The oneness of the Eastern heart and the Western mind, part 2

Return to the table of contents

Section: United States of America

God's dream-boat and man's life-boat 1

There is always some compensation, even on God's part! God has not blessed me with a college degree or diploma. No, not even a high school certificate. But, out of His infinite Bounty, He has blessed my searching heart with the opportunity to serve Him in the seekers of the infinite Truth. You, who are the fortunate students of Yale, serve the University with your most devoted heads. The University serves you with its fathomless knowledge. I have now come to serve your matchless University, your distinguished professors and your significantly blooming minds with my heart's climbing flame and my soul's glowing love.

To be unreservedly and perfectly honest with you, while I was in India, my ignorance prevented me from being aware of more than six universities in the whole of the United States, namely Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, Rutgers and Cornell. Lo, where am I now? I am basking in the warmest kindness-invitation of Yale.

Socrates, the grandfather of philosophy, once said, "What I know is nothing." I am most humbly and devotedly trying to follow in his inimitable footsteps. At this point, perhaps you, my young friends, are tempted to accuse me of taking shelter under the blue-vast canopy of the Upanishadic lore. True, the Kena Upanishad says:

"By him Brahman is comprehended who thinks that he has not. By him Brahman is not comprehended who thinks that he has. Brahman is not understood by those who say that they understand Him. Brahman is understood by those who say that they do not understand Him."

To those of you who are not quite familiar with the Indian philosophy, this particular message of the Kena Upanishad may sound absurd. But I wish to say that the significance of this momentous message is otherwise. What Brahman is, is infinite Consciousness. The Vedic and Upanishadic Seers of yore were wont to share with mankind their inner realisations that Brahman, the infinite Consciousness, is always in the process of transcending the limitless expanse of the Beyond. Brahman's Infinity, along with Brahman's Eternity and Immortality, are ever on the march.

To come back to the university and the students. The profound thought of Adlai Stevenson flashes across my mind: "Men may be born free; they cannot be born wise, and it is the duty of the university to make the free wise."

Freedom and wisdom must always shake hands. If not, freedom will suffer from headache and wisdom from stomach-ache. O land of peerless freedom! I am positive that yours is the heart that cries for loftiest wisdom, too. God is showering His choicest Blessing on you. Before long, you will be crowned with unparalleled success.

Now let me come back to my talk, "God's Dream-Boat and Man's Life-Boat." Today is the possessor of our dream, tomorrow is the possessor of our reality. What our earth-bound consciousness experiences is really our dream. What our Heavenward consciousness realises is our reality. Our dream not only prepares us, but also offers itself to us as our solid preparation. Likewise, reality not only illumines us, but also presents itself to us as our brightest Illumination.

Here I record the conversation between God's Dream-Boat and Man's Life-Boat.

Man's Life-Boat: I am crying, struggling, striving, desiring and aspiring, O God's Dream-Boat. What more is expected of me?

God's Dream-Boat: Something more.

Man's Life-Boat: I concentrate, I meditate, I contemplate. What else is left?

God's Dream-Boat: Something more.

Man's Life-Boat: I know I am imperfection incarnate. You are Perfection embodied, revealed and manifested. What else have I to know?

God's Dream-Boat: Something more.

Man's Life-Boat: I can only tell You that if I were You, all Your longings would have had their due fulfilment in me by this time.

God's Dream-Boat: O Man's Life-Boat, I needed you. I need you. I shall forever need you. You have at long last seen in Me your Friend, true Friend. Me you have won.

God is man's eternal Friend. When man approaches God, not as a beggar, but as a Friend, he gets God sooner. He gets God in His sweetest Form. We are not God's slaves. We are His children, His chosen children.

God's Dream-Boat is the Heavenly individuality of man's Life-Boat. Man's Life-Boat is the earthly personality of God's Dream-Boat. Man's Life-Boat is sailing towards the Promised Land where Infinity plays, Eternity sings and Immortality dances. But where is this Promised Land? It is in the heart of Here and in the soul of Now. Human life is precious, priceless. The poet-soul in Emily Dickinson softly and unerringly tells the world:

I took one draught of life,
I'll tell you what I paid,
Precisely an existence —
The market-price, they said.

What is existence? Existence is God's Body. What is God's Body? God's Body is Infinity's Life. What is Infinity's Life? Infinity's Life is God's Dream. What is God's Dream? God's Dream is His Transcendental Reality's embodied inspiration and revealed aspiration.

We all must realise God. We must stand firm in this resolve. Ours must be the aspiration to explore the realm of the Spirit. Our inner urge should be insistent, nay, irresistible. Then the certainty of God-realisation will loom large before us on every side. A regular chart of divine duties must be drawn up by us, in which top priority must, by all manner of means, be given to meditation.

Let us work. Let us meditate. Our life-breath let us not waste. Death will give us enough rest, more than we need. Let us work, let us meditate, for our dedicated life-activities are unmistakably the supernal glories of God.

We know what our earthly activities are. It is high time for us to focus our soulful attention on God's activities. What does God do with His Life? He flows His Life through us. What does God do with His Peace? He comes to us with His Peace to transform our weaknesses into strengths. What does God do with His Joy? He gives us His Joy and tells us that His Joy is our Life-Boat's only Goal. What does God do with His Power? He gives us His Power to love the world, to brighten the face of the world, to perfect our responsibility to others, so that we can truly fulfil our Heavenly responsibility on earthly soil.

Dear friends, you have many teachers. I have only three and no more. My teachers are Mind, Heart and Soul.

My Mind tells me that God is an Eternal Mystery.
My Heart tells me that God is an Eternal Experience.
My Soul tells me that God is an Eternal Achievement.

I end my talk with a fervent request to you:

Think of God. You will see God standing behind you.
Pray to God. You will see God standing in front of you.
Meditate on God. You will see God seated inside you.
Devote yourself to God. You will see God within, without, here and beyond.
Surrender yourself to God. You will see God's stupendous Pride in you.


  1. EHWM 112. Yale University; New Haven, Connecticut, USA, W. L. Harkness Hall, 4 December 1968. This was Sri Chinmoy's first university lecture in America and also his first lecture at an Ivy League university.

Man and his goal

State University of New York at Farmingdale;
Farmingdale, New York, USA
11 December 1968

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

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

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

A man said to the universe, "Sir, I exist!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Man and God. Try to realise God. Both God and man will say to you, "Wonderful, go ahead." Try to explain God. Man will immediately tell you, "Stop. Do not belittle God, do not torture God." God will voice forth, "Stop. For My sake at least, do not deceive men, do not deceive My children."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Beyond

Princeton University; Princeton, New Jersey, USA
13 January 1969
""Behold, I do not give lectures or a little charity. When I give, I give myself." — Walt Whitman"

My heart of dedication echoes and re-echoes with Whitman's throbbing utterance. At the same time, I wish to add something more to my own dedication. I give lectures. I give lectures not because I have something special to offer to humanity, but because I wish to expand my mind's horizon, my heart's love and my body's service so that I can become totally one with God's Divinity in humanity. Once I have done it, once I have become one with God's Divinity in humanity, I shall have to make no effort to offer myself to God's children, for I shall have become consciously one with them. Together we shall sing the song of God's unity in His multiplicity.

Princeton University, a flood-tide of enthusiasm and joy sweeps over me now. In 1902 Woodrow Wilson became the President of this University. For eight long years he served this University and carried out a good many reforms of this Institution. I am all admiration for him, for his heart cried for human unity. The world remembers him as the chief architect of the organisation known as the League of Nations, a potential step towards human unity. In his Inaugural Address, on his assumption of the Presidential Chair of the United States, he said, "This is not a day of triumph; it is a day of dedication. Here muster, not the forces of the party, but the forces of humanity." This message of his can serve as a safe harbour for humanity's life-boat.

Woodrow Wilson, once the President of this University, said something striking with regard to the University and its students, "The use of a University is to make young men as unlike their fathers as possible." This means that the past, no matter how grand and significant, must be surpassed, transcended. The message of yore need not be and cannot be the ultimate seal for humanity's ever-progressing march towards the absolute fulfilment.

I hope it will not be out of place to say a word about his daughter, Margaret Woodrow Wilson. But before I invite her into the picture, let me invite first Leo Tolstoy. Tolstoy said, "To say that you can love one person all your life is just like saying that one candle will continue burning as long as you live." This is true in the case of a flickering candle, and it may be true in the case of fleeting human love, but it was definitely not true in the case of Margaret Woodrow Wilson. In 1938 she joined a spiritual community, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in South India, and sat at the feet of her spiritual Master, Sri Aurobindo. She declared, "Here is one on earth whom one can love all one's life and in whom one can lose oneself." She received the name 'Nishtha' from her Master. He wrote this about it: "Nishtha —- the name —- means one-pointed, fixed and steady concentration, devotion and faith in the single aim —- the Divine and the Divine Realisation" (5 November 1938). Both father and daughter embodied faith, the divine quality, in full measure —- the father in humanity's cause, the daughter in divinity's cause. Once when a physical ailment of hers tended to be serious and it was suggested to her to return to America and consult her family doctor, she flatly refused, saying, "They can take care of my body, but who will take care of my soul?" Margaret Woodrow Wilson passed away on 12 February 1944. Her tombstone in the cemetery of Pondicherry, the small town in South India that is the home of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, bears the simple inscription in French: "Ci-git la depouille mortelle de Nishtha, Margaret Woodrow Wilson, 16 avril 1886—12 fevrier 1944." (Here lie the mortal remains of…)

Our topic for tonight is "The Beyond." Our faith in God, more so in ourselves, can alone lead us into the Life of the Beyond.

Men say that they do not know the Beyond. I say that they have forgotten the Beyond. They say that the Beyond has been stolen away. I say that they have unconsciously hidden the Beyond. They say that it is easier to realise the Beyond than to live in the Beyond. I say that God and the Beyond are One, indivisibly One. Once you have realised God, the Beyond itself will live in you, grow in you and be fulfilled in you.

The Beyond is for him alone who aspires. A man without aspiration does not see in the nights of ignorance. A man with desires does not see either in the nights of ignorance or in the knowledge-dawn. But a man of aspiration sees through and beyond the adamantine wall of ignorance and the luminous windows of knowledge. He takes ignorance and knowledge as one. His is the heart that pines to imbibe the Nectar-Truth of the Upanishads with a view to entering into the fulfilment of the Beyond.

Vidyan cavidyan ca yas tad vedobhayam saha

Avidyaya mrtyum tirtva vidyayamrtam asnute

He who takes ignorance and knowledge as one,
Through ignorance he crosses beyond death,
Through knowledge he crosses the boundaries of Immortality.

Do you want to see the face of the Beyond? Do you want to know what the Beyond looks like? If so, then launch, sooner than at once, into the sea of spirituality. Spirituality is self-development. Self-development eventually leads man to his self-realisation. True spirituality is practical, extremely practical. It is not satisfied with the Existence of God only in Heaven. It wants to prove to the entire world that God's Existence can be seen and felt here on earth, too. God is the Life of the Beyond. Earth is the Heart of God.

He who wants to live without air is a fool. He who wants to live without food is a greater fool. He who wants to live without the Truth, Light and Life of the Beyond is the greatest fool.

I know that I have to love God and be loved by God, since I wish to live in the Beyond. I asked God what He does with His Love. God said that He protects me, He illumines me and liberates me with His Love. God asked me what I do with my love. I said that like a child I bind Him, my Eternal Father, with my love. God cried with joy and I cried with gratitude.

When I see the Truth of the Beyond in me, I am something. When I see the Truth in others, I am someone. I wish to be both something and someone, if such is the Will of the Supreme. If not, I wish to be nothing. I wish to be no one. I wish only to obey His express Commands. To become one with the Will of the Supreme, to fulfil the Will of the Supreme, is to possess the Breath of the Beyond. To live in the Beyond is not to build castles in the air. The Beyond, the reality of the Beyond, can and does breathe in the immediacy of today, in the heart of Now. Meditate! Let us meditate on the Beyond. Lo! Ours, forever ours, is the Beyond.

There is only one Time and that Time is the Eternal Now. There is only one Truth and that Truth is that we are God's and God's alone. There is only one realisation and that realisation is that we represent everything, earthly human and Heavenly divine.

How to live in two worlds

Sarah Lawrence College; Bronxville, New York, USA
14 January 1969

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

- Emily Dickinson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The awakened consciousness of man is visibly tending towards the Divine. This is a most hopeful streak of light amidst the surrounding obscurities of today. This is a moment, not merely of joining hands, but of joining minds, hearts and souls. Across all physical and mental barriers between East and West, high above national standards and individual standards, will fly the supreme banner of Divine Oneness.

The outer world is a world of reasoning mind. The inner world is a world of experience. The outer world finds it hard to believe in the Existence of God. But in the inner world the Existence of God always looms large. Sri Aurobindo said, "They proved to me by convincing reasons that God does not exist, and I believed them. Afterward I saw God, for He came and embraced me. And now which am I to believe, the reasoning of others or my own experience?"

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

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

Duty supreme

Boston University; Boston, Massachusetts, USA
24 March 1969

The poet sang:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Vedanta Philosophy1

Seventy-three long years ago, precisely on this date, the great spiritual giant Swami Vivekananda dynamically blessed this University, the University unparalleled in the whole of the United States of America, with his august presence. He spoke on the Vedanta Philosophy. Today I am invited to speak on the same lofty subject. Seventy-three springs later, call it a mere stroke of fate, call it a destined, divine dispensation, on this fruitfully significant day, both spiritually and historically, I am at once proud and blessed to associate my humble name with that of Swami Vivekananda, a spiritual hero of Himalayan stature.

Thomas Jefferson, upon being made envoy to France after Benjamin Franklin, remarked, "I succeed him; no one could replace him." With all the sincerity at my command, I dare neither to replace nor to succeed Swami Vivekananda, but, as a son of Bengal, I wish to bask in the unprecedented glory of Sri Ramakrishna's dearest disciple, a unique son of Mother Bengal.

O Harvard University, I tell you a sweet secret of mine. Perhaps you have heard about the royal Bengal tigers. The fear of these tigers ruthlessly tortured my infant heart. O Harvard, your very name used to create almost the same fear in my mind in my adolescent days. But today, to my extreme surprise, you have awakened enormous joy in my heart.

Vedanta means 'the end of the Vedas'; indeed, this is purely a literal meaning. Otherwise, Vedanta has a reservoir of countless meanings; religious, philosophical, moral, ethical, spiritual, earthly human and Heavenly divine. Vedanta reveals guideposts for a spiritual pilgrimage —- a pilgrimage towards the Absolute Truth. This pilgrimage welcomes all those who soulfully cry for the Transcendental Brahman.

The earth-bound mind is too feeble to enter into the Truth Absolute. "The words return with the mind fruitlessly endeavouring to express what Truth is." This truth sublime we learn from the Vedas.

"Sarvam khalvidam brahma —- Verily, all this is Brahman." A true lover of Brahman needs must be a true lover of mankind. Never can he see eye to eye with Samuel Johnson, who voiced forth: "I am willing to love mankind, except an American." Needless to say, the teachings of Vedanta are marked by a rare catholicity of vision — always.

Vedanta welcomes not only the purest heart, but also the scoundrel of the deepest dye. Vedanta invites all. Vedanta accepts all. Vedanta includes all. Vedanta's inner door is open not only to the highest, but also to the lowest in human society.

India's Shankaracharya is by far the greatest Vedantin that our Mother Earth has ever produced. At the dawn of his spiritual journey, before he had attained to the Consciousness of the Absolute Brahman, a certain feeling of differentiation plagued his mind. Hard was it for him to believe that everything in the universe was Brahman. One day, as Shankara was returning home after having completed his bath in the Ganges, he chanced to meet a butcher — an untouchable. The butcher, who was carrying a load of meat, accidentally touched Shankara in passing. Shankara flew into a rage. His eyes blazed like two balls of fire. His piercing glance was about to turn the butcher into a heap of ashes. The poor butcher, trembling from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head, said, "Venerable Sir, please tell me the reason for your anger. I am at your service. I am at your command."

Shankara blurted out, "How dare you touch my body which has just been sanctified in the holiest river? Am I to remind you that you are a butcher?"

"Venerable Sir," replied the butcher, "who has touched whom? The Self is not the body. You are not the body. Neither am I. You are the Self. So am I." The Knowledge of the One Absolute dawned on poor Shankara. People nowadays in India claim that the butcher was none other than Lord Shiva who wanted Shankara to practise what he was preaching. Also, according to many, Shankara himself was an incarnation of Lord Shiva.

However, by no means should we neglect the body. The body is the temple. The soul is the Deity therein. Have we not learned from Vedanta that it is in the physical that the spiritual disciplines have to be practised?

Lo and behold, Walt Whitman is powerfully knocking at our heart's door: "If anything is sacred, the human body is sacred."

The five cardinal points of Vedanta are: the Oneness of Existence, the Divinity in Man, the Divinity of Man, Man the Infinite and Man the Absolute.

Vedanta expresses itself through three particular systems: Advaita or Non-Dualism, Vishishtadvaita or Qualified Non-Dualism and Dvaita, Dualism. These three ancient systems developed large sects in India, which were later shaken by the arrival of Buddhism. Buddhism shook the Vedic-Upanishadic tree. India is eternally grateful, therefore, to Shankara for the revival of the Non-Dualistic system, to Ramanuja for the Qualified Non-Dualistic System and to Madhava for the Dualistic System.

Shankara's advaita or monism

According to Shankara, there is only one Reality, and this Reality is Brahman. Brahman and Brahman alone is the Absolute Reality. Nothing does or can exist without Brahman.

To our sorrow, the world has misunderstood Shankara. He is being misrepresented. If one studies Shankara with one's inner light, one immediately comes to realise that Shankara never did say that the world is a cosmic illusion. What he wanted to say and what he did say is this: the world is not and cannot be the Ultimate Reality.

Shankara saw the light of day in the eighth century a.d. In those days, spirituality was on the wane in India. The Indian spirituality or, should I say, the Hindu spirituality, was undergoing a serious operation while a good many pseudo-religious sects were growing like mushrooms. The Supreme commanded Shankara's appearance on Indian soil to cast these unhealthy sects aside and re-establish one religion, the religion of the Vedas, the Sanatana Dharma, the Eternal Religion. Shankara advocated monism. This monism is the oneness absolute of the universe, man and God.

The Buddha stole God's Heart and Compassion; Shankara, God's Mind and Intellect; Sri Chaitanya, God's Body and Love; Sri Ramakrishna, God's Soul and Vision; Swami Vivekananda, God's Vital and Will.

India's champion philosopher, Shankara, founded modern philosophy in India. Europe's champion philosopher, Spinoza, founded modern philosophy in Europe. America's champion philosopher, Emerson, founded modern philosophy in America.

Shankara's Kevala Advaita is above all dualism. In his monism, there is no room for relative things, relative values, the pair of opposites, for all these come and go, appear and disappear. What is eternal is the Transcendental Brahman. "Ekam evadvitiyam —- That is the One without a second."

Shankara's philosophy has dealt considerably with maya. Maya is now taken to mean 'illusion', but its literal meaning is 'measurement of extension'. It refers to a kind of conception. When we want to conceive and express the Truth, with our incapacities or our very limited capacity, maya offers its help and comes to our rescue. But the Brahman, being infinite, escapes both our conception and our expression. Maya is the power that causes the world to be really real and, at the same time, distinct from God. Maya is a power, a mysterious power, a power always inconceivable.

"To quote Swami Bodhananda:
Shankara confesses his ignorance about this power, but he assumes it as a fact, just as we assume electricity as power, although we do not know what electricity is. He accepted maya as a power, as a fact. Centrifugally it is the becoming of the One, this Absolute Spirit, into the many, and centripetally the re-becoming of the many into that One. So, in this way, maya is an eternal power. By this power, Brahman projects Himself in the forms of God, man and universe. These are inseparable from maya, as well as from Brahman."

Shankara and Vedanta will always go together down the sweep of centuries. They are like twin souls.

Ramanuja's vishishtadvaita or qualified non-dualism

According to Ramanuja, the world is real, absolutely real, but it is wanting in perfection. At the same time, it does not care for perfection. It has no destined goal. The world was created by God's Inspiration, is sustained by His Concern and will be dissolved by His Will. The world is God's playground. He performs His lila, 'drama', here. This eternal sport of His is His constant movement, His spontaneous expression in endless repetition. Man is real. But he has to depend on God. The world is real. But it has to depend on God. Without God, both man and the world are meaningless futility. Man can be released and will be released from the meshes of ignorance one day and he is bound to realise God. But some difference between man and God will always remain. Man will remain eternally below God, hence he will always have to worship God. Ramanuja's path is mainly the path of Devotion. He stands firm against the theory of Shankara's undifferentiated Kevala Advaita. To him, Brahman is and can only be personal. A true aspirant can realise the Highest Truth and achieve the Knowledge infinite while he is still on earth.

Madhava's dvaita or dualism

Madhava's philosophy affirms the complete duality between the Brahman and the self (the small self). God, man and the world have a permanent existence. But man and the world have to depend solely on God for their existence. God is at once above the universe and in the universe. God has a divine Body that transcends all our human imagination. Nothing can be done on earth without God's immediate Concern, direct Approval and express Command from the inner planes. The Supreme Will of the Supreme guides the world. It pilots the world to its Destined Goal. Man can be free from the shackles of ignorance only when it is the Will of the Supreme. Liberation is not only possible, but inevitable. What is absolutely essential for liberation is man's loving adoration of God.

Now I wish to tell you what I feel about Vedanta. Just once, soulfully utter the word Vedanta. Immediately it will have the effect of a magic spell on you. At once your heart is inspired, your consciousness elevated and your life illumined.

To my sorrow, in the consciousness of the Western world the idea of sin is extravagant. A Vedantin's dictionary does not house the word sin. What he knows within and without is a series of obstacles —- doubt, fear and desire. He feels that he must not doubt the Divinity within him. No earthly fear can he allow to take birth in him. No desire, significant or insignificant, can ever blight the purest heart in him. Very often we are inclined to see ignorance all around. A Vedantin is justifiably apt to see the underlying Truth here, there and everywhere.

Religious people, especially the spiritual ones, cherish abundant joy in their feeling that they live in God's world, in one undivided world. Each individual is a true brother to them. The sense of brotherhood reigns supreme in their all-loving hearts. A Vedantin's heart is fully at one with them. He goes one step ahead. He sublimely declares, "Tat twam asi —- That Thou art." He sees and feels each human being as the embodiment of the Absolute Brahman.

Vedanta means freedom, freedom from limitations, freedom from bondage and freedom from ignorance. America is the land of matchless freedom. The American soil is exceptionally fertile for God to grow the Vedantic truth in measureless measure. Vedanta's freedom is the inner freedom. When the inner freedom comes to the fore and guides and directs the outer freedom, the outer freedom unmistakably and gloriously runs towards its Destined Goal. This Goal is the manifestation of God's infinite Truth, Peace, Light, Bliss and Power here on earth. The inner freedom is the realisation of the Eternal. The outer freedom is the manifestation of the Infinite. When the inner freedom and the outer freedom soulfully and divinely run abreast, today's man changes into tomorrow's God,

I would like to conclude my talk with a word about your universally cherished student John F. Kennedy. I would like to offer today's talk, our collective dedication, our unifying love and our united achievements to his hallowed memory and soaring aspiration.


  1. EHWM 117. Harvard University; Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 25 March 1969. This lecture was published in The Philosopher, The Journal of the Philosophical Society of England, Spring 1971.

God and myself

Brandeis University; Waltham, Massachusetts, USA
26 March 1969

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Desire and aspiration

New York University; New York, New York, USA
29 March 1969

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do not embrace vice. In refraining, you will possess something more valuable: self-control. What is self-control? It is the power that tells you that you do not have to run towards your Goal. The Goal has to come to you, and it shall.

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

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

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

How to please God

University of Bridgeport; Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA
14 April 1969

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conscious oneness with God

Columbia University; New York, New York, USA
16 April 1969

Hail, Columbia! Columbia, the country, Columbia, the university, Hail! The word Columbia immediately inspires my heart, awakens my mind and pulls my life straight into my soul's core.

The world is told by "The Star-Spangled Banner" what you truly and soulfully are: "The land of the free and the home of the brave."

On 17 October 1949, Columbia University conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws on Prime Minister Nehru of India. Our Prime Minister, at the beginning of his memorable speech, said something most significant.

"I have come to you not so much in my capacity as Prime Minister of a great country or as a politician, but rather as a humble seeker after truth, and as one who has continuously struggled to find the way, not always with success, to fit action to the objectives and ideals that I have held."

Nehru is a veritable pride, not only of India, but of the entire world. Indeed, he was a peerless son of Mother Earth.

Now I wish to tell you, in all humility, that I too have come to you as a seeker after the infinite Truth. I have come here to serve you all, to serve this august University in its inner urge to reach the highest Truth.

God and man. God and man are one. They are eternally one. God knows it. Man also will know it. He will.

Fear separates man from God. Doubt separates man from God. Self-indulgence separates man from God.

When we fear something, we have to know that suffering has already started torturing us from what we fear. We have two children within us. One child is afraid of the teeming darkness in the world. The other child is afraid of the world-transforming infinite Light. He is the ignorance-child who is afraid of darkness. He is the child unaspiring who is afraid of Light.

Doubt is obstinate. Doubt is cruel. Poor man, with his doubt he doubts the existence of God, who is All-Existence. Alas, what is worse is that he is ever in doubt about his own doubts. He is lost. He is ruined. "Samsayatma vinasyate —- A doubting soul is doomed to be ruined." This is what we have learned from the Bhagavad Gita, India's Bible.

Self-indulgence. Today what we call self-indulgence, tomorrow that very thing we call self-annihilation. Indulgence comes to man with a gift, pleasure. Man touches and feels the gift. Lo and behold, pleasure transforms itself into bitter frustration.

No conscious embodiment of God where there is fear. No conscious realisation of God where there is doubt. No conscious oneness with God where there is self-indulgence.

It is in man's self-knowledge that man realises his conscious oneness with God. Alas, we think that we are what other people say we are. We also think we are what we appear to be when we use our limited capacity of understanding. According to others, we are useless. According to ourselves, we are meaningless. But according to God, we are at once most useful and most meaningful. He uses us to fulfil Himself. We must use Him to realise our true Self. The meaning of man's existence is God's Delight. The meaning of God's Existence is man's realisation of the Absolute.

We need love to establish our conscious oneness with God. If we want to have the accent on love in our life of aspiration, then we must put the stress on sacrifice at every moment.

We need sacrifice to establish our conscious oneness with God. If we want to have the accent on sacrifice in our life of aspiration, then we must put the stress on surrender. We must offer our total surrender to God's Will, and we must stay with our unconditional surrender at God's Feet.

Today's belief is tomorrow's achievement. In order to see your sincere belief transformed into true achievement you have to plead with your conscience to be your constant guide. When conscience is your guide, you grow into God's colossal Pride.

Very often you think of what you have to do, but you always do what you want to do. Now you want to have conscious oneness with God. Look around and you will see that somebody easily does what somebody else emphatically said could never be done. One was right yesterday and the other is right today. Here is a radiant proof that the message of the past can easily be challenged; or rather, it would be better to say that the knowledge of the past can be surmounted and it is meant to be surmounted.

Sisters and brothers, I offer to you my soul's assurance that you are bound to get what you want. You want to have conscious oneness with God. This oneness is certain. This oneness is destined. And to achieve this conscious oneness with God what you have to do is to meditate and concentrate, nothing more and nothing less. Meditate on the Highest in your soul and concentrate on the lowest in your nature. This is what you have to do. When you play your part, God will play His part in you and for you. During your meditation God will present you with His infinite Joy, Peace and Bliss. During your concentration God will transform your ignorance-sea into the sea of eternal Light. And then, unmistakably, what you will have is conscious oneness with God. Then what you will be is God's Dream fulfilled in Reality manifested.

The secret of inner peace

University of Connecticut at Storrs; Storrs, Connecticut, USA
19 April 1969

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

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

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

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

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

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

We sacrifice our precious time to make money. We sacrifice our hard-earned money to fight against time. In order to have something from the outer world, we have to sacrifice something of our own. Similarly, in the inner world we offer our aspiration in return for God-realisation. The flame of our aspiration is kindled by God Himself. The fruit of our realisation, too, we get from God directly. God is the Inspirer in us. God is the Eternal Giver in us. God is the Eternal Receiver in us. God uses aspiration to take us to Himself. God uses realisation to bring Himself to us.

God is sacrifice when we live in the world of aspiration. God is sacrifice when we live in the realm of realisation. But God says that there is no such thing as sacrifice. There is only one thing here on earth and there in Heaven, and that thing is called oneness: the fulfilment in oneness and the fulfilment of oneness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The quintessence of mysticism

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

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

The Seers sing:

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

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

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

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

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

Mysticism has a language of its own. Its name is Intuition. In it, no mind or mental analysis can ever exist. A mystic sits on the wings of the Intuition-Bird and flies to the Ultimate Real. Intuition reveals the perfect oneness of the Transcendental Vision and Absolute Reality. A mystic is sincere enough to tell the Truth. He says that it is next to impossible for him to interpret his inner experience. No word or thought can do justice to his experience.

At this point, the Vedic Seer cries out, "What shall I speak, what verily shall I think?" The poor mind and senses are no longer alive, having collapsed in their race towards the Unknown. Not for them the ultimate mystery of the Universe. Not for them the knowledge of the Beyond. Mysticism emphasises the unity of all souls in the Universal Soul. When we look at the Universe, we see it as the scene of conflict between good and evil, darkness and light, ignorance and knowledge. Needless to say, this struggle commenced long before the appearance of man and still continues. The light works in and through the aspiring soul; the darkness works in and through the unaspiring soul. The real transformation of human nature comes not through an austere, ascetic life or a complete withdrawal from the world, but through a gradual and total illumination of life. And for that, one needs aspiration. Aspiration, and aspiration alone, is the precursor of this illumination.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Action and liberation

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

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

""Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness."
Carlyle"

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is a saying that, "The thumb takes the responsibility; the index finger, the initiative." Similarly, man's aspiration takes the initiative, but it is God's Concern that takes the responsibility.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The world is offering its darkness to Sri Krishna. The world is offering its suffering to the Buddha. The world is offering its sin to the Christ.

The fallen consciousness of the world is flying towards the highest Beyond to be touched by Christ, the Saviour. The broken consciousness of the world is diving into the deepest Beyond to be embraced by Lord Buddha, the Liberator. The molten consciousness of the world is marching towards the farthest Beyond to be blessed by Sri Krishna, the Illuminator.

The supreme secret of meditation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To my extreme sorrow, some of you in the West have grave misconceptions about meditation. You feel that the acme of meditation is fortune-telling or miracle-mongering. Fortune-telling does not rhyme with meditation. Miracle-mongering does not rhyme with meditation, either. But realisation perfectly rhymes with meditation. Liberation soulfully rhymes with meditation.

Do you really want to realise God? Do you really want God's infinite Light, Peace and Bliss? If so, you should keep millions and millions of miles away from fortune-tellers and miracle-mongers. If you think that they inspire you, then you are mistaken. Go deep within and you will discover that they have just aroused your idle, eyeless and fruitless curiosity. Curiosity is not spirituality. And, secretly and consciously, the fortune-tellers and miracle-mongers have offered you something more: temptation. Temptation is the harbinger of destruction. It is here that the divine mission of your life — unsuccessful, unfulfilled — comes to an end. Let us be on the alert. I urge you not to confuse your heart's genuine meditation with fortune-telling and miracle-mongering. Do not waste your time. Your time is precious. Your meditation is priceless. Your achievement shall be the treasure of timeless Eternity, measureless Infinity and deathless Immortality. Do not wait. All things come to him who waits, except the realisation that 'today' embodies and the liberation that 'now' reveals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Secret Supreme

University of North Dakota; Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA
6 May 1969

The Secret Supreme is the Supreme Himself. He can be seen. He can be felt. He can be realised. When He is seen, He is Existence. When He is felt, He is Consciousness. When He is realised, He is Delight. In His embodiment of Existence, He is eternal. In His revelation of Consciousness, He is infinite. In His manifestation of Delight, He is immortal. His Vision Transcendental and His Reality Absolute are man's future achievements. Man's expanding love, crying devotion and glowing surrender are God's future possessions.

God is at once finite and infinite. He is in space. He can be measured. He must be measured. He is beyond space. He is measureless. He is boundless. He is infinite. Smaller than the point of a needle is He. Larger than the seven higher worlds and seven lower worlds combined is He. In His Heart is earth's suffering. In His Soul is Heaven's Joy. Secretly He tells earth, "My child, I am yours. I am at your service. Use Me. Lo, you and I are fulfilled." Openly He tells Heaven, "My child, you are Mine. You are at My service. Bend your head and go and give My Vision's Light and Reality's Height to your brother earth, younger in wisdom, older in patience."

The Secret Supreme is the Knowledge Supreme. This Knowledge is the song of liberation. This Knowledge is the dance of revelation. This Knowledge is the silence of perfection. When a man is liberated, he sits at the Feet of God. When a man reveals the highest Truth, he plays in the Heart of God. When a man is perfectly perfect, God will shake hands with him. Rest assured, one day God will send that perfect son of His into the world.

The world tells you a frightening secret: God is austere, God is demanding, God is stern. I tell you an illumining secret: God is reachable, God is loveable, God is enjoyable. When your mind is calm, God is reachable. When your heart is pure, God is loveable. When your soul is sure, God is enjoyable.

For God's sake, do not be afraid of Him. He not only enjoys but appreciates your jokes. Your innocent jokes delight Him. The Vedic Seer is now singing in you, through you and for you: "If, O God, Thou wert I, and I were Thee, Thy prayers should have their due fulfilment here and now."

And for your own sake, for your own joy and pride, you can sing along with the Vedic Seers: "O God, Thee I shall not sell for the highest price, not for a thousand, not for ten thousand, not for an amount measureless, O my Lord Supreme of Infinity's Plenitude."

Self-realisation is the Secret Supreme. Right now we are in both ignorance and knowledge. The Isa Upanishad teaches us that ignorance and knowledge should be pursued together. Through ignorance, we must conquer death. Through knowledge, we must obtain Immortality. Here ignorance means ritualistic actions, actions done for the sake of fruits. And knowledge means the deepest meditation that makes man consciously one with God; action done to fulfil God here on earth, there in Heaven; Truth for Truth's sake.

The world tells me that human birth is the worst possible curse. I tell the world that human birth is the best possible opportunity. India's peerless Avatar (direct descendant of God) Sri Krishna has something more to tell the world. He says, "Blessed is the human birth; even the dwellers in Heaven desire this birth, for God-realisation is attained only by human beings here on earth."

Dear North Dakotans, dear friends, dear brothers and sisters, I have come to you to speak on the Secret Supreme. I wish to spring a surprise on you. With my soulful joy and in all sincerity, I wish to tell you that your own State and your own University have secretly and most open-heartedly taught me the Supreme Secret. The dedicated motto of the State of North Dakota has taught me the Supreme Secret: "Liberty and Union, Now and Forever, One and Inseparable." The aspiring motto of the University of North Dakota has taught me the Supreme Secret: "Light and Law." With your kind permission I wish to say a few words on these two divine mottoes.

To start with the State motto, liberty means responsibility. Whose responsibility? God's responsibility. When a man is liberated from the meshes of ignorance, God acts in him proudly, God acts through him unreservedly, God acts for him unconditionally.

Lord Halifax once aptly remarked, "If none were to have liberty but those who understand what it is, there would not be many free men in the world."

We shall all have liberty, both inner and outer. The inner liberty is the highest realisation of the Absolute Truth. The outer liberty is the most successful manifestation of Divinity's perfect Perfection on earth.

Union, man's union with God: God is consciously and fully aware of it. Before long man, too, will be consciously and fully aware of this union. In man's union with God, we see man the soulful gratitude. In God's union with man, we see God the Compassion-Flood.

Now and forever: once liberty has given birth to man's union with God, or man's union with God has given birth to his liberty, man's life starts living forever in the Eternal Now.

One and inseparable: liberty and union are inseparable because they have to enlighten each other. Now and forever are inseparable because they have to feed each other. Man and God are inseparable because they have to fulfil each other.

It is time for us to dive into the life-growing and soul-fulfilling sea of the University motto: Lux et Lex (Light and Law).

Light is not a theoretical knowledge, but a practical wisdom. Law, the Divine Law, is not a command, but an experience. Man's inspiration expands through the bliss of Light. Man's aspiration ascends through the peace of Law. The spiritual Light has an inner glow that illumines the outer life. The unspiritual light has an outer glare that obscures the inner life. When an aspirant lives in Light, he is the doer. When an aspirant lives in the Divine Law, he is the knower. The difference between an ordinary man and an aspirant is this: an ordinary man wants to be defended by the law, although he himself will not care for or follow the law, whereas an aspirant will soulfully, unreservedly and unconditionally defend the law. Law is truth. We have to know how to use the truth in our daily activities.

"A truth that is told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.
— William Blake"

This is true, absolutely true. We must always tell the truth with a divine intent. Our truth must be flooded with love, concern and oneness. Our truth must illumine and not blind. Our truth must liberate and not bind. Finally, I wish to say with regard to the University motto that Light is the weight of the universal Soul, and Law is the height of the Transcendental Soul.

The Secret Supreme. If you want to realise the Secret Supreme, you have to meditate. You have to know how to meditate. And for that you need a spiritual Teacher. Until you have a Teacher of your own, you have to meditate all alone. During your meditation, do not be afraid of anything. Fear is something you can and must give up. God's constant Love is something you can and must have. Your fear kills God's Love. Your aspiration for God-realisation and your surrender to God's Will kill all your fear, born and yet to be born. Harbour divine confidence in the inmost recesses of your heart. Confidence is the secret of success. Hope is the secret of attempts. Doubt is poison. Doubt destroys your life of aspiration sooner than immediately. During your meditation, do not fight against evil thoughts. If you constantly fight against evil thoughts, you will, to your great surprise, only strengthen them. But if you open yourself to divine thoughts, evil thoughts will have no need for you. They will be terribly jealous of your divine thoughts and in no time will leave you.

During your meditation, try to cultivate divine love. Try to love humanity soulfully. You may say, "How can I love others when I do not know how to love myself?" I will tell you how you can love yourself. You can love yourself most successfully just by loving God unreservedly. You may ask, "How can I love God when I do not know what love is?" I will tell you what love is. Love is the transforming power in our human nature. Love transforms our life of stark bondage into the life of mightiest freedom. Love cries for Life. Love fights for Life. And, finally, love grows into the Life Eternal.

The Secret Supreme is God-realisation, nothing more and nothing less. Yesterday my ignorance unconsciously offered me to God. Today my knowledge consciously offers God to me. In my unconscious awareness of God, neither God nor I am fulfilled. In my conscious oneness with God, both God and I are fully fulfilled.

Mysticism

University of Minnesota; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
7 May 1969

Study mysticism if you want to. It will give your heart joy, your mind inspiration and your life a true, fulfilling and soulful assurance. But do not try to define it. Do not try to interpret it. If you try to define mysticism, you are bound to fail. If you try to interpret mysticism, you will most deplorably fail.

We get experiences: from science, scientific discoveries; from history, historical revelations; from philosophy, philosophical data; from religion, religious doctrines. In these experiences, we see the presence of subject and object, essence and existence, vision and reality. But a mystical experience, which is immediate oneness, transcends all such distinctions. This experience is the constant oneness with the Beyond, the ever-transcending Beyond that always remains ineffable.

Mysticism, poor mysticism! When it is oversimplified and underestimated, it comes down from its original sphere and stands beside religion. But even here, if a person is sincere, he will realise that his highest religious experience is nothing more than an uncertain, obscure and faint perception of Truth; whereas, no matter what kind of mystical experience he has, he will feel the intensity, immensity and certainty of Truth.

We have also to learn that religious ecstasy and mystical ecstasy do not play the same role in our inner life. Religious ecstasy deals mostly with the human in us. This ecstasy is confined to the body-consciousness, the disciplined or undisciplined vital, the illumined or unillumined mind, the pure or impure heart. But the mystical ecstasy transports us at once into the Beyond, where we are embraced by the Eternal Life, fed by the all-nourishing Light and blessed by the Transcendental Truth.

Primitive religion offered ecstasy to the vital in the physical mind and in the desiring heart. Mysticism fully advanced is now offering its ecstasy in infinite measure to the liberated souls and in abundant measure to the souls who are on the verge of liberation.

Poor Hinduism. Whenever and wherever mysticism is looked down upon, Hinduism is considered the main culprit. There are many sophisticated Westerners who not only fail to understand the lofty Hindu mysticism, but badly misunderstand it. To them I want to say that Hindu mysticism is not, as they think, self-hypnotism or self-deception, but rather soulful oneness with Immortality's Life, Infinity's Heart and Eternity's Breath. To know Hinduism well, one has to practise Yoga, usually under the direct guidance of a spiritual adept.

Mysticism in Buddhism has been considerably inspired and influenced by Hindu mysticism. Hence, far from being diametrically opposed, the two traditions practically come to realise the same Truth. Nirvana transcends pain and pleasure, birth and death. The blessedness of Nirvana is the highest mystic oneness with the Liberator. A Hindu mystic, on the strength of his self-realisation, also becomes one with the Absolute and is freed forever from the snares of pleasure and pain, birth and death.

The Sufi mysticism of Islam expresses itself in the strongest intoxication of the inner vital and in the truth-laden symbolic love between bride and Bridegroom. This kind of mysticism perhaps brings one considerably closer to the actual possibility of experiencing oneness with the One. Yet it also wants to tell us that the Allah of the Koran demands a strict self-discipline and a self-controlled life. According to its adherents, this mysticism eventually leads to free access to Him, which is a very rare achievement.

The glowing mysticism of Judaism is the Kabbalah. This mystic lore is founded on the occult interpretation of the Bible and it has been successfully handed down as an esoteric doctrine to the initiated.

Christianity owes its mystical urge not to Judaism, but to the Greek world. Some scholars are of the opinion that the New Testament is wanting in mystical experience. I find it difficult to agree with them. I wish to say that the New Testament is replete with mystical experiences. What they are actually missing in the New Testament, because of their inability to enter into the depth of its messages, is the key that opens the mystical door that leads to union with God.

In Spain, Teresa of Avila offered to the world something profoundly mystical. Her mystical experience is the most successful culmination of the divine marriage between the aspiring soul and the liberating Christ, and it is here that man's helpless crying will and God's omnipotent all-fulfilling Will embrace each other.

Mysticism is not the sole monopoly of Hinduism. Christianity and other religions also discovered the wealth of mysticism.

Ignorance

Cornell University; Ithaca, New York, USA
30 September 1969

Dear friends, I understand that you have a volley of questions to ask me after my talk is over. I am eager to know your deep, spiritual questions. Such being the case, I shall give a very short talk. My talk will be on ignorance. Here at this august University you have been devotedly studying to cultivate knowledge. Today you will learn something about a subject diametrically opposite, ignorance.

Each man has a nature of his own. Each man has ignorance of his own. Complex is his nature. Manifold is his ignorance. But what is more, each man has a divine soul of his own, carrying in it his ultimate Perfection.

True, man is likely to stumble through the thorny forests of ignorance. It is equally true that God will lead him into the sunlit path of knowledge some day.

Ignorance says that God is to be found outside oneself. Knowledge says that God is to be found within oneself. Wisdom says, "God is within. He is also without."

What with unconscious ignorance, what with conscious ignorance, man's desire to see God face to face is to hope against hope. What with conscious self-sacrifice, what with unconscious self-sacrifice, man's dream to see God is not only possible and practicable but also inevitable.

Ignorance has a free access everywhere, yet it stays not, rather it cannot stay anywhere for good.

My name was obscurity. Ignorance was my teacher. What did I learn from my teacher? Only two things: how to be imperfect and how to be self-limited. Ignorance was my mother. She fed me with her despair. Ignorance was my father. He blessed me with his stupidity.

I have known. I have known that few are those who want to be free from the snares of ignorance. Fewer are those who are willing to pay the price, although they want to be free. I have realised. I have realised that man's knowledge is only a higher degree of effective ignorance.

Slowly ignorance travels in the world of night. Annihilation speedily and ruthlessly overtakes ignorance. When ignorance reaches the abysmal breath of self-limitation, man is compelled to turn into his own grave with a living body.

The soul says that it has no enemy. But ignorance fails to see eye to eye with the soul. It says, "O soul, I am your eternal enemy. I do not want you, I do not want your light." The soul says, "I am your eternal friend, O ignorance. I want you because God wants me to awaken you from your endless sleep. My Light wants you because God wants you to come out of your self-chosen perpetual limitation and death."

When we are freed from the fetters of ignorance, our hearts grow into the divine beauty. This divine beauty, which is the pride of the soul, is the blessedness of life.

The human ignorance wants to control the world. The human love wants to bind the world. The human truth wants to lead the world. The Divine Knowledge wants to inspire the heart of the world. The Divine Love wants to expand the heart of the world. The Divine Truth wants the world to be fulfilled in God and for God.

"Better to be unborn than untaught,
For ignorance is the root of misfortune.
— Plato"

What Plato says is absolutely true in its own way, but if an individual cries for God-realisation and the perfect manifestation of his inner divinity on earth, then he has to come into the world, no matter how abysmal his ignorance is. Ignorance is and may be the malady of today's life, but tomorrow's life can and must be otherwise. Tomorrow's life can be flooded with the soul's glowing light. The life's journey has to start from where it is. The healthful hunger for the divine Light, more Light, infinite Light is not only today's necessity, but also tomorrow's inevitability. The Goal Supreme is neither behind us nor with us. It is ahead of us. It is in the heart of the Beyond. The Goal is beckoning us. Let us walk, march, and run towards the Goal, We need not hesitate to go to our Goal. The Goal is ready and eager to embrace us with our ignorance. Once we are embraced by the Goal, what remains is to bathe in the sea of our Goal's eternally infinite Light.

Our teeming ignorance and binding desire are hand in glove with each other. Our growing knowledge and God's glowing hope are hand in glove with each other. Our flowing wisdom and God's illumining choice are hand in glove with each other.

Doubt says to ignorance, "At long last I have come to know that you are my sister." Ignorance says, "Sorry, even now you are mistaken. I am not your sister, but your mother. And you are my bravest son."

Ignorance has a weapon. Its name is human reason. To question human reason is not unreasonable, but to question the Wisdom of the Infinite is foolish audacity. How can we judge His Wisdom without a corresponding wisdom?

Humanity has a host of enemies. Of these, by far the most terrible is lack of knowledge. This ignorance is the last thing in man to become impotent.

What is ignorance, after all? Ignorance is the hyphen between imperfection and limitation. Ignorance signifies weakness. The greatest of human weaknesses is to be consciously unconscious of any.

The atom bomb destroyed Hiroshima. Our conscious fondness for the night of ignorance can destroy our divine Ideal on earth. Even successive failures are not certain or adequate signs of the impossibility of God-realisation. But spontaneous and stubborn fondness for ignorance is a true sign of this impossibility.

Ignorance is power. When man uses this power, he actually exercises his love of power. But when man is totally freed from the snares of ignorance, he will be able to offer his power of love to mankind. At that time man will have a new Name: God; and a new Home: Immortality.

The inner voice

Syracuse University; Syracuse, New York, USA
1 October 1969

I would be true, for there are those who trust me;
I would be pure, for there are those who care;
I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;
I would be brave, for there is much to dare.
— Howard Arnold Walter

To be true, pure, strong and brave, what we need is the Inner Voice. Our Inner Voice is the Truth-Power within us. Our outer voice is the money-power without. Man is not pure enough to see the Truth-Power operating in his outer world of desires and demands. Man is not fortunate enough to see the money-power operating in his inner world of aspirations and needs. The Truth-Power used for humanity and the money-power used for divinity can and will change the face of the world. Truth-Power will awaken and illumine slumbering and unlit humanity. Money-power will serve and fulfil the yet unfulfilled divinity on earth.

The Inner Voice is the heart's wealth. When an aspirant uses this wealth, it soulfully smiles. When an unbeliever and disbeliever in God attempts to use this wealth, it is mercilessly suffocated.

The Inner Voice tells us to help the world only in accordance with God's express Will. If help is rendered otherwise, it is bound to turn into dire calamity later on. He is not only divinely liberal but supremely blessed whose help to another is God-inspired and God-ordained.

To give on second thought a thing requested is to give once. To give a thing for the asking is to give twice. To give a thing unsought is to give thrice. To give a thing when God wants it to be given is to give the thing for good, along with one's own body and soul.

We shall never hear the song of the Inner Voice if we consciously or unconsciously make friends with anxiety. What is anxiety? Anxiety is the destructive breath of life's poverty.

There can be no greater choice or higher prize than to listen to the Inner Voice. If we wilfully refuse to listen to the Inner Voice, our false gains will lead us to an inevitable loss. And if we listen soulfully to the Inner Voice, our true gains will not only protect us from imminent destruction but will surprisingly hasten our realisation of the Transcendental Truth.

An aspirant must realise that the Inner Voice is not a gift, but an achievement. The more soulfully he strives for it, the sooner he unmistakably owns it.

Sincerity tells man he should be truly proud that he has the all-discerning Inner Voice. Humility tells man he should be supremely proud that the wrong- shunning, the right-performing and the good-fulfilling Inner Voice has him.

The Inner Voice is at once man's untiring guide and his true friend. If a man goes deep within, the Inner Voice will tell him what to do. If he goes deeper, the Inner Voice will give him the capacity. If he goes still deeper, the Inner Voice will convince him that he is doing the right thing in the right way.

There is a word that is very sweet, pure and familiar to us. This word is 'conscience'. Conscience is another name for the Inner Voice. Divinely inspired is the utterance of Shakespeare: "I feel within me a peace above all earthly anxieties, a still and quiet conscience."

Conscience can live in two places: in the heart of truth and in the mouth of falsehood. When conscience strikes us once, we must think that it is showing us its unconditional love. When it strikes us twice, we must feel that it is showing us its unreserved concern. When it strikes us thrice, we must realise that it is offering us its boundless compassion to prevent us from diving deep into the sea of ignorance.

Rousseau says something quite striking: "Conscience is the voice of the soul, as passion is the voice of the body. No wonder they often contradict each other."

Conscience and passion need not contradict each other if man aspires to offer his heart's light to his passion and his heart's surrender to his conscience. In this way, he can easily transcend this apparently irreconcilable contradiction. Once man has transcended all contradiction, he can powerfully sing with Walt Whitman: "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. (I am large, I contain multitudes.)"

If you want to be a good man, then contradict yourself when sincerity demands. If you want to be a great man, then do not contradict yourself even when necessity demands.

Fear asks, "Is it safe?" Doubt asks, "Is it true?" Conscience asks, "If not God, who else? What else?"

The Inner Voice is the temple within us. The Inner Voice is the Deity within us. The Inner Voice is the divine duty within us. The Inner Voice is the supreme necessity within us.

God has commanded the Inner Voice to be the friend of aspiring souls and the judge of unaspiring souls.

The Inner Voice is not only constant constancy, but also perfect Perfection.

Not power, but oneness

State University of New York at Oswego;
Oswego, New York, USA
1 October 1969

Man has countless desires. When his desires are not fulfilled, he curses himself; he feels that he is a failure, hopeless and helpless. He wants to prove his existence on earth with the fruits of his desires. He thinks that by fulfilling his desires he will be able to prove himself superior to others. Yet, alas! He fails, he has failed and he shall fail. But God comes to him and says, "My child, you have not failed. You are not hopeless. You are not helpless. How can you be hopeless? I am growing in you with My ever-luminous and ever-fulfilling Dream. How can you be helpless? I am inside you as Infinite Power."

Then man tries to discover something else in order to prove his superiority. He tries to exercise his power violently, aggressively. He wants to derive joy from his superiority. He wants to prove to the world that he is important. In order to prove his eminence, he adopts any means and his conscience does not bother him. God, out of His infinite Bounty, again comes to him and says, "This is a wrong choice. You cannot prove to the world that you are matchless, unique. What you actually crave from your superiority is joy, boundless joy. But this boundless joy will never be yours unless you know the secret of secrets. And that secret is your indivisible oneness with each human being on earth."

Then God continues. He says that He is strong, He is happy, He is fulfilled just because He is totally one with each human being, with the entire universe. Only when one is totally united with the rest of the world can one truly be happy. And this happiness makes a man the unparalleled soul on earth. It is not power that makes us superior or makes us feel that we are priceless; it is our matchless oneness with God. Others do not need us because we have power. No, others badly need our soul's oneness. And this soul's oneness has to be brought into the oneness of the physical, the vital and the mind in an illumined and transformed way. We are great, we are greater, we are greatest only when we consciously feel our oneness with the entire world. And God is eager, He is sincerely eager to prove to the entire world that His aspiring, dedicated, devoted children are truly His boundless Pride. We do not need to prove what we have and what we are. God is eager to prove to the world what His aspiring children, His dedicated, devoted, surrendered children have and are.

God will fulfil His task in us, through us, for us. Let us also try to fulfil our task. Let us try to have the conscious feeling of our indivisible oneness with each human being here on earth and there in Heaven.

What Abraham Lincoln says about power is undeniably correct: "Nearly all men can stand adversity; but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

And to those who are trying to feel oneness with the entire world, Winston Churchill has something to say: "It is no use saying, 'we are doing our best'. You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary."

Our heart's sincerity never fails. Our soul's concern never fails. God's Compassion never fails. When our heart is soulful, our soul is fruitful, our God is meaningful.

Opportunity divine and necessity supreme

Brown University; Providence, Rhode Island, USA
4 October 1969

We are all seekers, seekers of the Infinite Truth. I am one of you. On the strength of my soul's oneness with you I shall speak on opportunity and necessity.

I take no advantage of earthly and Heavenly opportunities. I know perfectly well that my life itself is the greatest opportunity I have here on earth, there in Heaven and everywhere.

Opportunity is the human aspiration to live by in the outer world. Again, opportunity is the divine realisation to live for in the inner world. Now when I have an opportunity to know more about others, shall I use my opportunity to know others more, or to know myself more? I wish to say that I shall do both. I shall use the opportunity to know myself more and also to know others more. By knowing myself more, I realise God the Creator. By knowing others more, I realise God the Creation. By knowing myself more, I realise God the Breath. By knowing others more, I realise God the Life. By knowing myself more, I realise God the Unity. By knowing others more, I realise God the Multiplicity.

"No great man ever complains of want of opportunity.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson"

This is true. A really great man has not to depend on outer opportunities. He has abundant faith in his inner capacity. However, to say that a great man never complains of want of opportunity is an ideal affirmation of the state of consciousness for all great men. How I wish that all great men would realise and live this truth.

"A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.
- Francis Bacon"

A spiritual man not only finds opportunities but also constantly creates more and more opportunities. His opportunity is composed of his inspiration-light and his aspiration-height. With his opportunities he realises God, he serves God and he fulfils God.

Opportunity in the spiritual life means to do and to be. What can I do? I can totally identify myself with each fleeting moment and offer myself at the Feet of God for His use in His eternal Time. What can I be? I can be God's Dream-Boat. He will be my life's eternal Pilot. Him to serve is my only awakened and illumined dream.

Opportunity is necessity. In the spiritual life a spiritual Master is a necessity; a spiritual disciple is a necessity.

Let us pray with the Vedic Seers:

Saha nav avatu
Saha nav bhunaktu
Saha viryam karavavahai

May He protect us (the disciple and the Master) both.
May He nourish us both.
May we both work together with energy, indomitable and endless.

If a disciple can establish a conscious and constant oneness with the Master, then he has done the right thing, absolutely the right thing. If the Master has established his conscious and constant oneness with the disciple, then the Master has done absolutely the right thing. When the disciple's oneness with the Master is perfect, the disciple can work with the Master. Only then and not before. When the Master's oneness, constant oneness, with the disciple is perfect, then only can the Master work for the disciple. When the disciple works with the Master devotedly, the Mission of the Supreme for the Supreme begins. When the Master works for the disciple, the realisation of the Ultimate Transcendental Truth begins to dawn on the disciple.

When the disciple works with the Master, he has to work with purest devotion. When the Master works for the disciple, he has to work with soulful and unreserved concern. The disciple has to feel that the Master is the light of his own heart. The Master has to feel that the disciple is the strength of his own arms. When the disciple feels that his Master is the light of his own heart, he is bound to be happy within and without. When the Master feels that his disciple is the strength of his own arms, his joy knows no bounds. And at that golden hour, choice hour, divine hour, what happens? God speaks to the disciple and the Master. To the disciple, He says, "My child, you are My purest Pride." To the Master, He says, "My son, you are My surest Pride. Both of you have fulfilled Me in My Vision, in My Reality, in My Mission and in My Manifestation on earth."

Individuality and personality

University of California at Berkeley;
Berkeley, California, USA
16 October 1969

Human individuality is a self-torturing personality.
Divine individuality is a self-discovering personality.

Man does not have to lose his individuality and personality. Man has to feel and realise his all-pervading, divine individuality and all-serving, divine personality. When we speak of individuality, we immediately see that it is composed of pride, vanity, desires, frustrations, fear, anxieties, worries and so forth. This kind of individuality can be observed in our ordinary day-to-day life. But there is another kind of individuality, which we call the divine individuality. Divine individuality is totally different from the individuality of pride, vanity, ego, earth-bound desires, limited achievements and limited fulfilment. Divine individuality is a direct expression of the Divine in us.

God is One. At the same time, He is Many. He is One in His highest Transcendental Consciousness. He is Many here on earth in the field of manifestation. In the Highest, He is Unity. Here on earth, He is Multiplicity. God is the Lotus, and He has many, many petals, each representing an individual aspect of Himself. He is manifesting Himself in infinite ways and in infinite forms.

When we speak of human personality, we immediately think of something coming from our physical consciousness or the physical body. A man, with his inborn capacities, tendencies and talents and all his characteristics, forms a kind of personality. When a man stands in front of me, his personality spreads like water flowing onto a flat surface. When we think of a person or a thing, immediately our own individuality enters into the personality of that person or thing. Right now I am here with you at Berkeley, this august University. But if my mind carries me to someone in India, my own individuality immediately becomes one with the person there. I have entered into the person who is now in India, and I can use his personality on the strength of my union with him. I have not lost my individuality. I feel that my individuality has been transformed into an all-pervading and all-serving personality. The moment I think of anybody, my consciousness enters into him and pervades him. When my consciousness takes me into a person, I become part and parcel of him. Then I expand my consciousness there. When my consciousness expands, his consciousness also expands. We always serve the moment we consciously enter into something other than ourselves.

In our true Self we are all one. But in our outer self, we are many. Among the 'many', we see that one is serving the other; and the 'other' may not take an active or even a conscious part in the process. For example, I am giving a talk here. You may feel that I am serving you with my knowledge and my spiritual light, but I wish to tell you that you are also serving the Supreme in me through your communion with me and your understanding and appreciation of my offering to you. This is what we call the all-serving personality. The moment we stand before a person, even if he does not take an active or dynamic part in the interchange, our very presence constitutes an important part of the consciousness of that person. An ordinary person does not understand the language of a flower, but when he stands in front of a flower, what actually happens? He appreciates its beauty, and the beauty of the flower appreciates his consciousness. There is mutual appreciation, mutual love, mutual service.

I am serving you with all that I am and all that I have. You are serving me by becoming totally one with my consciousness. That is true service. In this kind of service we do not lose our individuality. My individuality remains inside you, and your individuality remains inside me. It is the extension of our personality in the form of this widened individuality which the Supreme expresses in infinite ways.

Although a tiny drop of water can be taken as an individual drop, when it merges into the infinite ocean it does not lose its so-called individuality. On the contrary, its individuality is expanded into an infinite expanse of ocean. When we look at the ocean, we see the ocean as an immense being, a huge personality that has inside it billions and billions of living beings. It is a living being itself. By merging into the ocean, the drop becomes as great as the ocean. Similarly, when we enter with our individuality into our divine personality, we see that our individuality is transformed into the infinitely vast and all-pervading personality of the Divine.

The sunlit path

University of California at Santa Cruz;
Santa Cruz, California, USA
17 October 1969

In the spiritual life, the name of the sunlit path is Devotion. This path is definitely the short-cut to God-realisation. It is true that God and His Mysteries are beyond the comprehension of speech and intellect. But it is equally true that God is easily accessible through Devotion.

A true devotee gets great joy when he feels, "All this am I."

He gets greater joy when he feels, "All this art Thou."

He gets the greatest joy when he feels, "Thou art the Master; I am only the instrument."

He who follows the Path of Knowledge says to God, "Father, I want You."

He who follows the Path of Devotion says to God, "Father, I need You."

The former says to God, "Father, I own You."

The latter says to God, "Father, You own me."

A real devotee is a true lover of God. Impossibility has no meaning and can never have any meaning in his life.

As on other paths, on the sunlit path the devotee learns that it does not matter how long he prays and meditates, but how he prays and meditates. If he prays and meditates upon the Divine sincerely and unreservedly, then he prays and meditates ten times at once.

When an aspirant starts his journey along the sunlit path, he says to God, "Father, give me."

At his journey's close he says, "Father, receive me."

We all know that the abode of gratitude is the heart. Strangely enough, gratitude often manages to hide from its abode. But on the sunlit path soulful gratitude is always visible, looming large in the aspirant's heart.

Self-love mars the fertile soil of aspiration and renders it sterile. But devotion towards God kindles the mounting flame of aspiration, creating a new world for the aspirant in God, and a new world for God in the aspirant.

Devotion is blessedness itself. This blessedness is the self-dedicating love turned towards God, seeking to serve Him constantly and unconditionally so that He can be fulfilled both in Heaven and on earth.

There are countless people on earth who not only claim to pray, but actually do pray. How is it that they get practically no result from their prayers? The answer is simple and clear. Their prayer is not snow-white. A snow-white prayer is the fount of a self-generating energy, a self-transforming light and a self-fulfilling delight.

Like everyone else, a devoted aspirant has needs. But his needs and God's Love and Compassion are always seen together. A real devotee has come to realise that he loves God not to fulfil his human desires but to fulfil God in God's own Way. For an unaspiring person, life is punishment, pure torture. For an aspiring soul, each moment in life is an opportunity for self-illumination and God-fulfilment. On the sunlit path of devotion, the aspirant knows that just as he is hungry for God's infinite Compassion, even so is God hungry for his constant feeling of conscious oneness with Him.

When the body is dirty, soap is necessary to clean it. When the mind is impure, tears of repentance are necessary to purify it. When the heart is impure, the need for devotion is paramount. The heart's impurity is the most dangerous disease in the spiritual life. Devotion is the only medicine. Devotion is the only cure.

The Brahman is by nature indivisible, a complete whole. But through maya, its self-limiting force, it has broken itself into infinite pieces. The aspirant's all-surrendering devotion can easily make it whole again, divinely complete and supremely one.

Commentary on The Bhagavad Gita (1)

New York University; New York, New York, USA
Vanderbilt Hall
3 March 1970

I read the Gita because it is the Eye of God. I sing the Gita because it is the Life of God. I live the Gita because it is the Soul of God.

The Gita is God's Vision immediate. The Gita is God's Reality direct.

They say that the Gita is a Hindu book, a most significant scripture. I say that it is the Light of Divinity in humanity. They say that the Gita needs an introduction. I say that God truly wants to be introduced by the Gita.

Arjuna is the ascending human soul. Sri Krishna is the descending divine Soul. Finally they meet. The human soul says to the divine Soul: "I need you." The divine Soul says to the human soul: "I need you, too. I need you for my Self-manifestation. You need me for your Self-realisation." Arjuna says: "O Krishna, you are mine, absolutely mine." Sri Krishna says: "O Arjuna, no mine, no thine. We are the Oneness complete, within, without.

The Gita is an episode in the sixth book of the Mahabharata. Mahabharata means 'Great India', 'India the Sublime'. This unparalleled epic is six times the size of the Iliad and the Odyssey combined. Surprising in size and amazing in thought is the Mahabharata. The main story revolves around a giant rivalry between two parties of cousins. Their ancestral kingdom was the apple of discord. This rivalry came to its close at the end of a great battle called the Battle of Kurukshetra.

Santanu had two wives: Ganga and Satyavati. Bhishma was born from the union of Santanu and Ganga; Chitrangada and Vichitravirya from that of Santanu and Satyavati. Vichitraviya's two wives were Ambika and Ambalika. Dhritarashtra was the son of Ambika and Vichitravirya; Pandu, the son of Ambalika and Vichitravirya. Dhritarashtra's hundred sons were the Kauravas; Pandu's five sons, the Pandavas.

Yudhisthira was the legitimate heir to the kingdom. His father, Pandu, had reigned a number of years, offering the utmost satisfaction to his subjects. Finally, Pandu retired to the forest. To succeed him was his eldest son, Yudhisthira. And he did it devotedly and successfully. Dhritarashtra was Pandu's elder half-brother. God had denied him sight. Strangely enough, his affection for his hundred sons blinded his heart as well. Being blind, naturally he was not qualified to inherit the throne. The eldest son of Dhritarashtra was Duryodhana. Ninety-nine brothers were to follow him. Yudhisthira, Pandu's eldest son, had only four others to follow him.

Truth's pride was Yudhisthira. Falsehood's pride was Duryodhana. Through the illumined hearts of Pandu's five sons, God smiled. Through the unlit minds of Dhritarashtra's hundred sons, the devil smiled. The devil often succeeded in embracing the blind father, too.

The eyeless father made repeated requests, strong and weak, to Duryodhana —- his morally, psychically and spiritually eyeless son —- not to go to war. Vidura, the pure heart, Duryodhana's uncle, failed to throw light on Duryodhana's thick head. Sanjaya, his father's prudent charioteer, equally failed. Neither was Bhishma, the oldest and the wisest, successful. Duryodhana felt his own understanding to be superior. Finally Sri Krishna, the Lord of the Universe, most fervently tried to avert the hurtful and heartless battle. But the ignorance-night in Duryodhana would by no means surrender to the knowledge-sun in Sri Krishna.

Seven hundred verses are there in the Gita. About six hundred are the soul-stirring utterances from the divine lips of Lord Krishna, and the rest are from the crying, aspiring Arjuna, the clairvoyant and clairaudient Sanjaya, and the inquisitive Dhritarashtra.

The sage Vyasa enquired of Dhritarashtra if he desired to see the events and have a first-hand knowledge of the battle, from the battle's birth to the battle's death. The sage was more than willing to grant the blind man vision. But Dhritarashtra did not want his eyes —- the eyes that had failed him all his life —- to obey his command at this terribly fateful hour for his conscience and his kingdom's life, especially when his own sons were heading for destruction. He declined the sage's kind and bounteous offer. His heart was ruthlessly tortured by the imminent peril of his kinsmen. However, he requested the sage to grant the boon to someone else from whom he could get faultless reports of the battle. Vyasa consented. He conferred upon Sanjaya the miraculous psychic power of vision to see the incidents taking place at a strikingly great distance.

Is the Gita a mere word? No. A speech? No. A concept? No. A kind of concentration? No. A form of meditation? No. What is it, then? It is The Realisation. The Gita is God's Heart and man's breath, God's Assurance and man's promise.

The inspiration of Hinduism is the soul-concern of the Gita. The aspiration of Hinduism is the blessing-dawn of the Gita. The emancipation of Hinduism is the compassion-light of the Gita. But to pronounce that the Gita is the sole monopoly of Hinduism is absurdity. The Gita is the common property of humanity.

The West says that she has something special to offer to the East: the New Testament. The East accepts the offer with deepest gratitude and offers her greatest pride, the Bhagavad Gita, in return.

The Gita is unique. It is the Scripture of scriptures. Why? Because it has taught the world that the emotion pure, the devotion genuine can easily run abreast with the philosophy solid, the detachment dynamic.

There are eighteen chapters in the Gita. Each chapter reveals a specific teaching of a particular form of Yoga. Yoga is the secret language of man and God. Yoga means 'union', the union of the finite with the Infinite, the union of the form with the Formless. It is Yoga that reveals the supreme secret: man is tomorrow's God and God is today's man. Yoga is to be practised for the sake of Truth. If not, the seeker will be sadly disappointed. Likewise, man's God-realisation is for the sake of God. Otherwise, untold frustration will be man's inevitable reward.

The Gita was born in 600 b.c. Its authorship goes to the sage Veda Vyasa. With a significant question from Dhritarashtra, the Gita commences its journey. The whole narrative of the Bhagavad Gita is Sanjaya's answer to Dhritarashtra's single question. Sri Krishna spoke. Much. All divinely soulful. Arjuna spoke. Little. All humanly heartful. Dhritarashtra was the listener. The divinely and humanly clairvoyant and clairaudient reporter was Sanjaya. On very rare occasions, Sanjaya contributed his own thoughtful remarks, too.

Sri Krishna was Arjuna's body's relation, heart's union and soul's liberation. As God, he illumined Arjuna with the Truth Absolute; as a humane human, he illumined his earthly friend with truths relative.

Philosophers enter into a deplorable controversy. Some enquire how such a philosophical discourse could take place at the commencement of a war. How was it possible? There are others who firmly hold that this momentous discourse was not only possible but inevitable at that hour, since it was the divinely appropriate occasion for the aspiring Hindu to discover the inner meaning of war and live in accordance with his soul's dictates, instead of following the poor, unlit knowledge of morality.

The Gita is the epitome of the Vedas. It is spontaneous. It is in a form at once divinised and humanised. It is also the purest milk drawn from the udders of the most illumining Upanishads to feed and nourish the human soul. The Gita demands man's acceptance of life, and reveals the way to achieve the victory of the higher Self over the lower by the spiritual art of transformation: physical, vital, mental, psychic and spiritual.

The Gita embodies the soul-wisdom, the heart-love, the mind-knowledge, the vital-dynamism and the body-action.

Editor's note

The series of four lectures on the Gita which Sri Chinmoy offered at New York University in March 1970 were drawn from a series of eighteen talks covering each chapter of the Bhagavad Gita which he had given privately to his students between 13 February and 8 June 1968. The complete talks were published by Rudolf Steiner Publications in 1973 under the title Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita: The Song of the Transcendental Soul.

Sincerity, purity and surety

Bucknell University; Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
4 March 1970

Let us be sincere. The Supreme will bless us.
Let us be pure. The Supreme will love us.
Let us be sure of our Goal. The Supreme will embrace us.

"Let us be sincere. The Supreme will bless us." An aspirant has to be sincere, not only in his inner life but also in his outer life, until he breathes his last. Sincerity is the fertile ground in the aspirant's heart. His sincerity is God's matchless Smile. His sincerity is God's peerless Pride.

Sincerity can be developed. It can be developed like a muscle. There are some people who are naturally sincere, and others who are naturally insincere. Those who are sincere from the dawn of their lives are blessed. But those who are insincere from their very birth need not and must not curse themselves. They can be sincere if they want to. The moment they truly want to be sincere, God in His Infinite Compassion will help them. With His deepest Joy, Pride and Concern He will help them.

Spirituality needs and demands sincerity from the beginning to the end. Spirituality and sincerity can never be separated. If one really cares for the spiritual life, if one feels that spirituality is the only answer, then I wish to say that sincerity is the key that opens the door of spirituality. There is no other key; there can be no other key.

"Let us be pure. The Supreme will love us." If there is no purity in the aspirant's inner or outer life, then the aspirant is no better than an animal. Without purity he cannot retain any of the spiritual gifts he receives. Everything will disappear and everything will disappoint the seeker if he is wanting in purity. But if he is flooded with purity, the divine qualities will all eventually enter into him. They will sing in him, dance in him and make him the happiest person on earth. And, by making him happy, these divine qualities will find their own true fulfilment.

Purity in the physical is of paramount importance. This does not mean that we have to bathe ten times a day. No, purity is not that. Purity does demand that you have a clean body, but true physical purity lies inside the heart. You have to establish an inner shrine within your heart. This shrine is the constant remembrance of the Supreme Pilot inside you. When you constantly and spontaneously think of the Supreme Pilot seated inside you, in the inmost recesses of your heart, you will realise that this is the highest purity. If purity is lacking in the physical, complete success, the full manifestation of God, cannot be accomplished. You may get partial spiritual success, but even this partial success in life will disappoint you badly if purity is not established in your nature. You have to establish purity in the physical, in the vital, in the mind —- everywhere in the outer nature. Then whatever you do, whatever you are, whatever you possess will be filled with purity. Purity is not something weak or negative; it is something soulful and dynamic. It is something that is fed constantly by the infinite Energy and indomitable, adamantine Will of the Supreme.

The very utterance of the word 'purity' can help to change the aspirant's outer life as well as his inner life. Repeat the word 'purity' one hundred and eight times daily, placing your right hand on your navel as you say it. Then you will see that abundant purity will enter into you and flow through you. When you are pure, you will see the world with a different eye. You will see purity dawning fast in the world. You will see beauty blooming fast in the world. You will see perfection growing fast in the world.

Sweet, sweeter, sweetest is purity. When you see purity inside you, you are pure. When you feel purity inside and around you, you are purer. When you become purity within and without, you are purest. You actually kill your inner being when you lead an impure life. But when you lead a pure life, you expedite the journey of your soul. Your soul and your outer life get their greatest opportunity when purity is totally established in your life.

"Let us be sure of our Goal. The Supreme will embrace us." The difference between an ordinary man and an aspirant is that an ordinary man has no goal, whereas an aspirant does. An ordinary man is satisfied with what he has, or considers the idea of entering into the Beyond as beyond his imagination, or feels that there is no Beyond. He is caught by what he sees around him. An aspirant, however, feels and believes that this world of ours is not the final Goal. He feels that there must be a Goal somewhere, and he knows that either this Goal will come to him or he will have to go to it. The Goal may be God-realisation or it may be something else. If it is God-realisation and if his aspiration is sincere, he should know that this Goal is something absolutely important and sacred. It is not a plaything.

An aspirant has to be sure of his Goal. He may want God or some attribute of God. Some aspirants cry to God for Power, for Love, for Peace. They do not cry to God for God Himself. They do not want God in His Infinity and Eternity. They want only a portion of Him. They are satisfied if they can get Peace from God, or Light, or Love. When they receive what they cry for, they end their soul's journey. But there are some aspirants who do not want anything from God except God Himself. They feel that if they get God, they get everything. They are like hungry children in a garden where there is a tree laden with the most delicious mangoes. They know that if they can please the owner of the tree they will get all the mangoes on the tree. Here God is the owner of the tree and, at the same time, He is the tree. When we please Him, He satisfies our hunger for infinite Light, Peace and Bliss. If the aspirants are wise, they know that the moment they please God they get everything from Him.

On the strength of his sincere aspiration, a true seeker says, "O God, if You feel that I should have Your Vision, if You feel that You want to fulfil Yourself in me and through me, if You feel that You can utilise me as Your instrument, I am at Your service. If You want me to stand before You, I shall come and stand. If You want to stand before me, I shall be equally happy. If You do not want either, but want somebody else to stand before You, I shall still be happy." This is what we call surrender. This is the ultimate surrender.

An aspirant has to know his Goal. If his Goal is God-realisation, he can start with that in mind. But the Ultimate Goal is unconditional surrender to God's Will. When God sees that His child, His most devoted child, has made this unconditional surrender —- not for a second, not for a day or a year, but for a whole lifetime, for all incarnations to come, for all Eternity —- then alone God embraces His dearest, His sweetest, His most devoted child. And when that embrace takes place, man changes into God Himself.

We are all, without exception, given the opportunity to fulfil God here on earth. If we try, we are bound to succeed. We can fulfil God and, in fulfilling Him, we shall see that we are already fulfilled.

Self-control

Susquehanna University; Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA
4 March 1970

In the spiritual life, the most important, significant and fruitful thing is self-control. No self-control, no self-realisation. In the dictionary we come across hundreds of thousands of words. Of all these words, 'self-control' is the most difficult one to practise. How can we have self-control? If we want to have self-control, we have to surrender ourselves to the Source. This Source is Light; this Source is God.

A child wants to have many things, many useless, harmful things. But the mother knows that if she gives the child these things he will be ruined. And just because the mother and the child are one, the mother herself will also be ruined. So the mother does not fulfil the child's countless, unlit, destructive desires. Similarly, the body is a child. If we fulfil the wants and demands of the body, then in the long run our life will be ruined.

Now, why does the body not listen to us? The answer is very simple. We do not listen to our soul. If we listened to our soul, the body also would listen to us. We know that the body has a superior, which is the vital. The vital's superior is the mind, the mind's superior is the heart and the heart's superior is the soul. The soul's superior is God. The soul listens to the Inner Pilot, God, all the time. The heart very often listens to the dictates of the soul —- very often, but not always. The mind practically never listens to the heart. The vital does not listen to the mind, and the body certainly does not listen to the vital. The actual problem starts with the mind, in the mind.

How can we inspire the body, the vital, the mind and the heart to enter into better and more fulfilling light? We have to know at this point that if we find fault with the body, vital, mind and heart, we can never change and transform them. But if we appreciate them, saying that they have the capacity to play a significant role in God's Cosmic Drama, that they are as important as the soul for the full manifestation of God on earth, then we can transform them. If we do not condemn the body, vital, mind and heart —- on the contrary, if we tell them that they can be the chosen instruments of God, that God needs them for His divine Lila (Game) on earth —- then eventually we can transform them. The unruly members of our family will before long feel the importance of their respective roles in the fulfilment of God's manifestation on earth. They can and will be unified and united for the fulfilment of a single Goal.

Self-control. For self-control we need simplicity, sincerity and humility. Simplicity has to feed self-control. Sincerity has to feed self-control. Humility has to feed self-control. We can say that the breakfast of self-control is simplicity, the lunch of self-control is sincerity and the dinner of self-control is humility. Unfortunately, we are living in an age when self-control is not appreciated. It has become an object of ridicule. A man is trying hard for self-mastery. His friends, neighbours, relatives and acquaintances all mock him. They find no reality in his sincere attempt to master his life. They think that the way they are living their lives is more worthwhile. The man who is trying to control his life is a fool, according to them. But who is the fool —- he who wants to conquer himself or he who is constantly a victim of fear, doubt, worry and anxiety? Needless to say, he who wants to conquer himself is not only the wisest man but the greatest divine hero. The Commander-in-Chief of the Cosmic Gods, the divine warrior Kumar, son of Lord Shiva, fights against hostile forces, asuric forces and ignorance in the battlefield of life. He fights to establish here on earth, in the immediacy of today, the Kingdom of Heaven. Earlier I said that people mock when a man tries to control himself. At times, we see that even spiritual Masters are ridiculed and mercilessly condemned by society. Even a spiritual figure whose heart is snow-white, whose heart is purity itself, whose life has no sting of impurity, whose very breath is the flood of purity —- even he falls victim to the criticisms of the ignorant world.

This reminds me of a Zen story. There was a Zen Master who was very pure, very illumined. Near the place where he lived there happened to be a food store. The owner of the food store had a beautiful, unmarried daughter. One day she was found with child. Her parents flew into a rage. They wanted to know the father, but she would not give them the name. After repeated scolding and harassment, she gave up and told them it was the Zen Master. The parents believed her. When the child was born they ran to the Zen Master, scolding him with foul tongue, and they left the infant with him. The Zen Master said, "Is that so?" This was his only comment.

He accepted the child. He started nourishing and taking care of the child. By this time his reputation been ruined, and he was an object of mockery. Days ran into weeks, weeks into months and months into years. But there is something called conscience in our human life, and the young girl was tortured by her conscience. One day she finally disclosed to her parents the name of the child's real father, a man who worked in a fish market. The parents again flew into a rage. At the same time, sorrow and humiliation tortured the household. They came running to the spiritual Master, begged his pardon, narrated the whole story and then took the child back. His only comment: "Is that so?"

Here I wish to say that in your spiritual life all of you are trying to conquer your lower vital. Either today or tomorrow, in the nearest future or in the most distant future, you are bound to conquer the lower vital. But in the process of your self-transformation, if people do not understand you or care for your pure life, please pay no heed to their criticism. If they do not appreciate your sincerity, your effort or your success in controlling your lower vital nature, no harm. But if you want them to appreciate and admire your attempt, then you are unnecessarily bringing into your life not only their criticism and disbelief, but doubt and temptation as well. Each human being unconsciously embodies criticism, disbelief, doubt and temptation. On the one hand, you are trying to transcend yourself on the strength of your aspiration; on the other hand, you are bringing other people's temptation into your life, and with that temptation you are unconsciously trying to feed your lower nature. So I want you to try to be sincere to yourself. Let the world find fault with you. Let the world bark at you. Your sincerity is your safeguard. Your spiritual discipline will lead you to your Destined Goal. Who is the king? Not he who governs a country, but he who has conquered himself. Everybody has the capacity and opportunity to become a king if he wants to. God has given each individual ample opportunity and boundless capacity to be the king not only of the length and breadth of this world, but of the entire universe.

Science and spirituality

Hunter College; New York, New York, USA
6 March 1970

Man's scientific and spiritual achievements are the conscious inspiration-light and aspiration-might of the Divine's urge towards two Goals: the realisation of the body's countless necessities and infinite capacities, and the manifestation of the soul's transcendental vision of the Beyond here on earth, in the heart and immediacy of today.

Science is that precious thing on earth which is pushed forward by a glowing imagination and pulled forward by its own growing experience. Spirituality is that precious thing on earth which is carried within by fulfilling aspiration and later brought to the fore, where it can become consciously one with God the Field of Experience, God the Experience and God the Experiencer.

Within our living memory, we have seen science advancing very fast, while human happiness has been receding at an alarming rate. Today's world is seeing a flickering candle-flame of spirituality, but tomorrow's world will be flooded with the light of spirituality, destined and decreed.

Science right now deals mostly with the material world. What is the material world, after all? It is the world that does not believe in the possibility and inevitability of a divine life. Spirituality right now deals mostly with the inner world. What is the inner world? The inner world is the world that says that the possibility of a divine life on earth is undoubtedly unreal today, but tomorrow it will be possible, the day after it will be practicable and just the day after that it will be inevitable.

Science has the capacity to show mankind the full development of the mental life. Spirituality has the capacity to show mankind the possibility and inevitability of the life beyond the mind, the supramental life.

The outer progress and world-discovery swiftly follow the fruitful imagination in the world of science. The inner progress and self-discovery gladly follow the soulful aspiration in the life of the world within, the world of spirituality.

Science and modern life are simply indispensable to each other. The modern life is the eye; science is the power of vision. Spirituality and the future life of mankind will be indispensable to each other. The future life of mankind will be the fully awakened consciousness, and spirituality will be its guiding and fulfilling soul.

Science itself has become an art, and this art must now stand alongside all other arts. No art can ever have its fullest expression in the modern world without the aid of science. Spirituality is the supreme art of our nature-transformation. God the Supreme Artist uses spirituality to divinely reveal to the world man's embodied divine Reality and Transcendental Truth.

To fulfil his practical needs, man bitterly cries to science. To fulfil his personal inner needs, man helplessly cries to spirituality.

The sombre despair of ruthless destruction and the matchless ecstasy of the outer human fulfilment have a common friend: science. The most hopeful certainty of a new and pure creation and the life-energising, life-nourishing, life-transforming and life-fulfilling delight of the inner and divine fulfilment have a common friend: spirituality.

Science and spirituality must be united. They need each other. Without the one, the other is incomplete, almost meaningless. Together they are not only supremely complete but also divinely meaningful. Science is the Body of God. Spirituality is the Soul of God. Science is also God the Body. Spirituality is also God the Soul. God the Body needs God the Soul to realise Himself, His Individuality. God the Soul needs God the Body to fulfil Himself, His Personality.

God's Soul and God the Soul say to God in silence, "God, we loved You before and we shall love You ever."

God's Body and God the Body voice forth, "God, we love You now and this love of ours will forever last."

In the world of Night and Fight, Science says to Spirituality: "You fool! You are a perfect nuisance!"

In the world of Night and Fight, Spirituality says to Science, "You rascal! It is beneath my dignity to speak to a dead stone!"

In the world of Light and Delight, Science says to Spirituality: "Brother, I need your Wisdom."

In the world of Light and Delight, Spirituality says to Science, "Sister, I need your capacity."

Commentary on The Bhagavad Gita (2)

New York University; New York, New York, USA
Vanderbilt Hall
10 March 1970

Chapter two of the Bhagavad Gita is entitled Samkhya Yoga —- "The Yoga of Knowledge." Arjuna's arguments against war are very plausible to our human understanding. Sri Krishna read Arjuna's heart. Confusion ran riot across Arjuna's mind. The unmanly sentiment in his Kshatriya blood he took as his love for mankind. But Arjuna was never wanting in sincerity. His mouth spoke what his heart felt. Unfortunately, his sincerity unconsciously housed ignorance. Sri Krishna wanted to illumine Arjuna. "O Arjuna, in your speech you are a philosopher; in your action, you are not. A true philosopher mourns neither for the living nor for the dead. But Arjuna, you are sorrowing and grieving. Tell me, why do you mourn the prospective death of these men? You existed, I existed, they too. Never shall we cease to exist."

We have just mentioned Arjuna's philosophy. Truth to tell, we too would have fared the same at that juncture. Real philosophy is truly difficult to study, more difficult to learn, and most difficult to live.

The Sanskrit word for philosophy is darshan, meaning 'to see, to envision'. Sri Ramakrishna's significant remark runs: "In the past, people used to have visions (darshan); now people study darshan (philosophy)!"

Equally significant is the message of the Hebrew Bible: "Your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions."

Arjuna for the first time came to learn from Sri Krishna that his human belief concerning life and death was not founded on truth. He felt that he was distracted by illusions. He prayed to Sri Krishna for enlightenment: "I am your humble disciple. Teach me, tell me what is best for me." For the first time, the word 'disciple' sprang from Arjuna's lips.

Until then, Sri Krishna had been his friend and comrade. The disciple learned: "The Reality that pervades the universe is the Life immortal. The body is perishable; the soul, the real in man, or the real man, is deathless, immortal. The soul neither kills nor is killed. Beyond birth and death, constant and eternal is the soul. The knower of this truth neither slays nor causes slaughter."

Arjuna had to fight the battle of life and not the so-called Battle of Kurukshetra. Strength he had. Wisdom he needed. The twilight consciousness of the physical mind he had. He needed the sun-bright consciousness of the soul's divinity.

Sri Krishna used the terms 'birth', 'life' and 'death'.

Birth is the passing of the soul from a lower to a higher body in the process of evolution, in the course of the soul's journey of reincarnation. The Samkhya system affirms the absolute identity of cause and effect. Cause is the effect silently and secretly involved, and effect is the cause actively and openly evolved. Evolution, according to the Samkhya philosophy, can never come into existence from nothing, from zero. The appearance of 'is' can arise only from the existence of 'was'. Let us fill our minds with the immortal utterance of Wordsworth from "Intimations of Immortality":

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God who is our home:

Here the poet carries us into the mystery of the soul's eternal journey and reminds us of the perennial Source.

What is life? It is the soul's only opportunity to manifest and fulfil the Divine here on earth. When life begins its journey, Infinity shakes hands with it. When the journey is half done, Eternity shakes hands with it. When life's journey is complete, Immortality shakes hands with it. Life lives the life of perfection when it lives in spirituality. When life lives in spirituality, the Breath of God, it stands far above the commands of morality and the demands of duty.

God says to the human life, "Arise, awake, aspire! Yours is the goal." The human life says to God: "Wait, I am resting. I am sleeping. I am dreaming." Suddenly, life feels ashamed of its conduct. Crying, it says, "Father, I am coming." Throbbing, it says, "Father, I am come." Smiling, it says, "Father, I have come."

Life, the problem, can be solved by the soul, the solution; but for that, one has first to be awakened from within.

He who lives the inner life knows that death is truly his resting-room. To him, death is anything but extinction. It is a meaningful departure. When our consciousness is divinely transformed, the necessity of death will not arise at all. To transform life, we need peace, light, bliss and power. We cry for these divine qualities. They cry for our aspiration. They are equally anxious to grant us everlasting life. But until our body, vital, mind, heart and soul aspire together, the divine power, light, bliss and peace cannot possess us.

The body dies, but not the soul. The body sleeps; the soul flies. The soul-stirring words on death and the soul in this chapter of the Gita, let us recollect:

Even as a man discards old clothes for the new ones,
So the dweller in the body, the soul,
Leaving aside the worn-out body,
Enters into a new body.
The soul migrates from body to body.
Weapons cannot cleave it,
Nor fire consume it,
Nor water drench it,
Nor wind dry it.

This is the soul and this is what is meant by the existence of the soul.

Now we shall be well advised to observe the existence of death, if there is any, in the momentous words of Sri Aurobindo, the founder of the Integral Yoga. "Death," he exclaims, "has no separate existence by itself. It is only a result of the principle of decay in the body and that principle is there already —- it is part of the physical nature. At the same time, it is not inevitable; if one could have the necessary consciousness and force, decay and death are not inevitable."

What we call death is nothing short of ignorance. We can solve the problem of death only when we know what life is. Life is eternal. It existed before birth and it will exist after death. Life also exists between birth and death. It is beyond birth and death. Life is infinite. Life is immortal. A seeker of the infinite Truth cannot subscribe to Schopenhauer's statement: "To desire Immortality is to desire the eternal perpetuation of a great mistake." There is no shadow of doubt that it is the ceaseless seeker in man who is Immortality's Life, for his very existence indicates the Supreme's Vision that illumines the universe, and the Supreme's Reality that fulfils creation.

Arjuna the disciple further learned: "Do your duty. Do not waver. Be not faint-hearted. You are a Kshatriya. There can be no greater invitation than that of a righteous war for a Kshatriya."

A Kshatriya's (warrior's) duty can never be the duty of an ascetic. Neither should an ascetic perform the duty of a Kshatriya. Also, a Kshatriya must not follow the path of a world-renouncer. Imitation is not for a seeker. "Imitation is suicide," so do we learn from Emerson.

A warrior's duty is to fight, fight for the establishment of Truth. "In his victory, the entire earth becomes his; in his death, him welcome the gates of Paradise."

Sri Krishna unveiled the path of Samkhya (knowledge) to Arjuna: "Arjuna, take them as one, victory and defeat, joy and sorrow, gain and loss. Care not for them. Fight! Fighting thus, no sin will you incur."

The Teacher had already revealed the path of knowledge. Now he wanted to teach the student the path of action (Karma Yoga). Arjuna surprisingly learned that this path, the path of action, the second path, is fruitful and also will bring him deliverance. The truth sublime is: "Action is your birthright, not the outcome, not the fruits thereof. Let not the fruits of action be your object, and be not attached to inaction. Be active and dynamic; seek not any reward." We can simultaneously kindle the flame of our consciousness with the lore of the Isa Upanishad: "Action cleaves not to a man."

We have already used the term 'Yoga'. What is Yoga? "Equanimity," says Sri Krishna, "is Yoga." He also says: "Yoga is skilful wisdom in action."

Arjuna's inner progress is striking. He now feels the necessity to free himself from the desire-life. Sri Krishna teaches him how he can totally detach himself from the bondage-life of the senses as a tortoise successfully withdraws its limbs from all directions. Sense-withdrawal, or withdrawal from the sense objects, by no means indicates the end of man's journey. "Mere withdrawal cannot put an end to desire's birth. Desire disappears only when the Supreme appears. In His Presence the desire-life loses its existence. Not before."

This second chapter throws considerable light on Samkhya (knowledge) and Yoga (action). Samkhya and Yoga are never at daggers drawn. One is detached, meditative knowledge, and the other is dedicated and selfless action. They have the self-same Goal. They just follow two different paths to arrive at the Goal.

To come back to the sense-life. Sense-life is not to be discontinued. Sense-life is to be lived in the Divine for the Divine. It is the inner withdrawal, and not the outer withdrawal, that is imperative. The animal in man has to surrender to the Divine in man for its total transformation. The life of animal pleasure must lose its living and burning breath in the all-fulfilling life of divine Bliss.

The Katha Upanishad declares the rungs of the ever-climbing ladder:

Higher than the senses are the objects of sense,
Higher than the objects of sense is the mind,
Higher than the mind is the intellect,
Higher than the intellect is the Self,
Higher than the Self is the Unmanifest,
Higher than the Unmanifest is the Supreme personified,
Highest is this Supreme, the Goal Ultimate.

We have seen what happens when we go up. Let us observe what happens when we muse on the sense-objects. The Gita tells: "Dwelling on sense-objects gives birth to attachment, attachment gives birth to desire. Desire (unfulfilled) brings into existence the life of anger. From anger delusion springs up, from delusion the confusion of memory. In the confusion of memory, the reasoning wisdom is lost. When wisdom is nowhere, destruction within, without, below and above."

The dance of destruction is over. Let us pine for salvation. The disciplined, self-controlled aspirant alone will be blessed by the flood of peace. Finally, the aspirant will be embraced by salvation, the inner illumination.

Sincerity and spirituality

Fairleigh Dickinson University; Teaneck New Jersey, USA
11 March 1970

Sincerity and spirituality are of paramount importance in our day-to-day life. Human life can be successful only when it is founded on a one-pointed confirmation of Truth in life's multiplicity.

For a God-lover, sincerity is an oasis in the desert of life. It is extremely difficult to be totally sincere, but we need sincerity in the physical, in the vital, in the mental. What is sincerity, after all? Sincerity is the dynamic horse deep inside us, and the rider of this horse is our psychic being.

Thomas Carlyle says, "Try to make yourself honest. If you become honest, then rest assured there will be one rascal less in the world." This is absolutely true. If we can be honest, totally honest, then our lives will have their proper meaning and significance.

Now, what is spirituality? Spirituality is man's inner urge to run towards the Farthest, to fly towards the Highest and to dive into the Innermost.

An unaspiring man will criticise the imperfections and limitations of others, although he lacks the inclination, the willingness and the capacity to perfect his own imperfections and limitations. But a man of spirituality is sincere. Not only does he not criticise the imperfections of others, but also he is fully aware of his own shortcomings and he tries to correct them. In addition, he sees the world's imperfections as his very own and tries to perfect them by perfecting his own nature.

Sincerity wants to see the Light. Spirituality shows sincerity what the Light is, where the Light is and how the Light can be seen.

An ordinary person loves the body infinitely more than he loves the soul. A spiritual person loves the soul infinitely more than he loves the body. Why? He knows that his body will last only fifty, sixty, seventy or eighty years, and then he will have to give it up. Each time he reincarnates he is donning a different body, but he has the same soul throughout all his lives. He knows that the soul is the conscious representative of the Supreme, revealing and manifesting in each incarnation the embodied Truth on earth. That is why a spiritual person loves the soul much more than he loves the body.

But an advanced seeker of the infinite Truth will give equal importance to the soul and the body. He knows that he needs the soul in order to enter into the Highest, the Ultimate, the Transcendental Beyond. But he also needs the body in order to manifest the Truth that he achieves in the highest plane of consciousness. He needs the physical in order to manifest the divinity within him. It is here on earth, in and through the body, that he can fulfil God's Vision and God's Reality.

The body we need; the soul we need. The body cries for light, more light, abundant light. The soul cries for God's manifestation, His total manifestation, and for perfect Perfection here on earth.

As the world needs a sincere man, even so, God needs a spiritual man. Without a sincere man, the world will be weak. Without a spiritual man, God will remain unfulfilled on earth. Sincerity is God's Heart; spirituality is God's Breath. When we offer our human sincerity to God, God becomes All-Love. When we offer our limited spiritual cry to God, God becomes All-Joy, All-Pride.

With his inner light, a spiritual man can easily succeed here in the material world. This light is his soul-power. This power is not destructive, but constructive. When a spiritual man deals with the outer world, he has no need to fear anybody or anything on earth. His soul-power will always come to the fore to help him establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

A sincere man is of paramount importance on earth. But his sincerity cannot take him very far. He may be sincere to his friends, to his family and to the world at large; but if he does not have the inner cry, he will not be able to enter into Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. No doubt he is far superior to an ordinary, insincere man, but if he does not feel the conscious need to aspire, if he does not feel the necessity of growing into the Light of the Beyond, if he does not have the inner urge, then for him the Transcendental Goal will always remain a far cry. His aim is only limited perfection, limited joy and limited achievement.

A spiritual person has an inner hunger. This hunger is constant. This hunger is for the Unlimited, for Infinity itself. His dissatisfaction is not the dissatisfaction an ordinary person feels when he does not get what he wants. When a spiritual man is dissatisfied with the world, he is dissatisfied precisely because he feels that the wealth of the world has no real value. He wants Infinity, Eternity and Immortality, and these he will get only from his aspiration. In order to have aspiration, he needs God's infinite Compassion; and he wishes always to bask in the sunshine of God's boundless Grace.

Again, a spiritual person does not look down upon a sincere person. He feels that this sincere person is his younger brother. He who has sincerity today has every possibility of entering into the world of spirituality tomorrow.

Sincerity and spirituality should go together. If one has sincerity only, God-realisation will dawn in him in the distant future. But if one has spirituality along with sincerity, then he is destined to realise God very soon. With sincerity's help, slowly and steadily we can go to God. With spirituality's help, we can bring God to us quickly, convincingly and triumphantly.

Will-power and victory's crown

State University of New York at Stony Brook;
Stony Brook, New York, USA
11 March 1970

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

— From the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Will-power. What is will-power? Will-power is man's conscious inner urge to enter into the very heart of Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. To live a devoted life is to be a conscious child of God's Will. In the life of aspiration two things are of paramount importance: will-power and prayer.

Prayer is feminine. Will-power is masculine. But both prayer and will-power are most effective, and both can bring about the same result.

Will-power is an ever-progressive and self-manifesting reality in the universe. At times, we mortals find it difficult to separate our willing from our wishing. We want to achieve our goal with determined personal efforts, supported and guided by God's loving Grace. Whenever we will to achieve something, we pay the price; whereas, when we wish to achieve something, very often we do not pay the price: we just wish. Here there is no effort, no conscious effort; and so we can hardly expect any success.

Human will-power and divine Will-power. Human will-power is like a rope of sand. At any moment it can break. Divine Will-power is the aspiring humanity within us evolving into the all-fulfilling Beyond.

Victory's crown. Where is the greatest victory? The greatest victory lies in self-discovery.

Atmanam viddhi — Know thyself." There can be no greater victory than to know oneself. To conquer a nation is a human victory. This victory is limited. When Caesar said, "Veni, vidi, vici —- I came, I saw, I conquered," he was referring to a human victory. Again, when the Son of God says, "Father, let Thy Will be done," here human aspiration has entered into the infinite Wisdom-Light of the Supreme. The real victory is achieved only when one has established a conscious, inseparable oneness with one's Inner Pilot.

God's Smile is man's victory's crown. And eternal aspiration is the pride of eternal victory. No aspiration, no realisation. No realisation, no revelation. No revelation, no manifestation of the divine Truth on earth.

You want to live on earth because you have countless desires. You feel that there are many things on earth you have to accomplish. But these desires need not be fulfilled, cannot be fulfilled and will not be fulfilled without God.

When you try to discover yourself, when you want to know what you truly are, God's infinite Bounty dawns on you. With your self-discovery, you can reveal God's Omniscience, Omnipotence and Omnipresence here on earth. It is here on earth and nowhere else that God-realisation and God-manifestation can and will take place.

In order to be surcharged with will-power, we need concentration, meditation and contemplation. We have to know how to concentrate. When our concentration is perfect, we then must enter into meditation. When our meditation is perfect, we have to enter into contemplation.

How can we learn how to concentrate? Just by reading books? No, impossible. Books will give us inspiration, nothing more. In order to learn the secret of concentration, one has to go to a spiritual Teacher. You have to come to the university to learn, to cultivate knowledge. Similarly, the inner knowledge also has to be learned from someone. True, the treasure is within you. But somebody has to show you where your treasure is and where your key lies. You come to school to learn, and for each subject you have a different teacher. But in the spiritual life there is only one subject, and that subject is self-realisation. And one real Teacher is more than enough to teach you, guide you, illumine you and fulfil you.

Meditation. Meditation also has to be taught, especially in the beginning. At your journey's dawn, meditation has to be taught. Now you are coming to the university. But when you get your degree you do not continue to come. When you yourself have realised God, or when you are far advanced in your meditation, you do not need a Teacher. But only then, not before.

Then comes contemplation, which is the last rung of the spiritual ladder. You can contemplate on the personal God or on the impersonal God. It is always easier, safer and more fulfilling to go to the personal God first and to go to the impersonal God through Him.

Will-power and victory's crown. The spiritual life needs only one thing: aspiration. It is our heart's constant aspiration that gives birth to will-power and victory's crown.

Let us all aspire. Ours is the aspiring soul, ours is the fulfilling Goal —- here and now, in the immediacy of today.

Commentary on The Bhagavad Gita (3)

New York University; New York, New York, USA
Vanderbilt Hall
17 March 1970

In the second and third chapters of the Gita, Sri Krishna blessed Arjuna with a few glimpses of Yogic light. In chapter four, he blesses Arjuna with a flood of spiritual light. He widely and openly reveals the secrets of Yoga. Hard is it for Arjuna to believe that Sri Krishna taught Vivasvan (the Sun-God) this eternal Yoga. Vivasvan offered it to his son Manu, and Manu imparted it to his son Iksvaku; from him it was handed down to the royal Rishis. Long before Sri Krishna's birth, Vivasvan saw the light of day. Naturally Sri Krishna's declaration would throw Arjuna into the sea of confusion.

The eternal mystery of reincarnation is now being revealed. Says Sri Krishna: "Arjuna, you and I have passed through countless births. I know them all; your memory fails you. Although I am birthless and deathless and the Supreme Lord of all beings, I manifest Myself in the physical universe through My own Maya, keeping My Prakriti (Nature) under control."

Maya means 'illusion'. It also means the unreality of ephemeral things. The unreality is personified as a female, who is also called Maya. The words dharma and maya are the constant and spontaneous expression of the Indian soul. According to Shankara, the Vedantin of the Himalayan peak, there is only one Absolute Reality, the Brahman, without a second. Advaita or Monism, deriving from Vedanta, is his momentous philosophy. There is only the Brahman. Nothing outside the Brahman exists. The world as it stands before our mental eye is a cosmic illusion, a deceptive prison. It is only when true knowledge dawns on us that we will be in a position to free ourselves from the meshes of ignorance and from the snares of birth and death.

A thing that is, is real. A thing that appears is unreal. An eternal Life is real. Ignorance and death are unreal. Maya is a kind of power filled with mystery. We know that electricity is a power, but we do not actually know what electricity is. The same truth is applicable to Maya. God uses His Maya-Power in order to enter into the field of manifestation. It is the process of the becoming of the One into many and again the return of the many into the original One.

Prakriti means 'Nature'. It is the material cause as well as the original cause of every thing in the manifested creation. Purusha is the silent Face. Prakriti is the activating Smile.Purusha is the pure, witnessing consciousness, while Prakriti is the evolving and transforming consciousness. In and through Prakriti is the fulfilment of the Cosmic Play.

Arjuna knew Sri Krishna as his dear cousin; he later knew him as his bosom friend; later still he knew him as his beloved Guru or spiritual Teacher. Here, in this chapter, he comes to know Sri Krishna as the Supreme Lord of the world. Sri Krishna says,

Whenever unrighteousness is in the ascendant
And righteousness is in the decline,
I body myself forth.
To protect and preserve the virtuous
And put an end to the evil-doers,
To establish dharma,
I manifest Myself from age to age.

From these soul-stirring utterances of Sri Krishna, we immediately come to learn that He is both the Ultimate Knowledge and the Power Supreme. Confidently and smilingly, he is charging Arjuna with a high-voltage spiritual current from his great Power-House.

Sambhavami yuge yuge

I body Myself forth from age to age.

Sri Krishna now declares himself an Avatar. An Avatar is the direct descendant of God. In the world of manifestation, He embodies the Infinite.

In India, there was a spiritual Master who declared himself to be an Avatar. Unfortunately, he became an object of merciless ridicule, both in the West and in the East. As he could not put up a brave fight against this biting sarcasm, he finally had to change his unsuccessful policy. His proud statement went one step further: "Not only I, but everybody is an Avatar." Since everybody is an Avatar, who is to criticise whom? Lo, the self-styled Avatar is now heaving a sigh of relief.

It may sound ridiculous, but it is a fact that in India practically every disciple claims his Guru to be an Avatar, a direct descendant of God. A flood-tide of enthusiasm sweeps over them when they speak about their Guru. The spiritual giant Swami Vivekananda could not help saying that in East Bengal, India, the Avatars grow like mushrooms. On the other hand, to pronounce that there has been and can be only one Avatar, the Son of God, is equally ridiculous.

Each time an Avatar comes, he plays a different role in the march of evolution, according to the necessity of the age. In essence, one Avatar is not different from another. A genuine Avatar, Sri Ramakrishna, has revealed the Truth: "He who was Rama, he who was Krishna is now in the form of Ramakrishna."

There are two eternal opposites: good and evil. According to Sri Krishna, when wickedness reaches the maximum height, God has to don the human cloak in the form of an Avatar. Sri Krishna's advent had to deal with the darkest evil force, Kamsa. Similarly Herod, the peerless tyrant, needed the advent of Jesus Christ. Christmas, the birth of Christ, demanded the extinction of the life of ignorance. Janmastami, the birth of Sri Krishna, is celebrated throughout the length and breadth of India, with a view to leaving the sea of ignorance and entering into the ocean of Knowledge.

The easiest and most effective way to conceive of the idea of a personal God is to come into contact with an Avatar and remain under his guidance. To have an Avatar as one's Guru is to find a safe harbour for one's life boat. In this connection, we can cite Swami Vivekananda's bold statement: "No man can see God but through these human manifestations. Talk as you may, try as you may, you cannot think of God but as a man."

According to many, as the Buddha is the most perfect man, even so is Lord Krishna the greatest Avatar the world has ever seen.

There are also Amsavataras (partial Avatars). But Sri Krishna is a Purnavatara (complete Avatar) in whom and through whom the Supreme is manifested fully, unreservedly and integrally. When human aspiration ascends, the divine Compassion descends in the cloak of an Avatar.

"As men approach me, so do I accept them." There can be no greater solace than this to the bleeding heart of humanity. If we accept Sri Krishna with faith, he illumines our doubting mind. If we accept Sri Krishna with love, he purifies our tormenting vital. If we accept Sri Krishna with devotion, he transforms the ignorance-night of our life into the Knowledge-Sun of His eternal Life.

Sri Krishna now wants our mind to be riveted on caste. He says that it was he who created the fourfold order of the caste system according to the aptitudes and deeds of each caste. There are people who give all importance to birth and heredity and deliberately ignore those who are abundantly blessed with capacities and accomplishments. The result is that society has to suffer the ruthless buffets of stark confusion. True, birth and heredity have their own importance. But this so-called importance cannot offer us even an iota of light and truth. It is by virtue of action, serene and noble, that we grow into the Highest and manifest the Deepest here on earth.

From verse 16 to verse 22, we see Sri Krishna throwing light on action, inaction and wrong action. Action —- that is to say, true action —- is not just to move our legs and heads. Action is self-giving. Action is to abandon attachment. Action is to bring the senses under control. Wrong action is to dance with desire. Wrong action is to disobey one's inner being. Wrong action is to swerve from the path of Truth, esoteric and exoteric.

In common belief, inaction is tantamount to inertia, sloth and so forth. But true inaction is to throw oneself into ceaseless activities while keeping the conscious mind in a state of sublime tranquillity or trance.

Faith and Doubt close this chapter. Faith is not a mere emotional feeling to stick to one's belief. It is a living inner breath to discover, realise and live in the Truth. Faith is the exercise taken by a seeker of his own will to force himself to stay in the all-seeing and all-fulfilling Will of God. The Yajur Veda tells us that consecration blossoms in self-dedication, Grace blossoms in consecration, faith blossoms in Grace, and Truth blossoms in faith. What else is faith? To quote Charles Hanson Towne,

I need not shout my faith. Thrice eloquent
Are quiet trees and the green listening sod;
Hushed are the stars, whose power is never spent;
The hills are mute: yet how they speak of God!

Doubt is naked stupidity. Doubt is absolute futility. Doubt is outer conflagration. Doubt is inner destruction.

"Samsayatma vinasyati — The possessor of doubt perishes." He is lost, totally lost. To him the path of the Spirit is denied. Also denied is the secret of life's illumination.

Says Sri Krishna: "For the doubting man, neither is this world of ours, nor is the world beyond, no, nor even happiness." The New Testament presents us with the same truth: "The man of doubtful mind enjoys neither this world nor the other, nor final beatitude."

In Nyaya (logic), one of the six systems of Indian Philosophy, we notice that doubt is nothing but a conflicting judgement regarding the character of an object. Doubt comes into existence from the very fact of its recognition of properties common to many objects, or of properties not at all common to any objects. Doubt is that very thing which is wanting in the regularity of perception. Also doubt, being non-existent, exists only with non-perception.

Doubt is an all-devouring tiger. Faith is a roaring lion that inspires an aspirant to grow into the all-illumining and all-fulfilling Supreme.

Poor, blind doubt, being quite oblivious of the truth that faith is the most forceful and most convincing affirmation of life, wants to give a violent jolt to man's lifeboat.

The poet's haunting words of truth stir our hearts to their very depths:

Better a day of faith
Than a thousand years of doubt!
Better one mortal hour with Thee
Than an endless life without.

The inner poverty

Fordham University; the Bronx, New York, USA
18 March 1970

You all know what earthly poverty is. But I wish to speak on poverty from the spiritual point of view.

Poverty is a very complicated word. Poverty is not the body's purity. Poverty is not the mind's clarity. Poverty is not the heart's spirituality. Poverty is not the soul's reality. The body's purity is light. The mind's clarity is vastness. The heart's spirituality is height. The soul's reality is delight.

In the physical life, poverty is the absence of conscious effort. In the spiritual life, poverty is the absence of spontaneous surrender to God's Will. Effort in the physical life tells an individual what he can do and ultimately achieve for himself. Surrender in the spiritual life tells the aspirant what God was doing, is doing and will be doing for him.

Poverty is no shame. In the light of perfection, poverty is not a vice — far from it. It is only a limitation. Poverty is not a disease; it is an obstruction. This obstruction can easily be surmounted.

What is poverty, after all? Poverty is misery. What is misery? Emotional misery is the result of the mind's desire. There is also physical misery, which is caused by tensed nerves. When one does not have faith in oneself, that is the beginning of misery. When one loses faith in one's Master, he falls into the damaging breath of misery.

Poverty in our spiritual life does not mean want of money or material wealth. Poverty in our spiritual life means the absence of a conscious cry for God. A man is poverty-stricken in the spiritual life only when he cannot afford to spend a fleeting minute for God. If he cannot spend a fleeting minute for God, then he is truly poverty-stricken in the inner world. An aspirant is really rich when he feels that his entire life is for God. He is richer when he sees that his breath is of God.

He is the richest man on earth when he discovers that he and God need each other, love each other and are eternally proud of each other. This discovery he can make only when he lives in the soul. His soul constantly brings reality to the fore from the inmost recesses of his heart and places the reality in front of him. His soul makes him feel that he and God are inseparably one. God needs him to manifest His infinite Possibilities and Capacities on earth, and he needs God to realise the highest Truth of the Beyond.

No man, no aspirant, is or ever can be poor if he lives in the soul. The soul is plenitude, the soul is Infinity. If the aspirant lives in the soul, he is all aspiration, he is all realisation, he is all perfection.

The aspirant's life is inundated with light. Light in his body is his beauty. Light in his vital is his capacity. Light in his mind is his glory. Light in his heart is his victory.

The Inner Light

University of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
18 March 1970

Philadelphia, to you I offer my soulful salute. You are great. You house the New World's Liberty Bell. No liberty, no divinity. No divinity, no Infinity.

All of us here are aspirants. When the time is ripe, we all shall hear the bell of inner liberty. It is in our liberty that we can and shall grow into the very Image of God.

Philadelphia, you are divine. You are called 'The City of Brotherly Love'. To have brotherly love is to feel God the Love.

Do you know what our first Indian Avatar (direct descendant of God), Sri Ramachandra, said? "Dese dese kalatrani — In every country there are wives. In every country there are friends. But hard it is to find anywhere a brother of my own."

I am now at the University of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania and its founder, William Penn, will always go together. Penn was a Quaker. He was also an active member of the Society of Friends. This evening I am speaking here on "The Inner Light." A good Quaker will correct me and ask me to call it 'inward light'.

June 5th, 1963 was a supremely significant day for this august University. It was on that day that your University conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws on Dr. Radhakrishnan, a teacher of world-awakening and world-illumination. During his speech, Dr. Radhakrishnan said something unique, something absolutely of his own.

"Turn the face of the world to the sun. Let us look to Him....let us not become the victims of either baseless optimism or groundless despair. Take recognition of the reality of the situation. Take account of the inwardness of the human being, of the spirit that dwells in him. That spirit will conquer all the darkness and matter."

Light is the Creator yet to be fulfilled.
Light is the Creation yet to be realised.
Light is the Voice of Silence in the inner world.
Light is the fruit of action in the outer world.

When we live in darkness, our human life is a constant want.
When we live in Light, our divine life is a constant achievement.

Light in the physical is beauty.
Light in the vital is capacity.
Light in the mind is glory.
Light in the heart is victory.

The secret of Light is divine energy. From this divine energy comes another secret—life. The secret of life is inner discipline. The secret of discipline is confidence. The secret of confidence is the aspirant's consciously surrendered oneness with God's Will.

Why do we love Light? We love Light because it embodies life. Why do we love life? We love life because it embodies Truth. Why do we love Truth? We love Truth because Truth is the breath of Reality's Realisation.

Light is freedom. There is no freedom without perfection. There is no perfection without freedom. Freedom is the soul of realisation. Perfection is the physical manifestation of realisation.

The mounting Light that glows within tells us that God is of us and for us. The dazzling light that glares without tells us that we are of ignorance and ignorance is ours.

When we use the outer light, we see how far we are away from God. When we use the inner Light, we see how far we are away from ignorance. When we use the Light of our fully awakened and fully realised consciousness, we see how close we are to ignorance, yet not at all affected. When we use the Light of the Supreme, we see how close we are to God, yet so far, so unimaginably far from our divine manifestation.

The consciousness of the body

City College of New York; New York, New York, USA
20 March 1970

I wish to give a very short talk on the consciousness of the body. To start with, I wish to cite a few words from Sanskrit: "Sannyasa koru karma sadhana." It means: "We have to practise the inner life, spiritual discipline, here, inside the body. Here, inside the body, we have to live the life of the spirit."

Confusion is the order of the day. Even now, we see what can happen. We were supposed to give our talk in a different hall; now we are compelled to be here. Everything seems to have gone wrong. So, when we live in the body, it is often all confusion. When we are in the soul, it is all illumination. The body right now is unlit, undeveloped and, at the same time, it remains unprogressive. That is why confusion is running riot.

We must never offer attachment to the physical body. At the same time, we must never offer our contempt to the physical body. If we are attached to the body, then we are immediately caught by the fetters of ignorance, and we will be lost in the mire of bondage. Again, if we offer contempt to the body, the physical consciousness, we will never be fully and totally fulfilled here on earth. It is here on earth that we have to realise the Truth, fulfil the Truth and manifest the Truth.

When the hour strikes, that is to say, when the soul rings the inner bell within us, the physical consciousness immediately thinks that it is time for its enjoyment. The vital thinks that it is time to show its capacity in breaking or destroying the creation. Its aggressive or, at best, its dynamic capacity wants to assert itself boldly and show the creation what it can do: how completely, how cleverly, how confidently it can change the plan, the plan that was envisioned by God's Will. The mind thinks that this is the time to doubt God's creation and, at the same time, to doubt the Creator, to doubt His very Existence on earth. The heart feels, when the bell is rung by the soul, "Now is the time for me to cry, cry for Light, Peace, Bliss and inner Power; the power that fulfils and does not destroy, the power of inseparable oneness with God's creation, with God's entire Universe."

When the physical consciousness tries to see the Truth, it usually sees the Truth with tremendous fear. Fearfully and tremulously it sees the Truth. When the vital tries to approach the Truth, it wants to see the Truth by force, by hook or by crook, ruthlessly, without patience. When the mind wants to see the Truth, it sees with the eye of suspicion, doubt, inner turmoil, anxiety and worry. And when the heart wants to see the Truth, it very often sees with joy, delight and soulful prayer.

The body. As an individual, I pride myself on this physical body. What I have and what I am —- it is all my body. The body is the only thing I have to show to the world at large. When I feel that my body is the only thing that I am, then I am nowhere near my realisation, not to speak of my revelation. If the body is the only thing that I can call my very own, then temptation, sense-pleasure, frustration and destruction also belong to me.

If I can say that the soul is my own, if I become one, inseparably one, with the existence of my soul, then only will I see the purpose of my life, the aim of my life, why I have come here, what necessity God has in me and what work He will do through me here on earth. When I live on earth, I live not because others are living here. Many people live on earth. I live on earth precisely because I have a special aim, a mission on earth. Each individual has to feel that he or she has something special to offer; and this message has to come directly from the soul and enter into the physical consciousness.

As an individual, an unlit individual, I boast, I brag. I say, "I have tremendous strength." But look. When an insignificant ant bites me, I am unnerved, I am irritated. When a South Indian mosquito bites me, immediately I become a raving lunatic. A mere mosquito has disturbed my inner poise. I have the strength to destroy hundreds and thousands of mosquitoes. But when I am stung by one mosquito, I am totally lost. One mosquito has robbed my body of all its poise and inner strength. I am conquered by a little mosquito or an ant. Why? Precisely because I live in the body.

If I live in the soul, if my consciousness becomes totally one with the soul which is the source of Light and Delight, then mosquitoes can bite, ants can bite; the whole world, like a venomous snake, can bite, I will remain unperturbed. I will remain in the sea of silence and tranquillity.

The body, the vital and the mind usually fight with one another. They quarrel, they fight, they never listen to one another. But when the soul asks them to do something, immediately they become one and they unanimously reject the offer, the soul's divine offer. If the soul wants to offer them light, inner light, individually or collectively, the body, the vital and the mind become, at that very moment, inseparable. In collusion they reject the soul's light. In the field of spirituality, they negate their own inner possibilities through their ignorance.

"Atmanam rathinam viddhi shariram rathameva tu." In the Katha Upanishad, one of India's loftiest and best-known Upanishads, we come to learn that the soul is the master, the body is the chariot, and the intellect, or should we say the reasoning capacity, is the charioteer, and the mind is the reins. Now, we need a chariot, we need a charioteer, we need a master of the chariot. Of course, we need a horse, the dynamic energy of the being, but we also need the reins to control that horse, and the reins are represented by the mind. All these we need in order to complete and fulfil our journey.

If we do not enter into the spiritual life, if we do not pay attention to the inner life, then the body is bound to act like a mad elephant, trampling down everything around us. This very body, however, really wants to respect its superiors, the heart and the soul. This body wants to be a perfect instrument. It is only its conscious oneness with something higher that can make the body feel what it really stands for, how much inner capacity it can exercise in the outer world of manifestation. But either we give undue importance to the body or we give no importance at all to the body. Here we commit a deplorable, Himalayan mistake. When we use the body for the sake of enjoyment, sense-pleasure, only to covet, to enjoy, we are misusing the body. We are giving no importance to the soul. At this point we can well think of the great spiritual Master named Maharishi Ramana, a great Yogi. "Why do you pay so much attention to the body? Take it as a banana leaf. Eat your meal, which is placed on the banana leaf and then, after you have eaten, just throw away the banana leaf. It has played its part." Again, if we observe the Truth from another angle, we see that if we just throw the body away and pay no attention to it, we do feel that we are not involved in it but, at the same time, if we discard the body as a banana leaf, seeing it only as a covering for the soul, then how can the manifestation take place here on earth?

The highest Truth can be realised only here on earth. God-discovery and Self-realisation can take place only here on earth. The soul is inside the body. It is the light of the soul that has to come to the fore and illumine our obscure, unlit, undivine consciousness. Once our outer consciousness is illumined, then only there is no difference between the inner and the outer. Now there is a yawning gulf between our inner realisation and illumination and our outer manifestation. Unless and until the inner realisation and the outer life's manifestation go together, we remain incomplete. So let us take the body as the field of manifestation and the soul as the realisation. First we have to realise; then we have to manifest. If we have not realised the Truth, what will there be to manifest? And again, if we have realised something and we cannot manifest it, the Truth is incomplete.

Each seeker, each aspirant, already knows that there are two types of consciousness: finite and infinite. Right now the body possesses, or you can say represents, the finite consciousness. And the inner Divinity, or shall we say the soul, represents the infinite Consciousness. It is here in the finite that the Infinite has to play its role. What we see without is the song of the finite. And what we become and grow into will be the Song of Infinity.

Now, either the finite has to enter into the Infinite, or the Infinite has to enter into the finite. Which is easier: for the father to come to the baby or for the baby to come to the father? Undoubtedly, it is far easier for the father to come to the baby because he has the capacity. But when does the father come to the child? Only when the child cries, cries to be near the father.

In conclusion I wish to quote just a line from India's greatest poet, Rabindranath Tagore. He sang, "Simar majhe nashibo…"

In the finite, in the bosom of the finite, You are playing Your tune, O Infinity. The melody has enchanted me. Its beauty is unparalleled. Again, it is in me and through me You are manifesting Your Infinity. That is why You are All-Beauty. You are utilising the finite to express Your Beauty. You are All-Beauty, You are All-Joy, All-Nectar, All-Delight.

Commentary on The Bhagavad Gita (4)

New York University; New York, New York, USA
Vanderbilt Hall
24 March 1970

Out of His infinite Bounty, boundless Love and deepest, soulful Concern, Sri Krishna has unveiled the secret supreme —- that He is in everything and He embodies everything. Arjuna's stark delusion has been removed and dispersed. He now enjoys his soul's translucent peace.

Sri Krishna speaks out of the abundance of His Love. Arjuna listens to Him with his heart's loftiest devotion, and believes in Him unreservedly and soulfully. Arjuna's singular belief cries for its transformation; his aspiration cries for an experience. His mind understands the Truth. But his heart pines to vision the Truth and to live the Truth. Hence, he needs this experience, unavoidable and inevitable. In chapter 11 of the Gita, Sri Krishna graciously and immediately grants it, the experience unparalleled.

"O Arjuna, behold in My Body the entire universe." Arjuna's physical eyes naturally fail to vision it. The Lord grants him the eye of supernal vision, the eye that sees the unseen —- the Yogic eye.

The body that the Lord speaks of is a spiritual body. Hence, to see the spiritual body, Arjuna must needs be endowed with a spiritual eye. The body signifies form. The formless abides in this form. The Vision Transcendental and the Reality Absolute play in unison in and through the Cosmic Form. The body of flesh and blood undergoes innumerable vicissitudes, but not the body of unlimited, divine form and deathless substance. This divine body is the embodiment and revelation of Truth's Divinity, Infinity, Eternity and Immortality.

Sanjaya says to Dhritarashtra, "O Rajan, Krishna, the supreme Master of Yoga, the Almighty Lord, reveals to Arjuna His Form divine, supreme. Arjuna now sees Krishna as the Supreme Godhead, Parameshwara."

Arjuna sees the many in the One Supreme possessing myriad mouths, numberless eyes, limitless marvels, wielding divine weapons, wearing divine garments and jewels, bearing celestial garlands of supernal fragrance. The effulgence of a thousand suns bursting forth all at once in the skies will hardly equal the supreme splendour of the Lord. Arjuna beholds Infinity in multiplicity in the divine person of Sri Krishna. Overwhelmed, ecstasy flooding his inmost being, with his hands folded, his head bowed, he exclaims, "O Lord, in Thee, in Thy Body, I behold all gods and all grades of beings, with distinctive marks. I see even Brahma seated resplendent on His lotus-throne and seers and sages all around, and symbolical serpents —- all divine."

When we go up with all our heart's snow-white flaming aspiration, we enter into the Cosmic Consciousness of the Seers. This path is an upward path. It is the path of embodiment and realisation. There is another path known as the path of revelation and manifestation. This path is the downward path. Here our consciousness flows down through the cosmic energy, the symbolic serpents, circling and spiralling.

Verses 15 to 31 eloquently and psychically describe what Arjuna saw in Sri Krishna with his newly acquired Yogic sight.

The fight is yet to start. The mighty warriors are ready and eager to fight. To his greatest surprise, Arjuna sees the utter extinction of the lives of the warriors in Sri Krishna. Before the birth of the fight, he sees the death of the warriors. Destroyed they are. As he sees the fires of Sri Krishna's flaming and all-devouring mouth, his very life-breath quivers. The disciple cries out, "Thy Compassion, my Lord Supreme, I implore. I know Thee not. Who art Thou?"

"Time am I. Time, the mighty destroyer, am I. Doomed they are. Whether you fight or not, they are already dead. Even without you, your foes will escape no death. Arise, O Arjuna, arise! Victory's glory and renown you win. Conquer your enemies. Enjoy the vast kingdom, enjoy. By Me is ordained their lives' surrendered hush. You be the outer cause. Just be My instrument, nothing more."

"Nimitta matram bhava — Be thou a mere instrument."

There can be no greater pride, no better achievement, than to be God's own instrument, for to be an instrument of God is to be infallibly accepted as His very own. In and through the instrument-disciple, the Master-Guru sees and fulfils God's divine Purpose.

Sri Krishna is the all-devouring Time. This vision, according to our outer eyes and understanding, is terrible. But, according to our inner vision and inner comprehension, it is natural and inevitable. Sri Aurobindo says,

"Time represents itself to human effort as an enemy or a friend, as a resistance, a medium or an instrument, But always it is really the instrument of the soul. Time is a field of circumstances and forces meeting and working out a resultant progression whose course it measures. To the ego it is a tyrant or a resistance, to the Divine an instrument. Therefore, while our effort is personal, Time appears as a resistance, for it presents to us all the obstruction of the forces that conflict with our own. When the divine working and the personal are combined in our consciousness, it appears as a medium and condition. When the two become one, it appears as a servant and instrument."

Krishnaprem, the great seeker, says,

"It is impossible to state in words this wondrous insight. All things remain the same yet all are changed. Time flashes bodily into Eternity; the streaming Flux itself is the Eternal, which, though It moves unceasingly, moves not at all."

The Upanishadic lore echoes and re-echoes in our aspiring hearts: "That moves and yet That moves not. That is far distant and yet That is close and near…"

Time houses Truth. Sri Krishna tells the Truth, the Truth Eternal, about Himself. Here we can recollect the significant words of Virginia Woolf: "If you do not tell the truth about yourself, you cannot tell it about other people." Conversely, if you know the spiritual truth about yourself, you must needs know the truth about others. Sri Krishna showed the divine Truth that was Himself.

We can also cheerfully walk with Marcus Aurelius: "I cannot comprehend how any man can want anything but the Truth."

To doubt the spiritual Master before one's own illumination dawns is not uncommon in the spiritual history of the world. Even some of the dearest disciples of great spiritual Masters have done so. But for the seeker to leave the Master precisely because doubt haunts him is an act of sheer stupidity. Stick, stick unto the last. The blighted doubts will disappear into thin air. The splendour of Infinity and Eternity will blossom in the bosom of Time. Your mounting aspiration will accomplish this task.

Arjuna's throbbing heart voices forth, "Thou art the primeval Soul." He cries for Sri Krishna's forgiveness. Owing to his past ignorance, he had not realised Sri Krishna in His divine nature. His past was full of wrong deeds, what with ignorance and what with carelessness. He begs with a throbbing heart for forgiveness for his acts of omission and commission rendered unto Sri Krishna.

"Bear with me as father with his son, as friend with his friend, as lover with the beloved." Sri Krishna no doubt forgives Arjuna. He assumes his normal, natural and familiar form.

Arjuna comes to realise that it is only the Grace divine that has endowed him with the Yogic eye to see the Unseen, the Glory supreme of the Lord, the present, past and future.

He also learns from the Lord that "neither the study of the Vedas, nor sacrifice, nor alms, neither austerity nor study can win this cosmic vision." Even the Cosmic Gods yearn for a glimpse of this Universal Form which He has just shown to Arjuna out of His boundless Compassion.

Faith, devotion, surrender. Lo! Sri Krishna is won. No other way Him to realise, Him to possess.

The inner life

Dartmouth College; Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
3 April 1970

It is with deep joy and satisfaction that I tell you that today I complete my Ivy League talks. This is my last talk, but not the least, far from it. Yours is the College which is a veritable pride of the United States. I am most happy and most proud to be here amongst you this evening.

Before I enter into my talk, in silence I wish to invoke the soul of the illustrious poet, Robert Frost, once a student of this august College.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep.
And miles to go before I sleep.
And miles to go before I sleep.

Indeed, these soulful lines come directly from the inmost recesses of the poet's heart. Since I am going to speak on the inner life, that is to say, the spiritual life, I would like to say a few words on these immortal lines.

The woods, from the spiritual point of view, signify aspiration. The spiritual significance of a lovely, dark and deep wood is intense aspiration. Now, what is aspiration? Aspiration is the mounting flame deep within us that leads us to the Highest Absolute. And when we say intense aspiration, we have to feel that the intensity of aspiration is something that will lead us faster to our Destined Goal and, at the same time, it will bring our Destination closer. When intensity looms large in our aspiration, realisation can no longer remain a far cry. Nay, realisation will soon be within our easy reach.

The poet further says, "And miles to go before I sleep." Here, aspiration is the journey's dawn, and realisation is the journey's close. When we launch onto the inner path, we come to realise that the Destined Goal is far, very far. The poet unmistakably and soulfully tells us that the Goal of the Beyond is extremely far. And once he reaches the Goal, he will be able to take rest, sleep.

From the ordinary human point of view, this statement is absolutely correct. We enjoy the fruits of our realisation only when we reach our destination. But from the strict spiritual point of view we notice something else. We see that realisation is something that constantly transcends itself. Today's aspiration transforms itself into tomorrow's realisation. Again, tomorrow's realisation is the pathfinder of a higher and deeper Goal. There is no end to our realisation. God is eternal. Our journey is eternal, and the road that we are marching on is also eternal. We are eternal, divine soldiers marching towards the Beyond that is constantly transcending its own boundary.

The inner life is the union of Truth and Reality. This life reveals what the Transcendental Will truly is. This life manifests without what God has within.

Meaninglessness and impossibility are for the outer life. They are not for the inner life, never. The inner life unmistakably feels that everything has its own intrinsic value and that nothing can remain unachieved, unaccomplished or unfulfilled.

When we live in the gross and unaspiring physical, each hour is a deplorable loss, a dangerous sickness and a fatal failure. At this point, the message of Seneca commands our attention: "The hour which gives us life begins to take it away."

However, the human breath has an inner cry for Immortality. It knows and feels that death is not and cannot be the ultimate answer. The real poet in Alfred Lord Tennyson inspires us to sing,

No life that breathes with human breath
Has truly longed for death.

Needless to say, a true aspirant in his inner life does not long for death. He does not cry for Immortality either. What he needs and cries for is conscious, unreserved and unconditional surrender to the Will of the Supreme. To fulfil the Supreme's Will Supreme is his heart's only cry.

The inner life, which is the smile of the soul, is always in the making. There is no end to its realisation. Its past is the Pride of Eternity. Its present is the Pride of Infinity. Its future is the Pride of Immortality.

There are two levels of life: the conscious level and the unconscious level. Since we are all aspirants, let us deal only with the conscious level of life. The conscious level of life has to realise the Highest and fulfil the Absolute on earth through its ever-glowing, meditative, selfless service to the Divinity in humanity, and through its ever-flowing, contemplative, unconditional surrender to the sole Pilot Supreme.

The cry for the endless God is an endless cry. Because of its endlessness, the outer life finds God-realisation a futile cry. But yesterday the inner life felt that God-realisation was possible. Today it discovers that God-realisation is inevitable. The inner life shook hands with yesterday's limited light. It embraces today's abundant light. It will drink deep tomorrow's Infinite Light.

"Life seems to be divided into two periods: In the first we indulge, in the second we preach.
- Will Durant"

This is what we are apt to observe in the outer life. Strangely enough, we can divide the inner life, too, into two periods: In the first we aspire, in the second we inspire.

William James said something profoundly significant: "The best use of life is to spend it for something that outlasts life." Now, what is that something that outlasts life? Before I answer this question, I wish to add something to my question. My final question is: What is that something that outlasts life for the longest period of time? We have seen that man's inner hunger for the highest Truth outlasts life. But there is only one thing that outlasts life for the longest period of time, and that thing is called sacrifice. Sacrifice is by far the best of all the immortal treasures of earth and Heaven. The Vedas tell us who made the supreme sacrifice: Brihaspati, the preceptor of the Gods. "Death he chose to help the Gods. Immortality he chose not, to help mankind."

They say that life is the same uninspiring thing over and over again. The seeker of the Supreme Light has a different experience to offer. He soulfully declares: Life is God the ever-transcending Vision. Life is God the ever-fulfilling Manifestation.

Consciousness

The New School for Social Research; New York, New York, USA
7 April 1970

Consciousness is our real teacher, our dear friend and our sure slave. As a slave, consciousness carries our teeming ignorance to God. As a friend, consciousness tells us what the supreme Knowledge is. As a teacher, consciousness reveals to us the undeniable truth that today's imperfect and unfulfilled man is tomorrow's perfect and fulfilled God.

Consciousness sings. It sings the song of universal Oneness. Consciousness plays. It plays the game of cosmic Manifestation. Consciousness dances. It dances with God's fulfilling Vision within and God's fulfilled Reality without. Consciousness acts. It acts through man's crying, climbing and surrendering aspiration, and God's descending, protecting and illumining Compassion.

When consciousness is all activity, it bows to God the Mother, its Source. When consciousness is all silence, it bows to God the Father, its Source. From the Mother, it gets the mightiest Power to make the supreme sacrifice for the unconscious earth. From the Father, it gets the highest Light to illumine the unlit earth. Consciousness itself is at once Light and Power. As Light, it identifies with the pure inspiration and deep aspiration of our inner world. As Power, it exercises its divine sovereignty over the darkest bondage and the wildest ignorance of our outer world.

"The consciousness that the unaspiring body uses is called the hopeful consciousness.
The consciousness that the unyielding vital uses is known as the hurtful consciousness.
The consciousness that the uncompromising mind uses is called the doubtful consciousness.
The consciousness that the uncovering heart uses is called the truthful consciousness.
The consciousness that the unlimited soul uses is called the fruitful consciousness.
— Aum Anandamayee Chaitanyamayee Satyamayee Parame
O Mother Absolute of Existence-Consciousness-Delight!"

This triple consciousness is the longest length, farthest breadth and deepest depth. The longest length is Infinity. The farthest breadth is Eternity. The deepest depth is Immortality. When consciousness lives in existence, humanity devotedly receives what Divinity soulfully offers. When consciousness lives inside its own domain, humanity and Divinity lovingly yet surprisingly share each other's experience. When consciousness lives in Delight, humanity is realised and transformed and Divinity is manifested and fulfilled.

Blind is he who does not see the Consciousness-Light. Deaf is he who does not obey the Consciousness-right. Poor is he who cannot eat the Consciousness-fruit. Foolish is he who denies the existence of the Consciousness-sea.

The inner freedom

Fairfield University; Fairfield, Connecticut, USA
8 April 1970

The outer freedom is to see what we should. The inner freedom is to be what we must. What we should see is the golden face of Truth. What we must be is the flowing Life of God's Vision and the glowing Breath of God's Reality.

The mother of freedom is Light. The father of freedom is Truth. The wife of freedom is Peace. The son of freedom is Courage. The daughter of freedom is Faith.

Freedom rings where Light shines. Freedom rings when Truth sings. Freedom rings if Peace expands. Freedom rings because Courage demands. Freedom rings, hence Faith blossoms.

Somebody said, "When there is more freedom for mankind, the women will have it." This deplorable statement fails to breathe in the inner world. In the inner world, woman and man have equal freedom to cherish the mind's inspiration, the heart's aspiration and the soul's realisation. Furthermore, inspiration is woman; aspiration is man; and realisation is man and woman both.

We fight for the outer freedom. We cry for the inner freedom. With the outer freedom, we see and rule the four corners of the globe. With the inner freedom, we see the Soul and become the Goal of the entire universe.

True freedom does not lie in speaking ill of the world, or in speaking ill of an individual or individuals. Again, true freedom does not lie in merely appreciating and admiring the world or humanity at large. True freedom lies only in our inseparable oneness with the world's inner cry and its outer smile. The world's inner cry is God the Realisation. The world's outer smile is God the Manifestation.

Freedom is expressive. This is what the body tells me. Freedom is explosive. This is what the vital tells me. Freedom is expensive. This is what the mind tells me. Freedom is illumining. This is what the heart tells me. Freedom is fulfilling. This is what the soul tells me.

My outer freedom is my self-imposed and self-aggrandised obligation. My inner freedom is the birthright of my eternal aspiration and my endless realisation.

Now, the paramount question is whether or not my inner freedom and my outer freedom can run abreast. Certainly they can. Certainly they must. My inner freedom knows what it has and what it is: realisation. My outer freedom must know what it wants and what it needs: transformation.

When the freedom of my life without is soulfully and unreservedly transformed, it immediately becomes the mightiest might and the highest pride of the freedom of my life within.

My outer freedom is my life-boat. My inner freedom is my life-sea. My God is my Pilot Supreme. Today I am my journey's searching and crying soul. Tomorrow I shall be my journey's illumining and fulfilling Goal.

My soul of freedom is my God's compassionate and constant Necessity. My goal of freedom is my God's smiling and dancing Transcendental Assurance everlastingly fulfilled.

Earth-bound time and timeless time

Long Island University; Brooklyn, New York, USA
10 April 1970

Time: earth-bound time and timeless time. When I look upward, I earn time. When I look forward, I utilise time. When I look inward, I save time. When I look backward, I waste time.

How do I use my time? I use my time serving sincere seekers. When do I use my time? I use my time when God commands my service and man, the aspirant, needs my light. There are only two things: time and life. Time is for life and life is of time. In life, we see God. In time, through time, we become consciously one with God.

Albert Einstein, the world-renowned scientist, said something most striking: "When we sit with a nice girl for two hours, we think it is only for a minute. When we sit on a hot stove for a minute, we think it is for two hours. And that is relativity."

In the spiritual world we come across a similar experience. When we go to a real spiritual Master and drink deep of his divine Peace, Light and Bliss for two hours, we feel we have been with him for only a fleeting minute. And when we sit on the stove of wild ignorance for just a fleeting second, we feel it is for an endless hour. This is spirituality, an eager aspirant's reality.

Francis Bacon also said something striking: "To choose time is to save time." This is a most significant statement. Now, why do we choose time and how can we choose time? We can choose time by loving time. How can we love time? We can love time by meditating constantly on our life's promise to God. What is our life's promise to God? The promise is that God's Light Divine will grow and glow in human life.

What happens when we save time? Opportunity knocks at the door of possibility, and possibility knocks at the door of inevitability. Possibility says to opportunity while opening the door, "My child, you are wise." Inevitability says to possibility while opening the door, "My child, you are no longer your searching soul. Today you have become your fulfilling Goal."

"I am the mighty, world-devouring Time." This message is from the Bhagavad Gita, the Song Celestial sung by Lord Krishna. We have to know what is actually devoured and destroyed—ignorance, limitation, bondage, imperfection and death. Sri Krishna has already told the human aspirant, Arjuna, why He has appeared on earth: "Whenever righteousness declines and unrighteousness prevails, I embody Myself, O Arjuna. To protect the good, to destroy the wicked and to establish dharma [the inner code of life], I come into being from age to age."

In our day-to-day human experience we very often feel that time destroys us. Herbert Spencer, on behalf of suffering humanity, says, "Time is that which man always tries to kill, but which ends in killing him." We try to kill time. But what actually happens is that time ultimately kills us, devours us. Our hopes are dashed, our desires are frustrated. When founded on insincerity, doubt, worries and anxieties, our aspiration unfortunately fails to bear fruit.

Earth-bound time and timeless time. In our day-to-day life we use earth-bound time. This time measures all our activities and can itself be measured —- one hour, two hours, three hours. Again, one hour is divided into sixty minutes, one minute into sixty seconds. We can break earth-bound time into pieces. We can pick the time; we can be on time. Early in the morning, at six o'clock, we will get up. At eight o'clock we shall be in the office. At eleven o'clock at night we will go to bed. Time is registering our life-activities.

But timeless time is totally different. It is like a river flowing into the sea, merging into the sea and, finally, becoming one with the sea. On the strength of its oneness, it becomes the boundless vast. Here the finite enters into the Infinite and loses itself. What happens when the Infinite plays its role in the finite?

""O Infinite, in the heart of the finite You are playing Your own melodies. In me is Your Revelation and Manifestation. Therefore, ecstasy within, ecstasy without." India's greatest poet, Rabindranath Tagore, sang this."

Earth-bound time. The body uses this time. The physical consciousness uses this time. The physical mind uses this time. We can use or misuse this time. But once we use or misuse it, this time is exhausted. We cannot get it back.

The soul uses boundless time. Infinity looms large in this time. And if we are consciously one with the soul, we can use the boundless time, the eternal time. We also can misuse it if we want to. But fortunately our soul will not permit us to misuse this time. And even if we do misuse it, the time still remains boundless, eternal.

In our earth-bound time we observe one thing: today we have a headache, tomorrow time cures it. Today we suffer from some ailments, tomorrow we are cured. Time comes to our rescue. Similarly, our soul sees a disease in the earth-atmosphere. The soul itself has no disease, for it is beyond disease, beyond death. But in the earth-atmosphere the soul sees the most fatal disease of all, ignorance: ignorance within, ignorance without. The soul wants to put an end to this ignorance. That is, the soul feels that each human being can swim across the sea of ignorance and, finally, dive into the sea of the soul's infinite plenitude. The hour has to strike. When it does, it is up to us how we utilise this hour.

The Lord Buddha, teaching his disciples, was reading something from a sacred book. After a while he said, "The evening has set in," and closed the book. Immediately his disciples realised that it was time for them to meditate, so they entered into meditation. On that particular day, two newcomers, a thief and a woman of ill repute, had attended Lord Buddha's discourse. The thief immediately decided that it was time for him to go and commit a theft. So he left the place. The woman of ill fame realised that it was time for her to go home and wait for her friends. And this she did. At the same hour a seeker of the infinite Truth enters into meditation, a thief does what he thinks best for him and a woman of ill repute does what she feels best for her.

In our spiritual life also, when the hour strikes, three different types of seekers play three different roles. There are lamentable seekers, able seekers and admirable seekers. Lamentable seekers are those who come to a spiritual Master out of curiosity, because they see that thousands of other seekers are flocking towards him. They have countless problems, and they feel that the moment they come to a spiritual Master all their problems will be solved: family problems, financial problems and other kinds of problems.

The able seekers have faith in themselves and faith in God, fifty percent each. They feel that God is pleased with them, and showers His choice blessings upon them just because they meditate. They feel that their realisation is due in part to their personal effort and in part to God's Grace, and they are happy when they finally reach their Goal.

The admirable seekers feel that their realisation has taken place precisely because God has showered infinite Grace upon them. They feel it is God's Grace that has enabled them to realise the highest Truth. Their prayer is, "O God, fulfil Yourself in and through us. If You want us to remain unrealised, unknown and imperfect, we are fully prepared. If You want us to realise the highest Truth, to enter into Infinity, Eternity and Immortality, then we are also prepared to do this. Our only prayer is to please You, to fulfil You, the way You want to be pleased and fulfilled. We reject all personal choice. It is Your Choice that we want in our life. We have one aim, one Goal: to fulfil You in Your own Way, at Your own Golden Hour."

The song of the ego

Adelphi University; Garden City, New York, USA
15 April 1970

My ego needs.
My soul has.
My ego tries.
My soul does.
My ego knows the problem that is.
My soul becomes the answer that is.
I am not alone.
Within my unlit self:
My ego, my naked death.
I am not alone.
Within my snow-white heart:
My soul, and my Spirit's Flame.

Ego is the thief of thieves. Not to speak of ordinary experiences, even realisations are afraid of this intruder.

To feel the absence of ego is as difficult as to see God's constant Presence in oneself. Ego helps bondage grow. Bondage, in return, helps ego flourish or run amok.

Self-pity, self-indulgence and egoistic emotional cries are but one shortcoming with different names.

O small ego, O big ego, do not worry. Both of you have God's Compassion at your disposal. As there is no difference between a rill and a river when they run into the sea, neither is there a difference between an ordinary man and an important man when they dive into the sea of God's Compassion.

Ego is diversity in unfulfilling action. Surrender is unity in fulfilled action, fulfilled manifestation and fulfilled perfection.

Self-advertisement cannot even touch the feet of God-realisation. God-realisation cannot lower itself even to touch the head of self-advertisement.

To think oneself always great is to believe that toil and skill are unnecessary.

No doubt, man is infinitely superior to a wild beast. But he always drinks two bottles of poison: one bottle is ego and the other is doubt. Until he has done away with these two bottles, man is no more than a higher animal.

To strive to do something unique is undoubtedly good, but it is better to know whether that unique thing is what God wants you to do.

The difference between God and man is this: man is the determining 'I'. God is the determined 'We'.

Happy is he who has overcome all selfishness. Blessed is he who sees God emerging from the sea of his ego.

The moment we remove the mirror of self-flattery from our eyes and hold up before us the mirror of Truth, we see a half-animal jumping within and without us.

With your unlit and wild ego do not destroy yourself. Suicide is the worst possible barrier to the goal of Self-realisation. If you destroy yourself, instead of starting your next life where you have left off in this one, you will have to go back to a much earlier point.

There is one defeat that brings us an even greater triumph than victory does. What is that defeat? The defeat of our ego by our soul.

Immortality

University of Massachusetts; Amherst, Massachusetts, USA
24 April 1970

He who does not aspire thinks that Immortality is an impossibility. He who aspires feels that Immortality is a sure possibility. He who has realised God knows that Immortality is an absolute reality.

"" 'Impossible!' That is not good French," says Napoleon."

" 'Impossible!' That is not good self-discovery." This is what I say. Today's self-discovery is tomorrow's Immortality.

It is good to be immortal, but it is infinitely better to be divine. Socrates said something quite memorable: "All men's souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are both immortal and divine."

If Divinity looms large inside Immortality, then only can reality be all-embracing, all-sustaining and all-fulfilling.

The outer life is humanity. The inner life is Immortality. The life around is reality. The life above is Divinity. The life below is obscurity.

When Divinity descends into humanity, the soul of humanity becomes hopeful. When Divinity descends into Immortality, the soul of Immortality becomes meaningful. When Divinity enters into reality, the soul of reality becomes fruitful. When Divinity enters into obscurity, the soul of obscurity becomes prayerful.

God inspires man with His immortal Inspiration. Man realises God with his immortal self-consecration. God meditates on man for his immortal perfection. Man meditates on God for His immortal Manifestation.

To copy others is an act of stupidity. To copy oneself is an act of absurdity. To imitate God is to imitate Immortality. When we imitate God, our life of imagination ends and our life of realisation dawns.

How can we imitate God when we do not know who God is? God is the Man Divine, supremely inspiring there in Heaven and supremely sacrificing here on earth.

What is Immortality? Immortality is the Consciousness divine that eternally grows and endlessly flows. While growing, it reaches God the Transcendental; while flowing, it reaches God the Universal.

The body says, "Life is but pressure." The vital says, "Life is but pleasure." The mind says, "Life is the homeland of ideas." The heart says, "Life is the homeland of ideals." The soul says, "Life is the homeland of experiences." God says, "Life is the homeland of Immortality."

Mother Earth symbolises human aspiration. Hence, it is a woman in the Upanishads, Maitreyi, who teaches humanity the highest aspiration towards God: "Of what use to me are things that do not make me immortal?"

Let us be inseparably one with Maitreyi and feel that mortality's binding consciousness is bound to be flooded with the boundless consciousness of Immortality.

O aspiring man, go deep within. Listen to God whisper, "My child, you are good. Therefore, I have made you My Infinity's Heart. My child, you are nice. Therefore, I have made you My Eternity's Breath. My child, you are great. Therefore, I have made you My Immortality's Life."

Intuition

University of Maine; Orono, Maine, USA
24 April 1970

Intuition is a push and a pull. It is an inner push and an outer pull. The push comes from our aspiration. The pull comes from God's Illumination.

When God invites an aspirant to dine with Him, it is the aspirant's intuition that immediately accepts the invitation. The mind is fond of investigation and invention. The heart is fond of aspiration and unification. Intuition is fond of illumination and supramentalisation. Intuition tells us in a flash what God looks like. Realisation in a twinkling tells us who God is. Intuition, like an arrow, flies towards the Goal. Realisation, like an expert dancer, eternally dances in the heart of the Goal.

Intuition is the creation above the mind. Intuition is the freedom beyond the mind. Intuition is the evolution of consciousness-light outside the boundaries of the physical mind.

Again, there is an infinitely inferior form of intuition in the body, the vital, the mind and the heart. The intuition in the body is practically blind. In the vital, it is powerfully obscure; in the mind, surprisingly uncertain; in the heart, deplorably helpless.

The difference between intuition and will-power is this: intuition sees the Truth; will-power wants to become the Truth. Intuition has the ability to shorten the road that leads to the highest Illumination. Will-power has the ability to bathe in the sea of Illumination.

Imagination is not intuition. Inspiration is not intuition. Aspiration is not intuition. But when intuition presents imagination with the Truth, imagination successfully expands the Truth. When intuition presents inspiration with the Truth, inspiration soulfully embraces the Truth. When intuition presents aspiration with the Truth, aspiration devotedly devours the Truth.

Intuition is the golden link between Vision and Reality. Vision needs intuition to carry its all-transforming message to humanity. Reality needs intuition to carry its all-surrendering message to Divinity.

Aspiration: the inner flame

Purdue University; Lafayette, Indiana, USA
27 April 1970

God had a glowing Dream. The name of that Dream was Aspiration. Man has a climbing cry. The name of this cry is also aspiration. God was originally One. With His Aspiration, God wanted to become Many. He wanted to divinely enjoy and supremely fulfil Himself in and through an infinite number of forms.

Man is many. With his aspiration, man the dividing and divided consciousness, man the obscure mind, man the unfulfilled being wants to become one with the world-consciousness, the world-life and the world-soul. He unmistakably and soulfully feels that this is the secret and sacred way to feel the deepest depth of Reality and the highest height of Truth.

Aspiration is the inner flame. Unlike other flames, this flame does not burn anything. It purifies, illumines and transforms our life. When purification takes place in our lower nature, we hope to see the Face of God. When illumination dawns in our outer nature, we feel that God is near and dear, that He is all-pervading and all-loving. When our nature, both lower and outer, grows into the transformation-flame, we shall realise the Truth that God Himself is the inmost Pilot, brightest Journey and highest Goal.

Some people are under the impression that desire and aspiration are the same thing. Unfortunately or, rather, fortunately that is not true. They are two totally different things. The difference between desire and aspiration is very simple and clear. Desire wants to bind and devour the world. Aspiration wishes to free and feed the world. Desire is the outgoing energy. Aspiration is the inflowing light. Desire says to man, "Possess everything. You will be happy." Poor man, when he wants to possess just one single thing, he sees that he has already been mercilessly caught and possessed by everything in God's creation.

Aspiration says to man, "Realise only one thing, and that thing is God. You will be happy." Fortunate and blessed man —- on his way upward and inward, long before he sees God, he feels sublime peace in his inner life and radiating joy in his outer life. He feels that the realisation of the Supreme Beyond can no longer remain a far cry.

Aspiration has not one but three genuine friends: yesterday, today and tomorrow. Yesterday offered its inspiration-flight to aspiration. Today offers its dedication-might to aspiration. Tomorrow will offer its realisation-delight to aspiration.

Aspiration is our inner urge to transcend both the experience and the realisation already achieved. This is absolutely necessary because God the Infinite constantly transcends His own Infinity, God the Eternal constantly transcends His own Eternity and God the Immortal constantly transcends His own Immortality.

The childhood of aspiration wants to realise the Supreme in an earthly and individual way. The adolescence of aspiration wants to realise the Supreme in a divine and glorious way. The adulthood of aspiration wants to realise the Supreme in the Supreme's own Way.

Aspiration is realisation. Aspiration is revelation. Aspiration is manifestation. Aspiration is realisation if and when the aspirant needs God-realisation and God-realisation alone. Aspiration is revelation if and when the aspirant feels that God-revelation is absolutely for God's sake. Aspiration is manifestation if and when the aspirant feels that God-manifestation is his birthright.

Reality

Case Western Reserve University; Cleveland, Ohio, USA
28 April 1970

There are three realities: God, soul and life. God is the Transcendental Reality. Soul is the inmost reality. Life is the universal reality. God reveals the soul; the soul reveals life. God the Reality lives in His creative Will. Soul the reality lives in its sustaining will. Life the reality lives in its fulfilling will.

Again, God's Realisation embodies His creative Will. His Concern shelters the soul's sustaining will. His Compassion feeds the life's fulfilling will.

Reality is the constant and dynamic process of our inner evolution. The reality of the past is growing. The reality of the present is soaring. The reality of the future will be glowing.

Real reality is not an escape from life. It is the acceptance of life, the expression of life and the interpretation of life. When we accept life, we become divine warriors. When we express life, we become conscious representatives of God. When we interpret life, we become God's eternal Pride.

Reality is at once the expansion of our human consciousness and the essence of our divine Consciousness. Human consciousness shakes hands with possibility and ability. Divine Consciousness embraces faith and surrender. The flowering of human consciousness is realisation. The flowering of divine Consciousness is manifestation. The human consciousness thought that God was unknowable. Now it feels that God is merely unknown. Soon it will realise that God is unmistakably and unreservedly knowable. The divine Consciousness knows that there was nothing, there is nothing and there can be nothing other than God.

Faith is the simple, direct, effective and complete form of reality. Doubt is the complex, indirect, ineffective and incomplete form of reality. Faith is God-comprehension. Faith is God-description. Doubt is Truth-detention. Doubt is life-suffocation.

Reality's unity is God's Existence.
Reality's multiplicity is God's Experience.
Reality's singularity is God the Eternal Lover.
Reality's plurality is God the Eternal Love.
Reality's Time-age is Eternity.
Reality's Experience-age is Infinity.
Reality's Realisation-age is Immortality.

"Arise! awake!"

Columbia University; New York, New York, USA
St. Paul's Chapel
23 April 1971

Dear sisters and brothers, we belong to one family, one spiritual family. The head of this spiritual family is the Supreme, our Inner Pilot. Today I offer to each of you my soulful gratitude for granting me the opportunity to be of dedicated service to the Supreme in you. Nothing gives me greater joy than to be of selfless service to the Supreme in humanity. Again and again, to each seeker present here this evening, I offer gratitude, soulful gratitude, endless gratitude, from the inmost recesses of my heart.

Our Inner Pilot is crying for us. Let us run, run towards His Boat. Let us enter into His Boat, and let us sail along with Him towards the Golden Shore of the Beyond. He is our Aspiration. He is our Soul. He is at the same time our journey's perpetual Goal. He is our own, very own. We came into the world, Him to serve, Him to reveal, Him to manifest, Him to fulfil. He showers His choicest blessings on the dedicated hearts of His spiritual children.

"Uttisthata jagrata… —- Arise, awake! Awake, arise!" Let us stop not until the Goal of Goals is won. This Goal of Goals is the Heart of the Supreme, our Eternal Pilot.

Serve and love

Columbia University; New York, New York, USA
St. Paul's Chapel
23 July 1971

To serve God I need only one thing:
Joy.
To serve mankind I need only one thing:
Patience.
To love God I need only one thing:
Purity's Breath.
To love mankind I need only one thing:
Humility's Soul.

The Upanishads: India's soul-offering1

India's soul-offering is the perennial light of the Upanishads. The Upanishads offer to the world at large the supreme achievement of the awakened and illumined Hindu life.

The Vedas represent the cow. The Upanishads represent milk. We need the cow to give us milk, and we need milk to nourish us.

The Upanishads are also called the Vedanta. The literal meaning of Vedanta is 'the end of the Vedas'. But the spiritual meaning of Vedanta is 'the cream of the Vedas, the pick of the inner lore, the aim, the goal of the inner life'. The Muktikopanishad tells us something quite significant:

"//Tilesu tailavad vede vedantah supratisthitah//
Like oil in the sesame seed, Vedanta is established essentially in every part of the Vedas."

The Upanishads tell us that there are two types of knowledge: a higher knowledge and a lower knowledge. Paravidya is the higher knowledge, and aparavidya is the lower knowledge. The higher knowledge is the discovery of the soul. The lower knowledge is the fulfilment of the body's countless demands.

According to our Indian tradition, there were once one thousand one hundred and eighty Upanishads. Each came from one branch, sakha, of the Vedas. Out of these, two hundred Upanishads made their proper appearance and, out of these two hundred, one hundred and eight Upanishads are now traceable. If a seeker wants to get some glimpse of Truth, Light, Peace and Bliss, then he must assiduously study these one hundred and eight Upanishads. If a real seeker, a genuine seeker, wants to get abundant light from the Upanishads, then he has to study the thirteen principal Upanishads. If he studies the principal Upanishads and, at the same time, wants to live the Truth that these Upanishads embody, then he will be able to see the face of Divinity and the heart of Reality.

The thirteen principal Upanishads are: Isa, Katha, Kena, Prasna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Chandogya, Brhadaranyaka, Taittiriya, Aitareya, Svetasvatara, Kaivalya and Maitri.

Tad ejati tan naijati tad dure tadvantike...
That moves, and That moves not.
That is far, and the same is near.
That is within all this;
That is also without all this.

The Isa Upanishad has this special message for us. To the desiring mind, this message is vapid, nebulous, puzzling and confusing. To the aspiring heart, this message is inspiring and illumining. To the revealing soul, this message is fulfilling and immortalising. Brahman, God in His absolute Aspect, is immutable; but in His conditional Aspect He is ever-changing, ever-transforming, ever-evolving, ever-revealing, ever-manifesting and ever-fulfilling.

Again, the Isa Upanishad reconciles work and knowledge, the One and the many, the impersonal God and the personal God, in a striking manner. Work done with detachment is real knowledge. When we consciously try to see God in everything and in everybody, we soulfully offer ourselves to dedicated action. Thus knowledge is action. The One and the many: we need the One for our self-realisation; we need the many for our self-manifestation. The impersonal and the personal God: when we live in the impersonal God, we see Truth in its illumining Vision; and when we live in the personal God, we see Truth in its revealing Reality.

The Son of God declared, "I and my Father are one." The Chandogya Upanishad makes a bold statement, to some extent more daring and, at the same time, more convincing:

"//Tat twam asi//
That thou art."

What does it mean? It means that you are none other than God. Who else is God, if not you?

A God-lover knocked at God's Heart-Door. God, from within, said, "Who is it?"

The God-lover said, "It is I." The door remained locked. The man knocked and knocked. Finally, he went away.

After an hour, he came back again. He knocked at God's Heart-Door. God, from within, said, "Who is it?"

The God-lover said, "It is I." The door remained locked. The man knocked and knocked at the door in vain. Finally, he left.

After another hour, again he came back and knocked at God's Heart-Door. From within, God said, "Who is it?"

The God-lover said, "My Eternal Beloved, it is Thou." God immediately opened His Heart-Door.

When a seeker feels this kind of intimate and inseparable oneness with God, God opens His Heart-Door to him and offers him His very Throne.

The Upanishadic Seers felt no necessity to go to any spiritual centre, no necessity to go to a temple, no necessity to hear a talk or a sermon or even to study books. God was their only outer book, and God was their only inner Teacher. God-realisation was their only necessity, and God-manifestation was their only reality.

"The great German philosopher, Schopenhauer, voiced forth, "In the whole world there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanishads. It has been the solace of my life; it will be the solace of my death. They are the products of the highest wisdom. They are destined sooner or later to become the faith of the people.""

The Upanishads offer us three lessons. The first lesson is Brahman. The second lesson is atman. The third lesson is jagat. Brahman is God, atman is the soul, and jagat is the world. When we meditate on Brahman, our life grows into immortalising Bliss. When we meditate on the soul, our life becomes a conscious and speedy evolution. When we do not neglect the world, our life becomes fulfilling manifestation.

If you study the Upanishads, not in a cursory or perfunctory manner, but with the mind's clarity, then you will see that God and you, you and God, are eternal. And if you study the Upanishads with your heart's receptivity, you will see that God and you are equal. And finally, if you study the Upanishads with your soul's light, you will come to realise that there in Heaven you are the realised and esoteric God, and here on earth you are the manifested and exoteric God.

"//Nayam atma balahinena labhyo//
The soul cannot be won by the weakling."

The inner strength dethrones the idol which has been installed by fear and doubt. When your inner strength comes to the fore, the poltroon, the doubter in you, will be transformed into the soul's effulgent light.

The Upanishads are the obverse of the coin of which the reverse is consciousness. There are three states of ordinary consciousness: jagrti, svapna and susupti. Jagrti is the waking state, svapna is the dreaming state, susupti is the state of deep sleep. There is another state of consciousness which is called turiya, the pure consciousness of the Transcendental Beyond.

The Mandukya Upanishad offers us a most significant gift. It tells us about the Universal Soul. The Universal Soul has two aspects: vaisvanara and virat. The microcosmic aspect is called vaisvanara; the macrocosmic aspect is called virat. Jagrti, the waking state; vaisvanara, the physical condition; and the letter 'A' from 'AUM', the sound symbol of prakrti, the primal energy, form the first part of Reality. Svapna, the dreaming state; taijasa, the brilliant intellectual impressions; and 'U' from 'AUM' form the second part of Reality. Susupti, the state of deep sleep; prajna, the intuitive knowledge; and 'M' from 'AUM' form the third part of Reality.

But turiya, the fourth state of consciousness, at once embodies and transcends these three states of consciousness. On the one hand, it is one part of the four parts; on the other hand, it is the culminating whole, the end, the Goal itself. Turiya is the Reality eternal, beyond all phenomena. Turiya is the Transcendental Brahman. Turiya is Saccidananda—Existence, Consciousness, and Delight. It is here, in turiya, that a highly advanced seeker in the spiritual life or a spiritual Master can actually hear the soundless sound, 'AUM', the supreme secret of the Creator.

The supreme wealth of the Upanishads is the Self:

"//Yato vaco nivartante aprapya manasa saha//
Whence the words, the power of speech, come back with the mind baffled, the Goal unattained."

This Self cannot be won by mental brilliance. It can be won only with an aspiring heart and a dedicated life.

This Transcendental Self is covered here in the world of relativity by five distinct sheaths: annamaya kosa, the gross physical sheath; pranamaya kosa, the sheath of the vital force; manomaya kosa, the mental sheath; vijnanamaya kosa, the sheath of the advanced and developed knowledge; and anandamaya kosa, the sheath of Bliss.

There are three types of bodies corresponding to these five sheaths. These bodies are called sthulasarira, suksmasarira, and karanasarira. Sthula means 'gross physical', and sarira means 'body'. Suksma means 'subtle', and karana means 'causal'. The physical body, sthulasarira, comprises annamaya kosa, the material substance. Suksmasarira, the subtle body, comprises pranamaya kosa, manomaya kosa and vijnanamaya kosa. Karanasarira, the causal body, comprises anandamaya kosa, the sheath of Bliss.

On a dark and tenebrous night the glow-worms appear. They offer their light and feel that it is they who have chased the darkness away. After a while, the stars start shining, and the glow-worms realise their insufficient capacity. After some time the moon appears. When the moon appears, the stars see and feel how dim and insignificant their light is in comparison to the light of the moon. In a few hours the sun appears. When the sun appears, the joy and pride of the moon is also smashed. The sunlight chases away all darkness, and the light of the glow-worms, stars and moon pales into insignificance.

This is the planet sun. But each of us has an inner sun. This inner sun is infinitely more powerful, more beautiful, more illumining than the planet sun. When this sun dawns and shines, it destroys the darkness of millennia. This sun shines through Eternity. This inner sun is called the Self, the Transcendental Self.


  1. EHWM 157. Princeton University; Princeton, New Jersey, USA, 22 October 1971. This lecture was published in The Princeton Seminary Bulletin, vol. lxv, Number 1, July 1972.

The revelation of India's light

University of California at Berkeley; Berkeley, California, USA
7 November 1971

Each Upanishad is the unfoldment of the supreme knowledge which, once spiritually attained, is never lost. According to the Upanishads, the entire universe of action, with its ephemeral means and ends, lives in the meshes of ignorance. It is the knowledge of the supreme Self that can destroy the human ignorance of millennia and inundate the earth-consciousness with the Light and Delight of the ever-transcending and ever-manifesting Beyond.

As we have the heart, the mind, the vital, the body and the soul, so also the Upanishads have a heart, a mind, a vital, a body and a soul. The heart of the Upanishads is self-realisation, the mind of the Upanishads is self-revelation, the vital of the Upanishads is self-manifestation, the body of the Upanishads is self-transformation, and the soul of the Upanishads is self-perfection.

What is of paramount importance right now is self-realisation. For self-realisation we need only four things. First we need the help of the scriptures, then a guide, then yogic disciplines and, finally, the Grace of God. The scriptures tell the seeker, "Awake, arise! It is high time for you to get up. Sleep no more." The spiritual Master tells the seeker, "My child, run! Run the fastest! I am inspiring you. I have already kindled the flame of aspiration within you. Now you can run the fastest." Yogic disciplines tell the seeker, "You are practising the spiritual life, and I am giving you the result of your practices. I have made the road clear for you. Now you can run the fastest on a road that is empty of danger." Then something more is required, and that is God's Grace. One may run the fastest, but one may not reach the Goal even if there is no obstacle on the way, because human beings very often get tired. Before they reach the Goal they feel that they are totally exhausted. At that time what is required is God's Grace. Without God's Grace one cannot complete the journey. God's Grace tells the seeker, "Lo, the Goal is won."

To be sure, God's Grace starts right from the beginning. When we study the scriptures, God's Grace has already dawned on us. Had there been no Grace from God, we could not have launched into the spiritual path in the first place. And had there been no Grace from God, we could not have found our spiritual Master. It is out of His infinite Bounty that God brings a seeker to the Master. Then the seeker and the Master must play their respective roles. The Master will bring down God's Compassion, but the seeker has to practise spiritual disciplines. His task is to aspire, and the Master's task is to bring down Compassion.

In the inner world, one thing that everybody must have is aspiration. Here on earth the tree offers us an example of this aspiration. It remains on earth with its roots in the dirt, but its aim is to reach the Highest. We are afraid of staying on earth. We feel that if we stay on earth we cannot reach the Highest. But the tree shows us how absurd this is. Its root is under the ground, but its topmost branch is aspiring towards the Heavens. In the Upanishads we come across a tree called the asvattha tree. Unlike earthly trees, this tree has its roots above and its branches below. It has two types of branches. One type enters into the meshes of ignorance and then starts struggling, fighting and trying to come out again into the effulgence of Light. The other type of branch always tries to remain in the Light. Its movement is upward; its aspiration is upward.

Here on earth each human being has capacity. A human being sees ignorance within and without, but he has the capacity to remain beyond the boundaries of ignorance. How? Through aspiration. Why? Because he needs constant satisfaction. And it is aspiration alone that can give us this constant satisfaction. Why do we aspire? We aspire for delight, Ananda. Delight is self-creation and self-experience. Delight in the Highest, absolute Highest, is known as Anandapurusa. There the Delight is Infinity, Eternity, and Immortality. There is another type of delight which is called Anandatma, when from infinite Delight, Delight takes shape and form. In the earth-bound consciousness, delight is called Anandatma.

When Delight actually descends into the obscure, impure, unlit, imperfect nature of man to transform human nature, it finds constant resistance. Then we see that Delight loses its power because of teeming ignorance, and pleasure, short-lived pleasure, looms large. In the Highest, the triple consciousness —- Saccidananda —- Existence, Consciousness, and Delight go together. But when they want to manifest themselves, they have to do it only through Delight.

When Delight descends, the first rung that it steps on is called the Supermind. The Supermind is not something a little superior to the mind. No, it is infinitely higher than the mind. It is not 'mind' at all, although the word is used. It is the consciousness that has already transcended the limitations of the finite. There creation starts. Form begins one rung below. This rung is called the Overmind. Here form starts, multiplicity starts in an individual form. The next rung is the intuitive mind. With the intuitive mind we see multiplicity in a creative form. With intuition we see all at a glance. We can see many things at a time; we see collective form. From the intuitive mind, Delight enters into the mind proper. This mind sees each object separately. But although it sees everything separately, it does not try to doubt the existence of each object. Next, Delight enters into the physical mind —- that is, the mind that is governed by the physical. This mind sees each object separately, plus it doubts the existence of each object. Real doubt starts here in the physical mind.

After it has descended through all the levels of the mind, Delight enters into the vital. In the vital we see the dynamic force or the aggressive force. The force that we see in the inner or subtle vital is dynamic, and the force that we see in the outer vital is aggressive. From the vital, Delight enters into the physical. There are two types of physical: the subtle physical and the physical proper. In the subtle physical, Delight is still descending, and we may still be conscious of it. But in the subtle physical we cannot possess or utilise the Truth; we can only see it, like a beggar looking at a multimillionaire. Finally, when we come to the gross physical, there is no Delight at all.

Delight descends, but we do not see even an iota of it in the gross physical. What can we do then? We can enter into the soul on the strength of our aspiration, and the soul will consciously take us to the highest plane, to Saccidananda —- Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. At that time our journey can become conscious. We have entered into the triple consciousness, and we can begin descending consciously into the Supermind, the Overmind, the intuitive mind, the mind proper, the physical mind, the vital and the physical. When we are successful in the physical, that is to say, when we can bring down Delight from the highest plane and the physical can absorb and utilise this Delight, the life of pleasure ends. At that time we come to realise the difference between the life of pleasure and the life of Delight. The life of pleasure is followed by frustration and destruction. The life of Delight is a continuous growth, continuous fulfilment, continuous achievement and continuous God-manifestation in God's own Way.

The Mundaka Upanishad has offered us two birds. One bird is seated on the top of the life-tree, the other on a branch below. The bird seated on the low branch eats both sweet and bitter fruits. Sweet fruits give the bird the feeling that life is pleasure; bitter fruits give the bird the feeling that life is misery. The other bird, seated on the top of the tree, eats neither the sweet fruit nor the bitter fruit. It just sits calmly and serenely. Its life is flooded with peace, light and delight. The bird that eats the sweet and bitter fruit on the tree of life is disappointed and disgusted; disappointed because pleasure is impermanent, ephemeral and fleeting; disgusted because frustration ends in destruction. Unmistakably disappointed and utterly disgusted, this bird flies up and loses itself in the freedom-light and perfection-delight of the bird at the top of the life-tree. The bird on the top of the tree is the Cosmic and Transcendental Self, and the bird below is the individual self. These two beautiful birds are known as Suparna.

In some of the Upanishads we see a continuous rivalry between the Cosmic Gods and the demons. The self-resplendent ones are the Gods; and the self-indulgent ones are the demons. The Gods and the demons are the descendents of Prajapati, the Creator. When the Gods win the victory, the light of the soul reigns supreme. When the demons win the victory, the night of the body reigns supreme. Originally the gods and the demons were the organs of Prajapati. The organs that were energised by the divine Will, illumined by the divine Light and inspired by the divine Action became Gods.

The organs that were instigated by the lower thoughts and were eager to live in the sense-world and enjoy pleasure-life, and were aiming at lesser and destructive goals, became demons. Needless to say, it is infinitely easier to reach the lesser goals than it is to reach the Goal Supreme. This is precisely why the demons greatly outnumbered the Gods. But we, the seekers of the infinite Light and Truth, need the quality of the Gods and not the quantity of the demons.

Once the Gods made a fervent request to the organ of speech, the nose, the eyes, the ears, the mind and the vital force to chant hymns for them. All sang successively. The demons immediately realised that the Gods would, without fail, gain supremacy over them through these chanters, so they secretly and successfully contaminated them with the blatant evil of strong attachment to sense objects and the life of pleasure. They immediately succeeded with the organ of speech, the nose, the eyes, the ears and the mind. But to the vital force they lost badly. The vital force broke them into pieces and threw them in all directions. The vital force won the victory for the Gods. Their existence was inundated with Divinity's eternal Light. They became their true selves. The chicanery of the jealous demons was exposed, and their pride was smashed.

This vital force is called ayasya angirasa. It means 'the essence of the limbs'. The vital force was victorious. It was also kind, sympathetic and generous:

The vital force carried the organ of speech beyond the domain of death. Having transcended the region of death, the organ of speech became fire, and this fire shines far beyond death.

The vital force carried the nose beyond death. The nose then became the air. Having transcended the boundaries of death, the air blows beyond death.

The vital force carried the eyes beyond death. The eyes became the sun. Having transcended the region of death, the sun perpetually shines.

The vital force carried the ears beyond death. They then became the directions. These directions, having transcended death, remained far beyond its domain.

The vital force carried the mind beyond death. The mind then became the moon. The moon, having transcended death, shines beyond its domain.

The Brhadaranyaka, or 'great forest' Upanishad, offers to humanity an unparalleled prayer:

Asato ma sad gamaya
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya
Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya

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

The unreal is the frown of death; the Real is the song of Immortality. Darkness is the colossal pride of death; Light is the life of the illumining and perfecting power of Immortality. Death is the message of nothingness. Immortality is the message of humanity's liberated oneness with Divinity's Transcendental Height.

The beauty and duty of India's soul

New York University; New York, New York, USA
17 November 1971

This beauty is not tempting.
This beauty is illumining.

This duty is not self-imposed.
This duty is God-ordained.

The Upanishads offer us self-knowledge, world-knowledge and God-knowledge. Self-knowledge is self-discovery. After self-discovery we have to feel that world-knowledge is within us, and we have to grow into world-knowledge. Then comes a time when we know the Possessor of world-knowledge, and then we have God-knowledge. We have to enter into God-knowledge, which is the Possessor of the universe.

"Neti, neti —- Not this, not this," or "Not this, not that" —- is the message of the Upanishads. All of us here are seekers of the Infinite Truth. A real seeker is not and cannot be satisfied with his individual life, individual achievements, worldly possessions. No. He can be satisfied only when he has achieved the Absolute. Now what is the Absolute? Brahman is the Absolute.

The Seers of the hoary past offered this sublime knowledge: "Brahman cannot be limited by anything, Brahman cannot be housed by anything, Brahman cannot be defined by anything." This was their assertion. But we feel that this is the negative way of seeing Brahman. There is a positive way, and this positive way is: "Brahman is Eternal, Brahman is Infinite, Brahman is Immortal. Brahman is beyond and beyond." This is the positive way. We, the seekers of the Infinite Truth, will follow the positive way. If we follow the positive way in our life of aspiration, we can run the fastest and reach the Ultimate Goal sooner.

We have to see Brahman in the finite as we wish to see Brahman in the Infinite. But during our meditation, if we can have the vision of Brahman as the Infinite Self, then it becomes easier for us to enter into the world of relativity where we see everything as finite.

We see the world within us; we see the world without us. In the world within there is a being, and in the world without there is also a being. These two beings are called 'non-being' and 'being'. From non-being, being came into existence. This very idea baffles our minds. How can non-being create being? Non-being is nothing. From nothing, how can something come into existence? But we have to know that it is the mind which tells us that from non-being being cannot come into existence. We have to know that this 'nothing' is actually something beyond the conception of the mind. 'Nothing' is the life of the everlasting Beyond. 'Nothing' is something that always remains beyond our mental conception. It transcends our limited consciousness. So when we think of the world or of being coming out of non-being, we have to feel that this Truth can be known and realised only on the strength of our inner aspiration, where the mind does not operate at all. It is intuition which grants us this boon of knowing that 'nothing' is the song of the ever-transcending Beyond, and 'nothing' is the experience of the ever-fulfilling, ever-transcending and ever-manifesting existence.

The Upanishads and the essence of prana are inseparable. Prana is a Sanskrit word. It can be translated into English in various ways. It may be called 'breath' or 'energy' or even 'ether'. But prana is life-energy. This life-energy is not material, it is not physical, but it is something that maintains and sustains the physical body. The source of prana is the Supreme. In the field of manifestation, prana is indispensable. Prana is the soul of the universe.

In India, the term "prana' has a special significance of its own. Prana is not just breath. Daily we breathe in and out thousands of times without paying any attention. But when we use the term "prana', we think of the life-energy that is flowing within and without in our breath.

Prana is divided into five parts: prana, apana, samana, vyana, and udana. The life-energy, life-force, that is inside the physical eyes, nose and ears, we call prana.

The life-energy in our organs of excretion and generation is Prana. Samana is the life-energy that governs our digestion and assimilation. In the lotus of the heart, where the Self is located, there we see one hundred and one subtle spiritual nerves, and in each nerve one hundred nerve branches, and from each nerve branch seventy-two thousand nerve branches. There the prana that moves is called vyana. Through the centre of the spine, life-energy flows. When it goes upward it reaches the Highest and, when it goes downward, it reaches the lowest. When a seeker of the infinite Truth leaves the body, his prana rises towards the Highest and, when a sinful person leaves the body, his prana goes downward. This prana which flows through the centre of the spine is called udana.

When we are in a position to enter into the cosmos with the help of our life-force, we feel that the Beyond is not in our imagination. It is not a chimerical mist; it is a reality that is growing within us and for us. God was One. He wanted to be many. Why? He felt the necessity of enjoying Himself divinely and supremely in infinite forms. "Ekam aiksata bahu syam —- One desiring to be many," was His inner feeling.

When the Supreme projected His Life-Energy, He saw two creatures immediately. One was male, the other female. Prana, the life-force, is the male, and the female is rayi. Prana is the sun. Rayi is the moon. From prana and rayi we all came into existence. Again, prana is spirit and rayi is matter. Spirit and matter must go together. Spirit needs matter for its self-manifestation, and matter needs spirit for its self-realisation.

Very often the Vedic and Upanishadic Seers used two words: nama and rupa. Nama is name; rupa is form. In our outer world we deal with name and form. In the inner world we deal with the nameless and the formless. The name and the nameless are not rivals. The form and the formless are not rivals. The name embodies the capacity of the outer body. The nameless reveals the Immortality of the soul. In form, the Cosmic Consciousness manifests itself by circumscribing itself. In the formless, the Cosmic Consciousness transcends itself by expanding and enlarging itself.

In the spiritual life, the term 'sacrifice' is often used. The Vedic Seers spoke elaborately on sacrifice. According to them, the horse sacrifice, asvamedha sacrifice, was most important. The Brhadaranyaka Upanishad starts with the sacrificial horse:

"//Usa va asvasya medhyasya sirah...//"

Aum. The head of the sacrificial horse is verily the dawn, the eye of the sacrificial horse is the sun, the vital force the air, the open mouth the fire named vaisvanara, the trunk the year, the back Heaven, the belly the sky, the hoof the earth, the flanks the four directions, the ribs the intermediate directions, the limbs the seasons, the joints the months and fortnights, the feet the days and nights, the bones the stars, the flesh the clouds, the half-digested food (in the stomach) the sands, the arteries and veins the rivers, the liver and spleen the mountains, the hairs the herbs and trees, the forepart the rising sun, the hind part the setting sun. Its yawn is lightning, its shaking body is thunder, its making water is rain, its neighing is, indeed, speech.

Why did the Upanishadic Seers, the Vedic Seers, speak of the horse and not any other animal as the symbol of sacrifice? They realised the speed of the horse, the dynamism of the horse, the faithful and devoted qualities of the horse. Speed is necessary, dynamism is necessary, faithfulness and devotedness are necessary to realise and reveal the Absolute. That is why they chose the horse for the religious rites and for help in their inner awakening.

Just by sacrificing a horse we cannot gain any divine merit. Far from it. We must meditate on the horse, on the qualities of the horse, and invoke these divine qualities to enter into us from Above. The Vedic and Upanishadic Seers did this. They succeeded in getting the divine qualities from the horse, and the result was that they entered into Brahmaloka, the highest Heaven.

But even in the highest Heaven, the Delight we get is not everlasting. For everlasting Delight we have to enter into the Brahman on the strength of our inner cry. When we have the inner cry, we can eventually enter into the Brahman and there get everlasting Delight.

To come back to the horse, one has not to make a horse sacrifice in this age. But one has to see the qualities of the horse and inwardly meditate on the divinely fulfilling qualities of the horse. It is from one's own concentration and meditation that one will get the qualities which the horse offers or represents. Very often people misunderstand the idea of sacrifice, especially Westerners. They cannot understand how one can gain any divine merit just by killing a horse. They think it is absurd. But sacrifice is not in killing. Sacrifice is in becoming one with the consciousness of the horse. When we do this, only then can we get the divine wealth from Above. We need not, we must not kill the horse at all.

To be sure, there can be no sacrifice without aspiration. At every moment aspiration is necessary. But this aspiration has to be genuine and has to come from the very depths of the heart. It cannot give us realisation if it is not genuine. Aspiration does not know how to pull or push. Restlessness and aspiration can never go together. Very often beginners think that if they aspire they have to be very dynamic. This is true. But we do not see dynamism in their aspiration. What we see is restlessness. They want to realise God overnight. If we take this restlessness as determination or dynamism, then we are totally mistaken.

May I repeat an oft-quoted story? A seeker went to a spiritual Master. He was properly initiated and, in a few days' time, this seeker said to the Master, "Master, now that you have initiated me, please give me God-realisation." The Master said, "You have to practise meditation for a long time." After a few days the disciple again said, "Master, Master, give me realisation, please give me realisation." He bothered the Master for a long time.

One day the Master asked him to follow him. The Master went to the Ganges for a dip and invited the disciple also to enter the water. When the disciple was neck-deep in water, the Master pushed his head underwater and held it there. When the Master finally let the struggling disciple come up, he asked him, "What did you feel while you were underwater?" The disciple replied, "O Master, I felt that I would die if I did not get a breath of air." The Master said, "You will realise God on the day you feel that you will die if He does not come and give you life. If you sincerely feel that you will die without God, if you can cry for Him in that way, then you are bound to realise Him."

The Master offered this Truth to the disciple. Unfortunately, we very often see that when a Master offers the Truth, the disciples misunderstand. They understand it according to their limited light, or they feel that the message the Master has given is totally wrong. Now if the Truth that is offered by the Master is not properly understood and used, then in the field of manifestation the disciple, the seeker, will never be fulfilled. The highest Truth will always remain a far cry for him.

In the Upanishads, Indra and Virochana went to Prajapati for the highest Knowledge. Indra represented the Gods, and Virochana represented the demons. When Prajapati offered them the knowledge of Brahman, Indra went back again and again to verify the knowledge he had received, and he finally did realise the highest Knowledge. But Virochana understood the truth in his own way and did not feel the necessity of going back again and again to realise the highest Truth.

There are quite a few spiritual Masters on earth who are offering their light to the seekers, but the seekers unfortunately do not understand the message of Truth which they offer. How can they understand the message, the meaning, the significance of the Truth which the Master offers? They can do it only on the strength of their devotion —- devotion to the cause, and devotion to the Master. If they have a devoted feeling towards their Master and towards the cause of Self-realisation, then the Truth can be realised in the way the Truth has to be realised and the message that the Master offers to chase away ignorance not only can be properly understood, but also can be established in the earth atmosphere. When Truth is permanently established here on earth, man will receive the garland of eternal Victory.

Glimpses from the Vedas and the Upanishads

Fairleigh Dickinson University; Teaneck, New Jersey, USA
30 November 1971

Nalpe sukham asti bhumaiva sukham

In the finite there is no happiness.
The Infinite alone is happiness.

Anything that is finite cannot embody happiness, not to speak of lasting Delight. The finite embodies pleasure, which is not true happiness. The Infinite embodies true, divine happiness in infinite measure and, at the same time, it reveals and offers to the world at large its own Truth, its own Wealth.

The Infinite expresses itself in infinite forms and infinite shapes here in the world of multiplicity; and again this Infinite enjoys itself in a divine and supreme manner in the highest Transcendental Plane of its own Consciousness. The Infinite here in the world of multiplicity expresses itself in three major forms: Creation is the first aspect of the Infinite. The second aspect is preservation. The third aspect is dissolution or destruction.

These terms —- 'creation', 'preservation' and 'destruction' —- are philosophical and religious terms. From the spiritual point of view, creation existed, does exist, and is being preserved. When we use the term 'destruction', we have to be very careful. There is no such thing as destruction in the Supreme's inner Vision —- it is nothing but transformation. When we lose our desires, we feel that they have been destroyed; but they have not been destroyed —- they have only been transformed into a larger vision which is aspiration. We started our journey with desire, but when we launched into the spiritual path, desire gave way to aspiration. The unlit consciousness, which we see in the form of desire, can be transformed and will be transformed by the aspiration within us. What, with our limited knowledge and vision, we call destruction, from the spiritual point of view is the transformation of our unlit, impure, obscure nature.

Ekam evadvitiyam

Only the One, without a second.

From this One we came into existence and, at the end of our journey's close, we have to return to the Absolute One. This is the soul's journey. If we take it as an outer journey, then we are mistaken. In our outer journey we have a starting point and a final destination. It may take a few years or many years for us to reach our destined goal, but the starting point is at one place and the destination is somewhere else. But the inner journey is not a journey as such, with the origin here and the Goal elsewhere. In our inner journey we go deep within and discover our own Reality, our own forgotten Self.

How do we discover our forgotten Self? We do it through meditation. There are various types of meditation: simple meditation, which everybody knows; deep meditation, which the spiritual seeker knows; and higher or highest meditation, which is the meditation of the soul, in the soul, with the soul, for the entire being. When an ordinary seeker meditates, he meditates in the mind. If he is a little advanced, he meditates in the heart. If he is far advanced in the spiritual life, he can meditate in the soul and with the help of the soul for the manifestation of Divinity in humanity.

Spiritual Masters meditate in the physical, in the vital, in the mind, in the heart and in the souls of their disciples. These Masters also meditate all at once on the Infinite, the Eternal and the Immortal. These are not vague terms to the real spiritual Masters. They are dynamic Realities, for in their inner consciousness real spiritual Masters swim in the sea of Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. They can easily concentrate, meditate and contemplate on these three divine Realities which represent the Absolute.

The Upanishads have come into existence from four Vedas: the Rig Veda, the Sama Veda, the Yajur Veda, and the Atharva Veda. Each Veda has something unique to offer to mankind. The first and most famous Veda is the Rig Veda. It starts with a Cosmic God, Agni, the Fire God. Fire means aspiration. Aspiration and the message of the Vedas are inseparable. This fire is the fire of inner awakening and inner mounting flame. It has no smoke in it. This fire does not burn anything; it only illumines and elevates our consciousness. The Fire God is the only Cosmic God who is a Brahmin.

Agni, fire, expresses itself in seven forms and it has seven significant inner names: Kali the black; Karali the terrible, Manojava, thought-swift; Sulohita blood-red; Sudhumravarna, smoke-hued; Sphulingini, scattering sparks; Visva-ruci, the all-beautiful.

Kali, the black, is not actually black. Kali is the divine force or fire within us which fights against undivine hostile forces. Mother Kali fights against demons in the battlefield of life. In the vital plane we see Her as a dark, tenebrous Goddess but, in the highest plane of consciousness, She is golden. We see Her terrible form when She fights against hostile forces, but She is the Mother of Compassion. We misunderstand Her dynamic qualities —- we take them as aggressive qualities. Mother Kali has compassion in boundless measure but, at the same time, she will not tolerate any sloth, imperfection, ignorance or lethargy in the seeker. Finally, Mother Kali is beauty unparalleled. This beauty is not physical beauty. This beauty is inner beauty, which elevates human consciousness to the highest plane of Delight.

The Sama Veda offers us God's music, the soul's music. In addition, it offers India's religion, India's philosophy and India's politics. All these striking achievements of India have come from the Sama Veda. Music is of paramount importance in the Sama Veda. It is not at all like modern music; it is the real, soul-stirring music. The greatest sage of the past, Yajnavalkya, said, "The abode of music is Heaven." It is the Sama Veda which holds this Heavenly music — the soul-stirring, life-energising music.

Most of you have read the Bhagavad Gita, the Song Celestial of Lord Krishna. There Lord Krishna says, "I am the Sama Veda." He does not say that he is the Rig Veda or the Yajur Veda or the Atharva Veda. No, he says that he is the Sama Veda. Why? Because in the Sama Veda Lord Krishna found the soul's music, which is his very own. A great Indian philosopher-saint, Patanjali, begins his philosophy with the Sama Veda precisely because of its inner music. If music is taken away from God's creation, then it will be an empty creation. God the Creator is the Supreme Musician, and His creation is His only Delight. It is in His music that God feels Delight, and it is through music that He offers Himself to His aspiring and unaspiring children.

From the Sama Veda we get the most significant Upanishad, the Chandogya Upanishad. This Upanishad is equal to the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad. It is by far the largest in size and, according to many, it is not only the largest but also the best. Again, there are those who are of the opinion that the Isa Upanishad, which is tiny, very tiny, is the best —- not because of its size, but because of its depth. Some will say the Svetasvatara or Katha or Kena Upanishad is the best. Each one has to express his sincere feeling about the essence of a particular Upanishad.

The Chandogya Upanishad, which derives from the Sama Veda, says something most significant to the sincere seekers. One question which spiritual Teachers are very often asked is, "Why do we need a Teacher? Can we not realise God by ourselves?" In the Chandogya Upanishad there is a specific way of convincing the doubters and the unaspiring human beings who argue for the sake of argument.

The Chandogya Upanishad says: Think of yourself as a traveller. You have lost your way, and a robber attacks you. He takes away all your wealth, and binds your eyes. Then he takes you to a faraway place and leaves you there. Originally you had vision, and you were able to move around, but now your fate is deplorable. You cannot see, you cannot walk, you are crying like a helpless child, but there is no rescue.

Now suppose someone comes and unties your eyes and goes away. You will then be able to see the paths all around you, but you will not know which one is the right one for you and, even if you did, you would not be able to walk on it because your legs and arms are still bound. This is the condition of the seeker who wants to realise God by himself. Now suppose someone comes, unties you completely, and shows you which path will take you home. This person has really done you a favour. If you have faith in him and confidence in yourself, then you will reach your Destination swiftly and surely. If you have faith in him, but do not have confidence in your own capacity to reach the Goal, then he will go along to help you. The same Teacher who freed you from blindness and showed you the path will go with you, inside you, to inspire you. He will act as your own aspiration to lead you towards your Destined Goal.

If you get this kind of help from a spiritual Master, then your life can be of significance, your life can bear fruit, and you can run the fastest towards the Goal. Otherwise, you will walk today on this path, tomorrow on that path, and the following day on some other path. You may have the capacity to walk, but you will come back again and again to your starting point, frustrated and disappointed. Along with capacity, if you know the right path and have a true Master to help you, who can prevent you from reaching your Destined Goal? Once you reach your Destined Goal, you reach God's Heights and start manifesting God's Light here on earth. You are fulfilled —- fulfilled multiplicity in Unity's embrace.

The crown of India's soul

Harvard University; Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
3 December 1971

In the silent recesses of the Upanishadic heart, we see and feel a splendid combination of the soul's spirituality and life's practicality. In the world of imagination, in the world of aspiration, in the world of realisation, in the world of revelation and in the world of manifestation, the soul of the Upanishads has the divine effrontery to assume the sovereign leadership, because that is its natural role. Its understanding embraces all the foibles of weak humanity. Its universal love is the song of self-offering.

The Upanishads are at once the heart's aspiration-cry and the soul's experience-smile. They have the vision of Unity in multiplicity. They are the manifesation of multiplicity in Unity.

The message of the Upanishads is the life divine, the life of transformed humanity and the life of an illumined earth-consciousness. The Upanishads tell us that the renunciation of desire-life is the fulfilling enjoyment of world-existence. This renunciation is neither self-denial nor self-rejection. This renunciation demands the transcendence of ego to breathe in freely the life-energy of the soul and yet to live a dynamic and active life in the world where one can achieve Infinity's Height, Eternity's Delight and Immortality's Light.

Each major Upanishad is a pathfinder in the forest of experience that comprises human life. Each major Upanishad offers us the intuitive knowledge and the inner courage to find our way through the labyrinth of curves and dead ends, doubts and subterfuges. We come to realise that life is a glorious adventure of the aspiring heart, searching mind, struggling vital and unsleeping body. We explore the hidden places of illumining individuality and fulfilling personality. Gone is our mind's obscurity. Gone is our heart's poverty. Gone is our vital's impurity. Gone is our body's insincerity. The train of Light has arrived. The plane of Delight is come.

The Upanishads teach the seeker that Delight is the manifestation of divine Love, Consciousness is the manifestation of the soul-force, and Existence is the manifestation of Being. In Delight, Brahman is Reality. In Love, Brahman is Divinity. In Consciousness, Brahman contemplates on the Vision of perfect Perfection. In the soul-force, Brahman becomes the achievement of perfect Perfection. In Existence, Brahman is the Eternal Lover. In Being, Brahman is the Eternal Beloved.

For God-realisation we need a Guru. The Katha Upanishad says, "A seeker cannot find his way to God unless he is told of God by another." The Mundaka Upanishad says, "A seeker must approach a Self-knower for his inner Illumination." The Prasna Upanishad says, "O Father, you have carried us over to the Golden Shores." The Katha Upanishad says, "Arise, awake! Listen to and follow the great ones." The Mundaka Upanishad says, "A Guru is he whose outer knowledge is the Veda and whose inner knowledge is the contemplation of Brahman."

A seeker who studies the Upanishads and leads a life of self-enquiry and self-discipline is not and cannot be a mere player on the stage of life, but is rather a spiritual art director and a real, divine producer. Further, he has two broad shoulders and does not mind the burdens of the world. He feels that it is his obligation to assuage the bleeding heart of humanity. His life is the independence of thought and spirit. His heart's dedicated service receives rich rewards from Above. He has mastered his own philosophy of life, which is to please Divinity in humanity.

"//Taccaksur devahitam sukram//
//uccarat pasyema saradah satam//
May we, for a hundred autumns, see that lustrous Eye, God-ordained, arise before us..."

To live for a hundred years is not just to drag out our existence here on earth. One has to fight against ignorance. Desultory efforts cannot carry us to God. It takes time to realise God. It takes more time to reveal God. It takes even more time to manifest God. That is why the Seers of the Vedas prayed for sound health and long life, a life beyond a hundred autumns. They also warned us that anything that is deleterious to our health has to be avoided.

Uru nas tanve tan
Uru ksayaya nas krdhi
Uru no yamdhi jivase

For our body give us freedom.
For our dwelling give us freedom.
For our life give us freedom.

Swami Vivekananda, the great Vedantin of indomitable courage, voiced forth, "Freedom —- physical freedom, mental freedom and spiritual freedom —- is the watchword of the Upanishads."

In order to achieve freedom, we need energy, power and spirit. And for that, here is the mightiest prayer:

Tejo 'si tejo mayi dhehi
Viryam asi viryam mayi dhehi
Balam asi balam mayi dhehi
Ojo 'si ojo mayi dhehi
Manyur asi manyur mayi dhehi
Saho 'si saho mayi dhehi

Thy fiery spirit I invoke.
Thy manly vigour I invoke.
Thy power and energy I invoke.
Thy battle fury I invoke.
Thy conquering mind I invoke.

The Upanishads always hold the intrepid view of life. Progress, constant progress, is the characteristic of the Vedic and Upanishadic age.

Prehi abhihi dhrsnuhi
Go forward, fear not, fight!

Fight against what? Bondage, ignorance and death. Life is ours. Victory must needs be ours, too. Anything that stands in the seeker's way has to be thrown side without hesitation. His is the life that knows no compromise.

The main longing of the Upanishads is for the Ultimate Truth. This Truth can be achieved by a genuine seeker who has many divine qualities and whose love of God preponderates over every other love. The seeker needs three things: vrata, self-dedication; krpa, grace; and sraddha, faith. These three qualities embodied, satya, Truth, is unmistakably attained.

Who wants to remain alone? No one, not even the highest, the first-born, Virat. There came a time when He felt the need of projecting the Cosmic Gods. He projected the Fire God, Agni, the only Brahmin God, from His mouth. Indra, Varuna, Yama, Isana and others were projected from His arms. These are the Kshatriya Gods. Then He projected the Vasus, the Rudras, the Maruts and others from His thighs. These are the Vaishya Gods. He projected Pusan from His feet. Pushan is the Shudra God.

A Brahmin embodies knowledge. A Kshatriya embodies strength. A Vaishya embodies prosperity. A Shudra embodies the secret of self-dedication. These four brothers are the limbs of the Cosmic Being. Although they are outwardly distinguishable by their quality and capacity, in spirit they are inseparably one.

Brahman, or the Supreme Self, is the greatest discovery of the Upanishads. No human soul knows or will ever know when ignorance entered into us, for earth-bound time itself is the creation of ignorance. Still, a man swimming in the sea of ignorance need not drown. The Seers of the hoary past, the knowers of the Brahman, in unmistakable terms tell us that all human beings can and must come out of the shackles of ignorance. The knowers of the Transcendental Truth also tell us that the individual soul is, in reality, identical with the Supreme Self. The only problem is that the individual does not remember his true Transcendental Nature. Finally, they tell us that "to know the Self is to become the Self." On the strength of his direct realisation, a knower of the Brahman declares, "Aham Brahmasmi —- I am Brahman."

In concluding this talk on the Upanishads, "The Crown of India's Soul," my realisation declares that the mind-power, the heart-power and the soul-power of the Upanishadic consciousness are boundless. In the realm of philosophy, Shankara embodies the mind-power; in the realm of dynamic spirituality, Ramana Maharshi, the great sage of Arunachala, embodies the mind-power. The Christ, the Buddha and Sri Chaitanya of Nadia, Bengal, embody the heart-power. Sri Krishna and Sri Ramakrishna embody the soul-power. In Sri Aurobindo the vision of the mind-power reached its zenith, and the realisation of the soul-power found its fulfilling manifestation on earth. These spiritual giants and others are steering the life-boat of humanity towards the Transcendental Abode of the Supreme.

The Brahman of the Upanishads

Yale University; New Haven, Connecticut, USA
8 December 1971

The heart of the Upanishads is most meaningful and most fruitful because it embodies the life of the Brahman. Brahman is Reality in existence; Brahman is Reality's existence. The eternal Truth of the Brahman is in the finite, beyond the finite, in the Infinite, and beyond the ever-transcending Infinite.

In the domain of realisation, Brahman is the Sovereign Absolute. In the domain of revelation, Brahman is the omnipresent Reality. In the field of manifestation, Brahman is the immortalising Perfection.

Brahman the Creator is the Consciousness-Light; Brahman the Fulfiller is the Consciousness-Delight. Brahman is the inner Soul of all and the only Goal in all.

When we look within, Brahman is Consciousness-Force. When we look without, Brahman is Self-manifestation. When we think of Brahman with the earth-bound mind, the limited mind, the sophisticated mind, the unaspiring mind, our life becomes sheer frustration. When we meditate on Brahman in the heart, in the silent recesses of the heart, our life becomes pure illumination.

To a non-seeker, Brahman is unknowable. To a beginner-seeker, Brahman is unknown. To a Master-seeker, Brahman is knowable, Brahman is known. Further, he himself grows into the Consciousness of Brahman.

"//Sarvam khalvidam brahma//
//Indeed, all is Brahman.//
The Eternal is existence within. The Eternal is existence without."

There is no abiding happiness in the finite. It is only in the Infinite that we can hear the message of eternal Delight: Anandam Brahmaand Anantam Brahma. These are the two major aspects of Brahman. Anandam Brahma is the life of the all-illumining Delight and the all-fulfilling Delight. Anantam Brahma is the life of Infinity.

Here on earth the life of Infinity constantly grows for the fulfilment of the Absolute Brahman. That is why the Upanishadic Seers sing from the depths of their hearts about the Transcendental Delight of the Brahman:

Anandaddhyeva khalvimani bhutani jayante
Anandena jatani jivanti
Anandam prayantyabhisamvisanti

From the Transcendental Delight we came into existence;
In Delight we grow and play our respective roles; and,
At the end of our journey's close, we enter into the Supreme Delight.

Again, when the Seers saw Infinity in Brahman, they sang:

Aum
Purnam adah purnam idam purnat purnam udacyate
Purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavasisyate

Infinity is that. Infinity is this.
From Infinity, Infinity has come into existence.
From Infinity, when Infinity is taken away, Infinity remains.

Brahman is active. Brahman is inactive. The active Brahman inwardly does and outwardly becomes. Also, the active Brahman outwardly does and inwardly becomes. But the inactive Brahman is the total freedom of inaction and complete freedom in inaction.

Brahmam is at once the eternal Unborn and the eternal birth and growth of existence. Brahman is ignorance-night. Brahman is knowledge-light. Brahman the ignorance-night needs total transformation. Brahman the knowledge-light needs complete manifestation.

The whole universe came into existence from Brahman the Seed. When Brahman wanted to project Himself, He first projected Himself through four significant worlds: Ambhas, the highest world; Marici, the sky; Mara the mortal world, the earth; and Apa, the world beneath earth.

Then Brahman sent forth the guardians of these worlds. Next, He sent forth food for them. Then Brahman came to realise that He Himself had to take part in His Cosmic Game, so He entered into the Cosmic Lila (Game) through His own Yogic power. First He entered into the human body through the skull. The door by which Brahman entered is called the door of Delight. This door is the highest centre of consciousness. This is known as sahasrara, the thousand-petalled lotus. It is situated in the centre of the brain. The realisation of the Yogi enters there and becomes one with the Consciousness of the Brahman.

Brahman has many names, but His secret name is 'Aum'.

Pranavo dhanuh saro hiyatma brahma tallaksyam

Aum is the bow and Atman, the Self, is the arrow;
Brahman is the target.

Through repeated practice the arrow is fixed into the target, the Brahmic Consciousness. That is to say, through regular concentration, meditation and contemplation, the seeker enters into the Absolute Consciousness of the Brahman.

Creation is the supreme sacrifice of the Brahman. Creation is by no means a mechanical construction. Creation is a spiritual act, supremely revealing, manifesting and fulfilling the divine splendour of the Brahman. The divine Architect is beyond Creation and, at the same time, manifests Himself in and through Creation.

Brahman created out of His Being priests, warriors, tradesmen and servants. Then He created the Law. Nothing can be higher than this Law. This Law is Truth. When a man speaks the Truth, he declares the Law. When he declares the Law, he speaks the Truth. The Truth and the Law are one, inseparable.

Indian mythology has divided Time —- not earth-bound time but eternal Time —- into four divisions: satyayuga, tretayuga, dvaparayuga, and kaliyuga. According to many, we are now in the kaliyuga. Brahman in the kaliyuga is fast asleep. He is in inconscience — ignorance-mire. In the dvaparayuga, He awakes and He looks around. In the tretayuga, He stands up, about to move forward. In the satyayuga, the Golden Age, He moves fast, faster, fastest, towards His Goal. The message of the Vedas, the eternal message of the Aryan culture and civilisation, the realisation of the Indian Sages and Seers, is movement, inner progress, life's march towards the Destined Goal.

"//Caraiveti caraiveti//
Move on, move on!"

The Gayatri Mantra

Columbia University; New York, New York, USA
10 December 1971

Aum bhur bhuvah svah
Tat savitur varenyam
Bhargo devasya dhimahi
Dhiyo yo nah pracodayat

"We meditate on the transcendental Glory of the Deity Supreme, who is inside the heart of the earth, inside the life of the sky and inside the soul of the Heaven. May He stimulate and illumine our minds."

The Gayatri Mantra is the most hallowed mantra of the Vedas. It is the mother of all the mantras. Mantra means 'incantation'. A mantra can be a one-syllable word or a few words, a sentence or a few sentences. The Gayatri Mantra can offer to the sincere seeker the Light of the Infinite, the Delight of the Eternal and the Life of the Immortal.

The Gayatri Mantra has four feet. The first foot consists of the earth, sky and Heaven. The second foot consists of the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda and the Sama Veda. The third foot consists of prana, apana and vyana. The fourth foot consists of the Sun, the solar being.

A seeker of the Infinite Truth must meditate on the Gayatri Mantra. The result that he will get is incalculable.

Bhumi, earth; antariksa, sky; and dyauh, Heaven, make up the first foot of the Gayatri. Whoever realises the significance of the first foot wins everything that is in those three worlds.

Rcah, Yajumsi, Samani, make up the second foot of the Gayatri. Whoever realises the second foot of the Gayatri wins the knowledge-sea of the three Vedas.

Prana, apana, and vyana, the three forms of the vital force, make up the third foot of the Gayatri. The knower of this foot wins all the living creatures that exist in the universe.

Turiyam, the quaternary, the Solar Being Transcendental who alone shines, is the fourth foot. He who realises this fourth foot shines with infinite magnificence.

Subtle is the path to moksa, liberation. Hard is the path to liberation. But a genuine seeker can reach the Goal solely by meditating on the Gayatri Mantra. When one is freed from the fetters of ignorance, one grows into the supernal Glory of the Transcendental Self. Liberation can be achieved, must be achieved, while the seeker's soul is in the body. To fail to realise God on earth is to swim in the sea of ignorance with two more swimmers: ignorant birth and shameless death. Liberation attained, the bonds of grief destroyed. Before liberation, like the Buddha, we have to proclaim, "This fleeting world is the abode of sorrow."

The teeming desire-night that has occupied the heart of the seeker must needs be driven out by the glowing aspiration-light. This done, the seeker attains to the Brahman. An Immortal he becomes. The Light Eternal is his new name. Today the seeker feels that the Gayatri is his mind's inspiration. Tomorrow he will feel that the Gayatri is his soul's realisation.

With inspiration a seeker sees the Truth.
With aspiration a seeker realises the Truth.
With realisation a seeker becomes the Truth.

Inspiration is might.
Aspiration is light.
Realisation is life.

Inspiration runs.
Aspiration flies.
Realisation dives.

Inspiration is the Smile of God.
Aspiration is the Cry of God.
Realisation is the Love of God.

The Gayatri is eternal knowledge divine. When this knowledge dawns in the seeker's aspiring heart, he need no longer seek for anything, either on earth or in Heaven. He reveals what he achieves. He manifests what he reveals.

In the Vedas there are two most significant words: satya and rta. Satya is Truth in its pure existence. Rta is Truth in its dynamic movement. There is another word, brhat, which means 'vastness in form'. What we call creation is the manifestation of the Unmanifest, asat. According to our scriptures, the manifestation took place with the anahatadhvani, the soundless sound, Aum.

The Gayatri is dedicated to Savitr, the Creator. The root of the word Savitr is su, 'to create' or 'to loose forth'. This mantra is known also as Savitri Mantra, for Savitri is the shakti of Savitr. This mantra was envisioned by Visvamitra, the great Rishi. Savitr is regarded as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma, the Creator, with Brahmani as his shakti; Vishnu, the Preserver, with his shakti, Vaisnavi; and Shiva or Rudra, the Destroyer, with his Shakti, Rudrani, regularly visit the Brahman. The eagle is the vehicle-bird of Vishnu. The swan is the vehicle-bird of Brahma. The bull is the vehicle-beast of Shiva.

The Gayatri Mantra is the divine magnetic needle. The magnetic needle points to the north, hence the ship does not lose its direction. The Gayatri Mantra always points to the Transcendental Height of the Supreme, hence the seeker does not miss his Goal: Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.

The journey's start, the journey's close

Cornell University; Ithaca, New York, USA
26 January 1972

The journey's start and the journey's close. Human aspiration is the journey's start. Divine manifestation is the journey's close. Birthless is the journey's birth, and endless is the journey's end.

We came; we shall return. We came from the Supreme Being. To the Supreme Being we shall return. We embody the earth-consciousness and the Heaven-Consciousness. The earth-consciousness inspires us to meditate on the Transcendental Truth and realise the Transcendental Truth in the soul of Heaven. The Heaven-Consciousness inspires us to meditate on love and manifest love in the heart of earth.

We know, we grow and we become. We know in Heaven. We grow here on earth. We become the Transcendental Truth. What we know is Reality. What we grow into is Immortality. What we eventually become is Divinity's Perfection. Reality embodies Immortality and Divinity. Immortality and Divinity manifest Reality.

The Upanishads teach us the significant truth that each individual seeker must have inner peace and outer freedom. It is only through inner peace that we can have true outer freedom. From the Upanishads we learn how to discover God, the inner man, and see man, the revealed God. The Upanishads tell us that the dedicated human beings, the surrendered human souls, are God's necessity, and each realised human being is given God's unreserved, infinite capacity.

Here is the secret of the Upanishads: love, serve and become. Love God's Life in man, serve God's Light in man, and become God's perfect Perfection here on earth.

In two words we can sum up the message of all the Upanishads: aspiration and manifestation. Aspiration is the way and manifestation is the Goal. Aspiration is the song of the infinite, eternal Consciousness abiding within us. Manifestation is the dance of unity's multiplicity within and without us. Aspiration is the height of our Delight, and manifestation is the light of all-nourishing and all-fulfilling Delight.

Each soul needs involution and evolution. When the soul descends, it is the soul's involution. When the soul ascends, it is the soul's evolution. The soul enters into the lowest abyss of inconscience. The soul evolves again into Sacchidananda —- Existence-Consciousness-Bliss —- the triple Consciousness.

The soul enters into inconscience. For millions of years it remains there, fast asleep. All of a sudden, one day a spark of consciousness from the ever-transcending Beyond opens its eye and then the hour strikes for self-enquiry. "Who am I?" it asks. The answer is "Tat twam asi—That thou art." The soul is thrilled. Then again it falls asleep. Again it enters into self-oblivion. More questions arise after some time: Whose am I? I am of That. Where have I come from? From That. To Whom am I returning? To That. For Whom am I here on earth? For That.

Then the soul is satisfied. The soul now is fully prepared for its journey upward —- high, higher, highest. At this moment the soul sees the Self, an exact prototype of the Supreme Being here on earth, and the evolution of the soul starts properly. The soul, from the mineral life, enters into the plant life, from the plant into the animal life, from the animal life into the human, and from the human into the divine life. While in the human life, the soul brings down Peace, Light, and Bliss from Above. First it offers these divine qualities to the heart, then to the mind, then to the vital, then to the gross physical. When illumination takes place, we see it in the heart, we see it in the physical mind, in the vital, and in the gross physical body.

The Upanishads are also called Vedanta. Vedanta means 'the end of the Vedas, the cream of the Vedas, the essence of the Vedas'. It is said that Vedanta is the end of all difference —- the point where there can be no difference between the lowest and the Highest, between the finite and the Infinite.

Our journey starts with aspiration. What is aspiration? It is the inner cry, inner hunger, for the infinite Vast. Aspiration has a most sincere friend —- concentration. How do we concentrate? Where do we concentrate? We concentrate on an object, on a being, on a form, or on the formless. When we concentrate with the help of the mind, we feel that eventually we shall see the vastness of the Truth. When we concentrate with the help of the heart, we feel that one day we shall feel our intimacy with the Universal Consciousness and God the eternal Beloved. When we concentrate with the help of our soul's Light, we feel that man is God in His preparation, and God is man in his culmination.

The unaspiring mind is our real problem. The human mind is necessary to some extent. Without it we would remain in the animal domain. But we have to know that the human mind is very limited. The human mind is insufficient. In the human mind there cannot be any abiding light, life or delight. The human mind tells us that the finite is the finite, the Infinite is the Infinite and there is a yawning gulf between the two. They are like the North Pole and the South Pole. Whatever is Infinite can never be finite and vice-versa. Infinity, the human mind feels, is unattainable. When something is finite, it is simply impossible for the human mind to feel that that, too, is God. Also, this mind quite often feels that because of His Greatness, God is aloof and indifferent.

When we meditate in the heart, we come to realise that God is infinite and God is omnipotent. If He is infinite, on the strength of His omnipotence He can also be finite. He exists in our multifarious activities; He is everywhere. He includes everything; He excludes nothing. This is what our inner meditation can offer us. Our heart's meditation also tells us that God is dearer than the dearest and that He is our only Beloved.

Inspiration, aspiration and realisation —- these are the three rungs of the spiritual ladder. When we want to climb from the finite to the Infinite with God's boundless Bounty, the first rung is inspiration, the second rung is aspiration and the third rung is realisation, our Destined Goal.

To achieve the Highest, we become inspiration, aspiration and realisation; and to manifest the Highest here on earth, we become compassion, concern and love. This is how we start our journey; this is how we end our journey. Again, when we become one with the Inner Pilot, inseparably one with the Inner Pilot, there is no beginning, there is no end. His Cosmic Lila, divine Game, is birthless and endless.

In human realisation, God within us is aspiration and realisation bound by earth-consciousness, bound by earthly time. But in divine realisation, God is the Beyond, the ever-transcending Beyond. He plays the Game of the ever-transcending Beyond. He Himself is the aspiration of the ever-transcending Beyond, and He Himself is the manifestation of the ever-transcending Beyond. When we consciously know Him, realise Him and become inseparably one with Him, we, too, play His divine Game, the Game of Infinity, Eternity and Immortality.

Life and death, atman and paramatman

Brown University; Providence, Rhode Island, USA
9 February 1972

The Upanishads come from the Vedas. They contain the records of eternal Truths. These Truths were discovered by various Seers at different times and handed down to humanity.

Life is a problem. Even so, is death. The aspiring Aryans of the hoary past wanted to solve these two problems. Soon they came to realise that their senses could be of almost no help to them in solving these two major problems. They also came to realise that it is the knowledge of the Ultimate Reality alone that can solve, once and for all, the problems of life and death.

All of a sudden, two divine soldiers came in. Nobody knows where they came from. These two soldiers were inspiration and aspiration. The first soldier, inspiration, commanded them: "Give up the study of the body." They immediately did so. The second soldier, aspiration, commanded them: "Take up the study of the soul." They immediately did so. Lo, the King and the Queen from the Golden Shore of the Beyond garlanded them, the seekers, the Seers, and the Knowers of Light and Truth.

What do the Upanishads actually mean? If you ask a Western seeker, he will immediately say, "Very simple. Sit at the feet of the Master and learn." If you ask an Eastern seeker the same question, he will quietly say, "Very difficult. Transform human darkness into divine Light." Both the Western and the Eastern seeker are perfectly right. No Master, no discovery of the Transcendental Reality. No transformation of darkness, no manifestation of Divinity on earth.

Who needs the Truth? A seeker. When does he achieve the Truth? He achieves the Truth when he becomes the surrendered and divine lover.

His first achievement is God the Creator.
His second achievement is God the Preserver.
His third achievement is God the Transformer.
His fourth achievement is: Thou art That.
His fifth achievement is: I am That.
His sixth achievement is: He and I are one.
His seventh achievement is: He am I.

In the Creator he sees.
In the Preserver he feels.
In the Transformer he becomes.

The heart of the Upanishads is the Purusa. The life of the Purusa is the message of the Upanishads. Who is the Purusa? The Purusa is the real dweller in the body of the universe. The Purusa is three-fold: the outer atman, the inner Atman, and the Paramatman.

The outer atman is the gross physical body. The outer atman is that which grows in the body, with the body and for the body. The outer atman is the identification of one's body with the gross aspect of life. Here we live, we are hurt, we hurt others, we enjoy pleasure from others, we offer pleasure to others. This atman exists, changes, develops and, finally, decays.

The inner Atman is the discriminating Self. The inner Atman identifies itself with the aspiring earth-consciousness. It identifies itself with air, ether, fire, water and earth. The inner Atman is the thinker, the doer and the direct messenger of God. The inner Atman manifests its inner realisation through outer experience.

The Paramatman reveals itself through the process of Yoga. Neither is it born, nor does it die. It is beyond all qualities. It is all-pervading, unimaginable and indescribable. It is Eternity's Reality and Reality's Divinity.

Each Upanishad is a mighty drop from the fountain of eternal Life. This drop can easily cure the teeming ills of human life. The infinite power of this drop can free us from the endless rotation of human birth and death.

The mind, assisted by the body, creates bondage. The heart, assisted by the soul, offers liberation. The unaspiring mind thinks useless thoughts and down it sinks. It thinks too much and sinks too fast. The blind body is constantly digging its own grave. The heart wants to love and be loved. God gives the heart the life of oneness. The soul wants to reveal God. God fulfils the soul and, by doing so, He brings down the message of Perfection in the Divinity of manifested Reality.

Existence, non-existence and the source

University of Connecticut at Storrs; Storrs, Connecticut, USA
11 February 1972

Sat and asat are two terms in Indian philosophy which one very often comes across. Sat means 'existence', and asat means 'non-existence'. Existence is something that becomes, that grows and that fulfils. Non-existence is something that negates its own reality and its own divinity. Existence is everywhere, but existence has its value or its meaning only when divinity is visible in it. If divinity does not loom large in existence, then that existence is useless. Divinity is the life-breath of existence. Divinity fulfils our aspiring consciousness and reveals our own Immortality here on earth only when we see divinity as something infinite and eternal.

Existence is cherished by the aspiring consciousness and by God's own highest Reality. Reality and existence have to go together. Reality without existence is an impossibility, and existence without reality is an absurdity. Divine Reality and divine Existence always go together.

Existence expresses itself only through Truth. This Truth conquers everything that is untruth. India's motto, Satyam eva jayate, means 'Truth alone triumphs'. What is this Truth? This Truth is at once the Depth of God's Heart and the Height of God's Head.

Truth is our inner promise. Our inner promise, our soul's promise, is that in this incarnation we will realise God, not by hook or by crook, but under the able guidance of our spiritual Master, because we feel that this is what the Supreme within us wants. What for? So that we can serve Him in His own Way.

The highest way of feeling this Truth is to feel this: "If He does not want me to realise Him in this incarnation, but in some future incarnation, I am fully prepared to abide by His decision." But the seeker must have a dynamic feeling. If he just says, "Oh, let me play my role. Let me be nice, sincere, truthful, obedient and, when the time comes, He will do it all," then relaxation comes. Very often when we say, "Let me play my role, and God will take care of my realisation," God does take care of our realisation. But if we feel that if we can become fully realised as soon as possible, then we can be of real help to God, then we are bound to get our realisation faster.

If we have peace, light and bliss, only then can we be of real service to mankind. The idea of God-realisation at God's choice Hour must come from the very depths of our heart, and not from our mental knowledge. Unfortunately, it usually does not come from the heart; it comes only from the clever mind which says, "I have read in books and I have heard from the Master that if I do not want anything from God, then God will give me everything." It is better to pray to God to give you peace of mind so that you can see the Truth in its totality. To ask God for peace of mind is not a crime. If you do not have peace of mind, wherever you are, whether in the subway, or in the country, or in Times Square, there will be no God there for you. God has given us some intelligence. In the morning if you say, "God, it is up to You whether I eat or not. I will just stay here in bed," God is not going to put food into your mouth. No, God has given you the necessary intelligence to know that you have to put forth some effort. You have to leave the bed and take a shower and eat by your own effort.

In the inner life, if you want purity, humility, peace of mind and other divine qualities, then you have to make an effort to get them. It is true that if you do not pray to God for anything then He will give you everything, but this truth has to be understood in its highest sense. If you do not pray to God, or aspire for God-realisation, or even think of God, then how do you expect God to give you everything? He will give you everything on the strength of your absolute faith in Him combined with your sincere inner cry.

The Upanishads come from the Vedas. What is the difference between the gifts which we get from the Vedas and the gifts which we get from the Upanishads? The Vedas are like a storehouse —- everything is there, but it is not kept in proper order. Also, in it there are quite a few things which are unimportant for the modern world, for present-day life, for evolved human beings, for the intelligent or developed mind. The Upanishads come to our rescue. They take the inspiration and aspiration from the Vedas, but they have their own originality. All that is good in the Vedas the Upanishads gladly take and offer in a special manner.

Without the Vedas, the Upanishads do not exist. The Vedas are the source. But the wealth of the Vedas can be offered properly to the generality of mankind only through the Upanishads. The Upanishads have the capacity to enter into the source and the capacity to offer the illumining, fulfilling wealth of the source in a way that can be accepted and understood by humanity at large. They are the end or cream of the Vedas; they are called Vedanta. On the mental plane, on the spiritual plane, on the psychic plane, on the moral plane, all of India's achievements come from the polished, developed, aspiring and illumining consciousness of the Upanishads.

Buddhism is a form of Vedanta philosophy. But the Buddha's philosophy emphasises a special aspect of Vedanta. We speak of the Buddha as the Lord of Compassion. We speak of the Buddha's moral ethics. Where did all this come from? From Vedanta. But while expressing the Vedantic or Upanishadic truth, the Buddha offered his own inner light in a specific way. That is why ordinary human beings find it difficult to believe that Vedanta was the original source of the Buddha's teachings.

In the Western world we have Pythagoras and Plato, two great philosophers. You can see that the philosophy of both of them, and especially of Plato, has been greatly inspired by Upanishadic thought.

The world has received many significant things from the Upanishads, but unfortunately the world does not want to offer credit to the source. No harm. A child takes money from his parents and tells his friends that it is his money. Friends of his age believe that it is his, but adults will say, "He does not work. Where can he get money?" They know that he has received it from his parents. Millions of people have been inspired by the Upanishadic lore, consciously or unconsciously. In India and in the West there are many paths, many religions, which have taken abundant light from the Upanishads, but they find it hard to give credit to the source.

The Upanishadic Seers abide within us. They do not need any appreciation or recognition. What do they want? What do they expect? From the genuine seekers and followers of Truth, what they want and expect is the application of the Truth which has been offered. If the Truth is applied in our daily lives, no matter where it came from, divinity will loom large in us, and divinity will offer appreciation, admiration and glorification to the source. Even God does not expect or demand anything more from us as long as we apply the Truth in our own lives consciously, constantly, devotedly, soulfully and unconditionally.

Flame-waves from the Upanishad-sea, part 1

Rutgers University; New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
18 February 1972

I

transliteration

Aum bhur bhuvah svah
tat savitur varenyam
bhargo devasya dhimahi
dhiyo yo nah pracodayat

translation

We meditate on the Transcendental Glory of the Deity Supreme, who is inside the heart of the earth, inside the life of the sky and inside the soul of the Heaven. May He stimulate and illumine our minds.

comment

Illumination needed; here is the answer. Transcendental Illumination transforms the animal in us, liberates the human in us, and manifests the Divine in us.

II

transliteration

Purnam adah purnam idam purnat purnam udacyate
purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavasisyate

translation

Infinity is that. Infinity is this.
From Infinity, Infinity has come into existence.
From Infinity, when Infinity is taken away, Infinity remains.

comment

Infinity is the concealed Breath of the Pilot Supreme.
Infinity is the revealed Life of the Supreme's Boat.
Infinity is the fulfilled Body of the Goal Supreme.

III

transliteration

Asato ma sad gamaya
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya
Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya

translation

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

comment

The unreal in us desires the pleasure-life of the finite. The Real in us aspires for the God-Life of the Infinite.

Darkness is the discovery of the doubting and frustrated mind. Light is the discovery of the aspiring and dedicated heart.

Death—where is the cat? Miaowing nowhere. Immortality —- where is the lion? Roaring all-where.

IV

transliteration

Anor aniyan mahato mahiyan atmasya jantor nihito guhayam

translation

Smaller than the smallest life, larger than the infinite Vast,
The soul breathes in the secret heart of man.

comment

The soul is God's eternal child and man's great-grandfather.

As God's eternal child, the soul unceasingly plays.

As man's eternal grandfather, the soul perpetually enjoys rest.

V

transliteration

Vedaham etam puru. sam mahantam adityavarnam tamasah parastat

translation

I have known this Great Being, effulgent as the sun, beyond the boundaries of tenebrous gloom.

comment

Before our realisation, this Great Being quenched our heart's thirst. After our realisation, we feed the Soul's hunger of this Great Being.

VI

transliteration

Satyam eva jayate

translation

Truth alone triumphs.

comment

Truth is God's Crown offered to God by God Himself.

Truth realised, God is forever caught.

VII

transliteration

Devebhyah kam avrnita mrtyum
Prajayai kam amrtam navrnita.

translation

For the sake of the Gods, he [Brihaspati] chose death.

He chose not Immortality for the sake of man.

comment

Brihaspati houses the flowing life of the Gods and treasures the glowing love of man.

VIII

transliteration

Uru nas tanve tan
/Uru ksayaya nas krdhi
/Uru no yamdhi jivase

translation

For our body give us freedom.
For our dwelling give us freedom.
For our life give us freedom.

comment

God's Compassion is the freedom of our body. God's Concern is the freedom of our dwelling. God's Love is the freedom of our life.

IX

transliteration

Agnir jyotir jyotir agnir
Indro jyotir jyotir indrah
Suryo jyotir jyotih suryah

translation

Agni is Light and the Light is Agni.
Indra is Light and the Light is Indra.
Surya is Light and the Light is Surya.

comment

Light is Love revealed.
Light is Life manifested.
Light is God fulfilled.

X

transliteration

Anandaddhyeva khalvimani bhutani jayante Anandena jatani jivanti Anandam prayantyabhisamvisanti

translation

From Delight we came into existence.
In Delight we grow.
At the end of our journey's close, into Delight we retire.

comment

God has written an open letter to His human children. His letter runs: "My sweetest children, you are the only delight of My universal Existence."

XI

transliteration

Hiranmayena patrena satyasyapihitam mukham
Tat tvam pusan apavrnu satyadharmaya drstaye

translation

The Face of Truth is covered with a brilliant golden orb. Remove it, O Sun, so that I who am devoted to the Truth may behold the Truth.

comment

The Face of Truth awakens us.
The Eye of Truth feeds us.
The Heart of Truth builds us.

XII

transliteration

Saha navavatu saha nau bhunaktu
Saha viryam karavavahai

translation

May He protect us together.
May He own us together.
May He give unto us vigour and virility.

comment

God, Guru, and disciple: God is Compassion and Protection; Guru is Concern; the disciple is dedication. When these three work together, perfect Perfection shines and it will shine throughout Eternity.

XIII

transliteration

Yenaham namrta syam
Kim aham tena kuryam

translation

What shall I do with the things that cannot make me immortal?

Comment

God is eternally proud of His human children because they embody His own Immortality.

XIV

transliteration

Madhuman me parayanam
Madhumat punarayanam

translation

Sweet be my departure from home.
Sweet be my return.

comment

My sweet departure from my eternal Home has made me feel how brave I am.
My sweet return to my eternal Home shall make me feel how fortunate I am.

Flame-waves from the Upanishad-sea, part 2

Fordham University; The Bronx, New York, USA
28 February 1972

I

transliteration

Agne naya supatha raye asman
visvani deva vayunani vidvan
yuyodhyasmaj juhuranam eno
bhuyistham te namauktim vidhema

translation

O Agni, O Fire God, lead us along the right path so that we can enjoy the fruits of our divine actions.
You know, O God, all our deeds.
O God, take away from us all our unaspiring and binding sins and destroy them.
To You we offer our teeming, soulful salutations and prayers.

comment

Heart's aspiration is the right path.
God's Compassion is the genuine guidance.
The fruits of our divine actions are peace, light and bliss.
Sin is the smile of self-limiting bondage.
In our prayers and salutations abides God the illumining Saviour.

II

transliteration

Uttisthata jagrata prapya varan nibodhata Ksurasya dhara nisita duratyaya Durgam pathas tat kavayo vadanti

translation

Arise! Awake! Realise and achieve the Highest with the help of the illumining, guiding and fulfilling Masters.

The path is as sharp as the edge of a razor, difficult to cross, hard to tread —- so declare the wise sages.

comment

"Arise! You need God. Awake! God needs you." Who brings this message? The Master. The road may be long, but it is not endless. The Goal is not only an endless life, but an ever-energising, immortal breath.

A wise sage is he whose outer life is the manifestation of the Truth's inner life.

III

transliteration

Yo vai bhuma tat sukham
Nalpe sukham asti
Bhumaiva sukham

translation

The Infinite is the satisfying happiness.
In the finite no happiness can ever breathe.
The Infinite alone is the fulfilling happiness.

comment

The Life infinite is the Delight infinite.

The finite is a stranger to the infinite Happiness.

Infinity without Delight means the Creation without a Creator. Indeed, this is absurd.

Delight without Infinity means the Creator without the Creation. Indeed, this is equally absurd.

IV

transliteration

Na tatra suryo bhati na candratarakam Nema vidyuto bhanti kuto 'yam agnih Tam eva bhantam anubhati sarvam Tasya bhasa sarvam idam vibhati

translation

There the sun shines not, nor the moon and the stars, nor the lightning, let alone this earthly fire.

Only when illumining Light shines, everything else shines; the self-revealing Light illumines the entire universe.

comment

The outer sun asks us to see and, when we look around, we see all darkness.

The inner sun makes us see what we eternally are: the Light infinite.

V

transliteration

Nayam atma balahinena labhyo

translation

The soul cannot be won by the weakling.

comment

True, a weak aspirant cannot realise his soul. Again, who can really be strong before he has realised his soul?

A weak aspirant is God in His perfecting aspiration.

A strong aspirant is God in His manifesting realisation.

VI

transliteration

Yo devo agnau yo' psu visvam bhuvanam avivesa
Ya osadhisu yo vanaspatisu tasmai devaya namo namah

translation

We offer our supreme salutations to this divine Being, who is in fire, in water, in the plants, in the trees, and who has entered and pervaded the whole universe.

comment

Fire is aspiration.
Water is consciousness.
A plant is a climbing hope.
A tree is an assuring confidence.
The divine Being is the concealed Breath and revealed Life of the universe.

VII

transliteration

Vidyan cavidyan ca yas tad vedobhyam saha Avidyaya mrtyum tirtva vidyayamrtam asnute

translation

He who knows and understands knowledge and ignorance as one, through ignorance passes beyond the domain of death, through knowledge attains to an eternal Life and drinks deep the Light of Immortality.

comment

Ignorance is the knowledge of the physical mind.

Knowledge is the secret of the soul.

When the physical mind surrenders its existence to the illumination of the soul, death dies; Immortality dawns.

VIII

transliteration

Bhadram karnebhih srnuyama deva Bhadram pasyemaksabhir yajatrah Sthirair angais tustuvamsas tanubhir Vyasema devahitam yad ayuh

translation

O Cosmic Gods, may we hear with our human ears all that is auspicious.

O Gods who are truly worthy of worship, may we see with our human eyes all that is auspicious.

May we enjoy our life given by You, offering constant praises with our sound body and earthly existence to You.

comment

To hear an auspicious thing is to invoke God the Inspiration and God the Aspiration.

To see an auspicious thing is to feel God the Light and God the Delight.

The philosophy, religion, spirituality and yoga of the Upanishads

University of Massachusetts; Amherst, Massachusetts, USA
1 March 1972

I had decided to give thirteen talks on the Upanishads. Today I will be giving my thirteenth talk on the Upanishads. That means that today we are at the end of the race, the divine race. We are nearing the goal. When we reach the goal, we shall offer our most devoted gratitude to the Inner Pilot.

When we think of the Upanishads, immediately our minds enter into these particular subjects — philosophy, religion, spirituality and Yoga.

The philosophy of the Upanishads is the vastness of the mind.
The religion of the Upanishads is the oneness of the heart.
The spirituality of the Upanishads is the Immortality of the soul.
The Yoga of the Upanishads is the total manifestation of God here on earth.

The vastness of the mind needs God the infinite Consciousness.
The oneness of the heart needs God the supreme and eternal Beloved.
The immortality of the soul needs God the ever-transcending Beyond.
The total manifestation of God needs man's constant inner hunger.

God is Purity in the vastness of the mind.
God is Beauty in the oneness of the heart.
God is Life in the Immortality of the soul.

The philosophy of the Upanishads tells me, "See the Truth."
The religion of the Upanishads tells me, "Feel the Truth."
The spirituality of the Upanishads tells me, "Grow into the Truth."
The Yoga of the Upanishads tells me, "Become the Truth."
God tells me, "You are the Truth."

When I see the Truth, I know what God's Compassion is.
When I feel the Truth, I know what God's Love is.
When I grow into the Truth, I know what God's Concern is.
When I become the Truth, I know what God's selfless Life is, and what His unconditional Duty is.
When I realise that I am the Truth, the full manifestation of Divinity's Light begins.

The Upanishads offer to each aspiring heart countless messages. There are quite a few messages which are at once most significant and most fulfilling. Here is a stupendous message about life and death. Before death and after death, what happens? This is the message of the Upanishads:

Before death, life is a seeker.
After death, the same life becomes a dreamer.

Before death, life struggles and strives for perfection.
After death, the same life rests and enjoys the divine Bliss with the soul.

Before death, life is God's Promise.
After death, life is God's inner Assurance. This Assurance of God's we notice while we fulfil God in our future incarnation.

Life for each individual is an act of inspiration and revelation. Life is an experience; even so, is death. Our human life is God's sacred flame mounting towards the highest Source. Human death, the so-called death, is a secret play of God's Will.

When we study the Upanishads, we start with the concentration of the mind. This concentration of the mind is the most difficult thing that we can ever think of. We know what the mind is, we know what concentration is, but when it is a matter of concentration of the mind, it is extremely difficult to do.

Once some spiritual aspirants went to their Master and said, "Master, we have been meditating for so many years —- for ten long years. How is it that we cannot control our minds?" The Master said, "My children, God-realisation is not so easy. Had it been easy, you would have by this time controlled your minds. God-realisation is extremely difficult —- here is the proof. We consider the mind to be our best instrument. We consider it to be the highest, most developed part in our human life. But look at its helplessness." Then he went on to say, "You are all standing before me. Now if somebody stands up right on the shoulders of one of your spiritual brothers, what will happen? Immediately your brother will be irritated, he will feel disturbed. His prestige will be hurt. He is also a human being. How does someone dare to stand on his shoulders? The same thing happens to the mind. When the mind is agitated by our thoughts —- low, undivine, uncomely thoughts —- it does not allow us to become calm, quiet and serene enough to meditate on God."

The origin of the mind is divine; the mind itself is divine. But unfortunately, the mind that we are using right now is the physical mind, which cannot help us at all in our upward journey. This mind has consciously or unconsciously accepted three undivine friends: fear, doubt and jealousy. I said in the beginning of this talk that the vastness of the mind is the philosophy of the Upanishads. Now, when vastness wants to appear before the physical mind, the physical mind is horror-struck. It is afraid of the vastness. Further, it looks at its own insufficiency, its own limited capacity, and says, "How is it possible? I am so weak; I am so impotent; I am so insignificant. How can the vastness accept me as its very own?" First it is afraid of vastness, then it doubts. It doubts the very existence of vastness. Then, by God's infinite Grace, fear leaves the mind and doubt leaves the mind. Alas, now jealousy comes in. The mind looks around and sees that there is some fulfilment in the vastness, whereas in its own existence there is no fulfilment, there is no joy. Jealousy starts. Fear, doubt, and jealousy —- these three undivine forces —- attack the mind and make it meaningless, helpless and hopeless in our upward journey. When the mind is attacked by fear, doubt and jealousy, something else consciously and deliberately enters and feeds the mind, and that is our ego. With ego starts the beginning of our spiritual end.

We have to go beyond the domain of the physical mind with the help of philosophy, religion, spirituality and Yoga. The seeking mind operates in philosophy. The crying heart operates in religion. The illumining soul operates in spirituality. The fulfilling Goal operates in Yoga.

There are two approaches to the Goal. One approach is through the mind; the other is through the heart. The approach of the mind is not safe; it is not secure. But one eventually can reach the Goal this way. It is not that if you approach God through the mind you will not realise God. You will realise God, but the road is arduous. You may doubt your aspiration, you may doubt God's Compassion for you. Hence, it may take you hundreds, thousands of years to reach the Goal. But the approach through the heart is safe and sure. We can do one of two things: either we can identify ourselves with the subject or the object —- with the Supreme Pilot, the Eternal Beloved —- or we can surrender our existence at every second to the Inner Pilot. Either we have to become totally one with the Will of the Inner Pilot, or we have to surrender totally, unconditionally to the Inner Pilot. When we approach God in either of these ways, His Infinity, Eternity, Divinity and Immortality we feel immediately as our very own.

If we follow the messages of the Upanishads step by step, if we start first with philosophy, then with religion, then with spirituality and finally with Yoga, then God-realisation need not and cannot remain a far cry. God-discovery is our birthright. If we really want to discover God, then we can start right from the beginning: philosophy, religion, spirituality and Yoga. When we fulfil the demands of philosophy, religion, spirituality and Yoga, God fulfils all our demands. Their demands are very simple: aspiration and self-control. Our demands are God's Gifts: Peace, Light, Bliss and Power.

Do we really care for God's Gifts? If we really care for God's Gifts, then God will offer us the capacity to receive His infinite Wealth. In our ordinary life, when we want something from somebody else, that person will not give us the capacity to receive it. He will demand our own capacity. If we have the capacity, if we work for one day, then the boss will give us the salary. But in the spiritual life, God wants to know whether we really want the salary —- Peace, Light and Bliss. If we want them, then He Himself will energise us and be our aspiration and self-control. He will work in and through us. He will work as the seeker within us and, at the same time, He will work as the Pilot for us. He Himself will be both Employer and Employee. If we really want God, God will play at once both the roles. He will be the Giver and the receiver. He will be the seeker and the Fulfiller.

The Vedic bird of illumination

Wellesley College; Wellesley, Massachusetts, USA
14 November 1972

Dear sisters and brothers, I shall be giving seven talks on the Vedas at the Seven Sister colleges. Interestingly, the Rig Veda itself deals with seven special sisters. It tells us that there is a divine chariot with only one wheel, and that this chariot is drawn by one horse with seven names. Seven sisters sing spiritual songs while standing before the chariot. While singing, the seven sisters reveal the concealed message of life's Liberation and humanity's Perfection.

Seven is an occult number. In the spiritual world, the number seven has a most special significance. In the hoary past there were seven great Indian Sages who saw the Truth, lived the Truth and became the Truth. There are seven important rivers in India. A river signifies movement; water signifies consciousness. The movement of consciousness is a continuous progress towards the farthest Beyond.

There are seven notes in the musical scale. Each note has a special value of its own. Music is the mother tongue of humanity. God is the Supreme Musician. It is through music that we can enter into the universal harmony. It is through music that God's Beauty is being manifested in His all-loving Creation.

There are seven colours in the rainbow. These colours indicate the stages of our spiritual journey towards the ultimate Goal. We all know that a rainbow is the sign of good luck and future progress. In the spiritual world, each colour of the rainbow is the harbinger of a new dawn.

There are seven higher worlds and seven lower worlds. An aspiring human being enters into one of the seven higher worlds and makes progress in the inner life. Like a bird, his aspiring consciousness flies from one world to another, until finally he finds himself in the seventh world, Saccidananda, the world of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. There he becomes consciously and inseparably one with the Supreme Pilot. But when a human being deliberately and knowingly does wrong things, heinous things, he is compelled to enter into one of the seven lower worlds, which are the worlds of darkness, bondage and ignorance.

Mother India is an aspiring tree. This aspiring tree has the Vedas as its only root. The root is Truth, the tree is Truth, the experience of the tree is Truth, the realisation of the tree is Truth, the revelation of the tree is Truth, the manifestation of the tree is Truth.

The Vedic Seers saw the Truth with their souls, in their Heavenly visions and in their earthly actions.

Satyam eva jayate nanrtam

Truth alone triumphs, not falsehood.

This Truth teaches us how to be true brothers of mankind, conscious and devoted lovers of God and perfect masters of nature.

The Vedic teachings are universal. In the Yajur Veda we clearly observe that the teachings of the Vedas are for all —- the Brahmins, the Kshatriyas, the Vaishyas, the Shudras, even the Chandalas, who are the degraded and the abandoned. Men and women alike can study the Vedas. God is for all. The Vedas are for all. In the Vedic church no one is superior, no one is inferior; all are equal, all are children of God. These children of God can live in the heart of Truth and become the veritable pride of God.

Each Vedic Seer is a poet and a prophet. In the case of an ordinary poet, his poems are quite often based upon imagination. Imagination gives birth to his poetry. In the case of the Vedic poets, it was intuition that gave birth to their poems. This intuition is the direct knowledge of Truth. As regards prophets, very often we see that an ordinary prophet's prophecy is based on a kind of unknown mystery. But in the case of the Vedic prophets, it was not so. Their prophecies were based on their full and conscious awareness of direct and immediate Truth. They just brought to the fore this dynamic Truth to operate in the cosmic manifestation.

The present-day world believes that the mind can offer the highest possible experience of Reality. The Vedic Seers gave due importance to the mind, but they never considered the mind to be the source of the highest possible experience of Reality.

The Vedas have the eternal wisdom. It is for us. The Vedas are more than willing to illumine us if we dare to hearken to their message.

"//Srnvantu visve amrtasya putrah//
Hearken, ye sons of Immortality.
This is their generous invitation."

When we live in the mind and do not want to go outside the boundaries of the mind, we remain bound in the trammels of the body. We remain in bondage. It is only the light from within and the guidance from Above that can liberate us from the teeming ignorance which has enveloped us. When we live in the mind, we live in the fabric of form. When we live in the soul, we enter into the formless and eventually go beyond both form and formlessness. We become, at that time, the individual soul universalised and the Universal Soul individualised.

The outer world is synonymous with the mind. The inner world is synonymous with the heart. The world of the Eternal Beyond is synonymous with the soul. The outer world has the past, present and future. The inner world has the glowing and fulfilling future. The world of the Beyond has only the Eternal Now. When we live in the outer world, the ignorant 'I' destroys us. When we live in the inner world, the illumined 'I' satisfies us. When we live in the world of the Beyond, the Infinite 'I' fondly embodies us, reveals us and fulfils us. When we live in the mind, we cannot go beyond the judgement of destiny. Our human will is at the feet of destiny. When we live in the soul, we have free will. This free will is the Will of the Supreme. It is the will of the soul, which constantly identifies itself with the Will of the infinite Beyond.

Whether others believe it or not, the lovers of the Vedas know perfectly well that the Vedas are a significant contribution to the world of literature. These sublime literary scriptures are not just of national interest, for they offer international inspiration and universal aspiration. Just because they are international and universal, they fascinate and illumine sincere seekers in different countries at all times.

The Vedic mantras, or incantations, help us to develop will-power in boundless measure. Even if we do not take the trouble of learning and repeating the mantras, we cultivate some will-power just by studying the Vedas devotedly. The paramount question is how we are going to use this will-power: to dominate the world or to serve God in the universe? If we live in the body for the pleasures of the body, we shall want to dominate the world. But if we live in the soul for the transformation and illumination of the body, then we shall serve God, love man and fulfil both God and man.

To say that the Vedas are badly infected with asceticism and otherworldliness is to betray one's own ignorance. The Vedas are divinely practical and their message is of constant, practical value. Needless to say, a great many Vedic Seers were householders and most of their pupils, at the end of their instruction, went home and became family men. The teachers in the Seers taught their students the secret of eternal life and not the secret of unending death, which we learn from some of the destruction-loving teachers of science.

The Vedas do not embody depression, repression, self-mortification, sin-awareness or hell-consciousness. The Vedas embody the divine duty of the earthly life and the ever-increasing beauty of the Heavenly life. The Vedic Seers accepted the heart of life to found the ultimate Reality upon earth. The Vedic Seers accepted the body of death to carry it into the land of Immortality. Inspiration of the clear mind they liked. Aspiration of the pure heart they loved. Realisation of the sure soul they became.

The glowing consciousness of Vedic truth

Radcliffe College; Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
14 November 1972

In Vedic times people lived with nature and played with intuition. The modern world lives with the mind's barren desert and plays with the body's frustration and the vital's destruction. In those days life was simple, and life's approach to the Goal was direct. Now man's life is complex, and man has two names: 'lifeless machine' and 'loud noise'.

Spontaneous intuition was the wisdom of the past. Constant suspicion is the wisdom of the present. In the Vedic age people knew the divine art of self-abnegation and self-dedication, as today we know the human art of self-glorification and world-destruction. They cared for self-perfection first and then for world-perfection. We do not care for self-perfection at all; we care only for world-perfection. They were convinced that self-discipline would liberate them. We feel that self-discipline will limit us. They knew that self-discipline was not the end, but a means to the end, and that the end was Ananda, Delight. We also know that self-discipline is not the end, but a means to the end. But for us, alas, the fatal end is self-destruction. The Vedic Seers needed freedom. We also need freedom. To them, freedom was self-dedication to the life divine and the ever-transcending Beyond. To us, freedom is the imposition of our own reality-power on others.

There are four Vedas: the Rig Veda, the Sama Veda, the Yajur Veda and the Atharva Veda. The Rig Veda has 10,552 mantras. Mantra means 'incantation' or, simply, 'stanza'. The Sama Veda has 1,875 mantras, the Yajur Veda has 2,086 and the Atharva Veda has 5,987. A number of the Rig Vedic verses are also found in the other three Vedas. Most of the mantras in the Vedas are in the form of lucid poetry, except for some that are written in thought-invoking and rhythmic prose. The Vedas house the earliest poetry and prose literature of the searching, striving and aspiring human soul. He who thinks that the Vedic poetry is primitive and the Vedic literature insignificant is unmistakably wanting in mental illumination. How can primitive poetry offer such sublime and enduring wisdom to the world at large?

The body of the Vedic poetry is simplicity.
The vital of the Vedic poetry is sincerity.
The mind of the Vedic poetry is clarity.
The heart of the Vedic poetry is purity.
The soul of the Vedic poetry is luminosity.

There are two ways to study the Vedas. When we study the Vedas with the mind, we are constantly admonished by the strict vigilance of conscience. When we study the Vedas with the heart, we are unceasingly inspired by the flowing spontaneity of glowing consciousness. The achievement of the mind is a scholar of the Vedas. The achievement of the heart is a lover of the Vedas. The scholar tries to satisfy the world without being satisfied himself. The lover feeds the world with the light of illumining manifestation and the delight of fulfilling perfection.

There are two words in the Vedas which are as important as the Vedas themselves. These two words are Satya and Rta, eternal Truth and eternal Law. Realisation and Truth embody each other. Manifestation and Law fulfil each other. If we do not live the Truth, we cannot reach the Goal. If we do not follow the Law, we cannot grow into the Goal.

The Vedic Seers accepted the laws of others not only with their hearts' frankness but also with their souls' oneness. They saw the One in the many and the many in the One. To them, the Absolute was not their sole monopoly.

Satyam eva jayate nanrtam

Truth alone triumphs, not untruth.

Asato ma sad gamaya
tamaso ma jyotir gamaya
mrtyor mamrtam gamaya

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

Unreality is untruth, and Reality is Truth. Satya is invoked by the pure heart. Rta is invoked by the brave vital. Love of Truth takes us from darkness. Love of divine order takes us from the human body to the divine life.

The inner revelation-fire

Vassar College; Poughkeepsie, New York, USA
15 November 1972

Why do we appreciate the teachings of the Vedas? We appreciate the teachings of the Vedas because they inspire us to rise and go beyond the body-consciousness. The Rig Veda inspires us to make the world great and perfect. The Sama Veda inspires us to become one with the divine melody and cosmic rhythm. The Yajur Veda tells us, "May our lives be successful through self-sacrifice. May our life-breath thrive through self-sacrifice." The Atharva Veda inspires us to go forward along the path of continuous progress. It tells us that Brihaspati, Guru of the Cosmic Gods, is leading and guiding us.

The Vedic Seers saw fear in the outer world. They felt freedom in the inner world. They wanted to bring to the fore the freedom of the inner world through aspiration. In the Atharva Veda, the Seers have offered us a significant prayer: "May we be fearless of those we know not, and of those we know."

Fear of darkness is fear of the unknown.
Fear of Light is fear of the known.
Fear of the unknown is stupidity.
Fear of the known is absurdity.

What we need is the soul-will. Soul-will is God-Freedom.

Uru nas tanve tan
Uru ksayaya nas krdhi
Uru no yamdhi jivase

The /Rig Veda"s fiery utterance means: "Freedom for our body. Freedom for our home. Freedom for our life."

The Vedic way of life cannot be separated from ritual. In Vedic times, rituals were an integral part of life. In performing rituals, seekers in the Vedic era made remarkable progress. In the Rig Veda, however, we see more emphasis on mental and inner philosophy than on ritual. This combination of ritual and philosophical wisdom is the wealth of the Vedic culture. Devotion and dedication loom large in ritual. Aspiration and meditation loom large in philosophical wisdom. In those days, ritual disciplined and regulated life. Inner philosophy illumined and liberated life. In the heart of philosophy, the Light was discovered. In the body of ritual, the Light was manifested.

The Vedas specifically speak of three worlds: prthivi the earth; antariksa, the sky; dyauh, the celestial region. On earth, matter is all. In the sky, divine activity is all. In Heaven, sentience is all.

Poetry and philosophy run abreast in the Vedas. Philosophy illumined the minds of the Vedic Seers. Poetry immortalised their hearts. The philosopher is a poet in the mind. The poet is a philosopher in the heart. The philosopher likes outer religion and inner science. The poet likes outer art and inner literature. The philosopher says to the poet, "I give to you my precious wealth: wisdom, which is the constant and conscious instrument of intuition." The poet says to the philosopher, "I give to you my precious wealth: my devoted oneness with the life of Light."

Many Seers have seen the Truth, but when they reveal the Truth, quite often their revelations are not identical. What is really deplorable is that on different occasions, under different circumstances, their own revelations of the same Truth are found to be anything but identical. Here we must know that the differences exist only in the realisation and revelation of the Truth. There can be no difference in the Truth itself. Why do the differences occur? The differences occur because human individuality and personality do not see the Truth the way it has to be seen. When the human personality and individuality are dissolved, the Truth remains one in realisation and one in revelation. Needless to say, the Vedas are the direct revelation of the Seers' illumination, and not gifts from the unknown skies above.

There are people who think that the Vedas deal only with spirituality, and not with science. They are mistaken. Advanced seekers and spiritual Masters are of the opinion that in the Yajur Veda there are many scientific truths which modern science has not yet discovered or acknowledged. The scientific knowledge of the Atharva Veda cannot be looked down upon either. The Vedic Seers were aware of the process of cloud formation. They were fully aware of the different seasons. They knew the science of arithmetic, and worked with figures in the millions, billions and trillions. In the Yajur Veda there is something even more striking. There we see evidence of the existence of aeroplanes. The Vedic Seers used to make actual non-stop flights for hundreds of miles. They also knew the secrets of geology, medicine and other sciences. All this, four thousand years ago!

The Vedas have been translated into many languages and admired and appreciated by people from many countries. The great German philosopher Schopenhauer considered the Upanishads to be the consolation and illumination of his life. We know that the Upanishads are the most powerful and most illumining children of the Vedas. But there is much truth in the saying that a translation cannot do full justice to the original. In the case of the Vedas, this is certainly true. Many people have translated the Vedas, but no matter how sincerely or devotedly they worked, a considerable amount of the Vedic beauty was lost.

There are four Vedas: the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda and the Atharva Veda. The Rig Veda deals mainly with the forms of prayer. The Yajur Veda deals with sacrificial formulae. The Sama Veda deals with music. The Atharva Veda deals with medicine, science and magic formulae. In the Rig Veda the message of human evolution begins. The Rig Veda tells us the meaning of existence and of man's contribution to the world. The Yajur Veda teaches us how to perform the sacrifices correctly and how to control the universe. This Veda gives more importance to the mechanical side of sacrifices than to their spiritual aspect. The Sama Veda teaches us how divine music can elevate our aspiring consciousness into the highest realm of Bliss and make us conscious channels of God the Supreme Musician for the transformation of human darkness into divine Light, human imperfection into divine Perfection, human impossibilities into divine Inevitabilities and human dreams into divine Realities. The Atharva Veda teaches us how to control the spirits and lesser deities, and how to protect ourselves from evil spirits and destructive beings.

The Rig Veda

Barnard College; New York, New York, USA
17 November 1972

The Rig Veda is the oldest of all the Vedas. Most students of the Vedas are of the opinion that the Rig Veda is the most inspiring, most soulful and most fruitful Veda. This Veda embodies the earliest monument of India's aspiration and realisation. India's poetry, India's philosophy, India's literature, India's religion and India's science all owe their very existence to the Rig Veda, which was their source.

When it is a matter of choice between quality and quantity, the wise long for quality and the ignorant cry for quantity. The highest quality and the greatest quantity almost never go together. But to our great joy, the Rig Veda surpasses most strikingly the other three Vedas both in quantity and in quality. The Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda and the Atharva Veda have borrowed a considerable amount of wealth from the Rig Veda.

In the Rig Veda, the Gods are seen as personifications of nature-power. The Seers invoke the Cosmic Gods with their heart's prayers and their life's dedication. These Gods were supposed to have been thirty-three in number. Each God had his own origin; all of them did not come into being at the same time. It is said that at first they accepted human incarnation and were mortals, as we are now. But by drinking Soma, Nectar, immortal they became. In the subtle physical plane, they are retaining the quintessence of their physical forms and earthly appearances. Some are warriors, while others are priests. Indra is the champion leader of the warriors, and Agni is the champion leader of the priests.

Power they have. Power they are. Some have the power of silence and peace, while others have the power of light and delight. Ceaselessly they fought against the formidable forces of evil, and eventually they did win the victory.

The Rig Vedic Gods are kind and compassionate. With their boundless kindness and compassion, they fulfil the desires of the matter-loving world and the aspirations of the spirit-invoking life. They live in different homes: Heaven, air and earth. Heaven is the home of Vishnu, Varuna, Surya, Mitra and a few others. The atmospheric region is for Indra, Rudra, the Maruts and others. Agni and Brihaspati are well known among those who are considered to be terrestrial Gods.

In the Rig Veda we see the pure presence of devotion and the sure presence of knowledge. Devotion tells us how sweet and compassionate God is. Knowledge tells us how high and great God is. Devotion and knowledge find their complete satisfaction only in service. Service is concentration. Devotion is prayer. Knowledge is meditation. Only concentrated service, devoted prayer and illumined meditation can make us divinely great and supremely perfect.

According to the Vedas, action is a most essential part of life. Action is the conscious acceptance of our earthly existence. Action needs the body, which is its temple and fortress. Action needs life, which is its inspiration and aspiration. A man of action is an ideal hero in the battlefield of life. He lives with God's human body, the earth, and works for God's divine life, Heaven. Action is outer sacrifice and inner oneness. The Rig Veda offers us a supreme secret as to what kind of sacrifice we can make on the strength of our oneness. In action we see the universal Presence of God. In action we embody the spirit and reveal the form. In the spirit is God the Absolute. In the form is God the Infinite.

The Rig Veda speaks of God the Power:

Tvam Indra balad adhi sahaso jata ojasah…

O God, Thy Existence rests on strength, valour and energy.
O Mighty One, You are Strength itself.

In order to manifest God considerably on earth, the seeker must live a long life.

Aum bhadram karnebhih srnuyama devah…

O Cosmic Gods, may we hear with our ears what is good and auspicious.

May we see with our eyes what is good and auspicious…

But merely living a long life lacking in divinity is nothing short of stark ignorance.

The Seers of the Rig Veda regard God as the eternal Father, Mother and Friend. They also feel that God is their Beloved. God has many aspects, but a devoted Seer prefers the aspect of God as Lord. He prays to his Lord for Compassion and Benediction. He has come to realise that if he has God's Love and God the Love, then he needs nothing else either from earth or from Heaven.

The Rig Vedic Seers are the teachers of mankind. The Rig Vedic Gods are the saviours of mankind. The teachers are teaching the world the message of Light and Truth. The saviours are healing the unaspiring, blind and deaf world, and championing the genuine seekers. The Rig Vedic Seers are the builders of Hindu culture and Hindu civilisation. They represent the dawn of Hindu inspiration and the noon of Hindu aspiration. They offer to the world at large the ultimate meaning of religion. According to them, religion is the inner code of life. In each religion is the love-branch of the Truth-Tree. The Rig Vedic Gods tell us to accept life with love, to enjoy life with renunciation and to fulfil life with surrender to the Will of the Absolute.

The Vedas tell us that we are cattle of the Gods. Unfortunately, we are now compelled to feel that we are slaves of the machine. Let us aspire. Our aspiration will once more make us cattle of the Gods. Later, our realisation will make us lambs of the Gods. Finally, our manifestation will make us lions of the Absolute Supreme. Aspiration we have. Realisation we need. Manifestation God and we together need.

With loving gratitude I offer this talk to my eldest brother, Hriday Ranjan Ghose, who is a great lover of the Rig Vedic lore and an erudite exponent of the four Vedas.

The song of the infinite

Mount Holyoke College; South Hadley, Massachusetts, USA
28 November 1972

The Vedas are the most ancient scriptures in the library of consciously evolving humanity. For our own conscious evolution we may be inspired to read the Vedas by Max Muller's encouragement: "I maintain that for everybody who cares for himself, for his ancestors, for his history, for his intellectual development, a study of Vedic literature is indispensable."

The Vedas embody intuitive visions, divine experiences and life-illumining Realities. From the ignorance-sea we have to enter into the knowledge-sea. The Rig Veda inspires us, saying, "The vessels of Truth carry men of good deeds across the ocean of ignorance."

Present-day human life is nothing but an endless despondency. To come out of the trap of despondency is almost impossible. But the Yajur Veda offers us a solution: "He who sees all existences in the Self and the Self in all existences, falls not into the trap of blighting and weakening despondency."

The Vedas are universal; hence, the West can claim them as well as the East. The great American philosopher, Thoreau, said something most significant about the Vedas: "What extracts from the Vedas I have read fall on me like the light of a higher and purer luminary which describes a loftier course through purer stratum, free from particulars, simple, universal. The Vedas contain a sensible account of God." Undoubtedly they do.

The firm belief of Sir William Jones is challenging and, at the same time, illumining: "I can venture to affirm, without meaning to pluck a leaf from the never-fading laurels of our immortal Newton, that the whole of his theology, and part of his philosophy, may be found in the Vedas."

The Vedic commandment for the human physical is saucam. Saucam means 'purity' —- purity in the body and purity of the body. Without the body's purity nothing divine in us can expand; nothing divine in us can be permanent.

The Vedic commandment for the human vital is ahimsa. Ahimsa means 'non-violence' —- non-violence in the vital and non-violence of the vital. It is from non-violence that man gets his greatest opportunity to feel that he does not belong to a small family, but to the largest family of all: the universe. India's philosophy of non-violence was first put into practice by the compassionate Lord Buddha and his followers and by the Lord Mahavira and the followers of Jainism. Gandhi's non-violence was a most precious gift to the life-loving humanity of the present.

The Vedic commandment for the human mind is satyam. Satyam means 'truth' or 'truthfulness'. Truthfulness in the mind and truthfulness of the mind alone can lead us to a higher life, a life of illumining Divinity and fulfilling Immortality.

The Vedic commandment for the human heart is isvarapranidhana. Isvarapranidhana means 'the heart's loving devotion to the Lord Supreme'. When we have pure and spontaneous devotion for the Supreme Lord, we feel our inseparable oneness with Him, with the Eternity of His Spirit, with the Infinity of His Body and with the Immortality of His Life.

In the Vedas, the concept of sacrifice looms very large. We sacrifice to God what we have: ignorance. God sacrifices to us what He is: Perfection. God's sacrifice is always unconditional. Our sacrifice at times is conditional and at times is unconditional. In conditional sacrifice we fight and win the battle. In unconditional sacrifice we do not have to fight at all, for the Victory is already won. Victory is our birthright; it is forever ours.

Sacrifice is self-offering. Self-offering is self-fulfilment. Self-fulfilment is love-manifestation and Truth-perfection. Through our outer sacrifice we become a divine part of Mother Earth. Through our inner sacrifice we become an immortal part of Father Heaven. We make the outer sacrifice when we come out of the domain of binding desires and enter into the domain of liberating aspiration. We make the inner sacrifice when we try to manifest God in the world of ignorance after having achieved God-realisation. The outer sacrifice demands the strength of a hero. The inner sacrifice demands the power of an army. With our outer sacrifice we see the Truth. With our inner sacrifice we become the Truth.

Intuition-light from the Vedas

Smith College; Northampton, Massachusetts, USA
28 November 1972

Scholars as well as students disagree over the origin of the Vedas. I find this controversy foolish. The Vedas are as old as the conscious aspiration of the universe. But the universe is consciously or unconsciously evolving into Perfection, whereas the Vedas contain the beginning of inspiring Perfection and the end of illumining Realisation.

When we say that the Vedas are eternal, we do not mean that the four scriptures have no beginning and no end. What we mean is that the real meaning of the Vedas, which is the knowledge of God, has neither beginning nor end. The Vedas are the direct experiences and revelations of the Rishis of the hoary past. These experiences may be had by any sincere seeker of the Truth, at any time and in any place.

Unlike other scriptures, the Vedas have the sincere and brave heart to say that they are not indispensable; nay, not even important. They say that what is really important and supremely indispensable is the realisation of Brahman, the One without a second. Nevertheless, if we want to study the Vedas, we have to study with the help of an illumined Teacher. The Vedas themselves instruct the seeker to approach a Teacher. They also say that the Teacher has to be approached with a heart of humility and a life of dedicated service.

Karma, which means 'work' or 'service', and jnana, or 'knowledge', are the principal teachings of the Vedas. Through jnana we realise the Absolute Truth, and through karma we manifest our realisation.

According to the Vedas, there are four important stages in life: student-life, marriage-life, retirement-life and renunciation-life. Student-life is self-discipline. Marriage-life is self-control and self-regulation. Retirement-life is peace and tranquillity. Renunciation-life is the offering of what one has and what one is to the Absolute Supreme.

Ekam sad vipra bahudha vadanti

Truth-existence is one.

Sages call it by various names.

This Truth-existence is experienced and realised in different ways by each seeker of the infinite Truth, according to his own inner development. Just because of this lofty message from the Vedas, India's religious heart is large and cosmopolitan. India's spiritual heart knows how to accept other religions, how to appreciate other religions and how to admire other religions. India's spiritual heart has realised that for each new religion there is a new approach to the Goal. Each path is right and indispensable for its own followers.

In order to realise the highest Truth, we need three things: inspiration, aspiration and intuition. Inspiration asks us to run towards the Goal. Aspiration asks us to fly towards the Goal. Intuition asks us to see and feel the Truth directly, and to grow into the very essence of Truth.

The word sarama symbolises intuition. Sarama is the hound of Heaven who enters into the world of inconscience and discovers its concealed treasures: light and delight. Sarama is the dawn of Truth in a dedicated body, dynamic vital and aspiring heart. Sarama and the straight path go together. Sarama follows the straight and sunlit path and arrives at the Truth. The path of fear and doubt, error and terror, sarama never follows. Sarama secretly and cautiously enters into the heart of illumination, and openly and bravely walks in the life of revelation, so that the hostile forces cannot thwart or destroy her progress. So that the Truth-consciousness can be realised as a whole by all seekers, sarama travels between earth's cry and Heaven's smile. Sarama is the seeker who seeks Truth-consciousness. Sarama is the lover who loves earth's conscious ascent and Heaven's illumining descent. Sarama is the player who plays with the Seer's vision in the inner world and plays hide-and-seek with the beginner's inspiration in the outer world.

The Vedas are at once the sky of Light and the sea of Delight. The Light-sky is the vastness of Truth. The Delight-sea is the immensity of Truth. Light and Delight are perpetual runners. Sometimes Light precedes Delight. Sometimes Delight precedes Light. When Light touches the earth-consciousness, earth is divinely transformed. When Delight touches the earth-consciousness, earth is supremely fulfilled.

Light is the birth of God.
Delight is the life of God.
Light is the smile of Universal Oneness.
Delight is the smile of Transcendental Perfection.
Light is what God has.
Delight is what God is.

The wisdom-sun of Vedic-truth

Bryn Mawr College; Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, USA
29 November 1972

When we study the Vedas we should be aware of two different things: the esoteric interpretations of the Vedas made by illumined spiritual Masters, and the mental conclusions made by scholars and historians. Each esoteric interpretation by a Master is founded upon a direct intuitive vision of the Truth, whereas each mental conclusion of a scholar or historian is founded upon unillumined mental analysis and hesitant, uncertain research.

The Seers of the hoary past saw the Truth and revealed the Truth. Seekers of all ages feel the Truth and use the Truth. But most scholars do not care for the realisation of the Truth; they care only for the manifestation of the Truth. They care more for the form than for the spirit of the Vedas.

Most historians put the lesser truths mentioned in the Vedas, those relating to the caste system and magic formulae, in the vanguard of their discussions, and pay little attention to the highest Truth, the knowledge of Brahman. They have no time to know, soulfully and devotedly, the life-energising and life-fulfilling messages that the Vedas actually contain. The life-giving and life-revealing messages of the Vedas do not seem to satisfy them. The birth of the Vedas, the outer growth of the Vedas and the decline of the Vedic influence on India are more than enough to satisfy them.

The Vedas are meant for the lovers of eternal Time, not for the lovers of fleeting, earthly time. The Vedas are meant for those who love God, the Truth, and not for those who love merely the body of obscure history, which embodies the life of complication and confusion.

Professor Max Muller undoubtedly loved India. He wrote considerably on Indian scriptures. But there was something in him which a true lover of India cannot forgive. Those who feel that Max Muller's love for India had a secret motive are perfectly correct. In utmost secrecy, in the inner recesses of his heart, it seemed that he wanted to convert India —- the Indian mind and the Indian heart —- to Christianity. For example, he wrote to the Secretary of State for India, the Duke of Argyl, in 1868:

"The ancient religion of India is doomed and, if Christianity does not step in, whose fault will it be?"

And to his wife in 1886, he wrote:

"I hope I shall finish the work, and I feel convinced, though I shall not live to see it, that this edition of mine and the translation of the Vedas will hereafter tell to a great extent on the fate of India and on the growth of millions of souls in that country. It is the root of the religion, and to show them what the root is, I feel sure, is the only way of uprooting all that has sprung from it during the last 3,000 years."

When he extolled India to the skies, he was sincere in his praise. It came from the depths of his heart. But his desire to convert India to Christianity was equally sincere. That feeling, too, I am sure, came from the depths of his heart. His was a life of complexity.

Had Max Muller not studied the Upanishads, had he not been illumined by the light of the Upanishads, he would not have been acclaimed by the entire world. His name would have remained unknown in the world's literature. If it is true that he brought the Upanishads to the world at large, then it is equally true that the touch of the Upanishadic light brought him fame.

The Vedas and the Vedic hymns are inseparable. Each hymn is an invocation to a particular God or Deity. Each hymn is a discovery of a Kavi, Rishi or Vipra: a Vedic Poet, a Vedic Seer or a Vedic Sage. Each Vedic discovery is a boon from God. Each boon is a spark of light. Each spark of light is an accomplishment of God in man and an accomplishment of man in God. Man's ultimate accomplishment is the transformation of human nature. God's ultimate accomplishment is the perfection of the earth-consciousness.

Life is an idea; life is an ideal. Life has a soul; life has a goal. The Vedic idea of life is the idea of Truth. The Vedic ideal of life is the ideal of Bliss. The Vedic soul is the soul of multiplicity in unity. The Vedic Goal is the Goal of unifying earth's wideness and Heaven's Abundance.

India had the Vedic Seers of Truth. India has seekers of Truth. The supreme task of the Seers was to bring the Cosmic Gods and Deities down into the earth-consciousness. They performed their task. Now it is the task of the seekers to keep the Gods and Deities here on earth and help them in their Cosmic Play. The Supreme saw His infinite potentialities and possibilities in the Seers. The Supreme sees His manifesting Reality and fulfilling Perfection in the seekers.

Kundalini yoga: the mother-power1

Do we want to follow the path of Kundalini Yoga? Then we must not sleep. We must not sleep in the world of darkness and night. The world of darkness weakens our inner potentialities. The world of night destroys our outer possibilities. When our inner potentialities are weakened, our life becomes miserable. When our outer possibilities are destroyed, our life becomes unbearable.

Where can our inner potentialities safely grow? Our inner potentialities can safely grow only in the heart of the Mother-Power, Kundalini. When can our outer possibilities be effective? Our outer possibilities can be effective only when we are at the feet of the Mother-Power, Kundalini. Do we want to follow the path of Kundalini Yoga? Then we must possess an adamantine will. We must be brave in the world of ignorance and inconscience. Ignorance compels us to be helpless and useless. When we feel useless, the Mother-Power in us feels helpless. When we feel helpless, the Mother-Power in us untiringly encourages, inspires and illumines us out of Her infinite Compassion.

Do we want to follow the path of Kundalini Yoga? Then we must love. We must love the Mother in us, love the Mother before us and love the Mother around us. The Mother in us is soulful. The Mother before us is beautiful. The Mother around us is powerful. We need the Mother of Soul to play the Cosmic Game of Life. We need the Mother of Beauty to sing the Cosmic Song of Life. We need the Mother of Power to dance the Cosmic Dance of Life. The Game of Life energises us. The Song of Life enlightens us. The Dance of Life immortalises us. Our energy is for the world to use. Our enlightenment is for the world to glorify. Our Immortality is for the world to treasure.

Do we want to follow the path of Kundalini Yoga? Then Power must come first in our life and Power must come last in our life. When Power divine is our first choice, fear leaves us. When Power divine is our last choice, doubt leaves us. When fear leaves us, we become what we wanted to be: divine warriors. When doubt leaves us, we become what we originally were: the Universal Self.

Do we want to follow the path of Kundalini Yoga? Then we have to feel that each second of our life is as important as a whole year. And we have to realise that each year is filled with as many opportunities as there are seconds. Each second carries us either towards realisation or towards frustration. Each year carries us either towards the Transcendental Truth or towards the abysmal falsehood.

Truth tells us that we are God's chosen children. We need God to reach the Highest and God needs us to manifest the Highest. Falsehood tells us that we are death's instruments and that death needs us badly. The Transcendental Truth beckons us. The abysmal falsehood frightens us. When the Transcendental Truth beckons us, we feel that we are none other than the Supreme. When the abysmal falsehood frightens us, we feel that we are the eternal slaves of ignorance, inconscience and death.

Do we want to follow the path of Kundalini Yoga? Then we need purity in thought and purity in action. With a pure thought, we build the strongest and largest palace of love and fulfilment. With an impure thought, we break down and demolish the strongest and largest palace of love and fulfilment. We give birth to a pure and divine thought when we feel that we are of God and for God. We give birth to an impure, undivine thought when we feel that we are of ignorance unknowable and for ignorance known and unknown. With a pure action we become the life-saver of the aspiring world. With an impure action we become the life-destroyer of the entire world.

Do we want to follow the path of Kundalini Yoga? Then we have to know that our essence is the Delight-power of Heaven and our existence is the Peace-power for earth. With the Delight-power we begin. With the Peace-power we end.


  1. EHWM 177. New York University; New York, New York, USA, 14 February 1973. Sri Chinmoy was invited by Dr. James Carse, Chairman of the Religion Department at New York University, to offer this series of four lectures on Kundalini Yoga.

Prana and the power of the chakras

New York University; New York, New York, USA
21 February 1973

Kundalini Yoga is the Yoga of prana. Prana is the life-energy or life-principle of the universe. There are three principal channels through which this life-energy flows. These channels are ida, pingala and sushumna. In Sanskrit these channels are called nadis. Ida, pingala and sushumna are inside our subtle physical body, not inside the gross physical. Ida carries the current of life-energy in the left side of the body. Pingala carries the current in the right side of the body. Sushumna carries the current in the middle of the spinal column. Sushumna is the most important of the three nadis. It receives a ceaseless stream of life-energy from the Universal Consciousness-Light. There is an inner connection between ida and pingala and the zodiac and planets. Ida has a special connection with the moon and the planet Mercury; hence, its main quality is coolness and mildness. Pingala is connected with the sun and Mars; hence, its quality is powerful and dynamic heat.

Ida rules the left nostril. Pingala rules the right nostril. When we breathe in and out primarily through our left nostril, we have to know that it is ida that is functioning. When we breathe in and out through our right nostril, it is pingala that is functioning. And when both of our nostrils are functioning satisfactorily, we have to know that it is sushumna that is playing its role. It also happens at times that ida breathes in and pingala breathes out.

Ida, pingala and sushumna meet together at six different places. Each meeting place forms a centre and each centre is round like a wheel. Indian spiritual philosophy calls these centres chakras. They are also called lotuses, because they look like the lotus flower. The six centres, as perhaps you know, are muladhara, svadhisthana, manipura, anahata, visuddha and ajna. There is also another chakra that is inside the brain, called sahasrara. Because it is in the brain, and not along the spinal column, it is not counted with the other six centres. Apart from these six, there are many other chakras in the subtle physical body. Here in the knee we have a chakra; even in the toes and the fingertips we have chakras. But these chakras are minor and are not usually mentioned.

The root chakra, or the lotus muladhara, has four petals, which are red and orange in colour. The spleen chakra, svadhisthana, has six petals. The petals are orange, blue, green, yellow, violet and blood-red. Blood-red is the most prominent colour in this chakra. The navel chakra, manipura, has ten petals. They are pink, orange and green, but primarily green. The heart chakra, anahata, has twelve petals. Here the colour is bright golden. The throat centre, the visuddha lotus, has sixteen petals. Blue and green are the colours. The brow centre, ajna, has only two petals, but inside each petal there are forty-eight petals. Here the colour is rose. The crown centre, sahasrara, has 1,000 petals or, to be more precise, 972. It has all the colours, but the violet colour is predominant.

The Universal Consciousness embodies universal music. From each chakra, where the life-energy from the Universal Consciousness gathers, a musical note is produced. From sahasrara the tone of shadja or sa is produced. In western music, you call this 'do'. From ajna, rishava or ri is produced: what you call 're'. From visuddha, gandhara or ga is produced: what you call 'mi'. From anahata, madhyama or ma is produced: what you call 'fa'. From manipura, panchama or pa is produced: what you call 'so'. From svadhisthana, dhaivata or dha is produced: what you call 'la'. From muladhara, nishada or ni is produced: what you call 'ti'.

There are seven worlds corresponding to the seven chakras. Muladhara corresponds to Bhurloka; svadhisthana corresponds to Bhubarloka; manipura corresponds to Svarloka; anahata corresponds to Janaloka; visuddha corresponds to Tapoloka; ajna corresponds to Maharloka; and sahasrara corresponds to Satyaloka. Each world is symbolised by something. Bhurloka is symbolised by earth, Bhubarloka by water, Svarloka by heat, Janaloka by air, Tapoloka by ether, Maharloka by energy, and Satyaloka by infinite space.

For each centre there is a special Mother-Power, which is a manifestation of the Supreme Mother. These Mother-Powers are known as Brahmi, Parameshwari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Indrani and Chamunda. Each one has a special place of Her own. Brahmi is the Mother-Power that embodies and pervades the infinite space. She rules all the chakras. Brahmi stays in the sahasrara, or brain chakra, which is the thousand-petaled lotus. From there She rules the centres that are below Her: ajna, visuddha, anahata, manipura, svadhisthana and muladhara. Parameshwari is located in the ajna chakra, the brow centre. There She rules ajna and the chakras that are below Her. Kaumari is located invisuddha, the throat centre, and rules visuddha and the chakras below Her. Vaishnavi begins functioning from anahata, the heart centre, and rules the others below. Varahi, who stays in the navel centre, rules the lower planes: manipura, svadhisthana and muladhara. Indrani rules svadhisthana, at the spleen, and muladhara, at the base of the spine. And Chamunda rules only over muladhara.

Each centre also has a presiding Deity, a Cosmic God. Brahma is the presiding Deity of muladhara; Rudra is the presiding Deity of svadhisthana; Vishnu, of manipura; Ishwara, of anahata; Sadashiva, of visuddha, Shambhu, of ajna; and Paramashiva is the presiding Deity of sahasrara.

These centres can be opened in various ways. The usual method for those who practise Kundalini Yoga is to concentrate firmly on each centre, invoking the Mother-Power or the presiding deity most soulfully. However, all real spiritual Masters, from the very depth of their experience, say that it is better to open the heart centre first and then try to open the other centres. If one opens the heart centre first, there is practically no risk. But if one starts with the muladhara or svadhisthana or ajna chakra, it is very dangerous. Again, there are some seekers who do not follow this method at all. They do not care for occult power; they care only for God's Love, Light and Truth, They learn how to meditate most soulfully; and when they make considerable progress in their meditation, these centres open automatically. Through the Grace of the Absolute Supreme, these centres may open even without meditation.

If these centres are opened without proper purification, the seeker will encounter great pain. It will be like playing with fire or a sharp knife. He may destroy others or he may himself be destroyed. We have to know that the miraculous powers that one gets when his centres are opened are not actually miraculous or unusual at all in the inner world. The powers that the centres hold are absolutely normal. In the inner world these powers are constantly used by spiritual Masters. There in the inner world they are normal and natural. Only when they are used on the physical plane do they seem unusual or miraculous.

Any real spiritual Master will have these powers. But again, one need not be a spiritual Master of the highest order in order to have them. One need not be even a great seeker. Even someone who leads a normal, ordinary, undivine life can develop these powers.

In India I came across a few seekers — I cannot call them sincere seekers —- who had some occult or kundalini power. But most of the time they misused it. They opened their third eye in order to know what their girlfriends were thinking of them. Now this is ridiculous. The same third eye they could have used to destroy their dark, obscure, impure thoughts. They had the capacity, but they did not use it. I also know of someone who used his occult power to threaten his enemies at night and compel them to do whatever he wanted them to do the following morning. By using his occult power, his third eye, he made his enemies his slaves. Instead, he could have used his third eye to know God's Will in his own life and in others' lives. If it had been God's Will to expedite somebody's spiritual progress, then he could have used his third eye to help. Each centre has something special to offer when it is properly used. It becomes a veritable boon to the Inner Pilot and to all mankind.

I want to make it very clear that the opening of the centres does not mean that one is realising God or that he is about to realise God. The opening of the centres is not necessarily the precursor of God-realisation. No, not at all! God-realisation has nothing to do with the opening of the centres. No matter how many centres one has opened, even if one has opened all the seven centres, it does not indicate that one is on the verge of realisation or that one is realised. From the highest spiritual point of view, the opening of the chakras is like the games a mother plays with her children in the playground. Children are fond of games and the mother is showing her capacity. It is not her pride or her vanity, no. It is just that the mother knows that this will amuse the children. She can give some joy, some pleasure to the children, so she plays these games. It is usually Lord Shiva on the sahasrara plane and His consort, Shivani from the muladhara plane, where the kundalini is fast asleep, who play. When they play with their children in the inner world, the occult powers start functioning.

Now let us start from the beginning: muladhara, the root chakra. When one has acquired mastery over the muladhara centre, one can become invisible at his sweet will. One can conquer all diseases. One can know whatever one wants to know and discover whatever one wants to discover. If one wants to discover God's Compassion, God's Light, God's Love for him, then he is in a position to do so. But if one uses the same power in order to know what is happening in others' minds or what is going on in their outer life, or if one uses it to discover out of curiosity if a third world war is going to break out, then this power is misused.

When a person with mastery over the muladhara sees that someone has a particular disease, he has to know whether that individual deserves the disease or whether it is the result of a hostile attack. If he has done something wrong, naturally under the law of karma he deserves to pay the penalty. But if the disease is not from the law of karma but rather from the attack of some hostile force, and if it is God's Will that his disease should be cured, then naturally a spiritual person who has the capacity should cure it. But if he does it at his own sweet will, or if he acts in an undivine way and just shows off, then he breaks the Cosmic Law. He will cure the person, but this very cure will act eventually against both the healer and the sick person. It will add to their ignorant and self-destructive quality. So the healer has to know if it is the Will of God that the person be cured. Only then will he cure; otherwise, he has to remain silent and do nothing. You may ask, how can he see somebody else suffering and still do nothing? If his heart is very big, let him go deep within and see who it is that is suffering in and through the individual. He will see that it is God who is purposely having a special experience in and through that person.

Svadhisthana, the spleen chakra. When one has mastery over svadhisthana, one acquires the power of love. He loves everyone and he is loved by everyone: by men and women and by animals. It is here that people very often fall from the path of light and truth. Divine love is expansion and expansion is illumination. Love can be expressed as an expansion of our divine awareness or it can be expressed as pleasure. When the svadhisthana centre is opened, the lower vital, the sex forces will try to lower the consciousness of the seeker. But if at that time he can bring down abundant purity from the anahata centre, the heart centre, then this impurity will be transformed into purity. And purity is eventually transformed into ever-fulfilling and everlasting divinity. But if he cannot bring down purity, then there is real destruction, destruction of the seeker's life. The lower vital acts most vehemently and powerfully and sometimes it becomes worse than the lower vital in ordinary human beings. An ordinary human being does not enjoy the vital life the way some seekers enjoy it after opening their svadhisthana centre.

Manipura, the navel chakra. If one acquires mastery over this centre, one conquers sorrow and suffering. No matter what happens in his life, he will not feel sad or miserable. But this centre can create a problem like the svadhisthana chakra. This centre is also dangerous. One can create suffering for others if one misuses the power from the manipura chakra and he will thereby incur the world's curse. This centre, like the ajna chakra, can show the seeker where a relative or dear one has gone after he dies. It lets one see how the person is passing through the vital world and entering into the subtle world and the higher planes. It shows how he passes from one sheath to another after death. This centre also gives one the power of transmutation. One can magnify an object or one can reduce it to an infinitesimal size. In addition, this centre has healing power. As I said before, if one can use this power properly, in accordance with the Will of God, then it is a real blessing. Otherwise it is a curse.

Anahata, the heart centre. Here the power is unbelievable. A seeker with mastery over the anahata centre has free access to both the visible and the invisible worlds. Time surrenders to him; space surrenders to him. If he uses this centre, he can travel to any part of the world in a few seconds in his subtle body. But if he does this, he takes a great risk, Suppose he wants to travel occultly and spiritually to Europe to see what is happening there. If he does not get the proper sanction from the other centres, or if the other centres do not co-operate, then the other centres may not allow the soul to come back into the body after its journey. In India, I know of quite a few cases where Yogis leave their bodies through the heart centre without taking help or getting permission and without even informing the other centres. They feel that the other centres do not have the same special capacity as the heart centre and so they should use the heart centre. Then the other centres become jealous. Jealousy is everywhere, in the outer world and in the inner world as well. Even the Cosmic Gods enjoy jealousy. So the other centres, because they are jealous, do not let the soul come back. If one uses this power, one has to take permission from the Inner Pilot first. If the Inner Pilot sanctions it, then the other centres cannot do any harm, since the Inner Pilot has infinitely more power than these centres.

In the anahata centre, one can enjoy the deepest bliss of oneness; one can have pure joy. Any person can look at a flower and get joy, but the intensity of joy that the flower embodies we cannot all enjoy. But if one opens the heart centre and looks at a flower, immediately all the joy, all the beauty that the flower has, will become his. If the seeker looks at the vast ocean, inside his heart he is bound to feel the vast ocean. He looks at the vast sky and he enters into the sky, he becomes the sky. Anything vast, pure, divine, sublime that he sees, he can immediately feel as his very own and he can become that thing. There is no yawning gulf between what he sees and what he is. He just becomes in his consciousness what he sees.

This is not his imagination. Far from it! His heart is a divine heart which embodies the Universal Consciousness. The spiritual heart is not the heart that we find in our physical body. The spiritual heart is larger than the largest, it is larger than the Universal Consciousness itself. We always say that there cannot be anything superior to the Universal Consciousness, but this is a mistake. The heart, the spiritual heart, houses the Universal Consciousness. This centre is very safe when we use it to identify ourselves with the vast, with the beauty of nature. But when we use it to travel outside the limitations of the body, we take a risk.

Visuddha, the throat chakra. He who has mastery over visuddha has the capacity to offer divine messages to the world. Universal nature discloses its agelong hidden mysteries to him. Here nature bows to the seeker. He can retain eternal youth. The outer world surrenders to him. The inner world embraces him. We get messages from various planes of consciousness, but when one gets a message from the visuddha centre, the message is sublime and everlasting. When this centre is open, one receives direct messages from the Highest and becomes a mouthpiece for the Highest. One becomes a poet, a singer or an artist. All forms of art are expressed from this centre. This centre is open in many individuals. It functions according to the degree to which it is open, according to one's development. There is very little risk in this centre. It is a mild centre; it does not interfere with other centres and the other centres leave it alone.

Ajna, the brow chakra. He who has mastery over the ajna chakra destroys his dark past, hastens the golden future and manifests the present in a supremely fulfilling way. His psychic and occult powers defy all limits; they are endless. The ajna chakra, which is located between and a little above the eyebrows, is the most powerful centre. The first thing one does when his third eye opens, if it is opened properly, is to destroy the unlit, unaspiring and undivine past. Now we see something and we have an experience, but there is a difference between our experience and the thing that we are experiencing. When the ajna centre is opened, however, we experience the thing itself. We become one with the thing that we are experiencing. At that time, seeing and becoming go together. Seeing itself is becoming and becoming is seeing. For this reason the aspirant who has opened his third eye wants to destroy the past from his memory. In this incarnation suppose one has become a Yogi. When he looks back to his previous incarnation, he sees that he was a thief, or something worse. Since he does not now want to enter into that experience again, he will try to destroy that part of his past. He now has the necessary power.

When one realises God, the past is automatically deleted. As I said before, when one opens the third eye or any other centre, it does not mean that one has realised God. When one realises God, the obscure, impure or undivine past is illumined and nullified all at once. At the moment of God-realisation, illumination takes place. It is like coming out of a dark room into an illumined room. It becomes light where before it was all dark. God-realisation is immediate illumination.

With the ajna chakra, the past can be nullified and the future can be brought into the immediacy of today. If one knows that ten years from now he is going to do something, achieve something or grow into something, then by using the third eye he can achieve that very thing today. He does not have to wait for ten, fifteen or twenty years.

But if one brings the future result to the fore, this can sometimes be dangerous. It has happened many, many times that in certain cases the future of an individual is very bright, very luminous. But when the future is brought right into the immediacy of the present, the enormity of the result puzzles and frightens the seeker. The seeker is like a young elephant. He is growing in strength and in ten years he will be very powerful. But if the power comes right now, there may be no receptivity, no inner receptivity. The power comes, but it cannot be brought under control or it cannot be contained in a safe vessel. At that time power itself acts like an enemy and destroys the person who invoked it. So there is a great danger when one takes the future and brings it into the present.

Let the present grow and play its role. The past has played its role; now the present wants to play its role. Only in some cases, when God wants a seeker to make very fast progress, instead of going systematically, the seeker can run extremely fast. It is just like the situation of a student in school. Sometimes a student does not go through all the grades of kindergarten, primary school and high school. Sometimes he skips grades. In the spiritual life also, if it is God's Will that the future be brought into the present, then there is no danger. But otherwise there is great danger.

With the third eye, one can accomplish much. The third eye has what God, the ultimate Power, is. If the ultimate Power is misused by the third eye, then it is all destruction. But if the third eye uses the ultimate, transcendental Power properly and divinely, then it will be a great blessing, the greatest blessing that humanity can imagine.

Sahasrara, the crown chakra. The sahasrara is the silent one which does not interfere in anything. It is like the eldest member in the family: it does not bother anyone and does not want to be bothered by anyone. When this centre is opened permanently, one enjoys infinite Bliss and becomes inseparably one with the ever-transcending Beyond, One comes to know that he is birthless and deathless. He is always dealing with Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. These are not vague terms for him; they are all reality. This moment he sees himself as Eternity and he grows into Eternity; the next moment he sees himself as Infinity and he grows into Infinity; a few moments later he sees himself as Immortality and grows into Immortality in his consciousness. And at times it happens that Infinity, Eternity and Immortality all go together in his consciousness.

When the sahasrara chakra is open, the Inner Pilot becomes a true Friend. Here the Infinite and His chosen son become very good friends to fulfil a specific mission for their mutual manifestation. They share many secrets, millions of secrets, in the twinkling of an eye. On the one hand, Father and son are enjoying infinite Peace and Bliss; on the other hand, they are discussing world problems, universal problems, all in the twinkling of an eye. But their problems are not problems as such. Their problems are only experiences in their Cosmic Game.

Of all the centres, the highest, the most peaceful, the most soulful, the most fruitful is sahasrara. There Infinity, Eternity and Immortality have become one. The Source becomes one with the Creation, and the Creation becomes one with the Source. Here the knower and the Known, the lover and the Beloved, the slave and the Master, the son and the Father, all become one. Together the Creator and the Creation transcend their Dream and Reality. Their Dream makes them feel what they are and their Reality makes them feel what they can do. Reality and Dream become one.

Concentration, meditation, will-power and love

New York University; New York, New York, USA
28 February 1973

Concentration in Kundalini Yoga. A seeker concentrates on the centres to open them. This is a long, arduous, uncertain and dangerous process. If the seeker does not make enough conscious effort, then the process is bound to be long. If the entire being of the seeker does not co-operate, then the process is bound to be arduous. During the journey, if the seeker makes friends with teeming fears, then the process is bound to be uncertain. During the journey, if the seeker makes friends with brooding doubts, then the process is bound to be extremely dangerous.

In all Yogas you need a spiritual Teacher. In Kundalini Yoga, the need for a spiritual Teacher is paramount. If you follow other Yogas, you undoubtedly need a Master; but if you do not care for a Master, if you want to go slowly, steadily, like an Indian bullock cart, there is no harm. There is no danger involved in other paths. You will reach your Destination only after thousands of years, in another life, but there is no particular danger in your travelling without a guide. But in Kundalini Yoga, if you do not have a real Master to teach you, then you are playing with fire. If the spiritual centres, especially the lower centres —- muladhara, svadhisthana and manipura —- are opened untimely, without full preparation, they can create untold misery for the seeker. The Teacher uses his vast wisdom to shorten the long road for the student. The Teacher uses his deep compassion to transform the arduous road into an easy and smooth road for the student. The Teacher uses his illumining light to remove uncertainty from the mind of the student and replace it with absolute certainty. The Teacher uses his indomitable power to cast aside all danger to the student from the journey's start to the journey's close. He also makes the path a sunlit path, so that the student can run the fastest without danger or obstruction on the way.

Meditation in Kundalini Yoga. The seeker meditates on his mind, on his heart or on any object or subject. But his main aim at the beginning is to empty the mind, still the mind, silence the mind. He meditates to expand his human individuality into God's highest Universality. He meditates to expand his human personality into God's endless and eternal Life. There comes a time in the seeker's life when he discovers that he is at once the lover and the Beloved. The aspiring soul which he embodies is the lover in him. And the Transcendental Self which he reveals from within is his Beloved.

In the beginning, in the formative years of his spiritual life, the seeker has to observe some strict disciplines. He has to meditate early every morning at the same hour, in the same place, a place safe from the intrusions of the outer world. If he is fortunate enough, he can face the rising sun while he meditates. The dynamic energy, the creative force, the hope-message of liberation from the rays of the sun, will enter into the seeker. Before he enters into meditation, he must take a proper shower so that his outer body will be clean. The seeker should be lightly clad when he meditates, preferably in white, which is the colour of purity. He should burn incense and candles, and place flowers in front of him during his meditation to give himself additional inspiration.

In the course of time, if the seeker does all these things, peace, light and bliss will descend on him; and at God's choice Hour he will hear the Voice of Silence. The Voice of Silence will bless the seeker with some intuitive power. If the seeker uses this intuitive power not at his own sweet will, but in accordance with God's Will, gradually he will open the kundalini chakras. This process is quite easy and, at the same time, the result is quite effective and most satisfactory. The seeker does not go through severe disciplines. He does not concentrate on each centre as other seekers do. He simply uses his intuitive power. Intuitive power can very easily and effectively open the centres for him.

Will-power in Kundalini Yoga. Spiritual Masters of a very high order do not go through concentration and meditation to open their chakras. They simply use their invincible and all-conquering will-power and open the seven centres as easily as a man eats seven grapes. You can call this will-power the light of the soul or the breath of the spirit. This will-power is like divine, volcanic power. It does not take them more than a few seconds to open a centre. But these great spiritual Masters also once trod the path of strong concentration and deep meditation. They did not concentrate or meditate on the chakras; they concentrated on God's Feet and meditated on God's Heart. From God's Feet they received God's ceaseless Compassion and from God's Heart they received God's boundless Love. While playing with God's Compassion, they saw and felt that God's Compassion was nothing other than God's indomitable Will-power. While playing with God's Love, they saw and felt that God's Love was nothing other than God's Wisdom-Light.

When these Masters, in the course of time, were granted the use of this boundless Light and Power, they were to use it only when the Inner Pilot commanded and not at their own sweet will. A real spiritual Master has less freedom in the ordinary sense of the term than an ordinary human being. The ordinary human being has a limited power of choice. He can use his limited power of choice to go against God's Will at his own sweet will. But a real spiritual Master has surrendered his individual will to the Will of the Supreme. He can never have any personal will other than the Divine Will.

The Absolute Supreme asks the spiritual Master always to use his wisdom-light before using his will-power. Very often, ordinary Yogis and people who are fond of occultism and magic do not use wisdom-light at all. They just use the will-power that comes from the vital. Will-power can come from the vital world or from the soul's region or from the Transcendental Self. When we use the will-power from the Transcendental Self, we are safe, totally safe. When we use the will-power from the soul's region, we are also totally safe. But when we use the will-power from the vital—the lower vital, aggressive vital, destructive vital or even the dynamic vital—then we run into danger. Very often people who do this create danger and difficulty for themselves and for others because they do not have proper control of the vital force. But a real spiritual Master first uses God's Wisdom-Light and then uses God's Will-Power in order to illumine blind mankind and feed hungry mankind.

Love and the lower vital life in Kundalini Yoga. Real love and the life of the lower vital are two totally different things. Concentration is an outer vigilance. Meditation is an inner vigilance. Concentration says that the life of the lower vital must not be suppressed, but sublimated. Meditation says that the life of the lower vital not only has to be sublimated, but also has to be perfected, illumined and liberated. It is not an easy task to conquer the lower vital movements. It cannot be done all at once, but must be done slowly and steadily. If you run towards the goal at a steady pace, then you are bound to reach it. Always you have to live a life of purity, a life of conscious awareness and a life of self-dedication. Then the lower vital can be transformed into the dynamic, illumined vital, which can be utilised by God Himself.

Concentration tells us that the life of love must not run between the binding human in us and the binding human in others. Concentration further says that the life of love must run between the divine in us and the divine and immortal in God. Only then can our love and God's Love together be fulfilled. Meditation says that the life of love must run between our realisation of God and God's manifestation in us. Meditation further says that the life of love must run between the transformed and perfected passion of the body and the illumining and fulfilling ecstasy of the Spirit.

The animal in us does not know what real love is. The human in us knows perfectly well what real love is, but it feels that real love is beyond its reach. The divine in us knows that real love is within our easy reach. And it tells us soulfully, emphatically and categorically what real love is. Real love is ceaseless self-offering and endless God-becoming.

Most of you know much about concentration and meditation. I wish to say that no matter which path you follow or which Yoga you practise, concentration and meditation have to be given utmost importance. Now what do we mean by concentration? What do we actually do when we concentrate? When you concentrate, you have to feel that nothing exists except the thing that you are concentrating upon. When you concentrate, try to forget the rest of the world: what is within you, around you, before you, above you, below you. Concentrate on only one object. If you want to concentrate on the tip of your thumb, start with imagination. Imagine that your only possession is your thumb. There is nothing else which you can claim as your own. The rest of the body does not belong to you —- only the thumb. If you want to concentrate on the tip of your nose, feel that you are the possessor of only your nose; you are not the possessor of your eyes, your ears, your mouth, your limbs. If you begin to think of something else, feel that you are entering into foreign territory. In this way, you will develop your power of concentration.

You are at liberty to choose any part of your body to concentrate on, but try to use some part which you feel as your very own. And do not concentrate on your arm or your hand or your leg. Take a very small part of your body, the eye or the nose or the fingertip. The smaller the better for concentration.

If you want to concentrate on your heartbeat, do not be afraid. There are some beginners who feel that when they are concentrating on their heartbeat, their heart will stop and they will die. Tremendous fear enters into them. They feel that they are going to die immediately. They may be able to concentrate on anything else, but when it is a matter of concentrating on the heartbeat, they are terribly afraid. But if you want to be a real hero in your spiritual life, you should try to concentrate on your heartbeat. This is the golden opportunity for you to enter into the endless life. Each time you hear the sound of your heartbeat, immediately feel your infinite, immortal life there.

If you want to develop the power of concentration very rapidly, then please do this. Before you concentrate, wash your face and eyes properly. Then make a black dot on the wall at eye level and stand facing the dot, about ten inches away. Concentrate on the dot. After a few minutes try to feel that while you are breathing in, your breath is actually coming from the dot, and that the dot is also breathing in, getting its breath from you. Try to feel that there are two persons: you and the black dot that you have made. Your breath is coming from that dot and its breath is coming from you. Now in ten minutes' time, if your concentration is very powerful, you will feel that something from within you has left. And what is that something? It is your soul. Your soul has left you and entered into the black dot on the wall. Now feel that you and your soul are conversing. Your soul is taking you into the soul's world for realisation and you are bringing the soul into your world for manifestation. In this way you can develop your power of concentration very easily. But this method has to be practised. There are many things which are very easy with practice, but just because we do not practise we do not get the result.

Always bear in mind that the power of concentration can be developed very rapidly only when you concentrate on a very tiny thing, something as tiny as possible. The power of meditation is totally different, however. When you want to develop the power of meditation, then think of something very vast. Think of the sky or the sea. When you meditate early in the morning or in the evening, you do not have to face the ocean or look up into the sky if you do not want to. Earlier I said that if you can see the rising sun in the morning, it is extremely helpful. But if you do not have the opportunity to see the sun or the sky or the sea, no harm. Try to see the rising sun inside you; try to see the sky inside you; try to see the ocean inside you. Your spiritual heart is infinitely larger than the ocean and infinitely vaster than the sky. When you meditate, please do not expect anything either from yourself or from God. You will be able to make the fastest progress if you do not expect anything from your meditation. Do not expect that tomorrow you are going to be the best instrument of God or that God will make you His choice instrument tomorrow. Just meditate on God's Heart, which is all Light. And if you want to concentrate, concentrate on God's Feet, which are all Compassion. You do not need thousands of things either from your life or from God. You need only God's Compassion and God's Light. If you have these, then you have everything.

Through either concentration or meditation, you can arouse your kundalini. But if you want to develop the kundalini powers, there is an easy process. Practise Hatha Yoga. Here in the West, there are many, many teachers who can teach Hatha Yoga and who are extremely good at doing the exercises. Hatha Yoga will help you to purify your body-consciousness and purity is of great importance in Kundalini Yoga. Hatha Yoga is the union of the sun quality and the moon quality: that is to say, the dynamic quality and the mild quality in us. The dynamic quality is power and the mild quality is beauty. These two are united in Hatha Yoga. Raja Yoga, on the other hand, is the union of consciousness and illumination. When consciousness and illumination become one, you can achieve anything that you want to achieve.

But if there are some seekers who want only God, God's Light and the highest Truth, then I wish to say that these seekers should follow only one path, and that is the path of self-offering, the path of surrender, the path of constant self-giving. If you want to realise the Infinite, the Absolute, then follow the path of constant and unconditional surrender. If you follow Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga or Jnana Yoga —- no matter which you follow —- when you reach your goal it will be like getting a few most delicious mangoes from the tree. You have seen the mangoes and taken them, but the owner is not there. But if you follow the Yoga of unconditional surrender, in which the human will is offered to the divine Will, then you will get the Owner of the tree, and the Owner will gladly offer you the fruits of all the trees in His garden.

The Yoga of surrender can be practised with and in all other systems of Yoga; but he who wants God alone, God the infinite Truth, God the infinite Peace, infinite Light and infinite Bliss, most assuredly must practise the Yoga of surrender. This surrender is not the surrender of a lazy person. This is the surrender of someone who is dynamic, active and constantly ready to offer himself, to become what God wants him to become.

Self-discovery and transformation

New York University; New York, New York, USA
7 March 1973

There are two worlds: the outer world and the inner world. When the kundalini is fast asleep, man is awake to the outer world. He wants to have everything that the outer world can offer him and he feels that he can get satisfaction only from what the outer world can give him.

When the kundalini is awake, man is fully aware of the inner world. He knows that the outer world cannot satisfy his inner needs. He has brought to the fore the capacity of the inner world, which he has come to realise is far superior to the capacity of the outer world. He has brought to the fore the hidden powers, the occult powers, within himself. Either he uses these powers properly or he misuses them. When he divinely uses the powers of the kundalini, he becomes the real pride of the Mother Supreme. When he misuses them, he becomes the worst enemy of man's embodied consciousness and of his own personal evolution.

As we all like to play, so also our Divine Mother and Divine Father like to play. The Divine Mother, Parvati, and the Divine Father, Shiva, want to play and they want their child to participate. But their child is fast asleep, so they wait for some time. When they feel that it is high time for him to get up and they see that there is no sign that he is about to do so, the Mother most affectionately gives him a push from below, from his muladhara chakra, and the Father affectionately pulls him up from above, from sahasrara. Then the child gets up.

If the child is in a good, divine consciousness when he gets up, he says, "You have been waiting for such a long time. I am so sorry. I beg to be excused. I wish to play with you. Come, let us start playing the game." Then the Mother most affectionately teaches the child with Her dynamic Power how to play the Cosmic Game extremely well. And the Father most affectionately teaches the child with His inner illumining Light and Wisdom how to play the Game extremely well. Eventually they make their child a unique and accomplished player. When he becomes an exceptionally good player, he has to fight against three opposing players at the same time. These three formidable opponents are darkness, ignorance and death. To his surprise, he defeats his enemies easily. His is the everlasting victory over these fallen foes.

If the child is in a bad, undivine consciousness when he receives the push and pull from his parents, he says to them, "For God's sake, do not bother me. I need sleep, only sleep. I want nothing else. I do not want to play." Then the parents sadly say, "Sleep, child, sleep. We shall play without you."

Any individual can practice Kundalini Yoga if he sincerely wants to. Or if he only wants to study it, then I must say that Kundalini Yoga is worthy of study with the deepest reverence.

The main objectives of Kundalini Yoga are to realise the dynamic existence in the static existence, to change the lower state of consciousness into the higher state of consciousness, to transform the bondage of the finite into the freedom of the Infinite. The dynamic existence is Shakti and the static existence is Shiva. If Shakti is not present in Shiva, then Shiva will remain static. Shakti, the Mother, is the Power, but it is the Father who houses this infinite Power.

When a seeker wants to identify himself with the Mother-Power, he has to intensify his aspiration. It is through intensity that he becomes one with the Shakti. If he wants to become totally one with the Divine Father, Shiva, it is with sea-like immensity that he can become one with Shiva.

Here in the West, there are many who feel that the powers of Kundalini Yoga are nothing but rank superstition. I wish to say that those who cherish this idea are totally mistaken. Even the genuine spiritual Masters have examined Kundalini Yoga and found in their own experiences the undeniable authenticity of its hidden occult powers.

Blessed is he who practises Kundalini Yoga as part of his self-discovery and not in order to acquire power in hypnotism, black magic or other low forms of occultism which operate in and from the vital world. A genuine student of Kundalini Yoga is he who tries to unite the vital power and the spiritual knowledge in perfect harmony with the evolving spirit of life. A genuine seeker never considers the hidden powers or occult powers as his goal. He cares only for God. He longs only for God's loving Presence in his life.

The Kundalini Power is the dynamic power in us. When the dynamic power and the spiritual knowledge go hand in hand, the perfect harmony of the Universal Consciousness dawns and the conscious evolution of the human soul reaches the Transcendental Self.

There are two ways for one to enter into Kundalini Yoga: through the Tantric process and through the Vedantic process. The Tantric approach is systematic and elaborate but, at the same time, quite dangerous. The Vedantic process is simple and mystical, but it is safe and in no way less convincing or less fulfilling.

The Tantric method is dangerous because it deals first with the lower vital and emotional life. The approach is dynamic and courageous. Either one will purify himself by entering bravely into the vital world and coming out triumphant, or one will be totally lost in the ignorance of the vital world if he is not strong enough inwardly to conquer the vital forces there.

The Vedantic way is safe because the seeker concentrates and meditates to raise, purify and illumine his consciousness before he tries to deal with the obscure, impure lower vital forces that want to bind him. When the seeker enters into the lower vital world with the light of illumination, to his wide surprise he sees that the lower vital is illumined, purified and divinised.

The Tantric process demands from the seeker constant and conscious awareness of the inner and upward movement from the muladhara chakra to the sahasrara chakra. The Vedantic process demands from the seeker conscious and constant awareness of the evolving and liberating consciousness.

If anybody here would like to practise Kundalini Yoga, I advise that seeker to follow the Vedantic method which is safe and, at the same time, sure. If you follow the Vedantic method, you are destined to reach the Goal certainly and safely.

Illumining stories

Swami Vivekananda showed the sincerity of his inner cry for Truth, for God, for Light. It happened once that Swami Vivekananda, who was then called Naren, was offered a significant gift by his spiritual Master, Sri Ramakrishna. Sri Ramakrishna said to him, "Naren, you know I have gone through the most austere spiritual disciplines. I constantly pray to Mother Kali and worship God. I have done everything necessary and now I am blessed with occult power. But you know that I do not care for any outer achievements. I pay no attention even to wearing clothes. I am in my own world most of the time. So I wish to tell Mother Kali that I would like to offer you all my occult power. You will be able to use it when you have to work for the world at large."

Naren immediately replied, "Master, please tell me whether this power will be of any help to me in my God-realisation."

Sri Ramakrishna said, "No, no! You know that occult power has nothing to do with God-realisation. But when you realise God, if you want to work for a while, if you want to manifest God on earth, then this power can be of great help to you."

Naren's immediate response was, "First things first. First I want to realise God. Then if you and God want to give me occult power to use for mankind, I will take it. But right now I want only God. God comes first in my life."

Sri Ramakrishna was extremely pleased with his dearest disciple. He said to the other disciples, "Look at my Naren! Look at the example he has set for you. You have to pay all attention to God first, only to God. That is the only way you can realise God. Occult power is of very secondary importance."

Most genuine spiritual Masters have advised their disciples not to care for the hidden powers of the kundalini. If a disciple cares only for Truth, only for Light, then he will make real progress in his inner life.

We practise Kundalini Yoga in order to get power of one kind or another. But if we meditate on God and please God, the Creator, He will give us His entire Creation if He wants to. If we want the Creator first and foremost, and not His Creation, then we will get the Creator. And once we have the Creator, His entire Creation will also be at our disposal. If we cry for one tiny part of the Creation, we may get it with comparative ease; but the infinite Wealth of the Creator will be withheld from us and we will have to be satisfied with the tiny portion which we asked for.

There is a famous story in India about two brothers. The elder brother left home and prayed in the forest most intensely. At the end of twelve years he returned home.

The younger brother was delighted to see him and he requested, "Please, please show me some occult power. You have practised Yoga for twelve long years while I have been leading an ordinary life. Please show me what you have accomplished."

The elder brother said, "Come with me." The two brothers entered the village and walked to the river. At the river bank the elder brother sat down and entered into deep meditation. After a while he stood up and walked across the river on the surface of the water.

Immediately the younger brother hailed the ferryman, gave him an anna and was quickly rowed across the river to join his brother. When the two brothers were united again, the younger brother said, "You had to slave for twelve years to be able to do something that I can do in five minutes? Is this the result of your years of spiritual discipline and austere life? Shame, shame!"

The elder brother realised that he had foolishly wasted his twelve years. He left home once more, this time to aspire only for Truth, only for Light, only for God.

When we cry for Truth and Light we get them, but our cry must be extremely sincere, devoted and soulful. If we are not sincere, if we are not pure, if we are not spiritual, then the Kundalini Power is of no use. Here is another authentic story.

When I was only nine and a half years old, on my way back from school one day I saw a big crowd. Naturally, I went to see what was happening. One of the spectators told me that a young man who had been buried for three days was about to emerge from the grave. To my astonishment, a few minutes later the young man did emerge, quite safe. But then what did he do? As soon as he came out from the ground, he put his arm around his girlfriend and walked away. His vital life went on unabated.

From Kundalini Yoga he had received the power to remain underground for many days. But what good did it do him? He did not care to purify his vital life. He led a most ordinary life, an animal life. This power did not inspire him or anyone else to lead a better life. He used it only for miracle-mongering. But if the kundalini is used properly, it can do something most significant. It can elevate the consciousness of humanity. Kundalini Power has the capacity to awaken and illumine the consciousness of mankind if it is properly used.

There are high occultists and low occultists. The inferior ones fight for occult power in the vital world. As in the outer world unillumined people fight for power, so in the inner world, in the vital world, unillumined occultists also fight for power. If one occultist is fast asleep, another may come and attack him occultly and try to take away his occult power. This once happened to a maternal uncle of mine. Fortunately, my maternal uncle was stronger than the occultist who attacked him and he defeated the other occultist.

But the superior occultists, the spiritual ones, will never do that. And if the spiritual Masters, the real Yogis, have occult powers, they do not try to attack or defeat other spiritual Masters to win more occult power.

However, spiritual Masters sometimes do take away occult power from unwise seekers. Sometimes they see that a seeker is basically sincere, but he has attained a little occult power and is misusing it. Then out of his infinite compassion, the Master may take away the occult power of this unfortunate seeker so that he will return to the spiritual life and realise the highest Truth. When the time comes and the seeker is ready to use his occult power wisely, the Master gives it all back.

On at least one occasion, Sri Ramakrishna took away occult power from one or two individuals at the express command of Mother Kali. Sri Ramakrishna himself had occult power in boundless measure and he did not need their occult power. He took away their power for the seekers' own spiritual good. These seekers were basically sincere. They had the capacity to cry for the highest Truth, but they were being distracted by their occult power and were not paying attention to their real spiritual life.

In the case of another spiritual Master, he and his younger brother started Yoga almost at the same time. But when the elder brother accepted a shakti to help him in his spiritual work, the younger brother left him and started an ashram of his own. He also had a little occult power, but he started misusing it, so the elder brother took it away. The younger brother then wrote pathetic letters to his elder brother, saying, "I know you have infinitely more occult power than I had. Why did you take away the little occult power I had?" But the elder brother replied, "It is for your own good. You have left me, but I have boundless concern for your spiritual life. I want you to realise the Highest. I do not want you to waste your time showing off your occult power and in that way to lose all your spirituality and divine possibilities."

Let me tell you a story about misuse of occult powers. About one hundred and fifty years ago there was a spiritual Master named Matsyendranath. His dearest disciple's name was Gorakshanath. When Matsyendranath realised that Gorakshanath would also become spiritually great, he told him, "Look, two lions cannot live in the same den. We should not stay together now. You should go somewhere else to roam. You have the capacity. You should now guide the world, as I am guiding it."

Gorakshanath felt miserable, but he had to listen to his Master's command. So he left Matsyendranath and stayed away for six years. At the end of six years he returned to the place where he had parted from his Master. When he got there, he asked his brother disciples and the people who were in the neighbourhood if they knew where his Master was. They all said, "We cannot tell you where the Master is."

Gorakshanath pleaded with them, saying that he had not seen his Master for six years and that he was Matsyendranath's dearest disciple, but they all said, "No! You are not his dearest disciple. You are just making yourself important. And if you are his dearest disciple, then you should listen to his command. He told us that nobody should be allowed to know where he is." And they refused to tell Gorakshanath where his Master was.

Finally Gorakshanath became furious. He said, "Now I shall curse you. For twelve years you will have no rain at all. That means no crops, no food, no drinking water. All of you will die of starvation if you stay here. Only on the condition that my Master comes back here will this curse be lifted before the end of twelve years."

The drought began immediately. When conditions became serious, the King of that particular area went to Gorakshanath and pleaded with him to lift his curse, but Gorakshanath refused. The drought continued for two and a half years. When word of Gorakshanath's curse finally reached Matsyendranath, he went back to the area immediately. Then it began to rain. Matsyendranath stood in front of Gorakshanath and said, "I am so happy to see you again."

Gorakshanath immediately recognised his stupidity. "Forgive me, Master," he said. "I am ashamed of what I have done to these people."

But Matsyendranath said to his favourite disciple, "You have not done anything wrong. These people were all corrupt. They deserved this kind of punishment. It will help them lead a better life."

Gorakshanath said, "But I did not know that. I merely wanted to punish them. I was angry. My action was bad because my motive was bad."

"I am not offering any false justification," said Matsyendranath. "Your soul knew that they deserved punishment. What you have done is right."

When the Master uses his compassion-power, he uses it to protect his disciples as well as to correct their misdeeds. The Master ultimately wants perfection from his disciples. Compassion is the means. Perfection is the end.

The same Master and the same disciple had another significant experience. Gorakshanath had tremendous pride because he had realised the Truth and attained occult power, so Matsyendranath wanted to show him that using occult power can be extremely dangerous. Here is the story of that incident.

A Yogi once came to Gorakshanath and started insulting him and his Master, Matsyendranath. Gorakshanath said, "Do not dare speak about my Master that way! I have tremendous occult power."

The Yogi challenged him, "Show me your occult power!"

"Here is a knife. If you strike me anywhere on my body you will not be able to injure me at all. This is my power."

The Yogi started stabbing Gorakshanath but not even a hair of his body was destroyed. Then the Yogi said to him, "All right. Whenever I struck you there was always a sound. Although you were not injured, my blows created a sound. But if you strike me with the same knife, not only will you not be able to injure me, but also you will not be able to produce any sound."

Gorakshanath started striking the Yogi with the knife and the Yogi's claim proved true. There was not even any sound. The Yogi then said to Gorakshanath, "If one identifies with the Infinite, then no sound will be produced by a blow. This proves that I am superior to you in occult power." Pleased with his victory, the Yogi walked away.

Matsyendranath was somewhere else when all this occurred, but Gorakshanath concentrated deeply on him in order to speak to him about this experience. His vision told him that Matsyendranath was in an ashram in Mayapuri, Illusion City. To his wide surprise he saw his Master surrounded by many beautiful girls. They were dancing around him and he was enjoying vital life, emotional life. Gorakshanath said to himself, "How can it be? My Master is of the highest order. Perhaps my vision is wrong." Again Gorakshanath concentrated and he saw the same scene. This time he was positive that his Master was there. "My Master has fallen!" he thought. "He is surrounded by so many beautiful girls, all singing and dancing. He is enjoying all kinds of vital life. I must save him."

So Gorakshanath opened his heart centre and transported himself to the ashram in Mayapuri occultly. At the gate he asked about his Guru. The gatekeeper said, "Matsyendranath? Your Guru? He has fallen. What he was and what he has become now! He has fallen to such an extent that I cannot believe it."

Gorakshanath immediately wanted to go and rescue his Guru, but the women would not allow him to approach Matsyendranath. Gorakshanath had to use his occult power to become a beautiful woman and join in the dancing and singing. When he came near Matsyendranath in the guise of a dancing girl, Matsyendranath could not recognise his disciple. Then Gorakshanath had to use his occult power to speak to his Master.

"Master, what are you doing here?" he cried. "What kind of life are you leading? You are a God-realised soul. What are you doing here enjoying vital life?"

Matsyendranath immediately said, "Oh, I am fallen. I am fallen to such an extent! Now save me." So Gorakshanath used his occult power and took Matsyendranath away from Mayapuri. When they had gone six or seven miles away, Matsyendranath came out of maya, illusion, and he was free.

The disciple and the Master travelled two thousand miles until they came to Matsyendranath's ashram in North India. There Gorakshanath saw that Matsyendranath had two spiritual bodies. One body had flown with him through occult power, and the other was just before him at the destination. In a few minutes the Master who had flown with him entered into the other Master who was facing him. And suddenly Gorakshanath saw that many of his Master's disciples were around him. He asked one disciple, "Has Master been away for a few years?"

"No," replied the disciple. "For the last few years Master has been here and we have all been with him."

Then Gorakshanath said, "How can this be? Master, please explain this experience I have just gone through. I cannot fathom the mystery of what has actually happened."

Matsyendranath replied, "I had to do all that just for you. You had all kinds of occult power, but your pride was too great. You were very austere and rigid in your spiritual life. You looked down on women. I told you repeatedly that by looking down on women you would not be able to perfect and transform your life. You did not care for women's liberation from ignorance. You felt that women are an open door to hell and that it is they who create all problems, especially vital problems, in men's lives. But this is not true. It is men's own imperfections that create problems. Men have weaknesses; and when they project these weaknesses onto women, they feel that women are the cause of all their problems. Both men and women are God's Creations and they both have to conquer the lower vital movements. Right from the beginning I have been telling you that women must not be shunned. They have to be helped, freed from the mire of ignorance.

"You are my best disciple. I gave you all kinds of occult power, but you were defeated by that Yogi, only because of your pride. Now that you have been humiliated, now that your pride has been smashed, I wish to tell you something. Although you are my student and although you lost to that Yogi, before long you will surpass both him and me. You are my student today, but tomorrow perhaps I shall be your student. Because today you have conquered your pride, because today you are seeing the Truth in a divine way, your tremendous potentiality will now be able to come to the fore. You are bound to surpass us. Also, when you became a woman in order to approach me, in order to help me, you learned not to shun women. You came to realise that men and women must go together towards the Transcendental Goal. Now that you have learned this truth from me, there is nothing else that I can teach you. All that I have, I have given to you and, by the Grace of the Lord Supreme, you have surpassed me."

Then Matsyendranath folded his hands and bowed to his disciple.

Kundalini Yoga is the Yoga of Shakti, the power of the divine Goddess. We have to value the Mother aspect and see the spiritual Mother in each woman. There was a time when people used to say that women were not meant for spiritual life. Those days are now gone. Now it is clear that men and women aspire equally well. Woman can never be a hindrance to man's progress provided man gives due value to woman's aspiration. Woman's aspiration and dedication can go perfectly well with man's aspiration and dedication. In Kundalini Yoga it is the Mother, the Divine Mother, who fulfils and liberates. When the Divine Mother liberates man and woman from the meshes of ignorance, she feels that her role is over. Kundalini is the power of Shakti and each woman represents the transcendental Shakti, the Mother-Power.

It is through our soulful surrender to the Supreme Mother in us, the Kundalini, that we can liberate our earthly existence and be freed from ignorance. It is through our constant surrender to the Will of the Supreme Mother in us that we can fulfil ourselves.

To each of you I offer my deepest gratitude. You have come here with utmost sincerity to learn about the Mother-Power. Nothing gives me greater joy than to be of service to all your aspiring souls. Some of you are following the path of Kundalini Yoga; some of you are following other paths. There are various roads to follow but they all lead us to the same ultimate Goal. What we need is sincerity. What we need is purity. What we need is a conscious and constant inner cry. Then the Goal, the Transcendental Goal, will be within our easy reach.

Concentration, meditation and contemplation

Columbia University; New York, New York, USA
St. Paul's Chapel
28 March 1973

Why do we concentrate? We concentrate because we want to reach the Goal. Why do we meditate? We meditate because we want to live in the heart of the Goal. Why do we contemplate? We contemplate because we want to become the Goal.

How do we concentrate? We concentrate with the mind's illumining one-pointedness. How do we meditate? We meditate with the heart's expanding vastness. How do we contemplate? We contemplate with the soul's fulfilling oneness.

Where do we concentrate, meditate and contemplate? We concentrate, meditate and contemplate in the heart. When we concentrate in the heart, God the Divine Warrior energises us. When we meditate in the heart, God the Divine Knower enlightens us. When we contemplate in the heart, God the Divine Lover immortalises us. The Warrior energises us with His secret Power. The Knower enlightens us with His sacred Light. The Lover immortalises us with His supernal Delight. The Warrior's Power is our ceaseless capacity. The Knower's Light is our endless divinity. The Lover's Delight is our birthless and deathless reality.

When a beginner meditates, it is nothing but struggle. When an advanced seeker meditates, it is smooth sailing.

When an advanced seeker contemplates, he becomes a portion of the Universal Consciousness. When a Yogi contemplates, he becomes the Universal Consciousness.

An occultist's intimate friend is concentration. A Yogi's intimate friends are meditation and contemplation. An occultist cares very little for meditation and contemplation. A Yogi cares very little for concentration.

When an occultist concentrates, it is terribly frightening. When a Yogi meditates and contemplates, it is unimaginably charming.

Concentration, meditation and contemplation: in form they are three but in spirit they are one. Concentration exterminates threatening obstructions. Meditation expedites our teeming possibilities. Contemplation places us on the throne of Divinity's Reality and Reality's Immortality. Concentration demands from us sincerity. Meditation demands from us purity. Contemplation demands from us integrity.

Yesterday concentration, meditation and contemplation were seething amazements to us. Today they are unusual surprises to us. Tomorrow they will be normal experiences to us.

Concentration is God's Protection in man. Meditation is God's Height in man. Contemplation is God's Victory in man. Human doubt surrenders to concentration. Human fear surrenders to meditation. Human ignorance surrenders to contemplation.

Concentration is the last word on speed. Meditation is the last word on progress. Contemplation is the last word on success. Love of God is humanity's fastest speed. Devotion to God is humanity's greatest progress. Surrender to God is humanity's mightiest success.

When a seeker concentrates on God, God blesses the seeker's devoted head. When he meditates on God, God blesses his loving heart. When he contemplates on God, God blesses his surrendered entire being. When God concentrates on a seeker, the seeker starts his journey towards the Goal unknowable. When God meditates on a seeker, the seeker is in the midst of his journey towards the Goal unknown. When God contemplates on a seeker, the seeker completes his journey and reaches the Goal: Infinity's Smile, Eternity's Embrace, Immortality's Pride.

Editor's note

Sri Chinmoy was invited to give a series of six spiritual talks in the spring of 1973 by Columbia University's Centre for Religious Activities, Earl Hall. The lectures were held in St. Paul's Chapel on the University campus.

The inner experience of peace

Columbia University; New York, New York, USA
St. Paul's Chapel
4 April 1973

The inner experience of peace is man's supreme Necessity.
The inner experience of peace is man's transcendental Beauty.
The inner experience of peace is man's absolute Reality.

Necessity knows what the inner hunger is.
Beauty knows what the inner feast is.
Reality knows that it is the cook, the server, the eater and the enjoyer.
It knows that they are four in form but one, eternally one, in spirit.

Necessity is the forward march towards the Source.
Beauty is the upward march towards the Source.
Reality is the inward march and return towards the Source.

Inspiration accompanies Necessity on the way.
Aspiration accompanies Beauty on the way.
Realisation accompanies Reality on the way.

Inspiration embodies the preparation-seed.
Aspiration reveals the determination-plant.
Realisation offers the Perfection-Tree.

God touches the preparation-seed.
God blesses the determination-plant.
God embraces the Perfection-Tree.

In God's Touch man feels that he is God's Dream-Boat.
In God's Blessing man feels that he is God's Reality-Boat.
In God's Embrace man feels that he is God's Fulfilment-Boat.

Unconditionally God plies His Dream-Boat between the shores of Compassion and Concern.
Ceaselessly God plies His Reality-Boat between the shores of Love and Joy.
Devotedly God plies His Fulfilment-Boat between the shores of Pride and Gratitude.

AUM

There is absolutely nothing as important as the search for peace in the outer world. Without peace the outer world is not only wicked to the backbone, but also hopelessly weak.

A wicked world has tremendous energy. Unfortunately, its energy is directed towards a false goal, a goalless shore. If this energy is directed towards the real Goal, the Golden Shore, the world will unmistakably and triumphantly reach its Destination.

The condition of a weak world is most deplorable. A weak world has no energy. For a weakling there is no Goal; there can be no Goal. To reach the Goal, energy is needed, strength is needed and dynamism is needed.

The Goal is for the strong. And who are strong?
Strong are those who are awakened.
Strong are those who love the world.
Strong are those who serve God in mankind.

What are the things that prevent us from acquiring peace in the outer world? Our self-indulgence in the world of the body, our self-aggrandisement in the world of the vital, our self-doubt in the world of the mind and our sense of self-insufficiency in the world of the heart prevent us from acquiring peace in the outer world.

What are the things that can inspire our body, vital, mind and heart to have peace in the outer world?

Simplicity can inspire our body, humility can inspire our vital, sincerity can inspire our mind and purity can inspire our heart to have peace in the outer world.

What are the things that can expedite our achievements?
Our love of the Consciousness-Light can and will expedite our achievement in the body.
Our devotion to the Consciousness-Light can and will expedite our achievement in the vital.
Our surrender to the Consciousness-Light can and will expedite our achievement in the mind.
Our constant and inseparable oneness with the Consciousness-Light can and will expedite our achievement in the heart.
In his inner experience of Peace, man discovers what he eternally is: Immortality.
In his search for Peace in the outer world, man discovers what he eternally has: Divinity.

The inner experience of light

Columbia University; New York, New York, USA
St. Paul's Chapel
11 April 1973

The outer experience of Light is immediate inspiration. The inner experience of Light is eternal aspiration.

With inspiration, we run towards the farthest Beyond. With inspiration, we fly to the highest Height. With inspiration, we dive to the deepest Depth. With aspiration, we become the Goal of the ever-transcending Beyond.

The outer experience of light is the transformation of binding desires into liberating freedom. The inner experience of Light is the transformation of earth's fate into God's Face.

The outer experience of Light is necessary in order to build the Palace of Transcendental Truth on earth. The inner experience of Light is essential in order to watch and enjoy the Cosmic Dance of Reality, Divinity and Immortality.

Reality is the dreamer in us. Divinity is the lover in us. Immortality is the fulfiller in us. The dreamer dreams and acts. The lover loves and becomes. The fulfiller fulfils and transcends.

The inner experience of Light. In our spiritual existence, we find quite a few seekers who cry for the inner experience of Light, but among these seekers there are two who are quite prominent —- that is to say, who are really trying to have the inner experience of Light. These two seekers, these two members of our inner existence, are the mind and the heart —- the searching mind and the aspiring heart. The searching mind and the aspiring heart come together to the transcendental Light, the Light Supreme, and say, "O Light of the Supreme, save us, illumine us. We are far apart, but we want to live together. We want to become inseparable."

Light answers, "That is quite easy. I shall fulfil your wish. But I wish to ask each of you one thing. Mind, tell me, what is your best quality?"

The mind hesitates and says, "You want me to tell you my best quality, but I have no good qualities! My best quality is my stupidity."

Light consoles the mind, saying, "Oh no! Your best quality is your sense of boundless vastness. Your sense of boundless vastness, O mind, is your best quality."

Then Light asks the heart, "What is your best quality?"

The heart spontaneously says, "I, too, have no good qualities. If I have to tell you what my best quality is, then I feel that it is my insecurity, for I always feel insecure."

Light consoles the heart and says, "No! Your best quality is your universal oneness. Your universal oneness, O heart, is your best quality."

Then Light asks the mind, "Have you any idea how far you are from your Goal?"

The mind replies, "I have no idea at all. But I feel that I am far from my Goal, farther than the farthest."

Light says, "O searching mind, your farthest Goal you can bring right into you if you once can make yourself feel that your very existence on earth is for the Supreme Reality and the Absolute Truth."

Light asks the heart, "Heart, how far are you from your Goal?"

The heart answers, "I feel that my Goal is very near, right in front of me. But, alas, to my utter astonishment and sorrow, I do not see it. If I do not see my Goal face to face, then my feeling has no conviction. First I want to actually see my Goal right in front of me, and then I want to grow into my Goal."

Light says to the heart, "Heart, you can see your Goal right in front of you and you can grow into your Goal immediately if you know how to discover the eternal truth: that your existence on earth has come directly from the eternal Existence of the Supreme and that you are part and parcel of the Supreme. O heart, when you have discovered this Truth —- that you are of the Supreme —- then you are bound to see your Goal right in front of you."

Now the mind asks Light, "O Light, please tell me if there is anything I have done that has displeased you."

Light says, "Yes, you have displeased me. You have misused time. When you foolishly misuse time, you displease me deeply."

"How can I stop misusing time?"

"You can stop misusing time if you believe in my illumining Reality and if you believe that I need your service unreservedly for my full manifestation on earth. If you believe in my illumination and if you believe that I badly need your assistance, then you will stop misusing time."

The heart asks Light, "O Light, is there anything I have done that has displeased you?"

"Yes, you have displeased me by wasting time, and you are still wasting time mercilessly. That is why I am displeased with you. You can stop wasting your time if you believe in my illumining Reality and if you believe that I need your dedicated service, your soulful service, for my immediate and permanent manifestation on earth.

"O mind, O heart, if you listen to me, if you fulfil my needs, then both of you can stay together permanently, inseparably."

The mind says to Light, "O Light, I give you my word of honour: I shall serve you; I shall fulfil your manifestation."

The heart says to Light, "O Light, I shall serve you unreservedly and unconditionally for your immediate and permanent manifestation on earth."

When we have the inner experience of Light, we realise that the finite can embody and reveal the Infinite and, at the same time, the Infinite can manifest its Infinity, Eternity and Immortality in and through the finite. When we have the inner experience of Light, we feel the constant necessity of knowing whether we are working for God, whether we are constantly taking God's side or whether God is taking our side. After we have had the inner experience of Light, we always want to take God's side. We do not want and do not allow God to take our side. This is the experience that transcends all other experiences. A seeker of the highest order, a Yogi of the highest order or even a spiritual Master of the highest order may at times ask the Supreme to take his side. But when one has had the full inner experience of infinite Light, one always takes the side of the Supreme.

In the ordinary life, there are many people who feel that there is no happiness on earth, and so the best thing is to live without happiness. But a spiritual Master does not see eye to eye with them. He asks them to have the inner experience of Light just once. If one has the inner experience of Light, then his life is all happiness. For him every day is happiness, every hour is happiness, every minute is happiness, every second is happiness.

In the ordinary life, there are many people who think that there is no fulfilling love on earth. They claim that there is only one kind of love, the love that binds us, the love that chains our hands and shackles our hearts. But a spiritual Master tells them, "No, there is something called real Love, divine Love, and you can have this divine Love, this Love that liberates, this Love that perfects human imperfections, this Love that fulfils. You can have this Love if you have had an iota of the inner experience of Light. The inner experience of Light tells us that human life is a constant unfulfilling want, whereas the divine life is a constant fulfilling and fulfilled achievement. Before we have the inner experience of Light, we try to live on earth and hope to live in Heaven in the future. But once we have had the inner experience of Light, we actually do live in Heaven on earth: we live in the heart of Eternal Time and in the lap of Immortality."

The inner experience of bliss

Columbia University; New York, New York, USA
St. Paul's Chapel
18 April 1973

Anandaddhyeva khalvimani bhutani jayante
anandena jatani jivanti
anandam prayantyabhisamvisanti

From Bliss we came into existence,
In Bliss we grow.
At the end of our journey's close,
Into Bliss we retire.

The inner experience of Bliss. The inner experience of Bliss is the achievement of liberation and perfection.

Liberation is the death of the world-sound and the birth of the soundless sound, the Cosmic Sound.

Perfection is God's Promise to man. Perfection is God's Achievement in man. A liberated soul is earth's highest Height. A perfected soul is Heaven's deepest depth.

A liberated soul carries the banner of realisation. A perfected soul carries the banner of realisation, revelation and manifestation.

Realisation is self-discovery. Revelation is self-glowing. Manifestation is self-fulfilling. In realisation one knows that he is none other than the great God. In revelation one knows that he is none other than the benevolent God. In manifestation one knows that he is at once the great God and the benevolent God.

The inner experience of Bliss is the marriage of God's Grace and God's Race. God's Grace creates humanity's capacity. God's Race creates humanity's receptivity.

In capacity God is the Creator. In receptivity God is the Enjoyer. The Creator is the One in the many. The Enjoyer is the many in the One.

A seeker envisions Infinity's Bliss. A Yogi becomes Infinity's Bliss. An Avatar is Infinity's Bliss. The Supreme, the Absolute Supreme, is the Source of Infinity's Bliss. A seeker is God the tireless walker. A Yogi is God the fearless marcher. An Avatar is God the deathless runner.

The Supreme is the walker's experience. The Supreme is the marcher's confidence. The Supreme is the runner's assurance.

The inner experience of Bliss far surpasses all the treasures of Divinity's Reality and Reality's multiplicity. We can have the inner experience of Bliss if we can acquire the inner silence and if we can have inner guidance.

The inner silence is the silence of goalless movement and thought-waves. The outer silence is the silence of the physical senses.

The inner guidance is like a mother's constant and conscious guidance of a child. The outer guidance is like the guidance of a blind man leading another blind man.

The inner silence is the fulfilment of life and the fulfilment of reality in us. The inner guidance fulfils the individual life in the Life universal.

The inner experience of Bliss is never and can never be a gift of the miracle machine. The inner experience of Bliss is a gift of the natural self of a normal man. The inner experience of Bliss begins in self-offering and ends in God-becoming.

Without Bliss, man is an external superficiality. With Bliss, man is a fulfilling inner and outer reality. Without Bliss, man is a song of frustration and destruction. With Bliss, man is constant fulfilment and constant perfection.

In the spiritual life a surrendered disciple is his Master's growing Bliss, and a totally surrendered, unconditionally surrendered disciple is his Master's ceaseless Bliss.

In the spiritual life we need experience, we need confidence, we need assurance. Experience is the discovery of infinite Life within us. Confidence is the supreme mastery of our soul over darkness and night. Assurance is our inseparable oneness with the Light of the Supreme.

Night we were. Light we are. Delight we shall be.

The inner experience of power

Columbia University; New York, New York, USA
St. Paul's Chapel
25 April 1973

"Veni, Vidi, Vici —- I came, I saw, I conquered." Julius Caesar had the outer experience of human power. Sri Krishna, the Buddha and the Christ had the inner experience of divine Power. Sri Krishna embodied, revealed and manifested the Power of Love-Light. The Buddha embodied, revealed and manifested the Power of Compassion-Height. The Christ embodied, revealed and manifested the Power of Salvation-Delight.

The outer experience of power with and in the physical is potent. But the inner experience of Power with and in the soul is omnipotent. The outer experience of power is self-styled authority. The inner experience of Power is God-ordained Duty.

The inner experience of Power is God's Forgiveness.
The inner experience of Power is God's Compassion.
The inner experience of Power is God's Patience.
The inner experience of Power is God's Assurance.
The inner experience of Power is God's Pride.

God uses His Forgiveness-Power to illumine the impure human body. God uses His Compassion-Power to illumine the aggressive human vital. God uses His Patience-Power to illumine the restless human mind. God uses His Assurance-Power to illumine the insecure human heart. God uses His Pride-Power to illumine the aspiring human soul.

Human power comes into existence from self-effort, time and patience. Divine Power comes into existence from God's unconditional and limitless Grace. Human power plays with doubt-power, jealousy-power and ingratitude-power. Divine Power plays with faith-power, love-power and oneness-power. The moment we use human power in a human way we see in ourselves the human death. The moment we use divine Power in a divine way we see in ourselves the birth of the Divine.

The inner experience of Truth tells us that human power needs constant divine direction. The inner experience of Truth tells us that divine Power needs constant human participation.

The transformation of the seeker's personality starts taking place the moment the seeker has some inner experience of Power. This is the transformation of his finite existence into the infinite Existence. This is the transformation of his earth-bound time into the Time eternal. His personality becomes God's manifested divine Individuality, and it carries the message of God's illumining Unity into His fulfilling diversity and multiplicity.

Love, devotion and surrender

Columbia University; New York, New York, USA
St. Paul's Chapel
2 May 1973

Love, devotion and surrender. Love, devotion and surrender is our path. Love, devotion and surrender is our Goal.

Love. Love is the only wealth that man absolutely needs. Love is the only wealth that God precisely is.

Animal love can be conquered and purified. Human love can be perfected and transcended. Divine Love can be achieved and manifested.

To love God is to be a normal human being. To love God is to be a practical human being. To love God is to be a successful human being. To love God is to be a fulfilling and fulfilled human being.

Without love man is insecure. Without love man is uncertain. Without love man is incapable. Human insecurity is a chronic disease. Human uncertainty is an almost incurable disease. Human incapacity is a fatal disease. God uses His Compassion-Power to transform our insecurity into His divine Security. God uses His Wisdom-Power to transform our uncertainty into His divine Certainty. God uses His Concern-Power to transform our human incapacity into His divine Capacity.

He who loves never grows old. God is a perfect example.

He who loves never becomes poor. God is a shining example.

He who loves never becomes unhappy. God is a blissful example.

Devotion. Devotion is our inner sweetness. Devotion is our divine intensity. Devotion is our supreme dynamism. God loves our snow-white sweetness. God appreciates our divine intensity. God admires our supreme dynamism.

A heart of devotion is purer than the purest flame. A heart of devotion is faster than the fastest deer. A heart of devotion is wiser than the wisest sage.

Purity's soulful permanence lives in devotion. Speed's truthful assurance lives in devotion. Wisdom's fruitful illumination lives in devotion.

Surrender. Surrender is our ever-increasing consciousness. Surrender is our ever-illumining vastness. Surrender is our ever-fulfilling oneness.

Consciousness is another name for the golden link between Heaven's descent and earth's ascent. Vastness is another name for God's Heart, which can be used by humanity. Oneness is another name for the evolving God in aspiring man.

Love, devotion and surrender: this is our path. All paths ultimately lead to the same Destination, but we feel that the path of love, devotion and surrender is the safest and the quickest. This is our personal feeling. If others find it difficult to see eye to eye with us, they have every right to follow a different path. We will never say that ours is the only path and that only we will be able to offer salvation and illumination. No. Our path is for those who feel that the heart can lead them faster to their Destination than the mind. Our path is for those who feel that the light of the soul has to come to the fore through the heart and that from the heart the light will be received by the mind, the vital and the physical.

In our path love is the first rung of the ladder, devotion is the second rung and surrender is the third and ultimate rung. We love God because we feel that, of all His divine qualities, it is His Love that pleases us most. We love God, not because He is great, nor because He is Omniscient and Omnipotent and Omnipresent, nor because He is everything; but rather we love God precisely because He is all Love, and Love is the mightiest power. Now when we love someone, we devote our existence to that person. Since it is God whom we love, it is to God that we offer our devotion. And it is to God's Will that we offer our human will. The surrender that we make to God is the conscious surrender of our soul to the Ultimate, the Absolute. This is not the surrender of a slave to his master but the surrender of our ignorant, unwilling, imperfect nature to our own illumining, liberated and perfected higher Being.

In our path we do not proselytise; we do not try to convert others. In our path we try to offer to others the Light that the Supreme has entrusted us with out of His infinite Bounty. There are some who may say, "If you have peace, light and bliss, why do you have to go all over the world to show it? Why do you have to go out and open Centres everywhere? If you own a pond, then anyone who is thirsty will come there to drink. The pond never goes to quench anyone's thirst. It remains where it is." But I wish to say that our path is the path of love, and that this is the kind of love that we see in a mother. When the child is hungry, no matter if he is in the living room, the bedroom or the kitchen —- no matter where he is —- the mother comes running to offer food to him. Similarly, we feel that there are many sincere seekers who are hungry for peace, light and bliss, and if we have received a little from the Almighty Supreme, we try to offer it to them. Like a shopkeeper, we offer certain things in our store, and those who like them may have them. Naturally, those who do not like what we have to offer have every right to go somewhere else. We will never say that our store is the only one.

Everybody has the right to inspire others. When we hold meditations, we try to inspire people. We never expect to convert people to our path. That is far beyond our imagination. We try to offer inspiration through our talks and answers to questions. When we have played the role of giving inspiration, we feel that we have offered a considerable service. For it is from inspiration that all of us get aspiration, and it is from aspiration that we get realisation. No matter which path or which spiritual Master you follow, you are bound to get some inspiration. When you go deep within, on the strength of your inspiration you will see that your aspiration looms large. And when your aspiration-flame climbs high, higher, highest, you will realise your true Self.

Thought-waves

Brown University; Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Manning Hall
9 January 1974

From the spiritual point of view, each thought carries a special weight in our mind. Each thought has a special significance. In our ordinary life, we all know what a thought is. We create thought. We cherish thought. There is nobody who does not know how to think —- do ordinary thinking, that is. If someone does not know how to think, we call him a fool. But if one who has a developed mind chooses to stop thinking, if he has learned the art of stopping the mind, he makes tremendous progress in the spiritual life. When a thought enters into a seeker's aspiring mind, he has to feel that it is like meeting an enemy on the battlefield. The more one can silence the mind, the sooner one realises the Goal.

The human mind feels that thought is the ultimate power and light. Unfortunately, this is a deplorable mistake. The aspiring heart constantly receives the supreme message from the soul. Only by silencing the mind can one receive this message and reach the highest Absolute Supreme. The Lord Buddha silenced his mind and entered into Nirvana, the Bliss unfathomable of the Transcendental Height. The Christ opened his heart and embraced all humanity on the strength of his universal oneness with his Father, the ultimate Goal. Either by silencing the mind or by opening the heart, today's man can become tomorrow's God, tomorrow's Divinity; and embodied Divinity soon becomes revealed Immortality.

Desire and aspiration are two simple words, but they embody tremendous power. Aspiration consciously follows the road of light, whereas desire consciously or unconsciously follows the path of darkness. Darkness means satisfaction in limitation. Our desire wants to grab and possess, but, before it possesses, it is possessed. While being possessed, while enjoying consciously or unconsciously the role of subjugation and imperfection, desire is to some extent satisfied. At the same time, desire embodies power which very often ends in frustration; and this frustration gives birth to destruction and annihilation.

Each human being has aspiration; each human being embodies aspiration. This aspiration in him builds up the tower of Truth, Light and Bliss. Aspiration is never satisfied with imperfection. It climbs up high, higher, highest. At each moment the mounting flame in us, while climbing towards the Highest, illumines the obscure, impure, unaspiring elements of our gross physical. Then finally, the individual not only realises but also manifests the Kingdom of Heaven in his inner being.

Desire is the product of our thought-waves. Aspiration is the product of our soul's will. The soul's will we can possess and claim as our very own only when we consciously surrender what we have and what we are to the Supreme. What we have is an inner longing for Truth, Light and Bliss. We have to offer this longing unconditionally to the Supreme, our Inner Pilot. What we are is ignorance, unfathomable ignorance. This ignorance, too, we can and must offer to the Supreme consciously, devotedly and unconditionally. But instead of doing this, we wallow in the pleasures of ignorance and, what is worse, we often do it consciously and deliberately.

The desire in us demands that the physical in us rest eternally in the sea of ignorance. The aspiration within us warns us that once we go to sleep we will find it extremely difficult to awaken our consciousness and get up. The realisation in us, our soul's realisation, tells us that we are already fast asleep in the domain of ignorance, and that we have been sleeping there for millennia.

A sincere seeker of the highest Transcendental Truth can transform and purify the desire-life with the life of aspiration. In order to do this, he must know what desire has done for him. Desire has offered him a sense of dissatisfaction. Even after his desires are fulfilled, still he is dissatisfied. The seeker sees that in the depth of his desire, and in the very fulfilment of his desire, there looms a sense of complete dissatisfaction. Why is this so? It is because desire is not the Ultimate Truth. Desire cannot offer us the Ultimate Truth, which is all-satisfying. But when we follow the path of aspiration, even an iota of light satisfies us. Although we know perfectly well that an iota of peace, light and bliss cannot quench our eternal inner thirst, each iota of divine truth, peace, light and bliss carries tremendous satisfaction for us. And gradually, on the strength of our aspiration, each tiny drop of divinity grows into a vast ocean of fulfilment.

Aspiration embodies satisfaction. Desire embodies dissatisfaction. Each human being has the right to stay either in the desire-world or in the aspiration-world. Here we are all seekers of the Truth. For us, aspiration is the road. We shall walk joyfully along the road of aspiration. Today the very thing that we call aspiration, tomorrow we shall call realisation. The day after, we shall call the same thing revelation, and the following day we shall call it manifestation, our manifestation of Divinity. A sincere seeker is blessed with inner vision when he has free access to the Source. He continually and constantly depends on his inner vision. Once he has established his connection with the Source, his life becomes the realisation-message of God, the illumination-message of God, the perfection-message of God. And in the course of time, in either the near or the distant future, in the process of evolution, humanity is bound to accept these messages. What is the essence of these messages? Love, love divine, which is the song of universal oneness. If we silence our thought-waves and listen to our heart-waves, we can spread the love-message of the Supreme. We can offer this love-message to the world at large, and we can sing the song universal to kindle the flame of aspiration in all individuals.

We are now conscious of the supreme Tree. We are climbing up the Tree. Eventually we can grow into the cosmic Tree and then we can watch the multifarious leaves, which are our brothers and sisters, grow and unfold. It is we, the seekers of the Ultimate Truth, who can feed the inner hunger of these leaves of the supreme Tree.

Realisation, revelation and perfection

Harvard University; Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Paine Hall
9 January 1974

With your kind permission, I wish to say that this is my fourth visit to Harvard University. In 1969 I spoke on The Vedanta philosophy; in 1971, on The Upanishads: The crown of India's soul; last year, on The glowing consciousness of Vedic Truth; and now, my fourth talk will be on Realisation, revelation and perfection. Since I am a spiritual seeker, a seeker of the highest Transcendental Truth, the subject of today's talk is one with which my heart and soul are intimately familiar.

Realisation, revelation and perfection. The animal in us has realised that destruction is perfection. The human in us has realised that separation or partition is perfection. The divine in us has realised that the transformation of our human nature is perfection. The Supreme in us has realised that the manifestation of our inner divinity and reality is perfection.

Destruction is power. Separation or partition is power. Transformation is power. Manifestation is power. Destruction-power is the animal revelation. Separation-power is the human revelation. Transformation-power is the divine revelation. And manifestation-power is the supreme revelation.

As we advance in our spiritual life, we come to realise that destruction-power is abominable and separation-power is deplorable, but that transformation-power is admirable and manifestation-power, the divine manifestation-power, is most adorable.

A sincere and genuine seeker goes deep within and discovers the truth that animal life is sheer futility; that human life, if it does not aspire, is stark stupidity; that divine life is immediate necessity; and that spiritual life is deathless and birthless Immortality.

For God-realisation, we need aspiration-cry.
For God-revelation, we need dedication-smile.
For God-manifestation, we need patience-wisdom.

Aspiration is a perfect stranger to rejection. It accepts everything within and without. Then, the things that have to be transformed, it transforms on the strength of its climbing cry.

Dedication is a perfect stranger to calculation. When a sincere seeker dedicates himself to the right cause, to the inner Goal, he forgets how to calculate. He goes far beyond the domain of calculation. His dedication is soulful giving, unconditional giving, self-giving, of what he has and what he is.

Patience is a perfect stranger to imperfection. When aspiration and dedication loom large in our spiritual life, patience, our third friend, plays its role most satisfactorily. Patience and God's infinite Compassion play together and dance together. At that time, we see that our teeming imperfections are ready to be transformed into perfect Perfection.

Realising God is like climbing up a tree. Revealing God is like climbing up and down the tree time and again at God's choice Hour. Manifesting God is offering the fruits of the tree to the world at large.

Love, always love. When we love soulfully, realisation does not and cannot remain a far cry. Serve, always serve. When we serve and serve devotedly, revelation cannot remain a far cry. And when we unconditionally become the Transcendental Truth and Reality, God-manifestation does not and cannot remain a far cry.

Sri Krishna realised God, the Absolute Supreme. After he had realised the Lord Supreme, he became God the Eternal Lover and God the Eternal Beloved. The Christ realised God, the Transcendental Father. On the strength of his supreme realisation, he declared, "I and my Father are one." The Christ became the universal brother. We, too, if we are humble and sincere seekers, can realise God the Supreme Pilot. After realising God the Supreme Pilot, we can become universal servers of Truth and Light.

Realisation tells us who God is. Revelation tells us what we can do for God. Manifestation and perfection tell us what God does for us and what we do for God.

Who is God? God is our inner cry and our outer smile. He cries with us and for us on earth. He smiles with us and at us in Heaven. God is at once our heart's Eternal Lover and our soul's Supreme Beloved.

What can we do for God? We can do one thing, and that is to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. The Kingdom of Heaven is not a chimerical mist. It is a reality within us trying to come to the fore and reveal and manifest itself on earth.

What does God do for us? What God does for us is simple, spontaneous, illumining and fulfilling. He liberates us from our teeming imperfections with His unconditional and transcendental Compassion. And what do we do for God? What we do for God is equally simple, spontaneous, illumining and fulfilling. On the strength of our heart's constant, inner mounting cry, we try to make Him smile, smile with joy at His Creation vast.

The world within and the world without

Dartmouth College; Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
College Hall
11 January 1974

Dear seekers of the infinite Truth and Light, I wish to give a short talk on the two worlds: the world within and the world without, the inner world and the outer world.

The citizens of the outer world are brooding doubt, teeming fear and strangling jealousy. The citizens of the inner world are blossoming faith, soaring courage and glowing love.

Doubt destroys the universal Brother in us.
Fear destroys the supernal Dreamer in us.
Jealousy destroys the transcendental Lover in us.

Without the Brother, our body is helpless.
Without the Dreamer, our mind is hopeless.
Without the Lover, our heart is fruitless.

Faith inspires the divine seeker in us.
Courage feeds the eternal server in us.
Love fulfils the immortal runner in us.

With our soulful faith, we knock at God's Heart-door.
With our adamantine courage, we confidently walk to God's Heart-room.
With our serene and pure love, we run to God's Heart-room and occupy the special seat right beside God's Throne.

Two worlds: the outer world and the inner world. The outer world constantly demands. There is no end to its demand. When its demands are not fulfilled, the outer world begins to expect. When its expectations are not fulfilled, the outer world becomes frustrated and wants to destroy everything around it.

The inner world does not demand, does not expect. The inner world only accepts. It accepts human beings as they are. Once it accepts them, it tries either to transform or to fulfil them. Each human being has imperfections and limitations. The inner world tries to transform our limitations into plenitude, our imperfections into perfections. And again, within each individual there are divine qualities like hope, dream and promise. The inner world fulfils our hope, fulfils our dream and fulfils our promise. What is our hope? Our hope is to become good and divine. What is our dream? Our dream is to enter into the vastness of the infinite and become the Infinite itself. And what is our promise? Our promise is to create here on earth the Kingdom of Heaven. The inner world helps us, inspires us, energises us and, finally, fulfils our promise at God's choice Hour.

In the outer world, the highest achievement is the mind. There are three types of mind: the physical mind, the intellectual mind and the intuitive mind. The physical mind is the mind that is involved in and controlled by the gross physical consciousness, the mind that operates in and through the physical only. The intellectual mind is the mind that dissects and examines everything and everyone from a distance without becoming inseparably one with the object of its scrutiny. The intuitive mind is the mind that runs like the fastest deer. It enters instantly into something and becomes the very essence of that thing on the strength of its God-given capacity to feel its oneness with everything around it.

Most of us do not have this intuitive mind, but we try to cultivate it. When we pray and meditate we gradually cultivate the intuitive mind. Once we have developed the intuitive mind, we have free access to our inner realms where the bumper crop of realisation grows. Realisation is the song of plenitude, fulfilment and God-victory in our still obscure, impure, unaspiring and unfulfilled life.

In the inner world the highest achievement is the heart —- the aspiring heart, the surrendering heart, the ever-transcending heart. The aspiring heart wants to climb up high, higher, highest and, while climbing, it illumines the world around it. The surrendering heart offers its very existence to the Will of the omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent God, the Inner Pilot. The surrendering heart knows that it is a tiny drop that has to merge into the mighty Ocean, God. By surrendering to this Ocean it does not lose its individuality and personality. On the contrary, it gains the individuality and personality of the Ocean itself. When it merges into the Ocean, the tiniest drop becomes the mighty Ocean. The ever-transcending heart knows that there is no end to our progress and achievement. Today's goal is tomorrow's starting point. Again, tomorrow's goal will be the starting point for the day after tomorrow, since God Himself is endlessly progressing and eternally transcending His own infinite Heights.

The inner world and the outer world can and will eventually go together. But we have to know that, at the outset of our spiritual journey, we have to change our priorities. That is to say, we have now to pay utmost attention to the inner world, instead of to the outer world. We have to go without from within, not the other way around. Once we are well-established in the inner world, we can again turn our attention to the outer world. First we shall give utmost importance to the inner world, then gradually to the outer world, until finally we love and serve both worlds equally and simultaneously. When we are fully established in the outer world on the strength of the divinity we have acquired in the inner world, at that time we shall successfully unite both the outer and the inner worlds.

The inner world is the seed. The outer world is the banyan tree. We have to pay attention to the seed first. When the seed germinates, it grows eventually into a banyan tree. Without the seed the tree cannot come into existence and, without the tree, our expectations from the seed can never be fulfilled. So in the beginning the seed is important. In the end the tree is important, because it has grown from divine origins.

The inner world is the soul and the outer world is the body. Without the body the soul cannot manifest. But without the soul the body cannot realise. If we pay attention to the soul and allow our inner being to be surcharged with the soul's light, then we can successfully enter into and illumine the obscurity, impurity and darkness of the outer world. Once the outer world is illumined, it can live harmoniously hand in glove with the inner world.

The outer world is the horse. The inner world is the rider. The horse has to carry the rider or master to the destined goal. If there is no rider to inspire and energise the horse and direct it to the destined goal, the horse will reach the goal very slowly, if at all. So the rider needs the help of the horse, which is the body; and the horse needs the guidance of the rider, which is the soul.

In our ordinary life, no matter how much material wealth we have, no matter how much outer authority we can exercise, we shall not be satisfied. Satisfaction is not to be found in the present-day outer world, no matter what we do, what we say or what we achieve. But today's insufficiency is not and cannot be a permanent reality in our lives. When the light of the inner world looms large and comes to the fore, satisfaction automatically dawns in our devoted mind and surrendered heart. What we want from our lives is satisfaction —- nothing more, nothing less. This satisfaction we are bound to achieve, provided we dive deep within and approach the outer world from the inner world.

Let us enter into the inner world and bring forward the plenitude, the Eldorado, of the inner world, and share it with the outer world. Today we are having a kind of experience, an unfulfilling or unfulfilled experience. But tomorrow we can, without fail, have fulfilling and fulfilled experiences of Divinity and Immortality, provided we aspire. What do we aspire for? We aspire only for the Highest, for the Ultimate, for the Absolute Supreme. How do we aspire? We aspire through constant self-giving. And today's self-giving is tomorrow's God-becoming.

You

New York University; New York, New York, USA
Meyer Hall
12 January 1974

You want God. You need God. You have God. You are God.

You want God and you need God.
When you are in your vital, you want God.
When you are in your heart, you need God.
Your vital demands God's choice Hour.
Your heart devotedly waits for God's choice Hour.

When your vital knocks at God's door, no answer. Frustrated, you break open God's door. Alas, alas, God is not to be found in His room. He is elsewhere.
God knocks at your heart's door. You immediately answer. God blesses your devoted head. God embraces your surrendered heart.

You want God in order to dominate His vast Creation.
You need God in order to emancipate your little world.

You have God and you are God.
You have God; therefore, you can look up.
You are God; therefore, you can dive within.
You have God; therefore, the world loves you.
You are God; therefore, it is you alone who can expand your universal consciousness, it is you alone who can always transcend your ever-transcending height.

You have God. Your sea-deep eyes can prove it.
You are God. Your sun-vast heart is the proof.
You have God. Your body of sound can prove it.
You are God. Your soul of silence is the proof.
You have God; therefore, death bows to you.
You are God; therefore, Immortality claims you.
You have God; therefore, you are unmistakably great.
You are God; therefore, you are ceaselessly good.

God you want?
Then your first friend is temptation,
Your second friend is frustration,
Your third friend is destruction.

God you need?
Then your first friend is love,
Your second friend is devotion,
Your third friend is surrender.

God you have.
Your first friend is aspiration,
Your second friend is liberation,
Your third friend is realisation.

God you are.
Your first friend is revelation,
Your second friend is manifestation,
Your third friend is perfection.

God you want? Be careful.
God you need? Be hopeful.
God you have. Whom else do you need? No one!
God you are. Who does not need you? No one!

Everybody needs you, for you have God and you are God.
You are the body,
You are the vital,
You are the mind,
You are the heart,
You are the soul
Of what you have and what you are.
What you have is a vast heart.
What you are is a glowing soul.

God you want.
God you need.
God you have.
God you are.

Self-examination

University of Connecticut at Storrs; Storrs, Connecticut, USA
St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel
14 January 1974

Dear seekers of the infinite Truth, just because we are all seekers we are all in God's Boat. God's Boat will carry us to our Destined Goal. Today I wish to give a short talk on self-examination. Most of us here are students. To be precise, all of us are students. Some of us are studying at the University, while others are studying in the outer world or in the inner world. We work very hard to pass our examinations. Our teachers and professors work very hard to be impartial.

When the human teacher wants to examine us, very often his pride pleads with him. It wants to examine us on the teacher's behalf. When God, the divine Teacher, wants to examine us, His Compassion pleads with Him. It wants to examine us on God's behalf. The human teacher gladly agrees to the proposal made by his pride. The divine Teacher immediately agrees to the proposal offered by His Compassion.

When the human teacher examines us, we either pass or fail the examination. But when the divine Teacher examines us, we never fail. Why? We never fail because the divine Teacher is at once our examiner and our private tutor. He privately teaches us what He is going to ask us in His examination. Naturally we never fail. First He teaches us devotedly, constantly and unconditionally. Then He openly examines us, and we all pass His examination without any difficulty.

Self-examination and deception are total strangers. They are constantly at daggers drawn. Deception hates self-examination. Self-examination is fond of perfection, and perfection is proud of self-examination. Deception runs backward. Self-examination runs forward to its goal of perfection. At the end of the backward journey, evil shakes hands with deception. And at the end of the forward journey, God, the Supreme Pilot, garlands self-examination.

Self-examination is our aspiration for the higher world and the inner world. The higher world is immortal Light. The inner world is infinite Peace. Light shows us the face of Truth and then makes us the body of Truth. Peace makes us the body of Truth and then shows us the face of Truth. Light says to Peace, "Sister, I need your Length. What you have and what you are is Infinity's Length." Peace immediately tells Light, "Brother, my Length is equally yours. What you have and what you are is Transcendental Height. I need your Light and your Height." The immortal Light says, "My sister, take it. My Light and my Height are equally yours."

Unlike us, God examines Himself constantly. We are reluctant to examine ourselves, but God is fond of examining Himself at every moment. He examines Himself in order to see whether His infinite Compassion is operating most effectively in the heart of mankind. And unlike us, God is fond of perfecting Himself at every moment. He feels that He is perfect only when we can offer Him a soulful smile. We pray to God for countless things, but He inwardly prays to us for only one thing: a smile, a soulful smile.

Self-discovery and God-discovery are one and the same thing, but they usually work in two specific ways. In God-discovery, we see the infinite Infinity crying in the heart of the finite. In self-discovery, we see the finite smiling through the soul of the Infinite.

Self-examination leads us to self-control. Self-control leads us to self-mastery. Self-mastery is the denial of ignorance-sea and the affirmation of illumination-sky. Self-examination is our journey's start. Our first Goal is self-discovery. Our second Goal is God-revelation. Our third and last Goal is God-manifestation. God-discovery or God-realisation, God-revelation and God-manifestation: these are the three rungs in the ladder of our spiritual evolution. Early in the morning, Mother Earth offers God-realisation to Father Heaven as her first gift. At noon, Mother Earth offers God-revelation to Father Heaven as her second gift. And in the evening, Mother Earth offers God-manifestation to Father Heaven as her third and ultimate gift.

All seekers of the Transcendental are receiving Truth, Peace, Light and Bliss according to their capacity and receptivity. Everyone starts his spiritual journey as a beginner-seeker. When a beginner-seeker examines his body, he discovers a stupid donkey. When he examines his vital, he discovers a mad elephant. When he examines his mind, he discovers a restless and mischievous monkey. And when he examines his heart, he discovers a feeble ant. His sincerity sees and feels it. But at the end of his journey's close, his sincerity makes him see and feel something else. He examines his body and discovers a sea of Purity. He examines his vital and discovers a sea of divine Power. He examines his mind and discovers a sea of infinite Peace. He examines his heart and discovers an infinite expanse of Light and Delight.

Choice

University of Maryland; College Park, Maryland, USA
West Chapel
16 January 1974

Dear seekers, dear sisters and brothers, dear aspirants for the highest ultimate Goal, I wish to give a talk on the subject of choice. Who has made the first choice: God or me? My mind thinks that it is I who have chosen God. My heart feels God and I have chosen each other simultaneously. My soul knows that it was God who chose me first, long before I even dreamt of choosing Him.

Each human being is a chooser. He chooses mankind to obey his express orders. He chooses God to listen to his soulful prayers. The animal in man chooses life-destruction. The human in man chooses world-admiration. The divine in man chooses God-realisation. The Supreme in man chooses perfect Perfection.

We choose God when we come to realise that the world does not need us, that the world does not care for our wisdom-light. Only when the outer world has disappointed us and our immediate world has deserted us do we think of choosing God. God chooses us because He does not want to drink the nectar of Immortality alone. God chooses us because He does not want to reveal His Transcendental Reality alone. God chooses us because He does not want to manifest His universal Oneness alone.

Our body chooses rest, pleasure-loving rest. Our vital chooses aggression, titanic aggression. Our mind chooses information, encyclopaedic information. Our heart chooses love, all-fulfilling love. And God chooses perfection within and perfection without—perfection in our inner life of realisation and perfection in our outer life of manifestation.

Before we enter into the spiritual life, we choose the might of the outer world. But once we enter into the spiritual life, we choose only the light of the inner world. Before we enter into the spiritual life we choose the name and fame of the outer world. But once we enter into the spiritual life we choose to participate most soulfully and devotedly in God's Cosmic Game in order to please Him and fulfil Him in His own Way.

Now what is the spiritual life? The spiritual life is the life of our conscious God-awareness. What else is the spiritual life? The spiritual life is the life of our constant God-loving and our ultimate God-becoming. I choose God, not because He is all-Power, not because He is all-Wisdom, not because He is all-Light and all-Peace, not even because He is all-Love, but because He and I are one, eternally one. God and I are eternally one. You and God are eternally one. We are all eternally and inseparably one with God.

I am the dream-boat of God's Heart and God is the Reality-Shore of my life. This is the realisation each individual seeker here and everywhere is bound to achieve sooner or later. We are all inseparably one with God. It is for this reason and no other reason that we choose God. As long as we are unconscious of the fact that we are one with God, we wallow contentedly in the pleasures of ignorance. But once our inner being is awakened, our soul comes to the fore and convinces our outer physical mind of the fact that we are not only God's chosen instruments but also God's eternal comrades. He needs us, as we need Him. He is the Tree and we are the branches and leaves. The Tree trunk and the branches and leaves need each other. We choose Him for our realisation, as He chooses us for His manifestation. Without Him, we cannot realise our highest absolute Height. Again, without us He cannot manifest His Vision-in-Reality, His Reality-in-Vision.

Each human being on earth represents God according to his own capacity and receptivity. In and through each human being God manifests Himself in a specific way. Each individual is of paramount importance to Him, for He Himself has chosen each individual to play a significant role in His Cosmic Drama. But we have to know that it is God who chooses us first, and not we who choose God. The Creator creates the Creation, and then the Creation admires the Creator. The Creation is the choice of the Creator and admiration is the choice of the Creation. It is through our heart's admiration and adoration that we become consciously one with the Supreme Pilot, and it is through His conscious, compassionate choice that He has established His inseparable oneness with each human being, each child of His on earth.

Duty is the supreme choice of God. He feels there can be nothing more important than duty. He discharges His Duty at every moment, for He feels that in performing His Duty He is not only awakening the earth-consciousness but also bringing down the Heaven-Delight into the very heart of earth.

We are at once the representatives of Mother Earth and Father Heaven. As the representatives of Father Heaven, our first and foremost choice should be self-giving to the Supreme Beloved. It is in our self-giving that we can manifest the Transcendental Reality on earth. As the representatives of Mother Earth, we feel that it is our bounden duty to spread our wings like a bird —- not to cover the length and breadth of the world, but to expand our earth-bound consciousness, to transcend the limits of our earthly existence. Here on earth we have to go deep within and try to spread our wings of light and delight so that we can consciously grow into the ever-transcending and ever-widening Universal Consciousness.

God made His choice in choosing us; now let us make our choice in choosing Him. His choice is the song of manifestation. Our choice is the song of realisation. And today's realisation is tomorrow's manifestation. Again, tomorrow's manifestation is only the beginning of a forward and upward and inward journey. Today, on the strength of our inner choice, we move forward, upward and inward and reach our chosen Destination. But today's Destination will only be the starting point for our farther, higher and more fulfilling Goal of tomorrow. There is no fixed Goal, for we are all evolving. In the process of evolution we are running, flying and diving towards an ever-transcending, deepening and widening Goal. To run farther, fly higher and dive deeper is the only choice that each individual seeker on earth should consciously, devotedly, unmistakably and unconditionally make.

Meditation and inner education

University of Delaware; Newark, Delaware, USA
Smith Hall
16 Janaury 1974

Dear seekers, dear sisters and brothers, this evening I shall give a short talk on meditation and education. Since my subject will be meditation and education, with your kind permission I wish to meditate for a while. I shall be extremely grateful to each of you if you would join me in my meditation.

Meditation and the inner education. Meditation is a vast subject. Being a spiritual man, I know a little bit about meditation, and I can speak on this subject for hours. But I wish to tell you, with all the sincerity at my command, that if we can meditate soulfully even for a fleeting minute, the result of our meditation will far surpass the effect of any talk given by anybody on earth on this subject.

But since we have to convince our physical mind, we talk and we listen. We are in the mind, and we feel that we are of the mind and for the mind. Such being the case, at times it is of paramount importance to give talks on meditation; but meditation is best done in utmost silence, in pindrop silence.

Since we want to convince our physical mind, let us try to know what meditation actually means. Unfortunately, in the West, many people have misconceptions about meditation. They think meditation means living a life of self-abnegation, and that meditation cannot be applied to our daily needs. They think meditation is for those who want to live in the Himalayan caves, for those who want to shun society. But I wish to say that these notions are all ill-founded. A seeker who knows how to meditate properly, effectively and soulfully is a practical man. Meditation is not theoretical, but practical. Since God is Himself practical, a seeker of the highest Truth cannot be otherwise.

In this world either we desire or we aspire. At each moment we are given ample opportunity to possess and grab the world or to become inseparably one with the world. Meditation teaches us how to become inseparably one with the world at large. When we cry for the Vast, for the ultimate Truth, meditation is the immediate answer. When we want to achieve boundless Peace, boundless Light, boundless Bliss, meditation is the only answer. The world needs one thing, and that is peace, and meditation is the only answer. Everybody meditates. If you tell me, "No, I do not know how to meditate," unfortunately I cannot see eye to eye with you. Everybody meditates, but there is a difference between my way of meditation and your way and his or her way of meditation. Since the dawn of Heaven and the creation, everybody has been meditating, but we all meditate according to our capacity and receptivity. When we think of God and meditate on God, this is one form of meditation. When we cherish or treasure a good thought, even for a fleeting second, this is another kind of meditation. Anything that helps us to our self-expansion is meditation.

In the West, we most often speak of prayer, while in the East, especially in India, we speak of meditation. The Western belief is that prayer can and will do everything. In the East, we feel that meditation can give us everything, that meditation will help us to grow into the ever-transcending Beyond. Prayer and meditation are bosom friends. When we pray, our entire being climbs up high, higher, highest and reaches the ultimate Truth. At that time we offer ourselves to the Supreme, the ultimate Source. With our prayer, we commune with God, we establish a free access to the highest Absolute Father. When we meditate, we make our mind calm, quiet, vacant and tranquil, and we receive Light from Above in infinite measure.

Meditation and prayer are two different types of conversation, but they serve the same purpose. When we pray, we talk to God; we tell Him all about our needs and all our soulful expectations. Through our prayer, we ask God for anything that we want; and anything that we would like to offer God from our very existence we offer through our prayer. But when we meditate, we remain silent, absolutely silent, and we beg of God to work in and through us. He dictates and we try to execute His express Will.

In the beginning, we see and feel on the strength of our meditation that God alone is doing everything, and that we are mere instruments. But, in time, when we go deep within, we come to realise that He is not only the Doer but also the action itself, and He is not only the action, but also the result thereof. To simplify the matter, we can say that meditation means God's conscious and compassionate Dictates to us and prayer means our soulful conversation with God. When we meditate, God talks to us and we most devotedly listen. When we pray, we talk to God and He most compassionately listens.

Meditation and the inner education are one and the same thing; meditation is the inner education. To be a proper human being, we have to be integrally educated. To be a proper divine being, we have to be supremely liberated in our inner life and in our outer life. The outer education tells us what the world is doing. The inner education tells us what we can do. The outer education helps us make a decent living. The inner education helps us live for God in the heart of man. The outer education is an observation, an observed fact. The inner education is an experience, an experienced reality. With our outer education, we can at best knock at God's Door. With our inner education, we can not only enter into God's Room, but actually sit on God's transcendental Throne. The outer education is the fulfilment of the physical mind, the vital and the earth-bound consciousness. The inner education is the song of liberation, salvation and divine freedom.

Each human being has two teachers. As there is outer education and inner education, even so, is there a teacher for us in the outer world and a Teacher for us in the inner world. The teacher in the outer world tells us, "Accept me. If you do not accept me, you are bound to remain always a most deplorable fool. So the sooner you accept me, the better for you." The Teacher in the inner life tells us, "Accept me, please, for if you do not accept me, I shall always remain incomplete. You and I are one. If one part of my existence remains unlit, obscure and unaspiring, then I myself shall remain imperfect. Therefore, I beg of you, O seeker, accept me, for I wish to become complete and perfect with your kind acceptance of my reality's Light."

The outer teacher tells me, "Follow me. I can show you the goal. If you do not follow me, there is no goal for you. It is I alone who can show you the goal, so follow me." But the inner Teacher tells us, "Believe me, once and for all, the supernal Light is in you. The Transcendental Light is of you. The Eternal Father is for you. Finally, O seeker, I wish to offer you this message: you are the way and you are also the Goal. Believe me, once and for all."

Experience

Princeton University; Princeton, New Jersey, USA
Graduate School Commons Room
22 January 1974

Dear seekers, dear spiritual brothers and sisters, I wish to give a short talk on inner experience. In the spiritual life there are few things as important and significant as inner experience. To have an inner experience is to have many millions of spiritual dollars. Inner experience is a seeker's most precious wealth. Since we are all seekers here, what is of paramount importance in our lives is inner experience.

An inner experience is the seeker's conscious awareness of his Immortality.
An inner experience is the seeker's conscious expansion of his Infinity.
An inner experience is the seeker's conscious fulfilment of his Eternity.

There are three things that we have to experience in our inner life, our life of aspiration and dedication. These things are: Light, divine Light; Power, divine Power; and Peace, divine Peace.

Ordinary light will expose us if we do something wrong, but divine Light never exposes us. On the contrary, it illumines us and tries to perfect us.

Human power is the power that urges us to break and destroy, to dominate and crush others. Human power is the power of separativity. But divine Power inspires us to create and build. It is the power of oneness.

Human peace is usually a forced compromise. But divine Peace is our fulfilment in the perfection-song of the Universal Consciousness, the all-pervading Consciousness that abides deep within us.

When we experience the divine Light, we feel that the soul-seed within us begins to germinate.

When we experience the divine Power, we see our life-plant growing slowly, steadily, unerringly, convincingly and fruitfully.

When we experience the divine Peace, we see the blossoming of the perfection-flower of our life-plant.

When we have the soul's need for inner experience, we grow into true seekers. But before we feel the necessity for inner experience, we are all ordinary human beings. For an ordinary human being, what is necessary is progress. And this comes through outer experience.

An outer experience is the insecurity of our human heart.
An outer experience is the obscurity of our human mind.
An outer experience is the immaturity of our human vital.
An outer experience is the impurity of our human body.

A human being at times represents his own divine qualities and at times represents his human qualities. At times, unfortunately, he even represents the animal qualities that still remain within him.

Destruction-night is the animal experience.
Aspiration-height is the human experience.
Perfection-light is the divine experience.

In our spiritual life, there is something infinitely more important than experience and that is called realisation. When we have an experience of the highest magnitude, we feel that we are touching or are about to touch God the Tree. But when we have the highest realisation, we feel that we are not only touching the God-Tree but also climbing up the Tree and reaching the highest bough, where we then enjoy the nectar-fruits.

An experience of God can be denied and rejected by the doubting mind, but the realisation of God far transcends the domain of doubt and the judgement of the mind. It goes far beyond the jurisdiction of the human mind. Realisation has the power to remain constantly in tune with the highest Source, so the human mind cannot disturb its poise, confidence and certainty.

Man's inner experience of God makes man aware of the possibility of God-becoming. That is to say, when man has an iota of God-experience, he begins to feel that sooner or later he will be able to grow into the very Image of God. God's experience in man makes God feel that the perfection of His Manifestation-Light on earth is not only possible and practicable, but also inevitable. In man, God is a dream. This experience both man and God achieve. In God, man is a reality. This experience man and God simultaneously receive.

With God, man smiles. He smiles the smile of perfection, transcendental Perfection. With man, God cries. He cries the cry that has been inside the human heart from time immemorial.

God's Compassion-experience and man's liberation-experience are inseparable. When God's Compassion descends, the meshes of ignorance dissolve and man's liberation dawns.

When we have an inner experience, we spontaneously learn something higher, something deeper, something more soulful and more fruitful than any ordinary human learning. One inner experience will teach us how to run towards the Goal, how to discover our higher and deeper Reality. Another inner experience will teach us how to unlearn everything that has caught our mind in the outer world—everything undivine, unillumined, unaspiring, unfulfilled. The things that are fulfilling, we shall learn from our ever-evolving experience; the things that are discouraging and destructive we shall unlearn. Every day, on the strength of our inner experience, we have the opportunity to learn the higher Truth and unlearn the many hostile and undivine things that our mind has mistaken for Truth.

When we are in the process of learning and unlearning, there comes a time when we achieve perfection both in our inner life and in our outer life. Today's experience grows into tomorrow's realisation. For a seeker, inner experience is the precursor of God-realisation, which is the most important, most significant experience. Then tomorrow's realisation grows into the perfection of the following day. Experience is the first rung, realisation is the second rung and perfection is the third rung of the cosmic ladder.

Outer experiences we can share with others when we are suffering and also when we are in a cheerful frame of mind. Whether we have something to be proud of or whether we have inner pangs, we can easily share these experiences. But if we share our inner experiences with others, we are just inviting doubt to snatch them away. And once we allow others to inject doubt into our mind and heart, our progress stops. No seeker will be able to go further if he prematurely shares his inner experiences with others. But once a seeker has reached the highest Height or has at least achieved something solid and concrete in his spiritual life, then he can share his experiences with others without the risk of losing the inspiration and illumination of those experiences. Indeed, at that time, his inner experiences will inspire and illumine his friends.

One may have hundreds and thousands of experiences during his life of aspiration. But two or three major experiences are more than enough for a seeker to realise the Highest, the Absolute. Now, we have to be careful about our inner experiences; we have to know whether these deeper experiences are real or not. When a seeker gets an experience, he has to go deep within in order to get a still higher and deeper experience so that he can know the true meaning of his previous experience. Or, if he has a spiritual Master, the Master can tell him the true meaning of his experience.

Let us start our journey with aspiration. If we have sincere aspiration, we are bound to have inner experiences, and then our realisation cannot remain a far cry. And once realisation dawns, perfect Perfection is bound to blossom in our life of aspiration on earth. We have to aspire to bring down the Kingdom of Heaven to earth. The Kingdom of Heaven automatically descends to earth when we grow into perfection, when we dive into the Heart of the highest Absolute Supreme.

The heart

University of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
David Rittenhouse Auditorium
22 January 1974

Dear seekers of the Transcendental Truth, dear sisters and brothers of the one Transcendental Spirit, this evening I wish to give a talk on the heart.

I wish to tell all my friends and my spiritual brothers and sisters here in Philadelphia that inside the heart of each individual seeker rings the Liberty Bell. The Liberty Bell that we see here in Philadelphia has a large crack, and therefore it does not ring properly. But in the inner life, our Liberty Bell rings perfectly. It is up to each individual to listen to his inner bell every day. This bell has been ringing front time immemorial in each individual soul, inspiring the soul to take part in God's Cosmic Drama and to run fast, faster, fastest towards the Destined Goal.

We have a loving heart, an aspiring heart, an inspiring heart, an illumining heart and a fulfilling heart. With our loving heart we welcome the world at large. With our aspiring heart we climb up to the highest pinnacle of divinity. With our inspiring heart we inspire not only the world within us, but also the world without—the world of God's entire Creation. With our illumining heart we illumine our ignorance, darkness, imperfection and bondage. With our fulfilling heart we fulfil God the Dreamer in us, God the Player in us, God the Lover in us and God the Beloved Supreme in us.

Also, with our loving heart we can unconditionally surrender ourselves to the Will of God. With our aspiring heart we can grow into the very Image of God. With our inspiring heart we can spread the Message of God throughout the length and breadth of the world. With our illumining heart we can manifest our inner divinity on the outer plane. And, with our fulfilling heart, we can fulfil both God the Creator and God the Creation at once. Our fulfilling heart is nothing other than our unconditionally surrendered heart flying with the wings of the Supreme.

When we enter into the spiritual life, we come to realise that we also have a soulful heart, a heart of peace and a heart of delight. The soulful heart we need at every moment in our life of aspiration. Without it we cannot make an iota of inner progress. The peaceful heart we need because when peace is wanting in our life, this life has no abiding satisfaction. The heart of delight we need because it is the very source of our divine plenitude and infinitude. We came from delight, we live in delight and, at the end of our journey's close, into delight we retire.

Anandaddhyeva khalvimani bhutani jayante…

How can a beginner in the spiritual life have a soulful heart? Let him look into the sky in the evening when the sun starts to set. When the beginner-seeker looks at the sky and becomes deeply absorbed in the setting sun, his soulful heart comes to the fore. If the beginner needs a peaceful heart, let him concentrate, meditate and contemplate on the very depths of the ocean, the ocean of life. And if he needs a heart of delight, let him look at the ocean surface and allow his inner being to get in tune with the waves of the ocean.

The heart is most intimate to us and most significant in our life. When our physical heart fails, we pass behind the curtain of Eternity and die. Similarly, in the spiritual life, when our heart of aspiration fails even while we are living here on earth, we will be living in the world of death. Medical science tells us that the physical heart is located within the chest on the left side. Some spiritual Masters are of the opinion that the spiritual heart is on the right side, and others are of the opinion that it is in the middle. Then again, there are still others who are of the opinion that it is inside the forehead, a little above the eyebrows. Naturally these spiritual Masters are dealing with the spiritual heart, and each is right in his own way. Each has discovered the heart according to his own inner light and inner wisdom.

When we are told that the heart is between and a little above the eyebrows, at the outset we are bound to be puzzled and somewhat disturbed. Whether it is on the left side or the right side of the chest may be immaterial to us. But when we are told that the heart is located between the eyebrows, naturally we are thrown into a sea of confusion. But I wish to say that those who are of the opinion that the heart is located there are perfectly right in their way, for that place is the source of our intuition, of our intuitive light. Heart means light. Wherever we feel the presence of light, without the least possible hesitation we can say that that very place is the heart, because heart and light are one and the same thing.

Now we have to know that the heart is not the highest or the most perfect member of our inner family. It is the soul that is the highest, because the soul is all light. In the soul there is no darkness at all. The human heart receives light from the soul, and that is why the soul is superior. It is the source of the heart's light. The human heart identifies with the soul's light, whereas the mind finds it extremely difficult to do this. Hence, the heart is superior to the mind. Again, the mind is superior to the vital because the mind searches for the truth, for light—at times consciously, at times unconsciously. But the vital does not care for the highest Truth. The vital cares for the truth only when the truth offers satisfaction in the vital's own undivine way. But the vital does at least care for light, whereas the gross physical does not want light at all. It is ready to remain imperfect and incomplete for millennia.

When we enter into the spiritual life, we discover that there are two significant roads that can lead us towards our Destined Goal. One road is the mental road, the road of the mind; the other is the psychic road, the road of the heart. Both of these roads will take us to our Destined Goal. But one road is shorter and safer, and that is the road of the heart. When we follow the road of the mind, at any moment doubt can snatch us away. The world's information can pull down human aspiration. But the road of the heart is sunlit. When he follows this road, a seeker always feels deep within himself a deer running towards the Destined Goal. Each individual has to know whether he listens more to his mind or more to his heart. The message of the heart is altogether different from the message of the mind. Since we want to reach our Goal as soon as possible, we feel the supreme necessity of the heart's road.

There are two ways of approaching the ultimate Reality: one is the way of knowledge and the other is the way of love. Those who follow the path of the heart become convinced, on their way to self-discovery, that love itself is the supreme Knowledge. Right now, knowledge and love seem like two different things. The mind supplies us with knowledge and the heart supplies us with love. But the deeper we go, the clearer it becomes to us that love and knowledge are one and the same. God is omniscient, God is omnipotent, God is omnipresent. He is everything. He embodies Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. But when we go deep within, we find that these qualities do not satisfy us. There is only one aspect of God that satisfies us totally and most convincingly, and that aspect is God's Love. When, on the strength of our own love we approach God's infinite Love, we are totally satisfied. We will not be satisfied when we see or feel God the all-awesome. Only the Love aspect of God quenches our eternal thirst.

In the spiritual life, we see that two hearts can and often do become inseparably one with each other. One is the heart of the seeker or disciple, and the other is the heart of the Teacher, the spiritual Master. These two hearts are constantly singing one song, the song of self-giving. When a true disciple meets his Master for the first time, his inner and outer promise to the Master is this: "I want nothing from you. Although I have come to you so that you can help me in my God-realisation, even if you never grant me God-realisation, my love for you, my devotion to you and my oneness with you will always remain total and unconditional." So a real seeker uses his heart of oneness, his heart of self-giving, when he accepts his Master. And he will grow into spiritual perfection through his love and devotion for the Highest in his Master, the Inner Pilot, God the Supreme. The spiritual Master also uses his heart when he accepts a disciple who comes to him for inner guidance. On the strength of his own self-giving heart, the Master tells his disciple, "I have already accepted you, no matter what you do for God. Even if you do not do anything for God, for God's manifestation, still I shall go on loving you."

So the disciple's heart becomes one with the Master's heart and makes the solemn promise: "Whether or not you help me in my God-realisation is up to you, but I shall go on loving the Supreme in you forever." And the Master also makes a solemn, soulful promise to the disciple: "Whether you care for God-manifestation or not is up to you, but my love for you and my self-offering to you shall remain unconditional forever."

It is said that a pure heart is everything. Now what does it mean to have a pure heart? First of all, there must be sanctity and serenity in the heart. But I wish to say that that is not actually enough. A pure heart means a heart that embodies the constantly climbing flame of aspiration. If within the heart there is an ever-mounting flame that wants to reach the Highest, then that is the heart of purity. All of us here have a pure heart to some degree. Since we are all seekers here, we are bound to have the inner flame of aspiration in our heart. Let us try to feed this inner flame through our constant spiritual practice, through our daily prayer, meditation and contemplation. The highest Transcendental Goal resides deep within each of us. Our Goal can never be a far cry; it is within our reach, provided we constantly look ahead, look deep within and look upward to the highest Height.

We leave the starting point the moment we feel in the inmost recesses of our heart the flame of aspiration. Once we have left the starting point, it is only a matter of time before we reach the Goal. Those who are awakened can run the fastest towards the Destined Goal. Those who are in the process of awakening may rest assured that the Goal is awaiting them. And those who still cannot get up will not be belittled by those who are in the process of awakening or by those who are already awakened. The spiritual life is not a life of competition. If competition is at all necessary, then each should compete with his own weaknesses, imperfections and limitations, with his own bondage and death.

If we practise meditation regularly, faithfully and devotedly, not only do we come closer to our Goal, but the Goal itself comes running towards us. Halfway along the path, the Goal and the runner meet to fulfil each other's needs. By reaching the Goal, the runner fulfils his task, the task of realising the highest possible Truth. And by reaching the runner, the Goal makes the manifestation of the highest Truth not only possible and practicable but also inevitable. The Goal and the runner fulfil themselves as they fulfil their respective roles in the life of aspiration and in the life of manifestation.

Time

Marlboro College; Marlboro, Vermont, USA
Common Room
25 January 1974

Dear brothers and sisters, dear spiritual seekers, this morning I wish to give a talk on time.

Time is love.
If we love time,
Then time gives us what we want: pleasure.

Time is love.
If we love time,
Then time gives us what we need: joy.

Time is love.
If we love time,
Then God accepts from us what we have: ignorance.

Time is love.
If we love time,
Then God gives us what He has: Light.

Pleasure. Pleasure on the physical plane, the vital plane and the mental plane is very short-lived, but during its brief span pleasure injures the real in us. The real in us is our cry for God, for Truth, for Light —- our cry for Infinity's Heart, Eternity's Body and Immortality's Soul. Today's pleasure ends in tomorrow's frustration and destruction. Tomorrow's frustration and destruction end in the total eclipse of our inner divinity. Therefore, a sincere seeker of the transcendental Truth tries to avoid pleasure.

Joy. In the spiritual life, joy is of paramount importance. Joy grows, joy flows and joy soars. God the climbing Tree grows with our joy, our inner joy. God the dancing River flows with our joy, our fulfilling joy. God the flying Bird soars with our joy, our illumining joy. If a spiritual seeker remains in a cheerful frame of mind, he makes very fast progress. Joy means confidence in his life of aspiration. Joy is self-discovery and self-fulfilment.

Ignorance. When we go deep within, we see that we have nothing to give to God but ignorance. This ignorance God accepts from us most gladly, most devotedly and most unconditionally. Our life of ignorance we offer to God and, in return, God offers to us a life of beauty, a life of plenitude, a life of infinitude.

Light. Light is self-revelation. Self-revelation grows into self-manifestation, and self-manifestation grows into self-perfection. Self-perfection and God-perfection are one and the same thing, operating on two different levels. We notice self-perfection in the heart of the finite. We notice God-perfection in the body of the Infinite.

Time is our oneness with God, our conscious oneness with God. We establish our conscious oneness with God on the strength of our inner cry. Mother Earth offers us her wealth: patience, sacrifice and compassion. Father Heaven offers us His wealth: love, wisdom and illumination. With the help we get from Mother Earth, we prepare ourselves for salvation. With the help we get from Father Heaven, we prepare ourselves for divine glorification. Salvation we get from earth, and divine glorification we get from Heaven. When we receive salvation, we feel that we are growing into the very Image of our Beloved Supreme. When we are offered glorification, we feel that our Beloved Supreme is playing in and through us. In the finite He is singing His Song Celestial, His song of infinite Beauty, Light, Melody and Harmony. The animal in us does not care to know about time. The human in us knows that there exists something called time, but it does not value time. The divine in us utilises time most effectively and divinely. The Supreme in us, the Inner Pilot, fulfils His Dream and His Reality here on earth through time.

Here on earth a child has no time even to eat his candy. A young boy has no time to study. A young man has no time to think. An old man has no time to rest. But a seeker knows that his God has the time to eat candy, to study, to think, to rest. His God has time for everything. The seeker also knows that God has the time to do everything because He takes the help of time. Only with the co-operation of time can He achieve everything in and through His aspiring, devoted and surrendered children.

Unaspiring human beings do not enlist the help of time. They do not know the value of time. They think that achievement is of paramount importance, and not the time required for the achievement. So they do not care for time; they neglect time. They do not realise that time is the bridge that will carry them to the other shore. If they do not use the bridge, they cannot go on to the other shore where there is Light, Peace and Bliss in boundless measure. But the aspiring person, the seeker, appreciates time and utilises it. When it is time to eat, he will eat; when it is time to think, he will think; when it is time to study spiritual books, he will study; and when it is time to rest, he will rest. For him, each day is a new challenge, a new opportunity. He enters into the battlefield of life to conquer darkness, limitation, bondage and death. He has to fight and rest at the appropriate times. He has to do all the things that are necessary to invoke Peace, Light and Bliss from Above in infinite measure so that he can bring to the fore his inner divinity and offer it to the world at large.

There are two types of time in the spiritual life: earth-time and Heaven-time. Earth-time is necessity, and Heaven-time is reality, while necessity's reality is God-intoxication. The seeker in us feels that it is of supreme necessity for him to see the face of reality. And when he sees the face of reality, he becomes a God-intoxicated soul. Reality on its part enters into our necessity and fulfils our necessity by illumining us within and without.

A God-intoxicated soul comes to realise that he has to achieve the eternal Truth first and then serve the divinity in humanity. First, he has to achieve the Highest, the Absolute, and only then can he serve the Absolute in mankind. In this way he will be able to grow into the Transcendental Reality. God's Reality, on the other hand, feels that since it already is eternal, it must always serve its own all-pervading Consciousness. The tree feels that it is its bounden duty to fulfil the needs of the branches, leaves, flowers and fruits. It also knows that it has the capacity to do this. So Reality starts serving its infinite manifestations immediately, for it knows that it has what it requires: Consciousness in infinite measure. So the one climbs up the tree and then brings down the fruit to share it with humanity, while the other, who is already seated on the top of the tree, comes down immediately and shares the fruit with the aspiring humanity.

In the spiritual life, a sincere seeker knows that there is a God-appointed Hour, a God-ordained Hour. We call it God's Hour. This Hour we can neither pull towards us nor push aside, but we can expedite it. We can shorten our road to God-realisation provided we are ready to sacrifice ourselves, to offer to the Divine at every moment all that we have within us —- our ignorant, undivine and unaspiring qualities, as well as our aspiring qualities.

There is one thing in our physical that is unwanted now and forever, and that is lethargy.

In the vital there is something that we have to get rid of, and that is aggression, or the feeling of superiority and supremacy.

In the mind there is something that we must get rid of, and that is doubt. We doubt others and we doubt ourselves. When we doubt others, nothing happens to them. They go on perfecting themselves through their daily experiences. It is we who suffer each time we doubt, for we eclipse our inner sun. This is the sun that is ready to offer us its light in abundant measure; it is ready to kindle the flame of aspiration within us so that we can climb up high, higher, highest into our Transcendental Divinity.

In the heart we also have something to get rid of, and that is insecurity. Very often we feel that we are helpless, we are hopeless, we are useless. But this wrong notion we must not cherish. Once we become sincere seekers on the path of Truth and Light, we know that deep within us is the Inner Pilot. It was He who inspired us to walk along the road of Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. If He Himself had not inspired us, we could not have launched into the sea of spirituality. But He did inspire us, and He continues to inspire us every day. So we can never be helpless, we can never be insecure. We know there is Light within us. Just because we do not now have the Light at our disposal, we cannot say that this Light will remain always a far cry. On the contrary, today's impossibility is tomorrow's destined achievement. There is simply no such thing as impossibility in our spiritual life.

We know that we are aiming at a Goal, the Goal that has everything divine for us in infinite measure. We are trying to establish our conscious oneness with Someone who is infinite, eternal and immortal —- our God. Since He is our Source, since He is our Goal, how can our ultimate achievement be limited? Everything that we want to achieve, everything that we want to grow into, needs time; and our time is determined by God. We shall not pull God's Hour. We shall not push God's Hour. We shall simply play our role. We shall pray, we shall meditate the way we feel best from deep within. And God will select His Hour to illumine us so that He can fulfil Himself in and through us. In His Fulfilment is our real achievement and real perfection.

Power

University of Maine; Orono, Maine, USA
Luther I. Bonney Hall
25 January 1974

Dear sisters and brothers, dear seekers of the ultimate Truth, I wish to give a talk on power. We all know what power is. Everyone from a child to an octogenarian can tell us what power is. But I wish to say a few words on power from the spiritual point of view, based on my own inner experiences.

Life is action and action is power. Now, to whom does this power belong? Is it mine? No, never! Were it my power, I could use it at any time. But there have been many times when I wanted to use power and could not, precisely because this power does not belong to me. This power does not belong to any individual. It belongs to some higher realm.

Why do we want power? We want power because we feel that it will satisfy us in various ways. Within us we have the animal, the human and the divine. Although we have come out of the animal kingdom, we still have a good many animal propensities in our life. Although we are aspiring for a divine and higher life, the unlit, the obscure, the undivine animal and human in us are still predominant. To satisfy the animal in us, we want power to destroy the world. To satisfy the human in us, we want power to gain supremacy over others and lord it over them; we want power so that we can bring others under our control and make them extol us to the skies. To satisfy the divine in us, we want power so that we can identify ourselves with all and sundry. The divine in us wants to become inseparably one with all human beings on earth. With the divine, there is no question of destruction, no question of supremacy; there is only the universal song of oneness.

Here we all are seekers. Before we entered into the inner life, the life of self-discipline, we noticed quite a few things about the members of our family: body, vital, mind and heart. We discovered that our body was exceedingly weak, impotent; our vital was extremely aggressive, dangerous; our mind was constantly confused, obscure, doubtful; and our heart was continually insecure. We stayed with our weak body, aggressive vital, unlit mind and insecure heart for a good many years.

Then something deep within prompted us to enter into the spiritual life, the life that could give us the message of the Infinite, the Eternal and the Immortal. Now that we have started making progress in the spiritual life, we have come to realise that this very body of ours can become most powerful. Our vital, our mind and our heart can also become most powerful. But we must know that the power of the body is not the power that we outwardly see, the power that takes the form of destruction. The infinite power that we now see in the body is expressed in the body's self-dedication to the Supreme Lord. The boundless power that we now see in the vital is expressed in the vital's dynamic, enthusiastic urge to welcome the vast world as its very own. The infinite power that we now notice in the mind is expressed in the mind's clear, perfect vision of the ever-transcending Beyond. Finally, the infinite power that we now notice in the sun-vast heart reveals that there, in the heart, our divinity grows and our reality constantly fulfils its own Immortality.

There are three types of power usually seen in the present-day world: machine-power, man-power and soul-power. Machine-power is to some extent blind. It takes tremendous joy in destroying the world. Although machine-power is unconscious, even in its unconsciousness we notice that, in a subtle way, it enjoys destruction. But we must remember that this machine-power is utilised by man-power, by the power of man's fertile brain. So machine-power can easily be brought under our control if we use our human brain-power or, preferably, our heart-power. Heart-power is the power of love, the power of oneness. If we use the power of our love and the power of our oneness, then the power of destruction can easily be nullified.

Our soul-power is constantly, incessantly, trying to come to the fore and guide our outer consciousness, our outer life. Unfortunately, right now we do not pay any attention to the soul-power; but once we go deep within and become familiar with it, we shall be able to use it most effectively. The soul-power is the power of universal oneness. The soul-power is the power of real fulfilment and complete perfection in our aspiring lives.

There is a negative power and there is a positive power. Negative power we see in our idleness. When we live a lethargic, tamasic life, we tell God that we are tired and exhausted, that we do not want to budge an inch. We say, "If it is true that You are all Compassion, then please offer us what You have: Peace, Light and Bliss." But if an idle person invokes God in this way, God is not going to listen to his prayer. Never! Again, a rajasic person, a man of unpolished, undisciplined dynamism —- or, rather, aggression —- wants to pull down Peace, Light and Bliss from Above by dint of his unillumined will for power. If he succeeds, it will be a disaster, for when something is achieved untimely, it is never given due value or utilised for a divine purpose. If we utilise power for an undivine purpose, we invite destruction into our life of aspiration. If we utilise power for a divine purpose, we shall be fulfilled in a spiritual, divine and immortal way. Positive power can be all-fulfilling. The Upanishads, the sacred Vedic lore of India, tell us that a weakling can never realise the highest Absolute.

"//Nayam atma balahinena labhyo//
The soul cannot be won by the weakling./"

If we at all want to dive into the inner life, if we want to be guided and moulded by the soul, then we have to be extremely strong. The strength we need is not so much physical strength, but the strength of self-discipline, the strength of self-enquiry, the strength of self-withdrawal from the life of the senses, the strength of self-effacement in the world of offering and self-fulfilment in the world of aspiration and meditation. The Upanishads again inspire us most profoundly:

Uttisthata jagrata prapya varan nibodatha…

Arise! Awake! Realise and achieve the Highest with the help of the illumining, guiding and fulfilling Masters. The path is as sharp as the edge of a razor, difficult to cross, hard to tread—so declare the wise sages.

But the Upanishads in no way want to discourage us. On the contrary, this sacred message will always inspire us to run towards the Goal. But we have to know that only he who is awakened can run towards the Ultimate Goal. The Goal, God-realisation, cannot forever remain unattained or unattainable. Today's impossibility will not always remain an impossibility. No! If the seeker's cry is strong and powerful, the Smile from Above is bound to dawn.

In our day-to-day life, we constantly exercise power, either in accepting or in rejecting reality. When we use power to accept reality with a view to transforming it, if necessity demands, then this power is called the soul's power, the power of the Source. But if we exercise power to reject the world-situation, to reject the possibilities of the world, to reject this world because we feel that its sufferings and turmoil are past correction, then our own transformation and illumination will always remain a far cry for us.

Each human being gets the opportunity to invoke power in various ways. Every day he gets the golden opportunity to invoke power with his hope. Hope is nothing but concealed power. When we cherish hope, we must know that we are consciously or unconsciously invoking an inner or higher power. Today's hope turns into tomorrow's actuality. Today's dream is bound to be fulfilled in tomorrow's reality. As hope is a power, so also is expectation a power. We expect many things from ourselves and from the world. We feel that today's expectation is going to bring down tomorrow's realisation. But in the spiritual life, we play the role without any expectation whatsoever. We feel that our role is to perform divine service, but not to expect the fruits thereof. If we can love, serve, pray and meditate with utmost sincerity, purity and self-offering, then our God-appointed realisation is bound to dawn. It will far transcend our highest expectation and far surpass the flights of our loftiest imagination.

In the spiritual life we deal with silence and we deal with sound and, finally, we deal with a Consciousness which is beyond both silence and sound. Silence is power. This silence creates the world within us and without. Sound, the Cosmic Sound, is also power. As the Transcendental Silence creates the world, so does the Cosmic Sound sustain and maintain the world. Finally, the Consciousness which transcends both sound and silence immortalises the seeker's aspiring being.

We cannot separate the Power of God from His other divine aspects. Power is one aspect of God; Love is another. In the ordinary life, power is power and love is love. But in the spiritual life, in God's Life, Power and Love are inseparable; they are like the obverse and reverse of the same coin. Now, if we do not properly understand the power of love and the love of power, we run into the most deplorable difficulties. Before we realise the highest Transcendental Truth, what we have is the love of power. But after we realise the Truth, we come to feel that there is only one thing in our life, and that is the power of love. As long as we remain in the world of desire, we cherish the love of power. But the moment we enter into the world of aspiration, dedication and illumination, we come to realise the power of love. The love of power destroys the palace of Truth within us. The power of love builds the palace of Truth within us and creates the Kingdom of Heaven within and without us, bringing down Infinity to play in the heart of the finite. When the power of love replaces the love of power, man will have a new name: God.

Spirituality

Virginia Commonwealth University; Richmond, Virginia, USA
Pace Memorial United Methodist Church
6 February 1974

Dear sisters and brothers, dear seekers of the Ultimate Truth, I wish to give a talk on spirituality. As we all know, spirituality is a vast subject and here, in an hour, I can never do justice to it. But let me at least make a beginning.

In spirituality we come to learn of two significant terms: 'meditation' and 'dedicated service'. All of us here are fully aware of these two terms. Some of you may use the terms 'knowledge' and 'work'. Knowledge is the result of meditation. When we dive deep within, we see, we feel and we grow into the highest Knowledge. Work, when it is done in a divine spirit and for a divine purpose, is dedicated service. The combination of meditation and dedicated service makes a man perfect.

In this world, many are of the opinion that spirituality cannot offer a balanced life, but I wish to say that they are badly mistaken. It is spirituality alone that can offer us a real life, a balanced life, a practical life. Who is practical? He who knows the Truth and who knows how to apply the Truth in his daily life. A spiritual person is he who tries to know the Truth today, to discover the Truth tomorrow and to apply the Truth the following day in all his multifarious activities. A spiritual person is someone who goes to the very root of the Truth, for he knows that if there is no root there cannot be any tree. And the root of the Truth is love. A spiritual person meditates not for his own sake alone; he meditates for all and sundry. He meditates for his dear ones, and he meditates for every human being on earth. His is a life of love and dedication.

Each individual has his own way of reaching the Ultimate Truth. One may find it easier to reach the Truth through dedicated service, by loving God in each human being, by seeing and feeling the divinity in humanity. Another may want to dive deep within and first reach the Source, and then work on the earth-plane. Both are doing the right thing. But the person who does not aspire and does not want to aspire in any way —- who is useless in society —- is either a fool or a dead soul.

Each seeker should feel that it is his bounden duty to realise the Highest. But each seeker must know that God-realisation, the realisation of the Ultimate Truth, need not and cannot be the sole monopoly of any one individual. Everyone is destined to reach the Highest. But there is a way that leads a seeker to his Destination quite fast, and that is the way of the heart. If we empty the heart and welcome the eternal Guest, our eternal Beloved, He comes in and fulfils His own Transcendental Reality in our day-to-day existence. The other way, the way of the mind, is lengthier and more difficult. But if we can silence the mind, then Peace, Light, Bliss and Power in infinite measure can enter into us also.

We are all seekers. In our inner life, our spiritual life, we have already travelled millions of miles. Although we may at times fall victim to our animal qualities and indulge in quarrelling, fighting and other negative and destructive actions, still we no longer cherish or appreciate the animal in us. We know that what we actually want from our lives is peace, light and bliss. The animal in us has played its role, and now the human in us is playing its role. We are cherishing the hope that today's human qualities will be transcended and transformed into divine Reality. When we meditate, we feel that this is no longer a hope, but a certainty. When we meditate deeply, profoundly, in the very depths of our heart, we feel that there is no such thing as impossibility. As we have transcended the animal kingdom, so also must we transcend our human weaknesses, imperfections, limitations and bondage.

In the Western world, meditation is not as common as prayer, but I wish to say that prayer and meditation are like two most intimate brothers. If we pray soulfully, we can get what meditation offers us. When we pray, we feel that something from within, from our very depths, from the inmost recesses of our heart, is climbing high, higher, highest. And we feel that somebody is there to listen to our prayer, or somebody is there to receive us at the pinnacle of our aspiration's height. When we meditate soulfully, devotedly, in pindrop silence, we feel that a divine Guest is descending into our heart to guide us, to illumine us, to perfect us and to fulfil His own Transcendental Reality within us. We feel that the Infinite is entering into the finite for their mutual fulfilment.

In this world there is a need for peace. This peace comes only from within, and we can bring it to the fore only through meditation. If we can meditate soulfully for ten minutes every day, we will energise our entire being with peace. Peace houses light, bliss, fulfilment and satisfaction. We can have peace not by possessing the world or leading the world, but by becoming a lover of the world.

Now when we become a lover of the world, we may commit a most deplorable mistake: we may expect something from the world in return for our love. We are ready to accept the limitations and imperfections of the world as our very own. But if, in spite of our best efforts, our best intentions, our deepest love and compassion for the world, the world does not listen to us or does not offer us enough gratitude, at that time we make an inner demand on the world. At the beginning of our service, we demand everything from the world in return for our offering, our life of sacrifice. If we give something, we expect the same amount in return, if not more. Then there comes a time when we give as much as we have, we give to the utmost of our capacity, and we expect in return only an infinitesimal measure of what we have given. But even if we expect just an infinitesimal quantity of appreciation from the world, I wish to say that we are bound to be unhappy; we are bound to be wanting in peace. Let us give to the world unconditionally what we have and what we are: love. The message of love we get only from our daily prayer and meditation. We know that love means oneness, inseparable oneness. And in oneness there is no expectation, no demand.

There are two ways to love. One way is to go first to the human love and then reach upward to the ultimate Love, the divine Love. The other way is to reach the divine Love first and then enter into and transform the human love. The divine Love always inspires us, guides us and moulds us into something immortal, which we can offer to humanity. The human love frustrates us, disappoints us and, finally, constrains us to try to enter into the Kingdom of divine Love.

We have to love life and also love truth. Truth and life can never be separated. When we try to separate truth and life, we cannot make any progress. In our human love, frustration may loom large. But in the divine life, love is constantly building us and shaping us into the very Image of God.

We have spoken about peace and love. If someone asks us to speak about peace, we will be able to speak most eloquently. But speech does not help us to establish the Kingdom of Peace on earth. It is our silent prayer and soulful meditation that can give us the peace of mind which our little world, our own personal world, badly needs, just as the entire outer world needs it. To begin at the beginning, with ourselves, is the only way we can eventually bring peace to the world. If I do not have peace myself, how can I offer peace to others? Impossible!

We have a body, which we regard as the only reality. When we satisfy the need of the body for earthly food, for nourishment, we feel that we have fulfilled our task. But in our inner life also we have someone to feed every day, and that is our soul, the divine being within us, the conscious representative of God on earth. Although we feed our body every day, somehow we fail to feed this divine child within us. Since we never do the first thing first, we remain unsatisfied here on earth. First we must go deep within, and then —- from within — we must go without. The inner life must constantly embrace, guide and inspire the outer life. The outer life is eventually liberated by the inner life, which already has liberation in fullest measure.

The inner life and the outer life can and must run abreast. The inner life will constantly receive messages from Above, messages of Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. Infinity, Eternity and Immortality are not vague terms. When one becomes an advanced seeker, he sees and feels infinite Peace, Light and Bliss within himself. One need not be a God-realised soul to have this experience. All of us have Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure in the very depths of our aspiring spiritual heart.

But right now the door of our heart is locked by ignorance. We have to open the door and dive deep within to go beyond ignorance to where our own Peace, Light and Truth reside.

We are God's children, His chosen instruments. God abides within us as a constant Dream, and we live in God as His only reality. He lives in us as a Dream that will ultimately be transformed into reality, and we live in Him as a reality that will grow into His ever-ascending, ever-blossoming Dream. We are all seekers, and we are all in a boat. Our journey can never come to an end, for God, the eternal Pilot, is our Pilot, and we are in His Boat. He is the Boatman, He Himself is the Boat and He is the Golden Shore of the Beyond.

Freedom

University of Michigan; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Rackham Hall
12 February 1974

Dear seekers of Truth, Light and Bliss, I am extremely glad to be at this august University today. This University loves progress more than anything. In our spiritual life also, we care for only one thing—progress. We do not care for success; we care only for progress, and in our progress looms large our success. Today's success is the starting point for tomorrow's achievement. Success never gives satisfaction, but when we make progress we do get satisfaction. Progress is the Will of God working in and through us, carrying us safely to our Ultimate Goal.

Today I wish to give a short talk on Freedom. We all know something about what freedom is, for freedom is very familiar to each individual soul. As a freedom-loving country, America stands in the vanguard of the freedom-loving countries. So, dear sisters and brothers, perhaps you know more about freedom than I do. But from the spiritual point of view, for the seeker of the Infinite Truth, I would like to say a few words on spiritual freedom, inner freedom.

What is freedom? Freedom is our conscious, spontaneous and selfless search for Light, abundant Light, infinite Light.

There are two kinds of Light: the outer light and the inner light. The outer light exposes us, examines us and judges us. The inner light awakens us, illumines us and fulfils us.

Once we enter into the world of aspiration, we come to realise that there are three types of freedom: animal freedom, human freedom and divine freedom. Animal freedom enjoys total destruction. Human freedom enjoys fleeting or deluding pleasure. Divine freedom enjoys illumining and fulfilling oneness. Animal freedom and human freedom are earth-bound freedom. Divine freedom is Heaven-free freedom. Earth-bound freedom is the song of our unlit ego's supremacy. Heaven-free freedom is the song of our reality's perfection and divinity's manifestation.

In today's world, man and perfection are perfect strangers. In tomorrow's world, man and perfection will be bosom friends, illumining friends and fulfilling brothers. In the mind of today's world, divine manifestation is sheer impossibility; but in the heart of tomorrow's world, the divine manifestation is an unmistakable inevitability.

Spiritual freedom is our liberation from the mire of self-created bondage. When the body is liberated from the mire of ignorance, the body divinely serves God in man. When the vital is liberated from the aggression of ignorance-dream, the vital divinely loves God in man. When the mind is liberated from its tiny, limited ignorance-cave, the mind divinely manifests God in man. When the heart is liberated from its insecurity-prison cell, the heart constantly feels the Supreme Pilot here on earth, there in Heaven.

In the spiritual life, we need speed. To my great joy, we are very close to Detroit, the capital of the automobile world, the city of speed. In the inner life, speed is aspiration. If there is no aspiration, then there is no speed, and God-realisation remains a far cry. We know the speed of an Indian bullock cart and the speed of a modern jet plane. Aspiration has the speed of a modern jet plane. Aspiration is the heart's mounting cry that finds its satisfaction only when it reaches the Goal of the ever-transcending Beyond. Once it reaches the Goal, the inner being is inundated with freedom, the freedom that feeds us, energises us and fulfils the hunger of humanity.

Right now, if you ask, "Who needs freedom?" our answer is that everyone needs freedom. If you ask, "Who has freedom?" the answer is that nobody has it. But if we launch into the spiritual life, if we follow the path devotedly, soulfully and unconditionally, then today's bondage can be transformed into tomorrow's freedom. Outer freedom is fleeting and badly lacking in satisfaction. Inner freedom gives us real and abiding satisfaction. Unless and until we have attained satisfaction, we shall always remain unfulfilled and empty.

In order to bring satisfaction into our life, we cry deep within. When God's Hour strikes in our life of aspiration, we become not only men of freedom but also lovers of freedom. At that time we transform mankind with our embodied, revealed and manifested Freedom divine.

Now we are in the state of Michigan. The state motto is extremely significant from the spiritual point of view: "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you." In the spiritual life, we are looking for a spiritual peninsula. The peninsula is Love, Devotion and Surrender —- divine Love, divine Devotion and divine Surrender.

Human love binds; divine Love expands. Human devotion is our unconscious attachment; divine Devotion is our conscious awareness of our Ultimate Reality. Human surrender is the surrender of a slave to his master; divine Surrender is the surrender of the finite to the Infinite. This surrender is conscious, wholehearted and unconditional, and it allows the human being to realise his Source, God.

After God-realisation, the finite human life becomes inseparably one with the Infinite. At that time, the Infinite sings its most soulful song, the song of God-Reality, and the finite sings its eternal song, the cry of millennia.

The moment we enter the spiritual life, one sublime thought, word and idea becomes paramount to us, and that is 'consciousness'. Strangely enough, this state of being abounds in lakes. Lakes consist of water, which signifies consciousness. Consciousness and spirituality are inseparable.

When we elevate our consciousness to the highest level of awareness, illumination dawns. When we spread the wings of our consciousness, we fly into the sky of Immortality. Each seeker consciously tries to expand his consciousness, illumine his consciousness and fulfil his consciousness; for in the expansion, illumination and fulfilment of his consciousness, he becomes one with the Real, with the Supreme, his Source and his Goal.

Peace

University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA
Ingman Room, New Student Union
12 February 1974

Dear sisters and brothers, dear seekers of the Ultimate Truth, I wish to give a talk on peace.

Peace is a most familiar word. Each seeker knows what peace is according to his receptivity's capacity. I am a seeker. I wish to share with you the peace that I have experienced. By offering my experience, I wish to become totally one, inseparably one, with your life of aspiration and dedication.

What is peace? Peace is our liberation from bondage. What is liberation? Liberation is our universal oneness with God the Unity and God the Multiplicity. What is bondage? Bondage is the dance of our unlit ego. What is ego? Ego is the unreal in us. And what is the real in us? The real in us is Truth; the real in us is God. God and Truth are inseparable; they are the obverse and reverse of the same coin.

What is peace? Peace is our satisfaction. What is satisfaction? Satisfaction is our conscious and constant oneness with the Will of the Supreme Pilot. Where does this satisfaction lie? It lies in our self-giving and in our God-becoming.

Peace, the world needs. We all need peace. But when we think of peace we try to discover it in our mind. We use the term 'peace of mind'. We feel that peace can be found only in the mind and, if once we can discover peace in the mind, then our problems will be solved for good. But at this point I wish to say that the mind we are referring to is the physical mind. This mind is the doubting mind, and in the doubting mind we can never feel the presence of peace. We can feel the presence of peace only in the loving heart. The doubting mind leads us to total frustration. The loving heart leads us to complete satisfaction. We doubt, and then we feel a barren desert within us. We love, and then we feel a sea of Reality and Divinity within us.

Peace is not to be found in external knowledge. Most of our external knowledge is founded on information, and information cannot give us any abiding satisfaction. Peace is not to be found in outer efficiency. Peace is found in self-mastery.

If we want to achieve peace in our inner and outer life, then we must know the necessity of reciprocal inclusiveness and not mutual exclusiveness. Earth and Heaven must be united. Heaven has the silence of the soul. Earth has the sound of life. The silence of the soul leads us to our Source, the highest Reality; and the sound of life allows us to manifest what is within that highest Reality. In the inclusiveness of earth and Heaven we can achieve peace.

Peace is the only authority in our life of ascent and descent. When we ascend, we learn the song of unity in multiplicity. When we descend, we learn the song of multiplicity in unity.

All of us here are seekers. We are all children of God. We are progressing according to our inner intensity and our soul's necessity. Each individual member of the world family has a special way of achieving peace. A child feels that he can achieve peace only by making noise. Inside noise, what looms large for him is peace. An adolescent finds peace only in constant activity. A youth finds peace only by creating a new world or by destroying the old world. An old man finds peace in unlearning most of the things he has learned from the ignorant world. When he unlearns, he feels considerable peace. He also achieves peace by placing himself at the Feet of the Supreme Pilot.

Peace is our inner wealth. This inner wealth we can bring to the fore only when we expect nothing from the outer world and everything from the Supreme Pilot within us, at God's Choice Hour. Often, when we work for the world and serve the world, we feel that it is the world's bounden duty to offer us gratitude or to acknowledge our service. When we expect something from the world, we are bound to meet with frustration. But when we expect from the Inner Pilot, He fulfils us beyond the flight of our imagination. But one thing we must know, and that is that God has an Hour of His own.

Our duty is to pray for peace, meditate on peace, concentrate on peace and contemplate on peace. God's Duty is to inundate us with His Peace. When we know the art of surrender, the Kingdom of Peace within us cannot separate itself from our living reality. It is our conscious inner surrender, our unconditional surrender to the Inner Pilot that expedites our journey towards the discovery of the all-illumining and all-fulfilling Peace.

Now we are in the state of Ohio. The state motto is most significant for all seekers: "With God, all things are possible." The moment we enter into the spiritual life, we feel there can be no better, more encouraging and more illumining message than this. A beginner-seeker believes in it. An advanced seeker goes one step further and feels that God is the Doer, God is the Action and God is the Fruit thereof. So, our first lesson in the spiritual life is that everything is possible with God. Then later we come to feel that we do nothing, that it is God who does everything in and through us. This is the great lesson, the ultimate lesson, that we learn from our inner school.

The capital of the state of Ohio is Columbus. In the state of spirituality, there is only one capital, and that is aspiration. On the strength of aspiration we can achieve our Goal. On the strength of aspiration we transcend constantly our earthly reality and existence. No matter in which field we apply aspiration, the mounting flame within us, we are bound to achieve success. The state of Ohio offers us a shining example. From Ohio, seven American Presidents came and offered their loftiest height and light to the whole country. Not only in the field of politics, but in every walk of life, when we aspire, our aspiration leads us to the Destined Goal.

Every day the Almighty Father, the ever-Compassionate Father, gives us ample opportunity to discover something new. The thing that we are discovering is Love, Love divine. Love divine is at once eternally ancient and eternally new. When we discover Love divine within us, we grow into the very Image of God the eternal Lover and God the eternal Beloved, who ever abides within us.

Success and progress

St. Joseph's College, Rensselaer, Indiana, USA
Halleck Building
13 February 1974

I was delighted that a rather eminent religious leader was going to be in the Midwest giving a series of lectures here. He seemed to be interested in coming down to Indiana, so I jumped at the opportunity. I was a little bit concerned that this Wednesday morning would not be a time to get too many people to a lecture, but somehow my illusions have been smashed…

— from the Introduction by Dr. John Philip Posey
Associate Professor of History
and Director of Non-Western Core Programme

Dr. Posey, I am most grateful to you for your kind words. Since last evening, your heart of magnanimity has touched my heart most deeply. In silence I pray to the Almighty Father to grant you His choicest Love and Blessings. Human life is a series of experiences. Six years ago, while I was in Puerto Rico, I went to a chapel and was insulted and scolded vehemently by the Mother Superior. What was my crime? That I was an Indian, a Hindu, and I entered a Christian chapel. But today at St. Joseph's College I am basking in the kindness of everyone here. Both experiences I offer at the Feet of the Almighty Father.

I am a seeker. I am a devoted brother of mankind. I try to serve the Almighty Father in each of my brothers and sisters. And if anybody asks, my foremost qualification is that I am a humble lover of humanity. Dear sisters and brothers, dear seekers of the Infinite Truth, we are all seated in a boat. The name of this boat is God's Dream-Boat, and our Pilot is the Lord Supreme. He is carrying us to the Shores of the Golden Beyond. I wish to give a short talk on success in the life of desire and progress in the life of aspiration.

Success we want; progress we need. When we live in the word of desire, teeming desire, we want success. We feel that it is everything. But when we live in the world of aspiration, we come to realise that what we actually need is progress, continual and constant progress.

Success gives us name and fame. Progress gives us a higher inspiration, a deeper faith and a stronger assurance.

Our success is immediately claimed by many. It is claimed even by those who had nothing to do with its advent. But our progress is treasured by only one Person, our eternally beloved Father Supreme.

Success is the song of possession. We want to possess the world but, to our wide surprise, we see that before we can possess even one person on earth, we have been mercilessly possessed and bound by the world at large.

Possession, ambition and outer success go together. The strength of ambition finally offers us success. But the strength of surrender to the Almighty Father grants us progress, which is what the Supreme wants from our lives.

When ambition becomes our bosom friend, when our inner being is surcharged with determination, we achieve success. But we have to realise that in the spiritual life, when we offer and surrender our ambition to the Source, we make true progress. And in this progress we find real fulfilment. When we succeed in something in the outer world, we feel that we have done it in spite of opposition from the entire world. We feel that it is by virtue of our own capacities that we have achieved our desired success. But when we make progress — no matter in which field — within the inmost recesses of our heart we come to feel that the entire world helped us, that each individual on earth has helped us in some way or other according to his capacity.

A man of success, the moment he achieves success, starts adding up all the difficulties and dangers he encountered before success dawned in his life. A man of progress, the moment he makes progress in his life of experience or in his life of realisation, starts counting all the blessings he received from Above. Finally, he realises that the door of opportunity is marked by both 'push' and 'pull'. He pushes aside his life of bondage, his life of ignorance, his life of countless imperfections. He pulls down from Above Peace, Light and Bliss in boundless measure —- slowly, steadily, devotedly and unerringly.

Renunciation is progress. We renounce our life of ignorance, our life of teeming doubts. Here I wish to recall the message of the Upanishadic lore:

Isa vasyam idam sarvam yat kinca jagatyam jagat

The whole world is owned by the Lord Supreme. Let us not hunger after others' possessions. In renunciation is the satisfaction everlasting: in renunciation we drink the Nectar-Delight of the Absolute.

Progress is like a lotus that blossoms petal by petal. Each time a petal comes into existence we feel that a new dedication, a new hope, a new self-mastery dawns in our life of service to aspiring mankind.

Success and progress on the human level are two so-called rivals. Success wants to please itself according to its own receptivity's capacity. Progress wants to please God unconditionally in His own Way. My experience tells me that success has a short life which, at the same time, is dubious and precarious. My realisation tells me that progress has an everlasting and ever-transcending life. We achieve today's goal on the strength of our progress, which is founded on aspiration —- our mounting inner cry. But then, today's goal becomes tomorrow's starting point. Tomorrow we have to aim for a higher goal. Each time we reach a goal, our aspiration tells us that it is only the starting point for a higher, more meaningful and more fruitful goal. We are in the process of constantly transcending our reality. And the ever-transcending Reality is the Golden Shore of the ever-transcending Beyond.

Today's imperfect man, today's unlit man, grows into tomorrow's perfect and fully illumined man only when he feels that progress is the only thing that he needs. Each time we climb to a higher rung of the ladder of progress, we automatically achieve success —- inner success. But if we run after success, there is every possibility that we may adopt foul means and do undivine things, because we are competing with others with whom we have not yet established a sense of inseparable oneness. When we want progress, we feel that if we have to compete with anyone or anything at all, our enemies are within us: fear, doubt, anxiety, worries, insecurity.

In order to reach the highest Goal, we must have faith in abundant measure, both in ourselves and in the Almighty Father. If we do not have faith in the Almighty Father all at once, no harm. Out of His infinite Bounty, He will illumine us, guide us, perfect us and fulfil us at His choice Hour. But if we lose faith in ourselves or if we are wanting in faith in our life of aspiration and dedication, then we shall be devoured by the ignorance-tiger. At that time nobody will come to our rescue.

We and God must have reciprocal faith. Our faith in God will make us His chosen instruments. His faith in us will inspire us to manifest Him totally, unreservedly and perfectly here on earth. Our faith in Him will give us what we desperately need —- realisation. His faith in us will give Him the opportunity to manifest Himself in and through us. We need Him for our highest realisation; He, out of His infinite Kindness, needs us for His divine Manifestation.

Faith is the only thing that makes us feel that we are part and parcel of Eternity, Infinity and Immortality. Eternity, Infinity and Immortality are not vague terms. They are realities growing and glowing in the heart of the genuine seeker. When we have faith in abundant measure, the Lord Supreme assures us that in and through us He will manifest His perfect Perfection.

Wisdom-light

Roosevelt University; Chicago, Illinois, USA
Congress Room
13 February 1974

Dear sisters and brothers, dear seekers of the infinite and eternal Truth, I wish to give a talk on wisdom-light. Each individual present here has wisdom-light. Today I will share with you my wisdom-light; tomorrow, easily and effectively you can share with many your wisdom-light.

What is wisdom-light? Wisdom-light is something that eternally glows inside our heart and around our life eternal. Wisdom-light tells us that there are only two mighty powers on earth. These powers are temptation-power and liberation-power. When we surrender to temptation-power, we come to realise that our body is unawakened, our vital is undisciplined, our mind is unillumined and our heart is unfulfilled. When we aspire for liberation-power, we come to realise that our soul is a fulfilled and, at the same time, a constantly fulfilling reality; that our soul is an illumined and, at the same time, an ever-illumining reality.

When we enter into the spiritual life, we come to realise that we have three teachers: ignorance-teacher, knowledge-teacher and wisdom-teacher. Ignorance-teacher teaches us how to talk. Knowledge-teacher teaches us how to talk and act. But wisdom-teacher teaches us only how to act spontaneously and unconditionally.

When we talk and talk, we enter consciously and deliberately into the domain of ignorance. When we talk and act, at times we see a yawning gulf between our speech and our action. We say something and we do something totally different. We make a solemn promise to do something, but when reality dawns we see a vast gulf between our promise and its fulfilment. But when we act spontaneously, soulfully and unconditionally —- when we offer our dedicated service —- an unseen Hand guides us, shapes us and moulds us into the very Image of our Inner Pilot. It is only by devotedly serving the Inner Pilot in each individual that we can make our life meaningful and fruitful.

The brotherhood of man can never be achieved by talking, but only by becoming something, by achieving conscious oneness with the tree which is God. Unless we establish our conscious, inseparable oneness with the Almighty Father, the Absolute Supreme, we can never establish in our inner life or outer life the full brotherhood of man. We have to touch the tree and climb up the tree. Only then can we approach the branches and enter into the millions and billions of leaves, which are our brothers and sisters. If we do not go to the tree and climb up the tree, how can we enter into the consciousness of the leaves, which are our brothers and sisters?

Ignorance is self-enjoyment, knowledge is self-examination and wisdom is self-perfection. When we swim in the sea of ignorance, we enjoy. This enjoyment is followed by frustration, and frustration is followed by destruction. When we try to examine ourselves, we see imperfection looming large. But, at the same time, perfection is within our easy reach. Self-perfection is wisdom. When we pray and meditate, we enter into the reality of silence, and this gives us the opportunity to perfect our life within and without. Silence embodies perfection. Silence is ready to reveal its perfection in and through us on the physical plane, which is now inundated with ignorance, darkness, bondage and imperfection.

How do we discriminate Light from night, Truth from falsehood, Immortality from death? We discriminate the one from the other by praying and meditating, by trying and crying. When a child cries, his mother comes to the rescue and offers him toys or food or anything else that he wants. Similarly, when we cry in the inmost recesses of our heart, the Mother Divine, the Mother Supreme, comes to our rescue and inundates our inner and outer being with infinite Light. This Light is our real Divinity, Immortality and perfect Perfection. Very often we feel that knowledge and wisdom are one and the same thing. But when we enter into the spiritual life and get inner experiences, we come to realise that knowledge and wisdom are two totally different things. Knowledge is like the younger brother in the family, and wisdom is the older brother. Naturally, the older brother will be infinitely wiser than the younger one. Knowledge sees something and then wants to utilise that thing. Wisdom feels the Truth, wants to grow into the Truth and, finally, become the Truth. Knowledge and wisdom are two brothers at the foot of the realisation-tree. Let us call it a mango tree. Knowledge starts counting the leaves, the branches and the fruit, but wisdom climbs up the tree, plucks a mango and eats to its heart's content.

Now, where can wisdom exist? It can exist everywhere. It can exist in knowledge, in intelligence, in the intellect, in intuition. But the wisdom that abides in the soul is the wisdom that leads us and guides us fastest towards our destination. When we pray and meditate, we go deep within and hear the dictates of our soul. Once we hear the dictates of our soul, we establish a free access to the world of divine Reality, Infinity, Eternity and Immortality.

Here I wish to quote the words of Benjamin Franklin: "Work as if you were to live a hundred years. Pray as if you were to die tomorrow." Work I take as dedicated service in the spiritual life. Every day it is our bounden duty to offer our dedicated service to the Supreme in all human beings. Dedicated service greatly helps us to reach our Destined Goal. Now, we have to know that today's goal is not and cannot be the goal forever. Today our Goal is realisation of the highest Truth and the highest Light. Tomorrow our Goal will be the revelation of the highest Truth and Light. And the day after tomorrow our Goal will be the perfect manifestation of the highest Truth and Light, which we will then embody.

"Pray as if you were to die tomorrow." A seeker of infinite Truth must feel that each moment is a most sacred opportunity for him. Tomorrow death may snatch us away from the world arena. So we have to feel that this is the last time, the last opportunity, the last moment we have to realise the U ltimate Truth. On the one hand, we know that death is nothing but a short rest in the flow of Eternal Time. On the other hand, we know that here on earth we have to accomplish quite a few things for God's Fulfilment and for our fulfilment. Right now, our fulfilment and God's Fulfilment are diametrically opposed. But when we pray and meditate, we come to feel that God's Fulfilment is our fulfilment, that God's Fulfilment is the only fulfilment. If we pay considerable attention to the value of time, we do not wallow consciously in the pleasures of lethargy and ignorance. We can utilise each moment for our ever-increasing fulfilment and ever-fulfilling illumination on the strength of our inner cry to see something, to grow into something and to become something.

About an hour ago, when I arrived here, I was deeply moved to see the motto of this august College: "Equal opportunity for all, freedom to see and discriminate the truth and the brotherhood of man."

Equal opportunity for all. Now who can give us equal opportunity? Only the Inner Pilot can give and does give equal opportunity to all. Every day, early in the morning, He knocks at our heart's door. When He knocks at our door, some of us wake up and answer the door while others remain in the world of sleep, inconscience and ignorance. In our outer life, once we lose an opportunity we seldom get it back. But in the inner life we get a new opportunity every day, every hour, every minute. He who responds to the inner opportunity immediately runs fast, faster, fastest towards the Ultimate Goal.

Each individual has to be given freedom to seek the Truth in his own way. We cannot thrust our truth on others. Each has to go deep within to the Truth. Truth is the Goal but, in order to reach the Goal, we can and do adopt different paths, different roads. Different roads allow different individuals to run the fastest. If others force their freedom upon us, it will be totally valueless for us, but if we search deep within, our freedom is our revelation, our illumination, our perfection. The Vedic lore offers us a momentous message:

Asato ma sad gamaya
tamaso ma jyotir gamaya
mrtyor mamrtam gamaya

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

I am extremely happy that the state of Illinois is proud to call itself 'Land of Lincoln'. Lincoln was a seeker in the pure sense of the term. God gave him a magnanimous heart. Emerson said of him, "His heart was as great as the world, but there was no room in it to hold a wrong." I wish to elaborate on this most significant utterance.

When we become a seeker, we try to have a heart as vast as the world itself, or we try to have a heart even vaster than the world. In this vast heart, a real seeker does not see the ignorance of the world as belonging to others. The heart of a true seeker sees the imperfections, limitations and bondage of others as its very own. Emerson says Lincoln's heart did not hold a wrong, but I wish to say that his heart did not hold a wrong of his own. His heart did hold the wrongs of millions and billions of human beings, and he accepted these wrongs of others as his very own —- not with a sense of pride, but with a sense of oneness.

Since we are all seekers, the world is within us, not outside us. Each individual that we see around us is within us as well. Also, when we go deep within we see that we have a large family, a very large inner family of doubts, fears, anxieties, worries, imperfections and limitations. When we transform them on the strength of our conscious concentration, meditation and contemplation, we see that our outer world is also totally transformed.

I am here in Chicago. The very name of this city gives me enormous joy and delight. When I was eleven years old, I read a biography of the great spiritual figure, Swami Vivekananda. In 1893, when the Parliament of Religions was held here, Swami Vivekananda came and offered the eternal wisdom of the soul's light. My young heart was so delighted and moved, for he came from the same place where I was born, Bengal. So the younger brother feels a oneness with his elder brother. Swami Vivekananda was divinely and supremely blessed to be able to offer the wisdom-light of India here at the Parliament of Religions.

To me, each religion is a soulful, powerful, meaningful and fruitful house. Each individual should live in a house; he cannot live in the street. But a man need not stay all the time in his house. He comes out to study. Here our inner school and our inner subject is Yoga. Yoga is conscious oneness with God. We are all seekers, sincere seekers. For us God does exist. And it is only a matter of time before we will be able to see Him, feel Him, fulfil Him and grow into His Image.

Love and perfection

Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois, USA
13 February 1974

This evening, dear brothers and sisters, I wish to give a short talk on love and perfection. We are all sailing in the same boat, the boat of aspiration. One day this boat of ours will reach its Destination, the Golden Shore, which is our ever-fulfilling and, at the same time, ever-transcending Reality.

Love and perfection. Love is perfection and perfection is love. Love is the soul of perfection; perfection is the goal of love. Perfect Love and perfect Perfection are one and inseparable. Perfect Love lies in our self-giving and self-offering. Perfect Perfection lies in our liberation and eventual God-becoming. Love without perfection is a blind force; it can be a destructive force as well. Perfection without love is a precious jewel without a safe; it is impossible to keep that precious jewel.

Fulfilled love cannot and does not exclude perfection, for fulfilled love is itself perfection. Similarly, perfection cannot and does not exclude love, for fulfilled perfection necessarily carries love with it.

Animal love, human love, divine love. Animal love is not conscious of the soul's life. Human love is conscious, but does not care for the soul's life. Divine love is the flower and fragrance of the soul's life. Love is reality's life. Today we are nothing but reality's life. Tomorrow we shall become Immortality's life. Love and life grow together in the same family. Love offers its powerful arms to life, and life offers its soulful eyes to love.

God created the universe with His Silence-Power. He sustains the universe with His Sound-Power. In order to realise the highest Truth, our consciousness climbs high, higher, highest on the ladder of aspiration. When it reaches the highest pinnacle, we realise the Ultimate Truth, the Truth Transcendental, the Truth of the ever-transcending Beyond. In order to manifest the inner divinity that we bring down from Above, we need the help of the Cosmic Sound, the Sound-Power.

When we reach the Highest, we become the realisation of perfection. When we manifest the Absolute, we become the manifestation of perfection.

Love is peace. Love is delight. When love illumines, it is peace; when love fulfils, it is delight.

Anandaddhyeva khalvimani bhutani jayante
anandena jatani jivanti
anandam prayantyabhisamvisanti

From Delight we came into existence.
In Delight we grow.
At the end of our journey's close, into Delight we retire.

We are all seekers. A seeker eventually becomes a divine lover. A seeker sees the Ultimate Truth and cries for infinite Light, Peace and Bliss. But there comes a time in his life of aspiration and self-discovery when he comes to realise that unless and until he becomes a God-lover, he will not be able to fulfil himself. As long as he remains a seeker, God plays hide-and-seek with him. But when he becomes a divine lover and offers God his unconditional surrender, when he asks God to use him in God's own Way, at that time God-realisation dawns in his life of aspiration and dedication.

All Masters of the highest magnitude have shown us how love can be offered to mankind. When we think of the Son, the Saviour, we see nothing but a flood of love within and without. Once he was criticised mercilessly by some of his adversaries as he was walking along the road. His disciples asked him why he had to walk along that road when people were mercilessly abusing him. The Saviour replied that he had to give them what he had, and what he had in his heart was unconditional love.

The Buddha was prepared to give his life to save the life of a bird. In his heart of love, he felt his inseparable oneness with the life of the bird.

Gauranga, a spiritual Master, once was badly hurt by an adversary. He said to his adversary, "You have given me your anger, your passion, your undivine qualities. Since you have given me something, I also wish to give you something, and what I have is my illumining love. I accepted from you what you had to give, so please accept from me what I have to give."

A human being has two major instruments: the mind and the heart. The poor mind cannot grasp the meaning of love but the heart continually loves and the soul constantly supplies the heart with love. The mind finds it difficult, extremely difficult, to love anything other than its own existence. And there even comes a time when the mind finds it difficult to love its own existence. It sees and feels a barren desert within and without. But the heart feels it is the bounden duty of its earthly existence to accept the imperfections and limitations of the body, vital and mind as its very own. The heart, which has free access to the soul, has received this message from the soul, that unless and until all the members of its family become perfect, perfect Perfection cannot dawn in the heart either. So the heart accepts everyone as its own and tries to serve, feed and illumine all the members if its inner family.

The heart comes to realise that human love —- unlit, obscure, limited love — acts like an express train, whose destination is frustration. But divine love grows within us slowly, steadily and unerringly and proceeds like a local train slowly and steadily to its destination, which is illumination. The heart discriminates human love from divine love and then transforms the one into the other. Then, finally, it manifests divine love in and through each individual being and each creature in God's Creation.

Love and perfection are one and the same. Perfection right now is a far cry, but today's impossibility cannot remain impossibility forever. Today's weakness can easily be transformed into tomorrow's solid, adamantine strength.

The power that builds the palace of Truth is not the same as the power that destroys the palace of Truth. When we cry from the inmost recesses of our heart, we see the inner flame climbing up high, higher, highest, and the Grace from Above descending. When we see the two of them meeting together on a higher plane of consciousness, we call that plane the plane of perfection. There union is perfection. When Grace descends, it descends in the form of God's Smile. When our ascending cry and God's descending Smile are fused into one, our love of Divinity and God's Grace of Immortality become perfect in our life of aspiration, in our life of dedication, in our life of unity's multiplicity and multiplicity's unity.

Forward!

University of Wisconsin; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Union Cinema
14 February 1974

Dear seekers of the highest Truth, dear sisters and brothers of the spiritual family, as we all know, each state has a motto of its own. To my deepest joy the motto of your state, Wisconsin, is very significant in the spiritual life: "Forward." To me, 'forward' is not a mere word or an idea, but a secret and sacred key to open God's Door.

Forward. There can be nothing as significant as moving forward in our life of aspiration. The Vedic Seers of the hoary past uttered a significant mantra: "Caraiveti —- Move on, forward!" We shall move forward towards the farthest Beyond. Today we are in the Dream-Boat; tomorrow we shall touch the Reality-Shore. Forward, ever forward.

We are all seekers; we are all in the world of spirituality. To me, spirituality is a one-way road that leads us to our Destination. Once we start our journey, we may stumble, we may walk slowly, we may march or we may run fast, faster, fastest towards our Goal. There may come a time when we proceed backwards on our way towards the Goal, but this is only a temporary experience. After a while we go forward again.

We do not belong to the past; we belong to the future, the future that grows and glows in the immediacy of today. I tell my students that the past is dust, no matter how much we have achieved in the past or what we were in the past. The past has not given us Truth, Light and Bliss in infinite measure. Therefore, we can and must expect these things only from today, or from the future that is looming large in the heart of today.

In the spiritual life we come to realise that we have four good friends: simplicity, sincerity, humility and purity. With the help of these friends, we move forward.

Simplicity-friend wants us to be as simple as possible. It tells us that our mind makes us feel that God is very complex, but actually He is very simple, simplicity itself. Therefore we, too, have to be simple in order to receive and achieve Him.

Sincerity-friend tells us that God is all sincerity. Although we do not know or understand His operation, His way of working in and through us, still God is very sincere. Therefore we, too, must be sincere in order to be God-like.

Humility-friend tells us that God is very humble. Although He is the Highest, the Lord Supreme, His Humility-Power and Oneness-Power make us feel that if we, too, are humble, one day we will be able to reach the Highest. God is like a tree. When a tree has no fruit, it stands erect and may look proud and haughty. But when the tree is laden with fruit, it bows down. So God, who is always full of inner fruits, bends and bows so that His children can climb up the tree and eat to their heart's content.

Purity-friend tells us that God is all purity. It tells us that our living breath must be purity's flood if we want to hold, cherish and treasure the Presence of God within us.

When we are sincere in our forward journey, we see that our road is very straight. When we are simple, we feel and we see with our inner vision that the road is sunlit. When we are humble, we feel that the road is short and, at the same time, shortened still further by the Grace of God. When we are pure, we see clearly with our inner vision that the Ultimate Goal itself is running towards us as we are running towards the Goal. And our meeting place is where the finite unites with the Infinite.

"Caraiveti! —- Move on, move forward!" There was a time when we were in the mineral world but, when the necessity came from within, we moved on and entered into the plant world. From the plant world, we moved on into the animal world. From the animal kingdom we entered into the human kingdom. Now it is our inner urge that will lead us to the divine Kingdom.

In the mineral world, the ruler is ignorance-emperor. In the plant world, the ruler is ignorance-king. In the animal world, the ruler is ignorance-commander. In the human world, the ruler is ignorance-captain. In the divine world, the ruler is the Light Supreme of the ever-transcending and ever-fulfilling Beyond.

We move forward on the strength of our outer and inner education. Outer education at times fails to tell us that there is something called inner education. Or it happens that outer education discourages us from entering into inner education. Now, outer education has to offer what it has and inner education has to offer what it has. But it sometimes happens that when we have too much outer education, we accumulate too much world-information and not so much knowledge, not to speak of wisdom. At this time, we find it difficult to enter into the world of inner education. Again, too much of the intellect, too much of the physical mind surcharged with doubt, fear, anxieties, worries and other discouraging elements makes it difficult for us to enter into the inner education and make progress.

We need the mind, but only the mind that listens to the heart, for the heart listens to the soul. Otherwise the mind, the vital and the body become unruly members in our spiritual family. So we have to try very hard to stay in the heart, since this heart has to listen to the eldest member of its family, the soul. Similarly, the mind must listen to the heart, the vital must listen to the mind, and the body must listen to the vital. In this way, the spiritual family can grow together and fulfil the message of the Absolute Supreme.

From the inner education we come to realise that Truth and Wisdom-Light are already within us. But sometimes we need help in convincing our outer being that we do have within us what we actually seek. In outer education, we feel that the knowledge is somewhere else and we have to search for it and get it. In the inner education the ultimate knowledge, the Wisdom-Light, is all within us, but somebody has to convince us of this. The inner Teacher tells us, "Inside you is the treasure, inside you is the box, but unfortunately you have misplaced the key. It is your treasure and not mine. It is your box and not mine. But I will show you where the treasure is and, if you want me to, I will also help you open the box. Once you open the box, all the treasure will be yours." The inner Teacher is like a river. Just follow the river and it will take you to the sea, which is your own Reality, your own Divinity, your own Immortality.

Before we enter into the spiritual life, we are small people. Once we enter into the spiritual life, we are great people. But after we start making real progress in the spiritual life, we become good people. A small man never thinks that he is small. A great man thinks that he is great. A good man thinks that he is neither good nor bad. He sees that he is just an iota of light, just an iota of truth, while God is the infinite sea of Light and Truth. When we make real progress, we come to know how small, how insignificant we really are. But again, there comes a time when the finite, the infinitesimal drop, merges into the ocean of Truth, Light and Bliss and becomes the vast ocean itself.

The small man is afraid of moving forward because he feels that the unknowable may destroy him altogether. For him, to step forward is to enter into the unknowable. A great man is reluctant to step forward because he feels that this forward step may take him into something unknown, which may be unfriendly. A good man feels that the unknowable or the unknown is nothing but God veiled. Once we enter the unknowable and the unknown, God becomes unveiled—unveiled Reality, unveiled Divinity. So a good man is never afraid of progress. He knows that right ahead of him is the veiled Reality and, if he approaches this veiled Reality, it will become the unveiled Reality.

We can move forward only when we have confidence. Before we enter into the spiritual life, we have very little confidence, even in ourselves. We do not know or do not care to know that there is someone called God who can inundate us with confidence. But once we enter into the spiritual life, we see that it is God who offers us confidence. That is why we make progress and walk, march and run towards our Destined Goal. At every moment God tells us that unless and until we also have divine confidence, we will not be able to make the fastest progress. Only when we have divine confidence can God's Confidence operate most successfully and gloriously in us. And what is our divine confidence? It is the confidence that tells us we came from God, and so we cannot mix with ignorance. We cannot swim in the sea of ignorance. No! We have to swim in the sea of Light and Delight.

The forward march, the inward march and the upward march are the same. If we take one step forward, we have to feel that simultaneously we have taken a step inward and a step upward. In our forward step, we see the Body of God. In our inward step, we see the Heart of God. In our upward step, we see the Soul of God. When we have the Body of God, the Heart of God and the Soul of God, at that time we do not need anything else.

We have to move on, move on far, farther, farthest; deep, deeper, deepest; high, higher, highest. Since we are seekers, there is no end to our achievement. We achieve on the strength of inner assurance—our assurance to God and God's Assurance to us. God's constant Assurance to us is this: "Children, you are all of Me, of My Infinity, Eternity and Immortality." Our assurance to God is this: "Father, we are for You. We are for Your manifestation, Your complete manifestation, Your perfect manifestation here on earth." In this way, when God assures us and we assure God, then our journey towards the highest Height, the deepest Depth and the farthest Beyond reaches its Destined Goal; the Dream-Boat touches the Reality-Shore.

Wisdom, justice and moderation

Georgia Institute of Technology; Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Student Center Chapel
20 February 1974

Dear seekers, dear friends, I wish to give a talk on "Wisdom, Justice and Moderation," which is the motto of Georgia. "Wisdom, Justice and Moderation" is a most significant motto. If we can apply these ideals in our daily life, then we can derive much peace, light and joy from our earthly existence.

Wisdom. Wisdom is our liberal self-giving and not our selfish self-seeking. Wisdom is the beauty of our inner flame. Our inner flame is our upward aspiration-flight. Our aspiration-flight is our immortal Reality's height. The man of wisdom serves God in man. The man of wisdom loves man in God. By serving God in man, the man of wisdom gets boundless Peace, Light and Bliss. By loving man in God, the man of wisdom expands his vision. He feels himself to be an extension of the ever-increasing vision, inner and outer. Wisdom is at once experience and realisation. Experience tells the seeker what he can eventually become: a perfect instrument of God. Realisation tells the seeker what he eternally is: an eternal player, divine and supreme.

Justice: justice human and justice divine. "As you sow, so you reap" —- this is human justice, as are "Tit for tat" and "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." But divine Justice is this: give what you have. You have to become what God is. Give your treasured possession, ignorance, to God. God will give you, in return, His very Existence, which is Light flooded with Delight. In our human world, justice is more painful than heartful. In the divine world, justice is meaningful and fruitful. In the vital of night, justice threatens and frightens us. In the heart of Light, justice inspires and perfects us. In the human world, justice forces and punishes us. In the divine world, justice awakens us, illumines us and liberates us from the meshes of ignorance.

The great philosopher, Aristotle, once remarked, "Justice is what every man considers his very own." Now, in the spiritual life, only God is our very own. But this God of ours also belongs to every other soul as well. This God can be claimed by each and every soul as its very own. In order to make others feel that God is equally theirs, we have to become one, inseparably one, with them. And in order to become inseparably one with them, we have to become a Concern-sky and a Love-sea. It is our Concern-sky and Love-sea that can make others feel that they belong to us and we belong to them.

On the strength of our oneness, we can make others see what they want and what they really need. What they want is desire; what they really need is aspiration. We have to tell them that if we give them what they want—the fulfilment of desire—then this is bound to be followed by frustration; whereas, if we offer them what they need—aspiration—then this aspiration will be the harbinger of realisation. And realisation is an ever-lasting, ever-growing, ever-fulfilling achievement in man's aspiring consciousness.

Moderation. Moderation means balance. A moderate life is a balanced life. The Buddha taught the path of moderation, the middle path. He warned us not to go to extremes, for he himself had gone to the extremes and found that that was not the answer. A real seeker shuns all extremes. An austere, severe life is not meant for him; nor is a life of constant enjoyment and pleasure meant for him. We have to adopt the middle path. We have to be normal and natural. And in our normal and natural life, we have to invoke the supernatural life, the life of Divinity, Infinity and Immortality.

A real seeker accepts the outer world. In his acceptance, he pays considerable attention to the outer world. He accepts the inner world. There, too, he pays considerable attention. In his life of acceptance, he accepts the reality as such and wants to transform it with his inner cry, with his love of God, Light, Truth. In his rejection of darkness, he rejects the things that are unhealthy, the things that destroy his inner potentiality. But again, there are many undivine things in a person that can be transformed into divine realities. So he accepts these things and tries to transform them.

Life is a challenge for us. From a human point of view our earthly experience is like being in a battlefield. But if we go deep within, we come to realise that every day is an opportunity, every hour is an opportunity, every moment is an opportunity. If we can utilise these golden opportunities, then the imperfection that looms large in our life of today can easily be transformed into perfection in our life of tomorrow.

In our spiritual life there is a divine ladder that reaches to the highest pinnacle of Truth, Light and Bliss. This ladder has three rungs. The first rung is moderation, the second rung is justice and the third is wisdom. When we step on the first rung, we read the message: "Know good." When we step on the second rung we read the message: "Do good." And when we step on the third, we read the message: "Be good." The moderation-rung teaches us how to know good in everything in God's entire Creation. The justice-rung teaches us how to do good in all our multifarious activities. The wisdom-rung teaches us how to become good and how to grow into the very Image of God. When we are wanting in wisdom, it is a loss. When we are wanting in justice, it is a double loss. And finally, when we are wanting in moderation, it is a triple loss. But if we can discover faith, inner faith, then it is a veritable gain. And along with it, if we can discover our aspiration, then it is a double gain. Finally, if we can discover our divine surrender, our constant and unconditional surrender to the Light, to the inner Source, to the real Source, then it is a triple gain. So, if we can have faith, aspiration and surrender, then the Destined Goal can never remain a far cry.

A seeker is a man of wisdom. He wants to see the root of the Reality-tree. Then he wants to feel the necessity of becoming the seed of the Reality-tree. Finally, he wants to actually become the seed of the Reality-tree. When he becomes the seed of the Reality-tree, he sees that there is only one thing that was, is and forever shall be, and that is Love: the Love that created, the Love that nourishes, the Love that sustains God's universe.

If we practise what we preach, then wisdom becomes our profession. What we practise and what we preach should be the same: love. We tell the world to love, but we may not actually offer love to the world. But if we offer love and become love, then we can most assuredly expect to see love in the world at large. It is God's Love-Power that compels us to think of Him, to pray to Him, to meditate on Him and to claim Him as our very own. As God claims us as His very own on the strength of His own Love-Power, so also He tells us and inspires us and begs us to claim Him as our very own on the strength of our love for Him.

When we come face to face with God, He asks us to offer Him what we have. If we can offer Him our real treasure, a heart of love, He immediately accepts it and says, "You have passed your examination." But if we offer God all our world-possessions —- physical, vital, mental possessions —- but do not bring Him love, then He will not be satisfied. God will say, "No, bring Me your heart of love; that is your true treasure. And once I have your true treasure, then I will give you My Treasure, which is Light and Delight in infinite measure."

Hope and life

Clemson University; Clemson, South Carolina, USA
Foreign Student Lounge
20 February 1974

I wish to give a short talk on one of the mottos of South Carolina. As you all know, South Carolina has two mottos. "Prepared in mind and resources," is one motto; the other motto is, "While I breathe, I hope." I wish to say a few words on the second motto, from a spiritual point of view.

Hope is Life. Hope is progress. Each individual life is an Idea of God's, a Plan of God's and a dream-fulfilling Reality of God's. Hope likes the God-Idea; hope loves the God-Plan; hope serves the dream-fulfilling Reality of God.

There are two lives: desire-life and aspiration-life. Desire-life starts with self-enjoyment and ends in self-destruction. Aspiration-life starts with self-enquiry and ends in God-discovery. Today's life for us is God in preparation, and tomorrow's life for us will be God in perfect Perfection, God in His manifestation on earth.

Two lives: human life and divine life. Human life cries to live; divine Life lives to offer. Human life is counted in years; divine Life is measured by progress —- illumining and fulfilling progress. Human life always wants to enjoy without learning. Divine Life wants to learn first and then enjoy. Human life does not want to learn and does not learn anything. It is satisfied with what it gets, which is ignorance. It enjoys ignorance to its heart's content. Divine Life wants to learn, it wants to learn the lessons of Eternity. While learning the lessons of Eternity, divine Life is enjoying the Bliss of Immortality.

Life and hope are inseparable. Life is the body, and hope is the intuitive divinity in us, the divinity that wants to transcend the reality which we presently are. Hope is man's seeking, hope is man's inner urge, hope is man's upward flight into the Beyond.

We are all walking along the road of Eternity. When an unaspiring, ordinary human being walks along this road, he is followed by some of his so-called friends: fear, doubt and anxiety. When these friends reach him, they make of him what they themselves are: fearful, doubtful and anxiety-stricken. God is the Goal; He is the Way; He is the eternal Traveller. When God walks along His eternal road towards the ever-transcending Beyond, all the world can follow Him, led by hope. When hope reaches Him, God makes hope His dearest friend, eternal partner and eternal fulfiller of His Dream.

Life and hope entirely depend on inner wisdom. Here on earth we have two types of wisdom: earthly wisdom or earthly knowledge and Heavenly wisdom or Heavenly knowledge. Here on earth vidya and avidya, knowledge and ignorance, together move, together dance. Thousands of years ago, the Vedic Seers offered this message:

Vidyan cavidyan ca yas tad vedobhayam saha
avidyaya mrtyum tirtva vidyayamrtam asnute

He who knows and understands knowledge and ignorance as one, through ignorance passes beyond the domain of death, through knowledge attains to an eternal Life and drinks deep the Light of Immortality.

What they call 'ignorance' is earthly knowledge, and what they call 'knowledge' is Heavenly wisdom. With earthly knowledge we try to go beyond the domain of death, and with Heavenly wisdom we try to enjoy the Bliss of Immortality.

When we enter into the spiritual life we see and feel at every moment that God is the Doer, God is the Action and God is the Fruit. On the strength of this realisation, we feel we have ample opportunity to reveal our inner divinity. A life on earth is not meant for pleasure; a life on earth is meant for self-offering. Self-offering eventually makes us what God is. Each day is a golden opportunity for us to bring to the fore a new life, a new dawn. With each day we expedite our earthly progress. We enter into God's Domain, which is within us, in the inmost recesses of our heart. When we pray and meditate regularly, devotedly and soulfully, we come to realise that life is not only meaningful and fruitful, but is actually God's manifesting Reality on earth. And we come to understand that hope is the precursor of tomorrow's all-revealing and all-fulfilling Reality.

Life is the car. Hope is the engine. Aspiration is the fuel. God is the Destination.

Success, failure and progress

University of North Carolina; Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Humanities Lecture Hall
20 February 1974

We shall not fail; we are bound to succeed, for God Himself is our Boat, God Himself is our Boatman and God Himself is our journey's Goal.

Fear and doubt are two self-styled friends of ours who want to accompany us to God's Palace of infinite Light and Delight. They tell us what we should do. Our fear tells us that we shall blame God. Our doubt tells us that we shall fail God. But this journey of ours is a long one. At a certain point along the way, our teeming fear and brooding doubt become tired and remain behind.

We also have two real friends: courage and faith. We have invited these two friends to accompany us on our Godward journey, and they have accepted our invitation. They tell us that they will give us what they have. Courage will give us inspiration; faith will give us aspiration. Courage will inundate our being with inspiration so that we can envision the highest Goal. Faith will inundate our being with aspiration so that we can reach our Destined Goal.

From the spiritual point of view, what is failure? Failure is an experience which awakens us. What is success? Success is an experience which energises us to strive for a higher and greater success. And what is progress? Progress is an experience which illumines us and fulfils us.

Failure indicates our lack of adamantine determination. Success indicates our tremendous power of concentration. Progress indicates that the crown of God's Will is in us and for us.

In our day-to-day life, when we fail in something, we feel that the whole world is lost. We find it extremely hard to bury our sad experience in oblivion. When we succeed, at times we are bloated with pride. We cherish this pride because of our ego. At times we exaggerate our achievement beyond imagination. At times we want to prove to the world that we have or we are something when, in the purest sense of the term, it is not true. We try to make others feel we are exceptional but, in the inner recesses of our heart, we know that this is false. When we care for progress, we want to be only what God wants us to be. We do not want any appreciation whatsoever from the world. We do not want the world to overestimate or underestimate us: we want the world just to accept us.

In our outer life, we fail because we do not give proper value to our goal, to our achievement. We have to appreciate and admire the goal. If we give it proper value, we are bound to succeed. After darkness, dawn appears. Now, while we are living in inner darkness, if wisdom brings inner dawn into our consciousness and we do not appreciate or accept the dawn, then the dawn is not going to remain in us. When we become sincerely spiritual, we give the utmost value to Light, to the effulgence of Light. Now we live in darkness, but we will not be always in darkness. We are now fast asleep, but we need not sleep forever. Provided we have an intense inner cry, provided we give value to our Goal, we shall most assuredly reach our Goal.

A sincere seeker has a peculiar way of spelling the word 'sincere'. The inner philosopher spells the word 'sin-seer'. Now, in our philosophy there is no such thing as sin. What Westerners call sin is actually imperfection, limitation and bondage. A sincere seeker is a seer, for he sees his imperfections, limitations and bondage. Once he is fully aware of his limitations and weaknesses, he has already taken one step forward towards his liberation from bondage. At that time his Goal is no longer a far cry.

We shall not fail. On the strength of our inner cry, on the strength of our inner mounting flame, we shall succeed. What we have is our inner cry. What God has is His transcending, revealing, fulfilling Smile. When our ascending cry and God's descending Smile meet together, we reach the supreme Goal.

We shall not fail, we cannot fail. We shall succeed on the strength of our one-pointed devotion to our Inner Pilot. How do we acquire this one-pointed devotion? We can acquire one-pointed devotion only when we have peace of mind. How can we have peace of mind? We can have peace of mind only when we detach ourselves from the tempting world about us and dive deep within to see the root of the Reality-tree.

We shall not fail God because we know what we have and we know what God has for us. There is a saying that "God helps those who help themselves." Now, some people may ask, "If we know how to help ourselves, why do we need God's Help? Or, if God is kind enough to help us, then why does He want us to use our puny personal effort?" Here we have to know that God's task is to fill us with Light only when we have emptied ourselves of darkness. We have to empty our vessel, and then God will fill the vessel. We empty ourselves of the ignorance of millennia, and God enters into us and fills us with Light and Delight. If we do not play our role, how shall we satisfy God? God is playing His Cosmic Game and we are consciously following the spiritual life, consciously accepting His Cosmic Game and playing with Him. While consciously and devotedly playing the Cosmic Game, we offer what we have. God accepts our capacities, our achievements, our possessions, and He gives us His capacities, His achievements, His possessions. He gives them to us perfectly, eternally and unconditionally.

We shall not fail God because we love God and because God loves us. Love is oneness, inseparable oneness. When we sing the song of inseparable oneness, we cannot fail.

God's love

Berea College; Berea, Kentucky, USA
Baird Lounge
21 February 1974

God loves us. He loves us constantly and unconditionally. No matter what we have done, what we are doing or what we shall do, He will always love us. God loves us much more than He loves Himself. If we use our thinking and doubting minds, this may seem hard to believe. But if we use our loving and surrendering hearts, then we are bound to feel that God loves us infinitely more than He loves Himself. Why does He love us so much? He loves us because He feels that His Dream remains unfulfilled without us, His Reality remains unmanifested without us; without us he is incomplete. Right now we feel that it is only we who really love ourselves. Then there may come a time when we think that God, too, loves us. But for us to believe that God loves us infinitely more than we love ourselves seems sheer impossibility.

There have been many, many times in our lives when we have felt miserable because we told a lie or deceived someone or became jealous of others. After we do something wrong or undivine, our inner consciousness comes to the fore and we feel miserable. We curse ourselves and try to punish ourselves. But God's Love for us remains exactly the same. We hate ourselves for our mistakes, but God still loves us and will always continue to love us. Our justice-power condemns us, but God's Compassion-Power forgives us, illumines us and transforms our weakness into strength with its adamantine will-power. God gets satisfaction when, with His blessingful Smile, He gives us His Compassion-flood, His Concern-sky and His Love-sea so that we can grow into His very Image.

God loves us and, in return, He wants us to smile, to love and to transcend. The moment we offer Him a soulful smile, God is pleased with us. The moment we offer Him an iota of our love, God is pleased with us. The moment we want to transcend our earth-bound consciousness, God is pleased with us.

Our human love constantly tries to separate and divide, but the divine Love we receive from God always adds and multiplies. God used His Delight-Power when He created the world, and now He uses His Love-Power to protect the world and bring perfection to earth, His Creation.

Here on earth we have everything save and except one thing: satisfaction. It is only by loving God that we will get true satisfaction. God is our own highest, most illumined Reality. "United we stand, divided we fall": this is the motto of the State of Kentucky. In the inner life also, when we become consciously one with God, we feel a real sense of satisfaction. But when we are separated from God, when we are divided into two, we feel incomplete, unfulfilled and dissatisfied.

If we are not seekers, we love God once in a blue moon; but if we are seekers of the highest Truth, then we try to love God soulfully and constantly. There is an easy way to love God soulfully and constantly. When we separate darkness from light, the transient from the eternal, and outer knowledge from inner wisdom, then it becomes extremely easy for us to love God soulfully and constantly. After we love God soulfully and constantly, we can go one step ahead and love God unconditionally by giving Him what we have and what we are. What we have within is inner aspiration to grow into the vast Beyond. What we are without is a sea of ignorance.

God also gives us what He has and what He is. What He has is infinite Peace, Light and Bliss, and what He is is constant Concern, Concern for our liberation from the meshes of ignorance and Concern for our perfection.

God loves us. We love God. By loving God, we gain victory over our age-old ignorance. By loving us, God makes us consciously feel that we are eternal players, divine players in His Cosmic Game.

The great pioneer, Daniel Boone, called Kentucky a second paradise. In the spiritual life, every day we can have a sense of paradise. Paradise means infinite Peace, Light and Bliss. When the seeker prays and meditates, he enters into paradise. When his mind is calm and quiet, when his mind is tranquillity's flood, his heart becomes all-giving and his life becomes Divinity's Reality. Paradise is not a place; it is a state of consciousness. When we free our mind from the meshes of ignorance, when we liberate our existence from the mire of earth, we see, feel and grow into paradise.

Self-transcendence

University of Tennessee; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
Student Center
21 February 1974

Dear sisters and brothers, dear seekers of the highest Transcendental Truth, I wish to give a short talk on self-transcendence.

We are all seekers who wish to transcend our present realities. Why do we want to transcend? We want to transcend because the life of ignorance, bondage, imperfection and death cannot satisfy us. We want to achieve something. We want to grow into something which is eternal; we want to grow into the very image of Immortality.

Right in front of us there are two worlds: the world of desire and the world of aspiration. When our life belongs to the desire-world, we feel that satisfaction is always a far cry. When our life belongs to the aspiration-world, we feel that satisfaction is our birthright. The life of desire is a life of self-chosen bondage. The life of aspiration is a life of God-chosen transcendence.

In our life of self-transcendence, from the lower we grow into the higher. The lower is transformed into the higher, the less perfect is transformed into the more perfect. Things that have to be rejected, we reject; things that have to be transformed, we transform; things that have to be transcended, we transcend. This process of transcendence is beyond the thinking of the mental man. It finds its existence in the self-giving of the psychic man. The psychic man becomes part and parcel of reality by identifying with reality itself. The thinking man, the doubting man, finds it extremely difficult or impossible to identify himself with that reality.

In our ordinary life we deal with constant possibility and, at the end of our efforts, we meet with either success or failure. But in the spiritual life, we do not care for failure or success; we care only for progress. In this way, possibility is transformed into inevitability.

A seeker of the highest Truth, the moment he enters into the spiritual life, feels that he has transcended his life of conscious impurity and obscurity. The life of desire he has transcended; now he is living the life of aspiration. At every moment he has the golden opportunity to go high, higher, highest on the strength of his inner mounting cry. Each time our aspiration, our mounting cry, touches the highest pinnacle, it is fired again. The goal that it touches need not and cannot be the ultimate Goal, for today's goal is tomorrow's starting point. Again, tomorrow's goal will be the starting point for the day after tomorrow. There is no end to our realisation. There is no end to our self-transcendence. Our aspiration ascends, our realisation transcends, our satisfaction dawns and, finally, our God smiles. With our inner cry we ascend to God's descending Smile. When we feed our inner cry, and when we become our inner cry, at that time our song of realisation and transcendence begins.

In order to transcend, two things are of paramount importance: our personal effort and God's Grace. By personal effort alone, we cannot transcend ourselves. Again, God's Grace will not do anything unless and until we are receptive. If we can receive God's Grace and properly use it, then only can we reach the Highest. A sincere seeker is transcending his previous reality at every moment. When he transcends, he does not reject anything. The sincere seeker accepts the world as his very own. Like a potter who accepts clay and moulds it into something beautiful, a spiritual seeker accepts the life of ignorance and tries to transform it with his inner wisdom-light.

In our deepest philosophy, we consider past achievements to be of no value. We say the past is dust. The past has given us what it has to offer, but it has not given us what we need: liberation, realisation, salvation and perfection. So it is today, it is in the immediacy of the present, that we have to grow into the spiritual life. Since most of us are beginners in the spiritual life, we try to meditate for five minutes, ten minutes, half an hour, or an hour a day, and to keep our best consciousness always to the fore. If we can meditate for an hour a day, we try to extend the effects of this meditation throughout the whole day. As soon as a child throws a ball, its momentum keeps it going and it covers a considerable distance. So also our soulful prayer and meditation, even if it only lasts half an hour, projects our aspiring consciousness into the heart of each day and enters into all our multifarious activities as they unfold hour by hour.

As in the world of desire we want to grow and expand, so also do we want to grow and expand in the spiritual life. In the beginning, we want an iota of light, then we wish to have abundant light, and then infinite Light. But there is a great difference between the expansion of our earthly desires and the expansion of our divine aspiration. When we possess mortal life, the desire-life, we are not actually satisfied. Even when our desires are fulfilled, we discover that we have new desires, and there is no abiding satisfaction. We have always the same hunger, the same unsatiated, unfulfilled hunger. But in the spiritual life, when we get an iota of peace, light and bliss—although our ultimate aim is to have these in infinite measure—even an iota gives us a sense of satisfaction. And, in the long run, at God's choice Hour, we do get Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure. Each time we are divinely satisfied and fulfilled, we transcend our earth-bound reality and enter into the Heaven-free Reality.

The motto of this state is "Agriculture and Commerce." The spiritual seeker is a farmer. He cultivates his heart here in this world and receives from Above, like falling rain, the divine Grace. In time, when the seeker develops one-pointed devotion to the Inner Pilot, he collects the bumper crop of realisation. It is like an exchange of natural capacities. The seeker identifies himself with the consciousness of earth, increasing his receptivity through surrender. And, at the same time, he invokes the Transcendental Consciousness from Above. When the earth consciousness and the Transcendental Consciousness meet, when earth's surrender and Heaven's Grace join together, at that time realisation dawns in the seeker's aspiring life. There is a royal road that leads to self-transcendence. That road is our surrender, our conscious, unconditional surrender, to the Will of the Absolute Supreme.

Compassion

Tulane University; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Kendall Cram Room
27 February 1974

Dear seekers, I wish to give a talk on compassion. When we use our mind to understand the meaning of compassion, very often we are misled and we mislead others. But when we use our heart, we understand the meaning immediately, and we make others understand as well.

Compassion is God's immense and intense Concern for mankind. When we show compassion to others at the time of their need, compassion is sweet. When we receive compassion from others while we are in dire need, compassion is sweeter. And when we come to realise that it is God's Compassion that is enabling us to fulfil our promise both to Heaven and to earth, Compassion is sweetest. Our promise to Heaven is to reveal our divine qualities here on earth. Our promise to earth is to manifest all our divine capacities so that Mother Earth can utilise them for her own purposes.

We are all seekers here, and we feel that if we can receive God's most illumining Compassion, then our spiritual journey will be expedited. But how are we going to receive this Compassion from Above? We can easily do it if we can feel that we are like a child, a little divine child. When a human child cries, no matter where the mother is, she comes to comfort him for, by pleasing the child, she gets satisfaction. Similarly, when we soulfully cry for God's Compassion, God immediately descends with His Compassion-Power.

A child cries helplessly because he feels that without his mother's help and guidance he cannot do anything. But the spiritual child does not cry with a sense of helplessness. He feels that there is a Source, and that Source is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. When we become soulful in our cry, we establish a free access to the Source. So the seeker in us, the divine child in us, cries soulfully and not helplessly.

In our ordinary day-to-day life, in our multifarious activities, we speak of Grace, divine Grace. From the spiritual point of view, there is a subtle difference between Grace and Compassion. Let us imagine a vast expanse of water all around—this is Grace. But when there is a heavy downpour, a shower, this is called Compassion. Compassion is Grace, but in a very intensified, one-pointed form. Grace is something general, which is for everyone whether he aspires or does not aspire. But divine Compassion, real Compassion, enters into our aspiring consciousness, our aspiring life, only when we feel the inner urge to fly into the Beyond.

Compassion wants to operate in us at every moment, but quite often, because of our ignorance, we resist Compassion consciously or unconsciously, even after we have begun to cry for it. In the ordinary life, if somebody wants to give us something out of his infinite kindness, and we do not take it, then the person immediately withdraws his gift, as if to say that we do not deserve it. But in the case of God, it is not like that. God never withdraws His Compassion from us. On the contrary, He tries to offer us more of His divine, unconditional Compassion.

Compassion is a power, an illumining power. But when we are extremely stubborn and reject Compassion totally and mercilessly, God at times relies on His Patience-Power. He knows that Eternity is at His disposal and that one day, in the process of evolution, we shall be able to receive His Compassion. Today if we do not achieve and receive His Compassion devotedly or gratefully, He does not mind. Tomorrow He will give us another opportunity and, in either the near or the distant future, we are bound to accept His Compassion-Power, for this alone can transform our nature. So God does not withdraw; He only uses another type of Power, which we call patience.

Before we enter into the spiritual life, compassion is something abstract. But when we enter into the spiritual life, and live a divine life, compassion becomes concrete. At every moment we feel God's Compassion in us in either a subtle or a solid, palpable form. At every moment we can see it, feel it and grow into it.

The state motto of Louisiana is "Union, Justice, Confidence." These terms are extremely spiritual.

Union. Union occurs between the finite and the Infinite. Right now we are in the physical, so we are all living finite, individual, separate existences. But when the finite enters into the Infinite in order to realise the highest Absolute, or when the Infinite enters into the finite to manifest its own Divinity, then this union immediately establishes one reality, one fulfilling reality. In the union of the finite and the Infinite we realise the highest plane of consciousness and, at the same time, we manifest Divinity on earth.

Now, what actually is being united when the Infinite and the finite join? It is God's Compassion and man's surrender. God's greatest gift to mankind is His Compassion-Power, and man's greatest gift to God is his surrender-power. When man surrenders to God soulfully and unconditionally, when he surrenders to God's Will cheerfully, at that time God's Capacity, God's Reality, God's Infinitude become his. Compassion is the magnet in God, and surrender is the magnet in the seeker. When God uses His Compassion, it is like a magnet from Above pulling us up to the Highest. And when we use our surrender, this magnet immediately pulls God down into our living breath. So when our magnet and God's magnet come together, the Hour of God dawns for us in our life of aspiration and self-dedication.

Justice. In the ordinary human life, justice says, "As you sow, so you reap." This is justice: tit for tat. If somebody has done something wrong, we feel we have every right to threaten him, frighten him, warn him, punish him. But this kind of justice is on the lowest rung of the human ladder. When we step up to a higher rung, justice becomes a kind of forgiveness. If we can forgive someone who has done something wrong, if we have that capacity, then we feel that forgiveness itself is justice. When we enter into the highest level of consciousness, at that time there is no question of either punishment or forgiveness. It is only a matter of illumination. The highest Self encompasses and embodies all of Reality. So if one part of its existence is unillumined, it does not punish or forgive. It tries to illumine that part of its own existence. When we watch the world from the highest plane of consciousness, we feel that the ignorant, obscure, impure, imperfect world needs illumination. Here justice is the feeling of oneness. Divine Justice is the transformation of our own unlit existence. Divine Justice is self-illumination.

In the ordinary life, we feel that equality is justice. But in the divine world, if somebody has the capacity to receive more Peace, more Light, more Bliss from Above, then he should be given more. Equal opportunity should be given, but if you have more capacity or receptivity than I have, then you should progress according to your own speed and not slow down to my speed. If you wait for me, then God's Hour will have to wait for you, and you will not reach the Goal at God's choice Hour. This kind of equality is not an act of illumination. If your time has come, you go. God has given me the same opportunity, but you have developed more capacity. That is why you have received more light and you can run faster towards your Goal. When God gives me the capacity at His choice Hour, at that time I also will reach the Goal. This is called divine Justice. God is constantly giving us all the same opportunity, but our individual capacity is not the same.

Confidence. Confidence is a most important quality in both our human life and our divine life. In the human life, usually our confidence is based on our ego, our unruly vital. The unruly vital makes us feel that we can do everything, that there is nothing on earth we cannot do. Nevertheless, it is true that in our human life, if we do not have confidence, we cannot do anything. But in the divine life when we have confidence, it is a different matter. This confidence comes from an inner awareness of our Source. We feel, "I am God's son, I am part and parcel of God. Since He has infinite Peace, Light and Bliss, since He has infinite capacity, I also have the same within me. Right now I am not aware of it, but a day will come when I will not only be aware of it but will actually be able to manifest it." This is called divine confidence.

Now, some people have confidence only in God and not in themselves. This is a deplorable mistake. They should have confidence in themselves, but they should feel that this confidence is coming directly from God. They have to feel that their faith in their own personal effort is their confidence in a capacity which has come directly from God. God has given us this confidence and God is the one who is experiencing this confidence in and through us. This confidence is nothing other than the confidence God has in Himself.

God always has confidence in us, but very often we lose confidence in ourselves. When we have been defeated once or twice in the battlefield of life, we lose all our confidence. But God never loses His confidence in us because He knows that He is the root and we are the branches. Since the root is firm and solid, how can the branches fail? God knows His capacity, His potentiality, His plenitude and infinitude; therefore, He has all confidence, not only in Himself but also in us, for He feels that we are His direct manifestation. Without us He cannot manifest what He has and what He is; and without Him we cannot realise what we have and what we are. We are part and parcel of God's Divinity, His integral Reality; therefore, He always has boundless confidence in our capacity.

Love human and love divine

Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College; Gulfport, Mississippi, USA
Jefferson Davis Campus
27 February 1974

Dear sisters and brothers, I wish to share with you my humble philosophy, which is based on love. We know that there are two types of love: human love and Love divine. In human love, what we actually try to do is to possess the many without caring for the One, the Source. But if we do not possess the Source, then the many cannot be of any help to us. If there is no root, then how will the tree grow? How will we be able to claim the branches or the flowers and leaves as our very own? With the divine Love, we go first to the One, the Source, and from there we go to the many. We become one with the root, and then we grow into the tree, which will manifest itself through the branches and leaves, the flowers and fruits. Divine Love is the song of multiplicity in unity.

In human love there is demand or, at least, expectation. Very often we start with demand and, when a higher wisdom dawns, we no longer demand, but still we expect something from others. We convince ourselves that this expectation is justified. Since we have done something for others —- offered our love —- we feel it is quite legitimate to expect something in return.

But in divine Love there is no such thing as demand or expectation. In divine Love we just give what we have and what we are. What we have and what we are is dedicated service. In the human life, before we give our love, we try to discover love in others —- that is, their love for us. In the divine Life, before we give our love to others, we try to discover Love in its reality and integrality within ourselves. Only then are we in a position to offer love to others. At first our satisfaction dawns when we feel that those to whom we offer our love accept it wholeheartedly. But there is an even higher form of divine Love when we go beyond this feeling, and give love just for the sake of self-giving. We give, and even if our love is not accepted, we do not mind. We shall go on giving, for we are all love, our Source is all Love.

In human love there is not only demand and expectation, but there is something even worse: withdrawal. First we demand, then we expect. When our expectation is not fulfilled, we sometimes try to withdraw from the person to whom we have offered our love. In divine Love, it is never like that. With divine Love we try to become one with the weakness, imperfection and bondage of others. Although we have inner freedom, we use this inner freedom not to lord it over others, but to become one, consciously one, with their imperfections. In this way we can understand them and serve them at their own level, with a view to transforming their imperfections.

The capacity of human love is so limited that we cannot expand ourselves and totally embrace one another. There is bound to be a feeling of supremacy. I shall love you, no doubt, but I wish to remain an inch higher than you. On that condition I shall love you. The superior loves the inferior because he is satisfied to some extent with his position in this relationship. The inferior very often loves the superior because of his insecurity. So love binds them and gives them both some sense of satisfaction. But in divine Love there is no such thing as superiority and inferiority. Divine Love always gives itself freely and wholeheartedly. Divine Love gets satisfaction only by offering itself totally and unconditionally. In divine Love, we come to notice that the personal and the impersonal perfectly go together. There is a balance between the two. The personal in us enters into the vast, which is impersonal; and the impersonal in us enters into the personal to manifest its unmanifested Reality, Divinity and Immortality. In human love, the personal and the impersonal are two strangers; worse, they are at daggers drawn. The personal and the impersonal at best try to reach a compromise, but this compromise brings no satisfaction at all; in the very depth of human love, there is always a rivalry and competition between the two. On rare occasions, the personal says to the impersonal, which is inside the human being, "Let us alternate our reality, our height, our wisdom, our capacity. This moment you stand up and I shall remain seated; the next moment I shall stand up and you will sit."

In human love, very often the physical mind, the doubting mind, the suspecting mind, comes to the fore. But in divine Love, we see only the loving heart, the surrendering heart, the all-beckoning heart. The mind loves a reality because it sees the reality according to its own understanding and vision. But the heart loves a reality because it sees the reality in the reality's own form. The heart becomes inseparably one with the reality, with the very existence of that reality, both inner and outer. It sees the living breath of the reality in its own form and shape; it sees the body and soul of the reality all together.

In human love, the lover and the beloved are two separate persons. The lover is running towards the beloved and, when he reaches the beloved, he finds his satisfaction. In divine Love, the Lover and the Beloved are one and inseparable. In divine Love, the Lover is the Supreme and the Beloved is the Supreme. In human love, we feel that satisfaction lies somewhere else—not within us, but in somebody else. But in divine Love, satisfaction is found nowhere else but in ourselves. The Lover and the Beloved are one and the same —- the Supreme dwelling within and the Supreme outside us. When we speak of our 'self' as the divine Lover or Beloved, we have to know that this is the 'Self' which is both the One and the many. This Self, the Supreme, finds its satisfaction only when it gets a glimpse of God's Reality, Infinity, Eternity and Immortality in the many. This 'Self' is the One, and it wants to see and feel its Reality in the many.

Love is duty. In our human life we see duty as something mechanical, lifeless, forced—something thrust upon us. But in the divine life, duty is something full of opportunity. At every second an opportunity is dawning for us to expand our life's consciousness, our life's reality, our life's delight. So in the divine life we welcome duty, for it increases our capacity and potentiality and expands the dream of our divine, unhorizoned Reality.

Life is the lesson of love. Love is the lesson of life. When we study life's lesson in our human life, the lesson is composed of fear, doubt, anxiety, worry and frustration. But in the divine life, we see that love is the lesson not only of life, but also for life—for the life that is everlasting, ever-illumining and ever-fulfilling.

A divine Lover is he who believes in the divine miracle. A human miracle is something that feeds our curiosity, something that lasts for a fleeting second. But the divine miracle is the elevation of consciousness. To raise somebody else's consciousness, to raise humanity's consciousness even an iota is the true divine miracle. The conscious help the divine Lover gives to the seeker performs this divine miracle.

We are of God the eternal Love and we are for God the eternal Love. We are of God the infinite Love and we are for God the infinite Love. Eternity is the Source of the Silence-life; and Infinity is the message of the sound-life. From the One we came and for the many we exist. This is the real message of divine Love. We are of the One and we are for the many—the many in the One. This is the quintessence of Love divine.

The human and the divine

University of South Alabama; Mobile, Alabama, USA
Student Center Ballroom
27 February 1974

Dear seekers of the highest Truth, I wish to give a short talk on the human and the divine.

Our outer essence is human; our inner essence is divine. The human world is the desire-world. The divine world is the aspiration-world. In the desire-world, when we get something we immediately cry out, "Eureka, I have found it! This is it." But in the divine world, when we get something we say to ourselves, "There is something else I need, something higher, deeper, more illumining and more fulfilling." This sense of dissatisfaction is not bad or undivine. This kind of dissatisfaction makes us feel that we are destined to grow into something infinitely higher than what we are now.

Human right and divine right. Human right tells us that we dare to defend our rights. This is the motto of the State of Alabama: "We dare defend our rights." Now why do we want to defend our rights? Because we feel that our skills and capacities are not properly appreciated and admired, that we are, to some extent, exploited. Therefore, we feel that it is our bounden duty to defend our rights. The divine in us also tells us that we must dare to defend our rights. But in this case, it is our divine right to offer our inner message to the world at large, our divine right to tell ignorance that we belong to the Supreme alone. We are of the divine and we are for the divine. We cannot mix with ignorance and we must not allow ourselves to be devoured by ignorance. True, we have wallowed in the pleasures of ignorance for millennia. But that does not mean that we shall not exercise our divine right to go deep within and bring to the fore the Light infinite to inundate the world of suffering and darkness.

The human in us wants to discover if there is any truth, light and divinity in others. It is in doubt whether others have these qualities. But the divine in us knows that truth, light and divinity are everywhere. They are not the monopoly of any individual; everybody has deep within him Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure.

The human in us wants to see the face of reality, so that it can change the reality to suit its own desires. The divine in us wants to see the face of reality so it can grow into the very image of the transcendental Reality.

The human in us constantly cries for success, more success, abundant success. But the divine in us wants progress, constant progress, inner and outer. This progress is founded entirely upon self-giving, and self-giving is the precursor of God-becoming.

The human in us wants to possess the world so it can utilise the world in its own way. Alas, to its extreme sorrow, it sees that before it possesses the world, the world has already possessed it mercilessly. The divine in us wants to offer its very existence to the world; it wants to illumine the world with its love and selfless dedication. Lo and behold, it sees that before it has illumined the world, the world has illumined it totally.

The human in us wants to realise God the Power so that it can lord it over the world. The divine in us needs the God who is all Good. The human in us prays to God and meditates on God and hopes to bring God down to satisfy its teeming desires. The human in us prays to God for its own satisfaction. But the divine in us prays and meditates so that God can utilise us in His own Way, in a divine Way, in a supreme Way.

The human in us wants to move from the door of the body to the room of the soul. It wants to go from the body to the soul through the vital, the mind and the heart. The divine in us wants to do the same thing, but the other way around. It wants to go from the soul to the heart, from the heart to the mind, from the mind to the vital, from the vital to the body. The divine in us feels that since the soul has Light, we have to enter into the soul's room first and from there enter into the other rooms, which are obscure, unlit and undivine.

When the human in us becomes sincere, we realise the undeniable fact that we need transformation: the transformation of the body, the transformation of the vital, the transformation of the mind and the transformation of the heart.

Right now, the body is constantly wallowing in the pleasures of ignorance, consciously and deliberately. But there shall come a time when this very body will try to aspire and try to serve the divine, here on earth and there in Heaven.

Right now, the vital in us is aggressive and destructive, but this very vital will one day aspire to become dynamic and progressive. Right now the vital in us will say, like Julius Caesar, "Veni, vidi, vici —- I came, I saw, I conquered." But this same vital, when it gets illumination, will say, "I came into the world to love the world, to embrace the world, to become one with the world."

Right now, the mind in us suspects the world, judges the world, doubts the world. But the same mind, when it cries for illumination in the near or distant future, will realise that it has come into the world to perfect the world's ignorance and illumine others. But before it illumines others, it will feel the necessity of self-illumination; it will realise that its ability to perfect others entirely depends on its own perfection. So the mind will perfect itself first and then offer its perfection to the aspiring world.

Right now, the heart in us is insecure, weak and impotent. It sees the Vast, but it does not want to establish its inseparable oneness with the Vast, precisely because it is badly frightened. But when the human heart is transformed into the divine heart, it will throw open its door to the world at large and there all humanity will find a haven. The heart will become inseparably one with God's Creation. By becoming one with God's entire Creation, it will feel that it has fulfilled its promise to the soul and its mission on earth. Its promise was that it would receive the soul's light in boundless measure, and its mission was consciously to serve humanity with this light.

The soul, too, has made a promise, a promise to God and to man. To God, the soul has made the solemn promise that it will manifest divinity on earth; and to mankind, the soul has promised that it will liberate the body from the meshes of ignorance. Here 'body' means the body-consciousness, which includes the physical, the vital, the mental and the psychic. The soul is bound to fulfil its promises to God and man.

Each human being becomes a conscious instrument of God when he enters sincerely into the spiritual life, the life of aspiration and dedication. Before that, he is in the world of ignorance, the world of sleep. But the impossibility which looms large in this human life need not and cannot forever remain with us. Our life of ignorance will eventually be transcended. Our essence, deep within us, is divine, and what we have within is bound to come to the fore at God's choice Hour.

The human in us wants to discover the Light; the divine in us wants to reveal the Light, which it feels it has always had. When the human in us aspires, it wants to grow and become. But the divine in us constantly knows that it eternally is.

The human in us will be fulfilled only when it consciously accepts the dictates of our inner divinity. The divine in us will fulfil itself only when it transforms, illumines and perfects the human in us. By the transformation of the human in us and the manifestation of the divine in us, we grow into perfect Perfection.

The human in us prays:

Hiranmayena patrena satyasyapihitam mukham
tat tvam pusan apavrnu satyadharmaya drstaye

The Face of Truth is covered with a brilliant golden orb.
Remove it, O Sun, so that I who am devoted to the Truth
May behold the Truth.

The progressive divine in us says:

Vedaham etam purusam mahantam
adityavarnam tamasah parastat

I have known this Great Being, effulgent as the sun,
beyond the boundaries of tenebrous gloom.

And the Transcendental, the all-pervading Divine in us, says: He, the Absolute, and we, the aspiring consciousness, are inseparably one.

Problems

Wheeling College; Wheeling, West Virginia, USA
The Chapel
28 February 1974

Dear seekers of the Transcendental Truth, I wish to give a talk on the subject of problems.

Problems within, problems without, problems everywhere. True, we do have some problems; but unfortunately we multiply them into countless problems. How do we multiply our problems? There are two ways. First, we invite the past and the future to come and stay with us in the heart of today. And second, we try to solve all our problems in the twinkling of an eye.

Let us consider the past —- the unfulfilled past, the sad past, the past that has not given us what we actually wanted —- as an enemy or a useless friend. And let us take the unmanifested future as a perfect stranger. If we know that somebody is useless, that he has not encouraged, inspired or liberated us, then let us not invite that particular friend to stay with us. Again, let us not invite a stranger, either. A stranger may not please us. He may do something harmful and hurtful. Let us not have faith in a stranger; let us have all faith only in today. Today is our friend, our only friend. Let us take morning as a dream-boat and evening as the reality-shore. Right now we are all in the sea of aspiration. Once we cross the sea, we will reach our Destined Goal.

Each human being, from a child to an octogenarian, has problems. A child has a problem when he wants to learn the alphabet. But he studies, and there comes a time when he not only learns the alphabet, but can easily read any book he wants. Similarly, a beginner in the spiritual life finds it extremely difficult to get even an iota of peace, light and bliss no matter how bitterly he cries for it. But this beginner does not remain always a beginner. After a while he becomes an advanced seeker and finally, at God's choice Hour, he realises the Ultimate Truth. At that time, his inner being becomes flooded with Light and Delight. But this cannot take place overnight. If we try to pull down God's Hour prematurely, we will only be frustrated.

We have the body, the vital, the mind, the heart and the soul. The problem of the body is impurity. The problem of the vital is aggression. The problem of the mind is doubt. The problem of the heart is insecurity. And the problem of the soul is that it has not yet manifested its inner divinity here on earth.

The body's problem can be solved only when purity dawns. The vital's problem can be solved only when dynamism enters into the vital and energises it. The mind's problem is solved when the mind is illumined by divine faith. The heart's problem is solved when the heart becomes flooded with the light of love. And the soul's problem is solved when the soul becomes the breath of supreme confidence.

In order to achieve purity, dynamism, faith, security and confidence, we must listen constantly to the dictates of the Inner Pilot, and consciously surrender to the Will of the Supreme. Now what is the Will of the Supreme? The Will of the Supreme is our conscious acceptance of the divine Light within us and our acceptance of earth as the field for the divine manifestation. We have to bring to the fore our inner Light in order to offer it to the world at large for its salvation and illumination. And we have to accept earth for the manifestation of God's Divinity.

In each individual there are two beings. One being wants material success; the other wants the life of inner solitude. Now, when the individual achieves material success, he feels that something is lacking, something is missing. His life is still filled with problems. What is he missing? He is missing peace and tranquillity. The material life has not given him Peace, Light and Bliss. He feels that if he can achieve Peace, Light and Bliss, then all his problems will be over, and he will be able to rest for good. The other being within him wants only the life of inner peace. Only the inner life is real for that being. The outer life it discards or negates; it feels the outer life is of no use. Then the individual goes deep within and realises Peace, Light and Bliss. But when this Peace, Light and Bliss remain unmanifested, the individual again feels miserable. He feels that the things that he has or has grown into must be manifested in the outer life, the outer world.

The first being cried for material wealth, but material wealth did not satisfy it because inner realisation was lacking. And the second being had inner realisation, but the outer manifestation was missing. So the second also had a problem. Before we realise God, our problem is ignorance; we ourselves are the problem. After we realise God, our problem is manifestation. It is like earth's problem and Heaven's problem. Earth's problem is realisation; Heaven's problem is manifestation. Even God has problems. God's problem is to make us feel that we are His children, His chosen children, that we are of Him and for Him. His problem is to make us feel that He is the root and we are the branches of the self-same tree.

How do we solve our problems? We solve our problems by going deep within. The Christ said, "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you." The Kingdom of Heaven means the Kingdom of Light and Bliss. Only if we go deep within, will we see the face of the Kingdom of Heaven. And once we have free access to the Kingdom of Heaven, all our problems are solved once and for all.

There are two types of people: desiring people and aspiring people. A desiring man takes a problem as a shattering experience, but an aspiring man considers a problem as a strengthening experience. Whenever a problem arises, a desiring man feels that this problem is going to shatter his hopes. Then he is doomed to disappointment. This disappointment gives birth to frustration and, in frustration, looms large his destruction. But an aspiring man sees a problem as a foundation stone. He accepts the problem as a challenge. He seeks to get a firm footing on the problem and use it as an opportunity to progress. In each experience, the Compassion of the Highest, the Beyond, is there to guide us and help us, first to surmount the problem and then to transform it into a radiant opportunity to grow into the very Image of our Lord Supreme.

There is a Zen saying that before one studies Zen, mountains are mountains. But after one enters into Zen practice, mountains no longer remain mountains. And finally, when one gets illumination, mountains become mountains again. We can say that mountains are the difficulties that we encounter when we enter into the spiritual life. After a while, we see that these mountains of difficulties can easily be surmounted. They are like passing clouds, and the inner sun is bound to reappear. Finally, when we realise the Highest, we see that the mountains of difficulties that we previously encountered have been transformed into mountains of opportunities—opportunities for progress, achievement and greater awakening in the ever-transcending experience of the highest Reality. The difficulties have become opportunities carrying us to the ever-transcending Beyond.

The motto of the State of West Virginia is "Mountaineers are always free." This is a significant motto from the inner point of view because mountaineers are climbers. We aspirants, too, are all climbers, trying to climb up to the highest Height, the Pinnacle, on the strength of our inner cry. The higher we go, the more freedom we enjoy. The higher we go, the more the freedom of the Absolute is bound to inundate our existence, inner and outer. This freedom is the freedom of the Divinity within us, the freedom of the Infinity that belongs to us, the freedom of the Immortality of which we are made.

Do we love God?

University of Nebraska; Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Omaha Milo Baif Student Center
5 March 1974

Dear friends, dear sisters and brothers, I wish to pose a question: do we love God? Do we really love God? The immediate answer is, "We do, we do love God."

We love God. Therefore, we do not want to live a semi-animal life; we do not want to live a life of temptation; we do not want to live in the world of falsehood, darkness, limitation, bondage and death. We love God. Therefore, we wish to feel and grow into His Presence in all that we do and say. When we do not aspire, we love God only to fulfil our desires. But when we aspire, we love God for His own sake. We want to be freed from the snares of desire, from the teeming clouds of desire, so that we can claim our birthright in God and for God.

We love God. Therefore, we try to live within. To live within is to divinely glow at every moment. We love God. Therefore, we try to reveal without. What do we reveal? We reveal our inner divinity, our conscious, inseparable oneness with our Inner Pilot, the Absolute Supreme.

We love God. Therefore, if we see defects in others, we feel that it is our bounden duty to perfect these defects, for our sweet Lord can never be pleased with us when we consciously or deliberately fail to perfect the imperfections that we notice in others. But when we perfect others, we come to realise that our task is just an expansion of our own self-awakening. We are all members of the same family. The root and the trunk is God, and we are the branches, leaves, fruits and flowers of God, the Tree.

We love God. Therefore, we live on earth and try to manifest Him and fulfil Him in His own Way. We play our roles like divine warriors. Every day we enter the battlefield of life to fight against fear, doubt, ignorance and bondage. And at the end of our journey on the physical plane, we leave the body behind and our soul-bird flies to the highest region of Light and Delight. There we take rest for some time before coming back once more to this earth. We come to earth in order to manifest our inner divinity and to fulfil the promise that our souls have made to the Absolute Supreme, our promise to manifest and fulfil Him here on earth as well as there in Heaven.

We love God. Therefore, we want to live not in the unreal, but in the real. The unreal in us is the egocentric 'i', the 'i' that binds us and sings the song of separation. This is the personal 'i', which tells us that we are of the finite and cannot come out of the finite. But the real in us is the universal 'I'. This 'I' tells us that we are of the Infinite and we are for the Infinite. With this 'I' we come into the world to sing the song of perfection and, when we retire from the earth-scene, with this same 'I' we sing the song of realisation which we learned here.

We love God. Divine Love is our first and foremost friend, here on earth, there in Heaven. Inside the heart of Love, we find two other friends: faith and devotion. Without faith we feel that our journey is insecure and that there is constant danger looming in our path. But when we see the face of our faith-friend, feel faith within us and grow into faith, we feel that our journey is quite safe. And when we see the face of our devotion-friend, we know that we have found a short cut, a sunlit road, to our Destined Goal.

What makes us love God? It is God's boundless Compassion, His unconditional Compassion, that makes us love Him. God's divine Pride in us also makes us love Him. In addition, our inner cry, the climbing flame within us, makes us love God, for this flame knows that, unless and until it reaches the Highest, we can never see the face of abiding satisfaction. The world can offer us many things, but it cannot offer abiding satisfaction. This we must get from our inner life, our inner world. On the strength of our inner cry we have to reach the highest Pinnacle; and then we have to come down and distribute to the world at large what we have received and achieved in the highest plane of our consciousness.

We are all seekers. A seeker is one whose inner being is inundated with opportunity. There are three hundred sixty-five days in a year. For a genuine and sincere seeker, each day offers a new opportunity, and each opportunity is one rung in the ladder leading to our Destined Goal. The seeker knows that if he cries soulfully from the inmost recesses of his heart, then each day he will climb up to a new and higher rung. Once we climb up the ladder of inner evolution and reach the Highest, we will see that the Highest is not something new; it was always within us, only we had not yet discovered it as our very own. Once we feel that the Highest is our very own, we have to reveal and manifest it. This is the Cosmic Game that we play and that we have been playing from time immemorial.

The deeper we go, the sooner we discover that not only do we love God, but also God loves us. But God loves us in His own Way, not in our way. Right now we feel that God loves us if He fulfils our desires or aspirations. But when we go deep within and experience real Love, the divine Love, we will feel at every moment that we are God's chosen children. And whether He fulfils our immediate wishes or not, we know that whatever He does He is doing for our own good. Furthermore, we come to realise that He is constantly fulfilling Himself in and through us.

God is within each individual. He is found in unity and He is found in multiplicity. This moment God is unity and the next moment God is multiplicity. Again, He is unity in multiplicity and multiplicity in unity. When we love God unconditionally, we feel that at every moment we are facing Reality and growing into Reality and, finally, we realise that we are also transcending Reality, that we are flowing in the stream of the ever-transcending Reality, which is our perfect Immortality. Only when we are aware of our divine, Transcendental Reality can we establish our perfect Immortality here on earth and there in Heaven.

The spiritual life

Iowa Western Community College; Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA
5 March 1974

Dear brothers and sisters, we are all students, students of the higher knowledge of the eternal Truth. A student learns and unlearns. A student learns the things that are inspiring, illumining and fulfilling; and he unlearns the things that are useless, the things that make him feel at every moment that his life is doomed. He learns the message of light, inner light; and he unlearns the message of ignorance and darkness.

How do we become spiritual? We become spiritual by emptying the mind, the mind that unconsciously cherishes fear and doubt. We try to empty fear, doubt and other undivine thoughts or foreign elements from the mind. We can also become spiritual by silencing the mind. When we can silence the mind, our life becomes a fertile field where a bumper crop can grow. There is still another way to become spiritual: by purifying the heart. In a pure heart, God can manifest Himself with all His Radiance. A heart of purity can easily become one, inseparably one, with God's eternal Reality, Divinity and Omnipresence. When we empty the mind, we welcome God; but when we purify the heart, we actually place a throne for God inside our heart, which is His Home.

To become spiritual is to represent the ideal within us. What is this ideal? Our ideal is God the infinite Light and eternal Truth. On the strength of our aspiration, our inner cry, we grow into our ideal, then we reveal the ideal and, finally, we manifest the ideal.

Before we become spiritual, life is meaningless, life is a most deplorable burden. But after we become spiritual, we do not feel the heavy weight of life. On the contrary, we feel that we have become like birds flying in the welkin of Infinity and Immortality. Our life offers us real meaning, for it is a life of love and divinity.

Before we become spiritual, we do not see or feel God's loving Hand and ever-compassionate Heart. But after we become spiritual, we feel God's Guidance consciously and constantly in all our multifarious activities. When we become spiritual, God unites our heart with His own Heart of eternal Truth and infinite Light, Peace and Bliss.

An ordinary person wants to possess God; a spiritual person wants God to possess him. The ordinary person feels that if he possesses God, then he will be able to lord it over the world; the entire world will be at his feet. But a spiritual person wants to be possessed by God. He feels that if he possesses God, at any moment the world of temptation may lure him and he may fall. But if God the Almighty possesses him, he will never be able to fall. The seeker always wants God to look after him and guide him. He feels that if he is possessed by God, then at every moment he can be of dedicated service to mankind. And only by serving God in mankind will he have abiding satisfaction.

Not by establishing an empire can man achieve abiding satisfaction, but only by self-awakening and self-giving. The seeker knows this truth; therefore, he wants to renounce the undivine in himself and embrace the divine. The undivine in him is fear, doubt, anxiety and worry; the divine in him is strength, courage, faith, the feeling of oneness and the sense of perfection. An unspiritual person wants to discover peace in the world. But a spiritual person knows that he can discover peace only in the inmost recesses of his own heart. An unaspiring person will not find satisfaction or peace of mind, no matter how favourable the outer conditions are, because he does not know where to look or how to look for it. But a spiritual person, whatever opposition or unpropitious circumstances he has to face, will always have abundant peace and satisfaction, for they will flow from within him in an unquenchable flood. For the sincere seeker, peace reigns supreme because of his life of aspiration.

For an ordinary person, the aggressive vital is normal and necessary. But for a spiritual person, the vital does not always have to be aggressive. It can become pure and dynamic. When we have a pure, dynamic vital, we feel that we can really establish the Kingdom of Truth on earth. When our vital is dynamic, we expand our consciousness. But when our vital is aggressive, we just destroy others; and while destroying others, we diminish our own reality, which is the Universal Reality.

There is also a divine vital within us. This vital operates only in our sincerity, humility, clarity and self-giving. The aggressive vital or the dynamic vital can say, in the words of Julius Caesar, "Veni, vidi, vici —- I came, I saw, I conquered." But the divine vital says, "I came, I surrendered, I became. I came to God; I surrendered my existence to God; I became God the infinite Compassion, God the infinite Love, God the infinite Concern."

In our day-to-day existence, we discover that life is nothing but duty. This duty is a constant source of discouragement and frustration, as though somebody has placed a heavy load on our shoulders. But in the spiritual life, duty is taken in a different way. Duty means opportunity. Each time we fulfil our duty, we feel that we have gone one step further towards the Ultimate Goal. And each time we fulfil our divine duty, God entrusts us with more peace, light and bliss.

A sincere spiritual seeker feels that human life is a constant blessing. Life is not bondage or frustration; life is opportunity. Here on earth is where we have to see the face of Truth and grow into the very image of the Transcendental Reality. Life has to be utilised for a high purpose, for a divine purpose, for a fulfilling purpose. As an ordinary person cries for name and fame, for worldly satisfaction, a sincere seeker also cries; but he cries for Truth, for Light, for Bliss. He cries for God. He wants God to make him His perfect instrument. He does not want to be the doer, he does not want to be the action, he does not want to be the observer. He wants God to be the Doer, he wants God to be the Deed, he wants God to be the Witness and he wants God to fulfil Himself in every way in and through him.

An ordinary, unaspiring person may see the Reality-tree from a distance, but he is afraid of it. He feels that the Reality-tree is all Light, and he is afraid that this Light will expose his ignorance. But a sincere seeker just runs towards the Reality-tree, touches the root, sits at the foot of the tree for a few seconds, and then tries to climb up the tree. He feels that the Light of the Reality-tree does not expose; on the contrary, he feels that it illumines, and illumination is perfect fulfilment. There are people who do not launch into the spiritual life because they are afraid that their weaknesses will be exposed, or they feel that there is nothing worth having in the spiritual life. But a sincere seeker knows that life has true meaning only when we enter into the spiritual life, for the spiritual life is the root of the tree of eternal life. If there is no root, then the tree cannot grow, and the seeker can never climb up to the highest branch.

A spiritual seeker wants to achieve truth, light, peace and bliss on the strength of his self-giving, for his self-giving is his God-becoming. When he consciously becomes what he eternally has been, he knows that life is not a dream but a reality; that life is not only the messenger or harbinger of satisfaction, but also the real satisfaction itself. God is experiencing Himself in and through life, which is a manifestation of His Light and Delight. The seeker knows that today he is of God and tomorrow he will be for God. He is of God: that is his realisation. He is for God: that is his revelation and manifestation.

Silence

Kansas City College of Osteopathic Medicine;
Kansas City, Kansas, USA
Battenfield Auditorium, Student Center
5 March 1974

Dear seekers, dear sisters and brothers, I wish to give a very short talk on silence. Therefore, with your kind permission, I wish to maintain silence for a few minutes.

(Sri Chinmoy meditated with the audience briefly.)

Life needs and wants victory, but the victory that we achieve in the world of sound does not last for long. This victory is very fleeting. The victory that we achieve in the world of silence is everlasting and, each time a victory dawns in this inner world, we feel that we are being prepared for a higher and more fulfilling victory in tomorrow's Dawn.

An ordinary man thinks either that silence cannot be achieved or that it is of no avail. But a seeker knows that silence can be achieved on the strength of his inner cry. He also knows that silence is of tremendous importance, for without silence we cannot see the face of Truth or grow into the very image of Truth and Light. Silence is within, but we have to discover it. Unless and until we discover our inner silence, we cannot feel that we are of God and for God. Inner silence is not just the absence of thoughts. No! Silence is the blossoming of our indomitable inner will. Silence is our inner wisdom-light. This wisdom-light is our conscious and constant surrender to the Will of our Inner Pilot, who inspires us, encourages us and guides us to the Shores of the Golden Beyond.

Silence is preparation, our preparation for God's examination. We come to know God's Hour only when we observe silence, only when we dive deep within. An unaspiring person does not and cannot know God's Hour. If God's Hour dawns in his life he fails to notice it. But a seeker who practises silence every day for half an hour or an hour knows when God's Hour is going to strike. And God not only tells him when the Hour will strike but also, like a private tutor, helps the seeker to pass his inner examination.

Silence is our protection. When we live in silence, we are protected by God's mightiest Power, His all-illumining Light. At that time, the negative forces of fear, doubt, anxiety, worry, insecurity and selfishness can have no access to our inner being. We are protected by God within and without at every moment.

Silence is our transformation. When we observe silence consciously, our outer being is transformed. This transformation is a great achievement for Mother Earth. When a human being is transformed, Mother Earth feels that she has achieved something momentous, something that can be kept for Eternity for the rest of humanity to treasure. And this transformation becomes a foundation for a higher and mightier achievement in the ever-continuing process of evolution.

Silence is our will-power. This will-power conquers the very pride of ignorance-night and manifests the Light of Divinity's Delight in aspiring souls who want to climb up to the highest Pinnacle and bring down the message of Immortality to earth. Our human mind says, "Silence is emptiness; it is sheer emptiness and nothingness." But our aspiring heart knows that silence is the fulness and plenitude of our Eternity's Height and Infinity's Light.

Purnam adah purnam idam purnat purnam udacyate
Purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavasisyate

Infinity is that. Infinity is this.
From Infinity, Infinity has come into existence.
From Infinity, when Infinity is taken away, Infinity remains.

This is the message that we get from silence. Again, the soul tells us that silence is oneness, our inseparable oneness, our universal oneness with the Pilot Supreme.

Silence is our Truth-consciousness, our highest Reality. This Reality in the inner world is our divine Love, our supreme Love for the world at large. And this Reality in the outer world is the supreme Glory of the Supreme for aspiring humanity.

Here we are all seekers. At times we are prone to watch our weaknesses, incapacities, limitations and imperfections. When we do this we are bound to be disappointed with ourselves. But our inner silence illumines us. It says, "Do not be disappointed. It is God within you who is going through a series of experiences in and through your imperfections." When we realise God, we see that these imperfections were necessary at the time for our evolution. And then, when they were no longer necessary, these imperfections were turned into perfections. From darkness we enter into Light. From the unreal we enter into Reality. From death we enter into Immortality.

Asato ma sad gamaya
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya
Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya

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

Silence tells the seeker in us to love, to love himself. It tells us that it is wrong to hate ourselves because of our imperfections. When the seeker loves himself, loves the Divine within himself, he eventually realises the Ultimate Truth. Then he comes to realise that it was not he who loved the Divine in himself, but it was God the Lover who loved God the eternal Beloved Supreme within him.

In Heaven, God is Silence-dream. On earth, God is Reality-sound. In His Silence, God prepares Himself. Through His cosmic Sound, God manifests Himself. The Transcendental Silence is our Source, and the emanating sound is our manifestation. The higher we go, the deeper the silence we enjoy. And the deeper the silence we enjoy, the more fulfilling the manifestation of our divinity.

Prayer

University of Missouri; Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Haag Hall
5 March 1974

I pray. I pray to become God's perfect instrument. I pray to God to free me from the little 'i' and to make me the big 'I', the universal 'I'. The little 'i' tells me what it can do for me. It tells me that it can destroy the world or bring the whole world to my feet. The universal 'I' tells me that I am of God and for God. It tells me that I am all love for God the Creator and for God the Creation.

I pray. I pray to God to act through me and for me. When I act for myself, I create constant problems, untold problems. But when God acts in and through me, it is all divine achievement, fulfilling achievement.

I pray to God to choose for me. When I choose, I choose desire unconsciously or consciously. Then there comes a time when I consciously treasure desire, imperfection, limitation and bondage. I consciously want to remain in the finite and wallow in the pleasures of ignorance. But when God chooses for me, He chooses aspiration, the inner cry. This inner mounting flame takes me high, higher, highest and then brings me down to offer my realisation-fruit to aspiring humanity. When God chooses for me, He chooses Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. Infinity, Eternity and Immortality—these are only vague terms for those who do not aspire. But for those who aspire, these are living realities in the very heart of the seeker's aspiration.

I pray to God to make me one with suffering humanity. I pray to God to make me one with aspiring humanity. I pray to God to make me one with illumined humanity.

When I pray to God to make me one with suffering humanity, it is because the physical in me is at last seeing the truth that there is no end to suffering in the unenlightened physical consciousness. When I expand my physical consciousness, I share and thus lighten the burden of the suffering earth.

But now suffering humanity does not want to remain forever in its deplorable condition, so it begins to aspire. When it aspires, I have a free access to its aspiration, for when I expand my psychic consciousness, I become one with aspiring humanity. Then, when suffering has been ended by aspiration, when humanity is flying with the wings of aspiration, it enters into the world of illumined humanity. It is here, when we become part and parcel of illumined humanity, that we discover the meaning of life.

When I pray, I converse with God. I tell God that I need Him. God tells me, "My son, you need Me now. But I always needed you, I need you now and I shall always need you." Then God asks, "Son, why do you need Me?" I reply, "Father, I need You because with You I am safe, with You I am happy; without You I am unsafe, without You I am unhappy." God says, "Son, I needed you to become My Dream-Boat. I need you to become My ever-flowing Life-River. I shall need you to become the Golden Shore of My ever-transcending Beyond."

When I pray loudly, my prayer is not soulful, and I cannot hear the faint Voice of God. But when I pray in silence, when I pray soulfully, I hear God's powerful Voice clearly and most significantly. When I pray to God out of fear, my fearful prayer does not reach God's Door. But when I pray to God with love, my prayer reaches God's very Heart. And my loving prayer places me at the very Feet of God, my eternal Haven.

My prayer is a magnet and God's Concern is another magnet. When I pray, my prayer-magnet reaches the Highest and pulls God down into the very breath of my earthly consciousness. At that time, God offers me what He eternally is: Immortality's Smile. And when God's Concern-magnet pulls me up, I give Him what I have always been: the inner cry, the inner cry of millennia.

When I reach the Highest on the strength of my prayer, God makes me His Dream-fulfilling Reality. When God comes down and feeds my heart on the strength of His unconditional Compassion, He makes me His Dream-fulfilled Reality. It is our reciprocal self-giving that makes us inseparably one. Through my prayer, I offer to God all that I have and all that I am: ignorance. And through His Compassion, God offers to me what He has and what He is: Peace, Light and Divinity's ever-flowing Bliss.

In the Western world, we use the vehicle of prayer to reach the Highest. In the Eastern world, especially in India, we use the vehicle of meditation. Both are of paramount importance; both are of equal value. Prayer and meditation will give us the same result provided they are both soulful. But we have to know what actually happens when we pray, and what actually happens when we meditate, even though the result is the same. When we pray, we feel that God is the Listener and we are the talker. We cry from within, and God listens to our cry and consoles us. Our prayer is our conversation with God. But when we meditate, we empty our minds, purify our hearts and become receptivity itself. At that time, God the Guest, the eternal Guest, enters into us and sits on the throne of our hearts. When this happens, God talks and we listen. In this way the conversation is always perfect. In prayer, we talk and God listens; and in meditation, God talks and we listen. Let us pray; God is bound to listen to our prayers, our inner cry. Let us meditate; we are bound to listen to God's Voice, His inner Voice.

Prayer tells us that we are for God, for Him alone. Meditation tells us that we are of God, of Him alone. It was through the power of meditation, the soul's meditation, that the soul came down into the physical world. And now the soul will go back to its own Transcendental Height by offering its prayer. The soul becomes one with earth-bound prayer, and this earth-bound prayer eventually grows into Heaven-free realisation.

Let us pray; God is listening to us. Let us meditate; we shall hear God's Voice. When we pray, God becomes our Beloved Supreme and we His eternal Lover. When we meditate, we become God's Beloved and He our Divine Lover Supreme.

Service

University of Arkansas; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA
6 March 1974

Dear seekers, dear sisters and brothers, I wish to give a short talk from the spiritual point of view on service. I am a seeker, and I feel that a seeker is under a divine obligation to be of constant, dedicated service to mankind. I serve humanity, not because I am helpless, but because I long to be deathless. When I become deathless, I serve both man and God. I serve man, the unrealised God; I serve God, the unmanifested man.

My service has to be unconditional. My unconditional service is my transcendental freedom. My transcendental freedom is my eternal satisfaction. And my eternal satisfaction is God's universal manifestation, the manifestation of Divinity's Perfection and Reality's Immortality.

Service is love and love is service. When I love God, humanity cheerfully loves me and God blessingfully serves me. When God serves me, He serves me with His boundless Concern and, when humanity loves me, it loves me with its dedicated, immortalised oneness. As a seeker, I serve both earth and Heaven. I serve earth with my inspiration-race. I serve Heaven with my aspiration-face. My inspiration-race and my aspiration-face have a common source: God's Grace, His infinite and unconditional Grace. God's Grace enables me to have a free access to my soul.

I frequently go to my soul's realm, for my soul has given me permission to take anything that I want from there. Such being the case, I take my soul's purity and offer it to my body. In this way I serve my body. I take my soul's dynamism and offer it to my vital. In this way I serve my vital. I take my soul's light and offer it to my mind. In this way I serve my mind. And then I take my soul's delight and offer it to my heart. In this way I serve my heart.

I serve my inner existence with faith, love, devotion and surrender. Faith is my reality. Love brings me the message of universal oneness. Devotion makes my existence on earth sweet. Surrender to God's Will makes my life constantly meaningful and fruitful. I serve my outer existence with concentration, meditation and contemplation. Concentration means the one-pointed focus of attention on an object. First we concentrate on an object, and then we grow into it. Meditation means the invocation of vastness within our hearts. Contemplation means the absolute, inseparable union of the seeker and the Sought, the lover and the Beloved.

I serve the desiring man with my renunciation-light. This renunciation-light I get from my prayer, my meditation and my love of Light and Truth. I serve the aspiring man with my realisation-height. This realisation-height is my oneness with the Source, which is all Light and Delight. This oneness I discover only in and through my self-giving. I serve the liberated man, the man who is freed from the meshes of ignorance, with my earth-bound cry and my Heaven-free smile.

I serve the unknown with my imagination. Today my capacity is imagination; tomorrow my capacity will be aspiration. Aspiration is the inner flame within us that climbs up to the Highest and then comes down to offer its divine wealth to the world at large. Today imagination is my capacity; tomorrow aspiration will be my capacity; the day after tomorrow realisation will be my capacity. And in realisation, God-revelation and God-manifestation can take place.

The state motto of Arkansas is "The people rule." Here we see the importance of collectivity. In the spiritual life, we have to go together in a collective, unified way. Individual assertiveness has to be totally negated; collectivity has to be constantly embraced. And what is collectivity, but the song of oneness? It is our oneness, our inseparable oneness with the vast, that rules. If we are seekers, then we will feel in our inner life a connection with the entire universe. We will feel that we exist not for ourselves alone, but for all. I give to you what I have; you give to me what you have. It is through reciprocal self-giving that we exist. Oneness is the flowering of our reciprocal self-giving. What we call self-giving today, tomorrow that same thing we shall call God-becoming. God is the root of the tree and He is also the branches, leaves, flowers and fruits. By collectivity we mean the leaves, flowers, fruits, branches, trunk, root, everything. Inside this collectivity is the divine harmony, the all-loving, all-illumining, all-fulfilling harmony of the Supreme.

Renunciation

University of Tulsa; Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
Great Hall, Westby Student Center 6 March 1974

Dear seekers, dear brothers and sisters, I wish to give a talk on renunciation. We are all seekers here, so we are not afraid of the word 'renunciation'. An ordinary, unaspiring person is usually alarmed the moment he hears the word 'renunciation'. For him, renunciation means giving up everything he loves and cherishes, whatever he claims to be his own. But as spiritual people, we know that renunciation means something else. It means giving up the things that are undivine, unreal, imperfect —- the things that are compelling us constantly to lag behind in our Godward march. Anything that is real in us, anything that is divine in us, anything that is perfect in us we will never renounce. As seekers of the Transcendental Truth, we are not afraid of renunciation precisely because we know what we are going to renounce, and what we are going to achieve by renunciation. We are going to renounce the finite in order to achieve the Infinite, Eternal and Immortal that abides within us.

What do we renounce? We renounce our ego. We renounce ego precisely because our ego is limited and blind. What else do we renounce? We renounce our doubt. We renounce doubt because doubt is slow poison which will eventually kill us. We renounce our ignorance. We renounce ignorance because ignorance binds us and makes us feel that we are forever doomed to the earth-bound consciousness. Ignorance makes us feel that we are weak and impotent, and that a life of Infinity, Eternity and Immortality is a far cry.

Renunciation cannot be achieved overnight. Nor can we get it by accident. For renunciation, we have to go deep within and pray and meditate. Also, we have to know the necessity of self-conquest. This self-conquest is nothing but our self-discovery; it is nothing short of God-realisation. Self-discovery and God-realisation are one and the same, the obverse and the reverse of the same divine, spiritual, immortal coin.

India's greatest poet, Rabindranath Tagore, once remarked that he would renounce, but not in an austere manner. There are people who want to renounce everything and embrace the life of austerity, but austerity is not real renunciation. Real renunciation says we must enjoy the freedom of liberation here amidst our multifarious activities; we must achieve liberation through the purification, illumination and transformation of our limitations, imperfections and bondage. We must lead a normal, natural life but be constantly aware of the things that must be inwardly renounced for a higher, better, more fulfilling life.

The motto of the state of Oklahoma is most significant: "Labour conquers all things." Renunciation is dedicated labour, dedicated service. When we soulfully offer our dedicated service, we conquer everything and achieve everything. What is the thing that houses everything? God's Smile. When we offer our dedicated labour to God, God's Smile dawns in our life of dedication. A sincere, dedicated worker knows that his life is like a tree. A tree works very hard to offer us flowers and fruits, to offer us shade and shelter. From its root to its topmost bough, everything a tree has is a selfless offering. From the beginning to the end, the life of a tree is sacrifice. Even when we cut off a branch of the tree, the tree continues to offer us shelter and protection with its remaining branches. Similarly, when our dedicated service is misunderstood, we shall not stop serving or offering our light. We shall go on with our dedicated service, for we know we came into the world for self-giving. A man of dedicated service gets constant and abiding satisfaction from his labour regardless of whether or not the world accepts it.

This is the prayer of a sincere, genuine server of mankind, a divine labourer:

O ignorance, I wish to be a tree of compassion.
O man, I wish to be a tree of dedicated service.
O earth, I wish to be a tree of patience.
O Heaven, I wish to be a tree of constant aspiration, climbing up high, higher, highest.

Conscious renunciation is the manifestation of peace. An ordinary person is satisfied with the kind of peace which spiritual seekers see as mere compromise. It is a compromise between husband and wife, between nation and nation, between one adversary and another. This world needs real peace, but the moment some temporary agreement, some compromise, is reached, the world thinks it has achieved peace. Real peace is something infinitely more meaningful and fruitful than this. Real peace is our heart's infinite ecstasy and our soul's eternal satisfaction.

Renunciation is the manifestation of our awakened consciousness. An awakened consciousness is the bridge between Heaven and earth. In consciousness, man becomes; in consciousness, God is. Man becomes his highest Reality, which he once upon a time was. God is His all-pervading, Transcendental and Universal Consciousness, which He eternally has been.

A man of renunciation raises the consciousness of others who are aspiring or who are about to aspire. This selfless act of his is the greatest gift that he can offer to humanity. The world is fascinated by miracles, but the greatest, the most fulfilling of all miracles, is to raise the consciousness of others. An ordinary miracle lasts for a fleeting second and, when it ends, we find ourselves in the same consciousness that we were in before. But when the true miracle takes place, our consciousness is elevated and illumined.

As the man of renunciation marches forward towards the farthest Beyond, he climbs up an evolving ladder of transforming, divinised consciousness. By his very act of self-transcendence, the man of renunciation inspires and elevates the consciousness of his brothers and sisters who want to climb up the same ladder. An ordinary person is afraid of transcendence. He feels that transcendence is something unknown and perhaps unknowable. He feels that the moment he enters into the unknown, he will be thrown into the very jaws of a devouring tiger. But for true seekers, the unknown is not a ferocious animal. The unknown is something or someone whom we have not yet seen, but whose friendship we shall one day cherish and treasure. We are not afraid of the unknown because we pray and meditate. Our prayer and meditation is like a searchlight that lets us see far ahead. If we do not use this searchlight of prayer and meditation, we will not be able to see anything ahead of us. The unaspiring person feels that the only light is where he now stands, and that one step ahead of him is all unknown darkness. But in us, as seekers, there is a constantly burning lamp which illumines our path until we see that it has become sunlit and quite safe. And what is this lamp? It is our faith—our faith in God and our faith in ourselves.

For the beginner, for the one who has just started walking along the path, renunciation is necessary and obligatory. But for an advanced seeker, renunciation is not necessary. If someone is on the verge of realisation or has made tremendous progress in the inner life, renunciation takes a different form for him. He does not actually renounce anymore, but he tries to transform. If he feels fear in the world or in himself, he does not renounce this fear, but with his inner light and wisdom he transforms it into courage. If he sees the world's doubt or his own doubt, with his inner light he transforms it into faith. When he transforms fear into courage, this courage is nothing short of divine manifestation. And when he transforms doubt into faith, this faith is the eternally sunlit path leading towards the ultimate Beyond. At this point, renunciation is the transformation of our earth-bound consciousness into the Heaven-free consciousness. Earth's pangs and privations are transformed into Heaven's boundless yet ever-increasing Delight. Ignorance is transformed into divine Wisdom, darkness into Light, imperfection into Perfection, and human bondage into Transcendental Liberation.

Friendship

Southern Methodist University; Dallas, Texas, USA
Student Center
7 March 1974

Dear sisters and brothers, dear seekers of the Transcendental Truth, I wish to give a talk on friendship, which is the motto of Texas. Friendship is extremely significant in all phases of our life. Friendship is the bridge between two human beings. Friendship is the bridge between earth and Heaven. Friendship is the bridge between the known and the unknown.

Here on earth we try to establish friendship with our fellow human beings. Sometimes we are successful, sometimes we are not. But even when we are successful, this friendship does not satisfy us completely. Then we go deep within and discover our Eternal Friend, God, the Inner Pilot. God and each individual on earth are eternal friends. But only when we begin to aspire do we come to realise this truth.

There are three types of friendship: animal friendship, human friendship and divine friendship. The friendship that exploits us is animal friendship. The friendship that mutually helps two persons is human friendship. The friendship that unconditionally gives, that gives with no expectation whatsoever, is divine friendship.

Friendship can arise out of necessity and also out of generosity. If two human beings are in the desiring world, their friendship is founded upon necessity. But if one is in the desiring world and the other is in the aspiring world, then we have to know that the friendship of the aspirant is founded upon generosity, while the friendship of the desiring person is based upon necessity.

Desire makes unending demands; its hunger can never be appeased. No matter how much experience or possession is accumulated, still satisfaction does not dawn in the heart of a desiring individual. Aspiration also has an eternal hunger, but when aspiration achieves an iota of peace, light and bliss, it feels a kind of satisfaction. Although an aspirant aims to reach the Highest, the Absolute Pinnacle, although he longs for infinite Peace, Light and Bliss, an iota of peace, light and bliss satisfies his grateful heart. But he knows that today's achievement is not complete. If he looks forward, or dives deep within, or climbs high, higher, highest, he knows he is bound to be inundated with Peace, Light and Bliss in boundless measure. At God's choice Hour, God will give the aspirant infinite Peace, Light and Bliss.

In our ordinary human life we have two friends: fear and doubt. Fear tells us, "Stay inside your body-cage where you are safe. If you come out, the ferocious world-tiger will devour you, so do not come out of the cage of your body." Doubt tells us that our real friend is our physical mind, the mind that cautions us, that warns us, that tells us that the outer world is a real stranger. Doubt says, "If you allow the outer world to enter into you, it is like dealing with a stranger. At any moment you may be exploited, deserted and destroyed for good. Have no faith in anybody on earth. Expect nothing good from anyone on earth. You are your own saviour, you are your own salvation—you and nobody else. Exist for yourself."

Here we are all seekers, so we shall have faith in God. If it is impossible for us to establish divine faith today, we can start with faith in ourselves. In spite of knowing that we are limited and bound, let us have faith in ourselves. Then this limitation and bondage of ours can be transcended on the strength of our inner cry. But if we have faith in an undivine force, a force that destroys, then in addition to destroying others, we ourselves will be destroyed. A similar thing happens when we have faith only in ourselves. We try to possess others, but before we can actually possess them, we ourselves are possessed. It is only in divine faith that we do not possess. There we just expand —- expand our consciousness, expand our reality, expand what we have and what we are. Let us start, if necessary, with faith in ourselves, and then go beyond and attain divine faith. In divine faith we see that there is no end to our journey and achievement. We are in the flow of an ever-transcending, ever-illumining Reality, which is perfection.

Friendship is harmony, friendship is peace, friendship is bliss. Friendship is harmony. Mutual harmony removes all dark conflicts. Each individual has opinions of his own, but when friendship becomes the connecting link between two persons, all conflicts are removed and they become one.

Friendship is peace. Here, peace means confidence. I have confidence in you and you have confidence in me; our mutual confidence is peace. I shall not speak ill of you or try to ruin you; you will not speak ill of me or try to ruin me. On the contrary, I shall give you what I have: my love, my sympathy, my concern, my compassion, my total support of your cause, and you will do the same for me.

Friendship is bliss. When friendship lasts, it offers bliss. The Kingdom of Heaven is established when love inundates our beings, when the feeling of oneness reigns supreme and there is no sense of separativity. At that time illumining, fulfilling and perfect Perfection dawns in our life of aspiration. Thousands of years ago the Vedic Seers offered us the message of bliss:

Anandaddhyeva khalvimani bhutani jayante....

From Delight we came into existence.
In Delight we grow.
At the end of our journey's close, into Delight we retire.

Friendship is sweet when it is all harmony. Friendship is sweeter when it is all peace. Friendship is sweetest when it is all bliss.

The moment we are awakened, the moment our inner light comes to the fore and awakens us from our ignorance-sleep of millennia, we discover that fear and doubt are not our friends at all. Our true friends are courage, indomitable courage, and faith, boundless faith. Our inner courage tells us, "Go out, look around at the rest of the world; all of earth's inhabitants are your friends, your brothers and sisters. If you stay in your physical consciousness, you are binding yourself, you are limiting your possibilities and potentialities. Go out. The world is eagerly awaiting your arrival." Our dear friend, faith, tells us, "We are all of the same Source and for the same Source, so how can we be afraid of others? The Source is one, but the One wanted to play the game of many. The tree is the Source, and the branches, flowers, leaves and fruits are the many. From the same root we all came into existence, so let us consciously establish our inseparable oneness with all human beings. Let us sing together, dance together and play together. In this way we will please and fulfil the Absolute Supreme with our universal oneness."

Each individual has faith in something or in someone. We cannot say that someone has no faith at all. This moment he has faith in God, another moment he may have faith in himself and a third moment he may have faith in somebody or in something else. Now, when an individual has faith in God, he is in the world of aspiration and vastness, in the world of Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. When he has faith in himself, he is in the world of desire, in the world of possession, limitation, bondage and death. When he has faith in neither God nor himself, then he has faith in destruction —- in world-destruction or in self-destruction. But he always has faith either in God or in himself or in some undivine force.

Friendship is service, the dedicated service we offer to Mother Earth and Father Heaven. When we want to offer our dedicated service to Mother Earth, we pray to the Lord Supreme to grant us a life of ceaseless duration. When we want to offer our dedicated service to Father Heaven, we pray to the Lord Supreme to grant us a life of selfless contribution. With our service, Heaven gets the opportunity to manifest itself here on earth, and earth gets the opportunity to realise the Highest, the Absolute.

In the spiritual life friendship is founded on inner acceptance. A spiritual Teacher and a seeker become one on the strength of their inner friendship. The seeker goes to a Master and says, "Master, I love you, I trust you, I give you my life."

The Master immediately says, "My son, I love you, I trust you and I give you my life and also God's Life."

The disciple says, "Master, I offer you my solemn promise that I shall serve the Supreme in you."

The Master says, "Son, I offer you my solemn promise that unless and until I have taken you to our Father, the Absolute Supreme, I shall not rest. Your promise is just to me, but my promise is to two persons. Here on earth I am promising you that I shall carry you and guide you to the Golden Shores of the Beyond, and the same promise I am making to the Inner Pilot, who is your Master, my Master, the Eternal Master; to Him I am giving the same promise. With your friendship you will give me what you have: ignorance. With my friendship I will give you what I have and what I am: Wisdom-Light. This Wisdom-Light the Supreme has granted me out of His infinite Bounty, and this I offer to you. If you think that you are a beggar, then you must know that I am more of a beggar than you. You have to go begging only to one place, but my condition is more deplorable; I have to go to two places. I go to you with folded hands and beg you to give me your ignorance. Then I go to God with folded hands and beg Him to give me His Compassion-Light for you. I am the messenger between you and God. This is the friendship that I have established with earth and Heaven. Earth's pangs and penuries I take to Heaven, to the Eternal Father in Heaven, and from Heaven I bring down Peace, Light and Bliss in abundant measure for sincere seekers." This is the eternal friendship between the Master and the disciple.

The Master also says something else to his disciples. He says, "Your real Master is not and can never be myself. The real Master is somebody else —- the Supreme, the Absolute Supreme." A spiritual Teacher is only an elder brother to humanity. When seekers are aspiring for the Highest, the Teacher shows them where the Father is. Once he leads them to the Father, his role is over. And the seeker of today becomes the leader, the Teacher of mankind tomorrow. When his time comes, he shows aspiring humanity, his younger brothers and sisters, the same God, the same eternal Friend, the same Transcendental Supreme, that his own Teacher once showed him.

The practical reality

University of Nevada; Reno, Nevada, USA
The Center for Religion and Life
17 April 1974

Dear seekers, dear friends, dear brothers and sisters, I wish to give a short talk on the practical reality. Reality is at once a simple and a complicated word. For an ordinary, unaspiring human being, reality is a far cry. At every moment, life offers him frustration. His life is the life of desire. When his desires are not fulfilled, he is frustrated, and when his desires are fulfilled, still he feels no abiding satisfaction; therefore, according to him, everything is unreal. This is his realisation. But here we are all seekers. We feel that everything is real, for we see the soul in everything and the soul of everything, while an unaspiring person sees the body in everything and the body of everything. But the body is ephemeral, whereas the soul is eternal, and reality abides only in the heart of Eternity.

Practical reality is the conquest of our teeming, earth-bound desires. This conquest has another name: Freedom-light. Freedom-light liberates the seeker from the hunger of the finite. Freedom-light liberates the seeker from the darkness of bondage-night. Freedom-light does not permit ignorance to lord it over the heart of the sincere, loving, devoted and surrendered seeker. Freedom-light is the inner necessity of one who seeks the highest Transcendental Truth, which is the perennial Source. Freedom-light is the outer necessity of one who seeks the Ultimate Truth, which is the Transcendental Goal.

When we approach reality with our earth-bound consciousness, we feel that reality is not at all practical. But when we approach reality with our Heaven-free consciousness, we realise that reality is always practical. Reality is the ideal in human life. Reality is the natural beauty of the life divine. The animal in us does not know or feel the existence of reality. The human in us at times knows and feels the value of reality, but it does not strive for reality's breath. The divine in us always wants to grow in the heart of reality. The Supreme in us is all-Reality in us, with us and for us.

What is practical reality? Practical reality is silence. Silence does not date from any particular point in time. Silence owes its origin to no particular being. Silence is eternal. Silence is universal. For its validity, silence does not depend on our world-wide proclamation or on our genuine and implicit acceptance. Silence Transcendental has God; Silence Transcendental is God. God's Transcendental Silence wants total and perfect manifestation here on earth. Why do we need silence? We need silence precisely because we need abiding satisfaction. Why do we need satisfaction? We need satisfaction because of our inner divinity's Immortality. How do we achieve satisfaction? We achieve satisfaction by purifying our mind, illumining our heart and liberating our life.

Practical reality is also sound. Silence prepares the life of aspiration. Sound reveals the life of aspiration. Love fulfils the life of aspiration. Silence immortalises the life of aspiration. A life without silence is a goalless life. A life without sound is a meaningless life. A life without love is a helpless life.

The man who knows that God is within him feels his Goal within and without. The man who knows that he is for God is bound to feel that his life is meaningful. He who has discovered the truth that he is of God is bound to feel that his life can never be hopeless. On the contrary, his is the life of adamantine will; his is the life of all-energising, all-fulfilling, all-pervading reality. When a seeker feels God's Presence within him, he smiles the smile of God-transcendence. When he feels that he is for God, he sings the song of God-compassion. When he feels that he is eternally of God, he dances the dance of God-perfection.

Practical reality is Delight. Delight is God's Eye of Compassion and Liberation. When God's flood of Delight enters the very breath of the seeker's aspiring life, God's Reality-Dream looms large and God's inner Promise comes to the fore. The seeker feels that his life of imperfection will be transformed before long into a life of perfect Perfection. When the seeker's heart is liberated from the meshes of ignorance, God's unfulfilled Dream gets the opportunity to expedite its earth-bound journey and ultimately to fulfil its Dream-Reality in and through the loving and unconditionally surrendered divine warrior-seeker.

Practical reality is the seeker's attainment of perfection—perfection within, perfection without. The seeker achieves perfection in the outer life by disciplining his life, by acquiring mastery over his outgoing energy. The seeker achieves perfection in the inner life through constant and unconditional surrender to the Will of his Inner Pilot.

Practical reality is the attainment of supernal peace. The state motto of Nevada is "All for our country." The undivine critic may find this lofty message sentimental or emotional. But the sincere seeker of the highest Truth, from the spiritual point of view, will observe this message in a divine way. From the spiritual point of view, 'country' signifies the 'abode of peace'. In the motto, "All for our country," 'all' signifies simplicity, sincerity, purity and humility. These qualities are to be found in the abode of peace. When we live in the abode of peace, impossibility cannot knock at our heart's door. Nothing is impossible. Everything is not only possible, practical and practicable, but also inevitable.

Earth has glowing aspiration. Heaven has descending Illumination. When earth's aspiration and Heaven's Illumination meet together, the dream-boat of the seeker reaches the Reality-Shore of the Beyond. Earth aspires; Heaven inspires. Earth aspires for the Heaven-soul; Heaven inspires the heart, the reality of earth. Because earth aspires, earth is supremely great; because Heaven inspires, Heaven is divinely good. Each individual seeker has the golden opportunity to knock at his own heart's door at God's choice Hour, not only to see the face of Reality, but also to grow into the Reality itself, provided his life is a life of constant dedication to the Inner Pilot.

What has life taught me?

Stanford University; Stanford, California, USA
Memorial Chapel
19 April 1974

What has life taught me? Life has taught me how to exclude and include —- how to exclude unreality and how to include reality. When I feel that I am of God and for God, I become the fulfilling reality. When I feel that I am of myself and for myself, I become the self-deceiving unreality.

Reality unveils, reveals and fulfils. Unreality veils, conceals and kills. Reality expands and transcends. Unreality cries and dies.

What has life taught me? Life has taught me conscience, common sense and God-sense. My heart utilises conscience; therefore, my heart is pure and brave. My mind utilises common sense; therefore, my mind is clear and direct. My soul utilises God-sense; therefore, my soul is divine and perfect.

Life has taught me how to live and learn, how to learn and live, how to live and live, how to learn and learn. When I live and learn, I try to jump up onto the topmost bough of the tree instead of climbing up right from the foot. When I learn and live, I do the first thing first—I walk and then I run. When I live and live without first learning the inner lesson and discovering the real essence of my life, I deliberately deceive the divine within me and the divine in others. When I learn and learn, I constantly expand my earth-bound consciousness and transcend my earth-bound reality.

Life has taught me how to learn, unlearn and relearn. I learn. I learn the song of divine duty. By performing the duty divine, I know that I fulfil the divine within me, the Supreme within me. I learn the song of the childlike heart, for I know that if I have a childlike heart, I will always have the eagerness and inner urge to fulfil the divine by learning and discovering the Reality itself.

Each time I learn something, I march forward towards my Destined Goal, my Transcendental Goal. When I learn that my life is God-Light, then during my soulful prayer and meditation I feel God the Infinite Peace, God the Eternal Light, God the Immortal Life claims me in the inmost recesses of my heart as His very own. At that time, I claim God's Infinity as my length, God's Eternity as my height and God's Immortality as my depth—the depth of my silent being. At that time I consciously become one, inseparably, eternally one, with the Inner Pilot, the Absolute Supreme.

I unlearn. I unlearn the song of self-importance and self-aggrandisement. As a seeker, I have to unlearn many other things, as well. My mind is full of information and empty of illumination. If my mind is filled with information, then I feel that I am a donkey carrying a heavy load on my back. What I need is not world-information, but world-illumination. So first I have to unlearn this world-information for, in order to get world-illumination, I need a mind of clarity, a mind of luminosity. Also, I have to unlearn the capacity of the physical mind. The physical mind teaches me how to doubt, how to suspect, how to belittle and how to bind myself and others. When I doubt others with my physical mind, I do not gain anything; at the same time, they do not lose anything. And when I doubt myself, I immediately dig my own grave.

I relearn. I relearn the song of God-union, of conscious God-union. When I am in Heaven, I am the soul. There God and I are one, inseparably one. But when I, as a soul, enter into the world-arena and take on a physical frame, then I enter into the world of bondage, limitation, darkness and ignorance. There I become the body-consciousness. If I take the body-consciousness as my reality, then I cannot learn anything from life, for the body-consciousness is limited, unlit, obscure, impure, undivine. But when I think of myself as the soul-reality, I get the opportunity to relearn the truth that God and I are eternally one.

Life has taught me how to examine the essence of God's Silence and God's Sound. When I use my human eyes to examine God's Reality, I am totally lost. But when I use my heart to examine God's Reality, my heart immediately sees the true Reality, on the strength of its total identification with Reality. The physical eyes are very often misled, but the inner heart cannot be misled. The inner heart is the direct representative of the illumining soul, which is one with the Source. As long as I use the physical mind, I see others as others; but when I use the aspiring heart there is no you, no he, no she, only I —- the Universal I, and not the limited ego. So when I use my heart, I become the Reality. But when I use my mind or my physical eyes, I am quite often deceived, and I remain unfulfilled.

When I do not aspire, my life teaches me frustration, and I push and pull. I push my life towards something, but eventually I come to realise that this something is a goalless nothing. I pull myself towards the little, puny ego-consciousness, and I see that I have pulled myself towards an empty reality. But when I neither push nor pull, just offer my existence in its totality to the Inner Pilot, I consciously become what I eternally am: God-consciousness.

As a seeker, I know that my life has taught me how to love and whom to love. How to love? Devotedly, soulfully and unconditionally. Whom to love? God in man and man in God. When I love God in man devotedly, soulfully and unconditionally, I become one with God the Unity. When I love man in God, I become one with God the Multiplicity. One is the Source; many are the manifestations of the One. The tree needs branches; the branches need the tree. By loving God, the seeker in me becomes the tree itself and by loving man, he becomes the branches.

Life has taught the seeker in me how to devote myself to my higher part and to my lower part. When the lower part in me devotes itself to the higher part, the higher part gets additional strength for its manifestation. When the higher part devotes itself to the lower part of my being, the lower part gets the opportunity for transformation. Life has taught the seeker in me how to surrender. I surrender soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally to my own higher Reality. This higher Reality encompasses and embodies everything as its very own, so when I divinely surrender, I feel that the unillumined part of me is surrendering to the fully illumined part of me. When God's Hour strikes and the unillumined becomes fully illumined, and the illumined becomes fully manifested, then my entire being becomes totally divine and perfect.

When I live the animal life, I see darkness all around and feel that this darkness is my only reality. When I live the human life, I see an iota of light and feel that one day I will be able to bathe in an infinite sea of Light. When I try to lead the divine life, I feel that my Inner Pilot has already paved the way for me to walk along the path to His ultimate Reality. At that time, I feel that God's Dream-Boat is carrying me to His Reality-Shore—the Golden Shore of the ever-transcending Beyond.

The soul tells me that life is perfection. We are not travelling from imperfection towards perfection, but from less perfection to greater perfection, to the greatest perfection. In the process of evolution, life is continuous progress. This progress is perfection aiming at the highest Absolute Perfection. When life began from the mineral world, it was the beginning of life's perfection. But there is no end to our progress. Today's perfection is the starting point for tomorrow's higher, deeper, more illumining and more fulfilling perfection.

Life has taught me something sublime: that I am not indispensable; only the Supreme in me is indispensable. Life wants to offer me happiness, and real happiness lies only in this discovery. When someone feels that only the Supreme in him is indispensable, then his life is all happiness.

Finally, life has taught me the most important thing: that God and I need each other. I need God for my perfect Perfection, and God needs me for His total manifestation on earth. This is the supreme lesson that life has to teach, and I am offering it to each seeker present here.

Transformation, liberation, revelation, manifestation

Portland State University; Portland, Oregon, USA
22 April 1974

Dear seekers, dear brothers and sisters, I wish to give a short talk on transformation, liberation, revelation and manifestation —- four sublime realities in our life of aspiration.

The animal in us needs immediate transformation. The human in us needs conscious liberation. The divine in us needs perfect revelation. The Supreme in us needs complete manifestation. To see God we need transformation. To be invited by God we need liberation. To be loved by God we need revelation. To be immortalised by God we need manifestation.

Transformation of the body shows us how pure we can be. Liberation of the vital shows us how dynamic we can be. Revelation of the mind shows us how vast we can he. Manifestation of the heart shows us how divine we can be. We can be as pure as the dawn. We can be as dynamic as a divine warrior. We can be as vast as the sky. We can be as divine as the soul. Transformation is walking along the road of Infinity. Liberation is marching along the road of Immortality. Revelation is running along the road of Eternity. Manifestation is flying the fastest towards the ever-transcending Reality.

When we are freed from the binding past and transformed, we do not remain in the body-cage; we start living in the soul-palace. When we are transformed we change our friendships. Ignorance-night no longer remains our friend. Instead, knowledge-light becomes our true and dear friend. When we are transformed we sing a different song. We cease to sing the song of the finite. We sing the song of the Eternal in order to become the Infinite.

When we are liberated from the meshes of ignorance, we come to realise what we eternally are: God the Dreamer, God the Lover and God the Fulfiller. At that time, we want to reveal ourselves. Unless and until we have revealed our divinity, we cannot prove God's Existence on earth. The world may think that all our sublime experiences are mental hallucinations, chimerical mists and acts of self-deception unless we can reveal God's Divinity within ourselves. But when we can reveal our inner divinity to others, they will see that our dream-boat has touched the Reality-Shore. And when we manifest our inner divinity, at that time the Golden Shore of the Beyond becomes firmly established in the Here and Now.

Transformation. In the hoary past, the seekers of the Highest did not care so much for nature's transformation, for physical, vital or emotional transformation. They cared only for their own realisation. They realised the Highest but, in spite of that, their physical nature remained unlit, obscure, imperfect.

Liberation. In the hoary past, many liberated souls cared only for their own liberation. They did not care for the liberation of the world at large. They felt that because it was so hard for them to get liberation, everybody else should also have to work hard. Also, they felt that everybody would realise God, everybody would be liberated at God's choice Hour, and that it was not their business to expedite this Hour.

Revelation. In the hoary past, the seekers of the highest magnitude did not care for revelation. They thought that if they revealed what they had realised, then there was every possibility that the world's ignorance would capture their knowledge-light and wisdom-height. They were afraid of revealing their inner divinity. They realised the highest Truth, but they did not want to share it with the rest of the world because fear, fear of the unknown, tortured their inner existence.

Manifestation. In the hoary past, seekers of the highest magnitude, liberated souls, great Yogis, did not care for manifestation. They felt that here on earth nothing is worth manifesting, because nothing can last for good. They felt that this planet is the abode of sorrow, of suffering, so why try to establish something divine here permanently? They felt that there was no assurance, no guarantee that this world would be transformed into divinity's flood; therefore, they did not care for manifestation.

But the present-day seeker wants perfection within, perfection without. Unless and until the body is perfect, the vital is perfect, the mind is perfect and the heart is perfect, we feel that perfect Perfection is a far cry. The process is long and arduous but, once we succeed in this sublimely significant task, we shall reach the Golden Shore of the Beyond.

The motto of the state of Oregon is "The Union." Here we are all seekers. A seeker is he who practises spirituality. Now, spirituality has a secret and sacred word to offer: the word is Yoga. Yoga means 'conscious union with God'. I am truly happy that the motto of this state encompasses the same ideal as the breath of spirituality, which is Yoga. Union has to be established between the finite and the Infinite, between today's imperfect man and tomorrow's perfect God.

How do we establish our conscious union with God? There are various ways to do this. First, we can minimise our earthly needs and try to increase our Heavenly needs. Then, we have to cry for God inwardly, as a child cries for his mother. The Lord Supreme will fulfil our inner cry of aspiration. Two concepts govern the length and breadth of the world: desire and aspiration. Desire binds us; aspiration liberates us. Desire makes us feel that we are of the finite and we are compelled to be for the finite. Aspiration tells us that we are of the Eternal and for the Infinite. Infinity, Eternity and Immortality are not vague terms, but divine Realities that are trying to come to the fore so that we can become tomorrow's God.

Besides crying inwardly, we also have to feel consciously that God needs us as much as we need God. As ordinary human beings, we need God to fulfil our teeming desires. When we become spiritual seekers, we need God for only one thing: to discover our highest Transcendental Height, our deepest Transcendental Depth. And we do discover these when we realise God. Now, just as we need God for our realisation, even so, God needs us for His own Manifestation. He has to manifest Himself in and through us. He was one; that was His Silence-Realisation. He wanted to become many; that was His Sound-Manifestation. When we achieve His Realisation and He achieves in and through us His Manifestation, perfect Perfection dawns. When we feel that we are of God and for God, we see that we are of the all-pervading Silence and for the all-fulfilling, cosmic Sound. At that time we are totally liberated, revealed and transformed.

Each seeker represents a promise to God. The promise is his own physical transformation. He wants to free his earth-bound life and he does free his earth-bound life on the strength of the boundless Compassion of the highest Absolute Supreme. Each seeker's promise to God is to manifest God on earth in God's own Way. The seeker fulfils his promise only when he gladly, cheerfully and unconditionally gives to God what he has and what he is. What he has is an inner cry and what he is, is ignorance. When he gives to God devotedly, soulfully and unconditionally his achievement, inner cry, and his present reality, ignorance, then the seeker is transformed, liberated, revealed and manifested in God's own Way.

Just for today

Gonzaga University; Spokane, Washington, USA
Hughes Auditorium
22 April 1974

Just for today, I shall pray to God. My prayer is my inner, climbing cry. I know this cry will reach God's Palace. My snow-white prayer will knock at God's Door. God will open His Door and ask me what I need. I shall tell God that I need His infinite Compassion to awaken me from my slumbering life. God will grant my prayer.

Just for today, I shall meditate on God. I know that when I meditate on God, I empty my heart. When my heart is empty, my Eternal Friend, my Eternal Divine Guest comes in and sits on His Throne inside the very depth of my heart. In the inmost recesses of my heart His Life of infinite Concern, Compassion, Love and Blessings abides.

When I pray, my Eternal Friend listens to my prayer and fulfils my prayer. When I meditate, my Eternal Friend comes in and fulfils my inner need. When I pray, I talk and He listens to me. When I meditate, He talks and I listen to Him. This is how we converse. My prayer and my meditation are of paramount importance in my life of aspiration, dedication and surrender to the Will of my Inner Pilot.

Just for today, I shall love my God, my Supreme. I shall not love anybody else, not even my own existence. I shall love only God, God alone. Has He not loved me from time immemorial? Will He not love me throughout Eternity? Since He is all love for me, it is my bounden duty to love Him, at least for this day. I shall love Him, and my love for Him will immortalise my earthly reality and my Heavenly dream.

Just for today, I shall become the divine lover and call my Lord the Supreme Beloved. In human love there is constant demand, constant expectation and constant disappointment. In love divine there is no demand, no expectation and no frustration; there is only self-giving. This self-giving is eventually transformed into God-becoming.

Just for today, I shall love God unconditionally. I shall feel His infinite Compassion, His blessingful Love in and through my life of aspiration. I shall feel that God loves me infinitely more than I love myself. When fear, doubt, anxiety and jealousy assail my life of aspiration, when I cherish and treasure limitation, bondage, ignorance and death, at that time I hate my life. But my Eternal Friend, my Pilot Supreme, loves me still.

Just for today, I shall serve God. I have come to realise that there is nothing and there can be nothing as sweet and as fulfilling as service. When I serve God, I feel that my life of frustration is transformed into a life of illumination. My service to God makes me feel that my existence on earth is meaningful and fruitful. When I serve God, I feel that I have expanded my earth-bound consciousness into the Heaven-free consciousness.

Just for today, I shall surrender my will to God's Will, His all-loving, all-pervading, universal Will. Yesterday God surrendered compassionately and unconditionally to my animal greed. Today God surrenders lovingly and compassionately to my human wants. Tomorrow God shall surrender joyfully and proudly to my divine needs. Just because He has surrendered to my animal greed, just because He surrenders to my human wants, just because He will surrender to my divine needs, I feel it is obligatory on my part to surrender my earthly life just for a day to His Will, so that His Will can be done on earth in and through my life of aspiration and dedication.

Just for today, I wish to share my supreme secret with my Supreme Pilot. My secret is this: I shall no longer call ignorance my friend. My friendship with ignorance terminates today. From today on, I shall have God as my only Friend, my sempiternal Friend. I shall have Him not only as my Friend, but also as my All.

Just for today, I wish to have peace of mind. In order to have peace of mind, I must feel that I am not indispensable at all. I must end my song of self-importance and realise that the world does not need me. The world existed before I was born: the world shall exist long after I pass behind the curtain of Eternity. Who is needed? Only the Supreme Pilot in me is needed. When I feel that I am not indispensable, I receive an iota of light and achieve peace of mind.

Just for today, I shall be the all-loving child of the Supreme Pilot.

Just for today, I shall be the hero-warrior walking along the path of Eternity.

Just for today, I shall feel that I need God and God needs me and, ultimately, I have to feel that God needs me more than I need Him. At times, because of my ignorance, I feel that I do not need Him. But God, being perfect, sees me always with His all-illumining Light. He knows that I am destined to be His seeker, His lover, His instrument for manifestation. He knows my potentiality and my capacity. He knows that I am an exact prototype of His ultimate transcendental Reality; therefore, He needs me more than I need Him. I need myself at this moment to fulfil my countless, teeming desires. But when my desires are not fulfilled and, when I realise that I do not have the capacity to fulfil them, I feel that I do not need this earthly existence. I want to discard this body-consciousness, for this body-consciousness does not give me an iota of satisfaction. Since I am a failure, I feel that this life is of no avail. But God knows that there is no such thing as failure. There is only experience. We work, we serve, we pray, we meditate each moment in conscious dedication, and the result of this dedication takes the outer form of either success or failure. But when we go deep within, we feel that there is no such thing as success or failure. We see everything as an experience that has come to us in the march of evolution. Finally, we realise that even this experience is not our possession. It is actually God's experience, for He is the Doer, He is the Action and He is the Fruit thereof.

Just for today, I wish to be a conscious garland of gratitude to be placed at the Feet of my Inner Pilot.

Just for today.

The existence of God

North Idaho Junior College; Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, USA
Administration Building
22 April 1974

Here we are all seekers. Some of us may not be as sincere as others. Some of us may be curiosity-seekers. Some of us, at times, may be doubters. Some, at times, may be atheists. Yet we are all seekers. Just because we are seekers, one day —- at God's choice Hour — we shall realise God.

The motto of the state of Idaho is "Let It Live Forever." We know that the human body does not live forever. It exists only for sixty, seventy or eighty years, and then its role is over. But there is something within us that does exist forever, and that is the soul. Just because we are seekers, we do believe in the soul.

How is it that the soul exists forever and not the body? The soul exists forever precisely because the soul is the direct representative of God on earth. The soul, from its very beginning, has embodied the message of Divinity, Eternity, Infinity and Immortality, whereas the body has not. The soul exists forever because the soul is an immortal part of its ultimate Source: God, the Eternal Pilot. Our next question is: does God exist? The atheist in us says, "No, God does not exist. God does not and cannot exist; therefore, I do not need Him." The agnostic in us says, "I doubt it, I doubt it. And since I am not even sure of God's Existence, why should I pay attention to God?" The desiring man in us immediately says, "Yes, God exists. I can see Him; I can feel Him. When? When my desires are fulfilled! At that time, I imagine God according to my sweet fancy. But when my desires are not fulfilled, then God does not exist for me. And if I see that others' desires are being fulfilled and not mine, then I may say that God exists for them but not for me."

Now, the aspiring man in us also has something to say with regard to God's existence. The aspiring man in us says, "God exists even though I cannot prove it to the world at large. I see and feel His Presence, and I know a day will come when I will be able to bring Him to the fore and show Him to the world at large." When we become one with the aspiring man, something within us tells us that God exists, and this something is our inner urge, our inner cry.

As a human being, one moment I can be an atheist, the next moment an agnostic, the next a desiring man or an aspiring man. I can also be a dreamer and dream all the time. Now, when I dream of God, I feel that although God exists, He is far away —- very, very far. I see a yawning gulf between my dream-boat and my reality-shore. I can also be a lover. When I become a lover of God, I see God as nearer than my eyes and dearer than my heart. Or I can become a server. When I serve God, it is because I get the utmost joy in serving God. There are many things I have done, many things I have said, many things I have offered in my life, but nothing has given me real and lasting joy. Only my service to God has given me everlasting joy; therefore, the server in me feels that God's Existence is for my own happiness.

As a seeker, I have three friends: concentration, meditation and contemplation. I ask them, "Friends, have you seen God?" They immediately say, "Yes, we have seen God. Not only have we seen God, but also we can make you see God." When I ask them how, my friends tell me that they work together, one after the other, in a successive manner. They say that they are like three rungs of a ladder. My concentration friend tells me, "Just take any object and concentrate on it. Do not allow any wave of thought to enter into your mind, whether good or bad, divine or undivine. Make your mind absolutely thoughtless." I listen to my concentration-friend and abide by his dictates. Then my meditation-friend offers me his advice. He says, "Your heart is full of fear, impurity, insecurity and ignorance. Just empty it, empty it." I empty my heart, and immediately I feel tremendous joy, for then the Eternal Guest, God, comes in and sits on His Throne inside the inmost recesses of my heart. Finally, my contemplation-friend tells me, "When you contemplate, try to feel in the beginning that you are playing a game of hide-and-seek with an intimate friend. This moment you hide and he seeks; the next moment he hides and you seek. Now, how long can you play hide-and-seek? For fifteen minutes, half an hour, an hour. Then it is all over and you come together as real friends, intimate friends, freely and totally revealed to each other. This is what happens between you and God when you contemplate."

I ask my three friends who has taught them all about God. They tell me that it was their parents who showed them the Face of God and taught them all about God. I ask them who their parents are. They say that their parents are aspiration and will-power. Aspiration is their mother; will-power is their father. When we become one with our aspiration, with our aspiring heart, we acquire knowledge from our conscious identification and oneness with the ultimate Reality. And just as our heart's identification with the supreme Reality can show us God's Existence in Heaven, so, too, can our soul's light show us God's Existence on earth. And what is our soul's light? It is our will-power. In the spiritual life, aspiration and will-power go together. We need both mother and father.

What is aspiration? Aspiration is our inner cry for the Highest. And what does aspiration do? Aspiration helps us to minimise our desires. Once our desires are diminished, we feel peace within and joy without.

Anandaddhyeva khalvimani bhutani jayante
Anandena jatani jivanti
Anandam prayantyabhisamvisanti

Thousands of years ago, the Vedic Seers of ancient India sang this message:

From Delight we came into existence.
In Delight we grow.
At the end of our journey's close, into Delight we retire.

What is will-power? Will-power is something that expedites our journey. We know that we have a starting point and a destination. If we take the help of an Indian bullock cart to reach our destination, it will take us years and years. But if we make use of a modern jet plane, it will be only a matter of a few hours. Similarly, with our adamantine will-power, we accelerate our progress. While we are proceeding along the path, concentration enters into us like a divine bullet, energises us and makes us feel that we can run the fastest to our Goal. Meditation tells us that we have to dive the deepest to find our Goal. Finally, contemplation tells us that we do not have to go anywhere. We do not have to run; we do not have to go deep within. We can stay where we are. Only we must give to God what we have. What we have is soulful gratitude to the Inner Pilot. We have gratitude because we feel that our aspiration and our power of receptivity have come directly from God.

Receptivity grows only when gratitude flows. God's Existence can be proved only when our receptivity is complete for, if we cannot receive Him, no matter how many times He appears before us, we will not be able to claim Him as our very own. And unless and until we can claim God as our very own, we will not be able to prove His Existence.

Right now we are in the finite and we are for the finite. We find it very difficult to imagine the Infinite as our very own. But this is the limitation of the physical mind. There is also an intuitive mind, an illumined mind, but right now we do not have this mind. The physical mind always wants to experience the Truth by cutting it into little pieces. For the mind to accept God or any reality as a whole is impossible. The mind limits; the mind binds. But the heart does not do that. The heart expands; the heart liberates. The heart wants to see the Truth in its entirety; it wants to feel, possess and claim the Truth as its very own. How does the heart do this? The heart is very wise. It secretly enters into the room of its elder brother, its most illumined brother, the soul, and brings back to its own abode boundless Light. When the aspiring heart is inundated with Light, whatever it sees it accepts in its entirety. Eventually there comes a time when the physical mind enters into the heart, which takes it into the soul. At that time, the mind becomes liberated, just as the heart has been liberated by the Light of the soul, and the soul has been liberated by the Consciousness-Light of the Supreme.

We are all seekers. For us God does exist. It is only a matter of time before we become consciously one with Him. He who has already left the starting point will naturally reach the goal sooner than those who are still lingering behind. But spirituality is not a matter of competition. If we have to compete at all, then let us compete with the fear, doubt, anxiety, jealousy and other negative forces within ourselves. Let us defeat them, which means transform them. If we can transform our fear into courage, our doubt into faith, our insecurity into security, our impurity into purity and our imperfection into perfection, that is a worthwhile success and a significant progress. In the spiritual life we give all importance to progress, because progress is our soul's constant necessity. We are part of an eternal progress. From the unmanifest we entered into the mineral kingdom, then into the plant kingdom, then from the plant to the animal and from the animal to the human. Now we are trying to enter into the divine kingdom. When we think of ourselves as a song of progress and not as a song of success, then God-realisation is within our sure reach.

Beauty

University of Montana; Missoula, Montana, USA
Montana Rooms, The Student Center
23 April 1974

Beauty is my body's purity. Beauty is my vital's humility. Beauty is my mind's serenity. Beauty is my heart's magnanimity. Beauty is my life's sincerity

As a seeker, when I develop these divine qualities, I become all beauty. A child is beautiful, a flower is beautiful, a flame is beautiful. When I have a childlike heart, God talks to me. When my life becomes a flower of gratitude, I get the opportunity to sing with God His universal Song. When my life grows into a climbing flame, I play with God and take conscious part in His Cosmic Game.

Beauty is in giving. Beauty is in receiving. Beauty is in giving and giving alone. Beauty is in receiving and receiving alone. When I give, I see that before I have given anything, Heaven is already smiling through my offering, my self-giving. When I receive, I see that earth is smiling in and through me. When I give and give, I see that God the divine Pilot is offering Himself to aspiring humanity in and through me. When I receive and receive, I see that God the infinite Compassion is entering into me and expanding my earth-bound consciousness, finally transforming it into the Heaven-free Reality.

When I invoke the soul and become one with the soul, I have the capacity to reveal the Source at God's choice Hour. At that time, I have a most significant message to offer to my brothers and sisters of the world:

Vedaham etam purusam mahantam
Adityavarnam tamasah parastat

I have known this Great Being,
Effulgent as the sun
Beyond the boundaries of tenebrous gloom.

When I have attained this capacity, my own soul shines with the effulgent beauty of that one great Being.

When I invoke the heart, become one with the heart and try to offer the wealth of the heart to the world at large, I see a new beauty growing within me and flowing around me. At that time my message is:

Twameva mata pita twameva…

Thou art the Father.
Thou art the Friend.
Thou art the Comrade.
Thou art Knowledge.
Thou art Wealth.
Thou art my All.
Thou art my Lord Supreme.

This message that I offer to the world is founded upon my heart's oneness with my Inner Pilot. This is the sweetest and, at the same time, the most convincing feeling of inseparable oneness with the Inner Pilot. When I establish my inseparable oneness with my Inner Pilot, I feel Him as my Mother and Father of Eternity: as my Friend and Comrade from time immemorial; and as my Lord Supreme, my All. This is the beauty of the heart that a seeker embodies, reveals and manifests here on earth.

When I invoke the mind and become one with the mind, I offer the wealth of the mind on the strength of my soulful prayer.

Aum bhur bhuvah svah
Tat savitur varenyam
Bhargo devasya dhimahi
Dhiyo yo nah pracodayat

We meditate on the Transcendental Glory of the Deity Supreme, who is inside the heart of the earth, inside the life of the sky and inside the soul of the Heaven. May He stimulate and illumine our minds.

This is the Gayatri Mantra, the prayer for the mind, for the illumination of the mind. This is India's peerless mantra or incantation. All the other mantras of India are derived from this one. This is the loftiest prayer that the Indian seers of the hoary past realised and offered to aspiring humanity.

We have already discovered beauty in the soul, beauty in the heart and beauty in the mind. Now we have to discover beauty in the vital. When beauty in the vital dawns, we become energetic, dynamic, progressive and fulfilling. At that time, we pray to the Supreme to inundate our vital with power infinite, power divine, the power that builds, not the power that breaks; the power that energises us, the power the vital needs for the full manifestation of divinity on earth. The message of divine power which I offer to the world is:

Tejo 'si tejo mayi dhehi…

Thy fiery spirit I invoke.
Thy manly vigour I invoke.
Thy power and energy I invoke.
Thy battle fury I invoke.
Thy conquering mind I invoke.

This power in the vital is the beauty of the vital for the manifestation of God here on earth.

I also try to invoke the body-consciousness and become one with the aspiring body in order to discover beauty in the body. For this, I pray to the Supreme to grant me sound health and an aspiring body. This is the prayer of my body:

Taccaksur devahitam sukram...

May we, for a hundred autumns,
See that lustrous Eye, God-ordained,
Arise before us...

In this case, a hundred years means an infinite or indefinite expanse of time. If we have a long life of aspiration on earth, then we can realise God, reveal God and manifest God. We need a long life of aspiration, dedication, devotion and surrender. This is the beauty in the body and of the body, for the soul and for God, the Supreme.

If we want to discover more beauty here in the earth-consciousness, we have to realise what is essential and what is not essential. Another most significant message of the Upanishadic Seers is:

Neti neti
Not this, not that.

Ignorance, no! Darkness, no! Bondage, no! Limitation, imperfection, no! We do not need them. We need faith, courage, humility, purity, sincerity and all the divine qualities. We renounce the unillumined parts in us and invoke the parts that are illumined, the consciousness that is illumined. Not this; not the ignorance which we now claim as our very own and which claims us as its very own, but Light, the Light that claims us as its very own and the Light that we are going to claim as our very own.

There is also a supreme Beauty. The supreme Beauty is in our conscious, inseparable oneness with the Supreme. This supreme Beauty we discover on the strength of our conscious, constant and unconditional self-giving. When we dare to say, "Not my will, but Thy Will be done," then we can also say, "I and my Father are one." When we sincerely say, "Let Thy Will be done," at that time the supreme Beauty reveals itself in and through us. And when we say, "I and my Father are one," at that time the supreme Beauty finds its complete manifestation on earth here and now.

You are beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful,
Beauty unparalleled in the garden of Paradise.
Day and night may Thy Image abide in the very depth of my heart.
Without You my eyes have no vision;
Everything is an illusion, everything is barren.
All around me, within and without,
The melody of tenebrous pangs I hear.
My world is filled with excruciating pangs.

O Lord, O my beautiful Lord,
O my Lord of Beauty, in this lifetime even for a fleeting second
May I be blessed with the boon to see Thy Face.

Philosophy, religion and spirituality

University of Colorado; Boulder, Colorado, USA
Physics Building
23 April 1974

Dear seekers of the highest Truth, dear brothers and sisters, I wish to give a short talk on philosophy, religion and spirituality. As you all know, philosophy is a vast subject. Religion is a vast subject. Spirituality is a vast subject. Time will not permit me to do justice to these lofty subjects. Yet, with your kind permission, with your loving goodwill, I shall say a few words from the spiritual point of view on each one.

Philosophy is in the thinking mind. Philosophy is of the searching mind. Philosophy is for the illumining mind.

Religion is our conscious or unconscious response to the beckoning Light. Religion is our firm belief in the lofty experiences of our predecessors. Religion is our great satisfaction in our glorious past.

Spirituality is in the aspiring heart. Spirituality is of the liberating soul. Spirituality is for the fulfilling and immortalising God.

A lover of philosophy talks about God's Vision. A lover of religion talks about God's Power. A lover of spirituality talks about God's Compassion. A lover of philosophy wants to see God's Face. A lover of religion wants to see God's Eye. A lover of spirituality wishes to grow into God's all-compassionate Heart.

A man of philosophy is a dreamer. A man of religion is an observer. A man of spirituality is a divine lover. A divine dreamer, a divine observer and a divine lover are good friends.

A man of philosophy wants to see the height of life. A man of religion wants to see the depth of life. A man of spirituality wants to see the reality of life and the reality in life.

There is a human philosophy and there is a divine philosophy. The human philosophy is a dry piece of wood. The human philosophy is a soulless goal. The divine philosophy is a fruitful tree. The divine philosophy is an all-illumining life and an all-fulfilling Goal. The divine philosophy knows that its Source is Transcendental Silence. The divine philosophy knows that its Source is Transcendental Delight.

There is a human religion and a divine religion. The human religion is a baseless self-aggrandisement. The human religion is a lifeless confidence. The divine religion is a constant God-proclamation from the very depths of the seeker's heart. It is in the inmost recesses of his heart that a seeker proclaims God's Reality, God's Divinity and God's Immortality.

There is a human spirituality and a divine spirituality. The human spirituality, in the name of God, deceives mankind. The human spirituality, in the name of God, deceives its own true being by offering a false God-realisation to aspiring humanity. The divine spirituality knows that at God's choice Hour each follower of religion will be inundated with infinite Light, Peace and Bliss. The divine spirituality is fully aware of the fact that each practitioner of spirituality is a conscious, chosen instrument of God, crying for the dawn of Life immortal here on earth.

A man of true philosophy, a man of true religion and a man of true spirituality need God. For them there is no other choice.

I am extremely happy to learn that the motto of the state of Colorado is "Nothing without Deity." Without God, without the Inner Pilot, we are nothing. With the Inner Pilot, we are everything. God is the Realisation-Tree, and this Realisation-Tree has many branches. Philosophy, religion and spirituality are three branches of God the Realisation-Tree. The man of philosophy can sit under the philosophy branch, the man of religion can sit under the religion branch, and the man of spirituality can sit under the spirituality branch. It is in the protection and shelter of the Divinity that we can grow into Immortality.

The man of philosophy, the man of religion and the man of spirituality are three brothers walking along three different roads. But they have started their journey, and they are destined to reach their Goal at God's choice Hour. Each human being has philosophy to some extent, religion to some extent and spirituality to some extent. But if a seeker enters into the life of aspiration, and if his inner being compels him to love God for God's sake, then automatically the wealth of philosophy, the wealth of religion and the wealth of spirituality will all loom large in his life of aspiration. Philosophy will tell him who God is. Religion will tell him where God is. Spirituality will tell him why God is.

Concentration

University of Wyoming; Laramie, Wyoming, USA
23 April 1974

Dear seekers, I wish to give a short talk on concentration. In the spiritual life concentration is of paramount importance. Without concentration we cannot make any satisfactory progress With concentration we can run like a deer. Concentration accelerates our progress towards the Golden Beyond.

Concentration in the physical is attention.
Concentration in the vital is penetration.
Concentration in the mind is observation.
Concentration in the heart is assimilation.
Concentration in the soul is illumination.
Concentration in God is perfection.

Concentration is a seeker's capacity. His capacity is reality, his reality is divinity and his divinity is Immortality.

Concentration is the connecting link between man's aspiration and God's Compassion, between earth's excruciating pangs and Heaven's liberating Smile.

Concentration is at once the power of rejection and the power of acceptance. A seeker, on the strength of his concentration, rejects the superficial body-substance. On the strength of his concentration, the seeker accepts the inner soul-essence. Concentration is the seeker's unfailing companion. It is the seeker's commanding captain and his illumining liberator.

In the morning, when we concentrate on God, we come to realise where God is: God is in the inmost recesses of our hearts. In the afternoon, when we concentrate on God, we come to learn why God exists: He exists precisely for our satisfaction. In the evening, when we concentrate on God, we come to learn who God actually is: God is our unrealised depth; God is our unmanifested height.

Concentration is at once the evolving man's triumphant success and the manifesting God's continuous progress here on earth and there in Heaven. Man concentrates on God. He fights against his teeming doubts and brooding ignorance; therefore, he is a divine hero-warrior. God concentrates on man. In spite of knowing man's weaknesses, imperfections, limitations and ignorance-night, God concentrates on man with His infinite Love, eternal Compassion and immortal Life; therefore, God is the Supreme Lover.

When we concentrate on the past, the past awakens our sympathy, our concern, our love for our old life. But a seeker of the highest Truth says that the past is dust. He says so precisely because he sees that the past has not given him God-realisation, so he feels that the past is of no avail. But again, the seeker feels that he needs a solid foundation. If the past had something special to offer him and if he still carries that momentous, precious wealth, then that wealth adds to his present capacity.

When this same seeker concentrates on the present, if he has a free access to his heart and soul, then his spiritual journey is safe. But if he still remains most of the time in his mind —- his doubting, suspicious mind, his earth-bound physical mind —- then this seeker is suspected by the present itself. The present questions his motives for meditating on the present. The present examines his sincerity to see if he really wants to see the face of Reality in the heart of the present.

Finally, the seeker concentrates on the golden future. This future is in the immediacy of today's aspiration and tomorrow's realisation. The future tells the seeker that in today's heart God is his Dream-boat, and in tomorrow's heart God will be his Reality-shore.

Concentration has two brothers: meditation and contemplation. Concentration paves the way for the seeker to walk along the path. This path is sunlit, for concentration does not permit any shadow of doubt, any iota of thought to enter in as we proceed to our Transcendental Goal. Meditation makes our mind calm and quiet and empties our heart so that the Inner Pilot can have free access to His Throne. Contemplation tells the seeker to play the Cosmic Game together with the Supreme Pilot. Concentration is the first rung on the ladder of highest realisation. Meditation is the second rung on the ladder of highest realisation. Contemplation is the last rung on the ladder of highest, supreme realisation.

Each seeker has a specific way to concentrate. Each seeker has a specific thing to concentrate on. Each seeker has a specific way to offer his concentration-power to the world at large, to aspiring humanity. Each seeker has the power of concentration to give constant, dedicated, devoted and unconditional service to God.

What has life taught me?

University of Utah; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
24 April 1974

Dear seekers, dear sisters and brothers, I wish to give a short talk on the subject "What Has Life Taught Me?" Life has taught me that there are many people on earth who see God in everybody and in everything. In God's Creation they see nothing but God. Therefore, they exist only for God. Each living breath of theirs they offer to the loving God.

There are some people who live on earth only for others. They are not fully aware of God's Existence in others; but they feel that if they can live for others, then their life of selfishness, narrowness and meanness will disappear. They live for others, not because they see God in others, but because they feel that they will derive satisfaction in life only by offering their service to others. Service, dedicated service, is for them satisfaction in its purest form.

Then, there are others who live only for themselves. For them there is no God, there are no other human beings, save and except themselves.

As an individual, I can live for God, I can live for others, I can live for myself. When I live for God, only for God—God the Creator and God the Creation —- then I feel that I am doing absolutely the right thing. Therefore, I am perfect.

When I live for others, that is to say, when I expand and extend my consciousness, then I feel that I am doing a divine thing that will elevate the consciousness, illumine the minds and fulfil the needs of others. Therefore, I am divine.

But when I live only for myself, to aggrandise my ego and fulfil my teeming desires, and when I ignore my countless imperfections, limitations and bondage, at that time I am nothing short of imperfection, limitation, bondage and death. I feel that I am of myself and for myself. I sing the song of ego, the song of my own self-centred consciousness. Each second, consciously and deliberately, I dig my own grave. At that time, divinity and perfection remain a far cry.

There are various places for us to live. We can live in the body, we can live in the vital, we can live in the mind, we can live in the heart, we can live in the soul. When we live in the body, the gross physical body, we enjoy nothing but sleep, inertia, sloth and fun — life's continuous fun. When we live in the physical, a life of pleasure, we feel, is the life of reality for us.

When we live in the vital, the unaspiring vital, we feel that aggression is what we want and need. Unfortunately, what looms large in aggression is destruction and, before we destroy others, we see that we are totally destroyed. Before we try to realise what we have actually done, we feel that our days are numbered; as a matter of fact, we feel that we are already dead. The unaspiring vital identifies us with Julius Caesar, who said, "Veni, vidi, vici —- I came, I saw, I conquered." But what have we conquered? We have conquered the very things that have to be utilised for God: love, faith, sincerity, humility. These divine things we have conquered in order to lord it over others. Our unaspiring vital conquers others' good qualities and tries to dominate others.

When we live in the mind, the reasoning mind, we feel there is nothing but reason and doubt. We feel that by using the reasoning mind, one day we shall arrive at the Truth. But that is impossible. Truth is far beyond the reasoning mind. We feel that if we doubt others and if we doubt the Existence of God, that means we are in a position to judge God's Creation. But the sincere seeker in us knows that doubt is slow poison. If we doubt others, we gain nothing. If we doubt God, we gain nothing. And the moment we doubt ourselves, which we do quite often, we ruin all our possibilities and destroy the divine potentiality within us.

When we live in the heart, the aspiring heart, we get constant confidence because we feel that we have a Source. This Source is Light infinite, Delight eternal. We can sing with the Indian Sages, the seers of the hoary past:

Anandaddhyeva khalvimani bhutani jayante…

From Delight we came into existence. In Delight we grow. At the end of our journey's close, into Delight we retire.

Because we feel that God the infinite Supreme is our Source, we feel that we also have the opportunity to become the Infinite and to spread the Light of Infinity throughout the length and breadth of the world.

Some are of the opinion that hands are hands, head is head and heart is heart, that they cannot be combined. But I wish to say that this is not true. Since the hands are God's creation, since the head is God's creation, since the heart is God's creation, they have to be combined. With the heart we shall feel God's transcendental Peace and infinite Bliss. With the mind we shall discover the world of the yet unknown. And with the hands we shall serve what we know and what we can feel. What we know is God's constant message: "Do good. Be good." What we can feel is that God is all Love. What we serve is God the Smile. God's Smile we serve here on earth and aspiring humanity accepts this service from us, from the seekers of the infinite, eternal Truth.

Here we are all seekers. In the life of a seeker, quality comes first, without fail; then comes quantity. Quality comes from God; quantity also comes from God. If a seeker has the inner cry and if God comes to him with His descending Light, if Grace comes from Heaven and aspiration comes from earth, then when they meet together quality can be multiplied into quantity. Again, quantity can also be transformed into quality.

Here on earth our life is a constant battle; we are always in the battlefield of life. Even unaspiring human beings are constantly struggling for survival. They are trying to satisfy their animal needs and their human needs. When they are struggling, that means they are fighting against something in order to achieve what they need or want. Aspiring seekers also constantly fight. Fight against whom? Against their own nature, against their doubt and fear, against anxiety, worry and imperfection. At the end of their journey they will be crowned with triumphant success.

Life is acceptance and life is rejection. The human in us rejects the divine, but the divine in us accepts the human. The finite in us is afraid of the Infinite. It feels that if it enters into the ocean of Infinity, then Infinity will devour its existence. It is ready to stand forever on the shore. But the divine in us knows well that life is meant for acceptance. The finite in us has to be accepted and then it has to be transformed into Infinity. If we have an iota of a good thought, an iota of a loving thought, then we have to increase it into Infinity. The divine in us tells us that it is in the finite that we will have to hear the song of Infinity. As we hear the song of Infinity in Eternity, Immortality and Infinity itself, even so, we shall have to hear and finally sing the song of Infinity in the finite here on earth.

Life has taught me to go ahead. This is the aspiring life. The moment we have covered one step, we see that our loving Father runs ninety-nine steps towards us. This is an experience that a sincere seeker of the ultimate Truth is bound to have. But if one is not a seeker, then the undivine forces, the hostile forces, will tempt him to dine with ignorance. And ignorance means unconscious or conscious destruction.

Life has taught me how to forget, how to forgive and how to unlearn. There are many things that I have to forget. If I do not forget, then my life becomes a sea of excruciating pangs. Again, there are many things that I have to forgive. If I do not forgive, then I feel the load of my whole body right on my head; I feel a heavy load of world-imperfection, which I am part and parcel of. The moment I forgive, I unload the heavy load. Then, I have to unlearn. There are many things the mind has taught me which are fruitless, useless, futile. When I just keep them, not to speak of treasuring them, then I feel that I am extremely heavy and I cannot run the fastest towards the Golden Shore. If I unlearn, I become light. And if I become light, I can run like a deer.

Life has taught me something else most significant: that self-importance must be cast aside. Let me try to think and feel sincerely that I am not at all indispensable. Who is indispensable? God. When I feel that I am not indispensable, at that time, out of His infinite Bounty, God inundates my inner being with Joy, Love and Bliss. If I need Peace, if I need Love, if I need anything worth achieving, then I can have it only when I serve God lovingly, devotedly, unconditionally and with the feeling of humility, with the feeling that I am not at all indispensable.

Today God is using me as a seeker. Tomorrow He can utilise somebody else as a seeker of the highest Truth. As long as He uses me as a seeker, I have to seek the highest Truth. As long as He uses me as a servitor, I shall serve mankind. But I am in no way indispensable, either on earth or in Heaven. When I have that kind of realisation, God can utilise me in His own inimitable Way. At that time I become His perfect, chosen instrument, a faithful, devoted, soulful and unconditional instrument of the Absolute Supreme.

Humanity's teachers

Arizona State University; Tempe, Arizona, USA
24 April 1974

Dear seekers of the highest Truth, dear sisters and brothers, just because we are all seekers, we are all sailing in the boat of aspiration. At God's choice Hour we shall reach our Destination: the Golden Shore.

Each human being has two teachers—desire and aspiration. Desire tells man to bind the world. It says, "You want joy; you want satisfaction. In order to achieve joy and satisfaction, you must possess the world." But alas, while you are trying to possess and bind the world, you see that the world has already bound you.

Man's other teacher is aspiration. Aspiration lovingly and soulfully tells him, "My son, do not bind the world; do not try to attach it to you. Just try to free yourself and liberate the world." How can you liberate the world? You can liberate the world on the strength of the expansion of your own consciousness. When you expand your physical consciousness, vital consciousness, mental consciousness and psychic consciousness, lo and behold, the world within you is expanded and the world outside you is expanded.

The aspiration teacher tells man that when he liberates the world on the strength of his own inner expansion, God offers him His transcendental Smile. God makes him His divine instrument. God makes him His direct representative here on earth.

A human being has two other teachers: doubt and faith. Doubt tells him that there is nothing real enough. It says, "Where is the proof that God exists? It is all mental hallucination. Therefore, you should doubt! Doubt God, doubt yourself, doubt all human beings!" While doubting God, while doubting himself, while doubting mankind, the human being becomes one with the physical mind. First the physical mind doubts God and humanity, then it starts doubting its own capacity. If we doubt God, no harm. God does not lose His Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. If we doubt others, they also lose nothing; they maintain their capacity. But when we doubt our own existence, our own capacity, our own possibility, at that moment we dig our own grave.

The faith teacher tells the seeker in each individual, "Have faith in God, have faith in yourself." Now what is this faith? Faith is the inner light that conquers ignorance-night. Faith is the light within us that constantly reminds us of our Source. Our Source is Delight. Thousands of years ago, the Vedic Seers of the hoary past offered a sublime message which I would like to share with you: "Anandaddhyeva khalvimani bhutani jayante… — From Delight we came into existence. In Delight we grow. At the end of our journey's close, into Delight we retire."

Man has two more teachers: Heaven and earth. Heaven teaches us how to dream the transcendental Dream and earth teaches us how to embody, reveal and manifest the divine Reality. Heaven is the Dream-Boat and earth is the Reality-Shore. Our inner cry is the connecting link between Heaven's Dream and earth's Reality. The inner cry is our spontaneous personal effort. Earth offers its excruciating pangs to Heaven and Heaven offers its transcendental Smile to earth. When Heaven's Smile and earth's cry meet together, our imperfection becomes perfect Perfection.

We have still two other teachers: love and surrender, love divine and surrender divine. Love tells the seeker, "Love the world because the world is the real Reality; the Creator and His Creation cannot be separated. If you love the Creation, you are loving the Creator and, if you love the Creator, you must love His Creation at the same time. Love mankind and love the Inner Pilot inside mankind. When you love man in God, I will show you the Body of God. When you love God in man, I will show you the Face of God." The seeker soulfully listens to the advice the teacher offers and sees both the Body and the Face of God.

Then surrender comes and says, "I do not want you to be satisfied with what you have already seen. I want you to see something more. I want you to see God's Heart and God's Soul. You have seen the Body and the Face; now you will see the Heart and the Soul. Then you will have seen everything. You can see God's Heart and Soul on the strength of your self-giving, on the strength of your unconditional surrender." The seeker listens to this advice and he sees the Heart and Soul of God. At that time he becomes the Heart of God and he becomes the Soul of God. Then the divine lover and the Supreme Beloved are forever united.

Realisation

University of New Mexico; Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
24 April 1974

Dear sisters and brothers, we are all seekers, seekers of the Transcendental Truth; therefore, we are sailing in the same boat. In the spiritual life realisation is our first goal, revelation is our second goal and manifestation is our third goal. Today I wish to give a short talk on realisation.

To ordinary human beings, realisation is an ideal and nothing more. To unaspiring human beings, realisation is something useless and harmful. They consider it useless because they can remain on earth without it. They feel it is a mental hallucination. They consider it harmful because it is something strange. Now they are enjoying ignorance and they have become part and parcel of ignorance. They feel their earth-bound consciousness will burst into pieces when the realisation-sun dawns. They are afraid that the realisation-light will expose them. But a sincere seeker, a lover of Truth Transcendental, knows that the spiritual life will never expose his imperfections. It will only illumine and perfect him.

Realisation is a slow and steady process: It is like going up a hill. We cannot achieve realisation in the twinkling of an eye. Getting realisation is not like getting instant coffee. We have to pray for realisation every day, every hour, every second. The mind that indulges in relaxation is not meant for realisation. The heart that indulges in vacation is not meant for realisation. Our mind needs vigilance and discipline. Our heart needs regularity and enthusiasm.

Realisation is like a tree. One individual can come right up to the tree and touch the bottom branches. Another can climb part way up the tree. Someone else can climb up to the top of the tree, if his aspiration is most intense. Naturally, the realisation of the person who climbs to the top of the tree surpasses the realisation of the others.

In order to realise God, we need aspiration, the inner mounting cry. This world is governed by two mighty powers: desire and aspiration. Desire-power binds us. Aspiration-power expands us. Desire-power makes us feel that we are of the finite. Aspiration-power makes us feel we are of the Infinite. Our aspiration has to be intense. When we aspire unconditionally and soulfully, we minimise our earthly needs and increase our capacity to receive the infinite Peace and Bliss.

A real seeker every day feels the necessity of aspiration. He feels that his realisation will one day loom large in his aspiration. But his aspiration depends on God's Grace, God's unconditional Grace. This Grace eventually enables the seeker to dive deep within to discover Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure. Before realisation the seeker thought that his personal effort was ninety-nine per cent responsible for his achievement and God's Compassion was one per cent responsible. After his realisation he sees that the reverse is true: his personal effort was only one per cent responsible and God's Compassion was ninety-nine per cent responsible. Then he looks around and sees his dear ones, his relatives, his acquaintances still wallowing in the pleasures of ignorance. How is it, he asks himself, that he was chosen? Who made him cry for the inner Light? It was his Inner Pilot. Who wanted him to wake up and run along the sunlit path to realise his eternal Beloved, the Supreme? It was the Supreme Himself. Finally, when he starts assimilating his realisation, in the process of his assimilation he comes to realise in an unmistakable way that even his one per cent personal effort was nothing short of God's Grace. He realises that it was God's boundless Compassion which was fully responsible for his God-realisation.

There are three brothers who help us considerably in our life of aspiration: concentration, meditation and contemplation. It is their help that eventually leads us to God-realisation.

What is concentration? Concentration is our one-pointed attention or focus on a particular subject or object.

What is meditation? Meditation is the act of emptying our inner vessel and filling it with God's Light and Delight.

What is contemplation? Contemplation is the inseparable union of lover and Beloved.

When we concentrate, we try to put an end to our thought-waves. When we concentrate, we try to minimise our earthly needs and extinguish the desire-flame in us.

When we meditate, we try to grow in silence; we try to become receptive so that the Lord Supreme can place His divine Throne in the inmost recesses of our heart.

When we contemplate we try to become one with our Inner Pilot and surrender our tiny 'i' to the universal 'I'.

Concentration tells us, "Run, run towards the Goal!" Meditation tells us, "The Goal is inside you. In perfect silence you will discover your Goal." Contemplation tells us, "Go on, dive deeper, fly higher. You will realise that the Goal is none other than your own highest part, your own most illumined existence."

In our life of aspiration we feel the necessity of devoted service and surrendered oneness: devoted service to the Inner Pilot and surrendered oneness with our Inner Pilot. Our devoted service is not an act of outer compulsion. No! It is an inner urge that compels us to be one with the Inner Pilot and to serve Him soulfully and devotedly.

Right now the Goal is ahead of us. We have to reach the Goal soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally. But our road can be shortened if we have divine love, divine devotion and divine surrender. Our road can be sunlit if we cheerfully offer to God what we have and what we are. What we have is a constant and conscious inner cry. And what we are right now is a sea of ignorance. So if we can give to God what we have and what we are, then our road becomes sunlit and short.

Time is a great factor in our journey to realisation. There are people who say that since God is living in His eternal Time and we are His children, then we can also live in eternal Time. So why do we have to worry about God-realisation? God-realisation can take place in its own time. But if we love God, if we love mankind, then we feel the necessity of devoted, dedicated and unconditional service. If we are not awakened, how can we awaken others? If we are not realised, how can we help others in their realisation? A sincere seeker feels that he can be God's chosen child, His perfect instrument, only after he has realised God. God will grant us realisation, true. But we can expedite His offering, His gift to us. His blessingful Gift we can achieve sooner if we sincerely and soulfully aspire. The sooner we achieve God-realisation, the sooner we can prepare ourselves for God-revelation and, finally, for God-manifestation.

God-realisation is our preparation for God revelation and God-revelation is our preparation for God-manifestation. What is preparation? Preparation is our self-giving and God's Self-giving. Our self-giving is all ignorance, limitation, bondage. God's Self-giving is all Compassion.

A seeker knows and feels that he can live without food, without water, without air, without everything on earth, but he cannot live without God's Compassion. God's Compassion is the seeker's Immortality. When he starts drinking the nectar of this Immortality, then he realises himself. When he realises himself, he feels that in and through him God is manifesting His highest Reality, that God is singing His Song of Eternity and dancing His Dance of Immortality. When a seeker drinks ambrosia, he feels that Heaven is not somewhere else. Heaven is in his consciousness. We do not have to go to a particular state or country or kingdom called Heaven. No! Heaven, which is perpetual Life, the infinite Life within us, is a state of consciousness. This consciousness an aspiring seeker is bound to attain when he drinks nectar. And this nectar he gets on the strength of his self-giving, his unconditional self-giving. Today's self-giving is tomorrow's God-becoming.

Wisdom-light

University of Miami; Miami, Florida, USA
30 September 1974

Dear sisters and brothers, dear seekers of the infinite Truth and Light, I wish to give a short talk on wisdom-light.

Wisdom-light is life-loving. Wisdom-light is self-giving. Wisdom-light is God-becoming.

He who loves life is beautiful. He who gives himself to others is fruitful. He who becomes God—like the Christ, Lord Buddha and Sri Krishna —- is complete, perfect and supreme.

Why does one love? One loves because he knows that loving is self-expansion. Why does one give himself to others? He gives himself to others because he knows that in self-giving is the real satisfaction. Why does one want to become God? He wants to become God because he knows that God-becoming is perfect Perfection.

Our heart embodies the message of self-expansion. Our life embodies the message of satisfaction. Our soul embodies the message of perfection. In Heaven the message is the light of Divinity. On earth the message is the night of Eternity. In God the message is the delight of Immortality.

When we pray, Divinity blesses us. When we meditate, Eternity blesses us. When we surrender our earth-bound life to the adamantine will of the Absolute Supreme, we become the delight of Immortality.

Divinity, Eternity and Immortality. Divinity we already had. Eternity we already have. Immortality we are in the process of becoming.

God's Vision and God's Reality we embody together. Our earthly existence is the transformed Vision of God manifested in living reality. Each vision is a seed of the reality-tree. Each form of reality is the tree which is embodied in the vision-seed. Silence-cry is the soul of the vision-seed. Sound-smile is the body of the reality-tree.

Each human being has a seeker and a lover in the inmost recesses of his heart. The seeker in him wants to reach the Highest, the transcendental Height, and then wants to come down to transform the teeming ignorance of earthly life and make of earth a Kingdom of Heaven. The lover in him wants to spread his universal wings and satisfy the inner hunger of millennia, the hunger that can be fulfilled only by God's infinite Love, Compassion and Light. The seeker in each human being is the collector and the receiver of God's Light. The lover in him is the distributor of God's Light to the world at large.

Wisdom-light is the awareness of God's Presence all-where, the awareness that God is omnipresent. This reality we can be aware of only when we see God within and without. There is an Indian parable about a spiritual teacher who offered a fruit to each of his disciples. He said to them, "Children, go and eat your fruit unseen by anybody at all. You must eat your fruit in complete privacy." Each went and ate his respective fruit except one. That one came back to the Master with his fruit. The Master asked him, "How is it that you have not eaten your fruit?" The disciple answered, "Master, how can I eat? You have asked me to eat the fruit only when there is nobody observing me. But God is all around me, so I have not eaten. If I eat, I will be caught red-handed." The Master was exceedingly pleased with this disciple.

From this parable we learn that a sincere seeker of the Transcendental Truth sees and feels God both within and without. There also dawns in him a higher and deeper vision. He comes to realise that he is expected to say and do to the world at large only those things that can be said and done before God. Today's world of imperfection can easily be transformed into a world of perfect Perfection when the seeker in us sees God everywhere.

The motto of the State of Florida is, "In God we trust." For an ordinary seeker this loftiest message may seem redundant. Since we are all lovers of the highest Truth and Light, it goes without saying that we trust in God. But from the spiritual point of view I wish to say that there is a significant hidden truth inside this motto. This freedom-loving country has something significant to offer to the world at large. When we live an ordinary life, we place our trust in ourselves. When we have faith in ourselves, we sing the song of separativity and individuality, the song of 'I'. At that time the question of 'we' never arises. But when we say, "In God we trust," our individuality merges into the sea of universality. On the strength of our inner cry we are trying to grow into God's Universality. When a seeker says, "In God we trust," he feels that his individuality has left him. He has now embraced God's entire Creation as his own, very own.

A seeker trusts God and God trusts him. A seeker trusts God in order to reach the highest pinnacle of Light, Truth and Bliss, and God trusts him in order to reveal Himself and manifest Himself on earth. They enjoy a reciprocal need. The seeker needs God for his self-discovery and life-mastery and God needs the seeker for His perfect manifestation and complete satisfaction on earth.

True spirituality and inner life

North Dakota State University; Fargo, North Dakota, USA
25 October 1974

There are people who say that spirituality is not meant for this world or this outer life. There are people who say that spirituality should be practised only in the evening of one's life —- that is to say, after having had all the experiences that the outer world can give, one should enter into the inner life. But these opinions are not true. Spirituality can and should be practised irrespective of place and time. Anybody on earth can practise the spiritual life. The spiritual life can never be an artificial life. The spiritual life is something which is natural and spontaneous.

In our outer life we need energy to sustain our life, to fulfil our life. In our spiritual life, our inner life, we need illumination. If we do not have illumination, we shall remain in ignorance. In order to enter into the inner life we must have inspiration. When we have this inspiration, aspiration comes to the fore. When we have aspiration, we can go one step farther to what we call Yoga. Yoga means 'union with God'.

If we accept spiritual life in the true sense of the term, we do not negate the world, we do not renounce the world. We accept the world, we embrace the world, we try to fulfil the world in a divine way, in the way the Supreme wants. We do not see eye to eye with those who say that God is only in Heaven and not elsewhere. God is in Heaven and God is also on earth. The Creator can never be separated from His Creation. This world of ours is His Creation. He is here. He abides within all things. In order to fulfil Himself, it is here that God has to remain.

We have in this world of ours a true friend, and that friend is the spiritual life. The spiritual life tells us that we have come from the Divine, we live in the Divine and we shall return to the Divine. Within us we have everything. Now we have to reveal what we have within. At the same time, we have an enemy, an uncompromising enemy. It is our ignorance. Ignorance tells us that we are nothing and that we will never be able to amount to anything. Ignorance says, "O man, look down and see that you are nothing, you are useless." But spirituality tells us, "My child, look up, look deep within. You will see that you are everything. You are God's child, God's chosen child. To Him you are everything. God dreams. To materialise, to fulfil, to transform God's Dream into reality you have come into the world." That is what spirituality tells each individual here on earth the moment he enters sincerely into the inner and deeper life.

The spiritual life also teaches us something momentous. It tells us that we need not be bound by the life of frustration, fear and anxiety. It tells us that, if it is true that our present life is full of misery, frustration, defeat and limitation, it is equally true that we have an ideal life which is all harmony, all perfection, all fulfilment, all virtue. The inner life most gladly, most cheerfully and most devotedly wants to be the living bridge between our present life and the ideal life, the life that we want to have.

There are two kinds of hope: ordinary earthly hope and spiritual hope. Ordinary earthly hope is nothing but building castles in the air. We do nothing for God, nothing to improve ourselves, we just hope that one day we shall become great, famous, powerful. But the spiritual hope that we can cherish comes from our inner conviction of truth, the truth that abides within us and in which we live. This hope is surcharged with aspiration, whether we are consciously aware of it or not. This hope is the harbinger of reality. This hope sees the reality and, while seeing, becomes the reality. This hope also takes us into the realm of faith, the faith that sustains our inner and outer lives. This faith comes to the fore and tells us that the moment we look to God with our eyes of aspiration, God looks at us with His Eyes of Compassion. Our aspiration and His Compassion go together. We need His Compassion and He needs our aspiration. We fulfil God and God fulfils us. The moment we fulfil Him we are fulfilled.

There are people on earth who tell us that spirituality is no longer alive, that it is long dead. Our forefathers were spiritual and divine. They communed with God. Not we! We are all worse than useless. Those days of spiritual achievement, of spiritual glory are long buried, they say. Now we are in a world of materialism. There is no God and no spiritual life, no inner experience and realisation. Spirituality is dead for good. But let us not subscribe to their proud opinion, for their opinion is utterly baseless. Spirituality can never, never die because spirituality is the necessity of God. It is also the necessity of human beings; but this necessity is more real to God than to humanity because it is God who created this spiritual necessity both for Himself and for humanity. This spirituality can never die, for God never dies. God has created spirituality to unite man with God; therefore, so long as God is on earth or in Heaven or anywhere in His Creation, spirituality must exist in order to unite God and man.

Spirituality is the flame of aspiration. We have always to kindle this flame so that it can rise high, higher and highest until finally it reaches the acme of perfection: absolute fulfilment. It is only the spiritual life, the cry of the heart, the surge of the soul, that can fulfil us both in our inner and outer lives. It will be a deplorable mistake if we ever say or feel that the spiritual life will take us away from the life of the material world. On the contrary, it is the spiritual life that will open our eyes to show us how we can cope with the material physical world, how we can have mastery over the physical world, how we can use the material world to help us.

Right now we are living in the material world. The material world at every moment is killing us with frustration and disappointment. We want from the material world what the material world cannot give us, and the material world wants something from us which we are unable to give. If we want to be the master of the material world, if we want to say that the material world is ours, not that we belong to the material world, then we have to have perfect control of the material world. How can we have that? Only on the strength of our inner light, inner awakening, inner experiences, inner fulfilment.

If we want only to enjoy the world, we are taking a simply absurd attitude towards life. When we go deep within, one day we will see that in order to have an iota of enjoyment we have to kill our very life. We are trying to enjoy but for this enjoyment we are killing the senses that we need for a divine purpose. If we are wise, then we will enter into the inner life and know what spiritual joy and delight are. Then we will be able to enter into the outer world with the strength of our inner joy. When we enter into the outer world with inner joy, we shall see that the wonder of wonders has been accomplished by us—that the inner life can easily be lived and practised in the outer life. The life of reality, the life of fulfilment, the life of victory, the life of oneness with God which we get in our inner life can easily, effectively, gloriously and divinely come forward in the outer life. That is to say, the outer life should be a perfect manifestation of the inner life.

Let us not divide the two lives, inner and outer. Let us unite them. Let us not make a compromise; it is not a compromise that we seek. Let us try to see the outer life through the inner life. Let us try to fulfil the outer life through the inner life. Then alone, God's infinite Blessings will shower on us on earth. Then alone we shall not only see, feel and reach God but, finally, we shall all become God Himself. So let each of us present here enter into the world of spirituality. Let us breathe in the breath of spirituality. Lo, success is ours, perfection is ours, fulfilment is ours. God in His infinite Bounty, infinite Peace, Bliss, Light and Power is ours, eternally ours.

Sound-life and silence-life

Northern State College; Aberdeen, South Dakota, USA
25 October 1974

Dear seekers, dear sisters and brothers, we are all sailing in our respective boats, but our destination is the same: the Golden Shore. We are all destined to reach our goal: the Goal of goals. I wish to give a talk as part of my devoted, dedicated service to the Divine Being, the Supreme Pilot in all of us. I wish to speak on sound and silence from the spiritual point of view.

In our outer life we notice that sound is quite often destructive; it embodies the message of destruction. In our outer life we also notice a kind of silence which is nothing short of isolation. The sound-life wants to destroy the world around us; this silence-life wants to destroy us. But destruction can never be the answer to our quest for the truth, light and bliss which our inner being needs in abundant measure. Nor is the isolation the answer to our life's divine needs.

But there is also inner silence and inner sound. Inner silence is God-preparation in us. Inner sound is God-manifestation in and through us.

Outer sound-life is often uncontrollable. Modern technology, modern machinery, modern nuclear weapons sometimes threaten us. Although we have created them, these creations of ours threaten and frighten us; our own creations are beyond our control. This is the outer sound-life. When we are in a position to bring this outer sound-life under our control, we create a new life, a new promise, a new illumination, a new perfection within us. At that time we grow into a new dawn at every second of our life of aspiration.

Silence which advocates isolation can never be our choice divine. Isolation is the result of false renunciation. We try to renounce our friends, our relatives, our dear ones. We try to renounce society. But if we go on renouncing each and every person that we know, finally there will come a time when we will try to renounce ourselves. Today we renounce our parents, tomorrow we shall renounce our own existence. This kind of renunciation is not the answer to the world's problems or to our individual problems. If we renounce the world, then we can never manifest the divinity within us. Acceptance is the answer, but not the ultimate answer. First we have to accept the world as it is and then we have to transform it. Today's world of imperfection must be transformed into tomorrow's world of perfect Perfection. This is our ultimate goal.

In the spiritual life we do have to renounce, but we have to be very careful about what we renounce. We have to renounce our undivine attitudes, our undivine earthly, unaspiring thoughts. And where do these things abide? They abide in our mind. We may enter into the Himalayan caves in the hope of totally forgetting about the outer world, but we carry with us our mind, the mind that unfortunately treasures undivine thoughts or, let us say, the mind that is an unfortunate victim to teeming undivine, unhealthy thoughts. No matter where we go, we cannot escape from the mind. Whether we are at home or elsewhere, the mind has to be transformed. And once the mind is transformed, a major problem in our life is solved.

In order to change or transform the mind, we have to take shelter in the heart. The heart is more than ready to shelter us. The heart has divine light. The heart is not the light, but it has light. Why? Because inside the heart is the living presence of the soul. The quality, the capacity, the beauty, the divinity of the soul permeate the entire body, but there is a specific place where the soul abides, and that is in the heart. So the heart receives more illumination from the soul. Of course, I am speaking of the spiritual heart, the divine heart within us, and not the emotional or physical heart.

The heart identifies. The mind separates. When the mind sings the song of separativity and division, naturally the mind cannot achieve satisfaction. But the heart has the capacity to identify itself with the universal Reality, and it always tries to do so. On the strength of its identification, it achieves satisfaction in boundless measure.

The sound-life and the silence-life prepare us to enter into the world of art. There are two types of art: the outer art and the inner art. The outer art is satisfied when it observes and discovers imperfection in others. The inner art is satisfied only when it sees perfection in others and perfection in itself —- perfection within and perfection without.

There is a saying: "Art for art's sake." But this phrase does not satisfy a God-lover. If we say, "Art for God's sake," then immediately God comes into the matter. Suppose I draw a chair. I have to know that the capacity, the beauty, the reality, the soul that the drawing embodies will be very limited. But if I try to see God inside the chair and I try to bring to the fore God the Reality from the chair, then there is infinite scope for my own inner experience, inner realisation and God-manifestation in this work of art.

We have to know that life itself is the supreme art. How do we regulate our life-art? We regulate and discover our life-art through prayer and meditation. When we pray, we come to realise that there is Someone who is listening to us and who is showering His choicest Blessings upon our devoted head. While He is blessing us, He is descending into our prayer and moulding our lives into His very Image. When we meditate, we realise that God is constantly offering us His divine Message. While we were praying, we were talking and God was listening and doing the needful. Now, when we are meditating, we are just receiving. God is the Talker and we are the listener. He is giving us constantly the message of what to do, how to do it, when to do it and why to do it. We are just preparing ourselves so that He can act in and through us in His own inimitable and supreme Way.

The ordinary sound-life is the desire-life. With the desire-life there is always a sense of incompleteness, insufficiency. No matter how much we achieve, there is always something lacking, something missing. But in the silence-life there is always a sense of satisfaction, inner satisfaction. Even if we have only an iota of peace, light and bliss, we feel that we are satisfied. Today we are a tiny drop, but we know that this tiny drop has every opportunity and possibility of entering into the mighty ocean and becoming the mighty ocean itself.

The sound-life and the silence-life both prepare us for joy, unlimited joy. Unfortunately, the human in us quite often makes a deplorable mistake when it notices joy in others or in us. It comes to the conclusion that this joy is self-indulgence. When we notice that somebody is cheerful and happy, immediately we come to the conclusion that he is indulging himself. But this is totally false. Indulgence and happiness are two different things, like north and south pole. Indulgence comes from the undivine part in us. When we indulge in something, we have to know that the undivine in us is cherishing something —- the small in us, not the vast is cherishing something. When we are really happy, we have to know that the divine in us, the infinite in us, is treasuring something and enjoying something.

We enjoy. God enjoys. We enjoy our emotional vital life. God, the supreme Enjoyer, enjoys His Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. Enjoyment in the physical and the vital is the precursor of destruction. But enjoyment in the heart or in the soul is divine, perfect and supreme. Enjoyment in the physical is the pleasure-life. The pleasure-life and the happiness-life are totally different things. In pleasure, what immediately looms large is frustration, and frustration is the harbinger of destruction, whereas happiness is a gradual movement, a gradual progress in us. It is like a river flowing towards its source, the sea, and this source is within us, not without.

In order to enter into the source we have to be satisfied with what we have and what we are, but not in a complacent manner.

Dissatisfaction with what we have and what we are does not mean that we are ready for a higher and more fulfilling life. No. If we are satisfied with what we have and, at the same time, if we know that there is a higher goal, a more fulfilling reality, then we can eventually reach our highest Destination.

Life's ladder is right in front of us. It has quite a few rungs. After we step on the first rung, if we have confidence enough, then we can step to a higher rung. In this way, we move from joy to greater joy to greatest joy. But if we are dissatisfied with where we are, then there is every possibility that the higher rungs also will not give us satisfaction. We have to know that life's process is just like progress through school. From kindergarten, we go to primary school, high school, college, university and so forth. At every moment we have to be satisfied with our present course of study, otherwise we will not study well and we will not progress to a higher level. But inside our satisfaction we should always be aiming at a higher goal. Divine satisfaction is not a complacent feeling. If we become complacent, then we are doomed to disappointment, for we will have no higher goal before us. We will not make any progress at all. We must be satisfied with what we have and, at the same time, we must feel that this is not the highest, the ultimate achievement. Today's goal can never be the ultimate goal. Today's goal has to be tomorrow's starting point, and tomorrow's goal has to be the starting point for the day after tomorrow.

In human life we notice two specific movements. From freedom, we have entered into the world of bondage. And from the world of bondage we are trying to enter into the world of freedom. If we try to live in the inner silence-world, then we feel that we have come into this world from a world of freedom, but that we have misused our freedom in the outer sound-world; therefore, we have been compelled to live in bondage. If we live in the outer sound-world, then we feel that from darkness we are entering into light. The outer sound-life tells us that we are in ignorance but that there is every possibility that we can enter into the world of light and delight and bring it into the earth-plane.

Right now the world of ignorance is our only reality. But when we meditate and light enters into us, we see that we have entered into the realm of darkness for a special purpose. We have to transform everything that is within us into something divine. Each and every part of our being has to be transformed. There is no other reason why we have entered into the world of ignorance. To be perfect in only one part of the being is not sufficient. Perfection must be found on every plane of our consciousness. That is why the light from above must enter into the world.

Service-life is the life of our soul. When we say 'myself', or 'I', we should be referring to the soul and not to the body or the body-consciousness. If I know myself as the soul, then I feel that I am the conscious representative of God. Him to manifest, Him to reveal: this is my purpose on earth. If I am of God and for God, then I must dive deep within. I must have a free access to the real reality within myself. When I feel at one with my inner reality, then I see around and within me the world of perfection.

The ultimate Goal of the sound-life and the silence life is perfection, and this perfection can be founded only upon self-dedication. The message of self-dedication we give through our constant inner cry. The mounting cry wants to reach the Transcendental height of perfect Joy, with all its infinite Light and Delight, for earth's transformation and nature's perfection. Here we are all seekers. This is our supreme task.

Ego and emotion

University of Minnesota; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
26 October 1974

Ego is emotion and emotion is ego. Ego and emotion are the obverse and the reverse of the same coin. There are two types of ego. One ego is self-binding, self-centred. The other ego is self-transcending and all-embracing. The self-centred ego has to be transformed into the self-transcending, all-embracing and God-fulfilling ego. This self-transcending ego is the knowledge of oneness, inseparable oneness with the Infinite, the Eternal, the Absolute and the Immortal.

In this world man has two significant possessions: intelligence and emotion. These two possessions govern our day-to-day life. But very often we see that emotion gets the upper hand in our life. We know that even if someone is extremely intelligent, when his emotion comes to the fore, it will devour him. He is compelled to do what his emotion asks him to do.

The human consciousness deals with emotion in its two different aspects. One type of emotion is impure, unlit and obscure. The other is pure, divine and all-fulfilling. The result of impure emotion is fear. But the divine, pure emotion brings us closest to God.

At times emotion is satisfactory and at times it is not. Human emotion binds us; divine emotion frees us. With human emotion we want to remain in the finite and for the finite. With divine emotion we want to remain in the Infinite, for the Absolute.

There are two ways to approach God. One way is through human emotion, through fear. We can feel, "God is omnipotent. If we do things wrong, then He is going to punish us. We had better try to please Him now, since we have committed Himalayan blunders countless times. The best thing is to please Him." This is the way we approach God through fear. The other way, a far better way, is to feel our oneness with God through divine emotion. At that time we say, "God is Light. I came from Him; I exist on earth only for Him." Human emotion is based on impurity, obscurity, imperfection, limitation, bondage and death. Divine emotion is founded on purity, real closeness to God, a divine feeling of oneness and the certainty that God-realisation is our birthright.

In our day-to-day life we express emotion through devotion. We are devoted to some cause or to someone or to something. When we offer our emotion in the form of devotion to ordinary human beings, it is all attachment. But when we offer our emotion in the form of devotion to God or to our spiritual Master who has realised God, then this is pure, divine devotion. At that time, we feel our oneness with the highest Reality.

In our daily life we express emotion, or ego, to each individual in a different way. We offer our emotion to our father in one way, to our sister in another way, to our friend in a totally different way. We offer our emotion according to our capacity and others receive our emotion according to their receptivity. Each individual has to offer emotion. To others it may be immaterial whether they receive our emotion or not. What is the human father? He is an individual. What is the human mother? She is an individual. What is the human brother? He is an individual. We have to express our emotion to an individual in a particular way. But when we deal with God it is totally different. God is our Father, Mother, Sister, Brother, Friend; He is everything. All relationships we can have with God. With Him there is no bondage. When we deal with God, we can offer Him our divine emotion, our pure emotion. Again, if we offer Him our impure, limited emotion, God accepts it. He illumines our limited, earth-bound, unlit, obscure, impure emotion and transforms it into divine, pure, illumined emotion.

To make the most significant progress we should approach God through purity, sincerity, humility and the feeling of inner oneness. The other approach, through fear, very often leads to frustration, for at every moment we have an inner feeling that we are going to make more mistakes, more blunders. Then we hesitate to approach God at all. And when we do make a mistake, we ask God to forgive us. Then, the moment we feel that God has forgiven us we get a sense of relief; we relax, and again we make mistakes. In the human life we are constantly making mistakes, and we are constantly afraid that God is going to punish us. But God does not want to punish us. Just because you have done something wrong, God need not necessarily punish you. No, He will see how sincerely you want the inner life, the spiritual life, and how fast you want to run towards your Goal.

God is at once our Father and our Mother, our divine Father and our divine Mother. In the West, God the Father is prominent, while in the East, in India especially, God the Mother comes first. Jesus, the Son of God, always used the term 'Father'. He said, "I and my Father are One." Here in the West, the Father comes first. But God is our Mother as well. In India, the feeling for God the Mother is very strong. For the great spiritual Master Sri Ramakrishna, God was Mother Kali. And when India's first Avatar, or direct descendant of God, Sri Ramachandra, had to fight the great anti-divine force, Ravana, he invoked Durga, the Mother Divine. Most of the spiritual Masters of India have invoked God the Mother, while in the West we invoke God the Father. Both East and West are perfectly right. When we realise God the Father, we are bound to see God the Mother within Him. When we realise God the Mother, we will unmistakably see God the Father within Her.

We want to realise God the Father and God the Mother. How can we do this? There are two significant ways. In the West, we use prayer, soulful prayer, inner prayer, constant prayer. The other way is through determined will, adamantine will. In the East, we use will-power, but before will-power we use something else. We feel that we get will-power from concentration and meditation. We concentrate, meditate and contemplate to attain will-power.

Prayer is of paramount importance in the West, and prayer does lead us to God. But while we pray we have to be extremely careful. Very often we do not offer soulful prayer to God. There is a tendency towards conscious desire in our prayer. When we pray with folded hands we often say, "God, please give me this, please do this." There is a feeling of desire in our prayer. Now, when we desire something, we have to know that we are acting like a beggar. On the one hand, we say that we are God's son, God's child and, on the other hand, we are begging like an orphan. This is why it often happens that in the West we do not offer soulful prayer to God with a feeling of oneness. What we do is beg from God. This act of begging takes us away from our dearest, sweetest Father. But if we can pray soulfully, unconditionally and unreservedly, then we will definitely realise the Highest, the Absolute.

As I said before, from concentration, meditation and contemplation we derive divine will-power. Will-power makes us like a prince, whereas prayer, when it is not soulful, makes us like a beggar. Of course, if we use will-power in the wrong way, then we will act like a mad elephant. In that case, there will not be divine dynamism in our will-power; it will be all aggression. But when we use will-power properly, divinely, then we will act like a divine prince. A divine prince knows that the divinity, the real reality within him is at his command. He also feels that his inner divinity is eager to meet him and come to his aid. On the strength of his aspiration he is eagerly entering deep within, and his inner divinity is constantly trying to come to the fore. This is what happens when we exercise our divine will-power.

Will-power also has the capacity to make us feel that God has already given us abundant inspiration and aspiration to realise Him. He will come and stand right in front of us, provided we accept Him in His own way. But when we pray, we tend to seek God in our own way, the way that suits us. We say, "God, I need You, I need You. Early in the morning, I shall pray to You. Please come and stand before me." But with divine will-power we will not do that. The divine will-power says, "I am exercising my inner will to bring my divinity to the fore. Here my role ends. My divinity has to come in its own way, at its own choice Hour." Here there is no begging. Here we say, "I am offering my capacity, my light; let the Divinity within me fulfil itself in its own Way.

When we approach God the Father, we feel His Wisdom, His inner Light, His Vastness. When we approach God the Mother, we feel Her infinite Love, infinite Compassion, infinite Concern. It is not that God the Father does not have Compassion. He also has it. But God expresses Love, Compassion and Concern through the feminine form more than through the masculine form. In the masculine form, He offers Wisdom, Light, Vastness. Each of these divine qualities —- Love, Compassion, Concern, Vastness, Light and Wisdom —- is of paramount importance in the life of each aspiring soul. When we feel in the inmost recesses of our heart God's Love, Concern and Compassion and His Wisdom, Light and Vastness, we know that today's unfulfilled man will soon turn into tomorrow's realised, fulfilled and manifested God.

Yoga and spirituality

University of Honolulu; Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
\28 October 1974/

Dear sisters and brothers, dear seekers, I wish to give a short talk on spirituality. But before I give the talk, with your soul's permission I wish to say something.

At the beginning of the year I had the wish, or you can say desire, to be of dedicated service to all the states and give a talk in each state. In this way, my disciples and I found that we could be of service to aspiring humanity. This evening in Hawaii I am giving my forty-ninth talk. Tomorrow, my final talk will be in Alaska, and then the journey will be over. If we live in the physical consciousness, we will say that this is a self-imposed task. If we live in the soul, we know that it is a God-ordained task.

I have come here to be of service to the seekers of the highest Truth. There are many seekers here. Some are beginners, others have started walking, while others are a little advanced and are running along the spiritual path. Spirituality is a vast field. You can regard spirituality as a body. Inside the body is the heart. Yoga is the heart of the spiritual body.

Yoga is a Sanskrit word. It means 'union with God'. This union is a conscious union. We are all united with God but we are not aware of it. When we practise Yoga, we become conscious of our union with God.

Why practise Yoga? There are millions and billions of people who are not practising Yoga. We want to practise Yoga in order to be satisfied. If we are sincere to ourselves, we know that we have everything except satisfaction. Some seekers feel that everything in life has meaning only when God comes first. They feel that God is the root. When they become one with the root, the source, then everything has meaning and everything is satisfaction. The practice of Yoga can lead us to this goal.

When we enter into the field of Yoga, a few significant questions arise. Is Yoga something normal? Is Yoga something natural? Is Yoga something practical? Is Yoga something attainable? Yoga deals with God. What can be more natural and normal than dealing with God, our very Creator? Yoga is something practical. Yoga is inevitable, for God will not allow any human being to remain unrealised forever. We are all seekers. Some of us are at the foot of the tree, some of us are climbing, some have already reached a great height. But we all have to climb up to the Highest, and from there we can bring down the fruit to the world at large. If we eat and do not offer the fruit to others, then God will not be satisfied. Some seekers want God only for themselves, but this is not the highest attitude. After we have realised God, we have to do something more. We have to reveal God to the world at large. Then God wants us to do something even more significant. He wants us to manifest Him. God-realisation, God-revelation and God-manifestation: these are the three Goals that each seeker must eventually reach. Today God-realisation, tomorrow God-revelation, the day after tomorrow God-manifestation.

Again, God-realisation has no end, God-revelation has no end, God-manifestation has no end. We are aspiring to realise the highest Absolute, but the Absolute can never be bound by anything. The Absolute Supreme is always transcending His own highest transcendental Height. When we go deep within, we see that He is not satisfied with His transcendental Height. It is in self-transcendence only that He gets real satisfaction. In our case also, it is in self-transcendence that we will achieve satisfaction.

Yoga is a subject, an inner subject. This subject has to be taught and loved. In this subject, an inner cry is of paramount importance. With our outer cry, we try to possess earthly material objects. With our inner cry, we try to transcend the earth-bound consciousness and enter into the Heaven-free consciousness.

Yoga is a subject that has to be studied. When we study, there is a student and a teacher. There are many sincere seekers who are reluctant to have a Teacher. They say that God is inside the heart, so it is not necessary to have a Teacher. The Master says, "True, God is inside you. He is inside everything. God is also inside the books that you can read in the library. Why, then, do you go to the university and study under the guidance of a teacher? You study with the help of a teacher because you feel that when you study with him you will learn faster and you will be sure that what you learn is correct, whereas if you study alone, you will go slowly. Doubt may assail you and make you think that you are not learning the right thing. In the spiritual life also, a Teacher is necessary. The spiritual Teacher is not like an ordinary teacher who gives examinations and passes or fails the student. Rather, he is like a private tutor. The spiritual Teacher expedites our journey and increases our thirst for Truth, Light and Bliss. In the spiritual life, the Teacher and the student have a relationship founded upon mutual faith and trust. The student feels that the Teacher has the capacity to illumine him. The Teacher feels that the student is sincere and aspiring.

No human being can be the real Master. The real Master, the real spiritual Teacher, the real Guru is not a human being at all. The real Guru is the Absolute Supreme. The human being who is a spiritual Teacher is like the elder member of the family. The Father has taught the eldest son a few things about inner height and inner power. The Father has told the eldest son, "I have taught you. Now it is your duty to be of service to Me, to help your younger brothers come to Me so that I can also share with them My infinite Wisdom and Light." The eldest son listens to the dictates of the Father and takes the younger brothers who are meant to listen to him to their common Father, the real Guru, who is God Himself.

There are sincere Teachers and false Teachers, just as there are real coins and false coins. How can we recognise a false Teacher? If a Teacher says he will give God-realisation or a spiritual experience in the twinkling of an eye, then rest assured that he is a false Teacher. The Teacher who says that he will give you God-realisation if you give him a large amount of money is a false Teacher.

Creator and Creation. We are fond of the Creation but not of the Creator. But inside the Creation is the Creator. Again, if we are afraid of the Creation and run towards the Creator, that is also a mistake. If we feel that the creation does not have anything to offer, we are making a mistake. Real Yoga will never ask us to renounce the world. We have to accept, transform and divinise the world and bring perfect Perfection onto this earth.

The world has everything except peace of mind. We get peace of mind when we feel that the world can go on without us, but that we cannot go on without the world. We have to know that we are not indispensable; only God is indispensable. When we come to this realisation, only then can we have peace of mind. When we have peace of mind, we love humanity, we expand and spread our wings. When we love humanity, we are satisfied because we have satisfied God.

Dear seekers, let us try to bring down the Highest and become the Highest. What we have seen is God's Light. What we have felt is God's Love. Now, let us grow into God-Delight.

Belief and faith

Alaska Methodist University; Anchorage, Alaska, USA
29 October 1974

Dear seekers, dear sisters and brothers, with your soul's permission, I wish to say a few words before I give my talk. At the beginning of this year, it was the fervent wish of myself and my students to be of dedicated, soulful service to seekers all over the country. In each state we decided to give a talk and offer our dedicated service. Today marks the end of this series. Today, I shall be offering my last talk.

I wish to give a talk on belief and faith from the spiritual point of view. Belief and faith: these are of paramount importance in our spiritual life. They play a significant role in our ordinary life as well.

Belief is usually in the mind, whereas faith is in the heart. Belief, unfortunately, has doubt as its immediate neighbour. What is doubt? Doubt is nothing short of poison. In the spiritual life, when doubt enters into our mind, we can make no progress. Even in the ordinary life, when we doubt someone, in no way do we gain anything from our doubt. Today we doubt someone, tomorrow we try to cultivate some faith in that person and, the day after tomorrow, we doubt our own capacity to make any judgement. When we doubt someone, we may not lose our faith all at once. But when we doubt ourselves, that marks the end of our inner progress. Doubt is a dangerous road that leads to destruction.

Faith has conviction as its immediate neighbour. We can be very happy and very cheerful when faith abides in our heart. What is conviction? Conviction is the precursor of God-discovery and self-discovery. Self-discovery and God-discovery are one and the same. When we discover ourselves, we come to know that God-realisation was always our birthright, but we had forgotten to exercise that birthright.

Belief does not discriminate. Very often mental belief accepts both good and bad, divine and undivine, the fleeting and the Eternal, the finite and the Infinite, the mortal and the Immortal. But we have to be very careful when we are dealing with something finite and transitory, something undivine and hostile, for we may be totally ruined when we play with the undivine forces that are within us or outside us.

Faith is very careful. It always discriminates. It accepts only the Real, the Divine, the Eternal, the Infinite, the Immortal. If we accept the Real in us and not the unreal, then we grow into the Transcendental Reality. If we accept Infinity and Immortality, then naturally in the course of time, in the process of our evolution, we will grow into Infinity and Immortality. If we accept the Divine in us, then we will eventually grow into Divinity.

Human belief has two good friends: imagination and inspiration. Very often we are told that imagination is sheer mental hallucination, but this is absolutely absurd. Imagination is the harbinger of realisation. If there is no imagination, there can be no creation. All the great discoveries of science were founded on the inner, illumined imagination. What we call imagination today, tomorrow will become realisation. Inspiration is always significant, both in the ordinary life and in the spiritual life. When we are inspired, we enter into the field of creativity. If our goal is a far cry, on the strength of our inspiration we can cover half the distance almost sooner than at once.

Belief has rational values. Faith has constructive and creative values. When we cultivate our inner faith, we see that the Inner Pilot is experiencing His own Silence-Height in and through His earth-sound. What He was in silence is being manifested in sound as a divinising and immortalising force on earth. The supreme Artist is the Inner Pilot. When we have constructive and creative values, life itself becomes a supreme art.

Belief, in the human mind, quite often has to convince itself. Also, it dares to convince others, even though very often it is wanting in conviction itself. Belief can be shattered by the buffets of life, but it can be strengthened when opportunity continuously knocks at our mind's door. But faith is always conviction itself. In faith there looms large man's inseparable oneness with the Universal Consciousness, with the Transcendental Height.

Faith is always giving and becoming. Faith is self-giving and faith is God-becoming. Faith has the inner, indomitable strength to transcend its own height of light and delight and enter into the ocean of infinite Light and Delight. Belief is just a tiny drop in the ocean of Consciousness, while faith is the ocean itself.

From the spiritual point of view, in the inner or psychic plane, belief and faith have two distinct and different roles. Belief tries to free us from the earth-bound time. Time is binding us; therefore, we wallow in the meshes of ignorance and treasure consciously or unconsciously our existence there. But when belief looms large and comes to the fore, we try to go far beyond the domains of earth-bound time. Then, when faith starts playing its role, we see that Heaven-free time, eternal Time, becomes our friend and encourages and inspires us to live in the everlasting Reality of Universal Truth and Transcendental Bliss.

Belief has; faith is. Belief has God-vision, God the Cosmic Vision. Faith is God-Reality, God the Transcendental Reality. Belief and faith are like the obverse and the reverse of the same coin. They are like complementary souls. Belief carries us to the highest realm of consciousness. Faith brings us down from the highest Transcendental Consciousness so that we can distribute Peace, Light and Bliss to the world at large.

In order to cultivate belief and faith in ourselves, we need two intimate and constant friends. These friends are prayer and meditation. Prayer helps us realise the highest Height. In prayer we climb high, higher, highest and see the Face of God. We cry and He listens to our fervent cry, our inmost cry. When we meditate, the Supreme Lord, our Eternal Beloved, comes down and dictates to us what to do, how to transform our nature, how to immortalise our life and how to derive satisfaction from our day-to-day, multifarious activities. If we listen to God's dictates, we feel that our life on earth is not a tissue of unrealities but that a supreme Reality is operating in and through us. We feel that we are the chosen instruments of God. He utilises us in His inimitable, supreme Way. We consciously take part in His Cosmic Journey. Him to embody, Him to reveal, Him to manifest, we come to earth again and again. This realisation dawns in our devoted heads and surrendered hearts when we give due value to our ever-mounting belief and to our ever-descending and all-illumining faith.

Earth versus heaven

Harvard University; Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Andover Hall, Harvard Divinity School
16 April 1975

Dear seekers, dear brothers and sisters, I have come here to be of service to you. To serve you is to please my Inner Pilot and your Inner Pilot. At this place I shall be giving seven spiritual talks. I wish to offer all these talks to the hallowed memory of the late President Kennedy, who studied at Harvard. I wish to offer our experiences to the great soul, Kennedy, who envisioned a better America, and not only a better America but a better world. Let us take it as our bounden duty to offer our experiences and dedicated service to this most illustrious soul.

Here we are all seekers; therefore, we all must needs be lovers of God. A true lover of God is he who believes in God's Existence as both personal and impersonal. In His personal aspect God is all Heart. In His impersonal aspect He is boundless Light, boundless Energy. In His personal aspect God's Head is Heaven and God's Heart is earth. Heaven is great because it owns God's Head. Earth is good because it owns and treasures God's Heart.

In Heaven we see God's Eye. On earth we see God's Feet. With God's Eye we enter into His world of silence. With His Feet we follow Him into the world of sound, cosmic sound. In the world of silence we see God as many in the One. In the world of sound we see God as One in the many.

Earth is God's progress-tree. Heaven is God's success-fruit. Here on earth God aspires in and through us. He transcends His Height every day to offer to humanity success-fruit from Heaven-Consciousness, which He showers on our devoted heads and surrendered hearts. Here on earth we, the seekers of the Ultimate Truth, listen to God and obey His commands, which we feel deep in the inmost recesses of our hearts. He wants us to aspire like Him and climb up the mountain of realisation. In Heaven we do what God Himself does. We swim with Him in the sea of Light and Delight. On earth there is only one question: who is God? In Heaven there is the answer: everybody is God. Here on earth each human being unconsciously represents God, the Ultimate Truth. But when he starts aspiring, he comes to realise that God-realisation, God-revelation and God-manifestation are his birthrights.

Two supreme God-lovers: Sri Krishna and the Christ. Sri Krishna taught us that God is our eternal Friend. If we dive deep within, we will realise this Friend. We can easily play with Him in the garden of our heart.

The Christ taught us that God is our eternal Father. We are His children. We pray to our Beloved Father to grant us Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure so that we can be perfect instruments of His, Him to serve, Him to love, Him to fulfil in His own Way. When we dive deep within, we hear God's message. He tells us that it is His bounden duty to feed us in Heaven and it is our bounden duty to feed Him on earth. He feeds us with His infinite ocean of Compassion, and we feed Him with a drop, an iota of gratitude. We love Heaven because Heaven tells us secretly that we are of God, our source is God. We love earth because earth openly tells us that we are only for God and God alone.

The seeker of the Ultimate Truth eventually discovers two things in the inmost recesses of his heart: what he has is God's transcendental Beauty in Heaven, and what he is is God's sempiternal Duty on earth.

Mother Earth, to you I bow. Father Heaven, to you I bow.

With knowledge how far?

Harvard University; Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Andover Hall, Harvard Divinity School
23 April 1975

Dear seekers, dear sisters and brothers, with knowledge how far? With your kind permission, I shall speak on this subject strictly from the spiritual point of view.

What is knowledge? Knowledge is information. What is information? Information is man's greedy interest in the world-sound.

What is knowledge? Knowledge is the discoveries of the mind. These discoveries can be in the mind proper, in the vital and in the body. To the mind, knowledge in the mind is something rigid, fixed and complicated. Knowledge in the vital is something dynamic, or aggressive and destructive. Knowledge in the body, in the gross physical, is something obscure and uninspiring.

What is knowledge? Knowledge is man's outer desire to help humanity, but his secret desire to please himself in every possible way. Knowledge is something that keeps the knower and the known at two different places. The knower plays the role of the master; the known plays the role of the slave.

Knowledge is the little brother of wisdom. The big brother, wisdom, teaches us how to be inseparably and eternally one with the supreme Reality, the Transcendental Reality. The little brother, knowledge, feels that the supreme Reality will eternally remain a far cry; therefore, he wants to be satisfied with the lesser reality. Knowledge wants to measure the lesser reality, and finally it wants to distribute the lesser reality to the world at large in infinitesimal portions.

What is the lesser knowledge? The lesser knowledge is the earth-bound knowledge. The lesser knowledge is the knowledge which tells us that we are of ignorance-night and we are for ignorance-night. It is the knowledge that tells us that all is matter, within and without us. When we embrace the knowledge of matter, we try and cry, cry and try, to satisfy ourselves in the pleasure-seeking world. We consciously or unconsciously wallow in the pleasures of ignorance-mire. As there is earth-bound knowledge, even so, there is Heaven-free knowledge. When Heaven-free knowledge dawns on our devoted heads and surrendered hearts, at that time we can proclaim like the Saviour, "I and my Father are one."

With knowledge how far? Not very far. When we start with earth-knowledge, we do not and cannot look forward; we are always stuck at the starting point. We cannot walk along the road of Infinity and Eternity; we cannot walk in the realm of the Transcendental Spirit. But when we start with divine wisdom and try to walk along the road of Eternity, we see that the Golden Shore is ever beckoning us and that the distance is growing always shorter.

With knowledge how far? When we start with human knowledge, we enter into the world of no-where. When we start with divine wisdom, we enter into the world of all-where. Human knowledge is the wild laughter of possession. Divine knowledge is the sweet, illumining and fulfilling song of liberation and perfection.

Human knowledge is our common sense. Divine knowledge is our God-sense. With our human knowledge we declare that our body is all, that the physical in us is all. With our divine knowledge we proclaim God as our Eternity's All; we proclaim His constant Self-Transcendence as our All.

Human knowledge is the education of the unconscious or conscious ego-self in the finite. Divine wisdom is the education of the God-Self in the Infinite. Human knowledge belongs to the desire-world and desire-world is nothing short of frustration-world.

Human knowledge leads us to cry:

Asato ma sad gamaya
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya
Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya

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

Divine knowledge inspires us to voice forth:

Anandaddhyeva khalvimani butani jayante
Anandena jatani jivanti
Anandam prayantyabhisamvisanti

From Delight we came into existence.
In Delight we grow.
At the end of our journey's close into Delight we shall retire.

God-knowledge tells us that each seeker must feel his inseparable oneness with his Inner Pilot. On the strength of his inner oneness, he proclaims to the world at large that he is Eternity's divine lover and that God, his Inner Pilot, is Eternity's Beloved Supreme.

Intellectual versus spiritual

Harvard University; Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Andover Hall, Harvard Divinity School
30 April 1975

He is intellectual. What does it mean? It means that the weight of his head far surpasses the weight of the rest of his body.

You are spiritual. What does it mean? It means that the weight of your heart far surpasses the weight of the rest of your body.

There is a striking difference between his head and your heart. His head quite often does not love his body. His head belittles the body's capacity and the needs of the physical. But you have a different story to tell. Your heart loves your body. Your heart inspires your body to love God. From its own personal experiences your heart tells your body that there is only one way to be happy and fulfilled and that is to love God and serve God in every way.

Although his head does not care for God the infinite Light, infinite Energy, infinite Compassion, infinite Delight, still his head wants to capture God, measure God, bind God and scrutinise God. It is impossible, but his head wants to break and cut asunder God, the evolving Cosmic Tree.

But your heart does not want to capture God, bind God and measure God, for your heart knows that God is infinite, God is immortal. Your heart wants only to love God and surrender its very existence to God and God alone. Your heart cries for God and tries to live in God.

Inside his head there is the intellect. This intellect wants the world to kiss the dust of its feet. It wants to prove that its existence on earth is something meaningful and valuable.

Inside your heart is the light that tries to illumine the world within and without. Inside your heart is the love that unifies the inner world with the outer world. Inside your heart is the delight that immortalises your existence here on earth and there in Heaven.

Being an intellectual man, he tries to inform the world at large. Being a spiritual man, you try to transform the world within you and around you. An intellectual man tries to compel the world around him to see what intellect can do. A spiritual man tries to offer to the world around him only what God wants him to offer and reveal.

My intellect-friend and my spirituality-friend play their respective roles. My intellect-friend fascinates me; my spirituality-friend illumines me. My intellect-friend has all the time in the world to criticise my shortcomings. My spirituality-friend forgives me day in and day out and accepts my mistakes as his very own. My spirituality-friend accepts me as I am. Slowly, steadily and unerringly my spirituality-friend carries me into the world of self-transcendence, where I eventually become inseparably one with the Beloved Supreme.

The intellect has an intimate friend: the reasoning mind. This reasoning mind is unfortunately quite often assailed by the doubting and suspicious mind. The mind of destruction has a free access to the suspicious mind. In the reasoning mind there is rarely any happiness. In the doubting and suspicious mind happiness is never to be found at all. On the contrary, there we notice the dance of destruction, total destruction.

Spirituality has a true friend: faith. This faith abides in the inmost recesses of our hearts. This faith embodies God, reveals God and manifests God. In the conscious embodiment of God, our faith brings us to our first destination. In the revelation of God our faith carries us to our second destination. In the manifestation of God, our faith carries us to our third and ultimate destination.

In our day-to-day life, in our ordinary multifarious activities, what we need is intelligence. When we go one step forward in our outer life, we see that we need intellect. If we do not have intelligence, we cannot survive. If we do not have intellect, we cannot see the truth in minute detail. Both intelligence and intellect know what ignorance is, but they do not consciously try to come out of ignorance-night.

In our inner life we have a bosom friend: intuition. Intuition is the life of the soul; intuition is the express train that expedites our Godward journey. Again, intuition's flame burns the past. It burns our undivine previous life. It illumines our present life. It brings to the fore the remote future within us. With our intuitive power we create a new life within us. With our intuitive power we grow into the very Image of our Beloved Supreme.

The so-called intelligence, a seeker of the highest Truth does not need. Nor does he need the so-called intellect. What he needs is an inner cry. On the strength of his inner cry, he can easily have a free access to the world of intuition. And inside intuition there looms large salvation, liberation and perfection.

The intelligence which we get from book knowledge cannot help us discover our inmost reality. It cannot help us reach the highest pinnacle. It is our inner cry that helps us dive into the deepest realm of our consciousness, that helps us climb up to the ever-transcending consciousness.

In India, Sri Ramakrishna and other spiritual Masters of the highest order did not care for earthly knowledge or intellect. They cried only for God, like children, and intuition became their immediate friend, their constant and eternal friend. Here in the West, the Christ also had intuition at his disposal. With his intuitive power he realised his Father and distributed his Father's Light to the world at large. Intellect is of paramount importance when the physical in us no longer wants to remain submerged in lethargy, in darkest night. Intellect is a beginning rung in the evolving ladder of consciousness. But the intuition-rung is infinitely higher than the intellect-rung.

A seeker of the Ultimate Truth may start his journey with knowledge and intellect, or he can start his journey directly from intuition. His inner cry can easily carry him to the intuition plane without entering into the intellectual world.

My intellect-teacher eventually tells me that he does not know the answer. My spirituality-teacher tells me that he knows everything. He tells me something else: he tells me that it is God alone who knows everything in and through him.

My intellect-friend is a mental giant. He wants to devour the world. My spirituality-friend is also a giant, a soulful giant. The soulful giant-friend of mine wants to unburden God's imponderable burden, God's immeasurable burden. He wants to unburden God according to his capacity, according to the power of his receptivity, which God has granted him out of His infinite Bounty.

One giant frightens the world and wants to devour the world. Another giant wants to put an end to the world's excruciating pangs, wants to change the face and fate of the world radically so that here on earth the Kingdom of Heaven will become a living reality.

Eventually the intellectual giant will be transformed into a spiritual giant. When we are transformed, we feel that this world of ours need not and cannot remain always in ignorance-dream —- that it need not and cannot consciously wallow in the pleasures of ignorance forever. In the transformation of the physical the reality of the Beyond claims us as its very own. In the transformation of the vital our aggressive animal qualities are transformed into the dynamism of the soul's light. In the transformation of the mind the finite loses its very raison d'etre in the Light and Delight of Infinity.

The mind-power versus the heart-power

Harvard University; Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Andover Hall, Harvard Divinity School
28 May 1975
3:00 pm

The mind-power is the world information-power. From the world information — power we come to know what the world looks like. The world looks like a round orange. The only difference is that the world badly and sadly lacks the delicious taste of an orange. From the world information we come to know how the world is. The world is extremely sick; it needs immediate treatment.

The heart-power is the world experience-power. From the world experience- power we discover what the world actually is. The world is a devoted instrument of God. From the world experience-power we discover what the world stands for. The world stands for conscious God-realisation, continuous God-revelation and constant God-manifestation.

The mind-power is perception-power. With this power we perceive a thing, a reality, but we do not achieve the thing or the reality. The heart-power is identification-power. With this power we not only achieve, but also become. What do we achieve? We achieve God-perfection at God's choice Hour. And what do we become? We become God-satisfaction, also at His choice Hour.

The mind-power is the penetration-power of inspiration. Inspiration gets satisfaction only when it reaches its cottage-destination. The heart-power is the realisation-power of aspiration. Aspiration is satisfied only when it reaches and becomes its palace-destination.

The mind-power wants to reason deliberately and skilfully. But, to its wide surprise, it sees the end of its life-journey in frustration-night. In the reasoning mind there can be no satisfaction, no abiding satisfaction. He who wants to live in the world of the reasoning mind can never be satisfied. Satisfaction always remains a far cry. But the heart-power is revealed devotedly and soulfully. He who is ready and eager to be reasonable soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally will march along Eternity's road in the heart, in the light of Immortality's being.

The mind-power believes in the existence of reality only after it has seen the face of reality and not a second before. The heart-power spontaneously believes in the existence of reality. It does not need any proof. The heart is spontaneity. Reality is at once the seed and the fruit of the heart's spontaneity.

The mind-power is afraid of the heart-power. It is afraid of the heart-power because it thinks that it will lose its individuality and personality the moment it enters into the vast sea of oneness of the heart. Unfortunately, the heart-power is also afraid at times of the mind-power. It feels that it will be totally destroyed in the volcano of the mind's destructive sense of separativity. But this unfortunate fear of the heart's does not last forever. The soul eventually gets the opportunity to convince the heart that its qualities —- softness, sweetness, kindness, sympathy, sacrifice and feeling of divine oneness with the inner Supreme Pilot—can never be destroyed. When the aspiring heart accepts this loftiest message of the soul, the heart no longer fears the mind. On the contrary, it invites the mind —- not challenges, but invites and welcomes the mind—to receive the light that it has already received from the soul.

The mind-power wears out long before it reaches its destination. If it misuses its power, then it loses its capacity very soon, sooner than at once. Even if it properly uses it, the mind-power does not last forever. The mind-power does not house inexhaustible reality.

The heart-power, which is founded upon the oneness-power, soul's oneness-power, is at once the expression and the revelation of the Transcendental Vision and the Universal Reality.

The mind-power is a short-lived power, an occult and miraculous power. The heart-power is a psychic power, an eternal power, a normal and natural power of God, which God has granted us out of His infinite Bounty. The life that is dominated by curiosity is fascinated by the occult, miraculous power. But it is the normal, natural psychic power that we embody deep within the inmost recesses of our hearts that illumines the animal in us, liberates the human in us and fulfils the divine in us.

The mind-power tells God, "Lord, I am as great as You are, I am as good as You are, I am as perfect as You are." The Lord smiles and says, "Son, you are as good as I am, you are as great as I am, you are as perfect as I am." But when the mind says, "I am as great as You," here we notice the play of ego, the play of challenge. The ego of the mind comes to the fore and wants to be on the same footing as God's Transcendental Divinity and Reality. But when God says, "My son, you are as great, as good and as perfect as I am," here we notice the song of oneness, the silence that embodies Reality. The Silence that embodies the omnipresent Reality of God, God reveals through His cosmic Sound when He tells the mind that it is as great, as good and as perfect as He is. When I say I am as great as you are, at that time my ego comes to the fore. But when I say that you are as great as I am, at that time my illumining and my fulfilling oneness plays its divine and supreme role.

The heart-power says to God, "Lord, I know You are infinite, You are eternal, You are immortal. I know how helpless and useless I am. I make no comparison. But Lord, please grant me only one boon: I wish to claim You eternally as my own, very own." The Lord immediately says to the heart-power, "My son, you are not helpless, you are not hopeless, you are not useless. You are what I am, you have what I have. What I am is Eternity's Transcendence-Reality, and what I have is Infinity's immortal and constant manifestation. You and I, My son, are not only equal, but One, inseparably One. When you see Me, when you see My Height and Depth, you will realise what you eternally are, what you have been since the time of creation, even before the manifest creation. And when I see you, when I manifest Myself in and through you, I feel and see My Expansion, My Perfection, My Satisfaction in and through you. You need Me to reach My Height; I need you to manifest My Depth. We are One, the obverse and reverse of the same coin. I complement you; you complement Me. Through you I sing the song of My manifestation. Through Me you sing the song of your realisation."

How to solve world problems

Harvard University; Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Andover Hall, Harvard Divinity School
28 May 1975
8:00 pm

What is a problem? A problem is a disheartening or discouraging incident in the life of an unaspiring human being. A problem is an unwanted, unwarranted, yet meaningful experience in the heart of an aspiring seeker, a seeker of the Transcendental Truth, a seeker of the ever-transcending Consciousness, a seeker of God's ever-fulfilling Dream on earth.

Each problem is a blind force. This force is of ignorance and for ignorance. And what is ignorance? Ignorance is something in us that wants to fulfil the unreal in us. What is the unreal in us? The unreal in us is our conscious or unconscious acceptance of separation from God-Reality, God-Divinity, God-Eternity, God-Infinity and God-Immortality. Each human being is a world of his own. Each human being has a world of his own. When he looks within, he is a world; when he looks without, he has a world. His world within is an illumining world, a fulfilling world, a God-loving world, a God-manifesting world. His world without is an unmanageable, uncontrollable, discouraging and disheartening world. This world constantly makes him feel that he is hopeless and useless. This world makes him feel that he is not meant to be God's chosen instrument, he is not meant to fulfil God and manifest God, he is not meant to be in the Golden Boat that sails to our God-Destination.

Each individual has to face world problems. Again, each individual is a world problem himself. When he opens his eyes, he has all the world problems to face. He has to cope with them. When he closes his eyes, he becomes really and truly a world problem to himself. When he opens his eyes, world ignorance tries to capture him and make him a victim to world destruction. When he closes his eyes, he does not want to participate in the Cosmic Game. He wants to remain aloof from God's Cosmic Drama. He wants to maintain his own unlit, obscure, impure individuality and personality. He becomes the problem of problems.

How to solve world problems? There are some people who are of the opinion that world problems can never be solved; therefore, a wise man is he who consciously and constantly ignores or avoids world problems. Again, there are people who think that by assessing world problems, or by judging world problems, there will come a time when the world problems will automatically be solved. Again, there are people who think that the world problems can never be surmounted, can never be solved; therefore, they feel that they should just enjoy what little they have. If they have pleasure at their disposal, they are ready to accept and embrace this fleeting pleasure. Since world problems cannot be solved, they say, a short-lived, fleeting pleasure-life is what they need.

But the seeker in a human being will never be satisfied unless and until the world problems are solved. The real seeker in us knows that there is a way to solve all the countless problems of the world, and that way is to accept the world problems as such and then try to bring perfection into the world problems. How do we accept the world problems? We must accept the world problems as our own problems, personal problems. And how do we perfect the world problems? We perfect the world problems by perfecting ourselves and by perfecting the things that we claim as our own.

World problems can be solved only when we consciously remind ourselves of our soul's promise to God before we entered into the world arena. This creation of God's we have to accept as our field of experience, as our field of experiment, as our field of God-revelation and God-manifestation. Each individual soul, before it assumes its earthly cloak, makes the solemn promise to God to see God in God's own Way, to fulfil God in God's own way. But the ignorance of the world veils the light of the soul and the promise of the soul; it veils even God's Assurance. This experience of the soul is an unfortunate incident in the soul's life, but it does not last forever. God's infinite Compassion from Above and man's inner urge meet together and the soul again comes to the fore, offers its light to the world of obscurity and fulfils the promise that it made to the Absolute Supreme.

How to solve world problems? We can solve world problems by our heart's prayer and by our life's meditation. Prayer is our conscious invocation of God's all-illumining Compassion from Above. Meditation is our conscious manifestation of God's illumination on earth. We pray in order to reach the Highest, the Transcendental Height. We meditate in order to bring down the Transcendental Height and manifest it here on earth. When we pray, we enter into the realm of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. Existence is the first runner, Consciousness is the second runner and Bliss is the third runner in the divine relay race of the Cosmic Game. The first runner reaches Eternity's Height. The second runner reaches Infinity's Length. The third runner reaches Immortality's Life.

We solve world problems by invoking Peace, Light and Bliss in abundant measure, according to our power of receptivity. The Hand of God that feeds the seeker in us is Peace. The Eye of God that leads and guides the server in us is Light. The Heart of God that immortalises the divine lover in us is Bliss. Self-control brings about world peace. World peace conquers world problems. In self-control is God-confidence. God-confidence is man's ultimate satisfaction. In man's ultimate satisfaction God the man achieves perfection on earth and man the God achieves realisation in Heaven.

The power that dominates cannot solve world problems. The power that loves can solve world problems. The power that feels insufficient, inadequate in the absence of one member of the world-community, can solve world problems. The power that declares "united in the heart's world we stand; divided in the mind's world we fall," can easily solve world problems.

A life of silence is the fastest way to solve world problems. But this life of silence is not the silence of the senses. This life of silence is the vision of the supreme Reality which is constantly trying to come to the fore. It is only in the silence-life that the sound-life can meet with its own satisfaction. God's Sound-Life is His Life of Omnipotence. This omnipotent power man can consciously develop. And once he has developed this power he sees that this power he eternally is.

What is this omnipotent power? It is the power that unifies the One with the many and the many with the One. It is the power that finds its fulfilment in self-giving. Self-giving is done not in the sense of sacrifice but with the feeling of the whole as one real reality. The vastness of Infinity is one's own. Just because each individual plays a distinct role, he feels that only the sense of multiplicity can fulfil the reality in us. But when he prays and meditates, when he aspires, he comes to realise that multiplicity is alive, multiplicity exists, because unity is there as its source. This unity is in the soul, while multiplicity is in the body. When we climb up, we sing the song of unity. When we climb down, we dance the dance of multiplicity.

A life of problems is for him who does not aspire, who lives in the desire-world. There is no problem, there can be no problem for him who wants to swim in the sea of light. A problem is night, the night that binds, the night that blinds us. But a seeker is he who always wants to remain in the effulgence of light. This light does not expose ignorance-night; it illumines and transforms ignorance-night.

When the seeker remains in the soul and bathes in the soul, he feels there is no problem, there can be no problem. When the seeker remains in the body-consciousness, he sees teeming problems in his daily multifarious activities in countless forms. But just because he is a seeker of the infinite Light, Truth and Bliss, he knows that these problems are not going to last forever. On the contrary, he feels that each problem is a hurdle, a challenge, and in each challenge is a new world of hope, a new world of God-Vision, a new world of God-Reality.

He who does not aspire considers a problem a curse and he who aspires considers it a blessing in disguise. A seeker of the highest Truth accepts world problems as something that can be transformed, illumined and perfected. Each problem he transforms into an additional blessing. To him a problem is an experience and this experience is utilised in a divine way to fulfil a supreme cause. He takes each problem as a blessing which he can use as a stepping-stone to reach the Golden Shore of the ever-transcending Beyond. Just because he is a seeker, he is all compassion. He feels that the proper thing for him is not to discard ignorance-cloak, but to fix it, transform it and make it usable. He takes ignorance-night as part and parcel of his existence. He considers ignorance-night as lesser light, and the lesser light consciously grows into the greater light. Ignorance-night is the younger brother and wisdom-light is the elder brother. The elder brother carries the younger brother to the parent sun for immortal illumination and immortal perfection.

Is spirituality an escape from reality?

Harvard University; Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Andover Hall, Harvard Divinity School
9 June 1975
3:00 pm

The answer has to be always in the negative. Spirituality can never be an escape from reality. What is spirituality? Spirituality is the fruit of reality. And what is reality? Reality is the seed of spirituality. The seed and the fruit are together and inseparable. Today what is seed, tomorrow becomes fruit. The day after tomorrow it becomes seed again, and the following day it becomes once more fruit. In the heart of time the seed and the fruit change their respective roles and play a game of constant oneness-manifestation.

Is spirituality an escape from reality? No, never! Who escapes? He who feels that he has done something wrong. He who feels that the inner world or the outer world have reason to punish him. A thief wants to escape because he has stolen something, but the seeker is aspiring all the time to do the right thing. A seeker who is eventually going to become a saint is not stealing anything from anybody. He is praying to bring down Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure.

He who feels that his reality is insufficient, insignificant, will try to escape from the reality itself. But the real Reality is all-pervading; nobody can escape from that Reality. The unreal in us wants to escape from the real in us. The unreal in us sees its shortcomings, its deficiencies, its limitations: therefore, it tries to escape from the vast Reality-existence. But the unreal in us unfortunately does not know that the real Reality is all-pervading; it has an omnipresent existence.

The animal in us wants to devour the human in us. It feels that by devouring the human in us it can achieve satisfaction. The human in us doubts the existence of divine Light; therefore, it tries to challenge the divinity within and without us. It feels that by challenging the divinity and by doubting, suspecting and ignoring the divinity it can derive satisfaction. This idea is absurd. As it is impossible for the animal in us to destroy the human in us totally, even so, the human in us cannot doubt forever, cannot blight forever the brilliant effulgence of the divine Light within us. The human in us will never be destroyed by the animal because the human in us is crying for something higher, for the higher Light, for inner Peace. Naturally one day, without fail, the human in us will be inundated with higher Light and inner Peace. And the human in us will not be able to doubt or blight the purity of the divinity within us forever, precisely because the divinity within us is infinite, eternal and immortal. The human in us will sooner or later surrender to the divine in us, just as the animal in us has to surrender to the human in us.

Real spirituality has to accept the world as it is. If spirituality wants to wait for the improvement of the world or if spirituality wants a better world in which to offer its light, then spirituality will have to wait for eternity. But spirituality is wise. It does not wait. It knows that the world is evolving and progressing. Each individual is progressing. Some are progressing slowly, while others are progressing fast and still others are progressing very, very fast. He who has an intense inner cry will naturally run the fastest. We have to accept the world and change the face of the world, transform the world of desire into the world of aspiration and transform the world of aspiration into the world of illumination and perfection. Acceptance-song we must always sing. We have to sing the acceptance-song inside the body, inside the vital, inside the mind, inside the heart. Anything that is given to us by God, the Author of all good, must be utilised properly, Him to serve in His own Way.

If we sing the other song, which we call the renunciation-song, we have to be extremely careful. Renunciation is a very complicated word and a very significant word in our spiritual terminology. For the last four thousand years, Indian seekers and some of the Indian spiritual Masters have sung the song of renunciation. If we begin to renounce, we will soon discover that there is nothing in us that we do not have to renounce eventually in order to attain satisfaction. Today we feel that our body is imperfect and ignorant; therefore, let us renounce the body. Tomorrow we shall feel that our vital is aggressive and undivine, so we shall try to renounce the vital. The day after tomorrow we will feel that our mind is unlit, impure, obscure, and we shall renounce the mind. The following day we shall see that our heart is very weak; it cannot resist temptation; therefore, we shall renounce the heart. In this way anything that we claim as our own, we shall renounce. But if we renounce everything that we have or that we inwardly are, how are we going to see the face of satisfaction? It is simply impossible. That is why we have to walk along the other road, the road of acceptance.

We must know that we have a soul, which is a spark of the highest Divinity, within us. This soul has Light in boundless measure and this soul abides in the inmost recesses of our hearts. On the strength of our aspiration we can feel the soul's Light inside our heart, and from the heart we can bring down the soul's light into the mind; from the mind we can bring it into the vital and from the vital into the physical.

A seeker is he who wants to please God, who wants to please the real in himself, who wants to do the first thing first. The first thing is to love God and please God. The real in us is God and nobody else. By accepting what we have right now and what we stand for on earth, we shall eventually fulfil the divinity within us and the reality within us.

Now we have two lives: the desire-life and the aspiration-life. The desire-life feels that the fulfilment of the senses, whether they are purified or not, is everything. The pleasure-life is everything for the desire-life. For the aspiration-life, pleasure-life is not everything. On the contrary, it is absolutely nothing. The life of joy is everything. Pleasure-life is something that secretly compels us to deny the real Reality in us. The real Reality is all-pervading, inseparable oneness. The life of joy openly teaches us how to establish an inseparable oneness with the world at large. In the pleasure-life, the sense of separativity constantly looms large. Pleasure is in the limited earth-bound existence. And joy is in the unlimited Heaven-free existence.

When a seeker starts praying and meditating, either consciously or unconsciously, he feels the necessity of the aspiration-life. Many times a seeker prays and meditates unconsciously; therefore, he does not march continuously, he halts at times. But when he becomes conscious, he walks or runs along the road all the time, twenty-four hours a day. And he sees inside himself a different life, not a human life which spans sixty, seventy or eighty years, but a life that transcends both human life and human death. When the seeker starts consciously walking along Eternity's road, slowly, steadily and unerringly he reaches his Destined Goal.

When the seeker reaches his Goal, to his wide surprise he finds that his Goal is nothing but a new starting point. Why? His inner hunger has increased. The life that he has seen and become is not enough for him. He needs more light, abundant light, infinite Light. When a child is in kindergarten, his destination is primary school. When he is in primary school, his destination is high school. When he is in high school, his destination is college. And, when he is in college, his destination is the university. When he completes his university course, he is still not satisfied, even in spite of having a Master's Degree or a Ph.D., for he knows that there is no end to his knowledge. He wants to discover more about the world—more truth, more knowledge. He knows that there is no end to the things he can learn. This is in the ordinary life, the life of human knowledge. In the life of divine wisdom, which is infinitely more powerful, which deals with Eternity, Infinity and Immortality, one has to be continuously a student. Like the great philosopher Socrates, we have to become eternal students.

Spiritual life is the life of love and satisfaction. The love that we achieve from our spiritual life is the love that grows, glows and flows. Unlike human love, which strangles and is strangled while it is trying to possess something or someone, divine love continuously grows and blossoms within us. Divine love is a flower; its offering is its fragrance. When the seeker smells the fragrance, he feels that his inner being is purified and his outer existence is purified.

Satisfaction can be achieved in two ways: through destruction and through perfection. The animal in us and the human in us try to derive satisfaction from destruction. The human in us wants to devour the world of reality. The human in us invents bombs to destroy the world and then both the animal and the human feel that they will have satisfaction. But the divine in us knows that satisfaction, true satisfaction, can never be achieved by destroying reality. As a matter of fact, the real Reality can never be destroyed. It is not only omnipresent but it is also omnipotent. Instead, the divine finds satisfaction in perfecting the limited reality that it discovers here on earth. In this way only can divine satisfaction, lasting satisfaction, be attained.

The world is God's Dream. And God's Dream and God's Reality are inseparable. God cannot exist with only His Reality, without having a dream. Again, He cannot exist with only His Dream. His Dream and His Reality are like His Soul and His Body. The Body, let us say, is Reality and the Soul is Dream. The Cosmic Dream is constantly running, flying, diving into uncharted planes. It has made friends with Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. The Cosmic Reality is static: it holds the Cosmic Vision. It is like a dancer who needs something to stand upon to dance. Reality God needs in order to perform the Cosmic Game, which is the manifestation of His Cosmic Vision or Dream.

Spirituality and Reality are inseparable. Spirituality is the sky within us and Reality is the sea within us. In the sky-consciousness we get the message of delight. When delight enters into freedom, we see that freedom has become the Face of the Transcendental Supreme. When freedom enters into delight, we see that delight has become the Smile of the Transcendental Supreme. The life of freedom and the life of delight each seeker has within himself. When he practises prayer, concentration and meditation, the day soon dawns when he discovers that he himself has eternally been the very thing that he has long been searching for. When his dream-boat carries him to the Reality-Shore, he sees that that Reality-Shore is nothing other than his own forgotten Reality.

Earth-bound journey and heaven-bound journey

Harvard University; Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Andover Hall, Harvard Divinity School
9 June 1975
8:00 pm

Earth-bound journey starts in Heaven and ends on earth. Heaven-bound journey starts on earth and ends in Heaven. With earth-bound journey, the soul's promise to God descends. With Heaven-bound journey, the body's aspiration for God ascends.

Earth-bound journey is for constant God-manifestation, and Heaven-bound journey is for conscious God-realisation. The speed of earth-bound journey is slow. The speed of Heaven-bound journey is equally slow. The speed of earth-bound journey is slow because the soul's promise-light is afraid of entering into earth's inconscience and ignorance. The speed of Heaven-bound journey is slow because earth's aspiration-flame is afraid of Heaven's Beatitude and Plenitude. But slow and steady wins the race. When the soul's promise to God touches the earth-consciousness, Mother Earth garlands the soul's promise-light. When the earth's aspiration flame reaches Heaven, Father Heaven blesses earth's aspiration-flame.

Earth knows how to cry. Heaven knows how to smile. This is what we all know. This is what we all feel. But when earth-consciousness is about to reach Heaven, earth-consciousness smiles, and when Heaven-Consciousness is about to touch earth-reality, Heaven-Consciousness cries. Earth-consciousness smiles because it sees that it is about to reach its Goal. Heaven-Consciousness cries because it is afraid of the inconscience-sea. Here their roles change. The soul accepts the body, the vital, the mind and the heart. The soul consciously and deliberately enters into bondage with the hope that one day it will be able to take the body, vital, mind and heart to conscious liberation.

To be transformed, earth-consciousness has to be liberated. The soul realises that earth-consciousness can be liberated only by the soul's acceptance of earth-consciousness. If the soul remains always in the highest plane of God's Silence-Reality, then it will not be able to liberate earth's consciousness; so the soul descends. The earth-consciousness feels that if it does not receive the Heaven-Consciousness, the Heaven-Consciousness will be only a dream-world or vision-world. It will not see the face of fulfilling reality-world. Heaven needs earth for God-manifestation. This is the only way Heaven can satisfy God. Earth needs Heaven for God-realisation. This is the only way earth can satisfy God.

God has two special names. One is in Heaven, another is on earth. In Heaven, God's special name is Vision. On earth, His special name is Compassion. With his Vision-Name He sees His Eternity's all. With His Compassion-Name He becomes His Infinity's all. Eternity's transcendence He is. Infinity's expanse He becomes. Eternity is His Silence-Reality. Infinity is His Sound-Reality. Eternity's Vision He embodies. Infinity's Reality He reveals.

God's Eternity-Silence makes a solemn promise to God that it will unite earth's fleeting life with Heaven's undying Life. God's Infinity-Sound promises God that in the finite it will sing the song of the Infinite. The finite will be able to treasure Infinity's wealth. The finite will be transformed into Infinity's Reality. The individual will be able to house the universal. The universal will be able to manifest its Divinity and Immortality in the individual.

Earth and Heaven are two great singers. They are great singers, but they are not good singers. When Heaven sings, earth comes and offers its dedicated presence, but Heaven deliberately ignores earth's presence. When earth sings, Heaven comes to listen, but earth pretends to be unconscious of Heaven's presence. Heaven ignores; earth remains unconscious. This is how earth and Heaven snub each other. That is why a sad dispute reigns supreme between earth and Heaven.

But there comes a time when earth dives deep within and Heaven dives deep within. There earth and Heaven see and feel the Supreme Pilot's excruciating pangs. They want to know the reason. The Eternal Pilot tells them that they are the culprits. They do not satisfy Him. They do not see His Divinity, His Immortality in each other. Both earth and Heaven plead with the Eternal Pilot to sing a song for them. God sings. At the end of the song both Heaven and earth place their devoted heads and surrendered hearts at the Feet of the Lord Supreme. The Lord Supreme tells them, "My son and daughter, that is not the right place for you. Your place is inside My Heart, inside the Heart of My Pride, inside the Heart of My blessingful Gratitude." He places both earth and Heaven inside His Heart. Then He asks them to sing the song with Him. They all sing together. At the end of the song both Heaven and earth offer Him a garland of gratitude and God's Eternity's Faith, God's Immortality's Life, offers the garland of satisfaction to Heaven and the garland of perfection to earth. What earth needs is perfection. What Heaven needs is satisfaction. Earth's perfection is in the soul of Heaven, and Heaven's satisfaction is in the heart of Earth

When a seeker is in his earth-bound journey, he sees that today's bondage, ignorance and imperfection will be transformed into tomorrow's freedom, wisdom and perfection. The seeker who is in his Heaven-bound journey comes to realise that today's Heaven-bound journey, which is uncertain of God's revelation on earth, need not be always uncertain. No, God-realisation and God-manifestation can easily take place on earth. God-satisfaction and God-perfection can easily take place in Heaven. The seeker in us, when he ascends with Heaven-bound journey, becomes the pride of humanity. The same seeker, when he descends with earth-bound journey, becomes the pride of divinity. Earth-consciousness ascends into Heaven-Consciousness, for in Heaven-Consciousness earth's beauty and earth's duty lie. Heaven-Consciousness descends into earth-consciousness, for in earth-consciousness God's revelation and God's manifestation lie.

Earth has always been good. Heaven has always been great. Both greatness and goodness must be amalgamated. With earth's goodness, which is sacrifice for her children, earth grows into perfection-day. Heaven's greatness, which is Wisdom, Heaven offers to its children and, with this wisdom-light, the children of Heaven become God's Satisfaction-Smile. When earth is fulfilled, earth becomes Immortality's Peace. When Heaven is fulfilled, Heaven becomes Immortality's Delight. God unites earth's Peace and Heaven's Delight. In the unification of earth's achievement and Heaven's achievement God becomes complete, whole, perfect and fulfilled.

Before my green-red journey's
Earth-bound flight
My soul shook hands with God's
Compassion-Height.

Before my blue-gold journey's
Heaven-bound flight
My life shakes hands with God's
Perfection-Light.

Today we complete our journey. Here we have given seven talks. I wish to offer this series to the great soul, the devoted soul of President Kennedy, who was a Harvard graduate, a Harvard jewel. To honour his memory in our hearts of love and gratitude I offer this series of talks. I am extremely grateful to all the seekers who are present today and to those who have been coming to this series of talks. To each of you I offer my most sincere gratitude for having granted me the opportunity to be of service to your aspiring souls and dedicated lives. Nothing gives me greater joy than to serve. To serve is to fulfil the real in us, the divine in us.

We learn

Long Island University; Southampton Campus,
Southampton, New York, USA
12 July 1975

We learn. We learn from sorrow. We learn from sorrow how to purify our emotional vital. We learn from sorrow how to be watchful, careful and soulful. We learn from sorrow how to widen our hearts and how to heighten our lives.

Our emotional vital is unlit, obscure, impure and unaspiring. When we live in our emotional vital, there comes a time when sorrow and suffering knock at our door. Then we try to purify, sanctify and illumine the vital and make it a perfect instrument of God.

When we are watchful, we do not allow the world around us with its teeming imperfections to enter into our being. When we are careful, we do not allow anything undivine to grow within us. When we are soulful, we are safe both in the outer world and in the inner world precisely because the divine in us takes full care of us. The divine in us protects us, perfects us and immortalises us. When we are soulful, in the inner world we can sing the song of perfection and in the outer world we can dance the dance of satisfaction.

When we widen our hearts, we enter into the Universal Consciousness. When we widen our hearts, we expand ourselves. The finite in us grows into Infinity and the Universal Consciousness becomes part and parcel of our aspiring existence. When we heighten our lives, we grow into the Transcendental Consciousness. This Consciousness constantly transcends its own height. The Transcendental Consciousness is not and cannot be a static consciousness. It is always proceeding, climbing high, higher, highest. It is always transcending its own supernal heights.

We learn. We learn from joy. We learn from joy how to love God, how to serve God, how to fulfil God unconditionally in God's own Way. When we are happy, we give everything that we have and everything that we are. It is in our soulful self-giving that we eventually become perfect prototypes of our Inner Pilot, the Absolute Supreme. From joy we come to discover what we eternally are: God's Golden Dream. We are His Dream; we are His Dream-Boat. Again, it is in and through us that He will manifest His Reality-Shore. Either He will carry us to the Golden Shore of the Beyond or He will carry the Golden Shore to us. From joy we learn how to become God-seeds and God-fruits. When we become God-seeds, Heaven treasures us. When we become God-fruits, earth treasures us.

We learn from Heaven; we learn from earth. From Heaven we learn how to smile divinely and compassionately. From earth we learn how to cry ceaselessly and soulfully. From Heaven we learn that God is all Beauty. From earth we learn that God is all Duty. From Heaven we learn why God is and where God is. From earth we learn who God is and how God is.

Why is God? God exists to satisfy Himself divinely and supremely. His divine Satisfaction is far beyond the domain of our mind; the mind will be sadly baffled by it. But the heart, on the strength of its identification with God, can and will realise what God-Satisfaction is. God-Satisfaction is the Nectar-Life in God's Silence-World and in God's Sound-World.

Where is God? God is where His children are. God is all-where in His Creation. God is the Creator; again, He is Creation itself. In Silence-Life He is the Creator. In Sound-Life He is the Creation. He is at once the Creator and the Creation.

Who is God? God is eternally our Beloved Supreme and our Lover Supreme. When we aspire, when we cry from the inmost recesses of our hearts, when we grow into the burning flame that climbs high, higher, highest, at that time God becomes our Beloved Supreme. When we consciously, devotedly and unconditionally participate in God's Cosmic Drama, Him to satisfy, Him to fulfil, Him to manifest in His own Way, at that time God becomes our Lover Supreme.

How is God? God is fine; God is happy. He tells the seeker in us that He is eternally happy because He feels that it is through His Happiness and His Happiness-Life that He can create, preserve and immortalise His Creation. There is no other way. He cannot be otherwise. Only through joy can He create, preserve and immortalise His Creation.

We learn from the unreal in us. The unreal in us tells us that we were nothing, we are nothing and we will be nothing. We came from ignorance, in ignorance we dwell and, at the end of our journey's close, to ignorance we shall return.

We learn from the real in us that we are everything. Not only are we everything to ourselves, but we are everything to the Supreme Pilot. The real in us tells us that we came from Delight, in Delight we grow and, at the end of our journey's close, into Delight we shall retire.

Then the real in us goes one step ahead. It tells us that our life has no end, our life-march knows no halt. It tells us that life is an eternal journey. There is no final destination. The real in us tells us something more. It tells us that when we reach any destination, that destination becomes the starting point for the next day's journey. Today we are at the starting point. Tomorrow we reach our destination. The day after tomorrow that destination becomes the starting point for a higher goal, a more fulfilling goal. There is no absolute Goal. The Goal is always transcending its own supernal heights.

We learn from man; we learn from God. Man has only one message to offer us: "The future is all darkness. The future is ruthlessly frightening. There is no certainty, there is no reality in the heart of the future. Stick to the past, live in the past, for you know about the past. No matter how deplorable the past was, the past is the only reality. Do not look ahead. If you look ahead, you are bound to notice the dance of destruction. Stick to the past."

God has a different message, and this message we must try to learn from God. God tells us: "There is no such thing as future, My children. My sweet children, there is only Here, there is only Now, there is only Here and Now. Try to grow in the immediacy of today. Try to live in My Vision-Boat and My Reality-Shore. Like Me, try to remain always in the Eternal Now. Grow in Me, glow in Me, flow in Me. The Eternal Now is the only Reality. He who aspires discovers the Reality of the Eternal Now."

Prayer and meditation

University of Massachusetts; Amherst, Massachusetts, USA
29 September 1975

Dear seekers, I wish to give a very short talk on prayer and meditation.

I pray. Why do I pray? I pray because I need God. I meditate. Why do I meditate? I meditate because God needs me.

When I pray, I think that God is high above me, above my head. When I meditate, I feel that God is deep inside me, inside my heart.

There are two types of prayer: right prayer and wrong prayer. Similarly, there are two types of meditation: right meditation and wrong meditation. The right prayer says, "I am helpless, I am innocent, I am weak. I need You, O Lord Supreme, to strengthen me, to purify me, to illumine me, to perfect me, to immortalise me. I need You, O Lord Supreme."

The wrong prayer says, "Although I need You, O Lord Supreme, I have some strength of my own, I have some capacity of my own. I need You because if I have Your Power and Capacity, then there shall come a time when I shall be able to lord it over the world and dominate the world. The whole world will be at my feet and I shall act according to my sweet will. But for that I need power in boundless measure. I have some power, but I need infinitely more. Therefore, I invoke You, O Lord Supreme." This is wrong prayer. This prayer is for the fulfilment of the vital in us, the vital that wants to dominate the entire world.

The right meditation says, "Lord Supreme, out of Your infinite Bounty You have chosen me to be Your instrument. You could have chosen somebody else to play the role, but You have granted me the golden opportunity. To You I offer my constant gratitude, my gratitude-heart, for You have chosen me to become Your instrument to manifest You here on earth in Your own Way."

The wrong meditation says, "Lord Supreme, this world of ours is full of ignorance. We all are swimming in the sea of ignorance, wallowing in the pleasures of ignorance. You need me because in this world of ours, God-manifestation is extremely difficult. Your manifestation, Your full manifestation, is a far cry. Therefore, You need considerable assistance from me here on earth. You need an ignorant human being like me to fight against ignorance in this strange world that You have entered into. You need my help for Your own manifestation; so I will be Your instrument."

Prayer is a flower. When we see the flower, we are inspired. Inspiration compels us to run the farthest, to climb the highest, to dive into the deepest depth. Meditation is a tree. The tree aspires. It aspires to reach the highest height, the highest plane of consciousness. When we see the flower, inspiration dawns in us. When we sit at the foot of the tree, our aspiration to reach the Highest, the absolute Transcendental Consciousness, comes to the fore.

Prayer is purity. It purifies our mind. The mind is always subject to doubt, fear, worry and anxiety. It is always assailed by wrong thoughts, wrong movements. When we pray, purification takes place in our mind. Purity increases our God-receptivity. In fact, purity is nothing short of God-receptivity. Each time we pray, our inner receptacle becomes large, larger, largest. At that time, purity, beauty, light and delight can enter into our receptacle and they can sport together in the inmost recesses of our heart.

Meditation is luminosity. It illumines our heart. When illumination takes place in our heart, insecurity disappears, the sense of want disappears. At that time, we sing the song of inseparable oneness, our inseparable oneness with the universal Consciousness, the Transcendental Consciousness. When our heart is illumined, the finite in us enters into the Infinite and becomes the Infinite itself. The bondage of millennia leaves us and the freedom of infinite Truth and Light welcomes us.

Prayer is followed by meditation; not the other way around. First we must pray, then we meditate.

Asato ma sad gamaya
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya
Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya

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

This is the prayer that we have learned from the Vedic Seers of the hoary past. This immortal prayer in the firmament of India knows no parallel.

Here in the West, the Saviour has taught us the supreme prayer: "Let Thy Will be done." Again, the same Saviour has taught us the supreme meditation: "I and my Father are one."

"Tat twam asi—That Thou art." You are That, the ever-transcending Beyond, the Lord Supreme. This is the highest height of prayer. "Aham brahmasmi—I am the Brahman, I am the all-pervading Brahman, the Absolute Supreme." This is the supreme height and depth of meditation.

Prayer tells me, "O seeker, claim the Supreme Beloved as your own and say, 'O Beloved Supreme, You are mine. I claim You as my own, very own. Do grant me Your divine qualities in boundless measure so that I can be Your perfect instrument here on earth. You have infinite Peace, Light and Bliss. Do grant me infinite Peace, Light and Bliss so that I can be a most perfect instrument of Yours.'"

Meditation tells me, "O seeker, tell God, 'I am Yours'. Tell the Absolute Supreme, 'I am at Your Command. Use me in Your own Way. At every moment You can manifest Yourself in and through me. You can utilise me at Your sweet Will at every moment, throughout Eternity. To fulfil You in Your own Way is to achieve immortal life. Through me fulfil Yourself here on earth, there in Heaven'."

With a soulful prayer each seeker begins his day's journey; and with a soulful meditation the seeker ends his day's journey.

Spirituality and art

School of Visual Arts; New York, New York, USA
8 October 1975

Spirituality is realisation, realisation of one's universal oneness with the Absolute Reality. Art is manifestation, manifestation of the Cosmic Consciousness which each human being embodies. Spirituality is transcendental Joy. Art is universal Beauty. Joy is the source; Beauty is the source. We came into this existence from boundless joy. In joy we grow and, at the end of our journey's close, into joy we shall retire. This joy we experience only when we live in the soul, in the world of the real Reality. If we live in the outer world, our life is nothing but excruciating pangs.

Spirituality is the essence of an ideal. This ideal illumines the world, the world that cries to elevate its consciousness. Art is the expression of an idea. This idea inspires the world to dive deep within and to move forward constantly. Spirituality is an upward movement and art is a forward movement. Spirituality is a soaring bird and art is a running athlete.

Spirituality has a friend: aspiration. Art has a friend: inspiration. Our aspiration-friend tells us that when we reach our Destined Goal we not only see the face of our Goal but we also grow into the very image of our Goal. Our inspiration-friend tells us to run forward, for there is the Goal. That Goal is awaiting us. At God's choice Hour we are destined to reach that Goal.

A seeker tells his artist-friend, "Not this, not this, my friend. Something else here on earth and there in Heaven." The artist-friend tells the seeker, "This is it. This is the thing that you actually want. I have precisely what you want."

There is real spirituality and false spirituality, real art and false art. Real art does not imitate anything, not even nature. Real art does not imitate; it only represents. Real spirituality does not reject anything; it only accepts and transforms. Real spirituality is not asceticism. It does not advocate living in hermit caves. Real spirituality is based on vision. Real spirituality tells us to accept life and to transform the undivine in life. Today's imperfection need not be the imperfection of tomorrow. Tomorrow's perfection can dawn provided we cry soulfully, ceaselessly and unconditionally for illumining light.

Human art and divine art. The human art is social and commercial success. The divine art is constant outer and inner progress. Success stimulates us. Progress energises and immortalises us. Success is a short-lived life. Progress is an abiding life. Success can easily be followed by frustration, and inside frustration looms large destruction. But when we make progress in our inner and outer life, we feel a sense of satisfaction. Progress is of paramount importance in our life here on earth.

The human artist and the divine artist. The human artist has an aim: greatness. The divine artist has a goal: goodness. Greatness consciously or unconsciously creates supremacy. If I have greatness, I must needs be much higher than you. This is the only way I can exercise supremacy and lord it over you. Goodness does not do this. If I have goodness, I can establish my inseparable oneness with you. But if I am higher than you, then I cannot establish my oneness with you on the same footing. To the desire-loving world, God is great. To the aspiration-loving world, God is good. A divine artist always tries to establish oneness with art, music and poetry. He feels that it is oneness that can offer satisfaction, not separativity or a sense of duality.

With your kind permission I wish to say a few words about my own art. I have been a seeker from the dawn of my life, praying and meditating to realise the ever-transcending Reality. I have been serving seekers regardless of their religion for many years. Service is an outer manifestation of the divinity within us. Inner divinity can easily be manifested through soulful art. My art, which has been on display here at your school for the past few days, is another form of my service to all of aspiring mankind.

Now

University of Maryland; College Park, Maryland, USA
18 October 1975

Now. 'N' represents necessity. 'O' represents oneness. 'W' represents when. When must we feel the supreme necessity of discovering our conscious, constant and inseparable oneness with the Absolute Supreme? Now! Now is the time to see, now is the time to feel, now is the time to do, now is the time to become. Now is the time to discover what we eternally are.

What are we supposed to see? Beauty within, beauty without.

What are we supposed to feel? Peace within and peace without.

What are we supposed to do? Love the Real in man: God. Serve the real in God: man.

What are we supposed to become? God's perfect instruments.

What are we supposed to discover? God's Silence-Vision and God's Sound-Reality.

If we have been living in the body-consciousness, now is the time for us to find a new place to live. From now on, let us live in the vital, the vital that builds and not the vital that destroys. If we have been living in the vital, now is the time for us to find a new place to live. From now on, let us live in the mind, the mind that believes and not the mind that disbelieves. If we have been living in the mind, now is the time for us to find a new place to live. From now on, let us live in the heart, the heart that expands and not the heart that contracts. If we have been living in the heart, now is the time for us to find a new place to live. From now on, let us live in the soul, the soul that longs for the manifestation of God-Reality on earth and not the soul that does not care for the manifestation of God-Reality.

If we have been living in the soul, now is the time for us to find a new place to live. From now on, let us live in the Supreme God: the Supreme God who tells us that He needs us just as we need Him, and not the Supreme God who tells us that He does not need us, whereas we do need Him. As a matter of fact, the real Supreme God tells the seeker that He needs him infinitely more than the seeker needs God. "How is it possible?" the seeker asks. God's immediate answer is at once divinely simple and supremely convincing. He tells the seeker that, at times, unfortunately, the seeker makes friends with fear, doubt, anxiety, jealousy, insecurity and other undivine forces. Therefore, it is not possible for the seeker to be always conscious of the infinite Truth that abides in him. It is not possible for him to be conscious of his infinite potentialities, infinite possibilities and infinite inevitabilities. The seeker does not know what he actually is.

But in God's case, precisely because Infinity, Eternity and Immortality are at His express Command, He knows what man actually is. Man is Infinity's heart, man is Eternity's breath, man is Immortality's life.

Now is the time for each genuine seeker to develop an eternal God-thirst and God-hunger. With his eternal God-thirst and God-hunger on earth, he will transcend what he is not: ignorance-night. And with his eternal God-thirst and God-hunger in Heaven, he will descend to earth to offer God-satisfaction in life and God-perfection in life.

Through the sweep of the centuries each spiritual Master of the highest rank has offered something unique. Four thousand years ago Sri Krishna offered his supreme message to mankind, to the world at large: "Whenever dharma, the code of inner life, declines and unrighteousness prevails, He, the Consciousness Infinite, incarnates Himself in human form in order to transform the undivine propensities in us and fulfil the divine Reality in us."

Then the Lord Buddha, two thousand five hundred years ago, descended with a most special message: "The Middle Path. Do not wallow in the pleasures of the senses and, at the same time, do not resort to austerity: neither sense-gratification nor sense-mortification. Each seeker has to strike a balance by following the middle path. The transformation of our lower self and the manifestation of our higher self must take place at one and the same time, but without resorting to sense-gratification or sense-mortification." This was the Buddha's message.

Two thousand years ago the Christ, the Saviour, descended into the earth-arena. His supreme message was: "I am the way, I am the Goal." Here 'the way' represents aspiration and 'the Goal' represents salvation. It is through aspiration that one eventually attains the highest salvation. Today's aspiration transforms itself into tomorrow's salvation.

I wish to mention another spiritual Master of the highest order. His name was Sri Chaitanya. His message was purity and love—purity in love, love in purity. If one achieves purity in love and love in purity, then one divinely enjoys Delight, which is our Source, our perennial Source.

Thousands of years ago, the Vedic Seers of the hoary past offered a significant message: "From Delight we all came into existence; in Delight we grow; at the end of our journey's close, into Delight we retire."

Sri Ramakrishna came with a most significant message. His message to humanity was, "Cry, cry like a child to the Mother. A child's heart can easily conquer the Mother's Love, Compassion, Divinity and Immortality. Cry, cry like a child, an innocent child. The Mother Supreme is bound to grant you the illumination of the highest Height."

Then came Sri Aurobindo, with the message of the Life Divine, the message of nature's transformation. Here on earth the physical body has to be transformed, here on earth the message of Divinity must be manifested. The transformation of human nature and the purification of all the limbs must take place here on earth, so that Immortality can find its due place in the physical frame.

Since then, many spiritual Masters here in the West and there in the East have offered their light to the aspiring humanity. Each spiritual Master has something to contribute to the world at large according to his own realisation, according to his own receptivity and according to the world's receptivity.

Out of His infinite Bounty, God has given me the opportunity to be of service to the aspiring mankind. We have a path of our own and this is the path of love, devotion and surrender. For the followers of our path, the supreme necessity is love, devotion and surrender: love divine, devotion divine and surrender divine.

The love that binds and blinds is human love. The love that expands and illumines is divine love.

Devotion in the physical is nothing short of attachment. When we are devoted to the sense-world, the ignorance-world, it is not devotion but attachment. When we use the term 'devotion', it has to be applied only to the Divine in us, to the Supreme Reality in us. We are devoted to a higher cause, to a loftier ideal.

Human surrender is the surrender of a slave to his Master. Divine surrender is the surrender of one's own unlit, obscure, impure reality to one's own fully illumined, fully divinised, fully perfected Reality. Here the lower in us surrenders to our own higher Reality. It is not a surrender thrust upon us, it is not a surrender forced upon us. It is a surrender based upon our feeling of inseparable oneness with our own higher Reality-existence. The finite in us cheerfully, devotedly, soulfully and unconditionally surrenders to the Infinite in us. The raindrop surrenders to the mighty ocean and thus loses its individuality and personality and becomes the vast ocean itself. Likewise, we who are now in the finite consciousness, bound in the finite consciousness, will one day be totally freed and liberated, and we shall realise the eternal Freedom-Reality, which in the inner world we eternally are.

Religion, spirituality and yoga

Syracuse University; Syracuse, New York, USA
Hendricks Chapel
26 October 1975

Religion is the house, spirituality is the living room, Yoga is the prayer and meditation room. The house is beautiful, the living room is meaningful, the prayer and meditation room is fruitful.

When seekers come to the house, they feel a divine vibration. If they are really sincere seekers, they will look for the living room. Otherwise, they will eventually go away from the house. Only sincere seekers feel God's Presence in the house. It gives them tremendous joy, so they want to see God and speak to Him. For this they enter into the living room, where they try to lead a divine life. And from there, when they begin to feel the necessity of fulfilling their aspiration in a most significant way, they enter into the prayer and meditation room in order to achieve satisfaction in their inner life. For they feel that only seeing God and speaking to God is not enough. They feel that it is of utmost importance to pray to God and meditate on God so that they can be divinely and supremely satisfied. They cry to God in their prayer and meditation room for boundless Peace, Light and Bliss so that they can fulfil God on earth. They meditate on God so that they can manifest His perfect Perfection in and through themselves.

Human religion and divine religion. Human religion says, "God is everywhere." Divine religion says, "God is everywhere, I do not deny it. I fully subscribe to this view. But I want a living God with whom I can talk and mix at every moment. I want to feel Him. I want to see Him. I want to speak to Him. I want a living God." This is the soulful need of divine religion.

Human spirituality and divine spirituality. Human spirituality says, "God is Above, in the highest realm of consciousness. He is only in Heaven. Here in this world of imperfection God is not to be found, not to be seen, not to be expected." Divine spirituality does not see eye to eye with human spirituality. It says, "God is everywhere. He is in the highest plane of consciousness and, again, He is in the lowest plane, in the lowest chasm. He is everywhere. If God is not here on earth, then I do not need that kind of God. My God is within, He is without, He is below, He is Above. He is everywhere. He has to be with me, even on earth, one hundred percent of the time." Divine spirituality does not care for the God who stays only in Heaven.

Human yoga and divine Yoga. Human yoga is all about the body, the perfection of the body and the perfection of the physical consciousness. In human yoga the body is all. If the body can live without food, then the body is perfect. If the body can live without sleep, then the body is perfect. If the body can walk on water without sinking, or walk on fire without being burned, then the body is perfect. But divine Yoga is totally different. Divine Yoga wants the real, integral perfection of the body and the soul. It feels that each limb has to aspire to receive Light from Above. The physical has to be a perfect receptacle. The capacity of receptivity must grow inside the physical along with the growing capacity of the soul. In divine Yoga, perfection lies in receiving Light from Above and also in bringing to the fore the Light, Peace and Bliss that are inherent in the soul. The divine Yoga says, "The smile of the soul has to be manifested here on earth, but first the cry of the body, vital, mind and heart have to reach the highest transcendental Source." The union of the soul's manifestation-smile and the body's aspiration-cry is what the divine Yoga needs. Aspiration for the Highest and manifestation of the Highest are what the divine Yoga needs. When we aspire, we discover how we shall consciously reach the Light, Peace and Bliss which we eternally need; and when we manifest, we feel that we are offering the Highest to all of God's Creation.

Here on earth we practise religion, spirituality and Yoga in a human way. Religion says, "I am great. Why? I am great because I can exercise God's Justice. I can punish the rest of the world in accordance with the Will of God. I am great because I can tolerate the world. The world is full of imperfections, the world is constantly rejecting and misunderstanding me, but in spite of that I can tolerate the world. Also, although the world is unforgivable, I have the capacity to forgive the world; therefore, I am great."

Spirituality says, "I am good. I try to love mankind. Although mankind and I have countless limitations and imperfections, according to my power of receptivity and capacity I try to love mankind. I am imperfect and the world is imperfect, but with all my imperfections I try to love the imperfect world as my own, my very own; therefore, I am good."

Yoga says, "I do not know whether I am great or good. But whether I am great or small, whether I am good or bad, I am what God wants me to be and I will become what He wants me to become. I do not want to be caught by the snares of either greatness or goodness. I want only to be the devoted, dedicated, soulful and self-giving instrument of God."

Religion speaks to the sleeping world: "Wake up! Can you not see that God is standing at your door waiting for you? He has come to you out of His infinite Bounty. It is high time for you to wake up."

Spirituality speaks to the awakening world: "Look, look! Your Eternal Friend is waiting for you. Look at Him, smile at Him, talk to Him. He is your Eternal Friend."

Yoga speaks to the awakened seeker: "Why are you such a fool? Why can you not recognise your own self, the real in you? The highest in you, the real Reality in you, is right in front of you. Claim yourself. Claim unreservedly and wholeheartedly what you really and eternally are."

Religion says to the seeker, "O seeker, I can tell you who God is. I can tell you all about God in unmistakable terms."

Spirituality says to the seeker, "O seeker, I can do something more for you. Religion says it knows who God is and it can tell you all about God. But I can tell you where God is. I can show you where He is and what He is doing. I will be able to establish a free access for you to God."

Yoga says to the seeker, "O seeker, I can not only tell you about God and show you where God is, but I can make you another God."

Religion tries to do the right thing precisely because it is afraid of God. It loves God, but it is afraid of God and does not want to displease God in any way. It tries to please God because it feels that by pleasing God it can fulfil itself.

Spirituality feels that it is its bounden duty to please God precisely because God is its Source, its perennial Source, and eventually it has to go back to the Source and claim the Source as its very own.

Yoga knows and feels that God is omnipresent. On the strength of its oneness with God, Yoga feels that it can do nothing but please God in every way, at every moment.

Each individual human being has religion in him, spirituality in him and Yoga in him. When he uses his religion-power, he is blessed with God's infinite Greatness-Light. When he uses his spirituality-power, he is blessed with God's infinite Goodness-Power. When he uses his Yoga-Power, God blesses him with what He has and what He is. What He has and what He is far transcends His Greatness-Light and His Goodness-Power. It is something beyond human comprehension. It transcends both greatness and goodness; it is a Reality which perfectly houses God's ever-transcending Height and God's ever-manifesting Vision-Delight. It is something a Yogi grows into and eventually becomes.

What is the spiritual life?

Northwestern University; Chicago, Illinois, USA
Alice Millar Chapel
17 December 1975

Here we are all seekers, seekers of the infinite Light and the eternal Truth. What does this mean? It means that we have accepted the spiritual life soulfully and consciously.

The paramount question is, "What is the spiritual life?" The spiritual life is something that is natural and normal. It is always natural and it is always normal, unlike other things that we come across in our day-to-day multifarious activities. The spiritual life is normal and natural precisely because it knows its Source. Its Source is God the infinite Light and God the eternal Truth.

When we follow the spiritual life, we come to feel that a life of peace need not always remain a far cry. We come to feel that a life of love, the love that expands, need not always remain a far cry. Everything that fulfils us divinely and supremely, we can achieve and claim as our very own if we follow the spiritual life. Right now Peace, Light and Bliss in abundant measure we do not have at our disposal. But when we practise spirituality, when our inner cry, which we call aspiration, climbs up high, higher, highest, at that time Peace, Light and Bliss we get not only in abundant measure but in infinite measure. And we can achieve and treasure these divine qualities in the inmost recesses of our hearts. When we practise the spiritual life soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally, we try to bring to the fore the divinity that we all have. And this divinity is nothing short of our perfection.

Here we are all seekers. Each seeker represents the ideal and the real. The ideal is self-transcendence and the real is God's all-pervading Consciousness.

If we want to grow into the real and the ideal in us, we have to clean our mind thoroughly of the undivine thoughts that are constantly assailing us. And we have to empty our heart and fill it with infinite Light and Delight. Then God the Real and God the Ideal will be able to sing and dance in our aspiring being.

Here we are all seekers. We are all chosen instruments of the Supreme, our Beloved Supreme, the Eternal Pilot. We can prove this soulful statement of ours, not by words but by deeds, by our serving love and loving service.

Loving service. Our loving service can prove to the world at large that we are the chosen instruments of the Supreme, for the Supreme. When we love the Supreme soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally in our aspiring mind, we heighten our God-Height; and when we serve the Supreme soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally in our aspiring mind, we deepen our God-Depth.

Since we are the chosen instruments of the Supreme, our immediate necessity is God-realisation and our absolute duty is God-manifestation. In the fulfilment of our immediate necessity, we can become the torch-bearers of infinite Truth and the harbingers of God-Vision within us and without. In the fulfilment of our absolute duty, we discover that we are God-seeds and God-fruits. Let us offer our God-seed to the Supreme; let us place it at His Feet, so that it may grow into a divine tree that can lift humanity to the highest Transcendental Height. Let us also offer to the Supreme our God-fruit. Let us place our God-fruit at His Feet for His Manifestation, His total and complete Manifestation here on earth.

Notes section

Editor's note

Sanskrit words of common occurrence in English, such as darshan, have been transliterated by Sri Chinmoy according to a freer system in which diacritical marks are omitted and a more natural English equivalent to the Sanskrit letter is employed.

Notes from book

God's dream-boat and man's life-boat / 3 Yale University, 4 December 1968

Man and his goal / 7 State University of New York at Farmingdale, 11 December 1968

The beyond / 10 Princeton University, 13 January 1969

How to live in two worlds / 14 Sarah Lawrence College, 14 January 1969

Duty supreme / 17 Boston University, 24 March 1969

The Vedanta philosophy / 20 Harvard University, 25 March 1969

God and myself / 26 Brandeis University, 26 March 1969

Desire and aspiration / 28 New York University, 29 March 1969

How to please god / 31 University of Bridgeport, 14 April 1969

Conscious oneness with god / 34 Columbia University, 16 April 1969

The secret of inner peace / 37 University of Connecticut at Storrs, 19 April 1969

The quintessence of mysticism / 40 American University, 21 April 1969

Action and liberation / 43 George Washington University, 22 April 1969

The supreme secret of meditation / 46 University of Maryland, 23 April 1969

The secret supreme / 49 University of North Dakota, 6 May 1969

Mysticism / 53 University of Minnesota, 7 May 1969

Ignorance / 56 Cornell University, 30 September 1969

The inner voice / 59 Syracuse University, 1 October 1969

Not power, but oneness / 62 State University of New York at Oswego, 1 October 1969

Opportunity divine and necessity supreme / 64 Brown University, 4 October 1969

Individuality and personality / 67 University of California at Berkeley, 16 October 1969

The sunlit path / 69 University of California at Santa Cruz, 17 October 1969

Commentary on the bhagavad gita (1) / 71 New York University, 3 March 1970

Sincerity, purity and surety / 75 Bucknell University, 4 March 1970

Self-control / 78 Susquehanna University, 4 March 1970

Science and spirituality / 81 Hunter College, 6 March 1970

Commentary on the bhagavad gita (2) / 83 New York University, 10 March 1970

Sincerity and spirituality / 88 Fairleigh Dickinson University, 11 March 1970

Will-power and victory's crown / 91 State University of New York at Stony Brook, 11 March 1970

Commentary on the bhagavad gita (3) / 94 New York University, 17 March 1970

The inner poverty / 99 Fordham University, 18 March 1970

The inner light / 101 University of Pennsylvania, 18 March 1970

The consciousness of the body / 103 City College of New York, 20 March 1970

Commentary on the bhagavad gita (4) / 107 New York University, 24 March 1970

The inner life / 111 Dartmouth College, 3 April 1970

Consciousness / 114 The New School for Social Research, 7 April 1970

The inner freedom / 116 Fairfield University, 8 April 1970

Earth-bound time and timeless time / 118 Long Island University, 10 April 1970

The song of the ego / 122 Adelphi University, 15 April 1970

Immortality / 124 University of Massachusetts, 24 April 1970

Intuition / 126 University of Maine, 24 April 1970

Aspiration: the inner flame / 128 Purdue University, 27 April 1970

Reality / 130 Case Western Reserve University, 28 April 1970

"Arise! awake" / 132 Columbia University, 23 April 1971

Serve and love / 133 Columbia University, 23 July 1971

The upanishads: india's soul-offering / 134 Princeton University, 22 October 1971

The revelation of india's light / 139 University of California at Berkeley, 7 November 1971

The beauty and duty of india's soul / 144 New York University, 17 November 1971

Glimpses from the vedas and the upanishads / 150 Fairleigh Dickinson University, 30 November 1971

The crown of india's soul / 155 Harvard University, 3 December 1971

The brahman of the upanishads / 160 Yale University, 8 December 1971

The gayatri mantra / 164 Columbia University, 10 December 1971

The journey's start the journey's close / 167 Cornell University, 26 January 1972

Life and death, atman and paramatman / 170 Brown University, 9 February 1972

Existence, non-existence and the source / 173 University of Connecticut at Storrs, 11 February 1972

Flame-waves from the upanishad-sea, part 1 / 176 Rutgers University, 18 February 1972

Flame-waves from the upanishad-sea, part 2 / 183 Fordham University, 28 February 1972

The philosophy, religion, spirituality and yoga of the upanishads / 188 University of Massachusetts, 1 March 1972

The vedic bird of illumination / 192 Wellesley College, 14 November 1972

The glowing consciousness of vedic truth / 196 Radcliffe College, 14 November 1972

The inner revelation-fire / 199 Vassar College, 15 November 1972

The rig veda / 202 Barnard College, 17 November 1972

The song of the infinite / 205 Mount Holyoke College, 28 November 1972

Intuition-light from the vedas / 207 Smith College, 28 November 1972

The wisdom-sun of vedic-truth / 210 Bryn Mawr College, 29 November 1972

Kundalini yoga: the mother-power / 213 New York University, 14 February 1973

Prana and the power of the chakras / 215 New York University, 21 February 1973

Concentration, meditation, will-power and love / 224 New York University, 28 February 1973

Self-discovery and transformation / 230 New York University, 7 March 1973

Concentration, meditation and contemplation / 241 Columbia University, 28 March 1973

The inner experience of peace / 243 Columbia University, 4 April 1973

The inner experience of light / 246 Columbia University, 11 April 1973

The inner experience of bliss / 250 Columbia University, 18 April 1973

The inner experience of power / 252 Columbia University, 25 April 1973

Love, devotion and surrender / 254 Columbia University, 2 May 1973

Thought-waves / 257 Brown University, 9 January 1974

Realisation, revelation and perfection / 260 Harvard University, 9 January 1974

The world within and the world without / 263 Dartmouth College, 11 January 1974

You / 267 New York University, 12 January 1974

Self-examination / 270 University of Connecticut at Storrs, 14 January 1974

Choice / 273 University of Maryland, 16 January 1974

Meditation and inner education / 276 University of Delaware, 16 January 1974

Experience / 279 Princeton University, 22 January 1974

The heart / 283 University of Pennsylvania, 22 January 1974

Time / 288 Marlboro College, 25 January 1974

Power / 292 University of Maine, 25 January 1974

Spirituality / 297 Virginia Commonwealth University, 6 February 1974

Freedom / 301 University of Michigan, 12 February 1974

Peace / 304 University of Toledo, 12 February 1974

Success and progress / 307 St. Joseph's College, 13 February 1974

Wisdom-light / 311 Roosevelt University, 13 February 1974

Love and perfection / 316 Loyola University, 13 February 1974

Forward! / 319 University of Wisconsin, 14 February 1974

Wisdom, justice and moderation / 323 Georgia Institute of Technology, 20 February 1974

Hope and life / 326 Clemson University, 20 February 1974

Success, failure and progress / 329 University of North Carolina, 20 February 1974

God's love / 332 Berea College, 21 February 1974

Self-transcendence / 334 University of Tennessee, 21 February 1974

Compassion / 337 Tulane University, 27 February 1974

Love human and love divine / 341 Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College, 27 February 1974

The human and the divine / 344 University of South Alabama, 27 February 1974

Problems / 348 Wheeling College, 28 February 1974

Do we love god? / 352 University of Nebraska, 5 March 1974

The spiritual life / 355 Iowa Western Community College, 5 March 1974

Silence / 359 Kansas City College of Osteopathic Medicine, 5 March 1974

Prayer / 362 University of Missouri, 5 March 1974

Service / 365 University of Arkansas, 6 March 1974

Renunciation / 367 University of Tulsa, 6 March 1974

Friendship / 371 Southern Methodist University, 7 March 1974

The practical reality / 376 University of Nevada, 17 April 1974

What has life taught me? / 379 Stanford University, 19 April 1974

Transformation, liberation, revelation, manifestation / 383 Portland State University, 22 April 1974

Just for today / 387 Gonzaga University, 22 April 1974

The existence of god / 390 North Idaho Junior College, 22 April 1974

Beauty / 394 University of Montana, 23 April 1974

Philosophy, religion and spirituality / 399 University of Colorado, 23 April 1974

Concentration / 402 University of Wyoming, 23 April 1974

What has life taught me? / 405 University of Utah, 24 April 1974

Humanity's teachers / 409 Arizona State University, 24 April 1974

Realisation / 411 University of New Mexico, 24 April 1974

Wisdom-light / 415 University of Miami, 30 September 1974

True spirituality and inner life / 418 North Dakota State University, 25 October 1974

Sound-life and silence-life / 422 Northern State College, 25 October 1974

Ego and emotion / 427 University of Minnesota, 26 October 1974

Yoga and spirituality / 431 University of Honolulu, 28 October 1974

Belief and faith / 434 Alaska Methodist University, 29 October 1974

Earth versus heaven / 437 Harvard University, 16 April 1975

With knowledge how far? / 439 Harvard University, 23 April 1975

Intellectual versus spiritual / 442 Harvard University, 30 April 1975

The mind-power versus the heart-power / 446 Harvard University, 28 May 1975, 3:00 pm

How to solve world problems / 449 Harvard University, 28 May 1975, 8:00 pm

Is spirituality an escape from reality? / 453 Harvard University, 9 June 1975, 3:00 pm

Earth-bound journey and heaven-bound journey / 458 Harvard University, 9 June 1975, 8:00 pm

We learn / 462 Long Island University, 12 July 1975

Prayer and meditation / 465 University of Massachusetts, 29 September 1975

Spirituality and art / 468 School of Visual Arts, 8 October 1975

Now / 470 University of Maryland, 18 October 1975

Religion, spirituality and yoga / 474 Syracuse University, 26 October 1975

What is the spiritual life? / 478 Northwestern University, 17 December 1975

Translations of this page: Czech
This book series can be cited using cite-key oeh-2