My Rose Petals, part 3
Failure1It is said that the lecturer stands up, speaks up and shuts up. Here the seeker in me is standing up in order to offer his divine love to the audience. The seeker in me is speaking up in order to establish spiritual oneness with the audience. And finally, the seeker in me will shut up when he finds that he has established his inner oneness with the aspiration of the audience.
I wish to speak on failure from the spiritual point of view. There is not a single human being on earth who does not feel that he is a failure. For his failure he blames many others: he blames the world, he blames his friends and acquaintances, he blames his enemies. But he finds it difficult to blame himself. Here we are all seekers, so we are all God-lovers. For true seekers, for God-lovers, for oneness-dreamers, there is no such thing as failure; there can be no failure. For earth-transformers, for God-fulfillers on earth there can be no failure.
There are two lives: the human life and the divine life. The human life sings the song of failure. The human life fails, but the divine life succeeds and proceeds. The divine life always succeeds and continuously proceeds. The human life fails precisely because it does not claim God’s Eternity, Infinity and Immortality as its very own. The divine life succeeds precisely because it does claim God’s Eternity, Infinity and Immortality as its very own. The divine life not only claims them, but also feels that it is always of Immortality and always for Eternity and Infinity.
The human in us binds; the divine in us expands. The human in us wants to wallow in the pleasures of the finite, at times unconsciously and at times consciously and deliberately. The divine in us wants to fly in the firmament of Freedom-Light and Bliss. The human in us and the divine in us both want happiness. Both feel that if they achieve happiness, then there can be no failure. But the human in us feels that happiness lies in sense-enjoyment or in pleasure-hunting, while the divine in us feels that happiness lies in aspiration, in realisation, in self-transcendence and in God-manifestation.
Aspiration is our inner cry to reach the highest pinnacle of Truth, Light and Bliss. Aspiration is the only key that can unlock God’s Door. The very thing that is aspiration today, tomorrow is achievement. Achievement is conquest; self-conquest is self-mastery. Self-mastery and God-discovery are one and the same. In God-discovery, earth-transformation looms large; in earth’s transformation, God’s Satisfaction-Smile dawns.
Realisation is our conscious, constant and inseparable universal oneness. Self-transcendence is our ever-glowing and ever-expanding receptivity that lets us house God’s infinite Truth, eternal Light and immortal Life. God-manifestation is our fulfilled promise. Before we entered into the world arena, we made a solemn promise to the Lord Supreme that we would manifest Him here on earth. When we manifest Him on earth, we fulfil our promise.
I wish to tell you an amusing incident about Oscar Wilde. Oscar Wilde once went to a party after seeing one of his plays. His friends asked him about the play. His reply was that the play was a success but the audience was a failure. In the cosmic game, we are playing with the Supreme. He has allotted a specific role to each of us. If we play our role satisfactorily, then that is our success. World-appreciation and world-admiration cannot elevate our consciousness. It is only in the expansion and heightening of our consciousness that we can see the Face of God and grow into the very image of God.
In the spiritual life first we have to be awakened. Then we have to aspire and then we have to surrender our will to the Will of the Supreme. He who is awakened can never fail. He who aspires can never fail. He who surrenders his earth-bound will to the Heaven-free Will can never fail.
Quite often seekers of the ultimate Truth are misunderstood by unaspiring people. Unaspiring people are very often loud and emphatic in their insistence that God-realisation is of no avail. Without the perfect knowledge of God one can easily exist: this is their discovery. Although they are not atheists, they do not care for the living God. But a seeker cries for the living God. Since we are all seekers, we are crying for a God that is living; at every moment we try to see Him, feel Him and talk to Him face to face. Unaspiring people put forth many tenuous arguments, but we offer them our compassion-smile for we know that they are totally mistaken. When these people become vociferous and supercilious, at that time we have to offer them our forgiveness-weapon. With our forgiveness-weapon we can conquer them in the inmost recesses of our aspiring heart. God is living, and He can also be living for us. What makes Him living for us? It is our inner cry, our aspiration. We can feel Him constantly. When? When the inner flame within us is constantly burning.
We are seekers, but we also work; we do dedicated service. When we work we have to ask ourselves whether or not we work and serve devotedly, cheerfully and unconditionally. If we serve God in man devotedly, soulfully and unconditionally, then success is bound to dawn. Success we attain only through our dedicated service, only by offering our service with joy.
When we offer our success to mankind, we can offer our success as an inspiration, as something to increase the world’s aspiration. But very often we offer our success to the world at large only for our own ego-aggrandisement. We want the world to appreciate our success and laud us to the skies. If we offer our success for ego-aggrandisement, we commit a Himalayan blunder. We are all cosmic players in God’s divine Game. Let us play the game the way it has been ordained by the Lord Supreme. Let us offer our success to the world in the right way, in the divine way. Otherwise, at the end of our journey we shall miserably fail.
Just because we are seekers, we have to know that success is not our goal. Progress is our goal. Success is earth-bound. It is noticeable mostly in our vital life, the life that struggles and strikes and gets satisfaction when it notices an iota of success. In our life of aspiration, progress is of paramount importance. If we make progress, automatically we are succeeding in our aspiration, in our realisation, in our God-manifestation.
At every moment a seeker should feel that he is a murmuring and flowing river. Eventually he will enter into the vast sea of Knowledge, Light, Peace and Bliss. In this sea of infinite Peace, Light and Bliss, he will feel continuous progress. Today’s achievement will be only tomorrow’s starting point. A seeker is a divine climber: he climbs up the evolution-tree slowly, steadily and unerringly and reaches the Highest. But when he reaches the Highest, he comes to realise that this height is only the starting point for something still higher. He realises that he is growing into the ever-transcending Beyond.
When a seeker assimilates his realisation, he feels that there can be no failure. In his Heaven-life of aspiration and in his earth-life of self-dedication, his life becomes a life of continuous progress in God’s manifestation on earth.
MRP 32. Riverside Lounge, Cambridge University Centre, Cambridge University, Cambridge, England, 12:30 p.m., 24 June 1974.↩
Love Divine1I wish to give a short talk on love. As you all know, there is nothing on earth as important as love. In Heaven, too, there is nothing as important as love. My disciples and I are following a path. This path is called “love, devotion and surrender”. Love is the root; love is the foundation of our path. We feel that God is dearest to us not because He is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent, but just because He is all Love.
To be loved is a good thing. To love others is a better thing. But to love God and man in God’s own Way is by far the best thing. When we are loved, our life becomes meaningful. When we love, our life becomes soulful. When we love God and man in God’s own Way, our life becomes fruitful.
In ordinary human life we value love and treasure love precisely because we are afraid that the object of our love can be lost at any moment. In the spiritual life we value love because we feel that love is the only thing that can offer us abiding satisfaction. In the spiritual life the love that we experience, the love that we offer, is divine love. Human love is the song of possession. But before we possess others, we see to our utter sorrow that we ourselves are badly possessed. Divine love is the song of emancipation. When we try to emancipate others through divine love, we see that we can emancipate others only after we ourselves have been totally liberated.
Love is courage. Courage is self-giving. Self-giving is God-building, and in God-building God-manifestation takes place. God’s total manifestation is today a dream. Tomorrow the dream will be transformed into hope, and the day after tomorrow this hope will be transformed into an inner assurance. When we get the inner assurance, our earth-bound consciousness hears the message of the Heaven-free consciousness. At that time the finite in us consciously, devotedly and soulfully surrenders to the Infinite and becomes inseparably one with the Infinite.
Love is the best form of prayer; love is the best form of worship. There is a striking difference between love and worship. We love because we feel the need of expansion, the need of oneness. When we love God, the lover and the Beloved eventually become one. The lover loses his individuality, his personality, his height, his ego-centred “I” and he and the divine Beloved become one and inseparable. But when we worship we quite often maintain our own individuality and personality. We feel that we are at the foot of the tree while our Saviour is at the top of the tree. Always there is a reverential awe. Because of this reverential awe, we find it difficult to merge totally into the consciousness of our Saviour. But the divine lover, because of his inner oneness, dives deep into the Consciousness-sea of his Beloved and becomes the sea itself. Like a tiny drop, he enters into the mighty ocean and becomes the mighty ocean itself.
In the spiritual life the more we make progress, the more we feel the necessity of love. God has infinite Power, infinite Peace, infinite Light and infinite Bliss. He has everything in infinite measure, but we feel that even an iota of His Love can quench our lifelong thirst. He can and He will give us everything that He has and everything that He is, but we will not be satisfied unless and until He has given us His Love. Needless to say, His Love divine encompasses all His other 2 attributes: Peace, Light, Delight and so on. In this world everything may fail us; we may even fail ourselves. But the divine love within us can never fail us, for this love has a permanent home and Source. That Source is God the infinite Concern, God the infinite Compassion, God the infinite blessingful Pride in mankind. Love ultimately gives us transcendental happiness. This happiness is not a thing that we talk about or see around us, but it is something that we can experience in our day-to-day multifarious activities. We can grow into this inner happiness at God’s choice Hour.
As seekers we have to be extremely cautious when we deal with divine love. Very often human love cleverly tries to play the role of divine love. How can we tell whether something is divine love or human love? We can easily know the moment we dare to examine ourselves. Is this love for the truth within us, is it for the light within us? If the answer is in the affirmative, then we can easily know that it is divine love. I wish to tell you an incident that took place in the life of the American President Abraham Lincoln. A certain official said to him that God would be on his side. Lincoln said that he was not concerned about that. His concern was that he would be on God’s side. He was concerned only about his acceptance of God’s Light. Whether or not God took his side was not the question. He said that God will always be on the right side and it was his bounden duty to be on God’s side. Here the real seeker, the real lover in Lincoln spoke.
Through our prayer, meditation and dedication, we can also have God on our side. But this will not satisfy us. If we really love God, we shall offer our love, devotion, surrender, aspiration and dedication to God; at the same time, our fervent prayer and most soulful meditation will be to please God unconditionally in His own Way — to take God’s side. If we please God in one way or another, naturally He will please us; but our sincerity will one day loom large and we shall suffer miserably because we have not pleased God in His own Way. We must not expect God to please us in our own way, although He can easily do so. If we want to have something, He can give it to us; but sooner or later that thing will not satisfy us. Our sincere heart will never be satisfied unless and until we have pleased God in His own Way. But if He gives us what He had intended to give us, then the seeker in us is bound to be happy and this happiness will be everlasting.
We can please God in His own Way only when we have discovered and developed within us an unconditional love for our Supreme Beloved. Our love for God is our inmost cry. His Love for us is His life-transforming, life-illumining, life-fulfilling Smile. When we cry for Him, we offer Him our love; when He offers us His Satisfaction-Smile, it is nothing else but His Love that is being expressed.
Love, devotion and surrender. We offer love to God just because we know there is nothing and there can be nothing, there is nobody and there can be nobody other than God who can rightfully claim our love. We offer our devotion to God because He is the only one who can utilise our devotion for a right purpose. We offer our dedicated surrender to Him not because we are His slaves, but because we feel that God and man are one. He is our most illumined part, while the part that we right now represent needs illumination. It is our inner obligation, our bounden duty to be totally illumined from the soles of our feet to the crown of our head. Within and without we must be surcharged with God’s infinite Light. When we surrender to the Supreme, we must know that we are surrendering to our own highest part, which is fully illumined. When the lower part enters into the higher part, when the finite in us enters into the Infinite, at that time we become flooded with infinite Light, Peace and Bliss.
Confidence1Dear brothers and sisters, dear seekers of the infinite Truth and Light, I wish to speak about confidence from the spiritual point of view. We are now in Oxford University. The seeker in me feels that Oxford first embodies and then represents the art, culture and glory not only of Great Britain, but of the entire European consciousness. Oxford represents world-culture and world-history in the highest form of mental light, knowledge and wisdom in the outer world. Oxford is confidence. It is in the confidence of Oxford that all these supernal qualities are playing their respective roles.
We all know that there are two types of confidence: human and divine. Human confidence is very often founded upon our little “I”, our ego. Ego means ignorance-pleasure and sense-enjoyment. This little ego binds us, imprisons us. But divine confidence is founded upon our transcendental Self: the Self that liberates us, the Self that brings us the message of universal Consciousness, the Self that helps us transcend our earth-bound consciousness and enter into the Infinite. I wish to speak about divine confidence.
Confidence is the unification of God the Compassion and man the reliance. Confidence is the expression and revelation of God’s Will through the human heart, mind, vital and body. Confidence is the God-Beauty in us. Confidence is truth-unity and truth-multiplicity in us. Confidence is truth-recognition in us, Heaven-vision by us and God-decision for us. Confidence is our life-acceptance and life-transcendence, our earth-transformation and God-manifestation.
Confidence is not pride; it is the conscious awareness of our own height and depth. Confidence is not the aggrandisement of our ego; it is the awareness of our developing strength in the battlefield of life. Confidence is not the precursor of destruction; it is the precursor of achievement, of abundant divine achievement for the Absolute Supreme.
Confidence is our divine contentment which knows what to enjoy, how to enjoy, where to enjoy and why to enjoy. What to enjoy? God’s Smile. How to enjoy? Through selfless service, through self-offering. Where to enjoy? In pure consciousness; in the inmost recesses of our aspiring heart, mind, vital and physical. Why to enjoy? Because we need the expression of the inner Self.
In the inner world we feel that divine confidence is housed in our aspiration. Aspiration is the harbinger of Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure. He who embodies aspiration in the purest sense of the term can reveal and manifest light, truth and delight. According to the world’s receptivity the world receives these qualities from the supreme seeker who embodies confidence in the form of aspiration.
Confidence is like a divine muscle. It can be developed slowly, steadily and unerringly if we know the secret of disciplining our body, vital, mind and heart. In order to discipline ourselves what we need is an inner cry, the cry that carries our entire being into the highest realm of Silence. In this way we develop confidence and with this confidence-muscle we can be strong, stronger, strongest.
Each human being represents the physical world, the vital world, the mental world and the psychic world. In the physical world he is hunting after pleasure. He achieves a little pleasure and feels that his achievement is his confidence. In the vital world he brings the message of Julius Caesar. He declares, Veni, vidi, vici: "I came, I saw, I conquered." In the mental world, if his mind is illumined to a certain extent, he feels that through his mind's light earth can be illumined, perfected and liberated. He feels that earth can be a conscious receptacle of divinity, that divinity can be housed in the earth-consciousness. And when he is in the psychic or heart's world he soulfully offers this unique message to the world at large: "I came into the world to love God in mankind and to be of unconditional service to God in mankind."
In our spiritual life belief is of importance, but we have to know whether this belief is mental or psychic. If belief comes to the fore from an inner realm of consciousness, then it is a superior type of belief, psychic belief. This type of belief abides in the silent home of our soul’s light, and it is synonymous with divine confidence. It is powerful and unassailable. This type of belief, this divine confidence, inspires and energises us to fight for truth, for light, for world harmony, for world peace and for world salvation. But mental belief can be battered and shattered in a moment by doubt, suspicion and other hostile forces in the world.
In the spiritual life we have two giant friends: faith and confidence. Faith can hear the message of the highest Silence. Faith can guide us and lead us to our soul’s Goal of goals. Confidence can hear the message of the cosmic Sound. Confidence can act like a hero-warrior in the battlefield of life. It can change today’s world of darkness, imperfection and bondage into a world of light, perfection and freedom.
MRP 34. Oxford University, Oxford, England, 12:30 p.m., 25 June 1974.↩
Spirituality as an art1Dear seekers, dear sisters and brothers, I wish to give a talk on spirituality as an art. Spirituality is not only an art, but a divine, illumining and fulfilling art. The work of a human artist very often expresses his individuality, his personality and his earthbound consciousness. The work of a divine artist expresses God the Beauty, God the Divinity and God the Reality. The human artist either surrenders to fate or revolts against fate. The divine artist accepts fate and finally transforms fate.
Art is creation; creation is art. Human art is often a forced creation. In ordinary human art the physical, vital, mind and heart are often forced to try to create something beautiful, lasting and immortal. But in spiritual art nothing is forced. In spiritual art the psychic being comes to the fore and tries to offer the inner art, which is already immortal. The psychic being inspires the body, vital, mind and heart to participate and cooperate in the creation of the work of art.
The great American philosopher Emerson said something most significant with regard to art. He said that in art the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can inspire. In spiritual art the same rule is applicable. But here we have to say also that the heart can never execute anything higher than the soul can inspire. In ordinary human art we often notice a yawning gulf between the heart’s loftiest inspiration and the hand’s limited capacity. But in spiritual art there is no yawning gulf between the soul’s capacity and the heart’s receptivity. The heart becomes a conscious instrument of the soul’s capacity and the soul’s capacity operates in and through the heart’s receptivity. The aspiring receptivity of the heart and the illumining capacity of the soul complement each other.
Each artist has a human artist and a divine artist within himself. The divine artist and the human artist play hide-and-seek within his creativity. When the human artist within him comes to the fore, the person exhibits his art with the hope of receiving appreciation and admiration. He wants the critics and admirers of art to extoll his art to the skies. But when the divine artist comes to the fore, the artist does not need or want appreciation; he wants only to elevate the earth-consciousness through his divine art, to energise and immortalise the earth-consciousness through his divine art.
Both spiritual art and ordinary human art deal with beauty. The human artist has come to feel and realise that the beauty in his art is skin-deep. But the divine artist has discovered something totally different. He has discovered that beauty is soul-deep. When one discovers soul-deep art, one is inspired to dive deeper. When he dives deeper, he discovers God the Art. God the Art is at once the revelation and the manifestation of the ever-transcending consciousness of the Eternal Now. Soul-deep art is constantly leading and guiding the terrestrial consciousness to the ever transcending Reality.
Spiritual art is divine discovery. It realises that the supreme discovery can be made only in and through spirituality. The supreme discovery is God-realisation. The ultimate aim of spiritual art is God-realisation. God-realisation comes only through hard work. Nothing lasting can be achieved overnight. It may take quite a few incarnations, quite a few centuries, before one sees God face to face or merges with the infinite Peace, Light and Bliss. In the ordinary human world we know how hard Hillary and Tenzing worked in order to climb Mount Everest. Spiritual art, the divine discovery, also means climbing up to the highest pinnacle. The motto of this august university is most significant: “Through hard work to the heights.” This motto is the universal message, the universal teaching, of all spiritual art.
It is said that one can simplify everything, that everything can be made easy. But if the supreme art, the art of God-realisation, could be made easy through money-power or some other power, then every day thousands or millions of human beings would be able to realise God the supreme Artist. But this is not true. For the art of God-realisation we need aspiration. This aspiration eventually will knock at God’s Door, and God will open the Door to the aspiration of each divine artist. If we want to discover the supreme art or the supreme Artist, we have to strengthen our friendship with two divine friends of ours: aspiration and patience. With aspiration and patience eventually we shall reach God’s transcendental Height.
Right in front of me is a harmonium. If I tried to draw or paint this harmonium, if I tried to offer all my artistic talent to reveal and manifest the essence of this harmonium, the divinity that I would offer to the world would be very limited and insignificant. But if I placed in front of me a picture of the Saviour Christ and tried to draw him, if with my utmost inner aspiration I used my artistic talents and capacities to try to reveal the quintessence of the Christ Consciousness, then if I succeeded in revealing just an iota of this Consciousness, my achievement would become a unique treasure of Mother Earth. If our painting reveals more of the potentiality of the soul and makes it easier for this potentiality to be assimilated, then we have brought to the fore the essence of all-pervading divinity.
There is a very common maxim that says: “Art for art’s sake.” But I wish to say that spiritual art cannot be just for art’s sake. Spiritual art can be only for God’s sake. When God-manifestation can take place in abundant measure, spiritual art is consciously, soulfully and devotedly playing its role. In human art there is a creative motive and a finished product. The cause is followed by the effect. In spiritual art there is no motive or cause; everything is spontaneous. The result, which is already there, is only waiting for God’s choice Hour to be manifested. In spiritual art the artist depends entirely on his soul’s awakening, his heart’s inner mounting cry, his mind’s conscious and constant search for the highest Truth, his vital’s dynamic approach to the ultimate Reality and his body’s unconditional service to divinity’s height.
In ordinary art very often the artist and the critic inside him go together. Each must play his respective role; otherwise, the artist will always think that his art is by far the best, and that it transcends all criticism. Each time an artist creates something, if the critic in him also plays a significant role, then the artist may attain a satisfactory standard. But again, if the critic constantly and mercilessly plays his role, then the artist may not survive: he may die through his own self-criticism.
When a spiritual seeker enters into the field of art, he does not criticise his art. He does not play the role of a critic; he plays the role only of a conscious, constant, awakened and unconditional instrument of his Inner Pilot, the supreme Artist. He is not the doer; he is only the conscious instrument of the doer within him. He feels that the supreme Artist within him is the supreme Inspirer, the supreme Revealer, the supreme Liberator and the supreme Fulfiller of the Consciousness divine that is going to be manifested through his art.
Here we are all seekers; we are all spiritual artists. Let us dive deep within and discover the supreme Artist within us, who is constantly supplying us with infinite inspiration and aspiration to reveal the supreme Light, Delight and Perfection through our spiritual art. Our spiritual art is Self-discovery. Self-discovery and God-discovery are one and the same. Today Self-discovery is our Goal. Tomorrow God-manifestation will be our Goal. Today let us dive deep within for God-realisation. Tomorrow we shall dive deeper for God-manifestation, which is the supreme, ever-transcending, eternal Art.
MRP 35. University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England, 7:30 p.m., 25 June 1974.↩
Conscience1Dear sisters and brothers, dear members of my spiritual family, here we are all seekers, seekers of the infinite Truth. When I say my family, I literally mean it. Because we are all seekers, I claim to be a spiritual brother of yours, an Indian brother of yours. Let us go deep within and try to realise what has prompted us or inspired us to be seekers.
There are millions of people on earth who do not have the inner urge to lead a spiritual life. How is it that we are crying for Light, Delight, Love and Compassion from the Absolute Supreme? How is it that we are trying to lead a better life, a more illumining and fulfilling life, a spiritual life? It is because we have been awakened by the infinite Grace of the Supreme.
The moment we are awakened our conscience plays its most significant role. The Sanskrit term for conscience is viveka. Conscience is the inner voice. It is the voice of inner light. The difference between inner light and outer light I am sure all of us know. Outer light immediately exposes us. If we do something wrong, it will expose us and we will immediately be caught. But inner light acts in a different way. Inner light will never, never expose us. On the contrary, inner light will illumine us. If we make a mistake, if we commit even the worst possible Himalayan blunder, the inner light will come to our rescue. It will illumine us so that we will not do the same thing again.
The inner light tells us what to say, what to do and what to become. What to say? God is for all. God is not only for me, but He is also for you, for everyone. What to do? Love God in every human being. What to become? Conscious, constant and unconditional instruments of God. When we do the right thing, God blesses us. When we say the right thing, God smiles at us. When we become the right thing, God embraces us.
The inner light constantly inspires us and, at the same time, warns us not to go back to our animal life. We all came from the animal kingdom. Even now animal propensities quite often reign supreme in our human consciousness. But the inner light warns us not to go back to the animal life. It tells us to stay at least in the human life proper. There are people on earth who quarrel and fight and lead an animal life. Because we are seekers we have already transcended that life. Now it is our bounden duty to transcend the human life and enter into the divine life. In human life the animal consciousness and the divine consciousness both play their roles. But the animal consciousness plays its role most powerfully and most vehemently, whereas the role of the divine consciousness is very insignificant. Only in an infinitesimal measure do we notice the role of the divine life. But since we are all seekers, we are well determined to do away with our animal life, to transform our human life totally and to enter into the domain of the divine life — the life of light and delight.
It becomes easier for us to illumine the animal life provided we know what the animal life was. The animal life was destruction; the human life that we are now leading is nothing short of frustration; the divine life that we are aiming at is the life of selfless dedication. It is to please our Inner Pilot that we have entered into the world-arena. If we are totally, selflessly and unconditionally dedicated to the Inner Pilot, then we discover the meaning of life. Life is not a chimerical mist, a fantastic dream. Life is a solid reality awaiting transformation; and it is we who can bring down the Kingdom of Heaven into the immediacy of today to transform the earth-consciousness.
The inner light is our creative and conscious evolution. Who is actually evolving in us? God the man is evolving. That is to say, man is ascending towards the topmost height, the pinnacle. And God the Saviour, God the Liberator, is descending into the abyss to transform the darkness-ignorance of millennia with His supernal, infinite Light.
When we are in the process of creative evolution, we notice that God is constantly standing in front of us and pleading with us to enter into His Boat so that He can carry us to the Golden Shore of the Beyond. When we are in the process of conscious evolution, we see God constantly within us and without us, guiding us in our multifarious day-to-day activities.
When the inner light of conscience guides us, we do not care for success; we care only for progress. Success is always limited but progress is unlimited. Success very often plays its role in the vital world, but progress always plays its role in the psychic world, in the inner world. When we make progress we have to know that there is no such thing as failure; success always looms large. If we aim at success, then we shall be bound by our very, very limited vision. But if we aim at progress, then we are aiming at something that is ever-transcending — an ever-transcending reality of the Beyond.
Conscience is our confidence — inner confidence and outer confidence. Inner confidence tells us that we are of God. Outer confidence tells us that we are for God. This confidence is not vital aggression. This confidence is the revelation of our soul's light inside the heart. This confidence is perfection in life, and perfection is the transformation of our earth-bound consciousness. When our earth-bound consciousness is transformed into the Heaven-free Consciousness, at that time God-satisfaction dawns both in Heaven and on earth.
Without the evolved, transformed consciousness we cannot realise the Highest. Conscience is just like a tiny drop, whereas consciousness is the mightiest ocean. Consciousness is always present in the spiritual life; consciousness and the spiritual life are synonymous. Consciousness drops and consciousness rises. When the consciousness is low, that means that the inner light is not operating. When consciousness is high, it means that the light of conscience is operating most significantly in that individual.
The desiring man derives satisfaction from his pleasure-life. The aspiring man derives satisfaction from his dedicated and surrendered aspiration-life. For the true seeker there is no such thing as compromise between these two lives. An ordinary human being will always try to make a compromise. Early in the morning he needs God. But when evening sets in, he encounters all the forces of temptation and desire. At that time he hankers after earth-bound limitations. He wants fifty percent God and fifty percent ignorance. But a seeker of the highest Truth cannot do that; he has to be totally uncompromising. For him, there is only God and God alone.
There are some human beings who are very clever. They want to remain neutral — neither for God nor for ignorance. But if you enter into the inmost recesses of their hearts, you are bound to notice that they have already taken one side; yet because they fear the consequences of choosing one side, they do not support any path. They do not take God’s side; they do not take the side of ignorance. In the ordinary human life, we appreciate the person who is neutral. But in the spiritual life there is no place for a person with a neutral feeling. If you cannot accept God wholeheartedly, you are bound to wallow in the pleasures of ignorance. Millions and millions of people are wallowing in the pleasures of ignorance. You can also add to their ignorance; you can offer your own contribution. But if you are really hungry for Light, for the Truth of the Beyond, then accept God wholeheartedly. You will see how He fulfils your longing — not your temptation, not your desiring life, but your life of aspiration.
When a seeker becomes sincerity itself, God the Infinite plays His role inside the finite consciousness of the seeker. In this case the finite houses the Infinite and the finite becomes the conscious channel, the chosen instrument through which the Infinite operates here in the earth-consciousness. It is the receptivity of the seeker that allows God to manifest in and through him and that enables Mother Earth to be inundated with infinite Peace, Light and Bliss.
I understand there are quite a few teachers here who are teaching Hatha Yoga. That is extremely good. Hatha Yoga is the first step in our spiritual life. In the highest form of spirituality, Hatha Yoga is like kindergarten. We need not start in kindergarten, but we cannot skip all the levels and expect to get our Master’s degree. That is impossible. On the other hand, if one thinks that he can complete his kindergarten course and not go any higher, not take any higher courses, then he is making a deplorable mistake. He has to eventually go on to high school and college and take the highest course. In the spiritual life the highest course is God-realisation. Physical discipline is important in the spiritual life. But if we expect God-realisation from Hatha Yoga, then we will be badly disappointed. In any Indian village you will find hundreds of Hatha Yoga experts. But for most of these people, God-realisation is a far cry.
The necessity of physical discipline nobody can deny. But beyond the physical is the spiritual. We have to raise our consciousness to the spiritual. It is inside the spiritual that Divinity, Infinity, Eternity and Immortality are constantly singing and dancing. We have to climb up the mango tree, pluck mangoes and then climb down and eat. If we stay at the foot of the tree and do not climb up, how are we going to get the mangoes?
In no way am I throwing cold water on those who are teaching and practising Hatha Yoga. But please feel the necessity of going on to the highest course. That is to say, you have to go to the inner high school, college and university. The course at the university consists of three subjects: concentration, meditation and contemplation. These three subjects are most important. They are taught through the inner awakened and developed consciousness. First we have to learn how to concentrate. Then we have to learn how to meditate. Finally, we have to learn how to contemplate.
When we concentrate we must not allow even an iota of thought to enter into our mind. We have to focus our concentration on a particular object or subject and nothing else. Then we must enter into it and go beyond it. When we go beyond it, we feel that we have reached the soul. We started from our physical existence. When we reach the soul’s plane we see that the soul-consciousness is observing the body-consciousness, and the body-consciousness is entering into the soul-consciousness. When the body-consciousness is entering into the soul-consciousness, the body is realising the Highest. When the soul is concentrating on the body, the soul is manifesting in the physical consciousness the Light of the Beyond. This is concentration.
The next step is meditation. In meditation the first thing we do is to make the mind absolutely calm and quiet. Then we empty the heart so that God can fill it with His message of Light and Delight. When we meditate, we become the listener and God becomes the talker. God will offer us a message from the Highest and we shall listen to His message. But in order to receive this message we have to make our mind absolutely calm and quiet; we have to make our mind as vast as the sky or the ocean. The aim of meditation is to bring down the Infinite into the finite and carry the finite to the Infinite. The finite enters into Infinity for its highest realisation, and the Infinite enters into the finite for its supreme manifestation.
The third step is called contemplation. This is done only when the seeker is far advanced. We started our studies with concentration. As we became expert in concentration, we began meditation. But contemplation takes years and sometimes incarnations to learn because contemplation can be properly done only when the seeker is on the verge of realisation. Here the seeker totally merges with the Supreme. The divine lover becomes totally one, inseparably one with the Supreme Beloved. The finite totally loses its separativity and becomes one with the infinite Peace, Light and Bliss. At that time infinite Peace, Light and Bliss are housed perfectly in an earthly being.
MRP 36. Sherwood Hall Boys' School, Stuart Avenue, Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, Mansfield, England, 26 June 1974.↩
Death1Dear seekers of the transcendental Truth, I wish to give a talk on death. What is death? Death is the immortal pilgrim’s short rest along the road of Eternity. Death is a necessary experience for human beings at the present state of their evolving consciousness. Death is a shattering blow for desiring human beings and, at the same time, it is an awakening hand for aspiring human beings.
There are two types of desiring human beings. One type considers death to be an evil force, since death’s arrival prevents all his teeming desires from being fulfilled on earth. Therefore, he considers death an enemy, an unwelcome guest. The second type has come to realise that desire itself is painful. When he exercises his capacity and talents in order to fulfil a desire, he sees that this very process is hurtful and painful. When the result comes, it comes either in the form of failure or in the form of success. If it comes in the form of failure, he is doomed to disappointment. And if it comes in the form of success, even then he is not totally happy, for he thought that the success would be something more illumining and more fulfilling than it turns out to be. Alas, he does not get the kind of success that he actually expected from his tireless efforts. So neither desire nor the result of desire is satisfactory; both are extremely discouraging, disappointing and painful. This kind of desiring man welcomes death; he longs for it. Since he cannot stay on earth even for a day without desire and frustration, he wants to leave earth. But again, when death knocks at his door, his whole being is shattered; he cries for life. At that time, he does not want to welcome death. When desire-life proves unsatisfactory he wants death; but when death actually knocks at his door he wants something else; he wants to stay on earth.
As there are two types of desiring persons, even so are there two types of aspiring human beings. One type always longs for the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. For him, the Kingdom of Heaven is not a chimerical mist; it is something within his aspiring heart. He wants to bring it to the fore and manifest it here on earth. But he can do so only by conquering death. He has to conquer death for good; then only will it be possible for him to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to the fore or bring it down from above.
The second type of aspiring person wants to offer another message. He says that no doubt we have to conquer death, but it is not the physical or human body that will conquer death; it is the consciousness within the physical frame that will conquer death. The earth-bound consciousness has to enjoy the Heaven-free Light and Delight. Just by staying on earth for a long span of time — four hundred or five hundred years — we do not accomplish anything significant. If we go to some Indian villages, we see that there are many people who have been on earth for more than one hundred years. But when it is a matter of inner experience, inner growth, spiritual development, divine achievement, they have achieved next to nothing. They are leading an ordinary human life, if not a half-animal life. It is not the mere prolongation of physical life that we need. The consciousness of the reality within us must be expanded, enlarged, energised and immortalised. True, in order to achieve a divine and immortal consciousness, we have to stay on earth for quite a few years. But this is not for the sake of the body’s pleasure-life, but for the expansion and enlargement of the consciousness within the body.
The Vedic seers of the hoary past offer a most significant prayer: “Lord Supreme, grant us the eyes to see You for a hundred years. Grant us the ears to hear Your divine Message for a hundred years. Grant us the hearts to serve You for a hundred years.” Then they say not just for a hundred years, but far beyond a hundred years. Why? Just to serve God, fulfil God and manifest God here on earth. They want to live on earth for the divine manifestation. They want from God an infinite period of life so that they can realise, reveal and manifest Him. This is their aim. The body will die eventually, but the Immortality of the divinised consciousness must be offered to Mother Earth so that Mother Earth gets something unique, unprecedented, immortal and supreme.
Spiritual people have discovered something else. They are of the opinion that he who does not aspire is a dead soul. One has not to die physically in order to be considered dead. No! He who does not aspire is dead because he is making little or no progress. When we make progress, we are heading towards a new reality. Each time we enter into a new reality, a new life dawns on earth and we are utilised by it. A moment used undivinely increases the reach of the hands of death. A moment used divinely extends and adds to our life.
If we want to live in the eternal Now, we have to feel that the past is dust, that the past is a dead experience. We have to obliterate it from our consciousness. Each second that is disappearing from our life is dead. If we identify ourselves with the passing second and enter into the past with it, then we experience death. But if we utilise each second for a divine purpose, then it has new life. The future we do not know, but we want to grow into the future or we want to bring down the life of the future into the immediacy of today.
The Vedic seers realised that movement is life, that if we do not move in the spiritual life, then death knocks at our door. But again, there is life in deep silence, in the inmost recesses of Silence-Life. In Silence-Life, the sound-body is constantly coming into existence. But this is the deepest and most meaningful discovery: one has to reach the highest realm of Consciousness in order to live in the transcendental Silence-Life. Then one can consciously create at every moment the sound-body that is necessary for God-manifestation on earth.
Death is preparation; death is relaxation. Until it is time to prepare ourselves once more to enter into the battlefield of life, we relax for a short while in death. Life is first of all an experience, the experience that will free us from ignorance-sea and inspire us to swim in the sea of Wisdom-Light. Then life becomes God-satisfaction; in God-satisfaction we experience the height of God’s ever-transcending Dream and the depth of God’s ever-fulfilling Reality.
The desiring man thinks death is destruction. A beginner-seeker feels death is a supreme mystery. An advanced seeker knows that death is a short rest. A God-realised person has unmistakably discovered that death is an instrument of God. Death is an instrument of God when it frightens the desiring man so that he does not wallow in the pleasures of ignorance, so that he cries for a higher, more illumining and more fulfilling life. Death is also a divine instrument when it plays its role by increasing the aspiration of the seeker. Before death’s arrival, a seeker wants to accomplish quite a few things for Mother Earth and Father Heaven, so he invokes Peace, Light and Bliss from above with ever-increasing aspiration, for he wants to inundate his earthly being with these qualities in infinite measure long before death’s arrival at his life’s door.
Here we are all seekers. Some of us are unconsciously growing into immortal Life or flowing with the river of immortal Life; others are consciously invoking the infinite Light of the ever-transcending Beyond, the Light of immortal Life which we utilise for God’s total, complete and perfect manifestation on earth. Each seeker is a creator. Each seeker is a saviour. Each seeker is a liberator. Each seeker is the conscious representative of the Absolute Supreme precisely because in his creation, in his aspiration and in his realisation he discovers a life which is constantly transcending its own height. In this ever-transcending movement, death plays the role of a devoted, surrendered and all-fulfilling instrument of the Absolute Supreme.
When one lived the life of desire, death stood as an obstacle, an ignorance-force. But when one became a seeker, he saw that death is only a loving instrument, that death is nothing but the younger brother of life, As a younger brother, death feels that it is its bounded duty to help its elder brother, life. It does this by offering Immortality’s Light, Eternity’s Height, Infinity’s Smile and Perfection’s Satisfaction to earth.
MRP 37. Curtis Auditorium, Physics Building, University Precinct, University of Newcastle, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, 27 June 1974.↩
Divine hope1Dear seekers, dear brothers and sisters, I wish to speak on hope from the spiritual point of view. Since we are all seekers, it is our soulful aspiration that one day our divine hope will be fulfilled. And what is that hope? That hope is God-realisation.
What is hope? Hope is man’s preparation for the unknown. Hope is man’s aspiration for the unknowable. The unknown right now is man’s ultimate achievement; the unknowable is God’s eternal Now.
Hope is man’s inner effort. An ordinary man is not aware of this inner effort, but a seeker of the highest Truth is fully aware of it. This inner effort inspires the seeker to see something new, to feel something new, to say something new, to do something new and, finally, to become something new.
When I smile, I see something new around me. When I cry, I feel something new within my heart. When I pray, I say something new to the higher worlds. When I meditate, I do something new for the inner and the outer worlds. When I surrender, I become something new: God’s chosen instrument.
In the spiritual life, hope is newness. In this newness is our self-transcendence. Our self-transcendence is God’s Pride, His supernal Pride in us. And God’s Pride lives in our conscious and constant gratitude.
Hope and faith are two intimate brothers; they always go together. Hope nourishes faith and faith treasures hope. Hope dreams of God-Beauty in God-Reality. Faith dreams of God-Reality in God-Beauty. Hope pulls the heart of tomorrow into the body of today. Faith pushes the body of today into the heart of tomorrow. When tomorrow’s heart enters into today’s body, man’s aspiration is crowned with success. When today’s body enters into tomorrow’s heart, Heaven’s vision is crowned with success. Man’s success is the victory of God’s Compassion-Light. Heaven’s success is the victory of God’s Realisation-Height.
To hope is to see with the eye of the heart. To hope is to make the heart captain of the mind, the vital and the body. To hope is to send darkness-night into exile. To hope is to feel the presence of the inner sun. The inner sun is; the outer sun becomes. When we live in the consciousness of the inner sun, we reach the highest Height of God’s Silence-Light. When we live in the consciousness of the outer sun, we become one with the sound-life of God’s manifestation on earth.
In the spiritual life, hope is humility’s light. At the present state of evolution, human humility is a forced humility. But divine humility is soulful, spontaneous humility. Humility is God’s Dream-Boat that reaches His Reality-Shore. Humility is God’s Beauty in man’s reality.
When a spiritual pilgrim starts walking along the road of Eternity, his hope is nothing but humility’s light. Eventually it is transformed into divinity’s birthright. Then finally divinity’s birthright is transformed into Infinity’s Smile, Eternity’s Light and Immortality’s Life.
Divine hope is our soul’s promise to the eternal Supreme that here on earth we shall realise Him fully, reveal Him fully and manifest Him completely and perfectly. Again, there are mundane hopes or undivine hopes. We want to become a multimillionaire overnight. We want to lord it over the world and see the supremacy of our dauntless vital. We want the whole world to be at our feet and accept light from our mind. The world is in darkness; we alone are bathing in the sea of light: this is our firm conviction. Therefore, we feel that we are in a position to offer light to the world at large. We feel that we have everything and we are everything; our only hope is for the world to be at our feet. Mundane hope is not like divine hope. It is an unlit desire that binds us. This desire will eventually bring on frustration, which is immediately followed by utter destruction.
In our spiritual life what we now call hope, hundreds and thousands of years ago we called our soul’s promise to the Absolute Supreme: Him to realise, Him to reveal, Him to manifest on earth. At that time our divine hope was our soul’s promise that we would enter into the world-scene and participate in God’s cosmic Play as conscious players. When we entered into the spiritual life, slowly, steadily and unerringly this promise came to the fore from within. Gradually in our awakened consciousness the power and light of this promise began to loom large. Now we do not see hope as a promise; we feel it as a necessary preparation for our God-manifestation on earth.
In the ordinary, unaspiring world, hope is often no more than building castles in the air. But in the spiritual life, inner hope and the inner cry which we call aspiration always go together. Here our hope is playing the role of a divine harbinger. Hope is like the dream which is always just one step behind the reality. God is using His beckoning Hands to lead and guide the aspiration of the seeker to the destined Goal. God is sailing His Dream-Boat to the Golden Shore of the ever-transcending Beyond.
The hope of a human child is to get the highest degree or diploma. The hope or climbing aspiration of a divine child is to receive and achieve Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure. A seeker’s hope is his aspiration-light and the Inner Pilot’s hope is Perfection-Delight. Each individual seeker represents a conscious and constant promise to his Inner Pilot. Similarly, the Inner Pilot represents a conscious and constant promise to the individual seeker. In his aspiration-light, the seeker enters into the Supreme’s cosmic Dream to play his unique role in God’s Drama and manifest God in God’s own Way. Through His Perfection Delight, God enters into the seeker’s aspiration-light to give him what He eternally has and what He eternally is. What He has is the Golden Boat that carries humanity’s excruciating pangs; what He is is the Golden Shore of Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. Again, He Himself is the Pilot and He Himself is the Boat that carries humanity’s excruciating pangs and teeming ignorance, imperfections, limitations, bondage and death to the Golden Shore of His ever-transcending Beyond.
MRP 38. Faculty Room South, David Hume Tower, University of Edinburgh, George Square, Edinburgh, Scotland, 28 June 1974.↩
The Way, the Truth, the Life1Dear sisters and brothers, dear seekers of the infinite Truth and Light, I wish to give a short talk on “The Way, the Truth, the Life.” This is the motto of your university. It is a lofty motto; therefore, I shall speak on this subject from the spiritual point of view.
Two thousand years ago the Christ proclaimed: “I am the Way; I am the Goal.” His revealed aspiration was the Way; His manifested realisation was the Goal. Humanity’s first and foremost achievement is the Way. Humanity’s last and most glorious achievement is the Goal. There is a method to shorten the Way. There is a method to bring the Goal closer. How to shorten the Way? Increase our receptivity. How to bring the Goal closer? Surrender our will unconditionally to God’s Will. We increase our receptivity through soulful, devoted and ceaseless self-offering. We make our surrender unconditional by realising the fact that our satisfaction lies in God alone and that God alone is our supreme satisfaction. If we have discovered this lofty truth, then only can we make an attempt to grow into unconditional surrender to God’s Will.
God has infinite children. In God’s family, Truth is the eldest son. Right after Truth is Peace. Truth and Peace are extremely close to each other; they complement each other. They are constantly trying to please each other. Truth offers its transcendental height to its brother Peace, and Peace offers its eternal depth to its brother Truth.
Their Father, the Lord Supreme, observes this act of mutual offering by His two devoted sons. God tells them that they are supremely indispensable in His creation. God says to Truth: “Truth, My son, earth succeeds because of you. If you did not exist, earth could never succeed in anything.” God says to Peace: “Peace, My son, just because of you earth is able to receive Me. If you did not remain on earth, earth could never receive or reach Me.”
Both Truth and Peace say to their almighty Father: “Father, it is true that we are of some service to You, but we are not indispensable. Never! We are Your creation. You are the Creator and You alone are indispensable. We are extremely grateful to You for granting us the opportunity to be of service to You. We wish to become; we wish to be. We wish to become Your messengers. We wish to be the carriers of earth’s sufferings to Heaven-Delight. We wish to bring down Heaven’s Delight into earth’s excruciating pangs. Please allow us to perform this task so that through us You may fulfil Yourself, Father.”
This is their hope and desire. They want to be constantly at the Feet of their Lord Supreme. They feel that if they stay at the Feet of their Supreme Beloved, then only will earth know how to value the supreme Height and the eternal Depth of the Absolute Supreme. Truth and Peace feel that they can act as intermediaries or representatives to show earth who the Supreme is and how He can be approached. How can He be approached? He can be approached only through the aspirant’s devoted surrender to the transcending height of Truth and the illumining depth of Peace.
Truth is the connecting link between the Way and the Life. Truth energises and illumines the Way that the seekers of the Infinite travel: Eternity’s road. It is Truth that feeds the life divine. It is Truth that helps the life divine in its total manifestation on earth. Truth is the connecting link between the path to the Goal and the Goal itself, which is the divinely perfect life on earth.
Human life and divine life. Human life is the life of earth. What we need on earth is the transformation of our nature, the transformation of our limited consciousness, the transformation of our earthbound necessity and reality. The divine life is the life in which we manifest the highest Reality. The Reality-Song we have already learned, but we have not yet started singing it here on earth.
The realisation of the human life is this:
A sea of Peace and Joy and Light
Beyond my reach, I know.
In me the storm-tossed weeping night
Finds room to rage and flow.
A raft am I on the sea of Time,
My oars are washed away.
How can I hope to reach the clime
Of God's eternal Day?
But the realisation of the divine life is this:
But hark, I hear Thy golden Flute.
Its notes bring the Summit down.
Now safe am I, O Absolute!
Gone death! Gone night's stark frown!
Human life and responsibility need not go together; human life and duty do not want to go together. Most human beings find it very distasteful to accept responsibility and duty. They do not want to be responsible even for their own actions, let alone for others' actions. Human life is afraid of responsibility. Human life is afraid of duty. But the divine life takes responsibility as a golden opportunity. The divine life takes duty as a golden opportunity. The divine life realises that we can expedite our Heavenward journey by fulfilling our God-ordained responsibilities, for this is what satisfies God. And the divine life knows that satisfaction can dawn in our life only when God is satisfied. If we do not satisfy God, no matter what we say, what we do or what we achieve, our true satisfaction will always remain a far cry.
The seekers who are walking along Eternity’s road always feel it is their bounden duty to do the first thing first. The first thing is God-realisation. God-satisfaction blossoms into reality only when God-realisation has taken place. If we can satisfy God even in an infinitesimal measure through our divine love, divine devotion and divine surrender, then our life of insufficiency, desire and frustration will be transformed into a life of considerable satisfaction. But if God is missing inside our achievement, there will not be an iota of satisfaction there. So seekers of the infinite Truth have come to realise that it is in God and God alone that supreme satisfaction resides.
The human truth tells us that God is in Heaven or somewhere else, but not inside us. He is a foreigner or a stranger to us. He is in the highest Heaven and we are wallowing in the pleasures of ignorance on earth. How can God’s Existence loom large in our life of impurity, in our life of inconscience, in our life of death? This is what the human truth says. But the divine truth tells us in soulful and unmistakable terms that God is bound to be within us. It tells us that the Heaven we are talking about is not somewhere else, not in the highest plane of imaginary consciousness. Heaven is not a location; Heaven is a plane of consciousness inside our illumined heart. This plane of consciousness which is fully illumined lives for the illumination of earth, the illumination of human consciousness. If we know what Heaven is and where Heaven is, then it is extremely easy for us to lead a divine life, for we see that Heaven is part and parcel of ourselves.
God is nearer to us than our eyes and nose, only we do not have the vision to see Him. When we keep our human eyes closed, we cannot see anything; we cannot see even the things that are near us. Similarly, if we keep the inner eye shut, then we cannot see God. When we open this inner eye, this third eye, we can see the past, we can see the future, we can see God’s Height, we can see God’s Depth.
Unfortunately, our third eye is fast asleep precisely because we do not feel the need of that eye. Most human beings are afraid of seeing their past and their future because they know what they were in the past. They know what kind of animal life they led and they don’t want to see it again. Also, if they see the enormity of the future, the vastness of Infinity, Eternity and Immortality, they will be frightened to death. Again, some people are eager to open their third eye, but God’s Hour has not struck for them. They meditate for a few years to open up the third eye, yet it does not open. But if the third eye does not open in the span of five years, they should feel either that they are not praying and meditating well or that this boon is not meant for them.
In the spiritual life aspiration is of paramount importance, but patience is also of paramount importance. We have to wait for God’s Hour. Aspiration is like the runner’s starting point. Then, when the starter fires the gun, he runs at his top speed. This is his aspiration. The goal is God’s Hour. He has to run fast, very fast to reach the goal. The distance he has to run to reach the goal is fixed by God. If God wants the seeker to run one hundred metres, and if the seeker runs only seventy metres and then feels that he should have reached the goal by then, whose fault is it? The seeker has to cover the whole distance; he must run the full one hundred metres. Then only will he see God’s Hour waiting for him. In the spiritual life aspiration is the starting point and patience is God’s Hour. If the seeker starts his journey with aspiration and continues with aspiration plus patience, then he is destined to reach his Goal.
The unlit, obscure, ignorant and earth-bound human life can get its realisation, liberation and salvation only when it enters into Heaven’s conscious and constant Blessings, Love, Compassion and Concern. How do we discover Heaven? In self-offering — self-offering according to God’s Will and not our will. In the human way of life, the offering of reciprocal understanding or misunderstanding is the order of the day. I give to you and you give back to me. I strike you; you strike me. I speak well of you; you speak well of me. This is the human way. But the divine way is totally different. If it is God’s Will, without the least possible hesitation I give to you what I have and what I am. What I have is the inner cry to climb up high, higher, highest. What I am is constant dedication to you and to the world at large, without expecting anything in return. Our life of aspiration is the life of constant awareness, constant self-giving, constant feeling of inseparable oneness with God and humanity. This is the divine way.
Sometimes we give of ourselves and feel that we are most generous. But it may happen that our offering is going to the wrong person, to one who does not need it or want it right now, to one who is fast asleep. The hour has struck for us to get up and to go to the inner school to learn, but our friends may still be fast asleep. We feel that we are doing them a favour by waking them, but they may not like the idea of getting up at this early hour. They may be irritated and angry. Our self-offering should be to the Divinity in humanity, but not to each individual as such. We will make a Himalayan blunder if we offer our dedication to someone who is still fast asleep in the inner world. He does not want our help right now. If we obey God’s Will, we will help the right person, the person who is ready to come out of his ignorance-sleep and run with us to the Golden Shore. When we follow the divine life, when we lead a divine life, we always place God first in all our activities. His Will we execute. It is He who chooses the person or persons in whom we shall serve Him.
MRP 39. Queen Margaret Union, University Gardens, Glasgow University, Glasgow, Scotland, 29 June 1974.↩
The inner hunger1Dear sisters and brothers, dear seekers of the infinite Truth, here we are all seated in a boat. The name of this boat is God’s Dream-Boat. This Dream-Boat is sailed by our Inner Pilot. In it we are safe and it shall take us to the Golden Shore of the Beyond.
Is there anybody on earth who has never been hungry? No! Is there any soul in Heaven who has never been hungry? No! Each human being on earth is suffering from inner hunger. Each soul in Heaven also is suffering from inner hunger. Here we are all seekers. A seeker is hungry for God-realisation. A soul in Heaven is hungry for God-manifestation.
As an ordinary human being, an unaspiring being, we have already known what earthly hunger is. To fulfil earthly hunger we need material food and material possessions; we need a distinct individuality and personality and we need the pride of supremacy. This is what we notice in our unaspiring earthly hunger, our ordinary human hunger. But when we become spiritual seekers, we have a different hunger. At that time we hunger for God’s Light, Truth, divine Beauty, Peace and Bliss. We hunger for Infinity, Eternity and Immortality.
When we have earthly hunger, very often we adopt foul means to satisfy our hunger. We try to feed ourselves in our own human way without knowing, without feeling and without becoming the inner light. But when we try to satisfy our divine hunger, we try to satisfy it by pleasing God in His own Way. We are able to satisfy it only by pleasing the Supreme in His own Way. We become the song of unconditional surrender, divine surrender to God’s adamantine Will. This Will is also His all-loving Will.
A human child has hunger. He is hungry for affection and love from his parents, but his hunger is not illumined. His hunger is unlit. Within each human seeker there is a divine child. Call it a soul or anything else you want to. This divine child also needs Affection, Love, Concern and Compassion from God the Father and from God the Mother. But there is a striking difference between these two children. When the human child sees that his parents show affection and love to others, he immediately falls victim to jealousy. He feels sad and miserable. The divine child is pleased only when his divine, transcendental Parents offer equal Love, Affection, Concern and Compassion to all his friends, relatives and acquaintances. This child will never be pleased in a selfish way. He will be pleased only if everybody gets the same things that he gets. This child is pleased only when it sees satisfaction within and satisfaction without.
Each individual soul is hungry for God’s Smile. It knows that there is nothing as important as God’s Light in the life of aspiration and dedication. God too is hungry, hungry for the seeker’s smile. That is the only thing He wants from us. He waits for millennia in order to get a smiling face from His earth-children.
We pray to God for millions of things; we pray to God to fulfil our countless desires. But when we become seekers we feel that there is only one thing that will satisfy us and that is God’s Smile. If a seeker is not advanced, if he is not on the verge of Self-realisation, he finds it difficult to feel that God is constantly smiling at him from His transcendental Height of divine Concern and Compassion. Because this seeker does not dive deep within, he finds it difficult to believe that God is smiling at him while transforming his agelong ignorance into eternal Wisdom-Light.
It has been said that no clock is more regular than the sun. This truth is undeniable. But in the spiritual world we can say that no clock is more regular than our Heart’s inner mounting cry. This inner cry wants to climb high, higher, highest and reach the acme of perfection. This cry is constant inside each fleeting second, and its climbing flame is birthless and deathless.
When we become soulful seekers, we become consciously aware of the inner cry of aspiration. Before that, this inner cry remained hidden inside; we did not feel it. But once we begin to consciously aspire, we feel the need of something eternal and perpetual; once we feel that terrestrial things do not please us, at that time we get the inner cry for something that can satisfy us permanently.
Right now we are beginners in the spiritual life, but we are not going to remain beginners forever. One does not remain in the kindergarten all his life. One hungers for ever-increasing wisdom until there comes a time when he gets his Master’s degree and Ph.D. Similarly, the beginner-seekers will not be doomed to disappointment. Everyone plays the role of a beginner at some time. But ultimately the beginner becomes advanced and reaches the highest Height.
The body has a hunger of its own. The vital has a hunger of its own. The mind has a hunger of its own. The heart has a hunger of its own. The body’s hunger can be satisfied by material food or by wallowing in the pleasures of ignorance. But the same body-consciousness eventually comes to realise that in pleasure-life there is not and cannot be any abiding satisfaction. Pleasure-life is eventually followed by a sense of tremendous frustration, and inside frustration what looms large is a sense of utter destruction.
The vital’s hunger can be satisfied by domination. To lord it over the world like Napoleon or Julius Caesar is its desire. But the vital, too, eventually comes to realise that in domination there is no abiding satisfaction. There is only an ever-increasing craving and an ever-mounting frustration which houses destruction within its breast.
The hunger of the mind can be satisfied by doubting the world. If it can doubt the entire creation and nullify or annihilate the whole world, the physical mind gets tremendous satisfaction. The mind feels it is the highest member of the human family and that it alone can illumine the whole being. At times the mind goes so far as to feel that it is in a position to add to the light of the soul, although this idea is most ridiculous. The soul is the guide and representative of the Lord Supreme. The soul has infinitely more light than the mind even at its highest. Nevertheless, the mind cherishes this kind of absurdity. Frustration and destruction loom large in the hunger of the mind.
The hunger of the human heart is to love and to be loved. When the heart is hungry for love, the heart does not see in itself the light of the soul. This is because it consciously or unconsciously mixes with the vital, or we can say that the vital enters into the heart. Rather than inspire, the vital instructs or instigates the human heart to claim love from others, and the heart tries to force its way into others. This is absolutely wrong! When the human heart plays the game of possession, which is not a positive or divine quality, it finds no satisfaction because the person it possesses is a bundle of ignorance. Once again frustration and destruction play their roles. When the heart itself becomes a flood of sincerity, it sees its mistakes and feels miserable that realisation is still a far cry.
When we are insincere, we feel not only that we have reached the goal but also that we are ready to offer the goal to the world at large. When we are sincere, all our imperfections come to the fore and we realise how far we are from our goal. When we pray and meditate, our heart does become sincere. When this sincerity speaks, our heart feels miserable and immediately runs to the soul, to its elder divine brother, for guidance and illumination. Then the soul guides the heart. When the heart establishes a free access to the soul, the heart is safe. The human heart at that time becomes the perfect instrument for God-manifestation on earth.
Earth has a hunger, a special hunger. Earth hungers to see the face of Heaven. Earth has had the vision of Heaven’s face only in silence during its highest plane of wakeful consciousness. But earth wants to see the face of Heaven inside its multifarious activities twenty-four hours a day. Earth wants to see the reality of Heaven not in a dream but in its waking hours. Earth feels that Heaven embraces all the Glory, Divinity, Infinity, Eternity and Immortality of the Absolute Supreme. Earth feels that by establishing a deep friendship with Heaven it will be able to get God’s Grace, Compassion, Love and Blessing in the twinkling of an eye.
Heaven too has a special hunger. Heaven hungers to feed the heart of earth. It feels that earth’s heart is simple, sincere, genuine, pure and all-loving. Heaven feels that its dream can be manifested only through the aspiring heart of Mother Earth. Heaven tries to make friends with the heart of earth because it feels that this is the only way it can manifest and transform its dream into reality.
Earth feels that by pleasing and becoming one with Heaven’s consciousness it will be able to bring down God’s Light sooner than at once. Heaven feels that by establishing a deep friendship with the heart of earth it will be able to fulfil its dream as soon as possible. This dream was Heaven’s promise to the Absolute Supreme that, with the cooperation of earth, it would manifest God’s Light, God’s Beauty, God’s Truth, God’s Peace and all His divine qualities here on earth.
Human hunger starts with “I”, but when it turns spiritual it becomes “we”. When it turns absolutely divine, this hunger becomes nothing short of “God-existence”. When we are hungry to achieve and fulfil God the Root, then only can we begin to fulfil the God-Tree’s branches. If we do not have a hunger for the Source, our hunger will not be perpetual, everlasting and immortal. A seeker of the highest Truth comes to realise that with human hunger there will be no satisfaction. Only if we are hungry for the infinite Light will real satisfaction dawn in our lives. The human satisfaction of claiming others we shall deny for the divine satisfaction of self-giving. Not by claiming others as our very own, but only by constant self-offering to the world at large do we attain lasting satisfaction. When we offer ourselves totally and unconditionally to our Inner Pilot, our life-long hunger for oneness with our Source is satisfied for Eternity.
MRP 40. Graduates' Memorial Building, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, 1 July 1974.↩
Fear in the spiritual life1Dear sisters and brothers, here we are all seekers, seekers of the infinite Truth and Light. We are all seated in God’s Dream-Boat. At God’s choice Hour, we shall reach the Golden Shore of the Beyond. I wish to give a short talk on fear, fear of the inner life and fear of the outer life.
What is fear? Fear is an experience of the finite life. Fear is an experience of the earth-bound consciousness. Where is fear? Fear is inside the heart of the life that does not proceed. Man is afraid of the animal life because he feels that the animal life will destroy him. Man is afraid of the human life because he feels that the human life will fail him in the long run. Man is afraid of the divine life because he feels that the divine life will expose his teeming weaknesses.
Man is right when he feels that the animal life will destroy him. He is perfectly right when he feels that the human life will eventually fail him. But he is totally wrong when he feels that the divine life will expose him.
The divine life is the life of God the Divine Mother. Let us think of a human mother and a human child. When a human mother notices the shortcomings, imperfections and weaknesses of her son, what does she do? She hides them carefully and secretly. She will never even think of exposing her own child to the world. So the Divine Mother, who is infinitely more loving and compassionate than the human mother, can never expose Her son. Like the human mother, She hides the teeming imperfections of Her son from others; then She makes Her son aware of his shortcomings because She does not want Her son to repeat the same mistake. If he repeats the same mistake again and again, God-realisation will always remain a far cry for him. When She makes him aware of his mistakes, of his ignorance, She does it with the best intentions in order that he may know the difference between an ignorant life and a life of wisdom. The Mother Divine does not delay. She carries the child one step forward. She transforms the child’s ignorance into wisdom-light. She transforms his weakness into strength. She transforms his life of night into a life of light.
There can be no fear when we are aware of our universal oneness. We know a human child is very small, limited, weak and ignorant. But the human father is tall, strong and full of knowledge. The father may be commander-in-chief of a vast army: thousands of soldiers are afraid of him and even the nation is afraid of him. But look at his child! The child runs to his father and does anything he wants to. He does it precisely because he has established an inner oneness with his father. Where there is inner oneness, there can be no fear. A tiny drop is afraid of the mighty ocean as long as it retains its individuality and personality. But when the same drop feels its oneness with the vast ocean, it just enters into the mighty ocean and feels not only that the entire ocean belongs to it, but also that it has actually become the entire ocean. When we have a sense of separativity, we are bound to suffer from fear. But when we establish unity or oneness, there can be no fear.
Thousands of years ago the Vedic seers of the hoary past offered us a significant message: “The soul cannot be won by the weakling.” A weak person is he who is always afraid of something. He is even afraid of his own life. Yesterday he was afraid of today. He thought that today would try to fool him or deceive him. He had a dream yesterday and thought that today would not allow him to fulfil his dream. Today he is afraid of tomorrow. He is afraid of tomorrow because he feels that tomorrow is a stranger. He cannot have faith in a stranger; he cannot trust a stranger, for a stranger may cause tremendous trouble for him.
Now we are seekers; but there was a time when we were not seekers. Once we lived a desiring life, but now we are living the life of aspiration. When we led a desiring life we were afraid of the aspiring life. We thought that the aspiring life, which is God-life, would not make us happy. We thought it would inspire us to enter into the Himalayan caves to spend the rest of our lives in seclusion. Unfortunately, we cherished a wrong belief. Now we can easily see that although we have accepted the spiritual life we don’t have to go into the Himalayan caves. We can practise the life of aspiration here in the everyday world.
We are afraid that God-realisation is not meant for us; we feel that it is only for the selected few, so at times we are afraid of what we are doing. But if we are sincere, then we know that there have been people on earth who have realised God. And if we have the same inner cry, then we shall also realise God one day.
In the Western world, unfortunately, there is a peculiar kind of seeker who feels that if he accepts the spiritual life which is advocated by Indian Masters, he will have to give up his Christian religion. That is a deplorable mistake. One does not have to give up his religion in order to practise the spirituality that is taught by Indian Masters. The heart of spirituality is Yoga. Yoga means conscious oneness with God. Yoga is the path that leads to God. Religion is a house. You have to live in your house as a Christian, I have to live in my house as a Hindu, and somebody else has to live in his house as a Buddhist. Each one has to live in his own house, but everyone has the right to walk along the same road, which leads to his school where he gets his knowledge. The road belongs to everyone. But the houses do not belong to everyone. If it is your house, it belongs to you. If it is my house, it belongs to me. But the road belongs to all. In the inner life we can walk along the same road, no matter in which house we live; for the ultimate destination is always the same.
Again, we do not have to walk along the same road. There can be many roads which will lead us to the same destination. But we have to be wise. One road may be short and sunlit, another road may be very long and a little bit obscure. If we follow the road of the heart, then we are walking along the short and sunlit road. But if we walk along the path of the mind, then we are walking along the long, dark road.
We have to give due value and importance to time. If we can arrive sooner at our destination, then we can continue on to our next destination. When we reach our destination, we realise God; but this is not the end of our achievement. Once we realise God, we have to reveal God. After we have revealed God, we have to manifest God here on earth. God-realisation is our first goal, God-revelation is our second goal and God-manifestation is our third goal. The sooner we can reach our first destination, the better for us. I have come from New York to Europe. I came by plane, but I could have come by boat. Just because I came by plane, it took me only a few hours to make the journey. This is the short cut. If I had come by boat, it would have taken me a few days or a week to arrive. My first goal was to come to Europe and I came the fastest, shortest way. Because I took the fastest route, I am now in a position to reach my second goal. My second goal is to give talks and to offer my dedicated service to the aspiring people here. My third goal will be to go back to New York, my source, where I have to do a great many things.
Fear causes worry. We always worry about our physical body. We worry because our physical is sleeping or because it suffers from ailments. We worry about our vital. We feel that our vital will destroy us or others. We are afraid of our mind and we worry about our mind. We feel that our mind may become full of doubt; then we shall not be able to believe anybody. Or we feel that our mind may not have enough doubt, and people will call us a fool. We are afraid of our own heart and we worry about our heart. We feel that if our heart does not feel its oneness with everyone, then we shall suffer much. We are worried that if our heart does not accept the light of the soul, then we will remain always in darkness,
Finally, we are afraid of death and we worry about death. We are afraid of death because death is unknown to us. Anything that is unknown to us creates terrible fear in us. But we do not know that death is also afraid of us. Death is afraid of us when we become seekers of the transcendental Truth. Death is afraid of us when we become one with the Love of God. When we become one with God’s transcendental and universal Love, at that time we grow into an eternal Life. This eternal Life is always unknowable to death. Before we grow into eternal Life, we are afraid of death. After we have become eternal Life, death is afraid of us.
MRP 41. Biblioteca Comunale, Piazzale Accursio, Milan, Italy, 3 July 1974.41. Biblioteca Comunale, Piazzale Accursio, Milan, Italy, 3 July 1974.↩
Editor's note to the first editionThis book is a collection of the first ten university lectures Sri Chinmoy delivered during his third European lecture tour in the summer of 1974. The remaining eleven talks of that tour will make up the fourth volume in this series. The Master's earlier European lectures are collected in My Rose Petals, Part 1 (1970 talks) and Part 2 (1973 talks).