,
First in inspiration, first in confidence, first in war,
First in victory,
First in conquering the heart of his Nation,
First to envisage a federation of states,
Single, powerful, united, whole.

“Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness.” — Carlyle. A spiritual person has found his work. His work is selfless service. His work is dedicated action. Indeed, he has no need of any other blessedness. His action is the divine acceptance of earthly existence. And for this he needs a perfect body, a strong mind, a soulful heart and a supremely inspired life of inner receptivity and outer capacity.

Action is entering into the battlefield of life. Action is conquering life’s untold miseries and teeming limitations. Action is transforming life’s devouring imperfection into glowing perfection. Action is something infinitely deeper and higher than the mere survival of physical existence. Action is the secret supreme, which enables us to enter into the Life Eternal.

He who has not consciously accepted the spiritual life may consider action a necessary evil and the mother of bitter frustration. But to a spiritual person, action is a divine blessing. It is the matchless victory over bondage and ignorance. It is at once God’s soulful Vision in heaven and God’s fruitful Mission on earth. God says that a man of divine action is the ideal hero. This ideal hero divine manifests God here on earth. To him, God-Realisation is not enough. His is the heart that cries for God’s all-fulfilling Manifestation.

An unaspiring person dies and his role is over. An aspiring person dies and his role just begins. A spiritual Master leaves his body, and his mission starts bearing fruit.

Man is blind. He does not know what to do. When he wants to do something, he does not know how to go about it; and so, instead of getting joy from work, he immediately enters into difficulty.

T. H. Huxley pointedly remarks, “A man’s worst difficulties begin when he is able to do as he likes.” But if a man listens to the dictates of his soul and is able to do what his soul wants him to do, then his life will be transformed into golden opportunities and the greatest success will knock at his heart’s door.

There is a saying that “the thumb takes the responsibility; the index finger, the initiative.” Similarly man’s aspiration takes the initiative, but it is God’s Concern that takes the responsibility.

And someone has said, “The idealist walks on tiptoe, the materialist on his heels.” Similarly, the divine hero worker walks on the fire of self-illumination; the worker undivine, unaspiring and uninspired, who is full of ego, vanity and pride, walks on the fire of self-destruction.

According to some people, human life is just a cruel, meaningless and hopeless four-letter word: work. I wish to say they are mistaken. They like work; what they hate is the sense of labour, the burden of labour. Labour and favour perfectly rhyme. After all, whose favour is it? God’s favour. Indeed, he is God’s chosen child, and he alone is God’s favourite, who works to please God. And in pleasing God, he realises and fulfils himself. Then he tells the world that human life is a divinely meaningful three-letter word: joy.

Liberation. Liberation speaks: “We are not nature’s slaves.” Liberation teaches. It teaches us that our every heartbeat offers us a unique opportunity to achieve liberation. Liberation sings within us: “Arise, awake. Yours is the ideal Goal, the Goal of Goals.”

Liberation is man’s practical wisdom. Liberation is not a compromise with the world. Liberation is the end of man’s competition with nature’s temptation. Liberation elevates the earth-consciousness into the skies of the Beyond.

Which is more difficult: to cry for liberation or, after having been liberated, to cry for the illumination and transformation of the ignorance-loving, darkness-embracing world? Undoubtedly, the latter.

The poor liberated man: strange indeed is his fate. He constantly thinks of those who hardly ever think of him. When he stands before the world, the world acts like either a frightened child or a hostile child. A liberated man tells the world that God is not only knowable, but more than knowable. He also tells the world that it is easier to know God than to know the world, because when he wants to know the world he has to know it through God and from God.

Sri Krishna is Illumination Incarnate. The Buddha is Liberation Incarnate. The Christ is Salvation Incarnate.

The world is offering its Darkness to Sri Krishna. The world is offering its Suffering to the Buddha. The world is offering its Sin to the Christ.

The fallen consciousness of the world is flying toward the Highest Beyond to be touched by Christ, the Saviour. The broken consciousness of the world is diving into the Deepest Beyond to be embraced by Buddha, the Liberator. The molten consciousness of the world is marching toward the Farthest Beyond to be blessed by Krishna, the Illuminator.

The supreme secret of meditation

University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
April 23, 1969

Meditation is man's thirst for the Infinite Real, Eternal Real and Absolute Real. The secret of meditation is to achieve conscious and constant oneness with God. The secret supreme of meditation is to feel God as one's very own, and finally to realise God for God's sake, Him to reveal and Him to fulfil.

Meditation has to be practised spontaneously, soulfully and correctly. If it is not, dark doubt will blight your mind and utter frustration will steal into your heart. And you will probably find your whole existence thrown into the depths of a yawning chasm.

For meditation you need inspiration. Scriptures can supply you with inspiration. To buy a spiritual book takes ten seconds. To read that book takes a few hours. To absorb that book takes a few years. And to live the truths thereof may take not only a whole lifetime, but a few incarnations.

For meditation you need aspiration. The presence, physical or spiritual, of a spiritual teacher can awaken your sleeping aspiration. He can easily and will gladly do it for you. Aspiration: this is precisely what you need in order to reach your journey's goal. You don't have to worry about your realisation. Your aspiration will take care of it.

Meditation nourishes your self-discipline. Self-discipline strengthens your meditation. Meditation purifies your heart. And in a pure heart alone looms large the Godward march of human life. One may know what proper meditation is. One may even practise it, since that is what the divine nature in man needs. But the result or fulfilment of meditation transcends all human understanding, for it is measureless, limitless, infinite.

Meditation tells you only one thing: God is. Meditation reveals to you only one truth: yours is the vision of God.

To my extreme sorrow, some of you in the West have grave misconceptions about meditation. You feel that the acme of meditation is fortunetelling or miracle-mongering. Fortunetelling does not rhyme with meditation. Miracle-mongering does not rhyme with meditation, either. But realisation perfectly rhymes with meditation. Liberation soulfully rhymes with meditation. Do you really want to realise God? Do you really want God's Infinite Light, Peace and Bliss? If so, you should keep millions and millions of miles away from fortune-tellers and miracle-mongers. If you think that they inspire you, then you are mistaken. Go deep within and you will discover that they have just aroused your idle, eyeless and fruitless curiosity. Curiosity is not spirituality. And secretly and consciously the fortune-tellers and miracle-mongers have offered you something more: temptation. Temptation is the harbinger of destruction. It is here that the divine mission of your life — unsuccessful, unfulfilled — comes to an end. Let us be on the alert. I urge you not to confuse your heart's genuine meditation with fortunetelling and miracle-mongering. Don't waste your time. Your time is precious. Your meditation is priceless. Your achievement shall be the treasure of timeless Eternity, measureless Infinity and deathless Immortality. Don't wait. All things come to him who waits, except the realisation that today embodies and the liberation that now reveals.

Meditation is our soul's cry for our life's perfect perfection. Perfection has not yet dawned on earth, but one day it will. Perfection is the ideal of human life. To quote Swami Vivekananda: "None of us has yet seen an ideal human being, and yet we are told to believe in him. None of us has yet seen an ideally perfect man, and yet without that ideal we cannot progress."

Meditation alone can give birth to perfection. Meditation carries us beyond the frustration of the senses, beyond the limitation of the reasoning mind. And, finally, meditation can present us with the breath of perfection.

The ultimate aim of meditation is to realise the Supreme. The Katha Upanishad has a spiritual message to offer to the world. This message is an inner message.

Higher than the senses are the objects of the senses.
Higher than the objects of the senses is the mind.
Higher than the mind is the intellect.
Higher than the intellect is the Great Self.
Higher than the Great Self is the Unmanifest.
Higher than the Unmanifest is the Person.
Higher than the Person there is nothing at all.
That is the goal. That is the highest course.

Indeed, the Person is the Supreme Himself. On the strength of our highest and deepest meditation we unfailingly gain free access to the Supreme.

At the beginning of our spiritual journey, we feel that meditation is self-effort and perspiration. At the end of our journey's close, we realise that meditation is God's Grace, His Compassion Infinite.

The price is never right. Before realisation, it is too high. After realisation, it is too low.