Now1Now. N-O-W. “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 wicked 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 life divine, with 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.
SCS 54. University of Maryland, October 18, 1975.↩