Yoga and self-giving1

Dear ministers, dear God-lovers, dear truth-lovers, dear oneness-lovers, I am extremely grateful to you for you have given me the golden opportunity to be of service to the universal reality-oneness in you. I have not come here in the capacity of a teacher. I have come here in the capacity of a friend, a brother of your heart and soul. You are teachers and I also happen to be a teacher. I feel that we are all truth lovers, peace lovers, harmony lovers and oneness lovers. I belong to a school and you belong to a school. To my deepest satisfaction, I see that our schools have basically the same principles: love and service. I feel from deep within that the Unitarian Church is all love and all service. The school that I belong to has the same basic message to offer: love and service. But mine is not a specific religion. My teachings are for humanity as a whole, for the real in every man is his heart’s oneness, universal oneness.

I come from India. My teaching is founded upon the Sanskrit word, “Yoga”. The significance of this word is spiritual oneness. This oneness cannot be established by talks. You and I have given hundreds of talks, but oneness can be established only by self-giving. Self-giving is truth-becoming and God-becoming. Yoga is oneness with the highest Truth, which is totally free from religious, political, racial or geographical boundaries. This Truth is also the goal of the Unitarian Church. If your goal and my goal are identical, then I am perfectly safe in the heart of my spiritual brothers and you are also safe in the very depth of my heart.

I wish to share with you some of the things which I teach to my students. You may call them my disciples, my followers, but to me they are like members of my family. We form a small group and we belong to one boat, the boat that is carrying us to the Golden Shore of the Beyond. This Beyond can be a vague term or it can be a living reality. We need only to realise that there is a goal. Before we reach that particular goal, we call it the world of the Beyond. But once we reach that goal, we feel that it is nothing but a new starting point for an ever-transcending goal. Each day in the inner world we try to reach our goal. Sooner or later we do reach it. But when we reach our goal, we feel that that very goal is nothing but a starting point for a higher goal.

We feel that God the ultimate Truth is also in the process of eternal Self-transcendence. He is infinite, He is eternal, He is immortal. We all know this, although we often try to bind Him. But He does not want to be bound and He does not want to bind us. The higher and deeper we go, the more we feel that God Himself is always transcending His own Reality and that we who are His conscious, chosen instruments are also doing the same. Each day we aim at a new goal and each day, consciously or unconsciously, we arrive at a new goal. Each day we look forward to something new, something more fulfilling, something more satisfying.

We call our path the path of love, devotion and surrender. Basically, it is a path of the heart, and from my own inner knowledge, inner aspiration, I feel that yours is also absolutely the same. What we want is universal oneness, founded upon love and peace. We are doing the same thing; we are in the same boat. We have adopted different names and different forms but in reality we have the same spirit, same goal, same soul, same awakening.

I came to the West at the express command of my Inner Pilot. Each time I see an individual, I try to see my Inner Pilot inside that individual. And each time I get an opportunity to be of service to an individual, I feel that my life on earth is blessed with some purpose, some significance, some reality. So I have not come here just to give a talk. I have come to make you feel that I am of you and I am for you in the Heart of the Absolute Supreme. We are like a rose or a lotus growing inside the Heart of the Eternal Reality. Each individual is a petal, and petal by petal the flower is blossoming. We are getting ready to be placed at the Feet of the Absolute Supreme, for He needs us as we need Him.

It is our misconception that tells us that God does not need us but that we only need Him, like beggars. No, we need Him, but He needs us more. How can we say that He needs us more than we need Him when we are so weak, so helpless, so meaningless, so insignificant? It is precisely because He knows what we are. We are exact prototypes of His all-embracing, all-fulfilling Reality, although we do not know it. We are helpless and hopeless because we are earth-bound; we treasure and cherish doubt, consciously or unconsciously, and then we forget our Reality, our Divinity, our Immortality. But He knows that we are of Him and for Him; therefore, He constantly reminds us of what we are and teaches us how we can feel in the inmost recesses of our hearts that we are of Him and for Him. The philosophy that we are studying and the school that we belong to teach us one truth: it is by self-giving that we eventually grow into the very image of God.

There is a message unparalleled in Indian history. This message tells us that today we are crying to realise God, tomorrow we shall realise God and the day after tomorrow we shall do something more: we shall become consciously aware of the truth that we are not only of God and for God but we are God Himself in the process of realisation and manifestation. This God you can call anything you want to: infinite Light, infinite Energy, infinite Bliss, infinite Peace, Infinity’s self-expanding, self-transcending Reality. This is what we all are in our highest.

Again, I wish to say that what you are doing and what I am doing is the same. The truth that we embody we are consciously, soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally trying to place before mankind. We are human beings. Some of us are fully awakened, others are in the process of awakening and still others are still asleep. We are trying to knock at the door of those who are awakening or still asleep. We believe in God’s Hour. God’s Hour has struck for us to knock at the heart’s door of the seekers who can run with us fast, faster, fastest towards the Goal. And that Goal is universal love, oneness in realisation, oneness in revelation, oneness in manifestation.

  1. SCS 62. Lecture before Ministers of the Unitarian Universalist Church, Community Church, Manhattan, 3 December, 1975.