Man and God
Man and God are eternally one. Like God, man is infinite; like man, God is finite. There is no yawning gulf between man and God. Man is the God of tomorrow; God, the man of yesterday and today.
As God is in Heaven, even so is He on earth. He is here, there and everywhere. Each human being has a God of his own. There is no human being without a God. The total atheist does not believe in God. But fortunately he believes, or rather unfortunately he has to believe, in a certain idea, some concept of order or disorder. And that very idea, that concept, is nothing but God.
Freedom, absolute freedom, must be given each individual soul to discover its own path. Mistakes along the path of spirituality are not at all deplorable, for mistakes are simply lesser truths. We are not proceeding from falsehood to truth. We are proceeding from the least revealed truth to the most revealed truth.
Until we have realised God and have become one with God, we have to call upon Him as Master, Guide, Friend and so on. According to our relationship with Him, our attitude toward Him may vary. This is of no consequence. What is of supreme importance is that we love God as our very own. In our sincere love of God, we shall be inspired spontaneously to worship Him.
Here we shall have to know which kind of worship is for us, which kind is in harmony with the development and inclination of our soul. The realisation of absolute oneness with God is the highest form of worship. Next in the descending line is meditation. Lower is the seat for prayers and invocations. The lowest form of worship is the worship of God in things mundane.
When I think that the flute and the Flutist are two different things, I think of myself as God's servant and Him as my Master. When I feel that the flute has a part of its Master's consciousness, I feel that I am God's child and He is my Father. Finally, when I realise that the flute and the Flutist are but one, the Flutist appears as the Spirit and I as Its creative Force.
Man has to realise God in this body here on earth. India's great poet Kabir said:
"If your bonds be not broken, whilst living, what hope of deliverance in death?
"It is an empty dream that the soul shall have union with Him because it has passed from the body;
"If He is found now, He is found then;
"If not, we do go to dwell in the city of Death."
Sisters and brothers, do not sink into the abyss of despair, even if you have, at the moment, no clear aspiration for God-realisation. Just start on your journey upward, inward and forward — upward to see God's Dream, inward to possess God's Dream, forward to become God's Dream. This Dream is the Dream of absolute Fulfilment.
Countless are those who launch onto the path of the inner life only after receiving innumerable blows or after wandering far and wide in the deserts of life. So he is indeed happy and blessed who places his body, mind, heart and soul — like flowers — at the Feet of the Lord before the advent of blows. It is true that the teeming clouds of worldliness cover up our yet unlit mind. It is equally true that the volcano of the seeker's concentration and the hydrogen bomb of his meditation can and will destroy the clouds, the age-long mists of Ignorance.
May I say a word to those who are married and have great family responsibilities? To your utter amazement, all such responsibilities will be transformed into golden opportunities the moment you try to see God in your children, the moment you realise that you are serving God in your self-sacrifice. In its ability to fulfil the husband, to establish him divinely in the boundless expanse of matter, to raise his consciousness into the realm of Spirit, the untiring and spontaneous sacrifice of the wife has no substitute. In its ability to inundate the wife's soul with the Peace of the Beyond, to beckon her heart to the ever-blazing Sun of Infinity, to transmute her life into Immortality's Song, the husband's promise has no substitute. And those who are single can rest assured that they are singled out to run the fastest along the spiritual path. Inseparable are their aspiration and God's Inspiration.
When we try to see deep within, when we try to live an inner life, we may encounter difficulties all around. We cry out, "Look, God, now that we have turned toward You, we have to take so many tests!" Finding no way out, we are perturbed. But why should we be? It cannot escape our remembrance that we have endured misfortunes in our life. Before we entered the spiritual life, despondency proved to be our constant companion. Now we are at least in a better position since we have the capacity to recognise the ferocious tiger of worldliness. Let us take restlessness and weakness as tests.
Why should God test us? He does anything but that. He, being the Merciful, warns us of the imminent danger. But if we take these warnings as tests, then to pass the test, we have to pray to God. Merely by thinking of the difficulties and dangers we can never pass the examination. To pass a test in school, we have to study hard. Similarly, to pass an inner examination, we have to cultivate more sincerity and feed the flame of aspiration.
During meditation we have to be very careful. At times the mind wants to indulge in certain worldly and emotional ideas and thoughts, but we must not permit the mind to do so. During meditation everything is intense and, if we indulge in evil thoughts, the effects become more serious and more dangerous than otherwise. We grow weaker the moment the mind becomes prey to self-indulgent thoughts. It is the very nature of our lower mind to deceive us. But our tears and our heart's mounting flame will always come to our rescue.
Man and God are one. All men belong to the same family. We are all one. A genuine seeker must not listen to the absurd arguments of sceptics. They do not have even a pennyworth of spiritual knowledge. They are unaware of the fact that they are unconsciously making a parade of their naked stupidity. They say, "If we are all one, then how is it that when you have a headache, I do not? When my hunger is appeased, how is it that yours is not?" In reply, let us ask them how it is that when they have a leg wound, their head does not hurt as well, since both are part of the same body. The universal consciousness is within us all. If we are not conscious of it, that does not mean that it does not exist. My body is my own. But do I feel pain in my leg when my head suffers from a headache? No. But if I am aware of the Divine Consciousness which pervades my whole body, undoubtedly I shall feel the same pain all over my body. Here the individual soul is my head and the collective soul is my whole body. To feel the entire world as our very own we have first to feel God as our very own.
Man is Infinity's Heart.
Man is Eternity's Breath.
Man is Immortality's Life.