My rose petals, part 2
Three lessons in spirituality1Spirituality is our inner growth, inner evolution, inner achievement and inner fulfilment. The day we left the mineral kingdom, we started our spiritual journey. After passing through the plant kingdom, we entered into the animal kingdom and our evolution went faster. Then, from the animal kingdom, we entered into the human kingdom, and our evolution became conscious. Now, from the human kingdom, we are consciously, soulfully, devotedly, divinely and unconditionally trying to enter into the divine kingdom.
All of us here are seekers; we are all spiritual people. On the strength of my own realisation, I wish to say that all of us without exception are studying spirituality. There is no human being on earth who is not studying this subject at least a little. From this subject, everybody learns something according to his capacity or receptivity. There is nobody who has not learned anything. Your learning will not be the same as mine, but that does not mean that you have not studied the subject as well as I have.
What have I learned from spirituality? I have learned only three things. Love of God is the first thing I learned. The second thing is self-discovery. And the third thing is the importance of doing first things first. Love of God. Self-discovery. First things first.
Love of God. Is there anybody who does not love God? No, not even an atheist. The atheist negates God. But to me his very negation is an act of God. And whatever he does love is God, because everything comes from God and is of God. Atheists and agnostics are all in the one boat that leads to the destined Goal, though perhaps in spite of themselves. Love of God is oneness with the Universal Consciousness. Conscious oneness with the Universal Consciousness is conscious love of God. God is one; God is many. He is the tree. He is the branches, the leaves and the flowers. He is unity and multiplicity. When we look within, He is one; when we look without, He is many.
Self-discovery. What do we mean by self-discovery? Self-discovery is our recovery from ignorance-illness. When we are ill, we suffer for a while and then we get better, only to fall sick again. But self-discovery is our permanent recovery from the illness that is called ignorance.
Self-discovery is God-discovery. There is no difference between self-discovery and God-discovery. When you discover yourself, you feel in the inmost recesses of your heart your oneness with God — your inner Divinity, your inner Immortality, your inner Infinity, your inner Eternity, which are nothing other than God Himself. This realisation is not the sole monopoly of a spiritual Master. Everybody without exception can discover it. But when we make a conscious effort, when we pray consciously and devotedly, we come to realise God’s Light, Peace and Bliss infinitely faster than those who wallow in the pleasures of ignorance.
First things first. What is the first thing? The first thing in our lives should be God. Our first thought should be: "Let Thy Will be done." When the finite consciously accepts the Infinite as its very own, the finite is blessed with liberation and perfection. When I say, "Let Thy Will be done," it means I am consciously surrendering my lower existence to my higher existence. I can say that my feet are my lower existence and my heart is my higher existence. Both my heart and my feet are mine; they are both part and parcel of my existence. But my feet are in ignorance and my heart is bathing in the Sea of Light and Wisdom. My heart can easily help and guide my feet if my feet are willing to surrender to their higher part, the heart. The feet must feel that now they are in ignorance, but when they enter into the heart, at that time they will be illumined.
I have to know that I embody the lowest and the highest. When I am in the highest, I am consciously one, inseparably one with the Supreme Pilot. In that consciousness I represent Him, and one day I will become what He eternally is. My lowest part is ignorant, imperfect, undivine, hostile, but if I can remember that the highest part also is mine, then I will see nothing wrong in carrying the highest part to the lowest part with the message of Liberation.
So to do the first thing first means to surrender our individual will to the Will of the Supreme, and then to feel that this surrender is the surrender of our lower existence to our higher existence. When we surrender our lower existence to our higher existence, we become the chosen instruments of the Absolute Supreme.
When it comes to studying the spiritual life, we find there are two students in us: the head and the heart. These two students have come to us to learn the higher wisdom, and we have to teach them both. But we have to know which of the two students has more learning capacity and which has less, which is more progressive and which is less progressive, which deserves more attention and which deserves less attention for the time being. Two students, the mind and the heart, have come to learn. The mind is the inferior student and the heart is the superior student. But unfortunately, the inferior one often creates problems for the superior one.
Our inner being is the teacher. It tells the mind-student, “You have learned much. But your knowledge is only information and it is actually standing in your way. We always say that knowledge is our hope, but in your case, knowledge has become a veritable obstruction. You have absorbed too much knowledge. You do not know how to utilise it and you cannot digest it. So please, for God’s sake, unlearn. If you can unlearn it, then you will be in a position to learn something really useful from me, your inner being.”
Then our inner being tells the heart-student, “You have to learn only one thing: to give. Offer yourself, offer what you have and what you are. Empty yourself.” The heart immediately says, “I am ready. What I have right now is insecurity and ignorance. What I am is uncertainty. But I am ready to offer it all immediately. I will offer up all my insecurity, uncertainty and ignorance.”
The heart is ready and eager to surrender what it has and what it is, but the mind finds it very difficult to unlearn. What it has learned is how to doubt. This is the most important thing to the mind. If the mind can doubt others, then it really feels that it has some wisdom. The moment I doubt you, I feel I have done something great. Here I have made my doubt a spiritual authority. But this kind of spiritual authority is nothing but slow poison. It kills our spiritual life. The heart, however, is just the opposite. Today it receives, tomorrow it achieves, the day after tomorrow it becomes and finally it realises what it eternally is.
There comes a time when the heart, out of its own inner spontaneous love for its brother, the mind, comes and knocks at the mind’s door. With tremendous reluctance, the mind opens its door and, to its wide astonishment, sees that the heart, its own brother, is fully illumined. There is not even an iota of darkness inside the heart. Then the mind asks the heart how it has accomplished this. It says, “You are also a part of the family. How is it that I see in you all illumination, all divinity? What is wrong with me that I am still ignorant and unillumined?”
The heart replies, “I listened to the dictates of the Inner Pilot. I did what the Inner Pilot asked me to do. In your case, the Inner Pilot asked you to unlearn. What you have learned is not illumination. What you have discovered is not realisation. You have learned and discovered information, and on the basis of this information you have built a palace of obscurity and divided consciousness. You have always separated yourself from the rest of the world. You are not accepting my realisation as your very own. You don’t claim me as your very own, but I accept you as my very own. I accept each and everyone as my very own. In your case, there is no oneness, but only separation. You do not run to the Light. Your goal is still a far cry. I listened to the Inner Pilot when He asked me to do something, and now I am all illumination.”
The mind thinks for some time, and then says, “All right. I will listen to you,” and it starts unlearning. First it unlearns doubt, then it unlearns fear, then it unlearns jealousy, then it unlearns the feeling of superiority and inferiority. All the things that divide and separate the mind from the whole, the mind consciously tries to unlearn. The mind chases away doubt; immediately faith grows. It chases away insecurity; immediately confidence dawns. It rejects all feelings of inferiority and embraces the feeling of oneness. Impurity leaves the mind and purity enters. The mind now accepts the Light and thinks of its ultimate goal. The ultimate goal of the mind is Illumination. The ultimate goal of the heart is Liberation. When the two meet together on the way to their destination, they become inseparably one. Then Perfection dawns, and man the seeker becomes the conscious representative of the Absolute Supreme on earth.
MRP 16. Newman Room, Rose Walk, St Aldates, Oxford, England, 11 June 1973.↩
The seeker's journey1Some of you have come here to see a spiritual teacher. Some of you have come to see a yogi. Some of you have come to see a seeker. I am grateful to those who have come here to see the spiritual teacher in me. I am more grateful to those who have come to see the yogi in me. I am most grateful to those who have come here to see the seeker in me.
As a spiritual teacher, I teach my students or disciples with my heart’s love. I have no other way. I have no other knowledge but the knowledge of love. With my heart’s love, I try to teach my followers and disciples.
As a yogi who is constantly one with his Inner Pilot, I try to be always at the command of my Inner Pilot. I try to execute His commands and thereby be of service to those who come to me for inner guidance.
As a seeker, I am always at the feet of the Transcendental Supreme. I am a seeker, a seeker of the Infinite Truth. A seeker knows that his journey will never come to an end. He realises the Truth, but he feels that there is no end to his realisation. He discovers the loftiest Truth, the Transcendental Truth, but then he feels there is no end to his Truth-discovery. He comes to realise that because God is infinite, eternal and immortal, there is no end to God’s Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. God Himself is constantly transcending His own Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. So we must realise that we are seekers of the ever-transcending Beyond. Each seeker is transcending his own capacity, his own reality, his own dream, his own realisation every day, every hour, every minute and every second.
When one becomes a sincere seeker, he discovers something which a non-seeker has not discovered. A sincere seeker of the highest Truth discovers the fact that he made a solemn promise to the Supreme before he entered into the world arena. This promise was very simple and, at the same time, very soulful. His promise was to be the conscious instrument of the Supreme and to manifest the Supreme here on earth through his dedication, through his aspiration and through his conscious oneness with the world at large. This is the promise each aspiring soul has made, according to the seeker’s own vision. All human souls, without exception, make this promise to the Absolute Supreme. Unfortunately, when we enter into the world, we enter into the sea of ignorance. We bathe for thousands of years in this sea of ignorance, but when we become tired of this ignorance-bath, we enter into the Sea of Knowledge and Wisdom. Then we remember our promise, our promise of God-manifestation on earth. Each individual being will one day come to realise that he has made this promise to the Absolute.
Unconsciously everybody is trying to fulfil this promise. But a seeker is trying consciously to fulfil it, and a realised soul has already begun to fulfil it consciously and unconditionally. A seeker of the highest Truth fulfils his promise consciously and soulfully. A spiritual Master fulfils his promise consciously and unconditionally. But the individual who is not aspiring and who does not care for God-realisation or God-manifestation right now, is fulfilling his promise unconsciously.
When one is fulfilling or trying to fulfil God consciously, he is fulfilling God in a perfect manner. When he is fulfilling God unconsciously, he is fulfilling God in an imperfect manner. When one has realised God consciously, one goes a step further and tries to reveal God consciously. Finally, one tries to manifest God consciously. In conscious realisation, conscious revelation and conscious manifestation, we see God the Eternal Perfection. God is for everyone, but one who is conscious of God’s Existence-Reality is undoubtedly ahead in the divine race.
Each individual looks for something here on earth and there in Heaven. Here on earth we look for something in God. When we enter into the spiritual life, we pray to God, we meditate on God, we contemplate on God. First we start with our prayers. We learn how to pray from our parents. Then we try to concentrate on something which we want to achieve. We know that when our mind wanders we cannot achieve anything, whereas when we focus our attention and power of concentration on a particular thing we achieve success. We learn the art of concentration, then we go one step ahead to meditation. When we meditate, we try to embody the Vast, the Infinite within us, or we try to dive into the vast, infinite Sea of Light and Delight. The last step is contemplation. When we contemplate, our consciousness becomes one with the thing that we contemplate upon. The lover becomes one with the Beloved. The finite loses its finite existence and becomes one with the Infinite, becoming the Infinite itself. The earth-bound consciousness becomes one with the Heaven-free consciousness.
A seeker wants to see God. When he sees God face to face, he wants to see a certain thing in God, a special thing, and that thing is a sweet smile. Just by seeing God, he will not be satisfied. He wants to see God’s exquisite smile. If he sees that God is smiling at him, he will achieve everything. Then the seeker wants to see a certain thing in man and that thing is gratitude. He looks around. He feels that at every moment, consciously or unconsciously, he is offering something to mankind. He feels that if he can observe an iota of gratitude in mankind, then his self-offering will be fulfilled. But mankind is not responding.
Then the seeker looks up to Heaven. He wants to see a certain thing in Heaven, and that thing is Compassion. He feels that if Heaven does not supply him with infinite Compassion, he is helpless. Although he has achieved something in life and the world extols him to the skies, he knows in the inmost recesses of his heart that he is helpless. He feels that if he gets more encouraging and fulfilling Compassion from Heaven, then he will be able to complete his task on earth most convincingly and powerfully.
The seeker expects something from earth. What does he expect? Patience. Earth has given him everything, but when he wants to do something for the earth-consciousness, he feels that the earth-consciousness is restless. It wants everything in the twinkling of an eye. He wants to see patience in the earth-consciousness, and eventually there comes a time when the earth-consciousness does have the necessary patience which permits him to manifest the highest truth on earth.
The seeker expects something from his own life. What does he expect? Unconditional service to mankind. If he can serve mankind unconditionally, then he will be satisfied. If he serves conditionally, then he can never be satisfied or fulfilled. He expects from himself unconditional service to the world at large, and ultimately he grows into that unconditional service-tree.
The seeker expects something when his present earth-pilgrimage comes to an end. What does he expect? He expects the Song of Immortality. He feels that if he can hear the Song of Immortality, then he will someday achieve everything for the earth-consciousness.
Here we are all seekers. Now, there are two categories of seekers: mind seekers and heart seekers, or mental seekers and psychic seekers. The seekers who want to realise the Highest with the help of the mind, through the mind, eventually come to know that they are travelling on a very crowded train. This is the mind-train. While they are travelling on the mind-train, they see that with them are quite a few other passengers, and these passengers are fear, doubt, anxiety, jealousy and other negative and destructive forces. The train is overburdened. It goes slowly, very slowly, creeping sluggishly towards its destination. God alone knows when it will reach its journey’s goal. With utmost uncertainty the mind-train crawls towards its destination. But those who want to realise the Highest through the heart and with the help of the heart travel on another train. That is the heart-train. When the seeker travels on the heart-train, there is nobody else with him. He is alone, he and the mounting flame of his aspiration. The train flies towards the destination at top speed because there are very few passengers weighing it down, and it reaches its destination sooner, much sooner than it even expects.
God is an eternal Player. We are His children, who are also playing in the Cosmic Game.
When we live in the physical, we play with sleep, day in and day out. Our consciousness is not awakened.
When we live in the vital, we play with depression and frustration. When we do not achieve our goal in the vital, we are frustrated and depressed; and when we do achieve our goal, we also feel frustrated and depressed, because we feel that it was something else we wanted.
When we live in the mind, we play with doubt. While playing with doubt, at times we feel that doubt is not a good partner, so we suffer a lot.
But there comes a time when faith looms large within us, and then we transfigure our mental doubt. On the strength of our inner faith, we begin to live in our heart and we play with surrender. Sometimes we surrender to the Absolute, sometimes we try to compel the Reality which we are praying for to surrender to us. And Reality, being all one, surrenders, because of our sincere inner cry. But when Reality enters into us in the form of aspiration, it makes us feel that by pleasing us in our own way, it will never be able to satisfy us. Only if we please the ultimate Reality in its own way can we be fulfilled. In the spiritual life, many times when we are pleased in our own way, we are not satisfied. Only when we are pleased in the way of the Divine, of the Supreme, can we be inwardly fulfilled.
At the beginning, we start our journey to please ourselves. In order to please ourselves, naturally we have to go through some discipline; for without discipline, we will not have any success. We have to follow mental, vital, psychic and spiritual discipline in order to see the face of inner satisfaction. Even when satisfaction looms large, we are not satisfied unless we please the Inner Pilot in His own Way. Only then does real satisfaction, eternal satisfaction, dawn in our lives. We try to control our lives, we try to perfect our lives and that is good. But when we try to please the Inner Pilot in His own Way on the strength of our unconditional surrender, when we make an unconditional surrender to His Will, when we become His chosen instruments and fulfil Him in His own Way, at that time we become perfect instruments. When today we have the inner dedication to say, “Let Thy Will be done,” tomorrow we will have the right to say, “I and my Father are one.”
MRP 17. Keynes Hall, Kings College, Cambridge, England, 12 June 1973.↩
Spirituality1Spirituality, according to my knowledge, understanding and realisation, is a house, and God is the resident of this house. Now this is the realisation of the beginning seeker in me. But when the seeker in me is well-advanced, he says that the house and the resident of the house are one and the same.
In the beginning, it is extremely easy for us to think of God as the Creator and not as the creation, because when we look around we see that God's creation is full of imperfection.
At the dawn of his spiritual awakening, a child asks his mother, “Where is God?” The mother immediately answers, “God is in Heaven.” Then the child asks, “Where is Heaven?” The mother’s immediate answer is, “Heaven is up in the sky.” The child is satisfied; he feels that his mother’s answer is quite adequate. Then when the child grows older and goes to a church for religious training, the child asks his teacher the same question: “Where is God?” The teacher may say that God is in Heaven or that God is in the child’s own heart. Years later, when the child enters into his young adulthood, he may want to go deep within and see for himself where God is. Then eventually he comes to hear about spiritual teachers who have realised God. He goes to a spiritual Master and asks about God’s authenticity. When he is convinced that God does exist, his immediate question is, “Where is God?” The spiritual Master will tell him that God is everywhere and in everything. But until the seeker has realised God himself, this will be just mental knowledge. He must go deep within in order to feel these truths.
God is in the “yes” of the heart, and God is in the “no” of the mouth. When the heart says “yes,” God exists inside the “yes”. God is visible; He is really there. But when we try to speak about God, very often we are subject to doubt and our own inner feelings are confused. The mouth says, “No, no God,” but God exists even in the mouth that denies Him. It is only in the heart, however, that we can feel, see and grow into the highest Divinity.
We need God. Why? We need God because we are wanting in satisfaction. We have everything save and except satisfaction. A child is not satisfied with what he has. Today his father can give him ten toys, but tomorrow he will want to have more. An adult may have two cars, but he will feel that he needs three cars or two much more beautiful and expensive cars.
We can easily see that material possession rarely gives a person satisfaction. Only when we aspire and go deep within can we see the face of abiding satisfaction. We try to satisfy ourselves with desire-life, but we fail; we badly fail. Then we try with aspiration-life, and we succeed, we easily succeed. But among those who aspire, there are some who aspire to become great but not necessarily to become good. There are some seekers who enter into the spiritual life because they want to have worldly power, and they hope that God will grant them this boon. These so-called aspirants are not satisfied with the world as it is at present. They want to govern the world in their own way, and show their inner realisation or their spiritual supremacy to the world. Those seekers can never be God’s chosen instruments. Only those who aspire for God-realisation, for the sake of fulfilling and manifesting God in His own Way, can offer satisfaction to humanity. The seeker feels that it is his dedicated and unconditional service that can save and transform humanity, and not his wise wisdom.
There is a way to see God face to face. There is a way to grow into our inner Divinity. There is a way to perfect the face of the earth. But who can show the way? The Inner Pilot, the inner Being. But where is that inner Being? Who can tell us about the inner Being? Very often we hear a voice or get a feeling from within, but this is not always the voice of the heart. It may be the voice of our demanding vital, or the voice of our doubting or sceptical mind.
At this point who can help us? Who can take us into the inner realm of our consciousness where we can distinguish the voice of our Inner Pilot? A spiritual Master can do this. A spiritual Master teaches the seeker how to enter into his own heart and how to listen to the dictates of his own inner Being. He can easily lead the seeker to the realm of his inner consciousness and make him feel and hear the voice of the Inner Pilot. The Inner Pilot is the real guide, the only guide. Until one has free access to the Inner Pilot, a spiritual Master is of paramount importance.
How can one know who his spiritual teacher is? One can easily know provided he does just a few things. First he has to silence his mind. There can be no doubt, no thought-waves, no negative or positive forces in the mind — nothing, nothing. When the seeker sees that he has become the possessor of a calm and quiet mind, he asks his dear friend, heart, to choose its proper Master. His heart looks at the spiritual Masters and makes the choice. When the heart sees a spiritual Master, if it is overwhelmed with joy, then there is every probability that that spiritual Master is the right one for the seeker. But when the heart sees a spiritual Master and can make a solemn promise that it will please this Master in his own way, without asking anything in return, then that is most certainly the right Master. When the seeker sees a teacher and finds his entire being inundated with joy, and if he wants to go one step ahead and say, “I will give you my whole existence, my inner and outer existence with no expectation, to serve you, to love you, to fulfil you,” then he and his Master will definitely be able to please each other. If the seeker can dare to make that kind of promise to the Master, if this promise comes from the very depth of his heart, then without doubt this particular Master is his.
Otherwise, a seeker may think that because so-and-so has ten thousand disciples, naturally he is a great teacher. Well, he may be a great teacher, but he may not be your teacher. Your spiritual teacher is only he whose very presence will make you swim in the Sea of Light and Delight. Your teacher is the one to whom you will want to surrender your entire existence.
Your Master will make you feel and discover that the inner treasure that you are searching for, and have for millennia been searching for, is within you and at your command. It is not the sole monopoly of the spiritual Master. As he has it, you also have it as your very own; it is your birthright. Inside you is the coffer, inside you is the key. Unfortunately, you do not know where the coffer is hidden or what is inside it. The Master just shows you your key and helps you to open the box. Then, to your wide surprise, you see that the infinite wealth which is inside belongs to you and nobody else.
Right now, realisation is a far cry. It is a distant, unrealised dream. But today’s dream is tomorrow’s reality. Today we are living in a cottage, let us say the cottage of dreams. Tomorrow we shall be living in the palace of Reality. Today we are crying to see just once the Face of God. If we can see the Face of God only once, we feel that our life will have a purpose. Once we see the face of our Beloved Supreme, our dream will become a reality. And sooner or later, on the strength of our aspiration, we shall definitely see the face of our Beloved Supreme.
But we shall not be satisfied with that joy, with that reality. We will soon have another dream, a higher dream, to be blessed and embraced by our divine Pilot Supreme. This dream, too, will one day be fulfilled. But again, we will not be satisfied with this reality, either, with being blessed and embraced by God. We will have a third and last dream. This is the dream of becoming inseparably one with the Absolute Supreme and of growing into His transcendental Illumination, Perfection and Infinity. This is our last dream, and for that we aspire, aspire for years, for lifetimes, for centuries. But at last all our dreams bear fruit, all our dreams are manifested in the form of reality.
We are now living in the world of dreams, but these dreams are not mental hallucinations. These dreams are not the result of vague ideas. These dreams are the precursors of a new dawn. In the new dawn we will see the God-touch, God-realisation, God-revelation and God-manifestation on earth.
MRP 18. Anson Room, University Student Union, Bristol University, Bristol, England, 13 June 1973.↩
Transcendental Height and Aspiration-Light1Dearest brothers and sisters, I have special love and admiration for your country, Ireland. I have been cherishing and treasuring love for this country since I was twelve, when I read a book written about the spiritual Master, Swami Vivekananda. In his biography I read something most striking. A young woman from your country was so deeply inspired by the Swami’s spiritual light that she went to India and offered her entire existence to Swami Vivekananda, her spiritual Master. Her name was Miss Margaret Noble, but her Master offered her a new name, a spiritual name, her soul’s name: Nivedita. Nivedita means self-offering, total self-offering. She offered her whole existence to India. India’s spiritual children will forever remain indebted to her love and sacrifice. India’s freedom-boat will forever be indebted to her significant efforts to free Mother India from ignorance. Nivedita embodied dedicated self-offering.
When I was twenty-three years old, for the first time I read her book about her Master, Swami Vivekananda. The great spiritual Master, Sri Aurobindo, once remarked that this book of Nivedita’s was written with the breath of her heart. From this book I learned how a disciple can become inseparably one with the Master on the strength of implicit love, devotion and surrender to the Master’s will.
There are two types of people on earth: spiritual people and unspiritual people. Spiritual people are often accused by those who are not spiritual of being abnormal. They supposedly want to live in the clouds and eat the moonlight. They have no sense of reality. They are just fooling themselves. This is the accusation that is often thrown at them. Spiritual people, in return, say that they are absolutely normal, whereas the unaspiring people are abnormal.
An unaspiring person accuses a spiritual person of not paying attention to the outer life. But a real spiritual person is bound to pay full attention to the outer life. If he is not sincerely spiritual in the truest sense, then in the name of spirituality he will ignore and revile the outer world. But the outer world is the manifestation of God. If someone wants to realise the highest Truth, how can he ignore God’s outer manifestation? A really spiritual person will not ignore the outer world. On the contrary, he will accept the world. He will accept the challenge of the world. Then he will conquer the ignorance of the world and he will offer his Wisdom-Light to the world at large.
Unaspiring people often say that a spiritual person is afraid of the world. He is a coward. He does not brave the world, but runs away and hides like a thief, while the ordinary, unaspiring person shoulders the responsibilities of the entire world. But I wish to say that if a genuine spiritual person does not involve himself in the activities of the world, it is because he is preparing himself to shoulder the responsibilities of the world. He knows very well that it is God alone who can give him infinite Light, infinite Bliss, infinite Peace and infinite Power to change the face of the world. Just by mixing with the multitudes, he will not be able to help the world. But by serving the Inner Pilot, by fulfilling the Inner Pilot, he can one day be of real service to mankind.
Among the spiritual people there are some who are accused of too much spirituality, and there are some who are accused of too little. The latter are like students who go to school for a while, but do not want to complete their studies. They want to stop at grammar school or high school. These seekers are satisfied with an iota of Peace, Light and Bliss. They don’t feel that they need infinite Peace, Light and Bliss. But at times frustration looms large in their lives, and they expect infinite Peace, Light and Bliss overnight. God feels that it is absurd on His part to give them infinite Peace, Light and Bliss. They are still children. We do not give a child thousands of dollars. We give him just a penny. That is more than enough for him. Even if this child begs his father to give him a thousand dollars, the father knows that he will not be able to appreciate it or utilise so large a sum properly or wisely.
In the spiritual life, when his aspiration does not immediately satisfy the craving mind of the budding, beginning aspirant, this person very often leaves the spiritual path. He thinks he is wasting his time. He says, “I have tried. I have prayed to God to give me Peace, Light and Bliss, but He has not fulfilled my prayer. I tried so hard, but He has not listened.” But his conception of what kind of aspiration he has offered to the Supreme is not the Conception-Light of God. He is a child in the spiritual world. If he meditates fifteen minutes a day, he feels that he has played his role and that it is now God’s bounden duty to satisfy him, to fulfil his desires. But when one becomes a sincere seeker, one feels that it is God’s duty to bless him with Peace, Light and Bliss only in God’s own Time.
At our sweet will, we cannot demand Peace, Light and Bliss from above. Who wins the spiritual race? He who has patience. He who has inner courage. He who has the mounting inner cry, which we call aspiration. Each individual has only two things. When he is not in the inner life or in the life of the spirit, when he is in the body, in the vital and in the mind, at that time he has desire. But when he accepts the inner life, when he lives in the heart and the soul, he has aspiration. Desire has to possess one thing today, two things tomorrow and three things the day after tomorrow. Desire is like that. But aspiration does not go from one to two to three. Aspiration just tries to immerse us in the Sea of Peace, Light and Bliss. It does not try to possess the drops of this sea one by one.
From the ordinary point of view, desire is the most important. From the spiritual point of view, aspiration is the most important. If we desire something strongly, naturally we will get it sooner or later. In the world of desire, if we try very hard to get something or to achieve something, in the course of time we will succeed. And in the world of aspiration, if we desperately cry for Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure, we are also destined to achieve our goal in the course of time.
Now what do we need along with our aspiration? We need inner confidence. Right now hesitation looms large in our life. We want to do something, but hesitation does not allow us to do it. Doubt constantly plagues our mind. Hesitation kills our inspiration. It is impossible for us to achieve our purpose. But when we have aspiration, we automatically develop confidence in our life, inner confidence.
Now what is confidence? Confidence is the harbinger of success. With confidence we can accomplish everything sooner or later. Success is a very complicated thing. It is very difficult to achieve. When we think of success, we think of something pleasing and comforting to us. But this is success on the physical plane. On the spiritual plane, success is something that energises us and liberates us from the body-consciousness.
When we achieve success in the ordinary life, we feel that it is not sufficient. Today we achieve success in a particular sphere. Immediately we are subjected to more desires. We achieved success, but success does not satisfy us; success does not please us. We cry for success, but when this success dawns we want to achieve something else.
In the spiritual life, success is a different matter. Success is an inner progress. Progress is success in the process of evolution. We have evolved from the mineral life through the plant life to the animal life, and from the animal life to the human life. Now we are longing for the divine life. We are always in the process of evolution, and success is nothing other than our progress. When we make progress, what do we actually do? We manifest our inner Divinity, our inner Reality, our inner Immortality. When we manifest our Divinity and Reality, we feel that this Divinity and Reality, and God, are one and the same. The manifestation of our inner Divinity is the manifestation of God Himself, and what we call our manifestation is actually God’s own manifestation.
When we go deep within, we see that God Himself has chosen us as His instruments in order to manifest Himself in and through us. But when He manifests Himself in and through us we have to play our part, because the Creator and the creation always go together. The player and the instrument always go together. If there is no instrument, the player is useless; and, again, if there is no player, the instrument cannot do anything. Both are equally important in this case. When God manifests Himself in and through us, He gives us equal credit. When manifestation takes place, man and God smile together. The divine man and the Lord Supreme smile together. That is the sign of perfect manifestation.
We talk about aspiration. We talk about concentration, meditation and contemplation. Now why do we need them? We need them because we want to go back to our Eternal Home. Earth is our temporary home. Here we stay for fifty, sixty or seventy years. But we have an Eternal Home where we live forever, and that Eternal Home is deep inside our heart.
Right now we have four homes: Earth, Heaven, Death and God. Earth is our home. But from Earth what do we get? Frustration, only frustration. We work for the world. The world does not care. We work for our near and dear ones. They show no sign of gratitude. They do not fully acknowledge the fact that we are trying to help and serve them. So what happens then is that we look up. The song of aspiration dawns in our life. We want to see our Heavenly home, but we have no idea where Heaven is. We feel that Heaven is in the sky. Spiritual Masters, however, say that Heaven is deep inside our pure heart. We are not in a position to enter into the inmost depths of our heart, so Heaven right now is sheer imagination for us.
Our third home we reach at the end of our earthly journey, and that home is Death. When we enter into this home, we take rest from the battlefield of life. But our vast, eternal Home is God. When we think of God the Home, what happens to us? Consciously or unconsciously, we expect Love, Peace, Bliss, Infinity, Eternity, Immortality. These are the things God the Home is bound to grant us. Whatever we see in God the Home, whatever we expect from God the Home, we will get. If we need Peace, He will flood our being with infinite Peace. If we expect Light, He will surcharge our inner being with divine Light. Anything that we need or expect devotedly, soulfully and unconditionally, God is bound to give us. Why? Because He is all Love.
It is God who has taught us the secret of expectation. It is He who has taken the form of expectation in us, and it is He who meets with our expectation from above. When we expect aspiration from God, He becomes aspiration. It is through aspiration that He enters into His own perfection. Spiritual seekers know that God is the eternal Player. He is playing constantly with His aspiration and His realisation. His highest Transcendental Height and His purest Aspiration-Light go eternally together. His Life-Boat plies between the shores of Aspiration-Light and Transcendental Height.
MRP 19. Examination Hall, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, 14 June 1973.↩
God's School1We here are all seekers, seekers of the Infinite Truth. Although we do not belong to the same class, although our standard may not be the same, we are all studying in the same school. Some are in kindergarten, some are in primary school, some in high school, some in the university. But the name of the school is God’s School, and God is our only teacher. He teaches us two important things: how to illumine our inner life and how to sacrifice our outer life on the strength of our feeling of oneness with the world at large.
In this school, as in other schools, there are quite a few steps. We get six degrees or diplomas. The first diploma is the purification of our nature, the purification of our outer being. The second is salvation, salvation from the world of miseries and tribulations. The third is liberation from the snares of ignorance. The fourth is the realisation of our transcendental Self. The fifth is our revelation of the Absolute. The last and highest degree is our manifestation of the Absolute Supreme. These are the degrees we get in God’s School.
No seekers who want them will be denied these degrees. In the course of time, in the process of our inner evolution, we are bound to get at least the first three degrees. Each seeker, if he is sincere, has to feel that at every moment his life needs discipline — physical discipline, vital discipline, mental discipline, psychic discipline. If there is no discipline, then the individual will make little or no progress. But if there is discipline or self-control, then he can run very fast towards his goal.
Life has to be taken seriously. But if it is taken too seriously, then we will be pulling the Truth or pushing the Truth. By pulling or pushing we cannot achieve the Truth the way the Supreme within us wants us to achieve it. If we take life too seriously, immediately we expect something grand, great and momentous from life; and if we do not get what we want, immediately we feel frustrated. We feel that we are in a prison of futility. Life is fruitless, work is fruitless, everything is fruitless. We have to take life seriously, but if we take it too seriously, then we demand from life something which it is unable to give us immediately. Slow and steady is the answer here. Slowly, steadily, unerringly, we have to carry life towards its destination. We carry life with our aspiration; life carries us with its patience and perseverance in the journey towards the destined goal.
Some people take life very lightly, however. They think that life has nothing to give, so they wallow in the pleasures of ignorance, either consciously and deliberately or unconsciously. We have to know that these people have made friends with absurdity. Each life has come directly from the Highest Absolute. We cannot squander life. We have to feel that each life has a serious meaning of its own. The individual life will eventually be merged in the Cosmic Life. The finite, the light of the finite, the life of the finite, will be merged in the Infinite. We came from the Infinite. Here on earth we play our roles for fifty, sixty or seventy years, and then we depart. Then after a while with a new message, with a higher light, with a stronger power, we once again enter into the world to fulfil the Universal Life which abides in the individual life on earth. If we take life too lightly, if we do not pay enough attention to life, then we are unconsciously or consciously negating our inner possibilities and destroying our inner potentialities.
There is another way of accepting life, a human way. We can feel that we are, after all, human beings and thus are allowed to do certain things. We can feel that the experiences we get from life will eventually lead us to our destination, but since we are human beings, we may remain in the sea of ignorance for as long as we like. We can constantly err and still expect forgiveness from God. This is the human way of accepting life, or taking part in the human drama. But this attitude is also a deplorable mistake. We should feel that we have to come out of ignorance as soon as possible — not by violence, but on the strength of our aspiration. With our inner strength, inner urge, inner life, we must come out of the sea of ignorance.
There is a fourth way. We can take life divinely. Each moment we can feel that there is something called Divinity that is trying to loom large in our life. Every second Divinity wants to come to the fore. But consciously or unconsciously, we are not allowing it to do so. But if we pray and meditate, Divinity gets ample chance to come forward. That is why a sincere seeker, a seeker of the Absolute Truth, meditates daily. He feels the necessity of bringing his own Divinity forward, for in Divinity he feels a real sense of satisfaction.
Each individual seeker is crying for satisfaction. A child gets satisfaction from a piece of candy. A man of desire becomes satisfied when he gets a million dollars. A seeker who has just launched into the spiritual life is satisfied when he gets an iota of Light and Peace. We are all running after satisfaction. But real satisfaction, complete satisfaction, is still a far cry. Complete satisfaction will dawn only when God-manifestation in its highest aspect has taken place on earth. Right now, God-manifestation is taking place in a veiled and unenlightened way. Many, many people have realised God. Many of them have revealed God. But very few have been able to manifest God because they are surrounded by the unenlightened and unaspiring earth-consciousness. Unless and until the full manifestation of the Supreme takes place on earth, no seeker can be completely satisfied.
Realisation is one thing and manifestation is something else. Until manifestation has taken place, perfect Perfection cannot dawn. To climb up the mango tree is realisation. To climb down again with the mangoes and distribute them to those who do not have is revelation. And after the distribution, to make them feel that this mango is Nectar and Immortality, and that it is from each human being’s Immortality that the earth-consciousness will eventually be divinised and fully immortalised — this is manifestation. To climb up the mango tree is great, but it is not enough. We have to climb down again to distribute the mangoes and to make the world aware of their significance. Until we do this, our role is not complete and God will not be satisfied and fulfilled.
Every seeker is playing a significant role. At the very beginning of his journey, he should feel that he is a chosen child of God. If he thinks he is a chosen child of God, then many undivine attributes will automatically drop from his nature. If he can say, “I am a chosen child of God,” immediately he will have the inner courage to vehemently fight and chase away doubt, fear and temptation. Doubt will not be able to tell him that God-realisation is something absurd, or that he does not have the capacity to realise the highest Truth. Fear will leave him at once, because he will feel his oneness with God. The Christ used his Realisation-power to say, “I and my Father are one.” If an aspirant starts saying, “I and my Father are one,” it will be on the strength of his imagination-power. But what today we call imagination will be transformed into reality tomorrow. A scientist imagines the result of an experiment, then he performs it and discovers the reality. Today’s dream is tomorrow’s reality.
We have to start our spiritual journey with imagination. Inside imagination we have to feel our inner cry, which is aspiration, constantly trying to climb high, higher, highest in a never-ending upward journey. We all have this aspiration, so we are bound to realise the highest Truth.
God-realisation is not the sole monopoly of an individual. Many have realised God and many more will realise God, until a day comes when all will have realised the Highest. But there is something called God’s Hour. God’s Hour is the hour chosen by God. Today God is pleased with me. Tomorrow God will be pleased with you. The day after tomorrow He will be pleased with somebody else. The moment He is totally pleased with us, He grants us the boon of boons: God-realisation, God-discovery.
There are some seekers who are weak in their aspiration. I wish to tell them that if their aspiration is weak today, they will not always be doomed to disappointment. Carry on slowly, steadily. If you feel that you are weak, then immediately pray to the Lord, to the Inner Pilot, to offer you shelter. He is bound to give it. The cry of the weak seeker is for shelter and protection, and he can expect to get these from his meditation.
There are some seekers here who are strong, who meditate regularly, devotedly and soulfully. To them I wish to say that what they can and should expect from their meditation is joy, inner joy — the joy that conquers limitations, imperfections, bondage and death. Once one has conquered limitations, imperfections and bondage, one’s inner being will be flooded with immeasurable joy.
When the seeker is cheerful, when he is flooded with inner joy, inner light and inner delight, he must offer something to the Inner Pilot in order to fulfil and manifest Him. That offering is gratitude. He knows that it is the Inner Pilot who has surcharged his inner being with this Peace, Light and Delight in boundless measure. He now wants to manifest the Inner Pilot, the Supreme, on earth, and he does it through gratitude, soulful gratitude, constant gratitude. When he offers gratitude, the power, the quantity, even the quality of his Joy, Light and Delight automatically increase. How can he offer gratitude? He can offer gratitude easily and, at the same time, effectively through constant and conscious surrender of his will to the Will of the Supreme. He has to make himself feel that he is nothing other than an unconditional instrument at the Feet of the Lord Supreme. When he becomes an unconditional instrument of the Lord Supreme, the manifestation of Divinity, the manifestation of Reality, the manifestation of Immortality can and will take place here on earth.
Today we are thinking of God, meditating on God, contemplating on God, with the idea that one day we shall see God face to face. When we finally do see God face to face, we will not be satisfied. At that time we will try to have God as our very own. When we get God as our very own, we will then feel the need of consciously and constantly trying to become God. But it is not we who try; it is God within us who aspires. Today’s man is God unrealised. Tomorrow’s man will be God fully realised.
There is no end to a seeker’s journey. Every day we are surpassing our past achievements and transcending our previous goals. If we pray, if we concentrate, if we meditate, we will feel deep within us that we are constantly transcending ourselves. It is not a barrier that we are transcending, but an achievement. Yesterday’s goal was to see something. Today’s goal is to feel something. Tomorrow’s goal will be to become something. We have seen during our meditation that Reality, Divinity and Immortality do exist. We now feel that these are a part of our lives. It is only a matter of time before we grow into these realities and embody them in our lives.
MRP 20. Catholic Chaplaincy, Glasgow, Scotland, 16 June 1973.↩
Desire and aspiration1Yoga is a Sanskrit word. It means union, conscious union with the Highest, conscious union with the Absolute.
Spirituality is a vast subject. Yoga teaches us how to study this subject. Yoga also teaches us how to have a free access to God, the Absolute.
We are all one, inseparably one with God. But our oneness is an unconscious oneness. But if we follow yoga, if we practise spirituality, then our oneness with God becomes conscious. More than that, it becomes constantly and inseparably conscious.
Two things govern the world, only two things: desire and aspiration. Desire is for those who want to live an ordinary life, practically the life of an animal; and aspiration is for those who would like to live the life of the cosmic gods. The life of desire is immediately followed by destruction. The life of aspiration is followed by revelation, and revelation is followed by manifestation — manifestation of our Divinity, manifestation of the Inner Pilot and manifestation of the Absolute, fully and completely here on earth.
Some people are satisfied with what they have and what they are. What they have is material wealth and what they are is desire. They have desire, but their desires are fulfilled to a great extent and they are satisfied. For these people aspiration is nowhere to be found. They are lifeless, static beings. Those who suffer from frustration and dissatisfaction in the life of desire at least feel that desire is not giving them abiding satisfaction. They want to have something more, to achieve something or grow into something that will give them real satisfaction. In time, these people will feel that the life of desire and material prosperity is not the answer.
There are various reasons why people enter into the spiritual path or want to practise yoga. Some people enter into the spiritual life because the world has disappointed them or deserted them and they are filled with bitter disgust for the world. They feel that spirituality is the only answer.
Some people enter into the spiritual life because they see that suffering is omnipresent. Suffering is within, suffering is without, suffering is in their families, suffering is in themselves, suffering is in the world at large. They know that suffering is not the answer. Something else — Peace, Light and inner Delight — is the answer. And they feel that they can get these only from the spiritual life.
Some people have come to know that the root of suffering is desire. Because people consciously or unconsciously cherish teeming desires, they are compelled to suffer. When their desires are not fulfilled, they suffer from frustration; when their desires are fulfilled still they suffer, for they thought that the fulfilment of their desires would have been infinitely more meaningful and satisfying.
Some people have gone a step further and have come to realise that desire is not the real culprit. It is ignorance that is the real culprit. We wallow in the pleasures of ignorance, and ignorance compels us to desire at every moment. Our inner sky is overcast with clouds, and these clouds are ignorance. We can illumine this inner sky through our constant inner cry, the cry that we hear ceaselessly inside the very depths of our heart, in the inmost recesses of our being. When we cry inwardly, in our inner being we feel that there is a climbing flame. This flame goes high, higher, highest and touches the acme of perfection. This conscious inner cry has a special name, and that name is aspiration.
This inner cry will carry us into the world of infinite Beauty, infinite Delight, infinite Perfection. These worlds are for the people who enter into the spiritual life. They are blessed. They know the Truth. They know that material prosperity cannot give them immortal Life, immortal Light and Delight. It is impossible. Only the inner life, the life of aspiration and dedication, can give them this immortal Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure.
Of course, it does not matter why you enter into the spiritual life — whether suffering or frustration or any other factors have compelled you. Once you have accepted the spiritual life soulfully and devotedly, that is enough. Your readiness and eagerness in the spiritual path is the only important thing.
In the spiritual life there should not be any kind of calculation or intellectual approach, but only self-giving to the Inner Pilot. The approach has to stem from the inner being directly, and should not go through the mind or the intellect. This does not mean that you will totally discard and disregard the mind. But the mind that you are using right now is the physical, earthbound mind. Its capacity is very limited; but in spite of that it constantly judges you and others. The mind is always eager to suspect others. It feels that suspicion is the greatest wisdom. It feels that its doubting capacity is the greatest achievement. If the mind suspects or doubts, then it feels that it is doing something very great and significant. Naturally, you very often see that its judgements are totally wrong, because the mind’s judgements are based on its preconceived ideas and prejudices. But the heart is all love, all oneness, all spontaneity.
Stand in front of the ocean of spirituality and use the mind. It will say that the ocean is very cold and its waves are dangerous and ferocious. Doubt will tell you that the waves will drown you. But the heart will see the ocean, not as an ocean of destruction, but as an ocean of Illumination, an ocean of Perfection and Fulfilment. It will feel that if you jump into this ocean, you will be jumping into the sea of Reality, and that sooner or later you will become the Reality itself.
Some people are badly frightened by the ocean of spirituality. They feel that there will be no escape for them and that the ocean of spirituality will drown them. Just because they do not care for the ocean of reality, they are now swimming in the ocean of ignorance. We can be in only one place: either in ignorance-night or in Wisdom-Light. Ignorance-night is right in front of us and, at the same time, Wisdom-Light is deep within us. It is we who have to make the choice. If we accept the Wisdom-Light, then our life is bound to be transformed, illumined and perfected. But if we accept ignorance-night, then our life will be devoured and destroyed by ignorance. If we really want to walk along the path of spirituality, then constantly we will be inspired from deep within to follow the path of Light, and to grow into the Light slowly, steadily and unerringly. Then, at the end of our journey’s close, we will see the Inner Pilot, the Supreme Beloved, garlanding us with His transcendental Joy and divine Pride.
MRP 21. The Debater, Marischal College, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, 18 June 1973.↩
God and love1Dear seekers, dear sisters and brothers, I wish to give a short talk on God and love. God is omniscient. God is omnipotent. God is omnipresent. But knowing this, feeling this, does not satisfy me. Only when I feel that God is all Love, the all-loving Father and Mother, am I most satisfied. His aspect of love pleases me most, enlightens me most and energises me most. Therefore I would like to say a few things on God and love.
We started our journey from Heaven. There we were fond of God’s Dream. While we were in the soul’s region and not in the gross physical body, we loved God’s Dream, or we can say, we loved God the Dream. Now, what was God’s Dream? His Dream was to become many. He was one and He wanted to become many so that He could divinely enjoy Himself in infinite forms and shapes. In the realm of the soul, we all loved this Dream of God and wanted to become cosmic players so that we could participate in His Cosmic Drama.
Our soul entered into the world arena to become a conscious player in God’s Cosmic Drama. Then, when we entered into the world, we started loving God’s Beauty: God’s Beauty in nature, God’s Beauty in art, God’s Beauty in our life. We started loving God the Beauty. His infinite beautiful forms we tried to see with our eyes. We appreciate beauty in various forms in our experiences, in our actions, in our realisations. But there is one thing we want to achieve and grow into, and that is God’s Beauty and God the Beauty.
Then we feel the necessity, as we make progress in our spiritual life, of sensing and feeling Infinity. We are finite. We are now in earth-bound time. We are now wallowing in the meshes of ignorance. But we want to free ourselves from the meshes of ignorance. We feel that if we can come out of the finite and enter into the Infinite, then all our problems will be solved, we will have found ourselves. We look for Infinity here, there and everywhere, but we do not even begin to see or feel Infinity. But if we go deep within, if we enter into the inmost recesses of our hearts, we feel Infinity: we feel infinite Peace, Light and Bliss.
In Infinity there is a reality. But what is its source? Its source is Divinity in Immortality and Immortality in Divinity. To see, to feel, to grow into Divinity and Immortality, we enter into God’s Heart. How do we enter into God’s Heart? How do we have a free access to God’s Heart? Only on the strength of our inner cry, which we call aspiration. When our inner aspiration-flame mounts high, we enter into the Supreme, our eternal Pilot.
For an ordinary human being, desire is everything. For a spiritual seeker, aspiration is everything. In the field of aspiration, there comes a time when a seeker becomes consciously aware of the fact that he has to do the first thing first. Now what is this “first thing”? It is God. “First things first” means that God should come first in his life — not only in his inner life, but also in his daily multifarious activities. It means that God is to be loved first and foremost, both as the Deity and as all human beings. It means that first we have to love God as a personal Being and then as an impersonal Being. It is infinitely easier for us to approach God in His personal aspect than in His impersonal aspect. In His impersonal aspect, God is infinite Peace, infinite Light and infinite Energy, and in His personal aspect He is a most beautiful Being. He is much more beautiful than the most beautiful youth on earth. He has far more beauty than any human being. So first we go through the personal aspect of God and then to the impersonal, but we love both aspects — the personal and the impersonal.
Sometimes it happens that we accept God and enter into the spiritual life, but after a few years we give up the spiritual life. That is to say, we reject consciously and deliberately God’s Concern, Compassion, Love and Blessings. What does God do then? When we reject Him deliberately, after having accepted the spiritual path, what does He do? God offers us His compassionate Smile. He tells us, “Children, I am ready to wait for you. I shall wait for you to give Me another chance.” He will wait indefinitely. This is how the compassionate Father fulfils Himself in and through us when once we have appreciated God’s Love or God the eternal Love.
In our spiritual life, God comes first, then our self-discovery, our unconditional surrender to God and then our God-realisation. If we want to have abiding Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure in our inner being, then we have to make an unconditional surrender to the Will of the Lord Supreme.
A difficulty arises at this point in our spiritual life when we start to make progress on the strength of our devoted surrender. Quite often, the mind comes forward. The mind right now is in ignorance. It is unillumined. The mind has acquired much outer knowledge, but the mind is enmeshed in the physical and the vital. So what does this knowledge bring? Doubt and suspicion. The mind is constantly doubting. It doubts others, it doubts God and it even doubts its own existence. Doubt is its own authority. There is a constant battle going on between the doubting mind and the surrendering and surrendered heart. The mind tries to destroy the heart’s potentiality. But if we stick to our spiritual life, eventually the heart wins the battle. In the surrendered heart we notice tremendous faith. Faith is our wisdom, our inner wisdom. This inner wisdom tells us that we are of God and we are for God. We came from God and we are going to God, the Light and Delight. Here we are consciously and soulfully trying to manifest God on earth. And at the end of our journey’s close, we shall enter into the infinite Peace, Light and Bliss.
Once we have accepted God, it is up to us to continue loving Him and accept Him wholeheartedly, or to reject Him. When we enter into the spiritual life, we feel that we have entered consciously into God’s domain. We can make conscious progress, fast progress and fulfilling progress when we accept God wholeheartedly on the strength of our sincerity, purity, humility and love.
Once we have accepted God wholeheartedly, then God becomes our eternal friend and our eternal slave. At that time, when we pray to God, “God, give me this, God, give me that,” it becomes His bounden duty to please us. Once we offer our very existence to God, it becomes His responsibility to please us and fulfil us in His divine, supreme Way.
When we pray, when we meditate for a number of years, God, out of His infinite bounty, offers us a passport. If we have this passport, we can enter into Heaven — the higher worlds. There are seven higher worlds and seven lower worlds. If we do not aspire regularly, devotedly, systematically and soulfully, then this passport is confiscated. We lose our free access to the higher worlds, the inner worlds of Peace, Light and Bliss.
But there comes a time when each individual has to possess Peace, Light and Bliss. God’s choice Hour is for everyone. Today God’s Hour has struck for you. Tomorrow for him. The day after tomorrow for her. God will not be satisfied unless and until we all have achieved this Peace, Light and Bliss in boundless measure in our inner beings. He will be pleased only when we have discovered our inner existence and only when we consciously, soulfully and unconditionally take part in His Cosmic Game, fulfilling Him in His own Way. This we do only on the strength of our pure love, divine love, devoted and surrendered love to the Will of the Supreme, who is our Inner Pilot.
We are eternal travellers. In Heaven, we were dreamers, and on earth we are travellers along the road of Eternity. We shall reach our Goal of the Golden Beyond. This Golden Beyond is the eternally transcending Beyond. Today’s goal will be tomorrow’s starting point, just as yesterday’s goal is today’s starting point. There is no end to our realisation. We are always in the process of cosmic evolution, of our nature’s transformation, of our inner illumination and perfection.
MRP 22. Debating Chamber, University Student Union, University of Leeds, Leeds, England, 20 June 1973.↩
The spiritual Master1I am extremely happy to be here with you. All of you are aspiring in your own way, so you have given me ample opportunity to be of service to the Supreme in you. There is only one teacher, one Guru, and that is the Supreme. Since we are all seekers, we are all invoking the presence of our eternal Guru, the Supreme.
Most of you are practising spirituality and yoga. It is not a new subject to you. But I wish to say how I approach this particular subject. To me, spirituality is a box and yoga is the key, while God is the wealth or treasure inside the box. Each of you has this box, this key and this wealth. God is not the sole monopoly of spiritual Masters. Never! He is equally yours. Spiritual Masters come into the world to convince you that God-realisation is your birthright. You can claim God as your very own. You can also say the same thing that Christ said two thousand years ago: “I and my Father are one.” He said this on the strength of his conscious and constant inseparable oneness with his Father. We do not have that constant, conscious, inseparable oneness. There are days when we feel the Presence of God for a long time. Again, there are days when we feel the Presence of God for only a few minutes. And there are days when we do not feel the Presence of God at all. This being the case, how can we dare to say that God and we are one? We feel that we would be telling a deplorable lie. But like Christ, if we pray, if we meditate, if we discover the highest within ourselves, then the day will come when we will be able to declare the same, when each individual will be able to declare: “I and my Father are one.” It is not only possible, not only practicable, but it is inevitable that one day everyone will claim this same realisation.
Yoga is the way to get this realisation. Yoga means union, conscious union with God. Yoga teaches us how we can collect a bumper crop of realisation. This realisation is the realisation of our Divinity, of our Immortality, of the Infinite within us, of the Eternal within us.
According to our traditional Hindu system, there are three major yogas — Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Jnana Yoga. Karma Yoga is the yoga of dedicated service. Bhakti Yoga is the yoga of love and devotion. Jnana Yoga is the yoga of knowledge and wisdom. In Jnana Yoga we see an important, most powerful branch called Raja Yoga. In the West, this is what you call mysticism, yoga for the mystics.
There are also other yogas, such as Hatha Yoga and Japa Yoga. Here in the West many people practise Hatha Yoga. This is of great help, supreme help, in keeping the body fit. It relaxes your body and helps you in awakening your consciousness. But you have to know how far Hatha Yoga can take you. In the West, fortunately or unfortunately, many people are under the impression that Hatha Yoga can lead to the destination. But this is not so. Hatha Yoga is the starting point. Practising Hatha Yoga is like studying in kindergarten, whereas concentration, meditation and contemplation are the university courses. Even if you do not study in the kindergarten, you may easily get to the university. There are some good students, brilliant students, who skip some grades. They need not go to kindergarten. They start in primary school and then continue. But if you don’t start, then how are you going to reach your destination? Whatever Hatha Yoga can teach us, we should willingly learn, but we must not give undue importance to this small branch of the great tree of yoga.
If our mind is constantly subject to thoughts and ideas, if the thought-monkey is constantly biting us, then we have to take care. We have to fight against the mischievous monkey, thought. Hatha yoga can be of help in this. But there is another type of yoga called Japa Yoga which is a greater help. Japa Yoga is the repetition of a particular word or name of the Lord — Krishna, Rama, Kali, Supreme, Aum, etc. While we practise japa our mind is focused only on our chosen deity, a spiritual quality, a particular aspect of God, or a manifestation of God in a human body. This practice helps considerably in quieting and controlling the mind.
But if we can practise concentration, meditation and contemplation, then it is like taking a modern jet plane to reach our destination. If we want to go to Rome, we can go in various ways. It depends on how fast we want to reach our destination. We can go with the help of an Indian bullock cart, or we can go with the help of a jet plane. Naturally, the plane will take us to our destination much faster.
Now once we reach our destination, the game is not over. We have something else to do. We have to reveal the Truth, the Light that we have achieved and grown into. After revelation, still the game is not over. We have to manifest on earth the Light that we embody. While manifesting the Light of the Supreme, we are fulfilling the Supreme in His own Way. Before we start manifesting the Supreme in His own Way, we are only preparing ourselves to be the divine soldiers, chosen soldiers of the Infinite. But a day comes when we have realised, we are revealing and we have started manifesting. At that time we can claim to be the chosen instruments of the Supreme, the Inner Pilot.
I have been asked many, many times by seekers how yoga fits in with religion. The ultimate aim of each religion is to realise the highest Truth. Therefore, the goal of all religions is one. Yoga expedites one’s journey in each religion. That is the role of yoga. Yoga has a big heart. It includes all religions and, at the same time, it tells all religions to go beyond their boundaries. Yoga accepts, embraces all religions as its very own and, at the same time, inspires all religions to go beyond, far beyond their limited domains.
All seekers should follow their own respective paths, and feel that each path is like a boat. You have a boat of your own, I have a boat, she has a boat and he has another boat. If you remain in your boat, sooner or later you will reach your goal. But if you try to keep one foot in one boat and the other foot in another boat, or if you constantly jump from one boat to another, you will soon be drenched in the sea of ignorance, and you will never reach your destination.
But if you have no confidence in your boat, that is a different matter. You have been in school for some time and you feel that you are making no progress. The teacher is not satisfying you. Naturally you have every right to leave the school and find a school that satisfies you. Similarly, if you are not satisfied with your boatman, that is to say, your spiritual leader, you have every right to change the boatman and the boat.
Unfortunately, some seekers are not serious or genuine enough to discover this fact. They start their journey out of curiosity. When they start their spiritual journey out of curiosity, they are misled by outer things. The moment they hear that so-and-so has ten thousand disciples, immediately they want to become disciples of that particular Master. He is very great, they feel, otherwise how can he have ten thousand disciples? These curious seekers tend to accept a Master unwisely, with no proper sense of discrimination.
I wish to say that even though a particular teacher may have ten thousand disciples, he may not be your proper teacher. Your teacher may be somebody who has only two disciples. You may be his third disciple, and then perhaps he will not accept any more. But again, who knows? Your own Master may have thousands of disciples. There is nothing wrong in it. Even though he has thousands of disciples, he can easily have you in his boat, and he can carry you to your destined Goal.
Everything depends on your sincerity. Even after you have accepted a spiritual Master’s path, please feel that at every moment you have to play your role, you have to play your part. Some seekers say, “Now that I have a Master, a path, I don’t have to do anything. I can sleep day in, day out, in the boat.” But it is not like that. Each day you have to offer your own aspiration consciously, devotedly, intensely. Only then is it possible for the Master to give you his Peace, his Light, his Bliss. You have to give to the Master your aspiration, which is your achievement, and the Master has to give to you his achievement, which is his realisation. You have to give what you have, and the Master has to give what he has.
In this way the Master and the seeker, the Master and the disciple, become inseparably one. Your aspiration is of paramount importance and the Master’s realisation also is of paramount importance. With your aspiration and his realisation you and the Master are fulfilling the Divine, manifesting the Absolute on earth. You are giving something to the Master which is of infinite value, and on the strength of it he is manifesting the Absolute, the Infinite on earth. The Master and the disciple are of equal importance as players in God’s Cosmic Game.
But the seeker needs to have constant faith in his Master, as the Master has faith in him. Once he accepts someone as his disciple, the Master has boundless faith in that particular seeker. But the seeker, the disciple, quite often loses faith in the Master and in himself. Now if he loses faith in his Master, his progress will be delayed but not ended. He can go to some other Master. Perhaps the second one is actually his real Master. So naturally he will make progress. But if the seeker loses faith in himself, then his spiritual life has ended. In the spiritual life, if one loses faith in oneself, then he is lost. He is a babe in the woods. At that time he is not only helpless, but also hopeless.
The Master is your friend, your eternal friend, who helps you to realise the highest in yourself. He helps you to open your inner treasure chest with your key — not his key — and shows you your own treasure. Once he shows you your own treasure, his part of the game is over. In the ordinary life, if you take help from someone to accomplish something, you are under obligation to give that person some fee or compensation. But in the spiritual life, you do not have to give the Master anything but aspiration. When he helps you in your God-realisation, your very aspiration is his fee. You have aspired to find your inner treasure, and he has been of help to you. He feels that if you have accepted him to be of service, that in itself is his fee. The joy of serving God in you is sufficient salary for the Master.
A spiritual Master is he who constantly plays the eternal Game and swims across the sea of ignorance, carrying seekers to the shore of Light and Delight. A spiritual Master is an elder brother, the eldest son. Being the eldest in the family, he knows a little more than his younger brothers and sisters, so he leads or carries the younger ones to the Father. Once he shows his younger brothers and sisters where the Father is, his role is over.
So dear friends, dear seekers, dear sisters and brothers, we are all aiming at the same Goal. We have all started the journey. We have launched into the spiritual path. We are no longer at our starting point. We are on our way to our destination. It is up to us whether to run slowly or to run fast. If we want to run fast, faster, fastest, then we have to simplify our outer life, our life of confusion, our life of desire, our life of anxiety and worry. And at the same time, we have to intensify our inner life, our life of aspiration, our life of dedication and illumination.
MRP 23. Oakland High School, Mansfield, England, 21 June 1973.↩
Yesterday, today and tomorrow1Everybody knows about spirituality according to his own aspiration, according to his capacity and according to his receptivity. Since we are all seekers here, we are supposed to know something about spirituality and we do know a considerable amount. As a seeker of the Absolute, the Transcendental Supreme, I wish to share with you my own knowledge of spirituality.
In my view, spirituality means acceptance of life — acceptance of the inner life first and then acceptance of the outer life, the ordinary life. First we have to accept the inner life. Then, from the inner life, we have to discover and bring to the fore the light, peace and bliss from our soul, to inundate our outer life.
In my view, spirituality can never mean the rejection of life or the total negation of life. To me, spirituality means the true acceptance of life. We have to accept life as it is now. But we must not be satisfied with this life, we cannot be satisfied with this life as such. It is our bounden duty to change the face of the world. But how can we do it? We can do it only when we ourselves are changed within and without. When we are transformed, we are in a position to be of service to mankind. When we can live in the soul and not in the gross physical we are ready to offer our dedicated service to aspiring mankind.
According to my humble philosophy, spirituality should never take shelter in the Himalayan caves. Those days of the hoary past are buried in oblivion. Now we have to face the world. If we enter into the Himalayan caves to look for God, then we are deliberately ignoring the possibility of an integral change, the transformation of our physical, vital, mental and psychic life. Here on earth, amidst multifarious activities, we have to realise the Highest, we have to fulfil the transcendental Supreme.
Our spiritual philosophy tells us that today needs a man of action. Today’s man cannot build castles in the air. Today’s man cannot remain unillumined. But who are these men of action? If you say that men of action are only those who are practical, it is true to some extent. But really practical men of action are those who have the divine courage to drink of something vast, infinite, eternal and immortal. Men of action are those who challenge ignorance and are ready to fight against ignorance-night, those who want to establish the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth. Yesterday these men of action were all dreamers, but these dreamers were divine dreamers. In their case, dream and reality went together. Dream was the direct vision and reality was the manifestation of this vision. Yesterday’s divine dreamers are today’s men of action, today’s divine warriors. Tomorrow these men have something else to do — tomorrow they have to be the pathfinders and the harbingers of a new dawn, a new light. They have achieved Light; they have grown into Light. Now it is their bounden duty to reveal Light to the world at large. These divine warriors, these men of action, tomorrow have to offer Light to the suffering, bleeding and sinking humanity.
Today we are all seekers. What were we yesterday? Yesterday we were in the world of doubt, teeming doubt. Our mind allowed teeming doubts to enter into us, or our mind cherished teeming doubts and made us feel that doubting others or doubting oneself was the acme of self-discovery. Yesterday we doubted God’s existence, we doubted our friends, our relatives, we doubted ourselves, we doubted everyone.
When we doubt others, in the outer world we may not lose anything. When we doubt God, in the outer world we may not lose anything. But when we doubt ourselves, we lose everything. We lose in the outer world and we lose in the inner world as well. We become veritable beggars. The moment we start doubting ourselves we weaken our possibilities and unconsciously destroy our inner potentialities.
Today we are seeking infinite Truth, infinite Light and infinite Peace. Now where can we get infinite Peace, Light and Truth? Here, inside the spiritual heart. We talk about the Universal Consciousness; we talk about the Transcendental Reality. Where is the Universal Consciousness? Where is the Transcendental Reality? Where is the message of the eternal Beyond? They are not in the physical but in the spiritual heart. The spiritual heart houses the Universal Consciousness, the Transcendental Reality, the message of the eternal, ever-transcending Beyond.
Tomorrow, what will we become? Today we are seekers; tomorrow we have to become divine lovers. In human love we are bound to be frustrated sooner or later, but in divine love we establish our oneness with our Beloved consciously, devotedly, soulfully and unconditionally.
We have to offer to the Supreme in humanity everything that we have achieved on the strength of our today’s aspiration. Offering is our self-revelation. Self-revelation is our self-offering. When we offer our Peace, Light and Bliss, we have to know that we are offering it to our own ignorant, obscure, impure, unillumined part. We are not offering it to somebody else at all. Let us say that the heart is illumined. But we have to know that the feet are also an integral part of our body. The feet, legs, arms, hands, eyes and every other part complete the whole human body. Similarly, we can take the rest of the world as part and parcel of our being, the part that needs illumination. I do not mean to say that the rest of the world is our feet, far from it. I am only saying that a portion of our entire being is unlit or unillumined.
We have two rooms: the heart and the mind. The heart has achieved or received illumination. It is now obligatory on the part of the heart to enter into the mind to illumine it. We have to feel at every moment that the mind-room — which we can call with utmost simplicity, honesty and humility our unillumined part — is ours. We have to claim the mind-room as our very own, and the mind-room also has every right to claim us. It is we who have to offer Light from the heart-room to the mind-room. And from whom have we already received this Light? From the soul, which is the divine representative of the Supreme.
We who are here on earth have come from somewhere else — far, very far away — into the world arena. What did we do, what did we say to the Lord Supreme when we left our Celestial Abode? We made a solemn promise to the Supreme that here on earth we would realise Him most perfectly, and here on earth we would reveal Him, manifest Him and fulfil Him in His own Way. This was our solemn promise to the Supreme, and He was extremely proud of the soulful promise of His divine children.
But now we do not remember our promise. Now we may consciously and deliberately try to deceive the Supreme and go back on our promise because we want to wallow in the pleasures of ignorance. But He knows that our promise was sincere and genuine, and He knows that we shall fulfil our promise to Him either today or tomorrow, either in the near future or in the distant future. He has that Vision. But we have eclipsed our vision by deliberately making friends with ignorance. We are fond of swimming in the sea of ignorance instead of swimming in the Sea of Knowledge and Light.
Once we actually enter into this world we make an inner promise to our soul and to the world at large that we will help mankind, serve mankind and illumine mankind. In silence we consciously make a solemn promise in the inner world that we will offer constant and conscious service to humanity. Like a beggar, the world looks to us to fulfil our promise. The world looks to each individual to fulfil his promise, but we do not do it. That is why the world is suffering, and still caught in the meshes of ignorance.
Is there anything on earth that can help us fulfil our promise to the Supreme and to the world? Yes. It is called experience, divine experience. Experience carries us into the past. It brings the message of the past and tells us how foolish we were yesterday. Yesterday we did not care for sublime realities, we did not care for God-manifestation. But today we do care for God-realisation, God-revelation and God-manifestation. How foolish we were yesterday! Today we are the same person, but now we earnestly pray and meditate for God-realisation, God-revelation and God-manifestation.
Experience tells us something more. The mistakes that we made in the past can easily be rectified by virtue of our inner awakening and self-discovery. A room can remain unlit for years, for centuries, but the moment we bring light into it, it is lit, it is illumined. We can see that our inner room has been unlit for millennia, but that is no reason why it cannot be illumined as soon as possible. We can illumine it and we have to illumine it. How do we do it? We do it on the strength of our inner cry, which we call aspiration. In the outer life, when a child cries, the mother runs immediately to the child. Whatever the child wants and needs the mother brings. Likewise, when we cry inwardly for the highest Truth, Light and Bliss which we desperately need, the Transcendental Supreme runs to us and fulfils us in infinite measure.
MRP 24. Botany Lecture Theatre, University College, London, England, 22 June 1973.↩
The seeker's four lives1Dear seekers of the infinite Light and Truth, dear sisters and brothers of the Spirit Universal, here in Zurich I see and feel indomitable strength: strength of the body, strength of the vital, strength of the mind and strength of the heart. In the spiritual life nothing is as important as strength and courage. But this strength is not the strength of a hostile force to be utilised for an undivine purpose. Your strength, spiritual strength, is being utilised for a new dawn and a new era. You are inundated with the strength of the spirit, the strength that we call inner strength.
Four thousand years ago the Indian seers of the hoary past, the Vedic seers and sages taught us this sublime truth: Nayam atma bala-hinena labhyo. "The soul cannot be won by the weakling." Only the strong can face the teeming ignorance-night and transform it into wisdom-day. He who lacks strength will never dare to enter into the spiritual life.
When we enter into the spiritual life we become fully conscious of our four simultaneous lives. It is only in the spiritual life that we become aware of our animal life, human life, divine life and immortal Life. Before we enter into the spiritual life, these lives are practically unknown to us, simply because we are not conscious of their existence.
What do we mean by the animal life? The animal life is the life of jealousy, doubt and destruction or conscious annihilation. The animal life is like a strong and binding rope. Although the propensity of the animal life is to fight and destroy, there is something in the process of evolution that tries to curb this destructive tendency. That is why from the animal life we enter into a higher form, the human life.
In the human life we still notice a half-animal life. That is to say, we still quarrel, fight, destroy and do many other undivine things. But in the human life we also notice something very meaningful and fruitful, which is called hope. We cherish and treasure an illumining hope. Hope is not something vague and tempting yet millions of miles away from the actual blossoming of reality. No, hope is something that is pushing us forward, pulling us upward to a sublime Reality. Hope is constantly helping us and energising us to run towards the destined Goal.
At times we see that our hopes are smashed into millions of fragments. Why does this happen? It happens precisely because we do not feed our hope with aspiration, with our inner cry. We hope for something, but when difficulties arise we just calmly and peaceably give up our hope. Instead of hope’s deserting us, very often we desert hope. We do not give hope a full chance to continue its journey.
In the spiritual life we become aware not only of the animal and the human life, but of the divine life as well. In the divine life we get constant opportunities. We are told that opportunity does not often knock at our door, but when we try to live the divine life, we come to realise that opportunity knocks at our door at every second. We are told that God’s choice Hour dawns once in a blue moon, but this is not true. When we enter into the spiritual life we see that God’s Hour strikes at every moment. We have only to avail ourselves of each glowing opportunity and of each golden moment.
When we follow the spiritual life we have to make friends with joy. God is constantly offering us this joy, but we are rejecting it ruthlessly at every moment. We prefer to wallow in the pleasures of ignorance. Now, there is an easy and effective way in which we can inundate our being with real joy. It is through our constant inner cry. Outwardly we cry for name and fame, outer achievements and material possessions. But when we cry inwardly, when we cry from deep within, from the inmost recesses of our heart, what we are crying for is Light, Delight, divine Illumination, divine Perfection. The inner life tells us that Delight in infinite measure is at our disposal, that it is our birthright. But because we do not consciously try to claim it as our very own, Delight is still a far cry.
Now what is the difference between pleasure and Joy or Delight? Pleasure is something that is bound to be followed by frustration, and inside frustration what looms large is destruction. We can confidently say that today's pleasure will be tomorrow's frustration and the destruction of the day after tomorrow. But when we follow the spiritual life we see deep within us the fountain of Joy and Delight. This Delight continuously increases in our awakened being. The seeker in us knows perfectly well that our origin was Delight. Anandadd hy eva khalv imani bhutani jayante… "From Delight we came into existence. In Delight we grow or expand our consciousness. At the end of our journey's close, into Delight we retire." Delight is our origin, and our goal is to go back consciously to the Source, which is all Delight.
What is Delight or Bliss? It is inner freedom, nothing else. This inner freedom, when properly used, brings to the fore the outer freedom. If the inner freedom does not energise or instruct or illumine the outer freedom, the outer freedom will often act like a mad elephant. In today’s world we see how freedom is misused by millions and millions of people. But when the inner freedom comes to the fore and inspires the outer freedom, the outer freedom will reach the destined goal safely and, at the same time, most convincingly and most satisfactorily.
The immortal Life is the life that contains the divine life in its fullest measure. At the same time, it has destroyed the binding rope of the animal life and energised the human life to enter into the divine life. When we enter into the immortal Life, the animal in us is either destroyed or totally transformed, as night is transformed into day. Our human weakness is transformed into strength. Our imperfection is transformed into perfection. All human frailties are illumined and transformed into an ever-growing, ever-fulfilling Light and Delight.
How can we make steady progress, convincing progress, in our spiritual life? We can make satisfactory, conscious and fulfilling progress only by smiling — smiling at the world, smiling at our reality, smiling at Heaven. Each time we smile at any particular reality, if it is a divine reality, our smile immediately increases our capacity, and if it is something undivine, then our smile weakens or destroys its undivine possibilities and potentialities. Now, this smile is not just an ordinary human smile. This smile comes directly from the depths of our heart and from the full awakening of our soul. It immediately makes us feel that we have pleased and fulfilled our Inner Pilot.
We get this inner smile through prayer and meditation. When we pray, we feel that sooner or later God will come to us and fulfil our prayer. Or very often we go to God through our prayer, and then God fulfils us. Either we go to God or God comes to us. Here in the Western world, we give more importance to prayer than to meditation. There is nothing wrong with this. If I like my right eye more than my left eye, and if you like your left eye more than your right eye, there is nothing wrong in it. Prayer and meditation are like two eyes. Both eyes are eager to show us the Light and offer us the Light.
There are many people in the West who go to churches, synagogues and other spiritual places to pray. But their prayers have become mechanical. They are a monotonous routine. You have to eat your breakfast; you eat it, but there is no joy in it. It has become a daily routine. But I wish to say that when we pray, we must pray with a feeling of intensity, with the idea of working for the thing we want to have. If we do this, there is every possibility that our prayers will be sanctioned and granted. We have to envision the result while praying. If we do not envision the reality we are praying for, then immediately there will be a yawning gap between our prayer and the result we are seeking, between the dream and the reality.
But it is only the beginner who will pray in this way, always wanting what he calls satisfactory results from his prayers. When we grow in the spiritual life, in the process of our inner evolution there comes a time when we see that what counts most is not the fulfilment of our prayer at all. We want good results, but if good results come in the form of defeat or failure, so to speak, we accept them with equal joy. In fact we get enormous joy when we can offer our so-called defeat at the Feet of God. In the spiritual life, victory and defeat are like the obverse and the reverse of the same coin. This is the second stage of our development, when we can offer the same joy to God whether our prayer is fulfilled in our own way or not.
The third and last stage is when we pray to God constantly, but do not care for the result whatsoever. We feel that our business is only to pray, and the rest is God’s business. We have the inner urge to pray unconditionally, and we feel that it is the divine responsibility of our Inner Pilot to sanction our prayer or not. If He does not sanction it, we do not mind at all. When we can pray unconditionally we make the fastest progress.
There is another way to make the fastest progress, and that is through conscious and constant surrender to the Will of the Supreme. Now, surrender is a very complicated word. An idle human being surrenders to ignorance, to the world. He does not want to make any progress. He has surrendered to his fate, and he will not lift a finger. But that kind of surrender is no surrender. That is only self-deception, and self-deception is nothing other than self-destruction.
Then again, there is the surrender of a slave to his master. A slave surrenders to his master out of fear or outer compulsion. But in the spiritual life there is no outer compulsion, none whatsoever. It is our inner being that compels us from deep within to offer our surrender to the Supreme Pilot. It makes us feel an inner urge to surrender. We feel that we are right now just an iota of the infinite Truth. But when this little iota of truth merges into the Sea of Truth, it loses its individual personality and becomes the Universal Reality, the Universal Individuality, the Universal Immortality.
In the spiritual life, we have to offer our aspiration, our prayer, our concentration, our meditation and our contemplation consciously to God. We have to make a conscious personal effort and, at the same time, we have to offer our inner surrender to God. We must feel that we can sincerely say, “Lord, this much I can do with my hands. This much I can do with my eyes. This much I can do with my physical capacity. The only thing more than that which I have is the capacity to surrender, and this I am giving to You.”
In the spiritual life, conscious and divine surrender is the only way to realise the Highest, to grow into the Highest, to reveal the Highest and to manifest the Highest — the Transcendental Reality. When we consciously try to offer all our capacity to God, and to offer Him also our divine unconditional surrender, then in return He will offer us His infinite Joy, Light, Peace and Power. At that time He offers us the message of His divine Victory and gives us the capacity to become His chosen instruments to establish the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth.
MRP 25. Horsaal 120, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, 25 June 1973.↩
Spiritual purity1We are all seekers, seekers of Light and seekers of Peace. Each one of us is a seeker in his own way. Each one is spiritual according to his capacity and according to his present necessity. Somebody may be more spiritual than somebody else because he has opened his existence more completely to his inner light. When the sun rises, if we open the doors and windows of our house, naturally we get more sunlight. In the spiritual life also, when we open the door of our heart, then more Light can pass through from our inner being.
In the outer world at every moment we expect something from others or from ourselves. Very often we do nothing for others, but still we expect quite a few things from them. We may work very hard for others or for ourselves and yet not get anything in return, but we expect. At every moment we expect. But we are making a deplorable mistake here. We should expect only from the right person, and the right person is God. If we knock at the wrong door then we shall never get the result. We have to knock at the right door, which is God's Door: our spiritual heart.
Now we have to know what we can expect from the spiritual life. If we expect from the spiritual life the things that we expect from our material life, our mundane life, then we will be sadly disappointed. If we follow the spiritual life in order to fulfil all our teeming, countless desires, to become the richest or most famous person on earth, or to become the supreme sovereign of this world, then we are not fit for the real spiritual life. But if we follow the spiritual life to get peace of mind, or because we love God, then we can expect results: we can expect Peace, Light and Bliss in abundant measure. Just because God is inside the spiritual life and His constant Blessing is being showered on all seekers, a seeker can expect a most comfortable, pleasant life, a life of name and fame. But if he wants to follow the real spiritual life, the life that needs only God, that needs only Peace, Light, Truth and Bliss, then he will not care at all for earthly possessions and earthly achievements.
The world has everything to offer us save and except peace. We can travel the length and breadth of the world and still not find real peace. So where can peace be found? It is deep within us. In the inmost recesses of our heart we all have peace, but unfortunately we have not discovered it. How do we discover it? We discover peace through our constant prayer and meditation. But if this prayer comes only from the physical mind, it will not be very soulful. Only if it comes from the very depths of our heart will this prayer be soulful, and only then will God be bound to answer it.
In the spiritual life, if we can pray well, if we can meditate well, then peace of mind, light and delight are bound to dawn on our devoted heart, searching mind and illumined soul. In order to follow the spiritual life, we must lead a life of purity. Otherwise, like a bad student, we shall always fail our examination and remain in the same class. But if we can establish purity in our physical body, in our vital and in our mind, then we will pass our examination with great honours.
How do we establish purity? We establish purity in the physical through the feeling that we do have inner Light, through our conscious awareness of our inner Light and through the feeling that this Light is eagerly waiting to come to the fore. When we have established purity in the physical, the success we have in any sphere of life becomes permanent. But if we have not established enough purity, then nothing is permanent either in our ordinary life or in our spiritual life. We establish purity in the vital by opening ourselves to the soul's Light. When we have established purity in the vital, the life of aggression leaves us and is replaced by the life of dynamism, vital dynamism. Vital aggression destroys everything but vital dynamism creates. It builds a new world for the seeker within us. When we establish purity in the mind, we consciously and deliberately annihilate doubt, fear and anxiety in ourselves. When we have established purity in our mind, we notice that we do not cherish even an iota of doubt, an iota of suspicion or any wrong, undivine, obscure, unlit or impure thoughts. How do we achieve purity in the mind? We do this by constantly offering our mind to our heart, our spiritual heart, which is in constant touch with the soul. When the mind gets illumination from the heart it has free access to the soul's Light. We can also derive abundant purity from our concentration, meditation and contemplation. But those who do not want to go through this discipline, even those who are not following a strict spiritual life can establish purity in their life, through proper breathing.
The moment we speak of breathing, we find that people become frightened. They feel that if they do not breathe properly, they may get into serious trouble. But I wish to say that even if you do not get a spiritual Master who can teach you how to breathe properly, there is still a way that you can regulate your breathing. It is through constant repetition of the name of your chosen deity or of God. This repetition is called japa. If you can repeat the name of God constantly during your prayer and meditation, automatically the sincerity of your japa will regulate your breathing. There are many, many who do not have spiritual Masters to teach them the Indian methods of pranayama, or breath control, but they learn to breathe properly on the strength of their most sincere repetition of God's Name.
A child, before his mind is developed, before he knows what thought is, breathes in properly, systematically, in a divine way. But when he grows up, when his mind develops and he enters into the hustle and bustle of life, he loses this capacity. The spiritual life is actually a conscious return to our divine childhood. In the spiritual life we must always feel that we are children of God, chosen children of God. It is a child that makes progress. A child is always open to new feelings, new ideas, new dreams, new ideals. In the spiritual life also, a seeker is always open to higher truths, higher thoughts, sublime ideals and soulful aspiration. It is the bounden duty of the parents to take care of a child. Likewise, in the spiritual life, when we consciously become children of God, it becomes His bounden duty to guide us, mould us and shape us in His very Image.
MRP 26. L'Aula, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland, 28 June 1973.↩
Aspiration and wisdom1Spirituality is a subject to be studied, as we study history, geography, science and other subjects. When we study the subject of spirituality, we discover our inner being, our real being, our true existence. When we become spiritual, that is to say, when we aspire, we see that there are four important things on earth: desire, aspiration, knowledge and wisdom.
Desire is something that binds us constantly. It will not allow us to free ourselves from ignorance. Aspiration is something that tells us about the Infinite and carries us into infinite Peace, Light and Bliss. Knowledge is something mostly of the mental world. Very often what we call knowledge is nothing but mental information. This kind of knowledge is not sufficient; it disappoints us quite often. We soon come to realise that knowledge does not carry us very far. Wisdom is something that comes to the fore from within, from the Light of the soul. When we discover wisdom, we feel that we are in conscious oneness with the Almighty Father.
Since we are all seekers here, let us deal with aspiration and wisdom. When a child cries, his mother runs to him immediately with food. A seeker is a spiritual child. When his aspiration-cry begins, the Almighty Father flies to him with the nectar of Immortality. Wisdom is the Light of the soul. We achieve the Light of the soul, we grow into the Light of the soul, on the strength of our inner cry. The more sincere we are, the sooner our inner wisdom dawns.
How do we get aspiration and wisdom? It is through positive thoughts. There are two types of thoughts, positive and negative. When we follow the spiritual life we always welcome positive thoughts. A positive thought is: “I am of God, I am for God.” A negative thought is: “I am nothing, I am useless.”
How can we have positive thoughts? We can have positive thoughts, God-thoughts, when we associate with people who pray to God and live a simple, sincere, pure and humble life. But there comes a time when we go beyond even positive thoughts and enter into God’s Will. We surrender consciously to the Will of God at every moment. At that time, for us there is no positive thought, no negative thought — only God’s Will to regulate and direct our life.
MRP 27. Milan, Italy, 30 June 1973.↩
The divine host and the divine guest1Dear sisters and brothers, since we are all seekers of the infinite Truth, we are all believers in God and lovers of God. Now, sometimes we believe in something first and then we see that our belief is correct. And sometimes we see something first and then we believe in it. In the spiritual life, when we believe first and then see, we get much more joy than if we see first and then believe. When we see God before we believe in Him, we will only get one percent joy. But if we first believe in God and then later see Him, at that time we get one hundred percent joy.
Now, what is belief? It is not only an inner, but also a conscious awareness of truth. After belief, what we feel is faith. Faith is something unshakeable. Faith tells us constantly that our source is God. Once our inner and constant faith dawns, our road to God becomes very clear.
We are all lovers of God, according to our capacity and receptivity. A child is fond of his father, not because his father is a well-educated or a great man, but because his father loves him. There comes a time in the spiritual life when we realise that we love God because He is all love, and not because He is omnipotent, omniscient or omnipresent.
A child cries. The mother feels that it is her duty to come to the child. She offers food, toys or attention. She will give anything to please her child. In the spiritual life, when we become children and cry for Peace, Light and Bliss, God, our Inner Pilot, comes and brings these things to us.
God is our eternal Friend. When there are two friends, today one is the guest and the other is the host, and tomorrow it is reversed. Today I am the guest and God is the host. Tomorrow I am the host and God is the guest.
How can I say this? I can say it on the strength of my aspiration. When I pray, God becomes the host. When I pray, I go to my host, God. When I meditate, I am the host and God is the guest. I invite God in and keep my heart’s door fully open. As in the ordinary life two friends visit each other’s homes, so in the spiritual life each person can spend time in two homes. One is his heart and the other is God’s Heart. There is always a free access between a sincere seeker’s heart and God’s Heart. Constantly he goes from one to the other. This is how we fulfil God in His Game.
MRP 28. La Grande Salle, Federation Internationale d'Accueil de Paris, Paris, France, 2 July 1973.↩
Spiritual strength1Dear sisters and brothers, I wish to offer my deepest joy and gratitude to Germany. Here in Germany, mind-power has reached its zenith. Right from my childhood, Germany has always been for me a country of determination and strength. Determination and strength we need in every sphere of life. In the spiritual life, too, at every moment we need abundant strength, for we have to fight bravely against fear, doubt, worry, jealousy and imperfection. Only a brave aspirant can conquer all his inner enemies.
Why do we enter into the spiritual life? Why do we need God? We need God because God alone can give us abiding and everlasting satisfaction. We cry for material wealth. Eventually, we acquire material wealth, but from material wealth we get practically no satisfaction. Today we have a house, tomorrow we want to have two houses, the next day we want three houses. We may get what we want, but in our acquisition there is no real satisfaction.
When we pray and meditate, we feel that there is something in us, someone in us who is more than eager to satisfy us. That something in us is our inner cry, and that someone in us is our Inner Pilot, God. From the spiritual life, which is the life of pleasing God, we can expect everything. We can and we do get everything if we can truly please God. If we pray to God most soulfully to give us a million dollars, if we can please Him with our sincere aspiration and our soulful prayer, there will come a time when He will make us really rich. Through our prayer, we can fulfil our desires.
But there is another type of prayer which we call aspiration. With aspiration we do not try to get anything. We just try to expand and liberate ourselves and to manifest the Divine on earth.
In the spiritual life, as I said before, will-power and strength are most important. We need strength in the physical, we need strength in the vital, we need strength in the mind, we need strength in the heart. When we have physical strength, when our physical body is full of dynamic energy, we do not fall sick. If we want to meditate early in the morning, the body is ready to help us. If we do not have a healthy, sound body, in spite of our best intention to meditate, the body will revolt and will offer us a stomach upset or a headache or some other ailment that will disturb us.
If we have strength in the vital, then we dare to hope, we dare to accomplish, we dare to conquer all negative forces within us and around us. The strength in the vital we can utilise either to build or to destroy. But we must use this vital strength to build the palace of Light, Peace and Truth, and not to destroy anything.
Two things are constantly trying to destroy our mind: one is fear and the other is doubt. When we have strength in the mind, we do not allow fear or doubt to enter into our mind. Real death comes to us only once in life. But, in a sense, death comes to us almost every day when we allow fear and doubt to enter into our mind. When we welcome or cherish doubt, it is like drinking poison. Doubt negates all our divine possibilities and divine capacities. However, with our prayer and meditation, we strengthen our mind.
If a man does not have strength in the heart, he may have hundreds of friends, but he will feel lonely. He may be very wealthy, but he will feel insecure. But when one prays and meditates, he makes his heart strong and feels there the Presence of the Almighty God. And when one feels the Presence of God in his heart, how can he feel lonely or insecure?
When we have strength in the body, in the vital, in the mind and in the heart, we become fully ready to realise the Highest. God has given the capacity to each and every one of us to discover the real Divinity, the real Reality within us. But we need regular prayer and meditation in order to bring our capacity to the fore and utilise it. If one likes to pray, he can pray. If somebody else likes to meditate, he can meditate. If one wants both to pray and to meditate, he can do so.
It is only through prayer and meditation that we can eventually discover our Dearest, our absolutely Dearest One on earth and in Heaven. And who is this Dearest One? Is He somebody other than ourselves? No! He is our highest and most illumined part. When we pray and meditate, we discover our own highest part. It is our feet discovering our head. It is a leaf discovering its source, the tree. It is the finite discovering its source, the Infinite.
MRP 29. Horsaal 1, University of Frankfurt, Frankfurt, West Germany, 4 July 1973.↩
Aspiration and spirituality1To start with, I wish to offer my deepest gratitude to the soul of Sweden. Sweden’s soul reminds me of the soul of India. Here I see the simplicity and profundity of heart that I see in India. Also, I see and feel here the eagerness to know something, to do something and to grow into something, which I see and feel in the United States.
Spirituality is a vast subject. If we want to learn this subject in a simple and, at the same time, effective manner, then we must practise yoga. Yoga is a Sanskrit word. It means conscious union with God. We are all seekers here. We are not atheists; for us God exists. But we are not constantly aware of God in our mind or in our day-to-day life. Once a day, perhaps, we become aware of the existence of God, and once a week we may think of God, even though we do believe in His existence. But when we practise yoga, we learn to feel our conscious, constant and inseparable oneness with God, our Inner Pilot.
Spirituality is not something unearthly. It is not something abnormal. It is not something unusual. Spirituality is something normal, natural and most fulfilling. If someone tells you that in order to practise true spirituality and discover the highest Truth, you have to shun society, you have to enter into the Himalayan caves, then I wish to say that this advice is incorrect. Spirituality, real spirituality, tells us to stay here on earth and feel the existence of God in the multifarious activities of our day-to-day life. We have to brave the challenge of the world. We have to fight against the enemies that we have deep within us: fear, doubt, anxiety, jealousy and imperfection. If we retreat to the Himalayan caves or to the farthest reaches of the globe, then our nature will remain imperfect. We have to conquer these undivine, hostile forces right here and now — here on earth, in the midst of society.
We practise spirituality precisely because we need it. We don’t do anything on earth if we don’t feel the necessity of it. But when we practise spirituality, we should feel that this need is our first and foremost need. Everything else is secondary. If we water the root of a tree, then the leaves, the branches, the flowers and the fruits will all be well nourished. The root, the source of our life, is God. Spirituality brings us this message.
There are two types of love: human love and divine love. Human love wants to possess something or to be possessed by something. Human love is a song of possession. But in possession there is no satisfaction. On the contrary, in possession frustration looms large. We see that the train of destruction immediately follows frustration.
Divine love is the song of expansion. Unlike human love, which binds and is bound, divine love expands and liberates. It liberates our inner being. Our inner being is like a bird, which is in a cage. Divine love allows the bird to come out of the cage and fly into the infinite Vast. We treasure divine Freedom. We can free ourselves, we can free the world at large, on the strength of our divine inner love.
There comes a time when an aspirant feels that only by loving God, seeing God, feeling God and growing into the Light of God can he be totally satisfied. He can be totally satisfied only when he sees God in everything, in every creature, in every human being.
In the spiritual life we start with aspiration, and aspiration soon takes us to realisation. But even realisation feels that it is not sufficient, and it takes us to revelation. Then revelation feels that it is not complete, and it takes us to manifestation. And what is manifestation? Manifestation is the flowering of our inner Divinity. Divinity we always had, but it was implicit; it was dormant. This Divinity has to come to the fore and be manifested here on earth. And this manifestation is called the perfection of nature, the perfection of our earthly existence.
Yoga means conscious and constant oneness with God. Now, how do we establish this conscious and constant oneness with God? It is through self-giving, self-offering. This self-offering is not to somebody outside ourselves. It is to our own highest Reality. The finite is offering its existence to the Infinite, which is our Inner Pilot. And this can be done only through love, devotion and surrender.
The first message of yoga is self-discovery. We have to discover God in ourselves. Then we have to offer our discovery to the world at large. First we shall get the most delicious fruit, and then we shall share it with others. This will give us real joy. Only when we see that we are able to drink the divine nectar together with the world shall we be really satisfied.
There are three principal ways of practising yoga. If we practise the yoga of the heart, then love, devotion and surrender are of paramount importance. If we practise the yoga of the mind, then knowledge and wisdom are of paramount importance. If we practise the yoga of the body, then dedicated, selfless service to mankind is of paramount importance. Yoga unifies our conscious aspiration and God’s constant Compassion. What is aspiration? Aspiration is our inner mounting cry. What is Compassion? Compassion is God’s all-loving Light and Delight.
We can reach the ultimate Goal no matter which path we follow — the path of the body, the path of the mind or the path of the heart. The Goal is the same. Again, if we sincerely pray and meditate, we will feel that all the three paths go together. When we meditate, we actually offer our purity, our divinity, our reality to the Supreme in mankind; and this is the path of the heart. When we love God and when we devote and surrender ourselves to God in the path of the heart, then we get real inner wisdom, which is the fort of the path of the mind. And when we follow the path of the body, at every moment we feel from deep within an inner urge to love and serve mankind; and in this we find wisdom and a feeling of the heart’s inseparable oneness with mankind. So these three paths lead to the same destination.
In the West, unfortunately Hatha Yoga is the most commonly known yoga. But the physical postures and asanas of Hatha Yoga are only a small help towards the ultimate goal of union with God. The real yoga is the yoga of concentration, meditation and contemplation. When we concentrate on something, we consciously put an end to all extraneous thought-waves. We throw aside all the thoughts that are in our mind, and we want to walk along the path of reality. Then we go on to meditation. When we meditate, we consciously invoke the Infinite. And the Infinite comes to us with boundless Peace, Bliss and Light. Then, when we contemplate, on the strength of our unconditional surrender, we become one with the Supreme Pilot. Here the divine lover becomes one with the Supreme Beloved. They become inseparable. The creation becomes one with the Source. The finite becomes one with the Infinite. When we practise concentration, meditation and contemplation, slowly, steadily and unerringly we bring to the fore our inner wealth and serve mankind, fulfilling the Inner Pilot, the Supreme, within us.
MRP 30. Fabiansalen, ABF Huset, Sveavagen, Stockholm, Sweden, 7 July 1973.↩
Spirituality: past, present and future1Dear seekers, dear sisters and brothers, today, with greatest joy, I wish to tell you that I am offering you my last talk on spirituality for the summer. I have been away from New York for about a month and have given sixteen or seventeen talks. This will be my last talk on this trip. To each of you I wish to offer my deepest joy, love and blessingful gratitude.
Before we enter into the spiritual life, before we enter into the life of aspiration, there are only three persons in our life: You, He and I. “You” means the world, humanity at large; “He” means God; “I” means myself. We spend all our time thinking about the world or about ourselves or about God. Of course, in the ordinary life we think about ourselves most of the time — how we can become great and famous, how we can do this, how we can get that. Sometimes we also think about the world or about other people. We think that someone else is greater than we, that mankind does not appreciate us, that the world is callous or senseless or useless. We do not think of the world with love; we think of it with jealousy or anger. And very often we think more about the world than we think about ourselves. But in any case, our whole mind is occupied with thoughts, either of ourselves or of others, and poor God comes last. We use up all our time on useless thoughts and think of God once in a blue moon. Ordinary, unaspiring people find their whole life occupied either with their own desires or with feelings of jealousy, insecurity and inferiority. God comes to their minds only on rare occasions.
But once we accept the spiritual life, it is a different story. We actually create a new story. At that time, God comes first and foremost in our thoughts; then comes the world, and last come we, ourselves. First we think of God and pray to God. Then we think of humanity, love humanity and serve humanity. Then, if there is time left, we think of ourselves. First we surrender everything to God’s Will. Then we try to offer our lives to humanity. Then, if there is time left, and inclination, we think of ourselves. All the time, God comes first, then man, and last the individual “I”.
In the spiritual life, we feel that we can remain in darkness, we can remain unfed, obscure, unrecognised; but let God come to the fore, let humanity be enlightened first, we feel. This is our attitude when we first launch into the spiritual life. But when we make some progress in the spiritual life, we see that we can never separate God, man and ourselves. If I think of God, immediately I am thinking of His creation, His infinite children; and I, myself, am one of His children, because I am also a son of God. So God, humanity and I have to go together.
When we go still higher and deeper, we feel that God is the tree, mankind is the branches, and we, as individuals, are leaves. God is the Eternal Tree, but a tree without branches and leaves looks strange. We do not appreciate it. We appreciate, admire, adore and worship God because He has accepted us as part and parcel of His life, His existence. We are always grateful to God because He has chosen us as His very own.
Spirituality makes us conscious of our past, present and future. There are two types of past. One is our past life of teeming desires, impurity, insecurity, obscurity and imperfection. This past is absolutely useless. We should pay no attention to it. The past that haunts us and reminds us that we were imperfect, we were useless, we were hopeless — this past has to be forgotten completely. Also, the past that has given us limited satisfaction should not be dwelt upon, because it did not inspire us to continue marching towards our goal. Yesterday we had the inner urge to do something. We did it, and we were satisfied. But that satisfaction was not abiding or fulfilling. Yesterday we were satisfied, but today we know that we have to achieve something more, something higher, something deeper and more fulfilling.
But the past that tells us that we tried but have not yet succeeded, that we started running but still have not reached the goal, that we have begun to pray and meditate but have not yet become one with God — this past is the real past. This past is like a train. The past that gives us inspiration and encourages us to go one step forward is the good past. It has left its starting point and is now slowly, steadily travelling towards its destination.
The satisfaction of the past is not enough. We have to go ahead. We have to look forward. We have to run towards our ultimate Goal. This Goal can never be behind us in the past; it is ever before us in the future. Yesterday’s achievement was not the final achievement, today’s achievement will not be the final achievement, tomorrow’s achievement cannot be the final achievement. We are in the process of constant evolution. Today’s goal is tomorrow’s starting point, tomorrow’s goal will be the starting point for the day after tomorrow.
When we follow a spiritual path or make progress in our spiritual life, we feel that satisfaction is something that constantly can be increased, illumined, perfected and fulfilled in boundless measure. It is only in the spiritual life that we get the message of Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. These are vague terms for those who do not want to follow the spiritual life, but for us they are real realities. And where is the reality? The reality is inside our heart, inside the very depths of our heart. There we feel, we see and we grow into infinite Peace, Light and Bliss.
As a spiritual person does not pay any attention to the past, he also does not pay any attention to the future. His future is not like the future of an ordinary person who is hoping to be a king tomorrow although he is a beggar today. A spiritual person does not cherish that kind of hope. A spiritual person feels that here and now he has to realise God. Today he has to become divine, spiritual, pure and illumined. Today he must get his salvation if possible.
This salvation and illumination he will not get by hook or by crook or by exerting himself too much; he will get it by his most intense inner cry. When each morning dawns, he will have an intense cry to see God face to face.Spiritual Masters, before they became realised, were seekers like you. As each day dawned, they felt that this was their last day, their last opportunity to realise God. They felt that they would not be able to survive the day if they did not realise God. But if they did not realise God on that very day, they did not feel sad and miserable or give up the spiritual life. No. The next day they began their journey with the same intense cry from the inmost recesses of their heart. They felt that yesterday they could not fulfil their aspiration, but today, out of His infinite bounty, God had given them another opportunity.
It is by self-giving, unconditional self-offering with the deepest inner cry, that we must try to realise God each day. Only by giving ourselves devotedly and unconditionally to God can we do it. By giving yourself entirely to God, to Light, to Peace, to Delight, you become your highest Reality, which is God, and you grow into the very image of God.
A spiritual person does not want to wait for ten years or twenty years or forty years. If you wait and say that you are trying, you will never succeed. But if you say that you are doing it, you will succeed. So here and now is the answer, not the past or the future. The past has not fulfilled us, and if we depend on the future, we are only building castles in the air. We have to feel that now, today, this moment, is our greatest opportunity.
MRP 31. Sri Chinmoy Centre, Sturegatan 19, Uppsala, Sweden, 8 July 1973.↩
Editor's introduction to the first editionIt is almost impossible for us, with our human experience, to conceive of anyone whose very existence has as its purpose love for and of humanity, a person whose task is to work open the hearts of men so that they may receive, and yet, who can bear the sufferings of such a task by the very fact that his heart and source are infinite. He knows he is far above and beyond any human suffering or pain.
Such a man is Sri Chinmoy, who is offering us here once more the petals from the rose of wisdom deep within his heart. The fragrance of such a rose is sheer joy, which he urges each one of us to share with him.
In the second volume of My Rose Petals, lectures from Europe, he addresses us all as seekers of the infinite Truth. Going one step beyond the inspiring wisdom of the last series, here he instructs us how to practise all that we have received before or, to use his own expression, to reveal and manifest what we have realised before and are still realising.
As a lecturer, Sri Chinmoy gives such a spontaneous and intuitive sense of the infinite Truth and Reality that one can only receive such knowledge through the heart — through feeling rather than through thinking and reason. For, as we learn, the Transcendental Reality is already housed within our hearts:
As a spiritual teacher, Sri Chinmoy speaks with such pure humility, simplicity and clarity, that one can only be inspired to reach those heights of consciousness which he describes so very clearly:
Sri Chinmoy brings within our reach a world that previously we have barely been able to dream of. Thus, we look up from reading such a book as this with a deep sense of gratitude to men such as Sri Chinmoy, who are able to open our eyes and our hearts by their very sincerity — who give their very breath, in fact, to bring such hope to humanity.