The physical aspect of life

I wish to say a few words about the physical aspect of life, which, to my great sadness, many of the disciples are ignoring. Some disciples once upon a time used to run, do sports and take physical exercise, but now they have given up. They are not doing the right thing. At least do stretching exercises. I spend thirty-five minutes a day stretching, stretching! Please take exercise. Otherwise, age will descend upon you sooner than the soonest.

Some disciples I am observing. Once upon a time they were really smart, active and dynamic, but now they move like many octogenarians. The Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram once said she saw some young boys and girls who were perhaps on the right side of twenty-five, but they looked like eighty-year-olds, in their posture and in their movement.

Dear ones, you do not have to be the champion supreme. Only keep your body fit. Physical fitness, again and again I am saying, is of paramount importance. Health is God’s Wealth! All our scriptures say that when health fails, everything fails. Once the body fails, there is nothing left. You will have no inspiration, no aspiration, no dedication, no enthusiasm, no dynamism. Keep the physical always in good order, in perfect order — not for the sake of competition, but for the sake of completeness of the physical existence.

I am also trying to be very strict with myself. In the physical aspect it is very difficult, very difficult. In the spiritual aspect — that is, prayer and meditation — I do it, I do it. After God-realisation, some people enjoy a pension or a vacation or retirement. In my case, I do meditate for hours, and I am deeply involved not only in the inner world, but also in the outer world. I am involved in many, many worlds apart from the inner world, including the heart of the political world, the soul and heart of politics. In your case, I am requesting you to be involved in only two worlds: the inner world and the outer world, which is your physical body.

Here is Trishakash. He has swum the English Channel. I am very, very proud of him, very proud of him! Among the older members of our spiritual family, Trishakash has to be really appreciated and admired for keeping physically fit.

Some people think that, as long as they are thin, they are physically fit. I do not agree with them. You may be thinner than the thinnest, but you can be attacked by a good many undivine forces. Thinness does not mean physical fitness — no! People may be thin, but they can have many problems. Again, I am not the one to say that carrying extra weight is not a problem. It is a real problem. When you do not feel well, you eat more, people say, to get rid of your miseries. But you cannot get rid of your miseries in that way, alas.

24 April 2005
Jamaica, New York