God and Goal1I wish to speak today on God and Goal. We all know that God and the transcendental Goal are one. But in this talk, I would like to show that, in spite of their oneness, each has a distinctive role to play. The Goal is the House, and God is the Inhabitant or Owner of the House. Since I wish to enter the House, I need permission from the Inhabitant or the Owner. In the spiritual life, I pray and meditate and God, out of His infinite Bounty, allows me to enter His House. If I am all appreciation and admiration for the House, if I am all adoration for the House, then the Owner will allow me to come inside.
If we appreciate God’s creation, the House, then God feels that He Himself is being appreciated, for He and His creation are eternally one. The creation that God has revealed is His own manifestation of His Silence. If we appreciate His creation-manifestation, if we appreciate what the Creator has already revealed, then the Creator will show us that this creation of His is not and cannot be His ultimate achievement. He will elevate our consciousness and show us His unmanifested Capacity, His infinite Capacity, His Eternity and His Immortality. And He will not only show us His Infinity’s Treasure, but will also share it with us.
But we have to know that when we appreciate the creation, we have less of a chance to reach the Highest than if we appreciate the Creator. For if we appreciate the Creator, He gives us not only what He has already revealed, but also what He inwardly has kept aside or what He inwardly is. So although Creator and creation are inseparable, if we are wise we shall appreciate the Creator more than the creation, for He is the Supreme Artist who reveals through His creation the Reality of His unlimited Infinity.
God is evolving. God is transcending. When He evolves, we call Him man, man in the process of his cosmic evolution. When He transcends, we call Him God. Matter is aspiring and evolving. The dance of Spirit is smiling. The smile of Spirit is what we call transcendence. When Spirit smiles, immediately we see that the earth-bound consciousness is freed from its limitations and becomes the Heaven-free Reality.
The Goal is satisfaction and perfection. Satisfaction is what we have in our achievement. But perfection is not found in our achievement; perfection is in our becoming. This becoming is founded upon our self-giving, and self-giving is the constant, conscious and all-fulfilling reality in us and for God.
We are all seekers and we shall always remain seekers, even after we have realised God. Before we realise God, we seek God-realisation; after we realise God, we seek God-manifestation. So we always remain seekers. There are three principal stages in our seeking. At first we are all beginner-seekers. We feel that God is inside our hearts, but we feel that the Goal is high above us, hiding in the sky somewhere, and not inside us, not in ourselves. When we pray and meditate, we feel that God is listening to our prayer. Where is He? Inside our heart. Inside the body is the heart, and inside the heart is the soul. The soul is a spark of God’s Consciousness. God is inside the building, but there is a particular room where we can see Him and always feel His Presence, and that is inside the soul.
But we do not remain always beginners in our spiritual life. If we study for a few years, we do not remain in kindergarten, but go on to primary school, high school and college and complete our course. In the spiritual life also, we someday become advanced seekers. When we become advanced seekers, we feel that God is inside our heart and that the Goal is also inside our heart. We feel that God and Goal are inside our inner being and are inseparable. If we reach the House, our destination, definitely we will find the Owner there. And if we reach the Owner, and He sees that we have tremendous love and devotion for Him, then He will certainly be gracious enough to take us into His House.
Eventually we reach the third stage: we become realised. When we become realised, it means that we have seen God and have been in His House. Now it is up to us, after seeing the House and the Owner, to become something. After seeing God, we become God-lovers. At every moment we try to love God and please Him in His own Way. And after seeing the Goal, we feel that it is our bounden duty to share the Goal with others. At that time we become God-distributors. We have got the fruit, and now we feel it is our duty to share the fruit with others, for only in this way can we become totally satisfied.
In the seeker’s life there is an inner urge constantly trying to come to the fore. But there is also a constant battle going on between the divine forces and the undivine forces. A seeker observes that his days have wings and just fly away. He cannot catch the time-bird or keep it inside him; it flees inexorably. There is much to do, but so little is done and perhaps so little will be done. If one is a sincere seeker, he feels that there is so much he can achieve and so much he has to achieve, and for everything he needs time. He prays and meditates, but feels that this is not enough. He feels he has to do more, that he has to be more devoted and dedicated. This is what happens when he looks at his days.
Now, when a seeker thinks of his hours, he has a different experience. He feels that slowly and steadily his hours are passing away. The days fly away very fast, but the hours pass slowly and steadily, giving him constant opportunity. If even then the seeker is not achieving what he is supposed to achieve, he becomes sad and miserable. He feels that there is something lacking in him which keeps him from making fast progress. Why is he not achieving? Because his inner cry is not intense; because he does not need God at every second. He needs God, true, but every second of his time he does not need God. When he is engrossed in earthly matters, he forgets God. But if he can remember God in all his actions, in all his multifarious activities, then earth-time will fly away, but God-experience, which is eternal Life, will remain with him.
An individual moment, when observed with the human mind, looks fleeting. It seems to have lightning speed. But when the seeker observes the moment with his sincere aspiring life, he sees that each moment is loaded with many undivine thoughts, ideas and worlds which linger in him. These unhealthy thoughts, these unaspiring, undivine ideas and destructive worlds are in the life of each second. He finds that he cannot get rid of these undivine experiences that are housed in the life of each second. This happens precisely because the seeker is not in touch with the eternal Time. If he goes deep within, he sees that Infinity and Eternity are within him. He sees that he cannot have a fleeting moment separated from Infinity, he cannot have a fleeting second separated from Eternity.
The experience of earth-life is only a flow in the eternal Life. It is the flow of separativity. But this earth-flow is not the product of earthbound time. It is the creation of infinite Time, eternal Time. If the seeker is aware of infinite and eternal Time, then he realises that these are nothing other than the eternal Now. God’s Body, creation, is growing in the eternal Now. God’s Spirit is glowing in the eternal Now.
A sincere seeker longs for God-realisation. For him, God-realisation means the transcendental Height, which is the height of Silence, the height of Light and Delight. One may reach the highest pinnacle of Truth, Light, Beauty and Delight, but that does not necessarily mean that one is near the highest Height. No! In order to achieve the highest, loftiest Height, one has to enter into the oneness-life. If one neglects or rejects God’s oneness-life, God’s Universal Life, then no matter how many times he reaches the highest pinnacle, he cannot be closest or dearest to God, the Highest Absolute. The height has to be scaled, but we have to know that while climbing up the mountain we are carrying within us the Universal Life, the life of multiplicity which we are carrying to the Source, the transcendental Reality.
We speak about God, but why is it that we do not realise God as our supreme necessity, as the fulfilment of our reality? The main reason is that the earth-thoughts we treasure are composed of conscious or unconscious temptations. When temptation is fulfilled, we see nothing but futility; we see a barren desert. Since our earth-thoughts right now are nothing but futility, we do not realise God. But there are also Heaven-thoughts. Heaven-thoughts right now are nothing short of curiosity. We are curious to know what is happening in Heaven, what it looks like, how many angels are there, what the cosmic gods are doing. It is all curiosity. When we live on earth and think of Heaven with a curious mind, we do not realise God and accomplish our supreme task. But when we love or treasure God-thoughts at every moment in all our activities, God becomes the living Reality in our life. At every moment God’s Divinity and God’s Reality loom large when we feel the God-necessity in ourselves. At that time God cannot hide from us. As a matter of fact, He does not hide at all. He is nearer to us than our nose, our eyes, but we are wanting in the cosmic vision. How can we be endowed with the cosmic vision? We can be endowed with the cosmic vision only when our necessity for God is immediate and constant. If we have come to the realisation that without food, without air, without water, without everything we can exist, but not without God, then God-realisation does not remain a far cry.
But we have to know that this God-realisation cannot be achieved by hook or by crook, by adopting foul means or by torturing the body or the physical consciousness. No, no, no! If we just torture our body or fast most rigorously, if we threaten God, saying, “God, if You don’t come to me I shall commit suicide, I shall destroy my life,” God will simply laugh at our stupidity. There are seekers who have fixed a date at which they have to realise God and who say they will put an end to their life if they fail. But God-realisation cannot be achieved in that way.
The right method is prayer and meditation. When we pray and meditate, God observes whether our prayer and meditation is sincere or not. When He sees that we are sincere, slowly and steadily He appears before our vision. Right now He is within us, but our vision does not see Him. But when we pray and meditate, He improves our vision, and then we see and feel Him as our very own.
Besides prayer and meditation, there is another important method. We have to cry inwardly. It is through our inner tears, our intense inner cry, that we can immediately see God face-to-face and have Him as our own. When we pray sincerely, when we meditate sincerely, we realise God slowly and steadily. But if inside the prayer and meditation there is an intense inner cry, then God stands before us immediately — and not only immediately, but also unreservedly. And if He sees that our inner cry is flooded with sincerity, then He grants us something else. He becomes unconditional. First He stands in front of us, as a momentary blessing and boon, then He becomes ours unreservedly and continuously and finally, He becomes ours unconditionally.
THN 26. Dag Hammarskjold Lecture Series, Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium, 1 August 1974.↩